Saturday, May 11, 2013

High & Happy

I had no idea what to expect today when I woke this morning with a change of heart. I went to bed last night with a plan in place for today and that plan was to hike Horsethief Canyon in Drumheller. I woke this morning with a desperate need to get high and there is no way that could happen anywhere in Drumheller.  I needed to satisfy my fix so switched the plan from one "H" place to another "H" place.  Horsethief Canyon became Ha Ling Peak!

I have not done hikes with significant elevation gain in quite some time so I had no idea what to expect today. First things first though, I at least wanted to make it to the trail head.  While driving along Three Sisters Parkway, I stopped to check out my objective.  That's it, the top of that right peak but I would be ascending on the other side of it.
There were a couple of cars in the lot when I arrived and two folks were aiming for the trail head.  I usually like to be first but I was quite fine for others to clear the way today.  Five minutes into the hike and I'm amazed already. Ah, how I love reflections!
After the reflections and before reaching the summit, time and distance uneventfully passed by.  There were a few short sections of old packed dirty snow on the sides of the trail, but they were harmless.  Once out of the trees it was clear & dry & steep.  I reached the top feeling like the approximate 800 meters of elevation gain over roughly 2.8 kms was not really all that bad.  This is the view below from where I just came.
Firstly, and most importantly, I scored my summit shot!
I found the  perfect place to settle down amongst big rocks, to savour the view and my chicken&avocado sandwich.  There was a pleasant slight breeze which was unexpected.  I was prepared for the usual gale force winds but those did not pan out.  Thirty minutes later, I could see many hikers working their way towards me so that meant it was time to surrender my ownership.  

Spectacular lunch time view!
On my way down I looked back to capture a shot of the steepness behind me.
 See how little the folks look near the summit?
I took a short detour to get a different perspective of Ha Ling Peak.
Canmore below with Highway 1 winding through it.
When I arrived back at my vehicle, I stood with stomach in, chest out, I beamed with delight and smiled wide.  Considering I had no preconceived expectations for my performance today other then to make it to the trail head, I was ecstatic for having conquered Ha Ling Peak! 


  1. Incredibly beautiful reflections. On my one visit to Banff [Nov 09] we drove along the Smith Dorrien Trail for about 20 k's, walked on the frozen lakes and on our return stopped and took many photos of this awesome peak. Now I know someone who has climbed it. What a perfect day!

    1. Such a nice story you shared Helen! Now I am glad I did it and posted the photos so you can see what it looks like from the top.

  2. So am I. Just wondering if you had noticed that 'my blog' after much frustration is now up and running. Click on my name.


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