On September 7 of last year, a bunch of nerds and I hiked Mount Yamnuska. So when I was thinking about a hike I could do this past Saturday, I figured Yamnuska would be a great one to revisit. I love Yamnuska because it’s close to Calgary, it’s a nice hike with some interesting scenery, and it has a bit of a scramble leading to an incredible view at the top. From Highway 1, Yamnuska is very distinctive. Its flat face and sheer presence are difficult to ignore. Last year I had heard about a chain somewhere along the route that was necessary to traverse the side of the mountain, but we never found it. This time, I was on a mission to find this chain and conquer it!
This would be my first hike since going to physiotherapy to figure out what was wrong with my left leg and knee. Turns out that the sacroiliac joint in my pelvis wanted to do its own thing. So after punching the SI joint and the quad muscles in their disobedient faces (a.k.a. adjusting the SI joint back into place, massaging the soft muscle tissue around the joint, and performing active release techniques and acupuncture on the leg muscles), I was ready to test out my legs on the mountain.
Last year, Dan and I reached what we thought was the summit of Yamnuska. That day, it was cloudy and we couldn’t see the actual summit in the distance, so we stopped there and started our descent. With the weather being perfect on Saturday, the true peak was visible in the distance, and I knew I had to reach it. So I continued on a bit further this time, and lo’ and behold- that’s where I found the chain! It was quite fun to walk along the side of the mountain while holding on to the chain for dear life.
At the top, the views were great. But really, with all these mountain hikes, are any of the views terrible? Not really. God and Mother Nature have sure done their best to ensure visual rewards at the peaks of these mountains :). Geological processes may have played a part as well. So how did my IT band and knees hold up? They were quite good by the end, and I didn’t want to curse Mother Nature with profanities that I should not be saying! Physio has done wonders. Thanks to my friend Karen who recommended Deb at Calgary Sports Therapy downtown :)
Mount Yamnuska stands at 2240 metres, with an elevation gain of 900 metres. The time at the start of the trailhead was 1:50 pm, and I made it to the summit at 4:30 pm. I slipped… not off the mountain thankfully…. but on some rocks at the top and slammed my left hand onto another rock. My left hand is currently turning a lovely shade of blue. Nobody said hiking was glamorous :S. After 10 minutes, I started the descent and reached the car at 6:25 pm.
The evening ended with a gathering of friends for a night of smores, drinks and snacks by a fire pit. What a great way to end the day! Yamnuska- I conquered you…. again :).