Oh these wonderful days of summer. Hot sun, long nights, where everything just feels like its bursting to be alive.
When June rolled around this year we hit the ground running. Since then our weeks have been a steady cycle of pack, fun trip, unpack, laundry and pack again. But all so worth it for the adventures we’ve had doing our most favourite things in the mountains we love.
Elk Lakes Hut, B.C.
In mid June, our good friend Andrea and I braved the early season mountains while Houston enjoyed a very different trip to Montana for a bachelor party. We backpacked to Elk Lakes Hut; an Alpine Club of Canada hut just on the other side of the Alberta/B.C. border from Peter Lougheed Provincial Park.
Starting at Elk Lakes trailhead in Kananaskis Provincial Park the trail (great cross country skiing in the winter!) winds it way through the forests eventually topping out at Elk Pass. The trail then descends directly down to the hut. At 9km it’s the perfect little warm-up for the season ahead.
Definitely an early season hike with cool temperatures, muddy wet trails and large mounds of snow to navigate through (snow which revealed very large (!) claw tracks!). All of which made the glass of wine, the bars of chocolate and the warm hut so perfect at the end of the day.
Biking Fernie, B.C.
Fernie-a mountain biking mecca! We arrived at this beautiful little mountain town and the place was crawling with bikes-our version of heaven! A mountain biking race was taking place the day after we planned to ride, which resulted in all the trails being clean, clear and perfectly sign posted.
The Fernie Trails Alliance does an amazing job of maintaining these trails and puts out an extensive guidebook which was invaluable. With names like Roots, Broken Derailleur, Kid’s Stuff and Kush there are over 54 trails to choose from in the Fernie area alone! We only had one day to ride, a brief stop-over on our way to Creston to visit Dad and Ethel, but we packed in as much biking as our legs could handle; literally stumbling to our room at the end of the day.
Kayaks and Camping-Jasper, A.B
A mid July weekend getaway to Jasper with our friend Andrea. Pristine lakes, smooth paddling, mountain vistas, hiking into deep valleys and mosquitos!! Ack! Probably the worst we have ever seen. Lucky for us they only seemed to be at our campsite (I believe the entire mosquito population of Jasper was at our campsite). Our 2 days were full enough that we were rarely at the campsite and when we were, strong DEET and layers of clothing helped immensely.
Our first day was spent kayaking on Maligne Lake surrounded by the massive Rockies. The day was sunny, the wind calm and our hearts light and happy.
Sunday our destination was Wilcox Pass. Described as a premier day hike because of its easily accessible access to beautiful alpine meadows, it is definitely one of our favourites.
The hike begins opposite the Columbia Icefield along the Icefields Parkway. The trail starts by ascending though alpine forest quickly reaching the high tundra landscape. From there we spent a couple hours enjoying the high views of the surrounding valleys and the Icefield before descending through the forest to Tangle falls, just under 12km. Beautiful alpine flowers dotted the path along the way. It was chilly at the top, but a welcome relief from the heat and bugs below!
And still another month of summer!!!!