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April 19, 2010
On Sunday 13 March we snowshoed Ole Buck Loop, gaining the trail head from the parking lot southwest of Sibbald Lake. Guided by Daffern’s Short Walks for Inquiring Minds (2nd ed.), we followed the Sibbald Forestry Exhibit Trail to the turn off (left) leading down to Bateman Creek, across the bridge, and up to Ole Buck Loop Trail. We walked it clockwise, counterclockwise being steeper in places, with upward progress made even more difficult by often-deep, crusty, granulated snow.
The trail from the parking lot to the point where it turns right, away from the lake, and begins to ascend has been frequently snowshoed over the winter. But once the ascent began we could seen only a faint outline of the trail,
suggesting that last use was several snow storms ago. As expected the snow deepened with elevation, amounting to a good two feet as we approached the summit. Throughout we encountered crust (it tended to break with weight) and in
places, especially on descent, subsurface granulation.
Expect these conditions to worsen over the next two weeks or so, depending on how warm it gets and whether we have more snow or some rain. Still it was a most pleasant outing, which took us about an hour and forty-five minutes to complete. Daffern says the loop is 3k long (from its start at the eastern edge of Sibbald Lake Campground). Our GPS
indicated an elevation gain of 168m, measured at the bridge over Bateman Creek.
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