Moderate Snowshoe--New Trail--Chester Lake & Elephant Rocks

The avalanche danger rating forecast for Saturday is high above treeline, considerable at treeline and moderate below treeline, so I'm going to switch this trip to Chester Lake and the Elephant Rocks where there's no avalanche risk.

CORA organizers no longer accept cash for memberships or drop ins. You must pay your $20 membership fee or $5 drop-in fee online before this trip. CORA rules mandate that I move non-members to the waiting list until they've paid their membership or drop-in fee online. If this is you, post a comment saying that you've paid to let me know. Group size limit is 12.

To make sure I know who's coming and your general level of experience (I need to know for planning/safety reasons; beginners with a basic level of hiking fitness are most welcome), you can not sign up a guest. Everyone coming must sign up on their own. Please answer all questions during the RSVP process. If you don't I'll bump you to "Not Going" and you'll go to the back of the line until you provide all the answers.

I'll probably never have done this trip, so it will be an adventure. Expect bushwhacking, route finding, creek crossing, and a bunch of other fun stuff.

There is a good chance that we could be turned back at any point due to snow, lack of snow, ice, wind, flood damage, zombie marmots and any number of other conditions we encounter. When it comes to safety I'm conservative.

All participants are expected to act as a responsible member of the group. If you don't intend to act as a member of the group, this trip is not for you. Shared values of this trip include personal responsibility and mutual reliance (we all look out for one another), fun, safety and respect. The organizer is not a guide, but he has the final say in matters of safety.

Research the route. Assume that everyone but you will be hit in the head by a huge rock while a grizzly and cougar are playing tug-of-war with their bodies, leaving you alone to find your way back to the car.

Distance on trail: 8 km

Elevation gain: 310 m

Time on trail: 4 to 6 hours

Dogs: Invited. I may or may not bring my dog.

Required Equipment:

• Winter boots (absolutely mandatory; no runners or short-top day hikers)

• Snowshoes

• Headlamp (just in case!)

• Sunscreen

• Water

• Food

• First aid kit

• Rain jacket/shell

• Fleece/warm layer

• Warm hat

• Poles (if you use them)

• Gloves

• Extra gloves

Driving and Directions: Chester Lake parking lot on the Smith-Dorrien Trail (Highway 742) Click here for a driving map.

Costs: Members are free. Non-member fee is $5.

Transport: CORA trips start at the trailhead. We meet at the meeting point in Calgary to make organizing trips easier and help ensure we know who's showing up. Please be on time. You may choose to meet us at the trailhead, but please advise us ahead of time.

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  • Pam

    Thanks, everyone for a great day with a fun-loving group. It was extra fun climbing high up onto the rocks! Hope you got the tire fixed ok today, Deirdre, and no worries about getting back later - I'm always thankful to drive with you!

    2 · January 5, 2014

  • Deirdre

    Awesome day in the mountains! What a great group to get back into the swing of things with. Thanks Ken for organizing.

    Thanks Garry, Pam, Ugur, Kurtis and Colin for the help with the flat tire. I really appreciated it, we have an amazing group of people in CORA willing to help out in -19C weather. Sorry you got back to the city later than planned.

    1 · January 4, 2014

    • Garry S.

      That sucks!

      1 · January 5, 2014

    • Colin

      That too bad. Glad you got home safely.

      1 · January 5, 2014

  • Ugur

    Another great day in the mountains! Thanks for organizing the trip Ken and making it fun everyone! I still need to shake off those chocolates and glasses of red wines I consumed over Christmas. La Belle Patate était extraordinaire comme d'habitude. I'll be fixing up a deal with them so that we can get discount next time we go (Thanks for asking Patrick).

    3 · January 4, 2014

  • Garry S.

    I posted 50 of the wrong trip's pictures. Oops. (I have now deleted them.

    January 4, 2014

  • Garry S.

    A fabulous day with fabulous people. Thanks everyone!

    3 · January 4, 2014

  • Maya

    Great day in the mountains with an awesome group!! Thanks Ken for organizing and for being a safe leader and re-planning due to the avi risk!

    3 · January 4, 2014

  • Morgan

    Five stars for the company :) Thanks Ken for organizing such a fun day.

    3 · January 4, 2014

  • Ken S.

    The group made one of the old standbys a lot of fun. Thanks for coming out and making it a great winter day in the Canadian Rockies! I'm also glad I finally got to try the poutine at that place...

    2 · January 4, 2014

  • Colin

    Good buch of guys and gals. Good mountain views.

    1 · January 4, 2014

  • patrick

    Couch bad . mountains good!

    2 · January 4, 2014

  • Morgan

    On the train...eta 8.10.

    January 4, 2014

  • patrick

    Was the change due to avi. Reasons.?

    January 3, 2014

    • Ken S.

      Yes. The avi rating is High above treeline, considerable at treeline and moderate below treeline.

      January 3, 2014

  • sidney w.

    Wise and responsible decision, Ken.
    I have been to Chester Lake and the Elephant Rocks 2 weeks ago. So I will pass this time. Have fun. The snow should be very good.

    January 3, 2014

  • Ken S.

    Tyler, Catalin, if another organizer decides to take another group, that's fine with me.

    January 2, 2014

  • patrick

    Well since my sniwshoes were stolen I will be renting them...also ken I will definitely not be climbing to the summit,however it will be good to see you.

    January 1, 2014

    • patrick

      That's up to ken,and pam I think I'd better rent some to be sure they are my size and fit.thank you anyways

      January 2, 2014

    • patrick

      Ken do remember the last time we were out....

      January 2, 2014

  • catalin

    What about splitting into two groups to clear the waitlist? Sunday looks quite freezing with a max of -17 in Calgary.

    January 1, 2014

  • Trudy C.

    I am on the waitlist but if get on the list, I can drive and live near Westside so can car pool for 3 either at Westside or Shouldice.

    January 1, 2014

  • Deirdre

    I have a pair of snowshoes that look that, should I bring them?

    December 26, 2013

    • catalin

      Deirdre, if you're talking about the wooden snowshoes, I saw somebody using them quite well; he first put some crampoons, and then the snowshoes. I think he is a Cora member ... dominic?

      December 31, 2013

    • Deirdre

      Thanks Catalin! I am talking about wooden ones. The crampons would be a good idea. My dad says my grandfather just used to tie them one with whatever he had handy so I need to figure that out as well. I may wait and use them somewhere easy while I figure it out.

      December 31, 2013

  • patrick

    Happy new year....

    2 · December 29, 2013

  • Morgan

    Happy new year!

    December 24, 2013

    • Ken S.

      Happy New Year, Morgan! Looks like we'll be starting it off with a good group of people.

      December 26, 2013

10 went

  • Ken S.
    Member 2015 Organizer 2014, Assistant Organizer
    Event Host
  • Cheryl
    MEMBER 2015
  • Kurtis
    Organizer, Member 2015, Assistant Organizer
  • Pam
    Organizer 2015, Assistant Organizer
  • Garry S.
    Member 2015
  • Maya
    Organizer, member 2014, Assistant Organizer
  • Deirdre
    VP Membership, Member 2015, Co-Organizer
  • Morgan
    Member 2015
  • Colin
    member 2014
  • patrick
    Organizer, Member 2015, Assistant Organizer

Membership dues

CAD20.00 before first trip

This covers: Annual Membership

Payment is accepted using:

  • PayPal
  • Cash or check - “Payment must be made before attending your first trip of the year with CORA. Your Membership will be valid until the next AGM.

Refunds are not offered for this Meetup.

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