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Thursday, August 01, 2013

Postcards from the Road: Glacial Plain



Let's start with a pretty one: an alpine meadow filled with wildflowers. So cheerful.


Today we hiked to the Plain of the Six Glaciers. The trail followed the shoreline of Lake Louise to the end where glacial waters enter. Then a steady climb upwards to a tea-house adjacent to the wildflower meadow pictured in the first photo.


We continued climbing until the path led along the glacial moraine, seen above. Was I a little bit nervous? Maybe, especially on the return trip downhill. The trail to the right drops off into the glacial plain - the glacier here is covered by stones and dirt which help protect it from melting, but also hide the crevasses that would be easy to fall into, should one survive the tumble downwards. Shiver. The lady pictured above, ahead of me on the trail, also shared her nervousness as we ate our lunch perched on a rocky slope. By rocky slope I mean a slope of rocks. Nothing growing at all. You can see Lake Louise off in the distance.


During our hike we heard several cracks from the glaciers and looked up once to see a fine drift of snow fall from way above onto the glacial plain. Awe-inspiring. It's a desolate land above the treeline, but with beauty born of sparsity, leaving one to admire the massive rock formations and power that shaped them. Lichens and a few scrubby bushes survive in the harsh conditions, but little else. 

The above photo, not a black and white, is of The Mitre, with its glacier at the bottom. On our descent the rain began, not heavy, but rather steady. The world turned to gray. This day's hike was longer than Tuesday's, but not quite as steep. We hiked 13 kilometres, or about 8 miles.

6 comments:

  1. I'm impressed with your hiking on this trip. It really makes it worthwhile when you see the beauty along the way and the great views at the top...

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  2. Lorrie, I am nervous just reading about this hike!! It is beautiful, but I doubt I'd have conquered my nerves as you did. Good for you!

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  3. I would have been nervous too! What a very inspiring, if desolate, place to visit.

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  4. Congratulations, you made it. The views along the way are stunning.

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  5. And now you never have to do that again! I would think a walking stick would be in order for that particular hike. I am not steady enough on my feet to attempt such a thing...it would be way too scary. But I'm smiling to think that I went on the virtual tour and with your descriptions and photos I, too, can see the snow gently misting down and it is a spectacular scene.

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  6. What awe inspiring photos - what a trek!!

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