August 21st Wednesday
Change of area as we head up into the Spray lakes, Peter Loughheed Park. The road up from Canmore is dry and very dusty. Trucks are on the road still sorting out the banks and ditches from the Big Flood.The good news the Burstall area is in good shape. There are a couple of spots where damage has accured, but no big washouts.
Start from the Burstall parking lot opposite from Chester Lake. Walk past Mud Lake keeping to the trail straight ahead and follow the trail into the trees. No more guessing until the trail opens into the Burstall Creek flood plain. It is 3.0km to the bike racks and 0.5 km to the Creek.
The Creeks alluvial fan is wide but in August it is possible to hop across without getting wet.
The trail starts to climb up the pass after the Creek crossing and the views of Mt Birdwood start to appear.
When out of the trees the Burstall Pass trail goes up to the Col, we took off across country to the Ridge above South Burstall Pass.
The lower line bypasses the first peak which is slightly lower and is the easier route.
A few spots after leaving the soft grass meadows need a bit of rock scrambling no exposure.
Lunch at the top gives you all these views.
The descent comes down into the South pass with the Robertson Glacier dominating the view with the Whistling Ridge defining the valley.
The return route is back down the Pass heading towards the Burstall Pass trail we left earlier. Watch out for hidden rock holes. The limestone has washout forming large cracks and deep gaps.
Total return distance 19.5 km. Total elevation gain 740 m. Time return with stops 7 hrs.