Hiking Turtle Mountain in Crowsnest Pass, AB

I drive past Frank Slide on my way to Seattle and I have played a month rocks and visited the interpretive centre. Yesterday, through some work colleagues I had the opportunity to look down on Frank Slide from the top of Turtle Mountain.

Turtle Mountain in the background

Turtle Mountain in the background

Crowsnest Pass can be tricky to manoeuvre because trail heads are not clearly marked but the trailehead to Turtle Mountain is fairly easy to find.

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The beginning is pretty much straight up, you don’t get eased into it at all but it’s fun too. I think I’ll take my step kids here just to hike the first part of it for the fun of it.

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Once we got past the initial steepness, the trail went to a moderate incline and we kind of ridge walked up for a long time.

Up we go

Up we go

My group was relaxed and we stopped often for breaks and photos and to enjoy the scenery around us.

The final hike up to the summit is tough one. There is a loose trail that goes up through the scree for a good half mile or so. The loose terrain paired with howling winds made going up and down interesting.

Up we go!

Up we go!

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But at last we reached the very top!

Panoramic of the top

Panoramic of the top

It’s funny how different my dogs are because at the summit, Rocky my lab was so nervous. He was whining and shaking and trying to crawl into my lap whereas Apollo my border collie kept going to the edges to look down and out, I had to put him on his leash just to keep him away from the edges.

Rocky with his tail tucked and Apollo looking over the edge! Ha ha ha!

Rocky with his tail tucked and Apollo looking over the edge! Ha ha ha!

The view looking down was pretty cool.

Looking down on the slide

Looking down on the slide

Me in front of the slide

Me in front of the slide

The way down was a little sketchy as the terrain was loose and I didn’t have any trekking poles for balance. I’m thinking of getting a pair for my next hike.

Wind howling and loose terrain made the descent interesting

Wind howling and loose terrain made the descent interesting- that’s my hair standing straight up!

On the way down once all I could think was “this is a good day.”

I ran out of water halfway down and I was worried about the dogs so we booked it down to the car. Between the two of them, they drank 48 oz. of water! Poor thirsty boys. Usually our hikes have streams for them to drink and cool off in.

Wore this pooch out

Wore this pooch out

This hike is just under 2 miles each way, but it feels longer because it’s steep.

I was pleasantly surprised though at the difference in my fitness level on this hike versus others I’ve done in years past. The sprint and weight training have really improved my cardio and strength and I felt strong during the whole hike. I also wasn’t sore the next day which shows how hard work pays off!

Compression Rules and Legs Cramps Drool

The day before this hike I had to cope with some serious shin splints on the track, the most painful I’ve had in a while. So I opted to wear my 2XU compression socks on this hike in an effort to relieve the pain. Let me tell you- I will never hike without these socks on again! Not only did my shins not bother me at all, but my calves didn’t cramp up either which is unheard of for me. Normally, I have to stop often for 30-60 seconds to stretch out cramps in my calves, especially on a steep hike like this one but I didn’t have an issue once. Hikers- you MUST try knee high compression socks!

Oh what a difference these socks made!

Oh what a difference these socks made!

 

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OTHER HIKING ESSENTIALS

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