This post serves a two-fold purpose: to tell you about one of the most fantastic ways to avoid getting blisters and to review this popular and challenging hike. Our patients are always asking our advice on where to go hiking in the mountains. We are a very active family and take full advantage of being right next door to the one of the most amazing places in the world.
The first half of the post: blisters prevention for those who aren’t into hiking and just want the info.
A blister is simply a pocket of fluid between the upper layers of skin. In the athletic world, it is secondary to friction. It is annoying, painful, and can have you walking oddly for days while throwing your whole nervous system out of kilter. As active as I am, I am prone to heel blisters with hiking. I have tried it all: different types of hiking boots, mole skin, duct tape on the heel (yes, duct tape), bandaids, baby powder, anti-perspirant….. everything. Nothing worked. I was doomed. Until I (by complete accident) came across another benefit of compression socks years ago.
Yes, I agree with you, I thought they’re pretty cool looking too! Compression socks are snug-fitting, knee-high socks that are meant to increase circulation and reduce lactic acid build-up. I first started wearing them with long distance running because my legs would start to cramp up severely towards the end of the run and afterwards, and this eliminated that entirely and made them feel fresh, even after 22K. HOWEVER, when I started wearing them when I went hiking, to my shock, amazement, and extreme happiness, I discovered they prevented blisters! Rejoice! What a different world. Not only do my legs feel great during the workouts and hikes, but there are no blisters to show for. You can get pretty cool looking athletic compression socks from places like the Running Room and SportChek that will do the trick. Below is a video providing a trick for putting on compression socks
And now, the second half of the post: the hike.
Ha Ling Peak was a great hike to test these out on because it is truly the first hike I have been on (and I’ve been on many) that is literally an unrelenting climb straight up with almost no flat portions. However, that makes it a relatively short hike (6km return), with a crazy altitude gain of 737 meters (2417 feet)!
It’s a heel crusher on the way up and toe pounder on the way down! You have to be in reasonably good shape to do this hike! The good news is that you’ll be hiking with a ton of other people as it is one of the most popular hikes in Kananaskis. When you get to the top, it will be very windy and even in the dead of summer quite cool, so ensure you bring pants and a jacket. Weather at the top of a mountain is much different than at the bottom! And because it is so populated, you don’t have to worry about bringing bear spray. Although one does wonder why any bear would want to even come close to a near vertical ascent!
Make a day of it. Challenge yourself. Live life and enjoy!
Please feel free to visit our south clinic’s website at www.accesschiropractic.net and our north clinic’s website at www.accesschiropracticnorth.ca, and our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/accesswellness! You can also call to book with Dr. Bajor at the north location behind the Superstore at 403-945-1349 or contact the south location in the Airdrie CO-OP at 403-945-0855 to book with Dr. Jacqueline Boyd!
Drs. Jacqueline Boyd and Paul Bajor are also both registered and active members of the ICPA (International Chiropractic Pediatric Association).