Paget Fire Lookout


Trip Details
Attained Summit?: 
Trip Date: 
Saturday, December 9, 2006
Elevation Gain (m): 
Trip Report

On December 9th 2006, Wietse and I decided to go try our luck at skiing up the Paget Lookout trail. Since this was Wietse's first time ever on skis, we weren't sure if we would be able to continue on to Paget Peak or not. One step at a time! ;-) Once again there was no parking so we had to park in the entrance to the parking lot of the lodge. This was also my first time on a new set of skis so I was pretty excited. My Verdicts are HUGE compared to what I was used to skiing.


Quite quickly the trail gained elevation and it became obvious that because of the greater exposure of ski-to-snow (i.e. my skis were twice as big as Wietse's), I had much more traction than Wietse. This would continue to be a bit of a problem for Wietse because I was breaking trail and tended to go a bit steeper than his skins were willing to take him. Oh well. That's what he gets for following I guess.


The trail was really hard to follow once we were past the Sherbrooke Lake sign. Since there was 4 - 6 feet of snow over everything, the trail was cut through trees below us! We actually got lost a few times but eventually we recognized the terrain. Wietse did really well for his first time on skis, but his feet were killing him in the crappy rental boots he had on. Once of his skis kept popping off too, and on the way down I finally took a closer look and realized that the MEC staff hadn't adjusted the size or DIN - so I did.


I thought my massive new skis would be a problem on the way up but actually they climb well. Because they are so big, they have a large area on the snow and don't sink as deep. As I already mentioned, they also have a bigger skin and thus can climb better. Once we finally reached the lookout it was obvious that Wietse would not be able to continue with his feet in the condition they were. We snapped some pictures and prepared for a fun descent.


Because the trail down was fairly narrow, Wietse kept his skins on so he wouldn't go TOO fast. I took mine off once the really narrow trail ended. This is when I discovered the true benefits of a fat ski. The skis just floated on the powder and left me very hungry for more. Wietse did very well on the way down considering it was his first time. The snow was very deep which made things a bit trickier - especially getting up after falling.


Not too many people seem to ski this trail in the winter and there are avi zones that I wouldn't want to be in under high-rating days. Since the ratings were low we were fine. The snow was evenly distributed and rounded. It was also bonded very nicely all the way down to about 4 inches off the bottom. All-in-all a great day out.

Believe it or not - this is the trail! We just happen to be about 4-6 ft higher than in the summer!
Wietse comes up behind me with low cloud hanging in the valley beneath us.
There was an amazing amount of fresh snow here!

A train snakes its way down the divide 600 meters below us.
Another view of the train as it descends.
Wietse gazes out of the lookout, the first 'bump' of Paget Peak is in the upper right.

Looking up the valley to Lake O'Hara.

Vern, taking in the view.

Clouds coming up the divide from around Mount Stephen.

Looking toward the Lake Louise ski hill and Protection Mountain.
My new set of skis (BD Verdicts) just itching to go bag a peak! ;-)
Wietse coming down the Paget Lookout trail.
The trail down.

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