Winter Hiking – Not as Bad an Idea as You Might Think

On Monday, when Calgary was overcast and dreary, Chris and I headed up to Banff to enjoy the sunshine. I’ve been wanting to get up there for some time to check out the methane bubbles everyone keeps talking about (we saw some and they’re cool).  Additionally, I was hoping I could talk him into a hike.

Normally, I do not consider hiking to be a winter activity. However, my hair stylist recently informed me that the Johnston Canyon hike in Banff is uniquely winter hikeable because it has a railing along the entire route. Minimal risk of sliding off the edge of a ravine! Additionally, you can rent crampons at the beginning of the hike to facilitate walking on ice. To anyone considering hiking Johnston Canyon before the winter is out, do not rent the crampons. I repeat – DO NOT rent the crampons! Here’s why:

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Chris sliding along Johnston Canyon

Chris and I both wore hiking boots, but they were no match for slippery trail. It turned out rather than hiking, we just clung to the railing and slid our way along. Chris, who normally isn’t a huge fan of hiking (he refers to it as “just walking outside”, as if that’s some sort of criticism), loved it! We saw ice climbers (by the way, G, I’m totally sold for next winter), half-frozen waterfalls, a shivering lap dog, and stunning scenery, but I have to say the best part was hurtling down slippery hills as fast as we could go.

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