The fall season in Calgary and the Rockies is short. Like, in my opinion, way too short. It happens around the end of September- there’s a brief period when the leaves transition to nice yellow and orange-like colours, and then in a matter of 2 or 3 weeks, the colours are gone and it’s pretty much winter. This isn’t the worst thing in the world, but it does mean that getting out to the mountains during this short period of time is of utmost importance!
On Saturday, Paul, Robin, Adriane, Tom and I decided we would hike to the south peak of Opal Ridge, which is located off of Highway 40, about 40 km south of Highway 1. Opal Ridge is one of Adriane’s favourite hikes. She usually hikes it in the spring when the winds can be quite cold, but this time, the weather was gorgeous and warm. The leaves were turning colours, which made the hike pretty spectacular.
And with many of the hikes that we do, there was a litte bit of everything- steep hiking, some grassy slopes, a bit of scrambling, and a ridge walk leading to an exceptional view at the summit. There was much talk, laughter and jokes as always.
For this hike, we decided to hike in style. Located near the trailhead is a gas station where they sell food and drinks and stuff. Paul decided it would be a fantastic idea to hike up with beer! We all agreed, so he bought a 6-pack of Lucky Lager (awesome!), which we carried up to the ridge. It was a great treat after several hours of hiking. Of course, right after toasting to a wonderful hike up, I spilled most of my beer all over the front side of my pants. I know… very classy. Sergeant Stroker also made another appearance. He’s getting pretty flexible… and this time, he’s posing on a prop!
The south peak of Opal Ridge rises to about 2,590 metres above sea level, with an elevation gain of 885 metres. We left the parking area at 11:45 am and arrived at the ridge by 2:30 pm. At this point, we stopped for beer, lunch and a break. We reached the summit at 3:45 pm, and after admiring the view for a little bit, we began the descent back to the car, arriving at 6:00 pm. Another great hike with awesome company. Opal Ridge (South)… we conquered you! I would definitely like to do this hike again sometime…