8 hours alone, two dead gophers and one speeding ticket later, I made it to Canmore. One of my best friends moved to Canmore 3 months ago, and living in the small city that I do just hasn't been the same. It was the longest I've eve driven alone. I got through 7 and 1/2 "This American Life" podcasts while panicking as I watched my gas go down to the last three ticks while there were no apparent gas stations approaching. I finally saw the foggy peaks of the mountains while listening to "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" -- the perfect mountain driving music. On my first day we decided to climb the mountain Ha Ling; a mediocre challenge compared to others I was told. I was like, "Ok, I got this, I was on the competitive climbing team in grade 10, no biggie." The elevation is 2407m and after an hour of leaning forward, heavy breathing, trying not to laugh because we were moving so slowly, and "Good job!" 's "Your almost there!" 's "It's totally worth it" 's we reached the tree line. This was so much harder than I had anticipated. From the tree line to the peak was 20 minutes of climbing up sharp shale. Some people turned back at the tree line, girlfriends crying to their boys that they couldn't possibly make it any further and tourists saying that it was 'good enough'. Yet, somehow, guys wearing board shorts managed to make it to the top, so, obviously we could too. As we continued climbing I saw an older couple with a beautiful border collie positioning their dog on the peak of a rock to take a portrait of the dog with the mountains as the backdrop. Definitely worth the risk of the dog falling backwards off the mountain. After almost kicking a rock onto Rachael's head and screaming that I was falling, we made it. We sat down, took 100 selfies, ate an apple and looked over the other side at the view of the town, the rockies and the lakes. After taking photos for each other for a solid ten minutes it became so cold my hands lost blood flow and began turning a neon white. I was more scared of going down than up. I fell three times, twisted my knee and cut up my hand. But we made it.