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Summer/Fall 2003

Crowduck Lake Canoe and Camping Trip July 4 - 6th

On the July long weekend 8 members of the Club went on a wilderness camping trip to Crowduck Lake in Whiteshell Prov. Park. We left on Sat. morning and returned on Tues. evening. Members were Verne Kachkowski, Norma Lennon, Kim Smith, Marilyn Makortoff, Caroline Jones, Arron Kulbacki, Donna Kulbacki, and Glen Gatin.
We paired off in 4 canoes and paddled approx. 5k across Big Whiteshell Lake. Just as we were leaving it started to sprinkle and then it got progressively worse until near the end of the trip across the lake it turned into a real downpour. It was dead calm and the rain was warm and it was a sight to behold to watch the huge drops of rain pelting the water. We then embarked on a 3/4k portage to Crowduck Lake. The first one third was a steep uphill climb with the canoes and all our gear and of course the rain made the hill very slippery. Once on the other side we got back into the canoes and paddled for at least another hour until we found a nice camping spot on a small island. It was a great campsite and everyone immediately set up tents and got a fire going to dry off some of our wet clothes and gear. The weather for the rest of the trip was warm and sunny and we soon settled in to cook wonderful food, and share the special dishes that everyone brought, and just relax and swim and snorkel. Arron proceeded to catch as many fish as we could possibly eat and on Monday some of the group went on a day trip across the lake to a falls where the river left the lake. This is a true wilderness lake with a lot of evergreen forest, granite rock everywhere and crystal clear water. Loons are calling out and all types of waterfowl abound including crowducks. The natives call the cormorants crowducks.

Later in the afternoon we would retire to the hardrock cafe (a slab of rock on the other side of the island) for appetizers before dinner and some pleasant socializing in the setting sun. Everyone agreed that it was a wonderful trip and are looking forward to doing it again next year hopefully with many more members coming along

Verne Kachkowski

Day Hike Adam Lake July 5

Adam Lake Hike, On July 5 a group of 11 hikers faced some hot weather (28C+) but still managed to enjoy the 15km hike on the James Lake Trail, including a side trip to the look-out tower. As a matter of fact, the lookout tower was so good, we decided to do that leg of the trip twice. At the end of the hike everyone looked for quick cool down. Some headed to Boissevain for ice-cream and some headed straight to the lake for a swim. But the swim was short lived when an innocent by-stander commented on the leach population. Hikers that day were Loise, Mary, Arthur, Kim, Marilyn, Joey, Bev & Lea, Jane & sister Pat, and Brenda.

Brenda Eamer



Bike Trip Central Trail July 18 - 20

The weekend of July 18-20 found seven Wilderness Club members and three guests enjoying the backcountry of Riding Mountain National Park. We dropped a vehicle at the east trailhead and headed west to the Deep Lake Campground. Through the evening hours people arrived and set up their tents and we spent the rest of the evening getting to know, the new people, Judy, Bert and Lou. We rose early to get a good start on the day. We were going to ride 32 km to the Gunn Creek campsite and it was going to be a very hot. The weatherman got it right for a change. Although it was as hot as last year 33 C, there was a breeze this year so it only felt like it was 30 C. There were a couple of times the wind died and we were treated to what all of last years bike was like.

We all arrived safely at Gunn Creek and enjoyed a pleasant evening of conversation and watching Mike Rossier cook. It is amazing what you can carry Mike. Sunday dawned a little cooler, which was a good thing because we had 40 km more to ride that day. Everyone who has ever ridden east out of Gunn Creek knows about the first four kilometers of up up up. We were about 3.5 kms along the way when Fred remembered his gloves. He unhooked his trailer and headed back 3.5 kms got his gloves and then back up up up the 3.5 kms to his trailer and was ready to continue. WOW! We were sad to lose Bill Carol and Lou at the Baldy Lake turnoff. The rest of us carried on and had lunch in the usual spot. After a short break at Whitewater Lake we rode on and were at the end of the trail. I think the highlight of the weekend was seeing a young bear up a tree. At the beginning of the weekend Joey said he had never seen a bear and that was his wish for the weekend. Never stop wishing.

Eldon Schmitz



Day Hike on the North Shore Trail at Clear Lake August 9th

On Saturday Aug 9th Alf, Janis and Sally met for breakfast at the Elkhorn Resort before proceeding to the north shore trail. The group was small but the hike was great. As well as a beautiful view of the lake the trail lead us through a variety of vegetation, and past the North Shore cottages. Many of these cottages date back 50 or more years. Although we never saw any wildlife on the trail, Mike Klassen on the previous evening while biking the trail met a large bear charging down the hill. Needless to say upon seeing each other both parties quickly went their own way. For those of you who missed the hike you missed a great one.

Janis Stanley

Back Pack Spruce Woods August 16 - 17

At the planning meeting it sounded like a good idea, when someone said, lets do a backpack in Spruce Woods Park on August 16 and 17. I agreed it would be a good warm up trip for those members going to the mountains the first week in September. Little did I know just how much of a warm up it would be. So it was planned and the phone started ringing. Fourteen members thought that an overnight backpack sounded like fun. We met for breakfast at 9 am and were on the trail by 10:15. Not quite early enough to beat the heat. Eight kms and three hours later we were dropping our packs and looking for shade at the third cabin campground. Everyone was rehydrating and beginning to feel cooler when Aaron comes along with a super soaker and gives everyone in the group a little taste of western justice. That started off what can only be described as a free for all water fight that went on for the rest of the weekend. Alliances were made and broken and made again. I can attest just how cold a litre of just pumped water feels like. I should mention that Donna was not an innocent in all this as she had brought a gun of her own, such as it was. Bad Collin was along to eat what mom and dad cooked and to carry all that extra stuff they thought they would need on an overnight backpack. Mike and Erika got an early start the next morning. The rest of us followed an hour or so later. A great time was had by all including Shirley Au.

Eldon Schmitz



Backpacking Trip Tonquin Valley - Jasper Alberta Sept 1 - 5

15 Members rendezvoused at Whistlers Campground just south of Jasper on Saturday August 30/03. On Sunday most of us hiked Whistler’s Trail to the top of the Jasper Tramway, we encountered some curious marmots and some not so curious picas. Maureen and Jackie opted for horseback riding at Jasper Park Lodge.

On Monday we split into two groups with ours starting out at the Portal Creek trailhead. Our group was very ably led by Joan and Arnold. The rest of our group included Mike R., Aaron, Donna and Collin and Jackie and Fred. We hiked 9 km to Portal Creek campground. Incredible views as we skirted the valley en route. We crossed a fair expanse of rockfall beneath Peveril Peak. At Portal Creek campground we had the company of a porcupine, Jackie decided to call him “ George”. We awoke the next A.M. to frosty temperatures and were glad to catch the sun’s warmth as it filled the valley.

Nine km later we arrived at Maccarib campground. We had climbed up and over Maccarib Pass at the headwaters of Maccarib Creek. The trail followed yet another beautiful valley. Maccarib was my favorite spot with the vista it offered on the easterly edge of the Tonquin Valley. We observed the final resting place of one Percy Hamilton Goodair buried here in 1929. Several of the group did an after dinner hike just north of here and were rewarded with an awesome view of Amethyst Lake and the Ramparts to the south west. Haze from BC forest fires was quite evident. Day three was another gem. We hiked 3 km to Amethyst Lake campground. A short time later we rendezvoused with the other seven backpackers led by Eldon. We dined and we exchanged stories and some of us even went for a dip into Amethyst Lake. It was chilly and most invigorating. After parting ways we ended up at Clitheroe campground. Nestled in the trees as it was made one think we were back in RMNP. It was only a 6 km day so some of us hiked to Surprise Point, a 4 km return trip. A delightful spot near the mouth of the Astoria River.

We left Clitheroe mid A.M. and did lunch 4 km later at Switchback campground. This was our next designated campsite but we carried on another 5 km to a packhorse rest stop. En route we negotiated 15 or so switch backs as we skirted a huge rock fall on the side of Old Horn Mountain. We camped well off the trail because this campsite was not a designated campsite. Mike said he heard rocks tumbling down in the middle of the night. On Friday all were up early and we completed the last 8km around lunch, well within view of Mt. Edith Cavell. We drove up the valley to see the Angel Glacier on Mt. Edith Cavell. On awesome site complete with a glacial lake and icebergs. Lunch beckoned and Jasper was our destination.

We then met up with Eldon’s group at Miette Hot Springs. The water was divine and a celebration was in order. We were Brandon bound the next A.M.

Alf Stanley

Muskrat Lake Bike September 13

After a great breakfast at Elkhorn Ranch, we drove to the trailhead. Alf, Janis, Marilyn, Renee, Verne, Norma, Penny, Kim, Glenda, Bill, Carol and Jessiah set off on the Muskrat Lake Trail. It was a chilly start, but we soon warmed up. We were all shook up on the last 2km of the trail but were rewarded at the end by a picturesque campsite close to the lake. We had a rest & lunch, returning on the same trail a little faster as the rain clouds were looming in the distance. We had sightings of a wolf, deer and partridge. We beat the rain & ended up at Alf & Janis's for delicious cake (made BY Norma) and refreshments.




Baldy Lake Hike September 21

After an eventful morning at the Stadnyk's cottage, 13 people met up with a large group at the Baldy Lake warden station. The group, totaling 23, got off to a brisk start. It was a bit chilly and with the expectation of the Olha fall supper we kept the fast pace to Baldy Lake. After a rest and visit at the lake we hiked to the lookout tower. A few brave souls made the long ascent to the top for some spectacular views. The hike back was beautiful (there was even a momentary bear sighting) with the leaves changing and dark clouds billowing. The group made short work of it and there was then a mad scramble to the Olha community centre. A few managed to take a shortcut and made it in before the rain. It was worth the downpour and wait, an amazing supper!

Kim and Marilyn

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Rae Trail – Day Hike September 27

An overcast day with cooler temperatures made for pleasant hiking on the Rae Trail. Autumn colours added to the beauty of the sandhill country north of Holland. Sixteen club members, plus two dogs attended. This was a new trail for most of the members but not a new trail for the Westman Wilderness Club. Ski outings in the late 1970’s were popular. Thanks to the Prairie Pathfinders for marking this trail and including it in their book Manitoba Walks. Everyone enjoyed the views of the Assiniboine River Valley from the high overlooks. Some of the members ventured down to the source of the Red Water Springs. It was a great day and thanks to all who participated.

Marg & Millie



Bald Hill Hike October 5

October 5, a perfect day for a hike to Bald Hill. Twelve Hikers met at Elkhorn Ranch for a hearty breakfast. The hikers being, our leader, Jim Wilkie, Alf Stanley, Glena Francoeur, Marlyn Markortoff, Kim Smith, Bekta, Fred Goods, Roger Winger, Verne Kachkowski, and Norma Janis and Sherry Gates, Jackie Lennon. We met at the trail head which is near the East Gate of Riding Mountain National Park, checked the route map and headed out on a fairly rugged hike, up about six hundred feet, across creeks and through bush. The view from the top was spectacular and the trees were at their most glorious stage of the year. You can see for miles from both peaks which eve scaled. A wonderful hike with great hikers. Thanks Jim for a great day.


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