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Spring has Sprung on the Hiking Trails in Alberta

Today we went out and did the hike up to Mt. Yamnuska. It was a picture perfect day. Up until this point the only sign I have seen that spring is on its way is the warmer temperatures and lots of mud. Nothing better than a hike followed by an hour of washing dogs. Here was the first true sign of spring, a crocus or actually about 8 or 9 of them in a ten meter section that were growing right on the trail. Saw a couple of butterflies as well but they would not hold still. Here is a picture of a crocus. Enjoy.

Hiking Outside Alberta This Year?

While I know that it is difficult to imagine, sometimes people travel outside Alberta to hike. I hear Colorado and even Utah are quite nice. A month or two ago I was sent the link for Hiking Blogs.

The site was set up as "a unique way to browse through and discover new hiking, backpacking, trail running, and trekking related blogs." People who blog about hikes can submit their sites, each site can be rated by the users, and all the sites are listed by location. Naturally, the blogs vary in sophistication but they all describe trails, mostly in a specific region. Hiking Blogs would be a good place to start the search when looking for information on a particular region rather than wading through the results generated through a search on Google.

How Accurate is Garmin MapSource?

About four months ago I bought a Garmin Legend Cx hand held GPS receiver and the Garmin Mapsource Canada Topo discs containing the topographical maps for all of Canada. I was surprised that most of the more popular trails in areas like Banff and Lake Louise appear on the topographical maps. For most of Kananaskis, which is where I prefer to hike, the trails are not included. Not a big deal because I did not expect that the maps would be included in the first place. As far as accuracy, mountain trails are not highways, depending on things like erosion, fallen trees, I would expect that the location of the trail would not be 100% accurate. Also, the sun, tree cover, cloud cover, and several other things interfere with the quality of the signal received by the GPS unit.

For this post I am only going to refer to hikes for which the quality of the satellite signal I was receiving was excellent.

Marsh Creek Trail near the Cave and Basin, which is a World Heritage site, should be a good example where one would expect a high degree of accuracy from Garmin.

The thin dotted line is the trail. It is tough to see in this post so I am sure you can imagine how hard it is to see on the 3x6 screen on the hand held. About 20 of the 140 recorded points are on the trail as reported by Garmin. The track is off the reported trail by up to 75 meters. Really not a big deal because the trail was easy to follow on the day I did the hike. Interestingly, the Bow River seems to have moved but then again, rivers do that.

Click on the title to read the entire post or go to Garmin MapSource.

Share your Trip with slide.com

One of the great advantages of digital cameras is that you can take hundreds of pictures. The other advantage is that you can look at them or share them with others with the click of a mouse.

Slide.com allows you to display, share or embed them into a website or blog with some style. Like flickr, slide will host your photos but I prefer it to display them. While you can upload pictures the easiest way is to import them from flickr. There are several presentation styles. I would suggest experimenting with this site.

Here is the fading presentation.


This is the collage style.


Stabalicer vs. Yaktrax

Given the recent snow and ice in Kananaskis I thought it was a good idea to do this review. I picked up a pair of Stabilicers Sport and Yaktrax Extreme and have been using them for several weeks. The Yaktrax look like a web of flexible rubber, which is wrapped on the sole area with coils. They stretch around the shoe and have a strap that goes over the front of the shoe. The Stabilicers are molded rubber, which pull over the toe and heel of the shoe. There is a strap that holds the heel portion onto the shoe. A series of removable studs on the toe and heel provide traction. When I first examined both of these products I was skeptical about how they would hold up. The Yaktrax because they are made of the relatively thin rubber and the Stabilicers because that the spot at which the Velcro strap goes through the heel is thin and I expected it would break. Because I bought them at MEC I figured that I could return either if I did have a problem because MEC is usually good at taking stuff back, no questions asked.

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