Ok! Ok! There is no place called Vimy’s Pimple, it’s actually called the Lionshead so I hear. But on Sunday, Cat, Samara, and myself hiked to that little peak that sticks out the west side of Mt. Vimy. I affectionately dubbed it Vimy’s Pimple this past summer when I hiked to the peak with my cousins.
Anyway, this was a hike to remember! It was amazing first off, because I am finally into my second trimester enough that the constant nausea is gone and I’m feeling like myself again. I’ve been craving sustained physical activity and mountain time. Even when the forecast called for rain, I planned to go no matter what.
As we headed out, I saw that I would need gas and decided to stop at the Mountain View station. I like to support the small business and they have an amazing gift shop that’s fun to peruse. We pulled in only to find out that it is now closed on Sundays! And my gas light was almost on! We had to turn around and do the 15 minutes back to Cardston. Whoops!
When we finally arrived we thought we would try to cut through the field to the base to save some time but that area was all still closed from the fires.
Finally, we started our hike at the Wishbone Trail! Usually when I do Vimy, I bike the first 3 miles of Wishbone to the trailhead. It’s a beautiful trail and it’s mainly flat. Even without any leaves on the trees we really enjoyed the views.
The stream was low enough that we were able to stone hop over it.
What surprised us were the recent burn spots along the trail. Small areas that had been very recently burned.
We finally arrived at the base and I was so nervous to begin the ascent. I haven’t run, lifted a weight, or hit a trail in two months! As we began, I huffed and puffed and stayed in the back so I didn’t slow anyone down. I also stopped chatting so I could focus on my breath.
We decided that we wouldn’t make it to the actual peak in time. We didn’t start our hike until 11 a.m. and there was quite a bit of snow at the peak and that last mile is a loose scramble.
As we got higher, we came into the part of the mountain covered in a sprinkling of snow which was so MAGICAL. It was just enough to give a wintery feel but not so much that it was cold.
It did however, make the trail very muddy and we followed elk and moose tracks up the trail for a while. And then we encountered cougar tracks. And then bear tracks. The bear and cougar seemed to be fairly recent and were very clear in the middle of the trail. We talked about safety and would yell out randomly to make our presence known.
The other girls were getting nervous and I kept convincing them it was fine and to keep going. Well, one- I’ve learned this year that you have to trust your gut when you’re out hiking. My gut was fine, even with all the tracks. Second, I knew this would be the last big hike of the season and damn it, I wanted to get to the Pimple! Ha ha!
When we hit the evergreen tree line, it was so stunning. The dead fir smelled incredible and the green trees were sprinkled in white snow. It really was an amazing day for a hike.
We finally came to the part where the trail divides and I knew it would take us to the Pimple. We crossed a stream and then, up, up, up we went!
Oh man! It was a steep little climb there. My out of shape pregnant butt was huffing. But at the same time, it felt SO GOOD to be hiking again and be outside and moving my body like that. I just took frequent breaks so my heart rate didn’t get to elevated.
And then, the view opened up and WOW!!!
I didn’t know what to expect since the Pimple is only halfway up Mt. Vimy but the views of the prairies and the mountains were incredible. A short photoshoot started, including a 15 week tiny bump pic.
We sat and ate our lunches and just when we started the sun came down and it was warm and lovely. We finally packed it in when the clouds covered the sun and the wind started to blow.
We chatted on the way down happily about how amazing this hike was and the perfect day.
And then we had an incredible experience to cap off the already amazing day. We walked up to cross the river to see the elk herd grazing and drinking there. There were so many of them! Had to be like 100-200!
We weren’t close enough to get a decent picture, but we were close enough to get a feel for their size. The all trotted away calling to each other. At Outdoor Ed camp, one of the counsellors showed us elk calls and that guys was bang on! It was the exact squeaky/screechy sound as they all trotted away.
We were pretty tired in that last couple of miles. We covered about 12 miles total and were so happy about having such an incredible day outside.
Days outside make for the best days. And I’m hoping to squeeze in a lot this winter, cross country skiing and snow shoeing is calling! But I’ll have to head out to Crowsnest Pass this year for that.