The Elizabeth Parker Hut is nestled in a valley surrounded by the peaks around Lake O'Hara, As one of the ACC's most popular huts, it is accessible by a 12km bus ride and short stroll. The vistas and daily objectives are equally as accessible thanks to the trailblazing efforts of Lawrence Grassi, his contemporaries, and many since to create routes suitable to the average traveller, including children.
September is a particularly special time of year at the hut as the Larches are in full fall colors. As well, this year offered a mix of sunny days, snowy days, and nightly viewings of STEVE (Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement) which looks like the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights), but in the southern sky - apparently very rare. Also rare for flatlanders, were sightings of mountain goats, pika, and ptarmigan.
"Something I always look forward to when mountain hiking is spotting one or more mountain goats, my favourite Rockies animal. It was Wednesday afternoon, my last day hiking, and I was despairing of finding one before leaving. Faisel, a hiker and photographer, and I had completed the Wiwaxy Gap climb and Huber ledges, viewed Lake Oesa, and were on the narrow trail coming down from the Yukness ledges in late afternoon when we almost literally bumped into a big male mountain goat right on the trail as we came around a rocky shoulder! The goat quickly headed down off the trail onto the steep slope where there was some light cover of scattered small trees and shrubs. Absolutely no time to grab a photo! He had no intention of posing for an Instagram post! However, we did spy him again well above us as we returned to the EP hut down East Opabin trail below his refuge. He was watching us. So I was thrilled to have seen a mountain goat yet again, and so close!" - Susan Bell