Saturday, August 9, 2014

a summer pass

Paying a visit to Wenkchemna Pass during the dog days of summer has been in the midst of my wanna-do list ever since I first went there years back during Larch Season in mid September.  Today was my fourth venture into The Pass but finally my first during summer.   We arrived at Lake Louise village at 9:00 am for a quick stop before driving the road up to Moraine Lake.  A large flashing warning sign stated "limited parking at Moraine Lake".  My initial thought was that can't be it's only 9:00 am.  Sure enough a few minutes later we arrive at an already over flowing parking lot.  Lucky for us, a car exited a spot as we approached and we quickly secured it. I took that as a sign, a sign that told me "this is your day"!   

As usual, the first portion of the trail was hectic until we reached the intersection where the trail splits to go to either Larch Valley or Wenkchemna Pass.  As usual, most went straight towards Larch Valley and that's how I like it.  After the treed section, we finally catch a first glimpse of our destination which is the saddle-like section in the center.  
sapphire blue  Eiffel Lake with an emerald green tarn along side
clouds were unusual today
posing marmot
my version of rock climbing
The scenery on this hike is out of this world!  It truly is!  
While I like that not many folks frequent this area, I do wonder why.  
The views rival those of neighbouring Passes & Valleys.  
At the end of the Valley of Ten Peaks, the climb begins to  Wenkchemna Pass.  The higher up along the switchbacks and the views get even grandeur.  From left to right you have Eiffel Peak, Eiffel Lake, Valley of Ten Peaks and then the line of Wenkchemna Peaks.   There are tarns here and there and boulders splattered about.  Looks like a money making calendar shot to me! 
arrival time
at 2611 meters
the top of Wenkchemna Pass
my summit shot
Mount Temple & Eiffel Peak to the left 
It was breezy and chilly at the summit.  We settled down, just down from the top, for some shelter, a grand vista and delicious dining. This was our view and yes those are my boots.  I tested my Styngers out last week on a short hike, and went for the full meal deal today and as expected, they performed as expected.  
after lunch view
looking down into Eagles Eyrie
Now refueled, now with a summit fulfillment, we descended back down into the Valley.  
The colorful rocks were inviting and I tried to RSVP but this was the best I could do.  
green, gold, blue, white
colors that create a photographer's dream

valley center
The wide open spaces were nearing their end so before heading back into the trees I captured one last, lasting shot. The trail was filled with fireweed on one side and there were glaciers galore on the other. There was peak after peak and peak after peak topped off with dancing & swirling cloud formations.  We were a group of fun friends, playing & remembering to breathe.  I read that sign right as we secured that one last parking lot "this is your day"!   "This was our day!"

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