Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Plain of Six Glaciers & Lake Agnes

Trip Date: June 2009

Today's adventure was one of Banff National Park's classic hikes; Plain of Six Glaciers with a return trip via Lake Agnes.  Lake Louise is approximately 185km west of Calgary along the Trans-Canada Highway and would be kick-off point for the hike.  The day was a 13.7km round-trip hike with elevation gains of 365m to the Plain of Six Glaciers Tea House and an additional 385m to the Lake Agnes Tea House.  The trail started at Château Lake Louise right on the lake's shoreline.  It was about 5.3km to the Plain of Six Glaciers Tea House, then another 4.9km up to the Lake Agnes Tea House, and finally 3.5km back to Château Louise where we started.  We couldn't have gotten better weather for the day's outing.  Another great day to be outside!

Lake Louise, one of the most photographed lakes in the world, is named after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta (1848-1939), the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria and the wife of the Marquess of Lourne, who was the Governor General of Canada between 1878 and 1883.  The lake's emerald colour comes from rock flour that's carried into the lake by melt-water from the surrounding glaciers overlooking the lake.  

Lake Louise
The Big Beehive as seen from the lake shore
The Lakeshore trail on our way to Plain of Six Glaciers trail
The lake shore is also home to Fairmont's Château Lake Louise, one of Canada's grand railway hotels.  It sits on the eastern shore or the lake and was built at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century by the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR).  

Château Lake Louise
Mt. Aberdeen and Mt. Lefroy
Christine and I above Lake Louise
Jeff and Sarah
Mt. Lefroy and Mt. Victoria
Pope's Peak
The Plain of Six Glaciers got its name from the hanging glaciers on Mount Aberdeen, Lefroy, Victoria and Pope's Peak, as well as the lower Lefroy and Victoria glaciers.  The tea house that's located at the end of the trail was originally built in 1924 by Swiss guides employed by the CPR.  It was mainly used as a rest stop for mountain climbers on their way to Abbott Pass and the hut that's located there.   

Plain of Six Glaciers Tea House
Columbian Ground Squirrel
Beautiful emerald colour of the lake
Lake Louise as viewed from the trail leading to Lake Agnes
Christine, Jeff, and Sarah
Waterfall just before reaching Lake Agnes
Lake Agnes was still partially frozen, sitting below Mt. Whyte and Mt. Niblock
Chris and I sitting beside Lake Agnes
There was an emergency with another visitor.  He had to be air lifted off the mountain.
The chopper flying past the Big Beehive
We walked past Mirror Lake on our way back to the car
Christine and I with Lake Louise.  We made it back safe and sound.

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