Saturday, August 22, 2015

Invincible Lake finding out what you're made of

Six years ago I hiked to Invincible Lake and knew then that one day in the future I wanted to return but under more favourable conditions i.e. not on a scorching hot day and I also wanted to include reaching the summit of Mount Nomad to the right of the Lake.  That day has come to pay that return visit and I was able to convince four others to join me.  I tried my best to relay to them what the getting there and back would be like, not so sure I was successful in accomplishing that.  You have to hike it to truly understand!   Now they know why I said we're starting early,  count on 10 hours, why I said wear old clothes.

Our early start offered up peace & quiet & beauty.  From the Interlakes Parking Lot we passed between Upper and Lower Kananaskis Lakes as we aimed for the trail.  The fog and cloud were in the process of burning off and I got my favourite kind of photo of Upper Kananaskis Lake.
It snowed yesterday in the mountains.
A view of the snow covered trees.
We took the high trail that heads towards Three Isle Lake.
After the bridge over the creek, we took an immediate right and began the over and under log crawling, light bushwhacking.  The bushes were snow covered and I was drenched by the time we covered that roughly one kilometer distance.  This is when quick dry clothing comes into play.  We then began the steep climb up about 450m of elevation gain over a kilometer.  The views began to open up and this is the Upper Kananaskis Lake.
The steep slope.
At the ridge after the steep slope, we still had a steep down to complete and a little more elevation gain to reach Invincible Lake.  I advised my friends to take note that we are returning the way we came which means lots of elevation gain on the return trip so we may want to reconsider whether we want to even attempt Mount Nomad.  It took us just short of five hours to get to this point.  
Invincible Lake
We decided to forgo Mount Nomad.  We did skirt the Lake though to find an ideal well deserved dining spot.  This was my view as I savoured my greek salad, turkey bacon, gouda cheese, tuna sandwich, banana bread, tea and water.  
We reached a higher point in the meadow on the back side of the Lake to admire the area from another vantage point.  The fireweed was in bloom.   The bear diggings were plentiful.  The view was outstanding and it was ours, we owned it out-right.  
my destination shot
us on the plateau above the Lake
time to leave Invincible Lake
we could see the Continental Divide
I was looking forward to the view of Upper Kananaskis Lake on the way back.  You can even see the moon in the centre.  Now it was time to descend off the ridge and find our way down that steep slope.  An ooops occurred and when we realized, we took a few minutes to check our tools, take a lay of the land, then we aimed to get back on track and did so without incident.
As we carried on, we chatted how the return portion along here and the log crawling section, seemed easier.  I did get a boost of energy but that did not last long.  I just wanted this over with, I wanted out of my boots and to get clean pants on, I wanted the pack off my back and most of all I wanted to be sitting down on something soft.  That all did eventually come.  

Accomplishing an adventure like we did today, you truly find out what you're made off.  Getting to Invincible Lake is not for the faint of heart or novice folks.  It helps having supportive upbeat friends who have the ability to smile through it all, although we may not have been smiling on the inside.  Thank you so much for your enthusiasm, determination and no stopping me attitudes.  That's what made us winners today!   


  1. Wow! What gorgeous scenery! I'm sure it was well worth all the long distance walking and wet clothing.

  2. Seems like the absolutely perfect day for it. Stunning scenery and effort by all.


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