- TIME: 5-6 hrs for the loop.
- DISTANCE: 10.4 km loop.
- ELEVATION: +313 m.
- MAXIMUM ELEVATION: 2,325 m.
This morning, August 7th, the sky was
partially cloudy and cool but pleasant. The bus ride takes about 20 minutes an by 9 a.m. we were on our way to Lake Oesa (named by S. E. S. Allen using the Stoney Indian word for "ice" since the lake is frozen most of the time). This whole area is quite fascinating to say the least.
We encounter three small lakes on the way to Lake Oesa, all remarkable in their own way. Lake Oesa itself is very beautifully set in a barren cirque overshadowed by 3 thousand plus meter peaks.
From Lake Oesa there is a trail that connects with Yukness Ledge trail, but we couldn't locate it so we decided to return to Lake O'Hara and hike up to Opabin Lake from there (named by S. E. S. Allen using the Stoney Indian word for "rocky"). On our way down, fortunately just below the falls near Lake Victoria, we met Claude from Victoria BC, who helped us find the proper route. We had to go back up above the falls and just a few meters further along he pointed out a boulder with the two yellow II; "follow that mark" he advised us, and after exchanging a few words he left his companion behind and disappeared along that same trail.
His companion told us that today Claude was just hiking leisurely
in preparation for tomorrow's hike up the Wiwaxy Gap and the Huber Ledges.
We had to look hard for the next sign (after the first one, the II appeared painted still in yellow but on a dark blue square background) before proceeding along over huge boulders, because a couple of times we found ourself at a dead end. While on the ledge, which at times is quite exposed and in a couple of spots a bit precarious, we were hit by snow pellets and sleet, but looking down to Lake O'Hara and across the basin we could see the high peaks basking in the sun.
Before we could connect with the trail that goes to Opabin Lake we had to once more high-step over and down huge boulders.
The whole Opabin plateau is quite spectacular.
On our way down from Opabin Lake we met new friends, Nancy and Jim, from Minneapolis with whom we hiked the High Trail down to Lake O'Hara.
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