Today's outing will be Rome's first chance to hike up a mountain. I chose Heart Mountain due to its proximity to Calgary and the fact I'd never hiked it before. It is only about 75km west of Calgary along the Trans-Canada Highway just south of Lac des Arcs. The trailhead is the same one that is used for the Heart Creek Trail, which is the Heart Creek Day Use Area. The weather couldn't have been any better, if anything a little breeze would have been wonderful as the temperature was hovering around 30⁰C. Needless to say I did a little sweating during our journey on up! The hike is approximately 10km to the summit and back, with an elevation gain of about 900m. The mountain earned its name in 1957 because the summit's resemblance to a heart.
It is a pretty straightforward hike for the most part, but there's one section that requires about a 4m climb in order to continue on to the summit. Obviously Rome would not be able to do this section, but I thought she might find her own way around this technicality as I had spoken with a co-worker whose dog had done just that. As soon as I started climbing that particular section I quickly realized Rome would not be doing any route finding of her own. I could hear her crying and barking below me trying desperately to climb up herself. I quickly climbed back down to where she was. I didn't feel as though I could carry her up by myself or boost her up safely so we decided to turn back. We didn't reach the summit today, but you don't always have to reach the top to enjoy a great day outside! Now that she's older, and we're both more experienced, perhaps we should give it a second shot.
|Mt. McGillivray is on the other side of the valley from Heart Mountain|
|Lac des Arcs and the Trans-Canada Highway|
|Rome was very hot and thirsty|
|Our high point on the day's hike|
|Mt. Yamnuska and the entrance to the Bow Valley|
|Panoramic view of the Bow Valley|