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An Autumn Traverse from Aylmer Pass to Cascade Fire Road, with an Ascent of Psychic Peak
Timestamp Free: 2020.10.25 - 11:54:22
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / Canadian Rockies / Continental Ranges / Front Ranges / Palliser Range
  (3 days)
Participants: Rick Collier
Difficulty: 3: Multi-day trip; easy scramble
A 3-day trip: Lake Minnewanka, Aylmer and "Spectral" Passes, an unnamed valley, an exit pass with an ascent of Peak 9550' (Peak 24-50), and a return via Stony Creek and Cascade Fire Road.
Lucky me, right? - because my work is very flexible and almost infinitely postponeable, when good weather comes along, I can drop everything and head for the hills. Which is what I did on Tuesday, October 5, 2004. But first a bit of background . . .

Earlier this year I was on a trip with two of the Old Spice Girls, the account of which I called "A Brief Report on the Ill-Fated Stony Creek Expedition"; it started out as follows:

"On Monday, July 5, 2004, three Old Goats (Mardy, Christine, Rick) . . . set off with boundless enthusiasm to try a new traverse in the Front Ranges, having conveniently forgotten that if things are going to go wrong on a trip, they will go really, really wrong on the first major outing of the season." After which, I recounted how we got stuck in the bush, Mardy broke a bone in her hand, I bear-sprayed myself, and we all got soaked in one downpour after another.

But I dislike being scuppered in the mountains and generally what ensues is a 'blood feud' or a 'grudge match'; and so all summer long I dreamed of sweet revenge. From October 5 through 7, 2004, I refurbished my sullied honour.

One of the obstacles that had stopped my group's ineluctable advance in July was high water - the streams were deep and white and raging, and there was no getting across or even into them without risking death by drowning. But I figured that by October these streams would be either dry or mere trickles (and I was sort of right here); I also figured it would be better to fight the bush downstream rather than up (not quite as right in this case); and that the leaves would be off the willows and thus the bushwhacking would be easier (marginally true).

I was at the Lake Minnewanka parking area and striding off into the dark, cool forest up the Stewart...

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