Monday, 18 July 2011

Bow Glacier Falls, In The Rain (with Pikas!)

The forecast for today was hot, 28°, and sun, and we thought it was a great day to head up to some of the icefields. Forecasts are sometimes wrong, and today, the forecast was really out to lunch, as we never saw a temp above 15°, and it was 11° most of the day. In addition, while it started sunny where we were going...
Looks good towards the falls
...we drove through pretty steady rain by Lake Louise on the way up...
Looking down Bow Lake to the rain in the distance
...and it poured most of the afternoon, including virtually all of the hike back to the car.

The trail's a mess in spots. It's submerged in great chunks, in particular right at the pinch point where the river meets the lake, where keeping your feet dry was an impossibility.

The creek was roaring, as were the falls.
The nascent Bow River with the falls in the background
The falls up close
We were joined at lunch by a golden mantled ground squirrel, but while he was curious, he was not in your face about it. Still, I suspect he's been fed once or twice.
A cutie, but a chicken
We also saw a big fat marmot up in the basin, but got no pictures.

My friend Monty is out from Ontario, and while he lived here many years ago, it's been a while since he was in the mountains. He just finished a trip to the east coast, visiting many National Parks on the way, so to be frank, I'd like him to leave with the opinion that mine is the best.
Monty at the falls
We were happy to be squeaked at by pikas on the way to the falls, but disappointed to not see any. We were so hoping to see some on the way back, and indeed I saw something which I thought to be a ground squirrel, but in fact turned out to be one of three pikas we saw.
My buddy the pika
As I mentioned, it poured on us all the way back to the car. But I was happy to stand in the rain and watch my pikas collect grasses and dart around the rocks to hide their stash in their middens.

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