We felt this would be our hard day with a long descent and ascent. Left camp at 9.15 and climbed Ball Pass in 50 mins. - better than without packs - the rest was what we needed. The internet notes described the descent to Hawk Creek and Highway 93 as a 9k pounding descent. We found it gentle and enjoyed the walk through the blackened pine trunks of the 2003 forest fires enormously. The contrast between the black forest remnants, green regrowth and towering grey cliffs was stunning.
We stopped at Hwy 93 parking area on the banks of the glacial blue Vermilion River for lunch, unloading our small amount of rubbish in the bear proof bins and using the toilet in preparation for the 11k climb to Floe Lake. After crossing the brand new bridge (which if it hadn't opened 3 weeks earlier would have prevented our intended route) the track climbed gradually up some long switchbacks then contoured high above Floe Creek until about the last 4 to 5k where it steeply switchbacked to the lake. A quick look at this magnificent lake perched on a glacier and quickly to bed due to a very cold wind and very arduous last few kilometres. Track notes indicate camping at Hawk Creek, but authorities (Parks Canada) frown on this as it is not a recognized campsite with bear facilities.
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Posted By: mmlandry2
- Mon Aug 27 00:52:56 UTC 2012
UpsideReally lovely hike. Out of the way but well worth it. DownsideDo NOT go too early in the season as most of the trail goes through avalanche paths, so hundreds of trees have fallen over the route making it almost impassable. Once Parks gets in there and clears the trail its much more enjoyable.