Description: The plan is to hike some of the amazing Icefields Parkway hikes, staying at link: Rampart Creek Hostel for two nights and do a potluck Saturday, and possibly stopping somewhere for dinner on the way back Sunday. We'll tackle two moderate/difficult hikes on Sat and Sun, looking at Wilcox Pass/Summit, Parker Ridge perhaps Upper Brazeau Canyon. Rated D4-D6/S5 using the Calgary Outdoor Club's ratings. http://www.calgaryoutdoorclub.com/events/difficultyratings.asp
If level and transportation allow we could split up. Please indicate your skill level in the comments. It's almost 4 hours driving each way, so Friday and Sunday will be long days. There will be a mandatory pre-trip meeting.
Views are great, weather permitting. This trip will go rain or snow or shine, but we may modify the hikes.
The fee of $55 is non-refundable (transferable if you arrange with someone from the waitlist) and payable through email transfer (preferred because there's no fee) or Paypal (no account required - credit card is sufficient). The fee includes your hostel accommodation only - co-ed dorm (i.e., one big room). Please put yourself on the wait list and I will sort things out with you. There are 10 spots available.
Park fees. Gas money for drivers, see below. Plus food and drink and potluck food and possibly dinner on the way back. No meetup fees.
Each sign-up is for one person only unless explicitly noted as your +1 and paid for.
A strong level of fitness is required. You will need to be able to hike a minimum of 12 km and 650 m of elevation gain for the easiest options. Be sure to consult a physician before engaging in strenuous activity. Anywhere from 6-9 hours on the trail including lunch and lazing and photos and play and general slow-poking around depending on conditions and contingencies. Our pace is generally slow.
These are not guided trips - organizers are not trained guides and do not accept any responsibility or liability. There is a waiver of liability form to sign at the carpool location. Please read the waiver in advance. It's found under the More drop-down list, Files section. You'll also find Tips and Safety, and FAQ there.
There are questions in the RSVP. If you don't answer, I may change your response to No, without further follow up.
Group-mindedness: We are a group - we try to hike together, be sociable, have fun, enjoy the scenery, take pictures, bask in the sun. If you don't want to wait to allow the slowest members to catch up and have a breather, this meetup group is not for you.
Your actions have potential impacts on the group and we are all responsible to each other to stay safe and to enjoy the day. Especially if you happen to be toward the front of the group, your actions affect and possibly endanger everyone else. If you have carpooled with others they are dependent on you.
If you aren't an experienced and confident hiker, don't lead. In any case, stop and wait for the group at all junctions, significant changes in terrain or direction, etc. Remain in visual sight of the majority of the group, and within shouting distance (which may not be far), except under the most routine conditions. The organizer has final say about route and whether the trip will proceed. If you choose to do your own thing you may be removed from the group.
Attendance: Please respond early - there may be a trip minimum - 3 or 4 depending on the trip. Update your response as soon as possible, especially if you've responded that you can drive. Use the waiting list responsibly - it is automatic: if you are next on the list you will automatically be added, and informed. Please cancel as soon as possible if you can't make it even if you are on the waiting list otherwise you may be taking a spot from others. After 3 no-shows you may be asked to leave the group.
Late/Cancellation: If there is a last minute update, call or text (as well as meetup update) the organizer (in this case Nitin at[masked]) as soon as you know you can't make it or are running late. We'd like to not wait, nor worry. NEW: repeated cancellations after the RSVP deadline may result in no-shows. Don't take a spot from others.
Indicate in your RSVP comments if you can drive or need a ride - we will sort out the carpool at the pre-trip meeting but I want to make sure there will be enough drivers.
If you respond that you can drive, we're counting on you. Also please note my cell number to be able to inform us of delays etc. Note that cell service is sketchy in the mtns.
Please don't leave valuables in the car at the train station or trailhead.
Directions: Drive 2 hours west on Hwy 1 to Hwy 93, just past Lake Louise. Approximately 1-1.5 hours north (90 km) on Hwy 93, and look for the hostel on the right hand / east side. Total one way driving time ~3.5 - 4 h including stops. Be sure to get an idea of where you're going if you're thinking of driving.
Weather: Forecast TBD. Be prepared for any conditions - cold, hot, snow, rain, hail, sun, wind. :-)
Trail conditions: Should be mostly dry/muddy. Perhaps some snow patches in the shade at high elevations.
Etiquette: Radios, ipods, etc, with speakers are not welcome. Texting, cell calls, and other electronics (other than GPS) are discouraged beyond the trailhead. Leave no trace except footprints, take nothing but pictures. Pack out all garbage including organics. Stay on the trail and watch what you step on. Leave some space between yourself and the person in front of you.
Photo and Video: You should expect that you will be in pictures and short videos, and that these may be shared on the Meetup website or in other ways. Ongoing video (e.g., helmet cam) of lengthy (>1 minute) parts of the trip is NOT welcome to preserve privacy and group atmosphere. Please do share SOME highlight photos (NOT your whole collection) on the website. I reserve the right to delete duplicate, blurry, unflattering, and excess photos to provide participants with a viewable album, but really don't want to spend my time managing your photos.
Costs: Gas $$ for drivers depending on # of passengers - max vehicle expense for this trip is $130. Be prepared to spend up to 50% of the max expense in the event you are in a vehicle of only 2 people. Park entrance fees: 7/person or 20/vehicle per day. Bring a pass if you have one.
Pets/Kids under 16: Fit kids over 12; no pets.
For the hostel - no need for sleeping bags / linens etc. Ear plugs might be handy. Sandals/inside shoes. Fully equipped kitchen. Sauna (bring a bathing suit / towel). Pit toilets. No running water. You may want to bring a game or book for the evenings.
Potluck - we will finalize at the pre-trip meeting. Share any thoughts in the comments ahead of time.
All the usual hiking stuff:
Boots, gaiters, rain gear. Trekking poles.
Are you prepared to survive an unexpected night in the mountains?
minimum 2 litres of water, lunch, snacks, extra snacks, 2-3 layers including tops and bottoms that are wind/waterproof (no denim/jeans), warm socks, sun/rain hat, gloves, sunscreen, spare socks, a plastic bag for muddy boots, cash, toilet paper and a ziplock bag to carry it out, patience, a sense of humour, group-mindedness, medium sized daypack preferably with padded hip strap to carry all that stuff
Optional/suggested equipment, depending on trip and terrain and conditions and season and preference: Trekking poles, road map, trail map, compass, gaiters, flashlight/head lamp, whistle, bear spray (NO bear bells), pocket knife, first aid kit, spikes/yaktrax, sunglasses, camera, kleenex, lip balm, moleskin, mosquito repellent, waterproof sit-upon (a jacket in a garbage bag works), water purifier, a change of clothes/shoes for the car, hot drink, hand/toe warmers, pack cover, etc.
Questions after carefully reading? Ask.