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Our Banff Adventures

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Our Banff Adventures - Page Text Content

S: Banff Adventures

BC: Nick and Doug's Banff Adventures July 2006 & August 2011

FC: Our Banff Adventures | Banff 2006 & 2011

1: We started in Banff and toured around for a few days - July 2006 | We camped in Calgary before heading into the back country. We planned on hiking just over 80 km in 6 days

2: Doug taking a swim in Two Jake Lake | Doug had a few "issues" before we started and drank a fair share of prune juice before we left

3: Our first water stop | 3 km into the long journey | Our trailhead at Mount Norquay | Those packs were heavy after a while | On the way our first campsite - Mount Cockscomb

4: We woke up to see the Cockscomb mountain - mornings don't get any better | Early morning mist and Doug with his coffee.... we could definitely get used to this!

5: It's hard to complain about the long walk or the heavy pack when you have such beautiful scenary | Between Mount Cockscomb and Mystic Lake

6: Larry's Camp | Mystic Lake at our second campsite. We had to go through a warden's camp to get there. We didn't see the warden but they had the nicest outhouses of the entire hike! | We're not lost! Doug is just checking out the signs that posted distances between the sites

7: Every time we arrived at a site, it was always the same. Find level ground, set up the tent, hang the packs from the bears, and dry the clothes on the line. It seemed to drizzle almost every day.

8: How far up do we need to go? | There is an actual path (well, sort-of-path) that took us down and into the meadow

9: Stopping for lunch along the way to our next campsite at Luellen Lake | Of course Doug found the snow | Great soup!

10: Can you believe all of that stuff fit into the packs? | The bear cables and the cooking areas are generally away from where you sleep. Got to keep the bears away while you sleep! | Wildflowers growing along the path

11: The tent at Luellen Lake - tucked away nicely out of the rain | One of two vacant warden's cabin | One of the many bridges that we crossed | Beautiful Luellen Lake - very clear and very cold

12: Those packs get heavy after a while - this is the only way to take a break without taking them off | This marmot followed us for a while. Doug scared him off when he got too close. | Pulsatilla Pass

13: Pulsatilla Pass and Badger Pass - elevation between 2345 and 2545. Very high and our legs felt every meter of it. The view was worth every step

14: Headed from Pulsatilla Pass to our campsite at Wildflower Creek

15: This was the only night that it was dry enough to make a fire

16: Hanging the socks up to dry - this was supposed to be our second last night but we ended up hiking out the next day

17: We came from Pulsatilla Pass and are headed towards Baker Lake

18: By this time, we had hiked about 75 km and were on our 6th day. I think we took pictures as an excuse to take a break!

19: This is near Baker Lake, which was supposed to be our campsite for the night. Doug's feet were in rough shape, so he wanted to hike out. We hiked almost 20 km this day - very long!

20: Feeling tired, sore feet, and still have about 8 km left in the hike. Still smiling though :)

21: Temple Lodge at Lake Louise - a welcome site. The last 4 km were on a gravel road and was not fun. We promised each other we wouldn't take a ride if we were offered one

22: This is the reason Doug wanted to keep going. His feet were being held together with duct tape. It took a long time to heal these wounds.

23: Taking in some scenery around Lake Louise

24: After our time in the backcountry, showers had new importance. I took us days to feel clean again | Doug and Nicole at Chateau Lake Louise

25: On our way home, we went through Jasper, Alberta. This was the end of our summer hiking adventures for 2006

26: In 2011, we thought we should try another hike in Banff. Our trusty packs were dusted off and all the gear was checked. In August, we headed back to the mountains for another adventure

27: We were going to do the Skoki Loop and finish some of what we started in 2006. The plan was to camp at Baker Lake, Red Deer Lake and Hidden Lake. Total distance was 40 km and we planned on taking 4 days and 3 nights to do it.

28: Nick on day 1 | Doug on day 1 | Just past Temple Lodge | Ready for our 40 km hike. We started at Fish Creek, the same place where we ended our hike in 2006

29: Very early we are treated to some beautiful scenery and are quickly reminded why we love it out here so much

30: Our first lunch stop of the hike. Lots of flies - we ate as fast as we could | The first outhouse of the hike. How many have a view like this?

31: Finding the way to Baker Lake. We had topography maps, but a sign works too

32: Half way to Baker Lake. The trail was rocky but the weather was cooperating. It was 11 km in and 100 m elevation gain - we did it in around 5 hours. Not bad with 30-40 pound packs | Ptarmigan Lake | Boulder Pass - aptly named

33: Just before arriving at Baker Lake. Our first stop on the hike. | Doug chasing the marmot | Getting supper ready at our first campsite at Baker Lake

34: The view from our tent. The last thing we see before bed and the first thing in the morning. Ahhhhh.....

35: Doug taking in the view from a log near our tent at Baker Lake | Getting water for our supper | Soaking some sore feet in a cool lake - feels good

36: This was our dinner table on the first night. Can't beat the view. The bear cables at Baker Lake.

37: Good morning Doug | Good morning mountain view | Good morning Nick | Packing up a getting ready for the day

38: With so many flies, Doug packed the tent from the inside. Side trip to the falls near Baker Lake

40: If you look closely, you will see Doug on the other side of the water fall....

41: In the meadows on our way to Red Deer Lake

42: Going around Fossil Mountain. It looked a lot closer on the map. Another 10 km hike ahead of us

43: Looks like we're getting close

44: The orange bags hanging in the background are our packs. We had to walk across a bridge, hang our packs, and keep going another 100m to get to the cooking area

45: Doug enjoying his coffee after setting up camp at Red Deer Lakes. See the orange bags with our packs hanging in the background.

46: Waking up at Red Deer Lake. It was cool in the morning but this is what we saw when we got out of the tent

47: Once again, we are headed to our next camp location. We are going to detour through Skoki Lodge and check it out

48: Hiking around Fossil Mountain towards Skoki Lodge

49: Prince William and Kate were at Skoki Lodge the month before we arrived. We took 2 days to hike in. They landed in by helicopter

50: Putting on the gaiters - it's going to be wet out there today. Going over Deception Pass (2475m elevation)

51: We soon found out why it is called Deception Pass. Just when you think you are near the end, you take a corner and realize that you are not. Hidden Lake in the distance. We were going to camp there, but felt good and decided to hike out instead

52: At the top of Deception Pass, Doug found the snow (again) to play in

53: Just as we got ready to leave the backcountry, we were treated to another beautiful view. Just one more thing to remind us that we will be back to enjoy more of what Banff has to offer

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  • By: Nicole H.
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  • Title: Our Banff Adventures
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