1 September: Skyline day 1. Maligne Canyon - Curator
I'm the first to get up in the fully booked wilderness hostel, with the alarm clock ringing at 6:30. The hostel consists of a number of small different buildings. A seperate one for the kitchen, two for sleeping, and two outhouses. I cook and eat my breakfast in the main building. The old MCR 221 Jasper National Park map is on the wall. It's out of print and too large for a custom print at Everywhere Maps&Globes, so I didn't acquire it. I only have the Banff one, MCR 220.
It's 8:00 when I head off on my hike. After a kilometre or so I reach the Skyline trailhead. The northern 8 km or so is a dull fireroad. According to the opiniated guidebook "Don't waste your time in the Canadian rockies", one "must be crazy" to start on this end. As I'm hiking up the fire road with my heavy backpack, I meet numerous other hikers, apparently coming down from the Signal campground just on top. Many are Chinese. One Chinese lady has an Arcteryx coat, and on top of that a transparent plastic raincoat. Because, imagine if the beautiful Arcterix raingear gets wet!
|View north from Signal Campground to the Athabasca Valley|
|Trail to Tekarra Campground|
|Near The Notch|
My destination for today lies over The Notch. The Curator Campground. Two other people are heading there from the same trailhead today, so during the day I often pass by them, and then they pass by me again, etc. I also meet dozens of other hikers along the trail. Camping is strictly on campgrounds only, and to get a spot on a campground requires early reservations. I made my reservation three months before and got a spot — all campgrounds along the trail are fully booked.
|Camping at Curator Campground. First night camping in The Rockies and first night in my Hilleberg Akto.|