Last fall ( if you consider September 11th fall ) we receive a very light dusting of snow above 2150m. Knowing a small and shallow pocket glacier tucked away high up in Kananaskis country , we packed up the car and headed out before the sun started to rise. As we made our way up the road it didn't seem like it snowed at all , just rain. At 8am we arrived at the parking lot and still not a single snowflake on the ground, not even up high on the nearby ridge tops. We made the call to walk up and have a look at the glacier anyways. "Worst case scenario we get some exercise" We got lucky and came out of it with a shot that won us a back country photo contest and some attention on the web, not to mention we had some good times. Conditions looked great. Here's the shot
Conditions looked more than incredible for a September snowfall. Most people can only dream of such a great day with the sun shining, boot top powder and no crowds. That's that's the story the photo tells. Now here's the truth.
About half way the trail it opens up a decent size lake which has a pretty incredible camping area adjacent to it. Every time we have come up here there has never been a single campsite set up so you can almost certainly have the place to yourself. The trail continues though the campground and around to the lake to the south .The trail makes a sharp right up the glacier fed creek bed, over a hill and it's at this point the glacier comes into view.
Once we get to the toe of the glacier conditions look pretty bleak. It might have snowed 2 maybe 3 cm's overnight with heavy winds. Most of the glacier was bare ice but we had dragged our gear all the way up here so we might as well get to the top and who knows, maybe the wind filled in some spots.
So all in all the photo turned out really well but the conditions really sucked. We had a great time , made some turns and would give our right nut to be doing it right now. Exactly a year later we thought it was time to spill the beans on this photo. There was one patch of snow on the whole glacier, there was one soft turn and the rest was ice.