Hogarth Lakes - Winter
Date Walked: 27th February 2012
Distance: 3.2 miles (5.2km)
Actual Ascent: 209 ft (64m)
Time Taken: 1.5 hours
With Sarah taking Monday off work we didn't want to let the beautiful sunny day escape us, so we loaded up with snowshoes and warm clothes and headed out to Kananaskis. I'd had my eye on a short trail here for some time as it was an ideal 'starter' trail for Sarah. with tons of snow to go at.
We began in the Burstall Pass car park off highway 742 with Sarah keen to show off her new snowshoes.
the trail first crosses a dam at the South end of Mud Lake and heads out toward the forest beyond
the trail is well marked and reasonably well trodden too making for pretty easy going
it might seem that a person could just wander along here without the snowshoes, after all how bad could it be......................here's me stood in the untrodden snow beside the trail (without putting weight on my poles)
and here's what happens when you put weight on the poles, they are totally submerged and still not on the ground, you would need long legs to hike this stuff.
the trail passes through forest but with plenty of open spaces where the stunning scenery peeks through the trees
Sarah likes to get of the trail and stamp around in the untrodden snow
its a real winter wonderland through the trees with the recent snow still sitting heavily on the branches, with temperatures at -12 its not likely to be going anywhere today
there is rarely a time when the horizon isn't filled with snow topped peaks and the promise of even greater views ahead
the wind only arrives in short gusts but when it does it knocks the dry powder from the trees and mountain tops leaving it hanging in the air momentarily like a fine mist
once winter is over there is no trail here owing to lakes and wetlands making it almost impassible so this is the only time to see these mountains from this angle
you can even walk out onto the lakes and make your own trail.......if you really want to
we decided against it and stuck with the official trail through the lakeside forest
though there is always one who wants to walk on all the untrodden snow
the path seems much less used around this side of the lake, suggesting there are quite a few people who come along a short way and then turn back making the early sections appear more heavily used than they actually are
on the final stretch now and it seems almost a shame to stop, its such a beautiful day and so quiet out here it makes us want to keep going but that would defeat the purpose of taking a short enjoyable hike rather than a gruelling effort.
toward the end we come across a cross country ski trail and follow it back toward the car park
in a short time we are back at the dam where we make unsuccessful attempts to drop down the side and short cut to the car park, this results in both of us rolling around in the snow laughing like a pair of kids
back at the car park we get to enjoy the flask of tea I have carried around the trail (couldn't find a damn seat) and Sarah eats both of our food supplies and is still looking for more as we head home. I took a short detour to Kananaskis village and bought coffee and bagels with cream cheese in a small cafe there before continuing the journey home.
this was yet another great day out in stunning Kananaskis where (it seems) the winter sun always shines.