Winter, vortex and buffalo
What a rush to wake up Monday morning to nearly 30 cm of fresh snow at the ski hills. We all like winter, to a degree, otherwise why would we live in these high alpine towns where it snows for up to eight months of the year. Honestly, it was a nice change from the rainy weekend because the end of March is too soon for the spring melt. If you want coastal conditions, then head to the coast.
There aren’t many places in Canada where the three local resorts get this much fresh pow one week into spring. The hills were packed, so it’s not a surprise that the backcountry was, too. I heard that Parks is not so happy with skiers and splitboarders who venture off-piste these days. No, it’s not because of their avalanche decision making, but because the uptrackers are parking in ways that create safety hazards.
If you’re going to park in Kananaskis Country, on the 93 North or South or anywhere else that gives access to plush pillow lines, just be sure that you’re parking well off the road. We don’t want roadside parking banned, and some of you don’t seem to know how to handle leaving the car on the shoulder.
Did you know that there is an energy vortex on the Three Sisters accessible from the Smith-Dorrien Trail. On the south face of Faith Peak (Big Sister) is a huge canyon visible from the road. It’s long been a place where people gather to benefit from whatever it has to offer. Earth’s energy field is an electromagnetic grid system composed of energy pathways or leylines. In Ireland they’re called “fairy paths” and in China they’re known as “dragon currents.” The places where the energy paths intersect are called a vortex or yin/yang.
Over the past 20 years, I’ve met people who’ve travelled to the Bow Valley to visit this vortex. The Bow Valley has had a number of UFO sightings over the past 50 years, often over the Three Sisters. So, if you believe in the otherworldly and fairy lines, then it might be something that you want to check out.
Tunnel Mountain is one of the best rock climbing areas around. The Blackfoot name for the mountain is Iinii Istako and the Stoney Nakoda name is Eyarhey Tatanga Woweyahgey Wakân. The Stoney people called it Sleeping Buffalo because it resembles a sleeping buffalo when viewed from the north and east. Buffalo were reintroduced into Banff Park in 2017, more than 100 years after being hunted out.
In the 1800s, Canadian Pacific Railway surveyors named it Tunnel Mountain because they wanted to blast a tunnel through it. They never did. In 2016, 15 First Nations signed a resolution calling to rename it Sacred Buffalo Guardian Mountain. It’s been four years and National Resources Canada hasn’t made a decision. Hopefully this will be the year, because Tunnel, while a cool name, is the wrong one for this mountain.