There is always someone faster than you, likely just not us. Slow Pokes may aspire to reach uptrack rates of 300-400+ vertical-meters/hour that many of our esteemed club mates achieve, but are happy with 200-250 v-m/hour. We have stamina, sure, maybe do long days, just not that fast (yet?). So if you are concerned with holding up faster groups, or perhaps even being a liability with faster groups in complex terrain, you may enjoy this relaxed, easy, friendly paced tour.
This is an early season leg stretcher up to Elbow Lake and on to Rae Glacier. It is about 4.5 km in and 700 m elevation gain. No glacier travel is planned (its a tiny little, close to home, glacier). Hopefully we can get a lap or two in there on those north facing slopes and find some good early season turns.
Its the last weekend to get in there, as that section of highway #40 closes for winter on December 1 each year.
On Wednesday, I was there to just below treeline, finding sufficient snow to skin up from the parking lot (2000 m elevation already) and enough snow to ski down, although its a short walk down from the lake if you want to save your ski bases from any surprises at the lower elevations. At the picturesque Elbow Lake, snow boot-depth was knee deep and looked good for skiing. Higher up on the north facing slopes, snow will be steeper and deeper; Hopefully we can find some nice early season turns.
Required Items to Bring:
Bring the usual, beacon probe and shovel, etc.
How to Get There:
Carpool Departure Time:
West Valley Carpool Parking Lot
Just a couple hundred meters east of the new Calgary Climbing Centre on West Valley Road SW (SW of the Hwy#1 west and Stony Trail NW intersetion). Exit Hwy#1 onto Valley Ridge Blvd NW, take the traffic circle and head south under the #1 highway, then east a few hundred meters to the parking lot.
Short notice on this posting, but the ski bug is starting to go around and its the last weeekend to explore the area before that section of the highway's annual Dec 1 winter closure.
Although there was negligible avalanche hazard observed below treeline at Elbow Lake by Mount Rae on Wednesday, above treeline on the north facing slopes will be different (I've never been up there yet). Windslabs on an Oct 26 near-ground-level crust may be expected. Please bring your avy sense along to discuss safety as a group as we get into the alpine.
Avy forecast as of Wednesday night is for conditions to rise from low to moderate by Saturday, with 5 cm new snow expected by Friday... ☺ ☺ ☺ ☺ ☺
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Registration for this event closed on Saturday, November 24, 2018 at 03:00 PM.