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Jasper and Banff area recommendations

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Jasper and Banff area recommendations

Postby RomaK » Thu Jun 21, 2012 8:30 am

I'm going to be around Jasper and Banff during the week of 4th of July (roadtrip from Seattle) with my dad and wanted to tap the wisdom of the locals with regards to this area. I bought Alan Kane's guide and looked through SP pages, but I'm still having a hard time picking what to see. We will have about 6 non-driving days. We can do a couple strenuous outings and a couple moderate ones.

My dad and I are both seasoned scramblers and will also be bringing an ice axe, crampons, and potentially a short rope for rapping. What are some "must see" scrambles and routes in the area? I understand that there's enough for several lifetimes, but just trying to get a mental picture to prioritize.

Thanks in advance!
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Re: Jasper and Banff area recommendations

Postby Dow Williams » Thu Jun 21, 2012 2:47 pm

I have scrambled and/or climbed most all the mountains in Kane's book and compiled much of my first hand beta here on SP. If you Googled scrambles in the Canadian Rockies, it is kind of hard to miss at the top of your search as it is frequently used.
http://www.summitpost.org/canadian-rockies-scrambles/363160
This index list is broken down into areas/parks and is in order of east to west. Like Kane, I used an assessment of east-moderate-difficult. I also supply a suggested gear call for each and evey routes as well as time of year to climb. What Kane does not supply is a list of favorites, which like many guidebooks, I have done here via *** system. The index page shows those ***, thus you can quickly hone into an area and then favorites without having to click through each page.

If you want to step it up to potential roped climbing, then use this link to access my first hand account of most of the alpine climbs within your range. Again, any time you just google alpine climbs in the Canadian Rockies, it will be first and foremost, often used, so easy to find without having to remember the link. Same system in terms of east to west and favorites on the index page.

http://www.summitpost.org/canadian-rockies-alpine-climbs/371653

Enjoy your visit. Typically expect plenty of snow lingering for this time of year at higher elevations. Good Luck!
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Re: Jasper and Banff area recommendations

Postby Bill Kerr » Thu Jun 21, 2012 5:20 pm

All covered by Dow's beta on SP but if you want a starting point - best to start with some easy scrambles and move up from there. My favorite suggestions are:
Canmore area - easiest is Ha Ling - mostly hike with great view,
Lake Louise area - mount Fairview - mostly hike with spectacular views - may still be snow but doable.
Banff - Mt Edith - three peaks - harder difficult scramble with route finding but neat three peak day with great views. If not up to that then Cascade is great choice.
Icefields parkway area probably will still have too much snow. Do snow coach trip on glacier.
Jasper - several local mountains scrambles but the day hike in/out of Berg lake by Robson is more recommended.
Bus and day hike trips around Lake O'Hara are are also spectacular - may still be lots of snow.
That should give you a flavour of the areas - mostly broken limestone and shale so takes a bit to get used to it.
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Re: Jasper and Banff area recommendations

Postby RomaK » Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:01 am

Dow, thanks for the links... They are exactly what I was looking for!

Bill, I will try to check out some of the places you mentioned. I'm very excited to explore the area. So with Jasper you are suggesting spending a day to check out Berg Lake instead of staying in the park proper?

From looking at these pages, it seems like there is a larger abundance of "interesting stuff" further south of Jasper so perhaps we'll skew our trip to take that into account.
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Re: Jasper and Banff area recommendations

Postby dan2see » Fri Jun 22, 2012 5:07 am

RomaK wrote:I'm going to be around Jasper and Banff during the week of 4th of July ...


We don't have a 4th of July. However the 1st of July will be celebrated on the 2nd, this year.
But you're welcome to visit, but maybe you should come for the last week-end of June.
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Re: Jasper and Banff area recommendations

Postby Dow Williams » Fri Jun 22, 2012 1:49 pm

Dan, Roma is traveling from America. America celebrates the 4th. The day it declared independence from Britain. The day that US Congress approved the final official document and then went to war to earn freedom. Canada Day celebrates the day that Britain declared 3 colonies in North American as one within the British Empire, almost 100 years later than the US declared its own independence. They are both holidays, but I am guessing Roma is using July 4 (a bit more relevant and deserving of a holiday) as his center point for his vacation vs July 1. Just a wild guess.
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Re: Jasper and Banff area recommendations

Postby Bill Kerr » Fri Jun 22, 2012 4:54 pm

Roma - Jasper area is interesting (Edith Cavell area is neat) but views around Robson and Berg lake are spectacular if weather is clear. Robson has 10,000 feet of prominence from the road.
Lots to see everywhere so it all depends on the amount of time you have and the weather.

High snow year and late spring so still is snow and avi danger on steep slopes and gullies above 2000 m as of today which restricts a lot of choices like Temple, etc. If you get a overnight freeze you can travel on some snow slopes but have to start very early (2 am) and be down before it softens - post holing - or slides. Risky and different from the setup snow conditions in the summer on the coast ranges so be careful if go high.

Have fun and enjoy both July 1 and July 4 th!
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