Jul 22->26 2010 Bob Beck, Howie Koch, Jim Beck, Jim Beck, Tom J. We crashed in Canmore the night of the 21st, getting up in the morning for breakfast, then the long drive down highway one, then 93 to settlers road, and the 65km of the Kootenay-Palliser forest service road to the Joffre Creek Trailhead in Height of the Rockies provincial Park in B.C.
After porcupine-proofing our vehicles we rigged up and started the artery-cleansing 1000m climb up the Joffre Creek trail to Sylvan pass. This part of the trail is a rather unforgiving tree-slog - and you don't see anything neat until right before sylvan pass. Jim Beck the elder had some packweight issues and wasn't feeling too good about the climb, but after a massive mess of deadfall to get over between km 6 and km 7 he pushed on, and with some help from us (esp. howie) carrying his gear we all made it to sylvan pass.
We had a pleasant evening recovering from the climb in sylvan pass, we were frequently visited by a completely fearless mule deer doe. After a good rest the next day we climbed up the pass and then the ridge to the right to summit the nub, and drop down into the huge limestone valley full of spiky rillenkarren. The tired ones rested while some of us walked throught the spikes and explored. We then continued on over the red sandstone bench to the small pass that drops down into the lower limestone lake.
We set up camp for the evening and Jim and Tom proceeded to look for my Geocache, hoping to be first to find, and counting on the long handled spork that I told them was the first to find prize. Unfortunately for them, the cache had been muggle found and not logged last year, but was in good condition otherwise. While they were dissapointed at not having first to find, a good time was still had by all (especially me, laughing evilly and loudly at them). We re-hid the cache and Howie and I climbed up the bench to the west of camp to look over the other lakes, and get some pictures of the sunset on the peaks to the east.
The next day we got up, and spent a fantastic day exploring the entire upper valley from end to end. We found holes, springs, lakes, and just nice stuff. an amazing day with lots of pictures.
As usual, the hike out was long, downhill and hot, but still relatively enjoyable. we had dinner in Canmore and arrived VERY late back in edmonton.
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