Today is the second day of the current flurry of posts aimed at getting you caught up on the events of the past two weeks or so. These posts are not necessarily in the order they were walked.
~ Flake from 2020-07-04 click here for A Walking Report 05
Monday June 22 – Eiffel Lake <> 11 km hike; 22 km bicycle
Moraine Lake has many claims to fame including being on the old twenty dollar bill, having a gorgeous turquoise colour, and being a gateway to the Valley of the 10 Peaks. It is this last claim to fame which is of today’s interest. For over half the year the 11 km road to Moraine Lake is closed, and a large metal barrier prevents access, except to those with a key. Two days from now the road to will be opening to admit the annual barrage of summer visitors. Even in these only Alberta visitor times, there will still be many of them. Before the barrier there is a gravelled area that can hold maybe 30 vehicles. Spandex clad cyclists park their vehicles and cycle to Moraine Lake and back. A small subset of cyclists, like me, forego the spandex and wear hiking clothes. At stupid o’clock this morning I had loaded the truck with my bicycle for the approximately 2 hour drive to get here by 8:30.
It has been nearly 13 years since I have been to Moraine Lake and that was by car. Car’s are not very good at giving a sense of steepness. The pedal to the lake is mostly up with a small descent at the end. #1 was captured en-route to the lake. I arrive at the trail head sweating and aching, and lock my bike.
The first 2 km or so of the hiking trail is a sequence of switchbacks past babbling streams and small waterfalls all glowing in the dappled light. I have the trail to myself, which means that for the first part of the trail I yell out “Yo Bear”. This is primarily for my peace of mind. Once the trail takes over I am sucking wind and a bear could hear me a kilometer away. Speaking of bears, I have now figured out that bear spray hanging from my belt makes much more sense than being tucked away where I can’t easily get to it. Ah yes – every walk is an opportunity to learn a little more.
At the top of the switchbacks another hiker overtakes me. He is headed right for Larch Valley. I turn left into the Valley of the 10 Peaks. Actually the trail is remarkably flat and the valley floor slowly rises up until a moment of decision is required. Less than .4 k from my destination I am confronted by an 8 foot high barrier of snow (#4). On one hand I have thoroughly enjoyed having the trail to myself. On the other hand crossing this band of snow of unknown width and stability might not be a good thing. I have lunch and turn around. The return cycle to the truck makes me smile as do the photos below.
All rights for all material on any media reserved – © Sean P Drysdale 2020