Sun, Jul 29 2012 - LOCATION CHANGE AGAIN DUE TO BEAR CLOSURE - NEW HIKE - Stanley Glacier Ed will have directions to hike at carpool (View Original Event Details)

Event Coordinator(s): Ed, Karen D
Participants:Karen D, Nick B, Ed, Valerie F, Ahmar Khan, carolineg, Dan Mc

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Write Up:
What started off as a hike in Kananaskis Country turned into 3 hike changes, and we finally ended up at Plain of Six Glaciers. My original plan of hiking at Ptarmigan was switched to Chester Lake due to trail closure for bear activity. Then the day before our hike, Valerie informed me that Chester Lake is now closed too due to bear activity as well (it was still open on Friday !). As my two Kananaskis hikes were surrounded by bears, I decided to leave the area completely - scrambling at 10:30p.m. the eve before our hike, Stanley Glacier was the only one I could think of. However, after carpool commenced, I called our one vehicle leaving Calgary and asked them about doing Plain of Six Glaciers – they all agreed !!! So delighted that our group embraces change !!! Plain of Six Glaciers at this time of year is known for it’s avalanches on the opposite side of the trail, and I wanted my nephew, Nick, to experience this as this is his first time to the Canadian Rockies !

We started our hike shortly before 10:00a.m. amongst the crowds at the Lake Louise waterfront. Once we left the waterfront and starting hiking up towards the teahouse, we left half of the tourists behind ! No snow on the trail as there was 3 weeks ago when I hiked this trail with another guest. As we progressed up the trail, the day got hotter & hotter ! Saw a lot of families & other tourists (a lot wearing jeans, and no water……….) along the way. We got up to the teahouse in good time. There were people there, but we managed to get the only bench in the shade ! We had a snack and headed out to the lookout which was 2.0km away. On this part of the trail, we hike on top of a moraine built by the receding glacier. Those afraid of heights might not like this ! Enjoyed the views at the lookout and took some amazing shots ! Abbot Hut can be seen on top of Abbot’s pass ! My online research indicates that there are two ways to reach this hut. The first and safer route is via Lake O’Hara. The second route is via the hike we are on, and up Abbott Pass. This “daring & willing to risk fate” route is called “The Death Trap”. It is very tight, very deep & steep glaciated valley where many big avalanches occur, falling rock & ice, and where there are many dangerous hidden crevasses to fall into.

Following our return to the parking lot, we got rid of our packs, changed our footwear, and walked over to the Deer Lodge for a well-deserved cold beer on their patio on such a hot day !!! A great group, who enjoyed this hike; and for my nephew’s second hike in the Rockies, Nick enjoyed it so much that he now wants to start doing bigger hikes – I have a feeling by the end of the week, he’ll want to ascend a 1000M elevation gain hike – ahhhhh to be 18 again !!!!!!

Many thanks to go around ! First, once again, I must thank Valerie, Ahmar, Caroline, Dan, and Ed for their flexibility on all the changes for this event ! Valerie, thank you so much for alerting me about Chester Lake being closed as I was out hiking the day before and hadn’t had a chance to check the trail report before your text, and for sure you will be a great coordinator should you decide to be one ! Ed, thank you for organizing the carpool, and driving me & Nick as I am having car problems !

Sightings on the trail: Tourists, tourists, and more tourists, habituated chipmunks, avalanches from across the gully, lots of waterfalls, glacier crevasses, Abbot Pass, Abbot Hut, someone measuring the trail distance with a surveyor’s wheel, running cameraman with someone guiding him….. hmmmm “Travel Alberta” maybe??? (ya never know what you’re going to see out there !!!)

Happy Trails :)
Karen D.