Sunday, July 15, 2018

Citadel Pass July 15, 2018

So it begins!  Lucky Friday the 13th of July was my last day of work.  I don't have a whole lot to show from once I got home on Friday and into Saturday because I laid down to rest and fourteen hours later I was fully awake.  There were a few scattered moments throughout that time frame when I partially woke but not enough to actually get going on with the day.

Come Sunday I had it in me to enjoy one of my passions on a whole new level.  Citadel Pass has it all so I went for it.  I hopped on the Gondola pretty much as soon as it began running and made my way up to Sunshine Village.  The early morning light was beautiful, the temperature perfect and only a scattered few others were in the vicinity.
 I opted to pass on by Rock Isle Lake which looked like a sheet of glass this calm morning.
 flowers were flourishing
I made it up to Quartz Ridge but there would be no going up Quartz Hill.  The trail is blocked and a sign posted to say stay off.   In fact at the main intersection a kilometer into the hike, the new sign does not even include Quartz Ridge or the distance to it.
After a short break on the Ridge it was down hill towards Howard Douglas Lake and Campground.  Along the trail if you are in the right spot you get a full on view of Mount Assiniboine.  The trail was dry, the flowers were blooming and it was oh so green.
 Then there was the climb up from Howard Douglas Lake out into the wide open meadow.
 a view from the meadow of the different colors of mountains
Backpackers coming from Assiniboine area were collecting water from this creek.  
 The paintbrush carpeted the area just before Citadel Pass.
 Citadel Lake
 Citadel Peak
I arrived at Citadel Pass and there were four others settled in snacking.  I wanted my own space so carried on through the Pass and down to the meadow on the other side.  I wanted to go on even further but knew that would not be a smart thing to do today.  By now it was hot and I still had loads of uphill for the return trip.  I made this my destination spot....
....with this being my lunch time view.  
I went well pass that tarn you see on the right but came backup hill to dine.
I stuck to the lower trail and took a right to visit up higher towards Fatigue Pass.  That Pass is not much further but it was not for me today.  This is the kiosk marking Citadel Pass.  I took a few minutes in this area before beginning to head back the way I came.
The views continued to be incredible.  This time I stopped at Howard Douglas Lake to check it out from different vantage points.  This was my favourite view.  Backpackers took a break to fish here while on their way to Sunshine from Assiniboine.
Then I had that long climb back up to Quartz Ridge.  It was a slow go taking time to catch my breath and to look back at the view.  There you have Howard Douglas Lake and see Mount Assiniboine sticking up on the right!  That big brown square in the middle is Citadel Peak.
I was happy to make it back up to Quartz Ridge because I knew it would be mostly down hill from there with a very few long gradual uphill sections.  That's Rock Isle Lake again in the middle.  You can see the scorched sections from last summer's fire.  Seeing it put it into perspective.  I did not realize the fire came this close.
From here it was just a click or so downhill to The Village.  It was early enough that I sat at a picnic table, spread out the balance of my food, then ate it all.  There was no need to rush on with the day this time.  I always felt I truly took enough time to "Remember to Breathe" but it seemed different today in a whole new way.  I like where retirement is taking me!


  1. I'm super curious how you can retire so young!


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