Saturday, July 22, 2017

Burstall Pass July 22, 2017

Being flexible was coming into play as we discussed what our destination would be each day.  With trails being closed due to bears or fires, we searched for alternate ideas that would be just as pretty and the distance and elevation gain in line with what we wanted for the day.  It had been ages since I visited Burstall Pass and I had been wanting to venture up into that area again so that became our objective for today.  We were early at the parking lot and right away a couple came to give us a heads up that a  grizzly was on the trail yesterday.  I wondered did that Chester Lake bear cross the road or was this another grizzly.  We geared up and aimed for the trail.  
It was beautiful right from the get-go and the weather was ideal.  We packed many layers because the forecast said cold and windy for the summit.  We stuck close together and made loads of noise to warn that bear we were on our way.
 fresh bear scat
 We worked our way through the alluvial fan.  
There was loads of water, thankfully there were logs to cross in some spots, rocks to hop in others and yet in some spots we built up rocks in the water to make a stepping stone crossing.  I did think about what it could be like upon our return, if you are in the know, then you know there of course would be higher water levels.
 The wild flowers were glorious.  Meadows were carpeted with them.  
We reached where we would go above tree line.  We met up with a trail runner who was already on his way down.  He asked did we see the grizzly bear.  On his ascent he went around a corner and pretty much came face to face with that bear, he said the bear took off.  The bear scared him.  We were not scared, we just made more noise.

our wild flower collection
We arrived at Burstall Pass and it looked stellar.  I forgot how beautiful it was up here.  We crossed over from Peter Lougheed Provincial Park into Banff National Park and then went off trail to reach a higher point for our lunch time visit.  The higher we went the more windy and colder it became.  We bundled up.....
 .....and captured our summit shots.
 We picked a spot down slope a bit to stretch out, relax and dine.  
Our lunch time view was prime.
The opportunities up here to explore are grand so we took advantage of that.  We could see Leman Lake far below.  We did meet up with backpackers who were heading there for the night.  We watched others summit Snow Peak.  
 exploring
We reached another high point and thought it worthy of a summit shot.
 seeing mountains through the flower bouquet
 We explored the north and my friends went off to explore the south end.  
The south end of the pass had a different array of wild flowers.  I waited a very short while as they visited yet another high point.  This was the first time I was over on this side.  Into the memory bank this goes as I would enjoy investing more time exploring this side.
We gathered together again and began our descent.  We enticed my friend to get into the snow and make her first snowball.   It took a little coaxing then she went for it.  I love the look on her first as she tries to take cover from the oncoming snowball.  After spending a little more energy here, it was time to get on with our day and make our way back.

We were three today and wish our friend could have joined us.  We had many pictures to share with her along with our stories.  We were quicker with our trek back to the alluvial fan but slower crossing back over it, as I expected the water was running higher and wider.  We made it back to the parking lot, geared down, snacked then hit the 742 to 40 to 1 and back home again.  I thought about how fortunte we have been to have the weather we were having and for there to be no smoke considering the number of fires and size of them that are not all that far away.  I have been a little extra thankful these days!







1 comment:

  1. You are really showing your friends a good time!

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