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Chronological Explor8ions – The Blog

Black Mountain

I enjoyed Black Mountain as a short, easy hike with very interesting landscapes and natural features. I highly recommend it as a half day hike when you are short of time and need to refresh your soul with some good Alberta montane country.

Iron Ridge

I highly recommend Iron Ridge for anyone short on time but wanting great views of the Crowsnest Pass area.

Bluff Mountain & Greenhill Ridge

I would rate Bluff Mountain as an excellent and easy scramble via the SE ridge and I would highly recommend going back over Greenhill Ridge. We didn’t run into any “No Trespassing” signs or private land issues and the pictographs are a pretty unique Rockies experience.

Lesueur Ridge

This is a perfect family hike for a Sunday afternoon – just pick a day without too much of the infamous front range winds and you will enjoy it more than you expect.

Two Pines & Last Break (Lyon)

Within 30 minutes of leaving the parking lot in Bragg Creek I was already at the summit of Two Pines! Views were surprisingly good to the west. Honestly, you should just sit on the bench here, enjoy the views and have a nice beverage and then head back down. There is very little reason to continue to Last Break.

Saskatoon Mountain

I used to scoff at the idea of hiking Saskatoon Mountain. The fact that it was our “twofer” peak on Saturday, April 25 2020 goes to show that you should never scoff too loudly at minor objectives. You never know when they get added to your list thanks to a global pandemic and very late spring melt.

Loop Ridge

I can’t say Loop is a premier hike, but it doesn’t fall into a bottom category either. It’s worth a spring trip when other peaks are still out of condition and you’re looking for mountain views, some exercise and fresh air.

Mockingbird Lookout

The views from Mockingbird make it worth your time – they are 100x better than the “view” from Blue Hill. The hike on the approach road is rather “meh”, but with a family this is worth the nice drive.

Blue Hill Lookout

I can’t really recommend Blue Hill Lookout as a premier hike but it’ll do in a pinch when you have 4-5 hours and want some fresh air with glimpses of mountains through sweet-smelling pine forest.

Wigwam Ridge

As with many of my “Covid Hikes”, Wigwam Ridge is a long drive from my house. This was a good thing considering we were going on a weekend and a very nice day – probably the nicest day so far this horrible spring of 2020.

Dawson Hill

Despite the lack of views and the snow globe hiking yet again this “spring” I found myself enjoying the company, the conversation and the lack of city traffic. No surprises there.

Pringle, Mount

It wasn’t about the hike or the views, it was about getting out of the house and the city and about doing something within my control. It was about finding a legal way to hike in these strange times of quarantining the healthiest among society rather than the sickest.

Okotoks Mountain

The summit ridge was longer than expected, the views were about as underwhelming as expected.

Corral Creek Mountain & Cutline Ridge

I have to say that I enjoyed Corral Creek Mountain more than I thought I would, especially with fresh snow coating the landscape around me. The Willow Creek PLUZ area provides lots of hiking and rambling opportunities if you are desperate for some foothill / mountain views but don’t expect pristine wilderness.

Johnson Creek Ridge & Cell Phone Ridge

It was truly strange how much I was enjoying myself at this point considering how dull the weather was and how much work it was to break trail in all the snow. Sometimes I wonder why these things make me so happy.

Indian Graves & Willow Creek Ridge

I’m not going to sugarcoat it. If it weren’t for Covid-19 and the many restrictions around hiking and closed parks and areas I would NOT have done any of the hikes in the Willow Creek PLUZ area.

Stimson Creek Hills

I have to admit that this little hike is pretty underwhelming. I wouldn’t recommend driving all the way from anywhere just for this one.

Quartzite Peak

Summit Elevation (m): 2865 Elevation Gain (m): 1050 Round Trip Time (hr): 8.5 Total Trip Distance (km): 19 Quick ‘n Easy Rating: Class 2 – You fall you sprain something – unless you’re in an avalanche. Then you could definitely die. Difficulty Notes:  Winter ascent includes serious avalanche risks. Learn how to manage these risks and perform avalanche burial rescues before attempting this trip. GPS Track Download: Download GPX File Technical Rating: OT4; YDS (Skiing) Map: Google Maps I can’t believe it’s already been 8 […]

Dolomite Circuit, The

I was very satisfied to ski this circuit again after 12 years. It was easier and simpler than I remembered – this would make a great beginner backcountry ski tour with limited avalanche slopes and pretty easy navigation in clear weather.

McLean Hill

As my habit has been over the past few weeks, I found myself driving west of YYC towards the Rockies front ranges after work on March 11. Snow squalls were busy making the roads slick and wet and the weather wasn’t inspiring.

Taipiti Ridge & Ranger Hill

I could feel myself losing motivation to ascend Prairie Mountain in 80 kph winds after work on Tuesday, March 10 2020. Even the day before I was really forcing myself to leave the city and drive west yet again after work.

Wilderness Canoe Tripping – Tips, Tricks & Gear

I have done more than a few wilderness canoe (and hiking) trips over the past 20 years and my experience has given me some insight that could benefit other aspiring explorers or even a later version of myself.

Helena Ridge East

Summit Elevation (m): 2560 Latest Trip Date: Monday, December 30, 2019 Elevation Gain (m): 1100 Round Trip Time (hr): 5 Total Trip Distance (km): 16 Quick ‘n Dirty Rating: Class 2 – you fall, you sprain something Difficulty Notes: A very easy backcountry ski or snowshoe trip with minimal exposure to avalanche terrain. GPS Track: Download GPX File Technical Rating: OT2; YDS (Skiing) Map: Google Maps As the year closed out in 2019 the avalanche ratings were still fairly high and the […]

2019 Reflections on Explor8ion

I would like to take a moment to to wish all my friends and readers a very happy Christmas and even more delightful New Year! I guarantee that you will have a better time in 2020 than I was in the photo headlining this post. Bushwhacking through a recent burn with a canoe on your head is a guaranteed way to make you question your life choices. But doing such idiotic things is much more enjoyable when your 20 year […]

Sunshine Landing (GR882573)

This is a highly recommended option for a safe training day when other objectives are too dangerous or you find yourself alone with a skiing itch.