Our Ski-touring Trip to Skoki Lodge
GPS reading/coordinates/waypoints of Skoki Lodge taken from my explorist 300 (no guarantees bring a good topographic map) 51' 31'23N and 116' 04'35W
I dedicate this site to the memory of Marie-Josee Fortin. On the same day that we were doing our trip, she got lost around Golden and died a week later. Her husband, Gilles Blackburn, survived an incredible nine days. He was rescued and survived.
We went to Skoki on the long family weekend in February we spend Valentines Day skiing to Skoki Lodge. We were a party of four people. Myself, I had all terrain skis, Ward had cross-country touring skis. The girls had snowshoes. Once we got to the lodge, I realized that most people brought cross-country skis. Some people had both skis and snowshoes. If there is little snow, the trail will be well pack because you are following the skidoo trail. The girls even decided to take their snowshoes out and walk parts of the trail. Girls took their snowshoes because had been injured few weeks before our trip. We were extremely proud of the girls finishing the trip successsully since that was our first winter backcountry trip together.
Before leaving you have to register at Whiskeyjack lodge, at the Lake Louise ski resort. They say to register at 9:30 but there was people there at 9:00. If you want to leave early get there early. There is a special parking for guests of the lodge almost in front of the registration office. They give you a free pass to put in your windshield, you can leave your car there .
They use to have a shuttle bus to Temple at 10:00 am but now instead they give you a free gondola pass to get there. The gondola and chairlift operators are extremely helpful. They slow everything down to let you in and out.
The trail to Skoki starts about 100 meters from Temple Lodge up on the left. It is well marked there is red poles all the way to the lodge, too many of them . Do not put your skins at the bottom of the steep hill. Walk it or ski it. Once you reach the trail it's pretty flat and you won't need them. I recommend to wax your skis before starting on your journey. It is sort of flat but it climbs gradually to Boulder pass. I had my AT skis and they kept sliding, once I waxed them, it got better.
You get through very spectacular scenery. The Boulder pass, obviously has a lot of boulders. Once you are finished with the pass, you get into a long valley. Then you reach Deception Pass. It's a fairly tough climb but not technical. On your right you have Fossil mountain. Scene of a few casualties.
After the pass it's pretty much all the way down to the lodge. The lodge is a welcoming sight; I even had the little boy son of the managers to help me put my skis and stuff away. As you arrive there is gourmet soup, tea and a small buffet.
The food and atmosphere at the Lodge are incredible. You are expected to leave 10% tip. Wine is $40 00 a bottle and beer was $7 00. There is no running water or electricity but the lack of those things adds atmosphere. It' s fun to eat by the candlelight’s.
There are pretty of great trails around the lodge, there is even a few spots to do some turns. We went to the Red Deer Lakes. We were not disappointed. It's about 8 to 9 kms roundtrip. On your back. It is faster, maybe twice as fast. It took me five hours to get to the lodge but only 2:30 on my way back...and I had slow skis.
Unfortunately, I had a new camera and the battery died quickly as a result I was not able to take more pictures.