So this one is a long one...it's been a while since I've written a blog cause I've been busy!
These awesome people here joined me on my first mountain hike in the Canadian Rockies.
(Left to right: Andrew, Me, Chewy, April, Yasmine)
Where we live is surrounded completely by mountains and hikes. After being here for a little while, it was about time we took one on! The day could not have been more perfect. Clear blue skies, no clouds, perfect temperature, and the visibility was endless!
We started with one of the easier ones in the area, but it's still not a walk in the park, especially at this altitude. The base of the climb starts at 1,900m above sea level, so you find yourself out of breath pretty quickly before even beginning the climb.
The hike we did would usually take you to something called "Pride Rock" however at this time of year with so much snow around still, there is a high risk of avalanche. So we continued our walk past "Pride Rock"and went to the highest point we could reach.
The view over the valley was breathtaking, regardless of the photos, nothing can portray how beautiful this land actually is. To understand, you honestly need to experience it with your own eyes.
We couldn't have possibly asked for a better day. The road you see in this photo is the only way in and out of the Columbia Icefields.
Our climb literally started from just outside the Ice Palace where we live. (If you have no idea what the Ice Palace is, go read my other blogs).
We had a chilled out morning before beginning our hike at 10:30am. The hike isn't too hard nor long, but we just took our time and enjoyed the walk and the peace and quiet. We had snacks at the top (of course, cause who doesn't love snacks) with a Female Big Horn Sheep, which are found everywhere around the Canadian Rockies. Usually a pack animal, this one was just hanging out at the top of the mountain on it's own. It was having lunch itself...They like to lick rocks and stones (as well as roads) for the nutrients and minerals that are on them. It looks pretty funny to be honest.
While at the top, we were also fortunate enough to witness an avalanche, luckily no one was close to it or injured, but it's an incredible site to see. We heard it before we saw it as we turned to see massive amounts of snow and ice falling just above the Athabasca Glacier.
After taking a million photos of the landscape and each other, we began our decent. (Chewy and I spent far too long obsessing over getting the perfect shots, but hey...at least now you can thanks us for the tasty pics, which you can find on the main blog page in the gallery below).
Our way down was much quicker as Chewy & Andrew decided that they would slide down the mountain like penguins as opposed to hiking down like the rest of us.
Which you can see worked better for Andrew than Chewy....
We made it back by around 3:30pm...just in time for me to fall asleep on the couch with a coffee in my hand...safe to say I was wrecked. I was a little pink that night, typical Aussie, I assumed that I wouldn't need sunscreen because back home we have a broken O-Zone above us and I don't get burnt there...I was wrong. Silly me, I forgot how reflective snow is. It's a few days later now and luckily it just turned into a good tan.
In recent days the weather as been incredible too, sunshine, blue skies and warm temperatures (between -5° and 5°). During this amazing weather, just for a little brief update for you...I now have my Class 2 Bus Licence, meaning I can actually start my REAL job out here. Tomorrow (April 25th) is my first day of driving and being a tour guide at the same time, and I cannot wait!
I never thought I would be a tour guide, and especially not a bus driver. In saying that, I have had an amazing time learning something completely new, learning so much about geology and ecology of the Canadian Rockies. Plus the added challenge of learning to drive a 45ft / 13.7m, 56 seat bus. But hey, I came here wanting to do something different, and tour guide / driver in the middle of a National Park surrounded by mountain peaks is exactly that.
I'll give you a little update soon as to how my first day went!