Tag Archives: backcountry huts

Ski Tour Shangri-la

Back country hut Shangri-la

A back coun­try cab­in nes­tled in a val­ley along the sky­line trail. A locals favorite hide­away cab­in that holds 4 per­sons com­fort­ably, 6 if you want to get cozy. To stay in this place, you must reg­is­ter though the local ski club. The care­tak­er of Shangri-la does not adver­tise their con­tact infor­ma­tion online.

Due to con­ser­van­cy of cer­tain species at risk, the Cari­bous, which is a heat­ed debate among the locals and Park Cana­da on weath­er the impact of skiers affect the Cari­bou pop­u­la­tion. The open­ing date to access this area is in late Feb­ru­ary to ear­ly March. A ski tour to this place is an adven­ture not to be missed. Once there, the val­ley has many slopes to day tour and play in the snow.

Access: Maligne Lake Road

Park­ing: Yes, pull out near Rose­mary rock.

Trail­head: Along the Mail­gne Riv­er, or via Maligne Lake

Activ­i­ties: Sights / Hik­ing / Ski­ing


Ski Tour Little Shovel Pass

Access: Maligne Lake Road

Park­ing: Yes

Trail­head: Sky­line route, Maligne access, Sig­nal, Wabas­so

Activ­i­ties: Sights / Hik­ing / Ski­ing

Ski tour Little Shovel Pass

Part of the Sky­line Trail, this pass can be reached on a day tour either hik­ing or ski­ing. Along the way there is a hut oper­at­ed by a local club. The hut is called Shangri-la. One of the locals favorite ski tour back coun­try cab­in. Sea­son­al clo­sures are in effect, so check with Park Cana­da infor­ma­tion cen­tre pri­or to head­ing out on this jour­ney.




Re-Discover Snowshoeing

Snow­shoe­ing con­jures up images of fur traders trudg­ing through deep snow on plat­forms of wood and sinew. But like many oth­er out­door win­ter sports, snow­shoe­ing has under­gone some­what of an equip­ment rev­o­lu­tion in recent years. Snow­shoes now are con­struct­ed of alu­minum and syn­thet­ic mate­ri­als and range in price from just under $100 to well over $500.

Edith Cavell, 2006
The Japan­ese con­nec­tion on snow­shoes.

Access Pristine Wilderness

If con­di­tions are right, snow­shoe­ing offers a chance to see ter­rain that even cross-coun­try skiers have trou­ble access­ing. Marshy or glade areas, like those found on the Pyra­mid Bench, are the best place to snow­shoe. The Fair­mont Jasper Park Lodge golf course pro­vides a lev­el area for begin­ners.

Jaqui and Edwin snow shoe
On the ridge of Pyra­mid Moun­tain

The Maligne Lake area offers more snow and good snow­shoe­ing con­di­tions too. Snow­shoe­ing on the lake itself though is not a good idea as ice thick­ness can vary wide­ly from place to place.

Put on your snow shoes and explore!

Be Prepared to Workout

And be warned — snow­shoe­ing can be hard work and hills are espe­cial­ly dif­fi­cult. Tromp­ing through the snow pro­vides a great aer­o­bic work-out but can also be tough on the legs. Great for the fam­i­ly out­ings. Snow­shoes are sold and rent­ed at most ski shops.



Fryatt Hut

Back­coun­try huts are the only way to go for the ulti­mate rest and relax­ation. If you get the hut to your­self would be a bonus. This area is main­ly geared toward the moun­taineers who want to bag peaks. Brus­sels peak is by far the most dis­tinict peak in my books. There are three camp­sites that are main­tained by Parks Cana­da along the way to Syd­ney Val­lence (Fry­att) hut that is main­tained by the Alpine Club of Cana­da.

Com­fort­able hut
Make sure you got the key to get in the hut from the club
some nego­ti­at­ing with the trail

This trip has its ups and downs, so to speak. There have been many instances that peo­ple have nev­er made it up to the hut. Some­times it is the snow that makes the head­wall dif­fi­cult to scale. Since the ren­o­va­tions, they have placed yel­low mark­ers along the only route up. Just remem­ber to reach the third (head­wall) camp­site, where the 200 metre steep switch­backs start.

The best kind of shut­tle to shave on the hik­ing

You can start this trip at the Geral­dine road at Hwy 95a. You will be doing approx­i­mate­ly 23 kilo­me­tres. Use a bike to shave off half of mileage or take a canoe and fer­ry across the Athabas­ca Riv­er.

The Throne

Thanks to Shane, Jamie, Julz, Lar­ry, Chan­tal for the hike and being my mod­els.

The old bridge

Octo­ber 1999
By Eddie Wong

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