Trail Cafe: Trip report - Peter Laugheed ski trails - Amos with a 6yr old


Title: Peter Laugheed ski trails - Amos with a 6yr old
Trip type: skiing
Summary: About 2 hrs on the trail. Taking a ski out on the end of Amos trail and back. With a detour out along the Wheeler trail to get a view of the valley and the mountains beyond. Today I'm out with my 6yr old daughter, and the report revolves around her on the trail.
Author: M. Tanton
Date of Trip: April 2008
Country: Canada
Province: Alberta
County/City/national park/etc: Peter Laugheed Prov. Park
Location Route: Amos and part of Wheeler
Distance: 4km
Weather Conditions:Warm +7 Deg C
Directions to Set in or Trail head: From Hwy1, South on Hwy 40, West towards the kananaskis lakes, turn left to the Elkwood parking lot
Partners: K. Tanton
Group experience level: Mixed
Author's Experience level: Intermediate

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A Copy right for the map was not provided by the author

Trail Description:

Today I'm skiing with my 6 yr old daughter. It is her first time out on her new skis. Previously she used some strap on Canadian tire jobs, which while very stable, slide about as well as snow shoes. It's going to be interesting to see how well she does.

It has been very warm lately, we are told by the lady at the information centre that the trails will be iced over where they are in the shade, although warmed up where the sun is on them. Given I'm with a 6 year old she suggests the Amos Wolley loop, in large part because it was most recently groomed and should have the most reasonable snow conditions.

heading out, not yet on Amos heading out, not yet on Amos

Amos trail is marked on the map as a short easy trail that ends in a tee intersection on to the Wolley trail. Getting started from the Elkwood parking lot you there are three trail options, take the centre trail running South-East. This runs you down what would be the walking trail through the campsite. It is a fairly narrow trail with two sets of track set ski runs. To get to the Amos section of the trail, you run past a ( locked?) set of bathrooms, the amphitheatre and, several campsites. This portion of the trail only has the slightest of inclines for the first bit.

After a few hundred meters you come to a bit of a down hill in the middle of which is the junction where a right turn puts you on the Amos trail. There is a brand new trail sign there, no missing paint from people jabbing at it with ski poles.

Amos starts off as a continuation through the Elkwood campsite but now running East. The trail is reasonably flat, with a gentle upwards slope. That is, until you come to the beginning of the hill down to the small pond. Today, even with yesterdays grooming of the trail, the down hill is a bit of trouble. Part of the issue is that the path twists and turns through the trees, enough so that you can not really see what is comming next. That combined with the very icy conditions, which make it hard to stop combine to scare Kaylyn (and her dad on her behalf) enough to have her take off her skis and walk for 15m or so. Once we can see that there is no drop of doom around the final corner she is able to put the skis back on and continue the run down to the pond with out any trouble.

As you come to the pond, you come out of the trees and into the open. You are given an nice view of the mountains to the East towering over the treetops. The sky today is clear blue, almost cloudless. The sun has warmed up the snow, and now we are skiing on what is nearly, but not quite, slush. Here is the only section of trail that is bear, maybe. 2ft without snow on one of the tracks. The pond is small and 75m or so later you enter the trees again on the south side of the pond.

view_from_the_pond.jpg view_from_the_pond.jpg
While we are standing admiring the view we can hear some somewhat panicked yells comming from behind us. It seems that Kaylyn is not the only one to have trouble with the icy hill. A family of four is comming out of the trees behind us.

Heading out into the wild blue yonder Heading out into the wild blue yonder
As you leave the clearing the trail is back to ice, and there is a short fairly steep hill. This forces Kaylyn to carry her skis for a short stint up the hill. If is at the top of the hill that wear over taken by the family. The mom has a kind word of encouragement for Kaylyn, as she is putting her skis back on. After Kaylyn has her skis back on. I tell her that now we can have a race, and off she goes like a shot trying to catch up. Nothing like a little competition to speed up a six year old. We do intact catch up just ad we are at the end of Amos.

The map at the junction shows that there is considerable lengths of intermediate trail in either direction, and I make the call to head back, thinking to run out along the easy section of Wheeler if there is time.

Squirrel Squirrel
There certainly is a lot of chit chat when you are skiing with a six year old girl. Not that it is bad, but it is hard to hear over the hiss of the skis on the icy tracks. It did come through loud and clear that I MUST get a picture of the Squirrel. So here it is.

The trip back along Amos is pretty much a reverse viewing of the trip out, complete with taking the skis off at the short steep hill at the edge of the pond. We do however stop for a snack at one of the campsites, only to find that I have left most of the snack material in the car. Oh well, the apple juice hit the spot well enough.

At the junction of Wheeler and Amos we take the left turn to extend our trip a bit and see what kind of view we will get out to the West. This section starts with a bit of a down hill but Kaylyn works up the nerve to run it and has no problems. The sun has made the snow soft and quite slow. After that we are skiing along the fairly level ridge for a while. The trees block much of the view, but not all all of it. This section oft he trail has had lots of sun. It is not down to the dirt yet but there is open water on the tracks in one spot. We stop at a handy picnic table for a break and head back.

Although it has not been a long distance day of 4km, it has been 2hrs out putting the time at 3:00 at this point on the trail, and that makes it time to head home. I'm really happy with the way the day turned out. Kaylyn says in the car on the way home "it would be nice if we could do this every weekend". That sounds about right to me.


heading out, not yet on Amos


Heading out into the wild blue yonder


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Content Copyright M. Tanton 2010

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