Monday, July 30, 2018

Revelstoke Mountain Resort The Stoke July 30, 2018

I had one day to do something on the bigger side in Revelstoke.  My original intention was to drive up the long Meadows in the Sky Parkway in Mount Revelstoke National Park and then do a hike from up there.  After reading about closures and bear warnings I quickly went into recovery mode to come up with another place to play.  It did not take long to decide, Revelstoke Mountain Resort, that's the place.

There were two gondolas that I needed to ride to get to the top where the hiking trails are.  This was the view as I walked away from the gondola and headed for the trail head for The Stoke.  The Stoke is a new trail that just opened this summer.  
Everything was new up here.
This map shows the route and gives a short story.
green for easy
It was the easy Cupcake Trail that lead the way to where the blue intermediate Stoke Trail began.  
It was such a treat to be experiencing everything in mint condition. 
new bridge
As I hiked along I felt appreciative for the work people did to get this trail in hiking condition.  I realized how much there was to consider when building it.  Thank you for the switch backs.  Tree stumps along the sides of the trail in places made great seats, places to sit your pack, even places to place your camera to get a selfie.  Whether that was intentional or not, thank you again.

I am ready to get stoked!
When I popped out of the trees, the scenes were phenomenal.  Yet it was too bad smoke made for hazy views.  Even though it was smoky off in the distance, just like in Golden I could not smell it and it did not bother me.   I wondered if this stump was placed here purposely at this angle, it made for a perfect prop for my photo.
marmot has the pose perfected
a section lined with rocks
Out in the open now it was hot hot hot.  It was surprising with how dry and hot it has been, the grass is as green as can be and further along the meadow was covered in hippies and paintbrushes.  You can see the switchbacks going up the side of the grassy slope.
hippies & high peaks
The whole row of peaks was a sight to see.  I can only imagine on a clearer day how spectacular this would look.  I was beginning to wonder if I would make it to the top.  I was already well over the distance posted.  I was not quite sure what to expect at the summit of a new trail.
I finally reached the summit and I immediately capture the proof.  This cairn needs some work.  I imagine as more people reach this place, the size of the cairn will grow.  I guess too, at some point grass and wildflowers will grow here.
I needed to take a load off and then load up on fuel.  It felt good just to sit, feel the breeze, savour my snacks, admire the scenery and just be.  I have no idea what range of mountains are across the valley in front of me here but they went on and on and on.
After investing time here, it was time for me to head on and on and on down.   I was glad to get back into the shade of the forest where I slowed my pace and let myself be bathed in the trees.  That's the new thing, forest bathing.   I needed a real bathing though after being covered in sweat, sunscreen and bug spray.   That would come after the gondolas down then the short drive back to my suite.

I don't feel I had enough of Golden, Roger's Pass or of Revelstoke.  These places need to go back onto my to do list as there are many more hike options to attack.  But, life goes on and tomorrow I hit the road again.  I am excited for what tomorrow and the days after bring.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, Golden, B.C. July 29, 2018

I needed to break up the day on the way to Revelstoke.  Investing some time in Golden would fill that need precisely.  I did my homework before hand and saw that by taking the Golden Eagle Express Gondola up to Eagle's Eye at the Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, I could be on top of a whole new world.  There are a few ridge walks to choose from all on the shorter side compared to what I am use to for ridge walking.  To make it worthwhile, I opted for two hikes each in a different direction from Eagle's Eye.

view early on from the gondola
 I started with Terminator Ridge which is the ridge you see right behind the sign.
There were some high points to skirt off to from along the ridge.  They offered greater views yet got sketchy in places or were closed even higher up.   I believe this may be the via feretta route.
 Here you can see the Lodge over at Eagle's Eye and also two hikers down below me bottom left. 
I continued along Terminator Ridge and found this outcrop.  This was as high as I dare go.  My thinking is, it is called The Terminator for a reason.  Smoke from the forest fires was hanging over some areas here but thankfully I could not smell it and it did not bother me.  Well, it did bother me because it made some of my photos a bit dull.
 even further along the ridge
I went as far as I felt comfortable considering I was on my own.  No pushing limits for me here.  I traced my steps back to Eagle's Eye and sat for awhile admiring the view and having a snack before heading off along another ridge.    The trail on the right up the middle of Dogtooth Ridge would bring me high up to a staircase.   It was a rolling ridge at first, then got steeper and then I arrived at the staircase.
 on the staircase
 That stairway to heaven landed me here!
This is my summit shot for today.
 ready to descend the stairway to heaven back down
Back down at Eagle's Eye, I took a bit of time to admire the scenery and to look up at where I was.    Then I got back on the gondola and road it down to civilization and to where I carried on driving even furhter west.
It felt like I packed lots in already and it was still only mid day.  It also felt like I had been away forever.  I am excited for what the rest of today brings and for what's in store for the days to follow.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Lake Louise Camping Hiking Lake O'Hara July 24, 2018

July 24, 2018 has much more meaning than just July 24, 2018.  I was fortunate to get a spot on the bus up to Lake O'Hara for this day.  I had mixed emotions about venturing into here today but wise words from my sister let me know that it was OK to go here today and that I should go ahead with the plan.  It has been reaffirmed that you never know what you will be handed in life so you should make the most of each day as you face it.  I made sure to appreciate every single second I was at Lake O'Hara today. 
My bus was half full, the Warden said the quota for the day had been reached.  I gave up trying to figure out their game plan in how all this works.  I was on the bus and heading up to this precious place and so very thankful for that.  I was off the bus quickly and on my way quickly wanting to capture a first photo.
This was the view as I circumnavigated Lake O'Hara.  
Shortly along the shoreline I came to the sign saying to the left and uphill to get to Wiwaxy Gap.  Once again it was hot.  It was a slow go up.  I find I always hike slower anyway when I am at the Lake O'Hara area.  I don't cover much ground very quicky.  This is the spot everyone goes out onto.  This is as far to the edge as I was comfortable to go.  That's Lake O'Hara for below.
Now that's Lake O'Hara far below!
The alpine route is marked with a blue square and two yellow lines in it.  
It means for experienced hikers and there are some scrambly spots and mild exposure.  
I arrived at Wiwaxy Gap and stayed for a visit.  That is Lake Oesa below me.  I shared the Gap with a  few others, one was a Parks Employee for the summer with hopes after graduation she will get hired on full time.   We dined together and then headed off towards the Huber Ledges at the same time.  As it turned out, all the others came along too.  The route was a bit sketchy in spots so she stayed back to make sure everyone got over those areas OK.
I see 7 lakes!
Do you?
I numbered them here.  There are many more lakes in the area but they are behind the mountains or down in other valleys, or around hidden corners.
Embracing today!
The Huber Ledges were fun to route find and scramble down.  I kept looking back up to where I was and to see the others coming down behind me.  They are on the ledge there but are tiny dots.
That's Lake Oesa peaking out from hehind the boulder and Lefroy at bottom right.
I spent a few minutes at Oesa and then it began to sprinkle.  The sprinkles were off and on for the next couple of hours.  I worked my way off the Huber Ledges, down to Oesa and then off towards the waterfalls and to where I could see Lake O'Hara again.
Look up, way up, that's where I was quite awhile back.
I arrived back down at the shoreline of Lake O'Hara.   
I still had some time to wait for the 4:30 bus.  I had no energy left to carry on hiking so went to the waiting area and plunked myself down.  This was my view as I waited for the yellow school bus.  I was so tired I had a hard time keeping my eyes open.  My sister was on my mind and I just wanted to get to Lake Louise Village to get a connection and update.  Then I just wanted to get back to my campsite and hang out.
When it was near time to get on the bus, I met one of my blog followers.  Sonja or Sonia (not sure of the spelling) it was nice to meet you.  I hope your day here was enjoyable amd memorable.  Thank you coming over to speak to me.  I enjoy meeting people like you that follow my blog, it's my motivation to keep going with it.

Everyone was leaving the parking lot at the same time probably too just wanting to get home.  Wouldn't you know it, a train was poking along the track.  The wait was only about 10 minutes but seemed like eternity.
I got to the village and got an update on my sister then got to my home away from home then ignited a fire.  I bonked by the fire!  Looking at this photo, I think I have my shirt on upside down, not backwards or inside out, but upside down.
This was a big day in many ways.  I am grateful for lots of things in life and paid extra attention to that today.   I was comfy and cozy in my sleeping bag in my tent on the early side this evening and once again, slept through the night.    Time to head back to the city for a few days before I'm....

"....on the road again!  Just can't wait to get on the road again!

Monday, July 23, 2018

Lake Louise Camping Hiking The Iceline Trail July 23, 2018

How fortunate are we to have a place like this just a mere three hour drive from the city.  The word "Yoho" and the word "Iceline" conjure up images that encompass everything glaciers.   The trail head for The Iceline Trail is just a hop skip and a jump from the Lake Louise Campground.  I like it like that!  My intentions were to hike up from the Whiskey Jack Hostel to the Iceline Trail and follow it until I reached the 10 km mark then come back the same way so I have the views the entire day.  That was my plan anyway.

A Warden stopped his vehicle to chat with me as I was heading to the trail head.  He advised me it was going to be sunny and hot all day and to make sure I had sunscreen and lots of water.  He also say don't forget your camera and have a wonderful day.  Then I went on my way.
The hike went up, then up, more up, up some more, then up again and up and up and up.  It was hot already just like the warden said it was going to be.  I could see down to where I parked my car on the side of the road and I could also see straight across to Takakkaw Falls.
The views behind me were glorious and I kept stopping and looking back.  
Loads of work went into creating this trail.  Here you can see the large stepping stones creating what seemed like a stairway to heaven.   If I was not already high enough, I got even higher.  
Now I was looking down at Takakkaw Falls.  What is interesting is that many years ago I was over on the other side there at Daly Glacier Overlook and I could see down to a little lake that was formed from the melting glacier and that lake is where Takakkaw Falls come from.  You cannot see it here though.  It put all things here into perspective for me.
along the trail where it is wide open and blistering hot just like the warden said it would be
a lovely little glacier fed lake
It was time to sit down and take a load off and load up on fuel.  It felt cooler down by the lake.  There were a few other hikes in the vicinity, two separate couples and a trio. We were all spread far enough apart that we could each own these special places along the route for some time.
I made it up to the high point along the Iceline.  
I took my share of ownership time up on this little spot.  
This is the view from up on the pointy high point.  That's the little lake I was just at and you can see three people on the trail coming towards it.  They are tiny dots but they are there.
The glaciers are receding.  I was last here a few years ago and the glaciers seem smaller already than what I remember.  Not sure what they will look like in another few years so I am glad to be able to be here today to witness them.
So just like that the blue sky turned black. The sky opened and it poured.  I wanted off the Iceline.  By this time I arrived at the intersection so instead of sticking with my plan to return the way I came, I hiked down towards Celeste Lake and to  create a loop instead of an out and back.  It poured continuously and I was soaked.  Deja vu!  I had a job to get done now, so just put my head down and carried on.  Finally I reached the next intersection and the rain stopped and the sky turned blue again. Yeah right warden, it's going to be hot and sunny all day!  Even I know better than that when you are in the mountains.  
18.5 Kms later I arrived back at my car down by the road to the Whiskey Jack.  It poured again for the last 20 minutes of my hike.  But, I was done and it was time to drive back to my home away from home.  The first thing I did was get into dry clothes, hang up my wet ones on my clothes line and then get that fire roaring.  
I enjoyed it for about a half hour and then the sky began to get black again.  I quickly put my home made mac & cheese into my Trangia and devoured it when it was hot enough.  I no sooner finished eating and threw everything into the car then the rain poured down.
Into the tent I go, get on my new gift (home made socks) and wait out the rain and thunder and lightening.  I had no tarp over my tent this time but do know for sure my tent is fine with all the rain.
The hood came alive again once the storm passed.  I got another smokey at first fire going and then savoured the warmth and crackles.  I had a hard time keeping my eyes open, so when the fire finished I fell into my tent and once again slept through the night.  I think now also, not only are the mountains my happy place but snug in my tent makes me happy too!