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Safety + Responsibility

Our adventures happen outdoors in wild environments. This means that there are some risks that we can’t avoid without compromising the unique character of the activities we take part in or the locations we visit. Working together we can reduce those risks.

We don’t want to reduce your enthusiasm for adventures but we believe that it’s important for guests to understand how we all play a role in making sure that we get to enjoy a safe adventure.

Our activities are governed by a number of provincial and federal legislation along with industry standards. One of the common themes throughout all of these requirements is that safety is a shared responsibility between everyone involved.

The first step is understanding the risks involved. We try to provide as much information as we can throughout the process, from our website to on location with our staff. Do not hesitate to ask questions if you are unsure. You will be required to sign a Release of Liability, Waiver of Claims, Assumption of Risks and Indemnity Agreement before taking part in any guided activities or renting equipment.

At the most basic level, we ask that you follow the instructions of the guides or staff.

A Safe Environment

A safe, inclusive and welcoming environment is key both in reducing risks and in creating conditions that allow everyone to enjoy their adventure. As a company, we have a number of policies and procedures in place in regard to workplace violence and harassment. Our staff are responsible for implementing these while our guests are expected to treat our staff, guests and other visitors enjoying the area with respect and courtesy. Children are welcome on most of our tours but keep in mind that as parents, you are responsible for their actions.

This extends to how we treat the places we get to visit. Doing the right thing means following Leave no Trace principles and doing what we can to ensure that others get to enjoy the places that we love. Most of the locations we visit have various protected statuses and additional restrictions for guided activities that our guides and guests must follow.

As required by various legislation and to ensure a safe environment, the consumption of alcohol and drugs is not allowed before or during our adventures (with the exception of tours that include alcohol and overnight tours after the guided activities). When alcohol is permitted, on specific adventures or at the Nordegg Canteen, moderation is expected from all guests.

Our guides may change the itinerary as required by the weather, trail or highway conditions, group abilities or other factors impacting safety.

Permits and Staff Training

As required, we hold permits from Alberta Environment & Parks as well as other agencies to offer our adventures in the locations we visit. All of the food served at the Nordegg Canteen and on our tours is produced under our food handling permit from Alberta Health Services and any alcohol served is done under our liquor license from Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis Commission.

Staff training and certifications vary based on their roles, and the requirements established through permits and legislation. This includes first aid, food safety, ProServe and more. Our guide training includes the Field Leader certification from the Outdoor Council of Canada, local knowledge and additional training or certifications as required for the activities that they guide.

Tour + Activity Specific Risks

Some of the work we do behind the scenes to reduce risks include having risk management plans for each tour, ensuring that guides are familiar with the tours they guide and sharing information to help you choose the right adventure for you.

There are a few ways that you can help make your adventure safer. This includes making sure that you choose the right tour for you based on your fitness level, abilities and interests. It also includes making sure that you have the right equipment, like winter clothes, layers and water bottles with you. Finally, it means using the personal safety equipment provided, like personal floating devices on raft tours, and following the instructions from your guide.

Abraham Lake

Our tours go to specific locations to reduce risks, both on the access to the lake and while on the ice. Guests are required to wear the ice cleats provided, wear appropriate winter clothing and follow the instructions of the guide.

We’ve shared an Abraham Lake Ice Safety Guide on explorenordegg.ca for those interested in learning more about reducing risks and the many myths about the lake.

Slip + Fall

Walking in parking and staging areas should not be overlooked as a risk with the potential for serious injuries. There are many wet, icy, slippery and uneven surfaces throughout the locations we visit, including at the Nordegg Canteen, roadways, parking lots, sidewalks, decks, patios, stairs, walkways and trails. Many of these locations provide only limited maintenance. Guests are responsible to take extra caution when walking and ensuring that they have appropriate footwear for the conditions.

Golf Balls

The Nordegg Canteen is located next to the Nordegg Historic Golf Course. As such, golf balls may land in the yard and could cause injuries. Guests are responsible to be aware of their surroundings while enjoying the yard.

In Case of Emergencies

Remote areas like where our adventures take place present an increased risk in the event of an emergency. While our guides and most staff have first-aid training, you should expect an emergency response from a paramedic, ambulance, search and rescue or police to take two hours or longer. The time from an accident happening in our region to reaching a hospital can easily be over 4 hours.

Let us know if you have pre-existing medical conditions and make sure to check with your health care professional to make sure that it is suitable for you before reserving your adventure. You should bring any medication you require with you since the nearest pharmacies are in Rocky Mountain House and Banff.

COVID Protocols

We continue to adapt our operations as a result of the pandemic and evolving COVID-19 public health actions from the Government of Alberta.

As of November 1 and after discussions with Alberta Health Services, implementing the Restriction Exemption Program (REP) for all of our tours and at the Nordegg Canteen is the best option for us to continue operations. We appreciate that applying the REP to some of our activities, like outdoor tours where physical distancing is easily maintained, may seem excessive. Implementation of the REP is an all-or-nothing option and we cannot apply the program to certain portions of our operations while not applying it to other activities that are deemed in-scope under the current public health orders. Since the REP is the only option for much of our operations, we have to apply it to all tours and cannot make exemptions for guests or groups only looking to join outdoor tours.

Guests and staff who have COVID-19 symptoms, as described in the latest Alberta Health Daily Checklist are not permitted on tours or at the Nordegg Canteen.

Nordegg Canteen

Take-out, online orders and access to the adventure room will be available without proof of vaccination. All guests must wear a mask while indoors and maintain a minimum of 2 metres of physical distancing.

Guests wishing to eat in the covered deck or in the yard must provide proof of vaccination when placing their order (or at pick-up for online orders). Guests must wear a mask while in the covered deck at all times, except when seated at their table.

We understand that the requirement to show proof of vaccination to use the picnic tables (without table service) in our yard may seem excessive to some given that nearby public picnic areas managed by Clearwater County and Alberta Parks are open without those requirements. The guidance we have received from AHS is that our tables are classified differently since we have a food handling permit and as such we must implement the REP for both the covered deck and the yard.

Guided Tours

The current guidance requires us to apply the REP to all in-scope activities we offer, including guided outdoor recreation. As a result, we are requiring proof of vaccination for all guests on tours.

In addition to proof of vaccination, we continue to adapt our tours to reduce risks while providing a great experience for all. This includes:

  • Offering more self-drive options where you will meet your guide at the trailhead or convoy with your guide from the meeting location to the trailhead.
  • Offering bus transportation only to private groups under certain circumstances (all tours except for the Explorer Series are private tours). Contact us if you need to arrange transportation. In all cases, masks must be worn when inside our vehicles, hands must be sanitized upon entry and you must use the same seat for the duration of the tour.
  • Meals and hot chocolate will be served by the guide or will be provided in individual packaging. There will be no shared snacks or lunch spreads this season.

Proof of Vaccination

Albertans must use the vaccine record with a QR code. A valid photo ID is required for guests 18 and older.

Proof of vaccination from First Nations, other provinces and the Canadian Armed Forces are accepted. International visitors must provide the proof of vaccination that was used to enter the country along with their passport.

Alternatively, we may accept proof of negative test or medical exemption letter that meets all of the requirements established by the government.

Children under the age of 12 are not required to show proof of vaccination, negative test or medical exemption.