Friday, August 30, 2013

Mt. Revelstoke

Trip Date: June 2013

Christine and I decided to get a head start on the Shuswap trip and leave first thing Saturday morning so we could go for a hike before the rest of the crew arrived in Revelstoke that evening.  Our plan leaving Calgary was to go to Mt. Revelstoke National Park and drive up the Meadows in the Sky Parkway.  We didn't realize that the summit of Mt. Revelstoke would still be covered in snow in late June.  After much debate we decided to still head up there, but change our hiking route.  Due to the amount of snow, the road all the way to the summit was closed.  Instead we had to park at the Caribou Cabin, which is about 19km up the Meadows in the Sky Parkway.  This little hiccup would definitely add some distance to our day, but since we wouldn't be hiking very far once we reached the summit anyway it was a compromise we were willing to make.  

Mt. Revelstoke National Park is about 410km west of Calgary along the Trans-Canada Highway.  The Meadows in the Sky Parkway is a 26km road that winds its way to the summit of Mt. Revelstoke via 16 narrow switchbacks.  Since we parked at about kilometre 19, our hike to the summit was just over 6.5km along a paved road.  We chose to hike the Firetower Trail, which is only a 350m stroll when you get to start at the summit parking lot.  For us it meant 14km round trip with about 400m gained in elevation along the way.  Hiking along a paved road doesn't leave much to the imagination, in fact, it was quite boring for both of us.  As we approached the summit the views definitely got better, but we were faced with a new challenge of navigating through the slushy snow up to the fire lookout.  We made it up and back in one piece, but it wasn't the most enjoyable hike either of us have ever done.  We both agreed though, that we'll be back to Mt. Revelstoke sometime in the near future when the snow has vanished so we can hike out to Eva Lake and see what the summit truly has to offer!

The Caribou Cabin is a backcountry shelter that is only open during the winter months
The monotonous journey along the road
We must be getting higher as there were large patches of snow on the road
Off the parkway and onto the Firetower Trail
Our goal for the day was this old fire lookout.  This lookout was built in 1927 and was used until 1988.  It is now designated a Federal Heritage Building.  
Lake Revelstoke as viewed from the lookout
The peaks of Mt. Revelstoke National Park
Even though there was still lots of snow it was a beautiful day
The Columbia Mountains
We saw this Hoary Marmot on our hike back to the Jeep

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