Upper Eagle Lake, 10/07/2011-10/08/2011

In lieu of a proper entry (apologies again), I present the contents of my journal and selected photographs:

Eagle Lakes

I-90 -> 970 -> 97 -> US2/97 -> L on WA153N -> L on Gold Creek -> L on 4340 -> L on 4340(300) -> Eagle Lake Trail 431

15:25 – Leave trailhead
16:20 – Martin Crk int. Larches across valley look awesome! Tired. 2 dayhikers, 1 moto.

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Back down the valley.

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View across the valley: peaks, snow and larches.

18:30 – Upper Eagle lake — 1-3″ snow; followed footprints. Went upshore and found no campsites (main taken). Ended up in horse camp. Ate beef stroganoff, chocolate, scotch.

10/08

Up at 06:00 — slept poorly; was warm enough, but couldn’t get comfy. Very quiet. Amount of snow makes me worried about loop trip [that I’d planned on].

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Sunrise at Upper Eagle Lake.

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Larches.

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The morning lake.

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More of the same.

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Oooh.

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Heading out; blue skies.

08:45 – Leaving camp; heading home.
10:35 – Martin Crk Int.
11:20 – Car
11:30 – Leave

As is often the case, a few more photos here.

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Canadian Rockies Grand Tour, September 2009

I’ve wanted to go to the Canadian Rockies since I first laid eyes on them. Via photography. With steady jobs and paid vacation time accruing, we circled a week on the calendar this Spring, set about planning and purchasing, and crossed our fingers.

I monitored the weather anxiously, but in the end, we were blessed with beautiful conditions for the majority of our trip. This won’t be my normal trip report, just basics and photos. We had an amazing time!

Day 1, Saturday, 09/12/09:

~9 hour drive from Seattle to Mt. Robson Provincial Park, via Kamloops (where we stopped to change money and buy groceries). I’d planned on camping that night at either Robson River Campground or Robson Meadows Campground. The river campground was closed for the season, so we set up camp at Robson Meadows after not-quite-visiting the Visitor Centre, which closed at 17:00, just before we arrived. The view of Mt. Robson from the highway was Wow!-inducing. I ran over again to the Visitor Centre to catch the sun set on Mt. Robson’s West Face.

Mt. Robson's summit at sunset.

Mt. Robson's summit at sunset.

Day 2, Sunday, 09/13/09:

Up early–but not that early since the earliest we could get our permits at the Visitor Centre was 08:00. After permits for two for two nights ($20) and watching most of an informational video, we were off.

We had 13 miles to go that day in order to make camp at Berg Lake. By far Nicole’s longest backpack (and rivaling our longest dayhikes) and just as long as my final day out of Lower Ice Lake. Our bags were relatively heavy, but the elevation gain (~2800′) was spread over such a distance that it wasn’t too terrible. Except on our climb from Whitehorn Campground past the waterfalls until Emperor Campground…

Once at Berg Lake, we found a secluded site and relaxed.

Nicole surveying upper Robson River as we approach Berg Lake.

Nicole surveying upper Robson River as we approach Berg Lake.

Day 3, Monday, 09/14/09:

I woke up early to take advantage of the clear skies, taking a dozen too many photos of Mt. Robson in the morning light. Our original plan was to hike to Snowbird Pass (~13 more miles) on this day. We toyed with the idea of doing a different, shorter loop, but decided on going up the trail to Snowbird Pass as far as we felt like it. Which ended up being about 8-9 miles, round trip. We didn’t make the pass, but the views of Robson and the Robson Glacier were outstanding.

Sunrise lights up the top of Mt. Robson, reflected.

Sunrise lights up the top of Mt. Robson, reflected.

Robson Glacier lake, en route to Snowbird Pass.

Robson Glacier lake, en route to Snowbird Pass.

Nicole, at bottom left, overlooks the massive Robson Glacier.

Nicole, at bottom left, overlooks the massive Robson Glacier.

Day 4, Tuesday, 09/15/09:

Not looking especially forward to 13 long miles out, but we made it, relishing every descending kilometer marker along the way. We’d thought about camping again after we made it out, but opted to check into the first hotel we found in Jasper. We did laundry, filled up our cooler with the hotel’s ice, and ate the best burgers ever.

A path of stones leads to Berg Lake.

A path of stones leads to Berg Lake.

Following upper Robson River.

Following upper Robson River.

Nicole, at right, descends into the Valley of a Thousand Falls.

Nicole, at right, descends into the Valley of a Thousand Falls.

Day 5, Wednesday, 09/16/09:

Jasper to Lake Louise, via the Icefields Parkway, with photo stops. By far the most beautiful stretch of road I’ve driven.  We’d planned to hike Wilcox Pass, but it was closed due to blasting that also had us sitting still on the highway for an hour or more. Instead we hiked Parker Ridge, just south of the overflowing-with-Japanese-tourists Icefield Centre. A nice, easy hike, perhaps 4 miles.  Quite beautiful.  After the hike, we drove down to Lake Louise where we did some expensive car camping and I borrowed someone’s axe to chop our firewood while the bull elk bugled.

Atop Parker Ridge, looking down at the Saskatchewan Glacier.

Atop Parker Ridge, looking down at the Saskatchewan Glacier.

Dork on cliff.

Dork on cliff.

Waterfowl Lake, on the side of the road.

Waterfowl Lake, on the side of the road.

The beautiful Peyto Lake.

The beautiful Peyto Lake.

Day 6, Thursday, 09/17/09:

Woke up to raindrops on the tent, packed up the car before it turned to full-strength rain. Rest day it was! We drove to Banff and checked in early at our hotel, bummed around Banff. Expensive!

Day 7, Friday, 09/18/09:

Better weather, but after checking the Park Visitor Centre in town and verifying that Sentinel Pass was restricted to groups of 4 or more, and really not wanting to wait for/hike with someone, we decided to head back up to Lake Louise and climb up Fairview Mountain. Larches were in transition, and we reached the summit of 9000′, just below the cloud ceiling. Just over 6 miles round-trip. Then, back to Banff again via Highway 1A. Wildlife sightings in total: 1 bull elk, 3 deer, 1 porcupine, and, finally, a group of bighorn sheep.

Larch, mountains, and clouds.

Larch, mountains, and clouds.

Above Saddleback.

Above Saddleback.

Lake Louise as viewed from the summit of Fairview Mountain.

Lake Louise as viewed from the summit of Fairview Mountain.

Smile!

Smile!

Dork at 9000'.

Dork at 9000'.

Us.

Us.

Day 8, Saturday, 09/19/09:

An even longer drive back to Seattle via Yoho and Highway 1 instead of Highway 5/16. But we returned! We had a great time…

🙂 🙂 🙂

As always, plenty more photos at Flickr.

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