Jun 15 East End of Rundle(not the old grey Donkey
) 6km/900m return
Canmore's upscale version of BCMC (if Ha Ling the top-notch version of Grouse Grind), EEOR is a fun-filled hike with ever changing terrains & dazzling views full of IMAX elements all packed in just 3km!
We parked at the Whiteman's Pond around noon, based on wind forecast & the “afternoon light preferable” comments from a reputable source. Lots of cars - we didn't expect this crowded on Monday, but no complaints here - who wouldn't want to be out on a gorgeous day like this?
The short & mellow switchbacks in the forest brought us to the rocky subalpine, where the views started to open out to the beautiful Spray valley & Goat Range, before the striking Ha Ling peak suddenly popped up right in from of you! As usual it'd only get better & better the higher you go.
There was more than one way to skin this cat (one of the reasons being so much fun)- it offered choices of rugged dirt path, steep scree slopes, & fun boulders (lots of good looking ones on the left to be explored), followed by alpine meadow, where we sat for a snack soaking in the glorious views. Then again it offered choices of standard route(left) & Scramble Route(right); we went on left, up the steep talus slope leading up to the scrambly rocky terrain going around the cliff bands before gaining the ridge crest. Then a short ridge walk to the top where uninterrupted 360 degree views are spectacular everywhere you look!
The space was limited on the top that we shared with another group of 5-6, with more people waiting under the top plateau. We snatched a few photos & dashed for the next bump(Rundle 8), a pleasant ridge walk with the sweeping views just as stunning all the way to the top which we had to ourselves. Having enjoyed a nice break we wished to continue to explore further towards the next peak. But as the dark clouds rolling in, we just got another taste of the wild wind in Rockies- a stiff breeze on top of EEOR earlier, it was now raging, howling & freezing, so we decided to head down before getting struck by hurricane.
Following some footbed we descended from the peak without retracing our steps back to EEOR (Note to self: could come up this way next time for solitude & help reduce traffic on EEOR).
We made a loop back via a quiet forest trail - shortly after getting back in the trees, instead of going left, we took the right, which could merge back to the main trail at some points but we opted to stay on all the way down & didn’t meet another soul until at parking- the trade off was no open view on this trail.
Another epic day in Rockies; this dynamic, intense, scenic, never a dull moment hike has more left to be explored than done. Can't wait to get back!
**BCMC/GG are the most popular trails (& least favourite of mine) in North Shore Vancouver.
**EEOR'd make a first-class conditioning/sunset hike. I read about how busy it is but with a bit of route variation one'd have it mostly if not all to themselves any day.