Secretly I considered today's trek to Cirque Peak to be a reconnaissance visit for purposes of measuring confidence and growth. I ventured into this area back in 2009 when I was quite the novice with regards to steep slopes, scree, finding my way mentally, scrambling, loads of elevation and just plain hiking in general. On that day in 2009, summitting Cirque Peak was such a boundary breaker for me that I uncontrollably had a moment behind my sunglasses sitting on the top with what looked like the whole world below me. And so, the evaluation began...
My hopes were to find a few friends to join me and there was no reason to doubt that would happen as the word is out there that this place is A-1, premier, golden, prime, you get where I'm going with this. Before all this good stuff, you have to first work your way through the forest. Then...turn the corner...exit the forest...hold your breath...then remember to breathe!
Cirque Peak, our destination, is top right!
Along the way to Cirque Peak you have to pass by Helen Lake.
This spot is a premier destination on its own.
We spent a little time at Helen Lake to rest and refuel then get in gear to go for the summit of Cirque Peak. First, we gained the ridge above the Lake, then passed through a short easy fun scramble section. After that, the trail was clear as can be in front of us which is that light colored line straight up through the center. It was steep, it was slow going, it was slippery. Just before successfully summitting, the dark clouds rolled in, the wind picked up, and the rain rained down on us.
We only stayed long enough to secure our individual summit shots.
That is Bow Lake behind me.
The descent was easier then the ascent.
The view of the valley below where we were headed was expansive and priceless.
See emerald Katherine Lake lining the base of the Dolomites.
Conditions were not ideal to dine on the summit.
We found a sheltered spot amongst a rock garden by a lakelet low down to hang out for awhile.
This was one of our lunch time views.
pretty & perfect
There is a piece of my heart near Helen Lake so I must return to collect that to fill this void.
When the time comes for the retrieval, I will wish for a sunny sky...
... and time to enjoy massive views from the summit.
After lunch, we continued along the ridge and then veered off towards Helen Lake below.
We agreed to carry on past the Lake and make our way along the last six kilometers to the trail head.
This is one last, vast view before heading to the forest.
Four years and a month later, I completed the trek to Cirque Peak, and I am proud to report my own measurement rating for improvement is " she has grown by leaps and bounds". I was happy to have friends to share today with and glad to have made two new friends. Being with these upbeat, happy folks in a place like where we were today, helps to make me feel like I am "on top of the world"!