Mount Temple

I remember briefly reading about Mount Temple, one lazy weekday afternoon in the engineering office back in Stockport.  Working in an office...that feels like a past life now.  I was googling "highest non technical mountains in the world" or something on those lines.  I wanted to know what the highest mountains I could climb, or rather walk up were in the world.  Mountaineering never really appealed to me, I always thought it was too much of a commitment to take up as a hobby.  Also, I am terrified of heights.

I just wanted to walk, to the highest places possible in the world.  No ropes or any of that nonsense, just a good pair of shoes, a massive mountain, ignorant ambition and me.  My search led me to this page:

A pretty good article about 8 big mountains that were hikeable and included impressive mountains such as Mount Fuji, Mount Kilimanjaro and of course, Mount Temple.

During the winter in Lake Louise my goal was to snowboard down the Women's Olympic Downhill run.  Every day I went snowboarding that run was in the back of my mind.  A self prescribed rite to passage.  If I could do a run designed for Olympic athletes, then in my mind I would have "made it" as a snowboarder.  Hiking Mount Temple was the summer equivalent.

It stood out proudly , a handsome mountain with a traditional pyramid shape and white snowy cap.  I saw it every time I photographed a softball game, or whenever I was driving to or from Lake Louise.  It was always there, a constant reminder.  All summer it was taunting me, but hiking it was only possible in the last month of summer due to the amount of snow at the top.

26th of August was a particularly beautiful day, warm with clear blue skies.  The summer fires in BC had filled most of our summer days with a thick haze, so much so that guests were complaining.  But today, the skies were clear.  This was also the day we were going to hike Mount Temple.  We had briefly attempted Temple a few times, but abandoned the hike before it even started due to weather and visibility.  But there were no excuses this time.

The hike started from Moraine Lake, arguably the most beautiful lake in the world.  The car park was already almost full by 7am.  Hordes of tourist flock to the lake everyday which makes the lake nearly inaccessible during the day.  From here, we ascended up, out of the valley of the ten peaks and into Larch Valley, which was also a famous photo location but more so in the autumn when all the leafs from the Larch trees turn yellow.  

We continued up to Sentinel Pass, a ridge that sits between Mount Temple and it's smaller southern neighbour Eiffel Peak.  Getting to Sentinel Pass is a decent hike in itself as the pass overlooks Paradise Valley.  Paradise Valley, Valley of the 10 Peaks, Moraine Lake... there are so many beautiful locations in this small part of the rockies, I could write a whole blog post about each of them and describe how stunning they each look.

We stopped off for a moment at Sentinel Pass to have breakfast.  Paradise Valley