Touring in the backcountry of Jasper is never a disappointment even when you encounter various weather changes. This 25km trek and be done by cross country skis, but we toured with Telemark gear. It was a little heavier but well worth the stability.
We had booked with an outfit called the Tonquin Adventures (www.tonquinadventures.com), the accommodations is located in the heart of the Tonquin Valley perched next to Amythst Lake. There are other cabins out there like the ACC hut and another outfit. For a couple of dollars more than the ACC hut, we had deluxe beds and more privacy which is worth much more to us. Lets face it, we travel to remote areas to get away, not get busy.
Our trip started early in the morning as this tour takes between 5 to 10hrs depending on lots of variables, like weather, equipment failure, fatigue, breaking trail and so on. The day started with clear skies and a broken trail to McCarib Pass, so lucky for us it was great raveling and to top of the trip, the custodian (Don) of Tonquin Adventures, broke trail coming out from the cabins which made our life so much easier, since it was our first time going in, we did not have to look for the cabins. Once we turned into the Valley after the McCarib campsite, the weather started to blow and a snow storm was to come.
After a leisurely 9hr tour we made it to the cabins and checked out our pad for the next couple of days. Dinner was on our minds and BEER, mmmm BEEER!
Snow was coming down hard and thinking of tomorrow’s events. Morning came quick and the snow is still blowing, not letting the conditions stop us from a tour, we trekked off towards Surprise point and found some powder, short little runs in the glades but much better than being coup up in the cabins. The snow was blowing side ways when heading back to the cabins, which made it very interesting.
Dreading the trip out with the wind still howling was on everyone’s minds, we decided to head out early and had to break trail all the way out because our track had disappeared. But once we got out of the Tonquin Valley, the wind subsided and it was a pleasant tour out and had some great turns down McCarib Pass.
Access: From Jasper, head South, Hwy 93a, turn to Marmot Basin or Edith Cavell Road
Trailhead: Portal Creek parking or at the Hostel on Edith Cavell road
Distance: 55km loop
Activities: Skiing / Hiking / Horseback / Fishing / Sights
- Jasper Riding Stables (Pyramid Location, Horseback Tours)
- Rocking K Stables (Horseback Tours)
- Jasper Park Stables Fairmont (Horseback Tours)
- Tonquin Adventures (Horseback, Backcountry Cabins)
- Tonquin Valley Backcountry ( Horseback, Backcountry Cabins )
- (Helicopter Tours Book Direct)
- Borderline “Snowfarmers” (Horse Tours)
- On-Line Sport & Tackle (Fishing Guides)