….also known as West Bragg Creek on New Year’s day
The parking lot at West Bragg(and it’s a spacious one) was chock-a-block with vehicles and they were lined up at least a half-kilometre down the road as well. I can see why.
The trails are in fantastic shape. Even Mountain Road which is a multi-use trail, had decent tracks on it. From the end of Mountain Road, we took Tessa for a wonderful New Year’s day ski on Moose Loop.
In spite of all the vehicles and people milling about the trailhead, when we were actually on Moose Loop, we only encountered 12 other skiers. For me, one of the additional pleasures of skiing here is all the interesting dogs I meet on the trail.
After completing the loop, we took the Moose Connector to Crystal Line and had a lovely downhill run back to the parking lot. I’ve never seen conditions so good. Enjoy it while it lasts.
Also at West Bragg, Steve Riggs was on Telephone Trail:
Burnt off the New Years Eve fog with a morning ski around Telephone.
A very enjoyable ski in sunny weather, with fine conditions for Telephone- skier tracked through recent snow over a base which was groomed in Mid-December. Expect a few bumpy spots and some downhills that are scraped a bit thin, particularly on the east leg skiing counterclockwise. Not an issue for me as I skied the loop in the CW direction, which I prefer.
Now for a bit of a lecture-
Surprising to me, and a bit concerning, was encountering at least 4 skiers who were skiing without packs of any kind, a foolhardy and potentially dangerous practice on a longer, more remote trail such as Telephone. Sure, it was a nice day and there were plenty of others out, but fatigue due to lack of food or water, a simple fall resulting in an injury, or an equipment issue, could quickly turn a pleasant afternoon ski into a much more serious incident. Having been involved in helping out injured skiers a number of times in the past, I know all too well how quickly both rescuers and the injured party become chilled, and how soon darkness falls and temperatures drop at this time of year. Don’t rely on a quick rescue! In one instance, the injured skier was less than 2 km from the Lake Louise warden station on a packed ski trail, yet it took over 3 hours before she was evacuated. By this time it was nearly dark, and all involved were cold to say the least, that’s when carrying that food, extra warm clothing, and headlamp paid off. I consider my pack to be my life support system in the outdoors, and rarely go anywhere without it.