Sunday, October 24, 2010

Three Sisters Pass

Somehow Alex & Megan managed to find a short local hike that they hadn't done before.  Shortly after noon today we headed up the Spray Valley (about twenty to thirty minutes drive) to walk up to Three Sisters Pass.  We found the deserted trailhead & proceeded up; not too sure of where the trail was, we found it eventually next to the (dry) drainage for the valley.  We followed this up, mostly on our left of it & sometimes on the drainage & occasionally on the right.  This trail doesn't get a lot of use it would seem, but there were just enough cairns for us to find a good route up.  Once out of the trees after the first third we on a lot of rocks of varying stability. 

A brief section had us choosing to go straight up & a through a small, and mostly dry, canyon - this was much easier than negotiating the loose rocks above it.  In the bottom of the drainage for a while we could look back across the Spray Valley until it disappeared as we followed a corner around some rocks.
There was some nice slickrock around & we displayed our different mindsets - it wasn't steep enough to climb for Megan & I thought it was a little to steep for me to ride comfortably.  We chased the elusive sunshine up the valley & eventually struck the golden light - & of course started complaining about how hot it was (must have been all of 10ºC) & shed some layers.  The final twenty minutes or so of climbing up to the pass was through the trees, and ninety-five minutes after setting out we were at the pass looking out over the east end of Canmore & the Three Sisters.  The wind picked up a little here (it was slightly exposed after all), but we hung around taking pictures & feeding our faces.  Finnian had been quiet the whole way up - apparently being carried up big hills in a sling is quite relaxing; after his feed he was not so thrilled with the wind, so we headed down.

Of course, heading down was a lot trickier with all the loose rock in places.  We were keen to get down quickly as the ranges in the distance were now obscured by clouds & it looked like it was rolling towards us pretty quickly.   Thanks to Megan talking about the distant future and the year two-thousand we all quickly had Conchords' songs rattling around in our heads - at least we now have some compulsory background noise for our game(s) of Settlers tonight.  After a little slipping, we managed to get through all the rocks without damage to anyone's head and then it was easy to get back to the car in sixty minutes.

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