Hiking Banff: Helen Lake / Cirque Peak

Located along the Icefields parkway in Banff National Park, Cirque Peak is rated a premiere hike in “Don’t Waste Your Time in the Canadian Rockies”, with awe-inspiring panoramic summit views.  Unfortunately, on the day we hiked it, fires blazing through British Columbia had created a significant smoky haze throughout large sections of Banff National Park.  Fortunately, we had a freak once-in-a-lifetime trail incident in which we saw a #$@!*^& LYNX.  You win some, you lose some. Continue reading


Hiking Kananaskis: Grizzly Peak

Located in the less crowded Kananaskis valley southeast of Banff, humble 8200 foot Grizzly Peak offers incredible views with a rating of “easy” in Kane’s “Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies” book.  I would argue that there is zero scrambling to achieve the summit of Grizzly Peak, but don’t worry, it’s ~900m (3000ft) of elevation gain in ~5km round trip, making it SUPER DUPER STEEP! Continue reading

Day hikes in El Chalten

El Chalten, Argentina is Patagonia’s “trekking capital” and for good reason!  Dozens of walks ranging in difficultly from casual strolls to epic treks originate from in and around the town, and once you find your way to El Chalten (usually via several planes and buses) there’s no need for a rental car.  I’ve detailed my Patagonia trekking and mountaineering adventures in my previous two blog posts, so now it’s time to talk about the equally awesome day hiking opportunities in El Chalten! Continue reading