Whew, what a week! Glad it’s finally Friday! For those that follow along on my Instagram page, I used some photos from my Mt. Yamnuska hike to announce me starting the blog. Too exciting, and look now we’re here! For those that hike, this is going to be informative. For those that don’t, the views are preeeetttyyy amazing too!
My husband and I hiked Mt. Yamnuska on July 16th, 2017 and has a 2,240 meter elevation but during the hike you only gain about 435+ meters throughout the hike. If you research this hike, you’ll find it says advanced and takes 3-4 hours and you’ll hike about 7 km. In reality, it’s really not an advanced hike, it really does take 4+ hours (especially if you walk slow and aren’t acclimated to the elevation like me), and it probably is 7 km but I didn’t keep track. This is considered a scramble because you do a decent amount of climbing (using hands and feet going semi-verticle). I found this hike one of the more fun ones and would probably do this again, which is saying a lot if you’ve been hiking with me. LOL I won’t lie, I am not the best hiker. I walk really slow because constant uphill kills me. The elevation gain didn’t get me as much as it usually does. When hiking, push yourself but always take a break if you need it. No shame in taking millions of breaks, I do it when I need to. This is a popular hike and there is a very clear path so no worries about losing the way.
The beginning of the hike you go through the most beautiful meadow or glades like area with wildflowers, trees, grass, etc. If fairies were real (another post LOL), they’d surely live there in the summertime. There are amazing views along the mountainside as you gain elevation. Definitely carry bear spray, play music, talk, or wear a bear bell because they would be in that area. Once you get out into the alpine, that’s when you start the scramble. The REAL fun part! It’s very clear what way you go when scrambling and the path from there is also pretty clear. It is a bit tough and at times I was kinda crawling up with my hands but I’m also a chicken sometimes. You do climb up to climb a bit down and then you get to the most thrilling part of the whole hike! You have to hold onto a chain and walk along a narrow “cliff” to get towards the last stretch to the summit. At no point on that “narrow cliff” did I ever feel like I was going to fall or misstep. I loved doing that part.
The way to the summit is pretty clear with a path and its uneventful until you reach summit. While hiking, we didn’t quite realize how bad the wildfires in BC were and the smoke was rolling in fast. It was very far away at the beginning of the hike and by the time we hit the summit it was so close and coming down we had ash falling on us. Anyhow, the summit is amazing! you’re essentially on a straight down cliff face. Ramon (my hubby) was daring enough to lay down and look over and snap a few photos. LOL not me, nope. Too sketchy! A few pictures, our traditional summit smooch, and feeding the local chipmunks later, down we went. You go down the other side of the mountain because it’s all a skree run! SO MUCH FUN! Ramon would say that was his favorite part I bet. From the summit, you can either take the path (it is a bit steep) or skree run down the side. But be warned, you have to keep an eye out for the cliff and traverse over to the scramble path. If Ramon hadn’t seen the cliff, we would’ve gone right off! If you do skree run, you will have to climb up a steep hill to get back over to the longer skree run that you can see approaching the parking lot.
SKREE RUN!!! One you’re down the skree, you will see the mountain trail and there’s a nice big rock to sit on and get the rocks that you will have in your shoes or boots from the skree run out. Then it’s pretty quick down back to the car from there! You do get to go through the fairy meadow again and boy is it ever a sight to see. We were trying to get down super fast because of the smoke and ash falling on us. We didn’t want to risk running into a bear because the wind and smoke hinder our smell and sounds to the wildlife. In short, I forgot to take a picture. SO SAD! It was amazing.
This is so fun. I highly recommend this hike for people who are very active, are experienced (even if just a little bit) hikers, or love climbing four hours of stairs (that’s how my legs feel at least). If you’re a tourist to Calgary or Banff and aren’t active or hikers, I’d suggest you go to Lake Louise and do a little hike around the lake or Johnstons Canyon hike. Both aren’t too hard and have nice views.
I hope y’all liked my first hiking post and hopefully enough for me keep doing these! Sorry if it’s long!