THE ROUTE

In August 2018, the CIM Adventure Team will set out to complete the Rockwall Trail in Kootenay National Park, British Columbia.  Nestled deep in Canada’s iconic Rocky Mountains, the Rockwall Trail is touted to be one of the toughest multi-day hikes in the area.

 

Vast alpine meadows dense with wild flowers and berry bushes, stunning glacial lakes, impossible hanging glaciers, and the imposing trail name-sake, the limestone Rockwall, towering 100m above the trail – we will be hiking in awe of the world around us and taking the trail step by step.  Carrying everything we need – food, tents, sleeping gear, kitchen gear, diabetes supplies – for the entire 56km, 5 day hike will not be easy as we both gain and lose almost 2000m in elevation.

 

Check out the route below and get real-time updates when we’re on the trail HERE.  Leave us a message of encouragement – we couldn’t do this without your support!

Please note: Don't fret if the map stops updating or if the team appears to be camped in the middle of the ocean. Sometimes the GPS is finicky.

MEETING OF FORCES - THE TEAM ARRIVES IN CALGARY

The team will arrive, and meet for the first time in person, at Calgary International Airport.  Adventure is close! We’ll drive to our campground near Banff, AB where we’re setting up a base camp for two nights while we make final preparations for the trip ahead.

PREP DAY - ARE WE READY?

The day will be spent doing all of our final food and gear prep, making sure backpacks are weighted properly, and solving any last minute problems. We’ll have a chance to practice setting up our tents, we’ll get to know our stoves and water pumps, and we’ll perfect our diabetes plans. We’ll also aim to hit the trails and do a practice hike to get our boots ready for the big day!

TREK DAY #1 - PAINT POTS TRAILHEAD TO HELMET FALLS

DISTANCE: 14.7km
ELEVATION GAIN: 350m
ELEVATION DROP: 0m

An early start to pack up our tents, eat a hearty camp breakfast and get on the road!  We’ll drive about 40 minutes west into British Columbia and into Kootenay National Park.  With the mountains looming around us, we’ll arrive at Paint Pots Trailhead where our adventure will officially begin!  After beginning our day by crossing over the powerful Kootenay River, we’ll emerge into large areas of ochre-coloured earth that First Nations peoples used for clothes, spiritual ceremonies and tipis.  After a long first day, with our bags heavy with food and gear, our campsite will lie about 1 kilometre from the base of Helmet Falls.  Standing 300m tall, it’s one of the highest waterfalls in Canada!

TREK DAY #2 - HELMET FALLS TO TUMBLING CREEK

DISTANCE: 12.5km
ELEVATION GAIN: 410m
ELEVATION DROP: 260m

With our legs all warmed up, we’ll be ready to tackle our first mountain pass!  After packing up our gear and eating a hearty breakfast, we’ll be on our way – Rockwall Pass (2240m) here we come!  As we trek through the alpine meadows, we’ll catch our first glimpse of the famous Rockwall and the hanging glaciers that cling to its face

TREK DAY #3 - TUMBLING CREEK TO NUMA CREEK

DISTANCE: 7.7km
ELEVATION GAIN: 350m
ELEVATION DROP: 715m

Sometimes going down is way harder than hiking up!  Today is a big day of descending.  When we reach Tumbling Pass (mountain pass #2) we’ll find incredible views of glacial lakes and hanging glaciers before facing a steep descent down the south slope.  Switchbacks and shallow creek crossings abound – today, hiking poles will be our best friends!  We’ll make noise and take caution as we descend into the valley – those tall berry bushes can be really good at concealing grazing Grizzly Bears!

TREK DAY #4 - NUMA CREEK TO FLOW LAKE

DISTANCE: 10km
ELEVATION GAIN: 755m
ELEVATION DROP: 250m

What goes down, must come up – right?!  The CN Tower is 553m tall – today we’ll be ascending up and over Numa Pass, covering a total elevation gain of 755m (and there’s no elevator!).  Good news is that by doing the trail north to south, we’ll have eaten the majority of our food and our bags will be a little bit lighter. A big day – please send us great mountain-climbing vibes!  We’ll arrive at our campsite with weary legs and ready for a good meal but basking in the beauty of Floe Lake will be more than worth it!

TREK DAY #5 - FLOW LAKE TO THE TRAILHEAD

DISTANCE: 10km
ELEVATION GAIN: 0m
ELEVATION DROP: 750m

After many ups and downs – in elevation and likely in diabetes – we’ll have reached our last day on the trail.  This will come with mixed emotions – joy, pride, overwhelming relief – but you can never really tell how you’re going to feel when you reach the pinnacle of a huge challenge.  Thank you all for your support in getting us here! We are thinking of you! This day is by nowhere near a breeze – we’ll be descending 700m and hiking 10km on narrow switchbacks to get our feet back on the valley floor.

REST, RECOVERY & REFLECTION - WOW, WE DID IT!

Wow, we can hardly believe it’s over.  A day to celebrate, rest weary bodies, eat fresh vegetables and maybe even find a hot spring!  We’ll be reflecting on the journey and thinking about everyone who’s donated, supported us, followed along and made every step on this adventure possible.  Everything we’ve achieved is going to go back into making wilderness adventures more accessible for others with T1D. Our efforts will live on in adventures to come!  Thank you so much!

TOTAL DISTANCE: 55.6km
TOTAL ELEVATION GAIN: 1865m
TOTAL ELEVATION DROP: 1925m