Mount Chephren is a striking summit. When approached from the south along the Icefields Parkway you can easily miss it amid the backdrop of imposing peaks lining this great north-south glacier carved valley. It is only when you pull virtually abreast of its imposing east face that you comprehend the tremendous mass of rock that the peak embraces. The east and north faces rise above you over a mile in vertical extent from the Mistaya River.
The mountain seems rather close from the near point along the highway. The hikers route though is rather circuitous. Beginning further back at the Waterfowl Lakes campground, a footbridge crosses the deep, fast-flowing Mistaya River. The trail ascends briefly towards the southwest before turning northwest along the margin of a swamp. Most of the 100 meter elevation gain to Chephren Lake is in the first kilometer before the swamp. The trail itself is quite swampy along much of the remaining section.
At Chephren Lake a rough route follows the south bank of the lake and another route, described in the guidebook "Rocky Mountains - South" follows the north bank. A marmot crossing from north to south along the log jam at the lake end slipped into the water several times as we watched. This more or less settled any indecision we may have had as to choice of route.
We followed the south bank and at times we went out onto the shallow lake edge where numerous small rocks make travel over the water faster than in the brushy forest fringing the lake. About two-thirds of the four kilometer lake edge can be travelled like so. After this the lake edge becomes deep for a short section below a loose debris embankment that rises over 30 meters. The... To see the full trip report you must login as a paid member. Use the Login Page. (message p3)
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