Schiesser Ledges

Schiesser Ledges near Banff, AB

This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars
4 kms
Hiking, Rock Climbing
Summer, Fall
Banff, AB
User sawback
Shiesser Ledges is a popular approach to the Neil Colgan Hut. Rockfall hazard is not as bad as its reputation holds. It's a quick and easy way to get to the Neil Colgan, especially if you're carrying heavy packs and don't want to mess with the steep Perren headwall.

Below I describe an alternate way of accessing the Shiesser Ledges from Moraine Lake that was once heavily travelled, but appears to have fallen into almost complete disuse, likely with the popularity of the Perren Route approach trail.

Route Description

Most people cross the creek as per the access to Perren Route.

However there is a much better way of getting there. Just before the final boardwalk at the end of the Moraine Lake Trail (200m or so before the "end" of the trail), there is an unmarked Y-junction. The main trail goes left, take the right hand trail that after 100m or so kind of disappears at a boggy braided creek. Head up the creek and at the top, where it disappears into the ground, you'll pick up an ancient trail. Old grown-over blazes can be seen on the trees in places. This trail was once obviously heavily used but judging by the overgrowth hasn't been travelled much in decades.

Follow this trail for about 850m until you get to a swampy area and the trail peters out. At this point angle left (SW) to gain the morainal feature that leads to the Schiesser Ledges.

From here follow the moraine to the bottom of the ledges. The route through the ledges is marked by old red paint marks and cairns. Continue up this past the occasional chain, and belay station, until you're at the top. After crossing the glacier the best way to get to the Neil Colgan is through an obvious break directly below Mt. Bowlen (looker's left of col). You can also take the route below Mt. Little. Both routes have rockfall hazard to consider.

This old trail probably saves 20 minutes or more as it's more direct and travels over easier ground than the alternative. Also, no river crossing is necessary -- a definite plus when the log bridge is covered with ice in the wee hours of the morning.

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Getting There

Moraine Lake Parking Lot, take the popular trail to the far south end of the lake.

Please check the bottom of the Description (above left; click) for the author's written directions.

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