July 22, 2020
Adventure coordinator Carol Ostrom shares her story about an overnight camping trip and hike up the slopes of Mount Tecumseh in the Crowsnest Pass:
On June 8th the clouds spent the day pressing up the western slopes of the mountains that denote the border between B.C. and Alberta. Just as the first campers arrived, as though planned as a greeting, the rain started. “Its nothing,” I reported, “We are in the top of a mountain pass, it will pass.” The rain lasted just long enough for all the campers to arrive and locate a place to pitch their tents. From there it was all sunshine and coming together around the campfire as we put the night to bed.
Dawn introduced another beautiful day as folks crawled out of their tents to be greeted by sunshine, songbirds, and couple of dogs willing to help with breakfast details. By 9 the remainder of hikers had arrived and we headed out with a great mix of local and visiting participants.
Spring was late in coming in 2020, but as a result we have experienced an amazing ongoing display of wildflowers. The vibrancy of nature’s bouquet with reds, yellows, blues and purples was outstanding and everchanging as we traversed several different natural regions and were rewarded with spectacular views.
We purposefully mapped out the hike to stay on private lands, Nature Conservancy lands, or public lands that have limited access. It is increasingly difficult to find a place to quietly recreate as the Crowsnest has become the go-to place for OHVs. About 9 km into our hike we entered the Livingstone PLUZ (Public Land Use Zone) and immediately were witness to a group of OHV enthusiasts who were idling by a sign designating the trail up the side of Tecumseh as closed. After an obvious discussion about whether to proceed, off they roared to tear up the headwaters that well out the side of the mountain. I am pleased our government has finally agreed the trail needs to be closed, now I just need to write letters advocating for enforcement. One small step, one small voice at a time, we can stand up for the environment that sustains us.
It was 11.6 km by the time we completed the loop, with four hundred metres’ gain when we sat at the summit for lunch. The weather was wonderful, the flowers fabulous, and the company was congenial. We can hardly wait to lead another hike next year.
– Carol Ostrom