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Dormer Pass - Panther River Ski Loop
Timestamp Free: 2020.04.05 - 16:51:32
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / Canadian Rockies / Continental Ranges / Front Ranges / Palliser Range
  (5 days)
Participants: Robin Tivy, John Toms, Mel Hines, Errol Smith, Kevin, and others
Difficulty: 2: Straightforward back country ski.
This was my very first overnight cross country trip.
I was living in a shared lowrise apartment at 6131 Bowness Road, Alberta, (near Calgary) and it was my first Christmas away from my home in Toronto. Christmas was pretty wierd, but my roommate John Toms came up with a plan to blow away the Christmas blues. His plan was to do an overnight ski trip up the cascade fireroad, over Dormer Pass, and down the Panther River. It sounded pretty exotic. It would be my very first overnight ski trip. But I'd been summer backpacking, and John said it would be the same thing so no problem. So we drove to Banff that very afternoon, December 25, had dinner, and then started skiing up the Cascade fireroad.

I found out that the idea for the route of our trip had come from a much more experienced party of Mel Hines (who was houseparent at Castle Junction, at that time called Eisenhower Junction) and Errol Smith (toughest man in the Canadian Rockies). (Hereafter referred to as "the A team". However apparently their party was not keen to have inexperienced people like us (the B Team) along, and thus John Toms had to lead his own trip.

Day 1 - Get started up Cascade Fireroad
We camped the first night only a few km up the Cascade fireroad. In the morning before we even were out of bed, the "A" team appeared and skied past our camp, continuing on up the fireroad. So from then on, there was a broken trail.

Day 2 - To Camp on Dormer Pass Trail
Next day we went as fast as we could following their broken trail, as it went up the Cascade fireroad, then climbed up Stony creek. I had wooden Norwegian Rustat skis, and my prized Norona leather boots, and none of us had skins. (I didn't get my first Fischer Europa fiberglass skis till spring). Despite our fast pace, we were never able to get within sight of the "A" team, but...

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