The Cirque of the Unclimbables lies within the Ragged range, so named because of the irregular appearance of the peaks. The peaks were formed when igneous batholiths from deep within the earth were pushed upward. The subsequent erosion of the overlying sedimentary rock eventually exposed the harder batholiths leaving a rugged range of mountains that is an attraction, we learn, of climbers from around the globe. The Cirque is situated north of the Nahanni Park Reserve's northwest border above Rabbitkettle lake.
Camp 3 - Brintnell Creek
We are headed to Brintnell Creek because it offers a trail that leads to the Cirque by way of Glacier Lake. Our traveling companions, Alex, Tania and Andrew are determined to make the four to five day trek up and back. Glen and I are less sure about the prospect of doing such a hike with large packs on our back.
We take our time breaking camp today with the luxury of a shorter paddle than yesterday, about 32 km. We arrive at the campsite in the early afternoon and spend the time drying out wet gear in the sunny periods between cloud bursts. During the time we are on this site we see patches of blue sky upriver past the peaks of the Cirque, surrounded by dark clouds on all sides. This vista remains pretty much unchanged for the five days of our stay. It is as if the mountains in this area attract rain-filled clouds like a magnet. We can be assured of sunny mornings, increasing cloudiness during the midday, rain during the early evening, and clearing in the later evening.