Saturday, July 11, 2009

Embraced by Gargoyles

I sensed a large day ahead after reading reviews and viewing others photos of Cory Pass, Mount Edith and Gargoyle Valley. What is considered to be one of the most difficult hikes in Banff National Park served up an extra large day! Now I am knowledgeable on a whole new kind of gargoyle! I was familiar with the kind of gargoyle in the center of the photo below, not the kind you would feel comfortable being embraced by. In Cory Pass we were surrounded by these stunning pinnacles, rock formations, gargoyles. The shapes were quite unique, very large and over powering but yet the way they surrounded us, enclosed us, I felt embraced by these gargoyles and I was fine with it!
The last few hikes have taken me to places I never dreamed I would be fortunate enough or even fit enough to go to like the Tunnel at Crypt Lake and the Ledges at Lake O'Hara. More and more I find myself in places where I am more parallel to the mountains then perpendicular and at times using all fours to get where I need to go.
I feel it's building character and strength to face what faces me ahead below. My confidence level is not yet at 100% in situations like this, but with the support of my hiking buddies, I'm getting there!
By using all fours, I can get to places where the views are out of this world. I always knew the greater the effort, the greater the reward! Looking back at the sandstone color of Gargoyle Valley looked golden through my shades. Mount Louis with a very distinct looking peak continued to catch my eye as we worked our way along the scree trail in the valley. The tree is almost perfectly aligned with the center of Cory Pass. No matter where I stood, I had a view of one mountain range or another.
Although today's distance hiked was not as significant as other times I hiked, the elevation was! With just over 900 meters of net elevation and 1050 meters of total elevation, this would be the most yet for me. Would you agree, one would have to feel "on top of the world" climbing to these numbers!

Today's adventure has increased my appetite and I am hungry for more! Now, just to get through this work week before I can get my fill again!


  1. Great report - your title made me wonder at first if you headed to Paris and climed up on the Notre Dame cathedral!

  2. Amazing out there! You are really doing some amazing hikes, and your fitness is outstanding! Those gargoyles look so beautiful.

  3. Great post and beautiful pictures. I like the gargoiles I always look for them when I visit a cathedral. They are full of mistery like the Green men.


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