Distance: 6 km
Elevation gain: 400 m View map Download GPS track
After a long semester both Sandra and I were in need of a vacation. To us this means getting away from civilization, hiking, and relaxing, and so we booked a cabin
in Nordegg for a week. It is perhaps not the most typical vacation destination in December, but it certainly exceeded our requirements and we enjoyed every minute of it!
we stayed at was right at the base of Shunda Mountain, also known as Baldy Fire Lookout, and so the morning after our first night we woke up and decided to hike to the top. Or at least that was our backup plan. Our primary plan was to see how far we could drive up the unplowed access road in our truck. As it turned out we were able to drive right up to the gate, 3 km from the lookout and 400 m below it, significantly shortening our trip. From here we set out on foot using microspikes for traction in the shallow sugary snow. The gentle grade of the road allowed us to make good progress and we reached treeline after just 45 minutes, then after gearing up against the wind, arrived at the summit 15 minutes later.
In addition to the fire lookout and its supporting infrastructure, the summit was also adorned with several huge communication towers and their associated sheds. It wasn’t exactly the most pristine of summits, but as the highest peak in the immediate area it did offer excellent views, albeit cloudy and dark views on this particular day. A moderate and cold wind drove us from the summit fairly quickly, and after the short drive back down the lower part of the mountain we were back at our cabin for a hot lunch. Best of all, the complete absence of a commute meant we still had enough time for another hike