Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Group Access Only

Consolation Lake
Watercolour and oil pastel
©2019 Charlene Brown

This lake is an easy climb up from Moraine Lake, but I haven’t been there since 1971, despite having been to Moraine Lake several times.
 This is because of the Group Access regulations.  Hikers are legally required to travel in “a tight group of four or more” when Group Access is in effect (see map below, left) because of the danger of grizzly bears.

The Consolation Lakes were given this name by someone who had hiked in to Moraine Lake, found it totally unimpressive, and wandered around a bit trying to find something sufficiently spectacular to justify all the trouble he’d taken to get there. He must have arrived in June or early July, when Moraine Lake was newly ice-free and the water level was very low.  At that time of year the lake is sometimes quite small and surrounded by a wide mud slope because the glaciers hanging above it haven’t started to melt. The Consolation Lakes are somehow less reliant on glacier meltwater, and have a year-round alpine fen.