Saturday, January 11, 2014

When Ya Gotta Go, GO BIG!

No way that big bad storm forecast to hit Kananaskis Country was going to keep me behind closed doors!  Five friends felt that exact sentiment.  One small window on the radar showed a day of being 95% clear so we ventured out to where that window was.  McLean Hill area west of Bragg Creek was our objective for the day.  I hyped it up to be a full day adventure and it turned out exceeding that hype!  When ya gotta go, GO BIG!  

 We started early in a wicked warm wind but we had the trees to protect us. 
Ribbons marked our way.
Unusual for us, our high point was very early on in our adventure.  It was not easy to get here.  We were confronted with more snow than expected which meant this was a full on snowshoe ascent through the forest.  The summit area was wind swept and I was wind blown!  Twice here, the wind caught me and blew me a short piece away even with my heavy pack on my back.

my summit shot
The open area was big and beautiful!
It looked rough and rugged!
I just want to feel the moment!
It was time to head back into the forest for a fun descent through the snow.  
There were many ribbons to show us the way.  
It was approaching noon, so we aimed for a sheltered lower spot to settle down to dine.  We picked a bit of an open area in the trees along side an off road vehicle track.  There had been no sounds nor sightings so far.  Out of the blue my friend yells "there's one" and scrambles to the side.  It was grand lunchtime entertainment watching this side-by-side maneuver through the deep snow.
almost topsy tipsy
Thanks to Shorts Stop's booze balls, I felt just like that side-by-side looks!
This was a variety filled day with weather, trails, views and scenes.  
By very early afternoon the wind died down.  The sky to the west looked ominous.  We were refueled and now the tough part was right in front of us.  First though, I enjoyed this meadowy area.  It was peaceful and calm and was lined with aspens.  
Then comes Stallion Run!
A steep winding ascent!
In deep, heavy, wet snow at times!
We attacked Stallion Run like work horses!
(Photo posted with permission from friends.)
With a blink of the eye, that ominous sky was over top and conditions became brutal for a very, very short period of time but it felt like a lifetime.  This was that 5% of the day where it was forecast to be not so nice. The snow was heavy, wet, with whiteout conditions, the wind/snow combination offered up exfoliation which we had no choice but to accept.   The conditions cleared just as quickly and we continued to carry on through the foreast.
We reached the end of Stallion Run and found our way with the help of ribbons down to the road for a five kilometer hike back to the trail head.  Our second sighting of the day!  At this point he just became unstuck from a deep pocket of snow.
The wind howled here!  We bundled up and then changed over from snowshoeing to hiking for the long road home.  This section went by quickly.  We focused, we had a job to accomplished, we dug deep, forged on and in no time at all, well it seemed that way for me, we were back at our vehicles.
Like I said at the start, today exceeded the hype!  We worked together, we stuck together, we laughed together.  Today was most definitely deserving of a pat on the back for each of us.  Conqering today is an accomplishment to be proud of!  I am always thankful to have friends who were game to go.    
I'm already looking forward to more adventures with you! 

1 comment:

  1. What a contrast our walks are but linked by good friends, laughter and the great outdoors.


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