2014 Paradise Valley and Boom Lake

We left early Friday afternoon so we could slowly make our way out to the Castle Mountain Hostel and grab our desired bunks. The snow started coming down pretty heavy Friday evening so we were getting excited for great ski conditions for Saturday morning.

Saturday morning we had breakfast, arranged car pooling and went on our way. As we approached Lake Louise we were surprised to see a long line of traffic on the highway slowly making their way up to the ski resort. We decided to continue on and turn around at Pipestone, thus avoiding the long line.

When we arrived at the Moraine Lake road we were pleasantly surprised to see only 1 other vehicle in the parking lot… no long hike up the road for us J We got our skis on, did our beacon testing and away we went. First of all we skied up the tracks on the fire road and made our way to the back country. The first part we skied uphill through the trees and as we made our way up and out of the trees we got our first look at the great Mount Temple. We stopped at the first bridge for a snack and lots of pictures and then continued on.

We then followed the creek as it appeared and disappeared into the snow all the while watching the beautiful scenery around us. We eventually made it to the second bridge where we stopped for lunch and more pictures. There we met up with a group on snow shoes. They also decided to join us on the bridge for snacks and some conversation.

Coming out seemed to go way faster and before we knew it we were back at the first bridge. We headed down the narrow windy track one at a time and eventually met at the bottom back at the Fairview loop. From there we headed for the Chateau Lake Louise to check out the ice sculptures (which ended up being all melted). We then decided that beverages were in order. At the Glacier Saloon we enjoyed drinks, snacks and good company. We then skied the tramline out, anticipating supper in paradise.

The theme for dinner was food of paradise and a few brave souls even decided to dress up in paradise type clothing. Dinner was of course fantastic… everyone’s idea of paradise! It was an early night as everyone was stuffed full and tired from the day of skiing.

Sunday morning we woke to about 10 cm of fresh snow. Some people decided to head for either Pipestone or the Nordic Centre and the rest of us headed for Boom Lake. Before leaving we all decided to exhaust ourselves by helping Tony shovel the parking lot. Many hands make light work, and between our group and the other group staying at the hostel we were done in minutes.

At the Boom Lake trailhead we first had to climb over the big pile of snow to get to the trail. Then we headed up. The snow was so wet and sticky that we all just walked up the hill… no skins needed. After about 2 hours of slogging uphill we decided to stop for lunch. We hadn’t made it to the lake yet but everyone was tired and hungry. We were looking forward to the fast ski down the hill after the slog up, but man were we wrong. Even after scraping all of the wax off of our skis we still ended up walking down the hill due to the incredibly sticky snow! There were many face plants made at the final bridge at the trailhead as the snow seemed to get even stickier there.

It was a fantastic weekend! Great skiing, great food and great people. Thanks to Marilyn for organizing everything and to Richard for assisting, it was a wonderful trip J