Thursday, November 21, 2019

Trip Report - Mt. Hector, South Ridge

I'd been a bit of a lazy potato since getting back from the 'Stans a month ago, so it felt good to get out to the mountains this past weekend. We hit the Icefields Parkway for a snowshoe adventure up the south ridge of Mt. Hector. Unfortunately, on the way up, every step was a punishing bit of trailbreaking, as your snowshoes acted like shovels clearing a foot deep driveway. We gained about 550m of elevation before giving up at a high point, exhausted, and still a bit away from the summit. And on the way down, it was just puking snow on us, while I fell or tumbled down slopes more times than I could count. But hey, we didn't die in an avalanche, so there's that, right?

Snowshoeing - Hector South Ridge - Nov 2019-11

Snowshoeing - Hector South Ridge - Nov 2019-9

Snowshoeing - Hector South Ridge - Nov 2019-2

Snowshoeing - Hector South Ridge - Nov 2019-1

Snowshoeing - Hector South Ridge - Nov 2019-4

Snowshoeing - Hector South Ridge - Nov 2019-3

Snowshoeing - Hector South Ridge - Nov 2019-6

Snowshoeing - Hector South Ridge - Nov 2019-8

Snowshoeing - Hector South Ridge - Nov 2019-7

Snowshoeing - Hector South Ridge - Nov 2019-12

Snowshoeing - Hector South Ridge - Nov 2019-10

Sunday, November 10, 2019

The Stans: Kulikalon Lakes

I began combing through the thousands of photos from our time in Central Asia, and much like when presented with a menu featuring too many delicious options, it becomes overwhelming to make a selection and so you end up closing your eyes and pointing at something, only to be disappointed that you chose a veggie burger made of plant based egg substitute with soy fries. The "burden of choice" is alive and real, my friends.

So as I wasted entirely too much time trying to rationally curate a collection of photos to sum up the entire trip, I realized it was hopeless, and instead selected a very limited set from the beautiful first camp on our trek in Tajikistan. After a long-ish day of hiking, we reached the cirque of Kulikalon Lakes, three alpine tarns fed by the enormous Chimtarga glacier. We could not have asked for a more picturesque panorama to pitch our tents in, and were lucky to have seen both a beautiful sunset and sunrise here before moving further up into the mountains.

Kulikalon Lakes Camp-4
Sunset over one of the lakes.

Kulikalon Lakes Camp-1
Anita and Jas survey the landscape as we first neared our camp in the late afternoon.

Kulikalon Lakes Camp-2
Taking a moment to soak it all in.

Kulikalon Lakes Camp-5

Kulikalon Lakes Camp-6

Kulikalon Lakes Camp-7

Kulikalon Lakes Camp-8
This was actually taken at night, well after sunset. It was a full moon that evening, so even deep into the evening with the stars out, it was still amply bright.

Kulikalon Lakes Camp-9
Reflections at sunrise.