The Valhalla Mountains in the West Kootenay stands out against all others in the region. The spire topped peaks surrounded by sprawling alpine meadows and picturesque lakes give the illusion that this place was sculpted to perfection by some divine being. But as we know, time was the only player in this divine game of the ages.
Mount Gimli stands out as the sentinel. Its sharked-finned summit awes all who witness it and it makes you wonder how such a perfect mountain can come to be. The hike along the ridgeline affords a view from the moment you enter the parking lot and it provides the motivation needed to push through the forest to the reach the alpine meadows that sprawl out below its base.
I have been to Gimli many times but this trip was different than previously. This was my first overnight there and would give more time to be inspired by the Valhallas and to witness the mountain goats that live below the range. These are not your regular mountain goats usually seen from hundreds of metres away or for a fleeting moment as the disappear up some impossibly steep face. These goats know that humans visit their environment but they know they are the true rulers of the area. They walk amongst with no fear and oddly seek out hikers that dare to urinate close by, they crave the salt in this somewhat inhospitable environment. The goats of Gimli are exactly where they should be and they know it.