Another Sunday, another mega hike.
After last week’s super hike up Peak Cirque I was equally traumatized and intrigued by climbing up crazy-looking mountains. I was not exactly planning on doing it again, but when my German co-volunteers decided to hike up Mount Niles I decided to join them.
I did a rest day yesterday, or at least I did so until 4pm, when we all spontaneously decided to take a road trip to Calgary. We witnessed two of our friends buying an RV, then we drove back home. We arrived at Lake Louise around midnight. Well, goodbye rest.
This morning I was so tired, I considered just staying in bed. It was foggy and cold and yucky. I do not know what brought me out of bed, but I am glad it did.
Sherbrooks Lake was only our first stop on our long, long way, but I fell in love with it. I just really love lakes.
Mount Niles is a pretty tall mountain: 2.967 meters. Peak Cirque was about the same height, but getting there was much easier since the trailhead started out at 1.900 meters already and the hike was not as long as this one. Summiting Mount Niles took 11km one way and 1.300 meters of elevation gain.
That little bit of turquoise is Lake Sherbrooks. Don’t ask me how I got up there.
Climbing up mountains that look very scary from far away is weird. So far it has always been (a) less hard than I thought, but (b) still some of the physically most challenging things I’ve done. I am always so surprised I actually made it: me; scared of heights, not the fittest bulb, ever skeptical of my own abilities. I don’t even know why I’ve been enjoying it so much. After every hike I return home sore, dirty, sweaty, covered in blisters, and with the prospect of having to deep-clean my boots.
It is great, though. There is no better feeling than laying in bed sore, clean, covered in blisters and with the retrospect of having done something many people will never do. That can be summiting a mountain or hiking 22km or just getting out there.
Our lodge, where the trailhead was located, is behind that middle mountain. This hike was the longest hike I’ve ever done. It took us eight hours and returning to the lodge I almost fell asleep in the shower. (I was even too tired to sauna.)
Coming here has shown me not only so many new facets of nature’s beauty, but also so many more facets of myself, of what I enjoy, and find rewarding. However, I feel like as soon as I get back I will return to my former lazy hiking-hating self.
PS: Let’s get real here for a second. I did not fully summit Mount Niles. The last 100 meters of elevation gain looked super scary, so I only got up to about 2.800 meters. That was still pretty fun, though.