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