Healy to Harvey: A spectacular alpine traverse

Between some rainy spells, the Canadian Rockies were in a short September heat wave. Last Friday, we went for a hike in the high alpine that was stunning, albeit a fair distance (8 hours). We dropped a car at the Bourgeau Lake trailhead on the TransCanada highway (west of the Banff townsite), then drove up to the Sunshine Ski Area parking lot. Healy Pass, from there,  is a 655m elevation gain - but since you're starting up high, it's really not long before you're in the alpine.

Once at Healy, where there are views of Egypt Lake, you can wander towards Harvey Pass. We picked our own route - the massive peak of Bourgeau is a pretty good landmark as you go up ridges, and cross various sub-basins. A map is a pretty good idea - even on a brilliant day.

On this day, the bluebird skies highlighted the recent snows on various peaks including Monarch, Assiniboine (3620m), Goat's Eye, Lookout, , and the infamous Delirium Dive ski route off Lookout. Once at Harvey Pass, which is on your way to the peak of Bourgeau, you descend for 1035m (3400') back to where you hopefully left the car and some comfortable sandals.

The start of this hike is only 30 minutes west of Grandview Chalet B&B in Canmore.