I had a feeling earlier in the week that I wanted to follow my heart on Saturday! I was ready to head further west and further up to where I would be surrounded by the really big mountains. That was where I needed to be on this day, no matter what! Two friends had the same heartfelt feelings. The Moraine Lake Road only opened a couple of weeks ago and that road would take us exactly to where our hearts could sing. Our goal was to just hike through Larch Valley to Minnestimma Lake which sits below Sentinel Pass. We accomplished much more than that.
This is not the prettiest time to go here.
The forecast was not on our side.
The Park Trail Report recommended snowshoes.
Why even bother?
Because we were following our hearts!
We came even though it is not the prettiest time, we didn't care about the weather and we ignored the snowshoe warning. We beat all those odds against us. Larch Valley was bursting with western anemones.
I was excited for this part of the trail because it was just about time to experience being surrounded by all those really big mountains. I was still wondering when were we going to encounter all that reported snow depth. Well, that never did materialize. There was no need for snowshoes nor microspikes.
We continued right to Minnestimma Lake. I was glad to see a small part of it was open and also that some of that pretty blue showed through. The trail up to Sentinel Pass still had some large sections of snow on the slopes but people were still heading up there. It was not in our plan for today.
my first destination shot
happy heart here
We were fortunate the showers did not happen, yet it was cold and windy so we decided to head to greener pastures to dine. Instead of retracing our steps, we aimed for a lower lake we saw on the way up. It was down in the valley below Mount Temple and it provided shelter and scenery.
We found a boulder field that looked inviting with perfectly placed rocks to sit and spread out. We dined, discussed future plans, then eyed a route to attack once we refueled. That route took us through a wonderful playground and we followed our hearts as we went. This is what that looks like!
Eiffel Peak & Pinnacle Mountain
Not ready to call it a day yet, we found our way through the forest, arriving back at the trail after just completing a large loop. We crossed the trail, crossed the creek and aimed for a hill that would lead us to a ridge high above Larch Valley and far below Eiffel Peak. As we climbed higher, the buds on the larch trees became more prominent. These are the female buds.
We had a clear view of Mount Temple, all expect for the top.
This was a glorious place to be, on a ridge with Larch Valley below us on one side and the Valley of Ten Peaks below us on the opposite side. We secured our photos before settling down to dine again. Here we are in front of a few of the Ten Peaks.
another destination shot
Larch Valley is far below
Sentinal Pass is at my finger tip
We made quick time getting off the ridge, back down to the intersection and along the switchbacks to Moraine Lake. It was cold and windy, the canoes were out yet the concession stand was closed. The surrounding area was busy but I did find a spot to capture my shot without folks in it.
Now it was time to call it a day.
My heart felt full because I followed it until it was content.
I was so happy to be with friends who believe you go no matter what and you make the best of what you are handed. It certainly paid off once again to follow that mantra. The odds against us did not pan out. It was a pretty day, we had no rain nor snow to contend with and the trail was totally clear. Follow your heart and it will take you to great places!