Due to a footnote on the Kananaskis Country website "BEAR CAUTION", we picked a possible alternative hike and made a quick stop to chat with the Ranger with regards to the warnings. You know when you have your heart set on something...well my friend R and I both had our hearts set on seeing Galatea so we heeded the Ranger’s advice, stood our ground, and stuck with attacking our original plan.
Our trek started at 10:00, it felt fresh, cool, damp, perfect hiking conditions, my thermometer showed 12 degrees, our choice of shorts was wise.
The first 400 meters of elevation took us across 10 bridges crossing back and forth over the creek as we ascended narrow winding paths, muddy in spots, some steep sections, lots of wild flowers still, lush green in color and after two and a half hours of this, we arrived at Lillian Lake.
This was a perfect spot to refuel for what lay ahead! I think of you Mom when I am here! (My Mom’s name was Lillian). I have never seen a lake so green in color. It felt peaceful and calm and serene as we sat savouring our sandwiches. With that mysterious listeriosis issue with Maple Leaf meats, I copied R whose sandwiches consist of bread and butter. No taking chances here!
Time to carry on with attacking our plan! We tackle the next kilometer which has an elevation of an additional 250 meters on top of the 400 we already completed. We take the switch backs up a lightly-treed avalanche slope and turn around numerous times to take in the view of Lillian Lake down below and the surrounding mountain range.
This is where the risk pay off is starting to pay off! We know along this last part of the path, behind these trees in front of us and at the base of that mountain ahead, will be the reward! The reward! Galatea Lake! It is hard to imagine there can be such a beautiful lake close to a kilometer up a mountain. Here it is! We spent a little time here taking photos, enjoying the scenery, feeling so close to the sun, and munching on oatmeal cookies and those little two bite brownies.
At 2:15 we began our descent. It’s always quicker coming down on the return. Different from the increasing heart rate on the way up, we now feel the knee stress, the weaker ankles, the toes pushing against the fronts of our boots. We feel the sun warm up as it peaks through the trees and around the mountains.
At 5:00 we arrive back at the parking lot feeling exhausted. Every stiffness, very ache, every yawn, every tightness was all worth it! Taking chances and pushing limits pays off big time!