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post #16 of (permalink) Old 02-02-2020, 06:41 AM Thread Starter
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My only caution is your friends experience level. Northover is a more complex traverse with some exposure. The climb into Aster can be a slog for someone new to hiking.
Thanks @kellymcdonald78! I'm going to show him some pictures and videos others have taken from the ridge and let him decide.

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If you are going do the Northover, Kananaskis Pass loop, I'd do first night at Aster Lake (or Northover Tarns, but that would make for a long day). There isn't really any place to camp in between those two as random camping isn't permitted within Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, once you cross the divide into BC, you're pretty much at the Tarns. Second night would be at Three Isle Lake or Beatty Lake. You may be able to camp just across the South Kananaskis Pass border, I believe it is 2km from Beatty Lake. Next day I would hike down into the Palliser Valley and back up to North Kananaskis. You could camp on the BC side or at Turbine. I've heard that it is easier to find the trail up to North Kananaskis Pass coming from South Kananaskis Pass rather than vice versa. Spent 2 nights at Turbine and do some day hiking before you head out.
Thanks for this advice! (Have you hiked it - if yes, can I PM you to get more details?)
So you would suggest doing Aster first instead of last?
Day hiking around Turbine would mean going to Haig glacier and/or along Upper Kananaskis river?
Do you know where I could find info about difficulties finding the trails up into the passes?

Thanks again
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post #17 of (permalink) Old 02-02-2020, 11:12 AM
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Definitely easier to ascend Aster headwall than descend. There might be some route-finding issues above headwall for someone not familiar with area; first time I went there I continued up Marlborough valley instead cutting across to Aster. Probably not an issue nowdays though.


Aster is logical 1st night camping spot, but it is also prime griz area. When I did Northover I dayhiked entire loop, think it took 10-11 hrs. Probably better to camp, but for fit party light travel with day pack only is feasible option. On the flipside, it could be worth spending 2 nites @ Aster, then use extra day to scramble Mt. Sarrail (easy, with 1 moderate step). Mt. Northover is also an option, but that is dangerous & not a scramble, even if included in Kane book. Lots of other opportunities for exploration, as this is fantastic alpine area.
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post #18 of (permalink) Old 02-03-2020, 09:05 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks @zeljkok!

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Definitely easier to ascend Aster headwall than descend.
Good to know - I saw a few reports that seemed to say it would be easier going over N.O ridge (and less likely to get lost) doing the counter-clockwise loop than the clockwise that's why I was considering doing Aster last. Not sure how critical that is.

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Aster is logical 1st night camping spot, but it is also prime griz area.
There are bear boxes right, is this something to be worried about? I don't mind seeing bears as long as they're not too close.


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it could be worth spending 2 nites @ Aster, then use extra day to scramble Mt. Sarrail (easy, with 1 moderate step). Mt. Northover is also an option, but that is dangerous & not a scramble, even if included in Kane book. Lots of other opportunities for exploration, as this is fantastic alpine area.
I want to ask you for more advice on this, can I PM you?
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post #19 of (permalink) Old 02-03-2020, 12:11 PM
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I've been up to Aster, Three Isle (several times) and Beatty Lake. We had to bail on our attempt of Northover a few years back due to weather, but spent an extra day exploring around Aster (it's a beautiful area). I'll be headed up to Turbine this summer and out through Palliser Pass.

The trail to Forks and Three Isle are straightforward. Aster Lake can be a bit tricky (we too headed up Marlborough). Many years back (like 30) we did try to hike up to Northover from Three Isle, it's probably changed since then, but it was definitely harder to find the route than approaching from Aster.

While I haven't done it, I've heard the route down from Beatty can be challenging. Gillean Dafern's book (vol 1) has a good description of the route.

There are bear bins at the developed campgrounds (Aster, Three Isle, Beatty and Turbine), if you random camp you'll need a bear canister, Ursack or a hang (which can be hard when you're above the tree line)
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post #20 of (permalink) Old 02-03-2020, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks @kellymcdonald78!

The consensus here seems to be to go CCW if doing both northover ridge and 3 Isle-Turbine in one hike, so I'll plan for that.

The suggestions are to stay two nights either at Aster or Turbine to day hike in the area. Are 3-Isle/Beatty lake less convenient for day hiking?
@zeljkok @kellymcdonald78 where can I find good information on day trips around Aster lake? Since it will be the first day of the trip I don't think my friend will be ready yet to just relax near the camp while I go out on my own, so scrambles are out...

Also - this is a bit beyond where I normally hike (Jasper) so I don't have the book for it and I'm not sure what map to get. Any chance of getting some pics of the relevant pages in the book?

Last edited by dpdp; 02-03-2020 at 03:12 PM.
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post #21 of (permalink) Old 02-06-2020, 12:54 PM
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Thanks @kellymcdonald78!

The consensus here seems to be to go CCW if doing both northover ridge and 3 Isle-Turbine in one hike, so I'll plan for that.

The suggestions are to stay two nights either at Aster or Turbine to day hike in the area. Are 3-Isle/Beatty lake less convenient for day hiking?
@zeljkok @kellymcdonald78 where can I find good information on day trips around Aster lake? Since it will be the first day of the trip I don't think my friend will be ready yet to just relax near the camp while I go out on my own, so scrambles are out...

Also - this is a bit beyond where I normally hike (Jasper) so I don't have the book for it and I'm not sure what map to get. Any chance of getting some pics of the relevant pages in the book?
I'd recommend Gillian Dafern's Kananaskis Country Trail Guide Volume 1 (it will cover both Aster Lake and Turbine). The Gem Trek Kananaskis Lakes Map is also a really good one for the area. Around Aster you're mostly above the tree line, so there are lots of options to just explore. There is also a trail up to Marlborough Tarn. Around Turbine there are trails to Haig Glacier and Mt Smith-Dorien. There are several peak bagging options around Three Isle Lake and Beatty Lake and you could definitely make a few days of it at any of these locations.
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post #22 of (permalink) Old 02-06-2020, 03:12 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for that! I'm not anywhere I can get access to Daffern's book right now, but I can order the map to somewhere I'll be able to get it before the hike.

I'll put out the options for where to stay 2 nights to my hiking buddy, I don't think he's up for any peak-bagging...
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post #23 of (permalink) Old 02-07-2020, 12:48 PM
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There is quite a bit of information on Gillian's page https://kananaskistrails.com/
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post #24 of (permalink) Old 06-02-2020, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
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Default advice on a trail for end of august

I'm trying to find a good trail for 4-5 days of hiking at the end of August. Berg Lake and Rockwall are booked up at the moment, unfortunately it seems that my plan of Aster Lake - N/S Kananaskis passes loop is too.
Can anyone suggest a comparable hike that is either not booked up yet, in BC parks and doesn't need to be booked, or random camping?

One possibility I've been thinking of is Tangle - Beauty Lakes - Cataract / Cline but I'm not sure I'm confident enough in my own abilities, and may have a friend who wants to stay on a trail coming with me. I also think I'd prefer something closer to Banff this year, but I'm less familiar with that area...
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post #25 of (permalink) Old 06-02-2020, 10:54 PM
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dpdp,
A quick note that in the years when I have watched Berg Lake openings like a hawk, cancellations seemed to pick up in late August and continue through September. Fewer international visitors this year may further lighten the demand.
Also, I purchased the Gem Trek Kananaskis Lakes map at the Canmore Visitors Centre.
Good luck figuring out a backpack!
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post #26 of (permalink) Old 06-03-2020, 06:44 AM Thread Starter
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@ColdBrook. Thanks for that information!

I have a specific week that I'm able to take off work and go hiking (Aug 23), so I'd like to have a plan A that is actually confirmed and booked well in advance and then I can have plan B, C etc that I can switch to if things open up.

Right now my plans B and C are to check if there are last minute cancellations on the Rock wall or Aster Lake-Kananaskis passes trails, but I really want to find something I can have booked in the same general area in case those don't work out. If anyone on here has suggestions for something please let me know!

Alternative plan would be to hope for openings on Berg Lake and but have a different hike in the area booked if that doesn't work out. If anyone has suggestions for this I would be happy to hear as well.
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post #27 of (permalink) Old 06-03-2020, 09:43 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the previous responses and suggestions. I wanted to get thoughts on two areas that I saw are currently available for booking.

1) Banff: There are still a lot of sites available in the area east of HWY 1a between Banff and Lake Louise. e.g. Molar creek, Hidden Lake, Baker Lake, Red deer lakes, mystic etc. Are there any suggestions for good routes in this area connecting some of the available sites? The map on the PC reservation site has an area to the east of these campsites with trails but no campsites - is this where random camping is available? Are the trails there maintained? Are there recommended routes?

2) Jasper South Boundary trail (accessed from Rocky pass trail head). What is the terrain like? Trail/campsite conditions? Is it worth going on this hike - how does it compare to other more popular hikes in the park?

Thanks again for all the help!
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post #28 of (permalink) Old 06-04-2020, 04:16 PM
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You can find a lengthy yet entertaining video account of a 2019 trip along the South Bounday here:

It will probably answer most of your questions.
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post #29 of (permalink) Old 06-04-2020, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpdp View Post
I'm trying to find a good trail for 4-5 days of hiking at the end of August. Berg Lake and Rockwall are booked up at the moment, unfortunately it seems that my plan of Aster Lake - N/S Kananaskis passes loop is too.
Can anyone suggest a comparable hike that is either not booked up yet, in BC parks and doesn't need to be booked, or random camping?

One possibility I've been thinking of is Tangle - Beauty Lakes - Cataract / Cline but I'm not sure I'm confident enough in my own abilities, and may have a friend who wants to stay on a trail coming with me. I also think I'd prefer something closer to Banff this year, but I'm less familiar with that area...
We did a 3-day trip out to Elk Lakes year before last, which you could easily extend to 4-5 days. I'd hike into Petain Creek the first day and check out the falls. For the second day, head up to Petain Basin (note there are no facilities up there) and stay there for a couple days (lots of options to explore in just about any direction). Then hike out the last day. No permits or reservations needed
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post #30 of (permalink) Old 06-05-2020, 09:24 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks @esmeadows! - I've seen parts of that video before, trail looks good, but I think we'll try to find something with more high altitude and views.

@kellymcdonald78 thanks for that suggestion! Do you have a TR from that trip? Where can I find more info to get ideas about what we can explore around the basin for a few days?
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