There was no discussion what-so-ever whether we should postpone today's hike, alter it, play it by ear, or outright cancel it when we all knew exactly what the forecast was and what we would be in for on our hike up to Mount Saint Piran. The forecast was for HOT! When it gets above 30C, the numbers mean nothing. The only altering for me was to wear my airiest attire, bring additional water, add electrolytes to some of that water, include turkey bacon, make sure my hat is packed and pile on the sunscreen. On top of that the pace would be slower with frequent stops. Consensus? Check!
We arrived shortly after 9:00am and already had to park in the second parking lot. It was a smart move arriving earlier rather than any later. There was no need to layer up at the start, it was shorts & short sleeve shirt right from the get-go. We admired Lake Louise for a matter of mere seconds more in favour of just getting going on our mission.
The first stop is Mirror Lake with the Big Beehive behind it.
We continued on and detoured away from Lake Agnes and aimed for the Little Beehive. Shortly before arriving there, we hung a left at the big rock and scratched out sign and began on ascent up to Mount Saint Piran. The time in the trees is short and unmentionable. Then it's grand vista time! We are already looking down onto the Big Beehive and across to Mount Lefroy and Devil's Thumb.
The long switchbacks make this ascent easy and enjoyable.
This is one of those hikes where the reward by far exceeds the effort.
Before making our way to the summit, at the Col, we took the short detour to the right to hike along the narrow ridge to its end. Short Stop and Nikita were game to join me at the edge. It was nearing noon and already in the high 20s away up here. HOT Women? Check!
I felt like I was flying high
We reached the summit of Mount Saint Piran and took quite some time to catch our breath and take in the views. The breeze was most welcome, so were the very light fluffy clouds that accumulated. They make our photos.
of course there has to be a tad of silliness
I love this view and shoot it whenever I am here.
Today was the most beautiful of the few times I have been on Piran.
my summit shot
our summit shot in front of Mount Whyte and Mount Niblock
a mountain top garden
We found a place to settle down to dine. It was time for more sunscreen and a hat and to consume lots of salt and fluids. We discussed our next plan of attack and that was to descend the backside of Mount Saint Piran to Goat Pass and find our way off that to Lake Agnes. I saw this down pointing cloud as a sign it was time for us to head down. This was Nikita's first time on this mountain, and it would be my first time to descend via this route. Short Stop took control from here on in and got us safely down.
at the Pass after the steep scrambly section down the rocky part
at Goat Pass
This next section was all business. There was no picture taking, there were some choice thoughts on my part that are best kept to me, and there were a few words verbally outed. I am sorry for that! We arrived down after quite some time. I looked back to where we just came from and you can't get a true perspective off the steepness and the conditions. I was thankful that part was over with!
I was even more thankful to see Lake Agnes, to see water. HOT day? Check!
We made a beeline right to the shore of the Lake. We settled down on a gigantic slab where we could drop our gear, spread out and just breathe lighter. It was time to replenish the sunscreen and top up on food and fluid. You can see the Lake Agnes Tea House middle center in the back.
The hike would be easy from here on in. I admired the Lake one last time then we geared up and began our hike to complete the last few kilometers to the parking lot. It was even hotter and we welcomed being back in the trees.
We attacked our day smartly and it pays to be extra vigilant in doing that on a 30+ degree day in the mountains where there is great elevation and exposure to the elements. It certainly pays too when all parties are playing on the same page. This was a win win win day for the three of us. We accomplished lots.
HOT Women? Check!
HOT Day? Check!
HOT Damn? Check!
What a contrast from last weekend. Magic skies, views and great friends. I often imagine myself hiking along with you. I'm afraid I wouldn't have managed your descent route today.ReplyDelete
I love hiking in that area. Visited Banff in 2008 and have been wanting to make a trip back ever since. Good for you and your friends for getting out there despite the hot weather.ReplyDelete