A controversial topic
Some really good comments on the West Bragg Creek(Grand Central Station) posting regarding dogs. Also enjoyed Steve’s ”lecture” about safety. I don’t think most people are aware of how quickly you can get cold if you become immobilized from an accident. Taking a Wilderness First Aid course opened my eyes to a number of issues which I had never given any regard to.
As a side note, Telephone trail is not a well-groomed, smooth trail and is quite long. I’d be hesitant to recommend this ski to anyone but a fit, intermediate skier.
West Bragg Creek is the most popular destination which this blog’s readers want to know about, consequently, never one to shy away from controversy, I’d like to pursue Peter’s comment:
“The only concern I had (and a few others I met) were all the dogs that were off leash running amuck on some of the steeper sections of trail. One larger husky almost wiped my 7 year old daughter out as she was snow plowing down one of the steeper hills! I think its an accident waiting to happen! It mentions on the trail head sign that dogs must on leash and of the ten I saw only one was on leash. If you ski at west bragg with your dog please keep everyones safety in mind and go on leash!”
In the interests of full disclosure, and as the owner of a dog who loves to ski with us, I probably can’t be very objective here, so I was happy to read Don’s comment:
“There are lots of places to ski where dogs are not allowed. I’ve had more close calls caused by kids than dogs but would not suggest that kids be kept on leash… The key is to be careful where dogs, kids, novice skiers are out in numbers.”
I think that says it all, but I’ll add to the debate. A number of things come to mind, first that the “dogs on leash” rule is one of those unenforceable laws, although I’ve heard of tickets being issued in the parking lot to owners of dogs running loose. No matter what the rules say, there are going to be dogs running loose on the ski trails at West Bragg Creek. Once we can accept that fact, everyone needs to chill a bit, and be reasonable from both sides.
If you have a loose dog, and you’re at the bottom of a hill, how about holding your dog by the collar until the skier is safely down. If you’re the skier, wait until the owner has the dog under control. If you are going hell bent for leather, and can’t spare a few seconds, this may not be the place for you to be skiing.
How about training your dog to respond to commands such as “side?” Your dog would go to the side of the trail which you’re pointing to.
You can’t legislate common sense. There are people who are self-absorbed, inconsiderate, and spoil it for the rest of us. Unfortunately, that’s the society we live in and it’s not going to change. It happens whether we’re on the ski trails, the highway, or a myriad of other public places.
It’s a good thing we have a place for people to ski with their dogs. For the dog-owner, the safety of other skiers should be your prime consideration, and for the skiers who encounter dogs, try to be understanding and relaxed about the situation.
I can relate a personal experience from yesterday. After finishing the Moose Loop, while returning to Mountain Road on those very steep hills, I had to bail into the soft snow while descending the final downhill. Halfway up the hill was a skier sprawled across the trail. The way you look at this situation depends on your attitude. I was happy to see a new skier out here trying their best on a difficult hill. I hit the snow with a smile on my face.
Your comments are always welcome.
This just showed up in my inbox: News from the Canmore Nordic Centre