The Grande Cache area is known for its excellent fishing at Grande Cache Lake, Victor Lake, Pierre Grey’s Lakes - in a remote mountain setting. For more information on the fishing and surrounding lakes, please click here.
This activity is largely dependent on the weather conditions, as Grande Cache is Chinook country. Periods of high winds combined with periods of cold weather can create dangerous slabs, ready to slide on the unwary, so be careful.
As an alternate to the trails, especially during those years with lots of snow, try the creeks. Some of the smaller ones make great routes, and you’d be amazed at some of the interesting places that can be found.
CROSS COUNTRY SKIING TRAILS
GRANDE CACHE MUNICIPAL CAMPGROUND GRANDE CACHE GOLF COURSEGroomed Trails for both classic and skate skiing can be found within Town limits at the Municipal Campground and at the Golf Course, which are adjacent with connected trails.
Part of the campground is lit to provide 1 km night skiing. The total combined distance for the campground and golf course trails is about 10 km. Watch for signs of elk or deer, which sometimes bed down on the golf course.
The trails are maintained by volunteers of the SMOKY RIVER NORDIC SKI CLUB F: Smoky River Nordic Ski Club
PIERRE GREY’S LAKES RECREATION AREAAbout 15 km (9.3 mi.) of tracked trails for classic skiing are set through forested loops around the lakes. There is a warm-up shack, picnic tables, and a small toboggan hill for those too young to ski located in the McDonald camping area. Trails are available for beginners to advanced levels.
Pierre Grey’s Lakes are located 30 minutes south of Grande Cache, on Highway 40. It is a remote area, without cell coverage.
Trails Maps can be obtained from visiting their Facebook page at Smoky River Nordic Ski Club.
At 105 Street and 105 Avenue, you’ll find a large hill, perfect for an afternoon of tobogganing if you’re traveling with younger children.
Grande Cache is relatively unknown for this sport. However there are two areas north of the town that are usually open to this during the winter. These climbs are definitely not for the faint hearted and require extreme fitness to really enjoy. Essential Gear: Standard Ice Rack and a V-Thread hook with Cordelette (Evergreen Gully) and typical ice rack (Knuckle-Gnasher Gully). NOTE: Grande Cache is Chinook country, so ice climbing (which is dangerous at the best of times) can be a real challenge! The trails are not well known, and not signed.
EVERGREEN GULLY. Mount Hamell
This climb is best attempted mid-winter, due to sun exposure on the upper parts of the route. Several lines can form on the ice amphitheatre above the gully; the best climb will be on your left when facing the wall. The route is 465 metres (1525 ft) long with approximately 100 metres (328 ft) of sustained climbing.
DIRECTIONS AND ROUTE
Drive 13 km (8 miles) north of town on Hwy 40, to the gun firing range (right side of the highway.) Continue past this turnoff for about 300 metres (984 ft) and park on the side of the road near a steep embankment.
Begin your hike by crossing the highway. Head straight up the steep bank then along the top to your right, roughly parallel to the road until you reach the drainage. The route can consist of up to three pitches of ice.
KNUCKLE-GNASHER GULLY. Grande Mountain
This climb consists of lower and upper pitches through a picturesque canyon. Grades vary from 3 – 5 in difficulty.
DIRECTIONS AND ROUTE
Drive 13 km (8 miles) north of town on Hwy 40 to the gun firing range (right side of the highway.) The ice on the bottom pitch is usually visible across the river to your right. Turn into the gun firing range and park. From here, make your way up to the railway tracks and follow them across the Smoky River. Please be vigilant and watch for trains.
Once across the river, continue hiking alongside the tracks until an old 4WD road becomes obvious. Turn right onto this road and continue on for 5-10 minutes until you reach a small creek bed to your left. Follow this creek to the base of the climb in the canyon. Total approach is 20- 25 minutes.
DISCLAIMER: Neither the Author nor the Town of Grande Cache makes any warranties, express or implied, nor assumes any responsibilities for the accuracy of the Ice Climbing information contained in the Visitor Guide. Some of the Ice Climbing and trails described are remote and users may encounter conditions due to weather and other factors that were not present when the Visitor Guide was created. There are inherent risks and potential hazards using all trails and any portion of a trail may be unsafe. Users assume the entire responsibility and risk for use of the information in this Guide, the Ice Climbing and trails. The Author and the Town of Grande Cache disclaims all responsibility and liability for death, injury or other damage that may be sustained by anyone using the information about Ice Climbing.