Battalion Park Stairs – three sets of wooden stairs that face south so lots of sun and chinook action.
East Lower set is behind Lowes-Staples and is 20 m from my watch. Weird stairs – 125 steps with avg inch rise of 6.5 ” = 20.6 m. The rise of the first step and last step in a flight are short and long with the rest of steps about 6.5 inches. Strange versus normal 8 or 9 inch rise. There are 13 intermediate landings with as few as 3 steps and as many as 19 steps in a flight.
The total is about 45 – 46 m from bottom by Staples to top of park by upper cenotaph.
The Upper set is 90 steps with 9 inch rise(20.6 m)
plus 2 m between top of lower east set and the center cenotaph and 2 m above top set of upper stairs to upper cenotaph.(20.6+20.6+2+2=45.2 m)
West Lower set is behind Library and Superstore. Bottom is higher than East set so about (82 steps = 18.7 m) and 40 m to the top to around upper cenotaph.
Both lower sets connect to upper by a paved path and there is another cenotaph at base of upper stairs.
Note for comparison the McHugh Bluff stairs, Memorial Drive behind the Calgary Curling club are 110 feet high = 33.5 m.
There are lots of information signs which explain the park and the large white numbers which identify the regiments that were stationed nearby in WW1.
My phone GPS has problems here due to shielding from buildings so lots of spikes.
Garmin watch was best but need to circle cenotaph at top and do a 5 m loop at bottom for the watch to register or catch up.
Had surgery on a bone spur on ankle in late Sept and still have some swelling and stiffness issues in ankle.
Nov 13 sunny and warm so took dog and did 10 leisurely laps on the stairs so ~ 450 m up and down and 6.4 km in under 2 hours.
Leisurely about 7.5 min up and 4.5 min down so 10 laps = 75 min up and 45 min down =120 min. About 360 m/hr average on the up.
Ankle felt good and nice to stretch legs out more.
Daily 1 hour 4-5 km walks with dog are good and have been doing hills and stairs but needed to do some more elevation.
Started up hockey which is HIIT equivalent as do 90% to max heart rate several times per shift for most shifts for 1.25 hrs.
Still some ankle swelling even in tight skates so doubt that 6-8 hours in a ski boot would work for now.
UPDATE- Added a dozen Most Significant Mountains in Area
Top 10 Mountains Every Calgarian Should Know –
Your friends or relatives have arrived and you want to show them the mountains. Or you take a family drive and your kids are asking. It helps to know some mountain names and some facts to make the drive to Banff/Lake Louise more interesting. It was difficult to choose just one picture for each mountain so I tried to pick the most common or popular view.
Banded Peak – pyramid shape with black horizontal rock band aka “the pointy one with a band on it“. Visible from most of Calgary and surrounding area. Straight West of Okotoks- In a group with Outlaw, Cornwall which has the “cornpatch”- (last visible snow from Calgary in warm summer- skiable) and Glasgow. Banded Peak was sketched in 1881 by Marque of Lorne in first published drawing of Calgary Mountain Skyline. The Marque was a Canadian Governor General and Lake Louise is named after his wife who was Queen Victoria’s daughter.
Banded Peak Group from 1A Calgary Springbank Cochrane Canadian Rockies Kananaskis
Moose Mountain – closest Mountain with rocky top to Calgary – West of Bragg Creek and very prominent from West on Highway 1(just South of Scott Lake Hill). Also lines up with Anderson Road and had an active fire lookout up to summer of 2019. Can run, hike, bike or XC ski to the top from several directions. Just SouthWest of Moose is Prairie mountain – “the exercise/training peak for Calgary area” -steep hike that is across the road from Elbow Falls. ( bonus Fisher- closest mountain to Calgary that is over 10,000 ft),
Moose Mountain Bragg Creek Kananaskis Calgary Canadian Rockies (Prairie Mtn hidden by left shoulder/ridge of Moose)
Devil’s Head – Spirit mountain named and drawn on leather hide map by guide “Old Swan” in 1770. Only Mountain identified by name and shape by Peter Fidler and subsequent explorers. Most visible from highrise buildings and Highway 1 and 1A West. Prominent Head shaped mountains were revered by native tribes and were used as signposts for annual North-South migration as followed buffalo. Identifiable from Carstairs on South. The other two “spirit mountains are Chief Mountain in Montana and Devils Tower in Wyoming by Black Hills. Tough access through Ghost area. Bonus Aylmer- highest by Banff and Blackrock (old 1920’s fire lookout). Peter Fidler was the first non native to climb in the rockies. He did Thunder mountain in 1792 with 2 Pikani guides. His 4th great grandson Bruce McKay has his 1792 Journal which describes the ascent. Bruce ascends Thunder every year.
Devil’s Head from Blackrock lookout, Aylmer to left. Ghost Area, Canadian Rockies Don Getty wilderness
Yamnuska – First big mountain on right as drive West on Highway 1. Has a vertical limestone face due to a fault. There are 170 steep multipitch rock climbs on front and backside is many Calgarians first taste of scrambling and exposure as scramble with chains along a ledge. The scramble is done counter clockwise so the descent is the first big steep scree run for many people.- yellow streak down front. The official name from 1961 is Mount John Laurie, but Yamnuska is its Nakoda name and most popular tag.
Yamnuska Kananaskis Canadian Rockies climb scramble
Heart Mountain – by Exshaw and Lac des Arcs – rocky scramble training mountain (honorable mention to Baldy by Barrier Lake which is another scramble training mountain). To get into scrambling please buy Scrambles-In-The-Canadian-Rockies-3rd-Edition by Alan Kane or Andrew Nugara’s More Scrambles book and read the introductory and safety sections and then study the route descriptions carefully. There have been many rescues and some deaths on these mountains caused by over eager or ill prepared scramblers.
Heart Mountain Exshaw, Lac des Arc, Canmore, Canadian Rockies, Kananaskis
Lougheed/Windtower – first closeup of big mountain over 10,000 ft from Highway 1. Has a dramatic vertical face. All four peaks of Lougheed and Big Sister are visible from Calgary – line up with West end of Glenmore and 17th ave. ) – There are scramble routes up the backside from Spray Lakes. Windtower is an easy scramble in summer from Spray Lakes.(Smith-Dorian Road)
Mount Lougheed, Kananaskis, Rockies
Three Sisters – iconic group of mountains that is the most photographed and painted in Canmore area and maybe the Canadian Rockies – ( best viewed from North or across valley). Little Sister is a climb, Middle is a long but easy scramble and Big Sister is a Moderate Scramble from Spray Lakes side. West Bow Trail lines up with vertical North face of Big Sister
Three Sisters Canmore, Rockies Left to Right is Little, Middle and Big. (climb, easy scramble and Moderate/Difficult scramble)
Ha Ling, Canmore’s exercise/training peak. Climbed by Chinese kitchen worker in 1896 on a bet/dare. Many hikers first mountain. Now has a well graded trail with stone steps and even stairs. Together with EEOR(East End of Rundle) and Lady MacDonald are Canmore Triple Crown. Some classic multipitch climbs up front side. Lady MacDonald is named after the wife of the President of the railroad. She was so impressed with the mountains that she rode on the front of the train engine on the cow catcher to get the best view.
Ha Ling Peak Canmore Training – triple crown with EEOR and Lady MacDonald
Cascade – you drive straight toward Cascade after enter Banff Park Gates on Hwy 1. It is right beside first exit to Banff with great view of Cascade waterfall (ice climb in winter). The decommissioned Banff airport is in front of Cascade and mainly used by the local Elk herd. Cascade is heavily photographed as lines up with main street in Banff(Banff Ave). Long hike with some scramble at top. see excellent brochure to avoid going off route and being rescued. No shortcuts. Parks Canada Scramble Brochures
Cascade Mountain, Banff National Park, Alberta
Rundle – Long massive mountain with 8 peaks. Runs from Canmore to Banff. See both pictures for perspective. Most iconic view is from West over Vermilion Lake -honorable mention to other Banff favorites beside town are Tunnel (easy first hike for many tourists) and Sulphur which has the Gondola. East End of Rundle (EEOR) is a moderate scramble from Canmore and West end of Rundle is a moderate scramble from Banff. – See Parks Canada Scramble Brochures
Mount Rundle from West over Vermillion Lake Banff Park- the highest point is the Kane scramble summit but is not the highest summit of Rundle. see next pic.
Rundle from Canmore with Peaks identified
Castle – with Eisenhower Tower – classic view from highway 1 over Bow River. Long hike/scramble by Rockbound Lake. Tower is classic rock climb. The bump beside the Tower(just to left) is highest point at South end but the highest summit of Castle is at North end beside Stuart Knob.(Stuart Knob can be seen just right of the Tower)
Castle Mountain and Eisenhower Tower Banff
Castle Mountain from North Castle High Point. That is Assiniboine in distance.
Temple – Famous as dominates view from Lake Louise area. Glaciated top and North face heavily photographed from Lake Louise village and ski area. Temple is one of 10 peaks around Moraine lake/Larch Valley and is the easiest to access of all the 54 Canadian Rockies peaks over 11,000 ft(3353m)- see very good parks brochure –Parks Canada Scrambling Brochures
Mount Temple Lake Louise Banff Park Canada Rockies Scramble route is up backside from Moraine Lake and through Larch Valley and Sentinel Pass.
Victoria – prominent glaciated peak at end of valley with Lake Louise – Draped with glaciers it is also an 11 thousander. Lake O’Hara is on other side of Victoria. The high pass between Mount Lefroy and Victoria is Abbott pass which has Abbott hut – a stone climbers hut built in 1922.
Other Interesting or Notable Mountains in Canadian Rockies and Nearby Area
Assinniboine – highest in Southern Rockies – identifiable for 50 km+ , matterhorn of rockies, – fantastic/spectacular hiking backpacking destination. Most popular route is North Ridge which is facing camera and the sun/shade divide. Mainly an advanced scramble on loose rock with some 5.5 sections on upper part.
Robson – west of Jasper on Highway 16 – Highest in Canadian Rockies. Has 10,000 ft of prominence(3050 m) from trailhead to top. – Berg lake, falls, etc. Difficult climb as conditions are hard and some years is not climbed at all. Kain face and roof shown here versus the SW face which faces the road.
Athabasca – Columbia icefields – dominant view from highway 93North – 11,000er (Andromeda, Athabasca Glacier and Snow dome to the right of this pic). This is North face and Silverhorn.
Mount Columbia – highest mountain in Alberta – glaciated – ski ascent in winter/spring – totally hidden from view from highway
Alberta – hardest of the 11,00 ft group and hidden from view from highway- less than 30 people have done full list of 54 – takes many seasons and a full lifetime for most.
Edith Cavell – South of Jasper – angel glacier just showing one wing. This is the East ridge from North.
Sir Donald – Rogers Pass Highway 1 Best view coming from West
Crowsnest – and 7 sisters and Frank Slide/Turtle Mountain – Highway 3 – Crowsnest pass
Chief Mountain- The second Spirit mountain after Devils Head – Very Prominent for Southern Albertan’s (visible for 50 km). Located just across border in Montana near Waterton Park- 3rd Spirit mountain is Devils Tower in Wyoming
Chief Mountain Montana
Fisher – Cranbrook area – Stanley cup on top twice by Scott Niedermayer 2000 Devils and 2007 Ducks
Stanley – if drive to Radium/Invermere. 93 South just as cross into B.C. look left. – Glaciated North face is regularly climbed and skied.
Begbie – Revelstoke Highway 1- climb by glacier which leads to horizontal ledge(see pic) and then scramble up blocky quartzite ridge.
Mount Begbie, Monashees, Revelstoke, B.C.
Nelson – prominent from Invermere valley – pic from Panorama ski resort.
Bugaboos – Granite spires rising from glacier. World class climbing- climbers from all over world.
8 hours. Got wet and snowed on at top but cleared on way down.
Went by bridge and good trail just past bridge up ridge in trees and then up some scree to rocky ridge. Some scrambling along ridge to false summit and then walk to summit. Stuck to up track on way down.
New trail is quite good. Good but crowded. Longer but lower angle. Lots of new rock steps/staircases and then several sets of suspended wooden stairs at treeline where the trail always eroded. It is designed for heavy use so that is good I guess.
8.5 km and 1235 m about 9 hours with leisurely breaks.
Found a good but steep goat/sheep trail right from highway so minimal bushwack although had to bypass some muddy sections on trail.
Up trail through trees to near big slabs then traverse hard right on trail to RH side of slabs and then up to treed bench. Through trees and followed trail to RH side of wide ridge at tree line and then on or near ridge crest on broken ledges to summit block.
Left around base to crux.Crux dry and easier than expected. Trail has developed in loose rock along base of wall and I cleaned the crux a bit to make the descent safer. Crux in dry conditions is upper Moderate or easy Difficult.
Ogden is a fantastic viewpoint for pics of dozens of nearby trips that we have done.