Beginning today there will be a flurry of posts while I get you caught up on the events of the past two weeks or so. The posts will not necessarily be in the order they were walked.
Wednesday July 01 – Ptarmigan Cirque < 5 km with Kathy, Cam +, Michelle + , Liz
Last week April asked me to give better guidance on not only where I would be but when I could be expected at parking lots and at home. Essentially she wanted to know when she should start getting worried. A walk in the alpine (if returning to one’s starting point) inevitably means the elevation changes up and down balance, up is slower than down, there are more photo breaks in the first half of the hike than the second. Lunch breaks may take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. The time I’m now using for planning purposes is total hiking time is based on me walking at 2 km/ hour, and has so far proven to be remarkably valid.
There are any number of walking groups in and around Calgary, but their focus doesn’t appear to have a photographer’s pace in mind. Most of them appear to be about hiking (how odd), and not about visual and mental meanderings. The previous week I had thrown out an invitation for hiking / walking companions to members of a Facebook photography group to which I belong. Over a dozen people voiced an interest, and of those most said yes please, but can we start near the beginning.
I had visited Ptarmigan Cirque a couple of times last year. As the trail starts at the top of the highest paved road in Canada, a short walk (less than 5k return) puts one above the treeline and in a rocky alpine area with wonderful views.
The weather had not looked promising for the previous 3/4 days. The evening before (June 30) I sent out the-hike-is-on note. As I drive the nearly 2 hours to the trail head the sky is at times blue (#1), grey, black, rain, fog, and drizzle. It is not raining when we leave the parking lot for the cirque. It is a muddy and slippery trail to the tree line. We cross snow to the base of the first rockfall and spend over an hour wandering under grey skies. Cam finds a great vantage point from which to capture the waterfall (#9, #10). We descend back to our cars in drizzle, and pack our respective vehicles just as the rain hits. I drive south for a long loop home. Some peaks are shrouded (#11).
It was a great day. Those who attended were pleased they came out.
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