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post #1 of (permalink) Old 10-10-2011, 10:13 AM Thread Starter
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Default Folding Mountain

Folding Mountain: October 8, 2011, elevation 2117 meters, 14 km return, approx. 1000 m elevation gain. No water source on the trail. It is one of a series of trails made by local miners in the early 1900s.




The trail head is a few hundred meters west of the Folding Mountain Resort on Highway 16 just east of the Jasper Park Boundary (opposite the rest area signage on the highway). It is marked with a yellow hiker sign. The trail ascends steeply through some forest and then levels off at a sub-alpine meadow. There is a good view of Roche a Perdrix and its ridge to Fiddle Peak from here. The trail then enters some more forest. There is a sign for a spring (although none to be seen on cursory examination) and later an old camp site on the trail. The trail then breaks out on to a ridge affording a view east towards Hinton. The ridge flattens and then turns into a steep slog up some black gravel and then scree to the summit.




The view from the summit made it well worth the effort. Folding Mountain forms the transition from the foothills to the front ranges. There is a ridge that continues south. Following this will take you to Mystery Lake. The one way hike from the highway to Miette hot springs via this route is said to be 25 km. The Nikanassin Range (which I had never seen before) had received fresh snow, and the peaks stood out sharply from the foothills to the east.



From the summit, there is also a connecting ridge to Fiddle Peak. We were hoping to ascend Fiddle Peak, but we ran out of time (and energy). The ridge goes for about 5 km, and there is a big dip in the ridge that produces some tragic elevation loss just before the base of Fiddle Peak. We walked south down the ridge for a bit to take in some more of the views. A terrific day in an area that warrants some further investigation. The round trip time (including the hike down the south ridge from the summit) was eight and a half hours at a relaxed pace.



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post #2 of (permalink) Old 10-10-2011, 12:21 PM
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Ridge hikes are my favorite kind. I'm always waving goodbye to the mountains when I get to Folding Mountain area...thanks for sharing what's on top.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 10-10-2011, 06:03 PM
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I really like the open-ness of those ridges in your final 4 pics. Sweet !

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 10-10-2011, 06:35 PM
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Thanks for the information. I wasn't aware of this trail before and it would make a good destination in shoulder season. Looks like you had an enjoyable day up there.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 10-11-2011, 08:53 PM
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I've often wondered about that mountain. Now I know where to go. Great hike, from the look of it. The trail looks fairly well-traveled - is it easy to follow?
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 10-12-2011, 09:50 AM Thread Starter
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The trail is easy to follow. There are a couple of big trees that have fallen over the path, so a little bit of bushwacking is required in the forest. So long as you don't go on a wild goose chase looking for the elusive springs, there are no route-finding difficulties. At the last bit to the summit the trail disappears and you simply decide upon the best way to grovel your way up the scree to the summit.

There are a number of further options at the summit. You could take the south ridge and scramble up Fiddle Peak. Speedsters could take the south east ridge and go for a long hike to Miette Hot Springs (25 km one way). You do need to ford Fiddle River, so you would want to make sure that the river level is low if you are heading for the hot springs. An ultralight one night backpacking trip (camping at Mystery Lake and then exiting at the hot springs) is another possibility.

I found this web site with some information on the local trails in the Hinton area:
http://www.hinton.ca/index.aspx?nid=249

I have not tried any of these hikes other than Folding Mountain, so I have no further information about them.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 10-14-2011, 08:37 AM
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Thanks for the report. I am looking at doing this in the next week. I am hoping to do Fiddle Peak as well.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 10-14-2011, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
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Super! If you get a chance, could you take a look from the summit of Fiddle Peak along the north west ridge towards Roche a Perdrix. I did the scramble up Roche a Perdrix last month and I was thinking about the possibility of a big horseshoe traverse along that ridge from Roche a Perdrix to Fiddle Peak and then down the Folding Mountain trail sometime next year. From what I can tell, the crux is in the form of two high points on the ridge immediately after the summit of Roche a Perdrix. (see photos)



I couldn't get a view beyond this, so I am not sure if there any other difficulties along the ridge after this. It looked OK from the Folding Mountain hike, but it is hard to tell for sure from that distance.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 10-20-2011, 01:33 PM
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Hey, well weather looks good right now for Saturday so this trip looks a go. We should have a strong group and we are planning on leaving at 7 or 7:30am and will try for both Folding Mountain and Fiddle Peak. I will take some pictures of Roche * Perdrix for you from Fiddle. I have also done Roche * Perdrix but at the time, never gave much thought of the continuation along the ridge to Fiddle Peak. I will do my best to scope it out from Fiddle. I am going by your description. I take it the trailhead for Folding Mountain is easy to find as per your description. Was the trail good, clear, well defined? I guess once on the ridge, it is open country and a matter of following your nose.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 10-20-2011, 06:22 PM Thread Starter
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Very often finding the trail head is the real crux. You can find it just past the new red roofed cabins at Folding Mountain Resort (I am guessing at perhaps 200 m or 300 m towards Jasper Park from this new development). If you are at the big rest area turn off you have gone too far. It is on the crest of the hill opposite the signage for the rest area. It is actually a very easy trail to follow given that it is one that flies below the radar for most people(I chanced on it only when I spotted the long ridge from Roche a Perdrix and then searched the internet for some information about it).

I am particularly keen about this route because it will be one of the very first to be in condition in the spring next year. Best of luck!
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