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The Coming Of Winter

Rick C
October 10th, 2011, 11:25 AM
Pete and Ruby were up in the Highwood Pass of Alberta's Kananaskis Country yesterday, about an hour drive from the house on the bald butt prairie.

They found winter . . . . at about 8,000 feet of altitude in this case.

Pete and Ruby enjoy a cool break after a long climb. We passed three people on the way up and then were alone the rest of the hike, higher and lower.

Below, Pete romps through the deepening snow . . . Across the way, in the peaks in the background, is Ptarmigan Cirque, closed to hikers due to a momma grizzly and two cubs in the area.

Pete stays alert on the climb higher . . . . . we were going to a spot above the trees in the distance, coloured orange a bit by larch pines losing their quills for the winter. Only a few people had been along here, giving us a vague idea where the trail was in the snow.

Continued below . . . .

Rick C
October 10th, 2011, 11:27 AM
Below, Ruby on the descent . . . .

Below, Ruby does her tourist thing, something both are want to do. Not enough snow yet for an avalanche danger. The road to this place closes in early December and its left in isolation for the animals until mid-June.

The previous morning at home, Pete and Ruby as well as our 20 + year old gnome "Kitty" guard the gate at sunrise.

Kitty stands watch, her ear having been chewed off by Keeper and then Ruby later on. Kitty is a survivor . . . .

Continued below:

Rick C
October 10th, 2011, 11:29 AM
Pete at sunrise, happy to be anywhere.

Below, a no-look shot through the windshield, hence the blur in the middle . . . . but you get the idea of what it looks like out west right now.

Below, Ruby looks out over the Sheep River Gorge west of Turner Valley on a Fall day . . . .

The previous week, Ruby in the forest west of Turner Valley . . .

Before that, Pete and Ruby up in Elbow Lake, the colours of summer fading around them.

Continued below . . . .

Rick C
October 10th, 2011, 11:31 AM
Ruby and Pete in Elbow Pass . . . . . I had pooched the settings on my camera this little trip, hence a lack of clarity in the images.

Ruby going through Elbow Pass . . . . she could walk right through the mountains to her house on the prairie on this trail if she wanted to.

Earlier, up on Brokeback Mountain, known more properly as Moose Mountain. Scenes for the movie - the high camp for the sheep - were filmed on the flat part just below Pete and Ruby.

Below, the Fire Watch station up on Moose Mountain on the next peak.

Rick C

Rick C
October 10th, 2011, 11:46 AM
Earlier, earlier, Ruby and Pete pause heading up an innocuous little peak in the Foothills.

Ruby crests a ridge . . . .

Below, Ruby at the top . . .

Below, Pete and Ruby descending along an old fence line, held up by hope more than anything. This is crown land, owned by the public and leased out but also cattle country.

Rick C

October 10th, 2011, 02:55 PM
Wonderful, wonderful pics, Rick, pooched camera settings notwithstanding! Even the shot through the window is pretty!

My fave is the one of Pete cooling his belly in a snow bank! That's a classic!!

Thanks for sharing a little of your life, loves, and countryside with us.

October 10th, 2011, 07:47 PM
Wonderful shots. My favourite is Pete cooling his belly too. Since my dog and I love to cross country ski and snowshoe I envy you the snow. It was so warm here today, at least 26C, we wore shorts and my Lab would love to cool his belly like that.

October 10th, 2011, 09:32 PM
As usual gorgeous pics!!! Does one have to be an experienced hiker to tackle those trails?? Being a transplanted Easterner, I've never walked on mountain trails.

Rick C
October 10th, 2011, 11:04 PM
As usual gorgeous pics!!! Does one have to be an experienced hiker to tackle those trails?? Being a transplanted Easterner, I've never walked on mountain trails.

You do not have to be an "experienced" hiker . . . . this was a fairly common day hike, usually a popular one, although the snowy conditions this day would have challenged the fitness of most, hence my loneliness.

"Experienced hiker" probably implies familarity with camping overnight in permitted backcountry locations and probably the necessary fitness level to get there and back.

As an example, Elbow Lake leads to Elbow Pass which will get you to Tombstone backcountry campground which can eventually funnel you to Bluerock, on the other side of the mountains . . . . about 42 km I think. A couple of days hike but popular.

Ideally, particularly at this time of year, there would have been other people with me to make a bigger group for grizzly deterence . . . . and, since there were other cars in the lot and this was pretty much the only trail open, I expected to see others . . . . but I didn't. I suspect they were violating the bear ban on the more popular hike on the other side of the road.

Kananaskis is a very popular hiking area with well-established trails leading into Banff National Park as well. Its a wonderful place . . . . and in some places, only about half an hour from my house.

Rick C

October 11th, 2011, 06:00 AM
Thank you for my Pete and Ruby fix....

October 11th, 2011, 01:20 PM
There's nothing like a pair of Goldens to bring out the beauty of fall scenery and colours. :)

October 12th, 2011, 12:27 AM
Really they're all just perfect.

October 31st, 2011, 04:35 AM
Rick as always just beautiful pics!

I love the one of Pete cooling off his tummy in the snow. Those 2 look like they have really bonded and are enjoying their life immensely!

November 2nd, 2011, 02:14 PM
I totally forgot about this board and just found my way back today. I am so glad I did! These photos are incredible. I've lived in Calgary for my whole life but never get to explore the surrounding areas as I don't have anybody to go with unfortunately, but wow, do you ever capture the beauty well!!

November 11th, 2011, 05:40 PM
wonderful pictures of the goldies,my last dog was a goldie,called i own a chessie,he`s a different ball game,but just as loyal,good luck.

November 11th, 2011, 09:49 PM
Beautiful pictures Rick and thank you for answering Pattymac's question about hiking. :)

Never would of thought about having a bigger group for grizzly deterence. :thumbs up

November 19th, 2011, 04:52 PM
Rick,I know I am a little late commenting,but as always your pics are absolutely dreamy,Pete and Ruby are in dog-heaven for certain:lovestruck::cloud9:

November 20th, 2011, 10:55 AM
I too am loving the pictures. Sure bring back some memories.

Thanks everyone.

take care