Submit your best mountain park photos by midnight! Make sure to vote for your favorite entry in the annual Experience the Mountain Parks Photo Contest, too. Our entries range from majestic to serene. It’s a joy to look at the beautiful Mountain Moments that our contestants have captured! We look forward to announcing the winners soon.
This upcoming Monday marks the end of our March photo ID contest AND our annual photo contest.
Before midnight on March 31, you can enter as many photos taken at Mountain Parks as you wish. Our five photo contest winners will receive some terrific prizes:
- Dream Getaway to Radium Hot Springs
- Portable Campfire
- HD Camera Outfit (courtesy of The Camera Store)
- 4 Ultimate Rockies Explorer Passes
- Glacier Icewalk
Make sure to vote for your favorite photo. Two of the prizes will be awarded for the photos with the most votes. Your vote matters!
We’re thrilled with the beautiful submissions we’ve already received, and we’d love to see your best mountain park photos, too! Click here to enter and vote.
The photo below is a recent entry to the photo contest.
March 31 is the last day to enter the March Photo ID Contest. If you correctly identify the location of the photo below, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a copy of Canadian Rockies Explorer by Graeme Pole. Click here to enter!
The Experience Mountain Parks annual photo contest ends on March 31. Submit your entries as soon as possible! You can enter any number of photos taken in the Canadian mountain parks.
We’re offering some exciting prizes. A $1,500 HD camera outfit, courtesy of The Camera Store, will enable its winner to take many more high-quality photos. Need a vacation? Another one of our lucky winners will receive a 3 night dream getaway to Radium Hot Springs. We’ll also be giving away a Glacier Icewalk Tour for a family of 4, a portable campfire, and 4 Ultimate Rockies Explorer Passes to three other winners.
Please vote for your favorite entries, too! Click here to enter photos and to vote.
Here’s one of this year’s entries:
One of our guest bloggers–Tanya Koob–is a finalist in the Best Canadian Blogs category of the 2014 Bloggies Weblogs Awards! She writes for her blog Family Adventures in the Canadian Rockies, but she also provides us with great blog posts and articles for our guides. She loves to write about the joys and challenges of exploring the Rocky Mountains with children.
We encourage you to support her by clicking here to vote for her. Voting only takes a few seconds. If Tanya wins, more attention will be directed toward our amazing playground here in the Rockies!
See below for a couple photos from Tanya’s latest blog post, “Winter Escape to Jasper Park.”
The joy we feel from the letters we receive really helps to provide our team with a sense of fulfillment that our work is appreciated and we’re making a small positive difference in the world. Upon learning that she had won our February Photo ID Contest, Sera Bennett of Red Deer wrote:
“What exciting news to see when catching up on my e-mails!
My family has always loved the mountains and especially hiking and camping in the national parks over the last 35 years. We have hiked on numerous trails and have always looked forward to trying new ones. Now, as my grandchildren get older we hope that they too will want to share our love of the parks and hiking with us.
Thanks so very much for the book we will enjoy it very much!!!!”
Would you like to go hiking safely in the mountains with your children, but not sure where to go? Enter our March Photo ID Contest for a chance to win a copy Canadian Rockies Explorer by Graeme Pole. Use it to create some cherished memories with your family this summer!
The Swatch Freeride World Tour stop at Revelstoke Mountain Resort will begin Monday, March 10, weather permitting. It’s the fifth stop on the tour.
Contestants will be competing on the Mac Daddy face, which is outside of Revelstoke’s normal skiing area. The steep 2,500 vertical foot face make this a venue exclusively for experts. The Mac Daddy was first used for competition during 2011 Swatch Freeride and Freeskiing World Tour.
Participants will not only experience the thrill of tackling this challenging slope, but will also be competing for monetary prizes.
The schedule of events begins on Friday, March 7, during the Pre-Athlete Arrival. A full schedule of events will be taking place in conjunction with the competition. Events range from a health and wellness fair on Saturday to plays, live music, a photography workshop, and bowling. View the schedule here.
Of course, you can hit the slopes yourself at Revelstoke Mountain Resort!
The 2014 Crown Managers Partnership Annual Forum is just around the corner. The Forum will be held on March 17-19 in Missoula, Montana. Registration ends March 14th.
This year’s topic is Adaptive Management for Climate Change in the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem.
The Crown Managers Partnership (CMP) is a voluntary multi-jurisdictional, trans-boundary partnership formed in 2001 by a collection of agencies seeking to demonstrate leadership in addressing the environmental management challenges in the Crown of the Continent region.
The conference is an outflow of CMP’s desire to share information about common interests and issues in the Rocky Mountain Range’s Ecosystem and then collaborate. The location of the Forum rotates between British Columbia, Alberta and Montana.
Some of the specific topics that this year’s Forum will address are:
- cumulative effects of human activities across the ecosystem
- increased public interest in how lands are managed and how decisions are reached
- increased recreational demands and increased visitation
- the maintenance and sustainability of shared wildlife populations
- collaboration in sharing data, standardizing assessment and monitoring methodologies
The Forum is scheduled to have an engaging range of activities, including an opening keynote, small group exercises, a panel discussion, and a round robin discussion.
Please note that the Forum on March 17 will take place at the Double Tree Hotel (100 Madison Street) and the remainder of the Forum (March 18-19) will be held at the University of Montana in Missoula, MT (32 Campus Drive).
For answers to questions about the conference, contact email@example.com.
Congratulations to Sera Bennett for winning our February photo ID contest! She was one of the contestants who correctly identified the photo below. The image, taken by Graeme Pole, is of Rock Isle Lake at Sunshine Meadows.
If you think you can identify the photo below, click here to enter the March photo ID contest. If you guess correctly, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a copy of Graeme Pole’s book Canadian Rockies Explorer, a Canadian Rockies Companion Guide. April is the last month that we’ll be giving away a copy of Graeme’s book to the monthly trivia winner, so take advantage of this opportunity while you can!
Only two days left to enter our February photo ID contest. This month we’re featuring a stunning photo of _______. If you can correctly “fill in the blank” and identify the location, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a copy of Graeme Pole’s book Canadian Rockies Explorer, a Canadian Rockies Companion Guide.
Click here to enter the contest.
If the February trivia quiz photo makes you want to go sightseeing, just wait until you read Canadian Rockies Explorer. It’s full of more of Graeme’s beautiful photos, and serves as a great guide of the national and provincial parks of the Canadian Rockies.
One of the great outdoor thrills that Canada still offers is a trip by horseback into the majestic Canadian Rockies. Indeed, few things say “Western Canada” more than heading out on horseback into these breath taking and stunning mountains. You can get away from cities, factories, cars, highways, cell phones, the internet, television and people. You trade all that for mountain peaks and green valleys, crystal clear streams and forest trails, outdoor home cooking and the companionship of a few like souls. Mostly, you don’t even have to be able to ride to do it, though you have to like horses and be willing to learn.
Better still, the organization that operates the rides is a non-profit group, the Trail Riders of the Canadian Rockies, who are in the business because they want their fellow countrymen and international friends to be able to enjoy this great land, to ride into the remote areas of the mountains with a good degree of comfort and at a reasonable cost. They have been doing this for 89 years and operate eight six-day rides during July and August out of the Banff, Alberta, Canada area which you can easily reach as part of any Western holiday. (Banff National Park is a 90 minute drive from the Calgary International Airport.)
The cost includes everything from a membership in the organization and back country user fees, through to horses, accommodations and meals. Guests bring along their own sleeping gear, extra clothes and other personal necessities. Individuals and families are welcome on the trips but anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
The idea for Trail Riders was first conceived way back in 1923 when a group of 14 riders who were camping and fishing along the Kootenay River in the National Park of the same name got together around a campfire. Today, people from all over Canada, the United States and overseas join the Trail Riders each summer. Many people come back year after year to renew acquaintances and make new friends. In fact, the Trial Riders have a 60% guest return rate with some guests having been on 30 or more rides! (One couple comes from Virginia every year.) If there is a requirement for membership, it is that a person enjoy horseback riding, the great outdoors and the company of fellow riders.
Riding experience of the members ranges from very little to years in the saddle. Dudes, absolute tenderfeet, who wouldn’t know which end the bridle goes on, are welcome to swing into the saddle and take to the high trails with the more experienced riders and guides. The riders travel by bus to the trailhead corral where they are met by cowboys and horses. Here the dudes are matched with a horse according to the information given on their application form. Each horse is a sure-footed, well broken animal, accustomed to the sometimes rocky terrain and tolerant of the greenest tenderfoot.
Base camp in a leisurely 10 to 12 mile ride from the corral, with the horses travelling no faster than a steady walk. At the camp the riders are assigned to teepees or tents which will be their home for the next five days. These canvas dwellings sleep from two to five people, and riders are arranged with room mates of their own choice, particularly in the case of families and friends. There is a washstand with plenty of hot water available for use by guests, and new for this year, a propane hot shower! (Usage is limited.)
For the next four days, the riders follow a basic daily plan. Breakfast, from 8:00 – 9:00 am includes porridge, prunes or juice, eggs, bacon, pancakes alternating with French toast, and omelets – a good start for the day. The cowboys saddle the horses, check the cinches, and by 9:30 a.m. the riders are off on the trail. Each day will find the riders exploring lakes, valleys, glaciers or mountain passes. The high, uninhabited valleys of the Rockies offer peace and contentment combined with the thrill of majestic vistas. There is a sweep and majesty to this land, a towering grandeur and nobility of face, so powerful in its vast silence. This alpine land abounds in larch, spruce and fir trees, mountain animals and birds, meadows and parklands leading to the nearby snow capped peaks and ridges.
By noon, the riders have reached their destination and lunch, consisting of sandwiches, cookies, oranges, snacks and tea and coffee is served near a lake or a stream. After lunch, riders can fish, stroll, visit or stretch out for a nap in the hot mountain sun. A camera for these trips is a must! By late afternoon, the dudes are back in camp for “happy hour” before enjoying a three course dinner.
The main meal of the day at 6:00 p.m. is prepared for the guests by the camp cooks. Chicken, steak, ham, roast turkey and barbecued beef are alternated. By 8:30 pm the cowboys light a roaring fire in the “donut tent” and an evening sing-song (sometimes with a musician), square dancing, story-telling and other entertainment complete the day. On the morning of the sixth day, the riders are up early packing their duffle and riding out to the trailhead corral where they board a bus for Banff.
Each year we travel to a different area and our 2014 rides will be located along the Red Deer River Valley in Banff National Park. Our five – six hour day rides from the base camp include: Tyrell Creek, Divide Pass, Elkhorn Lake, Snowpass Creek, and Red Deer River Falls. This area actually gives us more options than we have days to ride! You will enjoy wildlife sightings, jaw-dropping vistas, and the beautiful trees and wildflowers of the region. This is a photographers dream come true . . .
Objectives of the Trail Riders are to “encourage travel on horseback through the Canadian Rockies, to foster the maintenance and improvement of old trails and the building of new ones; to encourage the love of outdoor life, the study and conservation of birds, wildlife and alpine growth, to assist in every possible way to ensure the complete preservation of the National Parks of Canada for the use and enjoyment of the public.” The T.R.C.R. continues to operate with a volunteer board of directors as a non-profit organization, and this year will celebrate its 90th anniversary.
For further details about the Trail Riders of the Canadian Rockies, check out their website. Contact them for help planning your trip to Banff in the beautiful Canadian Rockies, and/or the world famous Calgary Stampede.
Box 6742 Station D
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
By Stuart R. Watkins, President, T.R.C.R.