Saturday, 6 October 2012

The last warm hike of the summer

This was the week that summer ended. On Monday, it was 24°. On Tuesday it poured rain, and on Wednesday, with a high of 4°, it snowed about 10 cm, and with temps never about 10°, the snow stuck around until Friday (and there's still some in the shadier places).

We saw this coming and last Friday, when it was 23°, did a hike we have wanted to do since we moved here: we walked out of our house, picked up the Montane Traverse Trail, and walked across to Canmore at Cougar Creek, a distance of 9.4 km. I stashed our bikes over there, and we rode the 7 km back on the paved bike paths.

This isn't a spectacular hike, but rather a pleasant and fairly long wander through the forest with occasionally pretty views across the valley, which were especially nice with the fall colours.
The Three Sisters 
Mt. Lougheed over Wind Ridge 
Down the valley 
Fall colour 
The end at Cougar Creek
This trail is more popular with mountain bikers than hikers, and it cuts through a wildlife corridor where access is restricted to just the trail. We saw virtually no wildlife on the hike, other than 2 squirrels. The trail skirts the Silvertip Golf Course where there have been bear sightings this week. There's a great photo on the WildSmart Bow Valley Facebook page, but I can't repost it here.

Alas, as I noted it snowed 10 cm on Wednesday, and the highest temperature I see in the forecast is 14°, with lots of chilly lows. We hiked in shorts and were hot; I'm betting that's the last of that hiking outfit for the year. Traditionally, our last hike each year is within a few days of Oct 15. Last year, we climbed Lady Mac, and may do it again as it's not a trail that collects snow. We're sliding into "prep for Maui" mode as the hiking season winds down.

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