Sat, Dec 6 2008 - SNOWSHOES MANDATORY - see Note in itinerarySulphur Mountain - Slowpokes & Dawdlers (View Original Event Details)

Event Coordinator(s): Karen D, Marg
Participants:victor, Ed, Karen D, Sumeet, Marg, David Meisner, glenn davis, Lily P, Dana K, Les S, Belinda Wang, Juan Carlos

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Write Up:
Originally, this was event was posted as a hike with icers, however, 3 days prior, a snowstorm finally brought winter to the valley. Parks Canada’s website indicated that the trail was not recommended for hikers, but when I called them, they told me if we had snowshoes, we wouldn’t have any problems. I then sent an email to all attendees informing them that snowshoes were mandatory, and I fully expected at least a 50% drop-out. To my surprise, only had one - and on event day, everyone showed up !!!!!! Yippeee !!!

Once geared up, we started up the mountain with our icers on! The trail was hardpacked snow. There were a few people passing us, some with jeans & sneakers…. I had hiked up Sulphur about 2 weeks ago, and found it a good workout, but not too hard until the last km where the elevation increased significantly. Now, with snow on the trail, the whole trail was a challenge for me. I lead the group at my slowpoke/dawdler pace, and everyone enjoyed the chance to chat all the way up !!! The weather was continually changing during our ascent. At the base, it was cloudy in some areas. On the way up the mountain, the sun played with the clouds and kept peeking out then would disappear. Then the clouds lifted and we got gorgeous views of the valley on the way up. About ¾ way up, I decided to put my snowshoes on and three others joined me ! The trail was still hard packed, but had nice fluffy snow to each side ! The rest of the group continued up the mountain while we geared up. Ahhh, how I love snowshoeing !!! There ended being 7 of us at the back of the group, and we slowly ascended ! Some where trying snowshoes for the first time ! We took lots of pictures and enjoyed our trekking ! Once at the top, we joined the rest of the group in the restaurant. From the windows, we could see the Cosmic Ray Station, and within 5 mins, the snow came with the clouds and it could no longer be seen. We could barely see Banff townsite thru the snow ! We just made it in time !!!!

We enjoyed our lingering indoor lunch !!!! We then took the gondola down which was an 8 minute ride compared to the 3-hour hike up !!!! I love this event, as it’s a great workout to the top, then one can relax and have an easy and fast descent !!! Thank you for joining me on my “snowshoe” event, I had a great time and hope you did as well. I will definitely be posting this one again in Jan or Feb/09 !

Encounters on the trail/event: Snow, snow, snow, sunny & cloudy skies, squirrel, other hikers, great conversations, gondola, restaurant, lots of tourists, and lots of smiles!

Happy Trails :)
Karen D.