- Published: Wednesday, 20 April 2016 16:28
- Written by Mike Fraiman
Between its Olympian ski slopes, towering mountain peaks and year-round festivals, Canmore genuinely deserves the title of Alberta's brightest hidden gem. You could divide its history into four timeframes: the creation of its geological wonders, when tectonic shifts crafted a beautiful landscape from fossizilied limestone 200 million years ago; the First Nations tribes who, in 4500 BC, hunted bison along what we today call Bow River; the European settlers who founded modern Canmore in 1884; and its contemporary boom, after the 1988 Winter Olympics shone a spotlight on what was then a quiet 3,000-person town. Since then, people have begun flocking to Canmore, causing its population to more than triple and its tourist industry to flourish.
Why Canmore Kananaskis?
As the legend goes, the name "Kananaskis" is derived from the name of a Cree warrior named “Kin-e-ah-kis” who became famous after getting slammed in the head with an axe—and surviving—in a fight to win a woman's affection.
So it sounded to us like a pretty tough place.
While tourists visit Canmore for all sorts of reasons—the exquisite cuisine, the crisp mountain air—Team Outpost was drawn to the rugged adventure. We're hiking across the rocky Yamnuska Traverse, exploring four kilometres of prehistoric caves and chasing adventure by ski and snowboard. But make no mistake: at the end of the day, we're relaxing in downtown's hippest restaurants and finest brewery.
In Canmore Kananaskis, we're not just searching for a spectacular view while tackling mountains—although the 2,232-metre-tall Yamnuska Traverse will certainly offer one. We're also digging deep into Rat's Nest Cave in Grotto Mountain to capture an inside look at geologic formations unseen anywhere else in the world. And each evening, we hope the clouds part to offer us a picturesque view of the three peaks—called Three Sisters—that define Canmore's skyline.
MEC Gear Spotlight
From the mountain to the mountain town and back again, this lightweight mid layer is made of warm, compressible fleece and the perfect addition to any hike where you might find variable conditions. With a flattering form fit, this jacket is more than a pretty face—it’s also practical. With hand-warmers, elastic sleeve bindings and a fleece-lined wind-blocking collar, you’re sure to stay cozy.
Pictured: MEC Coaction Jacket (Women's)
From MEC's women's jacket line
An Essential Base Layer
Merino wool is the essential fabric for base layers. The T1 long-sleeved crew is light enough to wear on its own under the sun, and fits comfortably and snuggly to the body when layered. Lightweight, moisture-wicking and vibrant, it weighs only 151 grams, but still manages to pack a punch and keep you warm.
Pictured: MEC Merino T1 Long-Sleeved Crew (Women's)
From MEC's women's jacket line
Ready for Anything
Ain’t no weather conditions gonna get us down! This water-resistant jacket keeps you warm and dry high in the alpine, no matter what weather happens to befall you. Warm and sunny? Crack a vent. Puking wet snow? Zip that hood. With new avalanche-proof technology, the jacket is equipped with a RECCO Rescue System reflector, an avalanche safety provision (to be used in addition to avalanche skills training), beacons and more—all used to help sky patrol and mountain-rescue teams find you in the snow.
Pictured: MEC Pin-It-To-Win-It 2 Jacket (Coming Fall 2016)
From MEC's women's jacket line
Let Your Legs Breathe Easy
If there’s one thing you need in the backcountry, it’s a good pair of soft-shell pants. Not weatherproof, but water-shedding and wind-blocking, these pants are designed to breathe when you’re sweating uphill and move with you when you’re pushing hard.
Pictured: MEC Sandbagger Pants (Women's)
From MEC's Hiking and Climbing Clothes
Glide Like the Wind
Butter. This board cuts through snow like a knife on butter. When you’re looking to explore the backcountry and rugged terrain, the Burton Anti-Social Splitboard cuts the weight and includes a tapered shape, giving riders a smooth uphill glide when skinning up steep slopes and allows them to float over deep powder. Assembled in a flash so you can disappear in a flash, earning your turns just got easier.
Pictured: Burton Anti-Social Splitboard (Women's)
From Burton's Snowboard Collection
Durable and Versatile
The Canadian Rockies dish out their fair share of temperamental weather. Rain, sun, snow, wind and a quick change in temperate are all fair game in the mountains surrounding Canmore Kananaskis. This sometimes means postponing adventure plans—that’s why the MEC Centre Point Jacket is one the best outlayers on the market. Durable, water-repellant and featuring built-in insulation, the Centre Point is perfect for those variable-weather days that can detract from experiencing life to its fullest. Include the Centre Point and you’ll feel confident to explore any time of year.
Pictured: MEC Centre Point Jacket (Coming Fall 2016)
From MEC's men's jacket line
Trekking With Confidence
The Canadian Rockies are all about the mountains. Steep, rugged and beautiful, the Rockies inspire both visitors and locals to step out of their cars and houses and onto the trails. And whether you are hiking the steep trails of Ha Ling, the rounded summit of Lady Macdonald or the rugged slopes of Mount Yamnuska, the Merrell Capra series has got you covered. Durable construction, effective water protection and incredible comfort are the bedrock of Merrell’s Capra series. Equip yourself with the Capra Bolt or Capra Mid Sport and there will be no telling where your feet will take you.
Pictured: Merrell Capra Mid
From the MEC Capra Mid Collection
We'll be skiing, caving and hiking through the Canmore Kananaskis region, which means we'll need to be packing a lot of diverse gear. As always, since our most important demands are quality, durability and ease of use, we're sticking with MEC as our supplier of choice.
Snow Sports First Aid
Climbing First Aid
Hand and Toe Warmers
Our Canmore Kananaskis Expedition Map