Visit the photo set 2014: Prairie Mountain Hike on Flickr.
One of the downsides of moving from Calgary in 2003 was leaving behind a group of good friends with whom I did a lot of outdoor activities. The story goes all the way back to the early 1990’s when many of us lived in Sarnia, Ontario. In those days, we did a number of canoe trips together in Algonquin and Killarney Provincial Parks. One by one, we moved out to Calgary starting in the mid 1990’s and switched over to backpacking, hiking and cycling. We did the crème de la crème of Canadian Rockies backpack trips, including Mt Assiniboine, the Skyline Trail, the Rockwall and an excellent section of the Great Divide Trail. Throw a bunch of hiking and scrambling days as well as our annual Highwood Pass cycling trip in June and we covered a great deal of the outdoor opportunities available to us over the years.
I finally had an opportunity to visit Calgary on business (it had been seven years!) and with a few quick messages on Facebook, we set up not only a reunion of friends in the area on the weekend but also a quick hike. Joining the hike were my good friends John Greuel, Garry Labossiere and Randy Segato. The hike we chose was a classic front-range hike up Prairie Mountain.
The weather on the day was cool with a stiff southwest wind, but fortunately for us the predicted rain/snow held off until later in the day. Leaving the car, the four of us quickly returned to the close camaraderie we shared in our earlier days, reliving past trips and catching up on news of common friends and family. Randy showed that he had spent the most amount in the gym of us all as he led us up the mountain, while I showed what living at -6m elevation for six years does to your ability to climb mountains.
Reaching the summit, we took a few pictures and then took shelter behind the few trees on the summit to eat some lunch and chat some more. John broke out his flask of Laphroaig Single Malt and we toasted the health of each other.
All too soon, we packed up and dropped back down the mountain to the cars. All in all, a great way to spend a day and we all resolved to not wait so long between hikes the next time.