Grotto Mountain

Location: Alberta, Canada
Participants: Jimmy Quigley, Patrick Latter
Time: 7 Hours
Weather: -10°C

Directions

From Calgary take the Trans-Canada Highway to Canmore. There follow signs to The Alpine Club of Canada. More road detail to follow. Check in with the folks at the ACC before parking in the Clubhouse parking lot. The space is limited so guest will have first rights. You can park further down the road if the lot is full.

Gear

  • Hiking Boots
  • Food
  • Water
  • Warm ski jacket
  • Warm fleece
  • Warm socks (or 2 layers of socks)
  • Toque
  • Snow-pants or gaiters
  • Gloves

Camera Gear Used:

Map

Map

Stats

Story

The hike begins at the alpine club and it isn’t long until you have a great view of the mountains across the valley. We started the hike at 6:45am, which was early enough to get an amazing red glow touching the opposing mountain tops.

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A closer view of the 3 sisters. From left to right, the little sister, the middle sister and the big sister. I’d like to hike 2 of 3 this summer.

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It was relatively easy going for the first 2/3rds. Some of the snow had begun to melt and there was well defined trail in the snow.

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Once we broke through the tree line the snow quickly deepened as we hugged the left ridge.

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We loved grotto for the fact that that it’s basically a very long ridge walk to the summit. Great views the whole way!

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We stopped to grab some lunch and take some pictures at the summit. We didn’t stay long as there was very strong cold wind coming over the top and no where to gain shelter from it.

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Turns out Lucha Libre masks make for amazing wind breaks.

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Heading back down was easy going as we just traced back our recently placed footsteps in the snow.

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Jimmy risking his life for another photo op.

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By | 2013-05-27T13:51:35+00:00 March 27th, 2013|Photo Stories|64 Comments

64 Comments

  1. Rustic Recluse March 27, 2013 at 11:42 pm - Reply

    Love the drinking-water shot! You’ve got some of the most amazing photos here! Thanks for sharing and keep hiking!

  2. makagutu March 27, 2013 at 11:51 pm - Reply

    Wow, wonderful shots.
    The gray scale pics are just awesome

  3. susielindau March 27, 2013 at 11:52 pm - Reply

    Woohoo! whomp….
    Great photos Patrick! Love this adventure.

  4. valeriedavies March 28, 2013 at 12:49 am - Reply

    wonderful shots … can never decider whether I like the black and white more than the colour….

  5. kiwiyarns March 28, 2013 at 1:08 am - Reply

    You are SO lucky. Being able to climb to the top of the world (so it looks anyway!). The photos are amazing. thank you for sharing.

  6. Julie Jeavons March 28, 2013 at 1:22 am - Reply

    Fantastic photos. I am nearly inspired to take up hiking.

  7. jumbledwriter March 28, 2013 at 1:28 am - Reply

    I agree with Rustic Recluse. I can’t believe the quality of these photos. I feel like I am not looking at this through a computer screen, but am right in the moment of the photos. Except I am not freezing cold like I would be in the mountains.
    –JW

  8. sukiesoriginal March 28, 2013 at 1:50 am - Reply

    Wow – what an incredible place! I like that drinking sunshine picture too -and the lichen and snow covered twigs.. Great work, Patrick!

  9. kiwiskan March 28, 2013 at 1:58 am - Reply

    Those peaks look like marble in one shot

  10. Mark Simms March 28, 2013 at 2:03 am - Reply

    Excellent as per usual Patrick – the drinking water shot is great.

  11. lowspectrum March 28, 2013 at 2:36 am - Reply

    I agree with Rustic Recluse. Though all the pictures from this hike are amazing, the drinking shot gets my vote for originality. Against this scenic background, it takes a trained eye to capture an interesting moment. Way to go.

  12. LensScaper March 28, 2013 at 3:03 am - Reply

    Some very imaginative images especially the drinks bottle shot. The B&W shots are crisp – what a great medium that is for this type of mountain-scape. Do you ever use snow shoes for this type of hike?

  13. Mary Gilmartin March 28, 2013 at 4:52 am - Reply

    Great early morning shot of that “amazing red glow touching the opposing mountain top” and love the wind breaker mask..

  14. peacewisdomprosperity March 28, 2013 at 5:24 am - Reply

    Oh the beauty of Canadian Rockies 🙂 Beautifully captured ! I love them all equally, but I have a weakness for the one where you’re heading back down , tracing back your steps…the gradual shift from the boundless skies to the mountain tops seems out of this world! Thanks for sharing & risking your lives for an awesome photo-shoot 😉

  15. lilycatherine March 28, 2013 at 5:25 am - Reply

    Oh my, this journey must have been amazing! The photography is outstanding, makes me wanting to go to Canada even more!
    Keep up the good work!

  16. countingsheepstudio March 28, 2013 at 6:16 am - Reply

    Very impressive and so very different from the mountains I live in (Blue Ridge, in NC). I love the variety of shots, and I bet you are glad you carried that mask up there!

  17. Sheila Morris March 28, 2013 at 6:35 am - Reply

    Men on a Mountain – you gotta love them and their amazing photography!! Thanks for sharing…wonderful.

  18. Gardengirl March 28, 2013 at 6:41 am - Reply

    Beautiful! Beautiful! Beautiful! Makes me want to visit my relatives in Calgary! I’ve never been….it’s a new goal. Thanks!

  19. makenzieking March 28, 2013 at 8:03 am - Reply

    Beautiful as always Patrick!

  20. Lucia Willems Ramírez March 28, 2013 at 8:25 am - Reply

    Stunning images! What an experience it must have been. And looks like quite some fun too. Excellent report 🙂

  21. cp March 28, 2013 at 9:25 am - Reply

    Again, you outdid your previous posts! Absolutely love the flip.

  22. belasbrightideas March 28, 2013 at 11:05 am - Reply

    A feast for the senses, as always.

  23. clisawork March 28, 2013 at 11:26 am - Reply

    I love the shots with the long sky – so beautiful!

  24. Paul Smith March 28, 2013 at 3:05 pm - Reply

    Really like the sunburst off the bottle. And thank Jimmy for the action shots – they’re ace 😀

  25. kshap March 28, 2013 at 3:44 pm - Reply

    So beautiful! I’m not an avid hiker by nature (was always–and still am — dragged by my dad out on the trail), but your pictures make me want to climb every mountain! Love your work.

  26. Barb March 28, 2013 at 5:46 pm - Reply

    This looks amazing! I love to backpack and ski, but this is way out of my league. The only mountain I’ve ever skied up is Stuart Peak near Missoula, MT. I skied up in non-telemark cross-country skis without climbing skins and fell about a million times on the way down! Haven’t skied a mountain since! Thanks for the great pix.

  27. natureintheburbs March 28, 2013 at 8:04 pm - Reply

    Thanks for transporting me into another world!

  28. naomimgruer March 28, 2013 at 8:51 pm - Reply

    Just beautiful!

  29. thejourney21 March 29, 2013 at 8:58 am - Reply

    Amazing!! You have the best life ever!

  30. David March 29, 2013 at 12:23 pm - Reply

    Very stunning panoramas.

  31. hope4theheart March 29, 2013 at 4:25 pm - Reply

    It’s hard to take-in all that these photos have to say. Well done you!

  32. Melia Alexander March 29, 2013 at 8:55 pm - Reply

    Beautiful photos!

  33. simplysands March 29, 2013 at 9:04 pm - Reply

    I love your photography, always stunning images and great quality. Love the sort of faded or vintage color on some of the images too. I admire how adventurous you are; I know I could never do this. Blessings

  34. dorothyadele March 30, 2013 at 5:48 am - Reply

    Beautiful photos

  35. Bashar A. March 30, 2013 at 9:21 am - Reply

    Glad to see you back to posting regularly 🙂

  36. Anita Mac March 30, 2013 at 11:33 am - Reply

    Absolutely stunning! Makes me think I could wait a little longer for spring!

  37. Susan Goater April 1, 2013 at 4:42 am - Reply

    FAB pics – FAB place 🙂

  38. Betty Londergan April 1, 2013 at 1:25 pm - Reply

    I love the way the mountains from the ridge look like they are identical cut-outs of each other … what a gorgeous place on earth!! thanks for sharing (and thank Jimmy for risking his life for that shot!)

  39. barbedwiregirl April 1, 2013 at 7:27 pm - Reply

    Amazing photos and captures!

  40. indacampo April 2, 2013 at 10:13 am - Reply

    I love visiting your site for a little taste of home. Not that I miss the snow but it’s always lovely to see it from the comfort of my computer at 31°C on the plus side. Great pics once again!

  41. freshcuppachaos April 3, 2013 at 9:11 am - Reply

    Fantastic shots! Looks like it was a great day…

  42. backthewaywecame April 3, 2013 at 9:44 pm - Reply

    Wow! Wow! and wow! again. I could not stop scrolling down, down, down. Your photos are superb.

  43. SkyCorps April 4, 2013 at 2:18 am - Reply

    Wow, nice photos! Looks amazing up there.

  44. tiny lessons blog April 4, 2013 at 9:52 am - Reply

    Absolutely wonderful shots!!

  45. Systemic Disorder April 4, 2013 at 11:08 am - Reply

    Your photos make me want to hike the Canadian Rockies even more. I really like the last photo, where it looks like the man in the shot is flying. But then a good day hiking does make you feel like you are flying a bit…

  46. Inspired and pretty April 4, 2013 at 11:51 am - Reply

    Wonderful photos. The photos with the sunburst are superb ! Those mountains are so beautiful, what a view you must have at the top !

  47. Far-off World April 4, 2013 at 6:17 pm - Reply

    Amazing adventure and nice shoots!

  48. mflahertyphoto April 5, 2013 at 1:07 am - Reply

    3rd from the bottom: spectacular. The sunstar on the guy’s pack: what suhweet snow that is.

  49. kimlbayne April 5, 2013 at 5:42 am - Reply

    I am so glad I found your Blog! What amazing and inspiring photography! Visiting Canada is a huge dream of mine and this has just made my heart ache for the experience all the more!

  50. ninojackson April 5, 2013 at 6:37 am - Reply

    ^_^ awsome

  51. Bishop O.W. Prince April 5, 2013 at 7:40 am - Reply

    Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed the pics.

  52. NOMADICLES April 5, 2013 at 12:05 pm - Reply

    Wow! These are intense and breathtaking! Thanks for sharing…

  53. thebookybunhead April 5, 2013 at 2:59 pm - Reply

    You are awesome! Makes me want to see that beauty of Canada myself.

  54. thrashingoutwords April 6, 2013 at 2:58 am - Reply

    The photographs are glorious and almost (I say almost) tempting enough to make me take up climbing mountains myself. It’s an enviable position to be passionate about two things and being able to marry the two together. Have you ever read Touching the Void?

  55. Alex Khoo April 6, 2013 at 9:43 pm - Reply

    Wow! I love your pictures and adventure! How I wish I can hike the three sisters too!

  56. annapaulina April 7, 2013 at 2:13 am - Reply

    the pictures are simply amazing, awe-inspiring! keep it up!

  57. Jacqui Murray April 7, 2013 at 8:33 am - Reply

    I know you’re a photographer–but would so love videos of this, too. Truth, I’m there with you. So gorgeous.

  58. Theresa April 12, 2013 at 9:16 am - Reply

    Fab set of shots – stunning alpenglow, and that sunburst is amazing. I’d love to know your technique – did you just use a high depth of field, or did you use a filter/app?

  59. Jennifer Bullis April 12, 2013 at 11:36 pm - Reply

    These mountain shots are absolutely stunning!

  60. Phil April 16, 2013 at 1:02 pm - Reply

    That was a great story told my photographs. I love how you captured the expanse of the landscape as well as our place in it.

    Thanks!

  61. Rose April 22, 2013 at 4:14 am - Reply

    fantastic phots

  62. Donald Lockwood April 26, 2013 at 4:02 am - Reply

    Epic!!! Your photos are really great, I’m enjoying exploring your page! Your facebook appears to be doing really well also, 5,000+ is a lot!! Thanks for following my blog, I hope my posts can help you reach even more fans!

  63. mamacormier May 26, 2013 at 7:47 am - Reply

    Hi Patrick, I’ve always loved your work. I have nominated your blog for the Shine On Award.

    More about this nomination is at http://mamacormier.wordpress.com/2013/05/26/thank-you-maia-2/
    If you choose to do forego this nomination I won’t be offended. I know how much time they take and your time is precious. Congratulations! Carol

  64. benj May 27, 2013 at 4:57 pm - Reply

    That first shot is possibly the most beautiful thing I’ve seen this week.

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