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post #1 of (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 08:14 AM Thread Starter
Headed for the Mountains
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: rockies, alberta, Canada.
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Default Opal Hills

The plan for yesterday was to connect Opal Hills to Surprise lake so I left Barbie (the Jeep) at the end point according to the GPS coordinates I had been given. Seemed like a thick bushwhack coming through there, hummm maybe not a good plan as the view up the ridge was non existent. Hopped into the second vehicle with Brenda and we talked the rest of the way up about whether we really thought we could make this happen.
Arrived at the parking lot and looked at the snow that had fallen over night on Opal peak!
There was snow on the ground in the trees as we left the car! Climbed and discussed the plan and decided as I had never done this trail to not attempt to do the hike through to Surprise lake as there was enough to explore on a cool day right here. We enjoyed a lunch break and conversation about summitting Opal, the trail looks like it had slid in places so we wondered if it was even do-able to the saddle. It was cool with a fresh wind blowing, 10 where we sat to have lunch and 4 at the saddle! The draft up my shorts was REAL fresh! lol Looking up at the peak with the wet and wind made us decide to not go for the summit this time, later in the afternoon we could have gone then as the wind died right off and the trail was dry. Down we came and across the flat to a little waterfall that is where we would have began to connect to Surprise lake. This waterfall is very interesting as there is no lake up top to feed the water! Still some snow melting up there to come under ground I guess to keep the falls flowing. A little hike of 14 km and just over 1000 mts gain but such a nice day out. The wild flowers are just starting to open up another week or so should see a bigger display. Oh and no mosquitoes! too damn cold and windy for the most part I think! It did get real summer like as we hiked back out, more like Aug.1 should feel like!
Oh and just a side note, this is a popular trail so there were others who stayed down on the flats to walk the loop only. While we were crossing there we met a family with 4 young boys, the littlest asked very politely, "excuse me, is alright if we can go to touch the snow?"! We caught up to them on the trail out and I asked if he had touched the snow and again polite as can be, "I'm 4 and yes I got to touch the snow!" They were an Italian family living temporarily in Montreal out for a holiday in the rockies. Sometimes we do see there are well behaved children still!
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 08:43 AM
High on the Mountain Top
 
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I'm still trying to get to the summit, but it always seems like either my timing is off or the people I'm with aren't strong enough.

Is there still a bear warning posted for Opal? There was one a couple of weekends ago. Apparently, it's the same mama grizzly with two cubs who got it shut down for the last couple of years. Good news for the bears, not so good for hikers.

Looks like a nice day. Grab 'em whenever you can, eh?
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 10:13 PM
Hittin' the Trails
 
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Location: rocky mountain house, alberta, Canada.
Interest: hikeing/ mountaineering mountian biking kyaking snowboard snowshoeing wakeboard woodworking
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holy crap it gets windy up their. I was their in october and their was bairly any wind at the lake and by the time i got to the peak it had to hav been 110kmh but still makes for a nice view of the lake
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 10:35 PM Thread Starter
Headed for the Mountains
 
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Peter; yes there are still some warnings of the sow and two cubs up but man with the amount of people up there we weren't overly concerned about seeing her! Not even that much fresh scat.
I'm sure the wind chill was a lot colder than the temp. indicated! But once down off the ridge there was much less wind and the temp. came up too. It was a trip that I think I might have liked to have long pants! lol
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 08-03-2011, 12:08 AM
Off the Beaten Path
 
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Nice. The blue skies are deceiving, I'm sure the wind had some bite up there. That waterfall reminds me of a spot on an alpine ledge overlooking Pinto Lake. There was a beautiful spring there that trickled over the cliff. I returned a couple years later and the spring was gone.

Now I'm surprised no one has commented on the name of your jeep .
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 08-03-2011, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
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lol Dav the Jeep has had been called "Barbie" since I brought her home several years ago! It is a Liberty like Barbie drove back in the '90s and because I'm not even close to a "Barbie" myself it has stuck! You only name what you keep! lol Rented Mule has a name for his vehicles too....
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 08-03-2011, 01:56 PM
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How did the other side of Opal Peak look for descending? I am interested in an exploratory trip starting at Opal Peak. See the below link for my proposed trip.

http://eric-coulthard.com/TripWishList.html#maligne
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 08-03-2011, 05:41 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by mtnlioness

lol Dav the Jeep has had been called "Barbie" since I brought her home several years ago! It is a Liberty like Barbie drove back in the '90s and because I'm not even close to a "Barbie" myself it has stuck! You only name what you keep! lol Rented Mule has a name for his vehicles too....
Nice. I will go on record as fully endorsing that name. I have a car named "Murphy," and indeed everything that could go wrong, has gone wrong. In retrospect, it was a bad name for a car. It's on my driveway right now with the keys in the ignition, hint hint.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 08-03-2011, 06:34 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by jonahk

holy crap it gets windy up their. I was their in october and their was bairly any wind at the lake and by the time i got to the peak it had to hav been 110kmh but still makes for a nice view of the lake
Sorry. I have to do this.

'They're' as in 'they are'.
'There' as in 'It's over there'.
'Their' as in 'It's theirs - it belongs to them'.

Next class, we'll talk about punctuation and run-on sentences.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 08-03-2011, 07:43 PM
Hittin' the Trails
 
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who cares about grammar its a fourm not a school paper. looser!
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 08-04-2011, 07:38 AM
High on the Mountain Top
 
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by jonahk

Who cares about grammar? It's a forum, not a school paper. Loser!
There. Much better. Note corrections to spelling and punctuation.
Doesn't that communicate your feelings more accurately?

Unless you feel I'm 'looser', but you wouldn't have any knowledge of my personal idiosyncracies.
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 08-04-2011, 07:44 AM
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I briefly assumed Opal Hills was part of the Opal Range and I got excited at the idea that there's something this scenic in Kananaskis that I haven't been to. I realize now this is no where near Kananaskis.
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 08-04-2011, 08:07 AM Thread Starter
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Marko- Jasper isn't that far away from K-country! And Opal hills isn't the only great scenery here either!
Eric, I'm still working on other photos for you, Vicki is a member here as well so she will add some I hope, from her trip down the left side of Opal Peak. This I think would be the easier route but the right side is a pretty impressive moon scape!
We are all talking about this area as we don't always have access to explore, what with the bear activity. So I think another trip is in order, I want to summit and then I know I would be able to see Opal Lake too from the peak!
So many trips so few days off!
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 08-04-2011, 08:26 AM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by mtnlioness

So I think another trip is in order, I want to summit and then I know I would be able to see Opal Lake too from the peak!
So many trips so few days off!
I'd LOVE to go with you - as I said, it's been on my list for a long time - but I'm not sure our days off coincide. Maybe someday...
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 08-04-2011, 08:51 AM
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Nice pictures Cindy and good report. Looks like you had a good day
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