2008-Hiking to Walcott Quarry

SUMMARY: ROM expedition hikes up to the Walcott Quarry in 2008. (6:15)

Palaeontologists with backpacks hike along trail, passing the Whisky-Jack waterfall
DESCRIPTION: Palaeontologists with backpacks hike along trail, passing the Whisky-Jack waterfall

Jean-Bernard Caron, Curator of Invertebrate Palaeontology at the Royal Ontario Museum and expedition leader, talks to camera as he hikes along
DESCRIPTION: Jean-Bernard Caron, Curator of Invertebrate Palaeontology at the Royal Ontario Museum and expedition leader, talks to camera as he hikes along

"We're leading this trip up to the Burgess Shale, to the Walcott Quarry."

Camera pans to waterfall, back to Caron
DESCRIPTION: Camera pans to waterfall, back to Caron

"This side of the mountain is the north face of Wapta and Mount Field. This is a long hike, but we should be getting to the Walcott Quarry in about 2 or 3 hours."

Palaeontologists stand in front of bulletin board
DESCRIPTION: Palaeontologists stand in front of bulletin board

Point of view shot walking along trail
DESCRIPTION: Point of view shot walking along trail

Distant shot of waterfall
DESCRIPTION: Distant shot of waterfall

Palaeontologists walking along trail, crest small hill
DESCRIPTION: Palaeontologists walking along trail, crest small hill

Wildflowers, hikers stop to photograph them
DESCRIPTION: Wildflowers, hikers stop to photograph them

Signboard advertising the Wapta Highline Trail
DESCRIPTION: Signboard advertising the Wapta Highline Trail

Pull back from large waterfall (below The Vice President)
DESCRIPTION: Pull back from large waterfall (below The Vice President)

Marmot suns itself on a rock, hikers stop to take pictures
DESCRIPTION: Marmot suns itself on a rock, hikers stop to take pictures

Palaeontologists pause for lunch break overlooking Emerald Lake
DESCRIPTION: Palaeontologists pause for lunch break overlooking Emerald Lake

Distant mountains as Caron provides description
DESCRIPTION: Distant mountains as Caron provides description

"You can see Mount Stephen, and here in the middle of the frame, Mount Field, and then in the background the talus and Fossil Ridge, with the Walcott Quarry.  We'll approach this quarry from the North, and the next stop will be at Walcott's camp."

Clearing in forest as Caron provides description
DESCRIPTION: Clearing in forest as Caron provides description

"This is where the ROM used to have its campground from about the middle of the 90s to about 2000. These expeditions to the Burgess Shale were led by Desmond Collins and usually were attended by about 7 or 8 field assistants. Today you don't see any traces of the camp."

Palaeontologists stand on rocky slope, taking pictures
DESCRIPTION: Palaeontologists stand on rocky slope, taking pictures

Palaeontologists study rocks, looking for fossils
DESCRIPTION: Palaeontologists study rocks, looking for fossils

Palaeontologists picking up rocks, looking for fossils
DESCRIPTION: Palaeontologists picking up rocks, looking for fossils

Caron, standing on mountain slope provides description
DESCRIPTION: Caron, standing on mountain slope provides description

"Walcott probably took this trail in 1909 and probably discovered fossils in this area. All these rocks that you can see around you – the slabs – come from the talus"

Pan up side of mountain showing talus and outcrops of rock as Caron provides description
DESCRIPTION: Pan up side of mountain showing talus and outcrops of rock as Caron provides description

"that has been carried away by snow and avalanches from higher up in the outcrop.  But in 1909 we did not know about the outcrop and Walcott returned in 1910, when he discovered the main fossiliferous area."

Caron on camera
DESCRIPTION: Caron on camera

"Now we are standing on the trail just below the main quarries, and you can see some fossils."

Caron provides description of fossils discovered close to the trail below Walcott Quarry
DESCRIPTION: Caron provides description of fossils discovered close to the trail below Walcott Quarry

"This is a fossil called Vauxia, it is a sponge, you can see several of them preserved on this slab, and you can see here there are several elements preserved on different slabs. You have fossils with soft tissues and you have fossils with hard shells."

Caron pulls out a slab of rock and gestures to several fossils
DESCRIPTION: Caron pulls out a slab of rock and gestures to several fossils

"Here there are several, smaller fossils of trilobites on this slab. In fact, if you look closer at all these slabs, there are several fossils. So when Walcott was working, or was on his horse in 1909, with his anxious eyes, he was probably able to see all these fossils. They were probably much more abundant then than today."

Palaeontologists walk along path, past warning sign
DESCRIPTION: Palaeontologists walk along path, past warning sign

Side of mountain, showing quarry in distance with loose rocks scattered on mountainside, Caron comments
DESCRIPTION: Side of mountain, showing quarry in distance with loose rocks scattered on mountainside, Caron comments

"Here you go, Walcott Quarry talus, and just above, the Raymond Quarry. We're almost there."

Walcott Quarry with some snow in the bottom as Caron provides description
DESCRIPTION: Walcott Quarry with some snow in the bottom as Caron provides description

"The Walcott Quarry from the north side. There's still a bit of snow inside, but we're August 4, 2008. There's a bit of snow still, not melted. And the huge piles of debris that were created during the ROM excavations and also from Walcott's excavations earlier on."

View from within the Walcott Quarry, showing snow Caron comments
DESCRIPTION: View from within the Walcott Quarry, showing snow Caron comments

"And we enter this quarry from the north side."

Palaeontologist (Robert Gaines) opens backpack, removes camera
DESCRIPTION: Palaeontologist (Robert Gaines) opens backpack, removes camera

Palaeontologists in quarry take pictures
DESCRIPTION: Palaeontologists in quarry take pictures

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