Bow Glacier Falls: The Right Mix of Everything (Except Difficulty)

Looking to do a hike that our daughter would enjoy… one that lacked the “spicy-ness” of our regular adventures… we settled on Bow Glacier Falls. And what a gem it was! It lies across the valley from Helen Lake & Cirque Peak, at the turn out to Num Ti Jah Lodge.

Bow Glacier melts into the small Iceberg Lake and then tumbles over the cliff through Bow Glacier Falls. Its incredible volume of water is the source of the mighty Bow River that heads to Banff, Canmore, Calgary and beyond, and it’s a beauty!

This is a hike with the right blend of everything for a wonderful day: Read More

Sarrail Ridge: The Gem beyond Rawson Lake

One of the popular beginner day hikes in K-Country is Rawson Lake, a beautiful hike or snowshoe up to a perfect alpine lake. The lake is deep and its colour is beautiful. The hike to that point is not too long or demanding, and it starts along the rolling shoreline of another Kananaskis gem: Upper Kananaskis Lake. Read More

Where Do We Get Our Inspiration?

I’ve been meaning to build up a resources section for a while for my readers, and store it for handy access in the Playful Bits section of my blog’s website.

Every good adventure starts with careful planning and research.

If you are planning a trip to the Bow Valley corridor, or want to explore the adventures that can be had in the Rocky Mountains here in Canada, these resources will help you to do that at your own speed, distance & risk level and they will inspire you along the way! Read More

The Strange Creatures Hidden Up Mount Stephen

Imagine this…  a rocky shelf overhangs a shallow ocean floor somewhere near the equator, nestled in mud banks at the base of a tall cliff. Deep in the recesses of the dark space underneath lies a protected space, a sanctuary of sorts.

Strange looking creatures inhabit the waters around this place. Right out of science fiction, like the oddest  characters out of a Star Wars Cantina Bar scene, predators & prey travel through its murky depths with bizarre tentacles flailing about. Read More

Not Fairview Mountain— GREAT-view Mountain!

Wanting to get clear of the forest fire smoke haze that had enshrouded Canmore for so many days from the Verdant Valley forest fire, we headed back to the Lake Louise area, getting to the trailhead super early to beat the crowds. Our destination was the peak of Fairview Mountain… and what incredible, far more than “fair” views it had! Read More

Un-Peaked Eiffel Peak

I have to confess that I find terrific inspiration from the humour, the evocative descriptions, the language and the sensibilities of the Copelands, authors of some of our favourite hiking guide books (Don’t Waste Your Time in the Canadian Rockies, and Where The Locals Hike). They have written,

“The philosopher William James believed addiction expresses a yearning for the divine. It’s an illuminating insight into why many of us crave mountain adventure and pursue it with unflagging zeal. We ascend thirstily, at every opportunity, not just for the vistas or the sense of accomplishment, but for the bliss, the rapture, the ineffable ecstasy that well up within us during intimate communion with mountain wilderness. Often those feelings are hard won, requiring an exhaustive effort.”

Though they didn’t write this about Eiffel Peak, they very well could have. The effort it takes to hike and scramble to its summit, the vistas and views that you gain on its flanks of the scenery far below, and the way it delivers you from the clutches of the Moraine Lake & Sentinel Pass hoards is most certainly worthy of a good dose of awe and reverence, a healthy dose of accomplishment, and a shot of adrenaline from pushing the limits.

That being said, this is the first hike/scramble of which I did not make it to the top. Read More

Old Goat Glacier on a Smoky Afternoon

The smoke from the forest fires has been a bit much here, lately. It’s certainly a natural part of our world, living where we do, perched on the edge of vast wilderness areas. But it has a profound effect on what you can do physically, where you can go, and what views you can see.

In the evenings, the smoke sinks into the valley bottoms, coating things in ash, and creating such a thick, masking blanket that the mountains that normally dominate our landscape, disappear and flit in and out like ghostly shadows on the horizon.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, we had to set out late in the day, arriving at the trailhead at about 3pm, opting for a late hike up to Old Goat Glacier and a dinner picnic. Read More

Spicy Tent Ridge

I know I’ve said it over and over again, but there’s just nothing like a good ridge walk for the exhilarating, prolonged views. You get the hard climbing done early, and on Tent Ridge, one of the iconic ridge walks in K-Country, you are in the views for hours!

The Tent Ridge parking is in a turn-out of sorts along the access road to the Mount Shark Ski Area. The trail in is easy to find, back down the road about 100m, and contrary to what older guide books may have you believe, it is an easy trail to find and follow now that it has been boot beaten down by the passage of many feet over time. And what feet those are! From ultra runners (these people are human machines and we were passed by two on this day!) to ski teams of kids doing dry land training, and from hikers to scramblers to dog walkers, they’ve been here! Read More

King Creek Ridge & Canyon Loop

Fossils under foot and an accidental plunge were the jewels on the crown of this day that saw us hiking up King Creek Ridge, scrambling to connect it to King Creek Canyon, and then exploring the canyon itself.

Yesterday, we headed southeast into Kananaskis Country from Canmore to escape the smoke and haze from the Verdant Valley forest fire, west of Banff, that’s currently burning near here. Forest fires are both a blessing and a curse, and they can be a normal part of our summers here. One of the great things about Canada is that we have great swaths of forests and huge tracts of wilderness… along with some crazy storms. A recent bolt of lightning caused the fire in a back country wilderness section of Banff National Park that is burning near us now on the other side of the Banff townsite & Sunshine Ski Hill. Read More

Watermelon Snow and The Dynamic Landscape of the Burstall Pass Hike

Burstall Pass is one of my favourite Kananaskis hikes partly because it gets you up into a stunning alpine meadow relatively easily, but mostly because it has a fun, dynamic delta crossing. The run-off meltwaters from the Robertson glacier cascade down through a great big gravel fan of a marshland, passing through the landscape in a ton of shallow little meltwater streams, and every year the trail through that area changes. Read More