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Don't Waste Your Time in the Canadian…

Don't Waste Your Time in the Canadian Rockies: An Opinionated Hiking Guide…

by Kathy Copeland

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For as long as I can remember, my reference to Canadian Rocky Mountain hiking trails has been the venerable Canadian Rockies Trail Guide by Patton and Robinson, which, while easily the standard reference and required reading for every hiker, tends to avoid the question of whether a trail is worth doing or not. Except for masochistic marvels like the notorious Carrot Creek trail (removed from the 7th edition), Patton and Robinson are rather trail-agnostic: some trails are good day hikes, others are backpacking adventures for "explorers" with good route-finding skills. To each his/her own.

The Copelands' Don't Waste Your Time in the Canadian Rockies isn't like that. The authors have an opinion of what constitutes a good hike: jaw-dropping scenery throughout the hike, and preferably above treeline. They discard lengthy, scenery-poor hikes like Howse Pass and Jasper National Park's boundary trails and rank the rest. They pull no punches and, if you understand and agree with their point of view, you find yourself nodding in agreement. The trails I've hiked have earned the rankings in this book -- for example, Paradise Valley and Helen Lake as "premier", Citadel Pass and Eiffel Lake as "outstanding", Chephren Lake as "don't do" (had I but known ... ).

The Copelands include a few ridge walks and scree scrambles not covered by the Patton/Robinson guide, which aren't my cup of tea. They are also more apt to point out trails that present a higher risk of a bear encounter (e.g. Maccarib Pass and Glacier Lake, and it's one of the reasons why they don't include Banff Front Range trails). On the other hand, there are no trail maps, and I find the descriptions more thorough in Patton and Robinson. As a result, you should get both guides, since each makes up for the shortcomings of the other: you need the raw data and authority of Patton and Robinson as much as you need the opinion of the Copelands.

(Posted to Amazon.com on October 31, 2001) ( )
  mcwetboy | Jul 16, 2006 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0968941974, Paperback)

This all-new, fifth edition describes 138 dayhikes and backpack trips in Banff, Jasper, Kootenay, Yoho, and Waterton national parks, as well as Mt. Robson and Assiniboine provincial parks. Here’s the discerning advice you need to create rewarding adventures. This guide rates and reviews trips as Premier, Outstanding, Worthwhile, or Don’t Do. 260 colour photos reveal this stunning wilderness. Trail maps for each trip enhance the comprehensive route descriptions

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:59 -0400)

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