spray-lakes-provincial-park

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Tent Ridge, Spray Lakes Provincial Park - only half completed, ~6K

We set out to complete Tent Ridge which is an 11K loop of mostly walking along the horseshoe shaped ridge. However, we needed to be home by 5 for my roommates Thanksgiving dinner. I wanted to head out early as I knew this one contained some super steep climbs and scrambling, but despite the fact that I was up at 7, we didn’t leave the city till almost 9:30. I was a little frustrated but oh well, still good to get out there even if it’s brief. 

We only hiked up to the second false summit about 1/3 of the way along the ridge before we had to turn around and go back. It was so windy and cold at the top and while I generally love the melancholy, introspective feel provided by a dark, overcast day, I need to come back and do this one on a sunny day when you can see the full extent of the surrounding peaks for miles in all directions. As it usually goes for me, the scrambling on the way up is relatively easy, but I get a bit nervous on the steep shoots down and tend to spend some time on my ass. Good thing it’s heavily padded!

The trail up to the scramble is a steady ascent but not too long and the hardest part is that’s it’s covered in old deadwood that you are always slipping under or heaving yourself over. The part of the scramble and ridge walk we had time to do wasn’t terribly challenging but I could see that there were several other sections that looked even more narrow and quite steep. I’m excited to do the whole thing again next year!

This may very well be my last hike of the season. I’m hoping to squeeze one last hike in at the end of October but by then there’s usually snow which means my hiking will transition to snowshoeing and skiing. Now that I say that, I’m pretty okay with it! However, I’m already planning on doing this entire hike next summer on a clear, sunny day. 

can't ski here ....but SkiHERE instead!

can’t ski here ….but SkiHERE instead!

Yup, its been a dismal cross country ski season at Crystal Ridge this winter. I thought it couldn’t get worse than last year!  Though CRNSC is closed due to an apparent collision of El Nino and an atypical prolonged Chinook in S. Alberta, ski conditions west of us have been surprisingly good through much of the winter: Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, Mount Shark (Spray Valley) and Lake Louisehave…

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50°52’2.30”N, 115°21’15.01”W

One of three stops while visiting the Spray Lakes area with Alix and Mike. It has to be one of my favorite areas in all of Alberta.