“It might be something in the alpine air, but for me there is an intangible element at play. This place beckons us to evolve. Like a rushing river, it washes you downstream and you can either enjoy the ride or hold onto the banks for dear life. For those who go with the current and keep their hearts open, the mountains become a place of inspiration, challenge and possibility.”
Yesterday was truly a great day, full of inspiration, challenge & possibility.
Due to circumstances outside of our control, we could not hike in the morning, taking advantage of the bluebird sky and the perfect weather conditions that the morning held. But we decided to throw caution to the wind, embrace the Copelands’ advice (authors of tons of “Don’t Waste Your Time” Rocky Mountain hiking guidebooks), and took to the trails late in the day with sights set on a dinner picnic on top of a mountain.
This was an inspired idea… it may be the long weekend here, celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday, and the crowds may be descending like flies on the carcass that is our Banff National Park and the towns of Banff & Canmore, but hike on the fringes of the mountain range in Kananaskis Country, on one of the longest days of the year, and hike late in the afternoon, and you can avoid the hoardes. It’s true!
We set out on the trailhead at 2:30pm and had the entire trail, the entire ridge, the entire mountain… to ourselves.
Come along for the hike and you’ll see a spectacular landscape greening up for summer, like a scene from the Emerald Isle (that’s a nod to the Irish electrician who was at our place in the morning), and alpine meadows bursting with a carpet of brightly coloured wildflowers, all fringed by magnificent mountains, just losing the ice and snow on their jagged peaks. The contrast of colours, the difficulty with which we trudged and scrambled up steep terrain, and the fact that we had the entire place to ourselves for five hours made for a truly spectacular end to our day.
With their little, easy-to-miss flowers, these wolf willow sage brush bushes have an incredibly overpowering, cloying scent, packing an stunning wallop on your olfactory senses!
Here are a few from that series… I didn’t even have to move to get all of these…
One of the things we love about hiking and scrambling up to the peaks around us is getting to know, intimately, these spectacular mountains from different view points. It’s like getting to know an old friend, better and better with every picnic shared, with every path explored, with every ascent and with every summit bagged.
All in all, it was a great day. We were back down to the trailhead by 8:30pm and back onto our deck with drinks by 9pm. Gotta love the way Canmore is such a tremendous Base Camp for adventure. Gotta love the way we have these wide open tracts of accessible wilderness in our amazing country. Gotta love Canada.
From Bill & me to all of you… Happy Canada Day! Here’s to many more adventures for us all in the future.
Eventually I will post about each of these:
Buller Passes Circuit
Mount Allan + Centennial Ridge
Mount Edith and Cory Passes
Heart Mountain Circuit
Old Goat Glacier
Trekking up a mountain’s shoulder, hiking through a flowering alpine meadow, snowshoeing through a dense pine forest, or taking in the 360 degree views from a ridge top vantage point make me feel alive. The experiences in these places give me a profound sense of space and place.
Travel does a similar thing, pushing me out of my comfort zone, exposing me to new experiences, new people and new ways of thinking; it also gives me that sense of space and place in this world.
I believe that life is lived in the contrasts: when you experience simplicity and complexity and life's ups and downs, whether they be physically in this world or mentally in your own personal inner landscape, you know that you are truly living.
The bigger they are, the more there is to explore!