First tracks on a brand new trail

Lake Louise – buried in snow again today

John the tracksetter at Lake Louise readies to set tracks on Peyto, a brand new trail. Dec 14, 2010

That was quite the storm which blew through today. I was on the highway when it hit, around Redearth Creek. Almost white-out conditions for 20-30 minutes and then…over. The snow and wind stopped and it was calm and beautiful as if nothing happened, except there was now an additional dump of snow.

I turned off the highway at Castle Junction and finished my drive on the Bow Valley Parkway where I took this photo at Baker Creek:

Baker Creek cabins on Bow Valley Parkway. Dec 14, 2010

All the grooming and tracksetting which was accomplished yesterday at Lake Louise was covered. It looked like about 8-10 cm of new. John(who sends comments to this blog periodically) was on his sled, starting over again. I caught him just as he was setting tracks for the first time ever on a new trail. The Peyto trail is going to make it much more convenient to get from the Chateau parking lot(where Tramline and Fairview begin) over to the Telemark and Great Divide.

This map is at the Peyto trailhead. Dec 14, 2010

The Peyto trail starts across the road from the Tramline/Fairview junction at Deer Lodge(don’t park at Deer Lodge, though). It will take you to the Upper Telemark without having to do that difficult climb behind the Chateau. It’s only .7K but what a difference it will make. Part of the Upper Telemark will now be considered the Peyto trail as well, making it a 2.2K downhill to the Great Divide. It loses about 50m on the way. Lots of fun!

First ever tracks on Peyto trail. Dec 14, 2010

What an honour – to be the first one to ski in the tracks on a new trail! I followed the new tracksetting along Peyto, across the Great Divide and onto the Lower Telemark where one loop is trackset. As I emerged from my glide and slide on the Lower Telemark, who should I see go whizzing by:

Dog sled on the Great Divide at Lake Louise. Dec 14, 2010

John also set a track on the Great Divide all the way to the Lake O’Hara trailhead(11K). As I was leaving, John was heading over to work on Moraine Lake Road. It should be in great shape for our Ski Club trip on Saturday.

They’ve made a lot of improvements at Lake Louise. There are new information Kiosks at the trailheads with better maps; the Fairview trail is a lot easier, now that two of the most difficult hills have been re-routed; the Telemark trail can be accessed at different points along the Great Divide.

The new trailhead kiosks at Lake Louise. Dec 14, 2010

In addition to the work completed by Parks Canada, a big thanks also goes out to Alasdair Fergusson and the volunteers from the Calgary Ski Club who were instrumental in facilitating a lot of these improvements.

Alasdair says;

“Yes it has taken a lot of work over many years but thanks to the efforts of the Calgary Ski Club volunteers at the Loppet and on autumn trail work, fundraising and so on, we made this happen.

This continues the long tradition of the Calgary Ski Club in meeting its first objective from incorporation in 1935 to Promote and Develop Skiing in all its variety – from Sunshine, Norquay and Temple Lodge in the 1930’s to the Lake Louise Loppet trails in the 1990’s and now expansion of these trails at Lake Louise.

Thanks to all”

Alasdair Fergusson,
Lake Louise Loppet Chief of Competition and Coordinator 1986 – Present
Tracksetting Coordinator 1993 – Present
Calgary Ski Club  


Hi Bob;

Cascade fire road was in great shape all the way to Stoney creek on Monday.  We skated but the classic track was good.  The Canmore Nordic Centre got a fresh snowfall Tues. pm and should be in great shape Wed.  If Banff got the 3-5cms of snow we skied in today at CNC one will be setting their own tracks until grooming takes place on the Banff trails.

Rob and Bev MacKenzie


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  1. Today’s Banff Trail Report shows that the Spray River west side was groomed and trackset on Tuesday up to the Goat Creek junction.

  2. John the tracksetter mentioned that he’d be going to Emerald Lake today to do more work on the Emerald Connector. Now that’s a fun ski. It’s a narrow trail meandering through dense forest from Emerald Lake to the Natural Bridge, and all the way to Field if you like. If you enjoy Fox Creek in PLPP, this is just as good but a lot longer with a few more hills.

  3. It’s hard to believe, but that was my first trip to Lake Louise this winter. With reasonably good snow in Kananaskis, Canmore and Banff it wasn’t necessary to make the usual 6 trips to LL.

    When I got home to Canmore last night, there was only about 1 cm of snow on my driveway. The storm seemed to die out as it came east, or it might have continued down the continental divide. It’ll be interesting to see if Mt Shark and PLPP got any of the snow.

    Redearth Creek was trackset on Monday but it will have some fresh snow over top of the grooming. There was less new snow than at Lake Louise. I think it would be pretty nice right now.

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