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post #1 of (permalink) Old 07-19-2018, 12:53 AM Thread Starter
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Question Memorial Lakes

I am hoping to do the Memorial Lakes hike in August. I participated in the search for the missing planes in June 1986, and want to make it up to the memorial.


Just wondering if anyone has been up there yet this year, what the conditions are like, and whether the trail is well marked (or if route finding would be necessary). I do have the Gemtrek map for the area.



On the scramble between the second and third lake, would it be wise to be roped up, or at least have rope with you.


What would be the time frame from the Ribbon Falls trailhead to the memorial cairn ?


Thanks in advance for any information.


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post #2 of (permalink) Old 07-19-2018, 01:39 AM
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Its been awhile since I was last time @memorial Lakes, but I can tell you with certainty you don't need a rope. Its just steep hiking. I recommend loop - up via 2nd lake, then descent from 3rd lake direct to 1st lake. That slope is bit steep but that's all. Gaiters and hiking poles are only thing required.



You can also extend the trip & scramble Bogart Tower, starting near Memorial cairn. You don't need rope for that either. Its upper moderate & totally manageable.


Only real issue is mess left by 2013 floods. Trail that forks off Ribbon Creek trail towards Memorial lakes travels fairly close to the creek & was likely totally trashed. I have no clue what it looks now; I'd expect some sort of bypass has formed as it's been 5 years already.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 07-23-2018, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by zeljkok View Post
Its been awhile since I was last time @memorial Lakes, but I can tell you with certainty you don't need a rope. Its just steep hiking. I recommend loop - up via 2nd lake, then descent from 3rd lake direct to 1st lake. That slope is bit steep but that's all. Gaiters and hiking poles are only thing required.



You can also extend the trip & scramble Bogart Tower, starting near Memorial cairn. You don't need rope for that either. Its upper moderate & totally manageable.


Only real issue is mess left by 2013 floods. Trail that forks off Ribbon Creek trail towards Memorial lakes travels fairly close to the creek & was likely totally trashed. I have no clue what it looks now; I'd expect some sort of bypass has formed as it's been 5 years already.



Thank you for the information !!


Hopefully Alberta Parks will formalize this trail in the very near future. I have heard it is on their list, but was not a high priority until after all the flood damage was repaired.


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post #4 of (permalink) Old 07-23-2018, 02:39 PM
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No worries. I hiked Ribbon creek the other day & part to Memorial Junction has been fully restored.


I've seen some recent online reports about North Ribbon Creek (Memorial Lakes) and it seems there are no showstoppers, although there are quite a few rough sections. So you are good to go
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 07-23-2018, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks again !!


I did Ribbon Falls a couple of years ago. Wanted to do some or all of Memorial Lakes, but couldn't convince
my hiking partner (wife) to do the hike.



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post #6 of (permalink) Old 07-24-2018, 05:03 PM
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Thanks. I was wondering about this trail and got the answers I needed. Do you suggest gaiters for snow or creek crossing?
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 07-24-2018, 05:18 PM
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Gaiters, hiking poles, and full boots (ankle support) is my suggestion. Besides creek crossings and/or snow patches, there is some side hilling and then talus slopes where above gear is very helpful:





This pic is lifted from last year ramblers report which probably shows current conditions (July '18) as well

https://www.ramblers.ab.ca/RecentTri...pReportID=6770

Last edited by zeljkok; 07-24-2018 at 05:22 PM.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 08-09-2018, 11:18 PM
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I just hiked it today the tricky bit s you see in the pictures below have been rerouted and the lower section is now very easy to get through. Once your past the flood damage in the first km the rest of the trail is much the same as it’s always been. Steep from the waterfall to the first lake steeper to the second lake and rough to the 3rd lake and cairn. All that being said it’s in pretty good shape now.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 08-10-2018, 01:08 AM
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Thanks for update Jeff
If only this smoke would clear now!
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 08-10-2018, 03:00 PM
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Is wasn’t bad the smoke doesn’t seem to affect that area. This is the second lake and waterfallClick image for larger version

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post #11 of (permalink) Old 08-11-2018, 11:16 AM
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Last weekend we backpacked to ribbon lake via the ribbon creek trail. There is a very clear intersection where left goes to ribbon falls and ribbon lake, and straight goes to memorial lake. Not knowing the area well at all we went straight and got to the 2nd lake before realizing our mistake. I think it took about 3 hrs to get to the 2nd lake no ropes need to that point. We had full backpacks on and didn't have any issues. So we had to backtrack to the intersection and then proceed on the correct trail. Our day was supposed to be about 11 kms and 4 hours but ended up being about 20 kms and 8 hours. The following morning we headed up over guinns pass and out galatea trail. Enjoy memorial lakes. Beautiful area!
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 08-13-2018, 02:09 PM
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Indeed, very interesting thread
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 09-14-2018, 02:26 PM Thread Starter
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Well I made it to Kananaskis last month. Got my hiking partner (wife) to do the Lillian Lake hike, along with some other less strenuous hikes, but she was a "no go" on the Memorial Lakes hike. She says it is too long, and the elevation gain is too much for her. Next year for sure - hopefully my son can get the time off work to join me, or my daughter and son-in-law will join me. One day I will make it to the memorial cairn.

The discovery of the plane that went missing while flying from Penticton to Edmonton last November brought back a flood of memories. The plane was located on September 10th, on the west side of Glacier National Park, within the original search area. A BC air ambulance helicopter was flying low west through Rogers Pass, along the lower slope of Cougar Mountain and happened to spot something that was out of place. They circled around and were able to confirm what they saw was a crashed aircraft. Upon closer inspection, and observing the tail mark, they were able to confirm it was the missing plane. The plane was only about 700 metres from the highway. Good job by the air ambulance crew, and finally some closure for the families of the two souls on board.


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post #14 of (permalink) Old 02-05-2019, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation August 2019

Starting to plan for Memorial Lakes in August 2019 - this year will definitely be the year !!


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post #15 of (permalink) Old 08-04-2019, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
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Angry Memorial Lakes - Foiled Again

Well we (daughter, son-in-law and I) made the attempt last weekend (July 27th). Weather forecast for the day was good, but it the mountains the weather can change quickly.

On the way up, we encountered heavy rain showers, and thunder / lightning. We had to shelter for awhile due to the lightning.

We were past the steep part, and came to a creek crossing. After some deliberation, my daughter decided she could not make the crossing, and as it was getting late, we decided to turn back.
We had also met a group who were on their way down, who said the weather was socked in after the first lake, and they had turned back as well.

On the way back to the trail head, we came across a large fresh pile of bear poop in the middle of the trail, and the rains hit again, almost soaking us again before we got to the car.

It was disappointing, but I believe we made the right choice. My daughter was mildly hypothermic, after getting soaked due to the rain and wet brush. Although we had a few hours of daylight left, the weather report by the other group was the clincher, and we headed back down the trail. A hot pot of chili, and hot tea awaited us when we got back to camp.

I guess I will have to wait another year, before I give it another go.

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Last edited by Mr Conservation; 08-04-2019 at 10:13 PM.
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