The other day I took my maps out to get inspired.. I had heard of the Rummel lake trail was an easy ski trail – a buddy of mine takes his 3 kids up there on their AT skis – and I knew the Chester Lake – boring unless you take friends AT beginners or recover from a broken anckle – but now what about connecting the two and taking a few ACC members along for the adventure?!?
11 of us met in the darkness of the Assumption school parking lot by freezing temperatures early Saturday morning. I had sent everyone a questionnaire and noticed a range of ability going from pure beginner to semi-experienced. I can handle this many on an easy trip 🙂
The challenge started when we parked by the Rummel trail head and our driver announced -28oC outside his car. I was shocked.. what did I miss!?! the forecast had announced a balmy -14oC with full sun for that day and for ski-touring it works because you’re moving but -28oC!!?!! Anyway, I encouraged everyone to get ready inside the cars, organized the car shuttle and just before 9 am we were on the trail. Boy it was COLD!
The Rummel trail – once in a bit more open trees – offers fantastic views of Tent Ridge, the Fist plus Spray Lakes and surrounding peaks and this until we found ourselves behind what I named the Galatea bump (between Galatea and the road) along which you find a summer trail or snow-shoe trail which we followed at times.
Along the summer trail
I soon realized Brayden our youngest participants was getting bored on the snow-shoe track – so was I! – and challenged him to set his own track in the pristine snow. He beamed and was soon 30m ahead of the whole pack barely stopping and wondering why we couldn’t keep up with him 🙂
It’s interesting how the next episode of our adventure doesn’t seem to have pictures testifying of it. I was certainly too busy trying to manage the group in the terrain that surprised us with some steep slopes – you don’t see on canadian maps! – going around the corner to the Chester meadows. I can reassure you, it was short and sweet.. hum! we only triggered a size 1 (or was it .8?) in a tiny open meadow full of wooden obstacles and steep enough to let go of its crappy k-country faceted sugary unsupported snow that we never saw pile up as it kept going down the slope like ball-bearings.. interesting..
Suddenly the terrain got easier and we were in full sun in the meadows below the Three Lakes Valley. We sat down for lunch, it was 1pm and after only a few small break we needed a real one.
The way down to the Chester Lake parking lot went smoothly.. we arrived back at 2.30pm in a sunny and warm -14oC 🙂 (Ah this was when the forecast was for! ) we organized the car shuttle again, took a group picture, parted with Alisen and Mike who had to leave then went to the Burstall trail head. There we skied and hiked to the beacon basin, split in 2 groups of 5 and practiced single and multiple burials, showed each beacon to everyone in the group and how to turn it on and off, shared a few learnings and then headed off home after a great day out in the hills!
Map shows the summer trail
Pictures credit Alisen and Michael D., Don B., Paul R., Ronan H., Lee D.K. and Nathalie D.