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 Alberta
 Lake O'Hara Alpine Circuit Revisited
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Engor
Intermediate Member


Calgary
952 Posts

 Posted - 09/08/2011 :  09:49 AM  Show Profile  Reply to this posting
Two weeks ago I went to Lake O'Hara to do the Alpine Circuit the third time with a bunch of my friends. This hike on many lists as one of the best hikes in the world:
http://besthike.com/northamerica/canada_rockies/ohara.html

And the Coplands find it to be perhaps the best hike in the world:
http://www.hikingcamping.com/blog/2010/07/lake-ohara/

This is definitely the most scenic day-hike in the Rockies. And I was glad to do it the third time. I prefer repeating beautiful hikes or scrambles to viewless scree bashing to attain a summit with average views (probably at least a half of all Kane's scrambles).

For a such fantastic hike, there is very little information available on-line. When I googled "alpine circuit", the first what I stumbled upon was my own TR that I had posted on this forum a few years ago:
http://www.clubtread.com/sforum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=23347

This time I went to Lake O'Hara with 10 friends. Despite a large group, we were able to get up very early to dispatch Lake O'Hara fire road and arrive at the Lake in less than 2.5 hours. The Alpine Circuit is not an easy hike - some in my group found it challenging, but everyone completed the loop. Our group was not moving as fast as I hoped so we didn't have the time to do All Soul's Traverse and a short detour to McArthur Lake to be back to board the last (6:30pm) bus. So we did a shorter version of the circuit (Wiwaxy Gap- Huber Ledges- Lake Oesa- Yukness Ledges- Opabin Lake- Western Opabin Trail). If you have a time, All Soul's Traverse is a great extension of the loop and beautiful McArthur Lake is only a stone's thrown from it. You will do it in one push easily if you start the circuit before 10am, or even later if you are fast.

I will surely do this fantastic hike again in a few years.

Wiwaxy Gap



Huber Ledges to Lake Oesa




Yukness Ledges



Opabin Plateau


Edited by - Engor on 09/08/2011 4:49 PM

dav1481
Intermediate Member



931 Posts

 Posted - 09/08/2011 :  10:07 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Amazing. I'm hoping to do this in when the larches turn in a few weeks.

Did you catch the shuttle down at the end of the hike?

lobo
Senior Member


Jasper, ab
Canada

1075 Posts

 Posted - 09/08/2011 :  10:20 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Stunning pictures. What a beautiful place

zeljkok
Senior Member


Vancouver, BC
Canada

1202 Posts

 Posted - 09/08/2011 :  10:36 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That is fantastic area indeed; in couple of weeks larches will be fantastic in Opabin Plateau

ian779
Junior Member


Peace River, AB
Canada

160 Posts

 Posted - 09/08/2011 :  11:57 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Great photos! That is an area I will hopefully visit soon. I'm glad you had better weather than your previous trip.

pmjwright
Intermediate Member


Salmon Arm, BC
Canada

968 Posts

 Posted - 09/08/2011 :  3:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Excellent pics of the most beautiful hiking area in "BC-not-Alberta".

Anyway, thanks for posting them!

Engor
Intermediate Member


Calgary
952 Posts

 Posted - 09/08/2011 :  4:32 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks you all for the nice comments.

Davin: Opabin Plateau and the area around MacArthur Lake teem with larch trees. You will have a blast if weather cooperates. Yes, we returned to Le Relais Shelter shortly before 6pm to catch the 6:30pm bus.

ian779: Right, I was lucky to have clear blue skies with no haze in the area. It's usually other way around.

pmjwright: BC board is all about Vancouver based hikes (90% of it anyway). I often miss great TRs from the BC side of the Rockies just because they have been posted on a board that has little to do with the Rockies. I assume many people do the same. On the contrary, anyone interested in the Rockies checks Alberta board. Therefore, posting Lake O'Hara TR on Alberta board seems to me a very logical decision. We have been discussing this topic a lot on this forum in the past.

Edited by - Engor on 09/08/2011 4:56 PM

no quitting
Advanced Member


Powell River, bc
Canada

2749 Posts

 Posted - 09/08/2011 :  5:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
OK,that's it!!!! I am going there,thank you SO much for sharing this :) I'm headed up that way on the 19th and was having a hard time picking hikes,you just made up my mind for me!!! AMAZING pictures,I'm so excited now :) YAY!!!!!
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Marilynx
Junior Member


New Orleans, Louisiana
USA

318 Posts

 Posted - 09/26/2011 :  10:54 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Engor,

Those are magnificent shots. Thanks for sharing.

cambium
Advanced Member



3022 Posts

 Posted - 05/08/2012 :  10:33 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Awesome, and very happy looking friends, thanks for the glimpse of nature over there.

no quitting
Advanced Member


Powell River, bc
Canada

2749 Posts

 Posted - 05/08/2012 :  11:05 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I absolutely LOVE this place,most FABULOUS place on earth as far as I can tell!!!!! As a matter of fact,I just booked my camping spot for the begining of August,and I'm counting the days!!!!!! YAY!!!!!!! :) :) :)

cambium
Advanced Member



3022 Posts

 Posted - 05/08/2012 :  11:58 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
^
You must be really captured by this place, i see you have a big TR last year from it.

HagensborgViking
Junior Member


Victoria, BC
Canada

461 Posts

 Posted - 05/08/2012 :  12:09 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hard not to fall in love, what with pictures like that. One can almost always fall on the term "pictures don't do it justice" but that is far from the case here.

Engor
Intermediate Member


Calgary
952 Posts

 Posted - 05/08/2012 :  1:10 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks folks. I like to come back again and again to this beautiful area. Most likely will visit it this summer or fall too.
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