Jan 22, 2021: The powerful winds of the past few days have deposited significant tree debris on most of the trails in the empire, but I see we have a lot of determined skiers around here, willing to face the needlemania.
I’m amazed at the number of trip reports we received yesterday, with most of them mxed bags of good and bad conditions. Thank you!
I’d like to acknowledge Sara M’s epic ski trip of Chuck-esque proportions up the Cascade Valley, past the Elk Trap, and beyond to Cuthead Cabin. 50K round trip with 21K in backcountry conditions and breaking trail for some of it. All in seven hours!
Sara remarked in her trip report “The wolves returned to the road a couple times, which helped a lot. My track is a bit curvy in places because I was either following the wolf track, or feeling around trying to find the shallowest/most solid section of the road.”
I’m really enjoying the Cascade Valley – Cuthead Cabin saga. Chuck, Mike W, and MAAD have all taken turns at extending the tracks with fascinating photos of wolf-eaten elk carcasses. Yesterday it was Sara M’s turn to follow the wolf tracks and complete the trip.
Over the years, Chuck has made an annual trip to the cabin and provided us with amazing photos of wildlife, including the Lynx photo which I’ve displayed.
For anyone who would like to try this adventure, Chuck describes the route…
“The route to Cuthead Cabin is straight up Cascade Valley. Just a little further than we usually go! Starting at Lake Minnewanka, the route is trackset for the first 14 km to Stoney Creek.
Continuing further up the valley, past a few minor creek crossings, you should notice the Elk Trap at 17.5 km off the trail on your right. Continuing north you will reach that sign that says you are 23.6 km from Minnewanka. Continue north for another 1.4 km towards the Panther River, and the Cabin is at the end of the skier set trail on your left (25 km from home).”
On March 3, 2016 Chuck was lucky enough to experience this rare sighting…
“Abundant wildlife between Stoney and Cuthead including Wolves, Moose, Lynx, Cougar, Grouse, Woodpeckers, but the highlight was actually seeing a Wolverine bolt across the trail in front of me while I was stopped for a snack.”