What a day! We dragged the kids all the way to Helen Lake! Actually they did very amazing. KC must have hiked about 4km in and 1000ft of height gain and niko went about 700ft of gain and 3km in. On the way back they only went in the carriers for part of the way. I'm very impressed.
This was a warmup hike for our upcoming backpacking trip into the Ramparts this September. Hanneke and I are going with some others so she wanted to make sure that she did some hiking before the trip.
We could not have picked a nicer day. It was 25+ degrees and there weren't too many clouds around. We even spotted a grizzly on the way back but it was a LONG ways off. The kids couldn't even pick it out. It was closer to the trail but must have wandered away before we got closer. The kids were disappointed but Hann and I were a bit relieved! There was a lot of people on the trail so we didn't feel threatened at all.
While Hanneke and the kids took a breather at Helen Lake I continued on to bag Cirque Peak. It took me about 1:40 to go up and down so I was pushing it pretty good. (Especially after biking 160+ km for the past two weeks in a row...) The climb was very easy with some scrambling right at the very top. There is some loose stuff but no real exposure if you pick your line to the summit correctly.
A highly recommended hike / scramble for any clear day - the views are fabulous!
Niko bounding up the trail, trying to catch his mom and sister!
Niko is now on Hanneke's back! That's the easy way! Dolomite Peak is in the background across the Icefields Parkway.
This is the upper meadow when you're still about 2km from the mountain, about 1.5 from Helen Lake.
The upper meadow as you get even closer to Helen Lake, Cirque in the background. This is where you could spot a grizzly.
Helen Lake with Cirque Peak in the background. This is where Hann and the kids waited while I bagged the peak...
The route to the top is obvious from on top of the pass, which is gained above Helen Lake.
Helen Lake and the trail are quite small as I gain the summit of Cirque Peak.
A look back at the first summit from the true summit. This was the only real scrambling part.
Dolomite Peak with the two summits of Mount Hector in the background from the summit of Cirque Peak.
Vern on the summit of Cirque Peak.
A panorama looking south and west from the summit. (Click to view large)
A panorama looking east and then south from the summit. (Click to view large)
Daddy's back!!! I get a greeting on my way back around Helen Lake.
Hanneke seems to be doing all the heavy lifting while I take pictures? ;-)
Hanneke and KC stop to admire the view and smell the flowers on the way back down.