Steven Song's Peak-bagging Journey

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Prairie Mountain

Finally finished my last exam, on the morning of April 28th. The weather forecast showed clear skies on the day, and I didn't want to miss the opportunity, so I decided to do a half day hike, and thus started the drive from Edmonton to Calgary. Prairie Mountain is probably the closest mountain from Calgary. It's my first time driving on Highway 66, and it turned out to be a pleasant drive.
Park at the winter closure gate. There is little to say about the hike, as a trail leads you from the parking area right to the top. It's a 3km one way hike with 700m elevation gain, so be prepared for a steep grade if you do it as a season starter. For us, we spent just over 1 hour to get to the summit. Note that it's my first on-season hike in 2012, that is, no post-holing, no trail breaking, etc. On the summit, you can see most of the peaks in Elbow / Sheep Valley area towards west, including the big Glasgow to Banded Traverse. My car cannot take bikes so that would be a 16-18 hours push... We will see in June. Moose Mountain dominates the view to north. To east, you can see Calgary's skyline and the prairie. We didn't linger too long on the summit. Downhill hike on solid ground isn't as fun as on snow... Weather you are on snowshoes or on boots, the snow can reduce the impact force on your knees, or even you can slide down a little bit with every step. On solid ground, it's all on your knees...

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The prairie
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The prairie
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Parking area
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Parking area
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Elbow River
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Elbow River
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Elbow River
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Elbow River
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5
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The trail
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The trail
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At treeline
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At treeline
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Me near the summit
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Me near the summit
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Me on the summit
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Me on the summit
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The foothills towards SE
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The foothills towards SE
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Front Ranges towards SW
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Front Ranges towards SW
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Moose Mountain
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Moose Mountain
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P4287088-89
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Calgary skyline
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Calgary skyline
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P4287094-98 1
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P4287094-98 1
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P4287094-98 2
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Summit cairn
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Summit cairn
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Photos taken by Steven