Friday was all fine with a short hike into Sherbrooke lake. The trail climbs up from the road for 1.5 hours and the follows a beautifull alpine lake. We walked up in the rain and stopped for lunch under a big pine tree right on the lake shore. The sun actually made short appearance and Stacey took that opportunity to nap and I dipped into the scotch. We resumed our hike and were hoping to get into Niles Meadow which is just pass the lake. The weather had other plans. As soon as we got to the back of the lake a quick moving snow squall sent us running back to the car in full rain gear.
Stacey at Sherbrooke Lake seconds before the snow squall
The next day we (or I) set our sights for the Wapta Highline trail, the hiking guidebooks raved about this hike. The trail starts at Emerald Lake which is a beautiful turquoise alpine lake, then the trail goes up to Yoho Pass then stays high and crosses the base of Mount Wapta and Mount Field then crosses into Burgess Pass and finally goes down back to Emerald Lake. What makes this trail special is that it once you get to the base of Mount Wapta you are crossing into the Burgess Shale strata. Now for all you non geological folks out there, this "layer" of the Rocky mountains contains an incredible concentration of fossils. Most of the fossils are over 500 million years old
Burgess Shale Fossils (not my pictures)
Well we didn't see any fossils, the main reason is that we were waist deep in snow for most of the hike. I think me and Stacey now understand the meaning of "Post holing". The word or verb 'post holing' refers to the action of punching thru the snow and sinking up to your knee or waist. Lets just say, its a very tiresome way of covering 10km.
On the way up to Yoho Pass, before we hit the snow line.
Now you would think that we would of known better and turned around at the first sign of trouble however I don't listen to common sense or Stacey's wisdom. We got up to Yoho pass without any difficulty, we hit snow for the last 300 m and couldn't find the trail. We had lunch and I went wandering around and I found the sign post for the trail just 10 metres from the spot where we were having lunch. I decided to keep going and Stacey didn't like the prospect of walking on snow for 3 hours however she also didn't want me to go on by myself, so she decided to come along. I'll let her tell the rest of the story so stay tuned.....