Aug 092016

This Document is published in its original form. It originally was a set of hikes that I was proposing to my hiking friends about the year 1999.

Hi gents. This is a synopsis of daily events for three KILLER hikes that I would like to do in the next few years. Have a look and see what you think.

The value in the square brackets is the total kilometers for that day e.g. [18k to 4]
Each day is about 18k. The campground is in bold
Each trip has a spare day for a scramble or whatever.

If you have any suggestions make a list and mail them to me and we can build a better master trail blaster list. I will include some other classics soon. Please print or forward to anyone that may be inclined to do a master trail blaster!

Glacier Trail

1. Maligne lake parking 1690m [18.9k to 2]
2. Mary Schaffer Camp 18.9k [17.8k to 3]
2a. Maligne pass 32.7k
3. Avalanche Camp 36.7 [20.1k to 4]
3a. Junction with Poboktan pass trail 41.7
3b. Waterfalls camp 47.5k
4. Jonas cutoff camp 56.8k [day off to summit of Poboktan]
5. Jonas cutoff camp 56.8k [19.1k to 6]
5a. Jonas shoulder 2470m
5b. Jonas pass 2320m
6. Four point camp 75.9k [13.8k to 6a]
6a. Nigel pass trail head 89.7

Moose River to Mt. Robson

1. Railway tracks 1080m [17.1k to 2] (you know it’s a classic when it starts out at “the Railway tracks”)
1a. Junction Moose river trail 0.3k
1b. Resplendent creek Moose river confluence 11.0k
1c. Resplendent creek ford (difficult multi-channel ford) 17.0k
2. Camp on opposite bank of  Resplendent creek  [19k to 3] unless it was too high to cross in afternoon then we will have to cross in morning when the water is lower. 17.1k
2a. Colonel creek 22.0k next 6k trail is overgrown and poorly marked (in 1978)
2b. Upright creek 28k In this next section we cross the Moose 4 times over 2k
2c. Steppe creek ford 36.0k then camp
3. Steppe creek 36.1k [13.9k to 4]
3a. Moose pass 2025m BC Alberta border 46.0k
3b.50k Campground This day is only 14k so we have time to enjoy the pass
4. 50k Campground [11.8k to 5]
4a. Coleman glacier outflow ford 55.5k A difficult glacier stream crossing but it will be the morning when runoff is the least.
4b. Smokey river bridge 56k
4c. Adolphus camp ground 59.2k
4d. Robson pass 61.8k
5. Robson pass 61.8k take day off
6. Robson pass 61.8k [21.9k to 6a]
6a. Robson river bridge Kinney lake trailhead 83.7k 855m

This next hike is straight from the book. The image is a JPG so that it downloads fast, but the names are a bit blurry. The tent symbols are just rough guesses, and are there to give an idea where the trail is.

‘GLACIER’ SECTION Field to Saskatchewan River Crossing—92 kilometers
Copyright © Brian Patton and Bart Robinson, 1971, 1978, 1986

This section extends north from Field. B.C. to Saskatchewan River Crossing. Alberta, a distance of some 92 kilometers. Despite a fifteen kilometer section missing in the middle and a lack of footbridges, the trail presents some exciting travel with a profusion of waterfalls, glaciers and wild rivers. No trail exists from Kiwetinok Pass to the Amiskwi River Fire Road, though by contouring over the northwest ridge of Kiwetinok Valley it is possible to eventually reach the abandoned logging roads leading down to Amiskwi. Likewise, from Amiskwi Pass to the Blaeberry River a thick bushwhack to the Collie Creek logging road can be shortened by keeping above timberline until the last possible moment. The upper Blaeberry trail has been improved in recent years and is now in fair condition (over Howse Pass the trail is faint until the Banff Park boundary marker is reached).

Until the center portion of the ‘Glacier’ Section is built, most trail use will be concentrated at either end of this section. The Kiwetinok Amiskwi portion may be avoided entirely by driving up the Blaeberry forestry road to the trail head 13 kilometers below Howse Pass. For the section in Yoho Park. you may gain access from the Emerald Lake or Yoho Valley Roads. Parks Canada has also designated the Amiskwi Fire Road as an alternate route to the high use Yoho Valley region.

Distances and Elevationskms
Field to Burgess Pass (2185m)6.6
Burgess Pass to Yoho Pass (1840m)6.1
Yoho Pass via Highline to Kiwetinok Pass (2450m)13
Kiwetinok Pass to Amiskwi Pass (1995 m)13
Amiskwi Pass to Howse Pass (1530 m)27
Howse Pass to Forbes Creek Jet. (1525 m)2.9
Forbes Creek Jet. to Saskatchewan Crossing (1435 m)23.0

Topo maps: Lake Louise. 82 N/8; Blaeberry River. 82 N/ 10; and Mistaya Lake. 82 N/15.

The Whistlers

 Posted by on September 6, 2006  Jasper National Park  No Responses »
Sep 062006

The Jasper Tram

Wednesday September 6th 2006

The Whistlers is a minor summit near the town site of Jasper Alberta,

The Whistlers This is not the true summit but a false summit that the Tram upper terminal sits on.

The Whistlers This is not the true summit but a false summit that the Tram upper terminal sits on.

To get to The Whistlers summit is either a fairly good hike or you also have the option of flying up a good deal of the way to the summit on the Jasper Tram.

The Jasper Tram is not like the usual Chairlift or Gondola. When I examined it I noticed a few differences. First and most interesting is rather than the usual multiple towers to support the weight of the cable and cars, there is only one tower. The lone tower lies just short of the half-way point up the mountain.

Take a trip on the Jasper Sky Tram!
The Sky Tram
lower building

The Jasper Tram is also bi-directional. This means rather than the usual circular loop that multiple gondolas-chairs take, the two cars go back and forth up and down the mountain. They ride on a stationary cable and are towed by a smaller one inch cable.

The trips are referred to as flights. Because of the great distance between the terminals and the lone tower, the distance off the ground is more than the usual height of a chairlift.

“The Whistlers” is apparently named after the Hoary Marmot although my own guess would have been the Pika. I did not see either species of rodent on the upper peak. I did see two Ptarmigans though.

Panorama of the Victoria Cross Range to the north of the Whistlers. The Whistlers are at the northern most tip of the Trident Range.

Panorama of the Victoria Cross Range to the north of the Whistlers. The Whistlers are at the northern most tip of the Trident Range.

I took a few photos of the surrounding peaks at the summit and then got back down. Cindy was feeling unusually vertiginous this particular day and decided to hang back down the trail.

The Whistlers Panorama

The Whistlers Panorama

lowly, but very deliberately, the brooding edifice of seduction, creaking and incongruous, came into being, a vast Heath Robinson mechanism, dually controlled by them and lumbering gloomily down vistas of triteness. With a sort of heavy-fisted dexterity the mutually adapted emotions of each of them became synchronized, until the unavoidable anti-climax was at hand.

Anthony Powell
1905-2000, British Novelist

The Whistlers Gallery


Van Morrison

Tangle Ridge

 Posted by on September 4, 2003  Jasper National Park  No Responses »
Sep 042003
Tangle Ridge

Tangle Ridge

Thursday September 4th 2003

I needed to get out and hit the slopes again. August was a bust. I was starting to feel like I was missing something.

I decided to do a trip I had wanted to do for some time; to bag Castle Mountain, Stuarts Knob, and TV Peak by spending the night out on the mountain. This was an idea I had two years ago but has been put off time and time again.

By the time I got to Banff the smoke was chokingly thick. There was a possibility the conditions were going to improve near Castle Junction but they were worse.

At Lake Louise I got another coffee and went to the park headquarters and they said that the conditions near the Ice Fields would be better.

At that point the best option for me was to scramble up Tangle Ridge. A change of destination was a good thing because I was not well rested and had a late start for an outing the size of the Castle Mountain trip.

I got to Tangle Falls late in the afternoon and was under way. It was good to be out of the thick smoke but there was still a substantial amount in the air and near the half-way point I was feeling dizzy and decided to quit and set up the bivi.

The rest of the afternoon and evening was spent enjoying the views, relaxing, eating, photographing and reading.

That night was peaceful, quiet, calm and warm. I spent hours looking at stars, and satellites. It had been quite some time since I had been out under the stars and it made me feel as though I’ve missed it.

At one point I observed three small satellites flying in a triangular formation. They were in a very high polar orbit and were moving very slowly across the sky. I wondered if they were some sort of US military satellite experiment.

Moments later in the constellation of Cygnus the Swan I noticed a flash of light. It was as though a satellite had blown up. Two more flashes were observed over the span of a few minutes, then nothing. Hummm…. perhaps it was the trio of satellites blowing up?

A Columbia Icefileds panorama

A Columbia Icefileds panorama

I witnessed a few meteors, laid back and thought about life, what a strange journey it is, filled with pain and pleasure.

The trail starts just below the falls over by the cut on the hill side. Diagonal up to the left over to where the cliffs give way to a slope, then double back to the falls when at the top.

The trail starts just below the falls over by the cut on the hill side. Diagonal up to the left over to where the cliffs give way to a slope, then double back to the falls when at the top.

The next morning I was up before dawn, ate, then was at the summit in 45 minutes. The sun was just coming up.

The views were obscured by smoke and now I have to go back to get a proper panorama.

After spending 45 minutes on the windless summit, I started back down to the bivi and got there at 10:00 AM or so. I took off the boots and enjoyed a morning nap in the shade of the boulder.

It was luxurious and refreshing.

The trip down was via the stream. I missed it on the way up and really enjoyed the different scenery. This peak was comforting and friendly to me.

Not all mountains are so civilized.

Tangle Ridge Panorama

Tangle Ridge Panorama

So much of what is best in us is bound up in our love of family, that it remains the measure of our stability because it measures our sense of loyalty. All other pacts of love or fear derive from it and are modeled upon it.

Haniel Long
1888-1956, American Author, Poet, Journalist

There is between sleep and us something like a pact, a treaty with no secret clauses, and according to this convention it is agreed that, far from being a dangerous, bewitching force, sleep will become domesticated and serve as an instrument of our power to act. We surrender to sleep, but in the way that the master entrusts himself to the slave who serves him.

Maurice Blanchot
1907-, French Literary Theorist, Author

The highest compact we can make with our fellow is –”Let there be truth between us two forevermore.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson
1803-1882, American Poet, Essayist

Tangle Ridge Gallery