Kiwetinok Alternate

Date: 7/26/2019
Day: 22
Distance: 14.5 miles
Start: 10 am
Stop: 6 pm
Steps: 41299
Elevation: 6713 ft
Others Here: Coyote, Backtrack
Camp: Tenting at Little Yoho Campground

The plan today was to complete the alternate all the way back to the official trail; about 21 miles or so. Well, we got up here and it was so stunningly beautiful that we didn’t want to rush it. So here we are next to the creek at the campground (tucked away with no reservations) only 14 miles in.

The weather was fantastic with blue skies and just the occasional clouds. The 3000 ft climb to start the day was over about 3 miles and was very well graded so that it wasn’t so bad. Once at the top the jaw dropping views began with a ridge walk. The heart of the alternate entailed walking up and down over what appeared to be fingers of glacial moraine and below massive glaciers on terraced rock walls above. A new and spectacular site awaited as we crested each moraine. Glaciers high above feeding massive cascades gushing down the mountain. One place in particular was polished smooth for at least a quarter mile. I’m not sure if the rock was polished by an ancient glacier or from flowing water. I’m sure my many pictures will not do justice.I was behind Yote and Backtrack thinking how nice it would be to cut the day short and simply enjoy the moment. It also occurred to me that we might think about sitting out the rain that is expected tomorrow. When I caught up with them, they proposed that very same idea. They thought we might be able to get a spot in the ACC Stanley Mitchell hut. As it turned out the hut was not surprisingly booked up; though the families inside were very friendly. As for tomorrow and waiting out the rain; we will play it by ear. The end of this alternate involves some scrambling which might be tricky in the rain.This has been a perfect day and is what a long distance hike is all about. Remain flexible and try to live in the moment. No need to get in a big rush.

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