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-   -   AB Cen Aylmer Viewpoints (https://forums.clubtread.com/130-canadian-rockies/55626-aylmer-viewpoints.html)

zeljkok 04-20-2015 03:52 AM

Aylmer Viewpoints
 
5 Attachment(s)
In summer of '07 I scrambled Mt. Aylmer via standard Kane route. On that day I did a loop by heading first to Aylmer lookout, then following sparsely treed ridge to main summit block; on return I dropped more directly to Aylmer Pass trail thus forming a loop. One thing that stuck in mind all these years was strategically positioned viewpoint at site of old fire lookout - entire lake Minnewanka could be seen. Unfortunately air was fully of smoke and haze; photos sucked. I made mental note to return on a clear and crisp day; here's how it looked like today:
https://forums.clubtread.com/attachm...chmentid=34786

Today I did not bring a bike as I did in '07. Lots of mtn bikers till L8 junction, but after I turned left on Aylmer Pass trail saw nobody for rest of the day. Everything is very dry; just some sporadic patches of snow around 2000m altitude. Almost nothing left off lookout structure anymore:
https://forums.clubtread.com/attachm...chmentid=34778

After break decided to follow ridge a bit. Summit was out of question, but had vague idea I might do a loop. Pretty soon I started postholing pretty badly and decided to return the same way. Views from turnaround point, about 1/2 hr along the ridge from the lookout:
https://forums.clubtread.com/attachm...chmentid=34794

Just before rejoining lake trail at L8 campground sat on nice little platform and enjoyed early supper with these views:
https://forums.clubtread.com/attachm...chmentid=34770


Looks like some Himalayan giant? No, its 'only' Inglismaldie:
https://forums.clubtread.com/attachm...chmentid=34762

GPS stats: 26 km return, ~1000 vertical and 8 hrs. Full write-up with additional photos

Everything very dry - if you go, bring water. I took only 1 Nalgene and it was not nearly enough, but was able to sustain myself from patches of snow near lookout. Oh yes, and beware -- ticks are out.

outdoors guy 04-20-2015 12:10 PM

Good call on returning to this one for better views. Beautiful photos. Mount Aylmer has been on my list of hikes/scrambles to do in the rockies, and it just got bumped up a few spots.

zeljkok 04-20-2015 05:55 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by outdoors guy (Post 609049)
Mount Aylmer has been on my list of hikes/scrambles to do in the rockies, and it just got bumped up a few spots.

thx; as I'm sure you know, its long and entirely non technical (if you stay on easiest path). It is still highest peak in Banff vicinity. Dug up my old photos, compare the beauty above with this haze:
https://forums.clubtread.com/attachme...chmentid=35297

I strongly recommend ridge route - you can see it in entirety above. This pic was taken traversing loose talus slope approaching final summit block. This is the only non-hiking part of whole thing (so to speak). This is how it looks from end of ridge; summit is scree cone center right. Yesterday this was all snow covered:
https://forums.clubtread.com/attachme...chmentid=35289

PhilR 04-20-2015 07:59 PM

Great pics of a nice trip. Looks like the snow is disappearing fast, I wasn't expecting there to be so little already.

zeljkok 04-21-2016 06:34 PM

4 Attachment(s)
April '16

Annual early spring tradition -- trip to Minnewanka / Aylmer environs. Bone dry trail all the way to Aylmer lookout; lots of mountain bikers on lakeside trail to LM8. Considerably less snow than last year on ridge extending from lookout to Mt. Aylmer, so I gave it a go. Still had some awkward patches that were soft & was postholing above knees, as well as more deadfall than I remember. Kept pushing and eventually cleared bushy part to enjoy awesome ridgewalk leading to final scramble part. This bit has lingering snow on south scree slopes & would be quite dangerous, but ridge (with difficult downclimb) is dry. Final bit looked entirely dry. On return dropped down talus to Aylmer Pass trail -- this was generally easy, with soft shale and some snow lower down. Aylmer Pass trail was snowbound in upper part & sometimes hard to follow. Couple of pictures:

https://forums.clubtread.com/attachme...hmentid=128322[Mandatory Minnewanka pano just below Aylmer lookout. Not as good as one from top of report -- there was haze in the area; Parks were doing prescribed burn somewhere north of Banff]

https://forums.clubtread.com/attachme...hmentid=128338[Looking back at that long ridge extending from Aylmer lookout]

https://forums.clubtread.com/attachme...hmentid=128314[Conditions on Mt. Aylmer]


https://forums.clubtread.com/attachme...hmentid=128330[Full moon over lake Minnewanka from little rise over LM8 junction]

Note on ticks -- I find this to be one of most infested area in the Rockies. Last year I had one lodged in my neck for > 48 hours (had myself tested for Lyme afterwards). Yesterday shook off several in the shower after the hike, only to find another one in the morning crawling in the bed. Check yourself well.

outdoors guy 04-22-2016 09:09 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Thanks for the update. I did a very similar trip May 12, 2015. I turned around due to snow conditions and returned via Aylmer Pass trail in deep snow. Attached a photo taken on that trip for snow comparison. Found a couple ticks on me as well. Hope to make it back there sometime to complete this one.

PhilR 04-23-2016 04:11 PM

Great photos as ever Zeljkok. The moon over Minnewanka gives an excellent feeling of peace.

zeljkok 04-23-2016 04:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by outdoors guy (Post 711121)
Thanks for the update. I did a very similar trip May 12, 2015. I turned around due to snow conditions and returned via Aylmer Pass trail in deep snow.

I remember your trip; it was soon after original post on this thread. Much less snow this year, and you can also see Minnewanka completely ice free, while last year east part was still partially frozen.

Quote:

Originally Posted by PhilR (Post 711225)
Great photos as ever Zeljkok. The moon over Minnewanka gives an excellent feeling of peace.

Thanks Phil, and yes to feeling of peace. I started from the parking at 2 pm (!) with original plan just to go to the lookout, so was running a bit late but knowing lakeside trail can easily be hiked in the dark it was not a big deal. That moonshine pic was taken as I took brief break to get out headlamp and eat granola before 8km march back. If I only had sleeping bag I'd probably have spent the night right there.

PhilR 04-23-2016 06:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zeljkok (Post 711233)
That moonshine pic was taken as I took brief break to get out headlamp and eat granola before 8km march back. If I only had sleeping bag I'd probably have spent the night right there.

I can definitely picture that scene. That is the feeling I aspire to reach whenever I go out. Whether it is difficult scrambling, backpacking, exploring new (to me) areas or simply a walk through the forest.

Along those lines, my wife and I went out to Sask Crossing and the Howse River view from the Glacier Lake Trail based on your recent trip. We sat and soaked it up for a while, watching the clouds shadows play over the braided flats. Such a wonderful place.

KevinH 05-03-2016 12:58 PM

Had a nice hike to the lookout this weekend.

Lay out in the sun for a while at the top, which the ticks were pretty happy about.

My phone fell out of my pocket when I was lying down, so if anyone's up there and finds one let me know!

Gussmall 05-12-2016 11:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KevinH (Post 713561)
Had a nice hike to the lookout this weekend.

Lay out in the sun for a while at the top, which the ticks were pretty happy about.

My phone fell out of my pocket when I was lying down, so if anyone's up there and finds one let met know!

Going out there tomorrow, I'll keep my eye out for a rocky Mountain I phone... :-)

zeljkok 05-13-2016 02:09 AM

Prepare for wet snow; snowline is very low after this dump.

Kokanee75 05-13-2016 02:41 PM

We already checked last week, no phone. But keep on searching, I'm not so good in finding things. Grey flip phone. :p
Lots of deers. And ticks. And this one at the end of the lake. Shoe size 9,5 length, probably 13,5 wide :| (I let it appear smaller on purpose, that's why it's so crooked)

http://abload.de/img/p1030302jxk25.jpg

Gussmall 05-15-2016 01:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kokanee75 (Post 715449)
We already checked last week, no phone. But keep on searching, I'm not so good in finding things. Grey flip phone. :p
Lots of deers. And ticks. And this one at the end of the lake. Shoe size 9,5 length, probably 13,5 wide :| (I let it appear smaller on purpose, that's why it's so crooked)

http://abload.de/img/p1030302jxk25.jpg

Ya sorry didn't find it. But check with the Park Wardens or RCMP, that trail was packed today when I was leaving and someone may have turned it in. Trail is in real good shape, mud and snow about 3/4 of the way up the look out but still pretty good... and I had zero ticks on me which was a bonus. I did deet the heck out of myself, not sure if that works on those little vampires but it was worth a shot...

KARVITK 05-15-2016 12:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by outdoors guy (Post 609049)
Good call on returning to this one for better views. Beautiful photos. Mount Aylmer has been on my list of hikes/scrambles to do in the rockies, and it just got bumped up a few spots.

I strongly second this comment. Your photos are always excellent, and this seems like a great and beautifully interesting hike.

Well done.

K

zeljkok 05-24-2017 03:43 AM

1 Attachment(s)
May 23, 2017

This is kinda my staple spring trip; been doing it for ~15 yrs now. Usually end of March / beginning of April, but this year has been something else and I went ~2 months later than usual.

Shoreline trail to LM8 is dry (and popular with cyclists). Creek under log bridge near LM8 flowing pretty good and mostly enclosed in snow. I expected snow higher up but drier than expected, just odd snow patch near Aylmer Pass/Lookout junction, and dry afterwards. I am quite sure though Aylmer Pass would still be snowbound; Aylmer itself was all white and totally not in shape. Very windy at lookout, but had it to myself and couldn't help myself but take another pano; this is kinda my sweet spot, almost made it for CT banner maybe next time :)
Attachment 202618

Seriously clouded over on the way back and started raining. Btw Minnewanka will be a ZOO this summer; there is already "Park and Ride" operational from Cascade Ponds, and huge lineup for Boat Cruise.

PhilR 05-24-2017 05:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zeljkok (Post 784906)
May 23, 2017

This is kinda my staple spring trip; been doing it for ~15 yrs now. Usually end of March / beginning of April, but this year has been something else and I went ~2 months later than usual.

Shoreline trail to LM8 is dry (and popular with cyclists). Creek under log bridge near LM8 flowing pretty good and mostly enclosed in snow. I expected snow higher up but drier than expected, just odd snow patch near Aylmer Pass/Lookout junction, and dry afterwards. I am quite sure though Aylmer Pass would still be snowbound; Aylmer itself was all white and totally not in shape. Very windy at lookout, but had it to myself and couldn't help myself but take another pano; this is kinda my sweet spot, almost made it for CT banner maybe next time :)
Attachment 202618

Seriously clouded over on the way back and started raining. Btw Minnewanka will be a ZOO this summer; there is already "Park and Ride" operational from Cascade Ponds, and huge lineup for Boat Cruise.


Nice photo! That's like 2 different days on left and right.

zeljkok 05-24-2017 06:43 PM

3 Attachment(s)
Thanks Phil. 2 different days is right; that front quickly moved in & it was quite a stormy sky luckily with just few drops as I was making my way back along the shore.

Here are few more images for conditions:

Attachment 202762
Aylmer Ridge. Knowing the terrain well I am quite sure there are quite a few snowy spots along shady east (right) side. Note Aylmer -- totally white

Attachment 202770
Closer look at Aylmer

Attachment 202778
This one for woodenshoes; zoom at Stenton Area

Of course looks different today because of this horror snowfall, but this will melt in day or two

zeljkok 05-25-2017 06:52 PM

1 Attachment(s)
1 more... don't you just want to sit in these chairs and spend rest of the day :)
Attachment 203201

It is amazing how fast weather changes in matter of hours in this part of the world

zeljkok 10-22-2017 03:47 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Late Oct '17

Thought I'd just go stretch my legs to Stewart bridge & back, but I kept going ("just few minutes more") and before you know it I was at LM8 junction. I guess for most Minnewanka lakeshore trail is primarily interesting as MTB trail but I love walking there any time of the year. Trail runners probably enjoy it as well. Quite a bit of deadfall across the trail from recent wind which must be annoying for all the cyclists; bypasses already developing. Descended to LM8 campground for couple of photos but it was too windy to linger. To my surprise someone was still camping there. Dusting of snow was visible on the lookout. Pic from lakeshore just below the campground announcing arrival of winter to Rockies

Attachment 238585

zeljkok 11-09-2018 10:09 PM

8 Attachment(s)
Nov 8, 2018

I really like hiking by lake Minnewanka & having trailhead less than 1/2 hour drive I come here often. Beauty of the day, dusting of snow & just so calm and clean. Leisurely walked to LM8 junction and had lunch at little rise on Aylmer Pass trail enjoying beautiful views and silence. Debated continuing to lookout (boot prints in snow), but decided to follow lakeshore trail instead -- never went past LM8 junction. Went to Aylmer Canyon (LM9). LM8 - LM9 distance felt >1km one would expect, and indeed after getting back it is 1.5km (LM8 = 7.8km, LM9 = 9.3km). This part is very beautiful through impressive forest and then crosses large drainage coming off Aylmer. LM9 camp is very nice, smaller but prettier than LM8. Spent about an hour here just enjoying the beach and playing skids waiting for sunset.


Photos:


Attachment 264192
[Pano from tourist area at the start, very beautiful]


Attachment 264196
[Views across the lake ~3km]


Attachment 264184
[View towards eastern half of the lake from little rise above LM8 junction]


Attachment 264186
[LM9 campground]


Attachment 264190
[View east from the beach below LM9]


Attachment 264198
[Google map - trying to figure the name of peak with "X" -- I thought it was Townsend but it is not, Townsend is further back. I think it is unnamed; correct me please if I am mistaken]


Attachment 264194
[Closer look at "Unknown" peak -- east side of Carrot Creek]


Attachment 264188
[Beautiful and peaceful sunset from LM9 beach]


Minnewanka really speaks to me but although I visited east end from Ghost side I never hiked entire length of the lake. Next spring I will probably do that, it is just 21km to Narrows & perfect base for 2 nights to fully explore the area.




Edit: Found out the name of "Unknown". It is -- surprise, surprise -- Carrot Peak (thanks PhilR). There is good report online here. Approach is not from Minnewanka side, but from the south via South Ghost River (nicely visible on Google Map snapshot above).

zeljkok 11-13-2019 11:30 PM

4 Attachment(s)
Mid November '19

Minnewanka is my happy place. Once summer and tourists are gone, it is so beautiful and I absolutely love walking the lakeshore trail. Calm and quiet and pristine with vistas unfolding as you walk by. Went as usual to LM8, then a bit up on Aylmer Pass trail for late lunch on snow free meadow just before trail dips into forest. Dusting of snow throughout with some sections that melted then froze, but it is easy going all the way. Set of boot prints to LM8 and down to campground, but nothing further east or up towards pass. Around 5km mark fresh cougar tracks --correct me if I am wrong-- going east, and followed lakeshore trail for ~2km before vanishing; was a bit nervous but nothing transpired. Couple of pics:


Attachment 272258
[That little bay near trailhead, think I have over 100 pics made at this place over the years and it never gets old]


Attachment 272256
[Pano above LM8 junction; I always stop here for break (even if I picked up a tick here couple of years ago)]


Attachment 272254
Attachment 272260
[Kitty prints, with ugly hand or yours truly for reference]

zeljkok 10-16-2020 01:34 AM

5 Attachment(s)
Mid October '20


9 out of 10 people think of Minnewanka shoreline trail as boring but I love it to death & it is one of best places in Rockies to me. Undemanding, wondering through variety of terrain with great views throughout & every corner seems to have something new. I missed usual spring walk this year due to COVID but it is just as nice in the fall. Snow already lying on the ground, nature seems to be preparing for winter. Walked to LM8, had lunch at the beach just below campground, then came back the same way. Couple of pics:


Attachment 281850
[Yes, it's been snowing already. And major winter blast coming]


Attachment 281852
[Stewart canyon bridge, there is something mysterious gazing deep into front ranges from here. Some nice scrambles further up (Astley) I intend to explore down the line]


Attachment 281848
[Shoulder rise ~45min from parking & if you are out of province or out of country & going for a walk, don't stop at Stewart junction, continue at least to here as views will blow you away]


Following two are from LM8 campground, one of nicest Parks Canada campgrounds I have seen. It's right by the beach, there are 10 tent pads, couple of outhouses, metal boxes for food and couple of very nice fire pits with wood benches in aspen forest right by the beach


Attachment 281844


Attachment 281846


Everything so beautiful and pristine, I'll be doing this as long as I can walk.

avens 10-16-2020 06:46 PM

Lovely photos, looks fantastic with the snow cover. We hiked up to Aylmer Pass two weeks ago, beautiful day, didn't meet one hiker, went to the lookout on the return. I see we should have gone down to the lake too.

zeljkok 10-16-2020 07:34 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by avens (Post 853666)
Lovely photos, looks fantastic with the snow cover. We hiked up to Aylmer Pass two weeks ago, beautiful day, didn't meet one hiker, went to the lookout on the return. I see we should have gone down to the lake too.


Thank you. LM8 Beach is very nice, but often windy. Even nicer is beach at LM9 campsite. There is also ranger station, very neat in stand of aspen trees further east. I want for several years now to walk length of Minnewanka to Ghost Lakes, then highline return via Stenton Lake to Cougar Canyon and Canmore, maybe next spring
Attachment 281854


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