How did you like yesterday’s entry? I’m rather proud of myself for blogging from the road – so I hope you enjoyed reading about my adventures!
Back to where we left off . . .
On the afternoon of our first full day in Banff we accomplished what will likely be THE most epic of all of this weekend’s feats!! We climbed a mountain. Hiked up the whole thing. And not just any mountain – the highest mountain the Banff Area!!!! Us three blogger girls conquered a mountain!
You’ll have to excuse my use of exclamation marks in this post – I’m kind of proud of us!!!
We started our hike down by the village of Banff, right by where we were staying. From there we walked through the Banff Springs Hotel eventually ending up at a parking lot that marked the trail head to Upper Banff Springs (the tourists normally take automobile transportation to this point and then take the gondola).
It didn’t take long at all for us to fall rather silent. Don’t worry, we still liked each other! We were just trying to keep our breathing even! lol As Holly (of The Healthy Everythingtarian) said “It’s crazy how it just takes a steep hike to show you just how out of shape you are!” Still we kept on going. And by the time we got to Upper Banff Springs I had already worked up a sweat.
In order to psych ourselves up for the rest of the hike, we took a break at the base of the gondola for pictures.
Spectacular view much!?!?!? From there it could only get better!!!!
After eating an apple for fuel, all three of us bloggers started our way up the mountain. It soon became evident that our heart rates would totally remain “in the zone” during the entire hike. This was no walk in the park.
I had brought my Garmin along and turned it on at the base of the trail head (the one that lead to Upper Banff Springs). Based on the map we knew it would be about 5km to the top or roughly 3miles. To get to the Gondola Station we had already hiked 1.5miles. So by the time we were at the top we would be at about 4.5miles. This was helpful to know because it helped us to track our progress up the mountain.
Now I go hiking quite a bit. In fact at least once a week. But I’m still a chicken. Challenging hikes kind of scare me! They totally make me want to run home . . . where it’s flat. But I wasn’t going to be the blogger that wimped out and took the gondola – so I sucked it up and pushed myself!!!
The going was hard but the increasingly more beautiful views made it all worthwhile! Every time we caught a glimpse of the mountains through the trees we were absolutely gobsmacked. Banff is one of those places that people dream of seeing – and there we were! On our way to it’s highest peak (Sulphur Mountain). That’s the kind of stuff worth blogging about!! lol
To help ease our trip from the gondola base up to the summit we made a decision to take a break every 30 minutes. It was while stopping for our breaks that we realized how far we had come. Go us!!!
You see my red face? lol How about the sweat across my forehead (the sweat that would later turn into a crazy amount of salt on my face)? By this point my legs were starting to feel kind of heavy. We only had about a mile left to go but we could tell the trail was getting steeper. Funny how it coincided with when we were most tired! lol
Now this was the part where I started to have trouble. I had been drinking water but I guess I was low on fuel because I started to get light headed. Given that I live at a fairly high elevation I didn’t think it was due to being so high. Holly (of The Healthy Everythingtarian) came to the rescue with a Larabar. Thank God!!!
With renewed strength we made our final push to the top. Near the end I kept on checking my Garmin. I knew how long the trail was and consequently how long we had left. Just when I thought I couldn’t make it any further (my knee was starting to hurt) we spotted the summit!!!! We had conquered Banff’s tallest mountain!!!!!
And the views!?!? Oh my!!!! I think it’s safe to say I earned every inch of that glorious view!!!!
No picture we could ever take could do this magnificent place justice. Knowing that, we tried to take mental pictures of the stunning scenery surrounding us.
For reference sake, this is a picture from the summit of the mountain. You see those little buildings down there? That’s where we began!!! And look at how high we went!!!!
I pushed myself to the limit on this hike. And kids, peer pressure can be a great thing! Without my partners in crime I don’t think I would have hiked this mountain. My first really big mountain hike.
All told, we climbed 4.61 miles straight up the side of a very high mountain. In total the hike took us 2 hours and 22 minutes.