Friday, 13 July 2012

Family visits: West Wind Pass plus

My brother, his wife and her daughter from Toronto arrived this week for a short stay. As we are evil and cruel, we decided to drag their butts up my favourite short hike, West Wind Pass, on the hottest day of the year. We have been up there many times before, and the views were stellar, as always. Easy to see some other hikes we have done (check the links below).
Looking down towards snow capped Tent Ridge 
The crew makes it to the top 
Pigeon Mountain 
Lady Macdonald and the teahouse peaking over West Wind Ridge
I don't usually see much wildlife on this hike, and today was no exception. But there was a far too friendly Golden Mantled Ground Squirrel hanging out at the top.
Coming to visit 
KC, tempting 
Investigating my pack
My brother has always wanted to see a moose. There's a spot here where moose are common at sunrise and sunset (here's a hike where we saw them, for instance). So we went there after the hike, but saw nothing. Still, it was only 6:30 PM when we were there, and the sun sets here at 9:30 PM these days.
The mooseless Engadine marsh meadows
Last week, I saw 7 bears in one day. So on our second day with the family, after touring Banff townsite, we drove up to Peyto Summit where we were last week with Amy & Michael in the hopes of seeing some wildlife. It was a blistering 30° in Banff, 27° passing Lake Louise, but a really nice 22° up at Bow Summit. Peyto Lake was its spectacularly coloured self.
Looks fake
We saw a Clark's nutcracker playing good parent.
Good mother. Or father.
We stopped at Bow Lake to see the falls and the glaciers from a distance. Personally, I like Bow Lake better than Lake Louise, but then I see them all the time.
Heading to the lake
Looking south down Crowfoot Mountain 
Bow Glacier and falls
Alanna wanted to get her feet wet, so went for a walk in the lake.
Fording the (very cold) creek 
Standing in the lake
The area by Num-Ti-Jah Lodge and sections of the Bow Falls trail have bear warnings. The folks in the lodge told us a grizzly with 2 cubs charged two staff members the previous night, and another lone griz was hanging out in front of the lodge door the previous morning. But we saw nothing. 

We also stopped to look at the Crowfoot Glacier on the way back.
The Crowfoot, minus the feet
We saw no wildlife with them all day. We dropped them at Castle Junction (they were heading to Invermere) and headed down the 1A. And saw a huge bull elk...
Big dude. Fuzzy antlers.
...and a bear.
Fuzzy but true
Sorry that the picture isn't the best. When we see a bear, we don't get out of the car to get a better photo. The tourists do, however.
Tourists being stupid

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