Wednesday, July 18, 2018

A Different Iron Path

So I have never been on a via ferrata in my life, and now I've done two routes within about as many weeks! I made a return visit to Mount Norquay and checked out the Ridgewalker tour, which was of course fabulous, however I did find it to be much more mellow than the Summiteer. If you are unsure if you would like an adventure such as this, I would suggest trying the Ridgewalker as a great introduction to the whole climbing experience. The exposure is minimal, there is only one major feature to tackle, plus it is an amazing way to spend a day and meet some really cool people.

Can you spot the climbers?

The hanging bridge, from below.

Crossing the hanging bridge.

This lovely family was visiting from Missouri!

The views never get old!

The panorama from high up on Norquay is stunning, scaling the Rockies limestone is super fun, and the entire set-up in general is incredibly well done. The Mount Norquay Via Ferrata is one activity that I would highly recommend, if you are looking for something unique to do while visiting the Bow Valley!


Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Lake Country a.k.a. K-Country

This past weekend, my friend Julie and I headed out into Kananaskis and enjoyed some lovely lake time. Not only was I excited to ogle three gorgeous alpine lakes, but the Galatea Creek trail was virtually destroyed in the flooding in 2013, so I was curious to see how it had changed since the last time I was up there (about 9 years ago!). The early morning weather was variable, and the clouds had opened up by the time we reached the parking lot, where we spent 30 minutes or so in the 4-Runner waiting out the rain. Le soleil finally peeked through though, and by 9:30 we made a break for the trailhead.

Mother Nature's devastation remains evident along the creek bed, however the incredible trail rebuilding efforts meant that the hiking was marvelous through the lush forest. The spa-like background sounds of Galatea Creek were mesmerizing, but of course the real eye candy began at Lillian Lake, which is as clear and deep jewel green as it ever was!

The west shore of this gem is where we stopped for lunch, and we quizzed out a fly-fisherman who was casting nearby. After nearly an hour of learning about belly boats and cutthroat trout while we ate and basked in the patchy sunshine, we continued on up to Lower and Upper Galatea Lakes.

This sign is slightly incorrect.... distance is more
like 2 km to the lower lake!

Lower Galatea Lake

Upper Galatea Lake

The day was absolutely fantastic - perfect temps, great company, stellar landscape.... The only caution I have for any of you who would like to check these lakes out is, for some unknown reason the distances shown on the trail signs (and in some guidebooks) are rather skewed. We had a GPS with us, and we cross-referenced with another party with whom we chatted upon our return to the parking lot.... the round trip ended up being almost 24km, including just over 8 km to get to Lillian Lake itself. So make sure you are prepared, that's all. The signage and various printed material leads you to believe it's only around 5.5 km to Lillian Lake - an understatement which really took its toll on some of the people we met along the way.


Monday, July 2, 2018

Field Days!

This past couple of weeks have taken me even further west, where I've stomped and scrambled around in the vicinity of Field, BC.

I signed up for one of the Burgess Shale hikes last weekend, and it was absolutely AWESOME. The Mount Stephen trilobite beds are a fascinating, protected area on the side of the mountain high above the townsite. The slog up to the fossil paradise is steep, and our wiry, spunky, informative guide David kept us entertained by feeding us bits of cambrian trivia the entire way. This is definitely a must-do for anyone interested in geology!

Next on the Yoho agenda was Paget Fire Lookout and Sherbrooke Lake. I've done this lovely wander a few times before, and a group of us from Canmore started out with the intent to check out a completely different trail.... but when we were overrun by the crowds at Plan A, we reverted to Plan B. B as in BEAUTIFUL.

The break from work has been fabulous, albeit not long enough.... it never is though.... *SIGH*..... I am hoping that this upcoming weekend holds more of the same, as the Rockies weather is looking great in almost every direction!