December 2020/January 2021 CORE Newsletter

Executive News

To All CORE Outdoor Event Participants:

Social (Physical) Distancing for COVID 19

The club executive recently met (virtually of course) and talked about the current COVID-19 situation in Alberta. The second wave we are in now has been far worse than the first wave, and more seriously. The highly contagious U.K. and South Africa variants have also reached Alberta, albeit presently in small numbers.

All of this makes us now believe it would be prudent to put a stronger emphasis on physical distancing for the next few months at least. We are therefore requesting all trip participants to make a more concerted and conscious effort to physical distance from others, while xc skiing, snowshoeing or winter walking (and especially in the parking lots before – and after – the trips).

Thank you for helping us to keep our club members safe.  

The CORE Executive.

 

No January or February Members Monthly Meetings

2021 CORE Member Monthly Meeting

Starting 2021, CORE executive is planning member meetings. The present and future COVID-19 AHS regulations will determine if and when CORE can hold these monthly member meetings. Executive is hoping to be able to start in March of 2021. STAY TUNED. CORE will be sending out calendar email notifications to members and information will also be in the newsletter.

There will be two changes. One the facility for meetings will now be held at the Bow Waters Canoe Club at 1975 – 26th street SE. Directions to facility below. The second change is that, for some of these monthly meetings, CORE will be holding Outdoor Adventure Films with free popcorn and beverages (wine) at these meetings.

         CORE

Outdoor Adventure Film  

and “a little wine” Fest

(Free for members)

Film list and times to follow

in future Newsletters

 

 

 

 

 

 

CORE’s new meeting Facility is Bow Waters Canoe Club

Bow Waters Canoe Club is located just off Deerfoot Trail and 17th Ave SE.  Address of the facility is 1975 – 26th Street SE.

Bow Waters Canoe Club map

 

 

 

 

 

 

Directions:

From East or Westbound 17th Ave SE (see map below states 1A, which is 17th Ave)

Turn South on 26th Street SE (there is a set of lights at this intersection),

BWCC Road turnoff

Ensure you are in the right hand lane and immediately turn right where the City of Calgary Utilities/Electrical station is (it is a small black building with LED lights on it, indicated by the red arrow below).

Follow the road down to the parking lot. Take the stairs down to the club house building.

 

 

 

CORE, ACTIVITIES/EVENTS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC:

Thank you for your patience during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the Alberta government has re-opened the provincial parks and has announced that groups of up to 50 people can gather in the outdoors (while maintaining such practices as social distancing), CORE  re-started the club on June 15th.  CORE executive has put in place guidelines and recommendations for trip coordinators, and COVID-19 guidelines for keeping members safe, when participating in CORE activities/events. CORE executive would like to thank all CORE members that put on hikes, bike rides, urban walk’s for their club members during this unprecedented time.

Winter is now with us. Many more activities are planned for the coming months. Continue to watch your emails and CORE calendar for activities/events. Since restarting the club on June 15th, 2020 CORE has put on many activities/events. Have a look at the Activity Scoreboard below and/or go to CORE photo album .

Members are encouraged to read the Guidelines “Hiking with CORE in the Time of COVID-19 pandemic.”

If the province of Alberta mandates different requirements, the organization may have to make appropriate changes.  If the situation changes a newsletter with the updated information will be sent to the members.

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 different purpose-oriented email addresses through which you can contact various executive members. If you have a general question’s about the club, for instance upcoming presenters planned, event, 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

Highlights of Activities/Events

Here are a few highlights from the CORE calendar of hikes from November 24, 2020 to January 10, 2021.  Please visit the CORE photo albums for more pictures from recent and past activities.

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November 24 2020 Ptarmigan Cirque Snowshoe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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December 2 2020 Elk Pass XC Ski

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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December 6 2020 Powderface Creek Prairie Link and Creek Hike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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December 12 2020 Ranger Summit from Bragg Creek Hike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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December 13 2020 Acephale Falls and Heart Creek Bunker Hike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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December 19 2020 Crystal Line Snowy Owl (WBC) Hike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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December 20 2020 XC Ski Rolly RD Pocaterra Lynx Come Along Trails PLPP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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December 26 2020 Lusk Creek Snowshoe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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December 28 2020 8km Terrace Kovach XC Ski

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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December 28 2020 11km Ribbon Creek Terrace Kovach XC Ski

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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January 1 2021 XC Ski WBC West Crystal Line Loggers Loop East Crystal Line

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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January 3 2021 North Glenmore Park XC Ski

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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January 6 2021 WBC Snowshoe Hare

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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January 7 2021 PLPP Fox Creek Loop XC Ski

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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January 9 2021 Burstall Pass XC Ski

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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January 10 2021 Galatea Creek Snowshoe Hike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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News and Notes

 

West Bragg Creek Trails

Bragg Creek Trails

Have you ever been to West Bragg Creek Provincial Park to hike, ski, snowshoe, bike or run?

Do you know all the trail maintenance is done by volunteer’s?   These volunteers are a community group who work hard to ensure this area is accessible for everyone. There is still a huge annual cost to build and maintain these trails. Last year it cost WBC trail organization close to $500,000 thousand dollars. And it is almost entirely supported by donations.

Bragg Creek Trails is the trade name of The Greater Bragg Creek Trails Association and is a registered Canadian charity. Charitable receipts are issued for amounts over $20.00 dollars.

There are many ways to donate:

  1. Online at Bragg Creek Trails Organization.
  2. Download the donation from from the website and send a cheque to GBC Trail Association (address is online).
  3. You can do a cash deposit at one of the three donation boxes at the West Bragg Creek parking lot.

Update for Parking Pass needed for Kananaskis Country, Cross Country Ski Areas

A parking pass program has been implemented for the 2020/2021 cross country skiing season in Kananaskis Park. Reason for the parking pass is due to the Government of Alberta stating in March 2020 they would no longer fund trail grooming in the Kananaskis area (Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, Mount Shark, Sandy McNabb, Ribbon Creek/Kananaskis Village). Alberta Parks and Nordiq Alberta signed a cooperating agreement that will ensure winter trail grooming in these areas in Kananaskis, through a paid parking pilot program in Winter 2020-2021. These paid parking passes will pay for 190 kms of groomed trails in these areas.

Winter trail users are asked to buy and display a day use or a full season parking pass when parking in any of these areas. You can purchase these parking passes online or at a local ski shop in Calgary, Canmore and Kananaskis Village. Cost of a day pass is $10 dollars and a season pass is $50 dollars. You need to download the pass and put the printed pass on the vehicle dashboard.

You can also self-pay. Trail users in PLPP can fill out the self-pay parking pass form and deposit their parking fee in drop boxes located in Pocaterra and Elk Pass parking lots. Self pay parking pass lots are: Pocaterra Vistor Centre, Elkwood, Boulton, Boulton Bridge, Elk Pass, Upper K-lake, Ribbon Creek, Troll Falls, Wedge Pond Crosswaters Hotel (K-Village), Evan-Thomas, Sandy McNabb and Mt Shark.

Note: All retailers and self pay lots you can only purchase a day pass.   

Per Kananaskis Info and Nordiq Alberta:   You can only purchase a day pass at retailers, due to complexities for the retailers and Nordiq when purchasing a season pass using credit cards. On how to handle the credit card fees. Self pay lots, due to short notice from the government of Alberta (20 days), Nordiq could not put in a cash system for a season pass. If you would like to purchase a season pass but cannot do the purchase online, you could postal mail a $50 cheque to Nordiq Alberta, with your name, license plate number and email address, and they will email you a season pass upon receipt of the funds.

Snowshoers, alpine skiers, bikers and hikers can contribute if they like. Remember these activities still benefit from the use of these areas in the winter.

Cross country skiers who do not display a parking pass in their vehicles will be informed and encouraged to purchase a parking pass on site or online. Volunteers will be in the parking lots to help inform people of the service for this parking fee. The program is voluntary. Each user can make their own decision to pay or not to pay for this park service (grooming x-country ski trails).

Note: Online purchases require an additional payment of $2 to $3 dollars for credit card processing charges. Processing charges do not apply for cash payments at retailers.

For more information go to Nordiq Alberta – (Kananaskis grooming) website.

 Alberta Gov’t to open Rockies to Coal Mining – Facing Legal challenges

Phillipps Pass in the Crownest Pass area Lets keep these areas safe from coal mining

The Alberta government is facing two court challenges in January 2021 (proceedings start January 18, 2021) over its decision to rescind park protection and open the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains to coal mining. The previous coal policy act for lands was rescinded in May of 2020. The government set zones for no development in the most sensitive land and progressively more activity in the lands that hold more value.  Mine proposals on all other lands now go directly to the Alberta Energy regulator. They can impose conditions on development, but previously they have never turned down a proposal.

The court challenges are from landowners and the Ermineskin and Whitefish First Nations are requesting a court review of this decision as it was not made with the required consultations. Ranchers who have grazing leases on this land, these lands will now be available for open-pit steel making coal mines. These two groups will argue that the Alberta legislation and common practice require the province to consult with anyone affected before making land use decisions. Per the Alberta Land Stewardship act and other various land use plans.

Government lawyers will state that polices are not the same as legislation and can be changed unilaterally.

Alberta’s eastern slope of the Rockies have ecologically important land, habitat for threatened species and the headwaters of rivers, that is Albertan’s drinking water.

In December 2020 the province sold coal leases for approx. 1800 hectares on the eastern slope of the Rockies. Land leased for coal now covers 60 kms from Alberta’s southwest corner.

Steel making coal is different than thermal coal. Federal government opposes any new open thermal producing coal mines in its carbon mandate. Question is; Will the federal government oppose steel making coal? Or have limitations on amounts and locations where this coal can be produced.

Currently the proposed Grassy Mountain coal mine is before a joint federal-provincial review panel. And there are others waiting.

On January 18 2021, Alberta Gov’t announced it has reversed part of its plans to expand coal mining in the Rockies.     Energy Minister Sonya Savage stated that the province would cancel 11 recently (December 2020) issued coal leases and pause any future coal sales in former Category 2 lands, due to growing public opposition over this issue. More than 100 thousand people have signed petitions and written letters to their MLA.

But 8 leases that were already sold in May 2020 remain in effect.   There are still more than 840,000 hectares of coal leases and rights in the eastern slopes of the Rockies. Including 420,000 hectares within lands formerly protected as Category 2 that are still open for open pit coal mining development.

Alberta Government Stating No Parks Will Be Closed

West Wind Pass

December 22 2020 the UCP announced “No parks will be closed whether a partner is found or not and that all parks will keep current legal protection.”

December 23 2020 another news release from the UCP stating “the government’s latest call for partners has been a resounding success, meaning all areas currently considered Provincial Parks or Public Recreation Areas will remain as such.”

These two statements seen by many as a reversal of the UCP government’s plans announced in March of 2020 by Environment and Parks minister Jason Nixon. At that time, he stated “the government would fully or partially close 20 provincial parks and hand over another 164 parks to third party managers. Sites for which no managers could be found would lose park status and revert to general Crown land.”

This announcement sparked a provincial protest from Albertans. Including over 20,000 letters to politicians and a popular lawn sign campaign (Defend Alberta Parks). One of the many groups fighting the plan to close, delist or hand over management to third parties stated “the successful opposition shows the government needs to consult with Albertans before changes to the use of crown land.”

December 23 2020 announcement stated 170 partnership agreements have been reached. The statement did not clarify how many are new or long standing. Who are these partners? What sort of activities will they be undertaking? How are they going to be maintained? No details were given about the partnerships.

Currently most partnerships involve operations and not management of a park. E.G. Nordiq Alberta and xc ski grooming PLPP. Friend of Kananaskis – maintaining trails.

Also, the government has announced, that they will provide legislation to modernize the Alberta Parks Act. This will be an opportunity for public input. When???

Friends of Fish Creek Provincial Park:

Friends of Fish Creek Park is offering different events regarding the park’s history, wildlife, archaeology and other events in the park this spring/summer/fall.

Visit Friends of Fish Creek Park event calendar for daily and weekly events.

Friends of Kananaskis Park Event Series:

For more information go to Friends of Kananaskis Park event calendar.

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 and Trail Report Link

Alberta Parks and Banff National Park are urging people to be bear aware. There have been multiple sightings of bears, and other wildlife in the parks. Depending on which park you are in, contact either Alberta Parks (403-591-7755) or Parks Canada Banff office (403-762-1470) if you come in close vicinity of a bear, cougar, elk or wolf.

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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

 

XC Skiing quote Ralph Emerson (Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail)

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

A reminder of every member’s responsibility to keeping yourself and your fellow hikers safe, during this unprecedented time.

Six feet/two metres Social Distancing requirement by AHS and CORE guidelines

Every member in this photo is a minimum of six (6) feet/two (2) metres apart, for social distancing guidelines.

Reminders:

Bring a mask in case you cannot social distance – 6 feet/2 metres, or you need to go into an indoor area.

Stay six feet/2 metres for social distancing when hiking and other events. Also, at rest breaks and lunch.

Remember, This Too Shall Pass!!

 

 

Avalanche Season

Avalanche Awareness

It is that time of year again. You need to be aware of avalanche conditions in the area you are snowshoeing, cross country skiing, or any other winter activity. Most avalanches are triggered by humans.

Recognize Avalanche Terrain:

  • You need a steep slope, avalanches normally occur on 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 up on downwind (lee) 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.

Continuously look up and check conditions. Even if you are not on a slope, many trails travel through terrain threatened by avalanches from above.

 

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.
  • Wind – Wind slabs form on the downwind (lee) side of the ridge. If there has been recent drifting, there are probably wind slabs.
  • Warming – Strong sunshine, warm temperatures, rain can destabilize the snow.

If you hear a WHUMPF!, This sound is a warning that weak layers are collapsing in the snowpack.

If you see any of these signs, it means you are in avalanche terrain.

Check Avalanche Canada website for the danger level in the area before you venture out.

  1. Low – generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow. Natural and human triggered avalanches unlikely.
  2. Moderate – Heightened avalanche conditions. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully. Natural avalanches unlikely, human triggered avalanches possible.
  3. Considerable – Dangerous avalanche conditions. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious route finding and make safe decision making essential. Natural avalanches possible, human triggered avalanches likely.
  4. High – Very Dangerous avalanche conditions. Travel in avalanche terrain not recommended. Natural avalanches likely, human triggered very likely.
  5. Extreme – Avoid all avalanche terrain. Natural and human triggered avalanches are certain.

 

Have Fun and Stay Safe!!!!