Pulpit Tarn
Banff Park
March 3, 2001

With a little planning and a lot of luck we reached the tarn at the base of Pulpit Peak on snowshoes.

We set off from the highway south of Hector Lake, and soon lost 75 metres when we dropped down to the Bow River valley. Here the valley opens up and provides views in all directions. When we reached the Bow River I thought it was the end of the trip. It was wider than I expected and the running water hadn't frozen over. Fortunately we found a log jam that provided us with a bridge to cross it.

After leaving the river behind we entered the woods and snowshoed up a drainage to the tarn. The tarn, of course, was snow-covered and may have even been dry. We climbed a short way above it where we could look across the valley. It was too cold to linger and we soon started back, retracing our steps.


Pulpit Peak is on the right. The tarn lies left in the bowl. Mouse over for a close-up.


The Bow River nearly stopped us.


A tiny clearing offers a view before we re-enter the trees.


The tarn is hidden under snow.


Above the tarn the view opens up.


It's possible to continue on but the terrain becomes increasingly difficult.


We continued for a short way before turning back.


Looking east across the valley we crossed. Mounts Andromache and Hector behind.


Pulpit Peak on the left


Unnamed peak to the west


Using the log jam to cross the Bow River on the way back


View of the valley looking south


82 N/9 Hector Lake

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