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3 great hikes

September 29th, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

It has been a fantastic September with a lovely Indian Summer.

We have done 3 great hikes.

The first was up to Stanley Glacier through a forest that was deliberately set alight in 2003 to prevent a massive wildfire from the Kootneys spreading into the Bow Valley

It was a lovely hike up the valley. We stopped at the end of the loop on the top of an escarpment about 25 minutes short of the glacier – next time I will go all the way.

The next hike was up to Helen Lake. On the way up to the trail head we came across a black bear – the first our dog Bailey has seen.

The hike starts off near the Crowfoot Glacier, so there are great views of that on the way up.

Enroute we came accross a big black bear on the trail, but he wasn’t interested in us and just moved off grazing away. Thats why you always hike with bear spray around here.

Once you reached a higher altitude it was one of those walks that went for a long way in the open.

At Helen Lake I decided to forego lunch and run up to the escarpment about another 100m higher and was rewarded by some excellent views.

At the lake there were quite a few folk but I was most impressed by the couple getting stuck into a bottle of wine carried in 15km (round) in a picnic hamper!.

Helen Lake has a reputation as a lovely hike and I can certainly see why.

The next hike was to Larch Valley up from Moraine Lake in the Valley of the Ten Peaks, about 12km round trip. The larch needles all turn yellow in the fall, and make for – even more – spectacular views. There was a trail restriction due to Grizzly Bear activity and we had to hike in groups of four. There was a couple of very nice ladies in the same boat so we hiked together.

When we got to the top we decided that we must go up Sentinal Pass, you can see the Zorro mark of the path in the next photo.

The extra climb is another 200m elevation gain. And winter has started to set in with ice walls starting to form and snow on the trail.

From the top, at 2600m, you are rewarded by a view across Paradise Valley, with the Giant Steps in the valley bottom, where we hiked last month. On the other side you can see through the pass into the Plain of the Six Glaciers. I love some of the names – you know exactly what you are going to get.

All in all a very nice September.

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