Archive | June 2010

Hiking for Tea; a hike to Lake Agnes

Yesterday I went on quite a grueling hike. OK, its not really that bad a hike but starting at 1661 m and ending at 2210m (to the [Little Beehive]) is not good on my lungs – the combination of the altitude, asthma and my general poor fitness makes it more of challenge. Still it was quite good fun and definitely worth the hike. The view was simply stunning and the tea, well its by far the best [Earl Grey] I’ve had in Canada.
The hike started off at gorgeous Lake Louise:
Lake Louise reflections
you might just about to be able to pick out the teahouse destination in this image (look for the hut to the right of the first foreground peak):
Our destination, the tea house of Lake Agnes and the little beehive
On the way up the first lake you come across is the beautiful Mirror Lake:
Mirror Lake, cool reflections
Rock @ Mirror Lake
I was quite happy about having a rest there. Then we just kept going up and after avoiding a few horses and a waterfall we ended up at [Lake Agnes] and the tea house – so I had apple crumble.
Lake Agnes
Teahouse @ Lake Agnes
I’ve even got a little ground squirrel to become my friend, now how do I add it to facebook? biggrin.gifbiggrin.gifbiggrin.gif
ground squirrel in my shadow at Lake Agnes
We then saw a Marmot, a strange looking creature that was nicely basquing in the sun until we must have disturbed it (“damn tourists” he must have been thinking):
a marmot
We actually ended up above the snow line, which was kind-of cool but made me realise quite high up we’d gone….
after all that, we find the top.
oh and all 3 lakes, left Lake Louise, Mirror Lake and Lake Agnes could all be seen at once:
Lake's Louse, Mirror and Agnes
More photos from this hike can be found at [starrydude on flickr]

Hiking around Lake Minnewanka

Just over a week ago, while my better half was here, we and a few of my friends went up to Lake Minnewanka in Banff National Park for a hike. We really couldn’t have asked for a better day for it, gorgeous sunshine (I still have the tan-line from my watch from it) and fantastic scenery. I do think, however, that the highlight of the day had to be seeing 14 deer! I have to say though I was pretty excited to go to the lake because of the name (yes, I’m a big kid!):
Me and sign for Lake Minnewanka
Despite me thinking its a funny name (if you are Canadian and just don’t get it imaging a Brummie saying it, don’t say it like a Wonka bar in other words) Lake Minnewanka means “Water of the Spirits” in Nakota (the Stoney Indian language). The lake itself is a glacial lake fed by the Cascade River. The lake is about 30m high than the natural height due to daming for hydro power, this flooded the resort village that was there at the time and I’m told by avid scuba people I know that its pretty interesting down there….
The hike itself was fun, we kind-of decided we would walk until we got bored or tired… the later was the factor in the end but we managed a decent walk really. Here are a couple of pictures of the fantastic lake the beautifully blue water (for more see [here]):
Lake Minnewanka
Lake Minnewanka hike
You can see that we got quite above the trees on the walk.. not that high in the end but high enough for me to have some breathing issues (darn asthma) – then again starting point here is about 1km above see-level.
Boat on Lake Minnewanka
I have to say I do love being close to the rocky mountains, always stunning.
Oh and on a humorous note look at the arse we were parked to, yes that’s a hummer with a “Got Gas” licence plate!!
Got Gas Hummer, lol

An afternoon walk at Fish Creek

We went on a walk around [Fish Creek provincial park] the other day (we basically followed one of the walks in [Calgary’s Best Hikes and Walks by Lori Beattie] – I’ve mentioned a few of these walks before here). Fish Creek Park is a provincial park located in the southern part of Calgary, but is easily accessible from the C-train. Actually I say easily, its badly sign posted from the station and is around a 10 minute walk – then again its not too bad. Its quite nice having such a huge sanctuary for wildlife in the city. Anyway, we had quite a nice walk – especially since the doom and gloom of the morning picked up and the Sun came out to play.
Fish Creek Provincal Park
We got to see a couple of deer and coyotes… you can just about see the deer in this photo:
Deer @ Fish Creek Provincal Park
One of the coyotes came up close (at the time we thought they were just foxes, but after some research I’m convinced that they are coyotes..)
Up close with a coyote @ Fish Creek
Near the end of the walk (well on the way out.. we had to walk back too) we came to the Bow Valley Ranche house, which was quite nice looking:
Bow Valley Ranche House
The only problem we had was the walk back, which was ok but I think the paths don’t quite follow the map we had (since there was a flood the other year things appear different) and well we ended up heading for the other train station, oh well. I probably needed the exercise.