By Evan Wishloff
It was dead quiet as I trudged through the snowy trench in front of me.
Okay, dead quiet is an exaggeration - interrupting the stillness surrounding me on the snow-covered trees was my breath, coming in raspy, loud gulps as I gasped for air. If I wasn’t breathing so loud, I may have also been able to hear the soft crunch underfoot as my Kahtoola MicroSpikes dug into the soft snow, punctuated by a louder scraping sound whenever they dug through the snow and made contact with the glare ice underneath.
I was hiking to Powder Face Ridge with a group of 32 fellow mountain adventurers, taking part in one of Campers Village Winter Adventure Series free guided hikes. Our guide for the day, Keri Bowzaylo, had been leading us on what I’d dare to call a relatively pedestrian hike on some rolling, snow-covered trails along Powder Face Creek. Pedestrian right up until I decided to go ahead of the group with hopes of catching some pictures and videos of my fellow adventurers.
The trail turned skyward shortly after I took off ahead. A blanket of fresh snow was laid out ahead of me, but not enough to warrant putting on the snowshoes attached to my pack. Winter in Alberta can be fickle - just a short week ago Keri had been out on this exact trail, where she said it was mostly dirt and ice.
The fresh dusting of snow was welcomed by all - it definitely prettied up the landscape, although it did obscure the sketchy ice underneath, which made the decision to make traction devices mandatory for all attendees seem more and more like the right call. Thankfully Kahtoola donated a fleet of demo MicroSpikes for those who didn’t have access to their own traction devices. Thanks Kahtoola for helping us make these hikes accessible!
The snow-blanketed trees surrounding me were doing a good job keeping the wind at bay, but as they started to thin with the elevation, I found myself rounding a corner to a view that took my breath away. Sure, part of that was the gusting winds that I was no longer sheltered from, but the view definitely played a part!
A little wind didn't stop some selfie-action!
It’s been a long time since I’ve experienced winds as blustery as we had on the saddle of Powderface Ridge, and it added a bit of a dramatic, epic feel to the views laid out on the horizon. Sharing these views with the pack of adventurers, most of whom had made the long drive from Edmonton for this hike, made the experience all that much better.
Being able to share these experiences with like-minded, outdoors folks is exactly why we launched our Adventure Series in the first place, so it was great to see the looks of amazement, inspiration, and connection in everyone’s eyes as they walked into the scenic viewpoint.
Will you be joining us on our next, free, guided adventure? Campers Club members get early access to these events, which fill up fast. It's totally free to join the Campers Club, so make sure you click here if you're not signed up. You don't want to miss our next adventure!
See you on the trails!