Moraine Lake road in Lake Louise was BPOE today. No place I’d have rather been. For having a thin snow pack, the conditions were excellent. Amazingly good tracks and cold snow. I applied VR45(for -2/-8) at the trailhead and never thought about wax again. Grip was fantastic all the way up.
I had to be back in Canmore at 1 pm, so my window of opportunity for skiing was limited. I hit the trail at exactly 10 a.m. with only two hours to make it to the end and back, including time for photos, videos, and talking to everyone. There was a skater ahead of me, but I was the first one in the fresh new tracks and they were a wonderful sight to behold.
To illustrate how good the conditions were, I was actually skiing for only 1 hr 47 min. The rest of the time was spent taking pictures, and I made it back to the car at 12:06. All with rock skis and summer wax! I could have used my best skis.
Coming down the fast hills on the return, I could tell my glide wax was too warm for this snow as it felt like someone was applying the brakes. I only managed to reach a top speed of 28 Km/hr. Yes, that new GPS will tell me everything.
The guide book indicates this trail is 8K one-way, but we already concluded last year that Moraine Lake road is 8.9K and that was confirmed today. In the photos, you’ll see the GPS read-out was 9.0K, but deduct 100 metres for walking from the parking lot. Net elevation gain is 250 metres, but you’ll accumulate much more than that with all the ups and downs.
Your pole tips will hit the pavement, but it gets less pronounced once you’re out 4K and up 150 metres. There was not even one spot on the trail where I could see pavement under the tracks. It’s possible that with some heavy use it might deteriorate. Let’s hope for a little more snow before the weekend.
I met Dasha Gaiazova from the National ski team on the trail today and she said thanks for the blog. After reading John’s report on here last night she decided to go skiing today. I always feel gratified to hear that the blog is helpful.