# Friday, August 05, 2011

A few weeks ago, Lockey had posted about his trek to Crypt Lake. My boyfriend Geoff and I finally found the time to make our own journey to Crypt, yesterday. We moved to Waterton in April, and while we both consider ourselves well acquainted with the park now, we have both only scratched the surface as far as hiking goes. Part of this is due to the fact a lot of the trails are not do-able until June or July, and the rest is a combination of procrastination and trying to find the time around work schedules. So far this season, I have completed the following hikes:

  • the essential climb on Bear’s Hump quite a few times with one scramble towards the top of Crandell
  •  Lower Bertha Falls
  •  Crandell Lake
  •  Goat Lake, which includes a trek through the Snowshoe Trail
  •  Blakiston Falls
  • Red Rock Canyon
  •  Cameron Lake
  • and now Crypt Lake. 

Most of these hikes are not terribly difficult, with the exception of Goat Lake. I will admit that as a hiker, I am slightly out of shape, but nonetheless I enjoy being challenged. I really want to push myself to complete the Fantastic Four and Triple Crown before the summer is over.

So, forfeiting the first 9 am boat cruise over to Crypt for an extra hour of sleep, we decided to take the 10 am boat. We were in a bit of a panic, as the boat only leaves at 9 and 10 am (it also departs Crypt at 4 pm and 5:30 pm each day...so if you are depending on the cruise to get to and fro, then you have to be especially time conscious!) We narrowly made it after a protein-filled breakfast of eggs and toast with all of the fixings, and scrambling to grab all of our hiking essentials: a backpack with water, Gatorade, packed lunches, bear spray, bug spray, sunscreen and hunting knives. The sunscreen is a must! It was a scorcher yesterday, so I must have sprayed that stuff on at least 3-4 times, and instead of my regular pale white self I am glowing with a bit of red. A hat is also a good hiking accessory. Another thing that we found, is that we definitely should have brought more water or one of those handy-dandy devices that let you filter your own water, since there were at least 3 streams we passed. We joked that at times, the hike was a bit like walking in the desert when we climbed the switchbacks just outside of the forested areas. Seeing running water was a bit like seeing mirage and we happily splashed around in the extremely cold, but refreshing glacier water.

It is really easy to see why Crypt Lake is the #3 hike in Canada and a national favourite. While it was intense at times, it was a great workout with fantastic scenery. There were families with young children out on the trail too- if your family is physically up to the challenge of a day hike, 5+ hours, it is not impossible. I was very impressed to see kids as young as 7 or 8, enduring the challenge, though most of the hikers were pretty experienced.

 As we disembarked from the Roddy Paul and walked into the forest of trees following the hike trailhead, we took in a different, invigorating scent of pine. Along the way, we saw numerous waterfalls. I was clamouring to snap photos at almost every turn, but in our rush I had forgotten to charge my camera battery and so had left it behind. Geoff had pulled out his camera on the boat ride over, only to discover its batteries were still in a flashlight we had used a few days prior at a campfire. Generously, a couple from Pincher Creek, who had asked us to take a photo of them, offered to take our photo in front of the falls and email it to us.

The greatest highlight of the entire trip was, of course, the cave tunnel near the end of the journey. After 2.5 hours of pushing ourselves, we splashed around in a stream to cool off and then on the other side was the cave. Even on a weekday, the boats had brought many people over to Crypt to hike. There must have been at least 100 people out on the trail, which meant waiting in a line to climb the ladder into the cave and then to pass through (1 person at a time sort of deal.) However, not only was this my favourite part of the hike, crawling through the cave but I was also very challenged by traversing the wire-guided cliff edge following it over towards the lake, as someone who is not a fan of heights. It felt good to climb through and then relax on the edge of the lake with a sandwich, before the lengthy trek back.

5 hikes to complete Triple Crown and Fantastic Four: 1 down, 4 to go!

See you on the trails,

Marie

posted on Friday, August 05, 2011 10:51:52 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0]