D6 Difficult snowshoe--Little Lawson

Patrick said he wanted to do Little Lawson, so here it is. We'll be following the description in Snowshoeing in the Canadian Rockies. It says the last bit "may take on a more serious nature" so we stop where things get serious. I'm pretty conservative when it comes to safety. It sounds like this is a steep route, so please be realistic about your level of fitness.

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 10.

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.

The pace will be moderate. A basic level of hiking fitness is required.

Be prepared for cold, windy, snowy weather one minute, clear skies and sun the next. February in the Rockies can be like February in the Rockies.

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

There is a good chance that we could be turned back at any point due to 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 loop

Elevation gain: 600 m

Time on trail: 6-8 hours

Dogs: Not on this trip.

Required Equipment:

• Snowshoes

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

• Headlamp (just in case!)

• Sunscreen

• Water

• Food

• First aid kit

• Rain jacket

• Fleece/warm layer

• Warm hat

• Gloves

Driving and Directions: Highway 40 south from the Trans-Canada. At the winter gate, turn right towards Kananaskis Lakes. Turn right again onto the Smith-Dorrien Trail/Highway 742. In a few kilometers park on the highway at the Peninsula day use area turn off.

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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  • Kurtis

    Great hike everyone. Thanks Ken. Incidentally, I found a bright rainbow-coloured neck/head/whatever warmer thingy in my car. I'm pretty sure it's not mine. Maria or Deirdre, missing anything?

    1 · February 17

    • Deirdre

      That would be mine Kurtis! Thanks! I'll have to get it form you at some point. BTW... watching Twin Peaks on Netflix today. I'm blaming you and Ugur.

      February 17

    • Ugur P ".

      Dont forget a cup of joe and cherry pie.

      1 · February 17

  • Maya

    Thanks Ken for organizing yet another awesome trip!

    1 · February 17

  • Bonnie

    How about those crazy drivers who turned around on the Stoney trail turn off...going against traffic on an off ramp! Haha! The extra hour in the car was truly awesome! :)

    1 · February 16

    • Deirdre

      Extra hour? SO glad we convinced Kurtis to be crazy and turn around on the off ramp before it was too late.

      1 · February 17

    • Ken S.

      It's precisely this kind of illegal and irresponsible driving behavior and the attendant liability issues that CORA trips begin at the trailhead ;) Good thinking!

      February 17

  • Deirdre

    Fantastic hike! Thanks for organizing Ken. We had a great group too!

    1 · February 17

  • Bonnie

    How do I add my photos??

    February 16

    • Ken S.

      Just to the right of "Dalhousie C-Train Parking Lot". Looking forward to seeing them!

      February 16

    • Bonnie

      Haha! I figured it out! Thanks "squirt"!

      February 16

  • Ugur P ".

    Terrific day! Thanks Ken.

    1 · February 16

  • Ken S.

    Thanks for the suggestion Patrick! A little windy, but we had the best weather of the day at the top. It was a fun day and a great group.

    1 · February 16

  • Bob C.

    Awesome adventure as always, thanks for organizing Ken!!

    1 · February 16

  • Bonnie

    Thanks for a great day! Nice pace Maria!

    1 · February 16

  • Pam

    Hi Ken. I am so sorry to cancel last minute. Have been very sick tonight so wish you all an amazing day and hope to see you next trip.

    February 15

    • Ken S.

      Get well! We'll be sure to post photos of the clear blue sky to rub it in ;)

      1 · February 16

    • Deirdre

      Will miss you Pam! Hope you feel better soon.

      February 16

  • Trudy C.

    Ken, sorry to also need to cancel last minute. My elderly mom took a fall and so I cant make this. Hope you have a great day and see you next trip.

    February 16

    • Ken S.

      No problem. I hope it's nothing too serious. I'm my elderly mom's support too. Remember to take care of yourself.

      February 16

  • Ken S.

    Just so everyone knows: the avalanche forecast in Kananaskis for tomorrow is high in the alpine and at treeline, considerable below treeline. According to the book, the avalanche hazard on this trail is "mostly low, but moderate for the final few hundred meters." From the description, the moderate hazard is due to overhanging cornices on the final ridge and not avalanche, but we'll be assessing conditions as we go and we'll turn around if it starts looking iffy.

    1 · February 15

  • Jonathan W.

    Hi people, I knew it was going to be unlikely for me to get off the waitlist, so I went and did it with some friends today. Some recon: On the main trail at the beginning, after about 15 minutes, don't go past the water ?luge gate thing; look for an orange diamond sign with a snowshoer and arrow pointing right, then <20 steps after that, veer left into the trees and start heading upward. We didn't think snowshoes would be essential, though potholing did start to occur at around the 70% mark; it was annoying but tolerable. We used only microspikes/neither. But you won't have to worry about any of this; if it doesn't snow tonight, we have blazed a trail through to the "summit" cairn for you all, and it should still be there tomorrow. We took around 4.5-5 hours to get up and down. This is a tree heavy hike, nearly all of the first 95-97% of it is in the trees. However, the gorgeous views of the Opal Range from the top compensate for the initial monotony.

    3 · February 15

    • Ken S.

      Thanks Jonathan!

      February 15

    • patrick

      Good work jonathan.

      February 15

  • Ugur P ".

    I intend to go for a beer'n dinner at Kilkenny's after we get back to town. Feel free to join me.

    February 15

    • Maya

      Great idea Ugu, count me in!

      February 15

    • Maya

      But I'll try to convince you guys to go to Canmore instead :)

      February 15

  • Maria T.

    Looking forward to Sunday and meeting new people!

    1 · February 14

    • Ken S.

      Maria, we've got a great group signed up and the weather forecast looks pretty good too. I guarantee a fun day or Ugur will buy you a coffee.

      February 14

    • Ugur P ".

      If it starts snowing Ken, I want my caramel hot chocolate to be delivered at the summit. Just putting it out there ;)

      February 15

  • patrick

    I hope you all enjoy

    February 14

  • Ugur P ".

    I'm gonna rent MSR's 'lightning' performance snowshoes for this one for ease of ascent and possible scrambling, if there's any.

    February 9

    • catalin

      If you wait two months until the gear swap, you can buy rental MSR with 50 bucks, instead of the "on sale" price of 250. I did. It tastes well to save 200$ :)

      2 · February 13

    • Deirdre

      Thanks Catalin! I'm going to look into that too

      February 13

  • Cathrine M, A.

    Going camping that weekend. Enjoy!

    1 · February 9

  • Garry S.

    It looks like I've been moved up on 2 trips at almost the same time. Both trips sound great with great people. It is with great sadness that I must bail on one of them and unfortunately this trip lost the coin toss:(

    1 · February 7

  • Ken S.

    Reminder: 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 10.

    February 6

  • patrick

    hi ken and cora members look like I didn't make the list however this trip is a nice day out in the mountains and that last little bit is not to much to worry about also I am sure there is a trail for you to follow at this point in the season.

    January 22, 2014

    • patrick

      garry I am not to sure if I will be working at that time if I do post the event I will let you know asap.

      January 22, 2014

    • Morgan

      Ken, maybe some trips draw crowds if the description starts with "Patrick wanted to do Little Lawson..." LOL ahahaha

      1 · January 22, 2014

9 went

  • Ken S.
    Organizer 2014, Assistant Organizer
    Event Host
  • Maria T.
    Member 2014
  • Kurtis
    Organizer, Member 2015, Assistant Organizer
  • Laura K.
    Member 2015
  • Deirdre
    Member 2015
  • Maya
    Organizer, member 2014, Assistant Organizer
  • Ugur P ".
    VP Training & Leadership, Organizer 2014, Co-Organizer
  • Bob C.
    Member 2014
  • Bonnie
    member 2014

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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