This hike shows you more of the compact alpine typical of this region of the southern Rockies. The trail passes several tarns, follows the shore of Tanglefoot Lake and winds through alpine larch stands and along dry Douglas fir slopes. Climb alpine rubble and cross talus slopes on steep sidehills, and along the way spot Dibble Glacier, the tiny remnant of a glacier behind The Steeples. Seeing the distant view of Cliff Lake far below is another feature.
It is just nice to be up there on a remote trail joining familiar trails into one satisfying loop. Mountain routefinding and backcountry skills are important for this remote and unmaintained loop.
After reaching Dibble Pass, we headed to a pass overlooking Cliff Lake. While my friends sauntered up to a nearby summit five minutes away, I found a nice shady spot in which to enjoy a cool rest. A strong edgy feeling didn’t allow me to doze for long; reluctantly I headed up to the peak. No sooner had I joined my companions than a huge black bear came right up to the spot where I had been resting just minutes earlier! I’m grateful I listened to my inner premonition and moved to the summit. The beautiful and shiny black bear heard and saw our large group, turned and headed back the way he had come. We named the pass Bear Pass in honour of the majestic creature.
Over the course of this memorable day we enjoyed a swim in one of the tarns, climbed over many passes, saw a glacier and a bear, endured the heat, crossed spongy meadows, hiked through forests, traversed rocky slides and had a wonderful day.