Hiking & Highland: Calgary July 2018

On June 29, I faced a difficult challenge: how does one pack for the Scotdance Canada Championship Series (SDCCS) and camping? I managed to pack one small carry-on with all of my costumes and clothing for SDCCS, and one large checked bag with all my backpacking gear for the overnight hike Megan and I had planned. It was about to be a busy week!

After flying Vancouver to Calgary, I teed up with Heather at the airport and we split a cab into the city centre to meet up with most of our group. Kate, Kathleen, Michelle, Anna, and Liz were already at the Hyatt. Given that the rooms were in my name, I checked everyone in and distributed room keys before flying upstairs to drop off my bags and rushing off to meet Megan at the front of the hotel. Megan picked me up in her Jeep and whisked me away to Kananaskis Country.

From the moment she picked me up, we hardly gave ourselves a moment to breathe we had so much to catch up on. By the next day, my voice was husky from talking so much! After driving to the trailhead, we began our trek up the Ribbon Creek Trail. “Up” may be an overstatement; it was limited elevation the majority of the hike. The trail meandered its way through the forest, alongside the creek, and reached a waterfall before steeply ascending to Ribbon Lake.

Ribbon Creek

The final ascent was phenomenally exciting. The steep cliffs had chains attached to make it possible to continue upwards. We had done our research and had been anticipating this section of the trail. We were confident that we could manage it, with patience and cautiousness.

We reached the lake about 7:30PM, and quickly set up camp. We boiled water for our Backpacker’s Pantry Pad Thai and Veggie Pasta. Nothing had ever tasted so good! For dessert, we had opted for the freeze-dried chocolate cheese cake, and that was also delicious. Following dinner, we weren’t late in getting ourselves ready for bed so we’d have energy to tackle the next day’s hike-out.

In the morning, we packed up before a nutritious breakfast of Stoked Oats (this stuff is amazing!) and began our trek down. Three hours and a bit later, we were untying our hiking boots and climbing back into the Jeep to head back into Calgary. While our hiking trip was over in the blink of an eye, we created memories that I am sure will last a lifetime.

Back at the hotel, I hurried to shower, get dressed, and head straight to the competition in the hopes that I had not missed my friends’ choreography. I arrived just as the large group competition was beginning, and I was absolutely thrilled to watch my friends take the stage. Thus began the next four days of the SDCCS. Cara, Emily, Heather and I all shared a room, and the week flew by in belly laughs and supporting one another as we got ready to compete each day.

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