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Recent Sightings and what's new at Aurum

What happened, what is going on, what to expect...

Book vacation rentals for 2024 soon.

This exquisite place is selling fast... make sure you reserve your stay with us before it's too late! 
If you love nature, plan to go hiking in the mountains and prefer to stay further from the crowded tourist towns in the Parks, you will definitely want to make the time, so you can truly enjoy the tranquility and seclusion of Aurum Lodge and our remarkable location...

We are proud to present our new Logo!!

We have been working hard to redesign the logo and we hope you will like it! We also have a brand new Facebook page and will very soon have an online booking system allowing you to see availability and be able to book a lot easier. 

We want to make sure that whenever you to come to visit us, as a couple, as a group of friends or as a family, every moment is a chance to connect with the magnificence of the mountains and create cherished memories that will last a lifetime

The Bubbles are Finally here!!!

After a long wait, the bubbles started to appear last week as the very cold weather we experienced (-50 C degrees!) contributed to freeze Abraham Lake. 

We have had a few photographers that were trilled to experience the beauty and uniqueness of the bubbles. 

If you don't want to miss your chance, we still have a few availabilities for our rental vacations!!

New Owner Announcement

Dear valued guests,
After bringing our dream to reality by planning, building and enjoying operating Aurum Lodge for 25 years, it was time for us to hand the reins to a new owner who is extremely excited to pursue our vision and elevate your experience at Aurum Lodge.
We thank you for choosing Aurum Lodge as your accommodation in this wonderful area and wish you a successful 2024 and Happy Holidays to you and yours. 
"Every sunset brings the promise of a new dawn." - Ralph Waldo Emerson 

October 18 2023

Most years by this time we would have seen our first snow in the valley. Not this year. With temperatures 5 - 10C above average and minimal frost, fall colours lasted longer than usual in a few locations. We have noted over the years that there are certain clumps of aspens as seen here, which tend to green earlier and loose their leaves later than most. In addition to weather there appears to be some genetic difference too.  Great hiking weather continues but please remember that bears are still out at this time and hungrier than usual since it has not been a great year for foraging. Saw one nearby this morning.

September 28 2023

We did get some good fall colour in the end but not everywhere and it did not last. Along Abraham Lake it is past its peak already yet still pretty. Some places are still good, including the Kootenay Plains where there are beautiful aspens stands as seen here. How long they will last, we don't know. Abraham Lake never filled to the brim this year and water levels have started to recede with cooler temperatures. The odd rainy day at this time of year means snow on the mountain peaks adding to the majestic views.  We are now closed for the season but look forward to welcoming guests again, starting mid January.

September 10 2023

Abraham Lake water levels have almost caught up again in the past few weeks and risen to a few feet from maximum now. Fall colours have also started to develop in the valley. Unfortunately, some aspens have lost all their leaves already, whereas others seem to be turning from green to brown, potentially denying us the vibrant yellows we expect in the second half of September; likely a result of heat stress in spring and an early frost in August. Forecasts for mild days and cold nights in the coming week may still turn leaves golden, we hope.
Haze and smoke have lifted almost completely for now.

August 11 2023

As we approach the end of summer season, we look back at a cooler and cloudier summer than most (following a much warmer month of May). That can still change of course. Less heat means less glacial melt and Abraham Lake is filling slower than usual and may not reach maximum volume this year.
Note that we expect to close by the end of September this year. Our vacation rentals (cottage with two units plus the two bedroom loft apartment) will re-open mid January. The lodge will remain closed until further notice (existing reservations will be honoured).

May 20 2023

Just in time for Mother's day last weekend, one of our favourite flowers appeared back in the forests surrounding the lodge. Calypso Orchids bloom early, are surprisingly hardy, and will survive our spring snow fall events which are not uncommon around this time of year.
This year though, it appears we are done with the snow, as much as we could use any extra moisture to help with extensive forest fires up north, Our local vegetation is still stressed from the unprecedented heat wave two years ago.  While above average temperatures and extremely dry conditions continue, so far our prevailing West winds have kept the forest fire smoke away on most days.

May 5 2023

Abraham Lake is finally ice free. The colour between ice melt and spring run-off (which has started) is often the prettiest, because only the finest of sediments remain in the water from the previous season. As rivers start running high and brown, it won't last.   Flowers, insects and migrating birds arrived later than usual this year but all appeared in profusion within a span of a few days, as temperatures jumped from cooler than average to substantially warmer than normal. A lack of recent precipitation has resulted in extremely dry conditions though and there is a fire ban in place already for the entire region.

April 5 2023

Snow on the ground or not, Spring is in the air when Alvin and friends decide to come out of their den and look for a mate and to replenish their energy reserves. Our resident chipmunks are always so much fun to watch between March and October. Bears are out as well we are told and in a month we will see the return of our hummingbirds to the area. Whereas the lake is still almost completely frozen, we have heard the Canada geese fly overhead looking for suitable nesting sites.
Every year we have two or three pairs as well as our ospreys and killdeer raise their young at Whitegoat Lakes nearby. Happy Easter all.

March 14 2023

The official start of Spring just one week away it is still wintry here, but daytime temperatures are finally moving above the zero mark again. bubble season 2023 is pretty much over at this point, although it lasted longer than expected considering the abnormally warm January and February weather. The ice started to break up in places early February, only to refreeze and create the patterns seen on the left. Some sections now have open water while elsewhere the ice is still more than 50cm thick. At this time of year, look for the beautiful lacy patterns in the ice along the lake shore (see Jan 18 2022 image below).

January 15 2023

The New Year has been off to a terrific start as far as colours go: amazing sunrises, great sunsets and a gorgeous display of aurora borealis the night of January 14. This is likely a forebear of what is to come in the next few weeks, as the sun is very active with lots of large sunspots at this time. With no snowfall since before Christmas and way too warm temperatures, snow cover is rapidly disappearing in the valley. Unfortunately, the bubbles in the ice are also suffering and deteriorating quite rapidly. Still great, but extra caution is advised as there is open water in some locations.

Dec 31 2022

Bubble season is back and the ice on the lake survived the first onslaught of rain and warm weather over Christmas surprisingly well. The next few weeks will be excellent, barring any extended warm spells. For those wishing to explore the area at it's winter best, we are renting our three self-contained units with kitchens. We only have a few openings in the lodge around January 1-7 and again around January 15 - 19 (do remember our three night minimum stay policy).
Wishing all our guests, friends and supporters a happy New Year and lots of restful moments to enjoy nature, wherever you are.

Dec 11 2022

Well, Abraham Lake did freeze but opened up again in the northern section, following some very strong winds a few days ago. In other areas the ice can be 10 - 15 cm thick, but caution is still advised.
At this time of year (Sept - May), groups of Bighorn Sheep are almost always seen at the valley bottom around Windy Point and in Kootenay Plains. They won't budge for traffic, so drive carefully... What looks like smog / haze in the background is indeed air pollution from the logging industry in the foothills, pushed into the valley by easterly winds; the same winds, which tend to bring precipitation into the valley as well.

Dec 1 2022

The valley has seen almost arctic temperatures for the past few days!! With the cold spell continuing into next week, Abraham Lake looks set to freeze over completely any time, as steam rises from the remaining "heat" being drawn out. Three weeks earlier than in the last few years and contrary to expectations, as water levels are still very high.
Do NOT go out on the ice though for a while as it needs to solidify and a dusting of snow / frost makes it hard to assess safety. At this point there is still a possibility of high winds breaking up the ice again in places. Will there be bubbles? Yes. Will they be visible? Don't know yet.

Oct 30 2022

Winter storm approaching!
Late fall / early winter tend to be very windy in the valley. This year, the winds have arrived later than usual though. Significant snowfall along the Continental Divide has not yet reached us at Abraham Lake but it will likely be a matter of days only. Lake levels remain very high, which is good for bubbles, however the water is still way too warm and it will be many weeks before the lake freezes over (usually around X-mas / New Years). Ice on ponds and along rivers edge should not take that long.

Oct 4 2022

Fall colours are past their peak now but what a fall season it has been! Colours did not peak all at once as expected and it was an average year in that respect. However, from a point of pleasant, mild and dry weather, we are still experiencing as perfect conditions as could be expected at this time. With no snow above tree line, it is still possible to go and enjoy all those amazing high elevation trails in the nearby parks and in our valley. Lake levels remain very high as a result of continued run-off, so we should get some interesting ice along the shore once winter arrives.

September 18 2022

Cool nights and mild days mark our fall and as temperatures drop, we look forward to peak fall colour season. Because of the lake effect, aspens along Abraham Lake tend to turn colour a little later than elsewhere in this area. First snow on mountain peaks has arrived but may not last at this point. Haze and smoke have cleared (for now at least) and with lower temperatures, we can enjoy our starlit skies without having to stay up late. Fall equinox is just a few days away and with increased solar activity lately, we also look forward to seeing the occasional northern lights again. Not common, but always spectacular.

September 12 2022

Abraham Lake once again filled up completely this year due to increasing glacial melt, which visitors can witness an hours drive from the lodge at the Athabasca Glacier and at other glacier viewpoints. Right now, the lake is shrouded in the haze and smoke from wildfires in the West that have become an annual occurrence. The effects of climate change are evident wherever we look. We still see hummingbirds at the lodge, later than ever; trees in the area have only just started to turn colour and there has been no night frost so far. Hopefully, this will make for a better than average fall colour season.

July 18 2022

After finally getting some good rain mid June, the summer flowers are now out in full bloom. The area around Kootenay Plains and trails branching out from there are particularly colourful at present. Unfortunately though, it is shaping up to be a bad year for bears as the berry crop in this region is going to be very poor this year. After a cold winter, late spring they will be going into hibernation hungry this year. We have already seen many more bears in the vicinity of the lodge this summer as they are looking for something to eat. Be bear aware all the time, give them space but do not feed them or leave food out...!

June 30 2022

Marmots generally live at higher elevations around tree line in the National Parks. However, there are some colonies along Abraham Lake, including close to Hwy 11. Hunting, trapping, disturbance by area visitors have had an impact on wildlife making the valley its home. Unfortunately, road kill is now taking an increasing toll as well with more and more traffic in the last few years. There are still many animals out there, so please, when driving along Hwy 11, look for and be prepared to slow down for animals on or beside the road.

June 5 2022

Abraham Lake levels remain very low and it is still possible to see the foundations of the old (1950) Upper North Saskatchewan ranger station near the Cline River estuary, abandoned when the Bighorn Dam was commissioned. Slightly warmer weather has now started the snow melt almost a month later than normal and water is coming in slowly. Will the lake fill completely this year, we do not know as it depends on temperatures and rainfall, which so far has been scarce. The region is very dry and more precipitation is needed soon. Area vegetation is still "hurting" from last summers heat stress.

May 11 2022

Aurum Lodge is easy to reach via Hwy 11 (seen here at our entrance).
If you need to rent a car: reserve this as early as you can. There is a real shortage of rental vehicles at present !!!

Snow melt is late this Spring. And with more water drained because of the extreme run-off in 2021, Abraham Lake levels are at the lowest we have ever seen. At Cline River, one could almost walk to the North Saskatchewan on the other side. NOT recommended though because of the mud. Also, note it is NOT permitted to drive onto the lake bed.

May 3 2022

Riddle: What can be invigorating and soothing at the same time?
Well, try a slow stroll along one of our forest trails at Aurum Lodge.

Leave your watch behind, remove your ear pods, forget expectations, move slowly and quietly, observing with ALL your senses the sights, sounds, smells and miracles of nature awakening in Spring.

If you tread softly, you might just come across a handsome chap like this spruce grouse, a butterfly or two, some early flowers or one of our many little furry creatures which call the forest their home.

April 24 2022

Spring is in the air when our mountain blue birds arrive in the Kootenay Plains. Here, they nest and raise their young before migrating back to Central America in the fall. We just observed our first prairie crocuses too, and in a week or so expect to welcome back our humming birds as well. Ice on Abraham Lake is breaking open now and snow is mostly gone from the valley. Normally there will be the occasional snowfall until later in May though. It was a good year for snow in the mountains, where lots remain. However, nature definitely needs some more moisture now to get through the summer.

February 25 2022

Winter is still with us, with regular cold spells and on occasion significant snowfall. Despite persistent strong winds, the heavy, wet snow last weekend is not coming off the ice very easily. Nonetheless, the winter scenery is pristine and with longer and warmer days ahead, nature seems to be gearing up for yet another change of seasons. Before that happens, expect more of the white stuff though, as we often get a lot of snow in March.

February 7 2022

Hey there all,
Those of you who have stayed with us will recognize me as the chief greeter / receptionist at Aurum Lodge. My folks have allowed me to post an update in favour of my four legged friends who often visit. As we all know, there are "dog" days... And then there is mother's day, father's day, secretary's day, boss's day, you name it! And of course there is VALENTINE's day coming up soon. Special day for your best friend, partner, lover... but why not for your four legged companion?! Wanna include him / her, in return for eternal love? Click below.

January 18 2022

What is there to see, when the bubbles are gone or not visible? Lots! As we move towards longer and warmer days, consistency of the ice along the shore changes and the colour turns a beautiful light blue. Lacy patterns will over time produce interesting "pencil" ice while cracks or other imperfections turn into beautiful bands or floral rosettes which can be safely admired together with upright slabs of ice, sometimes forming ice tunnels along the contour line of the lake.
A high snow pack this year has also turned the nearby Mountain Parks into a winter wonderland. Think avalanche safety though!

January 17 2022

Following an extended cold spell over the holidays, we experienced unusually warm weather for over a week, which has spelt the end of 2022 "bubble season". What you see here is what one would normally expect in March. WARNING: Open water pooling along the shore will likely re-freeze, but the mixture of snow and freezing water makes it both impossible to see bubbles or assess the strength and safety of the ice. Fortunately though, there is more to this entire area than bubbles. Nature lovers / creative nature photographers will ALWAYS find amazing scenery / subject matter in these changing conditions.

December 19 2021

Golden hour on Abraham Lake, following another snowy night. Nature always has a surprise in store and we saw the lake freeze completely this past week, earlier than previous years and despite the high water levels and warm weather leading up to December. The ice is only 4" thick on the main body of the lake and will take a few more days to solidify. Caution is ALWAYS advised, as ice thickness will vary and there can be weak spots anywhere. Wishing all our guests and friends a wonderful holiday season, health and happiness in the new year!

December 6 2021

Old man winter took his time to arrive this year and we look back at an unusually mild November with a fair bit of wet snow which would not last however (snow pack in the mountain parks is substantial though already, so beware of avalanches and check road reports before heading into the mountains). At this point, temperatures dropped consistently below freezing and should speed up the ice formation on Abraham Lake, which is still wide open with high water levels. The latter is good for bubbles, but we do still need two weeks of VERY cold weather now, for the lake to freeze completely before year end.

November 13 2021

Wildlife sightings in the area are always possible but becoming more sparse. Except our Bighorn Sheep which come down into the valley in winter and can often be seen along the highway, almost all mammal populations have declined noticeably over the past 25 years as a result of incessant hunting, poaching, trapping, increased human activity and habitat change. Foxes are more common in the region now as wolves and coyotes are being decimated. This gorgeous fox barely survived with a badly mangled leg after it managed to extricate itself from a leg trap two winters ago. Winter is a great time to observe animals though as they tend to be more visible and active during daylight.

October 29 2021

Our long time photographer friends Darwin and Sam used to call this time of year the fire and ice season and nature is sure living up to it this year. Ice has formed on ponds, along rivers and waterfalls, like this one in our back-yard. Fantastic sunrises have also returned and that, coupled with the mix of open water and beautiful ice formations, makes this a wonderful time for nature photographers. We have seen little precipitation in the valley recently and temperatures are pleasant enough to spend time outside for extended periods.

October 10 2021

The first snowfall in the valley around Abraham Lake usually coincides with fall colour season, which makes for even greater visual impact. Colours turned out better than expected and peaked around Sept 25 (about normal). The sheep, which spend their winter closer to the lake, have returned to forage in the snow along the highway. The landscape, with open water on the lake and snow along the shore, is spectacular as always. As temperatures drop below freezing, ice will form on stems and branches of any vegetation partially submerged in the lake, making for more magic sights. Stay tuned...

September 21 2021

Abraham Lake levels remain very high with significant shoreline erosion in recent weeks. Most years we see aspen trees partially submerged but this season water levels rose faster and higher than usual, so some of these trees will be standing in water for two months or more. It will be interesting to see how they cope after the stress of a dry / hot summer. Colours are more muted than normal, but there are still many green leaves in this area, so hopefully we can enjoy some punchy colours as night time temperatures drop below freezing.
Some years we might have had our first major snow around this time.

September 8 2021

As we approach winter season, conditions for star gazing improve. In dark sky preserves like Jasper, you will still need to drive out of town to enjoy night skies without light pollution. At Aurum Lodge, simply step out the door for views like this. September is a great time as nights are longer and darker but not yet very cold (lower temperatures improve clarity though). It is hard to imagine how many stars are up there until you go out on a night like this... Milky way, Jupiter peaking through the tree and increased solar activity promising some Northern Lights soon.

August 25 2021

Oh, and – by the way… Did we mention that in the mountains it can snow at any time of the year?! Always carry that extra layer with you!

We finally got a good rain this week (40mm), which completely cleared the air and blanketed the mountain peaks around us in snow. Gorgeous sight, albeit a little early. Mushrooms poking their heads out, cool nights make leaves turn colour, misty mornings and bird migration is on (our hummingbirds left two weeks earlier than usual). Looking forward to one of our favourite seasons of the year.

August 12 2021

For a few days, the heat and haze from the forest fires out West have subsided and we are enjoying pleasant summer temperatures and great views again, even though we have not seen much rain. Hoping this will last for a while. Our three self-contained units are fully booked for the rest of August, with some availability here and there in September. Looking at the warm, dry summer this year and other indicators, we expect fall colours to start early this season (before mid September). Abraham Lake is full and colours are approaching their finest right now, even though rivers continue to run higher than usual.

July 24 2021

High wind and wave action are common occurrences on Abraham Lake (one reason the lake is considered dangerous). However, the extreme high water we have seen this season is unprecedented. It is the result of a three times higher glacial melt... Approaching the high water mark weeks before normal, the spillway had to be activated this week to stop water levels from getting dangerously high. At the same time we are finding visibility suffering from the raging forest fires out west. Fire danger in this area and our Parks is extreme too, so area visitors are encouraged to be extra cautious and follow fire regulations.

July 7 2021

No image can convey the fragile beauty and graceful movement of a swallowtail butterfly in a light breeze, feeding on the tiny, fragrant flowers of wolf willow in summer. You have to experience it with all your senses. Are we about to lose it all though?

Species extinction is rapidly accelerating worldwide as a result of habitat destruction, pollution and climate change. The recent record-breaking heat wave in the West is yet another warning that mankind needs to act decisively and fast to turn the tide. How? Consume less, waste less, conserve more! Let's all give it our best...

June 21 2021

Summer is now "official", the warmest weather is yet to come, while nights are getting longer again... Now is peak flower season in the mountains. Conditions are great for abundant flora this year, so when out hiking, do take the time to marvel at the many beautiful flowers, their often vibrant colours, intricate shapes / arrangements of petals and leaves and don't overlook the interesting critters visiting the blooms. The great variety of terrain and elevations found in the area make for completely different species of flowering plants, depending on your location. See how many you can see / identify in an hour...

June 8 2021

Did we just say summer has arrived? Well, mountain weather is unpredictable and always good for a surprise. This could go either way. It can sometimes snow in the summer months, especially at higher elevations, but 25cm (10") as experienced yesterday around Abraham Lake is definitely out of the ordinary. Seeing how our vegetation and wildlife like this rufous hummingbird can adapt, is fascinating.
A good reminder though to always check weather forecasts and road conditions, as these can change rapidly.

June 4 2021

Summer arrived in Bighorn Country and so far we have had little rain. May and June traditionally count among our wetter months, but the weather patterns are changing and we also notice more wind than we used to at this time of year. Abraham Lake without ripples is a rare sight indeed. Lake levels are now rising rapidly as the spring snow melt fills the reservoir. With rivers running high, carrying lots of coarse sediment, the turquoise colour typical for glacier fed lakes will not be as striking as usual though for the next two months.

May 24 2021

This is bear country!! From spring to fall we might encounter bears, although we mostly just see them along the side of a road. Please, be bear aware ALL the time, take the necessary precautions for your own safety and that of the bears. Unsecured food or garbage will attract the animals (at the lodge, we compost indoors for that reason). This beautiful grizzly bear, observed at and near the lodge recently, posed no problem here but was later put down because it got into inadequately secured garbage in the area. This was the second bear we lost in less than a year, simply because people aren't careful.

May 10 2021

Located in the Kootenay Plains "climate oasis", at Aurum Lodge we receive less than half the precipitation found a mere half hour drive east or west in Nordegg and Banff Park. The dryness, coupled with a short growing season due to our elevation, makes it harder for vegetation to thrive. Thus, it is important to always stay on trails and avoid damaging ground cover. Located in the mountains, our weather patterns tend to be closer to those in Banff than nearby Nordegg....
This past weekend we saw our first good rainfall of the season (21mm) which will help to bring out the greens and more flowers soon.

April 16 2021

It can snow (and has) every week at this time of year, but that will generally not last more than 24 hours. Rising temperatures have caused snow to melt in the valley and only a few icy patches are left. Lake ice is unsafe now but it is a great time to go hiking in Kootenay Plains, or snow-shoeing in the mountains where there is lots of snow still around tree line. Be aware of avalanche risk though.
Butterflies are out and our mountain bluebirds have returned as we await our first flowers to appear (prairie crocus and yellow draba).

April 2 2021

Happy Easter to you all.
Spring migration has begun. Our feathered friends who stayed with us in winter, are now moving north. Waterfowl and other summer visitors have started to arrive. Five weeks from now, we will see the return of our tiny hummingbirds coming back from Mexico. At this time of year, we also see the occasional migrants on their way from warmer climates to their breeding grounds in the far north. A huge flock of around 200 Bohemian Waxwings visited our surroundings this week, feeding on berries and seeds now that the snow is mostly gone.

March 21 2021

Aurora borealis or northern lights are not too common at our latitude and there has been very little solar activity in the past two years that would cause them to appear. Having entered a new 12 yr solar cycle though, we have seen an increase in the past few months, which will continue over the next five years until another peak is reached. Generally, around spring and fall equinox is a good time to look for northern lights and we did have a few displays lately. Like wildlife sightings, this natural phenomenon is not something that can be "guaranteed" but more like a bonus when spending time out in nature.

March 8 2021

More unseasonably warm weather in the past week (up to +10C) followed by a mix of rain and snow, is causing the lake ice to deteriorate faster than anticipated. The rough surface of the ice will now absorb heat from the sun, instead of reflecting it. There is more to the lake though than bubbles in the ice, such as these striations which were common this season.
For those who cannot visit the area in winter but would still like to experience a different ice, we highly recommend taking one of the ice walks on the Athabasca Glacier in summer (June to September).

February 22 2021

Winter temperatures in the Rockies tend to vary greatly and once again, following a week of deep freeze, more pleasant temperatures prevail. While this may not last, it does look like spring is not too far away. Water levels on the lake are receding and for those who venture farther from the popular (and often busy) bubble locations, beautiful ice formations can be found. The gorgeous aquamarine blue colour of the ice found along the shore always amazes. With longer days and more sun, there will also be more of the lacy ice patterns soon. However, it appears that good ice should last well into March this year.

February 11 2021

Using solar energy is cheap and clean. For 21 years, passive solar design has helped keep the lodge warm on sunny winter days. During the current cold spell, our Thermo-Dynamics solar collectors perform flawlessly. At outdoor temperatures of -28C, they will transfer 60C hot water into our storage tank for use in hydronic heating or domestic hot water. And on perfect days like these, our 6kW PV array can generate sufficient electricity to power the lodge. The technology is proven and some of these systems will pay for themselves within a few years.
So, why not use energy which is free and does not destroy the planet?

January 16 2021

So far, this is the warmest winter we experienced in the area, with temperatures often above freezing. That said, last winter started off similarly before it turned into a deep freeze and a delayed spring. Bubble are somewhat scarcer this year, with so much milky and textured ice everywhere. Although the lake covers about 50 sq km, the methane bubbles are limited to a few locations closer to shore. Because of the warm weather, extra caution is advised when going on the ice. And for those who skate, please be considerate enough and don't skate all over the few bubble patches.

December 31 2020

Abraham Lake froze over completely on Boxing Day this year but it will be a few more days before the ice solidifies. Unfortunately, it snowed during freeze up and much of the ice will be milky. It remains to be seen how good the bubbles turn out this winter season. That said, for those who come out to this area in winter and keep an open mind, there are always so many amazing sights to enjoy: from the mountains around us, the patterns and textures of the ice, frozen waterfalls and pristine winter wonderlands. And don't forget: tranquility!
Lots of snow in the National Parks too. HAPPY NEW YEAR to all.

December 23 2020

Wishing all our guests, friends and supporters a wonderful Festive Season and a happy New Year. It will be different no doubt, but we hope you all can make the best of it nonetheless.
Just in time for Christmas we did get our snow at the lodge and conditions are great, as it is still unseasonably mild. We are booked past New Years day, but will have availability again in January.
If the wind decides to stay away, Abraham Lake is just about ready to freeze over and if we get no snow at that stage, we could be in for some really perfect ice this winter.

December 14 2020

Early winter is a great time for night owls. Night skies at Aurum Lodge are better than some well publicized "dark sky reserves" in the Rockies as there is zero light pollution on Abraham Lake. Whereas we missed the recent meteor shower due to cloud cover, back on December 1 we enjoyed a balmy full moon night near the lodge.
Abraham Lake is still mostly open with ice now forming at either end and in some of the more sheltered bays. At this stage a few very cold nights without wind could make it freeze over. Usually though, because of frequent strong winds, it will repeatedly freeze and break up again...

November 24 2020

As the remnants of fall dwindle, lake ice has begun to form at the start of the lake, and with it, the first displays of methane bubbles. Water levels are still high, so we don't expect the lake to freeze completely before year end. Visitors are reminded that ice at this stage is not safe to go on. Unless you are familiar with ice safety, self-rescue and how to read the ice, it is best to simply observe and enjoy from the shore!
We also love this time of year because the occasional light snowfall will reveal which furry or feathered, tiny or large critters have visited our surroundings to forage, den, socialize or pass through the area.

October 24 2020

The transition from fall to early winter happened fast over the past two weeks but, as we like to say: there are 1001 reasons for this place of all seasons... Every day you step outside, nature presents you with another surprise like this gem of a frozen bush on the shores of Abraham Lake. Lake levels have started to drop, but it will be another two months before ice will form on the main body (sheltered areas and shallow bays may freeze earlier). At this time of year, the mist coming off the surface and the ever changing colour of the water make for extra interest.

October 10 2020

Happy Thanksgiving and a big thank you to all our guests who visited us this past summer. We hope you enjoyed your stay.
We are now at the tail end of summer and fall season. Despite frequent strong winds, the lack of rain, snow or frost over the past few weeks did keep leaves on aspen trees for longer, resulting in some amazing fall colour displays all along the lake, Hwy 11 and the Icefields Parkway. One more week and then we look forward to our "fire and ice" season, which often produces colourful sunrises, beautiful ice formations along waters edge and a clear, star spangled night sky.

September 20 2020

2020 is shaping up to be one of the best fall colour seasons in a long time. With no frost in the area so far and mild days / cool nights there may actually be more of a peak than we have seen the past few years. Unfortunately, it is very dry and the views are often marred by smoke and haze from distant wildfires. Catastrophic weather events are becoming worse every year as a result of climate change. A reminder that more action is required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Energy conservation is key and easy to achieve! To do our part, at Aurum Lodge we have reduced fossil fuel consumption by around 80% (compared to traditionally designed, built and managed properties).

September 4 2020

Setting moon plus sunrise on Elliot Peak makes for a beautiful start of the day.
We are now entering the season for "sky-lovers": clearer nights, colourful sunsets and sunrises, winds producing interesting cloud formations, meteor showers, milky way and hopefully a few more aurora borealis displays than we saw over the last 12 months.
According to the calendar it is still summer, however, nature tells us that we are into fall / autumn already: foliage turning colour, cooler nights, migrating birds, including our humming birds, moving south.
One of our favourite seasons is about to begin.

August 25 2020

Abraham Lake is within a few feet of the high water mark and generally the most picturesque at this time of year. Coarser sediment from the spring run-off has settled and only the very fine rock flower out of the glacial streams remains suspended. This is what gives some of our lakes their awesome turquoise colour.
A reminder to all area visitors, that this is a LARGE lake and dangerous for boating, swimming and all kinds of dinky inflatables. It is very cold, windy and strong waves can produce ocean like swells in no time. Numerous people had to be rescued this past season.

August 1 2020

Mountain weather is often more variable than in the plains and can change rapidly. In summer this often means storms towards the evenings which can generate extreme winds (and waves on Abraham Lake), downpours causing flash floods and massive lightning. Visitors are well advised to keep an eye on approaching storms and move to sheltered locations. A lightning strike as shown here on the flanks of Mt Elliot embodies enough energy to power our entire facility for three to four months! Note: image was taken through a lodge window as this would not be a good time to set up a tripod outside...

July 2 2020
Naturalist guided tours

There are many activities you can enjoy in the Canadian Rockies. Some of them on your own, some just for the sake of being active, some because you might like the idea of combining physical activity with learning more about our natural environment, mountain ecology, species diversity, geology or glaciology..., Two highly recommended guided naturalist tours which are fun and educational are the Athabasca Glacier Ice Walks and Great Divide Nature Interpretation.