Monday, February 4, 2008

Waterton Weekend Getaway

Smiley Snow Blob!

I have been anticipating a quick road trip to Waterton National Park for a little weekend escape! Love the roadtrip! We had long thought that Waterton might be a great place to go ski touring, it was only a 4 hour drive and our British friends Anna and Stew had never been. So we loaded up our ski touring gear in hopes of exploring some new mountain places. Waterton is a busy place in summer destination but in winter the entire town shuts down. We knew we would have the entire place to ourselves to enjoy! Check out the gas station:

Both Keith and I had visited in summer, but we really didn't have any expectations for the ski touring. Our friends Anna and Stew had never been to Waterton so were all keen to just tour around on the skis and check out the scenery and hopefully make some turns. On our first day, we didn't really have a plan just an idea of where we wanted to go. We got lucky when we saw the Park Warden on the side of the road while driving to the trailhead, so we pulled over and asked him for some advice. Sometimes it just pays to ask the people who know....and he gave us a great suggestion for a tour! Thank-you many times over Mr. Park Ranger!!

The snow is this deep in Waterton!

Hobbit Headquarters

On the first day, the snow was so deep that we were working pretty hard to set the up-track. We also forgot our map (do-oh!) and the visibility was limited so it took us a long time to make our way through the forest towards our intended destination.....

Monkey Girrrrrl

Eventually we climbed our way up and out of the valley onto a beautiful little ridge line. After that it cleared up just enough to see a lake a looooooong way below us and the pitch was perfectly gladed, safe and covered in deep fresh snow so a decision was made to ski it!! Wooohooo! So much fun!! It turned out to be the best run I have had all year in the backcountry and we all enjoyed one very long, fantastic, DEEP powder run.

Happy Anna!

We skiied right onto this lake! Me looking back.....

We returned to the lodge pretty tired and hungry after an awesome day of exploration. The Kilmorey Lodge (the only place open in Waterton) was a pleasant surprise: the food was awesome, the place was cozy and the service was great! We had an early dinner and went to bed exhausted. Good times-good times!

The Brits being British

The next day we decided to return to the same slope for another powder run. How could we not? It was easier going as we had already stomped a trail to our destination and we enjoyed one warmup run on a shorter slope before we jumped in for sweet seconds and yet another great descent down Forum Ridge.

Keith in Anticipation

Stopped by the thriving metropolous of Pincher Creek, a coffee, hit the Subway and didn't stop 'til we got home to Banff! It is forecast to get warmer this to get a few more runs in before Steve and I head to Orcas Island in 2 that 2 weeks away? Oh well.....I have a good running base, right?!?


Dave - Atlanta Trails said...

I can't fathom such unbelievable amounts of snow. I really can't.

Leslie said...

The pleasure is in the powder baby!