Saturday, September 15, 2012

How Much.....

.....can one handle!  I got that sensory overload feeling today on our hike to Wenkchemna Pass! You may too by the time you reach the google earth map at the bottom of this post, but I tell you, invest a few minutes here and come on our ride.  It was one of those days when one thing after another, then another, then another, then another happened.  Don't get me wrong, all this was good and was what makes for a fabulous, memorable day.  The stars aligned with perfection today with sensational scenery, fun friends,  wonderful weather and exciting experiences.   It all began to unwind when the trail opened up. 
Eiffel Lake showed off it's cobalt color and even offered up a reflection.
Our destination of Wenkchema Pass was now clearly in sight which is in the center of this photo.  It looked so close but clearly wasn't as we hiked and hiked and hiked.  At this point, we could see other hiking friends, who were merely dots, scrambling their way up the Peak on the right.
Just before the Pass and looking back, there was The Valley of Ten Peaks and also Mount Temple on the left in the middle.  I never thought I would say a puddle looked pretty, but the one down below is.
We reached the summit at 2611 meters (8566 feet) and each had our summit shots shot.
The weather was fine so the summit cairn was our dining spot.  No need to go low for shelter today.  From here we could see some of the ten peaks and the valley below, we watched our other friends scramble up Wenkchemna Peak and even gave a shout out back and forth.  It is amazing how sound carries in these places.  Checking out the sights we noticed other friends on top of Wasatch Peak.  We met up with them later and I showed them the photo I got of them up there.
After lunch, we packed up and headed down the trail.  Descending down through the steep rocky section was where I experienced that celebrity status feeling.  A gentleman asked "are you Alexandra?"  He is one of my loyal followers and must have as much passion for the mountains as me because he and a few others came all the way from Edmonton to hike Wenkchemna Pass.  We shared a photo op and chatted for a bit.  It was so nice to meet you and I wonder was there anything at the summit that made you smile extra wide!

We made it off that steep section then all of a sudden some of my friends let loose.  What did you eat? What did you drink?  I contribute it to being high on life and feeling on top of the world.  Thank you for your craziness and for the laughs.  This was as loose as I got.
Eiffel Lake went from being that cobalt color on the ascent to sapphire on our return trip.
We've been to the summit, we had our fun, we got wonderful photos, shared many laughs now it was time to put our heads down, watch our foot placement on the rocky rooty section of the trail and make our way back to the trail head.  In a moment of quiet and now business, there was this blast of a loud shrill whistle from behind that startled me.  We all stopped and looked back only to see this marmot posing.  We didn't see it as we passed by and I guess it felt dissed so needed to let us know.  Ten minutes later, we are off again after the marmot felt we enough photos and moved on. 
Once again, now it was time to put our heads down, watch our foot placement on the rocky rooty section of the trail and make our way back to the trail head.  NOT!  This is why there is the hiking restriction of a mandatory four or more folks sticking very close together.  

Mama grizzly....
....and her two cubs who were about 100 meters away feeding in the meadow.  Here we go, more time, more amazing to watch this from a safe distance.  When Mom looked up at us, we moved on then saw the very fresh scat on the trail in two areas which was not there on our way in.  
...of course...
...we're in Banff National Park...
The colors were brighter for the return trip and I took one final shot before reaching the junction and meeting up with and joining in with the migration coming down from Larch Valley.   
This was an absolutely fabulous day to be in this paradise.  My old and new friends were the biggest part in making this such an enjoyable outing and I hope you felt like you were "on top of the world" just like I felt!


  1. A journey within an adventure, paths crossed out upon trails, wonders around every bend of the route... Does it get any better than that!
    And then you pass forward greetings and smiles too...
    Such wonderful experiences Andra!

  2. The gentleman who recognised you on the mountain.

    Hi Alexandra,

    It is a great pleasure meeting you on the trail , very surprise that I can recognise you.
    just to drop a few words and to say ' Hello'
    will continue to read your interesting blog.



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