This trip provided exactly what I craved: a long hike in the alpine with a couple of fun scrambles (along safe routes) to nearby summits.
11:00 am. I set my tent, hang my food, drop most of my gear, and continue northeast along the trail over Boulder Pass (2345 m) and around Ptarmigan Lake.
3:00 pm. I reach Deception Pass (2485 m) and stop for a half hour break. I meet a large guided group headed for the lodge as well as a group on horseback.
3:30 pm. I leave the trail and ascend the southwest face of Fossil Mountain. As described in the guidebook, the route is mostly loose scree.
6:30 pm. I arrive at the tent at the Hidden Lake campground, cook dinner, and relax. It rains overnight.
7:30 am. I head north to Hidden Lake and west to gain Richardson's southwest ridge.
9:00 am. I reach the ridge crest. The sky has clouded over, a heavy wind blows over the north side of the ridge, and rain is falling. I stop to see what the weather holds: heavy rain and fog can be seen across the valley over Lake Louise and Mount Temple. If the weather worsens I will descend.
9:45 am. The sky begins clearing. The rock dries almost instantly. I resume the climb and start traversing the ridge. The route involves an enjoyable combination of hiking, scrambling over easy rock along the ridge crest, climbing scree, and kicking steps up 45° snow.
1:00 pm. I begin the hike out.
2:30 pm. I arrive in the parking lot, where a friendly German couple offers me a lift to the Lake Louise village.
4:20 pm. Bus leaves the Lake Louise village.
6:50 pm. Arrival in Calgary.