Do these stunning days ever stop?
I think not.
After yesterday’s humdrum hike, today’s so far surpassed expectations, it was dizzying. I thought it was going to be just a tiny little day hike. After all, it’s a tourist place: middle of Columbia Icefields. We’d also been warned: expect many, many people – but only to the middle of the pass, which is a mere 90 minutes or so from the trailhead. After that, we were set to do some exploring.
We hit the trail at 9.30 and had it almost to ourselves. Up we went through subalpine forest to emerge very quickly into alpine meadow. Glorious from the word “go.” Simon and I both took so many pictures the number was ludicrous. But it was a case of point your camera anywhere and you’ll get a brilliant shot.
After the top of the pass, we kept walking toward Tangle Creek (or Pass or Falls – Tangle something or other). We walked and walked and walked until we hit the highest point of our trail and the view into the next (Tangle?) valley appeared. We stopped for lunch, alone on an alpine, windswept tundra – totally at peace and in a state of bliss and love.
I can’t quite describe what places like this do to me. At one point I told Simon that I felt like “home.” But it’s more than that. I feel not so much like I belong in landscapes like this, but that I belong TO them.
And they fill me with love and that love spreads. I feel the love spill over to Simon just as my love for Simon also spills over into these landscapes.
After lunch, we hiked back. From there we decided to head up to Wilcox Peak. No – not the top – mountaineering stuff, that one – but as far as we felt like. We thought, maybe just at the top where the grass ended and the rocky bits started. So we did that – climbed up and then got off the trail to trek across the sloping scree for good views.
After some photos, we headed back to the trail to hike down. But there was the trail heading up – and Simon asked, “Do you want to go up?” “Sure,” I said.
I mean, why not?
And so we headed up steep scree and loose rocks. Up and up. We were determined to reach the saddle – which we did about 20 or 30 minutes later. And, oh my, it was worth it. There we were, once again on top of the world, with ranges and icefields, glaciers and meadows spread below us.
It was a glorious moment.
Even the trek back was sublime.
We reached our car again a little more than eight hours after setting out. So much for this being a small day hike – it was a big, satisfying, wonderful, epic day.
One more favourite hike to add to my list.
And now we are in Tete Jaune Cache with one day to prepare for our two-day trek to Mount Robson and Berg Lake. I am praying to the weather gods because, at the moment, the forecast is for heavy rain and that just won’t do.
In other good news: we have Internet and hook-ups for the first time in ages. Also, we get to sleep in tomorrow for the first time in ages.