Waterton National Park Day 2 – A Birthday Celebration

We woke up bright and early with big plans for the day. Today was a special day because it was my 27th birthday. What better way to spend the day than by tackling two big hikes with my bud Anderson!

We knew we were going to hike Akamina Ridge and Mount Galwey but there had been some debate as to which order we should do them in. Akamina Ridge would require us taking a shuttle to the trailhead and the shuttle times weren’t ideal. It was going to be tight to fit in both hikes but we were up for the challenge.

We decided to tackle Mount Galwey first.  As we started along the trail it became apparent that this hike was going to be challenging.  We were going to have to hustle to stay on our schedule. Another possible complication was that the weather forecast was calling for rain.  I was hoping good weather would be my birthday present from Mother Nature.


The hike was beautiful and challenging. There was some technical scrambling required to reach the summit which made this hike one of our favorites.

After summiting Galwey we stopped for lunch and it started pouring rain. It was an hour till the Akamina Ridge shuttle left, so we were hoping the storm would blow through. As we boarded the bus the weather began to clear up. It seemed we would luck out after all.

We had caught the last shuttle out to Akamina Ridge and intended to catch the last bus back. It turns out nobody else on the bus was planning on doing the entire Akamina Ridge loop. The lady operating the shuttle was concerned about our timeline, but I assured her that we would be back in time for the last shuttle. In reality we had no idea how long the hike was going to take us.

akaminaridgeIt rained on us a few times during the hike but the weather cleared up once we made it to the top of the ridge. The clouds parted and the view was absolutely spectacular. As we followed the ridge we realized we weren’t on pace to finish the loop and make it back in time to catch the last shuttle. We decided to take a shortcut down a scree slope to shave a couple kilometers off the total hike. It was a good thing we did this because we ended up running the
last 5km of the hike in order to catch our bus.

img_2994After recapping the highlights of the day over some good food and beer we wrapped up my birthday at the local bar. The bar was hosting a toga party and based on the festivities of the rest of the evening our hike up Bear’s hump early the next morning was substantially harder than it should have been.



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