White Goat Wilderness Route Advice - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 08-23-2015, 12:34 PM Thread Starter
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Default White Goat Wilderness Route Advice

I have recently planned a hiking route in the White Goat Wilderness and was looking for some advice from anyone who might have been in that area before. We plan to hike over Sunset Pass in Banff National Park and then continue to Pinto Lake. Then at some point enter the White Goat Wilderness and hike up Catarack Creek to Cline Pass and then over the ridge into Valley of the Lakes. We then are planning to hike down the Valley of the Lakes and McDonald Creek all the way to the Cline River and complete the loop by hiking out past Pinto Lake and over Sunset Pass to the trailhead. I am particularly interested in any information about hiking over and down the ridge above Cline Pass, travel in the Valley of the Lakes, and travel in the McDonald Creek drainage. Any route advice would be greatly appreciated. I can also be reached at [email protected].
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 08-24-2015, 04:48 PM
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A few years ago we entered the Cline Pass area via Cataract Pass and then scrambled up the ridge/col to overlook Valley of the Lakes. The ridge route we took started right in Cline Pass - I believe it is the only way. It was a technically easy scramble up, but the boulders are huge and loose. At one point I sent a desk-sized boulder crashing down, so be very careful if you are in a group. I didn't go over the other side, but I know of a couple that did so it must be possible. My impression from them was that the descent wasn't much more difficult than the ascent. Here is a link to my report with lots of photos and our GPS track: http://mattclay.zenfolio.com/cataract_pass_cline_pass
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 08-24-2015, 11:51 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for the information. I looked at your website several months ago, and the photographs were beautiful. The information on your website played a big part in helping me finalize the idea for my trip. "Desk-sized boulder", thanks for the warning. I would not want to be around when that let loose! We are planning the trip for this September, so if all goes well, I will post a trip report. Take care, Jeff
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 08-30-2015, 11:43 PM
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Building on this thread. I'd be interested in advice on whether it is possible to get from the Valley of the Lakes into Samson and Job Lakes. The topos look doable, but can never tell until you are actually there.

My dream route would be to enter at the Blackstone Gap - Whisker Lakes - over pass to Job Lake (is this doable), Samson Lake - over pass to Valley of the Lakes (is this doable) - Cataract Pass - Icefield's Parkway.

I figure that would be one of the finest, and remotest, 9 day hikes in Alberta, but intel is virtually non-existent.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 08-31-2015, 09:09 AM
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Rick Collier explored the area to the north-northeast of Valley of the Lakes. There are photos on this Flickr page, but not a lot of other information. With a bit of sleuthing you might be able to plot a route (summitsearch.org is good for identifying peaks from photographs). Scroll down until you see his albums for the Whitegoat camp trip.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/albums
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 09-28-2015, 10:19 PM
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Default Valley of the Lakes, etc.

I've done this valley twice, looking at the ridge to the south to possibly jump to the Cline system.

I've also done Cataract Creek several times, and on some of those trips scanned for possible routes.

At the time I was with high school students, mostly Grade 10's.

I wouldn't have tried it with that group.

McDonald Creek is a very typical block thrust formation. The north-east side, as I recall looks semi-reasonable on topo maps, but on closer approach is very 'slab' Steep as a bad staircase, with little in the way of footholds. The other face off of the creek is a series of cliffs.

I do not have the maps in front of me as I write. These are 20 year old, old-fart memories. Your mileage may vary.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 11-29-2015, 05:50 PM
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Im wondering if you ever pieced that bit together from Blackstone gap - Whisker Lakes- Job lakes-Samson-Cline.
Ive been eyeing it as-well and seems like its quite possible, given the pre-requisite abilities required. Unfortunately up here in Canada
finding maps with 24K resolution is not possible through that area.
How has your search for information been going?
Odds are I will be going for it next summer if it seems reasonable. Any info you find or want Im willing to share.
Just a thought on your mentioned 9 days. I wonder if that may be a bit short for this route? perhaps 10-12 days?
This of course is tentative. Bush/un-known takes longer.
Any thoughts?
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 11-30-2015, 10:22 AM
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Here is a photo of "Afternoon Col" South of Mount Willis. It looks pretty reasonable and should grant access to the Afternoon Lakes Valley.

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Just South of there is "Stewart Col" which can be used to access the Cloister Mountains and "Bertram Lake". This col is just North of Mount Stewart. It also looks pretty reasonable. Lots of exploring to do around there.

The view of the South side of "Stewart Col"
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The view of the North side of "Stewart Col" and Mount Stewart.
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See my trip report from September for more info and photos.
https://summitsearch.org/trip_report...-mount-stewart
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 11-30-2015, 11:03 AM
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Great Beta MtNerd!
Cheers!!
Vital pieces to the adventure puzzle.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 11-30-2015, 12:33 PM
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Ive been looking for the best source for Topo's. In the states ive used CALTOPO quite a bit and it is very trustworthy.
What source are you all using for your backcountry maps in Alberta/B.C. areas?
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 12-01-2015, 10:07 PM
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CALTOPO has the Canadian NTS maps. It's great. Physically, GemTrek is the best where they make maps, but Caltopo is still great for planning.
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 12-01-2015, 10:25 PM
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Here's what I generally use..

Alberta / Canadian Rockies: MyTopo online map (http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap...82,-122.999077) + Google Earth/Google satellite images.
Gem Trek maps are the best but they only cover a certain amount of selected areas. Good for getting started but doesn't have information for let's say, Chaperon Mountain.. Another disadvantage is that they aren't free..

SW BC / Coast Mountains: Bivouac data base (same as MyTopo but with peaks/roads labelled). + Google Earch/satellite images.
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 05-13-2016, 10:36 AM
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Default Map showing trails/routes in this area

The link below will take you to a PDF brochure published by the Alberta government. It shows routes and trails through this whole region. This includes routes connecting Job Lake to Sampson Lake (I've done this, its awesome) then over the pass to Mcdonald creek and then up vally of the lakes to Cateract creek.
http://aep.alberta.ca/recreation-pub...re-Feb2016.pdf
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 08-12-2017, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mountainnerd View Post
Here is a photo of "Afternoon Col" South of Mount Willis. It looks pretty reasonable and should grant access to the Afternoon Lakes Valley.

Attachment 108753
Eric, question time wise. If I start off Icefields say 11am, then over Nigel -- Cataract -- Cline --> into Afternoon Lakes Valley, with moderate pace but lots of photo stops; is there enough time to reach Lakes Valley before dark? Is there some preferred camp spot, or basically "pick your lake"?

Edit: I am aware of your and Vern' Willis trip. Couple more questions:

1) Are there any issues with camping @ Cline Pass? There are 2 lakes that could be excellent base

2) Considering 'map' below: C - Cline Pass, W - Willis. This is looking west. Is the "X" unnamed? Do you know if red line, starting from Afternoon Lakes col above Cline Pass, go as scramble only?
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Last edited by zeljkok; 08-13-2017 at 03:23 PM.
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 10-07-2020, 08:12 AM
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@Jeff78 did you end up looping back to Cline River from Valley of the Lakes via McDonald Creek? Anyone on this thread know if there is more info about that possible route somewhere?
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