The retreat took place in Kananaskis, and started out with a morning snowshoe hike to Chester Lake. I met up with Ange and Jen early Saturday morning to carpool and we arrived at the trail head just before 10a.m. The hike up to Chester Lake was intense as it's a pretty steady elevation climb of 310m (1,017 feet) and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't huffing and puffing for most of it! The good news is, it's all downhill on the way back! It's a 10km return trip and it took us about three and half hours including a half hour break at the lake and several stops to catch our breath and take some photos.
It was probably one of the most challenging winter sports activities I have ever done as snowshoeing while climbing a mountain is no nature jaunt. Snowshoeing seems to require use of different leg muscles than I'm used to, probably because of the wider gait and pointing of your toes to engage the crampons. It's a fantastic workout though, and is quickly becoming a sport I really, really enjoy! Here's my favourite photos from the hike. It was hard to narrow it down!
Once we got back to the car, we headed to the Delta Lodge at Kananaskis to check into our hotel rooms. Then we hightailed it over to Woody's Pub to celebrate with a beer and some much needed carbs in the form of a warm pretzel!
We had about half an hour before we had to meet the group for pre-dinner s'mores and Hot Toddy's, so we took advantage of the hot-tub in the hotel to soothe our muscles and get rid of the mountain chill that had set in.
Dinner was held at the hotel restaurant, The Fireweed Grill, and my meal was fantastic. I went with the Katsu Chicken and while I thought I'd be saving half for the next day, I ended up eating it all. Snowshoeing makes you hungry! Oh, and another beer was also enjoyed.
Post-dinner, I joined a few ladies for a dark walk around the hotel grounds before changing into my pyjamas for the pyjama party! More food, wine and girl talk were enjoyed before I crawled into bed shortly after midnight.
Sunday morning, we had a private yoga class which was such a fantastic way to start the day! Our instructor Sarah Elliot lead us through a 75 minute Yin practice and I think I found my new favourite style of yoga! So peaceful, calming and just what my tired body needed.
Up next was a delicious brunch buffet! I was famished and had no problem polishing off most of my plate.
After brunch, and once we had checked out of our rooms, we headed to do one last trail hike before heading home to the city. Troll Falls is a 3.2km return hike with very little elevation gain. It was perfect for stretching our tired legs while breathing in the mountain air. I say it every time I go to the mountains, but there's just something so healing and rejuvenating about being in the mountains. It does my heart and soul good. We didn't explore around once we hit the falls, but I plan to return one day to do so!
And that was my weekend! I walked/hiked almost 23 kilometres this weekend, I spent time with good friends and made some new ones, and I got in some much needed mountain time. Thanks to the Alberta Adventure Girls and Delta Lodge at Kananaskis for putting on such a fun weekend retreat!
Tell me something you did this weekend!
Do you prefer the mountains or the ocean? (I'm a mountain girl at heart!)
Favourite winter activity/sport?
Linking up with Her Heartland Soul for Weekend Snapshots!