Grotto Mountain

 Posted by on February 15, 1998  Kananaskis Provincial Park  Add comments
Feb 151998

July 2003

Grotto Mountain in 3 hours 59 minutes round trip on the ACC trail including one food/liquid/rest stop and the photo shoot at the summit.

Dall Sheep on the summit ridge of Grotto Mountain

Dall Sheep on the summit ridge of Grotto Mountain

It took me 1:59 to gain the ridge and that is just over 1000 meters according to my topographic map. I think I did the 900 meters to the top of East End of Rundle in 1:28 but it was a cooler day. Then the total ballooned to 2:28 when I arrived at the main summit of Grotto Mountain.

Grotto Mountain from Mount Lady MacDonald

Grotto Mountain from Mount Lady MacDonald

I had to stop once just before the ridge to sit down, eat some dates, drink some water and get un-dizzy. The afternoon heat was brutal.

Sound fast? Not Olympian but I did have to run near the bottom to get it done in under 4 hours.

The going was hot on the way up; I had a late start. This was my second time up this mountain, this time to get pictures so you can see for yourself what a nice view it is.

Some of my friends just shake their head as if I’m a bit wacko for going so fast but I kind of enjoy it. They like the runners high too but are just not willing to go far as I to get it.

However it is perhaps a bit risky to push too hard and also one can relax better over the long run if extreme sport is toned down a bit. I may slow down soon as I have read that stress makes neurons sensitive. In essence what I’m doing here is abusing the mountain like a drug. It has a potentiating effect on your neurons and makes them hyper-sensitive. I’m sensitive enough already dam it!

Wheel Chair Access

If your a guy and you get off on this type of thing, get a girl friend. FAST!

Otherwise just lay in your bed at night alone and twitching like a big twitchy neuron!

On the way up Grotto Mountain I had a nice opportunity to photograph a Dall Sheep. I should really get a better camera with built in zoom though.

The ACC trail starts form you guessed it, the ACC hut in Canmore. The way is a very dusty and worn in trail. At the top, the view is panoramic.

On the way back down I took a tumble while running down a steep section that was ruble on top of slab. The feet aren’t well connected to the ground in sections like this.

The dust stuck to my sweaty body making me look like a coal miner. What fun!

Panorama from Grotto Mountain

Bow – Canmore Panorama from Grotto Mountain

I then continued with my mad descent.

Near the bottom I started to run harder so as to keep my total time under 4:00 hours. When I got back to the car I was satisfied, content and wet.

P.S. I didn’t see any caves or moose bones on this go round.


This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.

George Bernard Shaw
1856-1950, Irish-born British Dramatist