Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Sunshine Meadows July 30, 2019

The only time my friend had even been high on Sunshine was to downhill ski many moons ago.  She had no idea what it looked like on top of the world during the dog days of summer.  She's busy, I'm busy, living the life of retirement complicates things a little bit with trying to find a free day for both of us that we can share.  Today worked to hit a hiking trail!  Sunshine Meadows it would be, a way up high where you can almost touch the sky!
The first part of the journey was aboard the gondola. 
Next we transferred from the gondola to the chairlift.
 the view down to Sunshine Village behind us
 We arrived at the top of the world and then we stepped off it to begin our hike.
 Right in front of us was The Monarch.
It was difficult to capture a photo without wildflowers!
But why would you want to do that anyway?
 We hiked down to the Standish Viewpoint.  
From here you can see forever.  
That's Rock Isle, Grizzly & Laryx Lakes down below. 
 Mount Assiniboine in the middle
 on the Standish Viewpoint balcony
What a wildflower season it has been so far and it continues.  
We made a plan to attack.  First we would head out to the Monarch Viewpoint where it was wide open and we could easily monitor our surroundings.  The two grizzlies are still hanging around.  Over the past two days, one was at Twin Cairns area which is right here in this photo and the other one was over by Laryx Lake.  There were not near as many people around this early as I had expected there to be, so we opted to wait until later before venturing down towards the more secluded lakes area.
 along the Twin Cairns to Monarch Lookout Trail
Those that previously worked together now play together.  
flowers, mountains, clouds
Oh to be walking on Sunshine!
along the trail
hippies on a stick and paintbrushes
We reached The Monarch Viewpoint and took a break to admire the beauty, have a snack and chat it up with some of the Tuesday's Seniors.  You can see them in the middle to the right making their way down to Simpson Pass.  Their plan was to then head on up to Healy Pass then hike back down to the parking lot.  I knew two of them.  They motor like there is no tomorrow!
more hippies on a stick getting it on with the paintbrushes
It was now time to head on down to do the loop around the lakes.  There were a few more people now and we thought no grizzly in its right mind would venture onto the trail with these hikers.  This is a view of Rock Isle Lake as we began the loop.
more paintbrush plants
they were as prime as could be
the sound of the trickling waterfall was so soothing to the soul
We hiked around Grizzly Lake and then worked our way towards Laryx Lake.  We were warmed one of the bears was over here.  We had no bear sightings but we did see the biggest mess of bear scat right in the center of the trail.  We guesstimated it to be about a day or two old.
view across Laryx Lake
along the Laryx Lake trail
Laryx Lake
We completed the loop of the lakes and hiked our way up and out of that area. Not being ready to leave the top of the world yet,  we settled into the Adirondack chairs and just lazed for about a half hour.  My friend suggested we go for dinner in Canmore so I jumped at that idea and said let's go right now.  So we did!  This is the view in front of us from the gondola ride down.
We savourved a beer, steak, a walk and chocolate to top off our day spent up on top of the world!

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Packers Peak + Zigadenus & Myosotis Lakes July 28, 2019

I wanted today to be a big one being "out & about" in our mountain playground!  The weather forecast was superb for everywhere.  I know heading into the backcountry behind the Lake Louise Ski Hill you cannot go wrong with the scenery, it is always extraordinary!  I put the shout out via an official organized event, calling on friends to share this day with me.  We were seven who left the city very early in search of a way and a day that would leave us fulfilled from exercise and scenery and feeling pleasantly depleted!  
We hit the trail and quickly got that first boring portion up the road over with.  Then it was eye opening from here on in starting with all the grassy slopes being totally covered in wildflowers which were in the prime of their life!  Get there now to see this award winning display! 
 That is Mount Temple in the distance with the peak in the cloud!
 In front of us was Ptarmigan Peak with the peak in the clouds.
 We made a short visit to the Halfway Hut as a few in the group had never seen it before.
We climbed up out of the valley to Boulder Pass and then on down to Ptarmigan Lake.  Our route for today skirted the shore for about a kilometre and we watched for the cairn that would show us the way to Packers Pass.  As we began our ascent the view of Ptarmigan Lake in front of Redoubt Mountain looked so pretty especially with all the hippies on sticks as the bottom frame.
 view from Packers Pass of the Wall of Jericho with Zigadenus Lake below it
 climbing our way up to Packers Peak
now you can see Redoubt Lake to the left of Redoubt Mountain
 on the summit of Packers Peak
there are the two Skoki Lakes that we will be going to next
Zigadenus Lake & Myosotis Lake
 my summit shot on Packers Peak
notice how my shirt matches the lake
 expressing our summit fever
 along the descent route we took towards Zigadenus Lake
 We spilled off the steep slope into a flower covered grassy meadow.
 fun times and wild sights along the way
 at the shore of Zigadenus Lake
 such beautiful colors
We relaxed for a while on the slabs at Zigadenus Lake then made our way up and over and down to Myosotis Lake. Both of these lakes leave me speechless for descriptions. There is one short section that is steep and slippery to descend and my hands were more useful rather than my poles.
 at Myosotis Lake
 scrambling back up the short steep slippery section
From the Lakes we had about a 200 meter climb back up to Packers Pass.   We attacked it gently and reached the Pass with quiet joy.  A break was in order and we captured a few more photos and savoured some snacks and then went for the downhill which we had for the balance of our day.

We stopped at the "yoga rock" and did our thing!  
 The grassy parts through the boulder field were covered in forgetmenots.  
How fitting because I wanted a day to remember!
 through the meadow, across the bridge
 Now with just the foreast ahead of us, I took one last look back!
Everything about this day was big in a good way!  It was what I wished for!
Thank you for sharing today with me!