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Winter 2012 Volume 4 | Issue 1

Founding Publisher: Kristy Davison · kristy@highlineonline.ca

Editor: Meghan J. Ward · meghan@highlineonline.ca

Creative Director: Brita Thomas

Head Graphic Designer: Julie McArthur · Wild Ginger Design

Copy Editor: Paul Davison

Advertising Sales Assistant: Tracy Jacobson

Contributors Brita Thomas, Camara Boomer Miller, Carlyle Norman, Cheryle Battrum, Christian Perez, Bert Dyck, Corrie DiManno, Jeff Gailus, Lynn Martel, Melanie Watt, Niki Wilson, Paul Zizka, Reuben Krabbe, Ryan Creary, Tiffany Teske.

Special Thanks Adam Robertson, John Borrowman, John Coleman, Siri Bright, Chloe Vance, Lynne Robertson, Allan Buckingham, Jeff Thom, Tom Thompson and Harvest Moon Acoustics, communitea café, Avalanche Movie Co., Banff Lodging Co., Ronald Kelland, Dan and Erin Evans.

Reach Your Local Audience! Call or email us today to reserve your space in our next issue. Email · info@highlineonline.ca Web · www.highlineonline.ca Facebook · Highline Magazine Twitter · @HighlineMag Highline Magazine is a free, semi-annual publication. Printed in Canada on FSC ® Certified Paper.

www.buyabuff.com Buff is a registered trademark of Original Buff S.A. (Spain)

Cover photo: Keith Addy, Mike Robertson, Adam Robertson, Tyler Mills, Jocelyn St.Amour and Kendra Mills hike Terminator Ridge at Kicking Horse, Golden, BC. Photo by Kristy Davison.






Change is good. As this issue heads to press, the leaves have changed to their beautiful golden hues, and winter in the Rockies is creeping its way toward us. There is an energy building in the valley, with dreams of deep powder and cozy fireside gatherings dancing in our heads. The shoulder season is a never-ending Christmas Eve, full of giddy anticipation for a big snow season. Highline is changing, too, with a new look and feel, a handful of new names on the masthead and a shiny, new website. And without planning it, many of the articles in this winter’s issue revolve around the concept of change: changing landscape, evolving mandate, cultural shift and a sport that was once very alive, yet is now extinct. Keep your eye out for our “Oh Snap!” Photo Contest, and make sure to get your tickets for the next “Know Your Neighbour Night” happening November 18th. Details are in the mag and online. As always, a big thanks to all of our readers and supporters who keep Highline hopping. Don’t you go changin’ now, y’hear!




Lynn Martel Trading Montreal for Banff in 1984, Lynn has been writing full-time since 1999. She is the Editor of the Alpine Club of Canada Gazette and has written for Westworld and Alberta Views, explore magazine, the Rocky Mountain Outlook and Whistler Pique, among other publications. She has published two books, her most recent one being “Tales & Trails: Adventures for Everyone in the Canadian Rockies.” Paul Zizka Based in Banff, Paul is a professional adventure, travel and landscape photographer, as well as a long-time Highline contributor, both in print and online. Much of his work focuses on documenting high and hard-to-reach places, including the summits and backcountry of the Canadian Rockies. Check out his website (www.zizka.ca) for more information and catch him on Twitter @PaulZizkaPhoto.

reuben krabbe Raised in and around the Bow Valley, Reuben is now based in Whistler and works as a ski and mountain bike photographer. His work is found in magazines internationally. Last winter he won the inaugural “Banff Photographer Shootout,” Kicking Horse’s “Wrangle the Shoot” competition, and Newschooler’s Photo of the Year 2011. Check him out at reubenkrabbe.com. ryan creary Ryan is an editorial and commercial mountain sports photographer based out of Canmore. Ryan’s work has appeared on many covers and been used by such clients as Patagonia, Outdoor Research, Outside, Men’s Journal, Canoe & Kayak, Bike and Powder. When not taking photographs, Ryan spends his time road tripping to new places and playing outside as much as he can. Check out ryancreary.com. carlyle norman Carlyle has come to know many of the trails and vistas of Banff National Park with only a pair of running shoes as company. She feels that the best way to take care of our parks is to love and experience wild places on their terms. Over the years, she has met two mountain goats, several grizzlies and countless pikas, marmots and grouse while better acquainting herself with her backyard. tiffany teske Tiffany runs with scissors and runs amok but rarely runs out of steam. She has written, photographed and made art for cupcakes, home grown produce, chiropractic services, haircuts, vacations and art. She could not live without bread, wine, chocolate, olives and cheese. Follow her adventures and mishaps and peruse her blog, Art Food and Motherhood, at tiffanyteske.com.



As luck would have it, Mother Nature unloaded a massive snowfall.

when bad weather happens to good people Cheryle Battrum



But, it wasn’t winter. It wasn’t even fall. You see, I was anxious to get out backpacking with a good friend of mine whom I hadn’t seen in some time. However, our conflicting schedules meant there was only one opportunity for consecutive days off together during the entire summer. Of course we kept our plans, and at the time of year when it should have been dry, dry, dry, we hiked the Bow Valley Highline Trail in a foot of wet, heavy snow. Sound familiar? During my time residing in the Bow Valley, I have been fortunate enough to spend many days exploring the area under beautiful, sunshiny skies. But, that’s not always the case. Sometimes, whether it’s due to cabin fever or just plain bad timing, we have no choice but to make the best of a freak snow squall, an early fall storm or just brutally poor avi conditions. While I have to admit that sloshing along for two days in completely soaked boots made that Highline trek a little harrowing at times, the winter-like views were exceptional and the trip was well worth the effort. I doubt that Arnica Lake has ever looked more beautiful. With a playground like the Rocky Mountains, you have to expect the weather will be anything but predictable. So, make the most of it, no matter what.

“What’s the catch?”

There is NO catch. 5 ways to make the most of rocky mountain weather


enjoy the adventure. A bit of adversity has certainly

made for some of my most memorable days in the backcountry. Even the lightest dusting of snow can change the way you look at and navigate terrain. As well, you’ll always have a great “remember that time when…” story to reminisce about!


leave the crowds behind. If there’s a foot of snow on

the trail, guaranteed no one will be as hardcore as you, leaving you alone to post-hole your way through the wilderness. Always take a friend along, however, and force him or her to break trail.


be a kid again. Make snow angels, no matter what time of year it is. Build a snowman (don’t forget to bring a carrot!) or surprise your hiking partner with a snowball. Whatever you do, make sure to stop off somewhere for a big mug of hot chocolate when you’re done.


try something new. If the avalanche potential is making your legs shake, why not check out one of the local skating rinks? Lacing up the blades and keeping up with the neighborhood kids is always a hoot. Some of our mountain lakes make for great long-distance skating!


get it on film. Photos taken in less than ideal conditions are sure to be the most unusual, unique shots of the area, and, it’s worth mentioning, pretty epic! Plus, if nobody believes your crazy weather story, you’ll have the shots to prove it.

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wild sex

winter 2012


cub in the oven


Whether you’re a wannabe astronomer or a telescope junkie, our friendly neighbour, Jasper National Park, is officially the spot to be for stargazing. This year, at 11,228 square kilometres, the Park was designated the world’s largest dark sky preserve. What’s that, you ask? According to the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, a dark sky preserve is “an area in which no artificial lighting is visible, and active measures are in place to educate and promote the reduction of light pollution to the public and nearby municipalities.” In other words, head up Highway 93 North with your sleeping bag and thermos of hot chocolate for some Milky Way action as you’ve never seen it before. Among many sites, Pyramid Island and the Athabasca Glacier offer some of the darkest skies. Visit jasperdarksky.org for clear sky forecasts to be sure no clouds rain on your stargazing parade. Meghan J. Ward

Pssst, Sow Grizzly. I know you’re trying to sleep, but I need to talk to you. You know that guy you met last spring? C’mon, you remember, the one that herded you up the mountainside? I agree, he was a bit dense. Didn’t really take the hint when you started biting him and cuffing him in the face. But, he wore you down with all that nuzzling and huffing and hanging around. It’s happened to all of us. I know, the dude is long gone, and you’ve moved on. No strings, right? Well, that’s what I wanted to talk to you about. See, bear bodies are a bit tricky. You have these voodoo wombs that allow your eggs to be fertilized by sperm in the spring but prevent implantation in the uterine wall until the fall. While you’re spending your summer biting off squirrel heads and packing back berries by the thousands, your body is deciding whether or not you’re going to be fat enough to pull off a pregnancy. By the looks of things, you’d better start picking out cub names. The good news is that, unlike us humans, this winter that little bear is going to slide effortlessly from your body. You might not even wake up. And there’s no getting up every two hours to nurse the little tyrant – it will suckle you all on its own while the two of you doze. It’s a pretty sweet deal as babies go. Good luck, don’t worry, and please don’t take it personally if I steer clear of you for a while…Yours truly, Niki Wilson

a Change of heart Take a deep breath. Now take another one. Close your eyes and think of something that makes you feel good. Really feel it for a minute while you keep breathing. OK, now let’s talk about stress, shall we? From looming deadlines to less-than-perfect weather conditions, that nasty little bugger comes in all shapes and sizes. Even something as exciting as standing at the top of a chute contemplating the first run of the year can be considered stressful. Of course, stress isn’t all bad; you need it to keep

you on your toes. The trick is learning how to quickly transform negative side effects – physical and mental anxiety – into the useful and productive energy of being in the proverbial “zone.” Chances are you’ve witnessed how taking a deep breath can help you relax and bring you back into the moment when you’re stressed, anxious or under pressure. But did you ever stop to wonder why? Transforming stress into a positive experience actually begins with controlling the rhythms of the heart. There

Take time for a few deep are many techniques, but breaths, and put a smile on the simple act of controlled your face before you drop deep breathing is essential to into that chute or swing your bringing the heart back to a tools on your first lead. Go predictable rhythm when it is to your happy place and going bananas. This, in turn, start functioning at your brings balance back to all syshighest state with clarity of tems in the body. thought, emotional balance Note the word “predictand consistency. able.” The technique is not The concept of controlling about slowing your heart, the heart’s rhythm is intrinsic but more about getting it into a nice constant rhythm - whether Go to your happy place and start it’s up high or down low - that functioning at your highest state makes all the difto a technology called Heartference to your system. When Math® that is widely recogyou’re standing with your skinized in holistic medicine. To tips hanging over the edge learn more, or to get in touch of a run, you don’t want to with a licenced practitiobe relaxed as if you’re about ner in the Bow Valley, check to take a nap, but you want out www.balancequest.net your heart to be under your or visit www.gaiaclinic.ca. control and beating out a Kristy Davison smooth rhythm. It takes practice to make this a habit, so keep it up!

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1. Bundle Up It’s funny how quickly you get cold standing around waiting for the light to do its thing. Bring more layers than you think you will need. A thermos of hot chocolate also comes highly recommended. 2. Look for Open Water On particularly cold mornings, the interplay of open water, frigid air and low sunlight often leads to surreal scenes. 3. Allow Extra Time Everything takes longer in the winter: driving places, handling zippers with your mitts, screwing a filter on. Leave home much earlier than you normally would. 4. Bring Proper Footwear Why limit yourself to asphalt if a much better composition can be obtained by traveling a few metres through deep snow? Bring snowshoes or skis that will allow you to move around more efficiently. 5. Think Black and White Your scene may be close to monochrome to start with, so consider converting your image to black and white, either incamera or during the editing process.


winter 2012


Paul Zizka


For many photo enthusiasts, the arrival of winter means putting the gear away until the mercury rises again. Old Man Winter is not always kind to the outdoor photographer: fingers go wickedly numb, gear freezes and that bright snow overexposes so much it almost blinds you. Yet, with a little extra preparation and a good dose of enthusiasm, winter can offer unparalleled photo opportunities. Here are a few tips to make the most of the white season...

6. Capture the Aftermath Unique conditions may occur following a significant snowfall, but they are short-lived. Get out and shoot the loaded trees, spindrifts, softened landscape and peaks emerging from the clouds. 7. Keep the Juices Flowing Batteries can drain very quickly on cold winter days but recover quickly upon warming. Keep a spare battery in an inside pocket and rotate it with your active battery in order to keep shooting. An alternative is to stock up on inexpensive heat packs and keep one at all times in your pocket – works wonders for the frozen fingers, too! For long exposures, use a rubber band to keep a heat pack against your camera. 8. Stop the Snow! Adjust your shutter speed to “freeze” the falling snowflakes in your shot. Most cameras now have a shutter priority mode. 9. Use the Histogram It is very easy to overexpose a scene in the winter, and it is difficult to tell whether or not some highlights are blown out just by looking at the LCD. Make use of that histogram – it never lies! 10. Give Your Gear a Break Before returning indoors, place your camera in a plastic bag. Once inside, give the gear time to return to room temperature before opening the bag. This will prevent condensation from getting into your equipment.

final avalanche Sept11.pdf



7:56 PM

BEar hugs + moose knuckles Moose knuckles to vendors at the farmer’s market who sell produce that can simply be purchased at any of our grocery stores. Don’t pretend that it’s local or organic when I can clearly see the boxes of store-bought produce in your trucks. Moose Knuckles to whoever spilled tacks on the highway from Vancouver to Whistler before the Gran Fondo race. Bear Hugs to the man who tossed me a tube and CO2 cartridge when I was stranded with a flat (from a tack) 10km from the finish line. Bigger Bear Hugs to the dude who stopped and helped me change the tire. Had he been 20 seconds quicker, our team would have medaled! Bear Smooches to the love of my life for giving me such a fast bike to begin with!

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Moose Knuckles to Jack Russell Terriers who attack peaceful and innocent grizzlybear-driven minivans! Bear Hugs to my awesome partner for the best summer of sun and scrambling fun ever! Bear Hugs to the Rad Bike guys for being totally rad at fixing bikes. Bear Hugs to Blading the Rockies. Your stellar scenic tour of the Spray Valley totally blew my neon pink socks off. Bear Hugs to the Bitchin’ ladies dropping sick lines last winter...See ya’ll soon in the White Room!! Moose knuckle to the buses that idle in the Mt. Royal parking lot in Banff. You stink and you’re loud. Bear Hugs to all the friendly people at the Banff Post Office. You know who you are!

Yeah, we got you covered.

gear review

Ride the Tiger! On a cold day, try rubbing a little Tiger Balm on your ankles, soles and toes, and cover them up with a wool sock to keep the area warm while you’re out in the elements. Vigorously massage the entire foot before and after activity to promote flexibility and range of motion.

Soak Away the STANK Roll On! Roll your foot on a hard ball, soup can, dowel or rolling pin to release any trigger points and promote circulation up the leg.

Try an epsom salt and tea tree oil soak for 25 minutes at the end of your day. The salts will leach out toxins that build up in the foot, relax the muscles and promote good circulation. The tea tree oil is antifungal and will prevent the growth of foot and nail fungi.

Playing Footsie

winter 2012




oot injuries and foot pain can truly affect the quality of every aspect of your life.

With 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments, 19 muscles and 19 tendons, your feet are the foundation for every vertical activity, and rarely do they get a break. Look at people’s feet, and it’s easy to tell what sport they’re into. Notice thick, blackish, greenish toenails and crooked toes that face every direction? Probably a climber. Runners will sport the traditional heel spur, punctuated by a beet-red knobble sticking out the back of their heel. And last but not least, it’s easy to spot the skiers and snowboarders with skin and nails flaking off from lack of circulation and fungus build-up as the result of stuffing feet into tight boots all winter. The passion for sport does come at a price, but there are some very useful tips and secrets from Dr. Christian Perez of Canmore’s Amatsu Eastern Healing Arts Clinic that will prevent most repetitive foot injuries.

Amatsu Eastern Healing Arts clinic is the only clinic of its kind in North America that specializes in traditional Japanese corrective and preventive medicine. Dr. Christian Perez, DNM, DMM, Dipl. ST, LHP, is the founder of this unique clinic situated in downtown Canmore. The clinic offers every traditional modality used in the Japanese and Chinese medicinal arsenal to prevent and correct all forms of health issues. For further information, visit www.Amatsu.ca.


Heal Your Nasty Cracked Heels Bag Balm (www.bagbalm.ca) is famous for its mosturizing anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. A local alternative is Foot Butter from the Rocky Mountain Soap Company. Keep it in your backpack for relief of your achin’ feet anytime, anywhere. Rub it on pre-hike to lube up and help prevent blisters. Essential oils like Fir Needle and Lemongrass will deodorize and refresh after a hard day’s work outside. And the cherry on top? It’s made right here in Canmore. Available online at rockymountainsoap.com or in store in both Canmore and Banff.

Ladies (and guys): How many toenails have you lost this year thanks to your ill-fitting ski-boots? Touch up those naked toe tips to fool potential suitors into thinking you have ten toenails when you really only have seven. This season’s hot color: Bloody Red. CAUTION: Do not actually do this; you are beautiful with or without toenails.

Of course, the best blister is no blister. Do all you can to keep blisters at bay by clipping your nasty long toenails, tightening your boots, and donning breathable socks. Unfortunately, preventative measures often fail, and you will inevitably find yourself half way to your backcountry destination with a hotspot, the not-so-subtle beginnings of a full-blown blister. Stop in your tracks! Treating this right away is your best chance at keeping the blister from forming fully. Moleskin is an option, but we find in practice it tends to slip around and needs to be replaced constantly. Instead, we suggest opting for a strip of duct tape, face down on the burgeoning blister. Tip: If the blister is on the back of your heel, apply the strip vertically, so that it goes all the way under your heel to ensure that it stays put.

We tested Icebreaker Merino Wool Medium Crew Socks. These medium-weight beauties from Icebreaker feature added cushioning around the ankle, instep, heel and toe, a special Achilles support section to keep your socks from slipping down in your boots, and a lighter more breathable zone for added ventilation on the top of the foot. This sock is an ideal choice for long-distance hikes in colder conditions, and perfect for those long cold days of snowshoeing in K-Country or ski-touring in the Pass where you’re sweating your butt off in -20 conditions. Merino wool is widely-known for its temperature control capability and high breathability that’ll help keep your feet from getting clammy out there (resulting in deadly blisters and relationshipthreatening stank). Icebreaker has a deeply ingrained philosophy and practice of environmental and social sustainability that we’re also proud to support. Check out icebreaker.com.


Banish Blisters with Duct Tape

Air out your feet as much as possible, and stay away from synthetic fibers in your socks.

winter 2012

This little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed home. This little piggy ate roast beef, this little piggy had none. And this little piggy cried all the way home after losing its toenail for the third straight winter in a row. Don’t treat your tootsies like pigs, for a change! - HIGHLINE


Corrie DiManno


...But not the kind with big hair and black make-up. No, he’s more into partying with plate tectonics, and his musical genre is clastic rock. Rock star is the one occupation this geologist, naturalist, conservationist, author, lecturer and guide forgot to mention on his resumé. But how many other whitebearded, 65-year-olds get stopped on Main Street by adoring fans? Ben was born in Alamosa, Colorado, and grew up in Colorado Springs. He was majoring in geology at the University of Colorado when, unimpressed and uninspired by the US’s involvement in the Vietnam War, he refused to register for the draft. “We saw bad things coming,” he said. So in March of 1968, Ben, Cia (his wife of three years at the time), and their baby boy, Will, packed up their 1957 Volkswagen Microbus and headed north to “a country that made sense.” The Gadds made their way to Calgary where Ben found a job at Canadian Pacific Oil and Gas working in the computer department “of all things.” They moved to Jasper in 1980 after 12 years in the city, during which time they welcomed another son, Toby, and Ben finished his geology degree. Ben’s Jasper-based career started with a threeyear stint as a naturalist with Parks Canada. But soon he went freelance, or what he calls “rent-a-naturalist,” and released the first edition of the almighty “Handbook to the Canadian Rockies” in 1986. In December 2009, after eight more books and almost 30 years in Jasper, Ben and Cia bought a house in Canmore, directly behind Will and his wife, Kim. Will had the fence separating their backyards down in about five minutes, making Ben and Cia “Grandma and Grandpa across the lawn” to their two granddaughters, Marie and Rose. Now Ben hosts a geology caravan and an exhibit called Canmore Rocks! at the Canmore Museum and Geoscience Centre, and also reads to students from his novel, “Raven’s End.” While no longer called “Ben from the block” as he was in Jasper, this rock star still gets plenty of attention. “People just walk up to me on the street and say, ‘Hi, I’m So-and-So, and we know you’re the guy who wrote these books and we’d like for you to know that we like them.’” So don’t be shy to strike up a conversation with the man in the “Friends in High Places” hat and “Geology rocks!” t-shirt. Bask in the depths of this local naturalist’s knowledge, and you’ll be hooked on tectonics in no time. 16



ben Gadd IS A ROCK


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winter 2012


Book a workshop today! Contact Melanie at 403-678-3445 ext. #4.


For more information, join the Biosphere Institute on facebook.com/Biosphere.Institute or check out biosphereinstitute.org.

Established in 1997, The Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley was formed to enhance our understanding of the region’s ecological integrity. It came to life as a result of the social and environmental pressures that emerged in the late 1980s when rapid development became a public issue in Canmore. Upon recommendation from the Town of Canmore’s Growth Management Strategy, the Institute was formed as an independent organization that could provide unbiased ecological, economic and social information pertinent to making informed decisions about the health of the local environment. The Institute’s primary geographic focus encompasses the Bow Valley, from Bow Lake to Seebe and Kananaskis Country. But this is just the tip of the iceberg as organizations and communities from all over the world look to the Biosphere Institute to learn more about methodologies, practices and products that have been developed right here at home. Over a decade since its inception, the Biosphere Institute is now a thriving charitable organization with award-winning sustainability programs. Thanks to their efforts and the dedication of the people of the Bow Valley, we have: functioning wildlife corridors; idle-free air to breathe; hundreds of active worm composters reducing our landfill waste; reduced greenhouse gas emissions; fewer invasive plants; reduced water and energy use; fewer toxins in our homes and businesses; and a band of environmentally engaged and enthusiastic youth. Sign up for one of their fascinating private or public workshops, ranging from worm composting to environmental filmmaking, where Did You Know? you can learn the skills You can borrow an you need to make living Energy-Use Monitor green a reality in your from the Biosphere home or business. It’s a Institute to test great way to meet likeyour home’s energy minded earthlings! efficiency!

1. the part of the earth’s crust, waters, and atmosphere that supports life. 2. the ecosystem comprising the entire earth and the living organisms that inhabit it.

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High Five

book review winter 2012

Quick and dirty at only 32 pages long, this shocking exposé unearths the sheer magnitude of disregard and distaste for the human race that dwells within the black heart of the Edited by Earl Schneider, date unknown household rabbit. From the Chocolate Dutch to the Belgian Hare, the potential for destruction at the paws of these unpredictable quadrupeds is massive, and it is real. Shortly into this gripping read, the irony of the book’s title reveals itself as editor Earl ment of its kind as the most dominant species Schneider spares no detail in exposing the on Earth. Schneider alludes to disaster, yet secret lives of this deceptively tranquil spenever quite has the guts to describe what cies. With a penchant for subtlety, Schneider will happen if we do not do what the rabbits describes the truth bewhich leaves The potential for mass destruction want, hind the animal’s behavone with a sense iour, revealing a never- at the paws of these unpredictable of impending anxibefore-seen blueprint for for the future of quadrupeds is massive, and it is real ety a mass take-over of the fellow man. human race. “Enjoy Your Rabbit?” Only if you Unanswered questions linger long after want to see the world as you know it come to the final page of this disturbing tale has been an end. turned: Am I safe right now? How can I be Take a look into the eye of the book’s leading sure my children are educated about this new character (as seen on the cover): does he look danger? Is the government doing enough to like he doesn’t know what he’s doing? He knows protect me and my loved ones? Should I buy a what he’s doing, and you can bet your bonnet bigger rifle? that he ain’t afraid to do it. The answers to your questions are yet to From the day a rabbit is born to the day it be seen. dies, every action, every thought, every moThis thriller is available at a thrift store or ment is dedicated to successful establishgarage sale near you. Kristy Davison




Drew Wittstock lays down a spray, Kicking Horse backcountry, Golden, BC. Photo by Ryan Creary




“Passing Through.” Mountaineers make their way across the Fay Glacier, Banff National Park. Photo by Paul Zizka






Eliel Bureau-Lafontaine tours through the Diamond Glacier during a week-long stay at Icefall Lodge, Golden, BC. Photo by Ryan Creary





winter 2012


Brodie McLaughlin is kind enough to show how it’s done. Photo by Reuben Krabbe at Kicking Horse, Golden, B.C.


What’s in a name? A Reminder of Things Past







striking limestone face of ha ling peak a






guard. But that doesn’t

deter people from climbing all over it. Since 1961, aesthetic and airy routes have lured rock climbers up its front side, while thousands of scramblers have made their way up the peak’s back side for the past 115 years. A fateful day back in 1896 brought a wave of controversy to this peak – a tidal wave of hard-to-swallow reminders about our past. For some Canmore residents, the controversy may still feel fresh, while to others it has already been converted to mountain folklore. Nevertheless, it all

started with the peak’s first known ascent. Conflicting stories make it difficult to recount these tales with one hundred percent certainty. Some say a Chinese cook named Ha Ling first climbed the peak, while J. Brian Dawson’s book, “Moon Cakes in Gold Mountain: From China to the Canadian Plains,” reports it was a man named Lee Poon. Whoever the man was, “Ha Ling” stuck. As the story goes, Ha Ling, a 28-yearold Chinese cook for the Canadian Pacific Railway, was bet fifty dollars that he couldn’t climb a 7,897 foot peak (known locally as “The Beehive”) in under ten hours. Setting off early one October morning to climb the peak, Ha Ling could never have known the controversy that would ensue.

winter 2012

standing firm at the northwestern


Meghan J. Ward


For one, upon his return just over five hours later, no one believed he had actually climbed the peak. A variety of stories have emerged about how he eventually proved his successful ascent, but a flag at the summit put naysayers to rest. At the time, the Medicine Hat News suggested the peak be called “Ha Ling” in honour of its first climber. That name was ignored – though it would resurface just over 100 years later – and the peak was referred to as “Chinaman’s Peak” in honour of Ha Ling. And that’s where even bigger controversy began. For many years, “Chinaman’s Peak” was the unofficial name of this conically shaped mountain, but a number of people felt this name was derogatory, including legendary Banff resident, Jon Whyte. According to an article in Legacy, in 1977, after discovering The Medicine Hat News story about the first ascent, Whyte wrote a column for the Banff Crag and Canyon recommending the peak be named “Ha Ling,” instead of a name that recounted a racist past. Like the Medicine Hat News, Whyte was ignored and “Chinaman’s” was officially ratified in 1980. At the time Whyte objected again, but according to the Calgary Chinese Cultural Centre (CCCC), more than 1,522 Canmore residents signed a petition in favour of keeping the name, claiming it was a part of the town’s history. “Chinaman’s” would stay for another 17 years. In 1997, the campaign to change the name found new momentum. Members of Chinese communities in



Calgary and Canmore joined forces and created an ad hoc committee to have the peak renamed. That same year, “Chinaman’s” was stripped from the peak, but a new name was not granted until the following year. In 1998, a series of public consultations were held regarding the renaming of the peak formerly known as “Chinaman’s.” A proposal came forth from Mr. Peter Lazarus Wesley, an elder with the Stoney Nakoda. He suggested the peak be called Ehagay Nakoda*, which means “The Last Nakoda.” According to Ronald Kelland, Historic Places Research Officer for Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Mr. Wesley submitted the creation story of The Last Nakoda as part of his proposal. The text submitted by Mr. Wesley goes as follows:

Ehagay Nakoda: The Last Nakoda The immortal Iktomni (the Trickster or the Old Man) possesses special powers. He was the first Nakoda (human) to live on the earth and, in fact, has assisted the Creator with its origin. After the formation of the earth, additional Nakoda (humans) were created to live on this planet. Since time immemorial, their traditional homelands included the eastern slopes of what are now known as the Canadian Rocky Mountains. At one point in time, word circulated that Iktomni was granting wishes to the Nakoda. Two Nakoda visited Iktomni and respectfully asked him to give them one wish each.

Iktomni replied, “I will grant any wish you desire, but you must understand that once your wish is fulfilled, you cannot change it.” Both agreed. The first Nakoda made a wish to be very beautiful. Iktomni then commanded, “Do you see that pond of water? Run to it and jump in it.” The Nakoda jumped into the pond and immediately was transformed into a beautiful swan. Astonished, the second Nakoda then made a wish, saying, “My wish is nothing like that. I wish to remain on this earth for as long as it exists.” Iktomni responded, “You shall remain on this earth long after all human beings cease to inhabit it. You will be EHAGAY NAKODA: The Last Nakoda.” Iktomni then commanded the Nakoda to sit on the ground. The Nakoda did as instructed and immediately was transformed into a colossal rock configuration: a mountain. That particular mountain – which was originally the Nakoda – still dominates the landscape to this day. “It shall remain on this earth long after all human beings cease to inhabit it.” That mountain is “Ehagay Nakoda: The Last Nakoda.” In the end, the peak formerly known as “Chinaman’s” was granted the name the Medicine Hat News had suggested over 100 years earlier: “Ha Ling.” But, Mr. Wesley’s suggestion was not entirely ignored. “Ehagay Nakoda” was applied to the whole massif, which includes Ha Ling, Miners Peak and Mt. Lawrence Grassi.

Looking up at those peaks – the backbone of Canmore – it is humbling to remember they were there long, long before this little coal mining town was even a speck on the map. And the story of Ehagay Nakoda not only reminds us that the mountains were here first, but also that another people inhabited the land long before Ha Ling ever took that fifty dollar bet. The names we have granted these peaks are a reminder of things past. By naming and renaming them, we have brought to life the important figures, events and cultural innuendos of various times – in some cases shameful times - in our history. And while we cannot correct any wrongdoings of the past, we can move forward with our newfound wisdom and prevent those mistakes from being repeated. Long after we human beings have disappeared from the Earth, Ehagay Nakoda will still be standing. But, while we are here let’s remember the lessons of the past, and allow the mountains to remind us to honour the people that have come before us – the First Nations, the first pioneers and that modest cook who won a bet, climbed a mountain and proved everyone wrong. *At the time of writing, it was unclear whether Ehagay Nakoda was the traditional name the Stoney had given to Ha Ling (long before it had been given an English name). We’re curious to find out, so if you have answers, please write to us at info@highlineonline.ca.



The Voyageur

By Bert Dyck

a: What happens on the Athabasca, stays on the Atha,basc overA couple of Canmore adventurers, Jim Kievit and Bert Dyck guid e. come adversity thanks to the help of a mysterious local river There’s a river that bends where the forest extends To the tundra and great northern sea, Where fortunes were won, and lives came undone Athabasca holds their mystery.

The weather was buggy and cloudy and muggy Where we camped in the Lesser Slave weeds; A smudge fire lit gave relief quite a bit From mosquito swarms eager to feed.

The stories abound, and their trace can be found Along Athabasca’s shore, But there’s none so bold as the tale that was told by the ghost of the drowned voyageur.

We dozed off to the sound of rain starting to pound And awoke to a river mud bog; The lit breakfast fire got wet and expired, Doused by the rain and the fog.

My partner was Jim, and I paddled with him Though he was the man in control; Historic trails made by great fur brigades, To paddle them was our goal.

It was rainy and grey that entire day, And the river continued to swell; At the confluence as a consequence, We were paddling and bailing as well.

We’d completed the run of the Saskatchewan From Nordegg eastward we plied; And we’d harnessed the flow of the beautiful Bow, A swift and most pleasurable ride.

The Athabasca’s flow continued to grow As we camped on an island that night; At the base of a spruce we found dry and loose Ample wood for a campfire bright.

The Athabasca we knew we need paddle too, The mighty gateway to the north; The Lesser Slave River would surely deliver Athabasca, so we headed forth.

Round the fire that night we considered our plight As we hunkered down in the mud; Our options were gone; we had to move on And paddle our way through the flood.

Though Jim was a brute, hot tempered to boot, He had a strong mystical view; So before progressing, he invoked the blessing Of almighty Manitou.

Next day the rain commenced again, And debris floated by; But we launched our canoe and continued to Push forward did Jim and I.

Sacred bundle of beaver he produced in a fever And spread it on paddle and ship; A spirit mix strong he sprinkled along As he chanted a prayer for our trip.

The backsplash of rain on the water had strained Our eyes, and we lost the flow; A trapper’s hut beckoned, but onward we reckoned We still had two days to go.

His chants filled the air and drifted to where The Lesser Slave left the lake; ‘Twas picked up by the breeze as a moan in the trees That started to tremble and shake.

Up high on a bank in brush sodden and dank We could not find wood that was dry; We crouched in the tent, cold shivering and spent When we heard a whistle close by;

“Not one word was said by the stranger in red, But his eyes had a haunting sheen” ‘Twas like a breeze whistling through the trees, Then it changed to a high pitched moan; It filled the air with a wail of despair, And we felt we were all alone.

The voyageur said, “I was filled with dread I was steering the second canoe; The rapids consumed us and broke us and doomed us, And none of us made it through.”

Then a man appeared with wild hair and beard, Red sash, woolen robe and an axe; In his arms dry and good some birch firewood He wordlessly bent to his task.

“My task at the helm was so overwhelmed By the big water of the Slave, And the terror that lies in a drowning man’s eyes Seared my mind; there was nothing to save.”

He soon had fire that quenched our desire For warmth; then a meal he prepared From a pemmican pack he had strapped to his back; As he whistled, we sat there and stared.

“I could not find peace; in death no release, So these northern rivers I roam, And search their shoals for endangered souls, Then I help them to make it back home.”

Not one word was said by the stranger in red, But his eyes had a haunting sheen; His robe worn and tattered and hat bruised and battered, The likes of him we’d never seen.

With these words he rose, bade us good repose and vanished into the trees; In lethargy deep we drifted to sleep To a whistling moan on the breeze.

The cheerful campfire sent spirits higher, And the whistler drew closer as well; While the pemmican fried to engage him we tried And begged him his story to tell.

We went on our way the following day When we saw our voyageur standing In a birch bark canoe; he guided us to The old Athabasca landing.

He let out a sigh that filled the night sky And tailed off in a ghostly groan; And then he spoke in voice raspy and choked That shivered us deep to the bone.

As we disembarked, we saw our truck parked, And we turned to thank our guide; There was nobody there except rain, fog and air, The Athabasca so dreary and wide.

He talked of the trade and the yearly trips made And the rendezvous every spring, When trapper and Cree traded furs, had a spree, Danced some jigs, raised their voices to sing. His voice it then changed, haunting and strange, And he spoke of a small fur brigade, And a white water hell on the Slave River swell And a shot by mistake that was made. Two canoes had agreed that the first would proceed Through the rapids and fire a gun, To signal the crew of the other canoe If the rapids could safely be run. The rapids were huge, and this deadly deluge The first canoe dodged by a hair; They pulled out of the torrent, wild and abhorrent With barely a second to spare. Then they spotted a goose, and a trapper let loose with a shot, for they needed the meat; But the second canoe thought it signalled them to Run the rapids that they could defeat.

“I could not find peace; in death no release, so these northern rivers I roam” Bert Dyck Bert Dyck has been a resident in the Bow Valley for the past 37 years. He commenced a Social Work career in the Canadian Arctic in 1972, and became the Social Services Director for Banff and Canmore in 1975. Since that time he has served in various public service and elected positions including two terms as Canmore’s Mayor and five years as the Chief Administrative Officer for the Town. He now lives with his wife Marilynn on a small acreage in the MD. Check out his poetry blog at rockyrhymes.blogspot.com.



Photo credits: Brendan Howard / shutterstock speedskater stamp | cross country skier& ski jumper rook76/shutterstock


& Forgotten

The rise and demise of ski ballet Camara Miller and Meghan J. Ward


once an olympic demo sport,

now forgotten.

“Do you know anything about ski ballet?” It was early 2010, and Meghan was leaving the Park Radio station after recording an interview when station producer, Camara, asked her this very question. Meghan didn’t have a clue. Neither did Camara. Maybe you know something about it. Perhaps you saw it on TV or, more likely, came across it surfing YouTube one day. Or maybe you’ve got a buddy with a penchant for sampling unusual sports. Picture this: an athlete, elegantly dressed in

a one-piece ski suit, has 90 seconds to make her way down a gentle slope on two short skis while executing a passionate routine of turns, tricks, leg crossings and flips over her ski poles. Still can’t picture it? Search for “Ski Ballet” on YouTube. It’ll be even better than what you’re imagining right now. The sport intrigued us. So much so that nearly two years later we set out on a mission to find out more about this rare sport, and why it disappeared completely. bumps, jumps and pole flipping

There is little documented information about ski ballet. After scavenging for former athletes and exhausting our Google resources, it became clear that finding the precise origins and history of this rare sport would be a


a quest to uncover the truth about ski

winter 2012

two bow valley journalists set off on


“The Holy Grail of POLE FLIPPING was trying to get a double twist into it. I don’t know if it was really ever successfully done.” - Nick Preston

challenge. Nevertheless, we unearthed a few clues thanks to a sparse Wikipedia post, a few interviews and our unwavering obsessions to find answers. Unfortunately for ski ballet – later called acroski – the sport climaxed during the 1980s and 90s, a time not known for subtlety. Big hair and loud outfits now make the event look, well, ridiculous (but only as ridiculous as the photos you might scrounge up of yourself from 1987). The artistry and athleticism of the sport has been lost beneath surface appearances and a culture that is somehow hard to relate to in the 21st century, even though many of us lived through it. Ski ballet is a form of freestyle skiing, along with moguls and aerials. Freestyle was so popular in the mid 1970s that Peter Judge, CEO of the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association, calls it “the Madison Avenue fair-haired child of American culture.” Breaking loose from traditional alpine ski styles, freestyle skiers defined themselves by making sharper turns and peppering their rather chaotic descents with jumps and airborne tricks. Bumps became moguls, jumps got higher and it didn’t take long before the kids jumped on board with this new “extreme” scene. Norway’s Stein Eriksen, an Olympic ski racer, is often credited as the godfather of ski ballet. Combining his background in gymnastics and skiing, Eriksen would often flip over his poles for show. Handsome and charismatic, Eriksen became the first superstar of skiing. And as ski ballet grew as a sport, it gained its own roster of celebrities. Our personal favourite: model, actress, ski racer, acroskier and Chapstick spokeswoman, Suzy Chaffee (again, YouTube this timeless beauty). Nick and Susan Preston, co-directors of Freestyle America, give us some insight into this now forgotten sport. Susan says



it was really just pure fun, challenging, technical and also about “making the most of what a ski was made to do.” Nick, who is also the program director for Freestyle Skiing at Waterville Valley Black & Blue Trail Smashers ski club, describes it as perhaps the most difficult form of skiing because of the precision it required. “The Holy Grail of pole flipping was trying to get a double twist into it,” he says. “I don’t know if it was really ever successfully done.” ski ballet in our backyard

Calgary saw the debut of ski ballet as a demonstration sport at the 1988 Olympics, along with aerials and moguls. The games were considered successful and attendance was in the tens of thousands for all three freestyle events. But the introduction of these demonstration sports was met with some resistance. “It was a pretty monumental and ground breaking thing that the Canadians undertook [at the Calgary Olympic Games],” says Judge. He remembers how Europeans were dissatisfied with how the new events were highlighted and showcased along with more established sports. Born in Calgary, Judge grew up skiing at Sunshine Village and was coaching freestyle skiing at the time. His father, Patrick Judge, was instrumental in securing freestyle skiing as a demonstration event for Calgary. While ski ballet was a demo sport in Calgary and Albertville, moguls only needed to prove itself in Calgary before making it to the Olympic roster of the next games in Albertville. Aerials was a demo sport for two games, then got its shot for longevity at the Lillehammer Games. But, with a new approach being developed for inclusion of new sports in the Olympic

Freestyle was so popular in the mid 70s that Peter Judge, CEO of the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association, called it “the Madison Avenue fairhaired child of American culture.”

So, what happened? When other fringe sports have survived, how did ski ballet pole flip its way to extinction? Some believe the sport perhaps had limited appeal, while for others combining skiing and dance was a bit lame. The sport also increased in technical demand, became highly specialized and, to Nick Preston, “lost its recreational appeal.” The making of a perfect storm. Perhaps ski ballet’s failure to move forward as an Olympic event was a case of bad timing. Prior to the Calgary Olympics the International Olympic Committee did not have a clear process they could use to introduce new sports to the Games and, prior to 1992, the Summer and Winter Games were held in the same year. With the decision to separate them, the Winter Games ended up being held two years apart instead of four and negotiations about the demonstration sports had to be made quickly. Moreover, as it was a judged sport, based on both artistic merit and technique, it faced similar problems as figure skating, which was dealing with an ongoing East meets West political situation that influenced how its panel of international judges worked together. Apparently, ski ballet was the little train that couldn’t. “The world is different now,” Judge says. “It sees things differently and moves much faster. I think for ballet that threshold and that target [were] just moved so many times. It was so slow to happen that it just choked the life out of it, in terms of athletes and people’s interest over time.” the phantom sport returns?

Thus, one of the original forms of freestyle skiing disappeared from the scene. We found this fascinating in light of a sport like figure skating, which has many similarities to ski ballet – flashy costumes, judged routines and dancing wearing rather awkward footwear – and yet has moved on to become one of the

*MUST HAVE* You love skiing. You love ballet. highline and rtown banff television are bringing this endangered sport back to life on our YouTube Channel: youtube.com/ highlineonline. Feed your need for inspirational ski ballet highlights at highlineonline.ca/printmagazine/extras. Photos by Paul Zizka


the path to extinction

most popular sports at the Olympics. Why one sport lives and another dies is as much a fluke as it is a reflection of our cultural values and trends. One has to wonder: if ski ballet had been given the chance to flourish, would it look so ridiculous to us now? While it is no longer a competitive sport, ski ballet makes the odd, ghostly appearance in the form of so-called “new” moves kids develop on ski hills each winter. “In some ways, that…fascination with expanding what people do on skis has continued in other ways,” explains Susan. “People are still doing tricks on their skis and developing skiing into other reaches.” Occasionally Nick gets together with his old buddies to relive their signature ski ballet moves. “There’s some excitement that, when you revisit it, is pretty fun,” he says. Nick may think it’s all in good fun, but who knows? Perhaps one day ski ballet will make a reappearance. And perhaps someday, we’ll be skiing at Norquay and see an eight year old pull a double twist pole flip. He’ll think he invented it, but our search for the truth behind this forgotten sport will have told us otherwise.

winter 2012

Games, ski ballet never made it past Albertville, and the International Ski Federation ceased all formal competition of the sport after 2000. Ski ballet was never to be seen on the Olympic slopes again.


Peyto: A hotbed of glacier science Lynn Martel

as i grip the handle attached to a ski-like plastic skid supporting a cracker box-sized radar receiver, my eyes search the rock-strewn ground for solid footing.

A metre ahead, Mark Ednie, a permafrost specialist, steps carefully on a patch of jet-black bare ice, manoeuvring a similar rig supporting the radar transmitter. Snaking along the undulating moraine following a 300-metre transect, we stop in tandem every 50 centimetres to take a reading. Leading the procession, glaciologist Mike Demuth carries a monitor linked to the radar assembly by webbing-encased fibre optic cable. All around us I hear water trickling; the mountain landscape is melting right under our feet. As head of the glaciology program with Natural Resources Canada, Demuth’s August 2011 visit was one of three annual forays he makes to the Canadian Rockies maintaining glacier monitoring programs at sites including the Columbia Icefield, Ram and Peyto glaciers. While the lateral moraines bordering the Peyto’s tongue appear to be piles of rocks that have tumbled from the cliffs above, glaciologists are studying those moraines - the

Peyto Glacier from Bow Lake, circa 1902. Photo courtesy Archives and Library, Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies.




winter 2012


Using a “Finnish snow fork,� researcher John Sekerka assists with data logger entry while Selena Cordeau inserts a dielectric probe into the glacial ice in 2-centimetre increments to measure density and moisture content on the Columbia Icefield. It takes about 30 minutes to profile 6 metres of ice. Photo by Mike Demuth.

stricted operating budget, Peyto remains among the most intensively and continuously studied glaciers in North America. Information is shared with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, as well as with industries including mining, hydropower operators, irrigation, tourism, ecosystem services and by Alberta Environment in making water management decisions. Parks Canada also uses the information for its mandated state-ofthe-park reports. During his breakthrough fivemonth PhD research season in 1970, glaciologist Gordon Young, who studied Peyto until the 1990s, deciphered how, in low snowfall years, the ice melts much more and glaciers give more water, acting as a kind of buffer and regulating nature’s flow. But as glaciers themselves disappear, that ability to regulate will be diminished. Having records that span decades is extremely useful. “Those long-term records are very important,” Young says. “As the glaciers gradually melt away, they will have less and less effect on providing water in times of low flow. This is likely to be very important in future years, especially as the demand for water from growing cities, agriculture, industry and energy continues to increase.” While early equipment was often cumbersome and uncooperative in cold, harsh environments, good information was collected. Nowadays, some sites can be monitored from glaciologists’ distant offices year-round – so long as the sites remain intact. “Before the satellite era,

winter 2012

periglacial - formed as the glacier ploughed down the valley. While the blanket of rock (ranging from a few centimetres to several metres deep) protects the ice core from the sun’s heat, over time the melting ice will contribute to the total volume of freshwater stored in the glacier. Information gained from this new radar survey will help scientists estimate if that amount is significant. “As more and more ice is being covered by debris, over time there will be less and less exposed ice,” Demuth says. “The whole eastern range of the Rockies is comprised of many ice core moraines. We’re trying to learn more about that process and phenomenon.” Named for Bill Peyto, Canada’s first national park warden, Peyto Glacier creeps down from the Wapta Icefield (about 30 minutes’ drive north of Lake Louise in Banff National Park), forming the headwaters of the North Saskatchewan River. Explorer Walter Wilcox snapped Peyto Glacier’s first documented photograph in 1896, capturing an invaluable benchmark. In 1933, Alpine Club of Canada co-founder A.O. Wheeler directed the first scientific measurements on the already diminished glacier. In the 1960s, Peyto was among eight glaciers in the Rockies, Columbia and Coast mountains studied under the International Hydrological Decade research program to monitor and investigate the causes of changes in glaciers worldwide as they responded to climatic changes. Researchers continue to base themselves from a trio of weather worn buildings dating back to that program. Despite a re-


“Now we can recognize important processes that occur during winter, too, when the glacier is being nourished.”


How do you measure an icefield? Conducting



veys of the elevation of the ice surface is helping


analyze the volume of ice contained in the 223-square-kilometre Columbia from




flows to the Arctic, Pacific



oceans. To



thickness, they’re also using radar and newer LiDAR



sending laser beams from an airplane to bounce back from the glacier’s surface. Layering 1980s-era topographical



LiDAR-generated ones, they’re



digital elevation models for successive decades. By subtracting one digital model from another,



ence in the height of the glacier is revealed where it has become thicker



over four decades. “Knowing about


something thickness

of the ice and the info we gain from photogrammetry will help us model what the icefield’s fate will be in the future,” says glaciologist Mike Demuth. “How will that impact river flows, ecosystem integrity, or even the Brewster snow coach glacier tours?”



researchers tended to concentrate on the behaviour of the glacier in the summer, when on site,” Demuth explains. “Now we can recognize important processes that occur during winter, too, when the glacier is being nourished.” A professor of geography with the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus, in 1971 Scott Munro began studying the Peyto for his PhD, examining the heat transfer from air to ice. Making a regular summer visit in 2011, Munro reassembled weather stations that had sat on the glacial ice through the winter as the snow rose, and were left standing a metre above the surface as the ice melted out in summer. Established in 1995, Munro’s first on-ice station measured only temperature, relying on a car battery buried in a Rubbermaid container to run the data logger. Nowadays, solar panels provide power as the station measures temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, snow rise in winter and ice melt in summer. In addition to the main station next to the camp buildings, the on-ice site in the ablation zone near the glacier’s terminus provides the most reliable, consistent data, although it has to be moved as the glacier retreats. Munro also maintains two higher sites, one at 2461 metres and a high station at 2709 metres. “The one high on the glacier is the toughest to keep going; it’s exposed to lots of high wind and rough weather,” Munro says. “The lower ones fall over, the top one gets buried. The snow could ultimately end up piling up high enough to bury the instruments. It could have the same effect as an avalanche – all that weight and pressure from the snow kills the instruments pretty quickly.” During last summer’s visit, glaciology technician Steve Bertollo, whose career includes a five-month stint with Demuth measuring Mount Logan in 2001, worked to ensure that two dozen measurement stakes drilled into the ice had not – or were not about to – fall over in the constantly shifting landscape. While hiking up to Peyto in October 2010, Munro was reminded just how active the glacier is. “The big boulder that was always a landmark was gone,” Munro recalls. “There was dirt where there had been water. Something had happened and scraped off the side of the moraine. Every 100 years or so, these big events happen. The landscape was completely changed.” With Peyto shrinking like glaciers the world over, scientists are learning as much as they can from what remains while investigating new sites. Crawling down from the west side of the Wapta Icefield, Yoho Glacier is a prime candidate since its rate of decrease is behind that of Peyto’s. The two sites will be studied concurrently for at least a decade before the Peyto site is shut down. Nearing retirement, Munro is sharing information with John Pomeroy, the Canmore-based head of the University of Saskatchewan’s hydrology department, who will continue Munro’s work, comparing it to his site on Marmot Creek in Kananaskis Country.

The State of the Mountains Report In July 2011, The Alpine Club of Canada published The State of the Mountains Report, a

“The utility of Peyto Glacier as a glacier climate monitoring site is not long for this world,” Demuth says. “A lot of the big signal reference sites around the world are about to be lost from a glacier science observing standpoint. As this place disappears though, it’s an excellent place to study what’s being left behind.” Among those things is a glacial lake that’s forming at the glacier’s toe. Research has revealed the lake existed be-

fore, as trees dating back 3500 years were discovered above today’s tree line. Such discoveries make western Canada a true hotbed of glacier science, Demuth adds. “Canada has a lot of cryosphere – the frozen part of the earth system,” Demuth says. “When the frozen stuff changes temperature or phase, those are indicators of changes in the earth’s energy balance. Canada has a unique role in the world to be the canary.”



that explores changes in the alpine environment



Canada due to climate change. This report offers a unique perspective: it is based on the anecdotes of twelve of Canada’s most wellknown


and guides, as well as the



some of Canada’s lead-

The Peyto Glacier research station is perched on solid rock moraine that overlooks the glacier’s toe, which is steadily moving up the valley. Glaciologists estimate Peyto Glacier will retreat to the top of the heavily crevassed section of the icefall in the centre of the photo before the end of this century. Photo by Lynn Martel.

ing scientists. Download your free copy at alpineclubofcanada. ca/environment/sotm.



Banff: A Park for the People? Carlyle Norman


t was the first national park to allow motorized transport and to stock the mountain lakes with

foreign fish to attract anglers. and it is the only park

to house a golf course, three ski hills and a live-in

8000 people. Clearly, Banff National Park is a park for people. In fact when the park was established in 1885, it was declared a space dedicated to the “benefit, education and enjoyment” of the people of Canada. But, as a national park, Banff has also been set aside for protection and preservation of its ecological integrity. Undoubtedly, there are two opposing forces at play. Depending on which team you play for, the new recreational activities that have recently been approved for Banff National Park will either have you singing praises or moping in a corner. Or both. population of over

New Activities, Old Qualms In June 2011 Parks Canada released a document, Provisional Guidelines for New Recreational Activities in Banff National Park, outlining the shift in recreational activities permitted within the boundaries of the national parks. The hope is that an introduction of additional activities will appeal to a greater demographic, which stems from “a Parks Canada initiative to review and revitalize its current offer to ensure the Agency is meeting visitor needs and remains relevant to Canadians.” The new recreational guidelines will allow mountain biking, paragliding, via feratta and aerial parks, such as zip lines and ropes courses, in certain “Zones.” Many of the new activities will be allowed in Zones IV and V only, with the exception of mountain biking, which will be monitored but allowed on signed trails in both Zones II and III. It will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration the potential impact on specific areas. There is a spectrum of reactions to the news with conservationists and recreation advocacy groups bracketing the rest of us. The conservationist camp is deeply concerned with the vague parameters of the new document and the wellbeing of an already stressed animal population, and is dissatisfied with the justification that allowing a wider breadth of activities will deepen or improve a visitor’s connection to the land. The other 42


side expresses trust that Parks Canada would do nothing to compromise the ecological integrity of these spaces, and believes that it is elitist to limit access into remote areas to only those who can make the grueling journey. Both groups agree that the first job of Parks Canada is to maintain ecological integrity and that Banff should be a place where everyone can appreciate and commune with nature. There is also consensus that the more people are exposed to nature, the more public support there will be for conservation.

Two Sides to the Story Sarah Elmeligi, Senior Conservation Planner with the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS), expresses her concern that the Parks may not produce the experience that they intend. “Connection and observation are very different things,” she says. “Just by being in the national park you are not necessarily connected. Connection comes with education and understanding.” She points out that the new document does not seem to have a strategy of how education will be coupled with recreation. Elmeligi also remarks that the national park was created to play a different role than the surrounding public lands. “We need to carefully consider the recreational activities that we partake in in the Park,” she says. “We have so much land outside of Banff available for recreating, and opening up the national park for additional activities is totally unnecessary.” Monica Andreef, Executive Director of the Association for Mountain Parks Protection and Enjoyment (AMPPE), sees great opportunity in the new recreational parameters. AMPPE believes that everyone should enjoy the mountain parks. “When you are in the national park, whether you are hiking, running or mountain biking, there is a sublime connection to nature,” says Andreef. “By opening up the park to the new proposed activities, we will be widening the opportunity for the public to experience this connection.” In her view, these are the sorts of experiences that we need to promote in order to engage Canadians and motivate them to protect these spaces for generations to come. It is Parks Canada’s job to determine what the environmental effects of new activities will be, and she speaks to their competence and investment in protecting them.

Adrenaline and Education Like AMPPE, there are other groups that are working hard to promote both enjoyment and protection of the mountain parks. According to Doug Topp, Director of the Bow Valley Mountain Bike Alliance, the mountain biking community is sincerely taking on a role of stewardship. The BVMBA has been instrumental in Did you know? working hand-in-hand with In recent years, Banff Parks Canada to keep trails National Park has open when appropriate, but seen a decrease in also condones the closure international visitors of trails when the possibility and Canadians from of endangering people outside the direct and wildlife is present. region and an increase “The mountain biking in regional traffic.

community in the park is a very responsible group,” Topp says. “We have spent 15 years building our relationship with Parks Canada, and now we have a relationship in which we work together to promote enjoyment and education.” Topp estimates that, in 2011, the BVMBA donated 1500 hours of volunteer work, predominantly to trail maintenance. It is on these volunteer days that people have first-hand experience with the damaging effects of trail braiding and erosion, thus deepening their appreciation for the role of stewardship. To that end, the BVMBA is a shining example of how highoctane recreation can take place in the Park while still educating and caring for these spaces. But, instilling these values will not happen by chance and requires a concerted, directed effort. Failing to couple real education with these activities could achieve some undesirable effects. For one, it may send the message to visitors that Banff is just a playground for their consumption. Still, the opportunity to recreate in Banff National Park is part of what make this park so special. Simply looking at the beauty of the landscape offers no match for hiking through it, getting a bird’s-eye view on a climb or scramble, or powering down Tunnel Mountain on a mountain bike. The question remains whether new recreational activities are really needed in light of the opportunities that already exist. We walk a delicate line in Banff National Park. Perhaps the balance lies in keeping Banff as a park for the people by taking those people firmly by the hand and showing themthrough education - the treasures of the landscape. For more information, download the Banff Management Plan and the Provisional Guidelines for New Recreational Activities in Banff National Park from highlineonline.ca/ print-magazine/extras.

Zones of Banff National Park According to the Banff Management Plan:


special preservation. Includes the Clearwater-Siffleur area and remains

unaffected by the new recreational activities.

wilderness. Compromises most of the park.


natural environment. Is easily accessible but has minimal facilities,


such as backcountry lodges like Skoki.

outdoor recreation. Certain areas that can be accessed with

motorized vehicles.


park services. Refers to heavily developed areas such as the

Town of Banff and Legacy Bike Trail where an increase in visitation would have very little effect on the natural environment. HIGHLINE


Sunny Raven GalleRy

Whyte MuseuM

Of Cabbages & Kings POttery

The edge gallery

#156, 105 Bow Meadows Crescent, Canmore, AB 403.678.6113

111 Bear Street Banff, AB 403.762.2291

129, Bow Meadows Cr Canmore, AB 403.678.1922

612, Spring Creek Drive Canmore, AB 403.675.8300





Whatever your treasure, we treat it with care. - Specializing in Custom Framing - Ready-made Frames & Mats - Digital photo restoration - Artist supplies and more - Gift certificates available Is framing on your Christmas list? Bring it in early!

Illustration by Kitty E. McLeod, The Art Board.

The difference between pottery and poetry is just a little ‘t’, which I usually have in the afternoon, shortly after three.

The Edge Gallery features ongoing exhibitions from historical prints and paintings to contemporary, abstract work. The frame shop offers a wide range of picture framing choices, using archival materials and experienced, qualified staff to assist with your framing needs!

Terra Magica


Craft Café

Lynne Huras

Canmore artists and artisans Guild caag.ca Contact:Richard Berry richard@richard-berry.com

tiffany & Sheena

103-713 Main Street Canmore, AB 403.609.2614

siLLy Goat studio Box 205 Banff, Alberta 403.762.0417 SillyGoatStudio.ca

The Canmore Library Art Gallery is jointly managed by the Canmore Library and CAAG. A diverse variety of art shows and community art exhibitions such as “Kid’s Art” are featured. The gallery is typically open from 11am to 5pm daily.

Looking for a creative escape? Craft Café hosts bi-monthly craft evenings at Wild Flour Café in Banff. Come socialize while making things that will make your friends envious. Actually, just bring your friends and there won’t be any unpleasant confrontations.

The Peter A. Dettling Gallery & Wilderness Education Centre


Featuring multiple-awardwinning nature photography by Peter A. Dettling. Visit the gallery for a unique glimpse into the natural world, learn from special guest speakers, or connect to nature with excursions and Full Moon Hikes guided by well-known experts.

of the

Canadian RoCkies

The Whyte Museum is the gateway for experiencing and enjoying the art, culture and history of Banff and the Canadian Rockies. Visit www.whyte.org for current exhibitions, art shows and sales, and events.

facebook.com/groups/craftcafe craftcafe@hotmail.com

403.763.3275 createbanff.blogspot.com

October & November: -Solo Show, Botega Salon & Gallery, Banff -Group Show, The Whyte Museum, Banff Ongoing Solo Show: communitea café, Canmore

art + galleries 44


Locally Grown Patricia LaveLLe PsychoLogist

nu roots nutrition

AmAtsu EAstErn HEAling Arts

re:focus PILATES

Canmore, AB 403.675.5379

109, 1205 Bow Valley Trail Canmore, AB 403.493.5577

714 10th St. Unit #2 Canmore, AB 403.609.3059

contact@refocuspilates.ca 403.688.5500





Counselling involves removing barriers and applying new approaches to living the best life possible. If you are having difficulty with any area of your life and want expert input contact Patricia Lavelle, Psychologist. Email: patricialavelle. psychologist@gmail.com

nu roots nutrition offers whole foods cooking classes, one-on-one nutrition consulting and group nutrition to provide you with all the tools needed to obtain optimal health. We also have a superfood and bulk whole foods store open Tues-Fri 10am-6pm.

“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.”


The MODERN approach to Pilates | Celebrating 2 years in downtown Canmore! Specializing in pre/post-natal, post-rehab care & athletic conditioning. All instructors are Stott Pilates certified, trained in massage therapy, fitness/ dance instruction & extensive continuing education in spinal injuries & post-rehab care.

Tracey Delfs

ElEvation Hot Yoga


Canmore & Calgary tracey.delfs@gmail.com 403.762.1970

#101, 1002-8th Avenue Canmore, AB 403.675.9642




Embody Pilates is a Classical Pilates studio where you’ll be able to experience the complete Pilates method. We are committed to teaching excellence, providing the highest level of experienced certified instructor. From our specialized Pilates mats to our authentic equipment and apparatus, Embody’s mission is to teach the Pilates Method the way Joseph Pilates intended. Private equipment classes and small group mat classes are available. Call for your free introductory session.

Tracey Delfs is a Licensed HeartMath® Provider, Certified Life & Stress Management Coach. Receive $10 off your first HeartMath® or Coaching session. To learn more about HeartMath® go to page 11 of this Magazine or visit balancequest.net to schedule a session today.

Offering: Hot Yoga, Hot Pilates, Yamuna Body Rolling & Myofascial Massage We are a wholistic studio dedicated to treating the whole mind and body. Combining various techniques, we can bring any body back to its optimal health and postural balance.

Embody PilatEs & activEwEar 10, 801 Main Street Canmore, AB T1W 2B3 canmore@embodypilates.ca

Why wait for the future? Let’s talk about real solutions now!

health + wellness HIGHLINE




The Pro Image


91 Bow Valley Trail Canmore, AB 403.678.4802





Redstone is the first choice for custom drapery, blinds, and home décor. We’ll help you design a home that’s more beautiful, functional, and inviting with our passion for drapery, wood shutters, bedding and everything in between. Consultations and installation are included.

Present this coupon for 15% OFF any Sightseeing Tour Call 403-678-4802 to book your flight. Valid until April 30th, 2012. Complimentary Ground Transportation from hotels in Canmore and Banff. Not valid with any other promotion.

Bridal and Wedding Styling and Alterations

The Pro Image is the Bow Valley’s own professional quality printer. Specializing in large-format and specialty materials such as canvas and archival photo paper, we are trusted by artists and professional photographers from this area and beyond.

Bow Valley Power

Natalie Kelly Chartered aCCouNtaNt

The Banff Tea Co.

#726, 743 Railway Ave Canmore, AB 403.244.7299 ext 123

Canmore, Alberta info@nataliekelly.ca 403.675.3333

208 Caribou Street, Banff info@banffteaco.com 403.762.8322






Bow Valley Power supplies electricity to residences and businesses in the Bow Valley and throughout Alberta. We have great rates, excellent customer service and 20% of Bow Valley profits are contributed to the Biosphere Institute. Sign up online at: www.bowvalleypower.net

“We view every client relationship like a partnership, and truly believe that our success is a result of your success.”

Where Harry Potter meets Zen. With an Apothecarystyle atmosphere, the Tea Co is a treat for the senses. Check out over 180 different types of tea and exotic teapots from around the world.

Canmore, AB redstonewf@hotmail.com


Alpine Helicopters

April iris Browning # 101-1151 Sydney St. Canmore, AB 403.609.7929

Custom WindoW Fashions


Clothing Alterations Costume Design Styling of all kinds! AVAILABLE FOR WARDROBE EMERGENCIES

101 - 717, 9th Street Canmore, AB 403.763.2010

Buff Canada



Locally Grown Chili’s

The Keg

Red eaRth Spa

Fox hotel & suites

STeaKhouSe & Bar 521 Banff Ave. 403.762.4442 or 117 Banff Ave. 403-760-3030

Banff CaRiBou Lodge & Spa 521 Banff Ave. Banff, AB 403.762.9292

All Canadians know and love the Keg Steakhouse so why not spread the word to your trans-oceanic friends. Tasty steaks, awesome appetizers and the undeniable Keg quality make the two Banff locations local’s choice for a great night with friends.

Sporting a new look menu that features facial and body wrap treatments with ingredients delicious enough to eat; including blueberries, Tokyo ice wine grapes and cinnamon, The Red Earth Spa at Caribou Lodge makes spa-ing a post hill activity fun enough to rival après-ski story swapping. Unwind in the huge hot tub with 26 of your best friends or enjoy a couples massage and private plunge in the geisha tub with your very special one.

461 Banff Ave. Banff, AB 403.760.8502 chilis.com

It’s not just the baby back ribs that have us returning to Chili’s Grill & Bar. Delicious Southwestern food and Rocky Mountainsize margaritas help you add some pepper and spice to your après-ski.


Wild Bills saloon

Banff Rocky Mountain ResoRt

Ultimate Ski & Ride

201 Banff Ave., 2nd Floor Banff, AB 403.762.0333

1029 Banff Ave. Banff, AB 403.762.5531

206 Banff Ave. Banff, AB 403.762.0547




FREE Squash Court & Equipment Rental Sometimes referred to as “boxing with racquets,” squash is making a comeback, led by Rocky Mountain Resort Squash Courts now offering free 45 minute court and equipment rental. Take this ad down to the Rocky and join the fun. Conditions apply.

Outdated rentals getting you down? Head into Ultimate Ski + Ride where Banff’s best range of rental ski and snowboard equipment is fitted by true rental experts. Make your pre-hill prep as smooth as…snow?

Looking to add some Western fun to your snowy day in the mountains? Wild Bills Saloon is Banff’s own iconic cowboy smokehouse and largest dancehall, with a legacy as long as the Lake Louise Ski-Out. Catch live shows and music every Friday and Saturday night or take the stage yourself with Karaoke Tuesdays and free line-dancing lessons.



Mountain Juice café

Christian Dubois & Chris VinCent

105 B 837 8th Street Canmore, Alberta 403.678.9498

REALTORS® / Associates

403.762.7744 403.707.8048

Raven Rescue

Bow Valley Gourmet


Canmore, AB chef@bowvalleygourmet.ca






Skiing, biking, hiking, and exploring – living in the Bow Valley is an exceptional lifestyle. Christian & Christopher are committed to helping you with your residential real estate needs in Banff & Canmore; whether it be your full time home or weekend retreat.

Internationally-recognized courses held in Canmore:

Let Bow Valley Gourmet Cater your Corporate Event, Outdoor BBQ or Family Retreat! We provide all the equipment and flavour.



Looking for a healthy alternative to fuel your active lifestyle? Mountain Juice Café offers a variety of smoothies, fresh pressed juices, soups, salads, wraps and pitas with gluten free options that will nourish your body and boost your spirits.

• Swiftwater Rescue • Surface Ice Rescue • Technical Rope Rescue • Wilderness First Aid • Wilderness First Responder

With over 20 years experience Bow Valley Gourmet takes care of the details so you can relax and enjoy!

without using a bowl, which, in turn, attracts scavengers, such as ravens and crows, to enter the kennel and spread disease to the dogs.


What is

Ethical Mushing?

Dogs that are denied the ability to physically interact with each other often become depressed, neurotic and aggressive. Look around: is every dog’s tether long enough so that it can touch, sniff and play with other dogs? Also notice if the staff plays with and pets the dogs.

HOUSING After the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, roughly 100 sled dogs were inhumanely put to death by a company that no longer had use for them. The fiasco brought the issue of animal cruelty in the dogsled industry into the spotlight. Following the incident, recommendations for regulations in areas such as food, water, socialization, tethering and end-of-life circumstances did result in much-needed amendments to animal cruelty laws. Yet, the mushing industry remains relatively unregulated, controlled by nothing more than a list of guidelines. So, how can a paying customer tell if a dogsled company is treating their dogs ethically? Here are a few simple things* to look for: FOOD Water and food bowls should be raised off the ground to promote sanitation. Be aware that some kennel facilities feed their dogs by pouring food directly onto the roof of the dog’s kennel

Each house should have a roof that provides shade and protection from cold, wind and falling snow. Houses should be made of wood, not plastic rain barrels, and the bottom of the house should be raised to create a warm sleeping area that is not directly on the ground. Is the area around the doghouses dark brown and hard-packed? It may not be the ground at all; packed excrement built up from lack of cleaning is not uncommon in some kennels. Take heed that this is an obvious recipe for disease and a clear marker of unethical conditions.

TRANSPARENCY Most importantly, does the company allow you to visit and enter the kennel to view the living conditions of the dogs? If not, why not? If they follow good practices, they will be proud to give you a tour of their kennel. Kristy Davison *Based on information from “MushWithPride.org.” As mentioned, these guidelines are not official.

know you r ne ighbou r Round night Deux!

highline photo contest

hosted by Highline Magazine

Deadline for entries: February 29, 2012.

Featuring breakthrough ski flicks from Sherpas Cinema & Switchback Entertainment


followed by musical performances from

Layten Kramer Her and Us.


The Eerie Green &


Friday, November 18th. Doors open at 6:45, movies start at 7:30 sharp. After party goes all night!


Cornerstone Theatre and Restaurant 125 Kananaskis Way, Canmore

Price: $15 advance, $18 at the door.

Tickets are limited! Go to: highlineonline.ca/tickets for more information.

Mountain Adventure Shredding, ripping, trekking, climbing, sledding, skinning, pole-flipping and generally digging the outdoors.

2. 3.

Hardy-Har-Har Make us laugh!

Wild and Wonderful Rare perspectives on common mountain subjects. Think: wild weather, unnoticed details, apocalyptic conditions, seldomphotographed locations, nifty and unusual points of view.

Winning images will be published in Highline Magazine’s Summer 2012 Issue and winners will also receive a custom gallery wrap canvas print of their image, sponsored by The Pro Image.

Grand Prize: 24”x 36” print

Two Runners-up: 16”x 24” print

Keen to submit?

for “All I Can” & “Freedom Chair at highlineonline.ca/tickets


Watch trailers”

Read our submission guidelines at highlineonline.ca/contest

winter 2012




winter 2012



WINTER Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park Cross Country Ski

Canada’s Early Season Ski Destination - Open Mid October! More than 60 km of trail groomed for classic and skate technique.

Family Friendly Rentals, lessons, tours, beginner trails. New skating rink opening December 2011.


Ski Rentals and Pro Shop - Trail Sports full-service ski and bike shop provides expert advice on the purchase of equipment, clothing, and accessories. Service and repairs are offered. Rentals are available.

Musically gifted. Harvest Moon Acoustics Suite 102A, 722 Main Street Canmore, AB 403-678-0023


Profile for Highline Magazine

Highline Magazine, Winter 2012  

Highline Magazine is a window into the authentic culture that thrives in the Canadian Rockies.

Highline Magazine, Winter 2012  

Highline Magazine is a window into the authentic culture that thrives in the Canadian Rockies.