Fall Arrives

With fellow skiers growing impatient about the beautiful weather we'd be having this September the change of seasons came overnight. Previous excitement had been restricted to the leaves changing colour but then in the space of a few days we went from temps in the high twenties to our first snowfall. 

An early morning start beat the hordes of photographers who make their annual  pilgrimage to see the golden larches in Larch Valley.

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We soon reached Sentinel Pass and started dropping down into Paradise Valley to complete the day's loop. What is normally a fairly straightforward scramble became a tricky exercise in finding your feet with deeper snow than anticipated covering the steep field of boulders.

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Along with some of the most beautiful hiking in the Rockies Paradise Valley offers up a peek at some incredible looking lines which have a very long access in the winter & spring months thanks to the closure of the Moraine Lake road.

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After having lunch on the Giant Steps we started making our way out of the Valley along the trail which skirts under the mighty north face of Mt Temple. A stop at Lake Annette gives you time to check out some of the very rarely skied couloirs that are located on the north face. 

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Above you can make out the still-filled-in upper section of the Dolphin Couloir from which it gets its name. The lower sections have lost their snow. For a hugely impressive and gnarly trip report from this area check out  Ruari Macfarlane's blog:   

Zoomed in on the top of the north face's most well known line, the Aemmer Couloir:

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And at the end of a long day back to Moraine Lake where the clouds had cleared and offered up views of 3/4 Couloir (which was pictured on the old $20 bills).

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