Monday, December 9, 2019

Emerald Lake Lodge Trip Day 2 - December 9, 2019

It was early to bed last night and early to rise this mornig on Day 2 of Triple E with a big day ahead of X-C Skiing on the Lake O'Hara Road up to Lake O'Hara.  Breakfast was at 7:00am in The Lodge, after that we gathered our gear and hopped on the shuttle to get to our car.  Around 9:00 we were skiing.  We were on the same page with skiing our own ski as we are at different levels of experience and what brings us joy along the way varies a bit. 

I have been to Lake O'Hara in the summer riding the bus up, but I have never been up there in the winter. This was a new ski route for me and a new style of track too, well, it was not the usual groomed & set track, but a touring ski skier made type track.  

The last time I stood in this spot was on July 23rd while I waited to board the yellow school bus for the ride up the 11 kilometer dirt road to reach the trail heads to hike in the Lake O'Hara area.  Today I would be X-C Skiing up this road.
Right from the start it was obvious why people rave about skiing here.  The beauty was unbelievable!  I tried to focus on getting up that long hill in this type of track but of course I did stop for some photo opportunities.  Every now and then I could see my friend up ahead and then she would disappear around a corner.  She would no doubt make it to Lake O'Hara, as for me I set no expectations.  
scene along the way
tree lined trail
cloud rays shooting out of the mountain peaks
It was an eleven kilometre ski up and I made it to the nine km mark and made a wise decision this should be my turn around point.  I skied back to the five kilometre mark where the picnic table was.
It was tea time!
A group came along and stopped for snacks while on their way to Elizabeth Parker Hut for two huts.  They were quite happy to oblige when I asked if they would capture a shot of me.  I have been leaving my tripod behind on my X-C Ski events.  It's time to lighten the load.
view along the trail
once again the trees were laden with snow
my hair was laden with white gold too
this time I see I am sporting ice beads
At one point a helicopter flew over and not long after I saw a plume a cloud a whatever it was.  We found out later they had performed avalanche control and stopped traffic for an hour.  I had wondered what that darker area on the lower right here was as it developed and then drifted away.  It may have just been a cloud.
I was ready to be done and I could see at the far end a tiny brown dot.
That would be the shelter back at the parking lot.
I removed my skis at the shelter and it was not until I loaded the photos onto my iPad did I notice it looks like my poles and skis are leaning against the shelter.  I cooled off pretty quick so hurried back to the vehicle to get my big down on.
When all was said and done, my friend arrived back at the car 20 minutes after I did.  On top of skiing all the way to Lake O'Hara she even included a ski over to Elizabeth Parker Hut for lunch, then a ski around Lake O'Hara Lodge & Cabins plus a portion of the Lake also a tour around Mary Lake.  After some more ski trips and gaining more experience, I too will make it right to the Lake.  

After a lengthy wait on the highway while avalanche control took place, we arrived back at our cabin where a shower called out to me and the hot tub and sauna beckoned my friend.  Today, Day 2 of Triple E, was rather spectacular I must say!

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