Sunday, 6 September 2009

Bow Summit Lookout & Even More Pikas!

It's a long haul -- 90 min from the West Wing -- but we like to get up the Icefields Parkway to see terrain & scenery we don't normally get to see. Bow Summit Lookout is an easy, short trail that leads to great views up and down the valley and takes you to the actual headwaters of the Bow River. The downside is that the Peyto Lake viewpoint where the trail starts is wildly popular with the tourists, so is typically a zoo. The trail itself is nothing special; a fire road without the trees. But the views! Ah, the views! Up the valley past Peyto Lake to the Waterfowl Lakes...

...and down the valley over Bow Lake and to the Crowfoot Glacier.

It wasn't a great day for weather; 8° and a little windy. We got caught in a rain shower, which hid Peyto Glacier for a bit...

...but enhanced the waterfalls.

The glacier itself was never anything better than murky to view.

But while the other tourists were ogling the glacier and the lake, I was watching the marmots, big and fat, full of attitude, surveying and waddling around their territory.

And I was watching my favourites, the Pikas. These ones today -- and there were dozens -- were not as friendly as yesterday's. Hanging out near their middens caused them to stay away, so Pika watching was more challenging, and only one wanted to pose for me.

However, I did get into a staring contest with another. He seemed happy to let me get within 10', but one step closer and he bolted. And boy, do they run fast when they want to.

Now it's possible it wasn't me. Right at the last moment, his attention was diverted.

Damn, they're cute.

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