Saturday, 18 July 2009

Chester, not Rummel, and too many tourists

The plan for today was to hike to Rummel Lake. We got to the trailhead just in time to find a school bus full of Japanese tourists starting the hike. I come to the mountains to avoid crowds, so the idea of hiking with 45 tourists marching as a pack all yapping wasn't my idea of a good time. Trouble is, the Rummel trailhead is way down the Spray Lakes road, so given that we were down there already, we were kinda stuck for alternatives. So we went to Chester Lake, which has to rank as the single most popular trail in all of Kananaskis, figuring that 45 other hikers were fine so long as they were not in a group.

We were wrong.

I think the bus first dropped off a load at Chester before going to Rummel. Chester lake itself is an "OK" hike in my books. The lake is nice, but the hike up is kinda blah.

So when we go to Chester, we always add on the Three Lakes Valley for the spectacular rock formations, great fossils and beautiful vistas.

And a group of 25 Japanese followed us the whole way. So much for solitude. They chased away the critters, stepped in the animal tracks, and made enough noise to make sure every bear in Alberta would run away. So we were fortunate to stop them from stepping in wolf tracks... find marmots, chipmunks and Columbian Ground Squirrels.

The Robertson Glacier & Mt. Sir Douglas were pretty cool today, too.

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