Alice Lake and Bobac Peak Attempt - ClubTread Community

User Tag List

 1Likes
  • 1 Post By mclay1234
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of (permalink) Old 08-07-2012, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
High on the Mountain Top
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Calgary, , .
Posts: 1,012
Default Alice Lake and Bobac Peak Attempt

Alice Lake captured my imagination since I saw a photo of it by well-known Banff photographer and climber Paul Zizka. His picture was the only one I could find on-line, which made me intrigued even more. I really like beautiful but secluded and rarely visited alpine lakes. A quick google search revealed that Bobac Peak right beside Alice Lake is a Class II scramble. Here we go, a great weekend trip to a secluded spot in Banff NP!

I convinced my friend to join me. At first we planned to do Beauty Lakes in Jasper but weather forecast looked more promising for Banff so we changed a destination in the last moment. We set off from Helen Lake Trailhead on Sat. July 28 in the late morning. My friend haven't done Cirque Peak and I didn't mind repeating it so we made a quick side-trip to the summit of this touristy mountain before proceeding to Katherine Lake.

Helen Lake is a very popular and touristy trail. All people disappeared once we descended to Katherine Lake. Since then we haven't seen a single soul for 24 hours. Katherine Lake, Dolomite Pass and Dolomite Creek areas were very boggy but luckily for us mosquitoes were not a big issue.

There is no trail to Alice Lake but getting there is very easy. Descend Dolomite Pass on a fairly good trail and ford Dolomite Creek. Follow it on the right (eastern) side before the trail crosses the creek again to the left (western side). At this point you can't follow the creek on the right without some side-slopping on a steep hill. Gain that hill and then generally steer north-east until you hit the lake. You can't get lost there. A creek that empties Alice Lake can help you with the direction.

Alice Lake didn't disappoint us. It's set in pristine alpine tundra. As expected we had the lake for ourselves for 2 days. The lake was particularly beautiful next day in the morning: its still waters perfectly reflected the surrounding terrain.

In the morning we set off for Bobac Peak. I saw a huge boulder field east of the lake on GoogleEarth but underestimated how huge it was. We took the worst route possible staying in the middle of the field instead of sticking as close to Bobac Peak as possible on climber's left. I haven't seen before such huge boulder field of car-to-house size boulders. They provided some fun scrambling but slowed us down considerably. My friend was not used to this kind of terrain so he was moving fairly slowly and looked really tired.

Finally we crossed the boulder field. At this moment I noticed the heavily corniced Bobac Peak summit ridge. We would have to spend a considerable time under a huge cornice on very hard snow. Bobac Peak was out of question. We decided to ascend a lower summit, south of the main peak, which I named Little Bobac. We dropped to a bowl with a small lake to gain the summit via what looked like fairly straightforward rubble slope.

We were running out of time and my friend looked quite exhausted so we changed a destination once again to a ridge between Bobac Peak and Watermelon Peak. I named it Alice Ridge. The ridge provided fabulous panorama of Devon Lakes and Pipestone Pass area as well as views back to Alice Lake. I ascended the highpoint of the ridge for an improved view.

We descended quickly back to Alice Lake, packed up and bid farewell to this beautiful area. On the way back near Dolomite Pass we met a group of six ladies in their sixties who were coming over Quartzite Col on the way to ... Alice Lake. Perhaps, it's not as seldom visited lake as I thought.

I'm surely come back to this beautiful area in a few years perhaps in mid-to-late August to ascend Bobac Peak and possibly Watermelon too.

Photos:

1-4: Helen Lake Trail and Cirque Peak. Unfortunately, weather didn't cooperate here.

1. 2. 3. 4.

5-8: Katherine Lake.

5. 6. 7. 8.

9-10: Enjoying Sunset by Alice Lake



11-21: Alice Lake in the morning:





22-23: Alice Lake from the boulder field; 24 - On the hard snow.


24-27: Devon Lakes and Pipestone Pass Area from Alice Ridge:
24. 25. 26. 27.

28: Highpoint of Alice Ridge - my next destination; 29 - Watermelon Peak from Alice Ridge; 30 - Bobac Peak
28. 29. 30.

31-32: Alice Lake from the Ridge
31. 32.

33-35: Crossing the boulder field on the way back.


36-37. Good-bye Alice. We had a good time with you!


38-39: Dolomite Creek Meadows; 40: Fording Dolomite Creek: 41: Unnamed Tarn near Dolomite Pass


GPS Track on GoogleEarth:

Engor is offline  
Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of (permalink) Old 08-07-2012, 08:28 PM
High on the Mountain Top
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 1,037
Default

Nice TR and photos. Are you sure that Bobac and Watermelon are scrambles?
StevenSong is offline  
post #3 of (permalink) Old 08-07-2012, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
High on the Mountain Top
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Calgary, , .
Posts: 1,012
Default

I'm sure about Bobac. It's south-eastern slope looks very straightforward (unfortunately I can't find a photo of it) and there is a report on bivouac.com, which I can't read because I'm not a payed member, LOL.

Have no idea about Watermelon. I wouldn't mind giving it a try when in the area.
Engor is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of (permalink) Old 08-08-2012, 06:55 AM
Hittin' the Trails
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Calgary
Posts: 48
Default

Rick Collier's trip reports on bivouac of both Bobac and Watermelon indicate they are straightforward, moderate ascents.

Looks like a beautiful remote outing.
kerryv is offline  
post #5 of (permalink) Old 08-08-2012, 08:00 AM
Headed for the Mountains
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: , , .
Posts: 335
Default

Taras,

Good to see some photos of Alice Lake. After coming up from Isabella Lake on the Dolomite Creek trail a couple years ago now, these two peaks 'peaked' my interest. I especially like the remote and isolated setting that Alice Lake will provide. I am planning a trip to this area by late August or early September.
jeffs78 is offline  
post #6 of (permalink) Old 08-08-2012, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
High on the Mountain Top
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Calgary, , .
Posts: 1,012
Default

Thanks folks!

Jeff, I think you'll like this area and Bobac Peak should be in condition by then. Your TR on Pipestone-Clearwater Passes Area brought to my attention Devon and Clearwater Mountains. I hope someday to get to the region to tag these peaks. I captured them on camera from Alice Ridge:
Engor is offline  
post #7 of (permalink) Old 08-08-2012, 05:24 PM Thread Starter
High on the Mountain Top
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Calgary, , .
Posts: 1,012
Default

I highly recommend Alice Ridge for non-scramblers camping by the Lake. Ascent is fairly straightforward and doesn't involves any hands-on scrambling. Views from the top are very impressive

Engor is offline  
post #8 of (permalink) Old 06-11-2013, 08:53 AM
High on the Mountain Top
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Posts: 1,612
Default

Beautiful photos Taras!
Marko is offline  
post #9 of (permalink) Old 06-11-2013, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
High on the Mountain Top
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Calgary, , .
Posts: 1,012
Default

Thanks Marko! It's a beautiful area. Difficult to get wrong
Engor is offline  
post #10 of (permalink) Old 07-07-2015, 10:34 AM
Off the Beaten Path
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Calgary
Posts: 505
Default

Just a few months before this trip report I happened to see the same photo by Paul Zizka and also wanted to backpack to Alice Lake! Well, we finally got around to it! We camped at the lake with the intention of ascending Alice Ridge and potentially Bobac Mountain, but after an hour in the rubble and boulders en route to the ridge we decided reading, eating, and relaxing would be more fun and we aborted the attempt. Bobac Mountain had an enormous cornice blocking the ascent route too. I have tons of photos on my site (http://mattclay.zenfolio.com/alice_lake) as usual. I've included one below of what I believe to be the ascent route of Bobac Mountain and its crazy cornice:

Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	DSC00351.jpg
Views:	1066
Size:	501.9 KB
ID:	63218  

vern.dewit likes this.
mclay1234 is offline  
post #11 of (permalink) Old 07-07-2015, 04:16 PM
Summit Master
 
zeljkok's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Behind the Face Mask
Posts: 4,463
Default

Interesting, I missed this TR initially

This is naturally much better as backpacking destination, but for fit person Alice lake is feasible as day trip, no? Looking at map ~4hrs one way?
zeljkok is online now  
post #12 of (permalink) Old 07-07-2015, 06:24 PM
Off the Beaten Path
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Calgary
Posts: 505
Default

The lake is very feasible as a day trip, and not even a long one. We took 5 hours with overnight packs at a very leisurely pace to get there. I imagine it could be done in 3 hours with a daypack and no lunch break. My GPS shows the round trip distance was just 24 km to the lake with a cumulative elevation gain of around 1200 m, and none of that was steep or taxing. With the exception of the ascent to the lake, it's all on easy trail too (and the ascent to the lake is easy, just not on trail).

As a dayhike it would be in my opinion one of the best in the Rockies.
mclay1234 is offline  
post #13 of (permalink) Old 07-29-2015, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
High on the Mountain Top
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Calgary, , .
Posts: 1,012
Default

Great photos, Matt!
I hope to revisit the Lake and finally ascend Bobac Peak. This is one of these magical spots in the Rockies that I don't mind coming back again and again.
Engor is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome
 

Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1