Welsh Lakes

A contrast of colours.

Absolutely brilliant weather. Blue skies; warm temperatures in the day, around freezing at night. The garden is still waiting for some hard frosts to sweeten the turnips and cabbage.

Dave, Jack and Matt before sunrise.

Knowing it can’t last I booked a day off for a hike. The idea was to take a coworker from the United Kingdom out, so he could see some Canadian high country. I always feel a little sorry for the kids who come and work at the resort from other parts of Canada or overseas. The area is sold to them as scenic, but unless they have a vehicle they are not able to leave the valley bottom.

Accompanied by good friends Dave and Matt, we picked up UK Jack at 6:30 am and we were off for Forster Creek. A leisurely drive and we were at the trailhead and hiking by daylight.

UK Jack from a lookout above the bottom lake. He has promised me this photo will make it back to his parents in England.

Jack is a tremendous worker at the resort. He works hard and never complains. He is very personable, in my experience, like all the workers we have had from the UK. 

The hike up was great through the forest, along Welsh Creek, picking through the moraine to the first lake. The entire area at one time covered by glaciers. I always imagine what it looked like back in time. Now the remaining glaciers are on the highest points of the mountains.

Only a small part of a remaining glacier. The rocks below show where the glacier once occupied churning and breaking the mountain rock.

This is the latest I’ve hiked Welsh. The mountains which show snow in summer is completely gone revealing how small the remaining glaciers have become. The wonderful day we were enjoying, even blessed with, is partially responsible. If the length of warm weather swapped with the cold those glaciers would grow back in no time. Perhaps it will happen sometime filling those empty basins above and below the lakes, keeping ice on the lakes year round, until their blue water freezes straight to the bottom.

Once at the first lake it was decided before I barely had my camera out that we would head up to the highest lake. Matt quickly found a route and we were off. Another hour, after a scramble, we were having lunch at Aberystwyth Lake. Jack was able to tell us the proper Welsh pronunciation, although, he didn’t know the meaning saying, he didn’t speak Welsh.

Iphone photo on the hike down, didn’t have time to grab the Nikon.

The way back down was trying as we took another route through the talus that required me to carry Willow. I cradle her in my outside arm allowing me to fall into the mountain if I lost my footing. Willow is an amazing little dog but has trouble with big loose boulders that move. By the time I was down to the first lake I was sucking hind tit and my arm was aching. We did it right with our spacing, however, not rolling boulders onto each other. 

Upper Welsh from Aberystwyth Lake.

The sun was directly above, lighting the turning tamaracks. It’s a perfect world when the gold is opposite the blue green mountain lakes. That was the last I had my camera out as we were heading down. I thought we must be late for something.

Dave, in shape at the ripe age of 63, my good friend who’s intelligence always knocks me off my horse if I ain’t paying attention.

I’m getting old and hiking with three men, in shape, with a combined body fat percentage about 10% of mine can be trying. Still I did my best. Matt kept me company, knowing you never leave the weakest behind. Cripes that pissed me off. 

Matt. A true mountain man.

There aren’t many days like this. Very fine walk.


Tonights Moon shining through. The low cloud blankets the valley bottom most of the day. If lucky we get to see the tops of the mountains before light fades in the afternoon.
A Bald Eagle from a few days before. Lisa stayed beneath it’s perch, in an understanded truce, snapping photos and marvelling at it’s brilliance.
The woodpile, no worse for wear, staying warm insulated with a layer of snow.
Tenacity. Willow, on top of the world, smiling, listening for animals under the snow.