Ha Ling Peak (Early Morning Climb)


Attempt date: March 4th, 2012
Start time: 4:00am
Completion time: 5 hours
Participants:  Jimmy Quigley, Patrick Latter

Weather conditions at base


Minimum Temperature: 5.0 °C
Mean Temperature: 6.2 °C
Maximum Temperature 7.8 °C

Pressure and Dew Point

Mean Sea Level Pressure: 101.87 kPa
Mean Dew Point: 0.3 °C

Wind Speed and Gusts

Mean Wind Speed: 20.93 kmh
Maximum Sustained Wind Speed: 13.00 kmh
Maximum Wind Gust: 37.04 kmh


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.


  • Food
  • Water
  • Warm ski jacket
  • Warm fleece
  • Winter Hiking boots
  • Warm socks (or 2 layers of socks)
  • Goggles (extremely helpful once you break the tree line)
  • Poles
  • Toque
  • Neck/face warmer
  • Thermal underwear
  • Snow-pants or gaiters
  • 2 layers of gloves
  • Hand warmers


We left the house in Canmore at 3:45am, Colt 45 in hand. We concealed it in a paper bag to keep things classy.

We arrived at the goat creek parking lot just before 4:00am and began getting ready for the hike. We were the only car in the lot with the exception of a snow covered van that was probably left overnight.

With the trail for Ha Ling Peak being pretty well defined, it was not difficult to follow, despite the 4 or 5 inches of snow that had fallen the night before. With the help of head lamps, we were making good time and were at tree line within 1.5 hours. I snapped a few photos of Jimmy, as he was lit up by my headlamp because my headlamp was pointed downwards; it created a strange invisible man effect.

As soon as the trees ended, so did any sign of the trail. The recent snowfall combined with the darkness made it next to impossible to continue following what we thought was the trail. This made the next 150m of the hike very difficult, as we were having to trudge through deep snow without the help of snowshoes. After about 15 or 20 minutes of tiring climbing, we managed to reach an area of rocky shale that had far less snow on it. We then hiked another 100m to the ridge that divides Ha Ling Peak and Miner’s Col, arriving by 6:30am and stopped to have some food and take some photos. With the approaching storm the valley was covered in a low layer of fog and we could see the glow of the city lights below us.

Just 5 minutes later the city and its lights were completely covered in a dense layer of fog. With what seems like the now common place extreme wind that accompanies Ha Ling Peak we decided to quickly head for the summit. After reaching the top, we found a small area of rocks that were sheltered from the wind where we stopped to have the rest of our food. As we squeezed into this tiny space that could barely fit the two of us.

With the sun now up and the deep snow, we quickly jogged/slid down towards the tree line. Once we reached the trees, we chose to just slide straight down rather than use the trail. The deep snow made it easy for us to slide our way to the bottom in just 30 or 40 minutes. I will try and post some videos of this later this week. We crossed over the small bridge at the bottom just before 9:00am.

Five hours of hiking with relatively no bad falls and Jimmy bails hard in the last 50m on the access road down to the parking lot.

The fresh layer of snow was hiding a completely iced over road beneath. After reaching the car and heading back to town, we stopped in at the Bagel Co. for breakfast. We both had the  ‘Mountaineer’, which was basically a Montreal smoked meat bagel sandwich. AMAZING.

By |2017-06-07T12:58:37+00:00March 5th, 2012|Day Hikes|91 Comments


  1. Jimmy Quigley March 6, 2012 at 1:23 am - Reply

    That last picture captures my emotion perfectly. Happy. Tired. But more importantly, just thrilled to have a pickle in my mouth.

  2. Caley Schmid March 6, 2012 at 4:28 am - Reply

    Well done in the climb sirs. And very well written depiction of it Pat. Makes a guy wanna be less lazy and climb some more mountains… I did a whopping One last year. And it was just Heart Mountain.

    • patricklatter March 6, 2012 at 6:40 pm - Reply

      Thanks Caley. Jimmy and I were actually talking about heart mountain on the way back into town.

  3. Indra March 6, 2012 at 8:06 am - Reply

    what a ‘trip’!

  4. dudleydavid March 6, 2012 at 9:43 am - Reply

    I have never done any of those hikes but have been interested. More now so! the photos are beautiful. Looks like loads of fun.

  5. Judy March 6, 2012 at 6:15 pm - Reply

    This is a terrific blog! I’ll look forward to your posts. Awesome photos too…
    I think it’s a great idea to celebrate the summit with 45’s instead of champagne! 😉

  6. jolynndeal March 6, 2012 at 6:51 pm - Reply

    A fantastic narration of your journey! I felt like I was there. I’m now freezing! This was a wonderful blog and I look forward to your additions.

  7. Jess Banuelos March 6, 2012 at 7:19 pm - Reply

    This is incredible… I love the photograph of your friend (Jimmy) in the red jacket laying in the snow. What a magnificent place to be – magical. And thank you for stopping by :]

  8. weedimageoftheday March 6, 2012 at 7:20 pm - Reply

    Wow! What a journey. I loved it!

  9. alirthome March 6, 2012 at 7:48 pm - Reply

    Beautiful shots 🙂

  10. Stuart Hyde - shpics March 6, 2012 at 7:54 pm - Reply

    Hey thanks so much for the ‘like’ on my blog….
    I’ve just read your HA Ling Peak post and realised that you’re probably the first certifiable lunatic to visit my pages..Fantastic!!!

  11. Teresa Meier March 6, 2012 at 8:39 pm - Reply

    Looks like Good Times!

  12. csroth3 March 7, 2012 at 9:11 am - Reply

    Nice pics, I especially love the night shots. You are a brave soul. Thanks for following.

  13. newsferret March 7, 2012 at 9:45 pm - Reply

    What a contrast to the mountains where we hike. Really enjoyed that post and photographs.

  14. Amalia March 8, 2012 at 12:19 am - Reply

    Love your photos! But I think my fav is your passion for hiking and climbing. Ever climbed in Colorado? Any recommendations for spectacular climbs in Europe? I won’t have gear with me in Europe, but I love to hike! Check out information on Mtn. Sneffels when you get the chance. It’s not nearly as “narly” as the other climbs you do, but I’m partial to it since I’ve done it three times and used to live at the base of it in the San Juans.
    I’m looking forward to seeing what else you’re climbing up!

  15. chalicemoon March 8, 2012 at 7:31 am - Reply

    Fantastic! I agree – you are brave – keep it up! Thank you for liking my blog at gallerycatsandhens – take care!

  16. ... simplify by Jane....... March 8, 2012 at 7:40 am - Reply

    Fantastic adventure and series of shots!

  17. natureintheburbs March 8, 2012 at 7:44 am - Reply

    Great combination of writing and photography. Makes me feel like I was there on the mountain.

  18. Giiid March 8, 2012 at 8:21 am - Reply

    Wonderful photos, and what a positive energy you have, I´m glad that I found your blog.Take care.

  19. Silver City Linda March 8, 2012 at 9:23 am - Reply

    I live in the high desert of New Mexico; to the south is desert terrain and to the north is mountain terrain. I’ve been avoiding the north trails all winter because I might hit cold (35-45 degrees) and 2-3 inches of snow. Your hike sure puts this into perspective! I feel like quite the wimp in my avoidance! Your shots are wonderful! I am enjoying your blog! I also have something to add to my pack! C45!

  20. meenas17 March 8, 2012 at 10:14 am - Reply

    Thanks for following my blog. Your posts are very interesting.

  21. John P. Meyer March 8, 2012 at 5:09 pm - Reply

    Hilarious. Being from Texas, I thought your Colt 45 ref. applied to something entirely different. Fabulous photos.

  22. Bongo March 8, 2012 at 11:51 pm - Reply

    I love the photo looking down at the city lights.

  23. krijun March 9, 2012 at 5:32 am - Reply

    Beautiful pictures! I really adore your life… hiking, and trekking. You’re in total connection with nature, and the world.

  24. maximegousse March 9, 2012 at 7:36 am - Reply

    Nice blog. I just forwarded it to a friend of mine who likes photography and hiking! And thanks for following my blog too at MaxPhotoBlog.net.

  25. James March 9, 2012 at 7:48 am - Reply

    Awesome! I had never thought of hiking with Colt .45 before, but now I will! Thanks for the post.

  26. AYearOfTravel March 9, 2012 at 9:29 am - Reply

    This makes me miss Canmore and the mountains so much! Great photos. What kind of camera do you use?

  27. asrai7 March 9, 2012 at 9:37 am - Reply

    Colt 45 on top of a mountain. Just my style 🙂 Nice post!

  28. onelifethislife March 9, 2012 at 7:56 pm - Reply

    You are a brave man! Great photos! Thanks for sharing your moment.

  29. Jenny March 12, 2012 at 2:02 pm - Reply

    Love the photo of Jimmy collapsed on the bridge. Reminds me of an X-C outing near Jackson, NH, where we all managed to stay upright in icy conditions. At the end of the outing, when we all clustered together for a group photo, our friend Jay fell down for no apparent reason at all (and not on purpose). It was hilarious. Thanks for your interest in my Endless Streams and Forests blog.

  30. bradwynalek March 12, 2012 at 11:20 pm - Reply

    Way to get after it! Great post!

  31. Bold Wandering March 21, 2012 at 1:52 pm - Reply

    Great hike. The photos are pretty fantastic and how could you not take Lando’s advice?

  32. Integrated Memoirs March 22, 2012 at 11:41 pm - Reply

    Amazing! I would love to do something like this one day.

  33. Z Joya March 27, 2012 at 8:35 pm - Reply

    awesome photos!

  34. The Pal Guy May 1, 2012 at 6:44 pm - Reply

    Great photos. You guys are true trekkers. Keep it up as long as you can.

  35. sarahvercoeimages May 1, 2012 at 8:24 pm - Reply

    Hi – thanks for stopping by my photo blog today 🙂

    What a cool blog you have here and such fantastic photos, I love adventure so your blog is right up my alley. Also, I am a huge fan of Canada, will be moving back there early next year 🙂 Looking forward to seeing more from you.

  36. fiztrainer May 1, 2012 at 9:21 pm - Reply

    Incredible. How fun … you make me jealous. LOL! Fun stuff and awesome photos. 😀

  37. Maddie May 2, 2012 at 7:29 am - Reply

    awesome pics.

  38. Impressive! First photo the lighting reflect the mood, I also love the shadow!
    The second photo is my favorite! I love that you used what lighting you had available…it gives the viewer a sense of espace tres vaste et le stop sign makes it real! Beautiful photos!

  39. urbancurator May 2, 2012 at 6:17 pm - Reply

    gorgeous photos and wow, I always admire people who hike… I have flat feet so I’m better of just riding my bike 🙂

  40. spilledcookies May 2, 2012 at 8:54 pm - Reply

    Wow! You have some amazing photo’s! Looks like a great hike!

  41. Lissa Rabon May 2, 2012 at 10:20 pm - Reply

    This was really fun to read. The parking lot photo is super cool. Thanks for following my blog!

  42. jennechrisville May 2, 2012 at 10:44 pm - Reply

    nice photos! and you’re really cute :)))

  43. newstilllifes May 3, 2012 at 4:11 am - Reply

    Imagine my surprise! You are always
    in the country…And I rarely go out…Happy to follow your walks, Patrick!

  44. chaoticwhitespace May 3, 2012 at 4:12 pm - Reply

    Love your pics! Thanks for stopping by my blog and following!

  45. thefoodstalker May 4, 2012 at 11:42 am - Reply

    Love your images….awe inspiring! Colt 45…? Next time pack some “tequila”! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by to see The Food Stalker http://www.thefoodstalker.com. We love adventures too but of the Food & Fashion kind…oh honey, MaMa don’t play that cold white stuff…:) Keep shining!

  46. Jean May 4, 2012 at 5:56 pm - Reply

    Well, you avoided deepest cold up there on that mountain. So that’s what the view looks like! Happy adventures.

  47. Gilly Gee May 5, 2012 at 2:59 am - Reply

    What an amazing climb and awesome photos to look back on!

  48. hopeseguin May 5, 2012 at 8:43 pm - Reply


  49. bachsbythebeach May 7, 2012 at 12:28 pm - Reply

    wow…it looks soooo cold!!!! You are brave

  50. home, garden, life May 7, 2012 at 4:19 pm - Reply


    You drink crap beer. The Mountaineer bagel sounds good, yet OMG there should be better beer! 😉

  51. camc1105 May 7, 2012 at 4:50 pm - Reply

    WOW! apparently I need to go hiking in Canada! Love the photos.

  52. cloudfactor5 May 7, 2012 at 4:53 pm - Reply

    Wow , that was so cool !! Great post !!

  53. milesloveswords May 7, 2012 at 5:08 pm - Reply

    Thanks for following my blog. I love the colt 45 pics and keeping it classy in the brown paper bag!

  54. scratchatary May 7, 2012 at 6:44 pm - Reply

    That is cool. The Colt 45 dude. FUNNY!!!!! Love it man….

  55. Elaine Anne Westheimer May 7, 2012 at 11:44 pm - Reply

    Beautiful photos. Thanks for finding me so that I can also follow you.

  56. shermangerherd May 8, 2012 at 8:08 am - Reply

    Beautiful images. Your adventures almost make me wish I was young again. Almost!
    Thanks for the follow, I hope you will enjoy my ‘stuff’.

  57. pk May 8, 2012 at 9:09 am - Reply

    Nothing like the view from the top of glaciers, when you got there on your own legs. I used to “ski” a few turns in just my boots.
    Beautiful, nice to meet you.

  58. ravendawnphotography May 8, 2012 at 1:04 pm - Reply

    Love the shots 🙂 I use to live in Canmore.

  59. jennysserendipity May 9, 2012 at 10:59 am - Reply

    Lovely adventure

  60. Stephen L. Tyler May 14, 2012 at 1:25 am - Reply

    Funny – you didn’t mention the Colt .45 among the gear 🙂 Awesome images!

  61. sarah June 27, 2012 at 7:31 am - Reply

    loving the black and white shots! Very inspiring!

  62. Okwudili June 28, 2012 at 8:31 am - Reply

    What lovely pics!

  63. K. Henriques September 5, 2012 at 11:44 am - Reply

    stunning photos!

  64. Personal Concerns September 5, 2012 at 2:29 pm - Reply

    Its been a long time that I saw pics as lovely as these!! Its just amazing work!

  65. Mirror MUSES September 5, 2012 at 4:22 pm - Reply

    These are absolutely AMAZING!!! Thanks for sharing. Seems like quite an adventure.

  66. cheapfrillsjuli September 5, 2012 at 6:51 pm - Reply

    I have to say, I am in awe over how your posts manage to continually balance some of the most stunning photography I’ve ever encountered with some of the most personable. Incredible work.

  67. jimsadventure2012 September 5, 2012 at 8:45 pm - Reply

    Hi! Thanks a lot for checking out my blog. I am now following you so I can follow you on all your awesome hikes. Have you ever been to High River, AB? I am thinking of checking it out sometime between now and the end of 2013.

  68. Merari9 September 6, 2012 at 8:19 am - Reply

    wowww Beautiful page and amazing pics! xoxo 🙂

  69. Amberly September 6, 2012 at 11:18 am - Reply

    This is a gorgeous display of photo’s! Amazing how you captured your adventure!

  70. HELENA September 6, 2012 at 7:29 pm - Reply

    wow..i like your blog– thnks for following me:))

  71. cricketmuse September 6, 2012 at 8:48 pm - Reply

    Fantabulous posting! Most could be calendar shots. What kind of birds were on the rocks? They looked like a cross between a peacock and a loon. Oh, and thanks for stopping by my Author Spotlight post.
    Happy Pages,

  72. lagosbooksclub September 7, 2012 at 12:42 am - Reply

    …we are from a world distant from the geography of your travelogue but the strength of your human spirit shined through every meter of snow we followed u through…thanks for your comment on our blog!…we will be back here soon!…

  73. judybkr September 7, 2012 at 5:11 pm - Reply

    You photos are great. By the way, thank you for visiting my place. I wonder if you understand any word in Spanish

  74. jenhelene77 September 7, 2012 at 9:47 pm - Reply

    Beautiful! And amazing

  75. theperchblog September 8, 2012 at 9:04 am - Reply

    Beautiful photos – Especially LOVE all the portraits. Inspires me to be more hardcore!

  76. plainmuslimah September 8, 2012 at 9:36 am - Reply

    Wow, you make me wish I lived in Canada and not Africa. These photos literally make me crave snow ^^,

  77. andasfortoday September 8, 2012 at 11:32 am - Reply

    I would love to go but your photo’s are a great alternative. One day I’ll go and I will send you the pics 🙂 Really enjoyed this post!

  78. tales2apoint September 8, 2012 at 9:38 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the follow! I hope you enjoy my stories. Wow, I look forward to receiving your updates! What incredible views and shots!! Keep it up!

  79. yurfar September 8, 2012 at 11:58 pm - Reply

    Hey dear Patrick, these snaps and descriptions are awesome!!! I really like this. I just started my journey with blog. Thnx, you went through my first post. You are awesome!!! 🙂

  80. homeflair September 9, 2012 at 2:15 am - Reply

    You have the most amazing pictures on your website! It must be wonderful to have experienced all that 🙂 Thanks for visiting Homeflair.

  81. rhiannoncdavies September 9, 2012 at 4:17 am - Reply

    Amazing pictures, been wanting to do some travel writing and now completely entranced by the idea of going to Canada. Looks incredible. Particularly love the black and white road pictures side by side (one stood up, one led down) – fantastic work.

  82. bethanycarol September 9, 2012 at 9:31 am - Reply

    Wow! These pictures are awesome! Love that you’re drinking beer during your hike…keeps the extremities feeling warm at least, right?!

    Came here to say thank you for following my blog, but I’ve moved! http://www.dontworrydc.com

  83. askia nasir bilal -a wayfarer's poems September 9, 2012 at 12:48 pm - Reply

    these are some amazing photos from what looks like some awesome journeys. I look forward to following your blog and seeing more.

  84. Veggie Kate September 10, 2012 at 4:05 am - Reply

    Dude!! AMAZING! …And distracting… I’m supposed to be working, not drooling over brownie mix pictures, and smiling at seals… 🙂 Great photos!

  85. The Rev. Deirdre Whitfield September 10, 2012 at 7:02 pm - Reply

    Your pictures are absolutely wonderful and amazing!

  86. Kit September 10, 2012 at 7:36 pm - Reply

    Wow, amazing! l would love to experience a hiking trip like that one day! Your pictures bring out the beauty in nature for all of us to share!

  87. somasekar September 10, 2012 at 11:40 pm - Reply

    Amazing man…

  88. londonbusybody September 17, 2012 at 3:11 pm - Reply

    Gorgeous photos and cheers to the Colt 45!

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