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Sunday, September 4, 2011

Rawson Lake

Another weekend arrives, and you all know by now that means another hike!  With the Coulee Chicks tapering for their 100km epic race next weekend, and me wanting to try something a little less intense than climbing a gigantic rock on the side of mountain, we opted for Rawson Lake.  It was described as an easy hike with an elevation gain of 300 meters or so.  Easy-Peasy! 

There were eight hardy souls up for Saturday's hike, including H-woman.  We even had some newbies from our running gang come along for the day, D. and his son C.  After Friday's cooler day, we knew we'd be in for a slightly colder hike than weeks was a little disconcerting watching the temperature toggle between 0C (freezing point) and +3C on the drive out!  

J. looking ready for a brisk day in the mountains, or how I imagine the Amish hiking!  I actually wore a long-sleeved tech shirt over my tank, and pulled on a jacket over that.  The jacket came off very quickly, and the sleeves got rolled up too.  It may not have been the +28 like last weekend, but once you got moving, it turned out to be a lovely day.
 Yup...that'd be snow in them there undergrowth!
And frozen little ponds.  Isn't the ice pattern pretty?

The climb of the hike was all at the beginning, and after walking around the lake (and passing several remnants of bear scat - make noise, make noise!), we sat and enjoyed our lunch, and realized it took longer to drive out here than it did to hike!  A group of hikers passed by us, and started heading up to the ridge here.

Not to be outdone (and because we wanted a bit more of a hike) we also started up.  It turned out to be a bit more challenging, as the "dirt" trail was wet and therefore slippery, and the dried creek bed, while a million times better than the one we tackled on Forget-me-Not, was still filled with loose rocks, which also were still shaking off the morning dew/frost.
However, the view was worth it.  That is Rawson Lake below us.  The others wanted to explore a bit more, but H-woman and I were both done with the climb and decided to stay put.  I really didn't feel like rock-climbing this week.
We were beneath this outcrop, waiting to see if anyone popped their head over to say hi!  After a few minutes everyone returned, as the climb to the ridge was quite far and the evidence of bear was more prominent (paw print and recent dig site).  Best safe than sorry!  We all have spray, but never really want to have to use it.
This is the creek bed, which was a bit easier to go down...still a good quad workout!
 View of the climb from across the lake.  Can you see where we were?
Upper Kananaskis Lake, at the base of the trail.
Beautiful falls leading down to the lake.

Overall, another wonderful day spent in the mountains with good friends.  I am one very blessed person.


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