White Water and Emerald Lake

Trip Start Feb 16, 2011
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Trip End Jun 11, 2012


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Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Thursday, July 21, 2011

For the last week I've had a dry cough which meant that trying to get to sleep has been troublesome. I certainly haven’t had the energy or motivation to do anything spectacular other than throw the Frisbee around a little. I definitely wanted to make the most of my days off this week, so I decided to round up a few people and go white water rafting on the Kicking Horse River. On Tuesday afternoon I woke up and headed downtown with Susanna to Avis to pick up a Dodge Avenger which was the same size as the Chevrolet Impala I hired a fortnight earlier. We picked up Adam and Jenny and headed over to Canmore in the wet weather to have a coffee and have a look at a few outdoor shops. Susanna finally bought the Deuter backpack that she had been looking for over a number of weeks, and I bought some new sneakers. The weather turned bad as we drove back and there was thunder and lightning that brought down a few trees around the town. I went across the road to have dinner at Chilli’s Restaurant because the power was out for a few hours.

That night I went to work and at 7am when I finished, I grabbed my things from home and drove out with Adam, Kylie, Zuzana and Susanna. It took 90 minutes to drive past Lake Louise into British Columbia and out of Yoho National Park to the river base. We got there early so we were able to relax until the safety briefing where we got the usual spiel that Adam and I had heard the previous time. We got changed and our team of 9 got our raft and went down to the very full and flowing Kicking Horse River to start our journey! The river was so full that we could see parts of the riverbank eroding as we went past and great big logjams on the islands and riverbanks. The first part was quite tame and after an hour we stopped to let some of the people off and rearrange the seating.

Then the Class 3-4 rapids started and they were huge. One part in particular was called the rollercoaster and we went straight through it. If there wasn’t a rope to hold onto in the middle of the raft, I would have come out as we went airborne. It wasn’t that scary, but pretty exciting. Luckily no one made an early exit and we floated the last part under a high road bridge to the exit point. I was pretty tired by that point and rested on the bus back to base. Once we had changed, we had a BBQ lunch and jumped back into the car to drive back.

We decided to stop at Emerald Lake one the way back which was a beautiful turquoise colour with quite a few swallows swooping over the water surface. There were a number of different beautiful flowers in bloom around the resort buildings which Susanna had particular fun in photographing. On the way back to the highway, we stopped at the Natural Rock Bridge which I wasn’t expecting on seeing and looked quite unique. We decided that a caffeine hit was in order and stopped at Field in Yoho National Park at the local restaurant. The next stop was supposed to be Takakkaw Falls (one of the highest in Canada), but unfortunately one of the big RVs had got stuck on the tight switchbacks and the road was blocked. I let Kylie drive home because I was so tired by this point. That night I slept for around 12 hours and I needed every minute of it.

The next morning I got up at 7am to meet the Grand Nature Club at the Mount Royal Hotel. The hike this week was Hamilton Lake which happened to start at the Emerald Lake car park in Yoho which I had been to the day before. I drove with Zuzana, Michael and Lenka back to Emerald Lake and we started the hike at 10:40am. The hike was quite strenuous because it was steep and we were climbing for most of it. We passed a small waterfall near the start and for the rest we were mostly switch backing through the forest with the cloud covering any views we might have had. Towards the top the rain started coming in and it felt like we were right in the cloud because we were so high. Eventually we came out at the top to see an icy lake still surrounded with snow and only stopped long enough to take a few photos before we turned back. Once we had enough cover we stopped for lunch and the rain stopped for most of the return leg. We glimpsed a few views, but the clouds were still lingering so we powered back down the mountain. We reached the bottom at 2:20pm and I had to return the car by 4pm so we left straight away. Luckily we had a good run back and despite all the road works, I just returned the car in time.

Next challenge – Rundle Mountain!

Hike Information:
Hamilton Lake Hike
Length: 11kms
Time: 4 hours
Elevation Gain: 850m
Slideshow Report as Spam

Comments

Tyson on

"Zuzana and Susanna," hehe.

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