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Created 31-Dec-18
Modified 2-Jan-19
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29 photos
2018-11-03 | Lakeview Ridge (Waterton) | 1982m max | 1356m TH | 22.8km | 1209m (approx. GPS glitched) | w/ Peter & David

A late season trip to Waterton for a loop that Peter had scoped out that would take us into some of the Waterton front ranges that had been swept by wildfire in the 2017 Kenow wildfire event that devastated a large part of Waterton NP.

Pulling over for a very vivid sunrise started the day as it became light near Brocket on Hwy 3. David had never visited Waterton so we did a quick tour of the shuttered townsite before returning to trailhead near the bison paddock.

This route would take us through a variety of terrain burned or partially burned by the Kenow fire. The very windy high point on Lakeview Ridge was likely one of the gustier places I've been this season. The sensation while climbing with my back to the wind that someone was lifting my pack off my back was off-putting as was the gusts so strong they would make movement difficult during the strongest gusts, even making breathing awkward and clearing the sinuses like there was no tomorrow. On the way down from the summit I lingered over some photos a little two long and lost sight of my party - unsure if they had dropped over a weakness in the cliff or continued onward?? They had scurried for shelter just out of my line of sight never intending to cause me any trouble. Those two can motor when they want to. lol. Dropping off the far side had us traversing thru some very strange Tolkienesk landscapes of charred denuded trees. Once down into a stand of evergreens spared by the fires we had a second lunch before completing the loop along the NE park boundary. A pretty interesting day for late season that we ended with a feast of burgers that Shannon had prepared back at our house.
Brocket sunrise.The contrasts in the colors started early - I have a weakness for standing 'dead' grasses.Aspens charred black and blasted white where the bark had fallen away.A dusting of snow higher helps with the contrasting landscapesAspens will regenerate from the roots if the fires spared them.David adds a spot of color to the late fall landscapeTwisted forms and snow dusted mountainsA valley of standing dead pines, firs, spruce.Sunlight pops the meadow before the climb to the summitMore scorched evergreen forestA horseshoe long ago nailed to a tree to mark the trailPeter and David on the final push to the summit as the wind increasesA dead standing pine - loving the formFractal patterns are everywhere on today's hikeI like this frame of Peter and David better than the one where they grinned for the camera.View toward the lakesGah - wind!!Another skeleton of a pine that had a hard luck life.Struggled with shooting this pine and processing - it was SO WINDYThe Tolkien forest of creepy dead conifers