Monday, September 02, 2013

Failed Attempt to Hike Miners Peak

I had listed a few mountains, peaks and ridges in Alberta and decided to hike them one by one as long as the time and weather allows so yesterday woke up very early and headed out. The fool had postponed the plan twice already so I didn't even bother telling him this time and decided to go by myself but everything started wrongly! I'm not superstitious but first of all before getting to Highway No. 1 I had a near miss! A fucking fool, I guess a Native woman was walking barefoot on 16th Ave. in the dark. I always watch my speed so I was able to see her and go around. Then I found the weather cold and people were driving like fucking maniacs is early dark morning using their high beams behind me! The temperature even dropped to 5 ̊ C at some point. Then I missed Exit No. 93 which is the first one to Canmore! I was watching the signs and for an unknown reason the exit number dropped from 98 to 93! So I had to take 91 and assume that going the opposite direction would take me back to 93 but that was a mistake! So I came all the way back, went to the other side of Highway No. 1 and drove to east until I got to Exit 93 and made a right. Then over there was another fucking confusion and I tried every possible 3 available ways until eventually found the one which took me to the Nordic Center. That was one I realized that I really did not need to necessarily exit from Exit No. 93 but that was too late! By the time I got to Canmore Nordic Center, I had wasted a good 45 minutes at least and it was light out but surprisingly I could neither find the parking lot that I had to park and start my hike neither a single soul who actually was there. I look around the available notes and maps and go nothing. So I just parked and took one of the trials in the south side and started walking. 
It was not so bad and I told myself that I had not found Ha Ling so I at least doing some hiking because that was why I drove all the way. All the trials are marked and named for the mountain bikers to a certain point. I went all the way up a good hour and a half until I kind of lost the trail. I had to reroute myself two time until I got somewhere that it required much challenge to go up and I had planned to reach back home by around 12:30 so I turned back. Again surprisingly there was not even one single hiker during the entire time. I realized that I was not on my way to Ha Ling but having so many peaks and mountains around, there should have been at least one or two hikers going up or coming down but not a soul! I was pretty sure that I only have to go down what I had already taken and came up but that was only an assumption and I found myself close to a very dangerous cliff which could be the end or simply getting stranded for hours! I didn't panic and the first thing came to my mind was the rescue helicopter which was flying around. I remember the sign that I had seen down by the lodge and I told myself that I would signal them and they come and pick me up. Then I said: No I am just going to go down that very steep ridge, get myself to the gravel road been seen from the top and then by taking the road I would be fine. But finally I decided to simply walk away from the dragon's mouth and head west a bit. I found it easier to go down but I still was away from the trails. Then after a few minutes I heard people talking and tried to getting their attention by shouting and whistling but they either didn't hear me or didn't give a shit! Even when I got down enough when I saw myself at one of the trials I didn't see anybody. So that was it and I had gone back to the trail. I walked down for about half an hour and found myself in the parking lot. Just a few people with their bikes had shown up. It was not as busy as I had expected it. I later checked with the information center in there and realized that I should not have come to the parking lot of the Nordic Center. Apparently after passing Olympic Way there is a gravel road which would have taken me to an unnamed parking lot called Goat Creek and that would have been the place that I should have been parked, had I known in the first place. I keep that in mind for the second attempt. 
(Photo: Canmore Nordic Center from south on my way back to the parking lot)

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