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

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

In Like a Lion . . .

The first weekend in March was accompanied by a major winter storm across most of central and southern Alberta.  According to The Weather Network, a strong low pressure system developed around Rocky Mountain House and sucked in the moisture-laden system from the West Coast that had been pummeling British Columbia with heavy rain.  The moisture landed here as snow.  A LOT OF SNOW!  By the time it quit snowing Sunday evening, we had accumulated almost TWO FEET of new snow. Guests throughout February and the Storm Weekend have enjoyed cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in good snow conditions.  Our Australian family … 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

Oh man – do we have SNOW!!

The end of October brought a dump of snow!  Always appreciated and I do love snow . . .but, oh my achin’ back. I’ve been shoveling and blowing snow for the past two days, along with trying to get a snow-track in for our 3-km trail.  The snow blower works just fine . . .until we get above -5C.  Then the blower just pushes snow, and it’s faster to shovel. The Snow Buntings and Pine Grosbeaks are back and delightful to watch (no, these aren’t my photos – courtesy Google Image Search). It’s a town day tomorrow, with guests coming … Continue reading

Sticking Snow

No, not the kind that gloms onto your gloves and toque, making you wish your eyeglasses were equipped with windshield wipers . . . First “sticking” snow means snow that will stick around until spring. I have been laid low with a nasty flu bug, courtesy of the Thanksgiving Weekend, the past two weeks.  Anyone know what the saying ‘Under The Weather’ means?  Everyone knows what it feels like to be so sick even your eyelashes hurt, but . . .where did that saying come from?  I’ve been “under-the-covers” [shaking with chills and fever], “under-nourished” [who the heck feels like … Continue reading

RIDGE WALKING

Clear skies and the promise of fair weather . . . guests keen to tackle a challenging hike . . .where else but the Hoff Ridge?? Undaunted by the previous day’s snowfall, cool morning temperature and periodic gusts of wind at the cabins, our four intrepid 2-legged hikers (Laura, Becky, Emily and Ralph) and our faithful 4-legged companions (Molly and Leo) prepared for the Hoff Ridge hike shortly after breakfast. Rain gear? . . . . .Check Warm, layered clothing? . . . . . Uh, Ralph, do you have long pants to wear?  Says Ralph “I always hike in … Continue reading