ClubTread Community - View Single Post - AB Nor = Alberta Rockies North (Jasper & Willmore) Swarming Bugs and Wildfire Haze: Enter Tonquin

Thread: AB Nor = Alberta Rockies North (Jasper & Willmore) Swarming Bugs and Wildfire Haze: Enter Tonquin
View Single Post
post #11 of (permalink) Old 07-30-2021, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
zeljkok
Summit Master
 
zeljkok's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Anywhere but social media
Posts: 4,854
Default

Last post
Did not sleep well in Clitheroe that night; when you backpack for several days in quite hard conditions (heat, haze, bugs) it eventually starts wearing down on you. Still rested enough, I packed up camp & was on trail by 10am. What motivated me was knowledge that bugs will likely vanish as soon as I start switchback descent on Astoria trail; and they did. Chatted with some in-bound hikers & told them to get ready. After descending down to valley bottom below Old Horn mountain hiking became downright enjoyable. Took extended break in horse camp ~10min before Wates-Gibson junction & enjoyed meal for first time in several days without having to swat any bugs. Weather was changing and even few raindrops fell, but not enough to impact the haze -- that is incidentally blanketing the Rockies even now 2 weeks after. Really picked up pace after crossing Astoria River for one last time &starting last leg to Cavell lake and Astoria trailhead, passing Verdant Pass junction along the way. Photo story:


Click image for larger version

Name:	astoriaswitchbackmeadows.jpg
Views:	11
Size:	645.0 KB
ID:	287850
[Meadows at Switchback campground junction, with one last look to almost completely obscured Ramparts. This was also the point where I turned back on my Tonquin dayhike several years ago, so I was now in familiar territory, so to speak]


Click image for larger version

Name:	astoriaswitchbackslide.jpg
Views:	4
Size:	743.3 KB
ID:	287852
[Trail switchbacking huge rock slide below Old Horn mountain above. By this time there was no mosquitoes at all!]


Click image for larger version

Name:	astoriarockslidecrossing.jpg
Views:	12
Size:	721.7 KB
ID:	287846
[Crossing the Rock Slide, with sign warning hikers not to linger due to unstable slopes]


Click image for larger version

Name:	astoriaslide.jpg
Views:	7
Size:	752.9 KB
ID:	287848
[Another shot of that slide; Jasper area is in general known for unstable bouldery slopes & in my scrambling days I crossed quite a few around here. In winter there would be some avalanche danger here as well, but I am not sure if ski trail goes this way or stays lower in the valley]


Click image for larger version

Name:	astoriahorsecampshore.jpg
Views:	3
Size:	665.8 KB
ID:	287844
[Lunch break at Horse camp which was really nice, with bench and beautifully situated by Astoria River. Even dished out a stove and boiled water for second coffee here]


Click image for larger version

Name:	astoriawgjunction.jpg
Views:	6
Size:	692.4 KB
ID:	287856
[Wates-Gibson / Chrome Lake junction. Next time I plan to hike this trail for sure for loop of a sort]


Click image for larger version

Name:	astoriawgbridge.jpg
Views:	5
Size:	792.0 KB
ID:	287854
[Bridge over Astoria River at WG/Chrome junction. I was told that further up some bridge before Chrome lake was washed out & travel was difficult]


Click image for larger version

Name:	astoriabridge.jpg
Views:	14
Size:	799.1 KB
ID:	287838
[Last bridge over Astoria River, already past Astoria campground and starting last leg to Cavell Lake]


Click image for larger version

Name:	astoriagrouse.jpg
Views:	4
Size:	713.2 KB
ID:	287842
[Only wildlife I saw in 4 days, near Verdant Pass junction]


Click image for larger version

Name:	astoriacavelllake.jpg
Views:	9
Size:	622.4 KB
ID:	287840
[Cavell Lake outlet; this is such a fantastic viewpoint normally, but not on this day due to all the smoke/haze. This is now it looks normally when air is clear]



Was able to cover this last leg of ~18km in less than 5 hrs, which included 30min of breaks so I did quite good; super trail (and thoughts of cold beer in Jasper) had something to do with it! Clitheroe to Astoria Map and Elevation Profile:
Click image for larger version

Name:	clitheroe2astoriamap.jpg
Views:	7
Size:	361.9 KB
ID:	287834
Click image for larger version

Name:	clitheroe2astoriaelevation.jpg
Views:	8
Size:	138.4 KB
ID:	287836


Bicycle was waiting right where I left at start of Marmot Road, and after extended A&W pig-out (and beer!) in Jasper I drove down the Icefields. Overall with mixed feelings; wonderful adventure in iconic Rockies area was blanketed by dismal air quality/haze; at the end of the day mosquitoes are just a nuisance, but lack of scenic views and ability to take pics did bother me. I will be back, this time waiting for right conditions, which is likely second half of September timeframe.

Last edited by zeljkok; 07-30-2021 at 07:46 PM.
zeljkok is online now  
 
 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome