On April 4, I summited Prairie Mountain, my first peak of 2023. There was still a lot of snow on the ground, as you can see in the photos, however this summit can be reached fairly easily year round. It is basically just a hike, steep in some places, but a lot of people trail run to the summit. There is no need for hands and no scrambling anywhere on the route.
I decided to start with an easy one because it is still early season here in the Canadian Rockies and because I want to build fitness over the spring and summer as I go. I plan to tackle bigger and more technical summits as the season progresses and I've a got a few more easy ones completed. Stay tuned!
The trail up through the forest, covered in snow. The summit is in the distance.
This is like Where's Waldo but with a squirrel. Do you see it?
The view looking west. So many mountains to climb out there.
The summit meadow. Almost at the top!
I made it! Summit selfie
West of Bragg Creek, Alberta on Highway 66
out and back
Park along the highway across from the turn off to Elbow Falls.
The trail was covered with packed snow but with micro-spikes, there was no problem. There is no area of exposure or potential danger. There are typically lots of people hiking it and today was no exception. Most of them were solo, like me.
Although it was minus 10 at the car when I started, it quickly warmed up as the sun rose higher into a clear blue sky. The trees were still covered with snow from the weekend snow fall and the whole forest glittered in the sunlight like a magical winter scene in Narnia.
It is pretty sustained up hill with no breaks most of the 3.5 km up. It’s great training and I feel like I’m getting good work done. It goes up 675 meters which is enough to feel like you’ve climbed something.
After my success on Prairie Mountain, I was excited to roll on to the next summit on my list. Ha Ling Peak.
I could see the Moose Patch, a south facing crag, below. There was still a lot of snow on the ledges. I hope it melts quickly when spring arrives this weekend so we can start our Moose Mountain Mission climbing project. Read about it here.