20 km one way
Our day started off sideways, and I really mean that everything was against us! Vince’s cousin invites us to join her and her boyfriend to do Carthrew-alderson, it was perfect since we both had been wanting to do this hike but the transportation was an issue. This fixed how to get back and we were going to meet at 9:00am at Cameron falls to leave a vehicle.
Vince and I were fast asleep and my phone buzzed, I was happy to be sleeping in for once but decided to check it out since I had to get up soon. It was his cousin saying they were early and going to go over to Cameron falls and wait.
Oh My!! We live out of the park and even though our packs are ready to go and I had packed food the night before but this realization we were late created chaos out the door. Some how I messed up our meeting time. As we were leaving the house Vince asked if I packed a rain jacket. I laughed and said it was beautiful out, he urged me to go grab it before we left. As we got closer to Waterton we saw cloud forming and even though the weather said it was going to be nice just minutes before, it changed right in front of my eyes.
As we arrived to Cameron falls and found our partners in crime we all took a look around trying to decide if the weather was going to hold. We all decided not to chance the rain and got all packed up.
We drove up the Akamina parkway and font a spot at Cameron lake. We all looked around watching clouds moving in. We were not going to let the weather stop us, so we started past the building and up towards summit lake. Halfway up the switch backs the sky decided to unload and for the next hours in continued. We made it to summit lake enjoying the flat elevation after the switch backs. I totally underestimated the following climb, thinking little elevation gain was coming. Instead it was constant elevation gain along a open slop over seeing summit lake behind us. As we came to the last switch back we could see the ridge above us and a summit. As we crested the ridge we felt the wind whipping trying to make us fly, along with the light rain. We chose to get off the ridge as fast as possible, the wind made it hard to stand. Luckily we did not far until we started to descend towards Carthrew lake. We thought that out of the wind we would be better off, but once we felt relief from the wind it started to pour. At this point we were cold, hungry and soggy. We decided the fastest we could get to a drier spot the better. Picking up our pace we passed others feeling the same way.
At some point we found a ledge to hang our feet off of and trees that sheltered our backs from the rain. It was enough that we took advantage of this and ate. We all needed the short break.
From then on we had one mission, to get back to our vehicle. We cut down rocky ledge path. The rain lightened up but the wind picked up and gusted down from.the peaks above. This created difficultly standing up, and were pushing us down faster then our legs wanted to go. We were grabbing on shrubs and trees for support. Our view was amazing as we were heading toward a crystal blue lake. Once we arrived back in forage We could hide from the wind. We stopped and checked out the outhouse and campsite. This was a busy place, with people heading up and down, some packing up or settings up for the night.
The last bit was light rain and as we got into the afternoon we saw the sun and the heat that was promised, coming sporadically. We would take off our jackets and put them back on as we went, never knowing how long the heat or rain would last. We were all relived when we saw the Akamina parkway across the valley, and ecstatic when we could see the top of Cameron falls.
We finished off our day with a quick trip.back to retrieved our first vehicle and settled at a local establishment for some drinks and warm filling food.
I feel like i need to do this hike again to fully enjoy everything it has to offer.