Tuesday, 19 July 2011

West Wind Pass with Monty

In my ongoing quest to convince my friend Monty that we live in paradise, we took him up my favourite hike in the neighbourhood, West Wind Pass.

The weather forecast was for a good morning, getting worse in the afternoon, and they were pretty bang on. We targeted an early-ish start. The morning was sunny and nice, the temp perfect for toiling up the hill.
Monty & KC nearing the top
We were told by some folks we met on the way up that there were a dozen sheep at the pass, but we found none. We could have sworn we heard pika squeaks but endless searching turned up none.
Looking across the pass to the Rimwall
The sun on West Wind Ridge; the Little Sister peeks over the top
Alas, all we saw were golden mantled ground squirrels, and only one or two of them.

While the hike up was very nice, the wind was of course blasting at the pass level. As we ate lunch, we watched a thunderstorm brewing out on the Morley Flats. We knew the forecast was to turn sour, so started to head down around 1 PM, and indeed there were storm clouds brewing to the south.
Ominous blackness on the way
However, we got down in plenty of time. We toured Monty down the valley a ways and ran across a lot of smoke from the start of the northern guard fire burn on the Buller Creek prescribed fire. We heard on Sunday at Parks Day in Bow Valley Provincial Park that the fire was to be started this week.

It started raining about 2:30 or so as we drove past the base of the West Wind Pass trail on our way back to home. There was at least one party of 6 climbing the Windtower today. We saw them going up, and also going down. I hope they made if off before the rains came. The trail was already wet/damp in the AM from last night's rains, tree roots were slippery and there were a few greasy spots on the trail. By the time we got to Canmore, there was thunder and lightning and it was pouring.

No comments: