The view from above (PNG 320x240 74k) (JPEG 640x480 48k)

The fortuitous spot (PNG 240x320 75k) (JPEG 480x480 73k)

Crossing the pass (PNG 320x240 63k) (JPEG 640x480 53k)

Delphine Glacier

Location: The hike traverses the Purcell mountains, in the Canadian Rockies. Starting at Kootenay Lake, the source of the Kootenay River, and finishing at Windermere Lake, near the source of the Columbia River. This is all located in south-eastern British Columbia, Canada.

Start: Kootenay Valley, at the north end of the lake.
Finish: Near Panorama Ski resort, Invermere
Length: 50km, about 3 long or 4 easier days

Description: We started the weekend by taking our gear and the five of us in 2 Cessnas, from the Invermere airport to the Kaslo airport. Along the way, we had a marvelous view of Delphine and many other glaciers. We also had a chance to see the river valley along which we would be hiking.

The trail along which we hiked had been recently improved, and is in over-all good condition. There are 7 river crossings in trolley cars, and countless overgrown avalanche chutes to make ones way across. The entire first day is spent in the river valley, and although it offers good views, is not as interesting as later parts of the trail.

On the second day, the end of the valley gradually turned into the ascent to the mountain pass, which offered great views of at least half a dozen hanging glaciers on the opposite side of the valley. We nearly gave up on our ascent as the daylight started to fade, and we hadn't reached any water, which at that time was our sole requirement for a good camping spot. Luckily, just as we decided to stop, we were right beside a marvelous spot to pitch our tents, which was not only flat, offered the only water in the area, but also gave a great morning view out of our tents onto the glaciers.

We stayed an entire day at that location, near the top of the pass, giving us a chance to recuperate from two gruelling days of hiking. Due to misjudging our pace, and not having a good place to stop, we had actually covered in two days what we had planned on doing in three. We also went on a short day-hike onto one of the adjacent peaks, which allowed us a spectacular view of the entire area.

Our fourth, and final day was one of ensuring we met our pickup at the correct time. The hike down the opposite side of the mountain had its own pleasures, with a bird's-eye view of another glacier, and beautiful waterfalls. After approximately a 16km hike, we succeded in making it to the pickup point on time, and after a short drive, we had arrived at our cabin in time for a great dinner courtesy of my mom, and a beer to celebrate our adventure.

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