20151130: November Subzero! Bring on the snow and ice.

Aunt Helena, on visit from Toronto, lamented that there didn’t seem to be much to do in our mountains at this time of year. My jaw dropped. Are you kidding me?! Granted, you won’t find many (any) organized tours and some visitor centers will have closed, but hey, early winter in the mountains means that a huge range of experiences are still easily accessible and tourist venues are quieter.

Lakes that aren’t yet frozen reflect deep blue skies, a delicate dusting of new snow shows off the features of the rock, and the towns and villages develop a snow-muffled coziness that will soon dissipate as the busy ski season roars ahead.

Here’s what happened in November. (Just sayin’, this not meant to be a list of “What to do in the Canadian Rockies during Shoulder Season”. It’s just a list of what I did.) November in the Rockies = snowshoeing, fatbiking, iceclimbing! Skiing, too if you are one of ‘those’ people, of which I am not.

  1. Banff Film Fest, always a highlight of the fall, and the 40th anniversary this year
  2. Hike/ jog up to Shadow Lake and down before lunch in Banff, and since the lodge is closed, all to myself
  3. Fatbiking the Louise area with J, as described in this post
  4. Saunter around Grassi Lakes with dad and auntie Helena
  5. Snowshoe Pipestone with auntie Helena with some stops in Banff; lots of elk
  6. Hike Pocaterra Ridge with auntie Helena, whoohoo, more trailbreaking with snow up to my waist just below treeline! Saw a moose, very unusual.
  7. Hike Bourgeau in fresh snow… by now auntie Helena was a bit tired so after making some snow angels we turned around and went home to make kimchi fried rice for supper
  8. Simulated iceclimbing and crampon technique with auntie Helena
  9. Fatbiking the Canmore river paths with J
  10. Snowshoe Canmore Nordic Center with mom and sis-in-law… gotta love breaking trail
  11. Compass and navigation course
  12. Fatbiking Nose Hill, hm, hike-a-bike
  13. Ice climbing Exshaw (Mt McGillivray, Irish Mist), toprope management course
  14. Ice climbing Kananaskis (Wedge Mountain, Wedge Smear), toprope management course day 2
  15. Fatbiking Weaselhead with L; my headlamp failed, and then so did my backup light, so that was interesting


And with that, we’re into December already.



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