The weather this week has been strange. We had cold and snow on Saturday...
|Lots of white|
|The sun behind the mountain|
|Yes, those are visible sunspots|
So we sat inside, doing very little, for 3 days. I worked on a new album. Karen cleaned. I cleaned. I tried to seal up more mouse holes. Karen sewed. But after 3 days, we had cabin fever. We HAD to go out and do something.
We looked at the smoke forecast and came to the conclusion that by going north we would get out of the worst of it. I looked and decided to drive a bit over 2 hrs north to Parker Ridge, the most northerly hike in Banff Park, on the south end of the Columbia Icefield. A shorter hike of only about 6 km with only about 280 m of height gain, I figured we would only be hiking 2-3 hrs for 4.5 hrs driving, but it was better than nothing.
We left a socked in valley at 9 AM, barely able to make out the mountains on either side in an orange haze. By Lake Louise, it hadn't improved much. By Bow Lake and Bow Summit, it was much better, and we even thought about just heading to Bow Glacier Falls. But we soldiered on. North of Saskatchewan River Crossing, it was better still, and by the Big Hill, there were sheep on the roads causing traffic jams.
|Sheep on the side of the road|
|Dumb tourists out of their cars|
|Ah. Basically smoke free.|
|People climb that pretty much every day|
|Road 200 m below|
|The high windswept stuff|
|Hazy but nice|
|Some are more "quartzy" than others|
|Lennies over the Nigel valley|
|You can easily climb this next hill, too. Look carefully... notes below|
|Looking back to the east peak|
|Looking up the valley towards Wilcox Pass and the icefields|
|Three of the 9|
|The dude on the ridge|
|That spec is the dude|
The east knoll looked like fun, so we climbed it, too.
|The glacier and it's terminal tarn|
|I think someone has been here before|
|A barren place|
|Looking southwest down the valley|
|Mt. Athabasca looms larger. West knoll is the bump on the lower right|
|Avens turned red|
|Willows turning yellow|
|The start of the slot|
|In 40 m, the river has dropped 40 m into the 5 m wide canyon|
|50 m down to the swirling, churning water|