The weather here has been ridiculously warm. While the eastern part of the country (and continent) suffer through countless snowstorms and arctic temperatures, we've hardly seen any snow and the thermometer has only dipped to the truly chilly for a handful of days.
When it does snow, it's usually thick wet late spring type snow, which causes problems on its own through avalanches. Even the warm weather has its price.
I didn't appreciate the weather until my trip to Winnipeg. I just kept thinking it would end eventually and we'd go back to the cold -- this nice weather was just a tease. A weekend in Winnipeg made me appreciate the gift of chinooks and the unseasonably warm weather. This past week it's been warmer here than in Arkansas.
It was with this renewed enthusiasm N and I picked Yamnuska as our Sunday hike. Enough with the make-do hikes until the weather improves! The sun is shining, the snow exists only in tiny little patches, if at all. To the mountains!
This is the Yamnuska that greeted us in the first week of March. It's hard to believe:
The snow did deepen on the way up, though still not as much as we had expected. The real danger was the ice. As long as the sun was hitting the snow, it was nice and slushy and posed no problem, but once the snow was in the shade, the path would get much slicker. Going up the mountain was mostly fine. Coming down a few hours later was the tricky part.
N spotted this tree about mid-way up. It had split twice in the same spot, allowing it to bend rather than break. The split looked old too... this tree has just kept on growing:
View of the Bow Valley, with the "heart-shaped" pond front and centre. The pond actually leads to a river and from other angles looks nothing like a heart, but this is always a nice shot, especially when frozen over. The view is unbeatable already:
The Rockies from Yamnuska. Again, shouldn't there be more snow in early March?
Near the treeline the snow deepened, but again, it was thick and slushy and actually much easier to navigate than the slicker stuff further down the mountain. Even here, near the top, the snow never really got knee-deep unless it had drifted:
At the top. Still little to no snow. Definitely colder though, thanks to the ever-present wind:
The hike down was, well, interesting with all the ice. It might be the first time it took longer to hike down Yamnuska than up. But to hike Yamnuska in March? Totally worth it.