20141004: Lake O’hara area (Yoho)

I felt like I’d won the lottery; Parks Canada posted on their website that they had a rare cancellation on the shuttle going up to Lake O’hara. So I took the spot. Unfortunately it was such a crappy wet day and my camera also crapped out on the Huber Ledges pass from the moisture in the sleet. It had been -12C in the campgrounds lately. But that’s what makes us grateful for patches of sun, right? This is still, I think, one of my all time favorite areas in the Rockies.

Last time I did the lowline along the lakes and then the highline on other side of the valley. This time I did Wiwaxy and Huber Ledges highline and just happened to arrive at Lake Oesa at the same time as a group of three mountaineers heading up Abbot pass, which lies on the Continental Divide.

I envied their climb (they’d be trying Mt. Victoria the next day) and they envied my light backpack! I didn’t get all the way to the Abbot pass as I needed to catch the shuttle back, plus I didn’t have my helmet with me and there had been ice fall all day (clumps of frozen waterfall breaking apart on the rocks and shattering and splaying shards of ice below). Yet it was with reluctance that I said goodbye and turned around.

As it happens I missed the shuttle and didn’t feel like walking the 10km out to the highway – been there done that, ha ha and was feeling lazy, so I did a couple hours exploring around the back lakes while waiting for the next ride. Next time… McArthur pass.

Lake Louise 7am. looked like it was going to be a nice day... too bad it wasn't. Fairview in the forefront left, Lefroy behind that, Abbot pass hidden behind Lefroy, Victoria straight ahead. O'hara is on the other side of Victoria & Lefroy
Lake Louise 7am. looked like it was going to be a nice day… too bad it wasn’t. Fairview in the forefront left, Lefroy behind that, Abbot pass hidden behind Lefroy, Victoria straight ahead. O’hara is on the other side of Victoria & Lefroy

Fairview trip posted here.

Yes the trail really is that narrow at times. Lake O'hara below.
Wiwaxy. Yes the trail really is that narrow at times. Lake O’hara below.

Still climbing, still wet and cold
Still climbing, still wet and cold

Hm, the pass to Huber Ledges. Windy. I daresay i was the first one there that day.
Hm, the pass to Huber Ledges. Windy. I daresay i was the first one there that day.

Onwards.
Onwards. Of course as soon as I got down form the pass it cleared up a bit.
Seven lakes and all different colours. wow.
Seven lakes and all different colours. wow.
my pole tips showing the size of the icicles at around 2500m
my pole tips showing the size of the icicles at around 2500m elevation. Imagine that crashing down on your head. Still lots of flowing water though.

Heading up Abbot Pass
Heading up Abbot Pass in the company of a group of mountaineers
Looking down at Lake Oesa, a blue gem
Looking down at Lake Oesa, a blue gem
Turned around and dropping elevation quickly. On the colourful rocks of the Oesa trail headed home
Turned around and dropping elevation quickly. On the colourful rocks of the Oesa trail headed home
Looking at all the stuff growing on the rocks!
Looking at all the stuff growing on the rocks!
Big Larch trail; missed the peak larch season but their golden evidence carpets the trail
Big Larch trail; missed the peak larch season but their golden evidence carpets the trail
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2 thoughts on “20141004: Lake O’hara area (Yoho)

  1. Ohhh – the Lake O’Hara region is one I yet have to visit, hope I have time for it while I am still in Canada:) Great pictures!

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