Last weekend I tackled (by tackled I mean hiked) my first big mountains and as my friend says “we crushed it!”. The Rockies are like nothing else I have ever seen. I have never felt so small and insignificant in my life. It was THE best feeling ever. I really don’t know if I would have hiked the Akamina Ridge trail in Waterton Lakes National Park had I realized just how difficult and rigorous it was going to be for my lame Ontario ass. Want to feel useless and out of shape? Go hiking in the Rockies! But I am proud to say that after lots of amazing, supportive encouragement from my super hiking buddy and 6 long hours – I did it.
We took a small detour in the beginning up to a Ranger’s cabin.
This was at the very beginning of the trail. At this point I hadn’t realized that we were going to hike up to the top of the ridges that I was taking pictures of. Silly me.
Starting to climb in elevation (at the maximum, we reached 8600 feet above sea level).
It is incredibly odd to look at snow when you are being sun burnt.
But the fresh water sources mean we can drink the water. Don’t worry outdoorsy peeps – he was just testing the water here, we didn’t drink from the lake.
We did fill up our water bottles here from these falls and soaked our heads.
This is when the perspectives started to become shockingly beautiful. I just kept saying “awesome” over and over again.
Looking the other way.
These were some of the best perspectives from the first ridge (where I was trigger happy - think I was too tired later on to take any more pictures! I just wanted to get some water and go to sleep). We hiked over all of the ridges directly below this text (on the right).
Thank God for my friend having the patience of a Saint. He spent a good portion of the day waiting for me.
The flowers that grow at the top are small and perfect.
This image is when we were coming down, I think. After running out of water, not knowing how much further we had to go, being pretty much the last people on the trail AND doing a scramble down the side – pictures were less important at this point.
Akamina was probably one of the most amazing things I have ever done. I couldn’t have done it without the expertise and encouragement of my friend. It was a tough hike but I am so glad I stuck with it. I can’t wait to crush more mountains this weekend. It shocks me to hear that people live in Calgary and DON’T go hiking frequently – this stuff is at their DOORSTEPS! Like for real. 3 hours away. BAM! You are there.
We didn’t encounter any real wildlife. We saw a white sheep in the distance who eluded us. No bears though…. Which in my mind, is the important thing. There are “Bear Country” warnings at every turn in these parts and it can be unsettling…