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post #4 of (permalink) Old 10-02-2021, 07:47 PM
zeljkok
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Default Beyond Aylmer Pass

Inspired by this post, I decided to finally visit Aylmer Pass. For solo hikers window of opportunity is fairly short - pass is snowbound quite late, and then seasonal 4-person restrictions kicks in early July - mid September. 1st day of October still dry conditions and beautiful weather with days still reasonably long to make dayhike feasible. I love Minnewanka shoreline trail and it was exceptionally beautiful with fall colors and warm temperatures; took only 1hr 15min to LM8 junction. After break at little rise above LM8 continued to the pass; it is about 6km and ~770m vertical, so it took another 1.5hrs. Pass is nothing I expected - several km long alpine saddle with meadows, peaks and waterfalls lower down. But you have to be here much earlier in the day as it falls into shade early afternoon. Turned back at lovely waterfall couple of km down from the pass which I'd likely miss completely if it wasn't for avens photos - thanks! Lots of bear diggings here & I could see where all the restrictions come from. It was fairly long day, ~8hrs return for ~30km and ~1000m vertical (estimate). Pics, not as good as pass was in shade:


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[Lovely fall colors at LM8 junction]


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[Little rise above LM8 junction I always use for a break - it is on your right just as you start up Aylmer Pass trail - with great views down Minnewanka towards Carrot Peak and the Narrows]


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[Aylmer Pass exit; trail becomes less defined after this]


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[BNP boundary smack at the pass, looking back. This theoretically means single hiker could bivi right here year-round without breaking any restrictions, as it is crown land already !?]


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[Lovely views of Mt. Aylmer, highest in Banff vicinity; I scrambled ~15 yrs ago]


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[Looking north well below the pass with Mt. Brock, Apparition and even Revenant Poking behind. Trail pretty much vanishes here]


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[Lovely and unexpected waterfall -- thanks avens!]


Intrigued by country north of Aylmer Pass I did bit of research afterwards. There is plenty of opportunity for further explorations, as shown on these mock-up maps (black AP = Aylmer Pass, App = Apparition Mtn, B = Brock Peak]



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Daffern describes "Ghost" direction ("Spectral Wonderings, Vol 3 4th Edition orange, Pg 80). What really intrigues me are Spectral Lakes - I don't think they see much human presence at all. It would be fair amount of bushwhack to get there from Aylmer Pass, but probably great bivi. Low col below Spectral Peak could be used for loop that connects with Minnewanka via Cascade FR. And finally peakbaggers could use this for access to Mt. Brock / Apparition / Revenant, all of which are apparently scrambles. This is aerial view of the area from summit of Revenant:


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Spectral lakes directly below, Mt. Aylmer just left of center and Aylmer Pass below it to the right (photo center). Apparition is mid-ground center left, and Spectral Mtn far right. Photo taken from here


Finally this pic shows rough directions from Aylmer Pass
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Last edited by zeljkok; 10-02-2021 at 07:51 PM.
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