Johnston Canyon to Ink Pots (Saturday, December 07, 2019)
Distance: About 11k
Duration: About 5 hours
Elevation gain: 320m (1050 feet)
It was suppose to be Crystal Ridge but when your teen can't get out of the bed early, then you end up doing a moderate Winter hiking through Johnston Canyon to See Frozen Waterfalls and the Ink Pots! Johnston Canyon is actually a very popular and busy hike in Banff National Park, but as soon as we made the turn towards the Ink Pots we saw very few hikers on the trailhead. It was nice to listen the snow falling and even a woodpecker pecking nearby.
In winter, snow and ice transform the canyon, creating a gorgeous Narnia-like winter wonderland. So pretty! The 5.9 KM (3¾ mile one-way) hike to the Ink Pots passed through the blue colored frozen Lower Falls and Upper Falls. So beautiful! There we had lunch and appreciate the views.
On the way back, we also made a stop at the 'secret' but not so secret caves. We crawled behind frozen waterfalls, explored the hidden cave, and made good memories! But all with pretty good microspikes on!! Grateful for a lovely day spent with my boy today! After a day hiking a nice soaking in the hot springs to end up our day together!
Photos from my iPhone today...
#johnstoncanyontoinkpots #inkpots #winterhike #shorthike #snowsobeautiful #outdooradventures #womenwhoexplore #beautifulexplores #sheexplores #outdoorwomen #hikingadventure #outdoorgirl #explorealberta #venturebeyond #awakethesoul #grateful #kananaskis #choosemountains #stayandwander #wanderlust
Rummel Ridge - Monday, December 02, 2019
Distance: About 8k
Hiking time: 6hrs
Summit Elevation: 2,456m (8,057.74)
Elevation Gain: 643m (2,109.60 ft)
Totally stoaked to have an awesome Mountain friend to hike with on a Monday day off. There were a few ideas on where to go, but the decision to hike up Rummel Ridge turned out to be great!
Winter is totally upon us, so we strapped on snowshoes and headed to the trail which was actually groomed and packed. The silence was incredible and the air fresh and clean with the scent of falling snow. There was almost no wind all way up to and the sun smiled at us at the summit for fun photos! Unfortunately my memory card was broken and I was unable to take my own pictures... glad Mike took lots of good ones!
After some quick research, I found out that the lake and the ridge is named after Elizabeth “Lizzie” Rummel. Born in Germany, Lizzie came to Canada as a result of the Second World War. And in 1980, she was awarded the Order of Canada for “sharing her deep love of the Rocky Mountains with all who met her.” Pretty coo, right?!
Grateful for amazing and knowledgeable Mountain friend! Grateful for a beautiful sunny day outdoors! Thanks Mike for the lovely photos and lots of good laughs!!
#rummelridge #mondayhike #snowshoe #snowsobeautiful #outdooradventures #womenwhoexplore #beautifulexplores #sheexplores #outdoorwomen #hikingadventure #outdoorgirl #explorealberta #venturebeyond #awakethesoul #grateful #kananaskis #choosemountains #stayandwander #wanderlust
Moonlight/Sunrise Winter Mountain Adventure
Distance: About 12 k
Hiking time: Over 10 hours
Elevation Gain: 1,356 m (4,448.82 ft)
It’s midnight and my alarm clock goes off. Who else wakes up at midnight and goes on a hike through pitch black forest just to see the sunrise above the mountains?! After hiking to see the sunrise a few times, I felt in love with hiking in the dark. The woods transform at night and take on a life of their own.
We get to the trail-head, put our backpacks, gaiters, microspikes, toque and gloves and headlamps and and set out. It’s almost 3:00 AM
A light covering of new snow mostly falling on Tue morning. Freeze-thaw conditions. Extremely windy from the West (closer to 130km/hr at the summit). The cold wind piercing our face I was glad to have ski googles! I hiked Mt Allan this summer, but coming back this time when it had snow everywhere looked like a complete different place!
Mount Allan is a steep slog but the weather was favorable and we were wowed with an east to south traveling lovely bright half moon, and even we weren't on the summit for sunrise we were close to the amazing rock garden and made it for an extraordinary experience!!!!
“By the light of headlamps
And a silvery moon
The hikers trudged up the mountain
Putting trust in their spikes
Through the darkness they braved the ice and snow
To reach the top before the break of dawn
To catch a breathtaking few minutes
Of the landscape turning pink
Before the light of the sun
Showed the group safe passage
Down from their mountain adventure”
Poem written and shared by Leasha MacDonald
Thank you for Michael JC and dear mountain friends for a gorgeous sunrise hiking day! Blessed with beautiful deep golden skies!
#mountallan #purplesky #mountainsunrise #sunrisehike #moonlight #earlyrise #mountaingirls #hikinggirl #outdooradventures #womenwhoexplore #beautifulexplores #sheexplores #outdoorwomen #hikingadventure #outdoorgirl #explorealberta #venturebeyond #awakethesoul #grateful #gratefulheartpurplesky #choosemountains #hikelikeagirl #stayandwander #wanderlust
Mist Ridge - November 02, 2019
Distance: 14 k
Hiking time: 4.25 hours
Elevation Gain: 780m m (2,559 ft)
There are so many reasons to be thankful... one is hiking! Hiking is a fun and healthy way to celebrate Thanksgiving! I love the peace of quiet side of nature around Thanksgiving, as the month of October can offer some gorgeous late Fall days on the very brink of winter.
Today we enjoyed a winter wonderland trek on fresh snow in the woods of Mist Ridge. Mist Ridge hike is spectacular ridge walk with stunning views on all sides. The day was lovely and sunny most of the time. But we also encountered knee high snow at times, and windy blowing snow at the top!
Thank you Slow and Steady for a fund day in the mountains!!! Thankful for old and new friends!! Hiking is a beautiful way to show appreciation of nature.
#mistridge #highwood #deepsnow #goldenlarches #choosemountains #hikelikeagirl #stayandwander #wanderlust #womenwhohike #girlswhohike #mountaingirls #hikinggirl #outdooradventures #womenwhoexplore #beautifulexplores #sheexplores #outdoorwomen #hikingadventure #outdoorgirl #explorealberta #venturebeyond #awakethesoul #grateful #gratefulheart
Hike #33 - Fortress Mountain (Saturday, October 19, 2019)
Distance: 21 k
Hiking time: over 9 hours
Elevation Gain: 1100m m (3,608 ft)
Early morning Headlamp start in the dark and snowing wet conditions on the very start of this long trek. After we left the tree line we were welcomed with spectacular views and beautiful blue skies.
We went via Headwall Lakes and the lakes were frozen now, but I was wondering what it would like in the summer. Spikes and good winter mittens needed because it was cold!
A very long hike with amazing views all the way to the summit. I felt like I was in a whole new World. A 3 meter cliff band located just below the summit with a little scramble and the summit was sooooo cold and windy exposed to a 900 meter cliff dropping on it's north face.
Thank you Michael JC, Calgary Nature Lovers and awesome friends for a terrific day in the mountains!!!
#fortressmountain #headwalllakes #kananaskis #deepsnow #goldenlarches #choosemountains #hikelikeagirl #stayandwander #wanderlust #womenwhohike #girlswhohike #mountaingirls #hikinggirl#outdooradventures #womenwhoexplore #beautifulexplores #sheexplores #outdoorwomen #hikingadventure #outdoorgirl #explorealberta #venturebeyond #awakethesoul #grateful #gratefulheart
Arethusa Cirque (October 06, 2019)
Distance: 4.4 k
Hiking time: 2 hours
Elevation Gain: 279m m (915 ft)
This weekend was a time for second time hikes, and Sunday was a second time trek to Arethusa Cirque. Arethusa Cirque is a beautiful hike through a lovely alpine meadow with larches. There are fossils in the area too, but with the snow coverage we couldn't see much.
I really wanted to have a last view of the golden larches and enjoy the sunny Sunday with a short hike in the mountains! There was quite a bit of snow already and finding the trail was tricky with all the snow.
Thank you for gorgeous hiking day! Blessed with another lovely sunny day and gorgeous views of the golden larch trees!! Next time I would love to scramble up Little Arethusa for even better views!
#arethusacirque #kananaskis #goldenlarches #choosemountains #hikelikeagirl #stayandwander #wanderlust #womenwhohike #girlswhohike #mountaingirls #hikinggirl #outdooradventures #womenwhoexplore #beautifulexplores #sheexplores #outdoorwomen #hikingadventure #outdoorgirl #explorealberta #venturebeyond #awakethesoul #grateful #gratefulheart
Yay! So happy I am an internationally recognized Yoga teacher and I have so much to be grateful for!!
I feel it was one of the craziest decision to go to a Yoga Teacher Training in Feb 2018 in Bali at age 40! But then I heard the deep calling inside me: do that Yoga Teacher Training in Bali!
So I did. My life was in turmoil, my marriage of over 15 years had just ended, my work environment was not as fulfilling as I had hoped, my young son was having a hard time with the changes and I was feeling hopeless, I had to move from my home of 10 years and being far away from family was taking a tool on my mind and spirit and also on my physical body. I needed to find my light again. To get my life back into track, to heal and find my path.
And it was as if the Universe was at my back! It just went amazingly and it was one of the best experience later in life! Warm weather, delicious and healthy food, spectacular ocean, amazing wild nature, simple and beautiful people, ethereal music and dance… I have found my tribe! I was so happy!
Day 09: When I wake up a little earlier every class day to play the hang drum I feel energized because I enjoy the lovely sound it makes! Today I have been feeling a little anxious and my heart is pounding in my chest because in the next couple days we will have to teach a whole 90min Hatha yoga sequence. I Iike Hatha yoga and teaching a class to a group of yogi friends who I am living, breathing and practicing with for a week has been amazing. I have to remember to breathe myself! Lots to study💗😊
Day 10: Here in Bali these colorful little square, woven baskets made from cut coconut leaves and filled with flowers can be seen literally everywhere! At the beach, on streets and in our little yard. 'Canang Sari', are the daily offerings made by Balinese Hindus to thank in praise and prayer. Many Canang sari can be seen in the Balinese temples (pura), on small shrines in houses, and on the ground or as a part of a larger offering. Philosophically speaking, the making and giving of these offerings is a selfless act. It is part-meditation, a gift of gratitude to the Bali Gods. The photo below was taken at Pura Tita Empul on my visit to Ubud💗😊
Day 07: Sunday was our Day Off from school and right after breakfast I ventured into the Royal village of Ubud. Ubud comes from the Balinese word 'medicine' due to its healing properties of plants growing inn the Campuhan river. Sara Swati and Banyu Pinaruh celebrations made the visits extra special. Experienced the water ritual of Tirta Empul temple of soul purification. The water temple was founded in 926 A.D. and is dedicated to Vishnu, who is the Hindu god of water. Ubud is a lovely lovely village!
Day 08: Monday starting a new module and moving from the sacred cyclical time of the serpent to the jaguar. Today I am very grateful for all the delicious meals Kadek and all the other amazing ladies have been providing us. Exquisitely tasty food meals, with a healthy dose of raw food prepared here at their own kitchen using the freshest ingredients. I am hoping to make some of these recipes when I get back home: quinoa veggie soups, raw energy green salads, wholegrain toast with homemade jams & cocoa butter, turmeric curried coconut tofu, fresh diced local tropical fruit platters, pink dragon fruit or mango juices,etc. My heart is grateful for this brief moment when I don't have to do grocery shopping, and plan what to cook for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Soooo spoiled 💗
Day 05: Reality is starting to kick in! Life at the Bali Yoga teacher training is hardwork too! But with the struggle, you get to grow. In this wonderful days, I feel struggling with language and physical yoga poses, as well as growing together with my lovely classmates tremendously everyday. It's pushing my boundaries and I haven't felt this way in a very long time! There are some girls who are dancers, gymnasts and younger than me. I feel I may actually be the older in the group! I admire how well many can handle all the challenging poses, and they are giving me so much help and encouragement as well, which helped me make progress even faster, and achieved poses that I never dreamt of doing in no time! 💗
Day 06: Kura Kura is steps away from the sea. Today's break after lunch was a time to enjoy some time cleansing in the ocean. Kura Kura is the Indonesian word for ‘sea turtle’. The sea turtle is an ancient symbol of the spiritual ground of the universe, it implies independence, patient long journeys and the support for all, from all that exists. Kura Kura is a rustic place located on the Southeast shore of Bali, in a traditional fishermen village called Pantai Seseh. Here the waves are wild and the current strong, and seems to be much liked by surfers. Being so close to the sea feels sooooo wonderful. Grateful heart! 💗
Bali Day 03: Today I am officially a SYI Bali student 🕉️ and together with a total of 16 lovely girls embarking on a 21 day long yoga training in this beautiful natural place. As a yogini I would be a vessel and I feel it will be an Art and a Privilege to teach yoga. I am blessed with a beautiful and sunny weather, knowledgeable and thoughtful instructors, kind and happy caregivers, delicious and healthy vegetarian food served daily three times a day. My intention is to step into this with clarity, integrity, and presence. Oh! The hardest part?! I missing my not so little boy soooooo much... 💗
Bali Day 04: Our days have been getting really busy. Our daily schedule starts at 5am wake up to be ready for meditation by 6am. Its lovely to wake up to the sounds of birds and geckos singing in the garden. Then the day is full of studies and activities until about 8pm. Our amazing instructors, Zach and Adriana, are great holding space and creating a healing space for us. The girls in my training are also so warm and full of love. Thank you for those concerned about the recent earthquake. I was asleep and really I didn't feel anything. 💗
Day 01/02: Embarking on a solo trip to Bali to become a Yoga teacher certified - Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!
Bali Day 01: Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!!! 🤗😁🍂🍁💞 Arrived late afternoon during rush hour. So many cars and scouters! Main means of transportation in Denpasar are scouters and they were everywhere! After settling at the hostel, I took a deep breath and decided to go for an evening walk. I visited a small local night market with so many interesting exotic fruits, but decided not to bring a camera because as I was b y myself I didn't want to have it stolen, so I sadly I don't have pictures of the amazing night market and its colorful and its vibrant colors and life. Many smells, fruits, interesting food and people. English was rarely spoken and I felt that I seem to be the only foreigner wandering those night streets. I was blessed to have been given a guava and a snakeskin fruit to try. First time trying a snakeskin fruit I was a bit reluctant as I had no idea even what to do with it. But I ate with a huge smile as I was really hungry! The streets can be slightly chaotic with the traffic and hordes of scooters parked on one side of the road. Its 5am local time on Oct 9 and getting ready to travel to my next destination: Kura Kura in the town of Canggu
Bali Day 02: One day before Yoga teacher training begins, and on the 45 min drive to Munggu, I see many many small and big temples (Puras) along the way. Puras are the focus of the spiritual activity of many Balinese Hindu community on the island. I learned that most villages have at least three large temples, and every home has a merajan (shrine) or sanggah (house temple). These temples protect the island and its people. Today I also walked on the beach with three lovely ladies that together with twelve more, will become like family for the next 21 days. 💗
Feeling deeply blessed. So this just happened on Saturday, November 24, 2018. After two years I was finally able to complete the course and become a certified 200hr RYT Yoga teacher.
This journey happened about two years ago. Yoga for me, was a healing to cope with anxiety and separation. I am so grateful for all the spiritual journey I've been given to explore, to learn and meet such warm and amazing people. Thank you Alberta Yoga College.
Mount Temple Scramble in Banff (Saturday, August 26, 2017)
Distance 16.5K return
Elevation Gain: 1690m
Summit Elevation (m): 3,543
Spending time in the mountains is always my happy time! I was soooo looking forward doing this hard scrambling... So glad for the invite! Thank you Sallyanne and Tara for the amazing time!! Mount Temple is located at the Moraine Lake. Temple was the first peak in the Canadian Rockies over 11,000 feet to be climbed.
Summiting Mount Temple is not a hike, it's considered a difficult scramble. I felt out of breath near the summit and had to take many breaks. But happy to have summit! Beautiful sunny weather.
So grateful for another beautiful day in the mountains! This time we headed to Icefields Parkway to hike/scramble Noseeum Peak. Breathtaking
tarted the day following a lovely creek and met a stunning waterfall at the base of the mountain. There we started to scramble until reaching the blue-greenish waters of the Noseeum lake. Then a lot of scrambling until reaching the summit.
Interesting fact, this mountain takes its name from Noseeum Creek that was named for a small black fly that bites. Returned home with some nasty bites. Was a noseeum?! yikes!
Lots of hand-on scramble, which I enjoyed and many lovely wildflowers and alpine plants that made the day just so much interesting! Thank you again to our amazing organiser and the fun awesome group. Thank you sooooo much!!
Round Trip Distance:
Total Elevation gain: 1145m
A visual artist, painter, skier, hiker, runner, nature lover & mother who believes in the social transformative power of creativity for a much better world.