Saturday, March 07, 2015

Easy Hike to Kananaskis Ice Cave

I had this Ice Cave in Kananaskis in my schedule, the unwritten one(!) for a bit of a time and wanted to go in the last week of Feb. but a snowfall warning stopped me. I knew the hike would be easy but considering the steepness of the path and considerable plunge of the temperature I postponed it until this weekend. I was still not sure whether or not I wanted to go last night but finally set my Fitbit's silent alarm on 05:55 and woke up on time. 
I felt beaten and I sat on the chair in the living room for about 10 min. I knew I would have gone back to sleep, had I headed to the bedroom but at the same time I knew I needed exercise. I eventually headed out at about 06:30 or something but not being mentally ready for the trip I missed my coffee stop and had to go back to get one. Then I thought maybe I should go to the south of the city and just do a little walking in a park but that sounded boring to me so I turned back and before hitting Highway 8 I felt I needed something so I go a bagel sandwich from a Tim Horton's and that way I guess I wasted some 1 hour and a half! I managed to get myself to Canyon Creek Road eventually and started the hike at almost 09:00. Some have said that the road to the trail-head of Ice Cave should be biked but I found that silly and unnecessary The road was so beautiful and although I was not there were early there was not a soul on the way. 
The road is marked by milestones and according to my information I should have reached the trail-head after 7 km but I didn't see any sign after the 4th! 
Ice column is shaped inside the cave. There were many of them but not a big one close to the entrance where I saw them
Shell Canada have facilities and equipment all around the road and in fact I guess there are the ones that I saw last year when I was going to Moose Mountain. Nevertheless the road ends at a Shell Canada facility which Authorized Persons Only sign could be seen but I though I saw the entrance to the cave from distance so I crossed to the lot and went over concrete blocks which go around the equipment area and found another sign for hikers. The sign does not indicate anything in regards to the hike but it's for fishers. I found footsteps and a narrow path going up and I was sure it led to the cave. I just didn't understand what happened to other 3 km! The path was icy and steep so I put my spikes on and continued to the top. Yes! That was the cave. The view of the valley from the top was beautiful but the bummer was that I realized had forgotten a good flashlight and my headlight does not have enough battery! So I didn't go deep enough in the cave. I found a few pieces of ice on the ground which had been obviously shaped by the droplets coming off the top of the cave. They were nice but I had come for me. No choice. I had to head back. 
I saw a few fellas on foot or on bikes on my way back and could find myself at the parking lot at almost 12:30. Very easy hike but not bad for a mild winter day. 
(Photo, top: Canyon Creek is seen from the entrance of Ice Cave. I like its blue colour)

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