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XC Ski: Lake O'Hara

This trail follows the access road to Lake O'Hara climbing steadily up to the lake, where we'll have a chance to have lunch and maybe do a little exploring. The return run follows the same road downhill to the highway, making for a fun run. (Ref: Chic Scott's Ski Trails in the Canadian Rockies p. 141).

This trip is for intermediate to advanced cross country skiers who know how to herringbone and snowplow. This event will occur with another organization - notice the unusual start location.

A good level of fitness is required as the pace is moderate to fast and the ski is long. Please be realistic about your abilities. You must be able to commit to the entire event.

This is the second in a series of monthly skis that increase in endurance. If you anticipate attending the remainder of the skis, you will need to demonstrate to the trip leader that you have the capacity to accomplish 20km in a single trip. Consider attending this event.

Note: Location may change, or event may be cancelled if there is insufficient snow.

Rating: Moderate XC Ski (D4)
Distance: 22 km
Elevation gain: 430 m
Time: 5 - 6 hours (+ driving time; 2.5h one way)

Additional info:
http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/bc/yoho/activ/pistesdhiver-wintertrails.aspx

EQUIPMENT:

  • XC skis, boots, poles, waxes (as necessary)
  • Proper seasonal wear (dress in layers, mitts, toque, snow pants etc, spare socks)
  • Banff Park Pass (if you have one)
  • Lunch, snacks and water (+ tea/coffee)
  • Sun glasses, sunscreen, SPF-rated chap stick
  • Avalanche safety equipment (beacon, shovel, etc, is recommended)
  • No jeans, no cotton clothing of any kind!
  • No camelbacks/hydration packs (lines freeze)

Equipment can be rented at a variety of places, including the University of Calgary Outdoor Center or MEC. If renting, have equipment ready and with you at the start time.


DRIVING AND DIRECTIONS:
We will meet at the in-Calgary meeting point and carpool from there. You must arrive 15 minutes prior to departure if you wish to carpool. We will be leaving promptly at the meetup time.

Drive the Trans-Canada to the BC border. 3km after entering BC, turn left to the road for Lake O'Hara. (Google Maps)

WAIVER:
You must sign a trip waiver and contact information form to attend this event. The event organizer will have these for you.

Join or login to comment.

  • Erika

    Made it back by 5:30ish, after stopping in Canmore for coffee. While CONs didn't represent, there were still 6 from the other group. Fantastic trip, with great conditions, good weather (even some blue sky), and packed snow. :) Highly recommend it.

    December 16, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      Sounds amazing! You guys must have made a good pace too. I just went to the Pocaterra area on Saturday - good conditions too. Tried wax skis...not so sure!

      December 19, 2012

  • Erika

    While its a small group from the CONS, the other group has a fair few more, so it'll be a decent size going out tomorrow. Forecast says high of -9oC, so not too bad, but still bring layers. Looking forward to it! See you tomorrow 8am at Edworthy.

    December 15, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi Erika,
    Not sure I can make this one...work's potluck at 6pm (even if I'm a bit late for it)...hopefully you will do this one again?

    December 11, 2012

    • Erika

      You'll be fine. We have to be done by dark, so I'm hoping to be back at the trailhead for 4 pm at the latest (more likely 3-3:30 depending on lunch, etc). Add the drive time for a return estimate. ( Though never guaranteed when hesding to the mtns)

      December 11, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thanks Erika! Decided to come - really needing a day in the mountains :)

      1 · December 12, 2012

  • Zee

    Hi Erika:

    I am a beginner and I am interested. What do you think a beginner would be ok with this? I can provide ride to 2 persons from somerset area.

    December 12, 2012

    • Erika

      Hi Zee, As we discussed a week ago (see below comments), I've suggested this be for intermediate to advanced xc skiers. If I have time/there's interest I'll do an easier ski another time.

      December 12, 2012

    • Zee

      Thanks Erica. Count me in for any suggestions that may come up in future :)

      December 12, 2012

  • Zee

    Hi Erika:

    I am interested to join but to be realistic, I have skied a few time but have not hiked 22 km. ! :)

    December 3, 2012

    • Erika

      Given the expected ski conditions, I've suggested this be for intermediate to advanced xc skiers.

      1 · December 3, 2012

    • Zee

      I guess I may opt out this time! :)

      December 3, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I was there sat with the acc and conditions were great! pretty deep snow already.

    December 2, 2012

    • Erika

      Great to hear!

      December 2, 2012

  • Erika

    Tracks will likely be skier-set, but it should be even underfoot as it follows the road up to Lake O'Hara. Wider skis may be preferred, but aren't necessary. Skins may also be helpful, but aren't necessary.

    December 2, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    are at skis acceptable?

    November 18, 2012

    • Erika

      Provided you know how to use them, it is likely okay. You'll be slower by default (since AT skis seem to be generally wider than XC), so make sure you have the endurance to make up for the pace difference. We will not be checking out the surrounding mountains for backcountry skiing/touring - there are other groups/trips for this.

      November 19, 2012

    • Erika

      You can always rent xc skis for $17 from the UofC Outdoor center.

      November 19, 2012

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