Day Fiftyfour

Jasper National Park, AB to Jasper National Park, AB
July 18th, 2009

High Point of the Day....
Low Point of the Day......
Getting to the end of an eleven mile hike uphill
Realizing eleven miles feels like a long way
Miles Traveled Today
Total Miles Traveled
The Bus Playlist
50 in the bus, 11 on foot
None that we recall
Sunny until midday, then cloudy to rainy and in the high 70s
Price of Gas 
(average per gallon)
Night's Lodging
Where this Page was Uploaded
It's in liters again, we're working on it
Our tent in Brussels Campsite
Prince Rupert, BC

Daily Didactic
The morning began in the quiet Mount Kerkeslin campground, about 20 miles south of Jasper. We wanted to do some backpacking, but were relatively certain that if a thousand campsites around Jasper had filled the night before there would be little chance of backcountry availability tonight. We got on the road a little after 7:30, hoping to catch the backcountry office in Jasper as it opened at 8:00. We didn't get there until 8:10, which was fine as they didn't open until 8:30. We grabbed some coffee and cocoa and lingered around the Visitor Center until the doors unlocked. It turns out there were at least three choices and we were given a map and book to "sit outside and look at". We did our research and ultimately opted for the 18 kilometer trail up Fryatt Valley on the recommendation of the fellow that had helped us. We were registered, out the door, and pretty surprised in about twenty minutes.

Not to let an eleven mile hike impress us, we found a bite to eat for breakfast and proceeded to shop for food and more touristy items for a few hours. We headed back down the road about noon, got to the trailhead around 12:30, and after pulling the packs off the bus roof and reloading them we were on the trail about 1:00. The trail was eleven miles long and 2700 feet up, which all sounds pretty simple standing in a visitor center in Jasper at eight in the morning. Turns out this is a long distance and a significant climb, especially when the elevation comes in the last four miles. At least Brian thinks so. It rained on us for the last mile, but stopped in time for us to pitch our tent in our designated "campground", Brussels. Similar to Glacier but with a little more spacing, the campground had eight tent pads and a separate food prep area. It was in a high valley, surrounded by the rugged peaks we were so enthralled with from the Icefield Parkway. Just past the campsite, over a rise was a view of a beautiful alpine lake and an amazing cascading waterfall.

There were nine other campers at Brussels and we spent the rest of the evening cooking and chatting around a campfire with some very interesting young people from Ontario, Alberta, Quebec and Paris.

Daily Pictures (Slide Show)

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Morning in the less competitive Mount Kerkeslin campground The mountains behind Japser
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The Milepost is back Looking around Jasper, a historic tourism town
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The quotes make us skeptical Well, that's what we're doing
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A few hours later heading back down the road to find our trailhead Just off of the Athabaska Falls road
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All Elk are dangerous The bus' campsite for the night
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We're heading to Brussel's Campground at 18 kilometers, which is apparently not actually on the sign Meadow shot
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A bridge with one handrail, Theresa doesn't need any Camouflaged frog
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Most of the trail was in the trees A very clear mountain creek
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Falling tree A magnificent vista at mile five or so
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The river next to the Lower Fryatt campground, about three and a half miles to our campground So, predictably, the trail steepened pretty seriously
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Coming into Upper Fryatt Valley In the rain
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What we can only assume was the 'suspension bridge' the visitor center fellow was excited about A huge rockslide we took an unfortunate detour through
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Theresa thinks it looks like a robot cairn How does this help?
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The lady of the hike was not impressed Brian staking our home for the evening

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