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!

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