Mountains 101—the U of A’s latest MOOC—starts soon

We appreciate having the Rockies in our own backyard and we visit them frequently. Now we can study these and other mountain landscapes around the world with a new massive open online course.

Mountains 101 The University of Alberta has partnered with Parks Canada and the Alpine Club of Canada to create the 12 week course. It’s multi-disciplinary, covering geology, biodiversity, and cultural relationships to societies. We are also promised a “tech tip” at the end of each lesson, such as how to pick the best footwear for hiking.

The first lesson can be accessed January 9. You can sign up now at

Devon Trails Hike: And Suddenly It’s Winter

On today’s hike, nine of us descended on the bank of the North Saskatchewan river to take in the walk from the boat launch to the Lions Campground. It was a good test of our winter gear. Some of us determined that we will have to get mittens over gloves, better footwear, and thicker socks before the real winter comes.



Much of the trail was a wonderland. Snow piled on leaves that were still attached to the trees made for fun game I call “Let’s Make a Blizzard.”

img_2420 img_2421

At the campground, the residents were preparing for a Thanksgiving event. And in the spirit of Thanksgiving, they allowed us to come in and warm up around the magnificent fire.


The lively topic at lunch was Where is the best place to buy bread?

Here are some of our suggestions:
Bon Ton Bakery
B&A Bakery
Cobs Bread



We took a lot of pictures. You can find the rest of them here
2016-10-09 Hike: Devon Voyager Park to Lions Campground

Schnee Hill Hike: Golden Hues and Heady Scents

Yesterday we had serial downpours. Today’s hike was the complete opposite.

The thirteen of us were treated to a strong sun in a cloudless sky. It may have been only 10 degrees in Edmonton, but it felt like 20 degrees on the trail.
Battle River Valley

Now that at least half the leaves have fallen from the trees, we were able to take in more than usual of the Battle River valley vistas.



We know autumn for its colours, but what about its scent? For us it was the leaves and grasses that have matured and dried out. For instance, we walked through narrow meadows, sheltered behind the ridge. As the sun beat down, pockets of warm air raised to our faces the heady and pleasant aroma of sages.



New boardwalk

This year’s hike was the best in recent memory, in large part due to the extensive trail maintenance. Here we are on the newly-repaired and neatly-shingled boardwalk.






Be sure to check out more photos on Flickr.
2016-10-02:A60 to Schnee Hill