Visitors 58
47 photos

Distance: 7 km
Elevation gain: 1020 m
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This was our first summit of what turned out to be a two-summit weekend. We also did this one last August, so see that report for a description of the route.

Wanting to avoid the heat of the day and the potential crowds on a Saturday, we started early and were greeted by frost in the parking lot. While this made for a chilly start, the cool temperatures were very much appreciated on the steep and strenuous ascent. Our early start also helped keep us well ahead of a group of 12 who undoubtedly would've rained rocks down on us, a concern that was shared by others who made the summit that day.

The cool temperatures and our desire for peace and safety had us rocket to the top in what was record time for us. Signing the register, however, revealed we'd been beaten by a group from Kananaskis Public Safety who had begun their ascent at 4 am to see the sunrise! I'd love to see a sunrise from a peak, but living in Calgary that would require a 2 am wake up and that's just not in the cards (yet...).

Despite cool temperatures and an intermittent breeze, the summit was warm enough for us to eat our lunch on top with awesome views. We shared the summit with a solo hiker, and during the course of conversation we discovered we all had Ph.D.'s in chemistry, which is as unusual of occurrence as it sounds! A group of three also arrived at the summit while we were there; they had ascended a ridge to the north of the usual ascent route. Apparently that route has less loose rock and is much less crowded.

After a pleasant stay and a good amount of time admiring the views, we descended at a relaxed pace. To reward ourselves for our speedy ascent we bought a Jones Soda from the gas station at the trailhead. It should be noted that this is fantastic pop in the same league as that made and sold by the Grizzly Paw in Canmore (another nice post-hike stop).

Categories & Keywords
Category:Lifestyle and Recreation
Subcategory Detail:Hiking
Keywords:Kananaskis, Opal Ridge, Opal Ridge South, hiking, scrambling