BEFORE YOU SIGN UP FOR THIS HIKE:
Read the entire hike posting. Every. Single. Word. I don't mind answering questions, as long as they aren't already answered in the hike posting.
Be willing to hike at the pace of the slowest. Leave your long sighs, eye-rolls and impatience at home, please and thank you. Those of us who actually are slow hikers will appreciate it. :-)
Trail distance and elevation: 11.2 km, 360 meters elevation gain to the Teahouse.
Energetic hikers may wish to continue up to the viewpoint of Victoria Glacier, an additional 2.6km return, and 85m added elevation.
Safety and navigation as warranted: There was a warning about a cougar in the Lake Louise area around July 20th, and bears are common around the public parking lot at the Chateau. There is still construction on highway 1, so give yourselves plenty of time to get to Lake Louise.
Details about the trail: While this is technically an intermediate hike because it is over 10km, beginners should be able to finish this hike, particularly at my pokey pace. Starting on the Lakeshore trail to the far end of Lake Louise, this hike will climb above the treeline, above the toe of the lower Victoria Glacier, and along some of the most interesting rock formations. We'll end up at the Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse (see info below), a two-story log building, where we'll take a longer break, to allow for anyone who wants to eat at the Teahouse, or hike up to the Victoria Glacier viewpoint.
Teahouse: If you wish to eat at the Teahouse, take note: it is CASH only, they offer soup, sandwiches, baked goods, tea and lemonade, and it is a bit pricey (for lunch with drink and dessert, bring at least $25 to cover lunch, tax and tip). There are also benches in an open area around the teahouse for hikers who bring their own lunch.
Calgary Meetup Location:
Transit Users: I can take three passengers with me from Heritage LRT Station. Please reply to the post on the Message Board below. Look for a Light Blue Dodge Caravan parked close to the station building.
Vehicle Drivers: You can drive yourself to the trailhead, or use the Message Board below to arrange yourselves in car pooling groups, from whatever location you wish.
Trailhead: Lake Louise public parking lot. We'll meet in front of the public washroom building in the lowest parking lot.
Hiking Pace: We will be hiking to the pace of the slowest person in the group. My definition of hiking to the pace of the slowest is the slowest hiker is at the front of the group, and sets the pace for everyone. This is for the safety, health and enjoyment of all hikers. We will be stopping for great views, photos, rest breaks, and the occasional head count. Remember, it doesn't matter how slow you're going, you're still going faster than the folks sitting at home on the couch.
Hiker requirements: Healthy enough to complete the hike (this includes carrying your own gear – there are no sherpas on my hikes!), good sense of humor, and a desire to explore the natural environment.
Gear requirements: Hiking shoes/boots are always best, and be prepared for changes in weather. Always be prepared with sunscreen, bug spray, personal medications (if needed), personal-sized first aid kit. Water: I typically take at least 2 liters on any hike. Better to have too much, than run out in the middle of the hike. If you have them, bring bear spray and/or bear bangers and carry them on the outside of your pack. Snacks/lunch. Camera, small binoculars if you have them.
Passenger gas share: $25.00 - Please note this is per person, and in cash. You will also be expected to pay for a share of a group park day pass.
Start and return time: Depart Calgary by 7 am, to be in Lake Louise around 9-9:15 am. We should be off the trail by late afternoon, around 4-4:30pm. We may stop at the Lake Louise Village mall for bakery/ice cream/deli before driving back to Calgary, but this is at the driver's discretion.
I will check the Meetup site for this hike in the early morning of the hike, in case anyone has any last minute messages.
Who can attend: No dogs please. No children. No guests – membership is free, so there is no excuse not to sign up.
Waivers: As per the new policy for waivers, I will bring the group waiver form with me to both the Calgary Meetup location and the trailhead. You must sign it before you will be allowed to go on this hike. You will also be asked for the name and phone number of an emergency contact. Please come prepared with this information.
You are fully aware that organizers are not professional guides and you assume all responsibility for your safety and well-being. You are fully prepared with proper gear and you're physically fit to do this hike with the group.