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Ascent to Mount Victoria-End of Plain of the Six Glaciers Trail on 2014-07-24

Climber: Lupe Lunde

Date:Thursday, July 24, 2014
Ascent Type:No Summit Goal
Point Reached:Mount Victoria - End of Plain of the Six Glaciers Trail
    Location:Canada-Alberta/British Columbia
    Elevation:2150 m / 7054 ft

Ascent Trip Report

For more photos and commentary go to adventuresoflupe.com.

The hike from Chateau Lake Louise up to the end of the Plain of Six Glaciers Trail beneath Mt. Victoria is one of the most popular and beautiful classic day hikes in the Canadian Rockies. Lupe arrived early, but rainy overcast conditions delayed a start until mid-morning, by which time the rain had stopped and the skies were clearing at Chateau Lake Louise. Mt. Victoria was still lost in the clouds. Before Lupe even got started, a friendly Chinese lady saw her near the boathouse where they rent out canoes. She was instantly entranced with Lupe, and Lupe politely posed for several pictures near the lake.

Lupe took the most direct route to the Plain of Six Glaciers, which starts with the Lake Louise Lakeshore Trail. From Chateau Lake Louise at the E end of the lake, the trail goes right along the N shore of Lake Louise. It is an easy 2.0 km stroll gaining no elevation all the way to the W end of the lake. Beyond the lake is the Plain of Six Glaciers Trail, which continues W upstream along the N side of the valley floor. It goes through a small section where shallow glacial melt waters were running over the trail, and then starts rising up the N side of the valley. As the trail continues W, it begins to climb faster and eventually incorporates some switchbacks. Lupe ignored a couple of intersections with the Highline Trail which lead to the Lake Agnes Tea House.

At 5.5 km from Chateau Lake Louise, Lupe reached the little plaza with benches near the Plain of the Six Glaciers Tea House. On the last stretch of trail prior to reaching the plaza, the son of the friendly Chinese lady had caught up with Lupe and showed an interest in her too. At the little plaza, he started feeding chipmunks and squirrels crumbs. This activity was of great interest to Lupe, and she could barely contain her excitement. Soon the friendly Chinese lady and her husband showed up and there were several more photos taken of Lupe with her new Chinese friends.

Since Lupe is not interested in tea, she continued on the Plain of Six Glaciers Trail beyond the tea house. This portion of the trail soon leaves the forest as it approaches Mt. Victoria at the W end of the valley. The trail becomes rocky and eventually gets up on the (former) lateral moraine of the glacier coming down the Deathtrap between Mt. Lefroy and Mt. Victoria. The end of the Plain of Six Glaciers Trail is about 1.5 km from the tea house (7.0 km from Chateau Lake Louise) on steep rocky slopes above the end of the lateral moraine just below Mt. Victoria.

When Lupe reached the end of the Plain of the Six Glaciers Trail, no one else was there, although a few people were either coming up or had just started on their way back down. Intermittent show showers and gusts of wind made it seem like late fall or winter instead of late July. The sky was completely overcast. A thin fog hung in the cool air. Although Lupe could see the top of Mt. Lefroy and the upper reaches of Mt. Victoria, Abbot Hut at the top of the Deathtrap was not visible. Lake Louise and Chateau Lake Louise looked very small and far away back down the huge valley to the E.

After some photos and a bit to eat at the end of the Plain of Six Glaciers Trail, the weather was deteriorating. It was time to head back to Lake Louise. Soon after getting down off the lateral moraine, Lupe's human porter heard someone calling out. It was the friendly Chinese lady wanting a few more pictures with Lupe! Lupe and her human porter wound up hiking all the way back down to Chateau Lake Louise with the friendly Chinese family. Although language was a significant barrier, the Chinese understood and could speak enough English so a good time was had by all. Leo was the husband's name, Peiling the wife's name, and Bill the son's name. They are from the city of Foshan in Guangdong province of China, which is not too far NW of Hong Kong. They invited Lupe to come and visit them! We shall see. You never know. Lupe is an adventurous doggie! adventuresoflupe.com
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Lupe near the end of the Plain of Six Glaciers Trail accessed from Lake Louise. Mount Lefroy is on the left and Mount Victoria on the right. The narrow canyon between them is known as the Death Trap (2014-07-24). Photo by Lupe Lunde.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:420 m / 1375 ft
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Snowing, Cool, Breezy, Overcast
Snow showers with occasional gusts of wind, temps in 30's
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:420 m / 1375 ft
    Route:Lakeshore Trail/Plain of Six Glaciers Trail
    Trailhead:Chateau Lake Louise  1730 m / 5679 ft
Descent Statistics



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