Lake Oesa
Day 1 of a two-day trip


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Distance - 9.3km Elevation gain - 345m
3:38 (moving) return

This trip started with beautiful weather, and we headed right up to Lake Oesa for our first day.
The hike begins by curving halfway around Lake O'Hara, and then ascending some steady switchbacks to crest the first lookout point.

Odaray Mountain across Lake O'Hara.

Schaffer Ridge to the south of the lake.

McArthur Pass and the vibrant lake.

Brilliant colour in Lake O'Hara.

Looking out over the lake.

The group hikes through the rockpile.

Beyond the first lookout, the lakes start. We pass three lakes and a large waterfall on the way up to Lake Oesa, each one a different colour.
We start at Yukness Lake, a shallow green pool with no outlet (the water seeps underground and re-emerges to form the Falls of the Seven Veils).
Above Yukness Lake is Victoria Falls, and the second steep ascent alongside the waterfall. We stopped for a break beside the falls, which was also great to cool off.

Yukness Lake in the rock basin.

Looking down on Yukness Lake.

Looking at the route above Yukness,

The good trail continues through the talus.

Victoria Falls flowing down the hillside.

The top of the waterfall, Yukness, and O'Hara.

The group hikes above the falls.

Looking up the waterfall.

Glacier and Ringrose Peaks at the top of the valley.

Mount Huber above us to the north.

At the top of the second headwall, the grade eases and we get into the upper lakes. Victoria Lake is a small clear green pool in the larches.
Above Victoria, the trail passes closely beside Lefroy Lake, which is bluer, and right at treeline, with the south side a talus slope.

Victoria Lake and the distant Ringrose Peak.

Victoria Lake and the larches.

Victoria Lake from above.

Victoria Lake at the top of the waterfall.

Paving stone save the marshy ground.

Sparkling Lefroy Lake.

Above Lefroy Lake, we ascend a final step of elevation, and then approach Lake Oesa.
Lake Oesa is large, cyan-blue, and fills a cirque below a ring of spectacular towering mountains.
We had lunch on the rocks by the lake, which was thankfully not too buggy. I also took roughly a billion photos of the lake, which is just spectacular.

Looking down on Lefroy Lake.

The trail ascends the final hillside.

Classic Grassi staircase through the meadow.

A first glimpse of Lake Oesa.

Pano of Lake Oesa from the rocks. Edge of Mount Huber at left, then Mount Lefroy, Glacier Peak (with snow), Ringrose Peak (isolated), and part of Yukness Mountain.

Mount Lefroy and Glacier Peak.

Ringrose Peak and some large couloirs.

The lakeshore.

The group hikes down to the lake.

Looking down to the lake.

More spectacular lake photos.

One more pano from the lakeshore, showing all the incredible colour.

The rest of the group hikes in to the lake.

The trail above the lake.

We had a long lunch at Lake Oesa, and then returned the same way. The view is just as nice coming back, with different angles on some of the pretty lakes.

Looking down to Lefroy Lake.

Very nice trail through the meadow.

Victoria Lake and Odaray Mountain.

The group hikes down the falls trail.

A plaque commemorating Lawrence Grassi's trails.

The nice stone-built staircase.

Hiking along the trail down.

Looking back down to Lake O'Hara.

Lake O'Hara from the lookout.

Lake O'Hara from the end falls.

Lake O'Hara and Wiwaxy Gap.

A last look up to the Oesa valley.

Photos taken by Rachel

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