Robert L. Peters

30 August 2009

Rockies redux…






Banff National Park, Alberta

I’ve (once again) spent the last wonderful week of August in the Canadian Rockies, a well-established pattern over the past decades. This time around things played themselves out somewhat more low-key (and lower-altitude) than in recent years, as simply “being” trumped “doing”—I was quite worn in body, soul, and spirit and in need of over-due rest and hiatus, so schemes of summits gave way to valley respite. As in past years, I drove out west and back with Bettie (a considerable pilgrimage of nearly 4000 km, return), and the old Dame proved largely reliable once again (I did end up jury-rigging an exhaust repair in Medicine Hat when her “throaty” tone turned downright rude and intrusive).

My week started with a fine visit in the new/old Calgary home of long-time climber friends Gregor and Janice, replete with a tour of the town the following day (the organic farmers’ market was both a surprise and a highlight). Then it was on to Canmore (a visit to the ACC’s clubhouse/head office) and then Tunnel Mountain campground in Banff, with touristic day-tripping to the Cascade Ponds, the Lake Minnewanka loop, Johnson Lake, and the original Hot Springs on Sulphur Mountain. Later in the week, I moved further west to Lake Louise, with a pleasant day at Moraine Lake (I had never hiked the entire lake-shore trail to the glacial water-source before) and a reconnoitre with Gregor and Janice for a Friday trek up to the Plain of Six Glaciers Tea House.

A somewhat grueling 17-hour return trip across the wind-swept prairies brought me back to Ev’s in Winnipeg Beach at 03:00 this morning… both tired and quite rested at the same time. :-)

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
Psalm 121: 1, King James Bible

Images above: Retro signage at Banff Hot Springs on Sulphur Mountain; the surreal azure beauty of Moraine Lake; the Tower of Babel above Moraine Lake (I climbed the 10-pitch trad route along the left-edge skyline profile with Simon Statkewitch a few years back); my good mates Gregor Brandt and Janice Liwanag at a rest-stop; a view of the lower cliffs of Mount Lefroy and the exhilarating Fuhrmann Ledges by which we descended from Abbot Hut a year ago (this photo should help make sense of the bird’s-eye topo of the route I posted last year here).



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