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Backcountry

ARMY: Alex Armstrong’s Perpetual Powder Chase

In the life of an aspiring freeskier, there are as many stress-filled nights as there are powder-filled days. It’s an endless tug-of-war between following your passion and finding security; a game that’s rarely won. Filmmaker Daniel Thomson and skier Alex Armstrong chat with us about Daniel’s new film ARMY, what it takes to make skiing happen as a lifestyle, and why it’s worth it. [...]

Mountain Lodge Spotlight: Shadow Lake Lodge

This is the benefit of the backcountry lodge experience. It is a chance to disconnect and unwind, to venture out on the trail without getting in a vehicle, to be fed and nurtured without lifting a finger, and to relax and read without the distraction of electronics, television or the web. And if one lodge delivers this, and more, it is Shadow Lake Lodge. [...]

150 Ways to Enjoy Canada’s Mountain Parks

We asked our readers what their favourite ways were to enjoy the beauty of Canada's Mountain Parks. We received over 500 submissions with answers of all kinds, from summit picnic spots to the best frozen waterfalls to climb. Looking for your next adventure? Scan this list for ideas that come from passionate, outdoorsy people who get out there the most. [...]

Trip Report: The Rockwall, Kootenay National Park

Traversing three alpine passes, lush forests, lunar scree slopes and heavenly wildflower meadows, the 55-kilometre Rockwall Trail in the Kootenay Valley is a Rockies hiking gem. Along the route, hanging glaciers and waterfalls burst out of the Rockwall itself, a 900-metre-high rampart of limestone and dolomite that looms over the trail for much of its length. [...]

5 Sure-Fire Ways to Elevate Your Backcountry Cooking

We asked our readers, contributors and team at Crowfoot Media for their favourite ways to go gourmet in the backcountry. Turns out, you don’t need to pack in your kitchen or have five-star restaurant cooking experience to turn your meals up a notch. Here are five sure-fire ways to elevate your cooking the next time you set out to sleep under the stars.  [...]

Trip Report: Berg Lake, Mt. Robson Provincial Park

Hike into Berg Lake with the lofty height of Mt. Robson and tumbling glaciers towering above you, and you'll be wondering why you've never been there before. Mt. Robson Provincial Park is a backcountry hiker's paradise, with the biggest, wildest and most diverse terrain the Canadian Rockies have to offer. The hiking here is rigorous, but the rewards are as huge as the mountain that makes the region so famous.  [...]

Revive Rogers: Finding Solutions for Glacier National Park

Rogers Pass is a mecca for backcountry skiers, splitboarders, hikers and mountaineers. Yet with the closure of Glacier Park Lodge, the future of lodging development in that area is uncertain. Enter: Revive Rogers, a community-based initiative working to ensure the restoration of lodging at Rogers Pass. [...]

Mountain Film Release: The Winter of our Content

Shot entirely at Island Lake Lodge Catskiing in Fernie B.C., Winter of our Content is a story of weather, powder skiing, terrain, inspiration and pushing your personal limits. Watch some of the top skiers, snowboarders and wing-suit athletes in the world explore the Lizard Range of the Rocky Mountains. Athletes include: Nick McNutt, Lucas Debari, Rob Heule, Dash Longe, Tim Durtschi, Dane Tudor, Ben Ogilvie and Trace Cooke. Narrated by Chuck Ragan. [...]

Hobnails and Hemp Rope: On Recreating a Historic 1916 Ascent

In 1916, Conrad Kain led the first ascent of Bugaboo Spire – the hardest technical route in the world at that time. This past summer, a team of climbers set out to recreate that experience using period gear – hobnailed boots, a hemp rope and a 100-year-old camp stove. [...]

SheJumps and the Power of the Girafficorn

We're seeing more and more women amping up their outdoor game – skiing backcountry lines, ripping down mountain bike trails, and getting pumped at local crags – and it takes the right environment to foster this development. SheJumps is an all-women, non-profit organization whose focus is to create just this: the perfect vibe to move past the uncomfortable stages in learning, and help take new steps in outdoor pursuits. Whether tuning up a mountain bike for the first time, or dipping a boot in the crystallized waters of ski mountaineering, SheJumps has got your back. [...]

Why You Should Upgrade Your Avalanche Skills: Q+A with Marty Schaffer

It's hard to come by a better spokesperson for avalanche safety than Marty Schaffer. This ACMG Ski Guide has grown up in the ski industry his whole life, works closely with Avalanche Canada, and now runs his own ski guiding operation, CAPOW - Canadian Powder Guiding. He gives us the low-down on why backcountry ski and snowboard enthusiasts should upgrade their Avalanche Skills Training, what an AST 2 course has to offer, and what the biggest mistakes are that he's seen in avalanche terrain assessment. [...]

Ten Peaks, Seven Years, Countless Steps: Q+A with Paul Zizka

Few people have summited each of the Ten Peaks that tower over Moraine Lake. Even fewer have photographed from their highest points. Writer Kyla Jacobs interviews Crowfoot Media’s Photo Editor, Paul Zizka, about his journey to climb and photograph one the most famous skylines in the Canadian Rockies. [...]

One Run, One Chance: Q+A with Freeride Snowboarder, Audrey Hebert

The Swatch Freeride World Tour sees the best of the best battle it out all over the world deep in the backcountry, and Banff's Audrey Hebert is taking it on. In this interview, Hebert gives us the lowdown on how she got into snowboarding, her picks for local powder day runs, and an insight into the unique challenges of competing at big mountain events. [...]

Trip Report: Iceline Circuit, Yoho National Park

The Iceline Circuit is considered by many to be a jewel of Yoho National Park, and for good reason. Not only will you find waterfalls, glaciers and wildflowers around every turn, but this region is rich with the history of Swiss Guides and the CP Rail. Whether you complete the 20-km circuit in a hard-earned day or break it up with a backcountry campground or ACC Hut, there are several ways to enjoy this little slice of Yoho paradise. [...]

Trip Report: Skoki Region, Banff National Park

If you’ve ever been to Lake Louise Ski Resort, you may have wondered what lies out of sight just beyond the slopes. Whatever you’re picturing, it’s all that and more. The Skoki Region offers some of Banff's premier multi-day hiking, backpacking and camping experiences. [...]

8 Canadian Rockies Waterfalls to Whet Your Appetite

Mountains may show us the scope of nature, but waterfalls show us her power. The continuous flow of raging water running across rugged rocks and cascading over the edge is a force to be reckoned with. Yet, there is something particularly peaceful, relaxing and mesmerizing about waterfalls. It is this combination that makes them a majestic sight to see. Whether you’re after a quick roadside stop or a lengthy hike, we’ve created a list of some of our favourite waterfalls in the Canadian Rockies. [...]

What To Do When You Encounter a Bear

Bear spray easy to access on the outside of your pack? Check. Hiking with friends and making noise? Check. Dog on a leash? Check. You’re well-prepared for recreating in bear country. But, what will you do if you actually encounter a bear? A bear biologist gives us her best pointers. [...]

Mountain Film Release: Land of Emperors

In a landscape as immense as the Canadian Rockies, it takes a human figure to help set the scale. In the LAND OF EMPERORS, the mountains rule. And while humans may appear tiny and insignificant, their experience venturing into that landscape is far from meaningless. The journey promises new perspective. From the striking geometry of precipitous peaks forming Canada's hydrological divide to the vastness of retreating icefields and glaciers, it can be an inspiring experience for anyone wandering through this region. This short film reminds us of the striking beauty of the Canadian Rockies and our place, as humans, within those magnificent peaks. [...]

Scrambling Safely: Q+A with a Public Safety Specialist

Not quite hiking, not quite climbing: scrambling, as we call it, is a phenomenal way to reach summits and gain those lofty views. But while scaling certain peaks may not require ropes and harnesses, scrambling takes you into inherently dangerous terrain where a mistake could have enormous consequences. Crowfoot Media's Editor-in-Chief checks in with Paddy Jerome (Public Safety Specialist with Alberta Environment and Parks - Kananaskis Region) for his best scrambling safety advice. [...]

Trip Report: Lake O’Hara Region, Yoho National Park

With its turquoise waters, towering peaks, hanging valleys and larch forests, Lake O’Hara is beloved by all those who know it. The near-mythic beauty of this pocket of Yoho National Park will bring you to your knees. If that's not enough to make you plan a trip, you should know that Parks Canada has restricted access to a handful of busloads each day. Plan ahead and you'll be among the eager beavers enjoying one of the most beautiful and crowd-free spots in the Canadian Rockies. [...]