Icefields Alpine Circuit - Jonas-Brazeau Loop
Six day guided and catered backpacking trip
This six day alpine circuit is one of the premier backpacking trips in the Mountain Parks of the Canadian Rockies. It has a true wilderness feel, with a very good chance that we'll see some wildlife. The trip travels over several high alpine passes and much of the trip is spent in the alpine with expansive views of the surrounding mountains.
2010 Dates: By request
Please inquire if you are interested in other dates.
Price per person: $1450 plus 5% GST
Guiding, group equipment and all food beginning with lunch on the first day and concluding with lunch on the final day. It also includes the shuttle to and from the trailhead from Canmore, national park and backcountry camping fees.
This trip is rated as 'challenging' because we will hiking at least 14km each day. We will leave start off with six days worth of food, but we'll be staying at the same campsite on the first and last night so we'll be able to cache some food there to lighten our packs a bit. Each person will be carrying a share of the group equipment and food, with pack weights up to 45 lbs (depending on how lightweight you can pack!). You will need to be fit enough to carry a backpack for multiple days in hilly terrain.
Accommodation and Meals:
We will be staying in lightweight backpacking tents and in established Jasper National Park backcountry campgrounds. Each campsite is equipped with outhouses and food storage facilities. You are responsible for supplying your own tent, however, we will arrange for a tent rental on your behalf if you require (extra charge will apply).
Meals will be lightweight backpacking food (dried food), although we will have some fresh food earlier in the trip. Each day will consist of three nutritious (and tasty!) meals and some snacks to keep us fueled throughout the day.
Evening - Meet in Canmore the evening before the trip start date to sign waivers, discuss the logistics and to ensure everybody has appropriate equipment for the trip.
Day 1 - Nigel Creek trailhead to Four Points
Drive to the trailhead at Nigel Creek, about three hours from Canmore. From Nigel Creek we'll head up and over Nigel Pass to our first campsite at 'Four Points'.
Distance: 14km, Elevation: 350m up, 300m down.
Day 2 - Four Points to Brazeau Lake
We'll leave some food behind at Four Points for our final night, and begin our counterclockwise loop through the headwaters of the Brazeau River. Today we'll hike to Brazeau Lake.
Distance: 17km. Elevation: 200m down.
Day 3 - Day hike. The Brazeau Lake area is just so nice, we'll stay here for an extra day. We'll have the option to do a day hike and some exploring in the area, and enjoy a backpack-free day.
Day 4 - Brazeau Lake to Jonas Cutoff
Now that we are rested up, we'll head out along the south side of Brazeau Lake, and then up and over Poboktan Pass. From there, we'll head down to the Jonas Cutoff campground.
Distance: 16km. Elevation: 550m up, 200m down.
Day 5 - Jonas Cutoff to Four Points
From Jonas Cutoff, we'll head to the southeast, and up and over Jonas shoulder into the Jonas creek drainage. We'll trend up to the wide Jonas Pass and then down to the Four Point campground that we stayed at the first night.
Distance: 18km, Elevation: 400m up, 400m down.
Day 6 - Four Points to Nigel Pass trailhead
On this final day, we'll retrace our steps up and over Nigel Pass (great views in this direction too!) and back to our starting point at Nigel Creek trailhead.
Distance: 14km, Elevation: 300m up, 350m down.
Logistics: We will carpool to the trailhead on Day 1. This trip starts and finishes at the same trailhead.
Group equipment supplied by Aster Mountain Adventures: all cooking equipment, group tarp in case of rain, first aid and equipment repair kits, and emergency communication devices.
Personal equipment: Tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mat, cup/bowl/utensils, personal clothing and toiletries.
Cost does not include: pre- or post-trip accommodation, breakfast on the first day or gratuities.