Skiing starts this weekend on Frozen Thunder

by Bob Truman on October 16, 2017

in Canmore

Frozen Thunder starts to take shape at the Canmore Nordic Centre

Your eyes don’t deceive you. The miraculous phenomenon known as Frozen Thunder is taking shape at the Canmore Nordic Centre. It will be groomed and ready for skiing on Sat Oct. 21. Expectations are that we’ll have 2K of trails to ski on.

Frozen Thunder is an annual occurrence at the Canmore Nordic Centre

These photos were taken this afternoon while the  dump trucks were hauling snow from the big freezer.

As you can see,  the snow is still uneven and lumpy but will eventually be groomed with corduroy for skating as well as a classic track. It looks rough right now, but it’s truly amazing how smooth and skiable it becomes after Groomer Paul works his magic with the snowcat.

Karly Coyne is looking forward to skiing on snow this weekend

As I was riding my bike to the big pit where Frozen Thunder is stored, I encountered Karly Coyne who was dryland training for biathlon. She is looking forward to being on snow this weekend after a summer of poles hitting pavement. Karly won a silver medal in the 2017 Cross Country Ski Nationals in March.

Frozen Thunder being loaded into a truck

Frozen Thunder is geared more towards racers and training, and was originally intended to give the national team skiers a headstart on the season. 

The general public is welcome to access Frozen Thunder when the trail is not being used for training high performance athletes. Public skiing on Frozen Thunder is permitted all day on weekends and after 12:00 noon on weekdays.

day pass or early season pass must be purchased at the daylodge to access Frozen Thunder. Canmore Nordic Centre season passes are not valid for access to Frozen Thunder at the start of the season (October 21-November 17, 2017).  This is due to the cost of creating and maintaining Frozen Thunder.

The snowcat pushes snow from the pit to the excavator for loading on trucks

Individual season passes for the Canmore Nordic Centre are 10% off until Oct 31, and can be purchased online.

Waxing tips for Frozen Thunder

With the warm temperatures, it will be difficult to get any grip on your classic skis with normal hard wax. Come prepared with waxless skis or the dreaded klister. You can avoid any grip problems by using skate skis. Experience tells me that by by noon, the snow will be getting slushy. On weekends, the general public can access Frozen Thunder at 9 a.m. when the snow is in better shape. 

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Frozen Thunder opens on Sat Oct 21

October 14, 2017

The trucks will descend upon the Canmore Nordic Centre next week to “deliver” Frozen Thunder. We can expect about 2K of ski trails on opening day, Sat Oct 21. Frozen Thunder attracts skiers from all over North America and if the past is any indication, we’ll see teams from Alberta, B.C., Saskatchewan, Ontario and  skiing hotspots in the […]

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Recognize anyone?

October 13, 2017

It won’t be long now, and almost as enjoyable as the early-season skiing is meeting people on the trail again and renewing acquaintances. The pictures here are from November 2016 on Moraine Lake road and the Great Divide.  After the long, hot summer it’s refreshing to be skiing in the cool mountain air and chatting […]

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Chuck skis to the Great Divide on Oct 12

October 12, 2017

It looks like Chuck and Jeannette will have 100K in the books before the rest of us get started. If you had a notion to follow Chuck’s tracks, he wanted to point out that “You had to be there early today, and I am afraid(like last year) that the next skiable snow may not come […]

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A funny story from last winter

October 10, 2017

Now here’s a dog who knows how to have fun. I can vividly picture this scenario as described by Alf. All the WBC photos below were submitted at various times throughout last winter by Alf(they aren’t from the day of this event). West Bragg Creek: “But that is not my dog!” – Jan 6, 2017 […]

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Bow Valley Parkway is closed at Morant’s Curve

October 7, 2017

The retaining wall at Morant’s Curve is being repaired and replaced and the work will continue well into the spring of 2018. The steep slope is falling into the river and needs to be shored up.

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The long wait is almost over

October 1, 2017
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Ski season is still a few weeks away(notwithstanding Chuck’s ski trip of Sep 22), but ski blogging season officially starts today, so welcome back!

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A perfect day for biking to Hummingbird Plume

September 28, 2017
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As I was climbing the Screamer on my way to Hummingbird Plume, I heard heavy breathing behind me.

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Get ’em up, move ’em out!

September 26, 2017
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-Michelle and Jason enjoying the view on Merlin View trail at West Bragg Creek.- I had one of the best days ever on my bike today at West Bragg Creek.

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Chuck skis on Sep 22

September 23, 2017
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-Chuck at Sunshine Meadows on Sep 22, 2017. Photo by Jeannette- The off-season for Chuck was only four-and-a-half months. He sent his final report of the 2016-17

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Biking Brewster Creek in Banff

September 13, 2017
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-Brewster Creek trail presented some challenges with rocks, a powdery trailbed, and deadfall.- Next summer I’m planning to start a new blog

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Update from MLA and more on WBC parking

September 8, 2017

I received the following response from MLA Can Westhead whose constituency includes West Bragg Creek regarding the cattle manure in the freshly-paved parking lot:

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The most fun ever on my bike

September 5, 2017
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The High Rockies trail between Sawmill and Kent creek is a fantastic ride. In this video, I’m riding down to the Kent Creek trailhead. I took my eyes off what I was doing

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Update on the cattle at West Bragg

September 4, 2017
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-CBC reporter Sarah Lawrynuik interviews Peter Tucker from GBCTA- Update Sep 5: Here’s the web story from CBC Plenty of poop on freshly paved parking lot irks outdoor enthusiasts 

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Disgusting, repulsive situation at West Bragg Creek

September 1, 2017

The shiny, new parking lot at West Bragg Creek is now littered with cattle excrement and urine. Numerous cows and a horny bull are wandering around, making a mess of it.

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Mid-summer sightings on Goat Creek and Spray River

September 1, 2017
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-Can you spot the pine marten in the above photo?- I’ve biked here a couple times in the past week and had some interesting wildlife encounters. Not anything dramatic

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Biking at West Bragg Creek

August 30, 2017
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The most impressive sight I saw today was on Long Distance when I reached my highest elevation. I encountered a sea of beautiful native grasses waving in the breeze,

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High Rockies Trail Part 4; Peninsula to Sawmill

August 22, 2017
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This section of trail is 12.2K and while it has a lot of variety and various levels of difficulty, the best part is that you can finally access the High Rockies trail from a paved road!

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West Bragg Creek parking is now open

August 2, 2017

Parking at West Bragg Creek will be a lot more convenient this coming winter for all the skiers and multi-users. You can see all of Alf’s photos West Bragg Creek Parking

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West Bragg Creek update

July 11, 2017

Thanks to Alf Skrastins for this information: Update July 28: The West Bragg Creek parking lot is almost ready to open… but not yet. The contractor has moved the road barricades to the bridge just before the parking lot for the July 29, 30 weekend. So, you can park along the access road and walk […]

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