EXECUTIVE CORNER

January 2019 Meeting

January’s monthly meeting is on Tuesday, January 29, 2019 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm at Scarboro Community Centre 1727 – 14th Ave SW.

If YOU have an idea for a presenter who may be willing to give us a talk on their adventures, please send their particulars along to the   executive, and we’ll see what can be arranged.

January 29 Presentation by Alberta Wilderness Association

Alberta Wilderness Association

The CORE January meeting will feature a presentation by the AWA with their Wilderness Road Show. Core members guests and friends are welcome.

The Alberta Wilderness Association is dedicated to the conservation of wilderness and the completion of a protected areas network in Alberta. AWA is a voice for the environment, since 1965. AWA is a nonprofit federally registered charitable society.

The presentation by conservation specialists from the AWA, the “Wilderness Road Show“, is meant to increase public awareness about the value of Alberta’s public lands and to inspire a greater momentum towards achieving international conservation commitments agreed to by our federal and provincial governments. Conservation specialists Nissa Petterson and Joanna Skrajny will be presenting on Alberta’s public lands and elaborating on how Alberta’s public lands offer a tremendous opportunity to conserve Alberta’s wilderness and achieve representative protection amongst all six natural regions of Alberta. The presentation will also include a segment highlighting the recent proposal for the Bighorn Wildland Provincial Park.

CORE Photo Album

All CORE members participating in CORE activities are welcome and encouraged to post photos taken on your outings in the CORE website Photo Albums. There are Photo Management instructions on the CORE Guides web page. If you have any trouble uploading your photos, please ask the event coordinator or other experienced CORE member. Some guidelines when posting photos :

  • Post just the highlights of the event
  • No parking lot photos. We should not identify members vehicles
  • Do not post unflattering pictures of other members
  • If you mention a person’s name, use only the person’s first name

Training Courses

CORE is looking into putting on the wilderness first aid course again, possibly in April. This was a very popular course last April, so stay tuned to the calendar and next month’s newsletter for updates.

Contacting your Executive

CORE has a couple of purpose-oriented email addresses through which you can contact various executive members. If you have a general question about the club, for instance what activities are coming up, presenters planned, etc, please email us at mailbox@corehike.org. If it is a question about membership or joining the club, please direct your query to membership@corehike.org.

Remember that our CORE Executive members are volunteers who also have day jobs and a life outside of CORE, so please be patient if it takes a few days to respond to your queries.

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ACTIVITY SCOREBOARD

November and December 2018 and January 2019

Here are a few highlights from the CORE calendar for December 2018 and January 2019. Please visit the CORE photo albums for more pictures from recent activities.

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November 25 Elliston Park Lake Walk & Begim Restaurant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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November 25 Ptarmigan Cirque Snowshoe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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November 27 CORE Xmas Celebration

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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December 1 Zoolights

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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December 2 CORE Annual Xmas Weekend

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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December 8 Hike High Rockies Trail

 

 

 

 

 

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December 16 Elk Pass XC Ski

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December 16 Lower K-Lake and Marsh Trail Hike

 

 

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December 18 Xmas Light Walk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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December 22 Chester Lake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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December 27 West Crystal Line Snowy Owl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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January 5 Rummel Lake Snowshoe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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January 12 Cascade Fire Road XC Ski

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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January 12 Frost Heave Snowdrift Snowshoe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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January 12 Ingle Wood Urban Hike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NEWS & NOTES

Eight New Parks Proposed for Bighorn Country Area of Rocky Mountains for Land Protection and Recreation

Bighorn Country lies in west-central Alberta along the eastern edges of Banff and Jasper National Parks. The Alberta government’s proposal is for 4000 square kilometres along the front ranges of the Rocky Mountains. The area has been under consideration for protection since the 1980’s and its core remains relatively free of industrial development. The region is home to vulnerable species from grizzly bears to bull trout to harlequin ducks.  Bighorn Country includes the designation of a new Wildland Provincial Park and new expanded or amended parks, recreation areas and public land use zones. For more information go to Alberta Parks – Bighorn Country Proposal.

The proposed Bighorn Country would support policy integration, direction and clarity needed to help guide decisions that collectively reflect and support the needs and values of Albertans.   Alberta Parks would like your feedback on this proposal to better understand how our social, environmental and economic values shape conservation and recreation management in the Bighorn Country.   For further information on the proposal and an online survey go to talkaep.alberta.ca.   Comments will be collected until February 15, 2019.

Lake Louise Ski Resort Fined for Cutting Down Endangered Trees

Lake Louise Ski Resort was fined $2.1 million dollars for cutting down 38 white bark pine along a ski run in 2013. The ski resort is being charged on two counts, one under the Species at Risk Act and the other under the Canada National Parks Act. The resort did not have a permit to cut down the white bark pine.  White bark pine is native to high elevations, close to or at tree line. This species of tree is being threaten by disease, fire and climate change.  The Ski Resort pleaded guilty last December 2017 to taking down a strand of trees, including the 38 endangered species. Lake Louise Ski Resort is appealing the decision either to have the charges stayed or reduce the fine to $200,000 dollars. They state the sentence is grossly disproportional and demonstrably unfit given the actual facts of the case.

Cave found in Wells Gray Provincial Park, B.C.

Wells Gray Cave – Sarlacc’s Pit

A massive, unexplored cave that is likely among the country’s largest has been discovered in a remote valley in B.C.’s Wells Gray Provincial Park.

The cave was initially spotted in April 2018 by a B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations helicopter team doing a caribou count. The cave was never discovered before as it was covered in snow. Geologist Katherine Hickson and a team of cave experts John Pollack and Lee Hollis spent months surveying the cave from satellite imagery and preparing before they visited the site on September 9, 2018, to confirm the cave’s significance. The cave’s opening is 100 metres by 60 metres – virtually the exact dimensions of a CFL football field. It is also extremely deep, extending more than 100 metres underground, with the first 80 metres of that being a straight vertical drop. A large volume of water rushes down the opening, flowing thru the cave and exits 2.1 kilometres away as a stream.  Hickson believes that no one has explored the cave before and it is not known to First Nations as this cave was covered by snow year around, until 20 to 50 years ago.  The initial group that discovered the cave called it Sarlacc’s pit, named after a monster’s den from Star Wars Return of the Jedi, due to how big the opening is. Currently this is only an informal name.  The status of the cave is under environmental protection due to, it is in a provincial park and its fragile environment. If any unauthorized person is caught in the area, they will be charged under the Provincial Parks Act.

Inner Ranges by Geoff Powter – CORE’s Mike Galbraith featured in this book

Inner Ranges

Inner Ranges brings together an enlightening and entertaining selection of mountain writing by one of Canada’s most respected adventure journalists and thinkers, Geoff Powter.  This collection of original and previously published pieces includes provocative editorial and opinion work about the state of adventure, personal tales from a life of exploration and risk-taking, some touches of humour, and award winning profiles of some of Canada’s mountaineering greats. Stories include conversations with and profiles of alpine personalities such as Barry Blanchard, Sonnie Trotter, Lena Rowat, Raphael Slawinski, David Jones, Mike Galbraith and many more.  Bringing these essays together for the first time has given Geoff the unique opportunity to reflect back on these stories behind the stories, the consequences of their publication, and the sometimes complex process of writing about adventure and adventurous lives.

Excerpt from “A lightening Sky” chapter on the ascent of Manaslu:

Our days were made immeasurably better by the beauty around us, and each step upwards seemed to expand the horizon. To the north, Tibet lay as a carpet of dry brown, endlessly bleak, but to the west, the garden of peaks in the Ganesh Himal seemed to change colour and form every five minutes. As we set into a daily rythm, so did the weather. Morning would dawn with a wisp of low clouds, then these would slowly well up every day into an endless field of cotton batting by mid-afternoon. Mike would always complain on his 6 p.m. radio call that it was snowing or raining at base camp, and day after day we radioed back that we were basking in sun.”

Mike has also written a short adventure blog about this same trip titled WHAT HAPPENED ON MANASLU? and it is published on the CORE website.

 The Winter Permit System at Glacier National Park

Winter Permit System is now in effect for 2018 – 2019 season. Rogers Pass in Glacier National Park is a popular backcountry ski touring destination. If you are skiing or snowboarding in Glacier National Park often, you will need an annual winter pass if you plan to go into the Winter Restricted Areas. The winter permit system at Glacier National Park is divide into three areas:

  1. Winter Unrestricted areas – open to vistors all winter, you need a national pass
  2. Winter Restricted Areas – areas are open and closed daily, vistors need a winter permit and a national pass
  3. Winter Prohibited Areas – areas closed to vistors all winter

You need to check daily what areas are open. For more information go to Parks Canada – Glacier Winter Areas.

Backcountry Ski Guide Puts Icefield Parkway on Map

Icefields Parkway has been the go to spot for backcountry skiers, but there were only a few places to go.  Marcus Baranow released a guide book for backcountry skiing along the Icefields Parkway called “Confessions of a Ski Bum: The Icefields Parkway Lake Louise to Bow Summit.” This book provides useful information about dozens of backcountry ski routes that can be easily accessed from the highway. This book also provides general information about spending time in Banff National Park, as well as safety information before travelling in the backcountry. The book can be found in stores throughout the Bow Valley.

Follow up on the Three Black Bears Found in a Washroom in Banff National Park

The three bears were fitted with GPS tracking devices when they were released back into the park in July. Two of the three black bears that were rescued last year after being found locked in a public washroom in Banff National Park are in separate dens for their first winter. One bear denned on Oct 15 and the other on Nov 5. Sadly the third bear did not make it.

 Banff Park Continues Fight Against Whirling Disease

As of November 13, 2018 Parks Canada continues habitat control due to whirling disease found in fish stock at Johnson Lake.  The 15 hectare lake remains open for the winter, but Parks Canada has issued a warning that the uneven ice surface from gillnets, buoys or natural cracking can cause a trip hazard to skaters.  Whirling disease was discovered in Johnson Lake in 2016. This disease has been confirmed in creeks and rivers throughout Alberta, including the Bow, Oldman, North Saskatchewan and Red Deer watersheds.  Whirling disease can affect several fish species.

Kananaskis Avalanche Awareness Day 2019

A free one day event being hosted by Alberta Parks on January 20, 2019 at Burstall Pass Day Use Area (Smith Dorrien Hwy 742), at 11:00 am. Activity stations and demos include: assessing avalanche terrain, snow pit testing, beacon and transceiver searches, quinzee building, fire starting strategies, and meet an avalanche dog in training. Dress warmly, bring water, snacks, snowshoes and a camera.  For more information email Joe Fowler (joe.fowler.gov.ab.ca)

Kananaskis Speaker & Discovery Series: Winter Survival Skills

Join Jim Thorne of Foothills Search and Rescue, and discover basic winter survival skills, such as shelter building and fire starting. Dress warm and prepare to be outside. This is a free information series. Date: February 17, 2019  1.00 pm to be at Peter Lougheed Park, Discovery & Information Centre.  For more information email Joe Fowler (joe.fowler@gov.ab.ca)

Lake Louise Ice Magic Festival

Lake Louise Ice Magic Festival runs from January 16 to 27, 2019. The Ice Magic Festival is a world-class ice carving event. Watch as the ice artists, from around the world, at the ice carving competition, January 16 to 18.  Or view the finished ice sculptures over the following nine days. Admission: is free to attend Ice Magic Monday to Friday and on the weekends before 10 am or after 5.30pm. Tickets are required during peak times and can be purchased online up to 48 hours in advance for a 25% discount.

Driving Safely

  1. Inform family members of trip details and when you will contact then again. Send an email so it’s easy to access this info and leave message on their cell phones.
  2. Check the weather and road conditions before starting out.  Consider changing your route or adding extra time to your journey if there are adverse conditions.
  3. Where possible, plan to drive during daytime to make the drive safer.
  4. Drive on good winter tires.  They make an enormous difference.
  5. Have a recently serviced car equipped with airbags, traction control and other safety bells and whistles.  The airbags can save your life.
  6. Keep an emergency kit in the vehicle.  This kit would include food, water and first aid items. Candles are a great heat source, but don’t forget waterproof matches to light them!
  7. Wear winter clothes, with more winter gear close to you.  Definitely have an additional warm coat, toque, gloves, socks and good footwear easily accessible, and blankets.
  8. In SUV’s especially, secure loose gear as it can become a projectile in an accident. This includes putting your skis on the roof – they’re sharp and can cut you in an accident.
  9. Consider having a Garmin InReach device (or a similar device) with you in case of emergency.  On many mountain roads there are no cell phone towers.   This can save hours of waiting to get help to you.
  10. Get a CAA or AAA membership.  A roll-over on a remote road is costly.  

X-Country Ski and Snowshoe Courses

University of Calgary Outdoor Club is offering different levels of x-country ski courses from beginners to refresher courses.  You can rent x-country ski equipment from the u of c outdoor club as well. If you take a x-country ski course with this organization then you can receive a 10% per cent discount on x-country ski equipment rentals. The same applies for snowshoeing. Go to the link below and search for snowshoeing or X-Country Skiing. For more information go to UCalgary Outdoor Adult Active Living

 Trailhead Parking Security

It has been reported that car break-ins and theft has been happening at trail-head parking lots. Be sure to lock up your belongings and ensure nothing is visible when you leave your vehicle to mitigate the visibility of tempting items for thieves.

Trail Closures

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Members Corner 

The Members Corner section of the CORE Newsletter is meant to allow CORE Members to connect with other members of like interest, or to seek or sell outdoor equipment. Please submit any request to mailbox@corehike.org and include your contact info for interested parties to contact you. No photo’s of items will be posted on CORE newsletter. Also, please keep your words to a minimum (50 words or less).  Please note that the CORE Newsletter is in the public domain, and that by submitting a request, you give permission to CORE to publish your contact information thus provided. CORE will not act as intermediary in any resulting transactions. All members who submit any request have relinquished CORE from any and all liabilities, claims, suits, and causes of action, and property (including loss of use or damage) on the part of the CORE club (individually or collectively).

{member’s AD and contact info to be posted here}

 

Adventure Stories

Winter Snow Quote Edmund Hillary

 For all CORE members, this spot is for you. If you have a little story to tell about something you’ve seen on a CORE outing, or some article or book you may have read that you would like to share, please send it along and we’ll publish it in the next newsletter. Keep it to a couple paragraphs, and stick to topics related to the outdoors or the environment.  mailbox@corehike.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hither and Yon

Avalanche Awareness

Avalanche Awareness

What Causes Avalanches?

You. Over 90% of fatal avalanche accidents are caused by the victim or someone in the victim’s party.

If you are travelling in the winter backcountry you need to know how to:

  • Recognize avalanche terrain: Know what to look for and how to avoid dangerous slopes. and Look Up! Even if you are not on a slope, many trails travel through terrain threatened by avalanches from above.

Recognize unstable conditions: Conditions that can change quickly during the day. Know what to watch for and keep your eyes and ears open.

Recognize Terrain Traps: A terrain trap is any feature that makes injuries or burial more likely, including: Gullies, creek beds, ditches, cliffs, flats at the base of steep slopes, trees or rocks in slide paths.

Recognize Avalanche Terrain:

  • You need a steep slope at least 10m x 10m to create an avalanche that could be dangerous for a person.
  • An Avalanche normally occurs on a slopes between 30 and 45 degrees.
  • Convex rolls are prime trigger points but you can also be at risk below these slopes.
  • Cornices and wind slabs build on lee(downward) slopes.
  • Slide paths are open areas on a forested slope, cleared of trees by repeated avalanches.

If you are on or below slopes like these, you are in avalanche terrain.

Recognize Unstable Conditions:

  • Heavy Snowfall
    • Approximately 30 cm or more of new snow over 48 hours (less if snow is being blown by the wind).
    • Rapid accumulation: 2 cm of snow per hour for several hours.
  • Wind
    • Wind slabs form on the lee (downwind) side of ridge lines.
    • If there has been recent drifting, there are probably wind slabs.
  • Warming
    • Strong sunshine, warm temperatures and rain can all have a destabilizing effect on the snow.
    • the first warming (close to zero degrees C or warmer) after a storm is often when avalanches occur. 
  • Snow Pack   
    • Signs of avalanche activity form today or yesterday
    • Whumpf !!!!   This sound is a warning that weak layers are collapsing in the snowpack.
    • Cracks in the snow surface that shoot out from your snowshoes.

If you see any of these signs, avoid avalanche terrainStick to meadows and other flat or gently inclined areas.

Avalanche Rescue Equipment:

If you and your group are going into avalanche terrain, everyone needs the following essential equipment and know how to use it.

  • Avalanche Transceiver
    • Digital devices designed to locate buried victims quickly.
  • Avalanche Probe
    • Once assembled, probes pinpoint a buried victim after the transceiver search.
  • Avalanche Shovel
    • Avalanche debris sets up like cement so you need a strong shovel and good technique.
  • Avalanche Balloon Pack
    • If you are caught in an avalanche, triggering the airbags will help you stay on top of the snow.

Survival Time: The quicker you can rescue an avalanche victim, the better the chances of survival.

Attached cards is from Avalanche Canada/MEC/CP/Teck on  North American Public Avalanche Danger Scale and how avalanche danger is determined by the likelihood, size and distribution of avalanches.

North American Public Avalanche Danger Scale

5 is Extreme

4 is High

3 is Considerable

2 is Moderate

1 is Low

 

 

 

 

 

 

 North American Avalanche Danger Scale is determined by the likelihood of size and distribution of avalanches

 

5 Extreme – Avoid all avalanche terrain.

4 High – Very dangerous avalanche conditions. Travel in avalanche terrain not recommended.

3 Considerable – Dangerous avalanche conditions. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious route-finding and conservative decision-making essential.

2 Moderate – Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully, identify features of concern.

1 Low – Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.

Before going into the backcountry check the local avalanche report.

For more information about avalanches and Avalanche Conditions, visit Avalanche Canada.

 

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….see you on the trails …

Jane