If you are looking for extreme hiking try the Pacific Crest Trail. According to Wikipedia the Pacific Crest Trail is attempted each year by about 300 people that attempt to hike the entire trail from end-to-end. The trip usually takes between four and six months. Around 180 complete the hike each year. Most hikers start from the Mexican border and reach the north end of the trail before the first hard snow. Picking up supplies along the way, usually packages sent to them via mail, most hikers cover about 20 miles (32 km) per day.
Here is a interesting two part video that was the winner of the California Independent Film Festival (Best Documentary) and Vancouver Mountain Film Fest (Jury Award) called "Walking the West." It is about a New Zealander and an Irishman who quit their jobs, cashed in their savings and walked 2626 miles from Mexico to Canada along the Pacific Crest Trail.
Located in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park is the highest hiking trail in the Canadian Rockies. At the summit of Mount Allen the trail is 2840 meters above sea level. The trail to Olympic Pass, Centennial Pass and Mount Allen was built by the Rocky Mountain Ramblers over three years starting in 1966. There is a plaque in the rock garden commemorating this groups effort. See the post for the Centennial Pass to Mount Allen Trail for directions to the trail and some details of the route. The hike starts near the Nakiska Ski area. For some reason I had it in my mind that I would spend half the day hiking up a ski run and were it not for the fact that this trail is reputed to be the highest in the Canadian Rockies I would have convinced the others in my group to find a different trail.
After walking approximately 1.7 kilometers and crossing Coal Mine Trail for the second time you will be on Centennial Pass Trail. The trail goes through the forest to the tree line breaking into a couple of openings with views of Mount Bogart to the west.
Once the forest is behind you the trail climbs aggressively, 700 meters in elevation over approximately 2 kilometers, that is close to a 30% grade. The trail switchbacks on the grassy hillside. It is every bit as steep as it appears in this photo.
I spent the first part of this week limping around town because I forgot my duct tape, and tore my heel apart. I came across a video from Backpacker with some good tips on blister prevention. There were a couple of suggestions which were pretty obvious like adjusting your lacing to avoid hot spots and stopping to air out your socks and boots to get rid of moisture. They also suggest wrapping your socks around the top of your boots to draw out moisture. First time I had heard of this. Once the blister develops, sport slick, moleskin, duct tape are all recommended.
I am not sure where this sign was posted but if we do not get some rain soon I think we may see them in Kananaskis Country.