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Valley of Ten Peaks EarthCache

Hidden : 10/15/2007
2 out of 5
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size:   other (other)

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Geocache Description:

The cache site can be found after a short hike up a large hill of rocks. Trailhead can be found at N 51º 19.702 W 116º 10.862. Terrain is uneven and can be very slippery when wet and may be icy in the winter.

A Park Pass is required for use of park facilities such as picnic areas, viewpoints and scenic drives such as the Bow Valley Parkway and Icefield Parkway. Fees go towards maintaining and improving facilities for park visitors. Please try to stay on trails and deposit your garbage in an earth-friendly manner.

For directions to Banff National Park and Moraine Lake visit

During you hike on the 'rock pile' you will encounter various signs which tell you about the geological history of the area and the formation of the mountains.

Sedimentary Deposition
The Canadian Rockies are composed exclusively of layered sedimentary rocks. These include limestone, dolomite, sandstone and shale, amongst others deposited during the Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian, and Permian Periods (570-250 million years ago). During regular sedimentary deposition rock layers are stacked on top of each other much like layers in a cake, these layers being time appropriate as older ones being situated on the bottom and the younger ones being deposited on top.

Uplift and Upheaval
During mountain formation tectonic plates collide and these layers get folded and faulted, ground together and pushed upwards so that the geological framework gets mixed up. The two collisions that formed the Rockies began around 175 million years ago, forming British Columbia and piling up the most Western ranges and the more Eastern ranges around 120 mya. The second collision occured around 85 mya and formed the front ranges and the rolling foothills.

Once the mountains were formed, erosion began, especially in the form of glaciation. Forces of erosion active in the area are wind, ice, and water. Glaciation played a major role in the formation of Moraine Lake. During the last glacial age (240,000-128,000 years ago) glaciers formed in the mountains and spread downwards across the country. During their movement they picked up rock material which they later re-deposited as they retreated back up towards the mountains. The ‘rock pile’ on which this earthcache is placed is a terminal moraine.

Today’s Erosional Processes
Slowly, the forces of nature are wearing the mountains down from the summits, and filling in the lakes from their stream entrances outwards. The blueness of the water is caused by fine particles of glacial silt, or till, known as rock flour. Meltwater in June and July washes this powdered rock into the lake, the minute but uniform particles of flour absorbing all colours of incoming light except those in the blue–green spectrum. When the lakes have just melted in May and June – and are still empty of silt – their colour is a more normal sky blue.

Now that you know a little geology of the area, you can log this earthcache by:

1) Posting a picture of the ‘Valley of Ten Peaks’
2) Naming three of the ten peaks
3) Stand and admire the view at the earth cache coordinates then tell me
A) What NEAREST LARGE feature is located 313º (313 degrees)from where you are standing and
B) What TWO types of rocks make up this feature? )Info is posted on a signboard) DO NOT say a pile of rocks or your answer will be DELETED (as of July 15/14)

******EDITED September 11/16 The signboard that contains the information required to answer question 3 has NOT been destroyed. Log the cache only by sending the required answers******
The answer is NOT 'Tower of Babel' OR an Alpine Hut OR another peak.
Historical Note:

Until comparatively recently the scene graced the back of Canadian $20 bills, though the illustration did little justice to the shimmering water and the jagged, snow-covered peaks on the eastern shore that inspired the nickname "Valley of the Ten Peaks". The peaks are now officially christened the Wenkchemna, after the Stoney native word for "ten".

Additional Hints (No hints available.)