Bourgeau Lake - Leaders assessment hike

April 14, 2006 Bourgeau Lake from above

Just a nice day to try out a hike in some of our beautiful Banff National Park areas.

The trial started of with a bit of snow here and there and quickly went to several feet thick. 
At one point we tried to measure it and could not reach bottom with our ski poll. Open scree 
slopes showed signs of avalanches. The boys would enjoy disappearing in snow off the trail.
It was just the right temperature for snowman or balls, a key ingredient for them.
Near the top it got substantially windier and almost turned into a whiteout.
The trip out went quite quickly as the snowshoes served as skis, about 2 hours and opposed to the 5 hours up.

Distance: 7.5 km (4.5 mi) - Trans-Canada Highway to Bourgeau Lake
Day Hike: 2.5 - 3 hr one way
Elevation Gain: 710 m (2330 ft)
Maximum Elevation: 2155 m (7070 ft)
Trailhead: Parking area on west side of Trans-Canada Highway, 2.8 km (1.7 mi) north of Sunshine interchange and 0.5 km (0.3 mi) south of bridge over Wolverine Creek.


0.0 - Sign (elevation 1445 m). Proceed into forest and begin steady climb.
2.5 - Cross avalanche chute.
3.7 - Cross tributary of Wolverine Creek flowing from south.
5.5 - Cross Wolverine Creek below waterfall on rock steps. Begin steep switchbacks.
6.8 - Trail levels out in meadows of lake basin.
7.5 - Northeast end of Bourgeau Lake (2155 m).


Willow Park Team Members

Craig Owens,  Karl Burndorfer,  - Leaders

Photo Library

IMG_2539.JPG (89179 bytes)You are here! How do they know that? IMG_2540.JPG (316707 bytes)Now we take escalators into the hike.  IMG_2541.JPG (76017 bytes)definitely snowshoe country IMG_2542.JPG (548049 bytes)here we are on top of the last avalanche.
IMG_2543.JPG (1573659 bytes)coming to the expiry date on leather strap bindings. IMG_2544.JPG (1700183 bytes)If that chunk didn't fall off we could have you thinking we are crossing a snow bridge.  IMG_2545.JPG (1663514 bytes)Another one of those avalanche slopes. There is a few giant snowman sized balls that stopped just ahead of us.  IMG_2546.JPG (794332 bytes)Into the safety of the trees.
IMG_2547.JPG (1882362 bytes)Climb gets pretty steep here. IMG_2548.JPG (595985 bytes)We're thinking this would be around the last sheltered spot before the lake. IMG_2549.JPG (256719 bytes)Food sure taste better out here.  IMG_2550.JPG (1934747 bytes)So there doesn't seem to be any of those fiercely hungry birds around this time.  
IMG_2551.JPG (2076760 bytes)Looks like leather bindings arn't the only thing that's expiring around here. Our first break of the day. Just never know when that duck tape is going to be needed. IMG_2552.JPG (233927 bytes)Just testing the depth of the snow, where'd my pole go??? IMG_2553.JPG (1452861 bytes)Want to see me pull a ski pole out of my hat? IMG_2554.JPG (1514841 bytes)On the plateau with the lake, finally. 
IMG_2555.JPG (1473310 bytes) Winds are getting a bit extreme out here. IMG_2556.JPG (1511769 bytes)I'm trying to blend in with the trees. IMG_2557.JPG (239871 bytes)So the lake kind of blends in with everything else that's white around here. But its just passed those trees. IMG_2558.JPG (1543840 bytes)Bracing each other against the really big gusts.
IMG_2559.JPG (1458486 bytes)We meet a friend from BC.  IMG_2560.JPG (220276 bytes)Pointing the way those those want to keep going and get to the top.  IMG_2561.JPG (1400916 bytes)Well time to start for home, hey wait up. IMG_2562.JPG (287195 bytes)Now where did they go, these foot prints are fading fast. 
IMG_2563.JPG (290697 bytes)Oh, there they are, I can barely make them out. IMG_2564.JPG (504435 bytes)So do I really need snowshoes here? IMG_2565.JPG (799439 bytes)Ok, I do now. My crotch is getting cold. IMG_2566.JPG (320649 bytes)Getting on high ground is not that easy.
IMG_2567.JPG (721747 bytes)You have to wait up for a one legged snow shoe-er.  IMG_2568.JPG (717754 bytes)I can do it.  IMG_2569.JPG (638623 bytes)Just not going  to resort to duct tapping my boot to the snow shoe.  IMG_2570.JPG (338156 bytes)Ok I can finally get by without the dang things. 
IMG_2571.JPG (1684897 bytes)The last scree slope, almost home IMG_2572.JPG (1751724 bytes)and that's all there is to it folks. Have a nice day.