Monday, April 11, 2016

Cougar Creek

This past weekend's hike was changed from something in way west of Calgary to a near hike/scramble of Mt. Lady MacDonald but unintentionally and mistakenly was changed to a not very pleasant rock walking (!) in Cougar Creek in Canmore. Why did I use the term rock walking? Because it was a painful walk in loose rocks for most of the time. I wouldn't call it a hike!
I woke up at 05:30 and realized I was too tired to even leave the bed! It must have been because I had just started weight lifting and my muscles were sore. I eventually got myself out of the bed and dragged myself to where I put my cloths on! I said to myself at the time: What if it was a group hike?! I got myself then quickly on Highway No. 1 and drove toward Canmore but shortly after leaving home and before getting in to the vehicle I realized I had forgotten something important: The map and instruction to Lady MacDonald but I was too lazy to go back in to get it. My understanding at the time was that I know the way and it would not be a problem to get to the trial and reach the summit. It was proven to me later that I was wrong!
Shortly after the start of the hike I saw this animal in the center of photo. It could be a Wolf but I think wolves live and move in groups. It also could be a fox because of the tail. 
I reach the trail-head at about 07:10 and started getting ready. There was a group of three who were getting ready as well but they hit the trail quite fast and left. The trail basically runs parallel to now very wide Cougar Creek and goes north. I took the trail and headed up north not knowing where exactly it branches to go the lady! Apparently I should have turned left shortly after the start of the trip but I guess I missed a sign and kept walking on the rocky terrain parallel or in the creek! As usual there was nobody else on the trail and I think the trio I had seen already had hit the lady's trail so I couldn't get a guidance and kept walking. It was not a pleasant walk because of all the small and big rocks, some loose and I was tired and cold! I don't know what the hell was wrong but I didn't feel good at all. There was nothing worth watching! No scene, no mountain, no flower or special vegetation! Nothing! But I kept going for the sake of exercise! Eventually I reached a dead end where a few summits could be seen including the one seen above and turned back. 
Half way through the trail people starting to show up and I even saw a few rock climbers practicing. I don't think anyone would want to hike parallel to Cougar Creek even in the best season. One would if he or she loses the trail to the lady. I actually encountered two girls who asked me where the trail was and I told them I didn't know. I later saw them coming back down the trail and then disappeared. Apparently they had found it! Not a good day it was overall. Wasting money, time and fuel for almost nothing but a few hours of painful walking in the damn rocks! It was almost 12:05 when I reached the then full parking lot. Almost 5 hours!
(Photo: This mountain is seen at the end of Cougar Creek trail and I'm not even aware of the name but seems a good exercise to climb it)

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