Weekend Update: West Bragg Creek, CNC, Healy Pass, PLPP

(See comments below for additional updates from readers)
This incredible photo of Healy pass was sent in by Steve Riggs. See the comments below for Steve’s remarks regarding Healy Pass, West Bragg, and Ribbon Creek. I must say these back country photos are making it look more and more enticing. If you are going to Healy Pass, make sure you check the avalanche bulletins on the sidebar.
Healy Pass  Jan 3, 2009  Photo by Steve Riggs

Healy Pass Jan 3, 2009 Photo by Steve Riggs

Hello Bob,
West Bragg Creek Parking Lot was completely full on Sunday, Jan 4/09
with dozens of cars parking on the road !!!!!

West Bragg Creek Parking Lot  Jan 4, 2008
West Bragg Creek Parking Lot Jan 4, 2009 Photo by Andrew Ostrowski

Thanks, Andrew, for the photo and update. That’s great to see so many people out enjoying the best activity that our Alberta winter has to offer, and so near to the city. Let’s hope this nice weather doesn’t get too warm and destroy the snow.

Did anyone ski at Skogan Pass over the weekend? We tentatively have that on our agenda for tomorrow, and I was wondering how the snow was.
Between babysitting and work I was only able to squeeze in one hour of skating at the Canmore Nordic Centre(CNC) today and that’s all I’ve skied in the past three days. The good news is that I was able to make it to the end of Banff Trail and back without stopping for breath. An accomplishment for me on skate skis!

Conditions there are good except for two small patches of thin snow on Banff Trail where you have to be careful. It looks like I’m going to be busier with work in the near future, so I’m hoping more readers will send in reports. If you have photos to attach, click on the “send me an email” on the sidebar. If you have text only, just click on the “comments” below. The response so far has been excellent considering that this blog is new and not too well known yet.

I’d be interested in knowing if this blog has been helpful to you, or if you have any suggestions to make it more useful. The statistics show we are  averaging about 120 views per day, so I know there are people reading it. As you can probably tell, I am an advocate for participation in cross country skiing, and I wanted skiers to have better information on conditions than was currently available, hoping to make the experience more enjoyable. Let’s help each other by sharing information.
Back to statistics, the most popular post I’ve had on here since the beginning has been Updates: Burstall Pass  West Bragg  Ribbon Creek  Kananaskis Village.  It’s had 344 views. That’s almost 4 times as many as any other post. Was it because of those two awesome photos? One from Duane Kohut on Burstall Pass, the other of the deer standing on the side of Kovach trail. 

I only posted it a few days ago, but Cougar tracks on Goat Creek  is getting a lot of attention, too.


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  1. nice pic….!
    is’t you….?

    Ismud; I’m not sure who it is. Maybe Steve can let us know. -Bob

  2. Was out on Sunday to PLPP. According to the rangers there, they are way below normal snow depth for this time of year. Spent some time on Wheeler, Boulton and Morraine trails, of which Wheeler is definitely in the best condition. They sure need more snow, but it was good to get out again.

  3. Bob-
    My wife Jo and I find the blog very useful. One suggestion I might make is to enable those making comments, to post photos. Maybe this isn’t possible?
    We did have plans to ski Skogan today, the 4th, but instead did a casual loop at West Bragg after some friends with a new baby managed to get a few free hours. As mentioned, very busy, still in prime shape on Crystal Line, Elbow, Sundog loop.
    Met a tracksetter out refurbishing Iron Springs along the way.
    Back to Skogan…
    We skied the loops on the hotel side of Ribbon Creek on January 1, good conditions, firmly packed and set with a skiff of new, and a few thinner spots. West Bragg actually has better conditions overall which is unusual.
    Skogan should be in fine shape, at least up high.
    Out in the backcountry in the Healy Pass area on the 3rd, snow pack more like November, and mostly facetted, so not many turns. Good coverage though on the trail, except for the Sunshine ski-out which is quite thin and rough in spots.

    • Steve;
      I just checked into your concern about adding photos with your comments. Unfortunately with WordPress it’s not possible. Continue to send the photos by email and I’ll insert them. – Bob

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