Saturday, October 4, 2014

Flipped Focus

From the split second we arrived at the Elk Pass Parking Lot for our hike to Taiga Viewpoint, I wondered what would become of our day! Not long into our hike, I pondered what were we in for today!  As our day went on, I internally questioned, is this Friday the 13th! I came to the realization our stars were not aligning as we would hoped they would so our focus flipped!  Being the lovers of life that we are, being friends comfortable at working together to dodge curve balls, yet most importantly being experienced at making wise choices, we straightened out those misplaced stars by making the most of what was tossed our way. 

I am diligent in assessing all that needs to be assessed before heading to the mountains to play.  I was caught off guard and shocked to see this at the Elk Pass Parking Lot.  The sign says it was placed on October 1.  Last night I checked out the trail reports and did again before leaving this morning confirming the coast was clear for this area and according to the Kananaskis website, it was.  We checked the map and read the details.  Our objective was in another direction, we obeyed the sign, went for the safe open trailhead, stuck with our plan but we would be on guard.
We made excellent time getting to the Kiosk at Elk Pass and to the Frozen Lake sign.
We had a decent temperature, light sprinkles, no sun, lots of clouds.
Our intended destination is Taiga Viewpoint which is the high point on the lower left slope.  To get there we would first reach Frozen Lake which is centre above the trees sitting at the base of Mount Fox. 
The trail conditions from the Frozen Lake sign up to the Lake were boggy in places, lightly snow covered along sections, muddy in areas, quite steep with slabs on some slopes.  We reached the marker showing us we were on the Alberta - British Columbia border.  
There were scattered larch trees mostly having lost their needles which made for a pretty carpet leading us directly to Frozen Lake.  We took a few moments to admire the Lake then checked out the route to Taiga Viewpoint.  
We layered up against the cold & wind then aimed for the trail.  We ascended a short section and when it was turning into more scrambling then scrabbling, we traced our steps back down and rechecked the route.  We took another trail which was easier, at first anyway.  About 15 or so minutes along here we encountered a narrow exposed section we needed to cross, where the ground was slick, wet & loose and we were not sure when stepping to the other side if the ground would hold our weight. It didn't take long when we four were in full agreement it was not worth giving it a go.  

We turned around, we sighed, we smiled, we flipped our focus.

We made our way back to Frozen Lake surprised to see we were not owning the place.  A large group took over the area, four guys fishing and it appeared they were sheepishly doing so, one of three dogs was on the lose and the others were relaxing by the rock slabs.  We found another spot further along to dine.  Frozen Lake as a whole is challenging to photograph.  The ridge to the side was colourful. 
we enjoyed pretty reflections
when the sun came out at times the lake showed off its true colours
my destination shot
We had a lovely open spot to spread out for our lunch break.  We dined and then we danced.  Pharrell gave us "Happy", Cyndi shared "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" and  Taio was there with "Higher".  Here we are the dance crew: Nikita, Short Stop and Making Waves under the direction of Agent-X.  We sensed the sheepish fishermen detected an Agent amongst us so rapidly packed up and took off. 
With the dance routines done, we packed up and hit the trail to check out Fox Lake.  We had a glorious view far off from a short detour we took to a lookout spot.  There was a little more blue sky which was much appreciated.  I could find beauty from the rugged vastness.... the delicate closeness...
We reached Fox Lake and made our way around the circumference of it.  
We snowshoed to this Lake many times but were not afforded the opportunity to explore the area.  
taking time to play
I believe all the chocolate we devoured at Frozen Lake left us with an abundance of energy that needed to be spent.  Dance if off you say!  Sure I say, to make room for more sweet stuff.  Christina & Pitbull offered up "Feel this Moment", Lady Gaga belted out "The Edge of Glory" and what would a dance party be without Jennifer so she serenaded us out with "Dance Again".
With afternoon slipping away, it was time to make our way home.  It didn't matter that we did not reach our intended destination, we were O.K. with little sun and a few sprinkles, we overcame the slips on slabs, the calf deep sink in mud, the dirt covered pants and muddy gloves.  We grabbed those mis-aligned stars, and with determination plus guts we straighted them out to exactly how we needed them to be on this day.

We reached the wide open meadow...
...then made a quick decent the balance of the way.  

We saved the day and I like it that way!


  1. Love your website and adventures. (I read it every week!). I just had to comment on your bear closure story as we experienced the same thing as you on a trip last week - an unlisted bear closure of a trail (Valleyview Trail), except in this case the closure sign was midway along the trail and it was at the end of a long day for us. Very frustrating! At least you were able to do your hike; too bad about the icy scrambly section though.

    1. Thanks Matt for stopping by to visit my blog. As you probably know from seeing "All The Buzz" on the left, I follow you and check out your weekly adventures.


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