Saturday, August 4, 2012

Waterton Lakes National Park Day 2

We knew this was going to be a fabulous day when 15 minutes into our drive to the trail head for the Akamina Ridge hike, a young black bear jumped out from the bushes in front of our car.  We did not pull out to pass because he was wandering around on the road and we thought maybe Mommy would jump out also. The little bear looked lost and didn't know what to do.  It eventually climbed up and over the guard rail and off it went.  We never did see the Mommy.  We took this as a sign that we were in for quite a day and also this was our reminder to put our bear aware knowledge to work as we hiked.
Our hike began in Alberta and shortly thereafter we  crossed over into British Columbia.   
The temperature was rising quickly and it was nice to arrive at Forum Lake to cool off by the water.
It wasn't far from here where the climb started and then the climb turned into easy scrambling which I was fine with.  It was the moderate scrambling section which came next that I wasn't fine with and needed assistance.  That assistance came by way of pushing, shoving and pulling from my friend and two elderly ladies who happened to have a  wealth of scrambling experience and patience. I have no photos to share of this portion of our hike, my mind was elsewhere!  But I have this photo, our view once reaching a safe flat area.  That is a portion of Akamina Ridge that we will be hiking along and Wall Lake down below where we will eventually end up.
Once safely above and beyond the rockband, I was able to fully enjoy the views around me. I was realizing now why this is rated as "Premier" by the Copelands in their book "Don't Waste Your Time in the Canadian Rockies."  The summit of the Ridge is on the tip of that redish pyramid shaped thing.
My summit shot proves I made it to that redish tip only to see we needed to loose elevation before working to gain it again to reach the next redish tip which is behind me to the right in this photo and is the second of four bumps that we need to ascend.  Before heading there, we settled in on the side of this peak to enjoy snacks and scenery.
This is our snack time view.  We started our hike in Alberta, Canada, crossed over into British Columbia, Canada and then ascended to a height where we had a view into Glacier National Park in Montana, United States.
A glacier view.
We were fortunate to experience only warm breezes up here.  I hear this is not normal. This Ridge is known for very strong cold winds.  But like I said, that baby black bear was a sign we were in for a spectacular day. Akamina Ridge went on and on and on, and up and down and up and down and up and down all the while having views of forever.   This photo gives an idea of the angle of the slopes that we hiked up and down.
After coming off the fourth and final bump, we had an amazing view of Wall Lake down below.   
You can also see the beige line along the edge of the bump, that was our hiking trail.
From Bennett Pass, we could see the whole length of Akamina Ridge behind us.
We made our way off the Ridge to the valley below to finish off the hike which was still many kilometers to go.   The wild flowers were in abundance but I didn't spend much time capturing physical images.  I had a mental image of the trail head and that was the only place and thing I wanted an actual physical image of and I wanted it sooner then later.  When we had our visual of the end, we went for a high-10 instead of a high-5.  
I was quick to collect my Peakery badge for Akamina Ridge.   Some of these badges come easily but this was one I truly had to earn.  I proudly display it here!  I have completed many amazing hikes in my life and this one has taken over the top spot.  Getting through that moderate scrambling section and finally standing on the summit, I felt like I was over the moon, my stars had aligned and like I was "on top of the world!"

2 comments:

  1. I reiterate my comments from your previous post. Just spectacular on all accounts!

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  2. Earned and inspiring too!
    Thanks for this post. It will now be on my adventure list for when we return there.
    What a wonderful wild and high place day you had... :)
    D

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