View to the southwest
Blue Hill Fire Lookout
After a recent snow dump in SW Alberta I was at a loss as to what to try. So when Sonny Bou (his trip report) suggested a fire lookout in the foothills it appeared to be a sound plan.
Blue Hill Fire Lookout is west of Sundre. An 8 km road rising 580 m leads to the lookout. Since I downloaded the track log from Clubtread.com we had no trouble finding the start. As we began hiking up the road, the few inches of crusty snow underfoot crunched with every step. For the most part, trees obscured the views along the way.
As we climbed, the snow became deeper and softer. Our pace slowed and for the last kilometre we were pushing through knee-deep snow. Tired from postholing, we made it to the summit four hours after starting out only to find it studded with buildings and bristled with antennas. Moreover, what peaks we could see from the treed top, were too far away to study.
The lookout observer soon came out and greeted us. A talkative woman, she told us much about work and life on the lookout (seven of her last thirty years as an observer have been on Blue Hill).
After a half-hour stay we started back down. Going downhill, the deep snow didn’t seem much easier. What should have been a five-hour trip took us seven. Because of the snow it was an exhausting, boring, unrewarding hike. In dry conditions I’m sure it would be merely boring and unrewarding.
Starting up the road
Wild horses left fresh tracks in the snow for a short way up the road.
Little to see from the road even when trees didn't block the view.
Sonny on the other side of a hairpin turn
The last kilometre is the toughest.
Sonny takes a turn at breaking trail.
Antennas mark the summit.
Last steps to the top
For what it's worth, the summit.
One of several whiskey jacks that flitted about.
Sonny signs the register for the lookout observer.
Dormer Mountain (according to the observer)