Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Aylmer Lookout June 9, 2020

I was on cloud 9 with the thought of heading into Banff National Park today!  With some roads & trails open, with little or no snow in some low & high areas, with lots of daylight hours & sunshine, with it being a weekday, this was the day to venture back into this paradise-like place! Aylmer Lookout was to be the destination with a side visit down to the lake shore on the way back.  The day started with this view!   
 looking down Stewart Canyon while crossing the bridge
Lake Minniwanka actually looked turquoise even without my sunglasses on.  I always like this portion of the trail with the view of the mountains, the lake and that crazy tree.  Today the trail was dry and free of snow the entire way from the parking lot to the Lookout.
 view back after crossing the narrow foot bridge
 a swallowtail on the trail
We took a few minutes at the intersection to have some fuel and gear down before beginning the long ascent section to Aylmer Lookout.  Coming out of the forest and seeing the Lake means we are almost where we are aiming for.
 The 12 kilometre hike in and up is so worth it when afforded this view.  
 taking care of the most important business
 getting ready to settle down for lunch
It was wintry cold and wildly windy for our visit at the Lookout.  As the minutes passed on, it grew windier and colder.  We stayed for about 30 minutes which was enough time to accomplish all the summit necessities.  This is a view while dining.
 The only bit of snow we encountered the entire day.
Well, I purposely encountered it!
 another view of Lake Minniwanka 
Donned in every layer I brought and still feeling chilled it was time to get moving and warm up. We packed up and went on our way.  I looked back for one last shot of the Lookout lay of the land.
 The trail down from the top.
It seemed like no time at all and we were back at the intersection.  We carried on through the backcountry campground, which is still not open for staying the night, and made our way to the "beach".  There was a large log which was perfect to take a load off and settle for a snack and admire the scene.
 on the way back
On the way back, we did have one encounter which scared us and startled the deer too.  It was the biggest deer I ever did see that jumped about five feet in the air when it came out of the bushes and saw us on the trail.  It had a collar around the neck that slide up and down the entire length of its' neck when it jumped and there was a large tag on the ear.  For a few seconds it seemed it did not know what to do and we knew we needed to stay in place and calm down the situation.  It stared at us and moved a couple of feet closer to us then stopped.  I was shaking in my boots. We slowly began to move forward, talking calmly and then the deer moved off trail, watched us the entire time and we made our way past it.  Whew!  

It was such a treat to be in this area of Banff National Park when it is so very quiet.  There were a few people out and about who were probably like us, being very thankful to have this paradise-like place to visit.   Tacking on a visit to the lake shore, this amounted to a 24.4 kilometre hike with a cumulative amount of 984 metres in gain.

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful return to the mountains. I'm glad the deer chose to leave the path quietly.


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