Penstock Loop - Snowshoe Hike

February 21, 2009

We start out with an avalanche training session the Wednesday prior and worked out how to find someone buried in the snow. We also covers the things that cause avalanches. Our objective here was to get a more real environment and try out the avalanche beacons again. Penstock trail offers lots of other points of interests. The trail loops around Loon Lake but the trail parallels Lower Kananaskis Lake by the dam. They have an aqueduct leaving the bottom of the dam that offers quite unique ice form made by small leaks in the wooden pipe. 

The boys found huge ice slabs exposed by the receding water level in the dammed lake. It was like climbing around in a fissure from a glacier. We came to a cool spot where a stream entered the lake and left a high wall of drifted snow. Boys immediately seized the opportunity to start tunneling into it and make some snow shelters. On our way out we stopped at the Peter Lougheed Visitor centre and had a well earned meal of our leftovers.   The facility offered a museum with many interesting facts about the area and wildlife. 

There are many other interesting snowshoe trail in the area. See

Map of Penstock Loop

Team Members

Karl Burndorfer - Scout Leaders / Parents
Liam Davey, Daniel Urquijo, Kevin De Oliveira - Scouts

Photo Library

DSC01999.JPG (3094523 bytes) The expedition begins... DSC02002.JPG (2434984 bytes) Important to start with the right attitude! DSC02004.JPG (2904523 bytes) You got food back there? DSC02005.JPG (2626241 bytes) Really, I do tricks for food.
DSC02006.JPG (2745991 bytes) No, I don't drive yet. DSC02010.JPG (3221286 bytes) According to the map we go left, no, make that right. Well maybe we're going in the wrong direction. DSC02011.JPG (3242676 bytes) We could vote on it?
DSC02013.JPG (2801588 bytes) Look, I'm skateboarding down on this broken off piece of ice. DSC02014.JPG (2838287 bytes) Ok, now I'm just sliding off it. DSC02015.JPG (2895371 bytes) Gravity is not my friend. DSC02016.JPG (2835209 bytes) I should have sharpened the claws on these snowshoes while we were driving up.
DSC02017.JPG (2817723 bytes) OK Sam, you run this rope down to him..., stop eating the rope Sam.  DSC02018.JPG (2770980 bytes) Want to see me start an avalanche, heave... DSC02019.JPG (3262816 bytes) If I lick it will my tongue freeze to it?
DSC02021.JPG (3193782 bytes) I think my tongue is stuck DSC02022.JPG (3034952 bytes) Hey you're right, your tongue does stick to it. DSC02023.JPG (3040221 bytes) Hey look an ice fissure DSC02025.JPG (3121048 bytes) Lets climb in...
DSC02026.JPG (3047322 bytes) It's so cool in here... DSC02028.JPG (3033917 bytes) I'm in.. Ok , get me out now Look guys, my new Ice Guitar.
DSC02031.JPG (3085406 bytes) Do you think it will melt before I get it home? DSC02032.JPG (3107616 bytes) Slippery, no, I'm just doing pushups. DSC02033.JPG (3000795 bytes) Where's my camera? Too late Kevin, the march of the penguins has already passed us by. DSC02034.JPG (3056183 bytes) Hockey anyone?
DSC02035.JPG (2898245 bytes) Look at those strange foot prints, Oh, hi Sam. DSC02036.JPG (2688665 bytes) Hey guys, look at these cool foot prints... DSC02037.JPG (2927784 bytes) Real men eat white snow. DSC02038.JPG (2761930 bytes) This is what happens when you don't walk on your snowshoes.
DSC02039.JPG (2699584 bytes) Nothing like eating fresh snow face first. Important lesson, don't get snow in your pants, and for dogs.... DSC02042.JPG (2853234 bytes) Scout spelling class.
DSC02043.JPG (3021320 bytes) Whacking through a new trail is hard work. DSC02044.JPG (2970677 bytes) If one guy falls, it's like dominos DSC02045.JPG (3063443 bytes) How do you like my  'Wise old sage' look
DSC02046.JPG (2569733 bytes) Riding a snow drift wave... DSC02047.JPG (2509883 bytes) An Eskimo's life for me...
DSC02048.JPG (2629683 bytes) Hey, this one comes with a polished floor. DSC02049.JPG (3005693 bytes) Gofers got nothing on us.  DSC02050.JPG (2403068 bytes) Our new home, still working on the adjoining rooms though. DSC02051.JPG (2477432 bytes) Comes with a maximum 1 month warrantee.
DSC02052.JPG (2900206 bytes) How was I to know there was a hole under the snow? DSC02053.JPG (2525210 bytes) Ready to spear the elusive snow frog.  DSC02054.JPG (2627852 bytes) Rat's, missed him. So much for dinner. DSC02055.JPG (2516344 bytes) Team ready to handle the return trip. 
Sam did a real fancy dance getting across this ice. DSC02057.JPG (3106120 bytes) So the boys try to show him up. DSC02058.JPG (3062712 bytes) There's the aqueduct, charge.. DSC02060.JPG (3020789 bytes) Cool aqueduct
DSC02061.JPG (3166287 bytes) Guess it's got a few leaks. DSC02062.JPG (2863414 bytes) and more leaks DSC02063.JPG (2745056 bytes) and still more leeks DSC02064.JPG (2704697 bytes) Does any water make it to the end?
DSC02065.JPG (2867668 bytes) Press here and fountain starts... DSC02066.JPG (2897231 bytes) Oh, there it is... DSC02067.JPG (2735598 bytes) Bit hard to get it in the right spot, but still refreshing. DSC02068.JPG (3254136 bytes) Hey an open stream
DSC02069.JPG (3069155 bytes) Nothing like luxury dining facilities. Did you tell the butler to bring us some waters? DSC02070.JPG (2911611 bytes) Liam provides for entertainment DSC02071.JPG (2666702 bytes) Really, it's OK to feed me.... DSC02073.JPG (2667475 bytes)
DSC02074.JPG (3060478 bytes) DSC02075.JPG (2850547 bytes) DSC02076.JPG (3251600 bytes) DSC02078.JPG (2596965 bytes)
DSC02079.JPG (3255692 bytes) This was a senior citizen from a wolf pack. DSC02080.JPG (2704756 bytes) DSC02081.JPG (2905762 bytes)