A View from the Top

1. Rock Climbing on Mount Smuts

Climbing mountains has become a popular sport despite its potential dangers. Avalanches, slips and falls, altitude sickness, and adverse weather have never given pause to long-time CORE member Harvey Kwan who scrambles up mountains to see the earth from a God’s eye view.

Not to be confused with hiking, alpine scrambling is referenced as one of the most dangerous and aggressive forms of outdoor recreation. Every year injuries or deaths due to scrambling accidents occur in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Alpine scrambling is done mostly off-trail, using the least technical route, and often climbing small rock faces to ascend the mountain. It is generally done without climbing equipment such as a body harness, ropes, and protection hardware. “Scrambling is somewhere between steep hiking and rock climbing. It takes time and a certain amount of skill to figure out the correct route, and be as safe as possible,” explains Harvey.

Harvey was attracted to this sport 22 years ago by a guide book a friend gave him called, “Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies” by Alan Kane. Since then, he has ascended some of the most spectacular mountains in the Rockies, many of which top out at heights over 10,000 feet (3,000 metres).

“Personally, it has taken me many years to learn the craft of climbing mountains. By taking courses, learning from others, and learning from my mistakes, I have gone from doing easy hikes up mountains to intermediate scrambles, then on to difficult scrambles. This process laid a great foundation for me to do mountaineering climbs such as Mount Kilimanjaro (Africa) and Mount Elbrus (Russia).”

Sun and Snow on Mount Kerr

Sun and Snow on Mount Kerr

Harvey also ascended Mount Kenya (the second-highest mountain in Africa 4,985 metres), on a five day guided trip. “This was my first taste of high altitude, big mountain climbing done expedition style (as part of a large group led by experienced guides and support staff),” he says. “On Mount Kilimanjaro, summit day was the hardest day of the trip. We ascended at midnight in the dark by headlamp. It was surreal looking back down the hill and seeing all the headlamps heading up hill from other teams trying to get to the top of Kili. It took over 6 hours to get to there (the approximate elevation gain for that day was 1,300 metres on a fairly steep slope); we arrived there at about 7:00 a.m. My favourite memory was when we got back down to base camp from the summit. The support staff (e.g., cooks, porters, guides) celebrated our achievement by singing, and giving us orange juice.”

Like many people after an expedition, Harvey asked himself, what’s next? After a little motivation from friends and some self-reflection, he decided upon Mount Elbrus, the highest mountain in Europe. In 2012, he climbed Mount Elbrus on a two week guided trip. Coming home he discovered that scrambling the Rocky Mountains in Canada was very different from climbing the high altitude peaks. “Scrambling back home, I can move a lot faster because the mountains are much lower. In the thin air, you have to work harder to get enough oxygen into your lungs as you move even higher up the mountain. So on summit day on Kilimanjaro we moved at a snail’s pace to prevent the effects of high altitude sickness and to conserve energy.”

At the Top of Mount Baldy

At the Top of Mount Baldy

For Harvey, the least pleasurable aspect of his mountaineering experiences is altitude sickness. On Kili, he witnessed many people becoming ill and struggling with the altitude. When this happens, the only way to get better is to get down as fast as possible to a lower elevation. “The fittest person can succumb to the effects of altitude sickness and develop symptoms of edema,” he says. “Once you ascend 3,000 metres above sea level, altitude sickness is just one of the difficulties that can come. You can be the fittest person in the world and it would still affect you.”

In his hometown of Calgary, Canada, Harvey has been busy climbing mountains in the Canadian Rockies. “I have climbed, scrambled and hiked many mountains here. My goal is to scramble 156 mountains from the very book that roused my excitement so many years ago. I have stood atop many mountains, but I am very proud of completing over 130 mountains from the Kane list. What used to be just a pastime for me has turned into an active passion,” says Harvey.

Of the Seven Summits (the highest mountains on each of the seven continents), Harvey has made it to the top of two. “My friends and I are thinking about climbing Mount Aconcagua, highest mountain in South America (6,961 metres). It would be a dream to finish the rest of the summits, but it may remain only a dream,” says Harvey.

Mount Everest isn’t at the top of the list for him. Rather, scrambling the remaining 17-odd mountains from his guided book is. Very few people have completed all of the mountains from the Kane book. The first mountain Harvey ascended was Ha Ling Peak (formerly known as Chinaman’s Peak), located south of a mountain town called Canmore. “I remember feeling extremely scared when I reached the top. I may have even experienced a bit of vertigo; but looking back, everything about that moment—including the location— is significant to me. Ha Ling Peak has special meaning for me because I am of Chinese ancestry. I now use Ha Ling Peak as my training ground to build up my fitness for my difficult climbs.”

Scaling Mount Caravan

Scaling Mount Carnarvon

For everything else mountains may be, they are inevitably dangerous. The majority of Harvey’s scrambles are taken with a group of people, with him often leading the endeavor. “I’m incredibly cautious when I go out scrambling. Beforehand, I do a lot of research. I prep for every climb (regardless of its grade of simplicity or difficulty), bring the proper equipment, and follow the weather closely. There were many times when I have had to turn around because of sudden changes in the weather; it all depends on my level of comfort in that moment. I don’t consider myself a professional climber—in fact I’m far from it,” states Harvey. “I consider myself a very ordinary guy who is motivated and goal-orientated.”

For Harvey, mountain scrambling has been a relatively safe activity. His most serious injury has been a sprained ankle. “Although I’ve never been hit with lightning I felt its charge travel up my arm one day when I lifted my hiking pole in the air. As we ascended we could see thunderstorms all around us. Normally when that happens you’re supposed to try to get off the mountain as fast as you can, or quickly get to a side of the mountain where the lightning isn’t striking. But that day I kept on scrambling Mount Bogart (second attempt to get to the top). The desire to reach the top of the mountain was just too great to stop and turn around; luckily I wasn’t struck by lightning.”

CORE members ascending Mt Nigel near the Columbia Icefields

CORE members ascending Nigel Peak

Of all the mountains he has summited, the most memorable one was Mount Temple (3,544 metres) in Alberta, Canada. “I really had to fight and work hard to scramble to the top of that one; however Mount Elbrus was the most difficult mountain I have ever climbed because I experienced acute altitude sickness when we went above 5,000 metres on summit day. I even got a little emotional when I reached the top.”

To Harvey, all the mountains he’s climbed have meaning to him and all are unique in their own way. “Climbing mountains is a bit of metaphor in life for me; there are many obstacles to overcome in order to get to the top of the mountain and back down safely. You never know what your day is going to be like in the mountains. Sometimes things just go wrong the whole day and sometimes it seems easy, but I keep going back for more.”

Harvey considers himself to be very adventurous. He and his wife have hiked/backpacked the trail that goes to Machu Picchu (ancient city of the Inca’s in Peru), travelled to the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador, taken a jungle trek in Ecuador, completed the famous backpack trip on the Chilkoot Trail (Klondike gold rush trail) in Alaska, backpacked the West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island, B.C., and experienced a safari in Africa. A friend of Harvey’s family described him as having wanderlust. “I love the views from the top of the mountains; the scenery is spectacular and the experiences are second to no picture.” On his journeys he has run into many different animals (deer, sheep, goats, elks, and a grizzly bear).

Mount Crandel

Harvey at Mount Crandel

“What I really enjoy about this sport are the people I ascend mountains with. I have developed some really great friendships with the people I have gone up and down the mountains with (there is a fair amount of teamwork involved in mountain climbing). I have lead many mountain trips but it is the trust and faith my friends have in me and I in them that we will succeed and get to the top and back down safely. We do not always get to the top, but many times we do,” says Harvey. “The sense of accomplishment, when you drive up to a trailhead (parking lot), you look at what you are going to climb, it looks daunting but if you are persistent you will get to the top and back down safely. It is a real high and kind of spiritual in some ways. A side effect it is also great exercise. Pushing your limits and there is a certain amount of ego to mountain climbing.”

Besides mountain scrambling, Harvey also enjoys skiing, snowshoeing, biking, hiking, backpacking, sport climbing, and occasionally canoe trips and outdoor sports in general. “The motto I like to live by is Work Hard. Play Hard. I joined Sensor Geophysical in 1995 and have really enjoyed working here. I’m very grateful to my wife Carol, my family, and to Sensor for allowing me to be able to follow my passion,” he says. “I could not have done many of my outdoor adventures without the help and support of my friends, family, and especially my wife Carol and for Sensor Geophysical for allowing the time to pursue my love of climbing mountains.”

Credits: This article first appeared in Global Geophysical Services (Sensor Geophysical) Newsletter in April, 2013, where Harvey was employed at the time.

CORE is the Calgary Outdoor Recreation Enthusiasts (Society), with a web presence at https://corehike.org/ 

 

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CORE January 2016 Newsletter

DECEMBER ACTIVITY SCOREBOARD

December was the holiday month, and saw quite a few Winter activities. Listed on our December CORE Calendar:

Cascade Fire Road XC  Ski (E); Downhill Skiing Resort- Mt Norquay; Elk Pass X Country Ski (M/D); Snowshoe Hogarth Lakes (E); Urban hike – Bowness Park; Christmas Lights (urban walk); Social dining at U & Me (Cantonese), Downhill Resort Skiing – Nakiska; Snowshoe: Chester Lake (M); XC Ski West Bragg Creek (M); Mount Murray View Point snowshoe trip (E); Urban x-country/snowshoe – Confederation Park golf course; XC ski: Pipestone trails (E-M).

As you can see, there was quite a range of activities of for all levels of skill. Why not come out and join in the winter fun in January!

Some December Highlights

Mount Norquay Ski Day - Nice Ski Outfits

Mount Norquay Ski Day – Nice Ski Outfits

Bowness Urban Hike - Bridge on the River Bow

Bowness Urban Hike – Bridge on the River Bow

Christmas Lights

Christmas Lights

Chester Lake Snowshoe - Misty Mountains

Chester Lake Snowshoe – Misty Mountains

West Bragg Creek - Moose Loop Picnic

West Bragg Creek – Moose Loop Picnic

Mount Murray Snowshoe

Mount Murray Snowshoe

 

December Club Meeting

No meeting in December.

January Club Meeting

Tuesday January 26, 2016 – 7 p.m.

Join us at the Scarboro Community Hall, 1727 – 14 Ave SW. The presentation for the evening will be:

South American Adventures

A presentation of the South American tour taken by CORE members Lynn R. &  Geoff C. — they visited 7 countries on that continent.  Presentation includes a photo slideshow.

SAFETY

A message to Car Pool drivers. Please remember to drive safely. Slow down in storms and icy roads. Avoid distractions. Pull over if you are sleepy, or let someone else take the wheel.

PLANNED EXCURSIONS

Assiniboine Lodge

Mar 6 – 9, 2016

We are starting to make plans for a weekend at Assiniboine Lodge. We will be taking a helicopter to Assiniboine Lodge March 6, returning March 9. During the stay we will be able to backcountry ski or snowshoe. The lodge provides guides and avalanche gear (transceivers, probes, and shovels).

Anyone interested, please check the CORE calendar for further details.

EXECUTIVE CORNER

CORE Events Calendar

Most of you already know that the CORE events calendar has lost some of its functionality, in that it no longer sends out email messages to CORE members when a new event is posted. Your CORE executive is working to solve this problem, and in the near future we’ll be sending out a questionaire soliciting input from members as to what features you would like to see implemented in a new Event Management Calendar. You’ll receive an email from CORE once the questionaire is ready, so please do your best to respond.

Ask your Exec

If CORE members have any questions about club policies or procedures, just email us at mailbox@corehike.org and a member of the Executive will respond. If the question is of general interest, we’ll include it with the answer in the next newsletter.

OUTDOOR ADVENTURE STORIES

If any of you members have an interesting story to relate about one of your outings, and you would like it to appear in the CORE Blog (newsletter), kindly send it in MS word format along with a PIC or so to the CORE Communications Coordinator (or to mailbox@corehike.org). We’ll likely edit it a bit (we have some skilled proof readers on the CORE Exec), and will include it in one of the upcoming newsletters.

The most recent submission by CORE members Cathie Newsome and John Hitt is posted as a Blog on the CORE website at https://corehike.org/?p=2052. Below is an excerpt from their adventure.

Canoeing the Land of the Voyageurs

By Cathie Newsome and John Hitt

Soft is the Song my Paddle Sings

Soft is the Song my Paddle Sings

If you like to paddle to experience true serenity and remoteness, have you ever considered Northern Saskatchewan? We’re talking north of La Ronge where the highway becomes a dirt road, and transportation is often by float plane.

We decided on the McLennan Lake area. To get there, you take the Louis Riel trail 380 Km north to La Ronge from Saskatoon. After that, you drive for 2 hours up the highway, (which has now become a dirt road), to McLennan Lake. If you reach Reindeer Lake, you’ve missed it.

…more

 

The Song my Paddle Sings

E. Pauline Johnson (1862–1913)

And up on the hills against the sky,

A fir tree rocking its lullaby

Swings, swings,

Its emerald wings,

Swelling the song that my paddle sings.

___________________________

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Canoeing the Land of the Voyageurs

 

McLennan Lake ~ 500 Km North of Saskatoon

McLennan Lake ~ 500 Km North of Saskatoon

Cathie Newsome and John Hitt, long time CORE members, spent 5 days canoe camping in the McLennan Lake area of Northern Saskatchewan in the fall of 2015. Here they recount their experiences on that adventure.

Soft is the Song my Paddle Sings

Soft is the Song my Paddle Sings

If you like to paddle to experience true serenity and remoteness, have you ever considered Northern Saskatchewan? We’re talking north of La Ronge where the highway becomes a dirt road, and transportation is often by float plane.

We decided on the McLennan Lake area. To get there, you take the Louis Riel trail 380 Km north to La Ronge from Saskatoon. After that, you drive for 2 hours up the highway, (which has now become a dirt road), to McLennan Lake. If you reach Reindeer Lake, you’ve missed it.

As you go north the trees are all evergreens and they get smaller and smaller, and scrawnier and scrawnier. This area is part of the Canadian Shield so it’s pretty rocky, and a thick green spongy moss grows all over the place. There is more water than land up here, making the number of canoe routes endless. You can go for 4 days or a month.

There is a hotel in La Ronge, and you might want to check out the trading post in town where they sell things like dog sleds, and beautiful embroidered buckskin jackets made by the First Nations people that live in the area. They still trade furs brought in by local trappers. Wild rice harvested in the area’s lakes is available in town.

Making Camp

Making Camp

You can park at a small compound at McLennan Lake where they sell the only map of the area that has the campsites on it. This isn’t a park, it’s just wilderness, so campsites are not marked, nor are portages. There is no outhouse, or pic-nic table, or place to hang your food away from the bears.

You need to be prepared for anything the wilderness might have in store for you, including bugs, animals, rain, and blistering sun from being on the water all day. Bring a bug helmet, and plan to go later in the season unless you want to get eaten alive by the bugs. Mosquitoes are extra large here and many other flying creatures abound.

..

Beaver Lodge

Beaver Lodge

You can camp anywhere you want. We discovered that it’s just easier if someone was there before you and cleared a spot for your tent. Most campsites are on islands or on a spit of land where there is a breeze to keep the bugs away. The sites probably were used by the First Nations people, and fur traders who trapped the beaver in the area.

There are beaver lodges everywhere. Muskrats will also take advantage of the free room and board, and occasional visitors such as otters, ducks and turtles will also share the beaver’s lodge. (Beavers build and maintain houses called lodges. There are two main types, the conical lodge and the bank lodge. The most recognized type is the conical shaped dwelling surrounded by water. It is made from sticks, mud and rocks for protection from predators. )

Portage

Portage

Portages are interesting and can be marked by an empty bag of chips hanging on a tree if you’re lucky, but mostly you just have to look hard to find them. Forget about the wide portages you might find in some government parks. Some portages were quite muddy, and once we walked on rocks down a small stream to the next lake.

(Anyone who says they like portaging is either a liar or crazy.)

Despite being pretty far north we were able to swim in August. We didn’t come across any sandy beaches, although we saw some on the way back on Lac La Ronge.

 

Lull for a Little Fishing

Lull for a Little Fishing

You can swim off the rocks at most campsites or just slide into the water from your canoe.

There are a few fishermen that you might bump into occasionally, and we saw lots of loons. The fishing is good for pickerel and pike.

Sunsets are awesome.

If you register for your trip in La Ronge, you could get rescued if you don’t show up on your scheduled return date, and you can collect your official Voyageur certificate when you come back.

..

Les Voyageurs

Les Voyageurs

If you use your imagination, you can just see through the mist those hardy fur traders singing les chansons des voyageurs as they paddle across the lakes.

M’en revenant de la jolie Rochelle;

J’ai rencontré trois jolies demoiselles.

J’ai point choisi, mai j’ai pris la plus belle

J’l’y fis monter derrièr’ moi, sur ma selle...

 

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CORE December 2015 Newsletter

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER ACTIVITY SCOREBOARD

November is the “shoulder season” between fall hiking and the commencement of Winter activities. Nonetheless we had 9 hiking and snowshoe events on our calendar, as well as a “social dining” event, our annual Christmas party and the Castle Junction Chalet weekend events in early December.

Some Highlights

Hike Brown-Lowery Provincial Park

Hike Brown-Lowery Provincial Park

Backcountry Ski Pocaterra Cirque

Backcountry Ski Pocaterra Cirque

Hot Drinks and a Fire in North Glenmore Park

Hot Drinks in North Glenmore Park

Snow Crystals - Highwood Pass

Snow Crystals – Highwood Pass

Castle Mountain Chalets Weekend

Castle Mountain Chalets Weekend

Boom Lake Snowshoe Trail

Boom Lake Snowshoe Trail

 

November Club Meeting

Last month’s club meeting was held on Tueday November 24 at the Scarboro Community Centre. This was our annual Christmas party, well attended, a good time had by all. Presenter Andy Gamp gave an informative and exciting slide show on the sport of paragliding.

December Club Meeting

There is no club meeting in December. See you in January.

January Club Meeting

Tuesday January 26, 2016 – 7 p.m.

Join us at the Scarboro Community Hall, 1727 – 14 Ave SW. The presentation for the evening will be:

South American Adventures

CORE members Geoff and Lynn will be presenting on their amazing trip to South America.

SAFETY

We are now into Avalanche Season. Evaluate the risks before heading into the back country. You can find current conditions on the Parks Canada Mountain Safety website.

PLANNED EXCURSIONS

Assiniboine Lodge

Mar 6 – 9, 2016

We are starting to make plans for a weekend at Assiniboine Lodge. We will be taking a helicopter to Assiniboine Lodge March 6, returning March 9. During the stay we will be able to backcountry ski or snowshoe. The lodge provides guides and avalanche gear (transceivers, probes, and shovels).

Anyone interested, please check the CORE calendar for further details.

EXECUTIVE CORNER

Our Club

Article written by CORE member Carol Miyagawa which appeared in the AHA Winter Newsletter.

CORE, which celebrated its 16th anniversary in November, is a hiking club… and more. When members browse through the activity calendar for the Calgary Outdoor Recreation Enthusiasts, they find mostly hikes, snowshoe trips and x-c ski trips, but they also find some unusual outings. Take the club’s fall 2015 schedule, for example. Besides the 15-20 hikes posted on the calendar, members were able to choose from the following activities:

  • Two cycling trips – one featured the fall colours in K-Country at their peak
  • Eight urban walks — where members could enjoy beautiful sunsets and evening twilight
  • A Labour Day weekend backpack trip to “Little Yoho”
  • A chance to hike through the tunnel at Crypt Lake in Waterton National Park
  • A Thanksgiving hiking weekend at Ribbon Creek Hostel
  • Two educational presentations at the Scarboro Community Hall, including one by David Peyto who is attempting to walk every street in Calgary
  • An early winter snowshoe trip to test out the snowshoes and winter gear
  • A backcountry ski day
  • A shopping discount night at MEC

When winter arrives, CORE members can look forward to many snowshoe trips in K-Country and the National Parks, as well as a few winter hikes. In December 2015, CORE members stayed at the Castle Mountain Chalets for a weekend of snowshoeing and cross country skiing… just another example of how members are always coming up with a “new twist” on basic activities.

CORE Featured in the Alberta Hiking Association Newsletter

CORE is highlighted in the AHA Winter 2016 newsletter as the “Featured Club.” If you scroll down to the end of the newsletter, you’ll see the article we submitted about CORE “Crypt Lake hike” By David van den Eikhof.

New CORE Maps Page

We’ve added a new CORE Resources page to store trail maps that may be useful to club members planning trips. It contains links to just a few maps so far, but we’ll add to it as the need arises. If you are planning an outing, and would like a map posted for the benefit of the people joining you, or simply as a resource, please drop a note to the club Webmaster.

Ask your Exec

If CORE members have any questions about club policies or procedures, just email us at mailbox@corehike.org and a member of the Executive will respond. If the question is of general interest, we’ll include it with the answer in the next newsletter.

Q&A’s

HIKING STORIES

This month we’d like to initiate a Hiking Stories section to spice up our Newsletter a bit. If any of you members have an interesting story to relate about one of your outings, and you would like it to appear in the CORE Blog (newsletter), kindly send it in MS word format along with a PIC or so to the CORE Communications Coordinator (or to mailbox@corehike.org). We’ll likely edit it a bit (we have some skilled proof readers on the CORE Exec), and will include it in one of the upcoming newsletters.

The first submission is about a trip in the summer to Crypt Lake, written by David V., and originally appearing in the AHA Winter Newsletter.

Crypt Lake Hike

By David van den Eikhof

Reprinted from the AHA Winter Newsletter

Crypt lake Hike

While there’s no shortage of great hikes closer to town, every now and then I’d suggest taking the three hour drive down to Waterton Lakes.

A group of seven from CORE, the Calgary Outdoor Recreation Enthusiasts club, met there in the morning at the boat dock (most after a windy night in the main campground). The boat dock? Yes, you have to start with a ferry ride across Waterton Lake to take the classic Crypt Lake hike. The trail rises from a sheltered landing up Hell-Roaring Canyon.

Okay, so the canyon and its falls weren’t roaring that morning, it being late September and the creek fall-quiet, but the wind provided a substitute roar. Back on the boat, white capped waves crashed on the boat bow and windows, and then along the trail Burnt Rock Falls were blown into full reverse more often than not. We were blown about too, invigorating us once we were out of the lower forests.

Well, the unique thing about the hike is the fifteen metre long cave-tunnel you have to traverse on hands and knees, trying to find space for your pack—in pitch dark if your companions are just in front of you. Emerging, you’ve made it through the sheer rock wall into the Crypt hanging valley?

Crypt Lake Cavern Access

Nope. You’re still on the cliffs and have a bit of via ferrata cabled scrambling to do to get around a precipitous corner. It’s really not bad, but one member of another group needed an extra two or three hands to steady her. Next, on a mid-cliff bench you find the lake outflow emerging from a gap in one cliff for a short trip through lush forest before a plunge over the next ledge. Nestled just above, Crypt Cirque itself was—I won’t say calm—but calmer.

We could have spent an hour walking around the fair-sized lake, just barely traversing US territory protected only by the steep cliffs, but we opted for a more leisurely lunch and watched some goats on the mountainside high above the lake. Back to a rendezvous with the boat, completing the 17 km round-trip. We didn’t have to hurry to get there, but we definitely didn’t want to be stranded, right? Be there at 5:30, or else. Hmm. Now what were we to do at 6:00 when there was still no boat in sight? Someone had a cell phone and the boat company’s number and reception! With the high winds, they had to use our craft to also run the main tour cruise to Goat Haunt down the lake. They showed up half loaded from that direction about an hour late. At that point we were just grateful not to be stranded when some of us had to find space on the back or upper deck—open to further wind spray exposure.

Now then, let me tell you about some of the really memorable hikes we did this summer…

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY

christmas-poem-01

 

___________________________

 

 

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CORE November 2015 Newsletter

OCTOBER ACTIVITY SCOREBOARD

Despite the darkening weather and the approach of winter, October saw a number of exciting club outings, as well as a cozy lodge weekend. There were 11 events posted on the calendar, including urban walks, scrambles and hikes of various levels of difficulty, a Hostel weekend at Ribbon Creek, dinner and movie outings, and a Club Members night at MEC.

Some Highlights

Roughing it at Kananaskis Hostel Roughing it at Ribbon Creek Hostel

Memorial Lakes Scrambly Trail

Memorial Lakes Scrambly Trail

Relaxing Above Memorial Lakes Relaxing Above Memorial Lakes

Wasootch Ridge ViewView from Wasootch Ridge

Porcupine Ridge Porcupine Ridge

Porcupine Ridge Pinnacle Porcupine Ridge – End of trail

Forest Management Trail HutThe Colonel’s Cabin *

Baldy Pass TrailBaldy Pass Trail

Lillian Lake Hike - New Galatea BridgeLillian Lake Hike – New Galatea Bridge

Garrison Woods Halloween WalkHalloween Walk Garrison Woods

* The log shelter is the Colonel’s Cabin.  It was the headquarters for the Colonel of the World War II POW camp that was located across from Barrier Lake. We started at the Colonel’s cabin and did part of an interpretive trail, and then headed down Baldy Pass Trail and came back via Lusk Pass Trail.

Club Night at MEC

The MEC club night held on October 9 was a great success. There were 17 members who came out for this event. MEC’s staff presented an enthusiastic and educational walking tour of the store, illustrating how to shop for proper clothing for weather and layering. We also learned how to activate Gortex material to make it more waterproof, and how to dry down-feathered jackets using tennis balls to prevent clumping.

October Club Meeting

Last month’s club meeting was held on Tue October 27 at the Scarboro Community Centre. The presenter was Chris Wright, a long time club member who specializes in nature photography. He gave a photo presentation about exploring the Cariboo and Chilcotin areas of British Columbia.

CORE NOVEMBER CLUB MEETING

Tues. November 24 – 7 p.m.

Join us at our new home in the Scarboro Community Hall, 1727 – 14 Ave SW. The theme for the evening will be:

THE CHRISTMAS PARTY

Join us for the annual CORE club members Christmas party. The evening will also feature a presentation on paragliding by Andy Gamp. He will present the concept of paragliding, its history and evolution, description of the equipment and materials, and philosophy. We will then have time to socialize and talk about our adventures from the year. Food and beverages will be provided.

If only Icarus had these:

Canyon Paragliding

Canyon Paragliding

Hang Gliding

Hang Gliding

SAFETY

WildSmart bear activity

Bear Activity

Bear Activity Reports have ended for the season and will resume in the spring, around May/June, depending on the level of bear activity.

Safety Best Practices

Hike leaders, please be reminded to state our safety guidelines at the beginning of a hike or at the trail head, before you set of on the trail. These include practices such as keeping in groups of at least four people, stopping at junctions in the trail until you rejoin the main group, and having a leader and a sweep to make sure nobody gets lost. Coordinators are encouraged to have a read through the Coordinator’s Guidelines. This document constitutes the collective wisdom of our club on how to keep your group safe while hiking in the mountains. It is accessible at this link, CORE member password required:

https://corehike.org/wp-content/uploads/Forms/EventCoordinatorsGuidelines.pdf

PLANNED EXCURSIONS

Weekend at the Castle Junction Chalets

Friday, December 4 2015 – Sunday, December 6 2015

There will be opportunities for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, downhill skiing and backcountry skiing.

We have four cabins that each sleep six people, so 24 spots are available. Each cabin has two bedrooms, a pull-out bed, gas fireplace and DVD player. The resort has an activity center, Osprey Lodge, with a hot tub, general store and free Wifi.

There are still a few spots available. If you are interested please check the CORE calendar for contact details.

Assiniboine Lodge

Mar 6 – 9,  2016

We are starting to make plans for a weekend at Assiniboine Lodge. We will be taking a helicopter to Assiniboine Lodge March 6, returning March 9. During the stay we will be able to backcountry ski or snowshoe. The lodge provides guides and avalanche gear (transceivers, probes, and shovels).

Anyone interested, please check the CORE calendar for further details.

EXECUTIVE CORNER

Promoting Our Club

Seeking new members. Must be able to walk, with a desire to improve your fitness and enjoy the outdoors. We are looking to promote the club by putting pamphlets out, and hoping that members will have some suggestions of where we can place a few or better yet deliver some. If you have access to an area or bulletin board that might be frequented by outdoorsy people, please ask a member of the CORE Executive for some pamphlets to place in that location.

Membership Card Laminating

Want to get your membership card laminated? Come to a Club meeting (last Tuesday of every month except December).

Ask your Exec

If CORE members have any questions about club policies or procedures, just email us at mailbox@corehike.org and a member of the Executive will respond. If the question is of general interest, we’ll include it with the answer in the next newsletter.

Q&A’s

Q. Do we publish a list of hikes and other activities planned for the year?

A. No. Our activities are planned and posted by experienced club members who have some leadership coaching from the Club Executive Trip Coordinator. Some activities where reservations are required are put in the Calendar a month or so in advance, but others may be posted only a day or so before hand. All members are urged to check the Calendar often to see if an activity has been inserted that they may be interested in. They then register with the Trip Coordinator so further communications about the activity can take place. This also allows the Trip Coordinator to guage whether the participant has the skills, equipment and stamina to undertake the outing.

Q. What are the prerequisites for leading an outing?

A. The prospective hike (snowshoe, bicycle trip etc) leader should have participated in a few club outings to see “how we do things”, have an interview with the CORE Executive Trip Coordinator, and act as co-lead on at least one trip with one of the club’s experienced activity leaders. Any club member wishing to lead some activities should come out to one of the monthly club meetings and talk to members of the executive. You can also contact the Executive Trip Coordinator directly.

INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHTS

Our monthly quote from outdoor adventurer writers.

Ben Gadd knows the Canadian Rocky Mountains well. He is the author of ten books on the area. His best-selling Handbook of the Canadian Rockies is an award-winning guide to everything from geology, botany and bears to human history and backpacking trips. With a degree in Earth science and nearly 40 years of teaching and writing about the Rockies, Ben is an acknowledged authority on the region.

The following is an excerpt from a lecture by Ben Gadd –Six Good Reasons to Save the Wilderness.The complete text can be found at this link:

http://www.bengadd.com/Downloads/Six%20Good%20Reasons%20to%20Save%20the%20Wilderness%202009.pdf

Now there may be people in this room who wouldn’t mind seeing every grizzly bear in the Rockies decline as far and as fast as possible, but take it from me, who has had many close encounters with bears, that these animals are not bloodthirsty killers. I very nearly walked on a bear once; it got up, highly insulted, and looked at me incredulously until I delivered a proper apology.

Grizzly bears kill people only when we do something really gauche, like threatening their babies or trying to steal their elk kills. Okay; most of us wouldn’t knowingly threaten grizzly-bear babies, and we’re not really interested in rotting elk carcasses, but the bears just automatically assume the worst of us—which, when you stop to think of it, is quite justified. After all, we shoot bears. We hit them with our cars and trucks and trains. We trap them in nasty ways to get their furry skins. We lock them up in zoos, etc., etc.

Considering how humans treat grizzly bears I’m surprised that the bears don’t get even with us at every opportunity. It was Edward Abbey who said, spoonerizing the U.S. constitution, “I believe in the right to arm bears.”

Bears hardly ever attack people. Why not? It’s simple biology. If bears went after humans more often, we would have done them all in long ago. Maybe the bears know this. For whatever reason, bears are not much of a threat, and they belong in the mountains just as much as we do, perhaps more. They were there first, like the bighorn sheep and the golden eagles and the mountain goats—all of them world-famous symbols of the Canadian Rockies.

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