May was spent holidaying in the US west. I hope to post a short video on a raft trip I did with the boys on the upper Grand Canyon. The rest of the time (with Carol) was in Napa (road biking, wine tasting, hiking, and kayaking), San Fran and then 101 highway through to Washington. Beautiful!
Back in Alberta: After a couple of kayak paddles on the Kananaskis and Elbow Rivers with some friends on fairly high water, Carol and I went on a hike to Wasootch Ridge off the Kananaskis highway, about a 35 minute drive from Grandview Chalet B&B in Canmore. The high was 23C, and it was calm and sunny. Can't do better than that!
The 6.9 km hike (if you make the summit) gains 3200' (975m). An unmarked trail starts out of the Wasootch Creek parking lot, and immediately climbs a very steep trail before following the ups and a few downs along an impressive ridge. Views are great on both sides, dropping steeply into respective creek drainages. Wasootch Creek nicely displays what the 2013 flood did with alluvial deposits all along the drainage, down to the Kananaskis River. The limber pines(?) show very cool shapes up high along the ridge, tortured by the winds and snows.
In numerous areas, the Mississippian limestone has branching corals, crinoids, and the odd brachiopod - in some cases actual reefs. The rock along the ridge is nearly vertically thrusted, which makes for a very interesting scramble for those who wish to get to the top. We opted for one of the last nubs before the actual peak for some lunch - shared with a chipmunk.
The weather continues to be excellent in western Canada - but that is about to change to showers, which are likely needed. After the tour through California, rain can be appreciated.