When I knew once again that Sunday instead of Saturday was going to be my play day, I rattled my brain on where to go. I "settled on" hiking up to the Barrier Lake Lookout. I have been up there numerous times, in various conditions at different times of the year. When I use the words "settled on" it makes it sound like well this place is better than nothing. My experience today gave me a whole new appreciation for this Lookout Location and the words to describe it would be at the opposite end of the spectrum to "settled on". How fortunate was I to see this place in this way!
I went for the early start, not as early as I tried for, but early enough to see the beautiful sky on the drive out, being the third vehicle in the lot, a bit of golden glow for the hike across the dam, and hearing the coyote cries. Shortly after entering the forest I met a group coming down who had been at the viewpoint spot since 3:00am. I knew then I would be on my own.
a split shadow
The steep parts up to the Ridge and then on up to the Lookout were solid snow steps. It actually made for an easier ascent. Once the sun shone on these sections it would become a bit sketchy. I reached the Lookout Location and was shocked to see the amount of snow. Someone had to have been along here with a shovel.
When no one is home, the deck is open to visitors.
Being up on it afforded a great view down into the Bow Valley.
on the sunny side of the deck
view of Yamnuska on the way down
I spent about an hour at the Barrier Lake Lookout. The descent down to the Ridge was easy enough and the descent down the View Point was easy too. Beyond that the snow was becoming soft but the steep sections were completed. As I worked my way down the switchbacks I came upon three people heading up. I was surprised there was no one else before that. Then there was more people and even more and then again even more. I knew they would all be contending with slush and no doubt mud.
Hiking back along the dam to the trail head the scenery was an explosion of beauty! No wonder so many people were just stopping and staring. In a way I didn't want this hike to end and in another way I was glad it was over, I wanted to hurry home and download my photos. When I got home and looked at them it just confirmed that we have such beautiful places here in our rocky mountains and that the words "settled on" never really should be used. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I have said before and I will say it again, after today my eyes are full to the brim!