Alpine Club of Canada

Gazette, Spring 2018

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Brazeau Loop is Jasper's grand tour by van J. Konrad "e grand tour of the southern ranges, this circuit includes one of the park's largest backcountry lakes and an extraordinary alpine traverse with glaciated peaks, lush wildflowers and a variety of wildlife. e trail passes through extensive alpine mead- ows and several passes." The view stretches for many kilometres from high on Jonas Pass. photo: van J. Konrad at is how Jasper National Park's website describes the 81‑kilometre Brazeau Loop, a serious hike that encom‑ passes stunning country in the eastern Rockies of Alberta. For five of us, all Alpine Club of Canada Edmonton Section members, that description was irresistible. e standard hike features five passes for a distance of 81 kilometres, however, our seasoned but motley crew ‑ Susan Dack, Lynn Ferguson, Rob Kent, Cliff Praher and me, Section trip leader ‑ decided to add one scramble and one day‑hike for a total distance of about 120 kilometres in seven days. We started at the Nigel Creek trailhead on the Icefields Parkway after driving the night before from Edmonton to Two O'clock Creek in David ompson Country. Our 13.9‑kilo‑ metre track to Four Point Campground led over Nigel Pass at 2,225 metres. e pass is beautiful, with exceptional views to the west of the ragged peaks of the Continental Divide and the massive Columbia Icefield. Hazy conditions from BC's wildfires, however, limited pic‑ ture‑taking opportunities. e next day, we travelled 18.1 kilo‑ metres to Brazeau Lake. It was a long day, as we still had full packs, but luckily no passes to climb. Of the two camp‑ grounds near Brazeau Lake — one at the river crossing at our lowest elevation, and another three kilometres further at the lake — we chose the latter with the lakefront view. Brazeau Lake is about five kilometres long; up its valley we could see part of the Coronet Icefield, including its most prominent peak, Mount Brazeau, 25 kilometres away. We settled into camp at the lake for three nights to give us two days for scrambling, hiking and exploring in the area. From our lakefront viewpoint, we could clearly see Mount Marble at 2,969 metres, as well as Mount Flattop Ridge. e next day, some of our group chose to hike Mount Marble, expecting an easy scramble. However, the day became longer and more difficult than anticipated Cliff Praher, left and Rob Kent stop to compare GPS readers and photograph naturally shed antlers at Jonas Pass. photo van J. Konrad

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