Not Morro Peak

Shitty shale. That’s what lay, hundreds of metres steep, between the summit of Morro Peak and our pallid figures across the valley. We summited a mountain that day, just not the one we had planned.

“The wrong side of the valley “

This is a conundrum that we end up facing on basically every day-trip summit attempt with my dad. Morro Peak is a small-ish mountain in Jasper National Park, AB, Canada. Lying 5, 506 ft off the ground, there is an elevation gain of approximately half a kilometre to the summit. It starts on the legendary Overlander Trail, the original route established in 1862 through Jasper’s Rocky Mountains, which the highway is now based upon.

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Tibetan-style prayer flags at the head of the Overlander

We stayed the Friday night in Hinton, at our favourite hotel for Jasper day-hikes, BCM Inns. Somehow the place has a way higher rating than the neighbouring classics: Holiday Inn, etc.

It has a homey atmosphere on the inside, a slight overabundance of Canadian maple leaf decor on the outside, and offers a simple, warm breakfast.

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Ask any of the locals in Hinton, and they’ve probably summited Morro Peak. It’s a classic–short, steep & sweet. We managed to summit it’s unnamed neighbour. 

This was not the first time. Taking a day-trip down to the Rockies for a hike is an amazing weekend getaway for Canadians. Unfortunately, our last Jasper day-hike, an attempt at the more ambitious Folding Mountain, included unanticipated snow, a somewhat major detour off the trail, some serious & unanticipated bushwhacking knee-deep in said snow to rediscover said trail, and a humble admission of defeat halfway up the snowed-in mountain.

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Folding Mountain ft. snow & my defeated feet

Nevertheless, climbing Morro Peak’s unnamed neighbour, now brought to you as “Not Morro Peak,” was an amazing hike with amazing views. It was also a great challenge:

“Okay, that’s one of the more unappetizing sights I’ve ever seen.” I glanced back at my dad, then up the looming, steep (semi)trail ahead.

You might ask how we went wrong…There was a trail up Not Morro Peak that we thought would climb, then turn off to the right to lead us over the shoulder onto Morro Peak. However, we should’ve continued farther along the Overlander Trail before turning off. It was a wonderful day out in the spring sun and fresh pine air-and I’ll never say no to an adventure!

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Mountain flowers at summit of “Not Morro Peak”
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Greeting the sun on a small peak just after we went wrong…

After we returned down to earth, we grabbed some ice cream, bathed in the glorious must-visit Miette Hot Springs, and did some more hiking in the Jasper area.

Cheers!

Please feel free to comment your hiking or Jasper stories!–I’d love to hear!

 

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