All Soul’s Prospect

If you could be anywhere on a Monday morning where would it be? It’s a hard question to answer given there are so many places where I enjoy spending time, but I wouldn’t complain if I were transported to Lake O’Hara 🙂

For the most part I like to keep my Instagram feed current, posting photos of things I’ve seen in the last week or so. Occasionally, though, I just have to break that self-imposed rule (especially when I haven’t been spending any time in the mountains) and post some eye candy to go with the Mountain Monday hashtag.

Today’s view is from the approach to All Soul’s Prospect above Lake O’Hara, a stunningly-beautiful area that deserves all the accolades and superlatives heaped upon it. It’s an area that lives up to the hype, and as such is extremely popular. However, Parks Canada has a system in place to keep visitor numbers manageable. Day hikers face an 11 km walk along a dirt road unless they reserve a seat on the bus. The bus can be reserved online. Campers must reserve over the telephone – and there is only a single line into the booking office. Back in 2013 I spent two-and-a-half hours pressing redial on our phone to try and get through. Even then I spent another 20+ minutes on hold waiting. But it worked and we got the dates we wanted. Yay!

Back to the location of this photo. All Soul’s Prospect is a viewpoint along the All Soul’s Route, part of the spectacular Alpine Circuit which takes hikers on a dizzying traverse of the sheer slopes around Lake O’Hara. It’s probably the best day hike I’ve ever done. This day was the last of our visit, and the sunniest which brought out the beautiful colours of the lakes. I really enjoyed hiking up here as it gave us a view of the approach to Wiwaxy Gap and the Huber Ledges route that we’d hiked a couple of days earlier. From this angle I can’t believe we were able to hike across those slopes at all! But we did, and it was nowhere near as scary as I expected.

Now I just want to go back…

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Emeralds and fossils

Mount Burgess rises high over Emerald Lake. The Burgess Shale is somewhere along the ridge on the left – well worth taking the guided hike to visit!

Emerald Lake is one of those tourist hotspots in the Rockies. Getting a space in the parking lot is the first challenge. Trying not to trip over hordes of shambling tourists is the next. Then there’s getting a photograph that’s not full of said tourists. I was fortunate enough to find a spot where no one was in front of me at a time when there were no canoeists to disturb the lake to get this classic view of Mt Burgess rising up over the lake.

It’s hard to believe that the world-famous (at least to biologists and other fans of the natural world) Burgess Shale fossil beds are so close. We’d been on a guided hike offered by Parks Canada just a few days earlier that visited the quarry where Charles Walcott discovered the strange fossils. I don’t have many bucket-list items, but that was definitely one of them! I really enjoyed the day, and I could have spent hours sifting through the rocks looking for fossils. It made me realize just how much effort it took to find and excavate fossils!

Another Twin Falls

Twin Falls from below – an hour earlier we were standing at the top, peering cautiously over the cliff.

The more I’ve looked at this photo, the more I’ve decided I like it. At first I thought it was too dark but actually I like the shadows now and the shot feels realistic, maybe even authentic (to use an over-used word). It’s a pity Instagram limits the photo size – it looks much more impressive on a large screen, although admittedly not as impressive as being there in person. It’s a spectacular waterfall, in a valley lined with spectacular waterfalls!

Wapta Falls

It’s Wapta waterfall-Wednesday – an easy couple of km walk brings you to a viewpoint over the falls, and a few more minutes gets you down at river level for this view

It was a bright day, so for me to get the flowing-water shot I knew I wanted, I had to set the ISO as low as possible (Lo1 on our D5000), set the aperture to f/22, and use our polarizer as a neutral density filter to get the exposure time to be the quarter-second or so I needed. Of course, it would have been easier if I’d had a tripod too but that’s always safely stored at home… The downside to such a small aperture is that it shows up the junk on the sensor – that little dark spot above the falls is one. I really should clean the sensor – after all, it’s a 7-year old camera now!

Water-colour

Takakkaw Falls and a late afternoon rainbow for waterfall Wednesday

I took the above photo on the same day I took the photo of the moon over Cathedral Crags. I knew there would be a rainbow in the spray, as a few days earlier we’d ended a guided hike to the Burgess Shale on a sunny afternoon and had seen one then. Seeing that rainbow gave me the idea to return here with my parents on an even sunnier afternoon, and we weren’t disappointed!

Moon over Cathedral

Moon over Cathedral Mountain as seen from Takakkaw Falls, for mountain moonday 🙂

I rediscovered this image over the weekend and now have it as the wallpaper on my tablet.

I took this photo in September 2011 when my parents were visiting. We spent a week in the Canadian Rockies under crispy, sunny blue skies, taking in as much as we could fit in between Banff and Jasper. A fantastic trip, I measured my Dad’s enjoyment by the number of photos he took – which was almost as many as us 🙂 Mum loved the colour of the lakes, especially Lower Waterfowl Lake. It was one of those trips that just had to be made into a souvenir photo book.