Lake O'Hara's Lake Oesa

After my attempt at the Lake O'Hara Alpine Circuit was cut short due to deep snow, it was time to head back to the lake shore and try my luck on the Lake Oesa Trail.  While the Parks Canada official warned that Lake Oesa was probably still frozen, she said it was worth giving the trail a shot so I did. After all, Oesa (Owe-EE-suh) means ice in the Stoney Indian language.

As I made my way past the big remnants of an ancient rock slide, and started hiking up the rocky steps, I couldn't help but remember the hike up Huayna Picchu, with its little, steep steps dotting the side of the cliff. Anyways, back to BC. The view was, of course, spectacular as I looked around and saw the first of three lakes along the trail. The Parks Canada official warned us that many people mistakenly assume that this lake is Lake Oesa and turn back.

Time to forge forward towards a waterfall, and the start of snow on this particular trail. A couple of hikers were trying to make their way down the snow-covered trail. A funny sight indeed as I soon found out that it was their first experience with snow.

Following the stream, I reached the second lake

before dredging through the snow some more to see the half-frozen Lake Oesa. Very nice indeed.

At the same time, I tried to figure how I could have gotten to here from the Wiwaxy Gap Trail, and it looked like I made the wise choice.

On the way back, the sun was trying to make an appearance and I tried to take it all in as it was too hard to imagine that there could possibly be a more spectacular place than this.

"You can sweep up around the ashram all you want. If it's a thunderbolt of enlightenment you're seeking, you're as likely to find it in the mountains. Especially if the mountains are those ringing Lake O'Hara and comprising the most celebrated massif in the Canadian Rockies. It's a spectacle that can liberate us from the shabby little world we humans habitually skulk in around, and awaken us to the state of exalted wonder that is our birthright."
Kathy & Craig Copeland in Don't Waste Your Time in the Canadian Rockies
I had a couple of hours before the last bus left for the day so I just sat back and enjoyed the tranquility... ahh, this is the life!

I'll definitely be coming back to Lake O'Hara, not only to complete the Alpine Circuit, but to also hike all the other trails in the area over the course of a number of days. Hopefully, it will be with some one to share the memories with and carry the camping gear! With so many scenic trails of ecological and personal interest, it's no wonder Lake O'Hara is known as a hiker's paradise.

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