Picking suitable objectives during this transition time of year takes work. I still want to hike, I'm not ready to strap on the snowshoes. Higher up the snow level can be high, lower down the snow level is probably low. With very little time to investigate objectives, I just took a last minute chance and put the Upper Kananaskis Lake Circuit out there as a safe bet for hiking, hoping friends would be keen. Sure enough they were! Come this morning when the "weather alert" appeared, they were still keen. I knew they would be, I know they are a hardy crew.
We arrived at the Upper Kananaskis Lake parking lot to quite a vision. There was no snow, it was not cold nor was it windy. These three things we were thankful for. We gladly accepted this, keeping in mind the "weather alert". Now that I am home and looking back at our day, I see it can easily be separated into stages.
I love late autumn when the high peaks are sporting new white snow, the lakes can be partially frozen and frost covered and the earthy shades still show through. Our initial view this morning was outstanding, it had it all except a partially frozen lake.
Upper Kananaskis Lake from the parking lot
line of low cloud crossing through the mountain range
peaks peeking through
We made our way into the forest and along the newly designed trail. The damage from the flood left me without words. Thank you so much to those of you who obviously put in a tonne of hours redirecting and rebuilding the trail and bridges. While the trail now bypasses high above the large tumbling falls from the Kananaskis River, it still took us right to one of my favourite spots, the stumps spot. How about this as my summit shot for the day! We took time for lunch in this area.
As we finished lunch and headed on our way, the flurries began to fall. They were light, big, fluffy and melted as they landed. We were now afforded a different look to our day. We still took time to enjoy the views and play a bit, not worrying about these new conditions.
view near the campground
eyeing the Upper Kananaskis Lake had the feel of looking towards an open ocean
calm enough for a reflection shot
The flakes were increasing in number. The visibility was down as were our heads now watching our footing and blocking the snow from landing on our faces. Every now and then I looked up to catch pretty scenes and to capture them. It was a challenge to keep my camera lens clear and dry.
Visibility became nil. The snow was now accumulating on us and on the ground. We did not stop as often but it was still hard to just pass by some scenery. It was quickly becoming a winter wonderland right before our eyes. No mountains to be seen, only what was pretty much close at hand was visible.
a small island and a reflecting stump
designed by Mother Nature
my friends taking a second to admire the view
For the last couple of kilometers we put our heads down and just got the job done. I was now switching focus to the drive home. I was thankful to have competent experienced prepared drivers today but still worried and wondered a bit about what was facing us.
When you are experienced enough to respect what can happen in the mountains, you go prepared and you can still find enjoyment and beauty no matter what transpires. We had an amazing transpiration today. The snow fall ignited the excitement within for the snowshoe season which should soon be upon us. Wishing you all a winter full of safe and wonderful adventures!