The Spring Pathfinder includes: A GDT Birthday, 2016 Trail Maintenance Trips, Maps Update, Sponsor Spotlight, Trail Tales, Oh The Peaks You Will See, Trail & Road Conditions, Upcoming Events and more!
View this email in your browser
April 30, 2016                                                           SPRING PATHFINDER

The Great Divide Trail is 50 Years Young!

Light the candles and cue the music, the Great Divide Trail is 50 years young! If you haven't already read Dustin Lynx's article on the birth and evolution of the GDT, check it out here!
2016 Summer Trail Maintenance Roster
With 50 years under its belt, the GDT needs a bit of love and care. This summer, the GDTA has a growing roster of trail maintenance trips!

Signature Trail Maintenance Trip in Dutch Creek, Alberta - July 20 - 24, 2016:
25 eager volunteers will be spending five days in the Dutch Creek area clearing, blazing and building trail. Our volunteer signup list for this trip is full with a waitlist. For those of you signed up, don't forget to pay your trail maintenance trip fee to confirm your spot and your complimentary Resolve rain jacket courtesy of our sponsor, The North Face.

Moose River Colonel Creek Helicopter Trip, British Columbia - August 15-20, 2016
The GDTA is partnering with the Backcountry Horsemen of BC to tackle maintenance on a section of the trail north of Mt. Robson. A crew of 12, including 3 GDTA members, will travel up Moose River by horse and helicopter to clear windfall and restore the trail in the remote wilderness.

Stay tuned for future trail maintenance trip announcements and calls for volunteers. Become a member to receive priority on our future trips!
Map Updates
The GDTA's President, Bradley Vaillancourt, has been toiling away for the last few months trying to compile and improve the quality of the Great Divide Trail GPS track before the 2016 hiking season. We are happy to announce that the map has been updated online!
Note that trail mapping information changes frequently and may not be 100% accurate. We wish all the hikers the best of route finding luck this year and welcome any additional GPS tracks hikers are willing to share!
Sponsor Highlight
By Geoff Ellwand
Spray Lake Sawmills (SLS) started out in 1943 as a family-owned sawmilling company. Operating mostly in the winter, it employed farmers as seasonal loggers, who dragged the timber out of the forest with horses, then trucked it to a mill.

Today, Spray Lake Sawmills is still family-owned, but is headquartered in Cochrane where it has its own modern mill. The once tiny operation now employs some 300 people full-time. Howard Pruden, SLS’ Safety and Human Resources Co-ordinator says the company hasn’t forgotten its roots or the fact it’s well-being depends on careful management of forest resources. “The forest is our future,” he says, “so it’s important that we manage that forest very carefully.”  That may be one reason Spray Lake’s Woodlands activities have been third party certified under two international forest management standards.

It is also a reason the Great Divide Trail Association is proud to have a partnership sponsor such as SLS. It is the only forestry company with which the GDTA has developed a formal relationship. SLS loggers operate by licence, within a narrow strip of land in Alberta running along the eastern side of the Rockies from just north of Red Deer to the Crowsnest Pass area. It’s an area that closely parallels parts of the southern portion of the Great Divide Trail.

"We appreciate having them as a partner," says Dave Hockey, GDTA Chair, "and we hope it’s a relationship that will continue for a long time.” 

The Great Divide Trail Association would like to thank Spray Lake Sawmills for providing the GDTA with safety helmets, goggles, chainsaw pants and funding to buy a new chainsaw. Your contributions over the years have helped to keep our trail maintenance efforts on a safe and steady track!
Trail Tales
A GDT Honeymoon
Pete Michelinie and Cassidy Metcalf
A test of all relationships tests...the Great Divide Trail. Read the full article here.
Oh The Peaks You Will See!
Veteran Mountains: Part One
By Jen Peddleson
Where do mountain names come from? Learn the World War I origins of some of our peak names in the full article here!
Trail & Road Conditions
Spring is in the air! Hiking trails at lower elevations vary from bare and muddy to slushy and icy, while trails at higher elevation remain snowbound with potential avalanche risk. Trails can be icy in the morning but warmer daytime temperatures are creating slushy and slippery conditions. Plan for varying conditions with warm layers and snowshoes, cleats and/or poles recommended.

Snow can still accumulate in April and avalanche conditions exist, especially at higher elevations so always check the latest avalanche bulletins before setting out.

Tick season has started. Be extra careful when in areas with a lot of underbrush and check yourself and your clothing after your hike.

Trail Closure
Jasper National Park – Trail #7 is closed to hikers at the junction with Trail #7e to the junction with Trail #7a due to grizzly and black bears frequenting the area. Detour is available by taking Trail #7e to Mildred Lake where you can follow the Beauvert Lake Trail or Athabasca River Trail to reach the Old Fort Point bridge (e34).

For the full report of trail notices and access roads check our page on Trail and Road Conditions here.
Upcoming Events
Did you miss our Out There Event? The Great Divide Trail Association has loads of other presentations lined up at clubs and events this spring including:

Nature Calgary Speaker Event - Calgary, May 18, 2016
GDTA Seminar: Backpacking Light - Calgary, June 2, 2016

Trails Fest with the Friends of Kananaskis Country - Canmore, June 16, 2016

Check out our Events Calendar regularly for updates and more details on presentations coming to a location near you! If you are interested in having us present to your organization, we would love to hear from you:
Get Involved
The Great Divide Trail Association always welcomes public support for the Great Divide Trail whether it comes in the form of volunteers, donations, sponsorship, social media followers or enthusiasm!

If hiking on a long distance trail is not your cup of tea, but you are interested in contributing to the success of the GDTA whether it be sharing your skills through web design, marketing, mapping, stewardship or non-profit experience, we would love to hear from you!

As a non-profit organization we rely on our members to support us in our vision of the completion and preservation of the Great Divide Trail. Become a member today to help us realize this vision and achieve our 2016 resolutions. Check out our website on the perks of membership, and how to become involved!
Copyright © 2016 Great Divide Trail Association, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp