(a brief synopsis)
We flew into Seattle, checked into the hotel and then went swimming in the deserted swimming pool, which was particularly welcome after a 9 hour flight, even if our body clocks did think it was 4am!!!
Early next morning, we met our group and set off. Our group was actually doing the Trek in parallel with another group, so we has two vans of people staying in the same place each night and doing a lot of the same activities in the day. Having two vans did mean however that the groups had more flexibility over what we did as there was effectively more options, which was good.
First day was a long drive from Seattle up into Canada to get to Pinantan Lake in British Columbia. To set the scence for the whole trip, the lake looked like this first thing the next morning:
Next day we went on towards Yoho National Park, via Revelstoke. We camped at Beaverfoot Lodge, which is on the floor of a wide valley, with the steep mountains climbing up at either side. It was a really atmospheric location.
This was further increased by the LOUDEST thunderstorm we've ever experienced which happened during the night! The thunderclaps actaully made the ground shake (we noticed as we were obviously sleeping on the floor) but the noise went on for literally 20-30 seconds each time - basically because the sound was bouncing back & forth between the two sides of the valley.
The next day we went on a hike from Takakawa Falls through Yoho pass. It was a spectacular day and we saw some of the most fantastic scenery.
View as we came out of the pass:
to the left as we came down...
and across the lake at the bottom:
Having compelted this hot trek, we jumped back into the van to head back to the camp to go horse riding. This took along the side of the valley, but ended not quite as expected when the guide's horse got stung by a hornet and freaked out all the other horses, who decided they were going home, regardless of what people wanted them to do!! Taz & I weren't too phased by this, but that wasn't the case for some others in the group who found the whole thing a little too exciting. We just thought it added to the interest!
The next day we went on to Lake Louise, where we did another hike. This started of with a steep climp up to the tea house by Lake Agnus.
Lake Agnus, with the teahouse just visible:
We then went round the lake and up the Big Beehive. This is the view from the top down over Lake Louise and the famous Chateau:
We then decended down the other side (at a gallop in our case) which brings you out half way down Lake Louise. We then made a very brisk dash to the far end of the lake, up towards the Plain of Six Galciers. We got as far as we could before time meant we had to head back, which we did via the medium of running the length of the lake. (We'd already decided to do this when on the Beehive to give us maximum time to get up to the Six Glaciers - the others thought we were crazy!!)
At the end of the Plain of Six Glaciers, with Lake Louise behind:
To be continued....