Snowy trail to the Plain of Six Glaciers
From Banff I booked a shuttle for the 40 minute drive over to Lake Louise, where I was to stay for one night. Specifically this was at a hostel in Lake Louise village, about 5km from the lake.
The weather had turned drizzly but I had lots of walking planned so I pressed on. I caught a taxi up to the lake to find a completely different landscape to the one experienced the previous day, when we stopped at the lake during a bus tour. Drizzle down in the village translated to snow up at the lake and it was amazing to see.
There is a big chateau at the lake and I lunched in the cafe before setting out on the 5.5km hike up to the Plain of Six Glaciers. While visibility was clearly going to be an issue, the appeal of visiting the teahouse at the end of the trail was an irresistible pull.
The first 2km was getting to the other end of the lake. This is from the far side looking back to the chateau:
The trail then started to ascend – and I began to realise that my everyday travelling boots were not really up to the task of today’s challenge. Some patches were just slushy and relatively easy going. Not to mention spectacular.
However, the higher I got the icier it got. My pace slowed as I navigated some of the trickier parts. It snowed all the way and it was impossible to really know what the scenery was actually like.
Eventually I made it to the teahouse, seemingly in the middle of nowhere. Quite a small place it was nonetheless full with other hikers seeking refreshments. Despite the effort to get there I only stayed for a few minutes due to being concerned the trail would ice up more. Still I enjoyed those few minutes sitting on the deck.
Just beyond the teahouse there are apparently views of six glaciers, but on this day that was going to be a redundant mission. So I headed back. The descent turned out to be relatively quick and easy. Once back at the chateau I decided to take another trail through the woods to get back down to the village. Nearing the bottom I belatedly noticed a sign cautioning trampers about bears…
For that reason, and the fact I was cold and soaked, I was glad when I finally made it back to the hostel!