Winter has come early this year. I avoid Lake Louise June - November because of well documented tourist onslaught; but this is still very special area and once crowds thin out I still return. To my surprise lake is completely frozen and people were walking all the way across or playing ice hockey. Took trail to Plain of Six Glaciers which was well broken to teahouse. Very nice soft light and lots of thundering from upper Victoria Glacier coming down to Death Trap. No traffic past the teahouse so this is where I turned back, not feeling up to wallowing in ~20 cm of snow with boots.Photos that need no special description:
Can you see the Billy?
There he is!
On return went up trail to Big Beehive which was also broken (but considerably less than Six Glaciers). Dropped down to Agnes and this was challenging; steep slope that will soon be very risky and best avoided. Found myself facing in at several switchbacks. Very cold, think it was below -20 Celsius at the lake on return.
Some nice camo pics, the mountains are beautiful as well!
These are just excellent pics, thanks much. My son in law and I were going to do a hike up that way 3rd week of october .... but tourist traffic, busses by the dozen, cars everywhere... just chaos ... it was awful. I felt sorry for the Parks canada staff.
-20 at the lake already? That does seem colder than usual for this time of year
Warmed up a bit now for weekend, but another cold front is coming.
Literally froze while waiting for that last pic; could not feel fingers. Wanted to take several shots for some star trails as conditions were right, but simply couldn't.
Same trip, late Nov '18
Once all tourist hordes are gone, Louise is still nice. Unseasonably warm late Autumn. Booted up to Teahouse, then continued for about a km witnessing some kick-ass avalanches coming off Victoria glacier. Lake is frozen. Trail was broken but there was bit sketchy section with hard ice on that narrow-ish ledge before final ascent to teahouse. Had it all to myself. Couple of photos:
[Panoramic view of Plain of Six Glaciers; Lefroy to the right and finally Death Trap extreme right]
[Abandoned Teahouse porch, had lunch here. Huge tourist trap in summer]
[Started becoming sketchy so this is as far as I went]
[Interesting cloud formations; soon it clouded over from Victoria side]
[Louise shoreline on return]
Early Nov '19
Same trip, year later. Just last week webcam was showing lake not frozen, but today people were walking all over and playing ice hockey. Quite magical, blue ice -- soon after snowfall lake will be white, but today you could skate and look through. Far end of Louise still had water (and couple of swans, which was first for me). Friendly porcupine soon after was willing to sit still and pose for me -- made tons of pics. Made it to teahouse then single boot prints to end of terminal moraine. By the time I was back to Chateau it was dark, but kids were still playing hockey on lake with headlamps! Couple of pics:
[Classic tourist view; still so many people and everyone ignoring "thin ice" signs]
[Couple of swans at still not frozen far end of the lake]
[He (or is it she? how can one tell?) was probably waiting to see what was I up to, and was I going to pass or not. Eventually he/she did get tired and scampered away]
[Death Trap / Mt. Lefroy / Plain of Six Glaciers pano from turnaround point]
[Canoe rental cabin on return, love this place. No tripod, but leaned camera on wall and turned out ok even with 10 sec exposure]
Lake Louise is probably biggest tourist trap in whole Canada, but it is still special.
Nice shot of the porcupine. The weather prediction for Alberta and the rest of eastern Canada is a winter blast of arctic air for the next two weeks in November while the west coast of BC will escape the frigid air.
Its gotten much worse. Its common now in summer that Louise access off Hwy1 gets closed just because village & access roads and parking areas are too congested. Moraine Lake is particularly bad. Small parking lot and it is next to impossible to get space, unless you are willing to be there at 5am. People park at road side that stretches >1km from road end, which creates additional quagmire. Best time to go to Moraine is now because road is closed for the season. It is a common cross-country ski trip later on; now you'd have to cycle. While driving I did see several parked cars in front of the gate.
I so enjoy this 'chronology' .. same trip over the years. very cool. That is a great shot of the porcupine
Porcupine was luck, also to have high-end telephoto lens on me which I usually leave at home because it is too heavy. This was in some aspect "year of the porcupine", all this time I've been hiking in the Rockies never saw one and this year first got my sandal chewed at Rockwall / middle of the night encounter, and now this. He was sitting like this for at least a minute so I could take a good shot. Much harder if the animal moves.
Chronology is good, always interesting to look how areas or even my own thoughts change over the years. This might be the last entry for Plain of Six Glaciers hike, we shall see.
That's a nice porcupine picture! I've only been at Lake Louise once in winter a long time ago. The best story I have of the Chateau is my brother sneaking his dog into the room up the fire stairway after him and his buddy hiked Mt. Temple. They didn't want to drive back to Vernon.
I did stay @ Chateau once loooong time ago, before I developed hiking interest. It was in last century, >25 yrs ago. My gf at a time got some coupons so it was not that expensive & it was shoulder season. All I remember now is that room was small and crummy & I kept Wondering what was the big deal about it & how I'd much rather be somewhere else. Funny how time flies and things change
Plain of Six Glaciers
Nov 2, 2020
Went for my usual stroll up Plain of Six Glaciers. In summer one of largest tourist traps in the Rockies, but if you go late in season you can have it to yourself; proven over and over. Still gong show around the lake & trail was icy, but beyond nobody. Only met 2 guys coming back telling me in excited voice how "they ventured onto the moraine". Had lunch on verandah of totally deserted teahouse (don't believe it was open this year at all because of Covid), then continued for about a km towards Death Trap viewpoint. Couple of pics that tell the story:
[Beauty shot of Louise with Beehives/Niblock/St. Piran etc reflected in calm water. Still no ice anywhere on the lake but this will soon change]
[That narrow ledge about 30min before the teahouse that had ice & made me put microspikes; they stayed on for rest of the day]
[Same ice ledge, looking back to Louise]
[Awe inspiring Death Trap. Lefroy Fuhrmann Ledges above that now look as if they will remain my wish]
[Louise canoe boat house I just love photographing so much]
This is Rockies classic & I don't care who says what. You only need to know when to go, that's all
Full write-up on personal web-site with high-res photos gathered over the years here
As always, very nice photos.
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