Pocaterra - X-Country Skiing

January 29, 2011

After feeling a bit shut-in in January the boys really wanted to get out. We had already tried Chester Lake the year before and thought this year we could bring toboggans and tubes to tackle that mountain across the lake.  The event started with a sleep over on Friday so we could hit the rental places and get the remaining ski equipment needed. We had also put together a short  for snacks and a lunch, so we needed to hit the grocery store to pick up these items. Most of the boys indicated they were going to sleep after midnight and some actually did.  We got up at 6:00am and packed our lunches and hauled the equipment and food to the vans. 

Seems with all the snowfall, every skier in Calgary was bent on getting to the slopes Saturday morning. It was rush hour traffic all the way to Hwy 40 turn off.  Even then it was still quite busy. After the Fortress turnoff traffic finally thinned out. Just the cross country skier left. We tried to check-in at the Lodge but there was no one there. So we headed back to the turnoff for the Smith Dorian/Spray Lake hwy. The road seems reasonably clear and then we found out why. We caught up with the snow plow. Our speed went from 90km to 15.  We only had about 15 km left so we resided to the fact that we're just going to  be patient.  After about 2 km the snowplow turned off our highway down some road. There was lots of traffic behind me but wasn't sure we could go it on our own.  We ventured out and things seemed OK. The snow was really light and fluffy. so we clipped along at about 25km. Eventually snow was wafting over the hood of my van until it was almost impossible to see. I slowed down and eventually stopped, The 4x4's and SUV's whipped around me and took off ahead. We hopped out of the van to check out the snow. Sliding doors were OK but the swinging ones held back by the snow. It was actually high than the hood of my van, hence the problem with snow on the windshield.  Our group thought we might wait and hope that snowplow gets back on the highway and keep shoveling ahead of us. We'd just dig ourselves out and get in behind him again. Well only a few minutes passed and we could see him coming. 

As he passed us he pulled this cool u-turn and we saw the front 2 wheels drop down into the ditch. As he backed up he started spinning so we thought he was stuck too now. But he was obviously a skilled operator. He simple rotated his huge blade, dug in one corner and used the hydraulics  to  turn the blade pushing him out. He then came by using his left side (that side collect the snow and pushed it over to the right side) cleared a path real close to the side of our van.  He then u-turned again and waited as a ranger had come by to check on things. We dug out the van and the ranger suggested we abandon our designs to go to Chester Lake as the road would more than likely fill in again, He suggested Pocaterra and as it had a heated shi shelter we headed back there.  The day unfolds as you'd expect after that. 

Team Members

Karl Burndorfer ,Jay Burnham - Scout / YM Leaders
Connor Johnson, Kyle Johnson,  Nathan Bruce, Jack Dabels  - Scouts
Liam Davey, Kevin DeOliveira, Felipe Cupido, Daniel Urquijo - Venturers
Sam the Dog - Super Scout

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