Saturday, August 8, 2015

Citidal Pass Alpine Awesomeness

We settled in as comfortably as possible squashed side by side with our packs and poles on our laps,  then the wheels on the bus went round and round and twenty minutes later we arrived up at Sunshine Village.  The Village is the trail head for the hike to Citadel Pass which was our first destination of the day.  Right from our early start the weather and the scenery were top notch.  In a matter a few minutes from the Village, I already began shooting shots.
The first tiny climb was a quick warm up (which we didn't really need as it was already warm).  I was excited to quickly get around the corner to the open view because that is where we would see what the tone of our morning would look like.   This was it!  Mount Assiniboine was visible right to her very top, to the left of Quartz Hill.
The wildflowers offered up a lovely frame for Quartz Hill, our later in the day destination.
I didn't know where to look, there was ever surrounding beauty to behold.  Even the clouds presented a little something different for us today.  We stopped for a few moments on top of Quartz Ridge before carrying on with the big descent towards Howard Douglas Lake.
view back as we were descending
Howard Douglas Lake came into sight but I could not take my eyes of Mount Assiniboine.  
There is something about her!  
Howard Douglas lakeside was worthy of a snack time visit.  The view was pretty, we were hungry and the bugs were not bad.  The ground cover was colorful as was the lake itself.  I was thinking what a beautiful place this would be mid September during larch season.  Look at all those larch trees.
The time between the Lake and Citadel Pass seemed to pass by quickly.  It was easy going, and the views were easy on the eyes. At the Pass, Mount Assiniboine and her surrounding range of peaks came clearly into view.  We had this in front of us as we dined.
Citadel Peak
my destination shot at Citadel Pass
We outright owned the Pass for our entire visit.  After fueling up, we returned the way we came and aimed for our next destination.  Along the way, the lighting was great to capture Citadel Lake at a split second in time.
We reached Quartz Ridge and now it was time to veer left and climb up to Quartz Hill.  We assessed and admired as we went.  It seemed like we were working our way closer to Mount Assiniboine.
view as we ascended to Quartz Hill
my destination shot on Quartz Hill
The Simpson River is far and straight down below.
The Ridge was a lovely place to stroll.  It was grassy, spongy, wide, colourful everything I did not expect to see and experience up here.  We reached the end of the saddle section and I looked back to see where we just were.   Now it was time to work our way up and through the large boulders to the higher end of the other side of Quartz Hill.  It was fun and easy and pretty the whole way.
We assessed ahead as we went finding the prettiest and easiest way to descend off the Hill.  We could see down to Grizzly and Larix Lakes.  We could also see the trail we needed to reach, it is that faint beige line lower right.
The whole way was easy breezy!
The whole way was pretty as a picture!
Our plan from the beginning was to catch the last bus and we had loads of time to continue to admire the area.  We wandered slowly towards the main trail and meandered along it.  Before the last turn, I took one last look back and there she was still as beautiful as ever, Mount Assiniboine.  There is something about her!
Any time I visit this alpine area, I am awestruck with the awesomeness.  
It is truly a spectacular place to be. 
How today played out, made me feel like I was
"on top of the world"!


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