Picking hikes in spring is always a bit tricky. Trails have started to dry, snow has kind of melted – but there are still snow patches and ices lurking about the place. It was really a bit too early to try hiking Pigeon Mountain. Based on what you could see from the road, Alex was convinced it would be dry – I was a little more dubious, but figured a little snow wouldn’t kill us. We set off fairly late – it was afternoon by the time we started hiking. The day was sunny and warm, but slightly unsettled. I … Continue reading Pigeon Mountain
When we weren’t sitting around eyeing weather forecasts suspiciously (“Surely it’s going to get cold again some time soon?!”), much of February was spent riding bikes from the left of frame towards the right: The Prospector trail in Exshaw was alarmingly dry… and we spent more time trying to get the boy to pedal his trail-a-bike. And going on random explorations (in-between working on renovations… which are, by the way, a fantastic way to eat up every moment of your spare time). There was some more skiing, as we gradually came to terms with the fact that there might not … Continue reading The February of warmth, melting snow, and suspicion
So, time has been escaping from me – somehow it’s the end of March now, and I have posted no words or images here since January. Possibly I no longer exist. In an attempt to fool you though, here are the some of the things I claim to have done in the rest of January. Banff Mountain Madness Relay – The relay had been wildly shortened thanks to the un-seasonal melting of the Bow River, but we were still out to defend our honour as reigning champions. Sadly our first relay member crashed badly on the horrendously icy slopes of … Continue reading January catch-up
We did it! The sun is coming back! Huzzah to all Northern Hemispherians, the evil Southern Hemisphere is now bound to return our sun to us. We left town at 6am, and hiked up to the summit of Ha Ling Peak to arrive just as the sky was starting to lighten, at around 7.45am. On the one hand, it was beautiful. On the other, it was very windy (the forecast was calling for 30km/hr, gusting to 50km/hr). There may have been some huddling. Poor Lincoln was just about freezing to death. There was some attempted photography inbetween bouts of huddling. … Continue reading Winter Solstice sunrise
As the boy gets better and better on his skis, we’ve been luring him out to cover longer distances. He doesn’t always want to go skiing though (as evidenced here, as he hangs onto the Chariot for dear life, preventing it from escaping without him. And I did some ski orienteering, with 3 days in a row of events. And then got a little sad when it was all over. Because there’s just something about looking for orange and white markers that seems to make every activity more fun. I also managed to ski 1000km this season, a largely pointless … Continue reading Some skiing
The Grande Tour of the Nordic Centre started off as a vague idea I had, that I should really ski all of the trails at the Nordic Centre. And that it should definitely be possible to ski them all in one day. And then I went and mentioned this idea to a couple of fellow lunatics who considered that this may well be a worthy thing to attempt. When it came down to it though, the day we had chosen had the unfortunate problem of TOO MUCH SNOW. It is something you feel terrible complaining about, but it really makes … Continue reading The Grande Tour of the Nordic Centre
The Christmas Tree gang The enthusiasm when the walk begins – keen to carry the backpack Out along the Bow River, it’s snowy, but not too cold. The sun never gets very high in the sky this time of year, spending most of the time skirting the mountains and peeping out at us. Possibly the longest set of stairs in the world Through the forest and over the hill, and up the mountain we go Carrying the boy through the dogpark, because the dogpark is a bit scary A Christmas tree on the Highline trail And a Merry Chrismukkah to … Continue reading Before it got cold – where we find a Christmas tree, and go for a walk
Skiing and races over lunch break. (photos aren’t mine)
Probably my last ride along the Legacy Trail before the weather turns and covers it with just enough snow to make it un-rideable, but probably not enough to make skiing the whole thing a fun idea (I have dreams of them grooming it for skate-skiing, that would be just awesome. Photo taken with fancy new phone – amazing camera!
There seem to be Three Sisters rock formations all over the world. Canmore’s hang above town looking picturesque and a little formidable, but there’s actually quite a nice walk up the back of the middle one – the back one is a bit of a scramble, and the littlest one in the front is a low grade climb (on nasty limestone though). We had another late start, not getting away from home until well after 10am, then trying to get through the golf course, only to be turned back. Cursing the fact we hadn’t just ridden from home, we walked … Continue reading Hiking the Middle Sister
The Le Mans style start – lots of people trying to run in bike shoes in the mud. It did eventually stop raining, and the course dried up a bit, although remained pretty greasy in some sections for the rest of the race. Riding over the evil bridge at the start of the race, on my Sunday morning lap.
After last month’s disastrous Ha Ling Peak attempt – well, not disastrous exactly, we didn’t fall off the mountain, and weren’t eaten by bears or grues, we just didn’t make it to the top, but did spend a lot of time wallowing about in thigh-deep snow. Anyway, I thought we’d had enough warm weather that it was worth trying things again. So the Moosling and I set off from the carpark. But only after we’d spent some time discussing whether or not he’d be wearing a hat and sunglasses – the removal of which is a new trick that he’s … Continue reading Let’s try this again
We’ve ridden out along the bike path towards the Three Sisters a few times in the last couple of weeks. Finally, it’s nearly clear of snow, and the Chariot is only getting a little muddy when we venture out. Rumour has it that the Legacy Trail between Banff and Canmore has now been cleared and swept too, so once there comes a day without rain or snow in the forecast, I might get out there with the Chariot for a ride.
A bonus foot of snow for the morning. Thankfully it was basically all melted by the end of the day. And a bonus picture of the Moosling with a bucket. He likes the bucket. And now he can crawl, so he can get to the bucket whenever he wants.
Instead of going skiing yesterday, we optimistically decided to head out on the Legacy Trail. Theoretically it was rideable, as it was certainly bare of snow in huge patches. It would be the first proper test ride for the biking version of the Chariot as well. Things went well until we actually reached the Legacy Trail, at the Banff Park gates. We rode around the first huge snow drift, then there was just a whole lot of gravel, as we were right next to the highway. That wasn’t great, but still, easy enough to ride on. But then we hit … Continue reading Legacy Trail fail
After snowing all day when the triathlon was on, Canmore was looking like the inside of an unshaken snow-dome. Still totally unsuitable for mountain-biking, but at least it was pretty. And so we went for a wander around town, and everyone we met seemed to be in an inexplicably good mood. I guess they don’t want to ride their bikes.
Despite all rumours to the contrary, it’s supposed to be Spring by now. No-one has told the weather yet. They’re worried it will start hitting us with -10oC days to go with the snow. Anyway, somehow I ended up doing a Winter Triathlon. Sensibly, it involved no swimming. Instead there was a ski leg, which I ended up doing. As a result, there are no photos of that part, so instead I bring to you photos of people trying to bike in 15cm of fresh snow (heh heh), and running through 15cm of fresh snow (heh heh heh). A bike … Continue reading Winter Meltdown Triathlon (more of a ‘Do your worst winter, who wants spring anyway’)
“Do you wanna go skiing?” “Yeah, ok.” “How about Mount Shark?” “Yep, sounds good.” ….. “The road over Whiteman’s Gap keeps being closed due to avalanche.” “And it sounds like the trails will be bullet-proof anyway.” “Yeah, lets not go skiing there.” “I’d still like to get out and do something.” “Yeah.” “How about we go for a hike?” And so we hiked up Lady Mac. The trail was actually dry or just a bit muddy for maybe 10-20% of the way. Then there was just a lot of packed snow. Which got less and less packed as we got … Continue reading The first hike of the year
8am – Peaceful breakfast :) 9am – Finn helping me with the laundry 10am – Another warm day! And it’s snowing like crazy. 11am – Back in the car after finally meeting up with everyone, now off to the trailhead 12pm – Skiing along the Goat Creek trail, starting from Canmore, heading to Banff 1pm – Lunch break at the first bridge 2pm – Crossing the second big bridge – still snowing like crazy 3pm – Still snowing! (the Chariot behind me is covered now) … Continue reading 12 hours of Saturday
Back at the Nordic Centre towing the Moosling again (I had to get out of the harness to jump, he was fast asleep back there, and probably wouldn’t have appreciated it).