Fullerton Loop - Spring
Date Walked: 11th March 2012
Distance: 5 miles (7.9km)
Actual Ascent: 715 ft (218m)
Time Taken: 3 hours
The first day of Spring should always start like this one, glorious sunshine and 11 degrees as Sarah and I drove out just beyond Bragg Creek to hike the Fullerton Loop.
The trail begins from the Allen Bill parking area beside highway 66 less than 30 miles from home, with Sarah insisting she didn't want her walking poles today we set out along the trail beside the frozen pond.
on reaching the river the trail turns downstream and runs along the riverbank looping back under highway 66
so much of the snow that fell last week has melted away in the recent unseasonal temperatures, unfortunately once the sun dips below the horizon that melt-water freezes making the footpath a 'Bambi on ice' affair, Sarah insists she needs her thick fleece, and ski jacket as its still "a bit chilly"
as we head through the Aspen forest section we pass a number of people heading back along the trail toward the car park who have walked a little way and turned back, most looked unprepared for the slippery conditions and perhaps never intended to hike far
soon we are into the familiar pine forests where a junction provides the choice of clockwise or anti-clockwise around the loop, anti -clockwise is much steeper and to be fair to Sarah (who doesn't get as much practice as I do) we head clockwise across a bridge and round toward the more gentle ascent
it's a nice walk through the forest with occasional clusters of Aspen trees providing a more light, open space as we continue on the well maintained trail
where the trees really open out the snow has melted away providing some respite from the icy conditions of the more sheltered areas
as the trail turns back into the forest and a steeper snow covered ascent, Sarah has lost the ski jacket and then the fleece kindly letting me carry them for her
as is par for the course when Sarah spots a likely looking seat it's time to stop and have a cuppa and a bite to eat, the pathway through the trees is much narrower and less used and we spend a quiet 10 minutes having a drink before setting out again
after a couple of twists and turns through the trees we break out onto the target ridge above the trees providing lovely views across the forest to the mountains beyond
standing around taking in the views means the fleece and ski jacket are required again and it seems I have lost my walking poles to someone back there on the ascent......
as we continue along the trail it descends back toward the ascent route remaining on the edge of the ridge for quite a way, walking ahead with additional speed courtesy of 'her' walking poles Sarah takes to an overview that provides beautiful vistas across the valley below
soon after the photo on the overlook it is a full on descent as the trail falls steeply back down to the crystal clear river below where we turn right and head upstream back toward the car park
almost back to the car when Mrs Munchalot finds a picnic area and stops for a cuppa and a bite to eat, trying hard to hide behind an apple and guarding 'her' walking poles as she does ;)
on the way home we stopped in the small town of Bragg Creek for tall Latte's and hot Beef sandwiches where we reflected on a lovely short hike and an excellent start to the Spring season.