Natalia and I lucked out and got a spot at Lake O'Hara campground without the
normal 90 day reservation notice (it was only 2 months). Here are our pictures
from the trip.


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The approach trail is an 11 km fire road that you can hike in if you want to, but this is
the method that Yoho National Park uses to keep the number of people in the area down.
This is Natalia taking the bus into the Lake O'Hara campground. There are only a few spots
available so when the 90 day reservation limit comes up, you jump on it.


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We came in on a Friday after work with a mixed forecast of the evening. It dropped below -5 deg C,
and wound up snowing on us. The old Tarn 3 continues to hold up for me though.


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The Lake O'Hara campground is one of the nicest 'backcountry' campgrounds I've ever stayed at. It
has running hot and cold water, clean bathrooms, two logstove cookhouses, and picnic tables to
chill out at. It's so nice, it's actually considered a frontcountry campground, and rightly so
considering we only had to hike from the bus to our campsite. This is Natalia enjoying the
sun as we make breakfast. Next time, the Jimmy Dean sausage sandwiches might be an option.


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Nati and I decided to hike part of the great circuit around the Lake O'Hara area. This is at
the shores of Lake O'Hara as we're making our way up to the Wiwaxy Gap. The view is up to Glacier
Peak and Ringrose Peak.


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Natalia at Lake O'Hara looking up to Mount Huber. She calls this mountain - "Teacher and Students",
due to the many small mini peaks all the way up to the summit. She thinks it looks like a teacher
teaching her many students how to be and how to look.


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A shot of the Schaffer Ridge from the lake. The pass on the left is Opabin Pass.


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Yukness Mountain. We had planned on traversing the alpine ledges on Yukness but the combination
of Natalia not feeling well and the snow on trail meant we backed off.


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Huber, Glacier, and Ringrose Peaks.


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Opabin Pass and the Opabin Prospect (the plateau) with the Schaffer Ridge on the right.


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Natalia taking a breather on the ascent trail up to the Wiwaxy Gap.


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There was still snow on the trail for the bulk of the day.


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as well as on the trees.


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Looking down to Lake O'Hara.


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A common pose of my photogenic fiancee.


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Nati sitting on a ledge looking across the valley.


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After months of forgetting I have one, I finally remembered my camera tripod.


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The brilliant turquoise of Lake O'Hara.


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Natalia and Lake O'Hara.


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Yay for tripods!


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This view (and that couloir) get the Paul Perrault stamp of approval.


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After a couple of hours of uphill hiking, we made it to the top of Wiwaxy Gap with a gorgeous
view north looking out to the rest of Yoho National Park and the Waputik Icefields in the distance.


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One of the Wiwaxy Peaks.

I took a video looking around at the (very windy) Wiwaxy Gap: VIDEO


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Natalia and I at Wiwiaxy Gap, Yoho National Park, 13 Sept 2008.


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Looking down to the lake.


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I'm not sure what tracks these are, but I was teasing Natalia that I thought they looked
like wolverine. It's more likely that the tracks belong to a large pika or something.


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Across the Huber Ledges we strolled to make our way down to Lake Oesa. This is Natalia in front
of some light waterfalls on the trail.


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I think this is Mt Lefroy with Lake Oesa below and Natalia in front. Behind the obvious snow gulley
I believe you'll find the Abbot Hut and the Abbot Pass across to Lake Louise.


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A very curious co-traveller along the shores of Lake Oesa.


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Natalia and Mt Lefroy.


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Natalia and I at Lake Oesa. 'Oesa' means ice since the lake is often frozen right through July.


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On the way back down to Lake O'hara from Oesa, we crossed a lot of smaller waterfalls as the
water makes its way down to the lake. The series of 5 lakes here are called 'paternoster' lakes
due to the fact that they are all feeding each other. Paternoster is another name for the Lord's Prayer
and the lakes take this name due to the similarity of rosary beads.


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Natalia and another waterfall proving the inevitability of gravity and water.


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Lake O'Hara (not surprisingly) gets the Paul Perrault stamp of approval.


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The next day, we decided to explore the Opabin plateau. Opabin means 'rocky' in Stoney Indian.
Natalia wanted another picture with 'Teacher and Students'.


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Lake O'Hara and Mary Lake looking out to Cathedral Mountain.


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Mount Huber with one of the Moor Lakes on the Opabin Plateau in the foreground.


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Natalia enjoying the serenity of the Opabin Plateau.


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Cathedral Mountain and the Opabin Plateau. This trip made me think I wanted to paint.


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Same shot in panoramic.


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Natalia Lynn, Paul Perrault, Opabin Lake, 2,285m, 14 Sept 2008.


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Our self-portrait at Opabin Lake.


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I can't possibly explain in just a few words how amazing this whole area is. The experience just gets
that much better when you get to share it with someone special. Natalia is my someone special.


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As we were waiting for the bus to head home from this great trip, we were enjoying a couple of cookies
purchased from Le Relais beside the lake. As we sat reflecting on what a great trip we had just had,
this bird swooped down and swiped part of Natalia's cookie. Anyone who knows Natalia knows that she
likely had a death grip on the cookie, so that bird must have been practicing.

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