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.

Mount Field

 Posted by on October 24, 2008  Yoho National Park  No Responses »
Oct 242008
Mount Stephen is on the left, Mount Field and Wapta Mountain on the right, Mount Burgess hides behind Mount Field

Mount Stephen is on the left, Mount Field and Wapta Mountain on the right, Mount Burgess hides behind Mount Field

3:01 PM Friday Sept 20 2002

H and I just made it to the summit of Mt. Field by way of the Burgess Shale trail and then the N.W. ridge. The scrambling was good on firm rock. When we first looked at it from the top of the approach we weren’t sure.

The west ridge of Mt. Field

The west ridge of Mt. Field

The route looked gnarlier near the end. It was a bit gnarly but the crux was a small wall composed of solid steps with good and ample holds.

Anything to say H?

Uhmmm…. not at this second….. No.

OK that’s what will go in then….

Humum bumehmnnn … Laugh You’re writing down what I said?


H below the crux

H below the crux

H rates it a good junior climb … mind you he adds ….we senior with our ….. You’re going to write down everything?

Next time though, I’m bringing more film. I missed a few shots of scrambles though some pinnacles and also a view of Emerald Lake from the Burgess High Line. The sun broke through the clouds and shone directly upon the lake bringing out one the finest blues to be had.

7:46 PM The bulgur will be ready in 10 minutes so I can write some more.

The way down was more difficult than Kane’s book would suggest. Lots of loose rubble; no real trail through the scree like some of the moderates and difficult scrambles.

Wapta Mountain from Mount Field

Wapta Mountain from Mount Field

The trick is to find the cairn to get through the upper rock band. All considered I think a moderate rating would be more appropriate. After all there is a small amount of route finding to get through this loose rock band as I could not see the cairn until I had traversed over a ways. When I saw it, I hollered out to H that the band pass was over here. He left the steep and rotten cliffs he was about to go down.

Shudder ….

The next morning saw us pack our gear and enjoy breakfast with and also be the beneficiaries of a complementary speech by the local resident geologist. He was giving a preamble to a group on their way to visit the Burgess Shale quarry on the slopes of Mt. Field.

One of the nice young women on the tour approached me sitting at the picnic table next to Yoho Lake. I mentioned that H and I had mistakenly stumbled upon the UNESCO World Heritage Site by accident on our way to the summit of Mt. Field.

The speech given by the tour guide was great.

The era that is displayed in the formation of the Burgess Shale is a fascinating topic and even though the fossils are extremely old, indistinct, and laying on the side of a mountain virtually unprotected; they have created a certain resonance with me.

Mount Stephen has an exposure too…. The Burgess Shale that is…..

Mount Stephen has an exposure too…. The Burgess Shale that is…..

This geological boundary represents the beginning of the explosion of multi-cellular life forms that have visited the Earth since the beginning of the Cambrian period, possibly the most important time in the history of the Earth.

What a fantastic spot!!!!!

Mount Field Panorama

Mount Field Panorama

Imagine spending four billion years stocking the oceans with seafood, filling the ground with fossil fuels, and drilling the bees in honey production — only to produce a race of bed-wetters!

Barbara Ehrenreich
1941-, American Author, Columnist

he earth is not a mere fragment of dead history, stratum upon stratum like the leaves of a book, to be studied by geologists and antiquaries chiefly, but living poetry like the leaves of a tree, which precede flowers and fruit — not a fossil earth, but a living
earth; compared with whose great central life all animal and vegetable life is merely parasitic. Its throes will heave our exuviate from their graves.

Henry David Thoreau
1817-1862, American Essayist, Poet, Naturalist

Mount Burgess

 Posted by on October 23, 2008  Yoho National Park  No Responses »
Oct 232008
Mount Burgess – Canadian Rockies

Saturday July 24th 2004

Field BC from Mount Burgess

Field BC from Mount Burgess

This was my only new scramble for 2004. My friend Monica Droppo (nee Matt) came with me.

I wish she could come along again but she passed away about 20 months after our scramble. It’s seems very bizarre that someone that is so healthy can just die!

And trust me, she was healthy!

Thus is the nature of death! It can sneak up on you like a brutal thief in the night and steal your life away from you.

I wish you all, like I wish Monica, the best and hope you find (including Dan) and have a happy life.

Don’t forget to get out and grab some fun and live it up a bit, life is short and time is wasting!

July 24th was a warm day and the first part of the trail is from the Sherbrooke Lake parking area and goes through trees for some time. It was hot.

Monica Climbs

Monica Climbs

Once out on the open slopes the final part of the route is visible. From here Monica and I left the trail and could see the slopes but there is about 10 minutes of bush to whack.

The upper part of the route is a narrow gully. Along the either side of the gully rock walls provide hand holds to make the way easier. There is less ruble along the sides also.

Once you top the gully you stand on a ridge. The views start to improve but you still won’t see Emerald Lake until you look over the vertical north face from the summit.

From here you cross the ridge and scramble up the middle of a rocky face to the final slopes.

Once on top you can relax and enjoy the views. Peaks and ice fields are numerous and Mount Stephen dominates the south.

Once you have relaxed and prepared for the return you go back the way you came.

Monica Droppo

Monica Droppo


How rare and wonderful is that flash of a moment when we realize we have discovered a friend.

William E. Rothschild

I can’t forgive my friends for dying; I don’t find these vanishing acts of theirs at all amusing.

Logan Pearsall Smith
1865-1946, Anglo-American Essayist, Aphorist


Mount Burgess Panorama

Mount Burgess Panorama

Mount Burgess Gallery (please hit F11; function key 11)