We had ambitious plans: survive the descent, snack at Lake Oesa, then head out up and across the Yukness Ledges, come down to Moor Lakes, head back up the All Soul’s route to All Soul’s Prosect and then come back down through the larch forest to Lake O’Hara to catch (hopefully) the 4:30 bus out… followed by burgers at the Lake Louise hostel.
This hut has incredible, rustic charm, a long mountaineering history, and plenty of tales to tell. While achieving the climb to the historic refuge, and being up there, on top of the world, adventuring, cooking, sleeping and eating with great friends was an amazing experience, what captured my imagination even more were the stories of the people who had come before us.
For months, I’d been staring and staring at these images on our planning board. How in the world would I be able to get up something that steep? that shifty? that unstable? and that scary!?
We’d been practicing on hikes and light scrambles… all with steep sections and unstable rock, scrambling parts and plenty of exposure. The practice was an attempt to to wrap our minds, hearts, fears and muscle memories around how to do the Abbot Pass scree slope with ease. We’d been working on our endurance with lengthy distances. We’d been working on our fitness with runs and hikes and bike rides. We were as prepared as we could be.
Our route took us, via Wiwaxy Gap to a high point on the Alpine Circuit trail, brought us along the Huber Ledges that are cut into the high cliffs, then down to the shores of beautiful Lake Oesa for lunch. From there we rested, ate to fuel ourselves, and then headed up the scree slope to the hut.
This the first in a five part series of posts on our adventures in the Lake O’Hara area. It serves as an introduction to our Abbot Hut experience and gives you a sense of what’s to come. Abbot Hut is an Alpine Club of… Continue Reading “Abbot Hut… A Bucket List Adventure (Part 1)”
Imagine this… a rocky shelf overhangs a shallow ocean floor somewhere near the equator, nestled in mud banks at the base of a tall cliff. Deep in the recesses of the dark space underneath lies a protected space, a sanctuary of sorts. Strange looking… Continue Reading “The Strange Creatures Hidden Up Mount Stephen”
Emerald Lake is nestled in Yoho National Park, near the town of Field, BC, just over the Alberta-BC border. It’s a spectacular place with towering mountains and lots of glaciers. That means there are lots of lakes and creeks and rivers that provide beautiful… Continue Reading “Hamilton Falls: Emerald Lake Part 2”
Deep snow! At last! We’d been searching and searching. We hadn’t found the incredibly deep, need-to-wear-snowshoes-to-stay-afloat snow on the Karst Spring Trail up at higher elevation in the Spray as we’d hoped. So we figured we’d need to head deeper into the mountains, across the BC… Continue Reading “Adventuring on Snow Pillows: Emerald Lake Part 1”
This trail is about as spectacular as it gets! With magnificent views across a steeply cut valley, a drop dead gorgeous glacier-fed, silt-grey river tumbling over boulders to hike along, tremendously heart-stirring waterfall vistas to take in, and toes of an ancient glacier, glinting… Continue Reading “Hiking The Iceline”