Thursday, 21 July 2011

The Trail's Getting Wrecked at Jumping Pound Summit

The Jumping Pound Summit trail has always been one of my faves, and we've been up it several times in the last few years.

The first 500 m of the trail crosses a creek and historically been kinda wet but I've never found it to be a problem. We took Monty up there today, and what a mess someone is making of that first 500 m. It seems as if they want to improve the drainage, but it's clear they did not get a civil engineer involved in the design of the "improvements". They have dug a 2' deep trench all along the uphill side of the trail, and in a lot of sections, on the downhill side of the trail, too. Yes, they are putting in culverts, but the ditches are a disaster waiting to happen.
2' gouge on the uphill side only (shadows enhanced) 
Whacking huge ditches on both sides
This is stupid. In some places there is less than 2' of trail width left. If consequential water runs in these ditches (and the way they've dug them, expect consequential water to collect in them) the trail will erode instantly. This used to be a pleasant path through the forest. It's now being wrecked by "improvements". This is shades of how the park near my old house in Calgary was wrecked.

And water did collect in the ditches today. We delayed our start till after lunch because the Canmore forecast called for cloud in the AM with better weather in the PM. Well, it dawned mostly sunny, and the afternoon saw wind, cold temps and showers moving through. We were rained on starting at the lookout bench on the way up, but the rain stopped by the time we hit the summit.
Looking northwest up the ridge 
Moose Mountain 
Cox Hill. Yamnuska in the centre
More of Cox Hill
Showers seemed to come and go all day, and we watched a cool thunderstorm beat the area north of Cochrane.
A very big cloud
The flowers were out in force today. KC had a lot of fun shooting flower photos.
Dramatic photo of flowers with an out of focus mountain 
Small succulent things
Something red 
Something purple
Cool seed pods with out of focus people 
Of course, we got Monty to the top of a mountain.
This hike usually isn't great for critters, and today was no exception. We saw a track that could have been a wolf, but could have just been a big dog. On the Sibbald Creek trail we saw some yellow marmots scamper across the road. We saw a deer cross the road on Hwy 40. Up on the top of the mountain in the meadows, we saw pocket gopher mounds, and while we heard reports of marmots, only saw columbian ground squirrels.
Fat boy, fat boy, whatcha gonna do?
I do hope they fix the "improvements" this trail they've done to this trail in some way. I used to like the wet section, and loved seeing lots of animal tracks in the mud. This construction has taken the wilderness out of the trail.

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