Summit Elevation (m): 2819
Trip Date: September 20 2013
Elevation Gain (m): 965
Round Trip Time (hr): 6.5
Total Trip Distance (km): 14.5
Quick ‘n Dirty Rating: Class 2 – you fall, you sprain your thumb
Difficulty Notes: No difficulties – just loose scree and some rockfall in the first gully so bring a brain bucket.
Technical Rating: SC5; YDS (Hiking)
GPS Track: Download
Map: Google Maps
On Friday, September 20 2013, Jon and Tony joined Rod, Wietse and I for a trip down memory lane. Way back in 2005 we had done the Hawkins Horseshoe in Waterton and this year everything aligned so we could finally do another fall scramble together. I grew up about 100 meters from Jon and Tony (we are cousins) back in Carman, Manitoba and it’s always fun to reminisce about our youth. We arrived at the Moraine Lake parking lot just in time to snag a parking spot (09:00 and it was already filling fast).
Apparently the next day, Lake Louise officials were closing the parking lot due to crazy traffic and implementing a restricted bus schedule instead. Larch season is becoming a huge post-summer tourist attraction for the park and although I can’t begrudge Banff / Lake Louise for trying to make extra $$$ off tourists, it does seem a little nutso out there right now. I hope people are taking the time to breathe in the fresh air rather than just point their iPad at the larches and declare another item off the “tick list” – MOVE ON. 🙁
The hike goes just past Eiffel Lake before cutting climber’s right up an obvious gully. This gully is loose and there is rock fall hazard here. At the top you trend left before humping up another slope of loose scree / boulders to the summit. Views of Hungabee, the Valley of Ten Peaks, Eiffel, Temple, Pinnacle, Lefroy and Goodsir Towers are awesome! The larches made things even better.
On descent we traversed high on skier’s left under Eiffel Peak for great views of Larch Valley and Mount Temple before following the scramble trail for Eiffel back to the main trail.
I highly recommend this as a fall hike – just make sure you get your timing right.