The Crypt Lake hike in Waterton Lakes, National Park, Alberta is one of the most challenging day hikes I have ever done, both physically and mentally.
Physically partly because I was in a bike accident four days before I did the hike and my knees were already wrecked, and partly because of the 32 Celsius temperatures. Mentally, it was a challenge because of my fear of steep drop-offs, especially when you’re scrambling on a two and a half foot-wide ledge with nothing but a bolted-in wire to hold on it.
The end-point of the hike, before you descend and do it all again, is this gorgeous lake, which the hottest and most daring of hikers braved the ice cold temperatures and dived in to escape the heat. It made for a lovely spot to eat lunch and recover from the panic I felt while looking straight down into the Crypt Valley.