Throwback Thursday: Christmas Eve Hiking Edition

One of the things I love most about my family is they are always game for a festive outdoor adventure, even in the icy grips of an Alberta winter. One year, my parents and I were brave enough to don skates and cruise around Lake Louise in -38 celsius. I couldn’t feel my feet after five minutes. But it was the holidays and we had to celebrate in iconic style.

Last year, our family once again braved the cold, heading out to Lake Louise for a short but snow-tastic Christmas Eve hike. I believe it was a balmy -15 or -20 which, by Rocky Mountain standards, isn’t all that terrible.  Plus, once you get moving it’s really not that bad. The point is that we spend time in the outdoors as a family. Inevitably this means several things happen:

–My parents take forever getting their gear on at the car while my brother and I stand around freezing our asses off.

–My brother is aghast at the cold because he has 0% body fat

–My parents have to stop several times to shed layers and/or adjust their spikes, which involves many annoyed exchanges between the two of them

–My brother and I get impatient and essentially hike off by ourselves, then have to wait for them at the top, where we quickly begin freezing our assess off all over again

I know what you’re thinking: how is this a good time over the holidays? Let me tell you, despite all those minor annoyances, my brother and I get the chance to catch up, I get to be in nauseating awe of snow and mountains, we are doing something active, and we are all together. Even better, my dad gets super excited to take pictures of wondrous winter scenes and show them to us later at home. It’s a good time, I promise. In fact, as I write this, I’m sad because my parents no longer live in the heart of the Rockies and the times when our whole family will be together at Christmas are growing fewer and farther between.

Not to get lost in nostalgic reminiscing, though that is sort of the purpose of a throwback Thursday post, let me instead leave you with some visuals of Christmas Eve Family Hiking Adventure 2015…I really need a shorter name for that.

One of my favourite spots to snap a picture at Lake Louise. This is at the very start of our family adventure day.


Siblings await parental arrival.
Siblings await parental arrival.
At the end of the trail. My excitement cannot be contained.
At the end of the trail. My excitement cannot be contained.
Family photo...well, minus me because too much snow = nowhere to prop up a timer.
Family photo…well, minus me because too much snow = nowhere to prop up a timer.

Happy holidays to all of you and your families!


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