Cycling

Cyclists are expected to come with proper clothing and appropriate gear. Coordinators may refuse to allow anyone not adequately equipped to participate on the trip.

Clothing:

  • Cycling shorts
  • Cycling shoes
  • Cycling jersey or shirt made from moisture wicking material
  • Light fleece or sweater (not cotton)
  • Bright colored wind breaker jacket
  • Tights
  • Cycling gloves
  • Rain Gear
  • Warm gloves
  • Fleece sweater and neck tube

Equipment:

  • Helmet
  • Cycling glasses (UV filtering)
  • Sunscreen
  • Inner tubes
  • Patch kit
  • Tire Irons
  • Pump
  • Allen keys
  • Screwdriver (straight & crosspoint)
  • Chain lube
  • Rag/hand cleaner

Parts:

  • Spare cables
  • Spare brake pads
  • Spare cleat hardware for your shoes
  • Spare spokes
  • Spoke wrench
  • Chain tool/quick link
  • 5 mm thread nuts and bolts

 

Common Gear

The following clothing and gear details apply to outdoor trips, in particular to Hiking & Walking, Scrambling, Snowshoeing, and X Country Skiing.

Pack: A 25 to 40 litre pack with a wide hip belt and chest strap as well as a plastic liner bag for those wet days.

Socks: A two-sock layer system provides comfort and helps to prevent blisters. Thin synthetic socks keep your feet dry by wicking away moisture. Thicker synthetic, wool, or blend socks provide warmth and cushioning. It is a good idea to carry extra socks in your pack.

Gaiters: Calf height gaiters help keep snow, mud, stones, and moisture out of your hiking boots and off your pants, and provide additional warmth when needed. Short ankle height gaiters can also be used to keep stones and snow out of hiking boots.

Clothing: The suggested list of clothing to wear or to carry in your pack varies with the seasons:

  • Wide brim sun hat protects from UVA rays
  • Long sleeves protect arms from cold, insect bites, sunburn, and scratches
  • Light fleece, wool shirt
  • Undershirt, long johns for cold weather
  • Windproof or waterproof breathable shell jacket
  • Windproof or waterproof breathable pants
  • Shorts or pants (zippered pants ventilate/warm pants if wearing shorts)
  • Socks (thin & thick)
  • Sweater
  • Tough gloves for bushwhacking
  • Fleece or wool toque or quick-dry, fleece-lined hat with visor & ear covers
  • Balaclava and a scarf
  • Outer insulating layer for extended stops, for example, for lunch (Down jackets are very
    warm & compressible)
  • Wearing bright colors (red, yellow, orange) makes you more visible to the rest of the group or to searchers if you become lost

Essentials: Sunglasses and sunscreen (high UVA, UVB protection)

First Aid Kit: Each hiker should have his/her own first aid kit. Suggested items include:

  • Band-Aids (assorted sizes)
  • Moleskin, 2nd skin (for blister prevention and care)
  • Personal medications including Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Rolaids, antibiotic cream
  • Candies for mild hypothermia, diabetic emergency
  • Dressings (assorted sizes), gauze pads and swabs
  • Triangular bandage, tensor bandage, adhesive tape
  • Steri-strips, antiseptic wash, pads, quick splint
  • Scissors, tweezers, safety pins, mirror
  • Notebook, pencil and first aid book

Other Important Items:

  • Bear (pepper) spray (no replacement for common sense)
  • Shoe & clothing change to wear back in the car
  • Sit-upon to keep your bottom warm and dry during stops
  • Plastic bag for boots
  • Map, compass, altimeter, GPS
  • Camera, umbrella
  • Lip balm, insect repellent, toilet paper
  • Duct tape ­ multiple uses
  • Hiking/ski poles
  • Needle, thread, spare pack buckles
  • Whistle, pocket knife, water tablets
  • Fire starter ­ matches, lighter, small candles
  • Light shelter ­ 2 large garbage bags, space blanket
  • Headlamp ­ or flashlight, spare batteries
  • Membership Card with Emergency Contact

 

Hiking and Walking

Hikers are expected to come with proper clothing and appropriate footwear. Weather changes in the mountains are often unpredictable and sudden. It is recommended that you adopt a layered look including lightweight rain gear. It is also important to include in your pack your lunch, snacks, an adequate water supply (1-2 litres, more for a long hot day), and other beverages as desired.

  • Hiking uses 60% more calories per hour than normal walking.
  • Always carry extra food and water on longer trips or where there is substantial elevation gain.

Hike Coordinators may refuse to allow anyone not adequately equipped to participate on the hike.

Please refer to the Common Gear section above for detailed information on clothing, packs, first aid and other gear.

Boots: The boots you choose to wear will be one of the most important articles you bring. You want footwear to fit properly and to keep your feet dry, warm, and well supported. Running shoes and other casual footwear will not keep your feet dry when going through mud, and not warm when traveling over snow -­ yes, even in summer! They do not offer adequate support and footing on steep trails or off trail scrambles. New lightweight trekking boots (i.e., Merrell) are fine for most easy and even moderate rated hikes. Sturdy waterproof boots are required for scree, rough terrain, backpacks and scrambles where a variety of conditions are encountered. Other points to consider:

  • Wear new boots around town first to detect any problems
  • Tight boots can cut off circulation causing cold feet and pinched toes
  • Loose boots can cause blisters
  • Insoles provide extra insulation and cushioning

Light runners or sandals for stream crossings should also be included where required.

 

Scrambling

Participants are expected to come with proper clothing, footwear, and appropriate gear. Coordinators may refuse to allow anyone not adequately equipped to participate on the scramble.

Please refer to the Common Gear section above for detailed information on clothing, packs, first aid and other gear.

Scrambling Gear:

  • Helmet (climbing helmet preferred)
  • Headlamp (useful for those scrambles that require hiking out out in the dark)
  • Boots, mountaineering, or backpacking type (good ankle support and also it you go down scree helps to keep the rocks out of your boots)
  • Hiking Poles
  • Ice Axe (snow ascents, winter scrambling)
  •  Kahtoola MICROspikes Traction Device or, Camp Quattro Four Point Instep Crampons (Unisex), Camp 6‑Point Instep Crampons (all are available at MEC).
  • Extra clothing layers (it get colder as you go up to the top of the mountain, weather changes fast in the mnts. either rain or snow, it can get windy fast in the mtns.)
  • Garden gloves or bike gloves (scrambling to protect your hands from sharp rocks)
  • Extra pair of warm gloves or warm mitts to keep your hand warm (either winter or during wet conditions (rain)).
    –toque, headband, neck warmer, hat (waterproof) also keep the sun off your head
  • Proper jacket with hood to keep your head warm, waterproof, windproof, keep you warm
  • Rain Gear
  • Hand warmer or foot warmers (Chemical). These are very important for emergencies when the weather gets nasty and help to avoid frozen hands.
  • GPS, proper maps, compass, and well written route description are very useful tools in navigation
  • SPOT (Satellite messenger) , Personal locator beacons(PLB), and/or satellite phones (cell phones have limited coverage in the mountains).
  • Full First Aid kit along with a quick access Second First Aid kit  (bandaids, wipes for blood, etc). You always get cut on the sharp rocks when you scramble.
  • Pad to seat on for lunch, protects you from the cold ground or cold rock (sharp rocks too). Pad is also used for first aid emergencies too.
  • Knife
  • Survey tape – mark important locations so we can find our way back down the mountain safely. You can get lost and go the wrong way down a mountain. Some people have gotten into trouble this way. Your route going up may look different when you go down. Survey tape is also easier to see from a distance, better than rock cairns.

Additional Notes from Harv K.:

I have used Kahtoola MICROspikes but found they were not tough enough the plastic eyelets broke over time. I just bought the Camp 6 point instep crampons, which are more like a conventional crampon. These crampons are used as a assist, as they help you on going up and down snowy peaks. If you are winter scrambling eg snow and ice microspikes or light crampons are very important, so is an ice axe ( you also need to know how to use a ice axe eg self arrest stuff).
(I also have real crampons which I use for glacier travel on ice and snow ascents.)

GPS, proper maps, compass, (Guide books) well written route description are very useful tools in navigation,
The Internet (trip reports for other people who have done the scramble, which might include a trail description, map, photos and GPS coordinates of the scramble, eg they is a ton of good beta on the internet and you can connect by email with those people

SPOT – I always try to send a SPOT message to tell my wife that I am ok, when I am on the scramble, this is important as some scrambles may go on for 10 hours or more. SPOT device  sends a canned message via satellite by the internet (email). I sometimes phone her too to brag that I have made it to the top of the mountain…lol. Really just to check in that I am ok, I also will phone her when I get down from the mountain to tell her I am ok.

 

Snowshoeing

Participants are expected to come with proper clothing, appropriate footwear, and proper gear. Winter trips demand extra planning and preparedness to deal with sudden weather changes and cold temperatures. It is recommended that you adopt a layered look including extra clothing for lunch stops or unexpected delays. It is also important to include in your pack your lunch, snacks, an adequate water supply, and hot beverages as desired.

Coordinators may refuse to allow anyone not adequately equipped to participate on the snowshoe trip.

Please refer to the Common Gear section above for detailed information on clothing, packs, first aid and other gear.

Boots: Winter grade boots that include insulation are recommended, along with designs that are compatible with snowshoes and the binding systems.

Snowshoe Gear:

  • Adjustable poles with snow baskets & wrist straps
  • Snowshoes with synthetic decks and bindings that can be adjusted without removal of all hand coverings. The bindings should have strong crampons bolted in varying pattern underneath for the length of your boot. Finally, the snowshoes should be light weight (~2kg) but large enough to support your weight & the weight of your loaded pack.
  • Small pad to sit on at lunch time

Places to rent snowshoes:

  • Mountain Equipment Co-op (830-10 Ave. SW, 403-269-2420)
  • University of Calgary Outdoor Program Centre (E of the Olympic Oval @ University of Calgary, 403-220-5038)
  • Spirit West (1210-11 Ave. SW, 403-263-1381)
  • Sports Rent (4424-16 Ave. NW, 403-292-0077)

 

Cross Country Skiing

Please refer to the Common Gear section above for detailed information on clothing, packs, first aid and other gear.

Buying New Equipment: There are a couple of excellent stores which specialize in Cross-Country skiing in Calgary: Lifesport in Kensington and The Norseman in SW Calgary. They are very good at sizing and fitting gear. Mountain Equipment Co-op also sells cross country gear, but selection tends to be more limited than The Norseman and Lifesport. Out of town, there is Trail Sports at the Canmore Nordic Centre and Wilson Mountain Sports in Lake Louise.

Rentals: In town, rentals are offered at the University of Calgary Outdoors Centre, Sports Rent, MEC and Canada Olympic Park. Out of town, Trail Sports at the Canmore Nordic Centre rents classic and skate equipment and Wilson Mountain Sports rents touring and classic equipment.

Equipment Checklist:

  • Skis
  • Poles
  • Boots – make sure they are a good fit and warm
  • Warm clothes, dress in layers. No cotton on the bottom layer, including socks
  • Warm hat that covers the ears
  • Wind/water resistant outer layers
  • Mitts/gloves
  • Wax (if the skis are waxable) – there are starter packs available at the ski shops that have 3 hard waxes, a cork and a scraper.
  • Water bottle and holder
  • Dry clothes for afterwards

XC Ski Technique and Waxing Tips: There are many resources on the web that offer tips on how to improve your cross-country skiing technique.

Easy XC Ski Trails: Some members have asked for a list of easy snowshoe/x-country skiing locations posted on the website so beginners would have some idea of where they should be going. Here is a short list that we could recommend as near, safe and easy.

Shaganappi Golf Course – located just off of Bow Trail, providing Calgarians with a central location to cross-country ski in the city. When there is enough snow Shaganappi is groomed for classic skiing.

Fish Creek Provincial Park – located south of Anderson Road, offers cross-country opportunities during the winter season. Generally, the most consistent snow conditions are in the west end (24th street or 37th street entrance), where there are trails suitable for the novice and more experienced skier. The cross-country ski trails are not groomed and are available during park hours. Accessibility will depend on the snow cover and winter temperatures. There is no cross-country ski rental concession in the park.

West Bragg Creek – It takes you less than an hour to get to Bragg Creek townsite and another 20 minutes or so to the ski area. The trails are well marked on the map, and interlinking so you can easily shorten your trip if you get tired.

Ribbon Creek – Approximately 60 km of trails are groomed for cross-country skiing near the Nikiska Ski area in the Kananaskis Village/Ribbon Creek section of Kananaskis Country. With between 20 and 30 cm of fresh snow over the past few days, the Ribbon Creek trail system is enjoying its best conditions of the season in years. Please exercise caution on all trails and if venturing into the backcountry, ensure you consult the Kananaskis Country backcountry avalanche report.

Pocaterra – a free XC ski and hiking area in Peter Lougheed park. There is a hut at the parking lot to warm up in and many trails to choose from. About a 90 minute drive from NW Calgary.

You can also consult the SkiHere Blog for trail conditions around Calgary, Banff, Lake Louise, Yoho and West Bragg Creek.

Avalanche Awareness and Safety: If you venture off of groomed trails, be sure you acquaint yourself with avalanche risks in the area. Here are two excellent sites to reference when planning your winter trips into the mountains:

The Guides and Instructions page has additional detailed information on avalanche safety information.

…enjoy and play safe.