Shoveling a path through deep snow to the outhouse
3am bathroom trip with the snowfall heavily falling
Waking up to discover uninvited wildlife had been cozying up to our tent all night long
Where do we sign up?!
In all seriousness, one can only laugh when you get out of your tent in the morning and see a marmot size furry creature jump out from behind and scurry off. Checking to see where it came from, we found a melted, padded down spot right outside of the tent. Its circular shape gave the impression that the animal had curled itself up into a ball near where our feet would have been inside the tent. Although we can't promise all winter camping trips come with small little sleeping buddies, the experience of backcountry winter camping is one everyone should be able to partake in, especially at Rummel Lake. There's a sense of nostalgia waking up in the middle of the night and seeing the frozen and snow covered lake with the mountainous backdrop of Mount Galatea and the Tower and the snow falling down all around. As cold as it may have been, the beauty of the surroundings is rather captivating.
An interesting fact is that Mount Galatea is the highest peak of the Kananaskis range. It was named in 1922 after the HMS Galatea that took part in the First World War during the Battle of Jutland. The Galatea was a Royal Navy cruiser. The Tower was initially named the "Unnamed 3117" peak. In the 1957, a party led by Hans Gmoser, climbed what actually is The Fortress but named it the Tower thinking he discovered a new peak. Somehow the name got transferred over and the "Unnamed 3117" peak was changed to the Tower ... even though it has no resemblance of being one.
The trail itself is of nothing too special. The area is rather pretty but as you are walking through the trees the entire time, it almost feels as if the trail to Rummel Lake is much longer than it really is. With every bend and corner we turned, we kept hoping we were almost there. The good thing is that the trail is not too steep. There were many level sections walking through the trees. Slightly steeper sections were of course still part of the trail seeing as you gain almost 1100m in elevation and maybe between that and the endless amount of snow covered trees and effort it takes to snowshoe up did the trail feel endless.
The Rummel Lake trail can be found on the Smith Dorien Trail, 40 km from Canmore so it is close by to those living in Calgary. The trailhead is on the east side of the highway but it is unmarked. Once you pass the sign for Mount Engadine Lodge, you turn off and can find a spot on along the road to park. The trail is skier trail as well so keep an eye out for skiers! In the winter, the Rummel Lake trail diverges from the summer trail; snowshoers cross the bridge over Rummel creek in the winter and follow the yellow markers on the trees. There are some nice views of the area and surrounding mountains at some of the spots where the trail opens up.
Overall Rummel Lake trail is a great snowshoeing trail and the area by the lake is perfect for some overnight camping, even in the winter! We recommend that you carry a small shovel with you; you never know when it may come in handy especially if you need to shovel your way from your tent to the outhouse like we did.
Rummel Lake Trip Log
What were your experiences snowshoeing Rummel Lake?
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