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A bivy at Kerkeslin Lake and ascent of Evelyn Peak
Timestamp Free: 2018.01.19 - 22:51:40
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / Canadian Rockies / Continental Ranges / Front Ranges / Maligne Range
(2 days) Elevation Gain: 1700m
Participants: Ben N, Vern D
Difficulty: 3: Some flagging and the hint of a trail into Kerkeslin. Lots of bushwhacking on the trail. Route-finding and moderate scrambling to the summit.
A partial bushwhack / hike into the lovely Kerkeslin Lake followed by a rare summit of Evelyn Peak with wonderful views of Kerkeslin Peak.
Of course when I started my two week vacation in September, the weather turned for the worse in the Rockies. And when I say "worse", I mean way worse. First of all was the dump of snow that covered the entire range of the Alberta Rockies from north of Jasper to Waterton Lakes National Park. While a bit of snow isn't a huge issue, especially in the fall - it definitely limited my choices for peak bagging. I had to dial down my ambitions from lofty 11,000ers to trips that involved more hiking and backpacking. I was in the mood for more reflective trips anyway - sometimes the intensity of larger peaks can distract from the beauty and peacefulness of the area that you're traveling through. Not a terrible thing necessarily, but it's nice to stop and smell the roses every once in a while. Even if they're covered in snow.
The weather was dismal all over the Rockies but Jasper was looking like it had the best chance of not sucking as bad as everywhere else. Ben was keen to join me and in the end we settled on a peak I'd never even heard of before - Evelyn Peak.
Evelyn is tucked in behind a very impressive mountain as seen from highway 93 - Mount Kerkeslin. I was worried about the snow but Ben assured me that Evelyn was a "smaller" peak and wouldn't have much snow on it. Ben had attempted Evelyn years before when looking for a good route up the back side of Kerkeslin. He remembered that there was some "bushwhacking" but didn't really remember too much more. He didn't make the summit on his last attempt, getting turned around part way up thanks to snow and slippery slabs. This time we would attempt a different route - ascending from Kerkeslin Lake after first hiking along a decommissioned trail - last in official use back in the 1970's as far as we could tell.
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