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Rachel can be reached by emailing email_rachel_now [at] yahoo [dot] ca
All photos on photos page taken by Rachel or members of Rachel's hiking party unless otherwise noted.
All photos are the property of the photographer. Copyright Rachel O. if not otherwise specified.
You are welcome to the photos for personal use (desktop, screensaver, etc.) but any commercial or public use (including internet display) is prohibited.
Contact me instead of stealing, and there's a very good chance you'll get permission.
Maps come from this site or this site and are used with permission.
All my information comes from an assortment of guidebooks, maps, and other websites.
The basic books I recommend for all Hikers and Backpackers of the area are:
The Canadian Rockies Trail Guide by Brian Patton and Bart Robinson
Known as "The Hiker's Bible", This guide covers all the National and Provincial Parks in the Rockies. With over 200 trails, plus parts of trails and offshoots, it is the most comprehensive book out there containing everything from 3km walks to 100+km multi-day backpacking trips. New edition as of 2007.
The Kananaskis Country Trail Guide Vol 1&2 by Gillean Daffern
Often overlooked by tourists and even some locals, Kananaskis country offers just as much and as stunning scenery as the national parks, and it's closer too. These two volumes are to Kananaskis what the CRTG is the the Parks. Last updated in 1997, these books are a little out of date, and have been known to guide you onto trails that no longer exist, or have changed over time. That said, the two-volume set is comprehensive, and well-written. A new edition is apparently in the works for Spring 2010.
Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies by Alan Kane
More Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies by Andrew Nugara
Properly considered rock climbing without ropes, scrambling is rapidly gaining popularity among those wishing to stand on top of a mountain without technical climbing. An easy scramble is no more than a long steep hike, while the toughest ones can have you begging for a rope.
Alan Kane's book is the first and best there is for this other aspect of the Rockies. Andrew Nugara's book, new in 2007, adds another 65 new summits to check off.
Some additional worthwhile books:
For new or infrequent hikers
Popular Day Hikes 1 - Kananaskis Country by Gillean Daffern
Popular Day Hikes 2 - Canadian Rockies (national parks) by Tony Daffern
These two books, just published in the last couple years are very well researched and written, with plenty of detail and colour photos. They lack the comprehensiveness of the aforementioned guides, but do cover a good number of trails, and stick largely to those that are reasonably easy to follow, at a variety of diffuculty levels.
If you're just starting out, or you only go here and there, these two books will give you plenty to do for a while, and the updated and detailed descriptions will help those not accustomed to making their own routes. If you're going to be doing a lot of hiking, I'd go right ahead and buy one of the books that includes everything.
For visitors to the area
Don't Waste Your Time in the Canadian Rockies by Kathy and Craig Copeland
Where Locals Hike in the Canadian Rockies by Kathy and Craig Copeland
These two books by the Copelands are a different sort of guidebook: opinionated. Rating all hikes as either 'premier', 'outstanding', 'worthwhile', or 'don't do', they give you the good, the bad and the ugly of Rocky Mountain trails. These books are excellent consultation tools, as they detail exactly why each of there hikes is rated as it is. The 'don't do' list is particularly appealing as it gives you some 'solid reasons certain hikes just don't deserve their popularity. The advice does require a grain of salt and judgement - be aware the Copelands are extrememly elitist, and have specific criteria for their ratings - but it's useful to consider. There are now a number of books in the Don't Waste Your Time series, which covers the national parks, and Where Locals Hike is an equally good guidebook covering the major areas of Kananaskis Country.
I think these guidebooks are particularly excellent if you are just passing through the area, don't have years to get around to doing everything, and ...don't want to waste your time.
Again, if you're going to be doing a lot, borrow these from the library if they interest you, then go back and stick with the full guides.
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