It was a toss-up putting the information for where to visit great shells cemented into rocks so perfectly preserved, but since Kananaskis Obscure is a grassroots publication it’s not like printing it for the huge masses in a glossy book.
So I cross my fingers and hope everyone who checks it out will respect the beauty of the place as I found it and disturb nothing – take only photos please.
I’m no geologist so I am not about to start tossing in a bunch of scientific names but let these photos speak for themselves to what you can see up there and marvel at.
From Highwood Pass drive south about a kilometer and park along a stretch of dirt road that heads north across a meadow. Before the stream, find the good trail that heads up into the forest for about only 20 minutes before you are popped out into an incredible alpine valley with a narrow yazoo stream coming towards you. Follow the right side of the creek east for about 10 minutes to where the trees, creek and scree group together. You should be able to discern the different shades of scree at this point. When you see an overly orange section of bouldery rocks, scramble up to these, located only meters from the creek. This unique find in comparison to the entire load of scree leading back into the north cirque below Storm is very small and of incredible interest as the rest of the rocks are nothing more than jumbled limestone. Once in the orange flow of boulders, look closely at virtually any rock and the vast amount of shells will appear before your eyes! If you follow the valley up east toward the cirque – where a scientific weather measuring pole stands – and head up the trail back north under the yellow wall above you will pass a 4 foot high grey boulder, littered in beautiful shells.
Not of much interest but this short hole may intrigue somebody who digs caves. Follow instructions as for the ‘Shells of Arethusa’ and once you come to the alpine meadow, look right to the cliffs and spot the tall cave mouth. A short scramble on scree leads in, which ends after about 25m on a muddy ledge. Bring a headlamp and some crappy clothes as you will get dirty scratching your way in.