Trackset this morning and 86% good
I headed out for Redearth Creek this afternoon, hoping that yesterday’s snowfall would be groomed and trackset. As luck would have it, the trail had been snowmobile packed this morning, and one set of tracks had been laid down.
I went all the way to Shadow Lake Lodge, approx 14K one way. 12 of those Ks were in great condition, hence the 86%. From the trailhead it takes about 2K and 150 metres of elevation to get into the good snow. The initial 2 K is marginal with thin snow cover and the tracks are icy.
Conditions steadily improve with distance and elevation, however there is a small ice flow approx 1K before you reach the campground. At the end of Redearth Creek, approx 11K out, I could see that the trail to Shadow Lake had been snowmobile packed, so I ventured further. You can only go about 100 metres before you have to remove your skis to ascend that incredibly steep hill which takes about six or seven minutes to climb on foot. Total elevation gain to the Lodge is approx 430M.
The 3K to Shadow Lake is a narrow, winding trail through the forest. It’s only about a metre wide, so you don’t have much room for error.
The weather forecast is calling for warm temperatures, so it’s hard to say how long this trail will stay in good shape. When conditions deteriorate, if you can reconcile yourself to removing your skis and walking for the first 2K, the remainder of the trail should still be fairly decent.
I ran out of time, so I didn’t get a chance to go further and see Shadow Lake. It was already after 5 pm, so I had to start back down. The trail to the lake is about a further 1K, and it was covered with deep snow.
If you haven’t seen them yet, the Lake Louise loppet results are posted here