Wonder what Kate got up to on her birthday? A little over 1,030 vertical metres of climbing, that's what.
A midday text from Jim and Grace suggested a hike the next day to the top of Paget Peak in Yoho National Park. Although we had talked about what to do to celebrate Kate's special day, we hadn't decided on an activity, so the suggestion was welcome. A moderately rated hike on a summit we hadn't experienced before seemed like a good choice. Plans were made to meet a few friends at the trailhead (between Lake Louise and Field), backpacks were packed, sandwiches and snacks prepared and the necessary accoutrements were made ready!
|Off to Paget's Peak. 3.6 kilometres sounds pretty easy.|
What about the "up" component?
|Our group for the hike was Jim, Grace, Arnie, Brent, Sharon and the Birthday Girl.|
|Here's our route. Red is flat and fast. Blue/green is steep and slow.|
|A bifurcated tree makes the junction of the trail. |
Sherbrooke Lake (flat) or a gentle up to Paget's Peak?
|A few streams to cross on this well-maintained trail.|
|As we gained elevation, the views started to reveal themselves.|
We were looking towards Mt. Stephen, which Jim had climbed a few weeks ago.
|Looking across the valley at Mt. Ogden.|
|Kate against the backdrop of Cathedral Crags and Mt. Stephen behind them.|
|We got to see Sherbrooke Lake without hiking to it! That's Mt. Ogden behind it.|
|The abandoned firestation lookout - a great halfway spot with a view of Wapta Lake.|
|After a refreshing break, we started our scramble to the top.|
|Here, we were on our way to the first false summit.|
|Getting there! Well above the treeline, the tough scree slope was halfway done.|
|A quick stop to regroup at the false summit (real goal in the background).|
Time for us to layer up, as it got windier as we climbed.
|More up, more boulders. And snow!|
|We all made it to the summit!|
|Hike more ... especially on your birthday!|
|We're on top of the world (at 2,565 metres - |
1,039 metres up from the parking lot).
|With the summit book signed and returned to the cache, it was time to|
head back down (and get out of the wind).
|Goodbye for now, lovely views!|
|Hiking down to enjoy a late lunch.|
Kate's last three birthdays have been wildly different:
- sailing in the Whitsunday Islands with her dad and the rest of the Findlay clan
- almost losing our van to a northern Quebec lake on a cross-country road trip
- munching on a ham sandwich and carrot sticks in hypoxic conditions on the summit of one of the Rocky Mountains
I foresee many more birthdays ahead, as part of grand adventures in interesting locations. I'm happy to get older every June, knowing that I'm dragging my best friend along into old age with me.
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