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July 8th, 2015 ~ Vol. 85 No. 27
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I went on the inaugural hike
of Crowsnest Outdoors
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Vyk Harnett Photo
Turtle Mountain - Crowsnest Pass
EZRA BLACK
Pass Herald Reporter
On June 30, I set out to climb Turtle Mountain along with Crowsnest Outdoors co-founder Heather Davis and member Amy Rienzo.
Crowsnest Outdoors is a new endeavour started by friends, Davis and Elliot Bridgewater. Its goal is to help outdoorspeople get the most enjoyment out of the natural wonders in the Crowsnest Pass and the surrounding Southern Canadian Rockies while also giving back to the community and the environment.
The pair are organizing hiking, scrambling and skiing adventures in the area and are inviting locals and visitors to join them for evening and weekend trips that range in difficulty from easy to challenging.
The first part of our journey involved looking for the trailhead, which can be found behind a row of houses in an area known by some locals as “Snob Hill,” which is the upper part of Blairmore.
The trail was less well marked than you’d think for one of the more popular hikes in the Pass.
At the top, we were rewarded with an astounding view of the Pass. Davis produced a bottle of wine, which we enjoyed, after attacking the cork for about a quarter-of-an-hour with a pocketknife, along with sugared, peanut flavoured survival paste before gingerly making our way down in the dark; faits accomplis.
Bridgewater said the idea of the club is to help citizens explore the backcountry but they’re not guiding, charging or assuming any liability. All participants should be in good shape and have some experience in the mountains. Participants should also come prepared for challenging weather and conditions.
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“There are a lot of engaged individuals who have been here a long time and know the area extremely well,” said Bridgewater. “Unfortunately, their information is not widely accessible, it’s not online and there’s no place to go or meet up to find out about these places and for people new to the Pass who haven’t grown up in the culture of the community, they don’t have any of the access.”
For an area with so much recreation infrastructure, knowledge of how to access these places is sparse, said Bridgewater.
“Anybody who looks around here can see the mountains, the beautiful rivers,” he said. “But there’s a divide between being able to see it and access it in a positive, sustainable way. Our goal is to increase that access.”
The pair have scheduled a number of activities throughout the summer and are currently working on a winter schedule.
Their next backwoods adventure will be to hike up Saskatoon Mountain on July 15. Saskatoon Mountain is right behind Coleman and accessible via the Miners’ Path. Participants will be meeting outside the Stone’s Throw Café in Blairmore and should expect a three hour round trip.
For more information visit crowsnestoutdoors.com or call/text: Elliot Bridgewater (403) 563-1212 or Heather Davis (587) 341-5555.
The website has a schedule of all their coming summer trips, how long they’re expected to take and a difficulty rating.
To sign up for a hike email: crowsnestoutdoors@gmail.com
Davis and Bridgewater are asking participants to give 24 hours notice of their intention to participate.
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July 8th ~ Vol. 85 No. 27
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