YANT - Yet Another Northern Traverse

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Re: YANT - Yet Another Northern Traverse

Postby paul » Wed Nov 28, 2018 8:35 am

teapot57 wrote:Great photos, Paul! It is interesting to see things from the reverse perspective. I even noticed that the shadows fall differently in your photos, since you hit the same areas as us, but in the morning instead of late afternoon (or vice versa).

Folks, I saw those feet. I can't believe Paul hiked all those miles with his feet being as sore as they were. They were totally raw in the places he described . . . all of his toes and along the inner soles. Paul could have easily waited for us to swap keys at Waterton River or Goat Haunt, and then bailed the trail at Goat Haunt where he would have access to a shuttle in Waterton that could take him back to his vehicle at Chief Mountain. Instead he continued to hike out over Stoney Indian Pass on those very sore feet. He is one tough cookie!

It's amazing how many sounds you hear in the woods. The wind in the trees, the birds, rushing water in the streams, little critters in the bushes, it's an orchestra of nature.


I like this, Paul. Very true.


Thanks Tina. I couldn't miss out on meeting up with everyone at Stoney Indian Lake.

The moleskin that people donated to me really helped tamper the pain. Most of the pain came when putting on and taking off boots and socks. The hiking wasn't too bad as long as I had some kind of protection over the open blisters. My feet got a little better each day. By the time I got to Cosley Lake I was feeling quite good.
We are in the mountains and the mountains are in us. - John Muir
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Re: YANT - Yet Another Northern Traverse

Postby teapot57 » Wed Nov 28, 2018 2:53 pm

I couldn't miss out on meeting up with everyone at Stoney Indian Lake.


It was a lot of fun camping there with you so I'm glad you persevered!
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Re: YANT - Yet Another Northern Traverse

Postby paul » Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:22 pm

August 5, 2018 - Destination Mokawannis Lake

I did not sleep well at Stoney Indian Lake. Several factors contributed to this. The biggest factor was a very pesky deer which kept snooping around camp. Every time I started to dose off, I heard noises outside my tent near my pack. I finally got up and discovered the deer. I noticed that the deer was interested in my hiking poles and under further investigation one of my poles was missing. I had placed the poles under my pack to keep the critters from taking them but that didn't stop this deer. Once I discovered the missing pole I grabbed my remaining pole and moved it into my tent. Unfortunately the deer had already slimed it. It was really gross when I touched the handle.

Even after bringing my pole into the tent, the deer came back and was again making noise near my pack. So I finally decided to take the entire pack into my very small solo tent. The rest of the night I shared my sleeping pad with my pack. (I think it's time for a larger tent).

Other factors causing reduced sleep was snoring from one of my camp mates... I'm not sure which who it was but the snoring was enough to keep me up for a while.

Lastly, the rum at dinner also caused me numerous excursions to the restroom. I usually avoid drinking much after 5pm while camping for this reason. But the rum was hard to pass up.

In the morning I was able to find my stolen pole in the woods near my site. I was relieved that I didn't lose my pole. I had just bought a set last year and I didn't want to buy new ones again. Also hiking down the pass would be a lot easier with two poles rather that one.

After breakfast, Joyce, who happens to be a physical therapist helped me with the blister situation. Her new bandages really helped set the stage for a good hike and some healing.

The rest of the chatter crew had said their goodbyes and started heading west to Goat Haunt and I was just about ready to go when I looked down and saw a pair of sun glasses laying on a boulder. I decided I better take them with me to see if one of our group had left it behind. It turns out that I later found out it was Tina's and I was able to return it to her.

I then started on the 6 mile trek to Mokawannis lake. This is easy hike and the most difficult part comes at the very beginning with the climb up to Stoney Indian Pass from the shores of Stoney Indian Lake. It turned out that really wasn't too bad either!

I'd classify the rest of the hike from Stoney Indian Pass to Mokawannis lake as a stroll. It was very relaxed and didn't take very long even at a relaxed pace.

Short video taken on the way to down from Stoney Indian pass https://photos.app.goo.gl/VmESi5DjTED5HoJE9

Below Stoney Indian Pass
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I got to Mokawannis lake and no one was there. I setup up camp and then had some lunch. Mokawannis lake is very quiet when no one is around. It can get a little spooky at times.

Mokawannis Lake
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After lunch I went back to my tent and not long afterward I heard some people in the food prep area. Later I walked down to the food prep and I found six guys there. They were already there for about hour and I was wondering what they were doing because there are only two sites at Mokawannis Lake and I had one them. So I knew they couldn't have permit for this site. So I asked them where they were the camping that night and they said "here". That's when I knew something was wrong. I told them that can't be possible since there were six of them and only room for four people in the one remaining site. So they finally fessed up and said they were supposed to be camping at Waterton River that night.
I told them that the remaining site will probably be filled so they will need to camp somewhere else. I also told them that if the rangers catch them poaching a site, they will be fined. Honestly I really get ticked off when people do this. I know many of us go through a lot trouble get a permit for these sites so when I see people who don't follow the regulations it riles me up. Anyway they ended up camping in the trees on the little peninsula area over looking the lake. They did seem to keep a clean camp and they weren't visible to the rest of the camp or trail for the most part.

After dinner we a spotted a bull moose across and as I was taking these pictures it crossed the lake to our side.
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The moose crossed the lake to our side and headed up the hill behind my campsite. It bedded down about 40 feet up hill from my site. As I watched him, he watched me through trees. He sure made a lot of noise at first.

Later on I realized that I could have taken a nice video of the moose but I forgot about the video features on my camera. :roll:

I almost forgot to mention that in the middle of the afternoon I was in my tent reading when I heard what sounded like a bear cub whining to its mother as it ran by the camp site up trail. I couldn't get out in time to see if it was a bear or not but I heard whatever it was for a while as it ran up the trail calling out to it's mother. Mokowannis lake turned out to be a really wild kingdom that day!
We are in the mountains and the mountains are in us. - John Muir
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Re: YANT - Yet Another Northern Traverse

Postby tibber » Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:32 am

yep, your MOL day was great. STO not so much it appears because of the deer and the campsite encroachers (trying to ruin it for others because the rules don't apply to them).

But nonetheless, nice waterfall pics.
ya, you and the bears all by yourself at the lake might indeed be a little spooky, ha!
nice moose you got to keep an eye on and its eye on you.
Last edited by tibber on Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: YANT - Yet Another Northern Traverse

Postby teapot57 » Fri Dec 07, 2018 3:15 pm

That sure was a rough night you had at STO! I would bet that the pesky deer are always hanging out there because the pit toilet is so far and hard to get to in the night, so people probably just use the rocks, leaving lots of salt for the wildlife. I heard that deer walking close to my tent, but I had kept everything inside (tight squeeze for me too) and there was nothing for it to steal.

I was so thankful you found my sunglasses. I wear contacts so I like my sunglasses even if it is not very bright out, because they help to keep my eyes from drying out from the wind while I hike. I sure missed them for the rest of our backpack. Not to mention that those are the only expensive pair of sunglasses I have ever bought, and I managed not to lose or break them for over 3 years. So thanks again for packing them out for me.

Do you know where that poaching group had started their hike from before reaching MOL? If they had a permit for Waterton River, that means they were 14 miles away from their permitted campsite! MOL is not on the way to anywhere, so if they just couldn’t make it, why did they hike out of their way to get to MOL instead of staying at MOJ, or STO, which are both along the way to WAT. It doesn’t sound like they were even trying to get there. Grrrrrr! Now I realize why WAT was so empty the night we camped there.
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Re: YANT - Yet Another Northern Traverse

Postby paul » Sat Dec 08, 2018 10:55 am

teapot57 wrote:That sure was a rough night you had at STO! I would bet that the pesky deer are always hanging out there because the pit toilet is so far and hard to get to in the night, so people probably just use the rocks, leaving lots of salt for the wildlife. I heard that deer walking close to my tent, but I had kept everything inside (tight squeeze for me too) and there was nothing for it to steal.

I was so thankful you found my sunglasses. I wear contacts so I like my sunglasses even if it is not very bright out, because they help to keep my eyes from drying out from the wind while I hike. I sure missed them for the rest of our backpack. Not to mention that those are the only expensive pair of sunglasses I have ever bought, and I managed not to lose or break them for over 3 years. So thanks again for packing them out for me.

Do you know where that poaching group had started their hike from before reaching MOL? If they had a permit for Waterton River, that means they were 14 miles away from their permitted campsite! MOL is not on the way to anywhere, so if they just couldn’t make it, why did they hike out of their way to get to MOL instead of staying at MOJ, or STO, which are both along the way to WAT. It doesn’t sound like they were even trying to get there. Grrrrrr! Now I realize why WAT was so empty the night we camped there.


Hi Tina,

The group said they started a day late because one of their members had a flight delayed. So I think they had hiked from either Many Glacier or Chief Mountain. My guess is the leader chose Mokawannis lake because it was out of the way and less likely to have rangers passing through. They probably arrived at MOL around 2pm so there was plenty of time to go further up the trail. Of course hiking 26 miles in a day is not easy. I think they should have just stopped by the BC office and explain the situation about the late start. I think something could have been arranged.

I spent some time talking with some of them and they really weren't bad guys. Some of them were kind of loud but generally not too bad. They actually did everything right as far as leave no trace concepts and hung their food at the food prep pole, used the pit toilet, kept a clean camp. I think the leader was a guide he seemed to know his stuff.
We are in the mountains and the mountains are in us. - John Muir
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Re: YANT - Yet Another Northern Traverse

Postby paul » Sat Dec 08, 2018 10:57 am

tibber wrote:yep, your MOL day was great. STO not so much it appears because of the deer and the campsite encroachers (trying to ruin it for others because the rules don't apply to them).

But nonetheless, nice waterfall pics.
ya, you and the bears all by yourself at the lake might indeed be a little spooky, ha!
nice moose you got to keep an eye on and its eye on you.


Thanks Tibber... I wish I spent more time taking better and more pictures.
We are in the mountains and the mountains are in us. - John Muir
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Re: YANT - Yet Another Northern Traverse

Postby NDjason » Sun Dec 09, 2018 4:09 pm

Paul, I always look forward to reading your reports. Glad I'm not the only one who gets rubbed the wrong way by poachers. Very frustrating to me, especially when it's because of people blatantly breaking rules (I understand there are issues that can arise while hiking that may require adjusting plans).

Wish I'd gotten to run into you this year! And looking forward to reading the rest of your report!
~ jason
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Re: YANT - Yet Another Northern Traverse

Postby paul » Mon Dec 10, 2018 2:23 pm

NDjason wrote:Paul, I always look forward to reading your reports. Glad I'm not the only one who gets rubbed the wrong way by poachers. Very frustrating to me, especially when it's because of people blatantly breaking rules (I understand there are issues that can arise while hiking that may require adjusting plans).

Wish I'd gotten to run into you this year! And looking forward to reading the rest of your report!


Thanks Jason. Maybe next time our itineraries with match up better and I'll run into you out there. It was great seeing all the chatters up at Stoney Indian Lake.
We are in the mountains and the mountains are in us. - John Muir
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Re: YANT - Yet Another Northern Traverse

Postby paul » Tue Dec 11, 2018 9:49 pm

August 6. 2018 - Non travel day

It's funny the things that happen while camping in the Glacier back country. That morning I was laying in my tent at about 6:30am thinking about getting up when all of the sudden I heard a very loud crashing of branches in the woods above my camp site. It didn't take long for me to realize that the moose that was sleeping near by was coming down very quickly in my general direction. It sounded as though something spooked it. I quickly covered my head and got into the fetal position hoping he wouldn't trample me in my tent. Fortunately that did not happen but it sure sounded like he came very close to my tent.

At that point, I decided to get up before another large mammal came through. :roll:

Today was an off day for me. I was camping again tonight at Mokawannis Lake so I didn't need to pack out and hike anywhere. The only thing on my agenda today was a short day hike up to Margarete Lake.

After breakfast I headed up to the lake.

Waterfalls on the way to the lake
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A short video: https://photos.app.goo.gl/P9HQPUdRHkJyJgde8

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Some photos from my GoPro camera
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I stayed up at the lake for a little over an hour. Before I headed back down I started hiking in the direction of Ipasha lake. I've always been a little curious if I could get back there and check it out. I didn't go too far because there was so much evidence of bear activity in the direction I was hiking. All the ground was torn up and I felt very uncomfortable about going any further especially since it was getting difficult to see what was in front of me and it seemed like I was going to be doing some bushwacking.

So I turned around and headed back to camp. There is not much to report about the rest of day. I had lunch, took a nice swim in lake, hung out and read a book and pretty lounged around. I must say it was a pretty darn good day of doing nothing! I saw a couple of people traveling through on their way to Margarete lake, but in general did not see many people at all.

A few shots around Mokawannis Lake during the day

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Mount Cleveland in the background
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Like many lakes in Glacier, mountains surround it
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After dinner, there was a nice sunset.

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Mount Merritt in the sun
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I always feel if I take enough photographs, some of them will turn out pretty good :)
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I believe this Pyramid Peek
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We are in the mountains and the mountains are in us. - John Muir
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Re: YANT - Yet Another Northern Traverse

Postby Jay w » Sun Dec 16, 2018 4:23 pm

I've been enjoying these trip reports to an area of the park that I've never been. I take it that the feet are feeling pretty good with a day "off."

Jay
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Re: YANT - Yet Another Northern Traverse

Postby teapot57 » Sun Dec 16, 2018 4:48 pm

You caught some great light at Margaret Lake! Now I understand why Joyce wanted us to get there early. Which we didn’t.
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Re: YANT - Yet Another Northern Traverse

Postby paul » Mon Dec 17, 2018 1:14 pm

Jay w wrote:I've been enjoying these trip reports to an area of the park that I've never been. I take it that the feet are feeling pretty good with a day "off."

Jay


Thanks Jay. The feet were much better on the day off and even better the next day.
We are in the mountains and the mountains are in us. - John Muir
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Re: YANT - Yet Another Northern Traverse

Postby paul » Mon Dec 17, 2018 1:19 pm

teapot57 wrote:You caught some great light at Margaret Lake! Now I understand why Joyce wanted us to get there early. Which we didn’t.


Thanks Tina, I never was up there that early in the day so it would nice seeing the difference. I also had the place to myself. I kind of wished that I continued on to Ipasha lake but that little voice in my head was saying you're gonna run into a bear.
We are in the mountains and the mountains are in us. - John Muir
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Re: YANT - Yet Another Northern Traverse

Postby paul » Sun Dec 23, 2018 5:05 pm

Sorry for the long time between posts. I finally have some time to put together the segment of Trip Report

August 7 - destination Cosley Lake
After two nights at Mokwannis lake I was ready to move on to the last camp of the trip. It's an easy 6 mile hike from Mokwannis lake camp to Cosley lake camp. Along the way a met a couple heading in the opposite direction. They told me they were doing the Pacific Crest Trail and this was their first day. Unfortunately, they couldn't get a good walk up permit for the trip since all backcountry sites were booked past Stoney Indian pass. So their first day would be to hike from Chief Mountain Customs to Waterton River. I think that's something like 26 miles and you have to climb up and over Stoney Indian pass. :shock: I saw them about half way between Cosley and Mokawannis lake and they looked pretty good. But seriously I would never agree to do that kind of millage on the first day. I hope they made it okay.

It didn't take me long to get Cosley lake. The camp was empty so I picked the best site furthest from the food prep area.
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It was another easy day of relaxing for me. I guess I could have hiked to Bear Mountain lookout but I elected just to stay in camp and enjoy the great weather. The day's activities included, eating lunch, swimming, hanging out on the beach reading a book. Cosley lake is pretty much my favorite BC camp site in Glacier. It's a very calming place. The beach is very easy to walk and there are nice rocks to sit on along the shore.

I think I heard some other people show up about 4pm and by dinner time the camp was full. The site next to mine was occupied by a girl who was using a hammock. Later around 7:30-8pm three guys came into camp asking people if they could share one of the sites at the lake. It sounded like they got a late start and decided they didn't want to hike to their next camp (not sure where it was). The girl offered her site. As I walked by one of the guys I noticed he had a holstered pistol. I personally don't understand why people carry weapons on these trips. What are you planning to do with that gun? Do you think it's going to stop a charging bear? I don't know... maybe he was a police officer.

Anyway, here are a couple of shots of the lake from the day.
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August 8 - Destination Chief Mountain Customs Trail Head
The morning came quickly and I headed over to the food prep area for breakfast. As I ate my last breakfast on this trip, I overheard some of the conversation other groups were having and it concerned bears. One person was asking why do bears crap on the trail and not off the trail? To which someone said: well a bear craps everywhere, but we only see the crap when it's on the trail. Makes sense to me :lol:

After breakfast I headed over to the outhouse and it was then that I realized why people were talking about bears. It seems like we had a visitor in camp thatnight. There was a big pile of bear scat in the middle of the trail to outhouse that was not there the night before. One guy told me he used the trail at 3am and the scat was not there. So the bear must have come through camp sometime between 3:00am and day break. This reminded me that the last time I camped at Cosley lake everyone in camp heard the sound of a large animal splashing through the water as it headed down the lake shore. I remember it was right around 3 am. :shock:

Good Morning Cosley Lake
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I started my hike out but took one last look back
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I probably passed 35 people coming the opposite way as I hiked out. It was by far the most people I had seen in one day on my trip. Part way through I came upon a group lead by a guy who later I found out was cop (he had a holstered pistol too, ha ha). Anyway he sure acted like a police officer because he stopped me and warned me that they had just seen a Grizzly bear on trail and to be extra careful. He said they saw the "Grizzly Bear" about 2 miles back on the trail and that the bear quickly ran off when it saw them. My thoughts were that the bear was probably not a Grizzly but more likely a tan colored black bear. Since Grizzly's tend to be up high in the mountains and also are less likely than black bears to run off when they see people. Anyway, everyone that I saw on the trail afterward were holding their cans of bear spray in their hands as they hiked and they were all calling out "hey bear!". It seems like the word of the bear was spreading quickly.

The hike out to the trail head is about 9.5 miles but I felt really strong and my feet felt as good as new. I think I averaged about 3 miles per hour even on the last 2 miles of up hill to the parking lot. In fact I was surprised when I found myself at parking lot what seemed to be too early.

All in all, it was a great trip. I had my challenges but everything worked out perfectly in the end. I found myself living in the present, enjoying each moment.

Finis
We are in the mountains and the mountains are in us. - John Muir
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