Updated: Nov 15, 2021
This summer for our annual Experience the Mountains Trip, we headed back to Rogers Pass. Thanks to Mick Hawley for submitting this trip report. Read all about their experience and stay tuned for next year’s adventure!
For the second year running, we had no one to car pool with, so when my 12 yr old daughter Antonia and I left Winnipeg at 6:00 am on a Saturday morning in July, I had a long drive ahead of me. But Red Bull is effective stuff, and 15 hours later we were tucking into fish and chips at Tony Roma’s, Banff, Alberta. From here I drove on to the parking lot at the trail head into Lake O Hara, where we spent the night in the truck. Not the greatest sleep I’ve ever had, but it sufficed, and on Sunday morning we backtracked into Lake Louise to meet Brian and Josee, who had also made the long journey west from Winnipeg.
We continued to Rogers Pass, BC and the Wheeler Hut. I have to admit that my first impression of this was less than awesome. There is an adjacent campsite, and on a July Sunday I was unable to park closer than ¼ mile from the hut, although it is a stone’s throw from the end of the road. The hut itself is a little dingy, being surrounded on 3 sides by trees, but it is comfortable and spacious, if a little close to “civilization”.
Back at the hut, Kathy and family had arrived, along with Marilyn and her grandson Connor, making our number 10 in all. Kathy had prepared a Mexican stir fry with shrimp – it was delicious, and all the more so for not having to prepare it after our arduous “short hike”.
Tuesday again dawned fine and dry. We all left the Wheeler together at the usual time and hiked south down the valley, and up to the Asulkan Cabin, almost 3000ft higher than the Wheeler. Nearly all of the height so gained is in the last mile and a half, w
The Asulkan Cabin is the nicest that I have visited. It sits in an open and airy situation, surrounded on 3 sides by the mountains, well above the tree line and just below the snow in July. Better still, it sleeps 10 and we had it to ourselves for the next 3 nights. It doesn’t get much better than that. The cabin itself is light and open. The outhouses were the cleanest and most pleasant in my experience, they actually smelled of pinewood, rather than the usual.
On Wednesday morning Brian and Josee left us to rendezvous with their guide back at the Wheeler. Marilyn volunteered to watch Bryce and Connor at the hut, so 5 of us trekked up over the snowfields to the head of the Asulkan Pass. From her we went east towards Youngs Peak, stopping maybe ¼ mile short as it was getting late in the day. Not a bad decision it turned out, as we were safely back in the hut when heavy showers arrived late in the afternoon. We amused ourselves with chess and card games, some read, and an inevitable game of “who can get upstairs without using the stairs” developed. I think that Garth and I surprised Graham at this one, giving away more than 30 years and an undisclosed amount of weight…..
Once again our late start had really precluded further progress along the ridge of Mt Jupiter, and we returned to the hut for early evening. I may have to re-consider the mid morning start in future – but then again, it is supposed to be a holiday. We enjoyed another night of fun and games in the hut, before a much earlier start on Friday, in order to be back at the truck and on the long drive east at a sensible hour. This time I broke our journey at Moosejaw, the lure of a hot shower, fast food and a comfy bed proving too much to push on any further that day.