A cold front blasted through on Monday and dumped a bunch of snow in the area. At the Sunshine Village elevation, the snow was still there on Wednesday. Not surprising since it was 0° in the parking lot and -2° up in the village itself at the start of the day. But it was sunny and not really windy, and so although it only made it up to 9° during the day, it was pleasant if cool (hat and gloves required, plus hiking poles due to the slippery footing).
|Working our way up Meadow Park. Green runs are steep|
|On the ridge above Wawa. Delirium Dive in the background|
|Mt. Assiniboine in the distance|
|Healy Pass in the distance in the centre|
|Chilly. Mt. Borgeau in the centre|
|Wolf track. Big wolf track. ~48 hrs old.|
Peyto was quite the character. He was the first warden of Banff National Park (from 1913-1936), and guided the first ascent of Mt. Assiniboine in 1901. He was a hunter and trapper, and captured live animals that were put on display in the Luxton Museum in Banff. He also mined talc, and actually held a talc mining lease nearby in BC, subsequently sold to National Talc. To do most of this, he built a private cabin near his talc mine that's in the vicinity of Healy Pass. It's a protected cultural resource, and so I'm not going to describe exactly where it is, but it's not that hard to find if you know where to look (but it does hide in the trees). He lived in this cabin for 30 years, primarily in the winter during mining season, and never let his wife come up here. His cabin (called The Birdcage or The Simpson Pass Cabin) remains, falling down, but full of history.
|The front door and collapsed awning|
|The rear. Right side collapsed|
|Barbed wire on the windows|
|Stuff on the porch|
|Cages where he kept trapped live animals|
|His bed and table|
|Door made from lard boxes|
|Trenches in the forest were his mine workings|
If you successfully find either cabin, please remember it is a protected national historic site. Touch as little as possible. Leave the place alone. Take nothing. Present and future Canadians thank you.
After visiting the cabin, we headed off to Healy Pass.
|The pass is just to the left. Easy hills to climb|
|Mt. Assiniboine in the distance. Eohippus just visible|
|Mt. Ball dominates the view at the pass|
|Looking back at Sunshine ski area|
|Really fresh tracks|
|Us from the tracks|
Despite being pretty chilly, there was noticeably less snow on the way down. Rather than going back to Sunshine, we walked the (rather boring and uninspired) ~7 km down Healy Creek to the parking lot, crossing it a few times.
|The crossing at the Simpson Pass access|
|The crossing 2.5 km from the parking lot|
Remember: please leave the cabin(s) as you found them.