Knievel’s Wild Adventures: Snowshoe in K country
This is an introduction to my newly minted monthly post for Mountain Obsession. This post will chronicle my wild and crazy adventures that I get up to during my free time without responsibilities. Hope all you Global Mountain Tribe Members are well and hope you enjoy this post!
El Nino or climate change has struck the province of Saskatchewan and has provided unseasonably warm temperatures throughout the months of November and December. I am very much an in season kind of person and when I perceive the season to be winter, I expect snow and lots of it!! One positive of this warm weather in December are the highways are going to be prime time for a drive out west to go and play in the mountains for a set of five days off from work. I woke up early, loaded the car up with my winter gear and headed out to the mountains. I met up with my good friend and fellow GMTM, Jason in Banff where we stayed at the World renowned HI Hostel. What a great way to kick off an impressive weekend than to attend the first annual Alberta Craft Beer Festival at the home of the first National Park in Canada, the Cave and Basin.
The Festival was great but the true purpose behind going to the mountains was not to party but frolic in the mountains. On Sunday morning we met up with some GMTM’s Jess, Nicole and Natasha in Canmore and grabbed a quick bite before heading out to K country to do an epic 8 km, 1,500 feet of elevation gain snowshoe to Picklejar Lake. This was a very difficult snowshoe as you had to make your own trail for most of it as it has not been used much so far this year. Every step was a struggle but it was nice to see the team persevering through adversity and sharing the responsibility for everyone’s safety. The struggle was absolutely worth as the views were outstanding up there. We were on a ridge overlooking Picklejar Lake which was much better than the views at the lake as we were approximately 500 feet higher up. The views were amazing up there as we chilled out for around an hour as we ate our lunch and sipped tea, the conversation even better. Its incredible how great things can be when you put a group of like minded outdoors people together, the possibilities and opportunities are endless. I met Natasha during the MT Temple hike in 2012 but recently met Jess and Nicole and I feel I have more in common with them than family or friends I have known my entire life. Like minded people working together in harmony will change the World! The first GMTM I knew was Jason whom I met in university in 2005 and through him I have met some friends that are going to be life long and the common theme being mountains and having fun. I would like to thank my good friend and MO founder Spence for providing a platform to share stories and experiences with others.
The next day when “typical” people are skating off to start their work week Jason and I are skating off to the mountains to go on another epic snowshoe adventure, this time to Reeds Ridge in K country. This snowshoe although listed as moderate in the book was actually quite a lot easier than yesterday. There was a well defined trail and although 2000 feet to the top, it was only a 4 KM round trip. The temperature was a blistering -18 degrees Celsius without the windchill factoring in at the bottom but was a balmy +5 degrees at the top of the ridge. The beautiful temperatures and blue skies at the top of Reeds ridge made the views of the massive Spray Lakes more breathtaking. We spent quite some time at the top soaking in the important Vitamin D rays, snapping pictures and videos and just generally being happy to be alive.
Every time I spend time in the mountains it makes it difficult to make the arduous drive back to Regina. But every time I leave I get to reflect on the beautiful absurdity of the mountains and the stronger bonds I make with friends. Also it allows me the time to think about, plan and organize my next adventure as well as share my stories with friends and family in Saskatchewan and spread the mission of Mountain Obsession.
The Lowdown: I am Adrian Knievel and live in Regina, Saskatchewan currently. I became a GMTM after meeting the founder Spencer during a hike to the top of Mt Temple in the Canadian Rockies in 2011. I really got into enjoying nature and the outdoors after meeting my good friend Jason at the University of Saskatchewan. My very first hike in the mountains was an epic 4 day and 80 kilometer trip to Mt Assiniboine. Ever since then I was hooked. I make it out the mountains around four times a year but when I am in Saskatchewan I enjoy biking, canoeing, kayaking, camping, driving and hiking.
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