Monday, August 20, 2012

Eye candy....

Mmmmm mmmm, this past weekend was spent in some spectacular scenery! Saturday was a chill stroll up Paradise Valley.....

Lake Annette shoreline.
What a lunch spot!


Sometimes, you just gotta be your OWN superhero!

Sunday was equally as warm, but a little overcast, and we covered about 23km (return) worth of gorgeous ground.


Cool boulder field below the Molar Pass headwall.

What a view, from Molar Pass!
And today.... back to reality. Sadly. But maybe the weather Gods will turn their frowns upside down and smile on us again this coming weekend!! Cross your fingers!! I so want to spend more time in the mountains!


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Just can't get enough...

Think 'Depeche Mode'...!! LOL! What a flashback, hey! But a catchy little tune, ain't it! And it makes me giggle every time I hear it!

Just like I giggle every time I get to see something like this....

The stunning views from Nigel Pass.

I stopped at the Rampart Creek Hostel this morning, just north of Saskatchewan River Crossing, and picked up my friend Darcie who joined me for a quick trip up to Nigel Pass.

We couldn't have asked for a nicer day! The sun was shining and the temps were perfect. And the trail was gorgeous!

The scenery was stunning the entire way, and it was cool to see the Brazeau River headwaters. It may also be a thought for next time, to either make another day-trip over Nigel and go check out Cataract Pass, or to full-on backpack over to Jonas Pass and beyond. Wow. There is so much to do, and I just can't get enough!!


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Mars on the prairies...?

I was in Medicine Hat last weekend, and a couple of friends and I went for a bike cruise out to see these neat, unique geological features.

This area is called Red Rock Coulee, and until I read about it a few years ago in an obscure guide book, I had no idea it existed.

During a previous visit with the parents, we took a drive and stopped here - so it wasn't the first time I've been. It's super cool and is definitely worth seeing more than once!

Well yesterday and today are much needed 'catch-up-on-all-the-stuff-I-have-ignored-for-two-months' days - boy, who knew one person, living alone, could inadvertently create such a mess!! LOL! Happily though, I'm balancing it out with tomorrow being another mountain day... love it... **SIGH**  Oh how I wish EVERY day could be a play day!!


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Mmmm, I love sweet potatoes!

And yet another stellar day was had in the Rockies!! Woot! On Monday, my friend Michael suggested we take a hike (LOL!) to an amazing lake along the Icefields Parkway, and today he had another kick-ass idea - we did the Yam Traverse! So fun!!

I put my rain jacket on at this point...
...and I left it on until we got to the summit! Of course it quit raining...

The weather started out a little 'iffy'... we got rained on and seriously windblown part way along the ascent. Until of course, I unloaded my pack, dug my rain jacket out of the very bottom, put it on, and sweltered in it! Within about 15 minutes, the squall blew over and we had sunshine and blue skies the rest of the day.

The crux.
The final ridge below the summit.
Ahhhhh! Napping on the summit of Mt Yamnuska... Life is good!
Traversing to the west.
Skiing the scree.... fastest 200m descent you'll ever make!!

I've done this cool little traverse once before... but it was well, well worth it to do it again. Especially with such great company! Fantastic way to spend a day! Yeah!


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Sunshine, on my shoulders....

.... makes me sunburnt!!! But HAPPY! LOL!! Monday was a wickedly gorgeous day, and I spent it with two friends, on a seriously fun hike. There was a creek crossing, some bushwhacking, scrambling, and my personal favorite (NOT) - a scree slope. But the reward was soooooo worth the effort I can't even begin to describe it!

The starting point....

Valley view!

Creek crossing.... much easier at 10am than 3pm!!

Token scree slope.

Almost there!

Some of you back-country lovin' folk will be able to guess the vicinity of this paradise.... However, while the destination is on most maps, the "trail" is unmarked. And I've been sworn to secrecy by Michael so I'm not actually going to name the location. He's been there multiple times and has yet to see another person, and I agreed to try to keep it that way. Although, I honestly couldn't get you there, even if I tried... remember how I said bushwhacking was involved?? Hee hee! I was paying attention more to not slipping over the edge of an embankment as opposed to paying attention to where we were going!

Ta da!! Gorgeous beyond belief!
Now it's back to work for a day, then Wednesday I'm joining up with these same peeps for the Yamnuska Traverse. So looking forward to it!! Yaayyyyy for play time!! Can't get enough!


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Some things never get old....

Like the view of the Columbia Icefields.

Pictures don't do it justice!

Or the company of great friends.

Bighorn Canyon

Last weekend was an amazing one - I got out hiking a couple of days and was so lucky to spend time with some fun, fantastic people! I can't begin to describe how being in the mountains makes me feel.... free, grateful, humble, happy!!

Check out the marmot! He's no dummy - what a vantage point!

Quite the backdrop.

Wilcox Pass

Erik wanted to meditate... so cool!

If all goes as planned, then the next six days should be bringing on more of the same. Yeah!! Love it! Can't get enough.