by David Gluzman

Spending at least ten hours a day on the computer, I’m bound to get cabin fever. Normally I’ll manage to get the hell outside and enjoy some sun; however that is only a fraction of a get away from the “hustle and bustle” of everyday city life. Getting out of the city is the ultimate cure, and I’m constantly getting the hikers itch.

I try to take advantage to the fact that I live about an hours drive away to the remarkable Canadian Rockies. While growing up my family made going to the mountains a frequent event, you could say I never quite got enough of the mountains because I continue to get out there as much as possible. I consider myself lucky to be able to traverse some of the most spectacular scenery in the world.

This year has been a bit frustrating. I’ve never heard or seen so many forest fires in western Canada in my life, and sadly most of the peak hiking season has been closed off (this has also effected some great Mt.Biking). I still hope to be able to get out and do some trails in Waterton National Park perhaps this year, but even if I don’t, one of the hikes I did do this year will have made up for the lack in frequency: Helen Lake / Cirque Peak.

“Your eyes glaze over and you proceed to look around you, 360 degrees, trying to grasp all that you can see.”

Standing at nearly 3000m (almost 10,000feet) on a tiny summit barely large enough to fit more than a few people; one main emotion stands out: Awe. Your eyes glaze over and you proceed to look around you, 360 degrees, trying to grasp all that you can see. You’d have to spend hours to be able to count all the mountain tops within your sight. The wind howls and you get pushed around a little, noticing that you are tremendously high up and one wrong move could land you a long way down.

It is simply an amazing feeling to summit a mountain. I can’t say there is anything more satisfying than scrambling up scree for a few hours, reaching the summit and realizing you have made it to the top by foot alone.

This hike ended up taking us about 7 hours round trip. We could have stopped at Helen Lake (which is a pretty easy hike), but we got there pretty fast and decided to keep going to Cirque Peek. We managed to get lost trying to take a secondary route thru some rather large boulders, and we also got stopped a few times by some curious ‘Marmots’ who just seem to try and lure humans who are roughing it up the mountain. Having packed a good sized lunch, and a few liters of water we managed to have an amazing day.

The pictures in this issue of R4NT can only scratch the surface of what the actual hike is all about, and I highly recommend anyone and everyone to attempt it.

*NB. The image slice at the top of this story is the actual summit of Cirque Peak, and the person there is one very person we had the pleasure to meet while scrambling up the mountain.

  • Peaked
  • by David Gluzman
  • Published on September 1st, 2003

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