Tag Archives: Hiking

Climbing the East End of Rundle

This morning, Ryan and I decided to go to the mountains. It has been far too long since I spent time in and around those majestic Rockies, and so we planned a hike. We drove out on Highway 1, and took exit 93 towards the Three Sisters. We originally planned a nice, leisurely hike up the Grassi Lakes trail, but once we arrived at the trail entrance, we decided a new plan was in order.

I recently downloaded an app called AllTrails. This is an app that anyone who likes walking in nature should download. Whether you are an avid mountain climber, or like to take leisurely strolls along the river, this app is for you. We were able to find our location and chose nearby hikes that had excellent views. AllTrails suggested the “East End of Rundle” hike. Sure! Why not! The sign for the trail entrance wasn’t visible, and we spent about 10 minutes wandering back and forth, trying to find the footpath. We finally found it, shared a quick and exuberant high five, and were off!

We quickly lost the trail. We ignored the fact that we were no longer on any sort of path, scrambling up the side of a mountain, and just continued to head up. We finally found what appeared to be a path. It was covered by trees and the sun shone through in just the most magical way. Ryan suggested this was like level 2. Level 1 was there to see if we had what it takes to arrive at level 2. We did! We ran into a few more hikers and upheld the unspoken tradition to greet them and engage in as much small talk as can possibly fit in the time it takes to walk by. We reached the epic views of level 3, stopped for a sandwich break and the “mountain dance” – the dance you do on a mountain – of course!  The mountain dance became a reoccurring event throughout the rest of our hike.


Level 4 is where I frolicked in a field and sang the title song from The Sound of Music. Then we reached the top! We sat for a long while, looking out at Canmore, feeling humbled by the massive sky above us, and feeling as though we were looking out over the entire world. The health app on my phone told me I climbed 162 flights of stairs. We ate another sandwich, danced a few more steps of the mountain dance,  took a zillion photos, and turned right back around to head down.


Level 4, level 3, level 2. Then we found this really delightful path. it was shaded by trees, and was so smooth it appeared to have been planned. “Wow! How delightful!” I said to Ryan. He agreed. The path took us right back to the road. We realized that it was the path we lost when we began our hike this morning.

If I learned anything from today’s adventure, it is to a) bring more water, b) film the next time Ryan does the mountain dance, and c) I should have downloaded AllTrails a long time ago. Thanks for the radical hike, Calgary!


In the Mountains

If you ask a Calgarian their favourite part of living in Calgary, I can confidently say that the majority of Calgarians would say “the mountains.” I know the mountains are not in Calgary, but the fact that they are essentially our back yard, makes them a very good reason why Calgary is awesome. Did you know that the Rocky Mountains are the youngest mountain range in the world? I always think of the Rockies as teenagers, which somehow makes them endearing. I love the mountains.

We were heading west on Highway 1. First stop: Goat Pond. I first learned about Goat Pond in an acoustic ecology class when my professor made the bold statement that Goat Pond has the best echo in the Kananaskis. I am not an echo expert, but when I first yelled over the water, towards the mountains, at the top of my lungs, I was pleasantly surprised with the almost perfect repetition that came back to me. Today, we were lucky. The water was absolutely still. Not even the slightest ripple. It looked like a mirror. It was stunning! We stood for a while in the sun and let it warm our faces.

Next stop: The Banff upper hot springs.  After paying our way in, we donned our swimmers and waded into the warm water. What a view! Perched on the side of the mountain, and fed by natural springs, the upper hot springs are a majestic place to go for a soak. One of my favourite aspects of Banff is the number of people from all over the world in one place. The hot springs are no different. We heard languages and dialects from everywhere!

Our last stop: The Rimrock in Banff. Just around the corner from the hot springs, sits this beautiful gem of a hotel, where we enjoyed both our fairly-priced beers, and a stunning mountain view.. A curling rink a few stories down, caught our eye. We asked our server if the rink was open to non-guests and she gave us the good news; yes! With the warm weather the  ice was not entirely frozen, making it almost impossible for the rocks to slide. We did our best, and laughed that our best wasn’t all that good.

The sky turned and it began to snow. We hopped in the car and began our drive home. As we passed Canmore on the highway we saw about 20 elk just hanging out in the clearing near the road. Stunning views, natural hot springs, beer, curling, AND wildlife?! Thanks for the day trip to the mountains, Calgary!