-Stewart and Tyler were at the Lost Horse creek bridge-
I met up with two young men from Florida who were on foot, Stewart and Tyler, who were planning on camping at the Lost Horse Creek campground which is 7K up Redearth creek. Initially, they were asking me where exactly they were along the trail.
They were hoping to set up camp and continue on to Shadow Lake. It was already 3:15 pm so I asked if they had headlamps. If they proceeded with their plans, they would get to the Shadow Lake turn-off (at 10.4K) at dark, snowshoe to the lake, and return 7K to the campground. I suggested they may want to reassess their plans and do their travelling in the light of day.
I don’t like telling people they can’t, or shouldn’t do something, but I was concerned for them. I remember when I was their age. You couldn’t tell me anything, I had to learn by experience, and make a lot of mistakes along the way. I also had ten times as much energy, and made crazy choices, so maybe I would have hiked in winter darkness for 14K.
Redearth creek was in excellent condition after 2.6K. Starting out, you’ll be overwhelmed with the pine needles in the first set of trees, about 200 metres along, but that’s the worst of them. You’ll still have to deal with them sporadically for the next 2.4k. Hopefully the snow which is predicted for tonight will materialize and freshen things up.
At 2.6K you enter a different world. The pine needles disappear, the tracks are in good shape and well-defined, and it all happens suddenly. Net elevation gain to this point is 170 metres. At 1600 metres elevation, you enter a whole new climatic zone.
That will give you 8K of wonderful skiing on superb conditions all the way to the warden’s cabin. Air temperature was -7°C, snow temp was -8, and VR40(-4/-12) worked very well.
I met a lot of skiers including Pat at the campground at 7K. Pat is an acquaintance from way back in my Calgary Ski Club days. I was pleased to hear him admit that he’s an addict. He’s addicted to this blog and checks it every day.
When returning, the final kilometre is scary. The trail is scraped bare in spots, and it’s hard to get a decent snowplow(unless you’re Duane and Carol with Rossi 65’s with metal edges).
If you haven’t crashed by the time you’re near the bottom, you’ll have one last chance at the little bridge which will launch you into the air before crashing. There’s no shame in removing your skis and walking. None of that will be necessary, however, if we get the 2 – 4 cm of snow which is in the forecast for tonight. Snow cures all.
Thanks to Peter Thomas’ advice, my GPS now records the total ascent properly. The net elevation gain to the warden’s cabin is 330 metres, but the total ascent is 410 metres(with all the ups and downs). This all works out correctly, because the total ascent on my return was 80 metres.
I received this email from Duane and Carol who were also on Redearth creek today:
Here’s our “Engagement Anniversary” xc ski photo.
3 years ago we enjoyed a blissful, blue bird xc ski up to Shadow Lake Lodge . During our “tea break on the porch of the Lodge, Duane proposed marriage. I accepted and now every Xmas season we renew our vows of endearment with an annual xc ski up to Shadow Lake Lodge.
We hope to be xc skiing annually to Shadow Lodge for many years to come. It’s our Bliss.
Carol + Duane.
Here’s the post I made on Dec 31, 2011 regarding Duane and Carol’s engagement
A record-setting day
We set a record yesterday for unique visits to this blog with 5,399 and for page views with 8,093. Thanks for reading!
We’re receiving some terrific photos and entries in the Emerald lake Lodge contest.
More photos from today’s skiing on Redearth creek: