Summer-like temperatures and bright sunny skies inspired me to put aside the snowshoes and oil up the old hiking boots for my first hiking trip of the season.
Living in Canmore, and especially this year with our dry winter, some trails are enjoyable almost year round for hiking and scrambling. One of the first big peaks to really dry out is Mt. Lady MacDonald, and I wasn’t the only one who decided to get out and stretch the old legs on Saturday. There were many other groups making their way towards the summit and while most (including myself) decided to peak out at the abandoned Tea House, a few dedicated individuals scrambled the last couple hundred meters of elevation to gain the peak. Most of the lower trail was dry and snow/ice free, there were a couple of slippery sections to watch out for on the last couple of switchbacks heading up to the tea house ridge.
This trail is amazing for panoramic views up and down the valley and offers a great perspective on the town of Canmore. You can see the entire town laid out at your feet and it is great fun to try and pick out your house or hotel from your bird’s eye view. While strenuous and steep in some sections, the hike is very enjoyable and its proximity to town means that it is one of the most accessible mountain trails of any in the valley. I make a point of hiking this route every year, as it is great early season training for a summer’s worth of backpacking trips. Often you can spot Big Horn Sheep, Marmots, and Golden Eagles along the mountain’s flanks, however this weekend the only close encounter I had with the Rockies’ famous wildlife was with a hitchhiking Tick who decided to follow me home. He didn’t make it…
We’ve had a lot of interest in all of our hiking and backpacking trips coming up this summer and it is definitely time to start planning summer adventures and vacations! We’ll be at the Calgary Outdoor Adventure Show this weekend (Mar. 27th – 28th/10) at the BMO Center in Stampede Park. Drop by and have a chat, or feel free to give us a call at the office if you would like some suggestions of how best to get out and enjoy these beautiful mountains at any time of year!
Hope to see you in the Mountains!