Akamina Ridge (Via Wall Lake and Buchanan’s Pass)

June 29th 2015

Akamina Ridge in Akamina-Kishinena Provincial Park in BC is a treasure.  Bordering Waterton Lakes National Park to the east, I can’t believe a place this beautiful exists.  It will always amaze me the way the Rockies Mountains hold secret vistas and heart humbling approaches hidden away in each nook and corner.

And the way this place feels, what a presence.  Take the depths of Slocan’s eeriness, mix it with the sublime sunrise of a Spray Range summit and through in a handful of rainforest fern gullies, bizarre, beautiful plants and alien insects and you’ve arrived at Akamina Ridge.  If the Rockies has a heart, I dare to say it is here.

An unplanned solo hike.  It was supposed a leisurely stroll to be Wall Lake, but the fervent glee of the days descending ridge-walkers was infectious as they passed me on the shores.  It made me second guess myself and I lumbered like a alpine intoxicated zombie towards the bear grass, onion and butterflied meadows of my imagination.  Into the larchy rocky heights of Buchanan’s Pass and onward towards the rainbow stoned plateaus of Akamina ridge.  I stopped at 2350 m, drank in the vista with binoculars,  and retraced my steps back to the parking lot.  A truly marvellous day.

Enjoy the journey and prepare your spirit.

If your planning to hike the full ridge, do so clockwise beginning with Forum lake and the ascent route above its eastern shores to the rockband.  This rockband will be easier to ascend than descend.

– Kaptian Kananaskis

IMG_8988
Captain Kananaskis approves – This place is awesome!
IMG_8790
A hidden chapel in the forest as my day takes me towards Akamina
IMG_8796
Thimble Berry lines the start of the trail towards Akamina pass and ridge.
IMG_8798
Indian hellebore reminds one of the tropics!
IMG_8810
Ferns and Beargrass
IMG_8802
A Pine Grossbeak drinks from a puddle on the trail
IMG_9026
Just before you cross over into BC a sublime oasis of wetlands and Dragonflies appears on your right
IMG_8821
Finally, out of Alberta! I’m saved
IMG_8822
The Forum Lake Junction
IMG_8823
The Wall Lake Junction after crossing a small stream filled with multicoloured rocks
IMG_8825
The stream filled with the multicoloured rocks
IMG_8832
Bear grass grows in the forest, in the meadows, in the high subalpine, and pretty much everywhere else! Except your garden.
IMG_8835
Queen’s Cups
IMG_8842
Unknown Moth
IMG_8847
Soooo Thirsteee
IMG_8846
The forest opens, meadows and cliffs appear
IMG_8850
The day becomes sublime
IMG_8856
Dandelion
IMG_8858
Steamy Subalipine Meadows
IMG_8860
Avalanche Paths just moments before the lake
IMG_8862
Heliotrope
IMG_8868
The Wall Creek outflow from Wall Lake
IMG_8875
Wall Lake
IMG_8878
Transparent Water. Can you find the cut-throats?
IMG_8884
Intense wind event a few years ago. Blowdown
IMG_8886
Akamina Ridge above
IMG_8892
Ancient twisting dead Subalpine Fir
IMG_8889
Wall Lake Panorama
IMG_8893
Onwards to Buchanan’s Pass and the West end of Akamina Ridge
IMG_8896
The subalpine Bear Grass Meadows. Hundreds of them all blooming together.
IMG_8898
The meadows continue
IMG_8900
Beargrass and mountains
IMG_8904
Unknown Flower and Beargrass
IMG_8907
It was as tall as I am
IMG_8909
Beargrass polyps
IMG_8910
Bear Grass Bloom
IMG_8922
After the bear grass meadows live the onions. The trail turns to a steam through a wild onion patch. So surreal.
IMG_8923
Wild Onions
IMG_8925
Wild Onion Patch
IMG_9024
Wild Onion
IMG_8932
Crocus dreads
IMG_8935
Ascending through the larches, the trail steepens and the trudge begins
IMG_8941
Arriving just above Buchanan’s Pass
IMG_8996
The rainbow stoned west ridge of Akamaina
IMG_9004
The tundra rock garden begins. Love this place!
IMG_8958
Ascending Akamina Ridge
IMG_8951
(Unknown)
IMG_8952
(Unknown)
IMG_8955
Akamina Ridge
IMG_8959
Looking down towards Wall Lake
IMG_8942
The hulking Kinnerly Peak in Glacier National Park, Montana dominates the skyline
IMG_8950
The view west into BC
IMG_8961
Blue Rock
IMG_8977
Akamina Ridge at 2350m (Panorama)
IMG_9022
Returning through the meadows and waterfalls above Wall Lake
IMG_9027
Arriving back at the Akamina Pass Trailhead parking

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s