Iceline Trail, The (Stanley Mitchell ACC Hut, Little Yoho Valley)

Summit Elevation (m): 2227
Trip Date: Friday, August 11, 2006 to Sunday, August 13, 2006
Elevation Gain (m): 1000
Total Trip Distance (km): 20
Quick ‘n Dirty Rating: Class 2 – you fall, you sprain something
Difficulty Notes: Easy hiking and scrambling but with some exposure and loose rock. Big elevation gains and steep switchbacks with a backpack.
Technical Rating: TL4; YDS (Hiking)
GPS Track: Gaia
Map: Google Maps

It all started with Linda Breton planning a group trip to the Stanley Mitchell hut in hopes of having a more successful outing than the group trip last year. In June 2005, Dave, Sonny and I summitted Isolated Peak and then the weather prevented us and the rest of the RMBooks group from getting anything more significant. We thought that we had bagged Mount Kerr but a year later we found out to our dismay that the map and guidebook description had led us to an outlier of Kerr – not the main summit! (It was even worse for me because I’d already ‘summitted’ that false peak once before and was now making it an annoying habit.)

The Iceline Trail – Route Map

As it turned out this year, due to bad weather and a full hut, only Bob, Hanneke (my wife) and I hiked into the hut in gloomy conditions on Friday, August 11. The trail to the Stanley Mitchell hut is well signed and easy to follow. Bob was already at the hut when Hanneke and I arrived, and soon after we got there the skies opened up and the rain came down hard.

After a lengthy philosophical discussion with Rebecca, Carl and Cohen from Montana and a brief hike up a local moraine with Hanneke to scout out the conditions (some fresh snow on all surrounding peaks but not too much) it was time for bed. On Saturday Bob and I scrambled Kiwetinok, Pollinger, McArthur and Kerr in a four peak extravaganza.

Spectacular views towards The Presidents (L) and Mount Kerr and Marpole (R) over Kiwetinok Lake from our descent of McArthur / Pollinger to Kiwetinok Pass.

Sunday morning dawned overcast but we set off down the Iceline Trail at a brisk pace. Soon there were sunny patches of sky, opening up the beautiful Yoho vista.

Vern and Hanneke start the Iceline trail from above the Stanley Mitchell Hut.

Linda regaled us with her hopes of bagging a prominent Yoho outlier and soon Bob and I were glancing at that peak wondering if it was possible… The trail was well defined but is above treeline and exposed to the weather – something to keep in mind.

Lunchtime was spent enjoying the incredible views from ‘Tupperware Nub’ and crossing ‘Leather pants Stream’ was interesting to say the least! We had a very pleasant stroll for the remainder of the trail and parted ways in the parking lot with promises of getting back together in the near future.

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