Saturday, August 16, 2008

Loop the Lake

What this hike lacked in elevation, it made up for in scenery!

Today we were 9 in total. They say bears will never confront a group of 4 or more hikers, so there was safety in our number. Although, I don’t trust that a bear will take the time to stop and count us, then make his decision on whether to charge or not!

The full loop of the Upper Kananaskis Lake is measured at 16.5 km. We did it in a clock-wise direction. It seemed the majority of hikers preferred the counter clock-wise direction. We passed large numbers heading that way, who were also taking advantage of this beautiful hot day. My thermometer measured +23 degrees at the start of the hike and +30 degrees five hours later when we arrived back at the parking lot. This was a good day to be in shade, to be near water, to be catching the spray of cold, fast, thundering, waterfalls.

The feast for our eyes consisted of a variety of land formations. It started with the wide openness where we saw the size of the lake. As we carried on we passed over bridge covered waterfalls and found ourselves walking through what felt like a lush humid rain forecast. Most of the early trail was in shade. It opened up halfway into the hike to a scene of vivid green growth with hundreds of gray tree stumps sticking out.

We realized at this point, that the counter clock-wise hikers were the smart ones, they did the open part of the trail before the heat of the day. We trekked on through a massive avalanche rock area. I would not want to have been there when this happened, which would have been years ago I assume as there was a well worn forged trail through the rocks.

Even though the wild flower season is closing in, we were left with a hint of fushia as we looked down onto this massive lake. This was the view we got to take away with us at the end of today’s hike!

I did this hike about 11 years ago but only a very tiny portion of it looked familar. It seemed brand new to me today. Speaking of brand new, my camelbak is a keeper! It will be a permanent fixture in my backpack. I am now thinking of what my next hike might be and even though I don't know which one it will be, I am looking forward to it already!

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