Roche Miette Newsletter
Periodic of the Roche Miette Association
No. 20, March 2010
ISSN 1710-4025

"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves."
John Muir (1838-1914), Scottish-American naturalist and preservationist, co-founder of the Sierra Club. More on John Muir can be found at:



Editorial - by Piotr Rajski

Roche Miette Expedition to Hawk Mountain  2010.

Description of Hikes

Randy Iwanciwski - Roche Miette: A calling......A journey of life.

The 2009 Roche Miette Expedition Revisited - by Piotr Rajski.

One God Notes

What is Roche Miette Association

Call for Papers


by Piotr Rajski.

Dear Fellow Hikers,

Roche Miette Association, in cooperation with the Polish Men's Mountaineering Club of Edmonton, has a pleasure to invite you to our traditional yearly Roche Miette Pilgrimage/Expedition to ... Hawk Mountain!!! Yes, after many years of hiking Roche Miette we decided to change our objective. This is our response to those of you who believed that Roche Miette was somehow technically too difficult. We also hope to trigger new energy that typically comes with the change of the routine. With so many mountains to hike and the limited time of human life - why not to diversify a bit?

Hawk Mountain (2553 m) is a prominent mountain in the Colin Range, east from Jasper, and can be easily seen from Highway 16.

It is considered to be a moderate scramble with the exception for 5 m of difficult slab scrambling around the point C (crux) on the above picture. And even this can be by-passed although requires getting through a steep, bushy terrain. I know because I did this around the year 1998. I did not get to the top then as I started a bit late and was afraid of being caught by darkness. Comparing to Roche Miette scramble, this scramble is longer but then less steep. Hiking over the ridge is more comfortable (no scree). Similarly to Roche Miette there is no water along the route so taking 2-3 l of liquid will be paramount. Hawk Mountain is not too far from Roche Miette, so we plan to follow the same schedule as in the last two years. The program is explained in the next section.


Roche Miette Expedition 2010 - Hawk Mountain - Program.

Friday, June 18, 2010

8 -10 p.m. - orientation at Miette Bungalows just next to Miette Hot Springs. Technical matters, registrations, etc.

Accommodation at Miette Bungalows: 1 bungalow with two rooms (two double beds), kitchen, bathroom with shower, fireplace - we hope to receive the last year's deal - the Spring rate of 20% off the bungalows. They are $145 - 20% ($29) = $116 + 5% gst ($5.80)+Tourism 4% ($4.64)=$126.44. It translates theoretically to around $32 per person per night. As per the Bungalows' request everyone has to book for two nights.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Hawk Mountain Group (led by Piotr Rajski, Randy Iwanciwski, and Rod Sedgwick).        

4 a.m. - wake-up
5 a.m. - breakfast
6 a.m. - bottom of the Mountain
11 a.m. - top of the Mountain
12 p.m. - silent, nondenominational meditation (optional)
1 p.m. - beginning of the descent
4 p.m. - bottom of the Mountain
5 p.m. - meeting with the Sulphur group in Miette Hot Springs, soaking these tired muscles, warming up, etc.
7 p.m. - supper in the restaurant close to the springs, exchanging "tall tales" over a few beers, etc.

Sulphur Skyline Group (if there is interest in this hike).

8 a.m. - wake up
9 a.m. - breakfast
11 a.m. - Miette Hot Springs, beginning of the hike
1 p.m. - top of the mountain, silent, nondenominational meditation (optional)
3 p.m. - bottom of the mountain
3 - 6 p.m. - soaking in the Hot Springs, meeting the other group
7 p.m. - supper together with the other group

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Leisured breakfast together. Then the choice of:

Going back to Edmonton around 3 p.m.

If you would like to stay in Miette Bungalows, please, contact either me or Randy by May 31, possibly sooner, to arrange for reservations.

You may arrange your own accommodation and join the hiking group of your choice at the points of start. One inexpensive option is the Pocahontas Campground, only a few km from both Roche Miette Mountain and Miette Hot Springs. The cost is $17 per unit per night. Reservations can be made at Pocahontas campground: or 1-877-737-3783. There is an $11 fee for advanced reservation in any Jasper Park campgrounds.


Description of the Hikes.

Hawk Mountain 2553 m.

Moderate via west face and northwest ridge except for 5 m of difficult slab scrambling. Some routefinding required. Hawk Mountain is a deservedly popular scramble in the Colin Range northeast of Jasper. The Colin Range, named for Colin Fraser of the Hudson's Bay Company, is typical Front Range topography. Steeply-tilted, slabby limestone faces are the norm; ridges are often long, undulating and sometimes quite exposed. Hawk Mountain is one of the more accessible peaks in this range, and provides a fine view of the surroundings. Try from about mid-June on. Kane, Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies page 200-1

Elevation gain: 1500 m

Ascent time: +/- 5 hours

Descent time: +/- 3 hours

Sulphur Skyline 2070 m.

Easy hike.
Elevation gain: 700 m.
Distance: 4 km.
Ascent time: +/- 2 hours.
Descent time: +/- 1.5 hours.

"Beginning at the Miette Hot Springs pool complex, the trail climbs steadily to a low pass 2.2 km distant. Immediately upon cresting the pass, the Sulphur Skyline trail branches up and to the right, beginning an even stepper ascent into the alpine environs of this small mountain overlooking the hot springs area. The laboured breathing ends on the highest point of the ridge and expansive view spreads out below." Brian Patton, Bart Robinson, The Canadian Rockies Trail Guide, p.198.

Technical Preparation.

Please, read carefully the following notes. It is a question of your safety.

While runners are usually enough for Sulphur Skyline, having solid hiking boots is a must on Hawk Mountain.

There is no water on Hawk Mountain, so every person needs to carry at least 2-4 liters of water or other liquid. This is not an exaggeration! In the past we had persons fainting because of dehydration. This is not pleasant. Don't do it to yourself and to others!

Weather in the mountains may change abruptly. You need to be prepared and carry a rain jacket or pelerine, and some warm clothes (sweater, polar fleece, etc.). Some people find it useful to have a pair of gloves.

To reach Hawk Mountain you need to be in good shape. It typically means that you participate in some sports or exercise activities through the year. If you are not quite sure you are this kind of person, Sulphur Skyline is a safer choice.

Rocky Mountains is the bear country. Although both Hawk Mountain and Sulphur Skyline have little known bear activity, you may want to carry a bear spray.

Other necessities include:

You will have to sign a waiver before the trip.


A small organizational fee will be charged:

$20 per person or $30 per family.

This fee does not include accommodation. You are responsible for your transportation. Jasper National Park collects $14 per vehicle ($7 per person if traveling alone) at the entry point. Miette Hot Springs charged $6.25 per person ($18.75 per family) for entry to the pools last year.


To register/ reserve place, please, pay the organizational fee to Piotr (Edmonton) or Randy (Hinton) as soon as possible. You may also register by e-mail and pay your registration just before the hike.

Questions? Comments?

If you have any questions or comments about the 2010 Roche Miette/Hawk Mountain Expedition, or you would like to contribute to the Roche Miette Newsletter, send Piotr an e-mail to You may call Piotr at (780) 484-5775 (home) or Randy at (780) 865-7229. Feel free to forward this newsletter to anyone who may want to attend.

To see materials from the previous expeditions, click the links below:

2001, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008

Some useful links:

Hawk Mountain on the Peaks of Canadian Rockies

Jasper National Park -

Weather conditions in Jasper Park -


Roche Miette:
A calling......
A journey of life.
by Randy Iwanciwski.

This mountain again called to me to endure another trip of exploration and discovery.  Five of the expedition team were scheduled for this trip, two other families joined us.  With this climb it is so interesting to see the looks in the faces of the participants.  The experienced know what to expect, the younger are excited, full of energy and anticipation.  Even some were apprehensive; all were going to give it a try.

From left: Rod Sedgwick, Witold Kurpinski (still half asleep), Piotr Rajski, Jacek Wojno and Randy Iwanciwski.

Such is life as we enter this world. We are brought in helpless and need to be taken care of and guided every step of the way.  Our inexperience may cause us to jump to conclusions or follow a more difficult path.  Yes we do learn from our mistakes.  The care and attention I exercise on this climb I try to image into my own life journey.  This “Mountain Experience” of trial and error, discovery and triumph, has given me more confidence and peace in my life.  This is what I share with all hikers on our journey together this day. 

With a large group there are more questions, more breaks and attention to keeping all together and safe.  The more experienced did go ahead the slower followed, and again thanks to Rod our sweeper all are secure.

With each turn and height of land reached, wondering eyes scanned the landscape for a small capture of the scene.  Each trip I see something different and I am blessed a little more.  This is my twenty-forth excursion to this rock.

Both groups resting on the Saddle.

Making the Saddle is always an accomplishment.  We all rested and replenished ourselves in the shadow of the looming mountain.  To climb beyond this point does take a conscious descision.  We find these moments in life also.  It may be a difficult choice, a new direction, even a setback, but it must be dealt with.  We have to live with this decision also.  What I am saying is some hikers decided to stay at the saddle.  It takes much courage to know when to stop, to know your personal limits and how to deal with them.

Continuing up the scree is always an exciting challenge.  From my experience many have difficulty with exposure.  In this case this exposure is defined by being above the tree line on a rock face open to the weather and sky.  This works on the psychological   portion of our being, it can be the most difficult part, even though we have passed the most physical part of the climb.  This day there much chatter, encouragement and support on the scree. 

Again, a time for another life message presents itself.  At times we need help during our exposures in life; we may find it difficult to call out for help.  Help may present itself from a loved one, spouse or friend.  They will walk with us during this time, perhaps God will speak to you and you might be ready to listen!

The traditional "Dance of the Sages" on top of Roche Miette. From the left: Randy, Rod, Piotr, Jacek and Witek.

The summit is a spot to rejoice, congratulate each other and enjoy the view!  Perhaps a goal in life gained, a time for joy! It seems this time is short live as the journey is far from over, we are only half done. 

Descent is more challenging than ascent.  Fatigue is evident, so even more support is needed.  More chatter, careful   steps and much more patience brings us all down safely.  My motto, “Summiting is optional, getting down is mandatory!”

We celebrated our successes, looked back from where we came and enjoyed each other’s recollections of the day.  We need others in our life for support, mentoring and guidance.  Hold these people in your life close as they need you also.

May God Bless,

Yours in the Journey,

Randy Iwanciwski

RMX Technical Director.

The 2009 Roche Miette Expedition revisited.

Unfortunately, the chronic lack of time prevented me from preparing a newsletter after our last Expedition. This was a joyous occasion as usual allowing me to reunite with my friends Randy and Rod. I was also glad to take two new people - Witek Kurpinski and Jacek Wojno - to the mountain. Shortly thereafter we were joined by a big group of hikers from Hinton. However, with the exception of the name of dr Micheal Caffaro, who apparently was treating me briefly after my accident in 2002, the names of other participants did not preserve in my memory. We all had a very good time together, getting to the top without much trouble, maybe with the exception of a "moment of weakness" of Jacek and Witek in the upper part of the scree. Perhaps that is why they were so happy when we reached the top.  Also the group of dr Chaffaro, consisting mostly of young teenage participants, achieved the top without difficulty.

For the supper and breakfast we were joined by Witek's lovely wife - Beata. And she even did not have to ask us not too drink too many beers - I was falling asleep after the first one! And was I also scrubbing Witek's nose?

The next day with Beata, Witek, and Jacek we went for a lovely walk by the Maligne Lake. Here are some impressions from this walk.

On the way to Maligne Lake we spotted this "little fellow."
What about these "three graces"?
Slightly tired after Roche Miette.
With Jacek we are already thinking ... Mount Edith Cavell! (in the background) Any takers?

Interestingly for me, after the hike I felt so tired I thought it would be my last. Overall, I have summitted Roche Miette close to 10 times. Later that year, however, I did a trip to Assiniboine Park with Jacek Wojno and Roman Lipiecki, both co-founding members of the Polish Men's Mountaineering Club of Edmonton. Although we did not climb Assiniboine, we hiked the Towers (2846 m), the Nub Peak (2748 m) and a couple of smaller objectives. In August 2009 I attended with Jacek the summer camp of the Edmonton's Section of the Alpine Club of Canada in Little Yoho Valley. There I soloed my first "three-thousander," namely Mount President (3138 m). And finally toward the end of the camp I hiked Mount Temple (3543 m) near Lake Louise.

Vice-President and President (the highest mountain in the centre) seen from the way to Whaleback. Photo courtesy of Jacek Wojno.

In this context I was not quite sure what was behind my problem with the Roche Miette hike. Two possibilities come to my mind. First, that it was the first major hike for me in 2009 and I was simply not in shape. Second, that there was perhaps some boredom involved in hiking Roche Miette every year. That is why we decided to change the objective for 2010. Regardless the beauty of Roche Miette, and its apparent spiritual energy, we hope to find the same sense of connection with the Supreme Climber on another mountain. In order to overcome the problems of shape, I decided to try to be more active in the spring (among others I have already joined a Tai Chi class). And I would recommend it to all of you!


One God Notes

"One God Notes" consist of quotations from spiritual writings of many religious traditions. The purpose is to inspire, to open hearts, so people perceive God's Presence in and around them. In this way I hope to create a sense of human and religious unity.

To see the previous "One God Notes" visit To learn more about the philosophy behind these notes, please, visit  If you would like to go further and add "One God Notes" to your web site, please, copy and paste the button below and use it to create a link to

In Truth, Simplicity and Love, Pritam.

What is Roche Miette Association?

Roche Miette Association is an informal group of people who try to achieve the ideals of human unity as expressed in the Roche Miette Rule. One of the characteristics of this group of enthusiasts is love of Nature and willingness to love God through His Creation.  In particular, we are drawn by the beauty of Roche Miette Mountain, near Hinton, Alberta, and organize once a year a non-denominational hike/pilgrimage to this mountain. People of all religious and cultural backgrounds are invited to participate with us in this auspicious event.

If these ideals appeal to you, you may want to support them through a financial donation. You may visit and donate through Paypal.

Call for Papers

Would you like to contribute to the Roche Miette Newsletter? Please, send your text in Microsoft Word or HTML format to Of special interests are stories, reflections on the following subjects:

Human and religious unity.
Harmony between different religions, cooperation between religious groups.
Examples of interfaith dialogue, tolerance, forgiveness.
Love of Nature (especially mountains).
Meditation, Contemplative Prayer.
Religious life, especially Practice of the Presence of God, pilgrimage.
Mysticism, especially in the context of the mountains.
Poetry, art, music, photographs related to the mountains.

Manuscripts to be considered should be original articles (not published elsewhere). Some previously published materials may also be considered if submitted with the info and consent of the publisher. Some promotional materials, such excerpts from books, can also be considered if related to the above topics. Announcements of interest for wider audiences are also occasionally accepted.

The Roche Miette Newsletter has a circulation of approximately 400 recipients. Copies of the newsletter are sent to National Library of Canada for research purposes. To see the previous issues you can visit

Presently there is no remuneration for the submitted materials.

The deadline for the next issue is: August 31, 2010.

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