Hiking Terminator Ridge at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, British Columbia, Canada.
The hike on CPR Ridge Walk shares a common characteristic with the Terminator Ridge Hike. Both trail-heads begin near the picturesque Eagle's Eye Restaurant at the upper terminus of the Golden Eagle Express Gondola. Completing the CPR Ridge Walk there is a clear and spectacular view of the saddle at the top of Bowl Over between CPR Ridge and T1 South Ridge at the Kicking Horse Mountain Resort above Golden, British Columbia, Canada. The Terminator Ridge Hike is clearly signed to the left of the Eagle's Eye Restaurant.
To the right, facing the Eagle's Eye Restaurant, is Blue Heaven at the 2,448 m (8,033 ft.) summit over Redemption Ridge, where body armored mountain bikers are heading for exciting runs down through Crystal Bowl.
The Terminator Ridge Hike is rated as the most difficult with effort consuming between 2 and 3 hours. The trail descends below Terminator Ridge, beneath and past 2,408 m (7,900 ft) Terminator Peak towards the Super Bowl Saddle, then continues along the main ridge through a light scramble section. The trail ends at the T2 Summit Lookout 2,385 m (7,824 ft), above the T2 North Ridge and a beautiful alpine meadow where spectacular views of the Columbia Wetlands to the south are bordered by the Rocky and Purcell Mountains. Near the beginning of the hike, sweeping views of Bowl Over between CPR Ridge and T1 South Ridge are balanced by luminescent green avalanche slopes, with distant glaciers to the right. The magnificent scenery, highlighted by brilliant wildflowers in the sun, is breathtakingly beautiful and inspiring.
This photo essay captures segments of sweeping views along the trail as the hike proceeds in the sun over rocky, well defined path surrounded by immensity and intricate detail towards a rugged, rocky outcropping, where previous hikers have assembled cairns beneath Terminator Peak towering above. Terminator 2 Peak pokes above the horizon beyond.
The Terminator 2 Peak is clearly visible ahead as the hikes provides the scenery and sun beside warm rock outcroppings beneath Terminator Peak. It is likely the potentially longer, and less arduous, Dogtooth Ridge Hike, which heads in the opposite direction from Eagle's Eye Restaurant past the top of Crystal Bowl and over Blue Heaven, is equally spectacular but that too will need to be left for another day as this is the final day staging out of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.
The contrast in beauty is enhanced by the immediate and surrounding rugged, rock terrain.
With dramatic sky behind, the final ascent back to the Eagle's Eye Restaurant leads to boarding the Golden Eagle Express Gondola for the return ride to the Day Lodge at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.
Another free-of-charge bonus is a 5 minute interruption of service, about half way down, allowing time to marvel at the mountain biking insanity taking place directly beneath and around as we hang helpless in the gondola car. Once moving again, another highlight is view of Boo, the grizzly bear, lumbering through the forest below. Cameras are hard at work trying to capture a moving target from the swiftly moving gondola.
The remainder of the ride to Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is anticlimactic.
Hiking at Kicking Horse has been an action packed and memorable leisure day following yesterday's aggressive hike to Abbott Ridge. Today's series of visits to Cedar Lake, Inukshuk, the Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge in Golden, and the CPR Ridge Trail above the Kicking Horse Mountain Resort has been diverse and thoroughly enjoyable. An excellent meal on the outdoor patio at Peak's Grill will complete the day.
This is the final day of the adventure from Palliser Lodge.
Photos for this post were taken on the afternoon of August 8, 2013.