MAST – Wilderness Travel

12 th – 16 th September 2001

The first day on our wilderness trip was expected to be the hardest hiking day of the trip, with the aim of summit the 2846m high Mt Fisher. Mt Fisher, the highest peak in the southern Rockies is notorious for having taken several lives of ambitious hikers and climbers through the years.

Access : You should leave Highway 93 just north of Fort Steele to take the Fort Steele/Wardner road south approx. 3km. Turn left on Mause Creek Road and travel 8kms to the trailhead. The last 4kms is a rough 2 WD access. There is limited parking at the trail head (6 to 10 cars).

The trail is steep from step one and is only partially defined to the summit of Mt. Fisher. It goes to the lower cirque and then climbs 150m to the upper cirque. No climbing experience is necessary but caution is required in high dozes!

The total elevation gain for the first day was estimated to 4100ft and the trail to the summit and continued to our campsite on the east side of the ridge (co-ordinates = 105991) is estimated to 7km and 8.5hours of walking. Evacuation route is through the logging road.

Day 2.

Mt Fisher – Tanglefoot Lake

Tanglefoot Lake is just south of Mt Patmore and this very picturesque lake has seen many visitors and has a large fire ring on its’ north side. However, it is still a very nice camping site even if it is a bit worn. The hike over from Camp 1 is starting with a steep descent into the valley and in the eastern corner of the valley there is a nice easy way up over the saddle leading over into the next valley where Tanglefoot Lake is situated. In this valley several small mountain lakes can be visited and enjoyed. A ridgewalk is also possible if a more eastern saddle is chosen. However, do not forget to bring sufficient with water if you choose to do the ridgewalk. And remember a long traverse in middle sized scree, is necessary when descending down the ridge.

The total elevation gain for the hike into the valley is estimated to be around 800ft over a 5km hike which took us about 4hours to do. The campsite at Tanglefoot Lake is positioned at co-ordinates 142927. And evacuation route is eastern ridge to road/cabin.

Day 3.

Tanglefoot Lake – Dibble Glacier

From Tanglefoot Lake we hiked south-east over the saddle and down was surprised by a giant rocky avalanche shoot. We were forced to descend 1800ft to Sunken Creek and follow this natural haven up 1400ft through glorious terrain with many scatters and prints from native wildlife like Mtn goats, moose, and grizzly to finally end up at Dribble Glacier. This route is hard on your feet but have many nice additions to the hike like natural springs and absolutely beautiful nature.

The total elevation gain was 2200ft over 5kms and it took us approx. 6hours of hiking.

Day 4.

Dibble Glacier – Cliff Lake

We explored Dibble Glacier from the edge and filled our empty water bottles with 10.000years old melt water running of the old glacier. After hiking around the glacier we headed for Cliff Lake with a short and quite intense hike with an elevation gain of 800ft. We hiked north to end up on Windy Pass and near Bear Pass where we had lunch and enjoyed the view with a 360degree view and clear blue skies… Nothing can go wrong then! J

We went east of gully from Bear Pass to end up on the eastern side of Cliff Lake where a campsite was found about half way along the elongated lake. However, our plan was to camp at the northern end of the magnificent lake. The 6km hike took us about 5 hours. The camp is situated at 153982. Evacuation route is to the vans 2km NE along the trail.

Day 5.

Cliff Lake – Vans

The hike back to the vans was very quick though many people just wanted to get home after a long but wonderful week. The trail to the vans where about 3kms long and have a quite steep and rocky bit in the beginning but smoothens out after the first kilometer when we reached the floor of the valley. We parked our vans at 173993 and it was down hill the whole way.

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