Kananaskis wildfire near Bragg Creek – May 2018

A wildfire was reported early in the morning of May 27, 2018. It is located about 16 km south of Bragg Creek in the southern part of McLean Creek, Kananaskis covering 100 hectares. As of 10 AM on the 28th, the fire is listed as out of control and its coverage was reduced to 60 hectares. A voluntary evacuation notice has been issued for residents along Highway 762. On May 29, the fire is declared to “Being Held”, the voluntary evacuation has been lifted and Rocky View has cancelled its wildfire alert. The wildfire was declared “Under Control” about noon on June 1.

See more information here


Elbow River Flood Watch

I like to check the snow pack and river flow graphs in late May to see if the conditions for a flood in June are present. I’ll go out on a limb here and say we won’t get a flood that hurts – this year.

More information here


Bragg Creek Bulletin Board

Seeing the Post Office wall, I thought it would be a great idea to create an online Bulletin Board. I used to have one about 15 years ago. It was a great place to discuss community issues.

This one is different. It’s designed to provide local businesses, people and organizations an opportunity to share the information they post on the wall, in the grocery and elsewhere, with an online version. There are four categories:
– News and general information
– Services available and Jobs
– Events
– For Sale
Services has quite a few “forums” where Tradespeople can offer services. Health and Wellness is another forum. There is more; Jobs, Recreation, Personal & Professional, Arts & Culture, Retail, Restaurants, Pets, Education and Accommodation. The idea is to have all this organized and always available. Also, because it’s online, links to web sites and email addresses are live links. There’s also a calendar where events posted can be added to the calendar. Check it out. There’s something happening today.
You can add images and upload documents. I posted about 70 notices, collected since last September. Now, it’s up to you to add your own information. You can use the “Media” link in the top navigation bar to view a photo gallery of the notices posted between September, 2017 and early January, 2018. The site is on a secure server, so information you provide is locked up.

Please have a look: www.bb.braggcreek.ca

See this guide to learn how to add notices to the bulletin board


Trail Camera

Mother Deer Trailcam

I have an outdoor camera with an infra red flash (for nighttime – the animals can’t see it) and an activity monitor, or motion sensor (it reacts to heat). It takes still and HD video images of animals when they approach. It’s a lot of fun.

Around the house, most images captured are of the deer that live here. The image above is Mom deer. She has two offspring this year. We also have moose, coyotes, bears and cougars that pass through, but they seem to be camera shy.

From May to October of 2015, I setup the camera in several locations in West Bragg Creek, Kananaskis and caught a variety of animals and birds. I made 6 videos, one for each month.

You can see them on my Youtube channel here

LED Yard Light Video


It’s a big black world out there. I like to know what’s going on out there, so I have a yard light installed on an old power pole. This is the third light – the first was a 300 watt halogen. I didn’t like climbing a ladder to replace the bulb. The second was a LED that had a defective photocell switch. This 150 watt light produces 17,300 Lumens – that’s a lot of light. Watch the review:
See the video

Gifts Unlike Any Other

I had almost forgotten. Many years ago braggcreek.ca had an online store. It offered outdoor apparel, a licence plate and a small backpack. All featured an attractive design showing Moose Mountain, a moose and the name Kananaskis underneath.

It was original art created for braggcreekstore.ca. A version of the design, labelled Bragg Creek, is used on the braggcreek.ca social media sites. But the original Kananaskis version appears only on the ball caps, T-shirts, fleece garments and the backpack. There aren’t many left and there won’t be anymore. So they’re kind of collectors items.

I have 4 backpacks and about 30 jackets, shirts and caps left from the original stock. They are on sale at a clearance price of 40% off. Cash or a cheque only please. I’ll deliver to your home, or you can come and browse if you make an appointment – day or evening. Call 403-949-4274

You can see these unique gifts here.

The Verdant Creek Fire

This B.C. wildfire is the one that is affecting Bragg Creek as of Sept. 3, 2017. We are experiencing occasional heavy smoke and some ash falling. Environment Canada has issued several Air Quality Alerts for Bragg Creek.

Date of Discovery
July 15, 2017
Suspected Cause
Lightning
Approximate Location
Verdant Creek
Affecting Assiniboine Provincial Park and Kootenay National Park
The fire is about 100 km west of Bragg Creek
Estimated Size (HA)
The fire is currently estimated to be approximately 15,555 hectares; however it is difficult to determine an exact fire size on an ongoing basis.
Stage of Control
Fire of Note – means a wildfire that is highly visible or poses a potential threat to public safety
How long will it last
Significant rainfall is required to extinguish the fire. The fire season extends well into September

Parks Canada has good information


Demolition of the Steak Pit Restaurant

Judging by the response to a Facebook post on the demolition of the Steak Pit Restaurant, this could well be the most important thing to happen in Bragg Creek in the last 20 years. Arguably, water services, the floods and development have affected the community profoundly. But, people had a special relationship with the restaurant. It made memories. The interesting thing is, this story combines all of those events and also marks the . . .

End of an Era – July 17, 2017

The Steak Pit Restaurant was reduced to a pile of rubble today.

Download a copy of the Steak Pit Review


Explore Bragg Creek

Children in the Grade three/four class at Banded Peak School were asked to “Explore Bragg Creek”. They produced a pamphlet with original art depicting our community, a map locating 8 features of the community and QR codes (like UPC codes that you scan with your smartphone to link to a web address). Those links connect to a podcast recording of the children talking about those features. The children interviewed people who owned or were expert in their knowledge of the features. As you would expect, their telling of the stories about these important parts of our place have a unique perspective. There is a lot to learn here.

According to Andrew Spelrem, the teacher behind the project, “The idea of the podcast project was for kids to delve into the history of their own community, while at the same time, creating meaningful relationships with community members and experts. Within this project, the kids were able to develop technology skills, interviewing skills, and presentation skills.”

Listen to the children’s podcasts

Download an Acrobat version of the pamphlet


People of Bragg Creek

See more people
Bragg Creek Tour – 2017
Take a tour of Bragg Creek to see what it it’s like to live, work and play here. We live hidden in the forested foothills of the Rocky Mountains, 40 minutes west of Calgary, Alberta. The community has an interesting history, influenced by the Elbow River and the wild lands that surround us, providing a venue for outdoor adventure that sustains us and those who come to visit.


Interactive Elbow Valley Trail Locator Map

Click/tap here to see the interactive map

Interactive Elbow Valley and West Bragg Creek Trails Locator map

As an Information Graphics Designer at The Montreal Gazette I made lots of maps. That was before Google Maps. But, there will always be a need for specialized maps, focusing on a unique territory, that contains relevant information. That is the case with this map of the Elbow Valley and West Bragg Creek.

There are hundreds of kilometres of trails – it’s a chaotic tangle of lines. The official Greater Bragg Creek Trails Association map shows part of the territory, it’s very large and there is almost too much information. I wanted a map people could use to choose a trail on their smartphones while driving out to Kananaskis for a day on the trail.

My map took years to produce. Drawing all the contour lines for the elevation of terrain alone was a chore. The first version had the original trails, built when K-Country was created back in the 1970s. Then the GBCTA and CMBA built a whole new tangle of trails in the 2010s. I used several different maps as reference with several different sources of information. Some trails I measured with a ruler on a printed map to find the length.

This is by no means an exact rendering of the trails. Don’t expect to find your way home using this map. But, if you want to explore and lose yourself in the wild lands of Kananaskis, this may help. This map shows the entire Elbow Valley from the Little Elbow Recreation Area to the hamlet of Bragg Creek.

The extraordinary thing about this map is its interactivity. Roll your mouse over, or tap on a trail and you’ll see the name and length of the trail. There’s more than meets the eye. Click/tap the map or the link below to see more.

See the Interactive Trail Locator Map
Read more about the map


Bothersome Bugs

You might have noticed a lot of moths around lately (June 2017). You also may have noticed that the ridgetops all along the north side of the West Bragg Creek Road from Saddle & Sirloin to Twopines are brown. They should be brilliant green now. But, they are brown because there aren’t leaves on the trees. It’s a minor infestation, leading to the defoliation of the Aspen trees.

There are two culprits – the Bruce Spanworm and the Large Aspen Tortrix. They are moths, but it is the caterpillar (larvae) stage that eat the leaves. These larvae hatch from eggs then are deposited on the leaves of the Aspen (in the case of the tortrix), or in cracks or moss at the base of the trees (in the case of the spanworm). Typically, the trees will survive.


July 3, 2017
The Banded Peak Challenge – Wayback

The Banded Peak Challenge was a fund-raising event for Easter Seals Camp Horizon. It was held annually from 2002 until 2016 in the Little Elbow Recreational Area, located at the end of Hwy. 66, in Kananaskis, 30 km west of Bragg Creek, Alberta. The Challenge began near Forgetmenot Pond. Participants cycled 13.5 km to the Mountain Base Camp, then hiked 5 km to the top of Banded Peak. Total distance (return) 37 km. Height Gain 1,416 m.

The event provided a significant contribution to the camp which allows special needs children a chance to do things they could never imagine possible. Thirty guides, bike mechanics and emergency medical personnel were on the route, providing assistance.

Here you’ll find how the event was run, photos, a video of the event, a guide to help you do the adventure yourself and some materials to help others develop a similar event.