Between my work schedule and the weird weather around here (no snow, then extreme cold), snowshoeing isn’t really happening this year. My hubby and I have managed one trip so far, in January. Due to the huge avalanche risk nearly everywhere on our side of the Rockies at the time, we headed for a safe place: the first few kilometers of Wintour, in Kananaskis Country. In the couple of hours we were out there, we heard the thundering crack of EIGHT avalanches in the peaks several kilometers west and east of us. That gives you a bit of an idea of just how risky it would have been to head out into the backcountry that day!
A couple of weekends ago, I had a rare Saturday off of work, so my hubby and I headed out to Kananaskis Country to snowshoe the popular, very short (3 km) trail to Troll Falls. We’ve been meaning to go out there in the summertime, but somehow never got around to it, and now I want to go back more than ever. This is an easy trek on mostly flat terrain, and we were lucky that there was a defined path carved out (although the snow was so fluffy and light we could have easily broken our own trail).
You can get very close to the falls, although there were a few other groups there and it’s rather tight quarters. Apparently, there is another route through some rocks to a different vantage point, but we didn’t want to remove our ‘shoes and I had left the ice cleats back in the truck. Definitely something to check out in the summer, though. We noticed a climber getting ready to scale the rock face next to the falls – he was just getting the ascent underway as we left to allow another group to move in.
It’s so early in the season that the falls weren’t completely frozen, and the water was rushing out behind the icy front. Beautiful!
My hubby and I finally hauled our ice skates out of the closet yesterday and headed over to the Olympic Oval, the speed skating venue built for the 1988 Winter Olympics, held here in Calgary. The Oval opens up to the public for skating on the ice track nearly every day from August through March or April. If you live here (or are visiting) and have never skated at the Oval, definitely don’t pass up the opportunity – the ice is like no other surface you’ve ever skated on. It’s pristine, smooth as glass and hard as diamond, far superior than any ice in any hockey rink or outdoor pond. I love skating at the Oval, even if the three year old children toddling along on their bobskates around me can stay on their feet better than I can! 🙂
After a few runs around the track, we headed out onto the grounds of the University of Calgary campus, where the Oval is located. I am an alumna of the University and while I attended classes there, I always loved walking along the heavily-treed pathways – it’s really one of the most beautiful spots in the city. Over the years, groundskeepers have been carefully planting and cultivating a huge range of different types of trees and shrubs, so you’ll find abundant diversity on the grounds. With the soft, powdery snow that fell overnight, the landscape was pure winter magic!
This is my 150th post on Flowery Prose – I am so grateful to all of you for reading and commenting! I am having such fun writing! 🙂