Past Meetup

D6 Difficult Snowshoe--North Summit of Commonwealth Ridge

This Meetup is past

7 people went


We'll be following the description in Snowshoeing in the Canadian Rockies to the North Summit. The approach is relatively long and the ridge relatively steep, so please be realistic about your level of fitness.

We should be back at Dalhousie by 6 p.m. but we could be later.

CORA organizers no longer accept cash for memberships or drop ins. You must pay your $20 membership fee or $5 drop-in fee online before this trip. CORA rules mandate that I move non-members to the waiting list until they've paid their membership or drop-in fee online. The link to pay is in the left-hand column of this page and says "Pay online." After you've paid, post a comment saying that you've paid to let me know. Group size limit is 10.

To make sure I know who's coming and your general level of experience (I need to know for planning/safety reasons; beginners with a basic level of hiking fitness are most welcome), you can not sign up a guest. Everyone coming must sign up on their own. Please answer all questions during the RSVP process. If you don't I'll bump you to "Not Going" and you'll go to the back of the line until you provide all the answers.

The pace will be moderate. A basic level of hiking fitness is required.

Be prepared for cold, windy, snowy weather one minute, clear skies and sun the next. March in the Rockies can be like March in the Rockies.

I've never done this trip, so it will be an adventure. Expect bushwhacking, route finding, creek crossing, and a bunch of other stuff.

There is a good chance that we could be turned back at any point due to snow, ice, wind, flood damage, zombie marmots and any number of other conditions we encounter. When it comes to safety I'm conservative.

All participants are expected to act as a responsible member of the group. If you don't intend to act as a member of the group, this trip is not for you. Shared values of this trip include personal responsibility and mutual reliance (we all look out for one another), fun, safety and respect. The organizer is not a guide, but he has the final say in matters of safety.

Research the route. Assume that everyone but you will be hit in the head by a huge rock while a grizzly and cougar are playing tug-of-war with their bodies, leaving you alone to find your way back to the car.

Distance on trail: 14-16 km roundtrip

Elevation gain: 530 m

Time on trail: 4-7 hours

Dogs: Not on this trip.

Required Equipment:

• Snowshoes

• Winter boots (absolutely mandatory; no short-top day hikers)

• Headlamp (just in case!)

• Sunscreen

• Water

• Food

• First aid kit

• Shell jacket

• Hard shell or soft shell pants

• Chocolate for the organizer

• Fleece/warm layer

• Warm hat

• Gloves

Driving and Directions: Highway 40 south from the Trans-Canada. At the winter gate, turn right towards Kananaskis Lakes. Turn right again onto the Smith-Dorrien Trail/Highway 742. In 26.4 km park on the west side of the road. You should be able to "Look west, across the flats of Smuts Creek" according to the book.

CLICK HERE FOR A DRIVING MAP (,-115.20607&spn=0.229643,0.676346&sll=50.831475,-115.325375&sspn=0.028678,0.084543&geocode=FZDKCwMddxIy-Q%3BFXZ2BwMd7DUg-Q&t=h&mra=mrv&z=11)

Costs: Members are free. Non-member fee is $5.

Transport: CORA trips start at the trailhead. We meet at the meeting point in Calgary to make organizing trips easier and help ensure we know who's showing up. Please be on time. You may choose to meet us at the trailhead, but please advise us ahead of time.