canada general hiking moosling trip reports

The Windtower

An afternoon hike up the Windtower…

The boy hiked most of the way up to West Wind Pass. And then from the pass, it was onwards and upwards. Below is the view from West Wind Pass up towards the Windtower.

There were a few snow patches on the traverse around.

Family photos with a 3.5 year old.

After a long scree slog – the summit! Which was alarmingly narrow and surrounded by cliffs, and required keeping a good hold on the boy. Alex is looking down at Canmore, visible in the valley behind Wind Ridge.

And views down the Spray Valley as well.

I started trying to train the boy on doing summit jump photos, but he only agreed to try a couple before giving up on the idea.

The boy looks out from the wind shelter on the summit of the Windtower.

Looking over the edge, and trying to convince the boy not to throw rocks.

Descending the scree once again…

Distance: ~10km
Elevation gain: ~950m

canada general moosling snow

Chester Lake

Against my better judgment, we headed over to Chester Lake for some ungroomed skiing – for the first time this winter! The backcountry hasn’t exactly been appealing, so we’ve been sticking to nordic skiing on groomed trails. Sadly everything was a little crusty, and the weather remained pretty overcast, so the old familiar trail wasn’t rendered exciting by awesome weather.

Thanks to the crusty trails, we didn’t get the boy to ski much, but he did manage 600m or so once we were up around the lake. The rest of the time he was hanging out on my back in the Ergo, not getting any lighter.

We even found an excellent hole for our midday luncheon:

It provided no end of amusement, as additional holes were dug, and small people climbed in and out and in and out… and then complained about being hungry because they were so busy climbing in and out of the hole that they’d refused to eat lunch.

An updated version of the “Chester Lake family in a hole” photo was taken too.

Here’s the January 2013 one, for the sake of comparison.

And then nothing remained but to snow plough my thighs into oblivion, down the chopped up, icy trail with an excited wiggly weight on my back.

canada general moosling snow

Family Day ski

A little jaunt on Family Day, the Moosling and I headed out to Banff to ski up to Sundance Canyon.

We wandered around at the canyon for a bit, then I kept skiing out towards the Brewster Creek trail junction (thinking about skiing as close as I could get to the old trailhead at the bottom of the Sunshine Village access road). But by then my shoulders were getting a bit tired from carrying a great heavy toddler, so after a few hundred metres of winding through the trees, we turned around and skied back to the car.

The sky wasn’t quite blue, but it was nice out, not too windy, and we had 9km of skiing fun, with quite a bit of singing going on in my ear. I really need to learn the words to some Thomas the Tank Engine songs, so I just don’t get “Thomas the Tank Engine! He’s a really useful engine!” sung on repeat.

bikes canada general moosling snow trip reports

Getting hardly any distance up Cox Hill

The initial plan was to try and bike/snowshoe up Jumpingpound Ridge. The road to the trailhead was open for logging until some time around the end of January, so we thought we’d give it a shot. Unfortunately, although we probably could have managed to get out there in the trusty little Subaru, there was no guarantee we’d be able to make it back later in the day, once the snow was even sloppier.

So, two-thirds of the way along the snowy logging road, we decided a moose in the hand is worth two in the bush, did a little digging, got the car turned around, and drove the kilometres back to the graded Cox Hill trailhead.

Cox Hill is steeper. It was fine for riding at first, but then became a nasty mix of ice (boo), bare dirt (yay!), deep punchy snow (boo), and steep bits of trail. I was fine on snowshoes. The Moosling was even happier hanging out on my back in the Ergo. But Alex was struggling, and so we called it quits after a couple of kilometres – but not before we’d gained enough height to gather some lovely views.

I’d love to try and get a bit further up the trail – an area I’ve never explored in winter.

canada general hiking moosling trail running

Lake O’Hara: The latest in the crazy summer adventures series

Another summer day, another silly plan. This time we decided we wanted to visit Lake O’Hara. We’d been there a few times in winter, but never in summer. Paying for the bus was inconceivable however, so we fashioned a cunning plan whereby we would push the Chariot up to the lake. There we could leave the Chariot, and release the Moosling, hopefully heading up onto some of the higher trails (or just around the lake).

Lake O’Hara

We ran on and off to cover the 10km up to the lake. Sometimes the Moosling hopped out and walked, other times he stood up in the Chariot and made incomprehensible demands, and otherwise he just sat and read his choo-choo book (and asked lots of questions about helicopters).

The big push up the road to get to the lake (no bikes allowed – it’s either walk or pay for the bus)

Up at the lake we stopped for lunch, then set off a-wandering. We headed up towards Lake Oesa, after an initial false start (where the Moosling threw up on Alex, and they both retreated to Lake O’Hara for a quick clean-up). Then it was decided that Alex didn’t like the look of the exposed ledges on the high circuit path, so rather than trying to cover the whole circuit, we’d just retreat to the lake, and do the easy circuit.

Looking down on Lake O’Hara

Released from his Ergo, the Moosling thought this was a great idea, and happily ran around the lake. Even better when we found some snow up at the far end that he could throw at us.

Traversing the lake

Back at the day cabin, we picked up the Chariot, transferred Moosling into Chariot (where he promptly fell asleep until we hit the carpark). Then then run down the hill, taking it in turns to run with the Chariot (which is a bit of an interesting proposition when you’re running downhill and you don’t have the version with brakes). The kilometre markers all the way along the trail helped with equitable distribution of Chariot time, and we even managed to make it back down to the carpark at the same time as the bus, after seeing people sitting around waiting for it, and essentially deciding it was obviously a race.

Thoroughly recommended, although I’d really love to do the full alpine high circuit now.