Executive News

March 26, 2019 Meeting

Members and Guests please join us for February’s monthly meeting on Tuesday, March 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.

March 26 Presentation: Discover Parks – presented by CPAWS – Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society

Learn about Alberta’s amazing parks from a user and conservation perspective. Discover the fascinating history and purpose of our parks through bio-facts, pictures, case studies and stories. There is a myriad of reasons for protecting nature through the creation of parks. CPAWS will, also, discuss how climate change is affecting our parks, ecosystems and species.

CPAWS (Southern branch) works with Albertans to establish and protect parks and wilderness areas from Red Deer south to the Alberta border, including Kananaskis, Castle and Bighorn.

Coordinator’s Meeting for Summer Events  – April 23

Calling all hikers, planners, leaders, day-trippers, part-time walkers, photographers, nature lovers, cyclists, scramblers,camping even if you have never led an event – there will be lots of help and mentors and co-trip leaders who would be delighted to come along with you. Mike has many guide books, maps, computers to help navigate any unknown routes. This meeting is for all current CORE coordinators and any CORE members who are interested in becoming an event coordinator or just wishing to have some input on a particular trip.

The Executive Trip Coordinator will be holding an event coordinators meeting on April 23, 2019, at 7 pm at his home. For more information go to CORE Calendar. And as a reminder to all current and new event coordinators, please review the EVENT COORDINATORS GUIDELINES  posted on the CORE website. These guides are a collection of “knowledge” representing years of experience of people seasoned in mountain recreation. They are meant to promote safety in our outdoor activities

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. Final day for course registration is April 22, 2019. Non-members need to first join CORE ($15.00 Winter/Spring membership) and then can participate in the course.   For more contact information, go to the CORE calendar for April 27, 2019.

May 13 – Deadline – For Chicken Mountain Award

If you think that someone is worthy of winning the coveted Chicken Mountain Award, you have to May 13 to submit your story to mailbox@corehike.org . At the upcoming AGM, the stories will be read and the most worthy nominee will be chosen by a show of hands. The nominee can be the coordinator of the trip where some misadventure or unusual experience happened, or a trip participant who managed to add some excitement to the outing.

2019 – 2020 CORE Executive Election May 28

We should all give thanks to our CORE executive, for their time and energy they put in to running the club. At the annual general meeting on May 28, 2019 CORE members will be electing their executive. If you are interested in participating in running the club and would like some further information about joining the executive, please send an email to mailbox@corehike.org.

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.

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ACTIVITY SCOREBOARD

February and March 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.

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February 23 XC Ski WBC Hostel Loop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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February 28 WBC Iron Springs XC Ski Loop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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March 7 WBC Moose Loop XC Ski

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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March 9 PLPP XC Ski Marl Lake Loop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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March 9 Ranger Ridge Snowshoe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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March 16 Grotto Mountain Ice Walk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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March 16 XC Ski Boulton-Whiskey Jack – Packers Loop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NEWS & NOTES

Cougar Warning still 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.”

Greater Bragg Creek Trail Conditions :  

Are very good for Snowshoeing, Hiking and Cross Country Skiing. For more information go to Bragg Creek Trails.

Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park Trail Conditions:

All trails east of the Quarry area are currently closed due to winter conditions. Trail closures are handled by Alberta Parks. For more information go to Alberta Parks Glenbow Ranch.

Mountain Pine Beetle Larvae may be reduced by 90% due to Alberta’s Cold Snap

We may not be able to enjoy our outdoor events, due to this cold snap, but these frigid temperatures is helping to kill the Mountain Pine Beetle. Especially in Jasper Provincial Park where the outbreak is the worse. Alberta has been experiencing an outbreak since 2006, the last three to four years Jasper has been hit hard. The outbreak started in B.C. in 1999. More than 19 million hectares of forest have been destroyed by the beetle.

Beetle larvae are equipped to handle the cold weather up to a certain extent, tucked under pine tree bark. Starting in autumn the beetle manufactures a compound that protects against the cold up to a certain degree and length of time. As the temperature keeps dropping below a certain point, more die. Basically the colder it gets, the more pine beetles die.

Researches at U of A are seeing a decline as much as 90% of larvae killed this winter so far. With the population declining this will help the provincial government with its control tactic’s.  Province of Alberta has been handling the outbreak by doing aerial surveys of forested areas, identifying affected trees on digital maps and sending crews to find that tree, confirm its attach, fall the tree and immediately burn it. Then the crews inspect other trees in the surrounding area to see if they have been affected and carry out the same practice.

The outbreak in Jasper National Park is under the federal jurisdiction hasn’t been the same response. The severity of the outbreak within the park boundary means officials cannot take the same control measures as there is too many beetles. Later this year, Parks Canada has proposed to burn these areas. Which will leave large areas of land, treeless.

U of A is also researching to whether the mountain pine beetle is becoming more tolerant to the cold as they are found in colder, northern climates.

River Otters sighted near Edworthy Park

When hiking down the Bow River near Calgary’s Edworthy Park, you may see Two River Otters out on the ice!!

Two River Otters were sighted on the Bow River near Calgary’s Edworthy Park on February 22, 2019. These sightings were confirmed by wildlife expert Chris Fisher. River otter sightings have been rare in recent years in the Calgary area. The presence of river otters in Calgary area is a good indication of the health of the Bow River and the fish population and the surrounding environment is in good shape. The otters feed on a variety of fish in the Bow and not pose a threat to the river’s trout population. With the arrival of spring they will move into treed areas west of Calgary.

Area in Upper Kananaskis Lake closed to Grizzly Bear Siting

On February 18, 2019, cross country skiers were travelling in the area south of Upper Kananaskis Lake when they came to close to a bear den and woke a grizzly bear. The bear came out of its den and came within one meter of the skiers before the bear took off. A bear closure has been issued in the area following the encounter, which will remain in effect until the end of denning season which is usually early May, to give the bear and any others, its space.

There is no way to identify a bear’s den during winter, as there are many different kinds and they’re often buried in snow. You need to be prepared for a bear and be aware it could happen.  A grizzly bear when it hibernates, their body temperature only drops a little bit, compare to other hibernators, therefore, they are easier to awake and they can respond to anything that they perceive as danger to them.

You should carry bear spray in cold weather. Extreme cold weather may have negative impacts on the effectiveness of bear spray, including that it may not spray as far when used. You should carry the cannisters inside you coat to keep it warm. This will impact a person’s response time, but the bear spray will be more effective. Rules for going out in the front or back country are the same in winter, travel in groups, stick together, make noise, be aware of what’s going on around you.

Beware of Grizzly Presence from 1A entrance west of Banff to Johnston Canyon

Parks Canada is worried spilled grain from a derailed train in Banff National Park will attract hungry grizzly bears to the tracks as they emerge from hibernation in the coming weeks. Twenty railcars from a Canadian Pacific Railway freight train went off the tracks on February 28 west of the Town of Banff. Ten of the derailed cars contained grain, including canola that spilled. Parks Canada says the spilled grain will need to be removed quickly and thoroughly. Parks also stated the spill site will need to be cordoned off with electric fencing to keep wildlife away. The spill occurred between the entrance of 1A west of Banff to Johnston Canyon.

How to Deal with Grizzly Attacks

Outdoor has a video on “How to deal with Grizzly Attacks.”  There is some interesting facts in this video and article. Did you know that Grizzly bears can charge at 35 miles per hour and reach their stride in their first bound. Grizzles will give you no warning if they are going to attack you. Best line of defense is still your bear spray. Remember if you see a grizzly back away slowly, until you have broken visual contact, then leave the area immediately.

Friends of Fish Creek Speaker Series

Calgary Captured – Urban Wildlife Film: March 21, 2019, presented by Vanessa Carney, Calgary Parks, The City of Calgary, Need to register thru Eventbrite.

Call of the Wetland: Combining science, nature and community for the health of Calgary’s wetlands. April 18, 2019, presented by Nicole Kahal, Conservation Analyst, Miistakis Institute, Need to register thru Eventbrite.

 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.

 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

Hiking quote by Mary Davis

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

Animal Tracks

Do You Know Who is Following You, or Who you are Tracking??

Identifying tracks to the species level you need to look for certain clues. You usually do not get a full clear track (like toe or nail marks). You need to look for two clues: 1. The Track Pattern of the animal and 2. The overall trail width that the pattern makes. 

Track Patterns

Pattern:  There is a distinct pattern that species use most of the time. It is useful to group animals by their regular walking pattern. There are four basic patterns: 1. Pace  2. Diagonal  3. Bound  4. Gallop.

  • Pace Pattern:  Type of animal that uses this style of walking is the wide-bodied, slow moving types such as beaver, bear, racoon, porcupine. These animals seem to waddle along their wide bodies shifting from side to side. The legs on one side of the body seem to move together, followed by the slumbering of the two legs on the other side. Most of the animals in this category have large, soft, padded feet. These soft padded feet allow them to walk through the woods quietly. The rear feet of these animals are elongated with a long and narrow heel.

Diagonal Pattern:  Type of animals are deer, moose, caribou, elk, fox, wolf, coyote, bobcat and dog. You need to imagine a center line with foot tracks diagonally crossing over it to form the pattern. The rear right foot lands on top of but slightly behind where the front foot right foot was a moment earlier. The front feet of the diagonal walkers are considerably larger than their rear feet. All cats and foxes use the diagonal pattern but the rear foot lands directly on top of the front track. All cats walk with their claws retracted, so the claws do not show in the track. Deer and moose have heart-shaped tracks, the dog family has egg shaped tracks and the fox and cat families have round tracks.

 Bound Pattern:  Includes the weasel family, fisher, mink, otter and marten. These animals have long bodies and short legs. Look for five toes. As they move, the front two feet land first, followed by the rear two feet that land just behind the front. Some overlapping of the tracks may take place.

Gallop Pattern:  Includes the small critters, like squirrels, chipmunks and larger animals like rabbits and hares. This group moves quickly through the forest floor. Their track pattern shows the front feet landing closely together and the rear feet coming around the outside and past where the front feet landed.

Trail Widths

After examining the trail pattern, you now need to measure the trail width. This will narrow the animal to the species level (the chipmunk from the squirrels, the fox from the coyote). Trail widths are measured in various ways based on the walking pattern used. See the track pattern diagram for the proper measuring of trail widths. Below a few examples:

  • Diagonal Walkers: Bobcat 7 to 10 cm, Red Fox 10 cm, Coyote 12.5 cm, Deer 16 to 20 cm
  • Bounders: Mink 7.5 cm, short tail weasel 5 to 6 cm, Long tail weasel 7 cm, Fisher 12.5 cm
  • Gallopers: Chipmunk 5 cm, Red Squirrel 10 cm, Rabbits 12.5 cm, Hares 15 cm

Dominance: 90 per cent of mammals are right dominant. With the gallopers or other animals when their speed or gait increase to a gallop, their right foot lands first. Dominance will also state which way an animal will circle or turn.

There are many good animal tracking books online and thru the Calgary Public Library.

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….see you on the trails …