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Sentinel Pass from the Giant Steps # 9140

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Date: 2006.08.06
Vantage Point: From the Giant Steps

Caption: The steep north side of the pass goes up a talus slope.

PhotoDescr: The Grand Sentinel pillar is visible on the right side of the pass.

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. Throughout the hike, the male of the couple we had met at the hostel speculated on the possibility of returning by Sentinel Pass and Larch Valley. I tried to discourage him with tales of the looseness and steepness of the unmaintained trail he would need to ascend with his wife (who we learned was pregnant), but it wasn't until he got this perspective that he abandoned the idea.

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