The Redearth creek trail has not had a lot of snowfall this season.
As with most trails, it’s had the meltdowns, rain, and a few freeze-thaw cycles. Same old story.
Luckily I found 2-3 cm of new snow on the trail which created quite nice conditions, even at the start. The first couple Km have been quite marginal for the past month, and without the new snow, I would have been walking the steep hills at the beginning. You can still feel the ice crunching with every pole plant. I could tell from the boot prints that some of today’s skiers walked up for the first 3K.
You gain about 80 metres in the first kilometre, so it’s a good feeling to get that one behind you. Not only that, but at exactly 1K, a good set of tracks appeared on one side of the trail. The tracks haven’t been set for a while, but they’re still well-defined for most of the trail from 1K to 10K.
I was happy to see the snowman back on the trail at 1.9K. At 3.2K you’ve gained 180 metres of net elevation, and the snow conditions improve considerably. There’s still occasional thin snow, mostly under tree canopies where the tracks get icy, but these can be easily avoided.
I passed three groups of skiers who were on their way to spend the weekend at Shadow Lake Lodge.
At 10.4K you can continue on to the warden’s cabin which is about 300 metres further on, but today I took the steep uphill and continued on to Shadow Lake. It’s a further 3K, and for the first 300 metres, this is one mighty steep trail and I always walk up. It’s quite icy in spots, so you have to be judicious where you step. As long as you’re careful it can be navigated safely. Don’t be in a hurry.
The final 3K is snowmobile packed and not trackset. It’s quite narrow and twists and turns through the forest. There are some small icy spots, but I didn’t find them to be a problem. I was glad to see Tanya, Mark and six-year-old Noah arrive safely at the Lodge while I was inside drinking hot chocolate. I met the the other two groups just as I was leaving the Lodge with a belly full of cookies and cake.
I spent too much time in the Lodge yakking, so I didn’t have time to actually go to the lake. I’ve been there many times before, and I’ve included a photo from a couple years ago. If it’s your first time, you must go to the lake.
According to my GPS, the distance to Shadow Lake Lodge is 13.4K, and the net elevation gain is 420 metres. It took me 136 minutes going up, and 69 minutes returning.