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-   -   Rockwall with kids? (https://forums.clubtread.com/31-alberta-hiking/44240-rockwall-kids.html)

dougz 02-07-2013 11:43 AM

Rockwall with kids?
 
Looking at this hike for end of Aug 2013, 3 adults, 2 kids, 4-5 days.

My kids are 12 and 9, and have good stamina (we did Kinney Lake last year, 19km), but this will be their first multi-day hike, so we'll have to give the kids some stuff to haul at least.. The 12 year old is already 5'10" and should be good for 20-25 lbs, but the 9 year old is still pretty frail, so maybe some sleeping pads and a sleeping bag or 2.

I'm a little worried about bears, so we'll have 2 canisters of bear spray, and will make a point of making alot of noise. Hopefully the bugs won't be an issue by end of Aug, either..

I'd like to do South to North to get the tough stuff out of the way first..

Has anyone done this hike with kids? Is it manageable? Tips, suggestions?

Rachelo 02-07-2013 01:19 PM

I have a detailed trip report on my website if you'd like to have a look through. We didn't have kids, but I mentioned a number of things with regard to the trail.
If they've never been out overnight, I'd tend to suggest doing a 1-night before you jump up to a 4-night, just to get some of the kinks out. If you're planning for end of August, you'd have lots of time earlier in the summer to do an overnight. It would also give you a better idea as to exactly what your kids are capable of.
It is certainly possible for kids to do it, but only you know your own kids and their abilities.

You'll probably still hit mosquitoes (Floe Lake is buggy), but the horseflies should have tapered off by the end of August.

dougz 02-07-2013 01:36 PM

We've done plenty of car camping with them over multiple nights, but this will be the first trip where we have to haul everything on our backs with heavy inclines..

And yes, we're going to be doing some car camping with day hikes earlier in the year in our area (Mackenzie, Prince Rupert, Tumbler Ridge), but that would be a good idea (to dry run at least an over-nighter where we pack it all).

I had a look at the TR, thanks! Good N/S vs. S/N info. Sounds like S/N is still the best bet for me, and good to know I can bring our dog (male shiba inu).

I'd like to go even early Sept, but that's getting into bear season..

Rachelo 02-07-2013 03:41 PM

There is definitely a notable difference between car camping with day hikes, and backpacking. I've had a lot of newbies out and I'd definitely want someone to have packed an overnight before I brought them out on the Rockwall.
I think there are good arguments for either direction, as I laid out. I can't solidly say one is better.
Just make sure your dog is on-leash at all times. It's a legal requirement, and important for bear safety.
I don't think early September would be bear-ier than late August. Berries would be gone, and they'd be just general foraging. But definitely colder nights, and a higher likelihood of snow.

darrenbell 02-07-2013 05:09 PM

Doug, have you hiked Murray Ridge in the Pine Pass yet? That would be a great day hike and even better as an overnighter to help prep your young ones and yourself for the Rockwall.There is a sweet Tarn to camp at just in a saddle below Mt. Murray's north slope.
https://www.clubtread.com/forumPix/402000/402656.jpg

When we went, we did it south to north and as mentioned either way ,you will do lots of up/down each day.

https://www.clubtread.com/sforum/topi...TOPIC_ID=17769

The beauty of the Rockwall Trail is if the sprouts are feeling it in a bad way, you can always bail to the hi way.

PS: can I have your dog? LOL! Always thought a Shiba-Inu would be the perfect dog for a backpacking partner.

Sodbuster 02-07-2013 05:28 PM

My description of Rockwall for people who aren't familiar is "If you aren't going up, you're going down". Great trail though with some of the best scenery in the Rockies.

Re: bears, only a few places where sightlines weren't great but for those sections just keep the group tight and make noise. If you have the option of shifting the load to the adults should the kids start to flag you'll be fine. We did the trail south to north (Floe to Paint Pots) mostly because we used a mountain bike to connect the dots and the highway ride is downhill that way. There is no particular grade or place that makes it better to move in either direction. Third week of August was our timeframe and I don't recall any trouble with bugs.

I'd say leave the dog behind, but that's a personal opinion, and a controversial one at that. Maybe Darren will sit it for you?

darrenbell 02-07-2013 06:05 PM

Quote:

quote:Originally posted by Sodbuster

My description of Rockwall for people who aren't familiar is "If you aren't going up, you're going down". Great trail though with some of the best scenery in the Rockies.

Re: bears, only a few places where sightlines weren't great but for those sections just keep the group tight and make noise. If you have the option of shifting the load to the adults should the kids start to flag you'll be fine. We did the trail south to north (Floe to Paint Pots) mostly because we used a mountain bike to connect the dots and the highway ride is downhill that way. There is no particular grade or place that makes it better to move in either direction. Third week of August was our timeframe and I don't recall any trouble with bugs.

I'd say leave the dog behind, but that's a personal opinion, and a controversial one at that. Maybe Darren will sit it for you?
Oh I'm sure it would be reported stolen when Doug came looking for it,lol.

dougz 02-07-2013 07:43 PM

@Darren - Yes, I did the Murrey hike this summer with my wife.. I brought the dog as well, and it WAS a pain in the ass! Especially on the switchbacks, getting his leash (we always have him on one) tangled on branches, pulling me off balance (going down especially), unable to use my hiking poles..

If that's what the Rockwall would be like that would give me pause about bringing Kuma, for sure.. But the kids could hack that.

We could even overnight at that tarn, as you suggest, try that out..

Here's a pic of my kids, and Kuma: https://www.clubtread.com/forumPix/402000/402657.jpg

Murrey hike:

https://www.clubtread.com/forumPix/402000/402658.jpg

darrenbell 02-07-2013 09:47 PM

Wow Doug, Kuma is such a nice looking dog. I just love the breed!

The Rockwall isn't like the Murray Range hike except for the incline in certain places. You won't find yourselves surrounded by brush and trees like Murray ridge.

Love the view in the one photo from the ridge.. sure miss that area.

dougz 02-08-2013 10:40 AM

We like him.. :)

We got him from a breeder in Abbotsford I can recommend if you're interested.. Lemaitre Kennels.

Good to know, re: Rockwall.. And I can always spread out the leash duties so it doesn't get too onerous..

dshugar 02-08-2013 02:43 PM

There's an article in (last month? maybe 2?) Beautiful BC magazine about doing the Rockwall with a toddler.

Clockwerkz 02-08-2013 08:29 PM

Dougz,

We did the Chilkoot Trail twice with families and a whole fleet of kids. I don't know what Rockwall is like, but the Chilkoot is 53km, from sea level to about 1200m, rainforest, bears, rocks, roots, mud, bugs, snow, creek crossings, weather, above tree-line exposure. Normally it's a 2 or 3 night hike.

Our child was 8 the first time we hiked the trail and about 12 the second time.

We took 4 nights on the trail for the family trips. I think the two 8-year olds carried around 15lbs each. No problems .... for the kids ... our packs were too heavy though. I don't recall doing an overnight shakedown hike ahead of time, but the adults might have benefited from it.

One thing I think that was invaluable was for the kids to have their friends with them. It would likely have been more challenging to keep an 8 year old focused if it had been just the three of us.

dougz 02-09-2013 12:47 PM

Thanks, good to know..

We definitely want to have 4+ people on the hike, for bears and hauling gear..

But don't think I'd want anyone else's kids along, as I have enough trouble herding mine around. If the parents went maybe..

Like I say I'll load the 12 year old up as much as I can, and good idea re: rearranging packs daily.

Thinking 4000 cals a day even for the kids, that way we have extra if we need it (better more than less I always say).. I'll splurge and get freeze-dried MRE's x2 per day.

I'll get no-see-um head nets for everybody as well.

darrenbell 02-09-2013 01:58 PM

Doug, have you tried dehydrating your own meals, far easier than you would think. You can dehydrate pretty much any stew,casserole,meats that you like and customize your meals to your own tastes. Much cheaper and by far take up less room in your pack.

If you do take store bought meals, just before you go take a pin and pierce the bag of each meal to allow any air to escape and re-seal with a small piece of tape. Air takes up valuable space in a pack on a 5 day trip,lol.

dougz 02-09-2013 10:34 PM

I've been thinking about it.. Should google it. Got any good recipes? :)

I'll check out the recipe forum, see what I can see..


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