Kananaskis 2012

Just got back from Kananaskis Country for our July vacation. After leaving from our annual Meeting Creek ‘get-together’, we pulled the trailer down to Peter Lougheed Provincial Park where we first stayed at ‘Interlakes’ campground. This is a great lake-front campground located on the SW side of Lower Kananaskis Lake. The rain came down in buckets the first night we were there. I’m happy to say that was the only rain we saw in the two weeks we were in the area. The remainder of the trip we stayed at ‘Lower Lakes’ campground which was on the opposite side of the lake from Interlakes.

The bears this year were extremely active in the park. There was an abnormally high number of grizzlies moving through the area. We had one young grizzly that kept coming into our campground almost on a daily basis; once sitting in a campsite for over three hours until the wildlife officers chased it away with their bear bangers. Apparently his mother had been put down earlier leaving her two younger ones not yet fully educated to the ‘DO’s and DON’Ts’ of bear-hood.

Kyle, 6, still has not had enough confidence to get his training wheels off his bike so while at the campgrounds, we took that opportunity to help him out. Lots of encouragement (along with some offered rewards) we managed to get him riding without the training wheels. Before Kananaskis, it was tough getting him to ride his bike but after he found his new found freedom, you couldn’t keep him off the bike. It’s all he wanted to do for the rest of the stay.

I brought one of my multicopters (a robotic aerialphoto platform) in hopes of getting some great aerial pictures of the area. On a daily basis, I visited the information center for some internet access to stay in touch with geomagnetic conditions. Because my MK hexacopter has a digital compass and has GPS navigation, it’s very sensitive to any geomagnetic solar disturbances. Most of the days in Kananaskis, the solar K index was 3 or 4 which is higher than I’d like. It meant a mild geomagnetic storm was in progress. The last day there, the K index came down to a 1 which is pretty quiet so I managed to get the copter in the air and take some pictures and a bit of HD video too. One day is better than nothing so I’ll take it. A few days later, we had an X class flare so any autopilot flying would have been out of the question for sure.

Managed to take in some hikes too. Kananaskis country has some of the best hiking to be found anywhere. Kyle and Brysen are still a bit young to be taking in the long and more challenging hikes but in the coming years, I’m sure we’ll be doing those. Davyn is always asking to get above the tree line and some altitude; the higher the better. Guess he takes after me that way. I was always the same growing up. We found this year that many of the higher altitude trails were not being recommended for travel because of all the snow still up on the mountains. Some trails still had over 3 feet of snow on them! And it was obvious from the lower levels too; as you can see from some of the pictures, there is more snow pack than usual. Kananaskis had more snow than usual this past winter. Normally the creeks and river levels are coming down by now but this year they were all very high. Lots of great looking waterfalls on the mountain sides.

Other than the first day which was rainy, the clouds stayed away and the temperatures hung around between 26 and 33 degrees for the whole two weeks we were there. The day we left (the 12th), the clouds were supposed to be coming in and thunder storms were in the forecast so our timing couldn’t be better.

We had hoped to take in a bit of the Calgary Stampede and also Calayway Park but we ran out of time. Did manage to spend one day in Banff though. It was a great time.

Next is Jasper in August so hoping the weather will be a good there as it was in Kananaskis Country.