Ha Ling Peak (Super Moon)

May 7, 2012 at 7:33 pm

Attempt date: May 6th, 2012
Start time: 3:00am
Completion time: 5 hours
Participants:  Sarah McLean, Jeff Trudel, Rob Hick, Patrick Latter

Weather conditions at base

Temperature

Minimum Temperature: 2.0 °C
Mean Temperature: 3.0 °C
Maximum Temperature 4.4 °C

Pressure and Dew Point

Mean Sea Level Pressure: 102.71 kPa
Mean Dew Point: 1.6 °C

Wind Speed and Gusts

Mean Wind Speed: 15.93 kmh
Maximum Sustained Wind Speed: 15.00 kmh
Maximum Wind Gust: 38.89 kmh

Directions

From Canmore follow the directions in town towards the ‘Nordic Center‘. Continue on around the reservoir and dam until you reach the ‘Goat Creek‘ trailhead parking lot. This is the same parking lot you would use for ‘East End of Rundle‘. Once parked, walk across the main road and up the gated service road. You will cross over a bridge and pass a small utility building on the right. Follow the well defined trail from there up the mountain.

Gear

  • Food
  • Water
  • Warm ski jacket
  • Warm fleece
  • Winter Hiking boots
  • Warm socks (or 2 layers of socks)
  • Poles
  • Toque
  • Thermal underwear
  • Snow-pants or gaiters
  • Gloves

Ascent 

You can click on any of the images so a larger size.

It may be starting to seem like we only ever climb 2 different mountains, but they just happen to be relatively snow free in the winter/spring, making for a safer and easier ascent. The trails are also simple to find/follow at night because we have so much experience on them. I promise a new mountain next weekend!

With sunrise expected at 6:07am that morning, we planned to start the hike at 3:00am. With only about 2 hours of sleep everybody was a little grumpy in the morning but once we got started the tiredness quickly wore off. We were lucky to be hiking with a “super moon”, that according to the news would be 14% larger and 33% brighter than a regular full moon. It was so bright that it wasn’t even necessary to use head lamps when out of trees.

With the warm spring weather we didn’t encounter much snow until we reached the higher elevations but with the heavy traffic on the trail, this hard packed snow did not require snow shoes. Once out of trees, we slowly zigzagged up the loose rock towards the ridge separating the two peaks. I was looking forward to re-taking a photo of the town of Canmore at night. A previous hike had strong winds and blowing snow which led to the lens getting covered in a coating snow and ruining the photo. Lucky for me, this time the weather and wind cooperated and I was able to get the shot I wanted.

We stopped on the ridge and continued taking photos and had some food while we waiting for the sunrise.

It was then when that night’s supermoon began to drop below the western mountain ridge in the distance.

As the sky brightened with the impending sunrise, we headed towards the summit. We reached the top and according to Rob’s watch, a height of 2400m above sea level.

The cold winds had frozen Jeff’s camelback water line.

We could see East End of Rundle in the distance and it looked as though it had seen fresh snow since our climb last week.

As the sun crept over the mountains it lit up the tips of the peaks with a brilliant light.

Once most of the good light faded, we started our descent down the mountain. We stayed to the right as we made our we to the tree line towards increasingly deep snow, sliding down where we could. As we reached the trees, the 3 foot deep snow had become so hardened by the sun that we were all able to walk on top without problems. Well.. almost all of us. Rob is quite a bit taller and his extra weight caused him to randomly sink his entire leg into the snow every few steps.

We couldn’t stop laughing as Rob attempted to be as light as possible but failed.

I stopped to take a photo over the small bridge that we crossed at the beginning of the hike. This was the view of the first moon light water photo of the post.

We finally caught back up with the trail another 200m or so down. From here it was a quick jog to the bottom. Before stopping into our favorite bagel shop in Canmore to have breakfast, Jeff decided to do some public stretching.

After another amazing breakfast at the Rocky Mountain Bagel Co., we headed back to the house in Canmore. We all went out to the deck to get some sleep in the sun before our drive back to Calgary.