Spray River West in Banff National Park

by Bob Truman on November 20, 2017

in Banff

Spray River West was roll-packed today but already had seen many skiers by mid afternoon

Grooming on Spray River West is 36 days ahead of last year. This early season is unusual in that we have so many places to ski already. It was wonderful to read all the encouraging trip reports today. 

Spray River West

I was picking up a rock as Louise was coming towards me on a downhill. She mentioned that her day was busy with rock-picking and I thanked her. Everyone was doing their bit to clear rocks but I’m sure there are a few left for tomorrow’s skiers. 

Tyler and Paige were pleased with the skiing conditions on Spray River West

I meant to take my rock skis, however I inadvertently grabbed some good skis in my rush to get to the trail, but I managed to avoid adding any new scratches on them. 

Spray River West has been groomed to the Spray bridge at 9.5K. Thereafter, Goat Creek has been snowmobile packed. I skied out for 7K and turned around. 

Soft, freshly groomed snow & Fat-biker = Carnage

Evidence of a fat-biker walking his bike in the soft snow

Now that old age has mellowed my attitude, I’m going to give the fat-biker the benefit of the doubt and make excuses for the carnage he created on the trail. The poor fellow wasn’t having any fun in the soft snow and the conditions were way beyond his ability.

Ruts left by the fat-biker

He frequently dismounted and made big post-holes and divots in the soft snow with his boots. When he was able to ride, the track he left was wavy, wobbly, and frequently left big ruts.

I will assume he started at Goat Creek and didn’t realize the trail was being groomed today and ended up in-over-his-head. 

Fat-biker on Spray River West

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that I have enjoyed meeting fat-bikers on the trail. They are always friendly and respectful and I’ve never seen one creating any significant damage to the trail.

I hope the fat-bike community will use these photos as an educational tool for novice fat-bikers. Riding in soft snow is not easy for a novice biker and you can see the damage it creates. 

When I encountered the fat-biker, it was one of the rare occasions where he was actually riding the bike.

Eventually Parks Canada will post the signs which direct fat-bikers and all multi-users to Spray River East. This worked well last winter.

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Kananaskis Village trails

November 20, 2017

The above photo was sent in by Tracksetter Jeff with the following report: “A nice 10 to 15cm surprise at the Village. New tracks on the Kovach Aspen Explorer loop.”

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Grooming Report from West Yellowstone: Dedicated to all snowcat operators

November 20, 2017

I was checking on conditions for the Yellowstone Ski Festival and stumbled across this report. I wouldn’t normally post a grooming report from West Yellowstone but this one is unusual:

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Snow updates

November 19, 2017

Thanks to Pete for the reports and photos: 10:19 a.m: “Hi Bob! It’s dumping snow in Lake Louise! I’m skiing up tramline now. Probably 10 cm fresh snow.” – Pete 1:25 pm: “Dumping snow at Lake Louise today. Skied up tramline from the hostel to moraine lake road about 5-10cm fresh snow on old tracks. Continued […]

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Snowfall warning

November 19, 2017

 With strong winds blowing debris on the trails, we’ll welcome some fresh snow. Perhaps more trails in Lake Louise will be groomed, maybe even Banff. PLPP will hopefully receive some of this and Elk Pass can get a refresher grooming. 

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To the top of Elk Pass on new tracksetting

November 18, 2017
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-Charlotte is enjoying the excellent conditions on Elk Pass- It was exciting to wake up and read on the PLPP Live Grooming report that Elk Pass was trackset.

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Elk Pass is groomed and trackset

November 17, 2017
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Hearing rumours of a big snowfall, I made an exploratory trip into PLPP(Peter Lougheed Provincial Park) this afternoon. At the first checkpoint there was 25 cm of snow at Pocaterra Hut.

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Tramline is trackset

November 16, 2017
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With 10 cm of new snow in Lake Louise this morning, the entire distance of Tramline is now trackset. It was a silky smooth run from the Chateau parking lot to the train station

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Great Divide has new tracksetting

November 15, 2017

Who wouldn’t be smiling with these conditions on Nov 15? It sounds like the Great Divide at Lake Louise was the “go to” place today. You can read a  number of first-hand accounts of the conditions on the Trip Reports. Today’s photos

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New tracksetting on Moraine Lake road

November 14, 2017

I’d like to thank Chuck for keeping my blog up to date with the latest tracksetting activities. Fresh snow from yesterday has allowed new tracksetting on Moraine Lake road. That photo is very enticing! Chuck actually skied all the way

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Snowing in Lake Louise

November 13, 2017
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-Skate skiers with snow in their eyes on the Great Divide. Photo by Chuck- The weather forecast was correct, and thanks to Chuck, we have evidence that it was snowing in Lake Louise today.

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Weekend update

November 12, 2017
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-Katrin during lunch break at Cascade Valley. Photo by Chip Scialfa- This early in the season, I like to keep reminding readers to click on the Trip Reports tab on the main menu to see what’s transpiring.

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West Bragg Creek horses update

November 12, 2017

In light of some new information, we need to reconsider our thinking about the horses on the ski trails. I and many others jumped to conclusions that grooming meant the trails were for skiing only. I think that’s understandable, but in actuality, the ski trails are available for all

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Smiling people, happy dogs at WBC

November 11, 2017
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-Buddy and his gang on Mountain road at west Bragg Creek- I enjoy skiing at West Bragg Creek because my dog Tessa can run off-leash, but I also enjoy seeing

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Moraine Lake road is triple trackset

November 10, 2017
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-Enjoying the uphill tracks on Moraine Lake road. Photo by Chuck- Thanks to Chuck for this report and the terrific photos.

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Shaganappi: “No, you can’t ski anywhere!”

November 10, 2017

Mother Nature brought early snow to the city and the trails at Shaganappi Golf Course were packed Sunday and Monday Nov 5 & 6 (but not enough snow to trackset). There’s a problem with unruly skiers which is addressed below by Alasdair

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Kananaskis: Skogan Pass, Terrace, Wedge, PLPP

November 9, 2017
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Thanks to all the rock pickers on Skogan Pass! As more skiers snowplow over the trail, more rocks appear. I was busy digging one of them out of the Screamer when

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West Bragg Creek

November 8, 2017
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I skied the late shift at West Bragg Creek along with my dog Tessa. With all the trip reports from West Bragg today, I hardly need to say much,

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More grooming in K-Country; Shaganappi is groomed; Confed parking

November 7, 2017

The Ribbon Creek Live Grooming report indicates that Bill Milne, Wedge Connector, Troll Falls and Hay Meadow were groomed

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Sara gives it a thumbs up!

November 6, 2017
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I only stopped in to take a few photos but ran into Sara Renner and her husband Thomas Grandi as they were finishing their ski on the natural snow trails. Sara was so enthusiastic about the conditions

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