I'm currently in the midst of a final countdown to the biggest adventure of my life (blog post series will follow me along...) and figured that this would be a great time to do a bit of redesigning to this website by adding different blog pages for the various interests I have. We'll see how this works in the long run but I'm liking it so far. However, all my old posts are remaining under the "Eat" category as moving them is "not possible" on this platform. To kick off the new categories, I'm starting off with a "Do" entry for this past weekend's amazing hike in to Crypt Lake in Waterton Lakes National Park!
Thinking that this past weekend was going to be all about prepping for the next big adventure, I received an invite from a friend to join him on a day hike trip that would completely take over my Sunday. Since I have not done any substantial distance hikes this year (or last year for that matter) and this was possibly the last chance for the foreseeable future I knew I needed to make it happen. So I booked some dog walking visits for the furball and got prepping for the trail on Saturday night after a day of bike training rides and visiting friends.
Found my hiking boots and poles, bought some jerky and Twizzlers and packed some leftover pizza as we were leaving the city at 5 am on Sunday morning! Watched the sun rise and light up the mountains to the west as we headed south and three hours later we were in the park. For anyone who has the opportunity to visit this park - go!! It is absolutely beautiful and we're so damn lucky to have places like this to enjoy.
The trailhead for Crypt Lake is a 15-ish minute ferry ride across Waterton Lake and on the way one of the staff talks to the hikers about boat safety, trail details and area wildlife. I truly appreciated the fact that they made it a point to tell trail goers that bear bells are useless and should not be used. They are terribly annoying and should never ever be thought of as a safety precaution.
Any ways - the trail head starts right off the dock and it's up, up, up for just under 9-kilometers. Along the way there are waterfalls, switchbacks, a ladder, a tunnel, a cable assist scramble and breath-taking spectacular views. This trail is certainly not for the beginner. Focus is needed throughout while on some portions the steep drops and uneven surfaces require experienced confidence and control.
The descent was quick but my feet were toast. We decided to tack on the additional loop to Hell Roaring Falls which is recommended on the decent but on this day I could not have cared less. This slight detour only added about a kilometer more but it felt like much more. Having not done any big hiking for a few years became extremely apparent and many choice words were uttered for the last 30 minutes or so. I like to think I was being extra safe and warning bears of my presence ;-) I'm not one to complain much when in pain but I was done. When we finally got to the shore line we had a half hour before the ferry arrived so off with the boots and socks for a much needed soak in the glacier fed Waterton Lake. Did that ever feel soooooo good! Luckily I didn't develop any blisters either! Then we went for a bite to eat dinner at 49° North Pizza in the town of Waterton before driving back to the city.
Despite my complaining at the end of the day I couldn't have been happier to have hiked this trail. Now to continue preparing for the next adventure :)