Alpine Club of Canada

Gazette, Spring 2018

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e top of the trail, which follows a moraine, was clear and easy to navigate. It was only once we approached the old growth forest that things started to get alder‑y again. Several avalanche debris paths made trail navigation difficult, so additional markers were added. Felled trees were sawed, and branches cleared. Two hot (VERY HOT), mosquito and deer fly filled days later, we con‑ nected to the trail from last year (release confetti!) While Eric and I were able to catch a snazzy ride on a helicopter with With debris piles like this along the way, volunteers are needed for regular maintenance efforts on the summer trail to Fairy Meadow. photo: eric lau the maintenance team into the hut, we had to use our own two feet to return to the trailhead. I forgot to tell Eric this part. But it was sort of neat to be the first people to use the completed trail in its entirety. It was less neat when we lost the trail (almost immediately after the hut maintenance gang had headed back up to the hut) and ended up bushwhacking for 20 solid minutes. After shedding a lone tear, we regrouped and relocated the trail. It's only once leaving the "trail" that you realize how much difference even having a par‑ tially‑kept pathway helps. It's a jungle out there. While numerous large trees have fallen along the route and an avalanche slide path has taken out a 50‑metre section, it is possible to get from hut to car with "relative" ease. It is, however, still a rough trail so users should come prepared and not expecting world‑class hiking terrain. It's also quite steep, gain‑ ing almost 1000 metres from trailhead to hut. Definitely bring a map and GPS. Possibly a radio or other communication device. Sixty‑three kilometres is a long way out. You need to be prepared in case of emergency. Trail building and maintenance is tough work. It takes a community to keep a trail up and running. In the coming seasons, if volunteers don't head back up to keep things trimmed and pushed back, the trail will likely disappear again. Alders are pesky and they sure know how to grow! While thousands of us use trails to access remote climbing and skiing areas, or for general hiking enjoyment, very few of us participate in their construction and upkeep. With a little effort, however, a lot of trail maintenance progress can be made by a small number of individuals over a couple of weekends. e ACC wouldn't be the organization it is today without the support of dedi‑ cated volunteers. e trail maintenance weekends showcased the amazing vol‑ unteers the Club has, who are willing to donate their time and energy to ensure trails are accessible for the entire com‑ munity to enjoy. e Swan Creek Trail was completed on August 11, 2017, with special thanks to volunteers Nathan Dahl, Bob rasher, Clark Bostrom, Clyde Bostrom, Emily Doyle, Brian Baum, Matt Marshall, Tess Sansom, Gordon Hopper, Kristine O'Rielly and Eric Lau, with special help and organizing from Jeff Stewart and the ACC Hut Maintenance Crew (Nicole, Bill and Sean). anks to Steve for providing us with delicious meals at the hut (seafood pasta in the alpine? Yes please!) Calgary section member Kristine O'Rielly has a new appreciation for volun- teering, and for alders. ACC Huts Maintenance staff member Bill Cardinal expertly handles the chainsaw while sporting the latest in chaps and safety headgear. photo: nicole larson 6 The Alpine Club of Canada Gazette spring 2018

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