Trip Report – Mt. Washington & Mt. Elma – 22 Mar 2023

Reports are that Mt. Washington has lots of snow.  It’s true.  We started out on the snowshoe trail from Raven Lodge with the vague intention of going to the lakes.  Snow conditions were perfect for snowshoeing.  The trails were broken and there was a sparkling layer of fresh snow.  The sun was bright and warm, the air temperature was good, there was no wind.  The sky was clear and blue.  As I said, conditions were perfect.

Except for one thing.  The trail to Lake Helen Mackenzie crosses a stream on a bridge.  The bridge was packed with snow, up to about a metre above the hand rail.  It was well packed, but too narrow for snowshoes.  And there was no way to avoid it since the stream was open.  We crossed it, but once was enough, so we came back the Battleship Lake route.  It also has a stream crossing with a snow-packed bridge.  That one felt much safer, but it looked as if it might collapse sooner or later.

So we arrived at Lake Helen Mackenzie and stopped for lunch.  We looked around for a further destination.  Mt. Elma looked perfect, so we headed there.  The trail was broken already, so it was an easy, though steep, climb up to the ridge.  The summit ridge was amazing, open meadows with fabulous views.  In particular the mountains io the Forbidden Plateau skyline, all snow covered in bright sun with no clouds blocking the view for once. (13.1 km, 6 hours)

Norris

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Snow – Mt. Washington Area – 22 Mar 2023

Activity Snowshoeing
Destination Mt. Washington area
Date 22 Mar, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Norris Weimer
Contact Info norris.weimer@ualberta.ca or 3710.  Please contact the coordinator by Monday night.
Description We will either go Paradise Meadows or to Ramparts Hill, depending on the conditions and the group.
Meeting Place QI Ferry terminal
Departure Time 9:00 ferry
Difficulty
Easy to moderate
Costs Transportation costs and trail pass if we go to Paradise Meadows (Adult $13)
Trip limits None
Dogs? No
Notes: Bring lunch as we may not eat at Raven lodge.  Have reliable equipment and winter gear.

Trip Report – Mt. Washington – 8 Feb 2023

The month-long delay, in the hopes of getting some snow and decent weather, mostly paid off when we finally hit the snowshoe trails on Feb 8. Two guests joined me, one experienced snowshoer and one newbie eager to find out more about the sport, and both eager to see what Paradise Meadow snowshoe trails have to offer.

Recent rains had left the snow crunchy, but not icy and we crunched along the pleasant Old Cabin Trail at a steady pace. Feeling comfortable, the “newbie” was happy to go further, so we added the Crooked Creek loop. We stopped for a short lunch break out of the chilling wind in a copse of trees at the turn around point, just after the quite challenging bridge crossing. We were soon back at our car after a very pleasant day on the mountain. (about 5 km, 3 hours)

Valerie van Veen

Thanks to Valerie for the photos

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Snow – Mt. Washington Area 1 Mar 2023

This trip will be postponed or cancelled, but contact the coordinator if interested.

Activity Snowshoeing
Destination Mt. Washington area
Date 1 Mar, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Norris Weimer
Contact Info norris.weimer@ualberta.ca or 3710.  Please contact the coordinator by Monday night.
Description We will either go Paradise Meadows or to Ramparts Hill, depending on the conditions and the group.  Expect a broken trail to follow.
Meeting Place QI Ferry terminal
Departure Time 9:00 ferry
Difficulty
Easy to moderate
Costs Transportation costs and trail pass if we go to Paradise Meadows (Adult $13)
Trip limits None
Dogs? No
Notes: Bring lunch as we may not eat at Raven lodge.  Have reliable equipment and winter gear.

Trip Report – Mt. Washington – 16 Mar 2022

 
Our small group enjoyed a beautiful spring day at Mt. Washington.  It was not crowded in spite of Spring Break.  There was fresh snow on a crusty base for the snowshoe trails.  We crossed Paradise Meadows and climbed the well used trail up to Battleship Lake where we had sun, cloud and snow showers.  The lake was lovely, but a bit breezy and we sheltered on an island for lunch.  The light and silence at the lakes were wonderful.  We traversed Battleship Lake over consolidated snow so that we could easily take any route we wished.  We followed a rise through the forest over to Lake Helen MacKenzie and followed the lake to the mid-point.  We then more or less followed the summer trail back to Paradise Meadows. We stopped in the uncrowded Raven Lodge for a snack before heading home.  7.4 km, 3¼ hours.
 
 
Debbie
 

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Snow – Mt. Washington – 16 Mar 2022

Trip Report – Mt. Washington – 15 Feb 2022

A small but enthusiastic group enjoyed a perfect “bluebird” day on the Snowshoe trails on Mount Washington on Tuesday, February 15. Though no new snow, the conditions were excellent, slightly crusty, and the trails were more navigable than on our January trip.

We headed out clockwise on Lost Cabin to Crooked Creek trail. This lovely loop meanders over the summertime ponds and marshes, following and sometimes crossing Crooked Creek. We stopped at the return point, going off the trail to take shelter from the rising wind behind a small copse. We were beside an unmarked but well used trail which we suspected went out to Battleship Lake. We didn’t have time to explore this but noted it for future trips. We then returned to Lost Cabin trail opting to take the slightly longer Tree Beard trail back to the Lodge which took us up to the junction with Rossiter’s Ridge, a favourite lunch spot. We stopped briefly to admire the stunning view, then headed back to the Lodge. We enjoyed lingering over well-earned cups of hot chocolate on the deck in the sunshine – a beautiful day after so much fog, cloud, and drizzle of the past few weeks.  2 hours on trail;  5 km.

Valerie 

Thanks to Misha Cook for the photos

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Snow – Mt. Washington – 15 Feb 2022

Trip Report – Mt. Washington – 19 Jan 2022

Amazingly, and thankfully, the cold rain and wind held off long enough for five of us to enjoy the wonderful snowshoe trails of Mt Washington.  While this is not a free activity, like most of our outings, the well marked and tracked trails justify the cost ( $12 per person) .

After obtaining trail passes and one rental, we were on the trail by 10:30.  The initial blast of winter that greeted us let up and we set off in just sub zero weather and low cloud.  The snow was crunchy underfoot, thankfully no ice.   
 
We travelled clockwise, starting off on the green “Old Cabin Loop”, a very pretty and fairly flat loop through the forest and around the meadow.  It was wonderful to see several young families, and a herd of excited school kids, also enjoying this local treasure.  About ⅔ along “Old Cabin” we branched off onto “ Tree Beard” which, appropriately, heads up into the forest. A small plateau usually provides an excellent view, making for the perfect rest stop.  However, with a bit of a wind, and no view, we opted for a quick standing lunch break. Learning from other snowshoers that Rossiter’s Route was at least navigable, we opted for the longer return to Raven Lodge via Rossiter’s rather than continue on “Tree Beard”. “Rossiter’s” is one of two “black/difficult” snowshoe trails at Mt Washington and duly identified as a route ( not trail) on the map.  However, though long, it was not difficult going especially as we were going clockwise, thus going gradually down Rossiter’s Ridge.  In the wild, when there is a down there will almost inevitably be an up. Sure enough, a steep up eventually wound us back to Raven Lodge.  The promised ice rain finally materialized ensuring we were suitably wet as we returned to our cars.
 
Altogether a great winter outing, after so many trip weather-related postponements this season.  4.2 km. 2 hours
 
Valerie

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Snow – Mt. Washington – 19 Jan 2022

Trip Report – Rampart Hill – 15 Dec 2021

It was an adventure; not everything went smoothly.  First we missed the 10:00 ferry, thinking mistakenly that it wouldn’t be a busy sailing. After waiting an hour for the next departure, the three of us drove up the Strathcona Parkway.  For this time of year, there is an amazing amount of snow, nearly down to the highway.  The road up to Mt. Washington was good enough, but there was so much snow, we decided to snowshoe at Rampart Hill instead.  It was snowing hard and we had lunch in the car before heading out.  Although the logging roads had snow packed down on the weekend, there was no visible trace and we were doing some serious trail breaking.  Once we left those packed roads it was even more challenging, because the snow was so unconsolidated, especially around brush.  Norris fell through twice, the first time down over a metre and he had real difficulty getting the snowshoe back to the surface.  Then Bonnie fell through and we decided we had had enough trail breaking for the day, so we headed back, rather than forward.  We never encountered anyone else on the trail.  It was beautiful in a monochromatic way and very quiet.  4 km, 2½ hours.

Debbie

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Snow – Mt. Washington – 15 Dec 2021

Snow – Mt Washington – 15 Dec 2021

Activity Snowshoeing
Destination Mt. Washington area
Date 15 Dec 2021, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Debbie Quigg
Contact Info debbie.quigg@ualberta.ca or 3710.  Please contact the coordinator by Monday night.
Description  The intention is to go snowshoeing near Mt. Washington, which is scheduled to open on Dec 10th.  As the snow conditions are still unknown, the plan is not precise until closer to the date.  The like destinations are Paradise Meadows or Ramparts Hill.
If you wish to car pool, please make your own arrangements with others of similar vaccination status.
Meeting Place Q-Cove Ferry; Drivers need to be on time to make the busy 9:00 sailing.
Departure Time 10:00 9:00 ferry from Quathiaski Cove
Difficulty
Moderate, depending on the group
Costs Ferry and fuel. $12.00 for a snowshoe trail pass if we go to Mt. Washington nordic area.
Trip limits The limit is usually the number of cars driving up.  Cars should have chains available.  Car pooling will be at the discretion fo the driver, balancing fuel shortages and COVID caution.
Dogs?
Notes: Bring gear for the conditions and lunch.  Rental equipment is not available if we go to Ramparts Hill.

Trip Report – Rampart Hill – 18 Mar 2020

We had beautiful spring conditions to snowshoe from Ramparts Hill.  Warm and sunny, with good spring snow.  We headed steeply up the hill from the parking area until we reached the open bluff with great views of the Forbidden Plateau mountains.  We wandered along wide and narrow paths as well as untracked snow.  We meandered down to another great viewpoint where we stopped for lunch.  We continued on looking for the old cabin, but another group told us we wouldn’t find it because it has burned down.  A piece of history gone.  We continued east and south, with better views of the BC mainland mountains.  In total we had views through about 270° from Mt. Albert Edward to Mt. Waddington.  This was a beautiful day at a superb area for snowshoeing.  The terrain and views couldn’t be better.  6.3 km, 3 hours 

Debbie

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Snow – Mt. Washington – 18 Mar 2020