Sept. 7 & 8th, 2002


back to Hiking

(Click any image for a larger view.)


A group of 11 people signed up for the Glacier Hike that was put on through the University of Calgary's Outdoor Program Centre. Albi Sole and Dave Edgar were our guides for the weekend. We went to the Abbot Pass hut. At 2925 metres above sea level, it is the highest cabin in North America.

The group consisted of Charles and Nancy Slagorsky, Brian and Bart Rakoz, Peter Minions, Robert Avatt, Irene Willett, Lilibeth DeGuzman, Tim Dobbing, Roy Scarisbrick, and Carol Guthrie. And of course our wonderful guides Albi Sole and Dave Edgar.

The group met at Lagan's Bakery in Lake Louise's before heading to catch the bus to Lake O'Hara.  The day was looking pretty grey and overcast. We knew we'd just have to take whatever the weather gods dished out. Our goal was to start from Lake O'Hara, hike up to Lake Oesa and then go up the steep ascent up to Abbot Pass. Day 2 would see us descend the other side of the pass, down through the death trap to the Plain of Six Glaciers and out to Lake Louise.

This is a log of our trip. Sign the waiver. Have fun. Don't slip.



Here Albi is giving us a breakdown
of what lays ahead. It's a beautiful summer day! (Says who?)



Looking across Lake O'Hara into the grey heavy clouds. (2035 m)

The trails throughout the Lake O'Hara area are extremely well made and maintained. Thanks to the Lake O'Hara trail maintenance club.

The clouds can't quite contain the moisture as it starts to rain.



Now we're getting into some serious rain bordering on snow.

Nice day but where's the sun? This is summer in Canada?

Hard to tell who this is with all the snow covering them.



Stairway to more snow.

Okay, okay: I'll get out the raincoat.

Despite the weather, Tim has a positive smile on his face.



Passing by one of the lower lakes.

Another beautiful stairway to heaven.

Lake Oesa (2275 m) seemed like a good place to regroup and have a snack before starting the climb up to the pass.



Carol at Lake Oesa.

Brian and Irene looking up towards Abbot Pass.
The color of the lake keeps changing with the change in weather.

This is looking back towards Lake O'Hara.  I'd tell you what mountains those are, but I don't know.



A view of Lake Oesa with Abbot Pass behind. (Photo from archives.) This really gives you the impression of just how steep the ascent was.

Making our way across the talus slopes above Oesa's north shore.

Time for the helmets. We're about to start the scramble up to Abbot Pass (2925 m). There is always the danger of falling rock, hence the helmets.



Getting into some serious climbing now.

Roy perched on a rock ledge.

Carol on the same rock ledge.



Pickin' our way through the rocks.

Peter and Lilibeth.

Lichen growing on the rocks.

A trail troll?



Albi and Charles leading the way



Movie: Looking down to Lake Oesa, we see some of the group ascending while others take a rest break.

Movie: Albi watches to make sure his little fledglings are making out alright.



The rocks are a little unstable. The new snow helped keep them in place and provided some additional footing.

Brian making his way past a monolith of stone. The lake is looking pretty small now.

Roy and Carol on an outcrop of stone. A million dollar photo stop.



Nancy and Carol standing on the outcrop. It's spooky up there.

Looking down on Peter and Lilibeth.



Are we there yet?

Oesa with Yukness mountain (2847 m) behind.

Roy making his way across a very steep snow slope.



These rocks make man look pretty insignificant.

At last. Abbot Pass Hut.

The hut is perched on the continental divide with B.C. on one side and Alberta on the other. (2925 m)



Nancy and Charles look very happy to be here at last.

Carol standing on the new stone porch which was constructed by the Alpine Club of Canada.

A plaque with some of the history of the hut was installed at the same time as the new porch and a new outhouse.



Bart and Charles are looking down to the north and checking out our route for tomorrow.

One last look at Lake Oesa before the wind blew in another storm.

Enjoying a nice hot cup of tea after a chilly day.

Nancy and Charles celebrating their anniversary!

Overnight the wind howled. We couldn't tell if there was more fresh snow coming down or not but the snow was swirling and blew back and forth from the Alberta side to the B.C. side of the continental divide. Sunday's forecast was for warmer weather and sunshine.

Meanwhile, we were snug in the hut. Going to the outhouse was a bit of an adventure though: one step off the path either way and you'd probably find yourself back down at Lake Oesa (BC) or at the bottom of Plain of Six Glaciers (Alberta)


Okay, enough of the wind and snow, take me down: Day 2...


Abbot Pass Hut history from the Wyte Museum.


For other hikes, bikes, and adventures, go back to the Staff page and look around.

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Credits: Photography and artistic design: Carol Guthrie.

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