Iceline Trail
a long dayhike in incredible Yoho.

We set out to get the whole trail in this time after missing the whaleback view in 2006.


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The main route is in black. Axel, Marta, and Jeff's detour is shown with arrows.

To facilitate the 31km dayhike, we decided to camp and remove the driving part of the day.
We thus headed out of the city after work on Friday, and set up at Takakkaw Falls campground.
It's all walk-in sites - set up much like a backcountry campground just a short walk from your car.
It keeps the campground nice, quieter, and free of trailers.

Taking the normal route this time, we headed up the slope across from Takakkaw and switchbacked our way towards the iceline junction.

Takkakaw Falls.

Whiskey-jack Falls.

Yoho glacier, way down the valley.

Reaching the top of the trail.

Takakkaw Falls and the Daly Glacier.

Marta starts up the iceline.

Hiking the beginning of the iceline.

We reached the iceline trail coming into the heat of the day - a thirty degree weekend!
After recent snow, and the current heat, we had the neat situation of ridiculously high water.
This was occasionally problematic, as nomally simple rock-hops became serious creek crossings, and some bridges were in trouble.
The up-side of this was the incredible flow of the waterfalls, and the prevalence of water along the trail to stick our heads in and refill our bottles.
We did this quite often as we hiked along the high line of the trail.

First view of the Emerald Glacier remnants.

Meltwater flowing down from the glacier.

Laurier hikes up above Takakkaw Falls.

Marta and Jeff hike above the Daly Glacier vista.

Abnormally wide runoff stream that gave us a bit of trouble.

The ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah...

Beautiful tarn and waterfall below the glacier.

Crossing yet another runoff stream.

Laurier gives up on this one and wades it.

Everyone else lines up for the precarious rock crossing.

View back to Mounts Daly and Niles above the Daly Glacier.

Another pretty tarn along the iceline.

We took a leisurely lunch break at the Celeste Lake junction, then continued down into Little Yoho Valley.

Crossing the stream to our orange rock lunchspot.

Piglet catches some rays by the stream.

Mookie has a prime view along the trail.

Axel starts down from the crest of the iceline.

Crossing yet another runoff stream.

Mount Daly and Mount Niles.

View way back down the valley to the south end.

The trail starts into Little Yoho Valley.

Whaleback Mountain.

Little Yoho River and Mount Kerr.

Crossing a severely flooded feeder stream in the valley.
This is the same stream in 2006.

After a snack break in little yoho, we set off once more.
At the whaleback junction, noticing the time was getting late, we split off into two groups.
Marta, Jeff, and Axel decided to skip the whaleback, and take the Marpole lake shortcut, so as to visit all the waterfalls and be back by dark.
Having missed the whaleback the first time, I was determined not to again, so Laurier and I started the ascent.
We made the top in short time (and apparently without photos), and took a photo break with the incredible view.

360 degree view from the top of the Whaleback. Whaleback Ridge continues in the foreground just left of centre.
The Vice President and The President, and Mount Kerr are to the left.
To the right are ?, Yoho Glacier with Mount Rhondda behind, Mount Gordon, Mount Balfour and the Fairy Glacier (and creek below).
On the more distant right are Mount Daly, Mount Niles, unnamed peaks, and the ridge of Mount Ogden at the end of the line.
The distant peaks at far right are way down the valley on the south side of the Kicking Horse river and highway 1.

A family of mountain goats wanders up to join us.

One of the goats checks us out.

The goats also enjoy the view of The Presidents.

Mount Habel, Mount Rhondda, and Mount Gordon flank the Yoho Glacier.

View north up the Twin Falls Creek valley.

After eyeing whaleback ridge and planning another future return to the area, we continued down the back.
The trail gradually descends towards twin falls creek, crossing it at the seasonal bridge just above the falls.

Twin Falls Creek rushing towards the cliff edge.

Isolated Peak and the dying sun beyond the creek.

The overflowing creek floods in.

Incredibly powerful water.

The seasonal bridge above the creek.

Laurier considers a swim.

Just below the bridge, you can walk off trail along the rocks and stand on the very edge of the cliff to look down at the falls.
They divide at one block just on the edge, and it's a neat look down.

The rushing whitewater hits the cliff.

The big chock between the two parts of the falls.

Leaning over the cliff to check out the continuation below.

The massive spray from the falls below.

Past the falls, the trail steadily switchbacks around the hillside to return to the cliff at the base of the falls.
We made it to Twin Falls as the sun got low, and then started powering down the valley trail.
We made the flat 10km in two hours, arriving at camp just as it hit pitch black.

Piglet checks out a fern on the decent.

Twin Falls and the draining creek.

Twin Falls Creek cuts through a gorge.

Trolltinder mountain lit up by alpenglow.

Bracted Honeysuckle berries (lonicera involucrata).

A happy mushroom we found along the trail.

These next photos are from Axel, who got to see in light the falls that we skipped by in the dark.

Laughing Falls. We camped at the nice site here last time.

Point Lace Falls.

Sunset over the Yoho Valley.

Sun lights up the sky at the valley head.

Axel and Jeff celebrate their survival.

Marta's ready to start the party.

On sunday we packed up and headed out, stopping to walk up to Takakkaw Falls on the way out.
We had planned to hike up to Ross Lake to spend the afternoon before driving home, but were thwarted by a road closure not on my map.
In the end, we stopped in Banff, and had lunch at Johnston Lake, making it out for a bit of a swim.
It's much warmer than your average directly glacial fed lake, but has the seaweed and fish to go along with it.

A giant caterpillar we discovered in our campsite.

Beaver, Mookie, and Piglet are ready for their hike.

Takakkaw Falls from the river flats.

The falls from trail below.

Closer shot of the falls.

The mist threatens to overwhelm my camera.

Piglet poses with the falls.

Axel hiked up much closer to the base of the falls and got another couple from a different vantage point.

Huge amounts of mist blast out the base of the falls.

Parting shot of Takakkaw Falls.

Photos taken by Rachel except where noted.

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