KC = Kananaskis Country Rockfall Valley to Pocaterra Ridge - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 08-29-2020, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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Default Rockfall Valley to Pocaterra Ridge

This is probably best loop trip in Highwood Pass area. Years ago I hiked Pocaterra Ridge South to North, but for 1 way traverse you typically need 2 cars (or at least a bicycle!). Without, it is still not a problem because of "Rockfall Valley" one can use for approach (or deproach). Parking at Little Highwood Pass day use area, I hiked up this valley to Little Highwood Pass then climbed up to ridge highpoint and returned via the highline. Hiking up the valley was way more interesting than expected; initial trail disappeared fast but bushwhack was not bad. Some boulder field crossing, dried out lake, beautiful green carpets with wildflowers and rushing creek led to upper valley and talus scramble to the pass -- I really enjoyed it. Scramble from the pass has some steep and lose bits, no harder than class 2. On return, initial drop from highpoint was bit rough but soon it mellowed down and walk across several grassy bumps was super enjoyable. There are tons of larches here & I'd say come here on a clear day 2nd half of September. Only thing that could have been better was air quality -- quite a bit of smoke from BC fires that rolled in as day progressed, but it did provide different aspect. Photos:


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[View back from lower part of Rockfall Valley ~1hr from parking. It is apparent where valley gets its name. Gap Peak center distance, grassy north end of Pocaterra Ridge upper right]

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[Upper part of valley looking back past completely dried out Rockfall Lake; this part was really enjoyable]

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[Approaching Little Highwood Pass (upper center right). Trail can be found just to left of where cream colored scree transitions into darker shade]

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[View back from near Little Highwood Pass; sunny Pocaterra Ridge upper right]

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[View south from Little Highwood Pass with Grizzly col upper center, and Mt. Tyrwhitt to its right]

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[Pano from Pocaterra Ridge highpoint above Little Highwood Pass. This is a good out-and-back hike from Highwood Pass]

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[Starting return on rugged part of Pocaterra Ridge. Hiking poles will help quite a bit here. Elbow Lake valley just right of upper center. Note the haze]

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[Aerial view of dry Rockfall Lake I hiked by earlier in the day]

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[Old photo taken several years ago earlier in season when Lake has still not dried out]

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[Pano back from center part of Pocaterra Ridge. Little Highwood Pass upper center right]

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[Hazy but quite colorful sunset from grassy north bump on Pocaterra Ridge. Trail drops quite steeply from here & it takes 30-40 min back to parking lot]


Took about 6 hrs for entire loop incl. breaks, but was moving steady most of the day. 13.5km with cumulative elevation gain of 1020m. Map and Elevation profile:

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Detail write-up with more photos and downloadable GPS track here
solo75 and woodland.telegraph like this.

Last edited by zeljkok; 08-31-2020 at 02:20 AM.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 08-30-2020, 06:10 PM
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Love this area, and the shots of Mt. Roberta at the far end of the ridge. Such a great zone for rambling.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 08-30-2020, 11:57 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by woodland.telegraph View Post
Love this area, and the shots of Mt. Roberta at the far end of the ridge. Such a great zone for rambling.

Ha, didn't even know that bump was actually named! Made me go look; yes Mt. Roberta. Will try to get up one of these days, there is probably some sort of trail somewhere on far side. View of K-Lakes should be good
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 09-01-2020, 12:57 AM
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Wonderful playground.. I am quite taken by the lack of trees, which I am so used to in the lower mainland of B.C.

Such open vistas, so grande !

K

Hiking is what keeps you young of mind and heart. When the going gets tough, the tough get going..............
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 09-01-2020, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
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There are plenty of trees in Rockies, it's just much faster to get out to alpine because you start from much higher altitude. All this is well over 2000m. Highwood Pass btw is the highest paved pass in Canada.

Pacific Northwest rainforest with those giant cedars and unique landscape are very spectacular & something Rockies don't have

Last edited by zeljkok; 09-01-2020 at 02:52 PM.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 09-01-2020, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by zeljkok View Post
Pacific Northwest rainforest with those giant cedars and unique landscape are very spectacular & something Rockies don't have
True but living at the coast we don't see the type of mountain scenery that you see on a regular basis. I think most people see mountains as more awe-inspiring than the forest. The forest is also more difficult to photograph due to its chaotic nature and the lighting must be right.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 09-01-2020, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by solo75 View Post
True but living at the coast we don't see the type of mountain scenery that you see on a regular basis. I think most people see mountains as more awe-inspiring than the forest. The forest is also more difficult to photograph due to its chaotic nature and the lighting must be right.

Maybe, but difference is that Coast has both -- trees and alpine -- while Rockies have only alpine. Coast also has ocean. You only have to work harder on the Coast to get to that alpine. This is interesting discussion I have on occasion & I like to say how Rockies have best alpine overall, but Coast has far bigger variety. It's all good though

Last edited by zeljkok; 09-01-2020 at 09:33 PM.
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