Sunday, May 11, 2014

A Hike Up To An.......

....old Lookout, done with a new outlook, made today one of those that are special in many ways!  Well into May and feeling like winter is still with us, I wanted to be open-minded and play the flexible card, to optimize my "out & about" weekend experience.  This could be the new outlook to go forward with if today is any proof.  Normally I hit the highway on a Saturday but opted for Sunday due to its stellar forecast.  I shared today's hike to Barrier Lake Lookout with old and new friends.  

I knew we were in for something special right from the get-go!  Our first view was breathtaking.  In the many, many times I have come to Barrier Lake, I have never seen a display like this. While we were admiring this view, I realized there was not a breeze to be felt.  I knew though, crossing the damn that the wind would whistle & whip but that never did materialize.   
A load of snow must have fallen here last night.  While I am tired of snow, even more so now that we are into May, there is no denying it made for incredibly pure, sweet scenery.  By now I worked my way down to a short sleeve shirt and would have gone to shorts if my bottoms zipped off.  
There was an amazing amount of snow!  
I couldn't believe it!  
Here is a snow bank framing Mount Yamnuska.
We took a little time at the Prairie View viewpoint.  
Still just mid-morning, the sun was already offering up lots of warmth.  
We stayed a bit, we played a bit.
The kinds of clouds and the amounts of them were a perfect addition to the day especially if you enjoy shooting shots.  As we were climbing, of course the snow was getting deeper.  The snow drifts, cornices and just plain amount of snow in general was crazy.  This wall of snow was taller than us when we were beside it.
Voila!  There it is, the Barrier Lake Lookout and somebody is home which meant we were not permitted to go on the veranda.  We dined on the helicopter pad which was surrounded by super-sized snow banks.  
After lunch, we worked our way along the very narrow path to the back of the Lookout. 
The views up the Valley were outstanding.  
Today's summit shot!
This was as high as the weather flag would fly.
Others were making their way to the helicopter so we packed up and hit the trail back allowing those folks to experience the same space and enjoyment we did.  It was a tad slow descending the steeper sections but we were still making excellent time.  Back at the view point on Prairie View, once again we stopped but not for just a bit and we played but not for just a bit.  The snow was ideal snowman snow so we built one on the right and a snowwoman on the left.  
This weekend it paid to have that new outlook.  When I think about the adventure we just competed, I now believe our stars aligned.  I could not have asked for anything more.   The day was ideal, friends were fun, Mother Nature was on our side and Kananaskis put on a show worthy of an academy award.  

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