canada general hiking snow trip reports

Winter Solstice sunrise

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.

Then the rest of the crew made a brief stop at the summit.

At which point we all decided it was time to start heading down.

As we reached the saddle below the peak, the pink in the sky started to brighten with the sunrise proper, and we took a few more photos before scarpering back down the hill.

The trail is mostly in good condition at the moment – some ice lower down, but mostly packed snow. Two years in a row (three if you count the time I went up the day after solstice) this is becoming a solstice tradition.

canada general hiking

Five Dames and a Dog: Winter Solstice Expedition

The expedition was planned to ascend Ha Ling Peak, meeting in town at 6.15am, loading the crates of champagne into our cars, and setting off from there.

The trail was well packed, but it was still slow going, so we didn’t make it to the summit for sunrise. At least we were at treeline as all the clouds turned brilliant shades of pink though.

It was a glorious morning for it, calm and crisp, and the views were wonderful once we made it to the summit.

And now the sun is returning! Thank you sun!

Darkly through the trees we set off

Melissa at sunrise

Lulu and Sarah at sunrise

Kat, bringing her sister Michelle along for her first mountain ascent

Making our way up the snowy scree slope

Sleepy looking Canmore

Morning light on Ha Ling Peak summit

Sarah on her way to the summit


On the way down, I realised how late it was getting, so I ended up running Lulu back down to the car, before running myself back down to town.