LAKE O'HARA ITINERARY (Updated May 4, 2018)
You will be traveling with Group's 1, 2, 3, 4, and 16 on Bus #1
Day 1: Sun. Sept. 16: Leave OKM early, 7:30 a.m. Students will be transported in Bus #1 Travel from Kelowna to the Roger's Pass Visitor Information center for a meeting at 11:15 am - 11:45 am, BC Time with Canada Parks officials. Topics are safety, Parks regulations and policies, etc. You must be on the road again no later than 12:15 (BC Time which is 1:15 Alberta Time. Now is a good time to change your watches to Alberta time. It is approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes to the Lake O'Hara parking lot. You will be travelling on Bus #1 to the Lake O'hara parking lot to drop off Groups 1 and 2 and then you will proceed to the Takakkaw falls parking area.
Travel to the Takakkaw Falls Campground with Group 4. On the Takakkaw Falls road, as the falls are in view and just before the campground parking lot, on the left hand side of the road you will notice tucked in on the bottom left-hand side of the hill, the 'Whiskey Jack trailhead and Hostel'. This is where the Ice-line Trail starts. Check it out so that you do not waste time tomorrow trying to locate it!
Remember that there's a time change and you are now on mountain daylight time for all future times.
After setting up your camp have a nutritious dinner and hike to the falls to find out what "Takakkaw" means. Get your "stuff" organized tonight for tomorrow's hike so you don't waste valuable time tomorrow morning.
Day 2: Mon. Sept. 17: Today you will hike into the Stanley Mitchell Hut via the Iceline Trail. You must take your tents and all kitchen gear for night but leave extra food and weight in the support vehicles. Hike down the road about 2 km or get Group #4 to give you a ride to the Whiskey Jack Youth Hostel, where the trail connects with the Ice Line Trail Head. The first part of this trail is a real "grunt", keep your group together going up the switch backs. The hike along the Ice Line to Stanley Mitchell Hut will be about 7 hours. If the weather is really poor, then you can hike into the Little Yoho Campground via the Little Yoho Valley route.
Day 3: Tues. Sept. 18: Up early and pack up camp. Return to Takakkaw Falls Campground via the Yoho
Valley this is a gentle downhill grade all the way. Perhaps drop your packs at the turn-off to the Whaleback and have a wander up to the top of the ridge if your group has lots of energy. Proceed to Takakkaw Falls where you will spend the night with Group 4.
Day 4: Wed Sept 19: Be up and packed early. 7:30 am (Alberta Time) Bus #2 will be waiting at Takakkaw Falls parking lot to transport Groups 3&4 to the Lake O’hara bus rendezvous. You are scheduled to be on the 10:30 bus up to Lake O’hara.
Once on board the Lake O’hara bus, have them drop your group off at the Lake O'Hara Campground and set up your tents immediately (stay in adjacent sites). Pack a lunch and go for a day hike to McArthur Lake via
Schaffer Lake. The Odaray Highline trail to Odaray Grandview may be open [look for signage], or ask at the Le Relais Day Use Shelter, (by the Warden's cabin on the O'Hara access road), if you are considering using this trail. (Odaray Prospect and Odaray Plateau trails are closed May 1 to November 30). Please remember the small group size rule in the O'Hara area and avoid mixing with the other group in the area.
Day 5: Thurs. Sept. 20: You should be up fairly early (7:00 A.M.), to take advantage of hiking in this area. Hike the circuit from Lake O’Hara to Wiwaxy Gap to Lake Oesa via Huber Ledges to Yukness Ledges (if there is no snow) to Opabin Plateau and return to the Lake O’hara Campground. This is a fairly long day; each person will have a day pack with lunch, snacks and clothing. Be aware of the other users of the area, do not allow groups to congregate and congest the trails.
Day 6: Fri. Sept. 21: You are staying another day at Lake O'Hara in the campground. Choose a hike that you have not done on the other two days -- Linda Lakes, Cathedral, Wiwaxy Gap, etc. Be sure to make it a full day out -- do not stay around the campsite. Please let Group 4 know your intentions in case there is a need to come searching if you don't return.
Day 7: Sat. Sept. 22: Get up early and catch the early bus 9 A.M., down to the Parking Lot. Bus #1 will be waiting for groups 3&4 in the parking lot. Pack your support vehicles, load your students and drive all support vehicles to Kicking Horse. When everyone on Bus 1 is accounted for move your group to the area that is on the access road into Kicking Horse and visible to the vehicles on Highway #1 so that the Groups coming out of Kootenay and Banff can see you as they come down the hill towards Field. Groups 1, 2, 3, 4 and 16 will have to wait until all other groups in the Kootenay and Banff areas can be accounted for. All groups are scheduled to be in the Kicking Horse Campground to rendezvous with all the other groups at approximately 11:30 am. (Alberta Time) Be Patient.
DO NOT LEAVE the Kicking Horse Campground until everyone has been accounted for from the groups in Yoho, Kootenay, and Banff --- then drive directly to the Roger’s Pass Summit Monument for a rendezvous at 12:30 -- 1:00 pm (BC Time) with all the other groups. A group picture will be taken here. Then we will proceed to Revelstoke for a lunch break at the fast food strip on the left-hand side of the highway at the main intersection.