Category Archives: Skiing

ski­ing and win­ter sports

Ski Tour Bald Hills

Bald Hills, Maligne Lake

Open­ing Day for 2017 is March 1, 2017 — (uncon­firmed)

This day tour is a clas­sic amongst the locals and vis­i­tors alike. The route up to Bald Hills hitch­ing post is around 5km one way.

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Nev­er did check if the out­house is in ser­vice

There are sev­er­al loops start­ing from the park­ing lot at Maligne Lake, some folks ven­ture beyond like the Six Pass route and or the Sky­line Trail.

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Get­ting steep and tight
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Get tight near the bot­tom

For us, we just want­ed to get some turns in with half a day to spare.

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Just past the hitch­ing post view
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Enjoy­ing a bit of lunch before the decent
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Nice wide open glad­ed run near the top

Avalanche dan­ger is at a high lev­el these days, so we decide to just stay at tree­line and avoid the loaded slopes.

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My trusty Scot­ty Bobs
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View look­ing into Maligne Lake

#myjasper #back­coun­trys­ki #out­door­life

Yumi, Eddie
2016

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Ski Tour Tonquin Valley

Touring Tonquin Valley

Tak­ing advan­tage of great weath­er and the lift­ing ban of trails from Por­tal Creek and Asto­ria Riv­er. The clo­sure was lift­ed sec­ond week of Feb­ru­ary. Now, Wates Gib­son, Ton­quin Val­ley Adven­tures and Ton­quin Val­ley Back­coun­try Lodges are open for busi­ness.

Winter weight, Tonquin Valley
Win­ter weight, Ton­quin Val­ley
Deep snow in Tonquin Valley
Deep snow in Ton­quin Val­ley
Outside at night
Out­side at night
Virgin beauty of the back country
Vir­gin beau­ty of the back coun­try

This trip was a lit­tle bit of work, and lot of play. For those who don’t know this area, the pho­tos will hope­ful­ly entice you to vis­it. From trail head of Edith Cavell, you get the Asto­ria riv­er entrance. This year the snow­fall has been light, so the trav­el on the riv­er itself was not real­ly an option, how­ev­er we still man­age to cross some snow bridges.

Clearing the heavy snow off the cabins
Clear­ing the heavy snow off the cab­ins
Our entrance
Our entrance
Bridge across the creek
Bridge across the creek

Snow was deep­er in Amethyst Lake area where the cab­ins reside, so some dig­ging down to the cab­ins were in order. We had an ear­ly start in get­ting the chores done before a lit­tle tour at Sur­prise Point, pret­ty close to the ACC hut “Wates Gib­son”. Since that aspect was north fac­ing, the snow was pret­ty light on our tour.

Winter weight, Tonquin Valley
Win­ter weight, Ton­quin Val­ley

Get­ting away with only wax­ing the skis for the 34km tour out was a treat, glide plus kick. The day took about 7 hours, but pho­to oppor­tu­ni­ties and gen­er­ous breaks was well worth the time out. The last time we went in and out of the Ton­quin Val­ley, the tem­per­a­ture was -30 some odd degrees. This trip was  pleas­ant hov­er­ing above zero degrees Cel­sius.

comfortable sleeping quarters, Tonquin Valley
com­fort­able sleep­ing quar­ters
Cooking facilities
Cook­ing facil­i­ties
The Ramparts
The Ram­parts

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Ski Tour Mt Kitchener

A sec­ond ski tour to the Colum­bia Ice­field, when I got the call to do this trip, I did not hes­i­tate to say heck ya! The approach to Mt. Kitch­en­er starts at the toe of Athabas­ca glac­i­er, the same goes for the Snow Dome tour. We took two days to reach the sum­mit of Mt. Kitch­en­er, we built an authen­tic Igloo for our ulti­mate win­ter camp­ing expe­ri­ence.

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Glac­i­er mark­er over the years has reced­ed
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The tongue of the Athabas­ca Glac­i­er
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Doug Latimer with his heavy film­ing equip­ment
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Nobody else to feed me grapes, so I’ll do it myself
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Eddie the moun­tain man?
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Vast ter­rain, expert­ly nav­i­gat­ed by Doug Latimer
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When is this going to end?
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Thick glac­i­er
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pos­ing for the shot

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We hit some excep­tion­al days, so our tour was quite spec­tac­u­lar and breath­tak­ing.  Doug Latimer need­ed to film some footage for his doc­u­men­tary “360 Degrees of Inspi­ra­tion”, we were lucky to be the recip­i­ents of his guid­ing skills.

Doug taking a time out to relax by the Igloo
Doug tak­ing a time out to relax by the Igloo

While we were build­ing the Igloo, an elec­tri­cal storm halt­ed our progress for what seem like an hour, sit­ting on non metal­lic items and feet on our rope to sep­a­rate us from the ground. It passed us with no issues.

After the night in the Igloo, I hap­pened to be the last one up, luck­i­ly I left the Igloo just before it col­lapsed. The day was inspi­ra­tional and breath­tak­ing with amaz­ing views 360 degrees worth. We sum­mit Mt. Kitch­en­er with plen­ty of day light and get some footage before the decent.

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A ski tour for the memoirs

Access: From Jasper, head South, Hwy 93, 100 km

Park­ing: Yes

Trail­head: From Park­ing Lot

Dis­tance: 20 — 24 km one way

Activ­i­ties: Sights / Ski­ing / Camp­ing


Ski Tour 2006

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Winter Camping

Camping in the winter

Camp­ing does not stop when the snow falls. The back and front coun­try camp­sites are still open if you care to brave the weath­er. This authen­tic Cana­di­an pas­time is fun when you are pre­pared to cozy up to a nice down filled sleep­ing bag or build an Igloo, yes peo­ple down south of the bor­der, we Cana­di­ans do sleep in Igloos.

The Igloo by Explore Jasper
Mt. Kitch­n­er 2006 The igloo lived in for one night

Snow Dome

A trip like this does not come so often, so when a friend invit­ed me on this trip to the top of the world (in my mind), I could not pass it up. The Snow Dome sits high in the Rock­ies, part of the Colum­bia Ice­field cov­ered in (you guess it) snow! An expe­ri­ence guide is a must for this trip and I was for­tu­nate to tag along a guide train­ing trip con­duct­ed by Doug Latimer , and when they said it was ski­ing, well I was tick­led pink! The Snow Coach­es can take you part way up this Athabas­ca Glac­i­er, but not pass the huge ice falls and crevass­es.

Snow camping Snowdome 1999
Snow­dome 1999, Chan­tal snow camp­ing at the base.

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Recreational Vehicle Camping

The camp­site Wapi­ti and Whistlers has win­ter hook-ups, but you bet­ter check with Parks Cana­da Camp­ing site to see avail­abil­i­ty times as they don’t have a reg­u­lar hours for these camp­sites.

 

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