Summer/Fall - 2006
June 17 Souris Valley Day Hike
Di and Shannon Kent led an 11k hike in the Souris river valley near Margaret on Sat. June 17th. Members participating were Di, Shannon, Verne, Linda Winter, Grace, Marg Nestor, Brad, and Patsy.
It was a beautiful warm day with enough breeze to keep the mosquitoes away but the wood ticks were out in swarms. Everyone was picking them off for the whole trip. Marg stopped her count at 137.
This was one of the nicest hikes I have been on. It is a most scenic area with a number of views of the river and valley with nice trails, meadows and fields, and a couple stops at the river for a break and lunch.
Thanks Di and Shannon for introducing us to yet another great area which could be used for activities year around
June 30, July 1-2 - Crowduck Camping and Canoe Trip
On the July long weekend, thirteen hardy souls did the canoe trip across Big Whiteshell Lake and the challenging portage to Crowduck and then on to our favourite island campsite where we spent three fun days.
We usually spend the first night at Big Whiteshell Campground but there was a thunderstorm, so we stopped at Greatwoods Campground at Beausejour instead - a beautiful campground where some of the members shared a rustic cabin (no hydro, and a birds nest in the rafters inside) but it was dry!
Participants were Donna and Arron, Stacey May, Sylvie, Camille, Eldon, Mike Rossier, new members, Elaine Masur and her son Shae, Verne's grandson Gavin and his friend Tristen, and Verne and Norma.
The portage was a little better this time with a rough trail around the swamp which we found after Eldon had already carried his canoe through the swamp.
Arron supplied us with all the fish we could eat as usual. Pickerel are catch and release only but we were allowed to keep all other fish.Besides all the fried fish we also enjoyed fish chowder and bannock one afternoon.
In the evening we would all retire to a flat rock on the west side of the island (which we call the Hard Rock Cafe) and enjoy hors d'oeuvres and refreshments, and a lot of friendly banter as we watched the eagles soar, the pelicans come and go, the loons calling, and admired the sun setting in the west.
Everyone enjoyed swimming and diving in the clear cold water and some even swam all the way around the island. The three boys spent a lot of time canoeing and kayaking and they even found a high rock ledge that they could jump from into the water.
Camille and Donna organized a canoe derby starting with a race between two buoys but in the middle they had to stop and the front and back paddlers had to change places. The next one was making a complete circle with the front of the canoe against the buoy. There was also a tug of war between two canoes filled with paddlers and as a finale Eldon leaped on the other canoe and capsized them and then they capsized us. The prizes for these contests were bragging rights. Thanks, Camille and Donna, it was great fun!
Eldon was also good enough to instruct several people about paddling techniques.
The weather was good for the whole weekend but on the return trip the wind came up. We were facing two-foot waves on our passage across Big Whiteshell but everyone made it without any mishap. One of the canoes drifted away while we were having a shore lunch and there was a scramble to get into another canoe to rescue it.
A memorable trip into pristine wilderness with great companions, it can't get any better than that.
August 20 - Icefields Parkway Cycle Trip
This trip was scheduled for the week before Lake O'Hara to take advantage of already being in the Rockies. Mike and I started out on the trip from Jasper August 20th. to cycle the 230 km to Lake Louise. The weather was perfect and the traffic was light on the highway. Gareth came along as the "sag wagon" and met us at Athabasca Falls for lunch. We checked out the falls from the various viewpoints and took photos. Gareth went on ahead to Johnas Creek campsite to find a spot for the night. We arrived on our bikes later in the afternoon and were ready for cold drinks and a rest having cycled about 70 kms. The next morning Mike and I started out for the Columbia Icefields, another great day for cycling. Mike started experiencing difficulty getting enough oxygen and was struggling to ride but persevered and made it to the Icefields campsite with a little help from Gareth on the Sunwapta Pass. After lunch the decision was made to take Mike to the hospital in Banff for a check up. Here we learned Mike had a blood clot and would be transferring to Foothills Hospital in Calgary!
Gareth and I returned to our Icefields campsite. The next day was raining so we visited the Interpretive Centre, hiked on the Stanley Falls trail to see the seven waterfalls and spent the evening with other campers in the cook shelter solving the problems of the world. Dawn brought sunshine and clear skies so I carried on riding the 70km to Waterfowl Lakes, one of the most scenic campsites on the Parkway. Gareth and I stayed an extra day here, visited Peto Lake, hiked on the Chephren Lake Trail and relaxed in the sun on the lake shore. We were entertained by the Clark's Nutcrackers around the campsite. The following morning I was back on the road again. Another pass to climb - Bow - and then an easy downhill ride to Lake Louise. If you enjoy cycling, the Icefields Parkway is a great trip and a wonderful way to enjoy the vistas.
August 27-30 - Lake O'Hara
The day hiking and beautiful scenery were probably the main focus of our trip to Lake O'Hara but something has to be said about all the other activities.
All entry to Lake O'Hara is by bus or hiking. If you are staying overnight your options are tenting in the campground, the Elizabeth Parker Hut, the resort and associated cabins, or if you are really adventurous, the Abbott Pass Hut. The Elizabeth Parker Hut was perfect for our group of 21 with one small cabin for sleeping and the large cabin with a kitchen and eating area and sleeping area. The kitchen was very well equipped with one oven and at least 8 burners, and eating utensils, pots and pans to easily accommodate our large group. The dining area had large tables for eating or playing games. Propane provided fuel for the many stoves and propane lights. Two huge bunk beds in each cabin held up to 8 people per bed.
I was expecting the meals to be severely limited by the fact that we had to carry everything in our back packs so I was surprised to see lasagne, Caesar salads, enough chilli for supper and lunch the next day not only for our group but for anyone passing by, plus hams and macaroni and cheese, rice pudding deserts, chicken stir fry, bottles of wine. Whoever had a backpack on wheels had a good idea.
No need for Thermarest mattresses on this trip. The foam mattresses were at least 4 inches thick and very comfortable. 8 people sleeping in the same bed is bound to produce some disturbances especially with even more sleeping in the bunk above. The biggest disturbance was produced by a night time visitor who chewed on Alf's finger but found Cheryl to be a lot less accommodating - a loud scream resulted when it tried to crawl in bed with her. This small mouse was later caught in a trap during the day.
Another loud disturbance was caused by someone trying to close the kitchen door so she could turn her headlamp on, but a clothes drying rack which was very heavy was attached to the door so when it was closed the rack came crashing down. No one was hurt but it definitely woke everyone up!
In addition to the evening storytelling we also had a great time playing games like cards or Scrabble and singing songs. Alf and Janis's game Pennies and Donna and Aaron's game Wizard were big hits. One young couple from the campground were rewarded for joining our group and listening to our singing by sharing our supper.
Other activities included discussions by park staff on topics such as The History of Human Activity in Yoho, and The Seven Habits of Highly Successful Ungulates. The young people who gave these talks were incredibly entertaining and their talks included dressing up and acting and were a lot of fun for adults and children alike.
For Cheryl and I, a highlight of the stay at Lake O'Hara was one of the easiest hikes which was the trail around Lake O'Hara. We decided to do an evening hike and Fred and Jackie joined us. They went around the more difficult far shore and we took the easier shore in the opposite direction. When we met half way around we planned on hiking back the easy shore together. When we met half way Jackie said "look back there" and Cheryl and I looked back at the shore line we had been on minutes earlier and there was a large grizzly bear on that same trail. Cheryl credits her singing on the trail for saving our lives.
This trip to Lake O'Hara is an experience well worth repeating some time in the future. Many thanks to Verne and Norma for all the work they did in organizing this trip.
August 28 - Lake O'Hara, Yoho National Park
Wiwaxy Alpine Trail (2530 metres above sea level)
On August 27th, seventeen of our Westman Wilderness Club Members, Jackie and Fred, Carol and Bill , Vern and Norma, Alf and Janis, Roger and Cheryl, Brent and Maureen, Sherrie, Di, Linda, Patsy and Shannon headed out under clear skies on Wiwaxy Alpine Trail.. It was a hike consisting of an elevation of 495 meters of traversing exposed terrain, boulder fields, and steep gullies. The inclines and declines were quite steep and open faced. It was quite an experience for some of our first-time mountain hikers. As always and in the true spirit of the club, we all helped each other along he way.
The scenery was breathtakingly beautiful as the Wiwaxy Gap is noted to be the best viewpoint for the entire O'Hara Basin, and who would have missed it! We all trudged along, (some fast, some slow) to Lake Oesa's icy waters where Brent entertained us with his shallow dives and later Maureen joined him. A few of us were content just to cool our feet momentarily before lunch.
On our return to Elizabeth Parker Hut, Di, Sherrie, Linda and Fred opted to take the 5 Km Yukness Alpine Route on the west side of Yukness Mountain, while the rest of the crew took the 3.2 km Lake Oesa Trail. We all returned tired and a bit sore, but awestruck by all we had seen. What a great hike!
August 28 - Lake O'Hara, Abbot Pass hike
Due to the lack of helmets only three members - Donna, Aaron and Eldon - ventured up to Abbott Pass. We chose Monday morning for the weather was great and we knew it was going to change in a day or two. The trail to Lake Oesa was up over a rock slide and up over a water fall. On our way we spotted picas, ptarmigans, and one goat way up high. From Lake Oesa, where I re-filled my water bottle and we snacked, we began to go up again. It wasn’t long and we were above the tree line as we walked one ledge after another, climbed rock staircases until there was nothing but scree ahead (above) us. Finally we spotted a glimpse of the Abbot Pass Hut, which was made of stone and blended in with the mountain pass. From here it was difficult to find the trail markers but with the use of our binoculars and advice from a group coming down we managed to find our way up the scree (loose large gravel land slide). We were aided by a couple of large rock protrusions where we could get a hand hold and sometimes one foothold. Then we snacked some more. I admit I was nervous when I was trying to go up and the earth beneath me was going down. Approximately 2 hours later we were at the Hut. The pass was quite narrow - the width of the Hut, give or take 4 or 5 feet. To the Lake Louise side it was glacier as far as you could see with the snow being only one foot from the Hut in total contrast to the scree that we just climbed up. The Hut was very similar to the Elisabeth Parker Hut only the beds were upstairs with a narrow aisle separating each side. We had our lunch and chatted with a couple who came back from rappelling Mount Victoria, which seemed like it was so…. close. We listened to their story about one of their previous climbs - how a grizzly bear came over the pass and slid down the glacier like a pro. After several pictures were taken we began our descent with the advice from the pros, and we almost made it down the scree without incident, except for that one big rock Aaron sent down the mountain towards Eldon who sidestepped from its route after watching it come for him. We caught up with the group, at Lake Oesa that we met coming down as we were going up. One woman’s pants were worn through on her butt and one man was having foot problems. From this I would have to give the three of us a big Hooray for our clothing and bodies were still in one piece when we were done. Abbot Pass is over 9000 feet and was an incredible scramble for our first time. Our ascent took approximately 5 ½ hrs and our descent was just over 3 hrs. For our reward we stopped at Lake O'Hara for a dip. Twice! But did it feel good. And we were back in time for supper!
August 29 - Lake O'Hara, Opabin Circuit
This was one of the easier (3-4 hours) and yet most spectacular combinations of scenery. Some highlights were the awesome views near Opabin Lake, the Terrace Pools and of course the impressive vista from Opabin Prospect towards Lake O'Hara. There is an excellent view of the Elizabeth Parker Hut area from the Prospect as well as Lake O'Hara itself. Impressive rock formations and Rock Ptarmigan added to the enjoyment of this trail. Limitless photographic opportunities are another aspect of this circuit. Highly recommended, particularly if you are in the area for just one day trip!
September 30 - Lake O’Hara, McArthur Pass and Lake McArthur Trails
The hike began at the Elizabeth Parker Hut in a drizzly rain. As we hiked higher the rain turned to snow. The trail started fairly flat but soon turned into a steeper ascent. At the Odaray junction the group split with one group going on the Odaray Highline Trail and the rest of us going on the McArthur Trail. Although viewing long distance was impossible, the close sights of snow-laden trees and huge rocks along the trail were beautiful. Snow in September is beautiful when you can escape it in a day or two.
A short distance beyond the junction, the Lake McArthur circuit reaches the summit of McArthur Pass where the trails fork. Fred and Stacy decided to take the McArthur Highline Trail while the rest of us took the Lowline trail. The Lowline Trail travels along a rocky ledge and through an open meadow to the north shore of Lake McArthur. Lake McArthur appeared out of the snowstorm like a ghost in the mist. We never saw it until we were right on its shore. As it was windy, snowy and cold at the lake we were soon on our way back to the warm confines of Elizabeth Parker Hut. The fireplace was roaring on our return and it was time for hors d'oeuvres and cocktails.
Janis & Alf
August 30 - Lake O’Hara, Odaray Highline Trail
On Wednesday morning, we woke up to rain, but that didn’t stop us. We decided to do the easy hike to McArthur Lake. So everyone donned their rain gear and out we went, a more colorful bunch you never did see! As we climbed higher, the rain turned into snow. At the intersection with the Odaray Highline Trail, a group of us decided to take this route. This trail cuts across the McArthur Valley-Cataract Brook Wildlife Corridor at its most narrow point, McArthur Pass. Because this is an important wildlife corridor, especially at this time of the year, Parks Canada restricts use of the trail to two groups a day to ensure minimum interference by humans. But, on this snowy day, we did not see any wildlife, with the exception of a bird, the odd pica, and Eldon’s imaginary grizzly. Once through the corridor, we started up the Odaray Grandview Trail, but the trail was becoming a little treacherous from the snow and the view was not really visible. By then it was snowing quite heavily. So we stopped for a quick lunch and then headed back down to our cabins where we could light a fire, warm up and dry out. Back down at the cabins, the snow had turned back to rain.
September 4-8 - Skyline Trail Backpack
After Lake O'Hara, Aaron, Donna, Fred, Stacy and I spent two nights in the Kicking Horse Campground. On Friday, We hiked the Iceline Trail circuit coming out on the Little Yoho Valley Trail. It was a long hike and would have been a little easier if we had started before noon. Oh well, we were on holidays. We saw the Stanley Mitchell Hut which is a Alpine Club of Canada hut.
On Saturday, after saying good-by to Aaron who had to be back for school on Tuesday, with Stacy leading the way, we scrambled Paget Peak (8,415 feet). It was a great climb that afforded us some spectacular views of the valley that takes you into Lake O'Hara, and also the Kicking Horse Valley.
Sunday saw us back in Lake Louise, having unsalted hot cereal in the hostel restaurant, before heading up the Parkfield Iceway to Jasper. After many missed calls we met up with Bert and Collin, and the group was set for the upcoming week. The Maligne Canyon Hostel was a good place to get everything organized for our Monday departure and had very comfortable beds.
Monday morning we and all the other tourists, plus fresh fruits and vegetables for the restaurant, were on the shuttle bus up to the trailhead. Our destination, Evelyn Creek was 5.2 km with an elevation gain of 453 meters - a walk in the park for us who had just come from Lake O'Hara. It was a different story for the boys from Manitoba who had just arrived. One of them struggled to get to the campground and Bert went for an extra hike to the Bald Hills - a mere 8.8 km return. He did have Fred along for company.
Tuesday we up and overed Little Shovel Pass (elevation 2,240 meters) on our way to Snow Bowl Camp. During this portion of the trip we saw our first marmots. We were on the lookout for the grizzly the visitor services person told us was in the area digging out ground squirrels. Snow Bowl is a very open camp and we were lucky to have great weather for our continuing game of WIZARD.
Wednesday, on our way to Curator Camp, we climbed over Big Shovel Pass (elevation 2,320 meters) only to discover ungulates on the other side. They were a long way off and we weren't sure what we were seeing. Fred was sure they were sheep and I was sure they were caribou. I have always wanted to see caribou. Fred was right. When we walked toward them they were unconcerned, moving only a little way off the trail. They were feeding on tufts of grass that were so small you would wonder how much food value they could get out of it. The view from the pass was amazing. It was like a moonscape with our trail carved out across it. Curator was set on the top of a flat escarpment. We did a short hike down to the horse camp and had a talk with the attendant who was from Manitoba.
Thursday THE NOTCH (elevation 2,450 meters) was a tough way to start the day, up for three full kilometers, and I mean UP! It was a long slow climb that brought us to one of the great views in the Canadian Rockies. We could see for miles in front and behind. But that wasn't high enough for some of us as we climbed even further to the unnamed summit at 2,510 meters. Here we could see the Athabasca River flowing below us and Mount Robson off in the distance. We set up a blind of backpacks to shelter us from the wind and ate lunch with the view in front of us. It was with sadness that we dropped down out of the high country and back down into sub alpine to Tekarra Camp. This was by far the busiest camp we were in all week. A couple from Washington who passed through, wanted to stay but the visitor services said it was full that night and they carried on to Signal Hill Camp.
Friday was a sad day for me as I knew the trip was at an end. It was all down hill from here, 13.9 km downhill to be exact. We must have been in a hurry to get to the hot springs at Miette. Fred didn't even stop for lunch. It was nice to end up where the cars were. We jumped in and were back in the real world. Good times were had at Miette and the trip home was done in one day. Thanks to everyone who came on the trip. I know I have some great memories.
September 23 - Northshore Day Hike
The weather was great and the fall colors were out when eleven members hiked the north shore trail of Clear Lake in Riding Mountain National Park. Grace, Sally, Sherrie, Robert, Roger, Di, Gerry, Brenda, Mike, Janis & Alf started the hike from the Clear Lake Golf Course parking lot. The trail follows the shore of Clear Lake, passing the north shore cottages and on to Spruces picnic site and boat launching area. Lunch was had on the side of a hill in the warm sunshine overlooking the lake. After the hike everyone went back to the Stanley’s cottage for coffee and cake. As it was such a beautiful fall day a second hike to Tamarack Lake and up Sunset hill from the cottage was enjoyed by everyone except Sally, Sherrie and Grace who had to head home.
September 30 - Bald Hill Hike
This was the first time I joined in on the annual hike to Bald Hill on the northeast side of the Riding Mountain Park led by Jim Wilkie. We left the trailhead around 11:30, and returned several hours later, enjoying the perfect fall weather. We were a group of seventeen , that included two exchange students who were staying at the Minnedosa area. Although the beginning of the trail is relatively flat, it wasn't long before we started the ascent of the north escarpment. (Jim did mention how many feet, but I just remember taking the climb slow and steady!) We stopped at lookouts to the north and to the south, taking in breath-taking views of the flat-lands around McCreary. The ladybugs were in full force again this year. he fall colors added to the beauty of this area, and of course the view to the east of the Riding Mountain escarpment holds a special place in my heart, since I had lived south of this area during my childhood.
Then we left the marked trails, and descended to the Wilson Creek bed, and found the base of the Bald Hill. This did include some "bushwhacking," and "shale sliding," adding a sense of adventure to the day! We had lunch at a picturesque sheltered site before finishing the climb to the peak. Several of us decided to take the direct route up the hillside (thanks for the pull, Britanny!), and others came along the trail to the side of the hill. We met a few other hikers at the peak, took photos of the breathtaking view, then played in the shale, before heading alongside the creekbed to find our way back to the trailhead.
Thanks for giving us the opportunity to experience this trail in the fall, Jim!
October 8 - Moon Lake Hike
What started off as a cold, windy autumn day turned out to be a beautiful afternoon for a fall hike. In the early morning, temperatures hovered around three degrees in RMNP. An intense windstorm overnight had knocked down a large tree in our yard, destroying our picnic table. Apparently, the cold temperatures and a nasty wind scared off a few of our members who decided to remain in the safe confines of their homes. With reports that the Club President was actually going to be in attendance at an event for a change, I thought I couldn't miss the chance to meet him. Six members (Mike K, Alf, Di, Grace, James and Olwen Burr - new members) met at 10 am at the Seven Days Deli in Onanole for breakfast. At approximately 11:30 we hit the trail, enjoying what was left of the fall colors. Trail conversations about education, Parks Canada, past animal encounters, favourite hikes, and memorable club trips filled the air. All conversations stopped for several minutes when a closer inspection of some animal prints revealed a COUGAR had recently visited the area. With our senses heightened we continued on in hopes of meeting (or not) some wildlife. Shortly after our encounter with the cougar print, a grouse took flight and literally scared the @*!$ out of me. I'm not sure if anyone else noticed but I'm pretty sure I actually squealed slightly while discussing my wife's shopping trip to Minot.
We stopped for lunch at a viewpoint overlooking Moon Lake. It was nice to see many people using the trail today as we passed several, announcing signs of bear scat on the trail ahead. Our news of cougar tracks on the trail took top honours in the bragging department, however. Several grouse attempted to "hide" from us in the middle of the trail, while a cow and calf moose sat quietly under a spruce tree as most of our group passed within ten meters of them. Alf and I were discussing Parks Canada's much appreciated trail grooming when we noticed the pair. James (with camera in tow) returned to snap several photographs. We were not sure if he was attempting to encourage the moose to chase us down the trail but we cannot wait to see some of the pictures.
The round trip (9.2 km) took us approximately 3 hours. This was by far one of my most favourite hikes this year in the Park. It turned out to be a perfect day for a hike. A big welcome to James and Olwen Burr--we hope to see you at many more events in the upcoming winter season.
Mike Klassen, President
October 14 - Day Hike, Scott Creek
On October 14th, after a delicious breakfast at the Agassiz Lodge at McCreary, Donna, Verne, Alf, Janis & Roger were joined on Scott Creek trail by new member Eileen from Dauphin and guest Yvonne from Birtle. The hike was easy, meandering through lots of oak trees and near a creek for 8.5 kilometers. After lunch at a beautiful campground we proceeded back to the cars and went off to explore the Agassiz downhill ski area. It is a lonely, overgrown site with buildings and equipment sadly deteriorating.
October 21-22 - Back pack trip to Cairn's Cabin, Riding Mountain National Park
Ten people enjoyed the hike into Cairns Cabin with snow under foot. There was about 2 - 6 cm of snow on the trail depending on height of the land as we traveled the varied terrain. There were portions of the trail with snow-covered trees and bushes leaning into the trail. Some places we had to duck under the low hanging branches. These were perfect photo opportunities for Christmas card pictures of hiking in the snow. Temperatures were about -3 degrees, so as long as we were moving we were quite comfortable.
Six of us followed a well-travelled elk trail which leads to a nice overlook of Elk Creek. The trail then swung back across the hiking trail. We followed two people on skis who went about 1 km and then continued as hikers. We never did actually see them so are curious as to how we passed them when they turned around and returned to their car. The great mystery of our hike!!! On Sunday we proceeded to the east end of the trail to the pickup point where Rosalie and Gwenda were waiting to give us a ride. From the trail's end, we crossed the Ochre River at “Skene’s Crossing’” as mentioned in Bill Stilwell’s book " Manitoba Scenic Secrets" and returned to our starting point and vehicles. On the return trip through the park we saw deer, five or six coyotes and one lynx that was tolerant of the vehicles stopping to look at it. Participants were Bert, Judy, Kelvin, Kelly, Eldon, Wayne, Donna, Arron, Arthur and myself.
October 28 - Gorge Creek, Riding Mountain National Park
Another awesome hike at Gorge Creek led by Roger and Michael. A total of twelve turned out for the exercise - Roger, Michael, Ray, Gail (Gale), Shannon, Henry, Verne, Donna (new member?), Carol, Bill and their grandkids, Alex (11) and Charleigh (9), on their first hike. The weather co-operated and it was a perfect day for the trek, with a mix of sun and cloud.
Extra adventure was thrown in, going down some of the slopes which were iced up badly, but tricky manoeuvring by our intrepid crew made for an accident-free descent. At lunch break, an hour into the hike, we were at the favoured location, the Piney Knoll (newly named by me). During the break, Bill came across a sleepy Cobra snake and was able to entice it into a dangerous wide-mouthed sneer, with its tongue lashing out! Others also came to see and photograph it and Bill found out, it wasn't a Cobra but a garter snake. (It may remain a Cobra for future story telling). A picture of this dangerous creature can be found on either of our two Wilderness sites.
Ray was our instructor in wildlife, showing us how to tell moose tracks from elk tracks and various other outdoor tidbits. Thanks Ray!
To sum up, Gorge Creek again gave us its scenic beauty and made us want to come back soon.Thanks Roger and Michael for giving us the incentive to partake in this amazing scenic area.
PS. Alex and Charleigh thoroughly enjoyed the hike and can't wait to get out on another one.
November 4 - Day Hike to Lake Kinosao
Eight members - Judy, Bert, Gail, Di, Alf, Janis, Verne and Arthur - were joined by guests, Di’s sister Dawn and P.E.I. Donna , to hike the Brule-Grey Owl loop trail in Riding Mountain National Park (7.5 km) The trail was snow-covered but not deep enough for skiing. We started out on the Brule Trail until we came to scenic Lake Kinasao. It is a small lake surrounded by spruce, pine and aspen forest. From there we took the connector trail to Grey Owl Trail. This trail has lots of steep hills , easy to hike but very challenging to ski. After a stop for lunch at the warming hut, we headed home with Bert carrying Dawn piggy-back. Once back at the trail head, it was time to head to the Stanley’s cottage for coffee, hot chocolate, Verne’s muffins and Dollar Store cookies. Another great hike!