Saturday, October 12, 2019

Larch Valley & Moraine Lake October 12, 2019

Many times in past years I hiked around the Lake Louise area on Thanksgiving weekend and enjoyed wonderful experiences.  With a perfect forecast for today I decided I would do the same this year and give The Plain of Six Glaciers a go.  As I drove up the hill from Lake Louise Village, it was very quiet, no traffic and believe it or not, no one was guarding the road up to Moraine Lake and no barriers were in place.  Just like old times!  At 7:45am I was faced with a very large selection of spots to park in.  Oh how my stars began to align for this Thanksgiving hike!
Before hiking up the trail to Larch Valley, I stopped by Moraine Lake.  The sun was just coming up over the Tower of Babel and shed a pink hue everywhere. I was tickled pink!  I realized many people have discovered the music that comes from skimming rocks and ice across a sheet of ice.  Moraine Lake was covered with these instruments.
I attacked the switchbacks on the way to Larch Valley.  
I was thankful to be sporting my spikes as it was ice and hard packed snow the entire way.  
When I arrived at the beginning of The Valley I was ecstatic to see the larch trees still golden.
The lighting created an amazing scene!
even Temple was glowing
The hard-packed trail carried on and so did I.  
I reached the wide open meadow and was surrounded by beauty.  
I loved the fluffy puffy clouds that were scattered in the sky.  
I followed the packed trail that lead towards the base of Sentinel Pass.  You can see The Pass in the middle and I could see a couple of people up there and two others heading that way.  Those conditions over there are not for me so I made my destination spot the big rock in the middle of the meadow.
This is my destination spot in the center of Upper Larch Valley.
I perched myself on top of the rock and settled down for a lengthy visit.  
It was warm and as you can see there was no wind.  
I needed sunglasses and was wishing I had sunscreen with me (ooops). 
tea time in the sun & snow
It was so peaceful up here this morning.  There were only a few folks here and there.  In past days hikers had made beaten paths off the main one.  I followed a couple of them just to see this amazing area from various vantage points.  Every time I looked off in a direction there was a perfect photo op just like this one.
lots of the larches still had a full compliment of needles to display
I lingered up in this area, it was incredible!
By the time I arrived back down at the main Larch Valley area it was prettier than when I passed through here earlier.  Once again, I lingered.  More people were on their way up and we took time to exchange pleasantries and to take photos for each other.  Here I am front and center in the middle of Larch Valley with many of the Ten Peaks as the backdrop.
the bridge over the snow-covered creek
a winter-wonderland in autumn on Thanksgiving Saturday
When I arrived back at Moraine Lake, I went down to the edge and followed along the shore.  It was easy to do with the confidence of spikes.  Lots of people were out in the middle of the Lake but that was not for me.  I was able to capture the incredible beauty right from the shoreline.
I have seen a few methane bubbles before in frozen lakes but never as many as I saw today.  Moraine Lake was filled with them.  It was a methane bubble dream!  Once again I did not venture out to capture these.  I sat on the edge and just placed my camera on the ice and snap snap snap.
I worked my way to the end and took a little time here.  I did scoot out about two feet to get this photo with the Tower of Babel behind me.  Down here the turquoise color was showing up.  
I see your true colors shining through!
one arm over the famous Rock Pile and the other arm pointing to the base of Tower of Babel
This is where the canoes hibernate for the winter.
What a day to remember!  I am so thankful for today's gift.  It is time to say good-bye to Moraine Lake and Larch Valley until May/June of next year.  The Moraine Lake road closes for the winter on October 15th.  I look forward to Nov/Dec when Moraine Lake Road opens for X-C Skiing all the way up to the turn before Temple.  

Giving Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving to you!

1 comment:

  1. Sensational! Morraine Lake is beyond belief in it's beauty.


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