Hiking to Tombstone

This weekend was our first backpacking trip of the season. We did the relatively easy hike to Tombstone campground in Kananaskis. Friday morning there was no rush to get out of Calgary, so Jon and I enjoyed a relaxing breakfast at Nellie’s before heading out with the rest of the gang.
Our hike started off in the pouring rain, with all of us looking a little less than thrilled as we lumbered along with our packs. We stopped for lunch at Elbow Lake, which is only 1.3 km in but at the top of all the elevation gain for the hike. It wasn’t as beautiful as last year, but still a nice sight.
Luckily, about a half hour later, the sun came up and we could enjoy the beautiful mountains surrounding us. The hike itself is along an old road, with very little elevation change. This makes for an easy and scenic 7.5 km trip.

We arrived in camp around 4 pm, set up and then settled down for some napping. We woke up in time for some rain and hail while cooking dinner, but luckily it didn’t last for long. We enjoyed a camp fire with the free wood, but headed to bed as soon as the rain started again. Sometime during the night the wind picked up, blowing away the clouds.
Saturday was beautifully sunny, but with gale force winds (left over from the night before). It was unpleasantly cold and we huddled around the fire in the morning before heading out on a day trip to Rae Lake. It was sunny but cold at the lake where we stopped for lunch, but still beautiful. Like last time we’d been here, we got lost trying to find the trail out of the lake and ended up bushwacking our way back to the main trail.
The wind kept up right through the evening. Being too cold for anything else, we all spent the time huddled around the fire cooking apples (thanks to Erin and Andrew) and wishing the wind would stop. At least it wasn’t raining!
On Sunday morning the wind was still blowing, but our hike to Tombstone Lakes took us into a pass and out of the worst of the winds. Upper Tombstone Lake was quite scenic, and we took our time with lunch, enjoying the sun and a break from the cold.
The afternoon was spent playing cards (if you’re a girl) or participating in some sort of backpacking challenge that involved both distance and accuracy throwing with trekking poles and a round of golf (if you were a guy). Another evening around the campfire (we made good use of that free wood) before turning in.
Monday morning we managed to shove all our stuff back in our packs and we hiked out in beautiful weather (still with wind). We covered ground quickly and were back in our cars by 1 pm, ready to head home for a shower. It was a fantastic weekend (other than the wind), very relaxing and a nice break from the city.

Jon, Jenn, Ricky, Andrew, Ali, Mike, Mic, Andrew and Erin with Rae Mountain in the background.


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