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The Giant Steps in Paradise Valley # 9139

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Date: 2006.08.06
Vantage Point: From edge of Paradise Creek North Fork

Caption: The upper section of the Giant Steps

PhotoDescr: The Giant Steps are a series of waterfalls that cascade over pink quartzite ledges draining the Mitre Glacier, and are one of the highlights of hiking in Paradise Valley.

The peak in the background is Glacier Peak.

Although I had hiked in Paradise Valley before, I had never done the loop trail with the side trip to the Giant Steps. In 2005 I was unable to get the six people required by Parks Canada bear management rules, and seemed unlikely to succeed in 2006 when only four other people signed up for my sixth annual Grant MacEwan Mountain Club August Long Weekend day hikes out of the Lake Louise Alpine Centre. But we were able to induce the U. S. couple sharing our hostel room to join us, and the hike was on.

Another couple, also from the U. S., asked to join us just as we were about to leave the trailhead, so it was with a group of nine that we set out. Shortly afterwards, we discovered that the direct route to the Giant Steps, the north side of the Paradise Valley loop, had been decommissioned and closed as of 2006. But the Giant Steps were still accessible by the Lake Annette route, so we revised the plan and got there by an out-and-back hike instead of a loop.

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