YouTube Videos Up We started a series of videos to tell the story of Rocky Mountain Escape – from conception to current operation.  The videos are posted on YouTube and can be accessed here: Episode #1:  Escaping into the Wilderness.  https://youtu.be/AaQJo_R57A4 Episode #2:  Making a Living.  https://youtu.be/DVfew7Ev36U Episode #3:  Heating Things Up.  https://youtu.be/WKWwYKd6ups Episode #4:  It’s All About Power.  https://youtu.be/TnvfEvvyDtc It is our hope that folks who have visited the ‘Escape, and others who may believe in preserving this way of life, will subscribe to our video channel. Future episodes are in progress, and suggestions on what you would like … Continue reading

Spring Hike – Alpine Meadow

While waiting for paint to dry, what better way to spend a gorgeous Spring day than climbing a mountain?  My hard-working helper, Caroline (from Germany), and I both needed a break so on with the packs and hiking boots! No brave wildflowers out on the trip up, but the birds were singing and there was a lone Big Horn Sheep ewe grazing on the adjacent slope. Lunch at the top was rewarding as always and Caroline discovered the joy of bum sliding on the way back down. Caroline has now gone on to her next adventure, the painting is done … Continue reading

A long overdue return to “topside”

Howdy, folks, I take shelter from our delayed June rains & listen to fat drops of rain patter off the tin roof of the cookhouse.  With Islander Chicken simmering on the stove, I take a moment to reflect on what has been a completely atypical weekend (for me!)  A much needed break from the consulting world had me making the drive out here with one primary objective: a return to Binocular Ridge. I was trying to recall, with the Boss’ help, when last I’d made the ascent and subsequent ridge walk.  As near as we could both remember, it was … Continue reading

WINTER: One of Extremes

In a word . . . unusual. Extreme Weather – We were terribly warm in January, which can usually be our coldest month.  Then came February and I learned a new term – Polar Vortex.  We used to just call it an Arctic Cold Front, but a Polar Vortex sounds much more exciting and sexy.  Usually, we can get C-O-L-D for a couple of nights and then warm back up to our typical winter temperatures of -20 C at night and -10 C during the day.  Perfect winter conditions.  Not in February.  Back-to-back COLD fronts hit us and put us into the … Continue reading

A Bit of a Cold Snap

After an incredibly warm Holiday Season and start of the New Year, Old Man Winter came back with a vengeance this past week.  We hit a low of -35 C one night, with the remainder hovering between -25 and -30 C.  Daytime temperatures were actually not bad up here in the mountains – ‘warming up’ (it’s all relative!) to between -15 and -10 C.  Usually calm, sunny days and crystal-clear nights.   I understand from Chris that the prairies did not fare so well . . . Machines – and other ‘moving’ parts like my hands and knees – tend not … Continue reading

SNOW SEASON

The busy Busy Season is over at the cabins – at least until the Holiday Season – and we’re into Getting-Ready-for-Winter Season. Our annual Fall Wood Weekend was a resounding success thanks to Richard, Matthew, Elizabeth, Angie, Mike, Iona, Chris and Val and my two faithful volunteers Amy and Nick. Fair weather and long days allowed us to bring in enough firewood to see us through until late winter/early spring.  The only serious casualty was Amy’s pinky finger . . . that decided (of its own accord, of course) to test the power of our new 22-ton hydraulic log splitter.  … Continue reading

Rock Lake Access Under Water . . . AGAIN

After over a year of assessing the situation, Alberta Parks (http//www.albertaparks.ca) sent heavy equipment to fix the Rock Lake Road access to Rock Lake and Willmore Wilderness on Tuesday, June 18, 2013.  We passed the fellow working the backhoe and grader on our way to the Osprey nest (the female is sitting, by the way – hooray!).  Surely, I think, surely they’re not going to just push more gravel on the road – like they did last year and have it all end up in the willow AGAIN.  NOPE – this year, in addition to pushing more gravel onto the road, a … Continue reading

More RAIN . . . and best laid plans

Soooo typically JUNE . . . Clouds hanging low and moving UP the valley – never a good sign.  As they say in Alberta:  Only bad weather and politicians come out of the east. Despite the rather dismal weather, we did get a short hike in on Saturday.  Jennie and Greg returned to the ‘Escape to introduce their two girls to the wilderness – and 2-year-old Avery carried her own backpack on our stroll to the Osprey nest.  Tessa, not yet walking, was content to ride on Dad’s back.  The female Osprey is not sitting on eggs yet, but the nest … Continue reading

Rain . . . and more RAIN

It’s springtime in the Rockies! And that means wet. The typically patchy weather of June has arrived, bringing with it rain, sleet, hail, snow, and the occasional glimpse of sunshine. All of this moisture does have its upsides though: the grass is green, the leaves are out, and the first wildflowers are beginning to emerge. One of our absolute favourites is the Fairy Slipper (Calypso Orchid), a tiny purple beauty. Despite the weather, our guests have made the most of the mountains. Karen and Judy, local artists from Edmonton, spent their days painting, writing, reading, and generally having a lovely … Continue reading

Spring is . . . for the birds

Rotten snow.  Ice.  Mud.  Bloomin’ willows.  And the occasional spring snowstorm to dump half a foot (now over a foot!) of wet, heavy snow.  Time to put away the skis, snowshoes, ski-doo and snowblower . . . and bring out the rubber boots. The only redeeming quality about Springtime in the Rockies is the annual return of our migratory songbirds.  The Juncos returned about 3 weeks ago, followed closely by the Chipping Sparrows.  Heard, but not yet seen, is a Varied Thrush with his distinctive bell-tone song.  A lone Starling stayed for 3 days before the resident Gray Jays got … Continue reading