We’ve now had some time to settle in and the lodge is pretty nice. I’m used to camping and/or sleeping in little unheated alpine huts or in ditches when I go hiking overnight in summer so I’m not quite sure how to deal with all this luxury. But it’s a pretty cushy setup for Kor Kor and the parents. What’s really nice about Talus Lodge is that it’s high in the alpine, located at about 2050m near a set of picturesque alpine lakes and surrounded by readily accessible hiking terrain. We never explored the peaks but there’s also a few scrambling objectives around there and if you were to start early in the morning, I could see one getting up and down Mt.Soderholm and Whiteman Peak pretty comfortably in one day. Our parents and Kor Kor’s range were a bit more limited so it was really nice that alpine was just outside the lodge doorsteps. Literally within seconds we would be frolicking in the alpine meadows like a scene from the Sound of Music.
Interior of the lodge rooms
The lodge is large and spacious and has 4 bedrooms – more pictures and details about it are at the website. It’s located on a rocky knoll and gets quite a bit of sun. Built only recently, one huge advantage of the lodge is that its accessible quickly by helicopter from Canmore. Even though it’s accessible, there isn’t a lot of traffic in this area unlike in other lodges we had considered like Mt Engadine Lodge or Mt Assiniboine Lodge.
Food spread out in the lodge main lobby
Chris Espinell, one of the lodge owners, and his wife, Joanne were up with us. It is possible to hire Chris or any other person as a hiking guide but we were unguided. However, we did get cook services and never regretted it. There was always plenty of delicious food with a lot of variety. Chris was a wealth of local knowledge and, having been a search – and – rescue volunteer and avid hiker and mountaineer for a number of years really knew this terrain well.
Jewel Lakes - the lodge is on the left hand side of the picture
Today, the weather looked like it was going to be stunningly clear. You can’t take good weather for granted at any time of the year in the Canadian Rockies so we were out the door right after breakfast heading out this time west of the hut towards the Talon. We did a route that headed right to the Talon. While parents and Kor Kor waited at a nice spot, us kids hauled ourselves up the Talon to take a look at the glacier and the views from the top of the Talon. The scramble to the top was on loose rock which I doubt parents and Kor Kor would have enjoyed on either the uphill or downhill so that turned out to be a good plan.
Chai helping Mum walk through a bit of a cold alpine creek
Sue and Kor Kor navigating the waters
Dad and Sue horsing around
View from the lower slopes close to the Talon looking down to Jewel Lakes and the lodge
Parents and Kor Kor waited at a nice viewpoint overlooking the Rockies to the north while we scrambled up to the Talon
Chai, Sue and I quickly made our way up to the top of the Talon along some pretty steep scrambly loose rock. Oh boy, parents and Kor Kor would have not liked the uphills and would have cartwheeled their way downhill on the loose rocky talus downhills. It was worth the small effort for us to get the incredible views from the top. The lakes looked unreal from our vantage point with iridescent blues mixed in with whites. Disappointingly, the Talon glacier had shrunk a lot – it looks like it might be gone within 10 years. I did get to check out a beautiful north facing couloir coming off Royal Ridge and was very sorry that I had not brought skis.
The talus slopes below used to be glaciated! Chai and Sue scrambling up to the Talon
Magnificent view from the Talon looking east to Jewel Lakes and Ptarmigan Plateau. Whiteman Peak is in the sun above the lodge
Sue and Tsuan taking in the view.
Chai and Sue on the Talon
We then headed back down and rejoined our aged, respected parents and aunt and accompanied them northwards to a point overlooking some waterfalls. Again, we took in the views and soaked up more sun then headed back to the lodge quite content.
We came back down and rejoined Kor Kor and parents then hiked a little further down to the waterfalls and creeks just north of the Talon
Beautiful little alpine meadows north of the Talon
Tsuan and Dad posing on alpine rock. This is probably deposited here by glaciers
Mum and Dad are still pretty nimble! Check out the skiable north facing couloir above them. Too bad I didn’t bring skis