Dear Reader (2020-09-29),
Friday September 18, 2020 – Sentinel Pass via Larch Valley Trail <> 12.5 k – out and back – with Liz +
The alarm goes off at 2:45 am. I’m out the door half an hour later and headed west. Over 2 hours later, I’m surprised to see there are Banff National Park employees controlling traffic at the Moraine Lake Road. I heed the waving flashlight, take the turn, and 20 minutes later or so I arrive at the parking lot. It is already three quarters full, and it is only 5:45 am. Liz and her daughter are about 6 vehicles behind. The stars are still out. Some people are waiting in their cars. Others are climbing out of their rented camper vans, and still others are putting on their head lights. By 6:30 the stars are gone, and the once smoke-less skies are no longer clear. We get ready, and begin walking the constantly climbing path until we get to a wooden bench. On a previous walk (click here for A Walking Report 06), I had turned left towards Eiffel Lake. Today we turn right, on a new-to-me trail, towards Larch Valley and Sentinel pass.
The smoke from the US West Coast fires have obscured the dawn (01). The strange orange light accentuates the needles on the larch trees (02). The light will remain eerie until we return to the pine forest and the bench 3 or 4 hours later. We reach the largest of the Minnestimma Lakes (03, 04 lower right) at the foot of Sentinel Pass. Liz, and her daughter decide to forego the climb. I huff and puff (05) my way to the top of the pass. The trail to Paradise Valley (06) is below me. That trail will have to wait for another day. Pinnacle Mountain (07), like most scenes on this walk, looks post-apocalyptic.
Weird light but not without its rewards.
FYI: As you are scrolling through the images 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.
As always all comments are sought and welcome
All rights for all material on any media reserved – © Sean P Drysdale 2022