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post #1 of (permalink) Old 11-10-2020, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
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Default Block Lakes

This thread is general knowledge repository for Block Lakes. Where are Block Lakes? They are tucked in alpine bowl between Block Mountain and Noetic Peak, two prominent summits backpackers circle around on BNP Sawback Circuit. This image (by Paul Zizka) drew my attention (Note: All images posted below are found on Internet by googling "Block Lakes Photos" and thus public):
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Surprisingly I could find very little beta how to get there. Patton/Robinson in Canadian Rockies Trail guide mention that "... Spur trail to Block Lakes crosses the river from Block Lakes Junction campground, but this side trip should only be attempted by experienced rock climbers since a major cliff band guards the final approach to the lakes"

Looking at Google Maps, it is obvious that only 2 possibilities exist (red pin in center is Block Lakes location)

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First option is aforementioned spur trail from Block Lakes. Second, red arrow from bottom of picture approaches via Mystic Pass trail then up bushy drainage to "Block Basin".

I am unsure if either of these 2 options goes as scramble only. This is image from Block Lakes Junction, and headwall in center indeed looks fairly nasty; in addition just getting to here on Sawback circuit is ~2 days work

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Second, shorter option is sometimes used as approach for Block Mountain. I could find some info about this valley, including Bivouac and Club Tread post by Warawa. Engor (one time CT poster too) successfully summited Block Mtn as day trip this way; this is his image of Block Lakes from summit of Block Mtn (one can clearly see problem headwall if approaching from Block Lakes Junction):
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Although shorter, this approach has its problems -- horrendous bushwack without trails for hours up valley with deadfall from floods, that can appeal only to masochists. (Photos from warawa flick album). Even after that, it is unclear if drop from Block Basin to Block Lakes would be feasible. On this photo (Noetic Mtn to the right, Block Mtn to the left):
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it appears one might be able to trash on bottom right side, but I am not convinced. This dated image from Alberta Outdoorsmen Forum from shore of Block Lake looking west suggests problems (they don't say how they actually got here!)
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It would be horrible to endure either lengthy approach via Sawback Circuit to Block Lakes junction, or hours of miserable bushwack via option 2, only to find you can't get in.

It would be really neat, even if not fishing, to overnight in that alpine basin then wake up to watch sunrise. If you know more, or have more info, please post here.

Last edited by zeljkok; 11-10-2020 at 11:11 PM.
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