Something I’ve learned about myself is that I rarely turn down an opportunity for adventure. When Kicking Horse Mountain called and wanted me to climb ‘Terminator Peak’ and cross a swaying suspension bridge, I answered.
I have never done much climbing. I mean, I have climbed mountains and bagged a couple summits; but this was no ordinary climb. This type of climb is called “Via Ferrata” which means “iron path” in Italian. I have done this type of climb only before but our route for this trip is positioned as “The Most Exhilarating Via Ferrata in Western Canada” and we were heading to the summit of Kicking Horse Mountain.
Before we began climbing everyone goes through a short but informative training session on how to use the climbing gear. Via Ferrata climbing is a little different than normal rock climbing in that you are always harnessed in but have to be responsible for your own technique up the mountain. It is simple stuff, you just have to be conscious and aware – which isn’t tough because when you’re up there, you are 100% involved in what you’re doing. No distractions; my mind was fully focused on the task. It didn’t take long for all of us to get comfortable with the provided gear so we started out by trekking the ridgeline high above Kicking Horse and the town of Golden, BC. After a short hike you arrive at the swaying suspension bridge… No matter how many times I’ve been on these types of bridges I still get swept by a wave of excitement. Step by step I crossed the wooden planks as the bridge swung from side to side. One thing to keep in mind is you are literally safe all the time, and you are harnessed into cables that are bolted into the mountain.
*Learn more about Kicking Horse Mountain’s Via Ferrata climb here.*
As we climbed onward and upward we were able to take short breaks to chat with one another, watch others and their technique, take photos of each other (obviously selfies) and get to know one another. Honestly, I thought more people would be freaked out but our entire group was comfortable, laughing and we all became friends within the first hour. There were even kids with us and they were doing great! One thing I noticed from the youth with us was they were HAPPY. Like, genuinely. It was pure adventure to them and it was wonderful to hang out with some young people who enjoyed the outdoors.
Speaking of people who enjoy (or live for) the outdoors – our guide Jackie wasn’t just a guide, she became our friends. Jackie O is as fun as they come. Jackie (or any Guides) can be instrumental in any activity or trip in the mountains, and she never let us go forward with doubt. She was super supportive, skilled, had a fun-cheeky attitude and ultimately had a positive outlook on life and adventure.
This route up the mountain was called the Ascension route and takes 4.0 hours to complete. After the morning of climbing we all peaked the summit and had some time to give high-fives and at this stage we were all hugging each other in joy. I won’t ever forget it.
For me, this activity is high on my list for exhilarating mountain fun that just about anyone can do. My sense of excitement was non-stop all the way up to the summit. I can’t wait to climb it again – see you up on the suspension bridge this season!
From KH website: “465 meters of pure bliss! Starting off the ridge-line dividing the Rocky Mountain trench from the Purcell range, and exiting at the top of Terminator Peak, the ASCENSION Route is a truly unique beast. From the climbers’ mouth, this course is one of the most technical & scenic in North America. Discover our signature “Guts Bridge” and stand on top of the world, feeling that you summited a giant!”
Learn more about Kicking Horse Mountain’s Via Ferrata climb here.
Unparalleled Savings! 1st, 4th & 7th ski day FREE & up to $40 (double discount period) savings every time you ski! Plus go Direct to Lift – just by linking your credit card.
- 3 FREE days The 3 Free Days can be redeemed at any RCR Western Resort.
- Cardholders receive their 1st, 4th and 7th ski days FREE and daily discounts every other day.
- Children 6-12 to get their very own RCR Kids’ Club Card FREE of charge. ($5 discount on full-day Child lift tickets at any RCR resort)
- Your Direct to Lift card can be linked to any major credit card at any of our resorts or at the Calgary office.
For more information visit the RCR Webstore. On sale until December 31, 2016.
1) Eagle’s Eye at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort
How to get there: Ride the Eagles Express Gondola from the Plaza to the summit, step outside and see the Eagle’s Eye Restaurant walkway in front of you
What you’ll see: Spectacular views of 6 National parks surrounding the resort (and eat a delicious meal as well).
2) Lost Boys Lookout at Fernie Alpine Resort
How to get there: Ride the Timber Chair to the top and walk a short distance past Lost Boys Café over to the Lost Boys Lookout
What you’ll see: Amazing landscapes of the surrounding peaks of the mountains and of the town of Fernie below.
3) Kimberley, B.C – Lois Creek Trails
How to get there: Parking is available at Centennial Hall. To enter Lois Creek Trails go to either the North End of trail Street, the intersection of 8th and Elko Street or at Centennial Hall at the old Legion Tracks.
What you’ll see: Gorgeous mountain vistas and a variety of wildlife along the trails.
4) Lizard Lookout at Fernie Alpine Resort
How to get there: Ride the Elk Chair to the top and walk a short distance into Lizard Bowl
What you’ll see: Stunning views of the Elk River & town of Fernie
5) Via Ferrata at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort – The Ultimate Mountain View
How to get there: Ride the Eagles Express Gondola from the Plaza to the summit, step outside and proceed to Eagle’s Eye, look for the tent to meet up with your guide and group. Once everyone is there you’ll do some training and head right over to the suspension bridge taking you to the Terminator Peak for the climb of your life!
What you’ll see: If you’re brave enough to turn around and take a look behind you’ll see a stunning stretch of mountains while hanging off the Terminator Peak including 6 National parks, the resort below you and Eagle’s Eye Restaurant off in the distance.
NEW this summer – try the Hanging Glory Suspension bridge! More information.
Photos by Alpenglow BnB, Dave Best
Feature Photo: Dax Justin
The RCR Rockies Card
The Best Deal in the Rockies
It’s simple – buy the card at a low cost and save all ski season long! Purchase a discount card online, by calling 1-800-258-7669 or through one of the retailers listed below – don’t forget to purchase yours before they go off sale on December 26th!
- 3 FREE Days
- 4 Great Resorts
- Up to $30 daily savings
- Direct to lift option
- FREE Kids Card (with purchase of adult)
The RCR Rockies Cards are only on sale until December 26th! Don’t miss out!
For more information and to buy online visit the RCR Webstore.
Also available at;
- Sport Chek
- Calgary Co-op
- Ski Cellar
- Ski West
- Gerick Sports
- Out of Bounds
Words by Doc Pow
Just as most other mountains in Western Canada are doing right now, Kicking Horse had its own early opening November 28 for two “preview” weekends, November 28 and 29 and then December 5 and 6 before opening full time through the rest of the season on December 11.
Over 2,000 people took to the Horse to get in on the goods November 28, and as you can see from these photos I shot during the day on Saturday, we wouldn’t think too many went home disappointed. Six year Kicking Horse ski patroller Alex Giesbrecht hasn’t seen conditions this good, this early, ever, “this is the best start I’ve ever seen here in my six years that is for sure,” explained Giesbrecht. “At current we have the same amount of snow we had this time last March. Opening came fast after that storm system in mid-November delivered over 50 cms of snow within a 24 hour time period. At one point our snow monitoring system was telling us we had 10 cms in one hour, and we thought it was wrong.” Ullr wasn’t kidding, and the results are evident in shots like this.
Fernie Freestyle Coach Ben Ogilvie (@RexOgilvie on Instagram) basking in some serious powder glory, during the preview weekend at Kicking Horse.
“With the best snow pack in years, bombing and getting the mountain open was easier when you don’t have the snow pack to play with,” explained Giesbrecht.
Alex Giesbrecht points out some of the goods on the ridge line leading into Feuz Bowl, for a full map of the mountain, click here.
Read the full article on the snowseekers website.
New York City-based OutdoorFest is expanding their popular Mappy Hour program internationally to Calgary this October! A Happy Hour night with a twist, it offers a chance to meet fellow skiers, backpackers, kayakers, climbers and adventure buddies and to plan adventure packed trips with a like-minded outdoor community. Launching this new event series in New York City in 2014 and Washington, D.C in early 2015, Calgary is a perfect next event location – being close to so many outdoor activity options it draws enthusiasts from all over to settle into city/mountain life.
With some already having fallen in the mountains, the backcountry skiing and fitness theme for October’s Mappy Hour comes at a fitting time, there’s enough time to get in shape before our tentative opening date on December 11th!
Who should attend?
Anyone who loves to hike, kayak, ski, surf, climb, and generally explore the great outdoors!
Free, just bring some guidebooks, maps, or interesting stories to share
For location and to RSVP visit the Mappy Hour website.
New York, NY (September 21, 2015) – New York City-based OutdoorFest is expanding their popular Mappy Hour program internationally to Calgary this October. The monthly community building event, known as “the happy hour for outdoor enthusiasts,” successfully launched in New York City in early 2014 and Washington D.C. in January 2015. Past event hosts have included REI, Hostelling International, and Fjallraven North America, with featured sponsorships from Yelp, Sixpoint Brewery, and Mountain Hardwear. OutdoorFest has identified Calgary as a key urban area with a large population of outdoor enthusiasts looking to connect with a community of adventurers.
“Calgary has such an incredible backyard that many come to visit from afar” says Matt Mosteller, social media influencer and head of Mappy Hour Calgary. He hopes that through Mappy Hour locals can “catch that wanderlust… stay close by and get outdoors!”
Just in time for the winter season, the theme for this first Mappy Hour in Calgary is backcountry skiing and the fitness needed to get outdoors. Calgary’s outdoor enthusiasts are encouraged to join the launch event on October 29th 2015 at the Village Brewery. Mappy Hour promises to be a night to meet fellow skiers, backpackers, kayakers, climbers and adventure buddies and plan adventure packed trips with a like-minded outdoor community.
Details of the event include:
Who: Anyone who loves to hike, kayak, ski, surf, climb, and generally explore the great outdoors
What: A happy hour with a twist to bring together the local outdoor community
Theme: Backcountry skiing & fitness
When: October 29, 7:00PM to 9:00PM
Where: 5000 12a St SE, Calgary
Cost: Free, just bring some guidebooks, maps, or interesting stories to share
For more information and to RSVP please see the Facebook Event.
For more information, please contact:
Twitter – @PowderMatt
Powder Matt’s Blog
Powder Matt on Pinterest
Powder Matt on Google +
Mappy Hour by OutdoorFest
Coming to Calgary on October 21st is Mountain Film on Tour! Started in Telluride – Fernie, Kimberley, Kicking Horse, Nakiska, Kokanee and X92.9 have partnered with The Gateway at SAIT to bring Calgarians the opportunity to be inspired, educated and entertained with films exploring cultures, our environment and adventure. Doors Open at 6pm, Films start at 7pm!
“We are stoked to not only share our passion for skiing and snowboarding but hopefully to inspire adventure in others. Just like our guests inspire us with their amazing experiences in the mountain at Fernie, Kicking Horse, Kimberley and Nakiska.” says Matt Mosteller, VP of Marketing and Resort Experience at Resorts of the Canadian Rockies.
Buy your tickets from Ticketmaster now!
PLEASE NOTE: Event is 18+ valid ID is required.