BEFORE YOU SIGN UP FOR THIS HIKE:
Read the entire hike posting. Every. Single. Word. I don't mind answering questions, as long as they aren't already answered in the hike posting.
Be willing to hike at the pace of the slowest. Leave your long sighs, eye-rolls and impatience at home, please and thank you. Those of us who actually are slow hikers will appreciate it. :-)
Trail distance and elevation plus estimated time to complete: 9.6km, 200m elevation gain. 5-6 hours including breaks.
Details about the trail: Starts on an open road surrounded by wildflowers until you get to Watridge Lake. The trail continues from there on a narrow boardwalk, then climbs gently along the creek. At the end of the trail, you can see Karst Spring burst out of the rock face. Described as “an enchanted place where boulders and driftwood are draped with bright green moss.” Every photographer I've hiked here with has gone nuts over this place.
Transit Users: I can take three passengers with me from Heritage LRT Station. Please reply to the post on the Message Board below. Look for a Light Blue Dodge Caravan parked close to the station building.
Vehicle Drivers: You can drive yourself to the trailhead, or use the Message Board below to arrange yourselves in car pooling groups, from whatever location you wish.
Trailhead: Mt Shark Parking Lot. Take the turnoff for the city center at Canmore and follow the signs for Kananaskis. From Canmore, turn south on Smith-Dorrien/Spray Trail (Highway 742, gravel) and drive for 38km, turn right (west) at the sign to Mt. Shark, and continue 5km to Mt Shark parking lot. I will email out a map to the trailhead 24 hours before the hike. Be warned, Highway 742 is washboard gravel – give yourselves at least two hours to get to the trailhead from Calgary! I often see wildlife on this road.
Hiking Pace: We will be hiking to the pace of the slowest person in the group. My definition of hiking to the pace of the slowest is the slowest hiker is at the front of the group, and sets the pace for everyone. This is for the safety, health and enjoyment of all hikers. We will be stopping for great views, photos, rest breaks, and the occasional head count. Remember, it doesn't matter how slow you're going, you're still going faster than the folks sitting at home on the couch.
Hiker requirements: Healthy enough to complete the hike (this includes carrying your own gear – there are no sherpas on my hikes!), good sense of humor, and a desire to explore the natural environment.
Gear requirements: Hiking shoes/boots are always best, and be prepared for changes in weather. Always be prepared with sunscreen, bug spray, personal medications (if needed), personal-sized first aid kit. Water: I typically take at least 2 liters on any hike. Better to have too much, than run out in the middle of the hike. If you have them, bring bear spray and/or bear bangers and carry them on the outside of your pack. Snacks/lunch. Camera, small binoculars if you have them.
Passenger gas share:
$20. Please note this is per person, and in cash. No park pass required.
Start and return time:
Leaving Calgary around 8:00 am, be at the trailhead at 10:00-10:15am. Should be done between 3 and 4 pm, depending on our speed and how long our breaks are.
If anyone knows a good spot in Canmore to stop for a post-hike treat, let me know!
I will check the Meetup site for this hike in the early morning of the hike, in case anyone has any last minute messages.
Who can attend: No dogs please. No children.
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 for the name and phone number of an emergency contact. Please come prepared with this information.
You are fully aware that organizers are not professional guides and 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.