Here's a week in the life with some canoeing with the boys, biking with
Graham, and hiking Collembola with Dano in June 2020.

Canoeing on the Ghost


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We decided to explore a bit on the Ghost one Sunday morning in June to try to find the boys a fun
place to play in the sand. Here we are putting the canoe in the water by the Ghost Dam.


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We headed straight south to a sand bar, or what we thought was a sand bar, but turned out to be
more like muddy and dirt. But you don't know until you know.


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The boys playing in the 'sand' on the little island near shore. I think with higher water, this
island is basically underwater.


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Chilling out, having a picnic lunch, enjoying the view before the rains come in.


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Canoeing back to shore on Father's Day 2020.

Video of the boys being silly with shoes


The bubbler with a bit of height



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I bought a rotisserie basket with a recommendation from Justin.


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Steak, potato wedges in the basket, and zucchini came out just fine.


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Here's Walter loving his new knee pads, elbow pads, and gloves from his friends at the Paw Patrol.


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This was Henry's last day of school, so of course, they celebrated the same way they did on the
first day of school - at MacKay's!


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Henry and his teacher Mme Duvette at the 'drive-by' celebration for Henry finishing kindergarten.


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Graham and I did 6 straight Dawn Patrol Wednesdays on the mountain bike, this time going up Powderface
Creek, Prairie Link to Prairie Creek. It was glorious again.


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Looking back into Prairie Creek. There's apparently an offshoot trail up to Prairie Mountain that may
be worth exploring.


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I tried a second time with the basket, this time with homemade fries. I learned that yellow potatoes
are good, but not great, and ~35 minutes gets them done but not crispy.


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Good shot of the boys having fun at a playground in Heritage Hills.


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Walter has no problem just grabbing earthworms whenever he sees them.

Mt Collembola - summit 30/107 and counting


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I convinced Dan to join me for a hike up Mt Collembola. We tend towards a pretty early start (6AM at Petro Can) to take
advantage of the best weather in the front ranges, but also to increase our chances of not having a
dark epic. Here's Dan with our first good view at the Lougheed group.


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Nicer view as the sky opened up a bit for us. The Centennial Trail links Dead Man's Flats to Nakiska base/Ribbon
Creek, and it is the highest maintained trail in the Canadian Rockies as it summits Mt Allan at 2819m. We only
used a part of the trail to get access to Mt Collembola, but the section on the Centennial Trail was in excellent
shape thanks to Alberta Parks. This trail was put in place by the Rocky Mountain Ramblers and celebrated
Canada's Centennial in 1967.


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A look back at the Three Sisters, only one of which I've done so far.


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Every time I venture out into our mountains, I'm trying to identify ONE new species of wildflower. On
this day, I picked these beautiful white/yellow flower called mountain avens, or a white dryas.
Scientifically, it's the Dryas Octopetala . Thanks to my buddy Ben Gadd for his excellent
book the Handbook of the Canadian Rockies for assistance in identification!

After breaking out of the forest floor, we were quickly up onto the shoulder of Collembola
with a lovely view



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Dano on the steep approach up to the first false summit. It turns out Collembola from this side has
about 4 false summits so it was good we had both Mapster and a good map running to know where we were.


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The only other time I've been into this zone was when Crazy Carl and I got off-route and wound up
committing to do Mt Allan in April one year (totally illegal and also stupid). That day, we were
up to our nuts in snow, and also didn't see anything. Otherwise, we would have seen this gorgeous
alpine tarn area inside the bowl between Allan and Collembola. See Crazy Carl and I's outing HERE .


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Graham and I have a plan to do Lorette, Skogan, and McGillivray in one day. This is the first portion of this.


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The second portion showing McGillivray with Pigeon in the foreground.


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Looking over the steep cliffs to the east side.


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A nice portraits by Deb for Dano with Mt Collembola visible behind Dan's head.


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We got up on the ridge and headed straight for the summit.


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Some of the smaller broken rock we walked through on these slopes.


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A little bit of snow on the ridge.


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Dan showing the way to the next summit. Note the inclusion of toques here as it got windy
and cold pretty quick up here.


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90% of this hike was pretty benign, but from this point forward, it got a little spicier. Check
out the cool colours on the limestone here.


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After a small scramble up to this ledge, we pulled out our axes to walk across this ledge and open up
the path to the summit.


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This gives a look at the snow/rock along these cliffs. Without the snow here, this would still be
reasonably spicy with glossy rock, and not very stable rock.


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This shows the last push up the snow to the rock band and finish.


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Dan coming up the last gap to the summit.

View from the summit of Mt Collembola



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Summit 30/107 - Mt Collembola - 26 June 2020. That's Mt Bogart above my left shoulder that looks so ominous.


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The sweet summit register on Mt Collembola.


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Dan and I happy to be through the snowy cliff bands.


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Looking to the Nakiska ski area from the summit of Mt Collembola.

Video from the Allan/Collembola col



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We found some pretty neat conglomerate that honestly looked like big chunks of feta cheese in the rock.


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I really quite liked this hanging valley - would I come here just for this? Likely not as it's a
pretty long day to get here, and you can easily hike up to the Highwood a lot quicker.


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Dan wanted a photo of him up on this rock with a beautiful alpine tarn or lake behind him. Apparently,
these are the Jubilee Tarns, with the one having an island named Queen's Tarn. This is actually
a really nice alpine hanging valley, and reminded me a bit of the Lake O'hara area, but with less
people, and still being in cell-phone range. Note the trail closure until June 21 for sheep birthing
activity, so we were only likely the second group on this peak in 2020.


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Hiking through a field of sky pilots of skunkweed (I think) as we drop a lot of elevation down the scree.


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Dan is pointing out the way back to the car but also to the cool island that I think you can walk to.


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Dan, after forgetting his poles.


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There is literally a trail inside these shrubs, I swear.


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I think this is a ruffed grouse, but it let us come awfully close to it, making me think it might be
a spruce grouse. In either case, this is the chicken of the mountains (along with the ptarmigan).

Garmin Connect data HERE , but almost 1500m elevation gain, almost 21km, 3500 cals (with chest strap)
so it was a bit more beefy outing than I expected.


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A Google Earth view of the route


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