One way distance to Turbine campground: 15 km
Elevation gain to Turbine campground: 500 m
This was supposed to be a three day backpacking trip with daytrips to North Kananaskis Pass and Haig Glacier, but on the morning of day 2 my stove stopped working. Despite having the service kit, two hours of fiddling didn't give me a stove I felt I could rely on and so we packed up and headed back out. Of course only another hour of fiddling at home fixed it, but better safe than sorry I guess. I now have the expedition service kit and can replace nearly any part that might break (it's a bit ridiculous actually...the only part not included in the kit is the burner, which you'd have to beat with a rock to actually break).
We did the hike from the trailhead to Turbine all in one day (6 hours) and it was more difficult than the stats suggested. Nearly all of the elevation gain comes on the slopes of Mt. Putnik after you pass Forks campground, and even with an early start the avalanche slope was sweltering. If you're getting low on water, fill up at the bridged stream after the avalanche slope (still ascending at this point) as Putnik Pond didn't look particularly appealing.
After the climb the trail becomes nearly level, although still goes up and down enough that you feel it after the ascent. The views starting from Putnik Pond are also spectacular, but don't think that the campground is close - it's still about 4 km away!
Turbine Canyon campground has spectacular views, but can be a little crowded at dinner with only two picnic tables (metal ones, so they'll suck the heat from you). From the campground there are obvious trails to the pass and Haig glacier, but as we had to cut the trip short we didn't do either. A few in the campground also hiked up to the toe of Beatty glacier and said the walk was fairly easy.
You can't see it well in the photos, but from Putnik Pond to the campground there are tons of larches. Given the elevation (2200 m) they probably turn in mid-late September and I'm halfway thinking another two day trip might be necessary around that time!
Category:Lifestyle and Recreation
Keywords:Kananaskis, Lawson Lake, North Kananaskis Pass, Putnik Pond, Turbine Canyon