canada general hiking moosling

So this is hiking

Given that it was fairly sunny and warm in Canmore, we decided to drive to Sunshine where it was cold and snowing.

There we hiked uphill, where it was exposed, and so colder and windier.

Hurrah! We eventually reached a pass where it was really cold, and decided to go back to the car again, because brr. It’s that time of year where it’s easy to forget that the weather is actually cold now, and underestimate necessary layers.

And so after hiking back to the car, we went and had warm drinks and treats at Wildflour Bakery in Banff, which is always delicious.

And so shoulder season begins!

canada general hiking

Sunshine Meadows

Sunshine Meadows is miraculously free of bugs right now. Rumour has it that they’re all over in British Columbia somewhere, planning the next phase of their campaign.

Having friends visiting is a pretty good excuse for our annual visit to the meadows though. The wildflowers are out, and there are piles of coins to be found on the ski runs. I mean, there are cute ground squirrels on the ski runs.

I first met Ben and Rosalba when we were at the University Games climbing in Sydney, back in 2003. This doesn’t make me feel old until I consider that it was over 12 years ago.

I was competing on a climb right next to Ben, but was allowed to re-start it because he had the footwork of an over-excited golden retriever.

Then we all climbed at Nowra, and did the 10 hour drive back to Melbourne together. Fun times. It’s good to catch up with old friends.

canada general hiking trail running

Out to Citadel Pass

More Autumn running. This time driving up to Sunshine Village around the time of the last bus, and then leaving Moosling and Grandma Moose by Rock Isle Lake, Alex and I ran out to Citadel Pass. Aaaaallllll the way this time.

The larches were bright yellow, and there were only two other people on the entire trail.

By the time we reached Citadel Pass the sun was starting to hide behind the peaks.

On the way home I managed to crash at one point, clipping my foot on a rock, and doing an impressive superman dive onto my chest. I was winded, but thankfully no bears or cougars came to eat me while I was lying on the ground trying to regain my breath.

A fantastic 20km return run from Sunshine Village.

canada general hiking

Sunshine Meadows: The Return

Oh Sunshine Meadows old friend, with your ground squirrels and your recently departed wildflowers.

The Citadel, and Mount Assiniboine in the distance

We returned to the Meadows with more family, and this time we left them Moosling-sitting while we headed out for a run. Towards Citadel Pass, although not all the way there, as we didn’t want anyone to be eaten by bears (or driven mad by screaming toddlers).

Looking back towards Sunshine Village across the meadows

It was a fantastic day for it. But then we descended into Banff, and rode the Sulphur Mountain Gondola.

More amazing views, and lots of stairs for a Moosling to climb up. And up. And up. He provided inspiration for plenty of folks who were having trouble finding the motivation to go all the way to the top.

Banff from the top of Sulphur Mountain

canada general hiking moosling

Sunshine Meadows, and the run out via Healy Pass

With family visiting and a warm sunny day, it was time for another trip out to Sunshine Meadows.

We had lunch up at Rock Isle Lake with the ground squirrels (who didn’t get anything from us, but are quite habituated).

And then I left the menfolk behind and went for a run out to Healy Pass and then back out to the Sunshine base carpark. It’s a cracker of a run, about 20km, and plenty of signposts, so it would be very hard to get lost.

There are plenty of fantastic views along the way (above: coming across from Wawa Ridge, looking out towards Healy Pass, and below, looking back towards Sunshine Meadows from Healy Pass). The wildflowers were out, and the bears weren’t.

I was first back to the carpark, so had time to sit with my feet in the icy cold creek. And wish for a cold drink to go with it.