In placing four food caches for the ski section of the trip, a number of mini-expeditions were mounted. Using skidoos, snowshoes and skis, friends joined Heuer in carrying metal pails filled with dried food up side valleys to the Divide and hung them with ropes and wire in trees. The biggest fear was that the caches might be raided by wolverines or martens by the time we arrive on the actual ski expedition. The fears are well founded. Fresh wolverine tracks were in the vicinity of three of the four cache locations, fisher around one, and signs of pine marten at all of them.
In terms of symbolizing the habitat and movement corridors of carnivores, the ski route seems to be well chosen. Fresh wolf tracks were followed up the valleys to all four cache locations, lynx and wolverine tracks along two of them, and moose activity everywhere. A lone wolf was actually observed loping across Kakwa Lake where the third cache was placed.
A Y2Y Hike presentation will be made in Valemount, BC before the expedition heads north on Monday. At the end of the 30-day ski, Honeyman, a Park Ranger for Alberta Provincial Parks, will head back home to his job in Canmore, while Heuer and Allison break for another month to wait for the snows to recede and to finalize the hiking route north to the Yukon as well as to plan the venues and times for more than 30 presentations planned for this year in 26 communities in northern Alberta, BC and the Yukon.
Allison, a close personal friend of Heuer's since childhood, brings extensive mountaineering experience to the project, including the first all-women's ascent of the east ride of Canada's highest peak (Mount Logan).
We'll slide another note your way in late April. Until then, have a good spring.
Karsten Heuer and Leanne Allison (hikers) (Webster the dog on leave from the ski section)
For more information, please contact Erica Heuer (publicist) at firstname.lastname@example.org or (403) 540-6446.