Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Climbing and baking

Weary of tearing basements apart and getting rid of water damage, we decided we needed a break. We also realized that we hadn't actually gone out for a proper hike in a while. So, where to go? Much of the Kananasksis area including virtually every road access is closed due to all the flooding of last week. One hike that is accessible is Mount Lady MacDonald, which we last climbed back in October, 2011. It's bigger and more ornery that we really wanted as a season opener, but it's what's available.

So up we went on Canada Day, a day that turned out to be the hottest day of the year. It was 24° at 10:30 AM when we started walking, 29° at the top up 880 m (2,890') at 2 PM, and 33° back at the car at 5 PM.

There's lots to like about this hike -- with the best being the increasingly good views as you climb -- but it is indeed a relentlessly steep uphill slog.

There were a couple of spots to see the destruction wrought by the floods.
Red house dangles 
And this is after it has been partially cleared up
You can't park at the "normal" trailhead; that parking lot has been washed down to Calgary. Instead we parked up in Silvertip and got to the trail via the Montane Traverse.

Given that it was Canada Day, all the way up we could hear marching bands playing, which is an interesting way to be in the wilderness.
The parade's down there 
KC and Monty take one of many, many breaks 
Looking up into Banff 
The Town of Canmore below. Didn't look like this last week. 
The Three Sisters
As usual, we quit at the soon-to-be-demolished tea house and helipad. At least 5 others continued the additional 300 vertical meters to the dangerous knife edge ridge and the summit.
4 people in this photo; 2 on the summit, 2 on the right ridge
Given how much is closed, it was busy on the trail. We ran into a total of 12 people coming down who had camped up there overnight, a guy going up to camp, a pair of mountain bikers working their way up (camping and mountain biking are illegal on this trail) -- and a paraglider heading up to launch from the helipad.

Not much wildlife today. Too hot for the pikas to be out. One lone visit from a Golden Mantled Ground Squirrel who tried to steal my lunch.
Surveying his domain 
Getting mad at a dog
The last time we did this hike it was only about 15° and sunny, and we made it up in 90 min. This time it took 2.5 hrs to get up. I blame the heat. Being the first hike of the season had nothing to do with it.

1 comment:

Claudia said...

*smiles* wonderful commentary .... I feel like I'm there, wherever you go.