Iceline and Whaleback, Yoho NP.

It's a 3 hour drive from our doorstep in Calgary to the Takakkaw Falls parking lot, so it makes for a long day trip.  There are various combinations of trails in the Yoho valley area, with the absolute highlight (in my opinion) being the Iceline.

Why not kick off trail season with something epic?




Iceline/Whaleback/Yoho Valley (loop)     20 miles      1350m elevation gain     10 hrs


We parked at Takakkaw Falls to save climbing the uphill to the trailhead at the end (see, we know what we're doing).  Switchbacks take you to the top of treeline then you enter the alpine path below a series of glaciers. There's runoff throughout the area.  


It was Canada Day....


These views are ridiculous.





We hiked switchbacks and ran as much of the flats and downs as we could, without just zipping through and not taking in the views. The trail dropped after this and entered trees again, a lot of our running sections were through forest. As we got near the Whaleback, blue sky vanished and rain started, it was pretty heavy as we ass-dragged up the switchbacks.  


The next highlight wasn't far away though.  I filled up my water in Twin Falls creek (adding chlorine tabs) then we went to the edge where you can see the falls drop straight into the valley.  This is the Whaleback Bridge, they remove it in winter - check trail reports to make sure it's there.



Holy crap.




You have to lean over the edge for this shot. I'm not a fan of heights...




Waterfall selfie.



We trekked up a side trail into Waterfall Valley since it looked interesting.  It was almost sunny again, but then it started to tank down as we left into forest for the descent.  I promised myself food at the bottom.


Here's Twin Falls from the bottom.  We were just standing on the far right of the right cascade.  



The last section of valley floor trail (about 10k) was quite runnable, though we did stop at Laughing Falls.  Seriously, so many waterfalls.



I forgot where we parked so we ran past the car by a bit, I found this funny.  Kev didn't.


Thoughts:

Running with hiking poles sucks, need to think about other options.  Shorter collapsible poles?
I have to do this, but for 3x as long during Lost Soul - Lolz!!
The packs worked well, Kev has the new UD adventure pack and I used my original UD Jenny since we couldn't find the adventure version here. We fitted in raincoats, longsleeve tops, food & 2l of water each and they were easily light enough to run in.
This trail is stunning.
My new Hoka Challengers were awesome, no issues at all.  This was their first rodeo.  I tried a new thing on a 10 hr day, yes.

Comments

  1. I love Yoho... haven't been in so long, but I think some of the most beautiful trails in the Rockies are in Yoho!!! Thanks for sharing the pics :)

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    Replies
    1. Absolutely! It blows me away every time, now how to follow that next week? :)

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