Burgess Shale - Summer Camp 

A_day_at_the_Burgess_Shale_by_eternalsaturn.jpg (123698 bytes)  Friday, 9 -11 August 2013. 

After a failed attempt last year to be able to book this trip, we finally got on this year. We were able to book a great group site at Johnston Canyon for our base camp. 

It turned out to be a choice location. Our site backed onto Johnston Creek with the trail to do Johnston Canyon between us and the creek. 5 Minute hike and we were on the other side of the hwy and at the start of the trail. We stopped at Banff on our way down Friday. Had to hit the candy store for some needed trail / hiking supplements.  After setting up camp, we did the full Johnston Canyon hike to both the upper and lower falls.  Met a very interesting Raven at the lower falls. Turns out he was quite infamous with the rangers as well. The Ranger that took us on our Burgess Shale hike even knew him. She indicated the Raven knows the park staff quite well.  (The guys that don't feed you). We weren't in that category.

Got up at 5:00 am so we could get in a heavy breakfast, pack up a lunch and drive to Takakkaw falls parking lot by 7:15. Just barely made it.  There Lydia and Jeff were waiting for us. They were great. Lydia knew tons about fossils and all the background to Burgess Shale. Jeff knew lots about the plants and was assisting Lydia. He hadn't had much exposure to the Burgess Shale and had volunteered to help to be able to get more experience. It's a secure site and they told us all about folks that tried sneaking in to steal  fossils. They have motion detectors and video surveillance equipment setup all around the quarry site.  The hike was 10 hours and of that we took an hour at the quarry. There were lot of fossils we were able to find. 

After hiking back we took a trip over to Takakkaw falls. We were able to see it from the mountain we climbed to get to the quarry. Seemed quite spectacular from the view we had on the other side of the mountain range.  Some of us took rain coat as you could see a ton of spray coming off the falls. We definitely got wetter the closer we got. There was a cool rainbow that we got picture in. Some of the boys ventured past the end of the walkway and started scrambling up the rocks to get closer to the falls. It gets really wet here. The falls actually cause quite a strong wind, and with the wet rocks on a steep incline, it was tough going. We got some cool videos of that part. 

Evenings provided some play time and everyone really got into Kick-the-Can. Lots of places to hide and sneak up to that can.  First night the game went well past dark. The tent conversations didn't end till past 2:30 am the first night. The 2nd night the Bishop, Syd and the other boys met up with us. They did the Ink Pot's hike while we were at Burgess Shale. 

Sunday we broke camp, got cleaned up, and headed to Banff for Church.  Lots of wild life along the way. Got stuck in a bit of a traffic jam as tourist stopped on the hwy to get bear pictures. Met up with some elk right in town. They at least used the side walk and not the road. Had a nice session at church and then we headed back home. Some of the boys imagined there could be ice-cream back at the church in Calgary. Optimistic thinking on  their part, but after unloading the gear the boys checked out the kitchen fridge and low and behold someone left a bucket of ice-cream in there.  Sweet ending to a great camp. 

Link to more info on the Burgess Shale:

http://www.tyrrellmuseum.com/exhibits/burgess_shale.htm - we went there. 

Team Members

Lydia and Jeff - Parks Canada staff / guides
Karl Burndorfer, John Sobkowiz,  - Scout Leaders
Ethan Conrad. RJ Laigo, Hale Aquino, Issac Gagnon, Aaron Castillo, Sam Llyod  - Scouts
Daniel Urquijo, William Lloyd, Felipe Cupido, Kevin DeOliveira   - Venturers
Syd Banks, Bishop Lang - Young Men Leaders

Photo Library 

DSCN2180.JPG (4288902 bytes) Team gathering at the drop off point. DSCN2181.JPG (4260787 bytes) Quick stop at Banff Candy store for some special ingredients for the trail mix. DSCN2182.JPG (4250562 bytes) Really hard to choose with so many choices. DSCN2183.JPG (3848661 bytes) Who outgrows candy!
Off To Johnston Canyon Hike - See link below
DSCN2224.JPG (4325567 bytes) Setting up for dinner.  DSCN2225.JPG (4202788 bytes) Cutting wood sideways for even a little stick takes a lot of strength. DSCN2226.JPG (4392381 bytes) I can chop this block on one leg. DSCN2227.JPG (4322226 bytes) Extreme frisbee catch there Ethan!
DSCN2229.JPG (4714393 bytes) Kick the Can and Hale is it.

Burgess Shale Hike

DSCN2230.JPG (4359462 bytes) Getting to meet Lydia. DSCN2231.JPG (3757372 bytes) Walking sticks eh, guy could poke a whole in his foot with one of these, or at least a big bug.  DSCN2232.JPG (3705145 bytes) Now we are below the waterfall behind us, soon we'll be looking down on it. DSCN2233.JPG (4290363 bytes) The 22km hike starts...
DSCN2234.JPG (3529374 bytes) No trolls under that bridge. DSCN2243.JPG (4054803 bytes) Lydia teaches us more on the Burgess Shale. DSCN2244.JPG (3598818 bytes) Check out this fossil. DSCN2254.JPG (4302231 bytes) Cool green water. You need to have a red shirt to provide a complimentary contrast. 
DSCN2255.JPG (3431848 bytes) Let see if we can see fish up further on the lake. DSCN2256.JPG (3940307 bytes) If I throw in some trail mix maybe the fish will come. DSCN2257.JPG (3587059 bytes) Next time, I'm bringing my fishing pole. We need to come back here. DSCN2258.JPG (3761165 bytes) Getting a bit hot now, great to take a break.
DSCN2261.JPG (3640022 bytes) So now the real uphill part starts.  DSCN2262.JPG (3755150 bytes) No rocks falling on our heads this time. DSCN2264.JPG (4116220 bytes) Couple hours of UP and we're looking down on Emerald Lake. DSCN2265.JPG (4098107 bytes) Lydia provides more info on the Burgess Shale security system. 
DSCN2267.JPG (4527337 bytes) Where's Pika? pika.jpg (30275 bytes) Cute, but watch your belongings. DSCN2268.JPG (3866165 bytes) Jeff letting us know the French mean the same thing in English. DSCN2269.JPG (3684663 bytes) Almost there now. Couple more switchbacks to go.
DSCN2270.JPG (3793907 bytes) No packs past this point. Wouldn't want to do any shop lifting.  DSCN2271.JPG (3574046 bytes) Aaron's first fossil.  DSCN2272.JPG (4255879 bytes) Aaron was the best fossil hunter, collected quite a few good one here.  DSCN2273.JPG (4052073 bytes) Isaac finds a nice one on this big piece of shale.
DSCN2274.JPG (4258209 bytes) Nice small one.  DSCN2275.JPG (3628620 bytes) My first Trilobite DSCN2277.JPG (3975549 bytes) Better close up. DSCN2279.JPG (4193894 bytes) Got another one here.
DSCN2280.JPG (4353656 bytes) All of us with our favorite fossil.  DSCN2281.JPG (4327808 bytes) You can see all the shale we're standing on. Gets a bit slippery, but we're not concerned with that cliff behind us. DSCN2282.JPG (3659884 bytes) Don't Jeff and Lydia make a nice couple. We think they should get married. 2 peas in a pod, 2 trilobites in a piece of shale. 
DSCN2290.JPG (3728909 bytes) Our Paleontologist work done for the day now.  DSCN2291.JPG (3706241 bytes) Can't really see them, but this is looking down a bit on Takakkaw falls 
Off to Takakkaw Falls Hike - See link below
DSCN2322.JPG (2194086 bytes) Campfire and no marshmallows? DSCN2323.JPG (2413859 bytes) Helping RJ get warm.  DSCN2324.JPG (2134737 bytes) Trevor's got the fire going good now.  DSCN2329.JPG (3826254 bytes) Sam with a marshmallow in each cheek. 
DSCN2330.JPG (4133840 bytes) Can you just warm up my marshmallow a bit more.  DSCN2326.JPG (3750922 bytes)  Daniel burns our last marshmallow stick. DSCN2327.JPG (4251088 bytes) Big day, and we are bagged. DSCN2328.JPG (3749260 bytes) But what about the shooting stars for tonight?
DSCN2331.JPG (2434723 bytes) 1 Pancake, and now just fill this pot with syrup.  DSCN2332.JPG (2494113 bytes) No shortage of bacon so far. DSCN2333.JPG (2395169 bytes) Whoa, yea, I'll have some bacon.  DSCN2334.JPG (3801246 bytes) More pancakes coming, and the hash brown patties are almost done.
DSCN2335.JPG (4293809 bytes) Hey RJ, did you know that pancakes float. DSCN2336.JPG (4242457 bytes) Hey these hash browns are better than MacDonald's! DSCN2337.JPG (4237422 bytes) Got some serious eating going down.  DSCN2338.JPG (4171401 bytes) Get some 3rd helpings here please. 
DSCN2341.JPG (4372300 bytes) Heading off for church in Banff, Seems like rush hour traffic though.  DSCN2342.JPG (5041701 bytes) Ah, they are stopping to get bear pictures... DSCN2343.JPG (4980016 bytes) They're going now, we'll be able to get going again.  DSCN2344.JPG (4375594 bytes) Well, at least they know enough to use the sidewalks in Banff. 
DSCN2345.JPG (4339885 bytes) Hey, no garden grazing buddy.  Church went well. bit tough finding a parking spot though.  DSCN2346.JPG (4082236 bytes) So on the ride home RJ was dreaming of ice-cream and what would the odds be that someone just happen to leave a 4liter pail in the fridge at church.  DSCN2347.JPG (3880278 bytes) It's so hot and this is so cold.  
Boys aired out the tents and pack everything away into the scout shed for next time. 

Johnston Canyon Hike

Takakkaw Falls Hike

Botanist Corner