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Rocky Mountain Ramblers Association

Trip Report
Trip Date:
Off-Trail hike
Trip name:
Dolomite Circuit

We left the rainy prairies behind, entering the sunny Rockies; a lucky day. Except for the section Helen Lake - Katherine Lake we enjoyed the sun. After convening at Mosquito Ck trailhead to arrange the car shuttle, we left Helen Lake trailhead at 10:15 AM. We had a large group; Teresa, thanks for co-coordinating and Toshiko for "sweeping"! Teresa and Ivan also contributed to some of the pictures below. We encountered a horseback party returning from Helen Lake, had a relaxed lunch at Katherine Lake's Big Rocks and a break in the sun before descending to Mosquito Creek later that day. Interesting was the fossil Stromatolite Reef outcrop just over the ridge above Helen Lake in the Pika Formation approx. 510 million years old. These Stromatolites are accretionary microbial mats (CaCO3), formed by Cyanobacteria colonies. In the past, they were believed to be formed by algae https://www.geoconvention.com/archives/2008/178.pdf. The pictures below report on our hike:

Ramblers enjoying the view of Crowfoot Glacier, a little above the Trailhead.

Mt Hector (left distant snowcap 3394m), Bow River Valley, Bow Peak (2686m), Crowfoot Pass & Mountain (2900m)

Alpine Meadows in bloom: Arnica, Bergamot, Asters & Valerian.

Ramblers crossing the Helen Lake Creek waterfall

A "Horsey" moment, making their way back down from Helen Lake

Passing by Helen Lake, Cirque Peak (2993m) in the background

Descending from the ridge east of Helen Lake: Bobac Mt (3087m), Watermelon Pk (3095m) and Katherine Lake

Stromatolite Reef Outcrop. Dolomite Peak (2960m) in the background.

Stromatolites Cyanobacteria Fossil Colonies 510mln years on the E-face of Helen Lk Ridge, Mid-Cambrian Pika Formation

Rambler Lunch at Katherine Lake's Big Rock

South Dolomite Pass view into Mosquito Ck drainage and Mt Hector summit's hanging glacier (3394m)

Teresa helping us down a tricky section below S-Dolomite Pass

<photo 3057

Looking back north to south Dolomite Pass, Dolomite Peak NE Outlier & Watermelon Peak

Down to Mosquito Creek at the end of the Hike, looking upstream

We were down at Musquito Ck Trailhead at 6 PM, after a relaxing day in the mountains. GPS record: Total Distance 20.5km. Trailhead Helen Lk 1998m elevation. Highest point South-Dolomite Pass 2563m elevation, +565m. Trailhead Mosquito Ck 1832m elevation is 166m below Helen Lk Trailhead. After Helen Lk Ridge, descending down to Katherine Lake, then up to South Dolomite pass, plus a few more ups & downs add up to 907m total climbs.

Participants: Ginger,Margo,John,Clifton,Sonja,Teresa,Cathy,Bill,Caroline,Ivan,Jim,Toshiko,David,Cornelis - Coordinator, scribe.