Monday, August 26, 2013

Mt. Shark

Trip Date: February 2013

This past Family Day long weekend a group of us decided it was finally time to try out cross-country skiing.  We rented ski gear in Canmore and headed for Mt. Shark in Spray Valley Provincial Park, which is part of the Kananaskis Country parks system.  The parking area is about 145km southwest of Calgary along the Smith Dorrien Spray Trail south of Canmore.  Since most of the group hadn't been on cross-country skies before, or it had been many years since their last outing, and the weather was basically a light blizzard, we decided to ski the out-and-back trail to Watridge Lake.  The trail is great for beginners and is about 7.5km round trip with only 30m gained in elevation.  It would be a great introduction for the rookies and the perfect way to get back in the groove for those of us a little out of practice!  Even though the weather was far from ideal we didn't seem to be bothered.  We weren't cold, which was awesome and I think everyone had a smile on their face the entire afternoon.  The worst part was on the drive back when they closed the Smith Dorrien Spray Trail due to avalanche danger and we had to take the long way back via Highway 40.  I guess it's always better to be safe than sorry though!

The trail crossed over Watridge Creek
Jess, Nath, and Chris
Ben and Dan
Christine enjoying being out on skies
Nath on the descent to Watridge Lake
Jess making her way down the hill
A barely visible Watridge Lake and the setting sun
It was snowing pretty hard throughout most of the afternoon.  Time to turn around and head back to the vehicles.

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