Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A Miniature Canadian Safari and Jumping shots!

Burstall Pass 

July 31st, 2013


This has been on my hiking list for YEARS. I finally got to tick it off!! Expectations were high, and they were definitely met.

On our drive there, we got the Canadian wildlife experience. We saw an elk running along the highway, looking exhausted, and being pursued by two wolves!! It was the first time I had ever seen them in the wild. A few kilometers down, we saw a group of mountain goats with their lambs along the side of the road. Not sure if the wolves caught up to them or not!



In the flood plain

For the first four-ish kilometers of this hike, you walk down an old road. It's pretty boring. Near the end there is a bike rack, so if you a mountain bike, use it!

After that, you reach a wide open flood plain that involves much hopping and jumping over small creeks.  This part of the trail isn't as obvious so look for the hiking signs if you get a little lost. It was probably a little wetter than normal due to the flooding in June. Part of the trail was still sitting under some water. After some more time in the trees, it opens up and you cross a beautiful meadow and start getting some stunning views.



Flooded trail

On our way up to the pass.




On our way up to the pass.

Dave, Kory, me and Michelle on the pass. 
On the pass 
Once we reached the pass, we decided to venture a little bit into Banff, because our views of it were being blocked by two smaller ridges.  While Dave scrambled up another mountain to the south, we headed up to the taller ridge west of the pass.  He is quite the long-legged mountain goat and scrambled his way up to the summit in no time! Meanwhile, we lounged in the alpine meadow and took a few jumping shots.

On top of the ridge in Banff

Looking into Banff. Leman Lake is visible here.

Jumping shots in front of Lehman Lake.  Thanks Google+ for putting this together! Hah!


On our way back through the flood plain.
This is a longer easy hike at 15 km. It's not difficult nor technical, but the distance does make for a long day.  It took us about 5 hours, plus about an hour of lounging and lunching.  It's a beautiful hike, and definitely worth the effort. Another gorgeous day hiking with some great company, topped off with a stop at the Mountain Juice Cafe.