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Thread: Opal Hills
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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.
Posts: 260
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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