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Christmas at the Hidden Cove Campground

Difficulty: 
Easy Ski Tour
Elevation [m]: 
1680
Round Trip Distance [km]: 
15.0
Net Elevation Gain [m]: 
0
Total Elevation Gain [m]: 
0
Bushwhackyness: 
None
Tripdate: 
Thursday, December 24, 2015

After having done a nice trip to the Elizabeth Parker Hut for christmas last year my mom and I were trying to plan something similar for this season.  Sadly it didn't look like any if the easily accessible ACC huts would have space but after scouring the internet I came across a description of the new 'family friendly' canoe camp at Hidden Cove on Maligne Lake which had a shelter with a stove (that sounded suspiciously hut-like).  Talking with Parks, the shelter was not winterized but should still be much warmer than camping right?  After discussing the plan with Liam he, his dad, and former field partner Stacey would join my mom and I for the festivities.

 
The route to the Hidden Cove shelter is a straightforward paddle in the summer and an even more straightforward ski when the lake is frozen in winter.  From the public dock head down the lake for ~4.5 km until reaching an inlet on the east (right hand) side.  The campground is at the end of the inlet.  There was a good stash of wood precut and before long the fire was raging battling off some of the winter chill (a good thing too as outside overnight temperatures were in the -30s!).  Before long Liam, David, and Stacey also arrived and using David's lantern the shelter became a cozy (but very drafty) refuge.
 

Looking down Maligne Lake from the public dock.

 

Around the bend hidden cove is now visible on the distant right.

 

The lantern really helped the mood in the hut, quite the card tower in the background!

 

Our group with the shelter in the background that night.

 
The next morning after a leisurely feast for breakfast we took advantage of the chilly temperatures to take some pictures of boiling water flash freezing into snow (which looks quite striking with extra light scattering from the morning sun).  After that we all took a ski down the lake and tried to write out 'merry christmas' in large letters in the snow if any parks planes would be passing overhead before setting up the grand dinner feast.
 

Morning looking south down the lake.

 

Liam and his dad at sunrise.

 

Stacey throwing some boiling water in the air (really neat ice crystal patterns).

 

Leah Peak, might have to canoe down in the summer and wander up there at some point.

 

Samson Peak is a very striking mountain.

 

Heading back to the shelter after a quick ski.

 

The stove in the shelter made for good cooking.

 

Night views towards Mounts Charlton and Unwin.

 

Quite a nice place to spend a few days in the holiday season with good grub clear skies and good folks!  That being said a  little bit of caulking could go a long way to make the shelter more pleasent in winter (it has double paned windows but confusingly multiple 1 cm wide holes and cracks allover the place).
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