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Old 07-16-2013, 11:16 AM   #1
mykalberta
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Default The Hiking / Backpacking Thread

Figured I would start a thread for hiking /backpacking as opposed to adding things to the camping thread as that seems like more of an RV/Car Camping conversation.

We are backpacking the Skoki area near Lake Louise the August long weekend.

Has anyone done any hikes in an around Drumheller? Just looking for day hike options. From what I can see there are three:

Horseshoe Canyon
Horsethief Canyone
Hoodoos

But I dont see any specific details about the hikes, distance, trail starting point etc.
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Old 07-16-2013, 11:27 AM   #2
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I am heading out this weekend to do the Pipestone Pass / Devon lakes backpack. And if Quartzite Col is more or less snow free than I am taking that as a short cut back.
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:15 PM   #3
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I'm reaching a milestone birthday late this year and to mark the occasion I'm thinking of asking a few people to join me for a long-weekend backpack trip. I'm thinking of doing either the Berg Lake or Skyline trails (both near Jasper) next spring/summer. Ideas are welcomed....
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:23 PM   #4
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http://www.trailpeak.com/ is an awesome resource.

Used it lots before my health issues limited my hiking.
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoneyGuy View Post
I'm reaching a milestone birthday late this year and to mark the occasion I'm thinking of asking a few people to join me for a long-weekend backpack trip. I'm thinking of doing either the Berg Lake or Skyline trails (both near Jasper) next spring/summer. Ideas are welcomed....
The Skyline trail is awesome, I'm sure Berg Lake is incredible as well though I haven't done it. Closer to Calgary, Rockwall Traverse is supposed to be a great trip as well. You could also do a trip around Kananaskis lakes, combining the Northover Traverse with Turbine Canyon, which would take 3-5 days depending on your fitness level.
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:38 PM   #6
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while i have nothing to add to this thread today, i do like the idea of having discussions of outdoor related activities.

carry on.....
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:57 PM   #7
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I can't remember the exact order of what we did, because it was quite a while ago, and I was pretty new to backcountry, but we went to Three Isle Lake - Turbine Canyon - Forks - Upper Lake. It was an amazing time. Definitely recommend it.
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
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I'm reaching a milestone birthday late this year and to mark the occasion I'm thinking of asking a few people to join me for a long-weekend backpack trip. I'm thinking of doing either the Berg Lake or Skyline trails (both near Jasper) next spring/summer. Ideas are welcomed....
Berg Lake is the best hike in Canada. I would do it. Make sure you go late enough to do Snowbird pass by Mid July it should be passable. It has everything, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, glacier, above treeline hiking, lush forest, imposing mountains, signiture peaks, great off trail opportunities.

The guys who write Dont Waste your time in the Canadian Rockies rank it as the second best hike in the world and I haven't seen anything to disagree with that statement. Other hikes are good to and each have there own unique things that are impressive but Berg Lake is the best.

The only draw back of Berg lake (or really any popular National park Hike) is crowds. You don't get the solitude of wondering above the treeline in a random alpine meadow that you get when you go off trail.
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:36 PM   #9
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I have done a lot of hiking in my day, but not enough over night stuff. The GF and I were trying to get into this summer but with 10023432 weddings it has been hard to get away on the weekend. We were supposed to do the Boreal Trail in Meadow Lake Park (http://www.saskparks.net/borealtrailmap) but the days we had registered/set aside for it were the two days of severe thunder showers during our stay in the campground. So we decided better to be under the camp kitchen playing dice vs. drenched and hiking through the forest during a thunder storm.

I have slowly been expanding my gear collection and building towards a multi day set up. I have a few good day packs, 28ish L bags. But have yet to purchase a good multiday pack. Anyone have a good recommendation? My packs are Osprey, and I have no need to look elsewhere because they have been so great, but I am always curious to hear what other people have experienced.
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Old 07-16-2013, 02:25 PM   #10
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RE:Packs

For a pack let me tell you first what you don't need. Nothing that wieghs over about 3.5lbs and nothing that is larger than 60L. If you get a big pack you will fill your big pack.

After that fit is everything. I like the Osprey line for a main stream pack manufacturer. There Exos series of packs are about the lightest you can get from a major manufacturer. If the Exos packs fit you well I would start there. If those don't fit I would go to the next model up. Osprey as a company seems to embrace a lightweight philosophy throughout there line.

I use a ULA Equipment Circuit which ways about 2.5lbs and carrys up to 35 lbs very well. As a goal I like to keep weekend trips sub 20lbs and weeklong trips sub 25lbs. Each extra lb on your back makes a big difference. The problem is that there is no where in Canada to try these on so I don't really recomend getting one as fit is so important. MEC makes okay packs but they are all overbuilt, and heavy for their volume. They are pretty bomber though so you won't wear them out.

One general recomendation for buying gear for your overnight set up is that all you need is your day hiking set up plus a tent, a sleeping pad, a sleeping bag, a stove, a pot, and a spoon. Everything else is a gadget that you don't really need to bring.
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Old 07-16-2013, 02:31 PM   #11
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Thought someone reading this thread might find this useful...

Google map of great hikes & cool outdoorsy things in Alberta

http://tinyurl.com/7d8adbe

Icons:

Hikers - Mostly based on the subjective opinion of the Don't Waste Your Time In The Canadian Rockies authors that GGG mentioned. The hikes displayed are the ones they picked as being 'Premiere' or 'Outstanding'. They like hikes that are enjoyable for most of the hike duration, and usually have a very scenic reward.

Cameras - Highest rated outdoor sights around Alberta based on TripAdvisor reviews.

Tents - Provincial and National Park campgrounds
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Old 07-16-2013, 02:34 PM   #12
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Good advice thanks GGG. Good rule for back pack size, I employ the same technique with my tackle boxes.. after going a bit over board one year.

The more room you have, the more crap you pack.
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Old 07-16-2013, 02:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
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The only draw back of Berg lake (or really any popular National park Hike) is crowds. You don't get the solitude of wondering above the treeline in a random alpine meadow that you get when you go off trail.
That's not a drawback where Grizzlies live.
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Old 07-16-2013, 04:33 PM   #14
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That's not a drawback where Grizzlies live.
I have done a ton of hiking and working in grizzly territory without incident. Simple things like bear bangers and bear spray are pretty effective. (I can't actually speak for bear spray as I have never used it near a bear but the bangers are very effective at running off grizzly bears)
There are bear incidents but I am sure it is less likely than a car accident.

That said, for hiking I think remote is better and recommend Rock Lake as a wonderful staging ground if you want solitude within a half days hike. There will be grizzlies there though and a few sheep hunters on horse back if you catch sheep season.
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Old 07-17-2013, 09:32 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by mykalberta View Post

Has anyone done any hikes in an around Drumheller? Just looking for day hike options. From what I can see there are three:

Horseshoe Canyon
Horsethief Canyone
Hoodoos

But I dont see any specific details about the hikes, distance, trail starting point etc.
Did horseshoe canyon and horse thief canyon last Sunday. there are no trail per say, however you can still wander around them. more so of a few hour wander than a hike but still fun, just recommend sun screen/hat as there is no shade. horse thief is a big scramble down, can spend probably a couple hours wandering around the bottom and then have to scramble back up/ horseshoe, you can end up wandering around for a while, as the canyon keeps going and going, once again no real "trails".

never have walked the hoodoos, however there is a small walk near the Tyrell (a few rather), and there are a few more trails down by the mine (cant think of the name) at the entrance to the Tyrell road (just off of north dinosaur trail).
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Old 07-17-2013, 09:45 AM   #16
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From the highway, wander the south ridge west and north. Not east or you will wander into the town dump They could have really good biking in this area but they don't.
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Old 07-20-2013, 10:19 AM   #17
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Just wondering if anyone has camped near the Nordegg area. Looking at the Alberta Sustainable Resources website it looks like there could decent camping in the area. Personally I like areas that are a little more secluded and ideally away from ATV's. I drive an old Yukon when I go camping so rough road or harder to reach areas don't really matter. I just like a nice place to set a tent up away from the crowds and explore the area on either hikes or biking. Here is a link to the area I'm trying to find a little more info on...

http://srd.alberta.ca/RecreationPubl...ilsonPLUZ.aspx
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Old 07-22-2013, 10:49 AM   #18
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I did Buller Pass last year and had a pretty good time. Fairly scenic and some nice views at the top. Didn't bring enough water though and it gets hot once you get out of the forest.
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Old 07-22-2013, 11:03 AM   #19
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Just wondering if anyone has camped near the Nordegg area. Looking at the Alberta Sustainable Resources website it looks like there could decent camping in the area. Personally I like areas that are a little more secluded and ideally away from ATV's. I drive an old Yukon when I go camping so rough road or harder to reach areas don't really matter. I just like a nice place to set a tent up away from the crowds and explore the area on either hikes or biking. Here is a link to the area I'm trying to find a little more info on...
Camped at Fish Lake near there a few years ago. Not many people around there, and actually just drove in on a whim and got a spot on a weekend. The water in the lake was quite warm too. A nice little hiking spot there was Crescent Canyon. Not many people around there either.
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Old 07-22-2013, 11:31 AM   #20
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RE:Packs

For a pack let me tell you first what you don't need. Nothing that wieghs over about 3.5lbs and nothing that is larger than 60L. If you get a big pack you will fill your big pack.

After that fit is everything. I like the Osprey line for a main stream pack manufacturer. There Exos series of packs are about the lightest you can get from a major manufacturer. If the Exos packs fit you well I would start there. If those don't fit I would go to the next model up. Osprey as a company seems to embrace a lightweight philosophy throughout there line.

I use a ULA Equipment Circuit which ways about 2.5lbs and carrys up to 35 lbs very well. As a goal I like to keep weekend trips sub 20lbs and weeklong trips sub 25lbs. Each extra lb on your back makes a big difference. The problem is that there is no where in Canada to try these on so I don't really recomend getting one as fit is so important. MEC makes okay packs but they are all overbuilt, and heavy for their volume. They are pretty bomber though so you won't wear them out.

One general recomendation for buying gear for your overnight set up is that all you need is your day hiking set up plus a tent, a sleeping pad, a sleeping bag, a stove, a pot, and a spoon. Everything else is a gadget that you don't really need to bring.

I went and tried on the Exos and the Atmos this weekend at my local outdoor store and loved them both. The Exos was as you said a lighter model, they cut as many corners as they could on weight and it adds up quick. The Atmos was a bit more user friendly I think wit ha few more options. I was torn between which one I want.. the price range is about the same I think 30 bucks difference so I imagine it just makes sense to go with the lighter pack. I think you lose a few outside pockets but overall nothing major. The big difference was the Exos has a 58 litre where as with the Atmos its 50 or 65..

I'd love to see some gear lists if people don't mind, see what brands/models people use for their stoves, sleeping pads etc.. it would help some of us beginners out.
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