Sat, Jun 10 2017, Sun, Jun 11 2017 - Sparrowhawk Tarns Random Camping (Location Changed to Romulus) (View Original Event Details)

Event Coordinator(s): Barbara B.
Participants:Barbara B., Phyllis, Rick Wilton, Brian J, Tracy Ann, Kevin Starozik, Jesse


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Write Up:
Rain or shine, we decided that we would go camping. While the original plan was to get a permit for Sparrowhawk Tarns, photos from last weekend still showed lots of snow. Plus, there are no fires allowed and no trees, so with the rainy forecast that didn't sound too appealing. Megan at Kananaskis was very helpful in answering some questions regarding random camping locations, so we got the go-ahead to random camp in a Wildland Provincial Park. No facilities, but we would be prepared with everything we needed.

We had a leisurely start on Saturday by meeting at the Cinnamon Spoon in Bragg Creek, a lovely stop for some final coffee and treats. From there it was a short drive to the trailhead, where we started in somewhat sunny weather. The walk in was easy and we quickly adjusted to the big packs. About 2/3 of the way in, though, the rain got steadier and heavier. We put on our lovely Goretex jackets and set out to find a campings spot. We settled on a lovely location by the river, with a creek on two sides, our own underground spring, a meadow, plenty of trees for tarps, a fire ring, and soft, mossy ground. By the time we were setting up our tents, we were basically soaked, and the consensus was the Goretex jackets were useless. We all took them off and traded them for dollar store ponchos and garbage bags, which actually worked much, much better (that may have been a disappointment to us gear junkies).

But, some rain wouldn't deter us as we came prepared with a tarp for each tent, another 14' x 16' tarp for the fire area, and Kevin brought another 8-person shelter, which kept all of our gear dry. Throw in a couple of guys who just cannot sit still, we had deadfall aplenty, thanks to Brian, and water galore, thanks to Rick. We had a jolly good time around the fire, eating for a few hours, bringing out a midnight elk sausage roast, s'mores, fruit, and all that. Whoever was our timekeeper may have been a little off as we ended up going to bed after 1am.

Over the course of the evening rain had turned to sleet, then to a clear, starry sky, and eventually the beam of the moonlight woke some of us up in the middle of the night. That was followed by the big, bright sun and a bluebird morning, but the snow melted quickly.

Enter more food, another elk sausage roast, and we were off for our morning walk to scope out the area around Mount Romulus. Lots of flood damage there, with tables tossed upside down and an outhouse half buried. By this time it was downright hot. We returned to camp, pur on our big packs, and were on our way back. We enjoyed a last afternoon break by the river, then made it back to the cars and went for some celebratory beverages and food at the Saloon in Bragg Creek.

The stats:
- Distance: 26km
- Pack weights: ranged from 37 pounds to ~60 pounds - Items lost: blue baggie, maybe some body parts
- Wining gear: garbage bags and cheap ponchos
- Night owls: 6 out of 7 people
- Late risers: 7 out of 7 people (we think Kevin got his dose of beauty sleep. What was that? 12 hours?!)

The weather sure didn't deter anyone in this group. Thank you to Rick and Brian for driving, and welcome to the COC, Jesse. What a great weekend and remember, our secret camping location remains secret :-). We'll be going back there for sure.





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