AB Cen = Alberta Rockies Central (Banff & David Thompson) Skoki '21: Tilted Heart - ClubTread Community

User Tag List

 3Likes
  • 2 Post By zeljkok
  • 1 Post By JHector
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of (permalink) Old 09-14-2021, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
Summit Master
 
zeljkok's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Anywhere but social media
Posts: 4,877
Default Skoki '21: Tilted Heart

For over 10 yrs I've been going to Skoki in September as it is one of best places for golden larches. This year I decided to go a bit early to catch some of late summer alpine colors. But where to go this time? I thought about backpacking to Baker Lake then have a leisurely photo shoot next morning, but at the end settled for a dayhike. Initial thought was Baker Lake turnaround, but hiking in I noticed already snowcapped Mt. Lychnis, along with Tilted Mtn in foreground. Secluded valley below these peaks is area I always wanted to visit; quick check at the watch told me I probably had enough time. And it was terrific choice; very beautiful in total wilderness setting that some years doesn't even see human presence. Getting there is not entirely straightforward, but if you are comfortable hiking off-trails and finding your own way it is not difficult either. So I am presenting this report as "Baker Lake to Tilted Valley"; pictorial tells the story:


Click image for larger version

Name:	bakerpano.jpg
Views:	28
Size:	451.2 KB
ID:	288696
[Baker Lake pano; I was able to get here in under 3 hrs, but this will probably be too fast for most people. This is where decision was made to go for "Tilted Valley"; snowy Mt. Lychnis distance center, Tilted Peak in front of it]

Click image for larger version

Name:	lychniszoom.jpg
Views:	28
Size:	706.7 KB
ID:	288708
[Zoom at Lychnis and Tilted from little ridge behind Baker Lake campground where I took first break of the day]


Just past Baker Lake campground (SK11) there is marked junction; left for Cottongrass Pass and Red Deer Lakes, right for Sawback Trail (and eventually Wildflower Creek and Pulsatilla Pass). Taking a right descends to valley bottom and junction with Sawback Trail, with somewhat weathered Parks Table:
Click image for larger version

Name:	sawbackjunctionsigntable.jpg
Views:	11
Size:	541.7 KB
ID:	288712

I followed Sawback Trail for short time only, then crossed meadows aiming towards obvious slab / canyon draining Heart Lake at lip of Tilted Valley:
Click image for larger version

Name:	sawbackofftrail.jpg
Views:	14
Size:	775.9 KB
ID:	288714


I thought I might intercept some faint trail, but didn't find any. I decided to stay on climber right of canyon and that proved to be correct decision. Bit of bushwhack and somewhat steep slope brought me to top of this feature, that looked very impressive; earlier in the season there is probably very nice waterfall here:
Click image for larger version

Name:	tiltedslab.jpg
Views:	16
Size:	874.1 KB
ID:	288716

From here easiest way is to follow ridge just for a bit, then descend to canyon - which has now reverted into mossy draw. Probably quite wet earlier, but now late in summer most of it was dry and allowed for easy travel. Further up as I saw breaks in treeline to the left I left this draw and hiked up to base of somewhat unexpected talus field. Lip of Heart Lake cirque could be seen above; diagonal traverse required bit of stability but no other issues


Click image for larger version

Name:	tiltedtarnmoss.jpg
Views:	13
Size:	770.5 KB
ID:	288718
["Tilted Tarn" - at end of mossy draw I was following above the canyon. Very beautiful and very secluded; I doubt anyone ever goes here]

Click image for larger version

Name:	hearttalusfield.jpg
Views:	13
Size:	724.5 KB
ID:	288702
[Talus field leading to lip of Heart Lake cirque, roughly center of photo; this bit was unavoidable]

Click image for larger version

Name:	heartlip.jpg
Views:	13
Size:	719.2 KB
ID:	288698
[Heart Lake; shape makes it obvious where the name comes from. Water level was quite low, revealing muddy shore. I decided to make it to the other side; right side is shorter, but going on left side was much easier. I really enjoyed this part]

Click image for larger version

Name:	hearttiltedpano.jpg
Views:	14
Size:	331.6 KB
ID:	288704
[Pano from north side of Heart Lake, with Tilted peak in center. Snowy Lychnis behind to the left. Lip where I gained the cirque is extreme right]

Click image for larger version

Name:	sasquatchprint1.jpg
Views:	13
Size:	890.2 KB
ID:	288710
[Sasquatch Prints in the Mud of Heart Lake!]


From far end of the lake I couldn't resist going further. I became aware I'd be hiking out of Skoki with headlamp, but so what. There is short headwall with small cascading waterfall leading to very beautiful upper valley. I believe people that climb Lychnis bivi below this headwall, but it is far far better to continue to upper valley - much pristine and much better bivi with soft moss and rushing and very clean water. I continued to head of this upper valley where meadow transitioned to talus (beautiful waterfall here too, probably draining some tarn higher up) and had early dinner in total solitude; such a wonderful place


Click image for larger version

Name:	heartpanoback.jpg
Views:	10
Size:	409.0 KB
ID:	288700
[Heart Lake pano from top of small headwall leading to upper valley]

Click image for larger version

Name:	uppervalleycreek.jpg
Views:	15
Size:	779.1 KB
ID:	288720
[Upper valley with clean water; such an excellent bivi spot]

Click image for larger version

Name:	valleylarch.jpg
Views:	10
Size:	743.3 KB
ID:	288722
[Nearing top of upper valley; access for Mt. Lychnis would continue up talus slopes above, while horribly loose and not really worth Titled Peak scramble would go to the right (out of picture)]

Click image for larger version

Name:	lychnisridge.jpg
Views:	13
Size:	666.1 KB
ID:	288706
[Telephoto of snowy Mt. Lychnis ridge from turnaround point. This is very rarely ascended peak, but it is mountaineering as it involves glacier crossing. Only worthy report I could find is here ]


Return was long, but again very quick & I had to switch headlamp already past Halfway Hut. I don't have full day stats but it was in excess of 30km and probably ~1000m with all the ups and downs. This is the customary map and elevation profile for Baker Lake - Tilted Valley Part:
Click image for larger version

Name:	bakertotiltedmap.jpg
Views:	36
Size:	314.2 KB
ID:	288726
Click image for larger version

Name:	bakertotiltedelevation.jpg
Views:	36
Size:	135.7 KB
ID:	288724


I'd definitely like to return back to this area. It would be great day-hike from Baker Lake "basecamp", with added time to further explore this delightful valley - including ascent to "Lychnis col" - roughly 450m vertical higher up from where glacier views could be also enjoyed.


Full report with more pics and GPS download link here
martin and solo75 like this.

Last edited by zeljkok; 09-18-2021 at 08:22 PM.
zeljkok is online now  
Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of (permalink) Old 09-14-2021, 09:31 PM
Hittin' the Trails
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: , , .
Posts: 32
Default

Photo of Heart Lake taken from route to Oyster Lake (2nd photo).
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	HeartLake.jpg
Views:	12
Size:	220.5 KB
ID:	288732  

Click image for larger version

Name:	OysterLake2.jpg
Views:	14
Size:	172.5 KB
ID:	288734  

martin likes this.
JHector is offline  
post #3 of (permalink) Old 09-14-2021, 09:47 PM Thread Starter
Summit Master
 
zeljkok's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Anywhere but social media
Posts: 4,877
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JHector View Post
Photo of Heart Lake taken from route to Oyster Lake (2nd photo).

Beautiful! But on 2nd photo you have Oyster lake (next Valley North). Heart lk and Tilted Valley are on your 1st pic, with scramble slopes up Tilted peak above. Prob. taken earlier in summer too, much more water
zeljkok is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of (permalink) Old 09-15-2021, 09:59 PM
Hittin' the Trails
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: , , .
Posts: 25
Default

Beautiful photos, what a dayhike. Sometimes the best outings are like this one, you just look at the landscape and go and explore. Heart Lake setting and Tilted Peak are both just wonderful.
avens is offline  
post #5 of (permalink) Old 09-16-2021, 01:09 AM Thread Starter
Summit Master
 
zeljkok's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Anywhere but social media
Posts: 4,877
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by avens View Post
Beautiful photos, what a dayhike. Sometimes the best outings are like this one, you just look at the landscape and go and explore. Heart Lake setting and Tilted Peak are both just wonderful.

Thank you; yes, this is main reason why I mostly hike by myself; total sense of freedom in this increasingly chaotic and turbulent world. And now looking at pics JHector posted, I have target for next season: Oyster Lake. I don't want to ask how he got there on purpose because it will be fun to figure out the route.


But now that I know you like backpacking, you could set multi-night "basecamp" at Baker Lake - there are tons of very scenic dayhikes from there. Only downside is - Baker CG is busy & hard to book. But location is superb & sipping morning coffee at lakeshore is something special.
zeljkok is online now  
Reply

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome
 

Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1