Lake Bourgeau




A couple weekends ago, Greg convinced me to hike Lake Bourgeau.  He figured it would take about 8 hours give or take and be anywhere from 24K and up depending on if we made it up to the top.
He said it would be good training for our upcoming half marathon so I agreed to do it.  So we woke early one Sunday morning, dropped the girls off at my Aunty’s for the day and headed out to Banff. 
It was raining and gloomy the whole way there and it was raining pretty heavily when we started the hike.  The forecast showed mostly sunny skies so I wore shorts.  At least I had a couple layers on under neath.
It wasn’t too far in before I shed all layers (within reason of course) because I was so hot even when walking through snow like this.  Little did I know that this was JUST the beginning of all the snow I would encounter.
The views were spectacular.  There weren’t many in the beginning but once you got higher, it was amazing.
Greg crossing the bridge made out of rock and steel mesh.  It was underneath a waterfall.  It was pretty cool.  I will have more photos on Facebook if you want to see more.
A marmot.  There were tons of them in the area.  I actually had no idea that they even lived in Banff.  We had seen them before but it was in Yellowstone.
This was Lake Bourgeau from a higher peak.  The top mountain peak was our destination.  We only ended making it to the closest snowy peak to the left but more on that later.  The “easy” trail ended at the Lake and so the rest of the distance was all crazy and hard.  So hard.  So many steep hills, lots of snow, creeks, loose rocks, dirt, mud.  It was so hard.  
Lots of snow.  It wasn’t too bad on the way up because it was pretty hardened but it had melted and softened on our way down so it got pretty tricky.  At one point I just sat on my bum and slid down because there was less risk of falling down the side.
These creeks resulted in lots of wet, cold feet.  Especially on the way back because I was so tired that you kinda to think it out very well.
This was pretty cool to see.  Such a pretty view.  
More mountain scenery.  It was truly incredible.
Greg near the top.  He hates heights and even though I have known that forever it was the first time where I actually saw the fear and saw his behaviours change.   Unfortunately for him I have no fear of heights and this stressed him out a lot.  At some points I just hiked behind me to save him some stress.  
I was as high as the mountains in front of me.  We decided it turn around at this point because it was cold, windy, snowy, rainy and we had already been hiking for 5 hours or so and it was still a very tough 40 mins to the peak plus that amount back.  We were both glad we made this decision.
This was a pretty view and unfortunately Greg didn’t see it because you had to stand on the edge of the mountain to get it the photo.
Another view of the mountain valley.  I took a video of my view from the highest point of our journey.  I will share it on Instagram if you are interested in seeing it.  It was impossible to capture it with a single photography.  It was amazing.
Greg insisted we stop at the Lake on our way back for a rest.  It was another 2.5 hours down and at some points I seriously thought it was never gonna end and I was gonna be stuck there forever.
There it is.  Although we didn’t make it to the very top of the peak, I am still so proud of myself.  24K of hiking in just under 8 hours with 1000m of elevation or something like that is quite impressive.  I have done some tough hikes in my life but nothing like this.  I still can’t believe I did it.  And so many times I told myself I was done and needed to turn back but I toughed it out and survived.  I am more confident that I will be ready for my half marathon in 5 weeks.  I look forward to conquering another mountain although I can safely say that I will never ever do this one again!

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