What a weekend. I am writing this bleary-eyed, thoroughly exhausted, and really questioning how I’m going to teach a Monday night and Tuesday morning spin class, but reflecting on how great this weekend was. Not only did I get to spend time with my family but I got to join up with Jo and Saba and hike Ha Ling.
Ha Ling has been on my hiking bucket list for a while. I knew it was a relatively short hike and very doable for a fairly novice hiker like myself, plus the trail head was super easy to find as I had biked from Goat Creek Trail head before (which shares a parking lot with the Ha Ling trail head). Jo threw out the idea for a Saturday hike and I jumped on board when I knew I’d be in Calgary and wasn’t super into shopping in the crowded malls with my family. I drove out to Canmore in the late morning and met Saba and Jo at her house before driving to the trail head.
Ha Ling is about a 2.5-3 hour hike on a good summer day, but a little lengthier on a spring day with residual icy trails. We started hiking around 11:30am and got hustling up the mountain. I screwed spikes into my old running shoes the night before the hike and they faired pretty well. I only slipped a couple of times on sheer ice but they dug into the slushier parts well and kept me upright… unlike our fellow hikers that wore Nike frees and Converse up the mountain? We took about 2.5 hours to get to the top at a leisurely pace. The peak is a 2400ft elevation gain in a relatively short 2.6km distance.
The trail is super easy to follow and you would have a hard time getting lost. The last 1/4 of the way up is out of the treeline and into the wind. It was very blustery at the top so we ran up for a couple photos and then quickly headed back down to the trees for a snack break. The view from the top of Ha Ling is INCREDIBLE.
We took about an hour and a half to get down to the trail head again and it felt a lot easier getting down than going up… although that may be because we slid on our feet, asses, and hands halfway down. It was actually kind of fun and I didn’t once feel scared or out of control heading down quickly. We had the chance to talk and laugh on the way down and it made for a fantastic afternoon. I’m so glad I headed out for this hike, especially with these two ladies who made it super fun!
I definitely think this hike can be done by anyone because it’s not technical in any way, more just strenuous and feels like your heart will explode from your chest at certain points. Straight up, straight down, that’s how I would describe this hike. It’s a great gut buster and perfect for a half-day hike. I can’t wait to try it again in the summer with less ice and maybe a faster time. 😉
Have you done Ha Ling?
What is on your summer hiking list?