Mountain Tour Descriptions

These and other tours are regularly offered by the club.

The 2023-24 Trips and Tours calendar can be found here.

Thank you Chic Scott & Darren Farley for technical data and excerpts taken from SKI TRAILS IN THE CANADIAN ROCKIES: NORDIC SKI TOURS 5TH EDITION 2016 and to Ivan Dixon for his descriptions.

Elk Hut

A steady assent on groomed trails to Elk Pass in the beautiful Kananaskis Mountains. Spend the night at Elk Lakes Cabin and return the next day down the Power Line hill.  

Trail Head: Kananaskis Lakes Trails – Elk Pass Parking Lot    Difficulty: Easy / Intermediate   Distance: 10 km one way   Elevation Gain: 200m   Elevation Loss: 260m 
Accom: Kananaskis/Ribbon Creek Hostel (Fri), Elk Lakes Cabin (Sat)    AST1 not required

Cost: $/per person Tour Leaders:    Spots avail: 6

Hilda YoYo

Stay at the rustic Hilda Creek Hut and ski tour up, powder ski down to your heart’s content. A stunning place to warm up your legs for the season. AST1 and ski touring equipment required.

Trail Head: immediately out the hut door! Difficulty: Intermediate/Advanced Distance: N/A Elevation gain: as much as you can do… Accom: Hilda Creek Hut   AST1 required

Cost: $/per person    Tour Leaders:     Spots avail: 4

Cascade Fire Road

A lovely, languorous tour through the forest with beautiful views. The trail is generally tracked for the 13 kms that take you to Stony Creek, but you can follow the fire road as far as you like. This is an excellent beginner mountain ski, starting at Lake Minewanka. An additional tour may be set up for Sunday if weather permits.

Trail Head: Lake Minewanka Parking Lot    Difficulty: Easy   Distance: dependent on conditions Accom: ACC Canmore (Fri, Sat) AST1 not required

Cost: $/per person Tour Leaders    Spots avail: 6

Fondue Tour

Ski the varied trails in the Kananaskis Lakes area with everything from gentle rolling trails to exhilarating descents. Enjoy a beautiful fondue dinner with your mates in the Ribbon Creek Hostel Saturday night. This is an excellent trip for skiers new to the mountains.

Trail Head: Kananaskis Lakes Trails – Elk Pass Parking Lot    Difficulty: Easy / Intermediate   Distance: dependent on trails (about 16kms) Accom: Ribbon Creek Hostel (Fri, Sat) AST1 not required

Cost: $/per person Tour Leaders   Spots avail: 6

Molar Meadows

A lovely tour from Mosquito Creek up through the forest into a wide, open valley in the high alpine. Gorgeous terrain and a chance for a few turns.

Trail Head: Across the road from the Mosquito Creek Hostel parking lot Difficulty: Intermediate Distance: 18 kms return   Elevation gain: 450m   Accom: Mosquito Creek Hostel (Fri, Sat) AST1 required  

Cost: $/per person   Tour Leaders:   Spots avail: 4

Cameron Lake Hut

A backpacking tour into the Cameron Lake area in Waterton National Park.

Trail Head: Emerald Bay Day use area, Waterton NP Difficulty: Intermediate Distance: 15km one way on the old road, skiing around the hut Elevation gain: 390 m to the very end Accom: Cameron Lake Hut (Sat/Sun) Fri to be determined. AST1 not required

Cost: $/per person Tour Leaders:   Spots avail: 6

Fairview Loop & Pipestone Trails

Stunning views and beautiful track skiing are to be had on these two days of touring.

Trail Heads: Chateau Lake Louise parking lot  Difficulty: Beginner/ Intermediate  Distance: Fairview loop: 7.5km Elevation gain: 50m   Pipestone Trails: trails from 1.5km-12.6km Elevation gain: max 120 throughout the trail network.

Accom: Lake Louise Hostel (Fri/Sat) AST1 not required

Cost: $/per person Tour Leaders:   Spots avail: 6

Stuff you should know…

Payment and Pricing Policy:

Full payment must be received by your Tour Leader to secure your spot!

Costs that factor into the trip total charged by Parkland may include:

  • Accommodation including a prorated portion of the Tour Leader’s accommodation expense.
  • Food – a prorated portion of the communal food costs.
  • Club fees of $5/day or $10/weekend (covers equipment supply and maintenance) on some trips.
  • Avalanche equipment rental if required:
    • Transceivers $5/day; $10/weekend
    • Probes $2/day; $3/weekend
    • Hoe Shovels $5/day; $10 weekend – currently free of charge

Cost that are not included in the trip fee include:

  • Personal food on the road and when not prepared communally on the trip (often lunches/snacks).
  • Fuel to travel to and from the trail head.
  • Personal equipment not rented from the club.
  • Training acquired in relation to the trip.

Cancellation Policy:

You may cancel up to 35 days in advance for any reason with a full refund. If replacements are found for your spot, then you may receive a partial refund when cancelling any time closer to the trip.

Parkland Tour Leaders may cancel the trip for a number of reasons, some of which include:

  1. Insufficient numbers of participants – cancelled no later than 35 days prior to the trip or later if hostels are offering us refunds – full refund available.
  2. Dangerous or unmanageable weather or other conditions – could be cancelled at any time – refund depends on what we can recover from our hostel companies. Tour Leaders have the absolute authority to cancel a trip if they deem it unwise to proceed for any reason.
  3. Illness or sudden withdrawal of a Tour Leader – full refund if on or before 35 days prior to the trip; thereafter on a case-by-case basis.
  4. Other reasons – refunds on a case-by-case basis.

Expectations of participants:

We hope that everyone will truly enjoy the time spent on these trips with like-minded friends, new and old. To make that more likely, please:

  1. Attend the trip orientation meeting.
  2. Tell your Tour Leader if you have any health concerns or other relevant issues that might make the trip better for you if we are prepared.
  3. Make sure you have everything you will need with you on the trip. An equipment list may be distributed by or requested from the Tour Leader.
  4. Arrive on time and prepared for what the day brings – whether that is at the Friday night hostel, at the trailhead in the morning or anywhere in between.
  5. Take responsibility for your own comfort and safety – if something is making you uncomfortable – let the Tour Leader know. They are NOT GUIDES but are simply there to show you a great trip.
  6. Please follow the instructions of the Tour Leaders in the case of the emergency. Contribute your knowledge where it is helpful.
  7. Bring a great outlook and have fun!

Expectation of your Tour Leader:

Parkland Tour Leaders are well trained in facilitating the group activities we do. They are NOT GUIDES and do not have guide training.

There will always be 1st aid supplies on hand, but these trips are taken far from immediate help in mountainous, winter conditions, so we will work together to carry out safe trips.

Tour Leaders may make decisions they deem necessary for the safety the group. These decisions include but are not limited to cancelling a trip or requesting a participant to withdraw from the trip.

Avalanche Safety Training Policy:

Anyone travelling on skis on ungroomed ski trails on a trip carried out officially by the Parkland Cross Country Ski Club may be required to have a minimum of Avalanche Safety Training Level One (AST1) certification and must carry avalanche transceivers, probes and shovels. This increases the odds that, should a snow burial occur in any way, all participants are capable of assessing and acting on the situation and can work together to affect a rescue. This requirement may be waived for youth program trips if their parents are present – such trips will not be carried out in anything more than “Simple” avalanche terrain.

We strongly encourage all members to get the AST1 level of certification at a minimum so that all your travel in the back country is safer, whether with the club or otherwise. Courses are put on by the University of Calgary Outdoor Centre many times a month during the fall and early winter at least. Many other institutions offer training as well. Simply search AST1 on the internet. It is a weekend well spent!