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Commonwealth Creek Snowshoe

Where:

  • Commonwealth Creek

 

When:

  • November 30, 2019

 

Who:

  • Ed, Jace, Chris, Winnie, Noel, Oak, Ceili, Peter, Oggie, Eldon, Ian, Craig, Matt, Dave, Lorna

 

Trailhead:

  • 43 km from Canmore on the Spray Lakes Road
  • park on the road 2.2 km past (south) the Engadine Lodge/Mt. Shark turnoff
  • the trail is on the right (west) side of the road, and you start by going over the guardrail and down a steep, but short embankment and then across the meadow
  • hopefully the creek is frozen over, and otherwise you have to access the trail from the Mt. Shark Road parking lot which is a longer stroll
  • once you get into the trees, veer to the right, and you should be able to see the trail markings that lead up into the valley

 

 

Degree of difficulty:

  • 250 meters elevation to the end of the valley
  • 9 km out and back
  • the hike took our group just under three hours at a very leisurely pace
  • the trail starts gently across the meadow, gradually up thru the cut block, and then gains a bit more elevation along the south side of the creek
  • it flattens out once you exit the trees into the valley
  • once you come out of the trees into the open area make sure you stay away from any avalanche shoots and in particular the one near the end of the valley on the right-hand side
  • one of the easiest trails and hence is good for all levels

 

 

Interesting notes:

  • there are some great views of Commonwealth Peak, Pig’s Tail, Mount Birdwood, The Fist, and Mount Smuts
  • we had a cool (started at -17C and ended at -7C) day but a bluebird sky which made for amazing views of the snowy peaks
  • Jace and Oggie had some major snow clumping issues in their paws, so Peter and myself headed back an hour into the snowshoe
  • we need to figure out how to get the dog booties to work, and Oak’s trick of using electricians tape to hold them on to Ceili might be the ticket
  • at the end of the valley there is a small hill that is fun to ‘bumboggan’ or roll down once enough snow accumulates (which it had not on this day)
  • an alternate trail, that I have not done, is up to Commonwealth Lake