Skoki

September 13-14, 2003

Pre-trip camping: Lake Louise campground

Saturday, September 13: Our group consisted of Russ, Kay, Isobel, John, Eleanor, Dave and Dave. We started out on a cool September morning and headed up the trail to Skoki. The first 4 km or so were on a Lake Louise ski area access road. Once we passed the Temple Lodge at the ski area, we left civilization behind. Along the well built trail, in shaded areas, the snow of the previous day was still slowly melting. The next couple of kilometres climbed gently until we reached Halfway Hut where we stopped for a chilly lunch break. The day never got very warm. Then we climbed up and over Boulder Pass to Ptarmigan Lake. Then the hard work began as we climbed up to Deception Pass – that kept us warm. From there, it was all downhill to our campground in Merlin Meadows. The view of the two Skoki Lakes was incredible. We stopped at Skoki Lodge for a break. Most of the group headed off to see Merlin Lake, but Russ and I stayed put in the warmth and comfort of the lodge where we enjoyed a cup of tea. At the campground that evening, we built a campfire and sat around talking amongst ourselves and with Yonnika and Martin from the Netherlands. Distance hiked: 15.6 km. Elevation gained: 787 m. Elevation lost: 366 m.

Sunday, September 14: Overnight it rained but the rain stopped when we woke in the morning. We finished breakfast and getting packed up and then the rain started again – but only for a few minutes. We hiked back to Skoki Lodge and then took an alternate trail. Instead of hiking back over Deception Pass, we hiked out over Packer’s Pass via the Skoki Lakes. The Skoki Lakes are individually named Myosotis (forget-me-not) and Zigadenus (camas lily). The trail approaches a waterfall and looks like the trail ends. Then you realize that the trail actually climbs up near the waterfall – at one point with a large boulder poised overhead forming a tight tunnel. The rocks along the shore of the lower lake were very slippery. We then climbed up to the upper lake where we paused for a lunch break amid the larch trees. After lunch we headed up to Packer’s Pass – a very steep climb – and we were welcomed with snow flurries. Then it was back down to Ptarmigan Lake, Boulder Pass and Halfway hut where we stopped for a snack break. The we hiked the rest of the way out to the cars and headed back home. Distance hiked: 15.6 km. Elevation gained: 366 m. Elevation lost: 787 m.

Total distance hiked: 31.2 km.

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