Sommerset/Bridlewood LRT, Calgary, AB
The Canyon Creek Ice Cave has been a popular outing since its discovery by Stan Fullerton in 1905. It was formed mainly by water-enlarging fractures in the limestone, and the entrance is enlarged by frost wedging during freeze-thaw cycles. Large areas of the cave have been sealed off by permanent ice. During the winter months, ice formations are sometimes visible near the entrance. Since the access road has been closed off to vehicles, accidents within the cave have reduced dramatically as those venturing to the cave are more equipped with proper gear.
The entrance can be seen from up on Prairie Mountain, it is located behind it (North).
Location: Ings mine parking lot 16 KM west of Bragg Creek on Hwy 66.
Roundtrip: ~14 KM to cave entrance.
Elevation: ~350 M
Hiking Time: 4 to 5 hours, Cave exploration adds to this, this is strictly the hiking time to/from entrance. Some of the group might ride bikes up the road. We can decide closer to the time, depending on the road and weather conditions.
Difficulty: S5, (I'm calling it this due to the off-trail scramble like approach to the cave entrance, although this is a very short section and really not that difficult, it does require reading the terrain and finding a suitable way up.)
If unsure what this means, please familiarize yourself. http://www.meetup.com/Slow-and-Steady-Hikers/pages/Trail_Rating_System/
Required equipment/gear: Sturdy boots, rock helmet (no other type of helmet), headlamp with backup batteries (I advise against flashlights as you may need your hands free.), warm clothes - dress in layers (Cave temperatures in ice caves stay around -5ºC year round), coveralls or clothes that can get dirty are recommended for inside the cave, microspikes are very highly recommended for the approach, snacks and water for the day at least 2L.
Helmets can be rented from the UofC outdoor center, MEC, other usual places.
This is not a technical cave although there are some narrow passages you can try if you'd like, keep your limits in mind.
Please update your RSVP if you're unable to make it. No shows set off fits of turrets.
You may contact Mike at[masked], Deborah@ 403- 519-6352. Preferably via text.
If you'd like to car pool, please arrange that with each other.
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 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.
1 · February 5, 2014