|Hiking the Alberta Rockies - Things to Consider
Distances include the total round trip covered unless otherwise specified.
Elevation Gain represents the gain in height from the base/start point to the highest point reached usually the
destination. NOTE: In cases where more than one ascent and descent is encountered along the trail, the total elevation
gain/loss could be significantly greater than the difference in elevation between the high point and the trailhead. Check
your guidebooks and/or phone the Hike Coordinator for more complete information.
Your Physical Condition and Experience are important factors when selecting a hike. Be honest with yourself in choosing
a hike you will be comfortable with. For example if you have never been on a hike before, you may want to start with an
EASY hike. Do not select a hike likely to be beyond your ability without first checking with the hike coordinator. If you
choose to participate in a hike beyond your ability, you will be expected to bring along two other hikers who can keep
you company at your pace. If you do the latter, expect to turn around if the main group meets you on their return and
you share a vehicle with any of them. It is not the responsibility of the hike coordinator to baby sit someone who is
incapable of keeping up with the group. The Coordinator is out there to enjoy him/herself as well. These are volunteers
An easy hike will be relatively 5 - 10 km and may have some elevation gain up to approximately 300 M. These hike are
good training for the more advanced ones.
Moderate Hikes will have 300 - 500 M elevation gain and often will be up to 15 km in distance. Again these are good
training for the more advanced hikes.
Typically about 10- 20 km in length and/or 500-700 M elevation gain. May have the odd steep sections and rough trail
conditions (e.g., exposed roots, rocks or even occasional loose scree). A steady pace is normally maintained with fewer
stops than on the easy hikes. Some endurance is required.
Typically 15-25 km in length and/or 700-1000 M elevation gain. Likely to encounter steep sections as well as difficult
footing (e.g., loose scree). A brisk pace is required and hikers must have both strength and endurance for the distance
and the elevation.
Extra Difficult (XD):
Either more than 25 km in length requiring superior stamina, or in excess of 1000 M of elevation gain requiring strong
legs, or both. On the major climbs very steep sections are almost certain to be encountered with loose rocks and scree
and other hazards (e.g., scrambling over exposed faces or following narrow exposed ridges). Unpredictable weather can
greatly increase the hazards.
Anyone afraid of exposed conditions (e.g., narrow ledges or ridges and scrambling over exposed faces) or uncertain of
his/her strength and stamina under the most demanding of conditions, SHOULD NOT attempt extra difficult hikes.
WHAT SHOULD I BRING WITH ME?
Clothing & Equipment Guide
Hikers are expected to come with proper clothing and appropriate footwear. Weather changes in the mountains are
often unpredictable and sudden. It is recommended that you adopt a layered look including lightweight rain gear. It is
also important to include in your pack your lunch, snacks, an adequate water supply (1-2 litres, more for a long hot day),
and other beverages as desired.
Hiking uses 60% more calories per hour than normal walking.
Always carry extra food and water on longer trips or where there is substantial elevation gain.
Hike Coordinators may refuse to allow anyone not adequately equipped to participate on the hike.
PACK: A 25 40 litre pack with a wide hip belt and chest strap as well as a plastic liner bag for those wet days.
BOOTS: The boots you choose to wear will be one of the most important articles you bring. You want footwear to fit
properly and to keep your feet dry, warm, and well supported. Running shoes and other casual footwear will not keep
your feet dry when going through mud, and not warm when traveling over snow yes, even in summer! They do not
offer adequate support and footing on steep trails or off trail scrambles. New lightweight trekking boots (i.e., Merrell) are
fine for most easy and even moderate rated hikes. Sturdy waterproof boots are required for scree, rough terrain,
backpacks and scrambles where a variety of conditions are encountered. Other points to consider:
- wear new boots around town first to detect any problems
- tight boots can cut off circulation causing cold feet and pinched toes
- loose boots can cause blisters
- insoles provide extra insulation and cushioning.
SOCKS: A two-sock layer system provides comfort and helps to prevent blisters. Thin synthetic socks keep your feet dry
by wicking away moisture. Thicker synthetic, wool, or blend socks provide warmth and cushioning. It is a good idea to
carry extra socks in your pack.
GAITERS: Calf height gaiters help keep snow, mud, stones, and moisture out of your hiking boots and off your pants,
and provide additional warmth when needed. Short ankle height gaiters can also be used to keep stones and snow out
of hiking boots.
CLOTHING: Suggested list of clothing to wear or to carry in your pack.
Wide brim sun hat protects from UVA rays
Long sleeves protect arms from cold, insect bites, sunburn, and scratches
Light fleece, wool shirt
Undershirt, long johns for cold weather
Windproof or waterproof breathable shell jacket
Shorts or pants (zippered pants ventilate/warm pants if wearing shorts)
Toque, mitts, extra sweater and socks (thin & thick), Waterproof shell jacket & pants (rainwear)
OTHER IMPORTANT ITEMS:
bear (pepper) spray (no replacement for commonsense)
shoe & clothing change to wear back in the car
sit-upon to keep your bottom warm and dry during stops
plastic bag for boots
map, compass, altimeter
lip balm, insect repellent, toilet paper
light runners or sandals for stream crossings
fire starter matches, lighter, small candles
light shelter 2 large garbage bags, space blanket
headlamp or flashlight, spare batteries
Sunglasses and sunscreen (high UVA, UVB protection)
FIRST AID KIT Each hiker should have something of their own. This is an exhaustive list but not all items may be
Suggested items include:
Band-Aids (assorted sizes)
moleskin, 2nd skin (for blister prevention and care)
personal medications including Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Rolaids, antibiotic cream
candies for mild hypothermia, diabetic emergency
dressings (assorted sizes), gauze pads and swabs
triangular bandage, tensor bandage, adhesive tape
steri-strips, antiseptic wash, pads, quick splint
scissors, tweezers, safety pins, mirror
|ARE YOU CONSIDERING A HIKE? - Just a few things to thing on when considering if this hike is for you.