The Evan-Thomas Creek trail explores the valley between the Fisher and Opal Ranges. The trail is relatively gentle, with a small steady elevation gain as we hike in to see views of The Wedge and some popular ice climbs. 9km, 200m gain
While the snow pack can be nearly non-existent, there are three ice climbs dropping from the cliffs along the creek that provided a change of scenery from the usual mounds of snow.
The trail starts at the Evan Thomas parking lot (about 5 minutes south of the Nakiska turnoff on highway 40), and for the first 2 km is road-width and completely viewless and uninspiring. When the trail branches into three forks, take the one on the right and descend towards the creek. Upon reaching the creek, simply turn east and head up the creek.
After walking 3.2 km from the parking lot, reach Chantilly Falls, the first ice climb. I know nothing of ice climbing, but apparently this is a good beginners climb as it is solid and lacks any dangling ice formations. Continuing up the creek, reach Moonlight Falls at 4 km. Watch for it on the right (south) as you walk up the creek. This ice climb is far more spectacular and actually has two separate routes. Continuing up the creek, soon come to sharp bend. The third ice climb - quite small is glimpsed through the trees on the right at 4.6 km. Ahead 100 m the creek narrows to a canyon and is the logical end of the trail. It is possible to continue further by detouring and ascending steeply through forest we can decide as a group when we get there.
Not sure how much snow will be on this trail.
- Micro spikes would be best if the tail is packed and not to deep BUT if there is a lot of snow.....
- Snowshoes. Can be rented from UofC outdoor center or MEC, possibly other places.
- Hiking/trekking/ski poles.
- Warm waterproof boots.
- appropriate winter clothing piled on in layers so you can de-layer as required should be quick/easy drying breathable clothing(Try to avoid cotton especially jeans)
- Gaiters would be appropriate to keep the snow out of your boots
- Food and water for the day.(something hot like soup, tea, hot chocolate...granola bars freeze)
I am not a guide so everyone coming should do their homework and be able to help in navigation.
Suggested car pool fare is $15.00/passenger
No Guests ...your friends 18 and over must signup.
Waivers: As per the new policy for waivers, I will bring the group waiver form with me to both the Calgary Meetup location and the trailhead. You must sign it before you will be allowed to go on this hike. You will also be asked to provide the name and phone number of an emergency contact.
You are fully aware that organizers are not professional guides and by your R.S.V.P you assume all responsibility for your safety and well-being. You are fully prepared with proper gear and you're physically fit to do this hike with the group.