The beauty of the blogging world is that you meet fascinating people… people that you might not otherwise come across and experience in your day to day life. You have a common set of interests, similar outlooks on life, and share passions: it’s the perfect basis for a friendship. I met Keng online. We’ve followed each other’s blogs for a while now and he and his partner have now come up to the Canadian rockies to explore Kananaskis, Banff, Jasper, Yoho and beyond.
Keng and David have retired, sold their house, and taken to life on the road, travelling around in their well equipped RV. Keng and David On The Road tracks their exploits, the beauty they see and experience, the pitfalls and triumphs, the freedom and adventure of living a mobile life with no fixed address. So when they arrived in the Cochrane/Canmore area, we met up for a wonderful dinner and a hike, and got to see them in person for the first time.
Our goal was to take them on a hike that they might not otherwise experience, unless they were with a “local,” and we set our sights on Sparrowhawk Tarns.
Now, those of you that know mountains, know that rain at lower elevations quickly becomes snow as you head uphill during shoulder season. Ordinarily, we’d have been in full-on spring/summer mode… but spring has been rather fleeting, and a somewhat late arriver to the Bow Valley this year!
Best laid plans & all…. we set out to do a late spring hike that should have given us snow only at the very top of our elevation gain… but, as often happens in the mountains, the forecast was very, very wrong, and as a result, Keng & David did their first full on snow hike! Even though it happened mid June, it was still a truly Canadian experience. (Hopefully, they’ll forgive us, and we’ll see them again! Ha!)
Come along and see what we experienced together from the comfort of your cozy chair (if you’re sitting in the middle of a heat wave, you might really enjoy this)…
This is the point where the hike gets really interesting. You emerge from the forest and begin hiking up the boulder field. Mounting three big rises like the one in the next photo, you are into the views quickly, seeing the gorgeous Spray Lakes below on the side you’ve climbed, and three gorgeous tarns (alpine ponds) in front of you… on an ideal day. On this day, we saw nada. But what tremendous atmosphere!
At this point, our spikes were becoming high heeled shoes with the snowballs they were collecting underneath our heels from the packing snow. So we decided to call it off and turn back. We stopped here, in the shelter of the big boulder, for a brief tea and a refuelling snack of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (click the link to get to the recipe… they’re seriously the best homemade cookies, ever!), and then headed back downhill, very cautiously and very slowly, with a few tumbles along the way.
All in all, it was a fun day, despite its weather challenges, its intense physicality, and the fact that we never got up to our destination: those beautiful little tarns themselves. But, better safe than sorry. And David, thanks to a masterfully executed tumble, had the unexpected outcome of being amazed by Canadian Tire (where he had to buy himself a new hiking pole)! Go figure! You can read all about that, here: Canadian Tire Stores Don’t Just Sell Tires.
The next biggest challenge: will David & Keng ever hike with us again! Ha!