Thursday, July 18, 2013

A different kind of Eiffel Tower

Pat on the trail to Eiffel Peak
Hike and scramble up Eiffel Peak: Eiffel on the left, Pinnacle Mountain in the middle, Temple Mountain on the left.
Mike and I did our first over 3000 metre peak of the summer: Eiffel Peak in the Lake Louise area, Banff National Park. It was a moderate scramble with a few moves that were made a bit more difficult because of the weather -- nothing like two cold runnels of water running from your hands into your armpits and out your pants to get you moving!

Eiffel Peak is 3084 metres high and affords outstanding views of the Valley of the Ten Peaks (the image that used to be on our - Canadian - $20.00 bill). Temple Mountain, Pinnacle Mountain, and the popular Sentinel Pass are also right in your face on this scramble.
The Valley of the Ten Peaks
Valley of the Ten Peaks
The day started out overcast and cool, and we did get some rain at about 1:00 (just in time for the hard stuff). The trail up was challenging, especially the interminable switch backs up out of Moraine Lake, but once on the mountain the views opened out beautifully. I stopped about once every 100 steps, let my heart rate settle for a moment, and gulped down some water.

Mary on Eiffel Peak - Eiffel Tower in the backgroundWe were a group of six, with Rick, a nurse from Washington state, joining us for the majority of the hike. Doug and Pat - our hosts from Canmore - along with their daughter Arianne and her boyfriend Gijs completed our group. This was a fit group and we moved along smartly. Sadly, I was the caboose on this hike, but I don't think I held the group up too much. And besides, someone has to be last.

This hike and scramble were exactly what I hoped our sojourn in the Canmore area would yield: great views, interesting terrain, some physical challenges, new wildflowers, wildlife sightings, and good times with friends. Here's hoping our Eiffel day will be the start of more to come.

More pictures from the day: Eiffel Peak Scramble.

Map of the route:

View Eiffel Peak via the south east slope in a larger map