Saturday, August 15, 2009

Monumental Moments

Today was big in many ways! Not just for distance, elevation and hiking time but more importantly for the accomplishments and being at a place that held significant meaning. I'm at that place in the photo below! This Monument sits on the edge of the 3rd Memorial Lake with Bogart Tower as its backdrop. The hike to the Memorial Lakes is not a well known trail, neither is it marked. Many make the attempt but very few reach the 3rd Lake, most settle for the 2nd Lake as their destination.

From what I was able to find out beforehand, I would have to say we were fortunate today, because all three lakes were full and glorious, which is not normally the case. The falls between them created a roaring thunder.
Once the first one was reached, the second one came quickly thereafter. While the first lake sparkled in a dull blue color, the second one was full of reflection and an amazing color of turquoise. We stopped for some fuel with this lake being only a couple of feet from our own feet.

We brain stormed on a game plan to attack what was at our back and keeping the third lake out of sight, Bogart Tower. How menacing it looked! I read before hand that there were two ways to go up. We tried one, almost crawling up a steep scree slope. I reached a high enough point that I saw the only way beyond this was a scramble that I was not prepared for. So, I wasn't successful but my friend was! You can see him in the trio of photos below, underneath each red star. I inched my way back down to the second lake to wait while he carried on. The plan was I would wait an hour and hopefully he would be back by then, if not.....

Only about 42 minutes later, I hear a holler and there he was, ready to begin his descent. I told him he needs to get a light colored shirt so he can be seen in photos. He made it down, showed me photos of what he saw and I felt like a looser, like a wimp but accepted the fact that I tried and the second lake would have to be my summit. I suggested we walk to the far end of the second lake just to admire its beauty from another angle. We then noticed another trail up behind Bogart Tower. Now, this is where accomplishments happen. I am feeling a little down because I was not able to ascend and he starts heading up this second trail. I follow! I see it is steep, very steep, with some scrambling but not near as much as before. With encouragement and a little hand holding, I followed! We summit and very quickly! So quickly that G can say he summit the same mountain twice in one day all in a little over an hour. Now that deserves bragging rights!

It was about a 15 minute hike to the other side of the third lake to where the monument stands. If you zoom in on the photo you can read the names of those who died in the plane crashes or check out this story by the Alberta Wilderness Legacy. It felt amazing to be here! To see the monument! To touch it!
This was a really long day with just under 10 hours of hiking. It was the dirtiest I ever got on a hike as I found the easiest way down was on my behind. That didn't matter! All that mattered was that we made it to the 3rd Memorial Lake to see the monument! I am so thankful for my friend's encouragement! Now we had 10km ahead of us for the return trip. I was beaming! I sensed he was too, although quite tired from the duo summit. When you are checking out the numbers below on elevation and distance, add a couple of more kilometers and 200 more meters of elevation and you will get his totals for the day.

Like my very first sentence in this post says "today was big in many ways"!

1 comment:

  1. That's awesome that you made it to the third lake!! Sounds like a very challenging hike/scramble. I'm still working on getting my Montana photos online. :)


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