Thursday, July 27, 2017

Mount Allan July 27, 2017

I had an idea of how I wanted to acknowledge my 60th birthday with regards to my passion for hiking.  I knew I wanted to go big and I wanted pretty.  Over the past while many mountain top ideas came and went.  A few weeks back I shared my hope, yet with still not a planned place.  As the days went on a particular location came to the forefront of my thoughts.  Then just like that, my friend emailed me asking if I was still interested in a big accomplishment.  I was!  He put an idea and offer out there and I grabbed onto it with open arms.  His suggestion of Mount Allan was the place that had worked its way to the top of my idea bank.  This is what I wanted turning 60 to look like!  This is my photo from the summit of Mount Allan.
The early start got us to the Ribbon Creek Parking Lot to find only one other vehicle there.  The lighting was very pretty, it was peaceful it was quiet.  Plus it was warm already.  The forecast was for hot and I came prepared.  
We made good time through the trees where it was sweltering.  I was thankful when we reached the open to feel a breeze.  The breeze kept any bugs away and kept us comfortable as we continued to climb out in the open.
Before leaving the city this morning, I began to wonder if we would be hiking in smokey conditions considering the new flare up late yesterday of the Verdant fire.  No smoke to be seen nor smelled how lucky for us.
The breeze got bigger and the temperature was ideal.  Our ascent seemed to pass so quickly and somewhat effortlessly.  I contribute that to our continual conversation and to the beauty that surrounded us and distracted us.  There is our destination, that light brownish bump to the right of that big grey mountain.
A garden is always pretty even if it is a rock garden.  
I never promised you a rose garden but here is your rock garden!  
We hung out in the rock garden for a little while to scramble around and capture some fun shots.  I am on the lighter side weight wise so the weight of the pack helps when gusts of wind come along.  I realized how windy it truly was when I climbed out of the shelter from between the rock walls.  A couple of times I hunkered down until the wind settled.  We were not on the summit here but I did feel like I was on top of the world.
passing through the rock garden
 a pinnacle in the rock garden
 exiting the rock garden
We came out of the rock garden and began the final assault of Mount Allan.  The views from up here were outstanding.  We could see forever in all directions.  Only to the west over Canmore was there smoke.  Here we looked across to Pigeon Mountain and Mount Collembola plus the ridge route to Mount Allan from the Highway 1 side.  
our shared summit shot
my solo summit shot
 my friend's solo summit shot
Before settling down to dine, we watched this guy for quite some time.  It was intrigued with the straps of my friend's hiking poles.  He was licking them, chewing them and even attempted to drag one away.  It then moved on to my poles and was fascinated with the locks in the middle.
The hike up turned out being a dirty one.  I didn't realize how dirty until I looked down when I was getting ready to settle down.  This is mild looking compared to what my legs looked like by the time we arrived back at the parking lot.
We spent a significant amount of time savouring the summit.  The weather was perfect with a slight breeze, no bugs and no need for layers.  Before leaving to begin the descent I captured a few more memorable shots.  The colors were gorgeous, I loved the clouds that were in the sky and the blue was so blue.
 a golden descent
 entering back into the rock garden
As if we did not get enough time in the rock garden on the way up, we opted for even a little more time on the way down.  This section looked so different in reverse.  Standing beside the pinnacle puts the size into perspective.  Yes it is big.
 I looked back one last time at the summit of Mount Allan and where I celebrated turning 60.
 a rugged frame
When we entered the forest the heat turned on again.  We made a quick trip of this section just wanting to get it over with and get the boots off and get our legs cleaned.  As we were finished up all that, my friend surprised me.  I devoured this delicious lemon cake allowing him to have a couple of bites only.  This really was the icing on today's cake!  

I enjoyed everything about today!  I recognize how fortunate I am to be turning 60 and having good health.  I don't take for granted that I am able to be living my passion and that I have good friends to share it with.  Thank you for everything you did today and for making this such a memorable day.  It was grander than I hoped for!  Physically and mentally when I stood on the summit of Mount Allan I felt like I was "on top of the world!"


  1. Such a great way to celebrate your turning 60! Loved every detail ... loved that you shared a photo of the pinnacle with you standing beside it. Wow!

    1. Thank you Mary! There was a lot of detail on that hike to capture. The variety of views and landscape was amazing.

  2. Can't believe you're 60 - you look fabulous! What an awesome way to celebrate a milestone birthday.

  3. Totally awesome way to celebrate. Love that the weather Gods sent the blessing of beautiful weather.


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