FREE FOR ALL
features: Save our Snow Feature Artist: Jeremiah Marsh Green Eyes on the Goat Creek Trail Snowpower
issue Ć?o 17
The Give 'er Issue H I G H L I N E O N L I N E . C A
contents I S S U E 17 - W I N T E R 2 015 / 16
photo: Agathe Bernard
letter from us
what's up with Highline
bear hugs + mooseknuckles
Highline 2016 calendar
column: renewing our vows
the return of the rooster toque
feature artist: Jeremiah Marsh
gluttons for punishment
know your neighbour
green eyes on the Goat Creek Trail
save our snow
wild winter events
W I N T E R 2 015 / 16 ISSUE 17
FOUNDING PUBLISHER + EDITOR-IN-CHIEF + PHOTO EDITOR Kristy Davison · email@example.com MANAGING EDITOR Corrie DiManno · firstname.lastname@example.org EDITORIAL CONSULTANT Carol Picard HEAD DESIGNER Lin Oosterhoff · linoosterhoff.com ADVERTISING SALES + SPONSORSHIPS Lachlan Mackintosh · email@example.com COPY EDITOR Paul Davison STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Callum Snape EVENT COORDINATORS + CREATIVE CONSULTANTS Camara Miller (Chief Fun Officer) Chloe Vance (Neighbour in Chief) BUSINESS MENTOR Pierre Doyon DISTRIBUTION For more locations check bit.ly/pickupacopy. CONTRIBUTORS Rob Alexander, Agathe Bernard, Joanna Croston, Kristy Davison, Corrie DiManno, Bert Dyck, Sarah Eisenlohr, Eric Frigon, Tanya Foubert, Andreas Lie, Fraser Los, Zoya Lynch, Jeremiah Marsh, John Price, Dan Rafla, Georgie Silckerodt, Callum Snape, Kevin Van Tighem, Henry Vaux Jr and AV Wakefield. FOR MORE INFORMATION firstname.lastname@example.org Highline Magazine
HIGHLINEONLINE.CA Highline Magazine is soul food for mountain people. An indie, wild, and free quarterly publication. Views expressed herein are those of the author exclusively. © 2015. All rights reserved. We acknowledge and honour that we stand on Treaty 7 land, the traditional lands of the Stoney Nakoda, Blackfoot and Tsuu T'ina people.
Printed in Canada on
FSC Certified Recycled Paper. Cover: Trendsetting on the Bow Valley Parkway by Jeremiah Marsh.
LETTER FROM US
ometimes, it’s only a fine line between givin’er and givin’ up. Often, it’s hard to tell which side of the fence you’re actually on until you’re over it — until you’ve pushed yourself to the point where givin’er is the only way to get you through to the other side, mere seconds before you would have thrown up your hands in defeat; the moment where it suddenly doesn’t matter whether you succeed or fail anymore. What only matters is that you’ve put your all into it. Fascinated by this delicate relationship between the two, we’ve come up with a little trick to help you handle the push and pull. 1. Pump yourself up with a mini pep talk. 2. Take a deep breath. 3. Breathe out. Let go of your expectations and cares for what others might think. 4. Wink at the proverbial camera. 5. Give ‘er, bud. Whether you’re experiencing butterflies at the top of a ridge preparing to ride down a wall of fresh powder or you’re looking for a boost of self-assurance before a potentially tough conversation, this recipe for the confidence to face the present is guaranteed to work… even if only for the first few minutes, which is usually all you need to start yourself in motion. Givin’er is the Canadian way, and this issue is a shining example: Save Our Snow by Tanya Foubert highlights the plight of ski hills in Western Canada in the face of inevitable climate change, including those who are leading the charge to mitigate its effects; Kevin Van Tighem’s opinion piece Renewing Our Vows is a call to action for Canadians to voice their concerns about un-wilding parks; and our neighbour to know, Carol Picard, literally started a newspaper from the frozen ground up. (Also, is it just us, or does our cover shot by Jeremiah Marsh embody this ideal to the fullest or what?!) From what we can deduce, it takes serious determination and passion to give ‘er. Be brave. You can do it. We believe in you.
photo: Zoya Lynch
— The Highline Team
CALL 211 24 HOURS A DAY, 7 DAYS A WEEK
Looking for information on: basic needs, food, clothing, shelter, childcare, counselling, financial support, employment resources, mental health, parenting support? We can help you find it! One phone call is all it takes to access important community program and service information.
GET ANSWERS • GET HELP • FREE • CONFIDENTIAL
Santa’s Little Helpers
Available online at: www.epicRide.ca
JEREMIAH MARSH Jeremiah Marsh is a well-bearded photographer based in Banff, Alberta. He is a self-taught photographer who has been shooting for many years. Jeremiah moved to Banff from Southern California in 2012 and says trading the beach for mountains was a great deal. He and his girlfriend Amie have been struggling (comically) to live plastic-free in Banff since July, 2015.
FRASER LOS Fraser Los has written environmentally focused articles for several publications, including Canadian Geographic, The Globe and Mail and Maisonneuve, and has received three National Magazine Awards in Canada. Happily based in Canmore, he manages communications for the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative and is an online editor for thegreenpages.ca.
BERT DYCK Bert Dyck has resided in the Bow Valley for 40 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. 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. He has a longstanding interest in poetry. He lives with his wife Marilynn on a small acreage in the MD.
KRIST Y DAVISON Kristy co-founded Highline Magazine in 2008, motivated by the pursuit of stories that inspire mountain people and make us laugh at our weird, wild ways. Her background in fine arts and design, appetite for reading and research, and a life spent wandering in the Rockies combine to lead the vision for the magazine. She’s fuelled by backcountry huts, live music, walks in the woods, and kicking back on patios with friends in any season.
TANYA FOUBERT Tanya Foubert has been a reporter for the Rocky Mountain Outlook for the past nine years, including a brief sojourn to Whistler to be editor of a newspaper in that mountain town. She is also a regular commentator on Mountain FM. Her life goal is to have a sandwich named after her. @mtngrrrl @mtngrrrl
ROB ALE X ANDER Rob Alexander used to be a Canmorebased journalist, historian and artist. He had to drop the “Canmore-based” in 2014 after moving to Calgary. Despite the switch in locale, the author of The History of Canmore and co-author of two books about Exshaw and its cement plant, wanders west whenever possible. canmorehistory.wordpress.com @Canmore_History
What’s Up with Highline HA PPY H OUR WITH THE AC C
E YE S O N THE PRIZE: IT’S WISE TO SUBSCRIBE , GUYS
Cheers to 40 epic years! Thanks to everyone who came out for our Happy Hour at the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival. The custom 40th anniversary steins we put together sold out in a matter of minutes! Hope you all had a great time at the festival this year, and we’ll see out again in 2016.
Sign up for our Off the Beaten Path newsletter. It’ll hit your mailbox about once a month and includes a draw for awesome prizes only available to subscribers.
M OUNTAIN CULTURE FILM SERIES Highline and Canmore’s new artsPlace are bringing you a metric tonne of delicious powder-filled ski films and make-you-think documentaries this winter. Keep on top of what’s coming up at bit.ly/mountainmovies
FE ATURING: THE NAKED NUT After years of working together to bring you some good ol’ fashioned fun at our Know Your Neighbour Nights, the Banff Ave Brewing Co has teamed up with the Highline gang to create a brand new brew for the Bow Valley: the Naked Nut - Brown Ale. Slip into your Sunday best and get yourself down to the Brew Co for a sip of nutty brown nectar. Keep your eyes peeled for the official launch and follow us online for up-to-the-minute updates.
D OUBLE THE FUN More soup for you! Highline’s back on a quarterly publication schedule. Show us some love and support for the cause by subscribing to our newsletter (highlineonline.ca/newsletter) and social media channels online. It’s easy to do from our home page at highlineonline.ca.
PERSPEC TIVES O N M OUNTAIN CULTURE E XHIBITIO N O N DISPL AY UNTIL D ECEMBER 14TH Our 15 minutes of frame was on November 21, with the official opening of Highline’s “Perspectives in Mountain Culture” exhibition at artsPlace. The gallery space is hosting 13 framed, large-scale photos selected from Highline’s collection of images from the past seven years of publication. Calendars featuring the images from this exhibition are now on sale at artsPlace and Valhalla Pure Outfitters in Canmore. More about the calendars on page 10.
15-11-09 4:16 PM
BEAR HUGS AND MOOSEKNUCKLES ARE YOUR OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE THOSE OH-SO-SWEET OR NASTY LITTLE THOUGHTS FOR THE WORLD TO SEE! Tag Highline in your Bear Hug and Mooseknuckle tweets and Facebook or Instagram posts, and be entered to win a monthly draw for tickets to catch shows at The Banff Centre. @highlinemag #BHMK
BEAR HUGS to my kids who make me smile every day.
BEAR HUGS to our man Marlo! Congrats on the new gig; Ottawa is
darn lucky to have you and your family. Don’t forget to write home!
BEAR HUGS (or I guess high-fives) to my awesome co-workers
who make going to work way more fun and interesting.
MOOSEKNUCKLES to sitting inside at a computer all day.
BEAR HUGS to the Banff Film Festival for showing their flash-
BEAR HUGS to being outside, sunshine, learning new things and soft blankets.
back series at the Lux Cinema this year! MOOSEKNUCKLES to folks who just throw out complaints
without any intent to ever have a two-way conversation or contribute to finding a solution.
BEAR HUGS to town planners, councils, various organizations and everyone who is working their butts off to find solutions to the affordable housing conundrum here in the Rockies.
MOOSEKNUCKLES to my job. Why did I ever accept that
BEAR HUGS to team work and neighbours who throw on a pair
promotion? Being a supervisor sux.
of gloves and a smile, grab a shovel, and get to work digging others out of snowbanks.
MOOSEKNUCKLES to mouth noises.
BEAR HUGS to Kristy and the Highline team for featuring me
BEAR HUGS to anyone who’s sad or lonely in the valley. In such
in this issue. It is an honour to be part of this great piece of mountain culture!
an active and 'positive' town it's often hard to speak up about mental health. Winter's coming; let's be kind to each other.
MOOSEKNUCKLES to thinly-veiled and outright racism. We're
MOOSEKNUCKLES to adventuring with unprepared people.
better than this, Canada. Come on people now, smile on your brother, everybody get together, try to love one another right now.
BIG OL’ BEAR HUGS to my beauty of a cruiser and the sweet,
sweet summer we had. I’ve only got heart eye emojis for you.
Pachavega’s Certificate Courses will prepare you to become more than just a raw food expert, you will learn to heal yourself and those you love with real food! Comprehensive, intimate and interactive with only 8-10 participants per course. Over 10 modules of hands-on learning and a lot of taste testing.
organic, plant-based education to heal your body and ignite your spirit 2016 Immersion Programs: June 3rd – June 8th* August 3rd – August 8th September 28th - October 3rd
2016 Immersion Programs: June 3rd – June 12th (June 9th off)* August 3rd – August 12th (August 9th off) September 28th - October 7th (Oct. 4th, off)
Check Online for details! www.pachavega.com contact email@example.com for more info
*accommodation included in tuition fee TUITION COST COVERS 3+ MEALS A DAY Held in Canmore, AB
70 hour *Heal and Ignite* Raw Food Chef Certificate
ike to eat this ou l dy l ke for breakfa st? ou te ca a ol
40 hour Healing Whole Foods Preparation Certificate
living foo ds edu cat
HIGHLINE MAGAZINE 2016 CALENDAR
GIT SOME! A UNIQUE GIFT FOR THE MOUNTAIN LOVER ON YOUR LIST. Share your love for mountain art. This year's calendar features our favourite images from the past seven years of publishing Highline Magazine.
Featuring Kelly Schovanek, Agathe Bernard, Andrew Pavlidis, Jeremiah Marsh, Dan Rafla, Shane Arsenault, Dane Ulsifer, Marko Stavric, Kimberly Simpson, FX de Ruydts and Paul Davison. Check our website for retailers in the Bow Valley and for the option to pre-order your copy online. bit.ly/highlinecal2016
Jean-Pierre Ouellet, Ari Menitove and Jason Klophaus, Bugaboo Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada. ANDREW BURR © 2015 Patagonia, Inc.
How is your clothing made? Traceable Down Traceable Down provides the highest assurance of animal welfare in the down apparel industry. We trace the source of our down from parent farm to apparel factory to help ensure that the birds are not force-fed or live-plucked. We use Traceable Down in durable, multifunctional products like the Patagonia® Down Sweater Hoody. How is your clothing made? Learn more about Traceable Down at patagonia.com/traceabledown ®
726 Main Street, Canmore, AB | 403.678.5610 vpo.ca
Start a new tradition
Proudly making cabinetry greener by reusing all of our wood waste.
$1.0 0 bread Family and Purchase a Ginger . bitat for Humanity goes to our local Ha
www.goodearthcoffeehouse.com 2 locations in Canmore: 718 Main Street and 700 Railway Avenue
(403) 678-4767 canmorewoodcrafters.com Est.1979
Free Internet // Free Programs // E-books and Audiobooks // Music Downloads Magazine Downloads // Movie Streaming // Community Outreach // Video Conferencing
Leading the field for 20 years
Certiﬁed guides – Small groups – Exceptional journeys.
403.678.2468 CanmoreLibrary.ab.ca Elevation Place: 101-700 Railway Ave in Canmore
Essential experiences, businesses that give back, cultural contributors and the folks who keep us kickin' it in the Bow Valley. Know of a business that belongs here? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
H E A LT H + W E L L N E S S
THE YOGA LOUNGE Voted Best Yoga Studio in Canmore the past three years! Our teachers are dedicated to supporting your practice through awareness, compassion, inspiration and movement. We are honoured to serve! 403.678.6687 theyogalounge.ca 2nd Floor, 826 Main Street, Canmore
EMBODY We are a 3000 sq ft Classical Pilates Studio offering equipment, mat, private classes and a teacher-training program. Check out our boutique on the main floor to find unique eco-friendly activewear. 403.678.6765 embodypilates.ca email@example.com 101 - 830 Main St. Canmore
WILLOW STREAM SPA Whether you are seeking to release the stress of the day, foster an ongoing commitment to healthy living or simply enjoy a rejuvenating outing with your friends, award winning Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont Banff Springs will guide you to find your energy. 403.762.1772 fairmont.com/banffsprings firstname.lastname@example.org 405 Spray Avenue, Banff
CANMORE HOT YOGA Canmore Hot Yoga offers Hatha, Vinyasa, and Aerial yoga classes designed to strengthen, heal, and rejuvenate your body, to calm your mind, and to awaken your soul. 403.675.9642 canmorehotyoga.com 101 - 1002 8th Avenue, Canmore
Owned and operated by Canmore locals Chad Friel and Nicole Larson, we specialize in assessment based treatments that are effective, efficient and deeply therapeutic. 403.431.0643 templetherapeutics.ca 105 - 1001 6 Avenue, Canmore
RED EARTH SPA Boasting an extensive treatment menu, The Red Earth Spa at the Caribou Lodge makes spa-ing a perfect post-adventure activity. 403.762.9292 redearthspa.com 521 Banff Avenue, Banff
FOUR PEAKS PIL ATES Fine tune your alignment. Balance your strength and flexibility. Reach your peak. Offering private and small group STOTT Pilates classes. 403.609.1265 fourpeakspilates.ca 826 Main St - Suite 205, Canmore
E ATS + TRE ATS
AN EDIBLE LIFE Do what you love, longer… and let us do the cooking! We sell healthy, honest prepared meals, coffee, smoothies and treats. Options include gluten free, meat, vegetarian and vegan. 403.609.9957 anediblelife.ca 109-112 Kananaskis Way, Canmore
VALBELL A GOURMET FOODS Where European traditions meet Canadian classics. Specializing in artisan sausages, European style cured meats, smoked hams and much more! 403.678.4109 valbella.ca 104 Elk Run Blvd, Canmore
RAVE COFFEE RAVE Coffee is a specialty coffee roaster sourcing some of the highest graded coffee in the world. Our goal is to serve you the best coffee you've ever had! 403.675.7777 ravecoffee.ca 700 Bow Valley Trail, Canmore
THE BANFF TEA CO. This year, we’re celebrating our 8th year infusing the Bow Valley with tea. Thank you to all our wonderful customers! Come in and use your 10% locals discount. 403.762.8322 banffteaco.com 208 Caribou Street, Banff CANMORE PASTA CO. Canmore Pasta Co. is your source for fresh pasta in the Bow Valley. Find us at your favorite restaurant, local grocer and our location on Bow Meadows Crescent. Open M-F 9am-5pm. 403.678.5266 canmorepasta.com 1 - 113 Bow Meadows Crescent, Canmore
WILD FLOUR Banff's artisan bakery cafe, Wild Flour is authentically local and independent with a bustling neighbourhood feel. Wild Flour makes organic, healthy, and nourishing food right in the heart of Banff. 403.760.5074 wildflourbakery.ca 211 Bear Street #101, Banff
BANFF AVE BREWING CO Fresh beer, inspired food and ridiculous friends. The Banff Ave Brewing Co is a major sponsor of Highline, featuring our new brew on tap, The Highline Magazine Naked Nut Brown Ale. 403.762.1003 banffavebrewingco.ca 110 Banff Ave, 2nd Floor, Banff
WHITEBARK CAFE We are passionate about serving the perfect cup of coffee with fare-trade organic beans from Moja Coffee. 403.760.7298 whitebarkcafe.com 401 Banff Avenue, Banff
M O U N TA I N C U LT U R E + E X P E RIE N C E S
WHY TE MUSEUM OF THE CANADIAN ROCKIES Through our exhibitions, events, archives + library and museum shop, join us in exploring the culture created when peaks and people meet! 403.762.2291 whyte.org 111 Bear Street, Banff
BOW VALLEY VICTIM SERVICES Have you, a family member or friend been affected by a crime or traumatic event? If so, Bow Valley Victim Services is happy to be of help. 403.760.0197 bowvalleyvictimservices.org Peter.G.Quinn@rcmp-grc.gc.ca
RAVEN RESCUE Technical rescue training, equipment & services. Internationally recognized courses held in Canmore: Swiftwater Rescue, Surface Ice Rescue, Technical Rope Rescue, Wilderness First Responder, and Technical Rescue Academy. 1.800.880.0287 ravenrescue.com PO Box 861, Smithers, BC, V0J 2N0
CANMORE NORDIC CENTRE - 2016 WORLD CUP HOST One season. Two World Cups. Six weeks of winter fun. 2016 BMW IBU World Cup Biathlon: February 4-7. IS Cross Country Ski Tour Canada 2016: March 7-12. email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org canmorebiathlon.ca and skitourcanada.com
CAMILLE HEMINGSON - ASSOCIATE, RE /MA X ALPINE REALT Y Real. Local. Advice. Canmore through the eyes of a newcomer, agent, broker, business owner, investor, landlord, and parent. I’m here to help you make those big real estate decisions. 403.678.8137 email@example.com 709 Main Street, Canmore
PAINTBOX / COOKING AT THE BOX Canmore's favorite downtown boutique hotel. Join us for a feast for the senses at a cooking classes or a private dining experience. 403.609.0482 paintboxlodge.com 629 10th Street, Canmore
VALHALL A PURE OUTFIT TERS Locally owned and operated adventure outfitter offering a great selection of brands and products with friendly, helpful service. And now collect Adventure Bucks! See store or website for details. 403.678.5610 vpo.ca 726 Main Street, Canmore
ALPINE CLUB OF CANADA We've been passionate about climbing, hiking and skiing in alpine environments for over 100 years. Everyone is welcome, so come join us! 403.678.3200 firstname.lastname@example.org 201 Indian Flats Road, Canmore
C A N A D A
RENEWING OUR VOWS
words: Kevin Van Tighem
efore there were roads through the Rockies, there was a trail system used by the First Nations peoples. They followed the larger valleys and side passes to places where pipestone could be found, bighorn sheep hunted and medicine plants gathered. It all was sacred, but some places were particularly powerful. The people resorted there for healing, inspiration
But for Canadians to visit their parks, they needed services. The government was not in the lodging, food and guiding business. So even though the parks were reserved for the public, commercial interests were invited back in on a limited basis. Long-term leases or renewable licenses encouraged private businesses to provide services to the visiting public. It was a marriage of convenience: practical, but hard-wired for conflict. Businesses like to grow. National parks are intended to be kept wild. Those two imperatives came into conflict when some business operators failed fully to embrace Canada’s national park ideal. Sometimes Parks Canada itself forgot its sacred duty to future generations.
and spiritual renewal. Roads were still scarce in 1907 when the recently widowed Mary Schäffer decided to venture deep into the largely unmapped Rockies. With her friend Molly Adams and guides Billy Warren and Sid Unwin, she traveled by horse pack train to the stillremote North Saskatchewan River.
Schäffer ultimately married her guide, Billy Warren. Their marriage, in many ways, modeled the ideal relationship between national park idealism and private enterprise. They loved the mountain national parks for what those places were, not for what they could take from them.
There she met Samson and Leah Beaver, Stoney Nakoda people who lived among their sacred mountains. Samson Beaver drew them a rough map to a lake hidden deep in the mountains to the north. Many days later, Schäffer became the first white woman to see Maligne Lake. She was awed by its quiet majesty. Even today, long after a paved road invaded its stillness, its spiritual power seems undiminished from what Schäffer and her party found more than a century ago.
Every marriage faces tests. In the mountain national parks, the awkward marriage between nature and enterprise has been tested repeatedly. In the 1960s, Parks Canada proposed master plans that would commercialize even the remotest valleys. Canadians said no. Ski hill expansion proposals became controversial in the 1970s; again, Canadians said no. In the late 1980s, Alberta oil money flooded the Rockies, and even the smallest businesses were suddenly able to afford expansion proposals. Parks Canada, reacting again to public outcry, commissioned two expert panels, revised management plans, and brought in a series of new policies to control commercial growth.
It helps that the motorized crowds retreat down the valley each evening. Parks Canada may have built a road, but fortunately had the sense to allow Maligne Lake as a day-use destination only. In the evenings, peace spreads across the valley like a benediction, golden light slanting in across the caribou meadows of the Maligne Range to set the green avalanche meadows aglow on Mount Leah. Thrush song haunts the shadowed woods, and timelessness returns.
Today, as we have come to expect, the arranged marriage between protected nature and private enterprise is going through rocky times yet again. Even Schäffer’s sacred lake is under threat by a proposal to replace public day-use with private overnight resort facilities.
The national park ideal was something new in Schäffer’s day. Canada’s version was born in Banff as a result of squabbling speculators hoping to commercialize another sacred Aboriginal place — one that the speculators professed to have “discovered.” But rather than allow the Banff hot springs to become a tacky commercial resort, the government reserved a national park for all Canadians and proclaimed it protected for all time.
We can wait for Canadians to remind us all of what national parks are meant to be. Or we can remind ourselves that parks must always be parks, and renew our vows to cherish and protect these sacred places. Kevin Van Tighem spent more than three decades studying wildlife, interpreting nature and managing Canada’s mountain national parks. An author of 13
The frontier era was a time of massive change. National parks came to be seen as antidotes to loss and conflict — places where world-weary souls could seek renewal. Here, the sacred would persist, undefiled for all time.
books on conservation-related topics, he lives with wife Gail in Canmore. When not writing or advocating for Canada’s wildlife and wild places, he hikes, paddles, fishes and hunts in Alberta’s foothills and Front Ranges.
words: Rob Alexander photo: Courtesy of City of Calgary Archives - OCO photos
Bragg Creek’s loss was Canmore’s gain as today the Nordic Centre is a favourite with European skiers and one of the top three cross-country and biathlon venues in the world.
ears ago, Canmore’s claim to global fame was black gold. Not oil, but lustrous, high-quality, hot-burning coal. Today, Canmore’s reputation comes from a lustre of another kind: high-quality, hot-burning Nordic gold in the Canmore Nordic Centre. Canmore is now so Nordic it might as well be called “Canmordic.”
“The Olympic movement in Calgary and Canmore was to leave a legacy, and that legacy is with us today,” says Rees, referring to the top-three rating and to the numerous summer and winter events the Nordic Centre hosts.
Canmore was put on the map as a biathlon and cross-country skiing mecca during the 1988 Winter Olympics, and in 2016, the Canmore Nordic Centre will once again be the envy of the world stage with the upcoming 2016 BMW IBU World Cup Biathlon (Feb. 1-7) and Ski Tour Canada 2016 – FIS World Cup (March 8-12).
Any look at the legacy of the Olympics and the Nordic Centre has to include the addition of the Bill Warren Training Centre; inclusion in Alberta’s provincial park system; the Frozen Thunder early-season ski trail (the first in North America); and the steadily increasing summer use.
Refurbished in 2005, the Nordic Centre now features wider trails and room for mass starts and is not only allowing Canmore to host the biggest sporting event in Canmore’s history since the Olympics, but is also setting some North American firsts.
“Alberta Parks certainly stepped up and made it possible for all seasons. In the past it wasn’t an all-season perspective, but it certainly makes use of the facility in a big way today,” says Rees.
“The fact that we can hold two World Cups for two different sports within six weeks of each other is virtually unprecedented in North America,” says Carly Lewis, Ski Tour Canada 2016 – Alberta director, marketing and communications.
A key part of the Nordic Centre’s legacy is the millions of dollars that get pumped into the local, regional and provincial economy. The 2012 Alberta Cross Country Ski Would Cup, for example, brought an estimated $3.52 million (including event spending) into the regional economy.
This will also be the first time the FIS World Cup will hold its season finale in North America. And given the popularity of cross-country and biathlon World Cups, it’s expected that 60-100 million viewers will tune in to watch.
That couldn’t have happened without the single most important piece of the Nordic Centre’s legacy since Canmore was chosen to host the Nordic events, the $25 million project to update the facility in 2005.
“In Europe, they’re getting tens of thousands of people out as spectators for these world cups and millions of television viewers per race,” says Lewis. (Bring your cowbells, Canmore!)
“The 2005 renovation was critical because it guaranteed the presence of international events for the future,” says Rees, adding that the Nordic Centre needed an overhaul as it no longer met international competition standards.
The Nordic Centre has a long history of being camera-ready, even though Canmore wasn't the first choice for the Nordic venue in 1988. Olympic organizers were instead eyeing another small town.
And a decade later, that presence only continues to grow.
“Initially, they were going to have the Nordic venue in Bragg Creek, but the work of a number people convinced them that Bragg Creek had a snow problem and that Canmore would be a better location,” says Dave Rees, a 1968 Olympian, 1988 Canmore Nordic Centre chief of course, and founder of the Canmore-based Canadian Nordic Ski Museum.
Think you know a thing or two about the cross country and biathlon world in the Bow Valley? Take our quiz online and be entered to win a season’s pass to the Canmore Nordic Centre for the 2016/17 season and some World Cup goodies. highlineonline.ca/olympic-trivia *Hint: if you’re stumped, all of the answers can be found within the exhibit at the Canmore Nordic Centre Daylodge. Go check it out!
MARCH 3 & 4, 2016 CALGARY ALBERTA
JOIN US AT THE MOST SIGNIFICANT MAGAZINE MEDIA EVENT IN WESTERN CANADA Expand your knowledge, skills and networks in editorial, design, digital media, circulation, sales and the business of publishing.
BUY ONE GREAT ALBERTA MAGAZINE and GET THE SECOND FOR FREE albertamagazines.com/bogo-subscription
There’s a magazine for every interest
AMPA acknowledges the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Periodical Fund (CPF) of the Department of Canadian Heritage, as well as the Government of Alberta through the Alberta Media Fund (AMF).
Your comfort, our fashion. The Bow Valley’s original sign maker since 1979
Banners and Vinyl Dimensional Interior Wood Vehicle Aluminum Freestanding Fascia and Wallmount cansign.com 403.678.4907 email@example.com
Your comfort. 105-713 Main St. Canmore, AB Our fashion. firstname.lastname@example.org 403.675.0017
Jeremiah Marsh is a well-bearded outdoor photographer based in Banff, Alberta. He has been experimenting with his love of light, shapes and depth since he found an old 35mm Nikon SLR at a garage sale for $8. Marsh moved to Banff from Southern California in 2012 and has never secondguessed his decision to trade the sandy beaches for the Canadian Rocky Mountains. He says that having easy access to these vast and ancient landscapes has stirred his creativity and, through his work, deepened his emotional connection to nature. He often goes on long drives with his girlfriend Amie and her unlikely mountain companion Veda — a 13-year-old Chihuahua who stars in her own Instagram account @veda_gram. They love to go exploring in the wilderness, wandering in meadows to just see what there is to see. Marsh attempts to capture the feeling of the day in his photos. “These mountains are a limitless source of awe, and every shot is an attempt to interpret the beauty and wonderment I find in the Rockies,” he says. One of Marsh’s images is featured in Highline’s Perspectives on Mountain Culture exhibition — a retrospective of our favourite images from the past seven years of publishing — on display at Canmore’s artsPlace until December 14. jeremiahmarsh.com @jeremiahbanff ( @veda_gram)
Gluttons for Punishment M A P PIN G T HE W O LV E RINE WAY
words: Fraser Los
illustration: Andreas Lie
If you manage to haul a frozen, skinned beaver carcass up a remote mountain pass in the middle of winter, then nail it about two metres up a tree, you might just be lucky enough to attract a wolverine.
That’s what researchers have been trying to do for the past few years as part of a multi-year study to learn more about these elusive predators, and how they move and survive throughout the mountainous terrain of Southern Alberta and British Columbia. Led by Tony Clevenger, a biologist at Montana State University’s Western Transportation Institute, the research team tracks wolverines using non-invasive methods, such as cameras and hair traps (and, yes, skinned beavers on trees) with hopes of learning how these high-elevation predators are affected by highways and other barriers as they travel long distances in search of food and mates. “Some days we’d ski 15, 20 or 40 kilometres up trails nobody had skied on to set up a trap,” recalls Clevenger, who says his research team has likely covered more than 2,000 kilometres of trails through the cold winters. “We talked to the avalanche forecasters every day; and of course you’re also nailing things to trees, so anything could go wrong,” he says. “But it’s a species that really motivates you and gets everybody excited to learn more about them.” The lengths Clevenger and others have gone to in order to study wolverines is a testament both to the allure and to the elusiveness of this fierce carnivore. The wolverine is one of the least-studied mammals in North America but certainly not because it’s uninteresting. Wolverines are difficult to trap, says Clevenger, because they’re so sensitive to human activity, and because they naturally have small population densities; so you need to set a lot of traps with often little reward. Even if you do get a radio collar on one, there’s no guarantee it will stay on for long because wolverines are notorious for ripping off radio collars within months. For decades, many biologists gave up on studying them. Clevenger and his team have kept at it because they want to learn more about wolverines for some very strategic reasons. The studies began back in 2010 as part of a larger project called Highway Wilding, which seeks to understand the effects of major transportation corridors on wildlife habitat and connectivity, especially for wide-ranging species like wolverines. Large transportation routes like the Trans-Canada Highway and Highway 3 (which each bisect the Rockies through Southern Alberta and British Columbia) form major barriers to wolverine movements, and limit mating and therefore gene flow between populations — an extremely important factor in ensuring healthy, viable populations into the future. For Clevenger and other biologists, the only way to protect wolverines is to find ways to keep them connected across vast landscapes, especially since healthy populations in the U.S. are largely
dependent on interactions with larger populations in Canada. An estimated 250-300 wolverines remain in the continental U.S., and in Canada, they are a species of “Special Concern” under the federal Species at Risk Act. Clevenger’s research team has been working closely with Canmore-based Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y), which seeks to improve wildlife connections throughout the largely intact Rocky Mountain chain that forms the spine of North America. “Y2Y is the right scale for me to be working, especially because it’s trans-boundary,” says Clevenger. Through his research, he hopes to provide a roadmap of habitats and corridors that wolverines need in order to survive. And that roadmap necessarily involves crossing major highways. “You could conserve all the land from Yellowstone to Yukon, but if you can’t get wolverines across roads, you’re lost,” he says. “In the land between Banff-Yoho-Kootenay and Waterton-Glacier, you’ve got Highway 3, fracking, oil and gas, forest cutting and motorized recreation. This is really a critical piece of landscape.” Results from last year’s field studies confirmed that many parts of Southern Alberta, including the Castle Watershed — early in September 2015 the Alberta government announced would become new parkland — are “crucial” to the survival of American wolverine populations because these areas provide a key linkage to larger populations in protected areas to the north. Clevenger is convinced that he will find the similar results during this winter’s studies, which will focus on populations in Southern B.C.’s Flathead and Elk valleys. Clevenger is also quick to point out the study’s implications go far beyond wolverines. As with grizzly bears, the wolverine is considered an indicator species. “Wolverines are one of the best indicators of a well-connected ecosystem,” he says. “If you start to lose wolverines, it’s pretty clear that something’s wrong.” On the other hand, protecting wolverine habitat will automatically protect habitat for a whole range of species that depend on the same ecosystems for survival.
To learn more about the research, visit the WolverineWatch.org website and Facebook page: facebook.com/wolverinewatch.org.
know your neighbour
STRAIGHT OUTTA CANMORE
words: Corrie DiManno
photo: Georgie Silckerodt
arol Picard ain’t no puff piece. As an editor, Picard was never afraid to kill a story. And as a reporter, she threw mean hooks and was known to bust an all caps in her assignments. Basically, she’s an original gangster of journalism in the Bow Valley.
Festival (they have volunteered at the folk fest every year since), and had a daughter named Sam. And in 2000, she started crafting the business plan for the Rocky Mountain Outlook, sharing it with soon-to-be business partners Bob Schott and Larry Marshall.
For the record though, Picard’s best feature is her ability to listen during interviews and to thoughtfully weigh both sides of a story. A lifetime of bylines in the morgue (that’s shop talk for newspaper library) stand as testimony to how trustworthy, reliable and straight-up smart she is.
After a 37-hour shift spent behind the keyboard, the inaugural issue of the Rocky Mountain Outlook hit the stands on Sept. 20, 2001, just nine days after the World Trade Centre fell in New York City. The business model — an advertising-based model that allowed the Outlook to provide the newspaper to the community for free, unlike the other papers in town — was in jeopardy. Advertisers held tightly onto their wallets as tourism in the valley virtually came to a halt following the attacks. In fact, the paper was just one payroll away from closing its doors above the Canmore Rose & Crown.
Throw it back to 1991 when a young yet veteran journalist originally from Winnipeg joined the Canmore Leader on a one-year trial basis. It was post 1988 Olympics, and Canmore was shifting from a sleepy coal mining town to a tourism destination. Picard would go on to spend the next two decades reporting about the after-effects of this transition: developers versus environmentalists and businesses versus government. She continued her commitment to community not only during her time at the Canmore Leader, but at a weekly newspaper that she would create in Canmore: the Rocky Mountain Outlook.
But after this rocky start and a lot of hard work, the model clicked. In a short time, the Outlook had gained credibility within the community for its hard-hitting news, and the phone started ringing. Advertisers as well as sources began to call. Picard’s dark, sleepless-nights-turned-4 a.m.-mornings at the desk had paid off.
“There’s nothing more gangster than starting your own newspaper. Think about it: the Fourth Estate is the only true way we, as a democracy, have to question those in power, and they have to answer,” says Tanya Foubert, a RMO reporter mentored by Picard. “Questioning power is in and of itself a rebellious act.”
Since selling and then later retiring from the Outlook, Picard has served as a trustee on the Canadian Rockies Public Schools board and has helped host Food and Friends at St. Michael’s in Canmore every Monday. She has also inspired the next generation of journalists in the Bow Valley and beyond.
Growing up, Picard knew all she wanted to do was to write. Starting her journalism career at the Winnipeg Tribune in 1977, Picard also did two CBC stints, and seven years at the Edmonton Sun where she says she was a “round peg in a square hole” as a lefty feminist. Tired of identifying who she was by who she worked for (and also tired of serial dating), Picard packed up and moved to Japan for two years in 1988.
“Carol taught me so much and continues to inspire me to fight the powers that be through my work,” says Foubert. “Who else but a journalist actually gets do that?” To nominate a neighbour for this feature, email Corrie at email@example.com.
Returning to Canada, her life’s path opened up to her. She worked at the Canmore Leader for seven years, married a local locksmith named Robin during the 1994 Canmore Folk Music
photo: Dan Rafla
“Skiing is a dance, and the mountain always leads.” — Jim Bowden
photo: Dan Rafla
photo: John Price
photo: Agathe Bernard
photo: Eric Frigon
words: Joanna Croston
Medicine Walk is a national bestseller and the winner of the 2015 Banff Mountain Book Competition’s Mountain Fiction and Poetry Award, sponsored by Highline Magazine.
Richard Wagamese is a brilliant storyteller. Full stop. A multiple award winner, he is truly one of Canada’s foremost writers who adds a strong Aboriginal voice to Canada’s literary scene. Wagamese’s most recent novel Medicine Walk is a work of art, as tragic and sorrowful as it is. Medicine Walk follows the story of a remarkably mature 16-year-old, Franklin Starlight, who, after being abandoned by his alcoholic father, is raised by “the old man,” a friend of the family. Never allowed the luxury of a happy childhood, Franklin works hard in both life and school where the rewards are few and far in between. However, he revels in the virtual calm of not having to deal with an immediate family. He and the old man take to the mountains of British Columbia whenever they can, seeking solace in pine-scented forests and chilled-to-the-bone streams chock full of trout. Franklin learns much about wild places and discovers early in life that his true expertise, like that of his ancestors, lies in living off the land.
“He could hear the yap of wolves at play. He sat on a rock that faced the east and he watched the line of shadow creeping westward in time with sun’s fade behind the lip of another ridge to the
When his dying father calls on him to take him on one last walk in the woods to find a burial site in the traditional “warrior way,” Franklin agrees but is devastated by the prospect of sharing the land he loves with a drunk who he believes understands nothing of this landscape. Wagamese is an expert weaver of threads of memory and emotion. He creates a tapestry of grace, reconciliation and hidden truths. His uncanny ability to discuss taboo issues like alcoholism, domestic violence, and child abuse within the everyday conversations of his characters is the secret element that pulls the reader into the story and refuses to relinquish its hold until all has been revealed, but not necessarily resolved. The genius of this writer is his ability to merge tragedy and love, horror and stillness, and this, strangely, can’t help but leave the reader with a sense of hope. Wagamese has a rare gift for storytelling, which turns every sentence into gold, and in turn, this novel shines as a highly crafted masterpiece.
west, the cool air like a curtain descending."
Joanna Croston is the programming director of the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival and a voracious reader who has a soft spot for all mountain literature.
words: Kristy Davison // illustration: Lin Oosterhoff
But it never did.
ach winter, in deepest, darkest January, my friend Amy and I plan a full moon cross-country ski trip from Canmore to Banff via the Goat Creek Trail. The trail, roughly 20 kilometres of easy skiing, runs behind the Rundle range and connects the two towns. It’s a popular trail on sunny Rocky Mountain winter days, but we had never encountered another soul on it in the years we’d been skiing it by night.
Before we knew it, any light that had been lingering in the spruce trees had completely vanished. We could barely see the ends of our skis and were moving forward into the darkness by instinct and the feel of our feet in the subtle tracks grooved by other skiers. Reluctantly accepting that we would not be graced by moonlight once again, we pulled up beside each other and flopped our packs on the snow. We’d have a quick tea and a snack and then strap on our headlamps for the remainder of the route to Banff.
The first year we attempted this adventure we timed it perfectly with the moonrise. The full moon rose above Mt. Rundle just as the last of the sun’s light was fading. It glowed so brightly that we were able to ski the entire distance without headlamps. The air was like breathing pure moonlight. We felt humbly privileged to be on a journey amongst such simple, natural wonders and vowed to make this trip an annual occurrence.
We were enjoying some beef jerky when we heard a heavy crunching sound in the snow to the right of the track from where we stood. The sound came from just 20 metres away. Moments later, there was another footstep. And another. Moving. Slowly.
Later attempts, however, never worked out quite as well as they did on that first ski. One year, Amy managed to scratch her eyeball on the handle of her ski pole in a particularly spectacular crash. She skied the rest of that trip with one eye open. For a few years, the cloud cover prevented a full moonlight experience. Our expectations may have been a little too lofty considering the triumphs of that first year’s fivestar tour.
We froze. “Oh, sh—t. Did you hear that?” I whispered without moving a muscle. “Yeah, That was big.” Amy confirmed. We were blind, 10 kilometres from Banff and roughly the same distance from Canmore. The smart thing would have been to take a second to pull out our lamps, but it seems the instinctive flight response trumped good judgment. We threw our packs on and skied frantically into the darkness in the opposite direction of the sinister sounds.
And then there was the year that the moon didn’t rise at all. That was the year when this particular story took place; a dark time in our history on the Goat Creek Trail.
Our tradition is to leave work a little early so we can set out from the trailhead around 4:30 p.m., just as the light of the shortest days of the year is fading away. The biggest threat on the route is one steep, sharp corner leading down to the first bridge near the beginning of the trail, and it is always preferable for hacks like us to sacrifice ourselves to that icy slope while we still have a bit of light to work with.
That plan lasted about two minutes because we had to stop and deal with our light situation: we couldn’t even tell if we were skiing the right direction, towards Banff, on the track. So we dropped our bags and groped for our headlamps, snapping them on. A sign-post along the track caught in the small beam of light, giving us our bearings. At least we were headed in the right direction.
We set out on this clear, brisk late afternoon, smiles on our faces, our packs brimming with extra layers, dark chocolate bars, thermoses of Bengal Spice tea, beef jerky and a few coins for celebratory brews from the Banff Springs liquor store at journey’s end.
The ice cracked and moaned at the river’s edge, echoing footfalls of something heavy and wild. Whatever was out there was following us. “Let’s go!” we yelped simultaneously. We didn’t say a word as we skied into the dark. The narrative running through my mind for the next hour, however, as I constantly scanned the forest for eyes, involved a complex feat of engineering in which I would construct a rescue sled from our skis and backpack straps, so that I could strap Amy’s mangled body to it and drag her to Banff after the beast had had its way with her. In my mind, the design of this sled was pure genius: smooth and strong, something an Inuit hunter would be proud of. Roomy enough for two large seals. Needless to say, an hour is a long time to be trapped inside your imagination in the deep, dark woods.
The snow was pristine: a good grip on the uphills, but smooth enough to provide plenty of giddy speed on the downhill sections. We were making good time, chatting about life and hooting and hollering our way down the switchbacks that lead to the approximate halfway point at the Spray River bridge. By the time we reached the Spray, the sun was long gone. Our eyes were continually adjusting to the deepening darkness so we decided to keep skiing a bit further without pulling out our headlamps, hoping against hope that the moon would rise above the wall of mountains, once again lighting our way.
"Still, the eyes moved closer, fearless, wild, unaffected by our shrieking.'"
We stopped in our tracks, completely paralyzed. Instead of popping our skis off for a fight to the death as per my brilliant plan, we instead began screaming like we had never screamed before. These screams — the sounds falling somewhere on the spectrum between mother grizzly and the screech of a golden eagle — welled up from the very depths of our animal souls. Still, the eyes moved closer, fearless, wild, unaffected by our shrieking. This is it, I said to myself. This is the way I’m going to die. The worst possible scenario that I have been imagining for the last hour is actually about to unfold. Screaming suddenly felt futile. As the wild thing continued to approach — our attempts at scaring the creature clearly futile — we stopped our yelling, frozen and unsure of what to do next. Then, a small, confused voice cut through the dark: “Uh…hello?” The thing was close enough now to emerge into the cone of dim light shining from our headlamps: we had almost been eaten by an appallingly cute, annoyingly friendly golden retriever out for a late night walk with its favourite human. A mix of utter shock, relief, and then embarrassment struck me; the pitiful echoes of the angry grizzly bear I’d been impersonating only moments before still hanging awkwardly in the darkness. Clearly confused, a woman continued uncertainly towards us then shuffled by with a meek “Hi” as she and “the beast” continued on their way. Five minutes more and we were there, at the end of the trail, laughing nervously under a streetlight with the warm lights of the Banff Springs Hotel welcoming us back to civilization.
Thankfully, as we skied with what was left of our energy towards what we hoped was safety, we began to recognize some of the turns as the final kilometre or so of the trail. Maybe we weren’t going to be lost to the forest after all.
That was the last time Amy and I have skied the Goat Creek Trail together. She says that fact has more to do with her fear of being strapped down to a makeshift sled than it does with her fear of being eaten. Sure, whatever you say, Amy.
As we came closer and closer to the end of the trail, the tension and focus slowly began to melt away. We broke the silence: I admitted, “Oh, man. I have been freaking out. Were you scared? I was scared.” “I wasn’t that scared,” Amy lied.
This story will also be appearing in Imagine This Valley, a collection of short stories based in the Bow Valley, edited by Stephen Legault and
I told her about the part of my plan that involved popping our skis off as quickly as possible so that we could use them as pitiful, awkward weapons should a death struggle ensue. We started to laugh, and she told me how the fact that I kept pointing my light into the woods was really freaking her out, but she was too out of breath to say anything.
published by Rocky Mountain Books. The book is set to hit stands late 2016.
We were mid-laugh when we saw the eyes. Caught in the light of our lamps, right in the middle of the trail, not 40 metres ahead of us, gleamed a pair of bright green eyes. Unblinking eyes two feet off the ground; they were slowly, but brazenly creeping towards us.
PIERRE LEMIRE Summit of Excellence Award Winner, 2015
photo: Henry Vaux Junior
Since 1987, the Summit of Excellence Award has been awarded to an individual who has made a significant contribution to mountain life in the Canadian Rockies. The 2015 recipient is photographer and mountain guide Pierre Lemire. Presented annually at the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival, this award is in memory of Calgary climber Bill March, an internationally respected mountaineer, author, and educator, who led Canada’s first successful Everest climb in 1982.
ierre Lemire’s prolific career working as a certified mountain guide and photographer in the Rockies happened almost by chance. As a teenager growing up in Quebec, Lemire was inspired by men of the mountains and holds Frank Smythe, the British mountaineer, writer and explorer, as an inspirational figure in his early life.
Throughout this time he continued to pursue his love for photography, a hobby he developed as a child. “Photography was my passion, definitely as much as I liked mountaineering and skiing,” he says. “It also was a fantastic opportunity for me to take photographs.” Lemire’s love of photographing people and mountains led him to travel the world – Peru, Burma, Greenland, Bolivia, India and Guatemala among some of the highlights – in order to document his experiences through the lens, while processing all of his images in the bath tub at home, which he still does to this day.
Initially a portrait and street photographer, Lemire’s fascination with mountain landscapes and communities drew him to the Rocky Mountains from Quebec in 1965. Upon arrival in Alberta, the 18-year-old Lemire started work as a store man at the Chateau Lake Louise and later at the Plain of Six Glaciers Tea House – a move which was to prove both pivotal and instrumental for what was set to happen in the next 50 or so years of his life as a photographer and in the Rockies.
“My passion for photography has always been more with people than with scenery,” says Lemire. “The photos I have taken have been hugely influenced by the places I’ve been and the people I’ve met. I’ve been fortunate throughout my life to have met people who channel and help me.”
“You have to be a little bit crazy,
Lemire’s work has appeared in Canadian Summits, Equinox, and the Faces of Canada exhibit. He now lives in Field, British Columbia, and is most proud of his work that appeared in The Hills of Nepal exhibit at the Whyte Museum in 2000, featuring intimate photographs of men, women and children taken over the course of three visits to the foothills of the Himalayas.
passionate and driven.”
During this time he fell in love with mountain life, and a few years later he managed to get a job as a lift operator at the Lake Louise ski field. He had found his calling. Soon Lemire was learning about avalanches and took his first course to become an assistant guide with Canadian Mountain Holidays (CMH) in 1971. He worked for the following three years in avalanche control in Rogers Pass, and by 1974 was a certified mountain guide with the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG). Soon after his certification, he started to work for CMH as a heli-skiing guide where he quickly progressed through the ranks, and from 1980 to 1990 Lemire also worked as an Examiner for the ACMG.
His photo of Bugaboo Spire is featured on the cover of Voices from the Summit, published in 2000 by National Geographic Society in collaboration with The Banff Centre commemorating 25 years of the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival. When asked what it takes to be a good photographer versus a mountaineer, Lemire replied, “The only difference is the motivation and passion. You have to be a little bit crazy, passionate and driven.”
snow words: Tanya Foubert // photo: Sarah Eisenlohr
Highline Magazine and Rocky Mountain Outlook
SKI HILL S RESP O ND TO A CHANGING CLIMATE
With climate change and its effects on global weather patterns being contended with the world over, the reality of milder winters and hotter summers has clear implications for ski resorts both in Western Canada and its neighbour to the south.
ome people may still question whether climate change is real, or that it is even connected to the consumption of non-renewable resources and to greenhouse gas levels. However, it is an issue ski hills should have been anticipating since the early ’90s and, consequently, should have been planning and adapting their operations for ever since.
sensitive ecosystem to temperature change. They are nature’s thermometer, so we were very aware to changes in climate. In 1993, we really didn’t know how much of it was anthropogenic versus natural cycles, but nonetheless we knew back then we should build higher, put more lift capacity higher, and invest more in snowmaking. Adaptation for us started a long time ago.” Simply knowing that climate change is an issue is not enough. De Jong says assessment of how it will affect a particular area and a ski hill operation is essential to understanding how to adapt, to mitigate, and to take action operationally for a changing climate with warmer winters, hotter summers and more extreme storms.
JAGGED LIT TLE HILL
American climate activist Auden Schendler is the vice-president of sustainability at Aspen Snowmass in Colorado. He says the issue of climate change is at a point where it is “in your face,” and the ski industry, as well as society in general, should be motivated to take action. For example, hit hardest in states like California and Oregon are hills like Homewood Mountain Ski Resort in Lake Tahoe, which essentially closed operations last season. (Other American hills that were impacted by no snow last season include Badger Pass, Dodge Ridge and Mt. Shasta Ski Park in California, and Willamette Pass Resort, Hoodoo Ski Area and Mt. Ashland Ski Area in Oregon).
“The assessment phase was important for us to understand the changes taking place, as well as projecting what may happen,” he says. “Our goal is very lofty, but it is to have a zero operating footprint. If we do that ourselves it is meaningless, unless by doing it we inspire others.” Making a business case for carbon reduction efforts has been important for Whistler Blackcomb, and De Jong says that being one of the first large tourism operators to actually get close to having a zero operating footprint is very powerful. He says that with eight to nine per cent of the global economy directly related to tourism, setting that kind of example and connecting it to profitability can and will inspire others in the industry. Whistler Blackcomb, in fact, saves $1 million annually on electricity through its sustainability efforts. De Jong says that energy is the second highest expense for the company after labour.
“The conversation we are having today is different than 10 years ago because climate change is here, and ski resort managers who don’t understand this and who aren’t really agitated and pushing for solutions are just bad business people,” says Schendler. The case for mitigation and adaptation to climate change for ski hills in Western Canada is demonstrated clearly by Whistler Blackcomb’s Climate Change and Resource Efficiency Strategy, published in 2013. Prepared by mountain planning and environmental resource manager Arthur De Jong, the 127-page report outlines the ski resort's goal to achieve zero waste, zero carbon and zero net emissions. De Jong says the publicly traded company has a vision to lead and to inspire global tourism in resource conservation. Carbon reduction is central to achieving this goal, which is why the resort started developing an environmental management system in 1993.
IT TA KES A VIL L AGE
Energy efficiency efforts are a low hanging fruit when it comes to action against climate change. Sunshine Village Ski & Snowboard Resort chief operating officer Dave Riley says his ski hill looks at what can be done locally to reduce their carbon footprint: increasing mass transportation to the hill, investigating how fossil fuels are used and managing energy. With regard to the latter, for instance, Sunshine has: initiated an extensive light fixture replacement program; installed high efficiency heating furnaces to replace older less efficient units;
“Even back in the early ’90s (when the first intergovernmental panel on climate change was initiated by the United Nations) we were aware that the climate was changing, mostly because we operate on glaciers,” De Jong says. “Glaciers are the most
now uses power factor correction through an investment in capacitor banks to reduce wasting energy; installed an automated energy management system in the Sunshine Mountain Lodge and day lodge; and switched to solar panels rather than generators for communications systems. Sunshine is blessed by its geography at a high elevation in the Rocky Mountains and a location that gets enough precipitation to boast all natural snow cover. But an uncertain future with climate change means the ski hill may have to consider the s-word: snowmaking. (Snowmaking is an adaptation strategy ski hills have utilized to combat climate change’s effects, but it is one that increases the operation’s carbon footprint.) BE AT T HE HE AT
“We have, in our discussions with Parks Canada on a long range basis, explored the idea of expanding our snowmaking system — and the way to do that without it impacting minimum stream flows in the winter is through storage. You basically have to have adequate reservoir storage so you don’t draw (water from) the stream during low flow conditions,” says Riley.
Globally, business and government have been mitigating for and trying to limit warming to two degrees Celsius. De Jong has plugged two degrees Celsius into models for Whistler Blackcomb, and he suggests that the outcomes are manageable but expensive; yet he warns that that kind of warming, when modelled globally for water and food supply, shows the hill has greater resilience than does the general economy, and those larger context scenarios pose a risk to tourism as well. In a world that is far more significantly resource-stressed because of reductions in water and food supply, as well as the associated geopolitical outcomes of that potential reality, people may not be able to travel for leisure as freely.
MAKIN’ IT SNOW
Radically improving snowmaking at a ski hill is likely the most creative adaption available to operators. Resorts of the Canadian Rockies senior vice-president of marketing and resort experience Matt Mosteller says snowmaking improvements are key for ski hills like Nakiska Ski Resort, which sits at the lowest elevation of those located in Western Alberta. Developed to host the 1988 alpine events during the Calgary Winter Olympics, Nakiska’s snowmaking system received upgrades to rerouting and cooling in the summer of 2015. Mosteller points to the nozzles and the pumps used for snowmaking as examples of infrastructure that has been replaced in order to use less energy while making more snow. He says the new pumps utilize nozzle technology so that snow can be made at variable temperatures while using less water. There is a reduction in water use, energy use and, at the same time, the product is more skier and snowboarder friendly.
“Climate change is not necessarily going to knock us directly; it is going to knock us indirectly because of a significantly compromised global economy due to these shortages. It is that big of a picture,” says De Jong. Another key area for ski hills to concentrate efforts in a warming climate is diversification. De Jong says that some authorities would consider diversification to be a part of adaptation, but for Whistler Blackcomb it is a big deal on its own. “Resorts have all these unused assets for five, six months of the year, and so it is obviously a much stronger business model if you can utilize those assets through more months of the year profitably,” he says. “So climate change or no climate change, diversification is a very important business model. With climate change it makes it all the more important that we are building experiences that don’t require snow.”
“Our goal is very lofty, but it is to have a zero operating
Connecting the upper slopes of the two mountains — Whistler and Blackcomb — with the Peak 2 Peak gondola was an adaptation effort that allows riders and skiers to access high elevation terrain easily. But it also is a major draw for visitors in the summer months along with the company’s lift assisted downhill mountain biking offerings.
footprint. If we do that our selves it is meaningless unless
Closer to Banff, Mount Norquay has undertaken the lengthy process of having site guidelines and a long range plan approved by Parks Canada that included developing a via ferrata route (a fixed mountain route equipped with cables, ladders, and
by doing it we inspire others.” - A RT H U R D E J ONG
“We are living in defining
we need to create a society that uses less carbon,” says Schendler. “Not saying to stop skiing, or stop travelling, but that we can be part of the solution to create a severely carbon-constrained world, [and] still do the things we want to do.”
times. This needs to be taken care of now, and ski areas
Schendler and Aspen Snowmass are part of a campaign called Protect Our Winters (POW) south of the border, which advocates government for action on climate change through policy, as well as supporting educational initiatives and community based activism. He points to the Environmental Protection Agency’s recent Clean Power Plan as an example of policy that sets out to address climate change, and one that brought China to the table along with President Barack Obama.
and tourism can play a very active and inspirational role in getting the job done.”
With a newly elected Liberal government in Canada and one that under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau set out a platform to deal with climate change – Schendler says he is optimistic change in policy is coming to this country sooner rather than later.
- A RT H U R D E J O N G
bridges meant to increase ease and security for climbers) on the mountain. The new use allows those without extensive climbing or mountaineering experience to get a taste of life above the treeline. While via ferrata is a way for the ski hill to diversify its operations into the summer months, it has resulted in some controversy with conservation groups that oppose building permanent structures within the national park.
Advocacy is the third pillar to Whistler Blackcomb’s climate change strategy. De Jong says the ski hill has taken action to clean out its “own locker room,” and now there is a need to build more of an advocacy role for the industry and for tourism as a whole. “We are just bailing out the Titanic with a teaspoon if we think we are really going to make a difference by just being in our own locker room,” he says. “I often tell people we are not living in interesting times; we are living in defining times. This needs to be taken care of now, and ski areas and tourism can play a very active and inspirational role in getting the job done.”
BEGGING FOR CHANGE
There is another way to create change in order to address the issue — advocacy.
Mosteller said there is a role for advocacy from the industry, but he also sees a role for individual skiers and snowboarders to have an advocacy voice. “I look at advocacy as we all have to do our part to find ways to innovate and find ways to reduce our footprint. There is no doubt about that,” he says. “All of us, not just the industry, everyone who enjoys the outdoors and the mountains.”
Typically resorts take action to mitigate or adapt to a changing climate, but they do not advocate for policy action, and that needs to change. In the United States, for example, the National Ski Area Association and others are engaged in advocacy work.
photo: Eric Frigon
“All tourism, all industries, everything is carbon intense, so the only way for ski resorts to deal with that issue is for them to say
Specializing in Catering and Private Chef Services
We customize your menu, I shop, prepare and serve the food you want, the way you want it!
r n E . e r Inspi
Business meetings, company retreats, I work with variety of locations to accommodate groups of any size and budget.
Iron Chef Experiences
Surprise theme to your meal, a great way to get your guests involved!
Now with more fantastic resources:
Healthly, nutritional organic options that will fuel your team to their peak performance.
e-books e-audiobooks Zinio Mango Language Learning Digital Magazines Press Display with over 4,000 newspapers from 200 countries in 100 languages!
Open 7 days a week banfflibrary.ab.ca
The Alpine Club of Canada
Avalanche Safety Training (AST - 2)
arrive alive for $595!
ct e n n o h. C
Four-day course, based at the ACC Clubhouse in Canmore. Includes a classroom day and three days in the field (Kananaskis to Icefields Parkway). This Avalanche Canada recognized course is offered on three dates:
January 16-19 January 23-26 February 6-9 Instructors from Kananaskis Country Public Safety.
HI G HL INE ' S FAV O URI T ES
Ain' t No Rest When It's Wicked
photo: Callum Snape
eady, set, gear! Check out our wild gang's top picks for winter wonderland essentials.
WATCH FO R A FULL REVIEW OF THIS JACKET COMING TO HIGHLINEONLINE
1. We love these “S’more” Una Shoes, a departure for Ambler who has traditionally specialized in hats, scarves and mittens for the past 20 years. These wool felt slippers (great little hut booties!) are hand made in Nepal and go for $56 . Check out the video showing how these puppies are made at vimeo.com/142234065. Available at Valhalla Pure Outfitters in Canmore. 2. The Hestra ErgoGrip Active is well known amongst backcountry fanatics to be one of the best lightweight touring gloves ever made. These gloves feature super tough goat leather on the inner hand and Windstopper fabric at the back of the hand. Its light weight makes it great for the uphill part of your adventure (which as you know, is typically where you spend most of your time, ‘round these parts). $135 available at Valhalla Pure Outfitters in Canmore and Monods in Banff. 3. The men’s Heli Gravity Jacket from Peak Performance features seam sealed zips, a wired hood brim that fits nicely over a helmet, articulated sleeves, under arm vents and RECCO technology. Available online at bit.ly/heligravity for approximately $700 . Watch for our full review coming up at highlineonline.ca. 4. The women's Oasis Leggings from Icebreaker are made from ultra soft pure merino, making them lightweight, stink resistant and breathable. They’re great as an under layer or as comfy cabin wear (heads up, they’re so light they’re a little bit see-through so choose your company wisely). They’ll run you $99 at liveoutthere.com , with free shipping to anywhere in the Rockies. 5. The Freerider Pro from Deuter is a technical winter pack with a cult-like following. It features three different ways to carry skis as well as a snowboard or snowshoes, dedicated pockets for avi gear and goggles — and full front and back access zippers (handy when your fingers are cold). The pack comes in regular and women’s (SL) fit. Choose between 28L and 30L, ranging from $189.95 to $215. Available in the Bow Valley at Monod’s and Ultimate Sports in Banff and at Outside Bike and Ski and Valhalla Pure Outfitters in Canmore.
HEARTY ROOT VEGETABLE SOUP
words + photos: Amy Victoria Wakefield
INGREDIENTS 1 well-rinsed large leek 3 small red skinned potatoes 3 carrots 1 small sweet potato 1 tbsp grape seed oil 1 tbsp of butter (or more, dependent on how hearty you want your soup)
irst of all, this dish pairs best with as many Seinfeld quotations as your mealmate will allow. Unlike the catchphrase used in that classic “Soup-Nazi” episode, there is soup for you! During those shorter days of winter, this simple, freezerfriendly, hearty soup allows you to take advantage of the best of daylight hours outside and not in the kitchen. It’s perfect for carrying in a thermos when you’re out on the snow or for re-heating as a quick meal with warm bread after a day outdoors. Using veggies that are readily available during the winter months — as well as inspired root cellar suitable veggies — this soup won’t break your budget and will wow your friends, should you decide to share… Heads up: you will need an immersion or counter top blender of sorts for this one.
2 1/2 cups of veggie stock
H O W -TO
2-4 tbsp cream or milk (optional)
1. Slice up leeks in 1/4” rounds, using the white parts and only a bit of green. Peel and slice carrots into 1/4” rounds. Cube your potatoes (skins on or off; it’s up to you) into soup-spoon sized pieces.
Himalayan salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
2. Heat butter and oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the sliced leeks and cook, stirring constantly for about four minutes or so, until they start to soften. 3. Add in potatoes (red + sweet) and carrots, cooking for about two minutes, stirring often. 4. Pour in stock and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover and let simmer for about 20-25 minutes or until veggies are tender, but not falling apart. 5. Transfer about 1/3 of veggies to the blender with a bit of the liquid, then puree until smooth and just pourable. If you need to add more liquid, go ahead and give ‘er! 6. Pour this mixture back into a soup pot, stir and season to taste with salt and pepper. 7. If you’re feeling so inclined, you can make your blended mixture a bit thicker, then add a few tablespoons of milk or cream to the pot for a richer bowl of goodness! 8. Serve in a soup bowl with warm bread.
Kick up your wool-socked feet and enjoy! For more recipe ideas visit hike365.org or follow on Instagram @hikes365
MOUNTAIN PEOPLE, UNITE! Tag your mountain moments with #mountainpeopleunite for a chance to be featured right here in the next issue. Highline’s favourite shot wins a pair of Treeline Skookumchuck lambs wool socks. HIGHLINEMAG
#M O UN TAINPEO PL EUNIT E
Congrats t o Tonny (@ t onnydjk) f or capturing our f avourite shot f rom t his f all. He's w on himself an overnight t rip f or tw o t o backcount ry luxury at Sundance Lodge, Enjoy!!
ALPINE _ ANNA
Snowflakes drifting softly down No breath disturbs the night; They lay a frosty blanket down The woods are clad in white. The snowâ€” the heavy snow a muff, The woods are hushed and still; Each post displays a powder puff That softens winter's chill. When morning sunshine lights the scene, The Rockies gleaming white; Thick pillows now where rocks had been, A dazzling play of light. A morning breeze appears and that Disturbs snow's soft embrace; The posts have lost their snow-puff hat, Snow needles prick a face. The wind grows stronger and assails The soft snow lines that were; The peaks all now wear spindrift veils, The drifting snow a blur. The wind formed cornices hang high And heavy on the peaks; Suspended action in the sky Could stay that way for weeks.
Day follows day; each day the snows Load slopes and cling to cliffs; Snow devils dance, the wind it blows And gusts and streams and sifts. A slight disturbance tips the scale, And snow slopes show a crack; An avalanche sweeps down its trail With havoc in its track, And thus the snow, so light and fine, Can cause the world to shake; So let us always keep in mind, The power of a flake.
words: Bert Dyck, Poet Laureate photo: Callum Snape
“ P E R S P E C T I V E S IN M O U N TA IN C U LT U RE ” AN E XHIBITION OF THE BEST OF HIGHLINE MAGA ZINE SINCE 2008 November 21 - December 14 // Canmore
JASPER IN JANUARY January 14 - 31, 2016 // Jasper
Make Jasper your base for all sorts of winter adventures, from family-friendly outdoor activities to food and drinkfocused events. Jasper in January encourages the curious and free-spirited to embrace all this rewarding season has to offer. Keep an eye out for the schedule of events! bit.ly/JasperInJanuary
Canmore’s new artsPlace and the team at Highline have joined forces to present a stunning collection of largescale photographs specially chosen from Highline’s varied publishing history. Check out these beauts on display. bit.ly/PerspectivesExhibition
ICE MAGIC FESTIVAL January 15 - 24, 2016 // Lake Louise
CHRIST M A S FA RMERS’ M A RKE T December 19 // Golden
The ice is cold, but the competition is hot! Watch as ice artists create their depictions of Earth, Wind, Ice and Fire carving out this year’s theme, "Elements of Life." Who will take home gold? bit.ly/IceMagicFestival2016
This Christmas Farmers’ Market sleighs. With artisan breads, homemade pies and pastries, and homemade jams and jellies — they’ve got quite the spread. Artisan wares include pottery, soaps, jewellery, photography, woodwork, leather work, knitting and sewing, and more. Can you say last-minute gift jackpot? bit.ly/ChristmasMarketinGolden
REEL CANADIAN FILM FESTIVAL January 16 - 18, 2016 // Fernie
A celebration of the best of Canada's film-making from across the country featuring drama, documentary and Frenchlanguage work from some of Canada's top directors, actors and industry professionals. Check show times and dates at bit.ly/ReelCanadianFilms
IT’S HIP TO BE SQUARE (AGAIN) January 9, 2016 // Canmore
Square dancing is coming back to Canmore again. Live band and caller followed by DJ Ginger Wolf. Cash bar. Yeehaw! It sold out last year, so don't miss out! Be there to be square! Get your tickets: bit.ly/HipToBeSquare2
T RY T HE TA ST E OF HIGHLINE MAGAZINE NAKED NUT BROWN ALE
2 016 B M W IBU W O RL D C U P BI AT H L O N February 1 - 7, 2016 // Canmore
Warm up those cowbells! Competitions will be held at the Canmore Nordic Centre where the organizers of the 2016 BMW IBU World Cup Biathlon look forward to adding this year’s events to the Canmore Nordic Centre’s legacy of successful sport competitions. bit.ly/WorldCupBiathlon
LIF TS OF LOVE February 15 // Banff
Single? Like to ski or ride? Meet somebody new on every chair for Valentine’s Day! A fresh take on speed dating, spend the evening at Mount Norquay on a high speed quad to the heart. bit.ly/LiftsofLove
GOLDEN SOUND FESTIVAL WINTER BLO CK PART Y February 20 // Golden
Ain’t no party like a block party. Enjoy all night music at the Golden Sound Festival - Winter Block Party. More information and the artist line up to follow, so stay tuned kids! bit.ly/WinterBlockParty
SKI T O U R C A N A D A 2 016 F IS W O RL D C U P March 8 - 12 // Canmore
Canmore will host the final four races of Ski Tour Canada 2016 at the historic and world-renowned Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park. These races will attract more than 10,000 spectators and a worldwide television audience of approximately 60 million viewers. Get ready for your closeup, Canmore! bit.ly/SkiTourCanada2016
N OW AVAIL A BL E AT T HE BANFF AVE BREWING CO
PH OTO BY AG AT HE BERN A RD agathebernardphotography.com
Agathe Bernard Photography
CANMORE’S MOVIE THEATRE SOMETHING FOR EVERY CINEMATIC TASTE!
MOUNTAIN CULTURE, INDEPENDENT, HOLLYWOOD, FAMILY, FOREIGN, “BE THE CHANGE” DOCUMENTARIES Tickets from $6 Check back weekly for complete movie schedule
COMPLETE WINTER 2016 PROGRAMS NOW ON SALE FOR ALL SKILL LEVELS AND AGES Pottery ~ jewelry-making ~ stained glass sewing ~ knitting ~ painting ~ drawing art date nights and so much more!
DISCOVER YOUR CREATIVE PLACE
MEMBERS ALWAYS SAVE 15%
403.609.2623 ~ artsplacecanmore.com