Skyline III – To the Notch

olamIMG_0184.JPG_0007

After leaving the fantastic breakfast at the Lodge, we left for the days walk, which promised to be an all day affair. But first you’ll recall that one has to walk about 1500 feet uphill first thing. I’d liken this to being on a stairmaster for about an hour and a half. But thankfully the scenery is a so much better than being on a stairmaster.

olamIMG_0185.JPG_0008

It’s a fairly quick rise out of the valley.

olamIMG_0186.JPG_0009

Although every now and again it does seem the one will never stop rising!

olamIMG_0187.JPG_0010

At last upon the ridgeline again, the trail can be seen easily summiting that next pass, which is known as the Notch.

olamIMG_0188.JPG_0011

This easy summit is actually a fairly long walk uphill again. It never ceased to be fascinating.

olamIMG_0190.JPG_0013

You very…

olamIMG_0191.JPG_0014

…slowly…

olamIMG_0192.JPG_0015

…pass…

olamIMG_0193.JPG_0016

…the alpine lake…

olamIMG_0194.JPG_0017

…and suddenly you’re much farther above it than you ever imagined you would be.

olamIMG_0195.JPG_0018

And the trail is much steeper than you had ever imagined it might be. We were catching up a bit with Chuck and Laura at this point; I was actually the last one to leave camp (though the first to finish! But Im getting ahead of myself.) This section is very steep, with kind of jinky footing at times.

olamIMG_0196.JPG_0019

It would be easy to fall off of the trail anywhere along here; it’s slippery, rocky, shifty…steep.

olamIMG_0197.JPG_0020

Still, it’s not rocket science. An the view of the valley is amazing.

olamIMG_0198.JPG_0021

Life is good up here. The wind had picked up and it was pretty chilly, which was so nice, especially remembering that back home it was probably 96 degrees in the shade with 85% humidity.

olamIMG_0199.JPG_0022

Far away, in a different valley, you can see the Icefield Parkway.

olamIMG_0200.JPG_0023

Splendid views…

olamIMG_0201.JPG_0024

Life at the Notch. A great place to stop for a snack and catch up with your trail mates you haven’t seen since breakfast.