Friday, 3 June 2016

2016 Hike Schedule


South Fork, Castle River


2016 Castle Hikes and Stewardship Events
 
CCWC hikes are free; however there are costs to coordinate and produce the hiking program and donations are always appreciated. Let your friends know, and bring them along to introduce them to the area. Be prepared for mountain conditions, and to be flexible due to bear encounters, trail closures, or poor weather. Donations can be made at CanadaHelps.



 

For more information and to confirm the hike meeting time and place contact the hike leader directly prior to the weekend of the hike. 
Please leave your pets at home.
 
Some hikes require bikes for easy access at lower elevations. All hikers should be prepared to take full responsibility for their own health and safety. The full hiking schedule will be posted on the CCWC website and on Facebook. Due to snowpack some early hikes will be outside of the Castle. Please Note: It has become necessary to do the hikes as described in the brochure, and there will be no changes to a hike except in the case of bad weather or injury. The hike leader will pick someone to sweep the back of the group and no one is to hike ahead of the hike leader unless designated.
 
June 4 - Big Sage Hike
Leader - Wendy Ryan - 403-627-4106
A short but steep grassland hike up to a rock band on Whistler Mountain in the South Castle Valley. A stewardship and wildflower hike in the rare Big Sage plants in the only area they grow in the Castle. Several amazing wildflowers will be looked for on our journey.
Elevation Gain: 152 - 667 metres
Time: 6 hours
Rating: Moderate
 
June 18 - Antelope Butte 
Leader: Jay Allen - 403-628-3048
Find early spring flowers while ambling through a remnant of native montane grassland.  Look for blue grouse, prairie falcons and other migrant songbirds and raptors.  Enjoy a lunch
break on the ridge with stunning panoramic views of the Whaleback, the Livingstone Range, the Oldman, the Porcupine Hills and the Castle.  Thanks to the Lynch-Staunton family for allowing access to this beautiful landmark.
Elevation gain: 200+ metres
Time: 6 hrs
Rating: easy/moderate
 

July 9 - North York Cirque and Plane Wreck
Leader: Jay Allen 403-628-3048
This will be a strenuous all day hike; 14km return. It will include some caves, mountain meadows, splendid waterfall and the wreckage of a DC3.
Elevation Gain: 800 vertical metres
Time: All Day
Rating: Strenuous
 
July 11 – Minimum Security Camp Weed Pull
Coordinator – Wendy Ryan 403-627-4106
New reclamation event, please join us; pull some weeds, have some fun and meet new people concerned about the Castle. For more information please contact Carolyn at the CCWC office. 403-627-5059

If you are interested or know of anyone who might be interested in becoming a hike leader, the Outdoor Council of Canada Hike Leader has a few spots left in their course being offered in Waterton this summer Jul 2-4 from 4pm on Saturday until 5pm on Monday for $300.
Here is the link to our online registration:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=14d8vPqfZUoHksWZetuIDKP71x22vZWOGo73DlOu1WmM

 
July 16 - Victoria Peak
Leader: Kevin Kelly  - 403-627-5128
Check with hike leader about bringing your bike to start and end the hike saving on time and energy.  Hike is in the Pincher Creek Valley of the Front Range canyons. Learn about stromatolites and volcanic rock. Experience the spectacular views of Castle Peak and the Great Divide. This hike is also a good opportunity for viewing Big Horn Sheep and maybe figuring out where the squeaking pikas are.
Elevation gain:  1060 metres
Time: 10 hrs
Rating: Strenuous
 
July 25 - 9th Annual West Castle Wetlands Ecological Reserve Weed Pull
Leader - Wendy Ryan - 403-627-4106 Bring a digging tool, drinking water, lunch and insect repellent. If you want to work both sides of the river, please bring water shoes. We are making a difference on the battle against the invasive species. Many hands make light work - come and join us to protect the ecological reserve and enjoy the company of other like-minded workers. Meet at the Castle Mountain Resort parking lot at 9:30 am.
 
July 30 - Window Mountain Lake
Leader: Jay Allen 403-628-3048
Half-day hike north of Crowsnest Mt.  An easy 800-meter hike to a beautiful mountain lake surrounded on three sides by huge cliffs, then an optional 3km walk around it.  The spectacular feature is the "window" -- a hole through one of the cliffs above the lake.
Elevation gain: 200 metres
Time: 3 hrs
Rating: Moderate
 
August 9 – Front Canyon Reclamation Hike and Weed Pull – Blind Canyon
Coordinator – Wendy Ryan 403-627-4106
New – In conjunction with the Nature Conservancy of Canada this will be the first weed pull at the old farm site in the canyon. Enjoy the beautiful scenery and learn about the history of the area. There will be a moderate hike of about 1 hour into the site. Packhorses will assist in removal of the weeds.
 
August 13 ­ South Fork Lakes 
Leader: Rob Bronson - 403-650-0905 or Email: robbronson@shaw.ca
Ford the West Castle River through knee-deep water.  Bring water shoes to cross in.  Hike up Barnaby Ridge on our improved switchback trail.  Explore the three South Fork Lakes, enjoy stromatolites, larch covered slopes and vista views.
Elevation gain: 630 metres
Time: 7 hrs
Rating: Moderate
 
August 15 – Sartoris Road Weed Pull
Coordinator – Wendy Ryan 403-627-4106
New reclamation event, please join us; pull some weeds, have some fun and meet new people concerned about the Castle. For more information please contact Carolyn at the CCWC office. 403-627-5059
 
September 12 – 10th Annual Great Canadian Shoreline Clean-up
Contact Wendy Ryan 403-627-4106 or Carolyn Aspeslet 403-627-5059 for more details. 

September 24 ­ Syncline Peak
Leader: Kevin Kelly 403-627-5128
A strenuous full-day scramble up Syncline Mountain, with a goal to reach the summit, weather permitting. A chance to explore a beautiful secluded valley that is off-limits to motorized use. Good habitat for bighorn sheep and mountain goats on the surrounding ridges. Enjoy the fall colours of the larch.
Rating: Strenuous (Difficult/Scramble)
Time/Length: 7 hours
Elevation gain: 303 - 820 metres
 
Check the CCWC website or Facebook page for updates and hikes added throughout the season.
 
Please confirm the hike meeting time and place with the hike leader prior to the weekend of the hike.
All hikers should be bear aware at all times. More information on Bear Smart can be found at: http://esrd.alberta.ca/recreation-public-use/alberta-bear-smart
Know your bears and how to use bear spray, as hikes travel through bear country.
 
The Castle-Crown Wilderness Coalition’s ability to offer the Summer Hiking Program is due to the generous donation of time from our volunteer hike leaders. If you are a strong wilderness-minded individual who is interested in becoming a hike leader, please contact our hike coordinator at 403-627-4106for training information. To become a member, make a donation, or for more information about the CCWC, please ask your hike leader, visit our website at www.ccwc.ab.ca, or contact us at: PO Box 2621 Pincher Creek, AB, T0K 1W0  Email: office@ccwc.ab.ca Phone: 403-627-5059

With special thanks to our funders:
The Fanwood FoundationAlberta Conservation AssociationOldman Watershed Council, MD of Pincher Creek.




Our 2016 Hike Schedule is available for downloading as PDF document.