First days of my personal two-month-escape

I’m Tobias, a 23 years old forestry-student from Germany and I will spend the next two months at Rocky Mountain Escape. After finishing my Bachelor degree, I decided to go abroad to get some new experience. Canada was my first choice. It’s been always a dream to me getting to know the amazing landscape which the country is known for. After making some experiences in logging at a Ranch in British Columbia, I found out that Laura is looking for a volunteer. The description on the internet sounded amazing and it seemed that this was exactly what I was looking for. … 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

Identify this skull?

Amy and Nick, my trusty volunteers, found part of a skull up on the Berland.  Closest I could come to identifying it would be a wolverine or lynx.  Can anyone give me some insight?                     Views from the top of the Berland Ridge, gorgeous as always . . .    Until next time . . . Happy Trails!       … Continue reading

Hiking . . . LOTS of Hiking!

With Barbara and Mark (all the way from the UK!) in for a week before the July long weekend, we managed 5 solid days of hiking . . . despite the rain and unsettled weather!  Between rain showers on the Summer Solstice, we had a leisurely stroll along Munn Creek.  We saw that the Yellow Dryas was out in full bloom, along with Lung Wort and the start of the Labrador Tea bloom.  Our resident Grizzly was around – fresh scat and a few fresh digs.  Munn Creek has carved new channels and many trees along the bank succumbed to … Continue reading

A Friend To My Rescue

‘A friend in need is a friend indeed’.  Somebody famous said/wrote that phrase . . . but I can’t remember who.  I consider myself extremely fortunate, even blessed (maybe God took pity on me) to have friends who are able to rearrange their lives on short notice and answer my desperation call for help. David came in a week after my volunteers unexpectedly had to leave.  He was not forewarned about what he was walking into . . . and probably had visions of a nice, relaxing HOLIDAY.  True to form and in typical “David Fashion”, he merely smiled and … 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

Green-up, great guests . . . and a Grizzly

May long weekend brings the start of the summer season along the eastern slopes of the Rockies. Poplars are shedding their leaf-bud coats, which promptly get glued to shoes and dog fur The first flower appears in the subalpine (the inglorious dandelion) New shoots of grass are poking through the drab brown of winter Mosquitoes make an appearance. These are the big B52 bombers that are S-L-O-W and heavy enough to feel land on you so you can whack one before she takes her pint of blood The migratory songbirds are trilling and chirping, busily establishing breeding territory, attracting mates and … 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