Arriving at the trail head this morning, it was deja vu but different! Our planned destination was Mt Lipsett. Like always, I checked the trail reports last night and again this morning before heading out the door, I also performed additional googling just in case something changed that was not formally noted on the Parks Website. We knew of the closure in a close by area, we know bears meander and move on, we always plan for that. Our intended destination was not highlighted for warning or closure anywhere or in anyway. This sign was at our trail head. While there was no ribbon nor sign that said stay out, we felt a tad confused. Someone scratched out "west" and wrote in "east", someone also added "ahead" with an arrow under closed pointing to the direction we were to go. For us it wasn't worth it to waste any more time trying to decipher what the heck was going on here! We then had a 3 second conversation that went like this:
Short Stop says "Where do we go now?"
Making Waves replies "Grizzly Col!"
Short Stop confirms "Let's go!"
We made our way back to the Highwood Pass Parking Lot then geared up in cloud, cold, wind, sprinkles and icy pellets. I was thinking this was going to be another save the day type of day. I was thankful to be with the folks I was with because we are proficient in accomplishing that type of task. By 9:15 we were on the trail with Nikita leading the way and setting the pace for a quick arrival at Pocaterra Tarn. The lighting was odd which suited a day that was feeling odd yet this view was golden to me.
I was hoping for no snow for our ascent to Grizzly Col which is center in the shot. Rounding the corner and being afforded a wide open view, I was thankful to see a clear trail to the top. We were already noticing the clouds were have a fabulous play day and here they danced to present us with a blue heart. I love days like this!
After some steep slog sections and areas of wet & wild, we reached the Col, took a few minutes then carried on even further up to Grizzly Ridge. The highway is far below as you can see that thin beige line to the right of my feet. I was happy to be here and I was thankful the sky was clearing, and of course, that called for my "leap of love" for a day that we were successfully saving.
We carried on along the rocky ridge dropping down to find a sheltered spot that would be suitable to dine. There would be no shelter no where this day. We bundled up, settled down, enjoyed the view and pumpkin pie too. This was my view to savour as I savoured that pie. You can see the remaining part of Grizzly Ridge to the right and Mist Mountain to the left with our original objective of Mount Lipsett below it. Many thanks for your consideration yesterday in gathering up pie and fruit for me and toting it along today.
view of Highwood Ridge across Paradise Valley
We ascended back to the top of Grizzly Ridge.
We eyed the traverse from Grizzly to Highwood but our goal was to the summit cairn and no further.
today's summit shot
this was the deciding point that my new jacket is a keeper
it worked for me in every way I needed it to
At this point we just landed back at Grizzly Col. We descended that slope to the left and took a moment to enjoy the valley view in front of us before heading back down to the valley behind us. I wanted to watch the foursome that were beginning their ascent to the Tyrwhitt window. A few minutes into their movement we decided that was probably not a good idea, we saw a big black cloud above them, we were feeling the sprinkles coming done, we saw the wet ground, we saw only one helmet which was on the lead, we were not sure what was happening with the person at the bottom and when we heard the very loud yelling of "rock" coming from that group, we voiced "I hope we don't read about this on the Kananaskis Safety site". We moved on down....
...and we arrived at the valley below the Grizzly Col with Pocaterra in front of us. The trip down was a slow go in sections as the ground was softer and we took care with our foot placement. Thankfully all that worked well for us.
We explored a bit here and there, took some down time in a lovely meadow we dubbed "Surprise Meadow". We snacked, chatted, admired the scenery and played in the meadow's boulder field. Then is was time to gear back up and finish saving our day.
After Pocaterra Tarn, we made our way through the rocky park and saw shiny along side the trail. We stopped, we were intrigued, we wondered & pondered. These two rings were sitting beside a small cairn. We admired them, we did touch them to see what they could be all about then placed them securely back in their place. They could represent a very personal touching story! We may never know!
Sometimes when we are hiking I get lost in my own thoughts oblivious to what is happening around me. I arrive back to the middle of conversations only catching the end of them and in my mind try to sipher what were my friends thinking or discussing leading them to say some of the things they said. For example, as we were heading home I know why I said what I said but what about you Short Stop and Agent-X and Nakita what were you thinking?
Throw a closed trail sign our way, give us sh** weather, offer us yuck trail conditions!
There is no messing with us!
Our mountain days mean too much!
We know how to save the day!
while our day was filled with lots of odds
we still found much to be thankful for