Monday, January 13, 2014

Moose Mountain with Moose at the end!

This last weekend I decided to hike Moose Mountain so I headed towards Bragg Creek area. My only fault in this trip was timing. I had to drop The Lady at work so by the time I got there it was almost 12:10. Unlike the other trips I found the parking lot easily although the damn sign of Paddy's Flat was broken. I found it first by knowing how long it was from the Information Center and then by looking at the sign at the opposing direction!
The other issue was that where I parked was just way away from the actual trail-head! But I learnt later that the gate to the Access Road is closed the winter. Only in summer the hike becomes so pleasant and popular to wimps and pussy's because first of all there is no cold, ice, snow and wind and second of all the gate is open so they drive up the road and do the majority of the hike driving their fucking vehicles, the stupid!
Anyways I parked at the lot and as I said the gate to the road was locked but there is a kind of gate in the forest with a nice, shiny and informative sign which tells you that it heads toward Moose Mountain. I took that trail and went up and while it was an easy one, the only issue was soft snow at times which made it hard to walk on. After almost hour and half or maybe longer I realized a crossing sign and I saw the same road that I had seen in the lot. The trail continued at the other side of the road but a small sign read Sulfur Spring. There is also another sign which has the whole map to the area but the paint is skinned off so you can't see much. I had made a mistake and I realized that I had forgotten my printed information so decided to just take the road. The road was easy and there was a guy running up with his dog. Rather than him, who was an asshole whom even replied back when I said Hi to him (I hope he reads this) there was a couple, as big asshole as the dog man and two whores with a fat fuck old-timer who all had wrapped themselves in all sorts of gloves, toques and jackets and were holding poles, looked like coming down from a very successful ascend to the Himalayas!  

After a few minutes the road became two branches and I just followed the dog man's footprints which led me to a bulldozer which was cleaning the road. This road is apparently a service road for Shell as well as Fire Lookout so I think they keep it clean all the time. The amount of snow was too much here and the wind was blowing. I carried on and didn't have any issues. I realized several different trail at the side of the road which were all marked with clear new sign but didn't try any because of the amount of the snow and not leading to my final destination. A few of the sign were almost invisible due to the amount of snow! Finally I saw a long mast which I first though was the Fire Lookout and that was were the wind got stronger. I changed my toque with a warmer hat and kept going. Wind was blowing snow to my face and it felt that a bunch of needles hit your face at the time. That was were I realized that I had just arrived at the trail-head. That was where I saw the sign! It was ridiculous! I was struggling in cold, snow and wind for almost 3 hours or maybe more and I just was at the trail-head. I saw a big facility there with Shell sign all around. According to the information it was a facility for collecting natural gas. I recognized two Water Bath Heaters. There was nobody in the rooms. They are just for equipment I guess. I later realized that the trail-head, as the sign points at, is where is considered across from Parallel Parking signs. There was too much snow there and did not seem anyone had recently gone that way. I walked around for a few minutes and I guess I saw the actual Moose Mountain summit. I saw the mast and the Fire Lookout building but that was out of read at that time of the day. I would have faced dark, had I started the hike toward the summit. I took a few photos and headed down from there. On the way back to the parking lot just after a few minutes I realized a guy coming down on ski! We exchanged a few words and he slid down. I was tired but I kept going. Getting close to the edge I realized that there were other facilities in the valley with operating flares. It was getting dark but I kept walking and it was almost 17: 10 that I reached the vehicle. It was a good exercise but the adventure was not finished! Just after 2 minutes of driving I realized a vehicle stopped with his indicators both blinking or flashing. It was dusk so I slowed down and tried to see what was going on. I saw two big creatures standing in the middle of the road! I first though they were cows because stock is very frequent in Highway 66 but looked closely and saw two Moose! One smaller, probably the baby! Unfortunately they went to the forest as soon as I parked! I jumped out and got the camera from the truck and followed them. I took a short clip and one or two photos but they didn't appear very clear! So I told myself that there is no hike to Moose Mountain without seeing a Moose!
(Photo: Shell Facility close to the trail-head. Moose Mountain is the second summit form right)

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