Today is one of those bitter cold days. Obviously it’s cold in Canada in the winter, and right now we are in late December, the sky is gray and it says -6 but feels more like -15. The perfect time to think back of those warm summer days and outdoor activities.
When you arrive in Canmore you are totally surrounded by mountains. They call them the big 4. Lady MacDonald, Grotto Mountain, Ha-Ling & Rundle. Each of them equally as impressive as the other. Henry and I discovered a love of hiking a few years back when we did a summer road trip from Vancouver to Calgary. Starting our experience with Mount Garibaldi which was an epic 10-hour day of hiking to a stunning glacier lake. That’s a post for another day as I highly recommend anyone fit enough to go do that.
Hiking with a toddler on the other hand is a different thing.
We set our sights on Lady Mac for our first hike of the summer and oh boy! Did we pick a doozey to start with. Rocket was just about to turn 1, he wasn’t walking (not that he could hike that any way, but every little helps) I am not confident hiking down hill but fine going up so we decided I would carry him up and Henry would carry him down. He weighed about 10.5kg at the time so a hefty load to bear. We also took Arnold with us. The oldest of our Dachshunds at 12, but easily the fittest with Nacho’s bad back and chopper being…. Well Chopper. Its roughly a 10k hike up and back with 1303 m elevation gain (pretty savage) The path starts off fairly user friendly although pretty steep. Don’t expect it to flatten out much during your whole hike. The higher you get the more of a scramble it is, and you can easily lose the trail and have to find your own way.
It took us about 3 hours to get up and about 2.5 to get down. We had to make a few stops. Mainly to take in the unbelievable view but also to catch our breath and to let Arnie catch up.
If you’re in the area and fancy a challenge then give it a go! I would start early in the morning and then make the most of it by stopping more.
Very sore legs at the end of the day but worth every second. Rocket was a superstar and loved going through all the trees and seeing the sights. Lots of chipmunks and a few deer. We took lots of snacks and drinks so he was more then happy. Nothing makes my boy happier then a fresh lolly pop! Henry and I have landjeagers from Valbella for energy and a couple of cold beers in a cool bag to reward us at the top. (safe to say I don’t think they touched the sides!)
To have that magical moment on top of a mountain with my husband and my son is something I will never forget.
1 down… 3 to go.