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Our objective, the South Summit of Opal Ridge, towered in the hazy sky 1000 m about the Kananaskis gas station. Our large group of 11 started to walk up briskly along a small creek behind the gas station to a power line road. This allowed us to catch our breaths before starting the relentless climb up a steep trail covered with gravel, and over small rock steps and scree. In the middle, craggy section the trail braided and there were many trails. We went up a short gully, which most people didnít like, and then followed a firmer ground close to the edge of the slope on the right. We reached the summit in respectable three hours despite the heat and smoke-filled air. The peaks of the Opal Range looked impressive, rising across the verdant creek to the east. Things slowed down on descent. The gravelly trail was hard on the feet and the blazing sun with over 30 degree temperature and smoked filled air drained our energy. In the middle section, we kept more to the right, where some sliding scree allowed for faster descent. Upon return to the small creek, I and Steve enjoyed drinking the cold creek water, which was an excellent antidote for the heat, while some people preferred ice cream. While we were up the mountain, the park wardens closed the area because of bear activity. Bending under the barrier, I looked into the camera, which I noticed too late. But wearing a large hat and sun glasses, I just looked like any generic hiker. Peter Minarik
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