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Ascents of Three Easy but Remote Peaks -- Pipestone, Cyclone, & Tilted
Timestamp Free: 2020.10.21 - 08:38:09
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / Canadian Rockies / Continental Ranges / Front Ranges / Slate Range
  (3 days)
Participants: Mardy Roberts, Rick Collier
Difficulty: 3: Moderate scrambling throughout on the peaks; long approach
This article recounts a trip to the Red Deer Lakes on which Pipestone and Cyclone were climbed on the second day and Tilted on the third
It would be difficult to do any of these three peaks as a day trip; a quick glance at the maps will reveal that they are sufficiently remote to require at least an overnight bivy - so why not take several days and enjoy this delightful set of front country valleys?

Mardy and I started out at a civilized hour on June 22, 1992, hiking the well-worn trail that most of you are perhaps overly familiar with: 3.9 km from Fish Creek parking just S of the Lake Louise ski area up the Temple access road to Temple Lodge and the official trailhead; another 3.2 km to the halfway hut and the Hidden Lake trail; a further 1.5 km up to Boulder Pass; followed by 1.9 km along the N shore of Ptarmigan Lake to the Deception Pass/Baker Lake junction. It's a total of 10.5 km to this point.

The shortest route to the upper Red Deer valley from the junction is (perhaps unfortunately for the already weary) up over Deception Pass, a climb of perhaps 400' over half a kilometre. Then a long downhill to the Red Deer Lakes trail junction (2.4 km from the Deception Pass turn-off); it is another 4 km through the Skoki/Fossil pass and down into the valley leading to the lakes and the backcountry campground. The total from Fish Creek is about 17 km. The Baker Lake/Oyster Peak alternate route adds another 1.6 km to this total (19.3km). Alan Kane's "Scrambles in the Rockies" provides good trail directions on pp. 246-47, and Patton and Robinson's "The Canadian Rockies Trail Guide" (84-85) is a valuable supplement.
 In any case, it is a long hike with a heavy backpack; but even with a nagging pain in one's shoulders and with feet becoming increasingly angry, the pleasures of the lakes, meadows, and peaks are innumerable - this is a genuinely exciting trip with lots to see and vistas opening up around...

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