Monday, September 7, 2015

Galatea Lakes Labor of Love

I wanted to make the most of today, Labor Day, a holiday, a day off work.  The only kind of labor my day would consist off would be the labor of love.  I wanted to hike and I wanted something different, something not too far away.  I googled and googled.  I have the ACMG as a favourite site but I don't check into there often because their reports are for stuff beyond my capabilities.  This time though they had a post that the Galatea Trail was officially open and that all bridges are in place, plus there is flagging to get you through the rough sections.  Bingo!  I knew I needed to get their early to beat the rush.

I remember when I first moved to Calgary, there was a sign along the highway just before you take the 40 turn off into Kananaskis.  The sign said "life begins at Highway 40!"  It sure does.  Just after the turn off, I pulled over to capture this scene.  
I arrived at the Galatea Parking Lot to see only four other vehicles, my timing was perfect.   
I geared up and hit the big hill down.  
The long suspension (bouncing) bridge was the first of many bridges.  
I forgot how many waterfalls were along this trail.  
The trail was rough in parts.  There was lots of flagging which I was thankful for.  I can understand why this trail took so long to reopen after the flood of June 2013.  Thank you to all the folks who put their heart and soul into making this accessible again.  It obviously took tonnes of labor of love.    
one small patch of flowers thriving
a sign autumn is just around the corner
After many bridge crossings and slopping through loads of mud, I arrived at Lillian Lake.  It's as pretty as ever.  Even the loons were visiting today.  I took a little time to admire the color and to snack up.  I debated whether to carry on up further as snow started to fall.  I bundled up then decided maybe I should head back. After about 10 minutes of hiking back, it cleared so I did a quick turn about and aimed for higher.
I reached the tree line then carried on even further up.  There were cairns to mark the way through the boulder field plus a few folks passed me and made the way more obvious.  I followed in their tracks.
There was enough snow to make conditions sketchy for going around the Lake.  I did make my way down to the big boulder near the edge of the water.   After a few minutes, I saw a large group of folks coming my way.  I skedaddled back up before they came down.  I needed those foot steps to still be firm to get back up.  

my destination shot
Upper Galatea Lake
Upper Galatea Lake
I began my descent.  I met up with Josee, a loyal follower of mine.  We first met back in 2013 while snowshoeing Chester Lake and she said she still reads my blog every week.  Josee, I hope you enjoyed your visit at Upper Galatea Lake.  

The trail was muddier and slipperier on the way back so I left my microspikes on for quite some time.  They were my confidence today.  The trail became very very busy so once again I was happy to have had that early start.  Thank you again to all the folks who put so much love into giving this trail back to the people! 

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