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Don't waste your time in the Canadian Rockies: An opinionated hiking guide to help you get the most from this magnificent wilderness Paperback – Jun 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 376 pages
  • Publisher: Voice in the Wilderness Press; 1st ed., June 1998 edition (June 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0969801645
  • ISBN-13: 978-0969801641
  • Product Dimensions: 21.5 x 14 x 2.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 454 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #407,094 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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A disappointing trip leaves a psychic dent. Read the first page
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David C. Sherbrooke on April 11 2002
Format: Paperback
I am an "over 50" hiker with more than 30 years of hiking in the North Cascades and have been to the Canadian Rockies four times in the past five years. I have hiked 12 of the "Premier" and "Outstanding" day hikes and 3 of the backpack hikes including three perfect days at Berg Lake. (For someone who is interested in photography and scenery, their rating system is very fair.) However, the scenery is so spectacular that you would be hard pressed to make much distinction between the "Premier" and "Outstanding" hikes. Remember, the book is opinionated but you don't always have to agree. Don't always rely on the ratings. Often, they "downgrade" an area because of crowds rather than a lack of scenery or a long approach. (For example, Cavell Meadows, Parker Ridge, and the Beehives tend to be crowded but are worth "sharing" with others.) And thanks to this book, you had better get used to sharing ALL of the hikes and backpacks with others!!! (I would also highly recommend their book, Don't Waste Your Time In The North Cascades. It is the best single reference book for hikes in the Cascade Mountains.)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mark D. Pankin on Sept. 8 2000
Format: Paperback
If you are planning to do much hiking in the area, this book is a valuable resource. Based on the several hikes we took (all but one in the "premier" categogy), we agreed with its evaluations of the scenic worth. Without this book, we would not have made reservations for the bus the Lake O'Hara in Yoho National Park where we found the best scenery and hiking of our trip. However, the authors seem to rate difficulty of the hikes based more on the distance rather than the steepness or elevation change. On several hikes we did not agree with these ratings. We (a couple in our 50s in reasonably good condition and experienced day hikers) found shorter hikes called easy in the book to be moderate to somewhat strenuous and a longer hike rated moderate to be fairly easy. The authors' second date was a 20 mile day hike, so they are almost certainly stronger hikers than most of the readers. Make your own evaluations based on the hikes' lengths, elevation changes, and descriptions.
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Format: Paperback
My fiance and I love the great outdoors and we took a trip to the Canadian Rockies for the first time June/July 2002. We found that we would not have enjoyed the trip as much if we had not made a little investment on this book. The detail descriptions such as "two boulders accross from it" really help with unsigned trails.
We were there ten days and we hiked 9 of the "Premier" hikes. Some of the trails do not belong to the National Park (Alpine Club?) and these trails have no signs. For example, we would not have known the way to Bow Hut if it's not for "limestone boulder bridging the gorge" and "For Bow Hut, Cross the limestone bridge." (Samuel Smith's review about Bow Hut is wrong) We met a couple and we were mentioning to them about the lack signs and they joked, "The Canadians are really stingy with signs." Also, details like visitors cannot drive their private vehicles into the Lake O'hara region but have to purchase a bus ticket and ride the bus or hike in helped us save time.
There are two main reasons I give the book a four star instead of five. First, trail maps would have helped us a little bit more. Second, it would have helped us with decision making if the book had included some warnings about long and uninspiring hikes (except until you've arrived at the destination). For example, our first hike was Verdant Pass (22.5km, 14mi). The trail through the forest was very wet and narrow and of course the only view is trees. Two things we had to avoid were running water and mosquitoes. We hiked more than 9km (5.5mi) but had to turn back because of the advancing dark clouds (the day was raining on and off).
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Format: Paperback
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.
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