Daily Archives: August 29, 2011

Another Backpacking Trip to Remember

Maude Lake - Click for Larger Image

Every time I go out to the mountains, it makes me want to return the moment I leave. Last week’s backpacking trip to Kananaskis with my mom was no different.

I thought I was going to be really nervous about the whole experience – I guess I got rid of most of the first time jitters last year – but the moment I slipped on the much lighter pack than last year, I was good to go. It took us a bit longer than expected to hike in the 8 km (5 miles) – apparently it takes much longer to get somewhere when you’re carrying a 50 lb backpack and it’s over 25C (77F) outside.

Photo for this week's Good to Wow Photo Challenge

We set up our base camp at a lovely campground called Forks (aptly named as there are many rivers and streams meeting). One of the reasons why I liked it was because it had a communal eating area with fire pits and bear lockers. I think bear lockers are fantastic as it means you don’t have to string all your food up and hope that a bear won’t get it.

Lower Kananaskis Lake by the Trailhead - Click for Larger Image

Upper Kananaskis Lake - Click for Larger Picture

Speaking of bears, there were a few bears in the area while we were there. My mom and I didn’t see any, just lots of scat. The thing with bears is to make as much noise as you can and if you see one, to respect it by quietly backing away and letting the bear move away. I was glad to have my mom there as she has lots of experience with bears from working in the field and thus isn’t paralyzed by the thought of meeting one, so that helped me not to be so afraid of them.

You definitely get to meet some interesting people while backpacking. One of the other groups that was there while we were was a family of eight: a mom, 5 siblings ranging probably from 18 to 6 (4 boys and 1 girl), a girlfriend, a cousin and their dog. They made popcorn and baked potatoes over the fire every night, brought up a huge kettle and went to bed before dark. All the younger boys spent their time running around with their burnt walking sticks and jumping in the glacier fed river, so I guess it’s no wonder why they all went to bed so early!

My mom and I went on two hikes – one up to Turbine Canyon, Maude Lake and the North Kananaskis Pass (~20km) and the other to Three Isle Lake and South Kananaskis Pass (~16km). Both had pretty big elevation gains but the views were definitely worth it!

Self Portrait at North Kananaskis Pass

View Near South Kananaskis Pass

Like on last year’s trip, I couldn’t resist swimming in an alpine lake. Holy man is it ever cold but so worth it!

For your entertainment - me swimming in an alpine lake

That's right, I swam in this lake - Click for Larger Image

It may surprise some of you that I took absolutely no photos of our food on this trip despite putting in lots of effort to make dehydrated meals. It could be because I was hungry and I essentially made the same things as last year’s backpacking trip.

I learned a bit about geology on this trip from my mom as she put stations in for various outcrops – did you know that a syncline is where the rocks on a mountain are shaped like a “V” and an anticline is where they are shaped as an “A”? Well, now you do. You’re welcome.

A mini lake on the way to Turbine Canyon - Click for Larger Image

I’m kind of sad that the trip is over – we were blessed with gorgeous weather and a great time. I was happy to see Mr. Bean, though!

How was your week?

*Please see all the rest of the SOOCs for this week’s body-of-water themed Good to Wow: Shoot and Edit Photo Challenge! I used the picture of the creek as the lake panoramas technically aren’t SOOCs as I used photoshop to put them together.

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