Autumn in the Rocky Mountains 2

Autumn in the Rocky Mountains 2

At the Sunshine ski area, just north of Banff, in summer a shuttle bus takes hikers up to the alpine meadows.

To hike up the steep road is quite a noble (and healthy) concept but not wise if you’re here to make some photographic masterpieces. Which is what we all want to save our energy for, I presume?

Once in the open meadows, the bus unloads and you’re on your own. After about a kilometer hiking, there are three small lakes: Rock Lake, Grizzly Lake and Larch Lake.

I believe these pretty lakes are technically in British Columbia. We’re right on the Continental Divide and by hiking along the divide for a few hours, one can be at Mt. Assiniboine.

We were very lucky. The alpine larch was at peak colour: a deep vibrant gold. This doesn’t usually last very long, one or two weeks depending on the weather.

Alpine larch is a sub-species which prefers alpine meadows. Like other larch/tamarack species, it is a deciduous tree which loses its needles in the late fall. What makes them so attractive is the scenic setting in which they typically have their moment of glory.

This image was taken with the 17-40 zoom and the lens was stopped way down to achieve the required depth of field. Shutter speed was slow so my tripod was put to work.

It was windy so it took some patience to get the right moment.

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