Freshly groomed today with F-a-n-t-a-s-t-i-c conditions
Update Feb 19: All the trails in this report were trackset on Fri Feb 18.
If you’ve always wanted to do Skogan Pass on near-perfect conditions, now is the time.
The new corduroy I spotted exerted a powerful pull. There was lots of excellent tracksetting all around the Ribbon Creek area, but I hadn’t been up to Skogan Pass-Sunburst-High Level yet this winter. When I saw the fresh corduroy on the Lower Skogan pass trail, I assumed the groomer must be working higher up. I guessed he’d be setting track on the way back down.
Soon after I started, I met two Telemarkers who had been skiing at Nakiska. They ventured off the beaten path and went up Marmot, and said that Skogan wasn’t groomed when they went up, but on their return they had the new corduroy upon arriving at the Skogan junction. More evidence that Jeff was up there.
The snow was nice and cold, so grip was no problem. The air temp when I started at 4 pm was -17, so definitely a toe-warmer day. With the relentless climbing on this trail, you don’t feel much cold. Coming to the Sunburst and High Level junctions, I could see new tracksetting on both those trails, but continued up Skogan.
Arriving at the Skogan Loop junction, there was fresh corduroy going left, but deep snow on the right. The groomer must have been on that section of trail. It was getting late, so I turned back, but took a left when I reached High Level and headed up to Hummingbird Plume.
At Humminbird Plume, I wanted to get a photo of the Kananaskis Valley at sunset, but the snow was so deep I didn’t venture over to the edge of the hill. I settled for a shot of Mt Kidd which I could see above the trees.
Before heading back, I put on an extra layer, a buff, a 2nd toque, and mitts. The trip down is a blur. 20 minutes to get back to the Stoney trailhead. The sharp turns were a breeze on the good snow. I’ve never enjoyed the trip down as much as this one.