Sunday, 2 August 2009

Rain Delay to Paget Lookout

The plan for today was to bike up Redearth Creek to Shadow Lake. But it poured rain last night for an hour, and some idiot (me) didn't cover the bike saddles in plastic. So this AM, the seats were soaked, and this necessitated a last minute switch. Instead we headed to Paget Lookout and Sherbrooke Lake in Yoho.

This hike is yet another one which matches the quintessential definition of the phrase "relentless uphill". The climb to the lookout is 520 m in 3.5 km, or 150 m per km. But consider that 365 m of this happens in the last 1.9 km (nearly 200 m/km) and the grade becomes apparent. Frustrating is that the first hour is disenchanted forest with no views. When you finally do break out, though, the views are pretty good, even on a hazy day like today. You get cool views of the braided streams at Field...

And when you get to the lookout, there are killer views up and down the Kicking Horse Pass.

The haze got in the way of what would have been a kick-butt view of Lake Louise Ski Area.

There were very friendly golden mantled ground squirrels up there, and while they did not beg for food, they did pose nicely.

One of the appeals of this hike was the possibility of ascending Paget Peak. Info I had on this from the Canadian Rockies Trail Guide and The Copelands (of "Where the Locals Hike" fame) was that it was a straightforward grunt for about an hour an additional 400 m above the lookout. We spoke with one fellow who had just come down, and he reported the trail in awful shape, with really loose scree. We opted not to go.

Instead, we decided to visit the shoreline of Sherbrook Lake, which was partially visible from the hike.

The lake is big and the colour is cool, but the flies suck, so we did not linger.

All in all, this hike is nice but more work than advertised. It's also very, very popular. There were at least 30 people there or working their way up there, including almost a dozen tourists from England.

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