Saturday, July 15, 2017

Heather Ridge July 15, 2017

It is iconic views like this of Ptarmigan Lake and Ptarmigan Peak that keep me coming back to the Skoki area of Banff National Park not far from Lake Louise.  Each time I am in this region I spy a place and add it to my memory bank as a destination for another day.  Heather Ridge has been taking up memory space for quite some time.  Time to free your mind!  I put out a shout and some keeners were quickly on board to hit that Ridge with me.
We arrived at the Fish Creek Trail Head Parking Lot at 8:13am to see it full expect for one spot.  My friend grabbed that one and we made up one.  I truly love that back area in back of the Lake Louise Ski Hill so much so that I am no longer deterred by the initial four kilometer walk up the dirt road.  When the views begin, they begin! 
Just like last Saturday, it was on the gray side with a dull sky when we started out but just over an hour into our adventure the blue appeared and was over us the entire day.  I thought how fortunate we are considering the fires west of here and the smoke they are dealing with.
Of course we paid a visit to the Halfway Hut.  For a couple this was their first time here so they checked out the inside.  I stayed outside and devoured the view and a snack.
We scrambled our way around Ptarmigan Lake, crossed a short snow slope and then began the ascent.  We did not have a detailed description of how to get to the summit of Heather Ridge.  We did have a couple of tracks and a map and combined those with our route finding skills and sense of direction, feel for the terrain and lay of the land.  We aimed higher and higher.   I got to look down at Ptarmigan Lake from a new vantage point for me.
We could see across to Packers Pass at the left and Deception Pass to the right with Packers Peak in the middle.  With freed up memory bank space  now in goes Packers Peak.  You can see the trail below it leading to Deception Pass.
paint brush was at its best
We reached the boulder field and began to scramble up and through it.  
There's Baker Lake.
Two years ago on Thanksgiving weekend we hiked along Redoubt Lake to the far end.  It was on that day when I was down there and looking up to here that I knew I wanted to be up here.  Seeing Redoubt Mountain and Redoubt Lake from this location puts their size in perspective.
We were slow and deliberate scrambling through the boulder field assessing the situation every few minutes.  I was glad when we were done with it and popped out onto this snow.  The supportive snow was at a low angle and made for a quick kick step trip to the top.
It took quite some time to get here.  We stayed on this side of the Ridge and called it our summit spot so I secured my summit shot.  The views were outstanding from up here.  It was windy which was a blessing because it kept us cool and kept any bugs at bay.
We settled in down slope.
Lazed about.
Enjoyed the view!
We went for an easier descent route with only a little boulder hopping.  We arrived down on the meadow below Heather Ridge then meandered our way along this side of Ptarmigan Lake to it's outlet, crossed it then mosied along the opposite side.
looking across to Heather Ridge and where we were
The meadows were alive with red and pink paint brush.
We were nearing the end of Ptarmigan Lake.  It had already been a long day and we still had a long way to go to finish.  I was already reflecting on where we spent our summit lunch and also reflecting on how fortunate I felt to be here today.  It is such a colourful place that packs a scenery punch.
Into the early evening the lighting made for a dreamy photograph of Ptarmigan Lake and the surrounding mountains. The blue, the green, the white, the beige, the grey, the pink, this is what memories are made off.  It's a vision like this that will bring me back here even again.
Ptarmigan Peak with flower frame
Yes Flying Fin take one last look as we leave Boulder Pass and head for home.
My memory bank is chalk full with yet another destination added to it along with all of today's sights and happenings.  I am thankful for how this dog day of summer played out.  We were keeners & troopers, adventurous & spirited, full of joy & cheer.  We all know fine friends truly make the day!  Thank you for this day!


  1. Those views are absolutely breathtaking!

  2. This memory bank down under, relished reliving a past experience and knew exactly where many of your pics were taken.
    Awesome day yet again.

    1. We remembered sharing the day with you here last year!


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