canada general moosling snow trip reports

Elizabeth Parker hut family trip again! (Day 1)

The family hut trips last winter were so fun, we decided then to book out Elizabeth Parker hut and do it all over again this winter. And my resulting blog posts are apparently so photo-laden that I’m going to split up the trip day by day.

Filling up an entire hut with friends is wonderful fun, but definitely a little involved – especially thanks to the National Parks need to buy wilderness passes on top of paying the hut fee… and then depending where you get the wilderness pass, you need to pay an additional booking fee, and argh! But once that’s all done, you just get to enjoy the trip, hurrah! Although the actual logistics of getting yourself plus kid/s up to the hut for a couple of nights can sometimes feel overwhelming too…

But then, finally, you’ve locked the car one last time (“Did I definitely press the beeper?” “I think so.” “I’m sure you did.” “I didn’t see the lights flash though.” “Maybe I’ll just go back and check it one more time.”) and you’re skiing.

We had pretty nice conditions for our ski in. A bit cloudy, but not too cold, and lovely snow. Definitely not too cold compared to all this -25oC and -30oC weather that’s been kicking around this winter. We’d already cancelled one hut trip thanks to unpleasant cold levels.

Our ski-in group consisted of two 3-year olds, a 5-year old, a 6-year old, and eight adults. Some of the crew had motored on ahead of us, and some were going to be making it in later that day.

And so we skied in slowly, and practised the art of patience and coaxing small children to cover long distances.

Lunch breaks that involve stopping and playing in the snow definitely help! The picnic table at the 5km marker of the Lake O’Hara road makes for a great lunch stop, and has a couple of hills for keeping tobogganing kids happy.

And then we continued, and the Moosling sometimes skied under his own steam, although mostly I was towing him. Not pictured, as I’m the photographer, and so was mostly taking photos when I wasn’t towing a slightly grumpy 6-year old (some ski trips just involve higher grumpiness levels than others, it’s just a thing, 6-year olds are people too).

But then finally, on to the final twisty narrow trail through the trees. And disaster, as the Chariot overturned and Kat’s coffee cup fell down a snowy cliff, and she had to climb down and retrieve it. Successfully, I might add.

The final stretch, where you can see the smoke wisping up from the huts, and then finally, through the trees, the huts appear in view.

And then a few of us headed back out to help the others after dumping bags at the hut. Hurrah, light-weight skiing!

And then, hut life. The two really small kids hang out in the main cabin, discussing the sweet lines they’ll be skiing tomorrow. Well, maybe give them another decade at least.

Group meals tend to lead to a hedonistic smorgasbord of deliciousness. There was as much eating on this trip as there was anything else. The cheese! The dips! The bready goodness! And that was only the appetisers.

And so friends, and friends of friends, and new friends, all create an enormous racket, as everyone chats and socialises, eats delicious food, and drinks delicious port.

And outside? The night is brilliant, calm and quiet, filled with stars and the beautiful Milky Way.

canada general moosling snow

The luge run

One particularly amazing edition to our Elizabeth Parker hut trip, aside from the maze and quinzee, was the luge run we built up behind the hut. Referring to something so epic as a mere toboggan track would be inadequate.

There was a lot of engineering that went into the design, and some epic berms were built. But it was still difficult to design a track to handle such a variety of sled weights, and so there were parents stationed at a few tree-well points along the way. Which was good, as kids on toboggans went flying over the berms a couple of times before we decided that two kids in a black sled was a bad combination (and banned that particular combination).

And so now I’ll just leave you with some of the photos, which should give you some idea how fun it was!

So fun that we went back again the next morning – but this time round, only launched from half way up, because it had set so fast and icy…

I may have had just as much, if not more fun, than the kids. Apparently growing up without snow meant a very neglected childhood, so I have to make up for it with extra tobogganing now.

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Escape to BC

It was cold, with a forecast for rain. A group of us had planned a family/no family bike trip to Revelstoke. As the weekend grew closer and the forecast for Revelstoke looked increasingly terrible, the families lost enthusiasm. But in a bold move, we decided to go anyway, sans famille.

Friday night we drove out to Revelstoke. Saturday morning we rode the McPherson trails in Revelstoke – I was feeling stronger than I expected, but a summer of no mountain biking hadn’t helped my fitness. Then it started to rain. We eyed off the sky dubiously, debated a little, then high-tailed it to BC.

As we drove, we started to be able to see a distant patch of blue sky. Would these hours of driving be worth it?

We reached Vernon. It was warm! It was dry! It was sunny! We rejoiced, and rode our bikes on the Kalamalka trails.

The dust got in my eyes, but I didn’t care, because I was finally riding a mountain bike again.

We soared back to the parking lot just before dusk, and it felt a little like we were getting away with something illegal.

The only problem now was – where were we going to stay tonight? It was a gorgeous warm long weekend. Surely no-one else had realised this, and the campgrounds would be deserted?


We went from campground to campground, but found nowhere to stay. In the end we gave up and went to the sketchy campground in town. As we packed up the next morning, the guys in the permanent set up across from us had already started drinking.

The plan for Saturday morning was to ride the Myra-Bellevue Provincial Park trails, near South Kelowna. And they were amazingly fun too!

Somehow after that the afternoon devolved into go-karting though. I’d never been before. And now I never have to go again.

On our third night of BC we acquired luxurious private Kelowna accommodations, camping out by the house of someone’s family. Great views, lush green grass, and the weather was still perfect.

Day three of riding took us to Smith Creek. Which has an uptrack that inexplicably feels flowy and like you aren’t actually climbing. But then when you reach the summit, you have an amazing long downhill in front of you. And there are any number of interesting features along the way.

Three of us decided to go back for one more lap. I don’t know if it was a sensible decision. My dodgy knee certainly didn’t think so. By the time we reached the top I felt like my legs were about to fall off. But in a good way.

And then it was time for the epic 6 – 7 hour drive home. Worth it? Absolutely. Next year Moab?

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roadside views in bc


By the highpoint of the Salmo-Creston pass


Emerald Lake, Yoho National Park


Smoky views near Golden

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hanging out near fernie, bc

Installment one from the roadtrip round BC…

Lazing around in the Lassier Hot Springs

The Shack in Wardner


Silver Spring Lake, near Elko