Dear Reader (2020-09-16),
Today’s post is all about clearing up a backlog of 3 trails I have walked but I have not told you about. Now that it has been over a month since some of these walks, I find there is a disconnect between the quality of the photos and the walk. The quality of the walks isn’t reflected in the quality of the images. Back to school for me.
Wednesday August 5, 2020 – Burstall Pass < 19 k – out and back – with Michelle
The moon (01) is just about to set behind Mt. Kidd on my drive to the trail head. Further along, I miss mama grizzly and her 2 cubs. Michelle, who was just behind me saw them in her rear-view mirror. There is also a sign at the trailhead notifying us that are bears near. We begin the walk even more bear aware than normal.
The trail begins with Mud Lake on our right (north) along an old wide access road. The trail is divided into sections. In this first section the trail is nearly flat. We stroll to a lake, stop for a reflection (02), and a brief conversation with a fisherman. In the second section we hop, jump, and teeter on thin branches as we cross the many tentacles of Burstall Creek as it flows across the flood plain and away from the creek’s source, one of Mount Robertson’s glaciers (that is Robertson not Robson). After over ½ a kilometer of game playing , we reach the third section of the trail with dry feet. We quickly gain elevation to a slowly sloping plateau and then another ascent to the pass and the border of Banff National Park. After lunch we wander around the area (03-06) before returning to our vehicles. There were no bears to be seen, and the walk is a top 10 for the summer.
FYI: As you are scrolling through the filmstrip please note that you can click on any image and see the image with a nice dark background and no annoying band across the top.
Friday August 7, 2020 – Picklejar Lakes <> 11.5 – out and back – with Michelle, Liz +
Today’s trailhead is south of Highwood Pass by less than 20 k. The parking lot is nearly full when we arrive at the small parking lot around 8:15. Part of the route here was on a new-to-me road south of Tuner Valley. The road had all sorts of photographic opportunities. Even before the walk begins, I am already happy with the day.
The clouds are moving fast today. The trail winds mostly up through a forest of aspen and spruce to the top of a scree slope. The walk down to the first of 4 lakes is the most precarious section of the walk. We have lunch overlooking the last of the lakes, a torn. It is nestled in a cirque – the headwall is close.
As the trail is busy on the return trip, we perform the COVID dance many times. It’s a bit like chicken and a bit like passing people in an office corridor. Inevitably someone says, “I’ll step aside”. Sometimes it is me and sometimes it is an oncoming walker.
Photographically, today is all about texture.
Thursday August 20, 2020 – Upper Kananaskis Lakes <> 16.5 k – Clockwise Loop – with Liz +
There are two large campgrounds nearby which helps make this area very popular. As a result, today’s start is earlier than normal. We have the parking lot nearly all to ourselves, and for the first 2/3 of the loop, we have the trail to ourselves. The trail to Rawson Lake is closed due to the presence of bears. Further along, and off in the distance, a helicopter is carrying supplies to a construction site. We decide that those supplies are probably not mukluks. We find out later that a new outhouse is being installed at a campground near the end of the lake.
A little past the halfway point we stop and admire the waterfall on the Kananaskis River, which is just upstream from where the river empties into the lake. Near the end of the trail there is a beach of wood and rock covered in photographic possibilities (21-22).
As always, your comments are sought and welcome.
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