Coming Round the Mountain
Trip Start Feb 16, 2011
113Trip End Jun 11, 2012
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I was going to go snowboarding today, but given the fact that it hasn't snowed in over a week the conditions are far from ideal. No powder means falling on compacted snow which is hard as ice and that can hurt. So instead I decided to go for a hike. Last week when I went for a hike with Adam it was nice to get out and about so I thought why not do the same this week. The weather was sunny although a little hazy so I hiked up to the Hoodoos which is about 45 minutes from my place up the Tunnel Mountain circuit.
It was a bit icy walking around the Hoodoos path so I had to be careful and the hazy day and sun position was less than ideal for taking photos, but I took a few happy snaps just to prove I was there anyway. The river looked pretty well frozen despite the warmer weather
I walked back towards Tunnel Mountain and down along the Hoodoos to Surprise Corner trail. The trail down was also a bit icy so I took it easy. In one section I could hear the birds chirping over something and as I got closer I saw two bull elk closeby sitting in the shadows which surprised me. They were perfectly camoflagued in the shade with their antlers looking like branches between the trees.
Eventually I came down to the river and walked out a few metres onto the ice. I wasn't too game to go into the middle because I could see the river running. I also met another hiker going the other way on the river although he was better equipped with ice treads on his boots. I crossed over a small frozen tributary to a river island which had a meadow in the middle. Another bull elk was settled in the grass in the open which made him easier to spot and avoid. They aren't particularly aggressive at this time of year, but I didn't want to take any chances.
Finally I came out at Bow Falls and Surprise Corner and decided to climb out onto the rocks to get a better look. The falls were flowing much more than last week which was no surprise given the weather. I'm not sure if they will ever re-freeze over again, but I guess if the weather drops back down then they should. It was a good spot to have lunch overlooking the Banff Springs Hotel. I walked up the road towards the Tunnel Mountain trail with the intention of climbing it, but when I got to the trail I saw that I was not adequately prepared. The trail was too icy and slick for normal hiking boots and when I turned to walk back down to the town I fell right down on my arse. Nothing broken just a bit sore in the arms.
I took the road back to downtown and picked a few things up from the shops and was back home by 4pm. Not a bad day in all!