COVID-19 in Canadian Rockies - Page 2 - ClubTread Community

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post #16 of (permalink) Old 03-30-2020, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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That's the problem when schools are shut down early. Schools have to be better prepared next time with online learning to keep the kids educated and busy until June.

That's a good point. I can only imagine what places like Jones lake there in Fraser valley looked like. Once this is over (and it will be over, because nothing lasts forever) there will be changes, and let's hope in the right direction. Next virus might be much more deadly than this one
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post #17 of (permalink) Old 03-31-2020, 12:30 PM
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That's the problem when schools are shut down early. Schools have to be better prepared next time with online learning to keep the kids educated and busy until June.
Blame can't be put on schools, or the school system. I don't think anyone was prepared for this, a once-in-a-lifetime event. Maybe going forward they will develop preparedness plans for if/when something like this happens again. But can't blame the school system if people leave messes around. Perhaps the parks closed things up before the message had time to sink in.
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post #18 of (permalink) Old 03-31-2020, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
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There will certainly lots of discussions across the board how to prepare better for next time. On a separate note, there are some really disturbing news that these wet markets in China are re-opening. It was not reported in Canada, but it was both on US and UK news source.

But instead of generic pandemic discussion, let's keep focus on Rockies and outdoors. I'll do Banff side updates, lobo will be our Jasper voice and it would be fantastic if someone from Radium or nearby would hop on board for Kootenays or someone from Revelstoke for that area.

Also want to say, and I'll be repeating this over and over: This is really serious & some people still don't get it. It is really important to follow all the official guidelines in respect to recreation / national - provincial parks access. There appears to be lots of confusion across Canada about what is allowed and what is not. Local officials seem to be equally confused. AB Parks lady I spoke with at one point, when talking about BNP access and consulting official parks site on her phone, said something to the effect "I am not sure the way they worded it". Here is interesting article on global; please read it:


https://globalnews.ca/news/6750283/c...alks-outdoors/
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post #19 of (permalink) Old 04-02-2020, 12:49 AM Thread Starter
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April 1, 2020:


According to Crag and Canyon (local Bow Valley newspaper), unemployment rate has reached staggering 85%. Canmore and Banff (like Jasper) depend heavily on tourism, both provincial / national and global. Everything is closed and Canmore feels like a ghost town. This will be very difficult season, just like everywhere in the country. Here is the shot from inside Rusticana convenience store, one of few shops that is still open on Canmore main street:



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I lifted photo from here & this is where you can read whole article.



On my evening walk I was encouraged by what I see on Cougar Parking lot:
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Car Social Distancing you could call it. But these were likely locals; real question is what will happen on first sunny weekend when people decide to drive in from Calgary, despite all appeals and guidelines to minimize travel. Personally I don't expect this parking lot to remain open much longer.


Also an observation -- Canmore residents seem to follow social distancing rules very seriously. In Safeway they will give you gloves and sanitizer when you enter the store; and shoppers dance 2 meter social minuet in the aisles. "Bring your own shopping bag" is temporarily suspended, and now they pack your groceries in standard plastic bags with no additional charge. Except for toilet paper / paper towels which is now impossible to find anywhere, there is no visible shortage of anything else. I don't know how it is in Banff but I expect similar; from webcams streets are largely deserted as well.
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post #20 of (permalink) Old 04-03-2020, 04:27 PM
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I'd love to be able to hike some of the more remote trails this summer. But one has to be able to park a car at one end or the other or both. Those of us that hike in the backcountry tend to do so for 7 to 14 days unlike the weekend hordes that come out and go look at a few pretty things go back to the car. So I do hope that there might be some sort of ability to for those like us to do something come July. But we live in unprecedented times and all have to do our part.
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post #21 of (permalink) Old 04-03-2020, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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I'd love to be able to hike some of the more remote trails this summer. But one has to be able to park a car at one end or the other or both. Those of us that hike in the backcountry tend to do so for 7 to 14 days unlike the weekend hordes that come out and go look at a few pretty things go back to the car. So I do hope that there might be some sort of ability to for those like us to do something come July. But we live in unprecedented times and all have to do our part.

Even if you can solve transport problem, there is overnight issue. Backcountry camping is not allowed right now in both provincial and national parks; this is not likely to change this summer in my opinion. Day hiking and cycling is still ok, but it could be banned, depending how much local traffic parks get once weather starts getting nice (and how much non-locals start exploring loopholes).



This is tough situation. It is essential to stay at home as much as possible & avoid anything where you have potential of meeting other people. In other hand, mental sanity will become bigger and bigger issue the longer this goes on. At least for now you have ability to recreate locally as long as you obey social distancing rules. Full lockdown, as some countries already have, would make situation even worse.
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post #22 of (permalink) Old 04-04-2020, 11:54 AM
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Just a note from Jasper. It appears that the Maligne road after Maligne Canyon will stay closed for an indeterminate time, likely not avalanche control related. The parkway is open again and just about everything that is normally open this time of year can still be accessed. The Celestine Lake road is closed due to pipeline work so that road will be closed for at least a year. There are still a few cars at trailheads, mostly locals from what I can see, but that will surely increase as the weather warms up. I haven't seen any kind of enforcement yet, but again, that all could also change soon.
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post #23 of (permalink) Old 04-04-2020, 02:29 PM Thread Starter
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It appears that the Maligne road after Maligne Canyon will stay closed for an indeterminate time, likely not avalanche control related.

That was to be expected. I was quite surprised on your initial update how Maligne Road was still open & Jasper locals with different colored passes allowed to drive up. Something similar probably coming to Icefields, at least gate 5km south of Jasper to gate by Glacier Lake parking @ Sask. River Crossing.


Maligne Lake will be terrific bike ride this summer for Jasper locals, assuming cycling stays allowed. Air clear like it hasn't been in a long time, and no people.
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post #24 of (permalink) Old 04-04-2020, 05:34 PM
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I donít think that they will close the parkway, not yet anyway. Iím still out hiking as much as I can and will until they make it illegal to go out and get fresh air. This shot was taken today from along the Athabasca River. Itís just too nice to stay indoors and there isnít a soul in sight around here.
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post #25 of (permalink) Old 04-04-2020, 10:18 PM
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I am hoping that by prime hiking season, this will be behind us. But they seem to be bracing us for the possibility of a longer haul.

If the authorities want us to practice social distancing... Of my three significant backcountry trips last year, I was the only one at the trailhead 3 out of 3 times, and I encountered other hikers very briefly only 1 out 3 times, all in a single group. I never had so much social distancing! There is a need for gas and food of course, but that could also be easily managed to avoid significant personal contact. I'm pretty sure that if I attempted Blackstone Gap -> Job Lake, which is on my list, I'd be unlikely to meet anyone.

On the other hand, if they want us to stay home, they could barricade vehicle access to trailheads and close not only parks, but also PLUZ and other crown lands. I hope we don't get to that.

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post #26 of (permalink) Old 04-04-2020, 11:20 PM Thread Starter
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If the authorities want us to practice social distancing... Of my three significant backcountry trips last year, I was the only one at the trailhead 3 out of 3 times, and I encountered other hikers very briefly only 1 out 3 times, all in a single group. I never had so much social distancing!

Great to have you on board on this Scott!


Re backcountry / social distancing: Problem will never be responsible people like you. Problem are people you will meet in regulated campgrounds. Same people that cook or keep food by their tent, do campfires where they are not allowed, etc etc. Parks can not start differentiating along the line "You are responsible, so you can go, but he is not so he can not". They just close it for everyone, which -- even if it hurts me personally -- was in my opinion right thing to do.

I am not optimistic about mid-summer. I wish more than anything I am wrong. But this is nasty thing nobody understands, and it's spreading like fire. I'd be happy if we get back our Rockies next year.
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post #27 of (permalink) Old 04-05-2020, 12:17 AM
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Ha, ha, I was called "reckless" a few months ago on social media for hiking solo! Ironic now to be the responsible one.

Yes, I saw the photos at popular trailheads. The authorities felt they had little choice. But a model that closes trailheads but leaves the backcountry open provides a perverse incentive for close contact because you'd need to shuttle or take a taxi to the trailhead instead of just driving your own vehicle. It seems that I might be able to hike from Blackstone Gap, but not park there. I suppose if I were determined, I would probably contact Chungo Creek Outfitters (with whom I've ridden before) to take me to the trailhead. I realize it's too much to expect thoughtfully nuanced policies to be rolled out in an emergency, but it has entered my mind should trailhead parking continue to be closed.

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post #28 of (permalink) Old 04-05-2020, 01:04 AM Thread Starter
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"shuttle loophole" is logical first thought. No doubt some will try that. There are several other loopholes one might try to exploit too. But I think it is very important to set example by following rules, regardless how much we might agree or disagree with them personally. I.e I could easily drive to Banff, I know where to park & not be noticed. But I won't do it: Rules say "Visitor vehicle access is prohibited", and I'd be a visitor even if I live 15km away. But cycling is still allowed, so when snow melts I might cycle to Banff via Goat Creek. Until that gets closed as well.



Public unmoderated social media groups are one of biggest evils of modern society. There must be all kinds of misinformation and gross nonsense floating there in times like this. Stay away.
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post #29 of (permalink) Old 04-06-2020, 10:18 AM
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lobo,
I *think* I recognize the area of the Athabaska River photo (2 geese). I hopped out of the car near there last September to make a quick watercolor sketch of the mountain in center. It has distinctive tilted blocks, under the snow, descending R from peak to col.
(The picture was awful, and deservedly went into recycling, but part of the point is simply to slow down and interact with the landscape in a way different from the usual fly-by.)

Subsequently I bought Ben Gadd's Geology Road Tours--Canadian Rockies, to figure out where I had been, what seen.

That photo is really a breath of fresh air! Thanks for posting. I've never seen any wildlife in the Athabaska south of the big confluence in Jasper.
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post #30 of (permalink) Old 04-06-2020, 04:50 PM
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Thank you Coldbrook. The peak in the centre is Hawk Mountain and that's Mt. Colin to its right. The picture was taken from near the turn off to Jasper Park Lodge.

I had my first chance to go to a Provincial Park today as I headed down to Whitehorse Creek.This is what is at the entry to the park. The truck is mine and the car has been there
for a few days. The last three pictures are some shots taken on my way down to Whitehorse Creek.
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