Canmore Nordic Centre

Good conditions…and getting better

Update Jan 9, 8:06 a.m. It appears from the Pisten-Bully grooming status map that almost all the trails have been groomed and/or trackset in the past 12 hours. Right now, you can see the Pisten-Bully finishing up on Meadowview Trail.

Banff Trail(natural snow) at Canmore Nordic Centre. Jan 8, 2011

The Nordic Centre had about 4 cm of new snow and it’s still coming down. The skating lanes on all the major trails were groomed this morning, but the trails weren’t trackset. Didn’t matter, because with all the skiers out there today, the tracks were well skied-in. If they trackset tonight, we should see excellent conditions on the natural snow trails. Banff Trail and Bow Trail needed one more dump to cover a lot of twigs, grass and debris and this should be it.

Banff Trail Loop(man-made snow) at Canmore Nordic Centre. Jan 8, 2011

Today, you wouldn’t even have realized you were skiing on man-made snow on the Banff Trail Loop with all the fresh natural snow on top. I skied on Banff Trail, Meadowview and Silvertip. The minor trails such as Silvertip, Bruin, Coyote and Grey Wolf should all be in pretty nice shape now.

Canmore Nordic Centre has impressive scenery, even on an overcast and snowy day. Jan 8, 2011

If you’re thinking of skiing here tomorrow, don’t forget, you can get an up-to-the-minute trail report from CNC here. You can practically follow the Pisten-Bully around.

Lake Louise to Banff Loppet update – If you can’t attend, please notify race organizers by Jan 9 deadline.

All this snow followed by cold weather(but trending warmer for loppet day), should produce the best conditions we’ve ever seen for the 71K race. There is a notice to all skiers posted on the loppet website as follows:

“We have a long waiting list of eager skiers. If you have registered for the race and will not be able to attend you still have until midnight on Sunday, January 9 to cancel and receive a partial ($35 per person) refund.
Please email as soon as possible if you wish to cancel.”

The first year I ever skied the loppet, 2002, we had excellent conditions(but only after a postponement of one week where a big storm brought lots of new snow). I thought that was how it would be all the time. Every year since there’s been a challenge of some sort, whether it be poor snow conditions, an unfrozen river, or blizzards in the middle of the race. Over time, I’ve come to appreciate this race for its uniqueness and special character.

The Calgary Herald covered the race in 2002 and I thought this was an apt quote from one of the skiers: “I got stuck for four minutes in a snowbank when I couldn’t get up a steep hill,” said Jason Rusu, one of three skiers on the Lifesport relay team, after finishing the first leg.

There’s a steep hill at Morant’s curve that was all sugar snow that year and was really difficult to climb. I wonder if that’s the one he was referring to. I hope I haven’t scared anybody off. Oh well, there’s a waiting list of people if anyone chickens out.

In 2002, the winning team’s time was 4:37:39 and the second place team was two seconds behind. Two bloody seconds!!!


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  1. Hi Dennis;

    Thanks for the compliment but I’m pretty sure you’d be neck-and-neck with me if you didn’t have to pace yourself for the entire 71K. I’ll only be doing a paltry 28K so I can keep the pedal down. Good luck and I’ll see you at 7:55 a.m. on the lake. I’ll be the one who’s still waxing my skis.

    P.S. The long-term forecast is calling for a high of -7 on Jan 23.

  2. Hi Bob,and Happy New Year,

    You won’t catch me giving up my LL-Banff loppet spot! Even though the Beauties have abandoned me for another Beast — I think it must have been a typo on the team administrator’s application form!! I guess I’ll be skiing the 70 km as a Lone Beast.

    Congratulations on all the well deserved and rapidly growing recognition your site is getting. It’s been great from the start, and keeps getting better as more and more people post their reports and photos.

    I haven’t been out as much as I’d like, so haven’t added to the trail reports, but I can say that there was lots and lots of snow between Temple Lodge and Skoki on Jan 2-4. No concerns about bare spots there. Even though the trail was pretty flattened from xc, AT, snowshoes and the supplies delivery skidoo, it was soft packed and still a pleasure to ski. I was on my skinny skis as always, and I always like the ski to and from Skoki.

    Looking forward to seeing you (ok, your snow dust) at LL in two weeks, if not sooner on the trail.


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