EXECUTIVE CORNER

On-line Membership Sign-up and Electronic Payment Now Up & Running

Next time you want to renew your CORE membership, you will be able to do so on-line, using your credit card or PayPal. Thanks to invaluable help from CORE member Steve Hashman, we now have on-line membership sign-up and payment capability. Check out the new on-line form and waiver on the Join Now page.

Upcoming CORE Presentations for 2018

Join us at the Scarboro Community Centre for the following presentations in the New Year:

January 30 – Snowshoeing 101 – Justin Howse from Norseman Ski Shop will give a comprehensive talk on snowshoe equipment, snowshoeing techniques and safety while snowshoeing.

March 27 – Author Dale Leckie will give a slideshow on his new book, Rocks, Rivers and Ridges – Geological Wonders of Banff, Yoho and Jasper National Park.

April 24 – CORE member, Mike G., will share his recent trips to Egypt, Greece and Turkey.

June 26 – (tentatively) – CORE member, Jeanette N., will share her recent travels in Cambodia.

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December 1- 3 Annual Christmas Weekend at Castle Mountain Chalets

For the past four or five years, CORE members have been gathering in the mountains on the first weekend in December for an early Christmas get together. Over the weekend, we snowshoe, cross country ski and downhill ski. More adventurous members have been known to back country ski. Check the CORE calendar for more details about the weekend. Over the coming weeks, the activities will be posted with further information.

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Discount for CORE members at Norseman Ski and Hike Shop

CORE members are currently entitled to show their membership cards at the Norseman Ski and Hike Shop on 37 Street S.W. and get a 10% discount on hiking and skiing apparel and equipment. There may be some restrictions to this offer, such as no discount on sale items, etc. This offer is definitely good for the rest of 2017, and may be extended into 2018.

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ACTIVITY SCOREBOARD

September/October 2017

Between September 11 and October 22, CORE’s calendar featured eight hikes, one bike & hike, three urban hikes, one potluck picnic hike, and a social dining evening.  Thanks to the following coordinators for posting these events: Lynn, Harvey, Julia, Carol, Cathie, John, Cliona, Cheryl, Kiyoko and Sarah.

Here are a few highlights. Please visit the CORE photo albums for more pictures from recent activities.

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September 16 – Annual Memorial Hike

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September 23 –  A snowy day at Upper Meadow (Burstall Pass)

 

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September 23 – CORE gang on Powderface and Prairie Creek Loop

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September 24 – Brilliant blues and autumn foliage of Glenmore Reservoir

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September 24 – Kiyoko and her group on Wasootch Ridge

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September 26 – Pat with Gillean and Tony Daffern after CORE meeting

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September 28 – Happy hikers on 12 Mile Coulee urban walk

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September 30 – Spectacular view of Hailstone Butte from Windy Peak

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October 9 – Getting ready to hike Jack Hill and Jill Hill

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October 22 – Roasting sausages over the fire

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OCTOBER MONTHLY MEETING

Scarboro Community Centre

1727 14th Avenue S.W.

TUESDAY. 31 October, 2017, 7:00 pm

Halloween Potluck, Party and Pumpkins!

Halloween Party

Join us at 7:00 p.m. at the Scarboro Community Centre for a Halloween Celebration featuring an Appetizer Potluck, Pumpkin Carving and Decorating, and Music for your listening and dancing pleasure! Beverages will be provided by CORE. Please bring a contribution to the potluck (e.g., appetizers, finger food, munchies, sandwiches, desserts, Halloween treats). Also, bring your own pumpkin, then put on your creative cap and take part in the pumpkin decorating and/or carving event.  CORE will supply lots of decorating materials but you are welcome to bring your own. CORE will also provide four pumpkins for those who are not able to bring their own.  If you prefer to carve your pumpkin, don’t forget your carving tools! We encourage everyone to wear at least one Halloween accessory, or a full costume, or wear black and orange.

 

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NATURE NEWS & “NOTES”

SNOWSHOES:

Come to our January 30 meeting to hear Justin Howse of the Norseman Ski Shop talk about snowshoes, and how to buy the right type. In the meantime, here are some tips for choosing snowshoes for your winter outings.

Cheryl and Katherine

Snowshoe Sizing

Snowshoe size is a key factor in getting the right amount of flotation. Generally, the heavier the person or the lighter and drier the snow, the more snowshoe surface area is required. Snowshoe size also depends on the type of activity you intend to do. For deep powder, a longer, wider snowshoe would be the most effective, but heavier and more tiring to use. Keep in mind that on CORE snowshoeing trips you are often on a trail where someone else has already “broken trail,” in which case you can use a smaller, narrower snowshoe – much easier and less tiring.

Men’s vs Women’s Gear 

Men’s snowshoes are designed to accommodate larger boots and heavier loads. For example, aluminum-frame snowshoes come in multiple sizes, usually 8″ x 25″, 9″ x 30″ and 10″ x 36″ or something similar. Women’s snowshoes tend to feature narrower, more contoured frame designs and sizes down to 8″ x 21″. Their bindings are sized to fit women’s footwear.

Easy-to-Fasten Bindings 

Make sure the bindings fit the boots you are going to be wearing, and that the fasteners are heavy duty (so they won’t break) and easy to secure and adjust.

Snowshoe Traction Devices 

Snowshoes for rolling or mountain terrain will come with toe crampons that rotate under the front of your foot to aid in climbing hills. Heel crampons are in a V shape and slow you down when descending hills. Look for both for casual snowshoeing in the Rockies. Some more rugged snowshoes may also have side rails (also called traction bars) to prevent slipping when crossing steep slopes.

Heel lifts

Also known as climbing bars, these are wire bails that can be flipped up under your heels to relieve calf strain on steep uphill sections and save energy on long ascents.

Watch this YouTube video for some further useful snowshoeing tips.

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OUTDOOR TRACTION DEVICES:

Highly Recommended by CORE for Winter Hikes and Outings

Kahtoola MICROspikes:

Cheryl with MICROspikes

Although the Kahtoola MICROspikes ($85 at MEC – October 2017) are perhaps a bit too aggressive for regular around-town sidewalk use, they are a good choice for all-purpose go-to option for longer hikes in mixed snow and icy conditions. Despite heavy use and abuse on everything from frozen streets to icy backcountry trails, they perform flawlessly and are incredibly durable. As a further testament, Backpacker magazine awarded the MICROspikes one of their 2012 Editors’ Choice Gold Awards, which honors exceptional outdoor gear that has withstood the test of time.

 ICE Trekkers Diamond Grip:

A more recent entry into the field, the ICE Trekkers Diamond Grip ($49 at MEC, $55 at Atmosphere – October 2017) are a slightly different, slightly less aggressive take on the MICROspikes. They slip on using a similar stretchy rubber harness system, but instead of short, sharp vertical teeth underfoot, they use a lower-profile multi-toothed chain for grip. This will be the third season they’ve been available and they have been garnering some excellent reviews.

ICEtrekkers Diamond Grip

YakTrax Extreme (XTR) Ice Cleats:

Yaktrax XTR Ice Cleats ($29.99 at Sport Check and Atmosphere – October 2017) provide good traction on snow and ice. Their spike design enhances traction while preventing snow build up with its unique anti-snow pack plate. They appear to be a lighter, less heavy-duty version of MICROspikes, with 10 spikes on the bottom, as opposed to 12 on the MICROspikes.  They have good and bad reviews on Amazon; one reviewer says that they are not sized correctly.

TIP: When buying any outdoor traction device, make sure that you buy them large enough to fit the boots that you will be wearing most often when using the spikes or cleats (which could be a size larger than your walking shoes).

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ARTICLES & BOOKS and WEBSITES WORTH NOTING

The most underrated endurance workout? Hiking.

“There’s something special about moderately paced movement through nature that leaves one feeling refreshed, renewed, and satisfied. Because of that, hiking is rarely considered a sport in the same way as trail running or mountain biking, both of which are more acutely painful and taxing on the body. And yet recent studies show that a walk in the woods—especially at the right tempo—is a superb way to build endurance and strength.”

For a study published earlier this year in the journal PLOS One, a team of researchers affiliated with the University of Innsbruck in Austria had individuals complete two three-hour workouts under distinct conditions. The first was a “fast walk” on an indoor treadmill; the second was an outdoor hike through mountains. In the treadmill condition, the incline settings were contrived to mimic the outdoor route as closely as possible, so that the physical strain of both scenarios would be similar. (The researchers could not force the treadmills to decline, so outdoor downhill segments became indoor flat segments.)

During and immediately following both workouts, the researchers collected physiological and psychological measures. What they found is interesting, a bit paradoxical, and fully in support of hiking.

For starters, participants pushed themselves harder during the outdoor hike, as evidenced by heart rates that were, on average, six beats per minute higher. Given this, you’d think the participants would have experienced the outdoor hike as more tiring and perhaps less enjoyable. But the opposite occurred: They reported increased feelings of pleasure both during and immediately following the outdoor hike, and they said they felt less fatigued afterward. Put differently, going hard while hiking in nature feels easier than going hard indoors.

(Sourced from the Alpine Club of Canada, Calgary Section Newsletter)

Tony and Gillean Daffern’s New Trailfinder Application

At our September meeting, Tony and Gillean Daffern, author and publisher of Kananaskis Trail Guides, introduced their new website which features their Trailfinder application. It’s worth checking out if you are looking for maps and information on trails.

http://kananaskistrails.com/trailfinder/trailfinder.html

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….see you on the trails ….

CM