AB Nor = Alberta Rockies North (Jasper & Willmore) Kakwa Provincial Park - Aug 1-5 2021 - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 08-08-2021, 03:28 PM Thread Starter
Hittin' the Trails
Join Date: Jul 2021
Posts: 2
Default Kakwa Provincial Park - Aug 1-5 2021

Hello everyone, I have concluded my week long trip to Kakwa and managed to complete the top 3 hikes:

1. Babette Lake to Mt Ian Monroe down the back side to the cabin.

2. Mt Ruth

3. La Glace Lake

In short this park is truly magnificent! I will produce some youtube videos from my raw material but that will take a little time.

I made one BIG mistake that I will NEVER do again as it pushed my strength to the limits, I packed 60 pounds in my pack and tied it down to the back of my bike, this was madness but I did survive 40 pounds or less is MUCH more manageable, using panniers are the way to go, one of our group used them and fared the best of us all!

The trip into Kakwa:

It took 2 hours to drive from Prince George to Walker Creek FSR

It took 3 hours to drive down Walker Creek FSR, I recorded our drive back home and way-pointed some notable issues in the road (but of course there are many more than these): http://vsoft.solutions/hiking/GPS/mc...-aug5-2021.gpx

It took 9 hours to bike from the vehicle to Wishaw Lake, we were delayed mostly due to my 17 year old daughter having a hard time keeping up.

From the truck to Buchanan took 4 hours.

From Buchanan to Wishaw took 5 hours (starting to get dark and exhausted from hours of uphill biking/pushing)

This part of the trip I will note the following:

From Walker Creek FSR washout where it literally disappears into the McGregor (that is where we parked) there are some initial rough sections that require you to carry your bike over blowdown but its nothing major. There are numerous muddy sections where the quad trail works around the Washouts and often requires pushing bikes through terrible mud. Of note, the 12 km section between Bastille and Buchanan is mostly uphill slightly which we did not realize until the trip back which was FAR easier!

Crossing the Buchanan:

The river level is significantly lower and below my knees but FREEZING cold. We all managed the crossing well including my short 17 year old daughter downstream near the logs, but on the way back I bravely took my bike with pack strapped on the back and almost dropped everything in the river, never underestimate Buchanan!

Camping at Wishaw (on the tote road):

We camped on the side of the road hanging food etc and getting a well deserved rest. We heard what sounded like very loud thunder but oddly it only sounded once and there was no rain afterwards. Later we were told by the park hosts this was likely the ice crashing down near Kitchi and Sir Alexander mountain.

The Kakwa experience:

We were met by Bill and Bev and had a wonderful time hiking Babette to Ian Monroe. This is where things became interesting! As we descended the back side of Ian Monroe we thought to see if we could save time and not backtrack following the route on GPS. We eventually came to steep cliffs and by the time we figured out the situation it was a one way ticket down. This was EXTREMELY dangerous and I wont go into the details but we descended a VERY steep section with the skin of our teeth. At this point I vowed to always follow the route on new trails until I have spent time to learn a new area first.

The next day we hiked Mt Ruth and only went to the second bump and took some great photos and videos capturing a glimpse of La Glace from the Binoculars. Beautiful 360 degree views were had.

The following day we hiked La Glace lake and circled the entire lake visiting the mouth of some snow/ice caves and quickly getting out of the area as we saw there are large rocks above that could crash down at any moment via avalanche trails. This area was very beautiful as well.

The Kakwa food:

One of our group (Dan) seemed to catch some good size trout nearly every day, mostly off the dock or by wading out 10 feet past the dock in the shallow water and casting. He used a lure
which was popular with the resident trout! We found some wild green onion up an avalanche shoot near the top of Babette creek (toward the right heading towards Corniche Pass) and fried up the fish with the green onions making for delicious food!

Likewise we feasted on loads of blueberries, huckleberries and strawberries (my daughter was in paradise), I felt like this trip was some kind of dream and this all could not be true

The trip back to the vehicle:

The trip back was incredible! Once we made it riding our bikes to Mariel Lake it was 2 hours blasting down the mountain side through the most wild mountain bike trip of our lives! We likely could have gone faster but my daughter was semi-terrified/exhilarated by this fast yet dangerous ride down and rode her brakes much of the way down.

From the Cabin to Wishaw took 1 hour

From Wishaw to Buchanan took 2 hours

From Buchanan to the Truck took 3 hours

Total time: 6 hours.

Full photo album:
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martin, solo75 and samdk like this.

Last edited by zeljkok; 08-09-2021 at 05:49 PM.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 08-08-2021, 04:29 PM
High on the Mountain Top
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Sunshine Coast, BC, Canada.
Posts: 2,194

Wow, such an incredible trip, from an area so much less travelled than the rest of BC or Alberta . The link with all the pics is such good viewing. Thanks much.

Years ago I was running a BC forest service helicopter fire fighting crew and we spent time in that area. I was always amazed at the vast number of beautiful, accessible ridges and rounded peaks in that part of the province. You could spend ages climbing and hiking

I'll probably look at all those pics again tonight over a cold beer

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 08-09-2021, 05:16 PM
Headed for the Mountains
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Calgary, AB, .
Posts: 109

Nice trip report. I hope I can make it there some day. Those are good sized trout you caught.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 08-29-2021, 06:01 AM
Hittin' the Trails
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 34

Great TR. Appropriately, "kakwa" is Cree for porcupine.

Nice shot of Sir Alexander.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 10-01-2021, 02:39 AM
Scaling New Heights
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Edmonton, AB, Canada.
Posts: 73

Great trip! It seems that it's becoming ever more difficult to reach from the Walker FSR.

Scott Meadows
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