No, wait!! We hike year round, but Indian Summer brings fair weather and makes ELEVATION HIKES (Laura’s favourite) soooooo pleasurable!
A couple of days after their Hoff Ridge adventure, Laura and Becky took our guests, Mick and Brenda, up the Alpine Meadow. They had done the Viewpoint the previous day and were ready for a much more challenging hike – the weather was great…. so why not!!
This was the first time any of us had ventured to the meadow since the video cameras had been put up in August, so we were looking forward to seeing if there had been any activity. After successfully hiking up the avalanche chute without disturbing any wasps, we arrived at the cave to find that the three trail cameras were either full or had no battery. So we decided to remove these, which required climbing a tree on the edge of the cliff face. Becky had the important job of holding Laura up so she could use two hands to get the cameras untied. When Laura asked ‘Have you got me Becky?’, her reply was ‘I think so!’ ..not exactly what Laura wanted to hear at that moment! Ha!
The fourth camera, was placed further up the trail and only had 18 hits so we left that one – it appears the cave is popular with the wildlife! We wonder what has been recorded. A cougar? A bear? Or maybe lots of Marmots – we will have to wait to find out!
After a nice lunch in the sunshine and a few glimpses of the golden eagle hunting along the Hoff Ridge, we made the scramble onto the top of the meadow and enjoyed the wonderful view. It was so clear we could see Mount Robson 100 miles away!!
We then took a short walk down the sheep trail and arrived at the starting point of our ‘bum slide’, Laura taking the lead with Brenda following shortly after. Even though Laura had advised on how to control the slide, Mick had other ideas and threw himself down at speed, just missing Brenda and Laura on the way! Many a slides later, we all agreed that this time, our pants survived and we headed back to the cabins. However during dinner, Mick confirmed his pants had not made the slides in one piece!
Once up the Alpine Meadow wasn’t enough this week for Laura! She was determined to go on as many elevation hikes as the gorgeous Autumn weather would allow. So two days later Laura took Susan and six guests, Rick, Paul, Bob, Mary, Kevin and Will up again. The weather was perfect for the climb – sunny and dry, but not too hot.
Laura took her preferred route through the shale, while Bob chose to climb straight up the avalanche chute. Stopping briefly at the cave, Laura mentioned the motion detector cameras put in place to see if a Cougar or Lynx is using the cave. There was one trail camera still remaining on the flatter spot on top of the spine, where we would join up with Bob. Mary said she hoped Bob saw the camera . . .maybe before he had to relieve himself! Bob did see the camera, by the way . . .
Lunch was eaten on the “saddle”, admiring the Willmore mountains to the north. The short scramble to the summit rewarded us with spectacular views as per usual and there was a gentle breeze at the top (quite a bit different from the screaming wind of the previous Hoff Ridge hike!).
Susan had already told the guests about how much fun sliding down the avalanche chute was. However, Bob decided that he would make it far more fun for himself. On one of the longest slides he decided to tell Susan he was coming down fast and out of control. This scared Susan in to the fastest and most painful bum slide she’d ever done. There was a small rock she hit with speed and it re-opened a hole in her trousers. Ouch!
Bob, however, wasn’t finished – hurtling down the last slide with carefree abandon. The unfortunate thing was that there was a significant sized rock near the end of the slide, and Bob hit it dead center (judging by the expression on his face). Bob admitted over dinner that he had a substantial bruise – yes, a bigger ouch!
One other casualty that day going down the avalanche chute . . . Laura’s hiking pants won’t make another season!
As days grow noticeably shorter, we’ll be in getting ready for winter mode for the next week. Hiking will, once again, be put on the back burner . . .Hopefully, the weather will hold for Thanksgiving and we’ll be able to make one last climb of the season.
Until next time . . .Happy Trails!