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post #1 of (permalink) Old 04-20-2015, 02:52 AM Thread Starter
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Default Aylmer Viewpoints

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:


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:


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:


Just before rejoining lake trail at L8 campground sat on nice little platform and enjoyed early supper with these views:



Looks like some Himalayan giant? No, its 'only' Inglismaldie:


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.
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Last edited by zeljkok; 10-16-2020 at 12:36 AM.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 04-20-2015, 11:10 AM
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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.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 04-20-2015, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by outdoors guy View Post
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:


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:
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 04-20-2015, 06:59 PM
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Great pics of a nice trip. Looks like the snow is disappearing fast, I wasn't expecting there to be so little already.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 04-21-2016, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
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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:

[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]

[Looking back at that long ridge extending from Aylmer lookout]

[Conditions on Mt. Aylmer]


[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.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 04-22-2016, 08:09 PM
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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.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 04-23-2016, 03:11 PM
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Great photos as ever Zeljkok. The moon over Minnewanka gives an excellent feeling of peace.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 04-23-2016, 03:23 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outdoors guy View Post
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.

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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.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 04-23-2016, 05:26 PM
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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.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 05-03-2016, 11:58 AM
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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!
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 05-12-2016, 10:50 PM
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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... :-)
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 05-13-2016, 01:09 AM Thread Starter
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Prepare for wet snow; snowline is very low after this dump.
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 05-13-2016, 01:41 PM
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We already checked last week, no phone. But keep on searching, I'm not so good in finding things. Grey flip phone.
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)


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post #14 of (permalink) Old 05-15-2016, 12:20 AM
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We already checked last week, no phone. But keep on searching, I'm not so good in finding things. Grey flip phone.
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)

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...
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 05-15-2016, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outdoors guy View Post
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.

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