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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