Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Lake O'Hara and Lake McArthur

Right after GMC we went to Lake O'Hara to spend that Sunday with friends from Toronto. The busses were full, so our only option was to hike in on the road. It's supposed to be 13.65 km or 11 km (we've been told both by authoritative sources - I'm going with 11km) and gain about 500m in elevation. Still, we managed it in two hours. The hike felt easy. We thought there were just a few steep sections.

Lake O'Hara. Jan's new Canon takes really nice pics.
Our friends had been told it would take us three hours so we had a bit of time to get a coffee and sit by Lake O'Hara awaiting their return from a short morning jaunt.

We decided to head up the short hike to Lake McArthur, which is really the postcard lake! It was a lovely hike up with plenty of catching up and storytelling along the way.

Lake McArthur. Even in the early afternoon it was calm,
allowing for those signature reflections of mountains.
Local wildlife boldly visited us at our rocky lunch spot.
We talked bears and mountain goats, mountains, lakes and icebergs.

We returned with a couple of hours to spare before the last bus at 6:30 pm would take us back to the road. We joined our friends for "happy hour" by the lake (so civilized) and then sadly had to get on our way.

Mountain goat. This was a mythical appearance on top
of the cliff near McArthur Valley.
When we boarded the bus, we were happy not to hike it out. Then a couple of kilometers into the ride, we suddenly looked at each other, realizing that the whole way so far had been downhill and quite steep.

We started laughing; amazed that we had interpreted the road as flat in the morning, when it so clearly isn't. I usually have great dislike for things like head winds and uphills (go figure!). This time, though, I think the training of a week at GMC set even me up to motor on this uphill like it's nothing!

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