Jan 18, 2014
At this point it's been almost a full year since my last attempt at completing the trail to Bow Glacier. This time I brought snowshoes to complete this hike. However due to the heated weather (+4C) I almost didn't need them. Unlike some of my other adventures I would have less worries about the wildlife encounters and more to do about the weather.
The actual trail to this glacier is used most during the summer. A 4.7 Kilometer trail found behind Num-Ti-Ja Lodge has a stunning view of Bow Lake for the entirety of the trail. In the winter I (as many others) chose to cut off a kilometer of the trail and take advantage of the frozen lake. As you approach the end of the lake, and encounter some shore, the elevation really starts to kick in. This may be a little more strenuous in the winter (and during warmer winter weather) as it was hard to keep my footing going up this elevation.
To prove the old saying "The mountains have a mind of its own"; over the two weeks preceding my visit, the weather had warmed considerably. This had happened to the point where multiple avalanches were triggered, roads were closed in the Columbia Icefield & people were trapped. Not that this is uncommon in the Canadian Rockies; however this is a lesson for anyone planning out trips. You may need to over prepare as at any point this may happen with little notice.
Overall this was another beautiful open sky day. With the sun beating down and my snowshoes gripping the ice below it was well worth the time doing this day hike. Although you're able to see the falls from the road (as I've pointed out in a previous post), I felt the short trip was worth my efforts, rewarding me with a stunning Bow Lake backdrop.