Have you ever considered doing a sunrise hike, and then the thought of getting up at 2am deters you? Hey, we’ve all been there. But I’m here to tell you right now, it’s worth it in every way you could possibly think of. I’m a morning person, so you could argue it’s not that bad for me, but hey, I don’t like getting up that early either. Keep reading for the story of this Kananaskis Sunrise Hiking Session.
I “slept” in my car at the base of Smutwood Peak trailhead in Kananaskis the night before. We planned to start hiking at 2:30am in order to get to the peak for sunrise, at 6:30am. We were a group of 7, 3 photographers, and 2 couples. No one wanted to take the lead, and so since I had planned the whole thing, I was nominated to go first. We donned our headlamps and hit the trail.
Not too long into the walk, something moved in front of me… it was a toad. But moving things in the dark are scary. And it was pitch black, no moon. But the stars densely sprawled above us, filling the night sky. A little while later, I saw something big right on the path in front of us. “What’s that?” I said, nervously. We all stopped short and strained our eyes to see…. a bush. An innocent bush. As we crossed the meadow before the ascent, someone saw eyes off to the side. A huge bull moose, completely minding his own business.
Finally, we started our ascent up to the saddle. The sky was just starting to show signs of the first morning glow, off the to the east. We continued our climb up past the lakes, and finally headed up the last gruelling stretch to the summit. Just as Chase and I arrived on top, the sun rose over the peaks, casting the most phenomenal morning glow across the majestic Mt. Birdwood, jetting up to the sky in the south. Ahh, so worth it. Shortly after sunrise, the smoke rolled in and filled the whole valley, blocking the sun and creating an eerie orange light.
Chase and Jenita willing let us take some photos of them at the top, and these are hands down my favorite images to date. As we made our way back down from the summit, we photographed Mat and Danelle in a different location. Enjoy these images from this Kananaskis hiking session. Who’s coming with me next?
If you want to plan a Kananaskis sunrise hiking session (or a sunrise session somewhere else in the mountains), send me an email or fill out the contact form on my website!
If you have no idea where to start planning an elopement or adventure session in Alberta in the mountains, join my Facebook group that is specifically catered to helping couples plan helicopter and hiking elopements!
See you at the summit!