Snowshoe Arethusa Cirque

Arathusa snowshoe

View of Storm Mountain from the bench.

You’ve got 5 days left in which to enjoy a really terrific snowshoe into the cirque south of the more populated Ptarmigan. The distance is short, but perfect for the short drab days of late November.

Arathusa snowshoe

Heading up through the larches.

Driving in, we were dismayed at the lack of snow in the Kananaskis Valley, but we needn’t have worried. The snow was plentiful at Highwood Pass, and even better, the trail had been packed down by skiers who enjoy the open glade skiing the cirque has to offer. As expected, the creek was still running (it’s a spring) but was crossable on rocks with some snow on top. We zigged up the centre of the cirque through the larches onto the bench and along to the inner cirque between the Arethusas. A cruel wind was blowing high up, scouring the snow and creating patches of wind slab, at which point Tony asked me if I was still enjoying myself. Unable to find a suitable boulder to huddle behind in the cirque, or indeed anywhere on the bench, we hotfooted it back down into the trees by a slightly different route not shown on the map. The weather was turning, and as one or two snow flakes drifted down we slip-slided our way down interconnecting glades back to the creek. All good fun. Too bad one can’t get in there in March or April when the weather is likely to be better!

Arethusa Map

The route follows moderately-angled slopes all the way.

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