In denial of the recent onset of winter here in Alberta, I tried to catch Boom Lake one last time before it was frozen solid for the winter season. So I called my friend @ryanclennett, packed coffee, Baileys and a few too many layers in my favorite daypack –  Osprey Women’s Tempest 30 pack and headed for the hills… or rather, headed for the mountains.

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An early morning departure to the mountains for a lackluster sunrise in Banff allowed us to be the first people at the trailhead with a fresh coat of snow. Located just off of the Trans-Canada along Highway 93, the 10km Boom Lake trail in the summer provides a perfect first trail run and in the winter a beautiful snowshoe. My lack of acceptance for the colder season left me without snowshoes and the first half of the trail was relatively shallow snow. Just past the halfway point, it took a turn for the deeper but fortunately, our spirits were high even when our improper footwear left our toes a little damp. We quickly arrived at the shore of the lake only to find that we were a week or so too late and the lake had recently iced over and was covered in snow.

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Marching along the shoreline we crossed a boulder field that may have left my shins a little bit worse for the wear but brought us to the perfect vantage point to have a snack and a warm drink and take in the views. The lake may not have been open but the serenity definably made up for it. After an hour or so of chatting and snacking we heard the first sound of company and made our way off of the lake only to run into a couple from Texas in search of snow – to their luck they found a plethora of it, we handed over the lake and made the trek out in search of lunch. A few kilometers out from the lake we ran into 30 or so snowshoers that we really could have used a few hours earlier to pack down the trail for us.

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One of the many benefits to hiking out to Boom Lake is that mere minutes down the road resides Storm Mountain Lodge – one of the coziest lodges in the Alberta Rockies. A cup (or two or three) of coffee and a bowl of chicken potpie fireside was just what my toes needed to warm up.

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© Ryan Clennett

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