Pisew-Kwasitchewan Falls Hike – 22 km backcountry hike
by Elaine and Chewy Masur
On August long, Friday the 3rd to Monday the 6th, Di and Nadine departed Brandon at noon, meeting Melissa and Elaine at the Minnedosa Rest stop. They arrived at the Sasagew Rapids Campground about 7:00 and after some confusion set up camp on the north side of the river. Che and his friends, Brianne, Yared (Ethiopia) and Catea (Moldova) arrived late that night, but in time to admire the reflection of the full moon streaming across the water, and a starlit sky. Saturday morning we got away and drove the 10 minutes to Pisew Provincial Park. After admiring the south west view of the falls, the side most often seen on calendars and postcards, we tarried over the suspension bridge and onto the west trail. The sign at the trail head warns it is a trail for the experienced hiker, with rocks, roots and wet spots, not to mention 40 pieces of deadfall requiring a change of gait or a bit of high stepping before the halfway point. It also warns of cougars, bears and other scary things but all we saw was what they’d left behind on the trail. We stopped at the protected and scenic portage site that crosses between Grassi River and for lunch before carrying on to Campsite 3′s whitewater. After a pleasant break we continued over the last half of the trail and 90 fallen trees to find a lovely spot at campsite 3 where we listened to rushing whitewater as conversational background.
After supping independently we celebrated Di’s birthday with candles and wishes in Smores. Then we all went down to the water’s edge and sat on the rocks. We listened to the loon’s call. Che became our pyrotechnic, lighting a few small spinning devil fireworks that we watched go from staid little sticks to whirling dervishes, sparks flying onto the water. They spun on the rocks and either into the water or into the crack between the rocks where they brightened the blackness. Di laughed and enjoyed the touch.
Sunday was fun. The early morning rain meant Che’s tent got packed up early to get out of the lake inside it. But the sun was out by the time he, Catea and Yared were ready to swim and splash below Kwasitchewan Falls, Manitoba’s highest. While we appreciated being in the wilderness, some of it may not have appreciated our presence. Catea found a secluded spot to change out of her swim wear but was stung by 1/2 a dozen bees, angry that she’d accidentally desecrated their home. The backside of the hike was just as beautiful as the front; we could almost always see the water as Elaine obsessively counted 150 deadfall. We were all but one, back to the north east side of Pisew by late afternoon/early evening. We took photos and romped in the falls’ mists and rainbow. Back at the parking lot, we found that Di’s Rav battery was dead, possibly due to the security siren warning off marauding bears and squirrels. Toyota rescued Di, and after getting the campsite set up, Brianne and Che went back to rescue Melissa off the trail. Despite her blisters, she found the will and energy to trot back to the vehicle, and was a real trooper through the entire time.
Having lugged fishing rods and spent the cash for a fishing license, Yared successfully learned to cast but the fish were safe. We found the most level spots we could and bedded down for the night. Up at 7:00 we made an early start after the requisite coffee/tea and stopped at Ponton for breakfast before hitting the road for real. We were back to Minnedosa before 5:00. It was a terrific weekend, a challenging, beautiful and worthwhile hike to one of Manitoba’s scenic wonders. Di has crossed it off her list, and others of us look forward to the next time. Does anybody know what the campsite at Wabowden is like?
Dolores and I just got back from Whitehorse and I can highly recommend the Chilkoot Trail for a vacation hike. The hike/ climb over the Pass is a much easier day than the Snowbird Pass hike (in my opinion). We met lots of great people including two guys from Tachoma Washington that had kayaked from Seattle to Skagway (78 days) and were completing their trip with a hike on the Chilkoot. Tom was in his mid-late sixties and Dan was 76 and had a hip replacement done the previous year (5 days/ week yoga convert). Both men were members of the Washington Mountaineers. Another young couple were headed to Whitehorse after the hike and were canoeing the Yukon River to Dawson (it’s eight hours by road) before returning home to Germany.
I included a few pics. One is a shot of us at the start in Dyea, one is just breaking out of the treeline immediately below Sheep Camp, one is at the Scales ( the Pass is the notch to the left of Dolores right shoulder but you only see the false summit because, sadly, there is more climbing after you get there), one is Dolores at the top of the Pass and the final one is our big group of fellow hikers at Lake Bennet while waiting on the train to pick us up. The kayakers should be easy to pick out; they have’t shaved in 3 months.
Two of the people in the picture were from Calgary and had logged serious miles all over the west. We asked them their favorite hiking spot and they replied in unison, Mt. Assiniboine. Sounds like your group is in for a fantastic experience.
Day Ski Compound & Katherine Lake Trails
Maureen, Clarence, Di, Scottie , and Janis enjoyed some excellent ski conditions on the Compound/ Katherine Lake ski trails in Riding Mountain National Park. The trails had been recently tracked and it was a bright, sunny , and warm day.
No wildlife was spotted but there were lots of animal tracks by the trails.
It was a very peaceful ski until out of nowhere a reddish –brown body whizzed by /causing some gasps and squeals in surprise! It was a beautiful dog who was extremely friendly and just wanted some company. It was happy running beside Scottie back to the parking lot. We left it with some other skiers hoping they found its owners.
Everyone came back to the cottage for coffee/ cookies and a chance to visit. A really nice outing!
Bear Mountain Hike
Feb 16, 2012 Bear Mountain hike
Club members Bill, Carol, James, Olwen, Janis and Alf hiked one of the toughest but most spectacular hikes in Sedona, Bear Mountain. The vertical climb on this hike is close to 2,000 feet. This hike is not for the height challenged people but very do-able by most club members.
The view from the top is breathtaking and worth the climb.
James Lake Cabin Feb 4 -5
Donna and Aaron, Fred, Jackie and Dover, Clarence, Di and Scotty and Shea were the happy campers on their way to the cabin. The trails had been tracked fairly recently and were in good condition – but the temperature on saturday morning was rising rapidly! Once we all arrived at the cabin – it was Donna’s suggestion to have a fire out side….have a fire out side at the beginning of February….but that’s what we did! We then split up and went in different directions. Fred and Shea did the whole Adam Lake loop, Di, Clarence and Jackie did a smaller loop – while Donna and Aaron investigated some of the canoe route across James Lake. After supper, we all followed their afternoon tracks around James Lake, across Lu Lu Lake and into Emma Lake. The moon was almost full, the sky full of stars, and the ice rumbled and grumbled underneath us. It was spectacular! Sunday morning found us all glued up with red wax…how I hate that stuff…as it was +2 when we left! By now the tracks were a little icy in places, completely bare in others – but we came out in one piece!
Thanks everyone for a great W/E….
WWC Sedona Arizona Chapter
On February 4th 2012, WWC members Alf, Janis, Wally, Evelyn, Bill, Carol and Westman guests Jeff and Janice hiked the Templeton Trail from the Trailhead at Cathedral Rock, near Sedona Arizona.
Weather was sunny with temperatures in the range of 15C. A very enjoyable hike in the Sedona Red Rock country. Sharing the trail with bike riders was one of the trail hazards and we had to be ready to make quick jumps to port when we heard or seen them coming!
Cheers to all and look forward to seeing James and Olwyn!
Roger’s Winter Camp
Winter camp Jan 28-30, 2012. South of RMNP close to Cheryl and Roger’s cabin.
We had 6 campers this year (I’m counting Scotty). Reg and Brendan (not wilderness club members) showed us up by doing what I’d call glamping (glamour camping) . I’m talking huge tent ,comfy cots, and chipotle pepper marinated barbecued chicken (yes he brought a small barbecue too). I’d camp with Reg anytime as long as someone else pulls his toboggan. Steve, Di and I joined Brenda’s day snowshoe on Saturday. Later we went on an after dark snowshoe to the Whirlpool river valley on a beautiful star filled night. We also went skiing around Lake Katharine.
Cheryl stayed in our cabin with friends but helped with pulling sleds and came out to our camp to take pictures and put together the following collage.
Winter Camp in the Brandon Hills
On January 18 Steve, Di, Arthur and Scotty and myself camped in the Brandon Hills. We pulled our toboggans just past the start of the B loop and set up camp at the top of a hill. We enjoyed an evening of Arthur preparing Chinese fondue.
It was fun to use the canvas tent that was originally Fred Olive’s and he past it on to Jim Wilkie who past it on to me. I have many fond memories of winter camps with this tent which I’ll be setting up this coming weekend for my scheduled winter camp on January 28 (we’re actually starting on Friday evening).
Hope to see you there.
Included are some pictures of us setting out with loaded toboggans for the Brandon hills camp.
JAMES LAKE CABIN – Dec 31-Jan 2
It was a bit doubtful to begin with – but thankfully a little snow a few days before we were due to go – allowed most of us to ski into the cabin! Eldon, Clarence, Fred, Jackie and Dover, Di and Scotty enjoyed a good ski – but 1st ski of the season with a pack on was a little nerve wracking! Nadine and Brenda decided on an alternative mode of transport – snow shoeing and hiking!
A typical WWC pot luck supper was had – and we welcomed the New Year in with champagne – thank you Eldon! We enjoyed several skis on new years day – including a short night ski.
We certainly made the most of the trails while we were there! However, there wasn’t always enough snow to fill pot holes dug outs – and there were quite often suprises in store – especially around corners and at the bottom of hills! Unfortunately, Freds guilt got the better of him – so he, Jackie and Dover left us ready for work on monday – but Robert joined us for the second night. Now there’s someone who travels light! It was a great w/e all in all – and thanks to everyone who came and made it a memorable occasion!