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Carnarvon Explorer (with River Crossing and Chains) (10/7/2017)

PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED: Once you've reviewed the event details, and decided you'd like to join us, you MUST sign up at the bottom of this page.For some events a payment may be required. Payment is not made directly to COC - please review event details fully for information about if and how you will be required to make payment.

You are STRONGLY encouraged to read this page in its entirety before signing up. If you'd like to attend, we ask that you abide by our rules and procedures as a time/cost saving process (with an end result of keeping membership free and lower cost events).

The Basics:
Event Type:Hike
Event Location: Southern Kananaskis, west of Longview
Date(s) & Time:Sat, Oct 7 2017  9:40 AM  (Carpool Departure: 7:55 AM   *log in for location*)
Registration Cut Off: Thu, Oct 5 2017 10:00:00 AM
Event Duration:All Day - A LONG Day
Difficulty Rating:D6: Difficult to Advanced
Event Coordinator(s): Barbara B.
You must be logged in to get the Event Coordinator contact information.
Member Cost:Voluntary Donation Only (See Below)

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:8
Maximum No. Guests:0
Minimum Group Size:6
Maximum No. Guests Per Member:0
Number Registered So Far: 8 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No

This will be a long day, so expect to get home late. The intent is to hike all the way to Carnarvon Lake, which is a 10km hike from the road (20km return) and involves a river crossing and ascent up chains at the end. This event requires dry conditions; we will not ascend the chains up the headwall if it is raining, snowing, or the headwall is wet.
Current weather forecast is great, so we could even continue to the pass beyond if the group wishes.

   · This will be a combined trail/off-trail hike/scramble.
     If you enjoy getting off the beaten path and like to explore, then this event is for you.
   · This event requires a river crossing and ascent up chains on the final headwall.
     You must bring water crossing shoes and rock helmets (bike, ski, or other helmets are not acceptable).
     Difficulty of the chains is similar to the Ribbon Lake.
   · We will be going at a relaxed pace for the uphill portions, and more moderate for the downhill.
   · The intent is to just enjoy the day, so consider is a nice fall ramble.
     Elevation gain is very gradual.
   · Out of respect for the group, please only sign up if you are committed to attending.
     No shows will be recorded for cancellations after registration cut-off.
   · Bear spray and headlamps are mandatory or you will not be allowed to attend.
   · Do not be in a rush to get back to the city. We are out to explore and event duration may vary.

Now onto the fun stuff :-).

Distance: 20km return
Elevation Gain: 610m (very gradual)
High Point: 2,200m at Gunsight Pass (just beyond Carnarvon Lake)
     0 - 8.5km: Old logging road / straightforward hike
     8.5 - 10.0km: Difficult with scrambling up headwall to the lake.
     This includes 20m of chains. Bring your helmets.
     (If you don't like the look of the chains, you can wait for the group at the falls which are just before the chains).
Eye candy:
     Carnavon Lake with cutthroat trout
     Gunsight Pass with view into BC
     Impressive Headwall
     Fall colours without any crowds

A Note on Safety:
This hike involves a short section of "switchbacks on exposed rock ledges" and ascending approximately 20m of chains. Your coordinator has done this trip at the same time of year two years, so feel free to e-mail if you have any questions (prior to signing up). It is listed as a hike in the Southern Rockies Trail Guide (trip 150), but note that the headwall includes a scrambling section at and around the chains. As the chain section is weather- dependent, we may or may not make it all the way to Carnarvon Lake and Gunsight Pass just beyond, but in that case could still do 90% of the hike. The views from the headwall back down the valley are impressive as well.

Descriptions from Southern Rockies Trail Guide :

"Caravan's Lake crystal waters are nestled in a stark, rockbound basin that is guarded by a steep headwall at Gunsight Pass, a notch high on Mount Strachan."

"At the shoulder of Mt. Strachan views open to the headwall and the gap of Gunsight Pass. As you descend the shoulder, watch for a trail cutting uphill to the right which at one time was denoted by a large cairn. The trail soon emerges on an open scree slope and leads up to the base of an imposing headwall. Several switchbacks on exposed rock ledges lead to a steeply tilted slab. A chain is attached in the most difficult section which may give some courage to the faint-of-heart. Be extremely cautious on the headwall as a slip and fall could be fatal. The use of a climbing rope to aid the ascent and descent is recommended."

"Cresting the top of the headwall to Gunsight Pass the hiker is rewarded immediately with the brilliant blue waters of Carnavon Lake cupped in a dramatically stark basin."

Your Quiz:
In order to attend this event, you must acknowledge the following in the Notes section of the sign-up page or you will be immediately moved to the wait list:
1) that you have familiarized yourself with the links listed under References below and looked at photos of the headwall;
2) confirmation that you will be bringing a rock helmet and water crossing footwear;
3) whether you have done the chains at Yamnuska, Ribbon Lake, or other similar experience.

   · Southern Rockies Trail Guide by Joey Ambrosi (Trip 150)
   · Carnarvon Lake on
   · Carnavo n Lake by Clayton Ditzler
   · Carnarvon Lake video - go to 4:48 for chains
   · Do a Google image search for "Carnarvon Lake chains"
   · Longview Weather

Required Items to Bring:
ALL of these items are mandatory or you stay back in the city:
   · Water and lunch
   · River crossing footwear
   · Rock helmet
   · Bear spray
   · Headlamp
   · Proper hiking boots
   · Clothes for varying weather conditions
   · Gloves & toque
   · First aid kit
   · Plastic bag for your dirty hiking boots for the way back
   · $2 COC donation or Premier membership
   · $ for carpool (bring change)
   · A smile and sense of adventure :-)
Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.
   · Hiking poles
   · Harness and/or rope
     if it makes you feel better at the chains
   · Icers/Microspikes
   · Camera

How to Get There:
Event Directions:Will be given out at carpool.
Carpool to Event Distance (round trip):245Km
Carpool Departure Time: 7:55 AM
Carpool Location:   Log in for location
Carpool Directions:   Log in for directions
** Calgary Transit Info
Carpool Cost: Approximate vehicle expense for this event is $66.15 (calculated at total Km * $0.27, effective Saturday, March 24, 2018). This is based on $0.15/Km for maintenance, plus current gas price divide by 9. Alternately your carpool driver may choose to split the maintenance cost plus the actual gas cost among all in the vehicle. Your carpool driver will confirm exactly how much money they require to cover costs. Please split the actual cost among all people in the vehicle.

In case of wet/poor weather, an alternate hike in the same area may be chosen or this event may be cancelled.
- We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines at all times while participating in COC events.
- Details of this event are subject to undergo a change at any point in time, with or without warning.
- Questions about equipment or rentals? Contact the Event Coordinator for suggestions and recommendations.
- Notice any errors or problems in the information on this page? Please notify our Content Editor(s), Wendy W and Lynda H., at
- Support the club by purchasing a Premier Membership: $25 a year

Voluntary Donation:What is this?)
Suggested donation amount for this event is: $2.00/Person.

Cancellation/Partial Attendance:
Please review our Cancellation Policy carefully!