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Did the Iceline Trail last year with a group of seven people from the Edmonton area. It's well-known to many of the people who hike around Banff and Lake Louise, but for me it was a whole new experience, since I usually hike in Jasper and points north.
We met at Whiskey Jack Hostel on Friday evening (nice - hot showers and flush toilets!) and left the TH at 9:00. The trail begins with a short section that ascends quickly through the trees. We passed two junctions - stay right at both. Only 250 meters of elevation gain and you quickly pop out into a much more open environment with loose rock, stunted growth and lots of ankle-twisting boulders. Last chance for a discreet pee-break. Nice views of the Yoho Valley and Takakkaw Falls far below. For an idea of the elevation, the TH is near the foot of the waterfall in the centre of the photo.
There is a long traverse that adds maybe another three hundred meters of elevation gain, and we took our time, enjoying the views and the interesting terrain.
Then we came to a corner, and one by one, we stopped to gawk. The glaciers come at you unexpectedly, and the entire expanse extends far ahead of you.
The trail is great, and it leads you on up past each new ridge, across each new stream and to yet another glacier. Spectacular views all around. Glaciers and the summit of the President and Vice-President above, and the whole Yoho Valley below. More elevation gain, but except for a few parts where the trail fades out on the rocks, it's not hard to follow.
We eventually stopped when the trail began to drop back down and had our lunch at what we figured was the highest ridge at about 750 meters above the TH. Close enough to the glacier to touch it, and views to remember for the rest of our lives.
Met on the trail: An entire tour group from France ascending the trail en masse.
They caused a mini traffic jam on top of one of the outlooks posing for spectacular photos of themselves on a ridgetop and the valley spread out far below. They were more outdoor adventurers than tourons - fairly fit and with decent equipment - and excited about their trip through the Rockies. We also bumped into three women, with ropes, axes, helmets and other heavy duty gear, who said they'd just come down from the President, one of the peaks above the glaciers.
Back down again in a bit of a hurry (no decent spots to take a leak on the exposed slopes)