[Cdt-l] Cdt-l Canada GDT question

Gail and Alistair Des Moulins aandgdesinfo at gmail.com
Wed Aug 1 21:43:15 CDT 2012

Hi Brian

I would agree with Ginny that the Kananaskis to Field and Sask Crossing to
Jasper are the 2 sections that are best from a scenery point of view.
If you cannot get reservations on the Skyline Trail section you might be
able to start at Maligne Lake or more conveniently for hitching at Poboktan
Creek on the Icefields Parkway some 35 miles south of Jasper.
As for scrambles on the way Poboktan Mountain is a scree bash but is an
excellent viewpoint and is 10,900'. On that northern section Mount Coleman
is also a good scramble. You could do it as a longish day from either Pinto
Lake on the backpack or from the Icefields Parkway at Norman Creek.
Away from the GDT route: on the east side of #1 highway and the icefields
parkway south of sask crossing there are other loop/through trip
possibilities such as from Lake Louise via Baker Lake, Skoki, Pipestone
River to Mosquito Creek. Fossil Mountain, peaks above Fish Lakes and even
Mount Willingdon (11010') could be added as day or part day scrambles on
the way.

As Ginny says things in the parks are not as flexible as on the CDT as you
should have a camping permit for camping in the National Parks. In some
areas random camping is allowed like in the upper Pipestone valley north of
Fish Lakes. If you plan on camping more than 7 nights in the backcountry it
will be worth getting the "Wilderness Pass". All this info on Parks Canada
websites for backpacking in Banff and Jasper Parks.

Alistair (born in Grangemouth, triple munroist, CDT 2006/08, now in Calgary)

> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Jim and_or Ginny Owen <spiriteagle99 at hotmail.com>
> To: <briansolar1 at yahoo.co.uk>, cdt-l <cdt-l at backcountry.net>
> Cc:
> Date: Tue, 31 Jul 2012 19:13:09 -0400
> Subject: Re: [Cdt-l] Canada GDT question
>  You aren't likely to get reservations on the Skyline Trail south of
> Jasper at this point - in summer that is a very popular hike and the
> campgrounds fill up weeks in advance.  Still, Jasper to the Crossing is
> beautiful if you can get reservations.
> As you may know, in the national parks, you have to reserve your campsites
> and have a backcountry and parks pass.  Expensive, but worth the money.
> In the Provincial Parks you can sometimes show up at the campground and get
> a site - though some require advance reservations.  In the national forest
> areas you can camp freely, but the trail is much less defined - often
> following logging roads.
> South of the Skyline section, hiking through Jasper NP, Banff,
> Assiniboine, etc. is some really lovely hiking, and reservations should be
> possible on short notice.  Don't worry about the linear nature of the hike,
> as there are buses that go up and down the parkway, and hitching isn't that
> difficult.  Kananaskis to Field is a good section.  Waterton to Coleman is
> an interesting section, but transportation would be more of an issue.
> We have information on our website about camping on the GDT - where all
> the campsites are and the distances as given in the guidebook (though
> reality is somewhat different.)  http://www.spiriteaglehome.com/
> Another option is to rent a car and do short loops. The Assiniboine area
> is good for a loop hike, especially if you include Egypt Lake. Tonquin is a
> lovely short loop. Nigel Pass leads in to a lovely loop as well. There are
> a lot of good options in the mountains there.  The book, "Don't Waste Your
> Time in the Canadian Rockies"  gives a lot of info if you choose to do
> that.  OTOH, as beautiful as that area is, you won't go wrong on any
> section of the GDT.  Some are pretty rough (especially north of Jasper, and
> some of the cross-country sections), but if you get decent weather, the
> beauty makes up for it.
> Have fun.
> Ginny
> ------------------------------
> Date: Tue, 31 Jul 2012 21:31:35 +0100
> From: briansolar1 at yahoo.co.uk
> To: cdt-l at backcountry.net
> Subject: [Cdt-l] Canada GDT question
> Hi folks,
> This is a bit of a long shot but Martina and I are coming over to the
> Canadain Rockies next week for 4 weeks of mountaineering and hopefully a
> backpack. For the backpack, does anyone have any suggestions for trips up
> to say 9 days long giving us the best of Canadian Rockies scenery? We are
> quite happy including scrambling and ridge walking and can probably still
> do about 20 miles per day -on CDT territory at least!
> I have the Great Divide Trail guide and trips that look good from that are
> from Jasper down to Saskatchewan Crossing, from Field to Assiniboine/Spray
> Lakes and north from Waterton to say Castle Mountain.
> These are all point to point though and would involve some buses
> or hitching to get back to the start if we left a car there. Any thoughts
> on these trips or does anyone have other suggestions, even ideally some
> loop hikes with the same start and finish ?
> thanks
> Brian from Scotland
> www.pbase.com/briansolar1
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