I am trying to get in as many longer runs as possible, before the snow flys and it could certainly fly any day now. Hopefully, we can still sneak in a few more!! On Saturday, I went up to Moraine Lake to enjoy some spectacular scenery that I hadn't visited in quite some time. The last time I did this one, I was 22 years old and did it on less than two hours sleep and a hangover! Now that is stamina! Iris, Mike and I headed up to Larch Valley, up and over Sentinel Pass, down through Paradise Valley, up to Saddleback, a scramble up Mount Fairview (which is above Lake Louise) and lastly, a wicked downhill to the shore of Lake Louise.
The trails were all starting to look like this, with all of the needles starting to drop off the larch trees. At the bottom of Sentinel Pass, the pass is like a wall in front of you. It doesn't take long to make the push to the top, but I had forgotten what a forbidding pass it is! Here, Mike is pointing at the trail that zig-zags up to the pass.
Even on a grey day, it was still awesome! We paused for a few pics and Iris made a snow angel on the old snow on the way down. Fun!
We enjoyed lots more cushy larch needle covered trails before making a little detour to the Giant Steps. There we ended up on a trail that was very much on our map, but it looked like it had been not in use and not maintained. Lots of "Is this the trail?" moments, map consultations and wet feet. We weren't lost, we knew exactly where we were, but it was still most befuddling. We finally came out at a junction, where the trail was clearly marked as closed from the other side! We all had a giggle at that.
The climb up the Saddleback, was really lovely and a had tons of elevation gain - one big climb of about 3.5 km.
At the top we figured we had enough time to scramble up Mount Fairview, which was super steep and about 1.5km of steep, uphill hiking. At the top, the views were....ummm.... grey and cloudy!! Usually, you get an unbelievable view of Lake Louise and Victoria Glacier. Not on this day, but still fun.
Leslie and Mike on top of the world (?!!)
The trail down was wicked fun, check out Mike and Iris doing tandem switchbacks!! The trail deposited right on the shore of Lake Louise, which was as always, busy with visitors on this fall weekend. After a day of running in solitude, it is always surreal to immerge from the forest to such a busy place after a day of solitude on the trails!
On Sunday, I was due for a sleep in with my husband and some lounging over coffee and breakfast. I love Sundays like that!! But really, no Sunday is complete without a run in a pretty place. Keith and I enjoyed the company of Ollie and Holly (hee-hee!) and pieced together a pretty run on some of my favorite local trails.
Ollie and Holly! (and Leslie, too....)
Old Church Stairs (ghost town of Lower Bankhead)
Keith with the entire Bow Valley stretching out behind him