Wednesdays used to suck. Half way through the week and the longest time between weekends and the mountains. We needed more mountains, but with most folks busy during the day, we had to get our mountain fix in the few daylight hours in the evening. And it helped that we were also all willing to hike in the dark and stay up past our regular bedtimes. Phil came up with the perfect solution; the Hump Day Scramble! And it has been great! 6 weekday scrambles have gone so far this spring, and they are still going strong!
Our first scramble of the series, we weren’t sure just what to expect. Phil picked it because it was typically done in about 3 hours, and was a well known scramble. We had a group with a wide range of scrambling experience; some had been climbing in the mountains for over 20 years, while for others it was their first season. We set a steady pace that everyone could keep chatting at, and before we knew it, we were at the summit! In the interest of time, we elected not to do the traverse, and instead retrace our route back down. Being that it was still March, it got dark pretty quick, and the entire decent was done in the dark. Thanks to Phil for organizing, and to Luc, Meghan, Leah (pictured left climbing the Heart ridge), and Kiran for a great night out!
With one super fun scramble under our belt, we were ready to get scrambling again! This time our intrepid crew was Rebecca, Theron, Felipe, Phil, Jacob, Vi, Meghan & me (Susan). We started out all together, and since Baldy has a few options for difficulty, we split into two groups; one took the “fun” way (pictured right), and the other took the fast way (with no hands on downclimbing required). At the top we took a serious look at the downclimb to gain the scree run, but given that it was still pretty snowing and dark was coming upon us quickly, we once again elected to go down the way we came up.
We had been saving Yamnuska for a later in the series, as it was a bit longer scramble and we wanted a bit more daylight. We were a much smaller group this time with just Luc, me (Susan), Theron, and our fearless organizer, Phil. We started out with a pretty good pace, and maintained it consistently all the way to the summit.
We made it to the summit before sunset, and even managed to get down the scree run before the headlamps needed to come out. Normally the pace on these scrambles is quite slow & steady, but on this particular night we all felt like going a bit quicker, and I actually ended up getting a personal best time on Yam of 3 hours, and enjoyed it the whole way!
Phil was off on some super long ski traverse, so I decided to keep things going and coordinate another Hump Day scramble. Since Ha Ling is the most straightforward of the scrambles to date, there was room for 10 ACCers (George, Clare, Theron, Tiff, Sonja, Maya, Sam, me, Filipe, & Vi) and one cool mountain pup (K2!). Being a relatively short scramble, we were able to move at quite a relaxed pace
One of the great things about scrambling after work in spring is that we typically got to the summit just as the sun was setting. Sure made for some great pics this time!
Grizzly Peak (Coordinated by George & Clare)
After Ha Ling my schedule got too hectic for me to be able to coordinate any more after work scrambles, but happily Vi, George, Clare, & K2 were keen to keep the trips going, so they posted some of their own.
Clare described the Grizzly scramble; “A fun and HOT trip up Grizzly Peak with a great bunch of people. The dogs were kept entertained with the Rocky Mountain sheep and the people were kept entertained watching as K2 tried to pull Clare down the slopes to get them!
Prairie Mountain (Coordinated by Vi)
Continuing the great string of fun scrambles, it was Vi’s turn to get some people out and moving up a mountain after work. In her words, “It was beautiful and sunny as we left Calgary for Prairie Mountain. The best thing about the destination was it only took us 45 min to get to the trail head. The group of 7 of us headed up the trail enjoying dry conditions for this time of year.
We arrived on the top in under 2 hours and had the top consisting of the Canadian Flag and a large rock pile to hold the flag all to ourselves. The views were spectacular with the sun dipping down in the horizon.
It did not take us long and we were down the mountain and at our cars. This is a great after work mountain, easy to get to and a short up hill to feel like you got a work out, plus you don’t get back home past your bedtime.
A peak to consider in the future for a hump day scramble.”
Check out the calendar, as there are frequent weekday scrambles coordinated by a wide array of energetic organizers (and feel free to post your own!). They are shifting over a day to make room for that other awesome Calgary ACC weekday institution: Rock Rage. See you out there!