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

April 24 – Special Friends Weekend

It’s that time of year again . . . gearing up for the busy summer season!  It has snowed every day for the past 3 days, but I’m sure that Spring is here. We have a Spring Wood/Trail Maintenance weekend scheduled for April 24-26/27 and can accommodate up to four Friends.  You don’t have to be handy with a power saw or even an axe!  We have a stack of wood lengths (cut last fall) that will be bucked up and ready for a Friend to run a hydraulic log splitter, stack the newly split wood, or run the quad … 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

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

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

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

Hectic Holidays . . .

2012 come and gone, and the world didn’t end on the Winter Solstice.  I sat on my rocks overlooking Munn Creek and waited for it . . . rather disappointing, eh? We’ve had a full house at the cabins over the Christmas/New Years holidays, with guests taking time to celebrate at a slower pace up here. Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, tobogganing/bum-sliding and snow-fort-building have occupied our guests during our short daylight hours.   Spending quality time with one’s family and/or partner, away from other distractions, is what the holidays are all about up here . . . At least, that’s what I think! … 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