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Rocky Mountain Backpacking Trek - Cline River/Pinto Lake to Sunset Pass (7/18/2020)

PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED: Once you've reviewed the event details, and decided you'd like to join us, you MUST sign up at the bottom of this page.

You are STRONGLY encouraged to read this page in its entirety before signing up. If you'd like to attend, we ask that you abide by our rules and procedures as a time/cost saving process (with an end result of keeping membership free and lower cost events).

The Basics:
STATUS: Cancelled - Show on Calendar (until date passes)
Event Type:Adventure
Event Location: Cline River/ David Thompson Country/ Bighorn Backcountry/ Banff
Date(s) & Time:Sat, Jul 18 2020, Sun, Jul 19 2020, Mon, Jul 20 2020, Tue, Jul 21 2020, Wed, Jul 22 2020, Thu, Jul 23 2020  12:00 PM  (Carpool Departure: 8:00 AM   *log in for location*)
Registration Cut Off: Sat, Mar 21 2020 10:00:00 PM
Event Duration:6 days, 5 nights, ~60 KM
Difficulty Rating:D5: Difficult
Event Coordinator(s): Mark G
You must be logged in to get the Event Coordinator contact information.
Member Cost:None

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 18 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:8
Minimum Group Size:4
Number Registered So Far: 8 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No

Please sign up to our weekly hiking events for conditioning over the year. Mark is posting this as something to train for the 2020 season next year. We encourage participants on weekly events to practice with poles and a backpack to help with the training for carrying backpacks into various shelters on overnight backpacking trips. We could also snowshoe in overnight to mountain huts in the Winter training season. Carrying a full backpack over time helps with conditioning. We will also have events that will help with distance endurance, as well as working on cardio build up training.

If you are unsure about your ability to hike and camp in the backcountry please talk to Mark, and see the helpful links at the bottom of this itinerary. This backpack trip is challenging since it's around ~50 kms one way, 6 day trip. This is a one way thru-hike. We will park one or two of the vehicles at our exit point in Banff National Park. PLEASE READ THE ENTIRE ITINERARY BEFORE SIGNING UP. THIS EVENT IS RATED AS D5+. We will keep a fairly brisk pace with some steep hills. Good physical condition is a recommended prerequisite. Member participation at coordinators discretion

If you are interested in attending, first add your name to the list for the event, and then please contact Mark to discuss your experience and training plan. Open spots will preferably be given to members who have previously attended conditioning events that have been organized through the Edmonton Outdoor Club

The trail head is just on the south side of the Cline River bridge, on the west side of Highway 11. Coordinates are shown on the map.
This full backpack trip will be along the Nordegg Cline River to Pinto Lake area back country established campsite (with new toilets, bear hangers, and fire pit). Pinto Lake is a very popular and scenic place to get to, but difficult backpack. The Continental Divide Trail Association has cleared and improved the trail in the last few years. We plan on Staying first at Landslide Lake junction campsite Saturday night along Cline River. The second night at the established Waterfalls Creek campsite (with a plan for day hikes in the area to the waterfalls after we get camp set up). We will then continue on to the Pinto Lake campsite with backcountry facilities. Click HERE FOR BROCHURE & MAP for more info about the Cline River/Pinto Lake Trail ( the trail is on the top of the map on the second page of the brochure ). We will also do many more trails around Pinto Lake itself on Tuesday while we're there for a full day of exploring. We will explore the waterfalls, caves, and the "Trees of Renown", as well as the trails around the lake.
Pinto lake was named after renowned geologist Arthur Coleman's cantankerous pack horse in 1893 (the lake is below Mt.Coleman and Sunset Pass). Seems Pinto created enough grief to get this lake named after him. The White Goat Wilderness area and the Cline River Valley are in view from the trail. This is the same trail that the famous explorer Mary Schaffer travelled with her companions over Sunset Pass/ Pinto Lake Pass from the Banff area.

On Wednesday we will hike up Sunset Pass to Norman Creek Campsite and stay one more night before heading to the exit point where we will have the exit vehicles. We will first have to conquer Sunset pass to get to Pinto Lake Lookout where views from there are absolutely stunning of the Cline River Valley and mountains from where we came. We will pass through the Great Divide. Pinto Lake lies 415 meters below you and reflects a beautiful aqua blue colour. Click HERE for more info about Sunset Pass. Once you reach the back side of the pass the trail enters the forest again and works it's way up past Mount Coleman situated to your right. In another km or so you'll pass by the Banff National Park boundary. From there we will hike the Sunshine meadows and visit the waterfalls and possible shower before camp at Norman Creek.

We will also do Sunset Lookout hike on the way out Thursday. Here's one description: "After passing by Norman Creek waterfall take the trail to your right towards the lookout. Continue on for another 1.6kms as it slowly climbs through an old spruce and fir forest then veers left towards the top of a cliff ledge located just below you. Be careful here, the cliff ledge is narrow with little standing room. There are also old cables and steel bars you can trip on that have been left from an old fire lookout. Views from here are well worth the effort. The confluence of the North Saskatchewan River and the Alexandra River are located on the valley bottom 390ms below you. One would never know the Alexandra River existed as the North Saskatchewan River makes it difficult to view from the highway. Both rivers are braided at this location creating a mesmerizing view of the valley bottom and the Icefields Parkway. The two major glaciated peaks in view are Mount Saskatchewan to your right and Mount Amery straight ahead".

To minimize the load everyone will carry, we will coordinate to share gear as necessary, and assign you to a cooking/ tenting partner.

Please let Mark know whether you have cooking utensils and a tent. You will be contacted by e-mail prior to the event for information about gear you are able to provide and what you need to share. Please note that although we do not expect all participants to bring a tent/ cookstove, if not enough people are able to provide these we may need to bump people to the waitlist.

To assist in the organization of this trip, we may have a meeting/conditioning hike in advance.

Carpool payment: for those that do want the EOC to arrange the carpool for you, we have a new communal payment system. Please DO NOT pay your drivers en route. Passengers will pay Mark when they get to the staging area and he will distribute the money to the carpool drivers evenly.

Click HERE for more info and tips on backpacking and hiking.
AND HERE for backcountry supplies, and tips from The Great Divide Trail Association.

Required Items to Bring:
  • Hiking boots
  • Backpack
  • Sleeping bag
  • Food/snacks
  • Cooking utensils
  • **Please see our events checklist link in the right column for a full list and tips on supplies for this trip. The coordinator will contact participants with items to be shared.
  • Recommended Items to Bring:
    Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.
  • Backpacking stove
  • Tent
  • Hiking poles
  • Tarp

  • How to Get There:
    Event Directions:Head south on Highway 2 to Red Deer, then west on Highway 11 through Sylvan and Rocky Mountain House. More detailed directions will be given out at carpool (or emailed if you are not meeting at carpool)
    The trail head is just on the south side of the Cline River bridge, on the west side of Highway 11. Coordinates are shown on the map.
    Be sure Check out the AMA Road Report before driving. See AMA website for conditions.
    Carpool to Event Distance (round trip):700Km
    Carpool Departure Time: 8:00 AM
    Carpool Location:   Log in for location
    Carpool Directions:   Log in for directions
    Carpool Cost: The event coordinator(s) will help you to arrange a centralized carpool if you require it, but it's not guaranteed. Please DO NOT pay your driver en route. Passengers will pay the coordinator, and he/she will distribute the money to the carpool drivers. SO PLEASE BRING CASH!!! Approximate vehicle expense for this event is $161.00 (calculated at total Km * $0.23, effective Sunday, May 31, 2020). This is based on $0.09/Km for maintenance, plus current gas price divided by 9. This cost will be multiplied by the number of carpooled cars, and divided by the number of carpool participants.

    There will be a cost TBD for one night stay at Banff Norman Creek campsite including wilderness pass.
    - We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines at all times while participating in EOC events.
    - Please scroll through and read the entire online waiver when you sign up.
    - Details of this event are subject to undergo a change at any point in time, with or without warning.

    Cost Includes:One night stay at Banff Norman Creek campsite including wilderness pass.

    Cancellation/Partial Attendance:
    Please review our Cancellation Policy carefully!