Assiniboine / Sunshine village wildfire update? - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 07-18-2017, 06:05 AM Thread Starter
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Default Assiniboine / Sunshine village wildfire update?

Anyone has any news from hikers recently visiting the Sunshine meadows in Banff? Most of the trails are closed in mount Assiniboine park now. Any info on that area regarding wildfires affecting the trails, air pollution and hiking conditions is much appreciated.

Anyone planning to hike in that area this week?
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 07-18-2017, 12:43 PM
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Anyone has any news from hikers recently visiting the Sunshine meadows in Banff? Most of the trails are closed in mount Assiniboine park now. Any info on that area regarding wildfires affecting the trails, air pollution and hiking conditions is much appreciated.

Anyone planning to hike in that area this week?
We were thinking about hiking it next week but that is now on hold. Sunshine ski resort has a great network of mountain cams and you can easily see the smoke conditions thru them. Also Banff national park and Assiniboine lodge have been posting up -to-date reports.
http://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ab/banff
http://assiniboinelodge.com/general-info
(I'm highly suspicious of the "live" cam at assiniboine lodge. I think someone placed a photo in front of it.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 07-18-2017, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by farzad.panahi View Post
Anyone has any news from hikers recently visiting the Sunshine meadows in Banff? Most of the trails are closed in mount Assiniboine park now. Any info on that area regarding wildfires affecting the trails, air pollution and hiking conditions is much appreciated.

Anyone planning to hike in that area this week?
Don't go. It's closed for a reason, and even if you choose a trail network that is open at the moment, you're risking having to evacuate very quickly if conditions change. I don't think it is worth it, even if you don't get evacuated, since it will be so smoky and gross, it'll be very hard on your lungs, eyes, nose, etc. Nothing about that sounds enjoyable to me.

There are plenty of other places that are very beautiful that are much more attractive to hike right now. Check out the Waterton area, or different areas of Kananaskis.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 07-18-2017, 10:18 PM Thread Starter
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We eventually decided to cancel our trip due to the situation in the area.

Here is a useful map of the Assiniboine area showing the wildfires and fire dangers (turn on the overlays):
http://cwfis.cfs.nrcan.gc.ca/interac...y=18&year=2017
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 07-18-2017, 11:27 PM
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Good idea on cancelling. My wife and I had planned to hike Rockwall Trail beginning the 31st. Seems that is questionable now and we are scrambling for plan B as well.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 07-19-2017, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
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Just for the record, I should say I really appreciate and thank the people at Banff Park. They called me ahead of time and told me about the situation. They knew we were going since we had backcountry permit for the campsites of the trail in the Alberta part (McBride campsite and Big Springs). Also they did a full refund of my backcountry permit.

On the other hand I did not have a single call or email from BC Parks about the wildfire situation, which ironically is more sever on the BC side in the Sunshine village. I have a backcountry permit for all the days in the BC region. I cannot cancel it online, so I called them. But no luck. They cannot cancel or refund it via phone. I had to fill out a form which I did. I am just hoping that they do a full refund.

It looks like that two park authorities in two provinces take two different approaches towards the same issue. It might be also related to managing priorities in BC which is facing crazy load of wildfires in this season.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 07-19-2017, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by farzad.panahi View Post
Here is a useful map of the Assiniboine area showing the wildfires and fire dangers (turn on the overlays):
http://cwfis.cfs.nrcan.gc.ca/interac...y=18&year=2017
That is a great link; grey area is fire perimeter & you can see how close it is to Egypt area and Sunshine / Assiniboine. This is not good
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 07-19-2017, 06:59 PM
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It is good! The most informative part is the hotspots checkbox. Looks like the worst has moved past the Healy Pass / Sunshine area, and is up against Quartz Hill and Howard Douglas Lake. The big downside here is that this would provide a route into Brewster Creek via Howard Douglas Creek - from my small knowledge of that valley there is a lot of old growth there, and it leads directly to Bow Valley.
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Super sad - I was there this time last week with my wife - a very beautiful place, even though it was hazy then from the other BC fires.

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post #9 of (permalink) Old 07-19-2017, 07:03 PM
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Also interesting for you Zeljkok - It looks like there was a spot fire at Eohippus Lake on the 16th, but I guess that could be anything from one tree to a large stand of trees.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 07-19-2017, 07:23 PM
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That is such beautiful area & right on Assiniboine hiking trail. Image few yrs back; won't look anything like this this fall
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 07-19-2017, 11:44 PM
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Today's update shows the entire Brewster Creek watershed is now closed. A large area on the Alberta side of the divide. I guess Parks are preparing in case the fire crosses over the divide. This is an important point, since if the fire establishes in Brewster Creek that would provide a direct path through to the Bow Valley. On the plus side there is a substantial trail up Brewster Creek - I wonder just how quick Parks would plough a road up there to form fire breaks - I bet that would be damn quick!
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 07-20-2017, 12:06 AM
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that is such beautiful area & right on assiniboine hiking trail. Image few yrs back; won't look anything like this this fall


truly sad..............

K

Hiking is what keeps you young of mind and heart. When the going gets tough, the tough get going..............
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 07-20-2017, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by farzad.panahi View Post
Just for the record, I should say I really appreciate and thank the people at Banff Park. They called me ahead of time and told me about the situation. They knew we were going since we had backcountry permit for the campsites of the trail in the Alberta part (McBride campsite and Big Springs). Also they did a full refund of my backcountry permit.

On the other hand I did not have a single call or email from BC Parks about the wildfire situation, which ironically is more sever on the BC side in the Sunshine village. I have a backcountry permit for all the days in the BC region. I cannot cancel it online, so I called them. But no luck. They cannot cancel or refund it via phone. I had to fill out a form which I did. I am just hoping that they do a full refund.

It looks like that two park authorities in two provinces take two different approaches towards the same issue. It might be also related to managing priorities in BC which is facing crazy load of wildfires in this season.
I wouldn't be too hard on the BC folks. They must be completely overwhelmed!
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 07-20-2017, 03:32 PM
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On a + side situation appears considerably better today; Think wind changed direction & Bow Valley has completely cleared of smoke. Yesterday morning you could not go outside & peaks on north side (Lady Mac etc) were totally obscured; now it is normal.

There are also fewer hotspots on map and Sunshine webcams look way better; lets hope worst is over!
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 07-28-2017, 01:25 PM
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Can't help but comment on the old picture with the larches...Locally there is a desire by some folks to develop a more comprehensive mountain bike trail network including some alpine routes but there is some pushback due to the effect on the alpine environment. I can't help but notice those 3 large ruts of trails that are ok because they are hiking or horse trails...rant over.


For those doing the Rockwall there may be some smoke but it is a fair distance away and across the highway so I see little direct impact other than potential air quality issues and most of the smoke should be moving eastward and not back to the Rockwall.
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