Saturday, August 20, 2011

High Hopes (Day 2)

After yesterday's teasing views from a short hike around Lake O'Hara, Larry Stanier's slide show,  reaping the reward of a luck of the draw and sensing my stars were aligned when I saw them all lined up in the sky, then I shouldn't be out of line to have high hopes and great expectations for today!    No car pool meet up today, no driving to a trail head, just walk out the front door and within a few minutes I already start feeling like I'm at a higher level!

My first photo of the day!  Lake O'Hara at 8:30 am!
We followed the east side of Lake O'Hara to the far end and then began the climb up which took us past a few smaller lakes before reaching Lake Oesa.  This was going to be one of those days where there are reflections everywhere.  We took our first big break here before hiking around and to the far side of the Lake.
Once around Lake Oesa and to the far side of it, we had a direct view right up to Abbot Pass and could see the Hut sitting there blending in.  I watched a group of five work their way across the scree slope to the right side and pick their way up the snow instead.  From blue at the far side to green on the near side, the lakes are so gorgeous!
Then totally green!  Shortly past Lake Oesa is Lefroy Lake.
Our ledges of choice for today were the Yuckness Ledges.  The trail was marked with the odd cairn and yellow elevens on blue squares which were not always right under your nose.  This was a fun area to hike, with a little bit of hands on here and there.
No doubts here of not being out of line for having high hopes for the day.   Being on the edge of the Ledge gave us a great vantage point of Lake O'Hara down below.  That little light green open space in the trees is where Elizabeth Parker Hut is.  See the other little lake to the left of Lake O'Hara.?  That's Mary Lake which we will be beside tomorrow.
We spent lots of time up on Yuckness Ledges looking down at lakes now it was time to spend time beside a lake, this time Opabin Lake which was yet a totally different color then all previous lakes.  We picked out our friends who were up playing on the glacier and watched another group disappear over the back side of it at the pass.
Opabin Lake was a nice place to relax and reflect!
After reflecting, relaxing and refueling, we carried on as we still had lots of ground to cover and lakes to see. Happy Hiker makes her way across a bridge to the west side where we followed West Opabin to yet more lakes.
We took a detour up to Opabin Prospect and found a spot where we could capture the three lakes all in one photo.  From here we could see our home away from home was still a long way off in that little light green opening.
It has been a long day and we revamped our plan of attack and decided to work our way home!
I picked this one as my summit shot with Lake O'Hara below me, Wiwaxy Peak behind me and Cathedral Mountain on the left.  You can see the switchbacks on my right that lead up to Wiwaxy Gap. Standing right there in that spot, on the edge of that slab, at that moment in time, fulfilled my high hopes!
Once back down to lake level, we had a lovely stroll towards The Lodge to fill our bottles from the porcelin fountain first then waundered through the meadow back to the front door of the Hut where we called it a hiking day and I turned off my GPS.  What a joy, no worries of a long drive home after alomost eleven hours of hiking.  It was time for wine, dinner and chatting with the other hut guests. Even though we are now at meadow level, looking up at the mountains that surround us, I feel like I am as high as they are.  As the sun sets and the stars come out, I notice how the stars are aligned!  Maybe mine will be tomorrow!  


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