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Lake O'Hara hikes & weather

Hendersonville...
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465 posts
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Lake O'Hara hikes & weather

My husband & I are lucky to have tickets on the bus to Lake O'Hara for Monday, Sept 16 -- we were unable to get them last year on our first trip to the area. I know it's a hiking destination -- but just 2 weeks ago, my husband completed 8 weeks of radiation treatments and is still experiencing fatigue. (We have been counting on the natural beauty of the area to be a wonderful tonic for healing.) How would you rate the Lake Oesa hike? Can you recommend a trail that will not entail too much "hard" hiking? I've done a lot of reading, but TA advisors are always the best resource. If he finds that he's utterly exhausted after he gets there, is there a good "sitting" place to recommend? Also, the weather is forecast to be pretty warm in the area this weekend; is Lake O'Hara weather comparable to the weather in Lake Louise or Banff? We had so been looking forward to someday going to Lake O'Hara, and now, there's a bit of anxiety attached to it. Just looking for some reassurance that at any level of activity, the trip will be a good one. (LeRelais--sp?--good facilities?) Many thanks for any input. (Last year we made a list of hikes/activities we would like to do on a return trip; well, this IS the return trip and we've scratched off most of the things we hoped to do--but not Lake O'Hara. Hope that was a good decision. We are still happy to be going. Just trading in some longer hikes for shorter ones.) Sharon

Jasper, Canada
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for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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1. Re: Lake O'Hara hikes & weather

Hi Sharon - and welcome back to the Canadian Rockies! I remember your posts from last year, and earlier this year. I hope your husband's treatments are a success, and wish him a quick recovery.

I have not been to Lake O'Hara (it's the top of my hiking bucket list!) but I can answer a couple of your questions anyway, based on my long residence here in the Rockies and a lot of hiking experience. Weather-wise, it will be similar to Lake Louise, although probably a bit cooler and wetter. That is based on elevation - Lake O'Hara is higher than Lake Louise, and since it is on the western side of the continental divide, is likely slightly wetter in general (more rain in summer, more snow in winter). Banff townsite is at about 4500 feet, the lake at Lake Louise at about 5600, and Lake O'Hara is about 6500 or 6600 feet. Besides the cooler weather at the higher elevation, when hiking, you will probably notice that you are more winded, and on less exertion, than usual - especially since you probably live at a lower elevation.

When hiking at higher elevations, it's important to be prepared for any and all kinds of weather. It can and does change quickly sometimes. I carry light gloves and a warm hat in my hiking pack all summer long, and use them regularly. Dressing in layers is best ... while hiking uphill, you will warm up and may strip down to your base layers, but when you stop for lunch or a break, you will want to put on extra layers to avoid getting chilled.

Happy hiking!

Hendersonville...
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2. Re: Lake O'Hara hikes & weather

Thanks so much for the great advice and good wishes for my husband. I feel like you're my old travel buddy--have benefited from all your info over the last two years! I'm hearing your warnings too about getting winded more quickly....tend to push, push, push and it'll be good to remember that there are times to just not do that in Jerry's current situation. Again, many thanks.

Hudson Valley
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3. Re: Lake O'Hara hikes & weather

We were there in 2009 and did the Alpine Circuit, so I can't comment on some of the trails we didn't take (like the trail to Lake Oesa), but even if you go and sit by the lake, it's a beautiful spot and it will be time well spent. :)

This is a picture we took from the lake: www.pbase.com/pudgy_groundhog/image/117005678

You can't go wrong spending your day there!

Hope your husband is feeling better soon.

Hendersonville...
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4. Re: Lake O'Hara hikes & weather

Loved the photo--and the reassurance that we can enjoy the day without hiking some rigorous trails. Thanks for your input and good wishes! (Love Norah's playful photo, too! You're an adventurous mom.)

5. Re: Lake O'Hara hikes & weather

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