Sunday, October 3, 2010

Moraine Lake

The run of beautiful fall weather continued, & perhaps climaxed (hopefully not, but that will be hard to beat) with a gloriously sunny & warm day yesterday.  For the second week in a row I was sans-Alex my big weekend ride as other things called.  I was keen to head out to the Lake Louise area as I haven't seen it snow- & ice-less & it apparently is beautiful all thawed out.  It didn't take much persuading to get Gerry to come along & check out the Moraine Lake trail - reputed to be a great ride with awesome scenery.  Parking on the shoulder of the road, we were straight in to a steep, rooty climb - this was a quite the wake-up call.  After about a kilometre, things slackened off a bit & we were riding up beside a small river.

 Gerry shamelessly trying to plug - he failed, so I'm doing it.

After crossing the river, there was another steepish climb that once again mellowed out.  Gerry & I took turns leading as we were a similar pace.  My stubbornness at staying the middle-ring wasn't always helping & my much worn rear tyre was starting slip on a few of the roots on tricky step-ups.  I'm looking forward to getting a Crossmark back on the bike when I get around to the big end of season parts buy-up.

We joined on to the Highline part of the trail & rode along the side of the ridge above the road for the rest of the way to the lake.  This part of the trail had good variety, in some parts it flowed really nicely both up & downhill.  While in other parts, mostly across avalanche paths, it got rocky & much more technically demanding - all the more satisfying when you manage to weave through, & sometimes over, big rocks.  It was a nice mellow downhill that spat us out at the rather packed parking lot at the end of the lake. 

We climbed what was effectively a big pile of rocks to get a better vantage point:

Proof I was actually there.

Here are a few shots of the ride back.  I led most of the way as the climb was gentler & the middle-ring is always good for a bit more pace when climbing - also perhaps Gerry was a little worn out from the Ha Ling hide-a-bike the previous day.

 Gerry conquering the corner where he'd just had a good go at emasculating himself a few minutes before (it's steeper than it looks).

On returning to the car, I chalked up a first.  After opening the car, I hit the central locking button & threw the keys on the seat before shutting the door to prevent it being swiped off.  On going around to the passenger side I found that I had managed to lock all the doors & the keys were, of course, now sitting on the front seat mocking me.  Why lock is pressing the button up & unlock pressing the button down on this particular car is something that I have never understood or intuitively remembered - this time I was well & proper caught out.  Also, I've never really seen the point here in having buttons on each of the front doors to operate the central locks - it's much simpler just to have all the locks operate when you move the actual door lock.  Never mind, it turns out that tyre levers & an assortment of sticks, along with a lot of patience is all that it takes to get back in to the car - eventually.

With the best part of an hour wasted, we weren't particularly keen to ride another, shorter, trail to Ross Lake - so just went & walked around with all the tourists at Lake Louise.  Which is much different to how I remember it in January.  Unfortunately, by the late afternoon the sun was at the end of the lake thus making the photos a little less spectacular - but it was still very beautiful.

No comments:

Post a Comment