Elk Pass Update from Brendan: Elk Pass is groomed and partially trackset. I passed the piston bulley (loaded on a trailer) on the drive to the trailhead late Friday afternoon. Conditions are excellent. The track set ended after the first steep hill up to the powerline but the grooming continued. It was an excellent evening for a ski! -We’ve all been waiting for that news, thanks! -Bob
Nov 26 Yoho Update from Tracksetter John: Hans got a ski trail on Yoho Valley road(aka Takkakaw Falls road) and the Emerald Lake Trail yesterday, I’ll be on the Kicking Horse fire road this morning, Then I might get a chance to do some packing on the connector.
First Ski at Cascade Valley
After reading Chuck’s trip report from yesterday, I had to check out Cascade Valley(formerly known as Cascade Fire road) today. In years past, I’ve usually encountered exposed rocks on the initial big hill after the first grooming, so I used some old, flat, slow rock skis.
Although it’s still a pretty thin snow cover, I did not see one rock today. I can’t guarantee that will still be the case after lots of skiers have snowplowed down the hill, but it looked good today…and I was forced to ski slow!
The trail was packed and groomed only, not trackset. I skied to the end of the campground(7K), but the grooming continued on, presumably for another 8K.
The snow had a crunchy texture due to the ice mixed in with it. That’s from the rain which we had a couple days ago. The flip side of that situation is that it’s made for some spectacular scenery with the snow/ice-covered trees.
The air temperature was -1, and the snow was -3. I had no trouble getting grip with blue Swix(rated for -1/-7).
If the weather forecast is correct, Banff will have a high on Saturday of -1, but too warm on Sunday at +8. Lake Louise will probably be a better choice on Sunday.
There’s been some packing completed on the Ribbon Creek trail system. Check the Kananaskis trail report for details.