Past Meetup

D6: Snowcaving Weekend Expedition

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• CORA Organizers no longer accept cash at the trailhead! In order to join this event you need to be a CORA 2014 member; there is no alternative. Payments are done online (the blue link on the left. Type the amount of payment in the box. Smart phones don't have this application, so you need to do this on a PC/Mac).

Update: There's been changes in the plan. The event is now a day-trip. However, we are planning to stay at ACC Canmore clubhouse on Saturday evening to shorten the driving distance to Icefields and allocate more time to the activity and fun. CORA is an affiliate of The Alpine Club of Canada, so the costs for each person is $25 per night. Note that this affiliation will save you $11 individually.

We are currently in the process of making the bookings. Depending on the ACC policy, you may be prompted to make paypal payments here to secure your spot in the trip. Your payment will be your reservation fee, and it will be non-refundable. Stay tuned for updates.

If you are simply interested in joining us on Sunday at Icefields, then you will need to make your own carpooling arrangements to get there.

New Event Outline:

This is a special 'Members-Only' backcountry+social event that aims to build backcountry skills in CORA members through something fun and engaging: Snowcaving. This activity requires learning specific sets of backcountry etiquette and could one day, save your life if you happen to get stranded in the mountains in winter conditions. But note the emphasis on 'fun' -- as such this will be a rewarding event and learning experience for all participants.

This event will have both indoor and outdoor sessions. Here's the new layout:

A. Saturday (Indoor): Travel to ACC Clubhouse in Canmore, participate in the indoor session, learn the theories of snowcaving. Do a small day hike, spend the night at Canmore, ACC Clubhouse, visit the town, eat, drink, socialize....

B. Sunday (Outdoor): Travel to Icefields (Hector Lake), learn the basics of snowcaving, group work, and some other outdoor survival skills.

Some of you will be part of Bruce's group, and others will come with me. We will have slightly different start times on Sunday for strategic reasons.


Where: Icefields (Banff NP) (Park Passes required)

Max: 10 people

Distance: 0-5km variable (roundtrip) (it'll be close to the parking lot)

Elevation Gain: Variable

Hiking Time: 2-4 hours (only an estimate).

Difficulty: Strenuous hike on a snowy trail.

Skill level: A very good level of fitness is required to do this outing.

Hazards: Mountains are clearly dangerous places! Make sure you have the required clothing, gear, toughness, and conditioning.

Weather Conditions: Icefields/Lake Louise Weather Forecast (

Driving/Carpooling: The trip starts at the trailhead, but as a convenience to the members, we will carpool in the designated city location

Please reimburse some gas $$ to your drivers.

• Snowcaving Clothing List: Waterproof rain/snow pants and jackets, synthetic or wool long underwear (tops and bottoms), synthetic fleece (tops and bottoms), wool socks, winter boots/Gortex mountaineering boots, 2 warm hats, 2-3 pairs of waterproof or resistant gloves, gaiters, ninja balaclava/

• Snowcaving Gear List: Snowshoes, snowcaving/avalanche shovel for each person (no plastic/toy shovels!), day backpack with straps, ice axe, rope, probe (optional), trekking poles/ski poles, sunglasses or goggles, headlamp.

• First Aid/Survival Gear: First Aid Kit (including cotton, hand and toe warmers), fire starter, vaseline/petroleum jelly, emergency blanket, bivy sack (optional).

• Food/snacks: Lots of snacks that don't freeze hard, lunch, 2 full nalgene bottles,

• Do not wear the following: Jeans, casual shoes (including sneakers/trainers, work boots), cotton layers, small running packs. These are not appropriate footwear for hiking in the mountains. If you happen to wear jeans and non-hiking footwear, you'll be sent to home in shame :)

Cancellation policy: 72 hours (3 days) prior to the trip. Keep in mind that this is not a dating service; you are either committed or not. Depending on your attitude, Friday late night cancellations may result in having a "no show" -- unless you come up with a very "juicy" excuse such as UFO abductions, alien invasion, flying boars, Metallica concert, or bad hair.

During the trip, you are expected to follow the trip organizer(s) and stick with the group. However, CORA trip organizer(s) are NOT certified mountain guides, but only experienced hikers volunteering and sharing their knowledge. As such, you are responsible for your own safety and equipment.


My cell phone is # 403-862-1727