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-   -   AB Nor Spectacular Brazeau Canyon & Cataract Pass (https://forums.clubtread.com/130-canadian-rockies/30333-spectacular-brazeau-canyon-cataract-pass.html)

dav1481 07-19-2009 09:47 PM

Spectacular Brazeau Canyon & Cataract Pass
 
It's not very often you can hike from Banff National Park to Jasper National Park to the White Goat Wilderness and back again in 7 hours, allowing plenty of time for lunch and monkeying with pictures.

I met Lobo at the trailhead at 6:45 and we were back at the vehicles by 1:45 which was great because, after all, he had to put in a 12 hour shift after hiking 26 km [B)]. And I had a 5 hour drive ahead of me.

If you've ever read Lobo's trip reports, let's just say we kept a swift pace ;). I didn't take many pictures on the way in because we were walking towards the sun. Most of the canyon shots are taken on the way out. On the way up the canyon, we kept to the rock, marveling at the different colours of debris left by a massive landslide long ago. On the return trip, we took a less conventional route. This included some unnecessary scrambling, wading through creeks, and exploring waterfalls :D. It was nice to run into George63 on the pass too.

There's not much to write about this trip that the pictures can't convey, other than to say it was punctuated by great company and spectacular views.

1. Morning light on the way to the trailhead
2. Nigel Pass to the right
3-4. Gaining Nigel Pass, looking back

1. https://www.clubtread.com/forumPix/217000/217574.jpg 2. https://www.clubtread.com/forumPix/217000/217575.jpg
3. https://www.clubtread.com/forumPix/217000/217576.jpg 4. https://www.clubtread.com/forumPix/217000/217577.jpg

5. Nigel Pass to the right
6. Rock debris from a landslide long ago
7. Cataract Pass, looking into the White Goat
8. On the White Goat side, looking back

5. https://www.clubtread.com/forumPix/217000/217578.jpg 6. https://www.clubtread.com/forumPix/217000/217579.jpg
7. https://www.clubtread.com/forumPix/217000/217580.jpg 8. https://www.clubtread.com/forumPix/217000/217582.jpg

9. Looking down Cataract Valley
10. Fascinating rock (to me, anyway)
11. Looking up
12. Someone went butt-sliding here, human or bear?

9. https://www.clubtread.com/forumPix/217000/217583.jpg 10. https://www.clubtread.com/forumPix/217000/217584.jpg
11. https://www.clubtread.com/forumPix/217000/217581.jpg 12. https://www.clubtread.com/forumPix/217000/217585.jpg

13-14. "Cataract Lake" from the Pass
15-16. Below the lake

13. https://www.clubtread.com/forumPix/217000/217586.jpg 14. https://www.clubtread.com/forumPix/217000/217587.jpg
15. https://www.clubtread.com/forumPix/217000/217588.jpg 16. https://www.clubtread.com/forumPix/217000/217589.jpg

17-23. are taken on the way out the canyon. If you look at any of these, please look at #18 . It captures the scene the best.

17. https://www.clubtread.com/forumPix/217000/217590.jpg 18. https://www.clubtread.com/forumPix/217000/217592.jpg
19. https://www.clubtread.com/forumPix/217000/217593.jpg 20. https://www.clubtread.com/forumPix/217000/217594.jpg
21. https://www.clubtread.com/forumPix/217000/217595.jpg 22. https://www.clubtread.com/forumPix/217000/217596.jpg
23. https://www.clubtread.com/forumPix/217000/217591.jpg

Let the work-week begin [B)]

Rachelo 07-20-2009 01:08 AM

Wow. And wow.

lobo 07-20-2009 04:53 AM

Hi Dav,
Thanks a lot for a very enjoyable day. I had forgotten how beautiful it is up on Cataract. Very, very nice pictures, Dav, as I had expected. Here are some of my pictures https://www.clubtread.com/forumPix/217000/217745.jpg https://www.clubtread.com/forumPix/217000/217746.jpg https://www.clubtread.com/forumPix/217000/217747.jpg https://www.clubtread.com/forumPix/217000/217748.jpg https://www.clubtread.com/forumPix/217000/217749.jpg https://www.clubtread.com/forumPix/217000/217750.jpg https://www.clubtread.com/forumPix/217000/217751.jpg https://www.clubtread.com/forumPix/217000/217752.jpg https://www.clubtread.com/forumPix/217000/217753.jpg https://www.clubtread.com/forumPix/217000/217754.jpg https://www.clubtread.com/forumPix/217000/217755.jpg https://www.clubtread.com/forumPix/217000/217756.jpg https://www.clubtread.com/forumPix/217000/217757.jpg https://www.clubtread.com/forumPix/217000/217758.jpg https://www.clubtread.com/forumPix/217000/217759.jpg https://www.clubtread.com/forumPix/217000/217760.jpg https://www.clubtread.com/forumPix/217000/217761.jpg

As you know I have many hikes planned until I take off in late Oct and you are definitely invited to come along on any of them.
Take care and thanks again

danjurak 07-20-2009 06:53 AM

Great stuff guys. The kids and I were at Waterfowl for the weekend and passed by the trail head on the way back through Jasper. We saw the cars during the middle of the morning and I was wondering if that was you guys.

Wonderful photos. Only 7 hours? Were you guys really motoring hard to complete it in that time? How long do you think it might take an old man and a couple of young teens?

Love to see trip reports like this. Thanks again.

David and Karen 07-20-2009 06:56 AM

Very nice. The Rockies has no shortage of spectacular scenery and its great to see some different areas.

dav1481 07-20-2009 07:55 AM

Quote:

quote:Originally posted by David and Karen

Very nice. The Rockies has no shortage of spectacular scenery and its great to see some different areas.
Thanks. Karen, any chance it was you I met up on Wilcox on Saturday? If it wasn't, you have an identical twin driving a yellow Ranger :)

dav1481 07-20-2009 08:41 AM

Quote:

quote:Originally posted by danjurak

Great stuff guys. The kids and I were at Waterfowl for the weekend and passed by the trail head on the way back through Jasper. We saw the cars during the middle of the morning and I was wondering if that was you guys.

Wonderful photos. Only 7 hours? Were you guys really motoring hard to complete it in that time? How long do you think it might take an old man and a couple of young teens?

Love to see trip reports like this. Thanks again.
It must have been a nice weekend at Waterfowl :)

We stopped here and there for pictures, and took 45 minutes at the pass, so actual time spent walking was probably 5.5 hours. We were both hiking at a pace that was comfortable for us but I'd expect to be a bit fast for most.

Elevation gain is mild until the pass which is quite steep but the footing is good for the most part. I may not have the best perspective for what young teens are capable of, so I'll mention three possible barriers.

1. Distance: 26 km. Judging from the shape of some of the folks we met who were headed to Nigel Pass, I'd <s>hate</s> love to see them try to make it to Cataract and back.
2. Fords: easy, but not bridged. Kids could expect to be in up to their knees and get their feet wet. But they'd probably love it.
3. Rocks/route-finding: There were a few sections of climbing over rocks, and places where there is no distinct trail. However, there's no concern of losing your way. Just work your way up the canyon to the obvious pass at the end.

To hazard a guess, I'd allow for 10 hours. Hope this helps!

danjurak 07-20-2009 09:43 AM

Thanks dav1481, that really helps.

I am doing a book on the lesser photographed places in Jasper and Banff and the scenery you and Lobo show here is spectacular. That really gives me incentive to head up there in August.

You're right, #18 is spectacular.


David and Karen 07-20-2009 12:19 PM

Quote:

quote:Originally posted by dav1481

Quote:

quote:Originally posted by David and Karen

Very nice. The Rockies has no shortage of spectacular scenery and its great to see some different areas.
Thanks. Karen, any chance it was you I met up on Wilcox on Saturday? If it wasn't, you have an identical twin driving a yellow Ranger :)
That was David that commented earlier btw (I usually sign my name when it is me posting), but I agree with him, your photos are great and that looks like a really nice area! :D

Guilty as charged! I was the one that sped past you in the Yellow Ranger and the one you sped past on the trail! I found myself pulling out my camera every 5 feet, I couldn't help myself. [:I]

I sat and played peek-a-boo with a Columbia Ground Squirrel for a longtime and then when I accidently stumbled upon the herd of Big Horn Sheep I couldn't help but sit and watch them for a hour or so. It was a nice relaxing change from the Tonquin Valley trudge I had the day before. It didn't last very long though, I bailed as soon as the hordes started showing up about an hour later! ;) Nice to meet you!

Karen

KARVITK 07-20-2009 12:27 PM

Spectacular is certainly the key appropiate word here. Great photos of a grand hike in beautiful country. I love the blue colours ...

K

dav1481 07-20-2009 12:35 PM

Quote:

quote:Originally posted by David and Karen



That was David that commented earlier btw (I usually sign my name when it is me posting), but I agree with him, your photos are great and that looks like a really nice area! :D

Guilty as charged! I was the one that sped past you in the Yellow Ranger and the one you sped past on the trail! I found myself pulling out my camera every 5 feet, I couldn't help myself. [:I]

I sat and played peek-a-boo with a Columbia Ground Squirrel for a longtime and then when I accidently stumbled upon the herd of Big Horn Sheep I couldn't help but sit and watch them for a hour or so. It was a nice relaxing change from the Tonquin Valley trudge I had the day before. It didn't last very long though, I bailed as soon as the hordes started showing up about an hour later! ;) Nice to meet you!

Karen
Yes, the solitude was wonderful while it lasted, I couldn't believe the traffic jam by the time I got back down. I played hide and seek with a ground squirrel too, but in the end he had more patience than I did. Wish I'd seen those sheep! They were probably below me on the ridge the whole time. Wilcox Lake and Nigel Ridge were nice, but the light was tough.

Good to meet you too, hope the nice weather follows you for a while after tough luck in Tonquin.

darrenbell 07-20-2009 04:27 PM

Great photos from both you guys!! 26kms/7hrs.= I shudder to think how far my butt would be sagging, good job fellas.[8D]

Too Many Canyons 07-20-2009 09:06 PM

Great shots you two! I absolutely love that area-one of the first hikes I ever did in the "Gray Ranges"

Moses 07-20-2009 10:12 PM

What Rachelo said.
WOW!

Engor 07-20-2009 10:40 PM

Wow! Your pictures literally took my breath away! This trip is on my to-do list for several years. Everybody who had done it told me it's one of the most spectacular day-hike in the Rockies. Now your photos confirm it. Hope to do the Pass in August when I'm back from Washington, DC.


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