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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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!!!