KTUG News from the September Meeting

The latest on Fortress Ski Area access
Warner Bros.has been granted approval to film the sci-fi movie “Inception” up there and are currently building a castle or something at the top of Canadian Run. You can spot it from Fortress Junction! The company has made some basic improvements to the road. Meanwhile, the owner of the assets (buildings, lifts, bridge, etc.) has been given approval to conduct repairs on the bridge (presumably for the benefit of the film crew). However the bridge has “not been rated to allow public vehicular access,” and is likely to remain closed until the current facilities owner, who has been granted a temporary field authorization, is re-issued with a lease. Could be a while people!

West Bragg Creek Trails
The West Bragg Creek Trail Plan Advisory Committee is looking at improving the ski trails, and adding snowshoe trails and hiking trails. The area in question goes N to Telephone Loop, W to the Tom Snow and S to Hwy. 66. If you have any suggestions for Alf, who is our hiking representative, please reply to this blog.

Trails in the Sheep
The new Long Prairie Loop was opened this fall (see previous blog).

What about the trails indicated on the Sheep management plan that we are all eagerly waiting for? Well, K Country, SRD and Parks are presently into partnership deals with unbrella organisations for the various user groups. They admit that hikers’ needs are at the bottom of the pecking order because we can’t raise the cash. Unfortunately, the Alberta Hiking Association is not set up to apply for grants and act as negotiator.

K Country is also advocating multi-use trails. All the trails on the plan are multi-use except one and that one is the proposed hiker’s only trail of about 2.5 km connecting Bluerock Interpretive Trail to Bluerock Creek Trail along the east bank of Bluerock Creek. All the hikers I know dislike the present start to Bluerock Creek trail and the idea of the connector is to make the trail shorter for two-legged animals, avoid the awful mud churned up by horses, and do away with the unnecessary descent and creek crossing. Although there are precedents for hiker only trails in what is primarily an equestrian area, K Country is balking at approving it. (One suggestion from them is that we just “walk it,” meaning ?”) Their latest policy is to build trails and loops near campgrounds, so why is there a problem with a trail that would give campers easier access to Bluerock Meadows? Next year Sandy McNabb Recreation Area will be closed for upgrades and then Bluerock will be the only campground open on Hwy. 546. Anyway, the good news is that K Country is still considering our proposal. Stay tuned as Don would say.

Meanwhile, the mountain bike trails in the Elbow are continuing apace, with many more planned for the future.

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