Sat, Sep 7 2019 - Taiga Viewpoint (Relaxed Pace + Potluck) (View Original Event Details)

Event Coordinator(s): Barbara B.
Participants:Barbara B., Mélanie, Tracy Ann, Darlene S, Stuart, KenN, Christy

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Write Up:
I have done many, many hikes in Kananaskis over the last 12 years, but think this one has topped them all. We had a picture perfect day. Fog in the morning as we left the city, then blue sky. The temperature at our summit elevation was to be around 10C, and instead we had 25C.

The initial 5km are easy on a fire road, so an easy warm up. The next 2km to Frozen Lake are a bit of a grunt, but the lake is a wonderful destination in and of itself. The only people we saw all day was three individuals who went fishing at the lake (catch & release cutthroat trout), and a couple of others sitting by the lake. Compare that to the current madness around Canmore, Banff, and Lake Louise.

We knew the stretch from Frozen Lake up to the col would be the determining factor on whether we would make it to the viewpoint or not. Although it is listed in Gillean Daffern's hiking book, it does have sections of scrambling and exposure. This group was up for the challenge, and the climb actually didn't take long. Then from the col it was a few more minutes to reach Taiga Viewpoint where the rewards were so immense. Colours have started to turn, and from this location we saw five lake: Upper and Lower Kananaskis Lakes, Frozen Lake, Fox Lake, and Lower Elk Lake. We had a potluck and enjoyed this summery day with no wind. Absolutely stunning up here!

In order to not backtrack down the stretch to Frozen Lake, we decided to add some distance and head down the back (south side of the col), towards the Upper Elk Lakes Trail. It was 1km with over 500m of elevation loss. The first half was quite straightforward, but after that we were forced into the creaked, over tedious rubble. We we happy to hit the trail after that.

From the trail we headed towards Fox Lake, as most of us had run out of water. However, the lakeshore was full of duck poop, so we ended up getting some water from a small creek a but further on. From West Elk Pass it was a straightforward hike back to Blueberry Junction, and then back to Elk Pass where we had parked.

Thank you to an incredible day for sharing this fabulous day! We clocked in at 20.1km, 808m total elevation gain, and just under 9 hours on the trail. Feeling pleasantly depleted.

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