There is still a ton of snow up high. Some of our favourite places (like C Level Cirque) have significant avalanche danger. Even Heart Mountain still has snow patches on it, and the traction there is so poor at the best of times I'm not going back there until it has fully dried out. All the rain means traveling in creekbeds or near river courses is unwise. This means that some usual early season canyon haunts like Grotto or Jura could be dicy.
So we headed to another popular early season hike, which depending on who you talk to is called Raven's End, Yamnuska Ridge, or the base of the Yam Cliffs. We were last up here in the spring of 2009. It's still popular. On a Thursday, we probably saw 25 hikers, including one group of 12 women, plus two wonderful dogs (Pallisar, a golden retriever, and Charlie, a yellow lab).
The trail has only a few true muddy patches, but a lot of it is what I would call "greasy", with a wet trail making for occasional slippery footing.
|Near the start. The goal is the meeting of the cliff and the ridge|
|One of 3 we saw today|
|Heart Mountain in the centre|
|The target: where the forest meets the cliffs|
|Looking east toward Calgary|
|KC photographs flowers|
The above photo is an interesting perspective. Yamnuska looks like a pancake flat cliff from below. Bu the higher you get, the more you can see how curved it is.
Once again, we got to see behind the ridge into the CMC Valley. It was named after the Calgary Mountaineering Club because they climb the cliffs in the valley.
|Big cliffs lie behind|
|Note the dude in the circle|
They said it wouldn't rain today. They lied.
This is a nice but popular hike. It's always a good early season choice as it is snow free early. If the monsoon rains would stop here, maybe the trail would even dry out.