Saturday, September 28, 2013

Go for GOLD

In February skiers & skaters get to "go for gold", in August runners & rowers get to "go for gold", in September hikers get to "go for gold"!  The February & August participants only get to "go" every four years where as we lucky Calgary hikers get to "go" every year.  What is similar between the February, August and my group of September players is that only peak performers get to "go for gold".   A big day was designed and put out there looking for interest.  I jumped on board for the opportunity to "go for gold" in the Skoki area near Lake Louise where the larch trees would be putting on their prime time show.  

This prime time show is only prime for a very short period of time and even though the weather forecast was not ideal, we knew the golden colors would be perfect and just had to go for it.  Let another week pass and the show may be over.  Our first stop would be the Halfway Hut tucked away amongst the gold.   
Being around noon, made this the ideal spot to dine.
While my friends were inside having lunch, I ventured down by the creek side to capture gold.
As we carried along the trail and the clouds hung low, I realized this would not be the day for grand scenery photos but a day to enjoy what was up close.  I focused on going for the gold colors that were right in front of me. 
larch tree in the boulder field
We skirted around Ptarmigan Lake, ascended our way through rocks and boulders aiming for a ridge just above Redoubt Lake.  It was time for another break.  Before fueling up and gearing up, I capture a destination shot with Ptarmigan Lake behind me.
We meandered off the ridge and through the meadow....
....arriving at the far end of Ptarmigan Lake...
...reaching another meadow...
....where the view was splendid and intersected the trail to ascend to Deception Pass.
view of Ptarmigan Lake from Deception Pass
Surprisingly Deception Pass was easy to reach, but then again, we are peak performers.  It was a whole other season up here.  We just left autumn down below and arrived at winter up here.  The slight covering of snow just added to the dramatic views.
While going for gold was our main objective of the day, I was happy to have hints and teases of blue thrown in, especially when it was time for another lunch.  This was my view as I found a little shelter to relax and refuel.  We also took time to review our route for the day and formulate a plan going forward.
I see why the call was put out for only peak performers.  We would be traversing this steep boulder field aiming for that grassy knob in the center just below the glacier.  From there we should be able to eye our next destination.  
We made it to the grassy knob, made our way up and over more boulders, skirted a rock slab, and WOW, a tease of blue!  Down below us barely visible through the clouds, snow and sleet was one of the Skoki lakes.  What a tease!  This view told me that I need to come back next summer on a glorious day.  
We made it to Packer's Pass, then descended from there leaving winter behind and arrived where once again it was autumn and we could "go for gold" once again.  The meadows today were a pleasure to hike on, being spongy made it easy on the knees.
We arrived back at Ptarmigan Lake and strolled slowly.
a golden view
I declare I love larch trees!
a truly golden moment
We made our way back to the Halfway Hut and took another break there.  
I prefered to stay outside and enjoy the views.  
These golden times are so very short and I wanted to breathe in every second.  
Today was fabulous!  
We went for gold!
We won!


4 comments:

  1. Spectacular, stunning, amazing.................. wish I were there!!!!

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    1. Close your eyes and dream! You can be there in spirit!

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  2. I saw this hike last week on your site and went and did it today ! It was great. I did have the interesting situation of running into a grizzly with one cub right on the trail on the side of Ptarmigan Lake

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    1. WOW! You got the added bonus! Glad you got to see this area. Pretty isn't it!

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