Saturday, April 29, 2017

Kananaskis Lookout Loop April 29, 2017


Oh how life can be so beautiful and so cruel at the exact same time!  
On this good-bye April Saturday we looked forward to a springtime hike up to the Kananaskis Lookout adding a twist to our day by coming down the backside hence forming a great big loop.  After gearing up at the parking lot we aimed for the trail sign.  In hind sight a sign that read this....
.....would have been more appropriate!

But, this was the sign!
We were warned there was lots of snow in this area.  We took that into consideration so donned gaiters, fixed microspikes to our backs yet left our snowshoes behind.  The going was easy as we hit the Whiskey Jack Trail.  Along the highway drive, as a front seat passenger, I commented that I would be on the lookout for wildlife as it was early morning and the road was not busy.  I took that task onto the trail too.  Within a matter of minutes from the start of our hike a big brown fury something caught my eye.  Thank goodness it was a moose and not a bear!
Also early on into our hike we began to take turns breaking trail in the snow.  There was no looking back now wishing we brought snowshoes.  We forged on through the snow which got deeper and deeper the further we climbed.  I did look back here to capture our first mountain view.
The toughest part so far of our day was ascending The Lookout Trail.  The snow does not look that deep but it was the toughest time I ever had breaking trail in all the years I have been doing this.  Our stints at the front were very short.  It was very slow going.
 Finally the Kananaskis Lookout came into sight!
We reached the meadow and captured our shots of the beauty.  
my destination shot
It would have been nice to get to the Lookout and up onto the deck for a grand view of the Kananaskis Lakes.  The gate was covered in snow, at times we sunk to our hips in spots, we remained in the open meadow and took in the sights from there.  I dug out the mailbox and retrieved the guest book which we all signed.
It was later than we expected it would be when we arrived here.  I was alomst beyond hungry so devoured my tuna sandwich and chickpea salad.  We were fortunte to have sun and no wind while we enjoyed our visit.  
Clouds began to roll in and it sprinkled flurries here and there then quickly moved on.  We quickly moved on too as we were now heading down the backside of the Lookout trail descending through the deep snow.   We were able to make good time while we were energized.
looking back at the Kananaskis Lookout
icicles
 These untouched trails since all the new snow created very pretty scenes....  
 ...and a fun place to play!  Short Stop was keen to join me in running in the snow down the big hill.
I was overjoyed when we eventually reached the Hydroline and saw that it had been snowshoed on in the past days making for a broken firm trail to hike down.  We rested for a few minutes before going for it.  
We descended it then carried on along to the interestion to where we would take Fox Creek back to the Campground then back to the parking lot.  We convened at the interestion and without any hestiation after eyeing Fox Creek, made the decision to abort that plan.  We instead climbed the last big hill and carried on down the Hydroline to the Elk Pass parking lot then walked the two plus kilometers on the road back to where we started our day seven hours prior, not five and a half hours prior which is roughly how long we thought this great big loop would take us to cover.
The consensus appeared to be "glad this is over".  I felt joyful yet depleted and was lacking energy to express my thankfulness of completion of this adventure.  Yes life can be cruel at times but when the beauty comes at the exact same time remembering the beauty reigns.  Our drive home along Highway 40 where life begins was beautiful too.   Life will begin another day out this way and I always look forward to that!

Thank you for this day!






2 comments:

  1. Sometimes the toughest hikes have the biggest reward. Beautiful day!

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  2. Very true Linda!
    Amazing effort and beauty.

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