Saturday, October 1, 2011

Emerald Lake, Canadian Rockies

Neil fortunately has a conference at Lake Louise each year which we use as good reason to visit the Canadian Rockies. We try to always add a few days at the beginning of the trip and to enjoy some hiking and running in this spectacular area. One of our favourite places to stay is Emerald Lake Lodge. During the height of summer these popular lodges in the Rockies can be heaving with people. On the "shoulder" season it is perfect! Great hiking and just a few folk at the Lodge and staying in the cabins. We did the Emerald Triangle hike that takes us up to Burgess Pass at 7900 feet. The breathing gets heavy and you find yourself moving a little slower at that altitude. Interestingly, this is the location of the Burgess Shale, a UNESCO world heritage site where more than 140 species of fossils approximately 530 million years old have been unearthed.

The main lodge that has the restaurant, lounge, out door decking and some banquet facilities upstairs. We stay in cabins on the lake shore. Each cabin has a wood burning fireplace that they stock daily with all the wood you need for a roaring blaze each night!

Once out on the hike a reminder we are in Grizzly Bear country. Last year we saw a mother grizzly and her 2 cubs very close to us.

The signs of Grizzly keeps the journey somewhat unnerving. We wear a bell and try to make noise but every noise you hear makes the heart thump!

Spectacular views! This point looks down on the small town of Field, B.C. Historically a railway town that functions as a switching point for freight trains.

Looking back to Mt. Wapta and the Burgess Shale that we just crossed.

Crossing the Burgess Shale. The trail traverses the mountain.

Below Mt. Wapta and the large shale bed.

Looking down to Emerald Lake where we are staying. You can just see the roof tops of the cabins and the lodge.

Majestic Mountains!

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