Thursday, August 5, 2010
Couple of Days in Yoho
I haven't got to enjoy much quality time in Yoho this year, and thus the idea for "Yoho in a Day" was born. The idea was to tag the Little Yoho Valley, Whaleback, Twin Falls, Marpole Connector, Stanley Mitchell, a "bonus loop" to Kiwetinok Pass (a place that has also been on the "to do" list), the Iceline AND Yoho Lake. In a day, of course. :)
Keith joined for the first 20km and we had some great company with Nadya and Libby - new friends, who are going to keep. They are pantloads of fun and entertaining as all heck. The girls are going to Europe to enjoy a little adventure as partners at this years, Trans Alps 8-Day stage race. I think they are going to have a LOT of fun. The day featured some gorgeous weather, some scary threatening weather, some outrageously beautiful scenery, the discovery of a new beautiful place and 2 scream-out-loud plunges in glacier fed puddles. Yeah!
We started with a quick run up Little Yoho Valley and a climb up the Whaleback - a place Keith had never been. The views from the there are stupendous - you can see the Yoho Glacier, Glacier des Poilus and the Waputik Icefield. Pure, WOW. From there we descended to the top of Twin Falls and stood on top of the precipice at the top of the thundering falls.
Eventually, we ran back down to the Twin Falls Chalet to admire the falls, ran by Marpole Lake on the Marpole Connector and back to the Stanley Mitchell Hut trail. That's where we parted ways with Keith and began our climb up, up, up to the hut.
From there, I was stoked go up Kiwetinok Pass - a place that eluded me last year in another "Yoho in a Day" adventure. We had a brief hail storm while we were still safe below treeline, but when we climbed up to Kiwetinok we were surrounded by some dark, forbidding storm systems in all directions. At one point, there were 3 different storm systems surrounding us, with the sound of thunder booming all around. It was scary, but we figured we could take cover under some rocks. We decided to keep climbing, because we hadn't seen any lightening - but we were certainly keeping our plans flexible with the sky rumbling all around us.
Kiwetinok Pass was out of this world and rather wintery despite the warm air temperatures and humidity. It's my new favorite place. Wait. I've said that before. Either way, it's a incredible high alpine place - an I will be back!
From there, we descended back down to Stanley Mitchell and climbed up to the Iceline Trail The Iceline is always a favorite and because of the weird weather, it appeared that everyone had gone home. We had the place to ourselves.
By this time the weird weather had moved on, and the temps were nice and warm. Libby didn't hesitate and jumped in this puddle - a small glacial lake. By glacial, I mean: See the Glacier. See the Girl. It's Glacial. I couldn't resist and jumped in too.
Next day we followed it up a trip to another new place. Just 8km outside of Field, B.C and still in Yoho National Park. Ottertail Fire Road. Sweeeeeet.
Ottertail Fire Road to Goodsir Pass - Bike 30km/Hike 20km
I've wanted to go up the Ottertail Fireroad to visit Goodsir Pass for quite a few years now. I'd been told that Mount Goodsir was stunning. It's been one of those things on the "Must-see" list and I thought it would be perfect on a busy long weekend. It's one of those places that nobody every gets to. It's smack dab in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of Grizzly Bear country and requires a little help by bicycle. Katherine and her hubby Jerome joined Keith and I for an awesome adventure, in a brand new corner of Yoho. It was a super-fun day.
Just like I had thought, we hardly saw anyone except for a through-hiker, hiking the Great Divide Trail. I loved the Ottertail - the bike was a lot more scenic than I had anticipated, following the Ottertail River and climbing gently upwards. As for Mount Goodsir, it was awesome and I was surprised to discover that the twin towered Goodsir is the highest mountain in Yoho National Park! It rises an astonishing 1950 metres (6400 feet) from the creekbed below it's face. The pass and Mount Goodsir was amazing, but I'm going to have to go back. There was thick smoke in the air from wild fires in B.C which didn't give us quite the clarity that I had hoped for.
We had to downscale this weekends adventures when we realized Keith has a little race next weekend. O.K - he has a really big race, followed by another big race. It's already Trans Rockies Time!! Starting next week, the boy is going to be on his mountain bike for 7 days straight. On this day, we decided it was O.K if the boy spun out his legs for a bit and then we'd go for a wee bit of a hike. Well, the bike ride up the fire road was a nice little 15km ride and the hike up Goodsir was a solid 10km. At the end of the day we were out for almost 7.5 hours of activity. It was a little bit more than we had bargained for, but I reckon it's the perfect way to start a week of relaxation and "tapering" for his back to back Trans Rockies adventure. Go, Keith!
Me, I'm off to Jasper for the weekend. Keith and Jill are off to the start line of Trans Rockies. They are going to have a most excellent week, full of incredible places, trails and mountain biking. I'm almost as excited as they are!! I'm wishing them good thoughts, smooth traveling and many fun adventures.