Hiking in the Rockies

Before finding my way to running I was an obsessed hiker.  As soon as Kev and I moved to Calgary we started heading up to the mountains every single weekend.  I was overweight and not remotely fit but I wasn't doing it for that.  It didn't matter.  I just wanted to see what was 'over there' 'around the bend' or 'above the ridge'.  The sheer beauty of being outside overtook any care I had about my breathing (or lack of) or how slow I was climbing hills.  I was totally irrelevant in all the vastness surrounding me, and how I loved that fact.

Now we can trail run and see even more of the mountains.  We've been covering then extending routes we used to hike, it's amazing.

This was one of our first trails....check the reports for warnings and snow info.  Late May at Rockbound.  It's a firm nope!

We've been up close with Grizzlies a few times on our treks.  The first encounter was very early on when we thought the little brown blob in the distance might be a moose.  After getting closer (we were on the way back to the car) you can imagine our surprise when a fecking enormous bear popped out of the trees and walked right by.  He didn't care about us at all but I'll never forget him.

The second time we noticed bushes rustling off to the side of the path then hello - the bear stood up on hind legs less than 5 metres away.  This is an amazing sight and absolutely terrifying.  I ignored any and all bear safety advice and ran like a bitch, leaving Kev behind to be eaten.  We always carry bear spray, but still.

These were taken from a distance, from the car.

Last year on a snowshoeing trip to Ribbon Falls we saw a Lynx for the first time.  He was beautiful. We didn't have a camera with us, just the crappy phone.  You can still make out his fluffy ears.

Seeing wildlife in its natural habitat is a privilege.  This is their world and I am only visiting.

My favourite area has to be Yoho National Park.  The Iceline and Lake O'Hara are so ridiculously beautiful - pure hiker porn.  This day was mostly cloudy then we had a hallelujah moment when the sun hit every lake for just a few minutes at exactly the right time.  Then we had fairly intense storms.  Can't have it all!

For extra time in the mountains, insert camping.

We have quite a bit of winter around here, you need to find a way to get out and enjoy it.  Presenting -  snowshoeing.

I call all this my mountain therapy, there's nothing like it.


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