Executive News

February 2019 Meeting

Members and Guests please join us for February’s monthly meeting on Tuesday, February 26, 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 will see what can be arranged.

February 26 Presentation – Colorado River Trip by Core Member Jeanette

Boats at the ready

Join us for a presentation by Jeanette will show us a trip taken by Jeanette, Lynn, Geoff, Laurie and Chad’s (CORE members)  17-day, 225 mile Dory trip down the Colorado River from Lees Ferry to Diamond Creek through the Grand Canyon. Come see the spectacular scenery of the Marble Canyon, Inner George, fantastic side hikes and indigenous ruins, crystalline creeks and waterfalls, cactus gardens, white water, foaming ripples and Lava Falls along with 42 spectacular rapids.

Wilderness First Aid Course Scheduled for April 27

CORE is sponsoring a “Non Certified” Wilderness First Aid training course on April 27, 2019, at Bragg Creek Community Centre – 23 White Ave. Cost is $15.00 dollars per person. Nicole Elder is the instructor. She provides first aid instruction to the Calgary Police Service members. She has extensive training and expertise and experience in Wilderness First Aid, Survival Training and Search and Rescue. There will be classroom training and outdoor scenario’s. After scenario training there will be general survival techniques. Dress for the weather as some instruction is outside. Course is limited to 24 participants. There will be a wait list so anyone unable to attend is asked to contact the coordinator as soon as possible. There will be an “option” for members to buy a wilderness first aid manual at a cost of $45.00 dollars each. You can register online, on the CORE Website Activities page. A non-refundable $15.00 dollars is requested and can be paid online via PayPal, cash or cheque is acceptable if received prior to registration deadline.  For more contact information, go to the CORE calendar for April 27.

Note: Club members intending to register should do so by mid-March to assist in the planning for the course.

Executive Updates:

  1. Event coordinators are requested where possible to scan event reports and email them to Mike.
  2. Event Coordinators and Participants are encouraged to post photos from ongoing outings onto the CORE website.
  3. Members/Non-members mailing in fees for courses or membership should include a note as to what/who the money is for, and ideally the associated form. Otherwise the executive may not know why we are receiving the funds.

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

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.



January and February 2019

Here are a few highlights from the CORE calendar for January 19 to February 19, 2019. Please visit the CORE photo albums for more pictures from recent activities.

Due to extreme cold weather, in February many events scheduled for these weekends were cancelled or postponed to future dates.


January 19 Fox Creek  and Elk Pass XC Ski













January 19 1st CORE night XC ski













January 20 Rawson Lake Snowshoe

















Unofficial Trail in “Secret Cave” area of Johnston Canyon closed by Parks Canada to protect Unique Birds

There used to be up to 15 nesting pairs of Black Swifts in Johnston Canyon, but as of August 17, 2018 there is just one or two.  The Conservation Manager believes there was a single fledgling that survived in 2017. In an effort to entice the unique bird population back to Johnston Canyon in Banff National Park they have closed a popular, unofficial trail. This area is known to locals as the “secret cave”.

Black Swifts are mostly found in coastal regions but also nest in canyon habitat in the mountains. These birds lay one egg at a time, typically in May. It takes nearly a month for the egg to hatch, then unlike most other birds, the young do not grow feathers needed for flying for another two months.  Johnston Canyon is the only nesting site for black swifts in Alberta. The main trail is not affected by the closure, only the unofficial – off trail (this trail leads down into the canyon by the water) is closed. Closure is too November 15, 2018 and could be in place next year. Parks does not want to affect ice climbing in the winter months, and by then the birds are gone. If anyone is caught in this area, they will be fined by Parks Canada.

Canada concerned about U.S. plans to drill in Caribou refuge

The Canadian government, two territories and several First Nations are expressing concerns to the United States over plans to open the calving grounds of a large cross-border caribou herd to energy drilling, despite international agreements to protect it. Environment Canada has sent a letter to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, stating the potential trans-boundary impacts of oil and gas exploration and development planned for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Coastal Plain. As most of the wildlife that inhabits this refuge is shared with Canada. The Porcupine herd is one of the few remaining healthy caribou populations in the North. A small population of this herd migrates to Jasper National Park then returns to the North prior to calving season. The Porcupine herd in this refuge numbers 218,000 and is growing. Canada wants assurances from the U.S. about the content of the environment study.

Adult caribou can co-exist with development, but they avoid any disturbance on their calving grounds. Canada is concerned that oil and gas exploration and development will negatively affect the long-term reproductive success of the Porcupine caribou herd. And the U.S. is aware of this possibility.

Parks Canada stops plans to build a Parkway Bike Trail between Banff and Jasper Nat’l Park

Park Canada says it will not go ahead with a plan to build a bike trail along the Icefields Parkway that runs through Banff and Jasper National Park. The federal agency had budgeted about $86 ($66 million for the bike pathway, $20 million for parking lots, campsites and washrooms) for the 107 kilometer cycling route from the Jasper townsite to the Columbia Icefields that could eventually extend to Banff townsite. Per Jason Bouzanis, director of communications for Parks Canada, “Ecological integrity is a primary focus for Parks Canada in the management of the national parks, and this is the main reason the bike path is not being built.”  The Icefields Parkway is considered a classic cycling tour, but riders are restricted to its narrow shoulder. Parks Canada had proposed a separate, paved route buffered from the busy road by 10 to 20 metres of trees. Environmental groups had voiced serious concerns about the project. Stating it would cut through critical habitat for caribou, grizzly bears and migratory birds. The proposed bike trail was compared to the one in Bow Valley through Banff National Park. The big difference, there is a fence along the highway and the bike trail is inside that fence. There was not going to be a fenced-off trail along this project.  Parks Canada had acknowledged that the trail could affect wildlife and pose safety risks and induce further development. The bike path would have gone through critical habitat for two endangered species, the mountain caribou and the whitebark pine. And create encounters between grizzly bears and cyclists, who are less likely to carry bear spray and travel quietly and at much higher speeds than hikers.

Waterton Lake National Park to receive $21 million from Ottawa

The Kenow fire scorched 40 per cent of the park. The flames burned 200 square kilometres and 80 per cent of the park’s hiking trails. The visitor center and other buildings were destroyed. Waterton’s townsite and historic Prince of Wales Hotel were saved. Park Superintedendent Salman Rasheed stated the first projects will be repairs to the 14 kilometer Red Rock Parkway and a rebuild of the popular Bear’s Hump hiking trail. Restoring the 16 kilometer Akamina Parkway and Crandell Mountain campground will need more time for planning and design. Some money is going toward monitoring and protecting the park’s ecosystem.

Kenow Fire at Waterton Lakes National Park has un-covered the Past

Freshly burned environments may provide a new start for invasive species, but they can also uncover the past. Parks Canada is conducting research in collaboration with local Blackfoot people into indigenous archeological sites, plus other sites discovered due to the Kenow fire.  Lead archeologist Bill Perry from Parks Canada states “what has been uncovered shows How the Blackfoot people really lived, revealing large areas of Blackfoot camps within the last 300 years. They have uncovered arrowheads, glass trading beads and stone tools. The fire also revealed trails that the Blackfoot people used over 7000 years ago. Another find is a depression-era work camp. In 1930’s the federal government hired men to build a major roadway thorough the park. Foundation of structure’ s in the camp, rusty tine tobacco, meat, condensed milk and coffee cans from that era have been discovered. These artifacts will change the parks history and they are mapping these finds, so they can be plotted onto maps, which will be verified with archival and aerial photos as well. To create a new history for this area.

Parks Canada forces Sunshine Village to sign new 42 – year lease

Ralph Scurfield, president and CEO of Sunshine Village, Ski resort, was forced to agreed to a new site guideline for Sunshine or have his family’s business sold by Parks Canada. Parks Canada gave Sunshine owner to January 21, 2019 to sign the 42-year lease with the site guidelines appended. If the 2020 lease was not signed, Parks Canada would impose two options on the owners, either: Sunshine would sell its infrastructure to Parks Canada for $1 dollar (and Parks Canada would tender out the property) or remove all infrastructure and return the land to its natural state. The new site guidelines reduce the leasehold by 61 hectares (land that is currently zoned and previously approved) and gives Sunshine no new parking. Parks Canada is urging Scurfield to build a 500-vehicle parking structure at a cost of $50 million (not an option for the owner due to cost).

Sunshine Village was the last ski resort in the mountain parks without the guideline that allows for managed growth while protecting the environment. The new guidelines would allow Sunshine Village to have up to 8500 visitors at a time from the current 6500. And build  an additional 3,650 square metres of commercial space, add up to eight new ski lifts and develop up to 80 hectares of new ski terrain.

Parks Canada rejected Sunshine’s parking proposal which included a 750-space satellite parking lot along the resorts access road, but the guidelines allow for more transportation and parking through a combination of transit and a parking structure of no pre-determined size at the base of the resort. Parks Canada states ” The Sunshine Village Ski area guidelines will provide a long-term predictability for the operator while ensuring that ecological integrity, including the protection of wildlife is the firs priority for decision making.”

Another concern by conservation groups is the increase number of visitors, in the new lease and the ecological concerns in Banff National Park. Which currently is only ranked as fair.

Cougar Warning now in effect for all areas surrounding the Town of Banff

Cougars have been frequenting the areas around the Town of Banff in search of food. Report all sightings immediately to Banff Park Dispatch at 403-762-1470.  Go to Wild Smart on “How to Avoid Cougar Encounters, Handling a Cougar Encounter and Handling a Cougar Attack.”

 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.

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)

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


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 Antoine van Kleef

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

Another Outdoor Winter Activity: Cross Country skiing:

Cross Country skiing is another way to get active in the winter and enjoy the beauty of the snow-covered landscape. Cross country skiing is a form of skiing where skiers rely on their own strength to move across snow-covered terrain. Cross country skiing is widely practiced as a sport and recreational activity however some still use it as a means of transportation.

 How to Choose X-Country (Nordic) Skies:
  • Your skiing style: Do you want to glide smoothly in set tracks, or do you want a workout as you zip along at high speeds? Maybe you want to explore? Knowing how you plan to use your skies is the first step to choosing the right pair.
  • Choosing the right ski size: The correct length is critical to an enjoyable ski experience.
  • Waxable or waxless bases: For classic skiing and off-track touring, this is a key choice. There is advantages to each style.

Three Skiing Styles:

  • Classic Style: This style of skiing is the stride and glide motion.
  • Skate Skiing: Skate skiing is done on groomed paths, often next to track-set terrain. Skate uses a pronounced pole plant an angled skating motion.
  • Off Track Touring Skiing: Most of your skiing is done on ungroomed trails and terrain, these cross country skis range from models that are a little wider than classic skis up to bigger mountaineering skis that have metal edges.

Ski Length:

Your weight and skill level are the two main factors to consider when it comes to cross-country ski length.

  • When buying cross-country skis according to your weight:
    • Most classic skis will end up being longer than your height by a certain amount.
    • Some modern classic skis (for recreational skiers) are designed to be skied shorter than traditional classic skis, which makes them easier for novices to handle.
    • skate skis will be closer to your own height in length.

Waxable and Waxless Bases:

Waxable Skistraction comes from the grip wax (kick wax) applied to the middle third of the ski. When you release the kick portion of the ski by unweighting the glide that happens comes from a different was (glide wax) applied to the rest of the base. It takes time to learn to wax for all snow/weather conditions.

Waxless Skisuse a textured surface in the kick zone (rather than grip wax) that grips snow when it is weighted, but still allows the ski glide when you shift your weight off it when you are going downhill. This gripping surface is either a fish scale-like pattern cut into the base material or a replaceable skin patch made of directional fibres. Skiers due not have to worry about day to day conditions when they use waxless skis.

Both Waxable and waxless bases require a glide wax on the sliding sections of the base to glide properly along the snow.

Next step is to choose Ski Bindings:

  • There are three types of bindings:
    • Frame Bindings: heel and toe pieces are connected by a frame.
    • Tech Bindings: Toe and heel pieces have pins that attach to a specific type of boot.
    • Telemark Bindings: always has a free heel during the climb up and the descent.

Your Ski Boots and Bindings must be compatible.

Your Ski Poles, you will want to match to the type of skiing you are doing. The right pole length is based on your height. Poles are made with different materials and come in adjustable or rigid. Don’t forget baskets.

For more information on how to buy XC ski’s and equipment visit the Mountain Equipment Coop website


….see you on the trails …