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Cameron Lake to Waterton via Carthew Summit

This hike is absolutely awesome. It definitely ranks with any of the Rockies' greats. It also runs back with my family. Many generations of my family have done this hike. It takes you on a highline trail from Cameron Lake to the Waterton townsite over a distance of 20 km and an elevation gain of probably 2500 feet. I did it with my Dad and his pal Lou on Canada Day 2000. We were at the highpoint in 1.5 hours, and down in a leisurely 2 hr. 20 minutes, which my Dad says is twice the time it took him in 1956! Yes, 1956!

After the great drive from scenic Waterton along the great road to Cameron Lake, you come to Cameron Lake itself. The mountain at the end of this photo is actually in the United States. I love Waterton almost purely for the fact that it has not yet become a huge tourist destination. It shuts down in winter, and has a great small town Alberta feel for it. My grandparents actually had their honeymoon here at the Kilmorey Lodge! The Prince of Wales is a great landmark, with one side the mountain view, and the other the prairies, high on that windy hill. This is the shot of Cameron Lake. The trailhead is left of the boathouse.

After our uneventful 45 minute trudge up the switchbacks, we came to Summit Lake. Wildlife are abundant here, and I here that in the winter the slopes above the lake are prime Telemarking terrain. From here, a few minutes of hiking brough us out of the treeline, with uninterrupted views of Glacier National Park in the States across the valley. Another 45 minutes past Summit Lake bring you to the highpoint of the trip.......

Here we see the three of us on the highpoint near Carthew Summit. I believe actually that Carthew Summit is the mountain along the ridge to the right of us in the background, though. Here we reached the end of my Dad's roll of film, so we had no further pictures. On the left of the picture you can see the trail, and it goes over the right side of the pass. We were in great glissading terrain, and the innumerable tarns on the descent were beautiful. Near the bottom, we encountered an awkward situation. About 10 minutes from the end of the trail was a horse lying near the side of a cliff on a couple of near-overhanging trees over the Cameron River (I think) above the waterfalls. The horse was in great distress, and everyone there was trying their best to devise a system to get it out of their. Later at the bottom we saw some authorities get involved, and I believe that the horse got out safely.

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