When Ryan and I decided to go to Fernie for May Long weekend I knew I wanted to bag a peak. Finding hikes outside of Waterton can be difficult I’ve found because there isn’t a lot of information available online and no clear and distinct maps of trails.
The best information I found on local hikes was on the Tourism Fernie (http://tourismfernie.com/activities/hiking-trails) website. I originally wanted to do something truly epic like the Three Sisters/Mt. Trinity. But Ryan did not relish a difficult hike that took about 8 hours. Instead we chose Hosmer Mountain which was rated a moderate/difficult hike and took 4-6 hours to complete.
First off- directions to Mt. Hosmer are fairly unclear and we were lost an unsure for quite some time.
- From Fernie- cross the Elk River and turn left on Dickens Road.
- Take your first right on to Hartley Lake Road (gravel)
- Driving for 7 kilometres on a narrow, windy gravel road that goes up, p, up the mountain
- The trailhead is on the right with a small sign and there is a small area to the left of the road for parking
- If you hit Hartley Lake, you’ve gone too far
Hopefully that helps future hikers.
I should have used my RunKeeper because I can’t get an accurate trail length. The sign says it’s 5km each way, one hiking site says 6km, some say 3.6 km. Either way, it’s 12km or under roundtrip.
Don’t let the short length fool you, this hike is a tough one! It immediately goes up and doesn’t stop the entire way. Up, up, up, we went!
I was dying! This was my first summer hike and I figure with all the weight lifting and sprint workouts I would be golden, but those don’t prepare you for hours of grueling work.
There were a lot of beautiful view points though, so I stopped often to rest and snap a photo or two.
At one point we came to a fork in the trail and we figured since one of the trails was blocked by wood that it meant we should take the other one.
The higher we got the more snow we started to see and had to trudge through. I thought it was a lot of fun at first.
But then when we were within sight of the peak, probably a half mile away we lost the trail to snow. Snow ran all the way up that last half mile. I was ready to trudge through it but Ryan only had running shoes and without grip or waterproof shoes did not want to attempt to hike up that steep peak in the snow.
We found a gorgeous log and sat down and enjoyed lunch. Usually I get upset when I can’t finish a hike but in this case I knew we weren’t prepared to trek up in the snow so I didn’t let it bother me.
The way down is sometimes harder than the way up! By then your legs are jello and you’re using a whole new set of muscles to control yourself as you descend. It does go by a lot quicker though.
Halfway down, Ryan tripped on a root and twisted his ankle. I blame myself for not insisting he get hiking boots so he had to limp down the rest of the way. I found him the best stick I could to help him shift his weight and down we went.
We finally encountered another pair of hikers when we were almost done. Two ladies, one of whom said when she saw Rocky’s black head in the trees had a heart attack! They asked how close they were and I told them not even halfway and they did not look pleased. We continued down and as we got closer to the car I heard the ladies behind us, they had opted to not continue on.
Ryan’s ankle was fine once he put it up for awhile and iced it. Apollo passed out as soon as he got into the Jeep and when we got back to the hotel and showered, everyone took a big nap.
I’ll definitely try this one again later in the season because I really want to make it to the peak!
OTHER HIKING ESSENTIALS