Sunday, August 12, 2012

Life Flows at Floe Lake

I have owned my backpacking gear for 19 months now, all the while waiting and having faith that my stars would align and a right time would come when I could put it to use and experience a true backpacking adventure.  I have hiked, car-camped and snowshoed into an Alpine Hut now it was time to just let life flow onto the next step and that would be to combine the knowledge gained from these three types of adventures into a two day backpacking  trip to Floe Lake in Kootenay National Park.

I was both nervous and excited at the trail head.  I didn't know what to expect.  I do better when I have an idea of what I am in for.  Right away the views distracted me from the nervousness and built up the excitement.  The fireweed was at its peak in pink!
I found the ascent challenging carrying a heavy pack that weighted in at approximately 38 to 40 pounds.   In sections the trail was narrow and angled and deteriorating away.  Twice the ground gave way beneath my foot and I went down but I was not injured.  That was all worth it when we finally got to see Floe Lake emerald in color at the base of The Rockwall.  
After viewing the Lake, we went in search of a place to call home for the night.  
Our tent pads were surrounded by wild flowers.  
After setting up camp, relaxing, having a drink then dinner, we checked out the area.  
We found the warden patrol cabin.
 A few icebergs were still floating in Floe Lake.
We were in bed early, with plans of getting up to watch the Persieds Meteor Shower.  At 2:00 am I checked the sky and it was amazing.  I went to each tent to wake up my freinds as they wanted to join me.  We stayed out for about 30 minutes and saw the Milky Way light up the sky and meteors shoot by about every minute.  How lucky were we that our stars aligned for this magnificant show.   I wanted to stay out and watch the show but I wanted to see the sunrise and also be in half decent shape for the 17km hike out in the morning, so I went back to bed for more rest.

I woke like clock work for the sunrise and headed down to the Lake to see what I could see. I caught the beginning of the alpenglow show.   The Rockwall looked so pretty showing off its reflection.
As the sun came up it turned The Rockwall golden!
This certainly was a golden moment to capture!
After taking my sunrise photos, I sat by the lake to have my coffee and reflect on how fortunate I am to be able to experience such an adventure!  I cherished these moments when I owned Floe Lake at such a peaceful time in the morning.
After breakfast and taking down camp, we packed up and hit the trail!  We headed for Numa Pass and on the way there, I kept looking back.  I didn't want to leave!  I took one last look back at Floe Lake seeing bits of the emerald color.
...leaving Floe Lake behind...
...we carried on to Numa Pass...
Numa Pass was such a nice place to be.  The views from here were spectacular.  In the far off distance behind my head, you can see some of the Peaks associated with the Valley of the Ten Peaks.  It was all down hill from here on in and I was so thankful for that.
Once off the Pass, we were into the trees and the views were gone.  So we just concentrated on our foot placement on a rough and rooty trail, where scattered trees were down here and there, trails were washed away and the new ones created were deteriorating away.  The devastation from rain and snowmelt this season was obvious.

We finally reached the Numa Creek Parking Lot and once I dropped my pack, I jumped for joy!  I was glad it was over!  I was grateful to have completed my very first true backpacking trip feeling happy and healthy.  I had such an absolutely, fun, amazing time it made me feel like I was "on top of the world!"  


  1. It looks like such an amazing trip Andra! Absolutely stunning... Thanks for sharing your photos with us!

  2. Wow wow wow! The reflection photos = amazing.

  3. What stunning vistas and weather! Those reflections are amazingly perfect. Takes my breathe away viewing them on the screen.
    No wonder you didn't want to leave.
    I was surprised at the quality of the campsite.

  4. Amazing and full of wonders for you Andra.
    The flow, those challenges, moments during the mountain day, then with your meteors within the night, finally looking back upon that place now in your memories and your heart.
    Your journeys are becoming poetry.....

  5. Welcome to the world of backpacking! You picked an epic trip to start with. Count your blessings. Us southern US folks really enjoy the big-time Alberta/BC mountains but don't get to do "epics" very often.

    Great pictures as usual. Looks like you have great boots and, now, pack.

    Like the other comment, I was surprised at the concrete campsite barrier and even the bench. The worst part of backpacking for me is the sitting on the ground, although I make happy exceptions for sunsets and meteor showers! Keep enjoying your great part of the world; I get to Calgary on business several times a year and enjoy it each time, even if the most "outdoorsy" I get is running the Bow.


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