Twin Lakes
On 4 March 2017, Stephane Champoussin, Zosia Zgolak and I used AT gear to ski to Twin Lakes in Alberta's Banff National Park as described in Chic Scott's Ski Trails in the Canadian Rockies.  Starting from a plowed pullout near the junction of Highway 93 and Trans Canada Highway, we walked through a gate in the fence and then skied on a snow-covered road to the actual trailhead (kiosk) for Twin Lakes.  From there, we crossed Altrude Creek before settling into a long and monotonous climb up the trail which undulates a fair bit and offers little in the way of views.  We eventually lost the trail altogether at some glades before the lower lake, but route-finding was not too difficult from there.  After stopping briefly at the lower lake, we backtracked a little before climbing up through somewhat thick forest to reach the upper lake.  With little to see because of the snowy weather, we promptly headed back the way we came.

The return ski was both challenging and frustrating.  There are virtually no openings in the forest to allow for any ski turns while the trail is quite narrow and steep in places.  I probably wiped out about a dozen times on my way down including one particularly painful face plant where I landed on my camera bag and re-aggravated an old rib injury.  The worst aspect of the descent was having to climb over all the little uphill sections along the way.  None of these sections by themselves are worth the extra effort to re-apply climbing skins, but  the frequent need to herringbone or side-step made for a most aggravating and wearisome descent.  When we returned to the plowed pullout, there was another vehicle idling nearby for no apparent reason.  To the vehicle's occupants, we must have looked like three lost skiers who had taken a wrong turn after descending from Sunshine Village.  This description might not necessarily be invalid after our less-than-memorable ski tour to Twin Lakes.
Pliers would be helpful to open the gate... Stephane and Zosia approach a gate in the fence near the parking area.
It's not too late here to turn around... Stephane follows Zosia to the bridge over Altrude Creek before entering the forest.
Kudos to Zosia and Stephane for breaking trail most of the way! The forest thins out a bit just before the lakes.  Storm Mountain is partly visible above the trees.
Sigh...another snowy day in Banff National Park. Sonny arrives at the lower of the Twin Lakes.

Photo courtesy of Zosia Zgolak

I don't think we're on a trail anymore... Stephane breaks trail on his way to the upper of the Twin Lakes.

Photo courtesy of Zosia Zgolak

This is what we came here to see...LOL!!! Zosia and Stephane take a break at the upper of the Twin Lakes.
Not recommended in ANY season! Total Distance:  18.1 kilometres
Round-Trip Time:  8 hours 11 minutes
Net Elevation Gain to upper of Twin Lakes:  641 metres

GPX Data