Helping Out at Rocky Mountain Escape

My name is Timo and I am from Düsseldorf, Germany.  I have stayed at Rocky Mountain Escape as a helper for a little bit more than 2 months. It has been an extraordinary special time. Getting here was an adventure itself:  You first had to drive around 40 km up north on Highway 40 from Hinton, then get on the Rock Lake Road – in the winter time, very little traffic and infrequently plowed – and drive this one for another 27 km and afterwards find your way to Rocky Mountain Escape up a narrow trail for another couple of kilometers … 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 … 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

CLEARING TRAIL

With gorgeous snow conditions and the premier power saw man (Chris) coming in for the weekend, it was time to tackle clearing the remainder of the “Side-Hill” trail and George’s horse trail down to connect to the Munn Creek Trail.  Chris’ girlfriend, Val, was burdened with homework and had to stay behind – keeping the fires going in the cook house and cabins.  Our repeat guests, Maegan and Anna, opted for much-needed “down time” from their demanding schedules. A cold start to the work on Saturday, but bundled up and hard physical labor soon warmed things up.  Chris and I … Continue reading

Rock Lake Trails Groomed and Track-set

With a couple of inches of new snow yesterday and mild temperatures today, I spent the day re-grooming and track-setting trails down at Rock Lake for cross-country skiing.  It’s 13 km from the cabins down to Rock Lake, with track set down my 3-km road as well as the next 10 km to the Lake.  The ski track is on the far right-hand side of the Rock Lake Road . . . surely (hopefully?) there will be no yahoos in quads or pickups who would deliberately run a tire track down the middle of my ski trail this time! I … Continue reading

Cross-country Skiing at Rock Lake

With guests due in for the weekend, and gorgeous powder snow to work with, I was able to get about 30 km of ski trail groomed and track-set.  Scott and Lauren from Grande Prairie (via the US) and Brian and Tasha from Calgary joined in on a beautiful ski down at Rock Lake . . .AND helped Laura get the pickup out of the ditch. . .     Unfortunately, and all my back-breaking work aside . . .little of the ski track remains intact after two quads were on the trails.  With more snow forecast for the next few … Continue reading

Soft ‘Shoeing, Hard Skiing – LIFE IS GOOD!

We have enough snow to snowshoe, although I didn’t get any trails track-set for cross-country skiing before guests arrived last Saturday for the Remembrance Day long weekend. Chris had come in Friday night to give me a hand getting the ski-doo out and running for the season. Best laid plans . . . Mark and Becci opted for a short Saturday afternoon jaunt on snowshoes up the little valley towards the base of the mountain. That trail had been ‘shoed before, so the going was relatively mild. Jon and Karen took advantage of a warm, cozy cabin and decided R&R … Continue reading

Trails Set for Cross-country Skiing

We have wonderful snow conditions at Rocky Mountain Escape and the Willmore Wilderness area of Alberta.  Today, I set track for x-country skiing from the ‘Escape cabins down to Rock Lake, around the Green Mountain loop, over to the Equestrian Overflow meadow into Doug Phillips’ trapper’s cabin and back up the Munn Creek Trail to the cabins.  There is approximately 20 km of trail track-set, and I’m hoping to get the upper part of the Munn Creek Trail set within the next couple of days. Our weather is gorgeous (a balmy -5 C today) and the forecasters indicate more snow … Continue reading