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Anyone Ever Hiked Into Fortress Lake?


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Hey rehsifylf, I have no problem with you posting as much info as you want. It won’t bother me because I don’t ever plan on hiking in. I know guys who have and ran into bears on the way in and the way out. They also almost died crossing the Chaba – and when they got to the lake, the fishing was not good. No thanks.

 

 

a new account, made with the name orvis only (and what lodge on a certain lake is an Orvis lodge) , and "stonefly" hasn't made an appearance under his normal name

 

big surprise

 

hint, keep your lies to your own 'blog'

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Hello. Thanks to this forum for the opportunity to reply to a few points. As I just returned from Fortress Lake a few hours ago, through the incredible late night lightning storm down QE#2, dropping a tranny or transfer case and going 60kmh in the process from Ponoka into Red Deer, I can assure you that no posts came from myself, Amelia, Byron, Kevin, Bob, Karen, Kate, and likely not Jaz. I hope I don't have to scan my plane reciept to prove my word. I certainly read forums once every few weeks or month now but have little time to follow up nor get too involved, so post very little out of respect of others on that. Apologies if I cannot reply to follow up posts as I'm on the Ram several days prior to returning to Fortress for an extended period. I have never posted under "stonefly" here and am now only found under my actual name when posting.

Firewood at the campsites. At Fortress Creek there was actually still some wood at the campsite tucked under the plastic, though little as private float planes had been at the site camping the days prior your visit. We check the sites weekly as required - it was a matter of your timing on that. We're sorry for you that the timing was such. Regarding the splitting axe - you would be amazed at how many of these we replace each June with the private float planes using that site. They assume it left behind by another float plane and take it home with them, leaving hikers literally out in the cold. Note that there are only a few log cookies per week as has been the case for years to reduce over use.

Our conversation: note that I did point a few things out and ensured all was well with your group, the conversation was good - like I'd ever turn a fishing conversation down. :) I trust the point of the blog post was taken positively as intended.

The private R2 helicopters that flew down the lake - I had just sent guests and staff out on the two flights (which occur on the two BC Parks approved flight days in our PUP + wildcard days where needed) and was alone working for a few days, talking on the sat phone to Amelia as they buzzed over. Amelia can quote me on what I said about that. They had intended on landing at the public, non reserved campsite but saw you there after banking from the opposite direction. They could have camped beside you as they were completely on their own. They remained so.

The boat rentals are no longer - the true value of a boat motor/boat in that location includes the original flight in, then the flight out for repair, plus lost water days in the interim, and more importantly - plus any insurance/legal issues that arise from rentals at such a location with well/poorly educated boaters. We trust people appreciate the ramifications and our decision to cease rentals of what quickly become company liabilities and losses.

Regarding the elitist claim "private, trophy catch & release brook trout fly fishing in the stunning Canadian Rockies." The term private refers to our accommodations which are privately held and are withdrawn from observation as defined - it's a factual word. The remainder of the sentence is opinion that requires research to verify whether it can be substantiated to any one individual's standard. The sentence certainly reflects what people who visit Hamber Park through us or on their own merit have to say.

Unfortunately I don't have the time to discuss the social issues of such an operation in this location presently. Regarding our company profile and structure, we invite anyone to investigate the cost benefit ratio of such an operation in such a location. Given the temporary status of all facilities, the Park's remote nature, very low use, and its high ecological focus and integrity, we don't believe that there needs be any negativity towards BC Parks for their approval of this PUP and its operations, given its benefits and history. It is quite remarkable. Our operations remain consistent with the vision and park plan, which we believe we've improved upon in our AOP which includes a reduction in flight days from daily flights <sometimes multiple flights each day> a few years back, to the set flight day limitations we have now through one permitted air carrier.

Have a wonderful time if you visit Hamber Provincial Park by foot or air, with us or privately, and we encourage everyone to educate themselves on allowable practices within the park by visiting their website or contacting BC Parks' staff, which will likely be more an asset than other jurisdictions.

Happy exploring.

Dave Jensen

Fortress Lake Retreat & Fly Fish Alberta

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I believe there is enough info in this thread to answer the orginal poster's (OP) question.

 

There is only one way to find out how the hike is. GO DO IT!!!

 

And for the tennis match that I see happening, please finish it via the Private Messaging system.

 

There are special lightening trees on the hike up there as well so be careful. This is what happened to BigBowTrout when he hiked up there.

 

Click here if the movie does not play.

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Regarding promised Pics - I've reduced the heck out of them and can still only get one or two per post. So instead of posting all 15 showing the various points of interest - I'll post just a few.

 

First is the Athabasca Bridge crossing:

 

post-1810-1218383561.jpg

 

Next is just a fishing Picture (Out of order but it was small enough to fit in this post).

 

post-1810-1218383639.jpg

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This is what the main Camp (where the fire pit is and where we cooked our food) looks like

 

post-1810-1218383892.jpg

 

We were trying on our packs the afternnon we we're going to leave - Somehow, all of our kit grew and got heavier, even though we'd eaten about 20 lbs of food.

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The Chaba Crossing.

 

post-1810-1218384050.jpg

 

About the angle the shot is taken from is the angle you cross at. A number of small channels and two reasonaby deep/fast one. Note that this was taken on the way out, so it is from the Fortress Lake sideof the crossing.

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These beavers went by accross the front of our camps a few times. Good neighbors - we didn't baother them, they didn't bother us.

 

post-1810-1218384859.jpg

 

I say bevaers, cause this is actually a momma with a young beaver in her mouth. It looks like a log, and I found it interesting that this is how she would carry it (maximum drag). We only realized it was a small beaver, when the I accidently walked into camp as she was going by. She pulled a Britney and quickly abandoned the young one - who then swam to shore and hung around our camp for quite awhile, until we got far away and the mother returned.

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post-1810-1218385520.jpg

 

Worth it? This is one of the fish we ate. And yes - it tasted great. A few this size were caught but most were smaller. We had a few long distance releases that were probably larger, and I had one all the way to shore that was significantly bigger than this. For reference - the cork portion of the rod handle is 7.5 inches - so this fish is between 20-21 inches.

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  • 1 year later...

The Chaba will be higher by noon each day this week. The forecast is hot weather and the crossing will be up in to the trees by 2pm on hot days. If I was hiking, I would stay somewhere close to the trailhead, like Sunwapta Resort, and start at 6am. The crossing is tough due to glacial melt 6 miles upstream and the fact that you can't see 6" into it - and you'll freeze your feet off quickly (again - glacier's 6mi upstream!). The fishing this weekend vs Sept long is about the same for those hiking in and camping, essentially.

 

In fairness to us, and just to clarify other posts in the thread, we do rent pontoon boats for hike in campers (of which there have been less than 30 this year). We can't rent power boats to non guests for liability reasons, but are allowed to rent pontoons, which we now do. And we introduced a great all inclusive rate for hikers to stay at our retreat this year, which has been positively received.

 

Please don't leave any garbage - on the ground or in the bear poles. The sites are only priodically maintained and we'd hate to see one person's garbage impact another's experience. The amount of garbage left at the 2 east end sites the past 2 years has been incredible, and most users (85+%) are from Alberta. No accusations to anyone here, we're just asking people to take ownership and pack all garbage out and to tell their friends to as well as, again, the primitive sites are only periodically maintained. It's a wonderful location, stunning scenery, and we simply encourage users to keep it that way for the next people!

 

Cheers!

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  • 11 years later...

Thanks muchly for the info.  Must be nice if it's worth that much effort.  

What kind of results did you have?  What worked best?

Not nice to tease us with just "It was worth it".  We want stories and details!

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