I should have known, that once the option was out there, my tenacious, energetic friend Gillian would choose it....
Her plant is in a shutdown and she's been working long days, with only one day a week off. But that was not a deterrent yesterday, and what started out as plans to hike to Bourgeau Lake turned into "Wanna check out Harvey Pass? It's only 11:30.." and then "Should we just go for the summit? It's only a quarter to one..." And that is how we ended up striding nearly 25km and ascending around 1500m, on a beauty Sunday in the Rockies.
The hike started out with us rocketing up to Bourgeau Lake, and since we whipped that off in about an hour and forty-five minutes, it seemed like a no-brainer to at least continue on to Harvey Pass.
|Approaching Bourgeau Lake.|
|A beautiful alpine setting!|
|View of Bourgeau Lake on the way up to Harvey Lake.|
|Cute little Harvey Lake.|
|An unnamed tarn below Harvey Pass that makes it on the map.|
|Still a bit smoky - looking west from Harvey Pass.|
The pass only took us another 45 minutes or so, and one thing led to another, and pretty soon we were churning our way up the scree slope to the top of Mount Bourgeau.
|Another view of Bourgeau Lake!|
|The summit! What a view.|
|A bit hazy, but still a see-forever vista.|
The Banff townsite is visible just above my shoe.
|What a great day to be up high!|
The sun was out but the breeze had that fall bite to it, so we only hung around at the summit long enough to snap a couple of photos and say hello to the others who were up there as well - an Aussie, a New Yorker, and two Swiss visitors. I was wearing everything I brought with me except my down jacket as we reversed our tracks and began the 12-plus kilometre jaunt back to the car.
|Now, the toe-jamming descent!|
|Another tarn at Harvey Pass that makes it on the map.|
|A nice treat along the tightly-treed lower part of the trail.|
We left the parking lot at 9:40am and returned at 5:05pm, so all in all we were pretty darn quick - we cranked this one out in just under 7-1/2 hours, car-to-car. The last time I did this trail (in 2009!) I logged it at 8-1/2 hours... so for me to shave off a whole sixty minutes, when I'm nearly a decade older (but obviously not wiser!) is substantial, in my books anyhow. Of course a huge thanks goes out to Gillian, who is a machine and doesn't cut me any slack.... LOL!
The Wenkchemna Pass larch-fest is still on this fall's hit list, as long as the weather holds out over the next few weeks. Until then....