A few weeks ago, my friends and I decided to trek up the popular hiking trail Ha Ling Peak located near Canmore. It was in amidst of the BC forest fires and the haze offered great coverage from the sun. Without the haze, I’m pretty sure our group would have been out of energy half way up the mountain. It took us about three hours to get to the summit and it was hike was 90% inclines. There wasn’t much room for breaks so I would definitely say this was one of the more challenging trails we did this summer. The last 10% of the hike was mostly rocky terrain so it’s advised to be more careful going up and down in.
Once we got to the valley of the peaks, the views were breathtaking. We took a small break before separating. The others wanted to go to the very top and since it was mostly just rocks, I knew I would have a tough time coming back down due to my fear of heights, so I opted out to have lunch at the valley.
I sat down along the edge and stared at the view of Canmore while eating lunch. It was a shame that the haze blocked out most of the view, but it was still a sight to behold. Sitting along the edge also helped me try to battle my fear of heights. I even made some friends with the ground squirrels nearby. They prodded my feet and legs for some of my lunch, but I knew better not to feed the wildlife.
A family of four came by to join me in my spot which was nice. I got to know a bit about them before my friends came back from the peak. Once my friends and I joined back up, it was time to head back down the mountain.
With my fear of heights and lack of proper hiking gear, it took our group a long time to get back down. They kindly waited for me as I cautiously climbed down the mountain. The rocky scramble was definitely the worse part of the hike. I couldn’t defeat my fear of heights, so I had to crab-walk down. There’s no shame in it though. Slow and steady allows you not to die on the side of a mountain or so I told myself. Better safe and comfortable of what I can physically handle than to push myself and cause more troubles for those around me.
Once the path became formidable I was able to get back up on my feet and walk the rest of the way down. Still painfully slow but it wasn’t bad. A kind hiker offered his hiking stick to me so I could traverse down the more treacherous paths in the hike. From that, our group made friends with them and we accompanied each other down the mountain. We learnt a lot about them and were able to share some laughs and tales about our diverse lives. They came from America while we were proud Canadians.
It’s a wonder to see how much positivity there is in the world around me. One of the very reasons I enjoy hiking, it brings people together. Anyways, that’s my experiences with Ha Ling Peak. Would I go again? Sure, with the proper hiking gear of course. And next time I’ll proudly walk down the rocky scramble, of course, with my trusty hiking sticks.