Monday, 16 August 2010

Sentinel Pass

Lying between Morraine Lake in the Valley of Ten Peaks and Paradise Valley, Sentinel Pass provides one of the classic walks in the Canadian Rockies.

Canada 2010 009 Red Squirrel

Canada 2010 040 Sentinel Pass above Minestimma Lake

Bear activity in the area means “special instructions” from a park warden and reminder that we are legally required to remain in tight groups of at least four people in this area. Larch Valley and its Larches provide shade from the morning sun along the long zigzags up to Minestimma Lake from where Sentinel Pass is first seen.

Canada 2010 041 from Minestimmo Lake looking back the Valley of the 10 Peaks

The views behind of the 10 Peaks above Morraine Lake are equally impressive. The trail continues zigzagging up the scree slopes beyond Minestimmo Lake to reach pass and the start of the scrambling route up Mount Temple.

Canada 2010 044

The Grand Sentinel on the Paradise Valley side of the pass

The pass is a favourite lunch spot and not just for the tourists.

Canada 2010 103 Chipmunk trying to get at some trail mix in a rucksack

Canada 2010 065 looking back to Sentinel Pass from Paradise Valley

Beyond the pass we dropped down over a boulder field below the Sentinels for the walk out down Paradise Valley. Although not quite living up to its name it did provide some excitement. We reached the valley floor at about the same time as a rescue helicopter which was dropping a medic too deal with a hiker who had broken her ankle. Almost immediately afterwards we met the other half of the group with the casualty and learned that another of their number had wandered off alone and not been seen for over an hour – we later found him further down the valley, sitting enjoying the sunshine.

Canada 2010 106 The Sentinels

Further down we saw a porcupine scurry off through the undergrowth too fast to allow any worthwhile photographs to be taken and finally whilst paddling in a near ice cold lake we met a group “hiking on horseback” on local mountain horses. They are slightly smaller than normal horses and particularly sure footed – one of the riders tried, unsuccessfully, to persuade us it was harder work on the horse than it would have been on foot.

1 comment:

  1. More great photos Ian. Second and bottom ones are right up there with the Joss portrait :-)