Highwood Pass area, hiking under Mt. Storelk, between Grizzly Col and Odlum Ridge.
A group of Assistant Hiking Guide Candidates with the Canadian Ski and Mountain Guide Program spent 9 days hiking in the Canmore, Spray Lakes and Kananaskis areas. We spent the first four days hiking various ridges and valleys in the vicinity of Mt. Prairie View, Mt. Buller, Tent Ridge, and Windy Pass. The last three days were spent in the Highwood Pass area, hiking under Mt. Storelk, between Grizzly Col and Odlum Ridge.
The early part of the week was warm, with scattered showers, and hiking conditions were favourable. A significant snow storm moved in on September 11, during the first backpacking day, depositing up to 10cmâ€™s of new snow near treeline. Snow line was down to the highway at Highwood Pass, and in the Alpine, snow drifts as deep as 30-40cm were encountered near Grizzly Col. No slabbing or instabilities were encountered. The subsequent two days provided warmer, sunnier conditions, with overnight temperatures dipping to -7C, and daytime temperatures reaching +8C. The snow did not melt appreciably in the subsequent days. North facing slopes remained frozen, resulting in challenging travel and tricky footing in these areas.
No wildlife was encountered, however there was periodic evidence of grizzly digs, sheep and elk tracks. The larch trees have begun their transformation to gold.
Helen Sovdat MG
Felix Camire SG, HG
Sylvia Forest MG