Scaling New Heights
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada.
Interest: Hiking, Skiing, Packrafting, Mountaineering
That Jasper to Kakwa section is wild country. Some tough sections, but also some amazing, isolated, parts also like the Jackpine Alpine, Morkill Shoulder, Big Shale Hill and Surprise Pass that make it all worth it. Be prepared for some shrubby trail and navigating in the Jackpine and over Little Shale Hill.
The official GDT has been revised this fall to include more of the Jackpine Alpine and less of the brush-wacking in the Jackpine valley, which is great. You can see this updated route on the GDT website. Definitely take this route, or do even more alpine if you have good weather and don't mind a little scrambling. We saw caribou and grizzlies in this stretch, as shown in Chapter Four (Jasper to Kakwa) and Chapter Five (Kakwa to Jasper). It was the hardest section, but the best.
That is a collapsable hula-hoop. She carried it for the first 1200km. You can see it in action at 5:00 of Chapter Three. She wasn't using it much though (too tired after a day of walking) so she ditched it for most of the second half.