Monday, September 28, 2009

Hiking The Rockwall Trail, Kootenay National Park (British Columbia) - Day 3 - From Heaven to Hell and Back Again...

I saw the Milky Way the previous night. It was brilliant.

It was lights out early on that 2nd night. I had no problem getting to sleep as I fell into a deep deep slumber (accompanied by purportedly loud breathing) exhausted by the rigors earlier that day.

We awoke to this splendid scenery the next morning. Little did I know there was a glacier hanging around the neighbourhood. Did you catch the joke? Hanging glacier? Ok, my bad... no more geomorphological jokes.

After an extended breakfast (the usual 3 packages of instant oatmeal), we slowly made our way up the meadows of the Rockwall Pass. The cabin is just behind the forest in the background. If you look closely, the trail is on the right edge of the photo. Looks like a posse is after us.

With in minutes we reached the Wolverine Pass junction. The Pass was to the left. The sign said 0.5 km but I doubt is was more than 100 m away.

The summit of the pass demarcated the Kootenay National Park boundary. Remarkably, it was the only passage leading westwards along the Rockwall.

Larry and Ahmed soaking up the scenary on the summit ridge.

Looking westward from Wolverine Pass. Plenty of clear cutting in the valley to the west. It's amazing how these types of developments encroach so closely upon the national parks.

Looking east towards Rockwall Pass and Banff National Park in the distance.

Looking back south towards the now dwarfed Wolverine Cabin.

More wildflowers on Rockwall Pass...

The meadows beyond the cabin seemed to stretch onwards for at least a couple hours. Glorious walking...

Ahmed checking out the massive western limestone wall that dominated the scenery the entire way to Helmet Creek. Between the wall and the alpine meadows was an equally massive glacier-with-no-name.

Eventually, we would take the plunge down towards the glacier-with-no-name. We would stop here for lunch.

After lunch we mounted the spine of the lateral moraine which took us down to a small lake at the foot of a terminal moraine. From that point, the trail climbed skyward taking us right over the tree covered mountain in the background.

The final big climb...

Nearing the summit... Once reaching the peak, we'd finish off the day with a last knee busting 435 m descent into the Helmet Creek Valley.

Most of the descent was through old growth forest but there was the occasional glimpse of spectacular Helmet Falls.

Larry making his way across the bridge to Helmet Creek Cabin...home sweet home for the next two nights...

1 comment:

Hiking lover said...

looks like a great trip. Trekking is my lifes calling.
Mats Lundkvist