This post belongs to the first series of an 11-day hike, which is a 11-day wilderness backpacking trip from Kananaskis, along the Continental Divide to Yoho National Park. Today’s post covers the ninth day.
Continuation of hike from Tumbling Creek Pass to Helmet Falls in Kootenay National Park
13km - 6 hours – moderate – closest town: Field, BC
71.3 miles (114.0 km) — Tumbling Pass. Elevation: 7,250 feet (2,175 metres)
[1-Near Tumbling Creek Campground with Tumbling Glacier behind]
From the campsite, the hiker does a moderate climb 375 metres (1,250 foot) up to Wolverine Plateau.
[3 Mt. Gray, rises 3,000 metres, marking the entrance to Wolverine Pass. This is the only break in the Rockwall for its 53 km length.]
[4-Wolverine Pass looking west]
[5-Meadows with Mt. Gray, wolverine Pass and Tumbling Glacier behind]
The trail climbs gradually for the next 5.6 km (3.5 miles) as it crosses the Rockwall Pass to the Limestone Summit, while the hiker watches out for falling rock.
[6- Limestone Summit]
The trail descends to Helmet Creek before climbing again to Limestone Summit at an elevation of 2,134.5m (7,115 feet).
[8- Limestone Pass with Rockwall on side]
Limestone Pass is next which again is a moderate climb and great views of the Rockwall. Then the trail descends 420m (1,400 feet) in 3.2km (2 miles) to Helmet Falls with glimpses of the 352m falls marking northern end of the Rockwall. While the hiker approaches the falls over an avalanche chute, the noise of the cascading water increases. The water that forms this waterfall begins from two separate sources, the Washmawapta and Sharp Glaciers. Washmawapta is a Stoney native term for “ice river”. West Washmawapta Glacier is below Helmet Mountain, 3124 m (10,250 feet).
As soon as you begin the descent to the campsite, look for an exciting view of Mt. Goodsir and Sentry Peak to the west.
[9 Helmet bridge to campground]
The trail crosses a bridge to the campsite. The Helmet Falls campsite is maintained in a natural state with a clear, cold stream flowing through it. There are 18 campsites with a pit toilet and food storage pole.
There is a short walk of 1.5 km to the base of Helmut Falls from a fork in the trail before the campsite. Here is a good place to see the Rocky Mountain Goat often in their lofty vantage points.
[11- Rocky Mountain goat with kid]
[12- Rocky Mountain Goat]
Research: Parks Canada, peakfinder.com.
Photo Credits: -nordique-CC=flickr, -dbuc-CC=nc-nd-flickr, -natures calm-CC=nc-nd-flickr.