This is Chris's Corner, with special guest Percitron, your friendly neighborhood android!
Carolyn and I went for our first hike in the mountains this season during the last week of April. We decided to climb Prairie Mountain, one of the closest mountains to Calgary, because it can be climbed in the spring, boasts a 360 degree view, and the hike up isn't too long. In addition to being a safe hike in the spring, it is also popular as a spring training hike because it is quite steep. The weather was great, the conifer forest was beautiful, and the views were fabulous above treeline (360 view at the top). While the bright sun and warm weather (high 40s!) forced us to delayer at lower elevations, there was an abrupt increase in wind as soon as we hit the top of the ridge. While the snow below treeline primarily fell during the previous two days and turned to slush under our feet, a snowy cornice tends to remain on the peak well into the spring because of the higher elevation and strong wind. The slush was compacted by heavy foot traffic, making our yaktrax and hiking poles a necessity. In the weeks of May, there have been a couple more substantial snow falls, which melted within days of falling. At this point, snow in the city seems unlikely and we are just waiting for the leaves to arrive. We hope to explore more of the ridges in Kananaskis and Banff now that the warm weather has arrived.