Calgary Amateur Radio Association

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RMR 2022 - Course road conditions

16 May 2022 2:09 PM | Garry Spicer (Administrator)

In recent memory, we have not done a spring time rally in the Kananaskis region. So, Dana and I went out to the venue to perform radio testing ahead of the event. This gave us a chance to do a quick inspection of the roads and venue while we were there.

In general, Powderface Trail seemed to be in good condition. The road was mostly dry at higher elevations but low lying areas were still a little wet. There were a few soft spots on the road but I never felt that my vehicle was at high risk of getting stuck. Off the road, waterlogged soil was present at some locations near creeks, ditches, ponds, and puddles. This could dry up before the event, depending on the weather. There was a little snow along the road, but I suspect that will mostly disappear over the next couple of weeks. Some significant erosion cracks were present on the road surface and care should be used around them. There were numerous small tree branches, sticks, and substantial rocks scattered about. Extra attention is warranted to avoid this debris, especially in places where there is a steep upslope next to the road, as objects can tumble down from above (and clearly have been doing so). The potential for falling debris should also be considered when selecting a spot to park a vehicle or place equipment. Overall, the road did not seem unsafe, but radio operators are encouraged to use a little extra care.

It appeared that there had been some recent high winds around the north part of the venue, including the North Demonstration Loop. Several fallen trees were observed. Trees and branches that blocked roads had been cut and cleared, so there was no serious impediment to vehicle traffic. Caution is advised when positioning vehicles and equipment, to avoid precarious trees and branches that may yet be at risk of falling.

We did not specifically check the South Demonstration Loop, as there was a Test Day in progress on that road. No reports of serious road issues were obtained from participants, and the Test Day seemed to be running well. If one of the radio operators who assisted at the Test Day can provide a brief conditions report, I'll append it to this posting.

There was still considerable snow up on Moose Mountain Road, including the parking lot and lookout locations where we typically position a relay operator and/or backup repeater. It is possible that some of this snow may still be around on rally day. Operators assisting with relay roles and/or temporary repeater support should take this into account.

Bugs were starting to make an appearance, so insect repellent will likely be an important part of your field kit. The sun was feeling intense and sunscreen would be another good idea.

For the rally we held in this location last fall, the chief organizer produced videos of the roads. Here are links to those videos:

1) Jumping Pound Loop Reverse (Westbound)

2) Powderface Down (Southbound)

3) Powderface Up (Northbound)

Keep watching this blog as more rally information will be posted as the event date approaches.


  • 17 May 2022 12:46 AM | Garry Spicer (Administrator)
    Thanks go out to Bob, VA6BM, who was at the (Sunday) Test Day on the South Demonstration Loop and sent in a conditions report. This is a summary of his submission:

    Bob stated that the road on the west side of the loop, where he was located, was in excellent shape, especially for this time of year. No reports were received of obstacles or problems on the east side. Bob noted a significant quantity of broken tree limbs and wood that had been cut and piled, though it all seemed to be well off of the road. He also mentioned very dry conditions in some places, so dust may be a factor if there is no rain before rally day. Fire is always a concern whenever conditions are dry in the bush, and Bob mentioned that care should be exercised with ignition sources given the state of the ground cover.

    [Editor's note - While Bob indicated that he did not see any obviously hazardous trees or branches, caution is advised in the area and radio operators should check around their sites for anything that does not seem safe.]
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