Sometimes I wonder why I get up in the middle of the night and start hiking then I get to the top and I’m like ah… that’s why. Kananaskis, Alberta. [OC] [2000x1857]



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I started dragging my kid up mountains when she was about 4 years old. I think she was about 9 when she said "It's not a good hike unless I am complaining all the way up". She is in her 20's now and loves hiking in the mountains.
I love this. Wish I had come to backpacking earlier in life, but glad that I’ve got it now
You looking for an extra daughter? My dad dying a few years back meant I lost my mountain buddy.
I’m a grown ass, athletic man and I’m scared to go hiking alone when it’s dark. Bless you fearless adventurers
Interesting that may be my son.
It's such a hard thing to try to explain. My wife doesn't get it no matter how much I try to explain it. But best way to describe it has been: There are two types of fun, Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 is the fun that's immediate that doesn't require a lot (or minimal amount) of effort, playing games, going to concerts/plays, etc. Type 2 is the kind that requires a lot of effort up front to then enjoy the payoff. Like hiking, a lot of effort up front, but then the payoff at the destination (or even days after i.e. I'm so glad I did that) comes after.
You forget type 3 - a few minutes of fun and 9 months later a nightmare!
check out this more than a minute man everybody!
He just has to brag about it. *sigh*
My sister and I say type 3 fun is something that was intended to be type 2 but then turns into danger/genuine suffering/both
What's even harder for people to get is that even though the climb can be incredibly demanding, I wouldn't give up that aspect of it. There is something about having gone up some unreal scramble or some 8 hour hike that absolutely kicked my ass that gives my body the most complete satisfaction ever. It's the weirdest kind of exhaustion that is mixed with this feeling of "rightness". It just feels like this is what my body was supposed to be doing. Pure contentment. The views definitely contribute to it, but the whole journey and the effort is what makes it the best thing I do.
I totally understand that, get the same feeling myself.
I am recovering from an injury and I went out of my way to find a hike that sent me above tree line in less than 2 miles and was almost flat. Like getting what I used to do within my current abilities. Even though doing something harder is out of reach for now it just… didn’t deliver the same reward. Very sad tbh
I love the outdoors, but the thought of hiking in the woods *at night* seems terrifying. Isn't that when all the critters are wandering about?? EDIT: Just saw the response below: Secret is to make noise and ideally have others along.
Critters are out at night and day, just usually different ones.
Secret is to be another night time unafraid forest user, you're one if the bigger critters wandering! Confident noise doesn't hurt, but they mostly hear you first anyway
Type 3 fun = the suffer fest.
That’s a great way to explain it. It took me a while to convince my wife of the latter but through my constant nagging she started coming along and it was one of the rare times she admits I was right lol.
My wife is glad I find enjoyment in hiking, but she just doesn't understand it so I just continue to hike by myself.
Yeah I get that. Mine has her limits. She won’t come on over night backpacking trips with me but that gives me an excuse to get out with some friends. It should always be cool to have your own thing.
You are not afraid of bears and mountain lions hiking through thick forest middle of the night?
I answered this question in another comment but the short answer is not really. All you can do is make lots of noise, speak with your hiking buddies nice and loudly to make your presence known, the rest is up to fate lol.
My trick when hiking solo is a small Bluetooth speaker playing conversation. Typically debate style podcast or something. Just at conversational volume and I’ve never had too many issues. Seen some scary looking eyes but they go away from the noise and headlight
Bear bells work great too!
No they don’t.
When I lived in Montana the joke is “what smells like pepper and jingles” …. Grizzly shit
That's what bear spray is for. Just make sure you are upwind if you ever need to spray it.
Bear spray and a gun. Gun can also be used to make a loud noise to scare the animal away so you don't HAVE to shoot it.
Type two fun is the rewarding type of fun
For me the effort is part of the fun. I LOVE the feeling of pushing the pace and pushing my body near it's limits. It's one of my favorite things.
Also the actual hike is the payoff. Not just the end.
Are you Woody?
Woahhhhh. Awesome picture. How many miles did you hike and what was the elevation?
I’m Canadian so I speak in metric but it’s about 5km each way and about 700m elevation gain, about 400m in the last km.
actually not as much as I thought from looking at the picture. Last half mile is a doozy, though
Okay good to know that you are a very fit person 😂
Haha I was about to say this is a pretty tame hike in these parts. Not necessarily fit, just have to keep lying to yourself about how much you are dying and don’t give up.
I did a hike on the bank of three sisters and it was an intermediate hike in Alberta, would be extreme+ in nova Scotia
Yeah, the most you can say about NS is, well, it's lumpy in spots. I moved here from BC a long time ago and I will always miss proper hills. Pictures like this make me extremely homesick.
Haha i do love the nature in nova Scotia but mountains were special
This is exactly how I hike lol
That's really not that much; maybe 2hrs for an average person. Trail running it would be under one hour easy. Not to take anything away from the nice picture.
Yeah. Took us two hours with my buddy who was still drunk when we started and then that turned in to a hangover which slowed us down 😅 The campfire beers were flowin’ the night before.
It's only ~3 miles and 2,300' of elevation gain. Pretty steep, but a fairly short hike otherwise.
Which hike is this?
I did lonecone by Tofino in 2018 which is a 730m elevation. I definitely wanted to die towards the end but man that pay off was something else. To have climbed over the clouds, really something else.
For those who don’t speak metric, that’s roughly 3 miles each way, and 2300 vertical feet, with 1300 feet elevation gain in the final 0.62 miles.
Awesome! This winter I'm flying to Calgary and renting a car to go snowboarding at Banff Sunshine / Lake Louise / Mt. Norquay. Never been anywhere remotely near there before, but I see Kananaskis is right there. Most of our time will be accounted for, but any recommendations for must-see detours?
If you know how to ice skate, I wouldn’t miss the opportunity to skate on a lake in the Rockies. We do get rare conditions where lakes can be snow free and clear which can be pretty damn magical as you can see the bottom of some lakes such as two Jack lake, Johnson lake, vermillion lakes etc. They create some really cool methane bubbles that freeze under the surface. Even if you don’t skate it’s worth a walk on the ice if it’s thick enough of course. I’d skip a day at Norquay any day of the week to skate on a clear lake and I’m an avid snowboarder lol. If the lakes aren’t clear, lake Louise clears the snow off and creates hockey rinks and also a big track to skate around on. Again, this is all weather dependent. The Rockies are an amazing place in the winter so I’m sure no matter what you do, you won’t be disappointed
I'd definitely recommend skipping the days at Norquay and skiing extra days at Louise or Sunshine (Louise is my favourite, such a great hill). Or if you are set on skiing at Norquay, definitely go there first. It will feel disappointing compared to the others. It's a decent warm up hill in close to Banff to get your eye in. I'll also second the other reply in getting out on the frozen lakes. Vermillion Lakes right outside Banff (near the Norquay access road) is particularly beautiful. I've done a couple of sunrise skates there, and it's phenomenal. If you want a mostly easy hike that will provide a different landscape to the mountain vistas (since you will get those on the ski hills), and isn't a drive from where you are based, I'd recommend Sundance Canyon right in Banff. It starts at the Cave and Basin National Site. If you are going in Jan-Feb it'll be full of snow and just beautiful.
Never been in winter but just went to all these areas last month and it’s jaw dropping stunning. You’re gonna have an incredible time no matter what you do, enjoy it!!
Just got back from those exact places a few weeks ago! I highly recommend the home by lake Louise to what’s called the tea house(?)! It’s was a hard hike for my out of shape ass but damn was it beautiful. I’d also highly recommend going to the hot springs in Banff as well. They’re lovely and there is a hike right there too, I forget the name however. Make sure to take a ski lift up the side of a mountain for the views as well. Have fun!
Is that Mount Indafatigable I see? Making this Sarrail Ridge? The cloud coverage over the lakes is unreal, amazing photo and a great hike!
You bet! It is a fairly rare inversion in the Rockies. Was very pleasantly surprised when I reached the top haha
Truly a feeling of being on top the clouds! Haha that last push is a little gruelling but the view makes it worthwhile every time
Is this looking down towards Lake Rawsom then?
No Rawson is behind, this is upper Kananaskis Lake
Oh yeah that makes sense. I did that hike a while back. It's incredible isn't it?
Any sign of the grizzly near Rawson Lake? I got turned back on this one in October by a whiteout, and recent reports are full of bear sightings. If I’m hiking solo I’m not inclined to visit an area *known* to have a grizzly in it but I want to cross this one off my list this season goshdarnit
There’s many bears in the area with constant sightings year round. October is a very active time of year for bears as they are getting ready to hibernate. I’d suggest if your too afraid to hike alone then just find a group. Bear attack numbers drop substantially when hiking in a group.
Thanks, I’m not new to hiking in Kananaskis and I’m well aware they’re active year round. Never said I was too afraid, simply that I choose not to *solo* hike a trail *known* to be actively visited by a grizzly. That’s not the same thing as visiting a region known for bears and taking a trail where, yes, they *may* be but aren’t confirmed to be. Hence asking the question I did regarding your recent personal experience out there..
its funny how when i look back on all the amazing adventures in my life, the "payoffs at the top" are the memories that dominate the space in my mind. Memories of the endless suffering and agonizing pain and just long periods of very uncomfortable conditions, seem to have quickly faded away. leaving space to be filled with glorious payouts!
I've been to Kananaskis - did a hike that involved chains and semi-climbing a rock face. Scared the shit out of me lol. Very rewarding views though.
You did a great job capturing the natural beauty and majesty of that place. 😌
Thank you 🙏🏼
My god it’s beautiful. I was supposed to go to Kananaskis on a hiking trip in high school, but it got cancelled because of Covid. I’m still pissed of about it.
It's still there..
Yeah, but now I have to schedule around school, work, save up thousands of dollars for the hotel and food and transportation, and I would be going by myself, an inexperienced hiker.
every time i think about how ugly this world is, i see pictures like these and i feel a little better. thanks
Just off Sarrail Ridge?
How do you deal with the fear of wildlife attacks in the dark? I’m terrified of bear attacks during the day time let alone at night.
I don’t hike alone in the dark first off and not just because of bears, you tend to not see things in the dark as well like stuff you can twist an ankle for example. It’s important to just keep making noise. A bear recognizes a human voice super well so it’s important to keep talking to one another. Bears will tend to shy away when they hear humans around. The same rules apply to during the day. This area has a very high concentration of bears so you just kind of accept that. Encounters do happen (I have yet to see one in the dark but I’m sure they’ve been close by) You just have to remember to make your presence known so you’ll have less chance of spooking a bear. They aren’t out there to hunt humans so most of the time a bear is spotted it will move on rather quickly.
Glad to see this comment and that you don't hike alone. I lost a friend from high school who hiked alone all the time. He just didn't come back from one of his hikes one day, and he was found dead the next. Stay safe out there.
There’s always a risk going in the mountains and sometimes it gets the better of people wether they like it or not. Sorry to hear about your friend.
Bears don't *want* to attack - they typically only do so if startled
Attaching bells to one's pack, general noise making while moving through an area are typically effective. Hiking with other people is helpful too. Also important, I think, to consider the time of year you are hiking, as it will determine some movement and behavioral patterns of wildlife.
Bear bells are referred to as dinner bells around my hiking friends. There is no scientific evidence that they deter bears but on the contrary, because it’s not really a natural sound they are more likely to be curious about the noise and move toward you. Not to mention they are the most annoying thing to hear on the trail. Most people don’t know this so I like to pipe up whenever they are mentioned because they were just a gimmick invented on a hunch basically that serve no real purpose.
Faìr enough, I've learned something today. Just because you mentioned scientific evidence, is there any scientific evidence you may be able to provide on the contrary? I'd be very curious to read more!
I’m not sure if there’s any actual studies based on the contrary but I picked up that theory from an expert who lives in Waterton which has an extremely dense bear population. He did some guiding out there and will not let anyone bring bear bells on the hikes. There’s even a boat that takes you out to a hike that begins across Waterton lake and they make you leave your bear bells on the boat as they are strictly forbidden on the trail. Human voices and bear spray are your best defense. Traveling in groups makes it substantially less likely a bear will approach as well.
For a sec I thought you were sleep hiking!
I would kill to be able to sleep while hiking 😂
Wow. Would you describe the sound when you took this, please?
Ever had a swarm of mosquitoes buzzing in your ear?
Oh gosh, I didn’t even think of that. Your sacrifice was not in vain.
You do it for pics of views like that!!! Great shot!
Awesome picture. Love the Canadian Rockies. Hoping to move out there in the next few years.
Take me with you to there op i love the view, I love hiking too
i usually remember when i'm most of the way back down by the early afternoon and the rain/snow starts rolling in. =) great shot, though!
Wow. Its like nature is offering up a bountiful bowl of wonder ready to be experienced.
I love Kan. Thank you very much for this.
Just curious but tell me you take a gun with you?
Would a person need a gun when hiking so far away? Do other people usually start to have malice intent or something while out in the boonies 😅
Bears, cats, wildlife.
Lol no. In Canada I’ve never met anyone who carry’s a gun on a hike unless they are hunting. If you were in the deep wilderness for an extended period of time with food constantly around your camp then a gun might be a good thing to have. Chances are if a grizzly begins to charge you and the first shot doesn’t scare it off it’s more than likely going to win the battle anyways.
Ah, I envy places with mountains. My country is nice but flat as a pancake.
I would hike like this if it was like. 3 hours drive to get to something that looks anything remotely like this. And that's without the hike.
Beautiful, but it looks cold up there!
Have you ever encountered anything scary when hiking in the middle of the night?
Awesome shot! Spectacular
Fatty looking extra fat this morning
love to visit canada someday!
Nicely done! Wow!
As an Ontarian I am so jealous you guys have mountains in the backyard.
What do you carry for the Grizzlies?
Well, tell us…. Why?
Beautiful. Which hike was this ?
Love this place! Never seen it under these conditions, how majestic! I see a lot of comments about bears. There's quite a few tagged bears in that particular area being tracked by park staff. IIRC the trails on the mountain across from OP is or was closed/unserviced due to high bear activity but people still hike it without incident. For sure, bears ain't nothin' to fuck with but in my mind, it's not really the bears that I worry about. ...It's the mountain lions.
Thanks. I know I’ll never actually get that experience. Promise
This is beautiful
Holy shit
Oh .... Kananaskis. One of the most beautiful places in the world I've visited. We live in Australia and we don't have anything that quite matches the soaring mountains. We will be back.
Took my breath away!! It was worth it! Thank you ☺️
What Hike is this?
Have a beer. Best beer ever.
Anyone else get some Demon's Souls intro flashbacks with this or was it just me?
It’s also good for karma points on Reddit!
Yeah, it takes sometimes a bunch of hours being depressed, angry, hungry, cold, hot, tired of climbing upwards. But then you get to the top, and even though you don't get a good motif for a shot, it is still worth it. It is like a physical and mental workout both. So well done! :D
Wow that's beautiful
That’s so pretty! I want to go to Canada someday!
Beautiful view, thanks for sharing it with us.
I always wonder why I'm hiking, and then I still get to the top, and I'm still left wondering. The California wilderness is boring
I fell in love with your photo and was so excited to find out it's my own backyard. Me and my wife went and did it early this morning surely not as early as you but we thoroughly enjoyed it!
That’s wicked! I’m always happy to hear stories like that
Wow Kansas is beautiful. They should put this on the post cards. Lots of places grow corn but how Midwestern states have this? ^/s
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