When overseas visitors think of the Canadian Rockies, they usually think of Banff. If they are skiers, they usually have the internationally renowned Canmore Nordic Centre at the top of their list.

Kananaskis is more like the secret location reserved for all of us locals. Peter Lougheed Provincial Park has some of the world’s best cross-country skiing – and it’s free!  I feel that we are very lucky to have such wonderful ski trails to enjoy in this spectacular setting. Today we skied what is probably the most popular trail, and also one of the easiest.

Pocaterra had some fresh snow above the Packers junction

It was 10:20 a.m. when Chip and I hit the trail at Pocaterra hut, and this was one day where I’m glad we made it out early. The air temp was -1, and the snow was still a nice and cool -4. When we finished at 1 pm, the snow temp at Pocaterra was 0, and any sun-exposed areas of the trail were wet. The thermometer at the hut was approaching +3.

We had brand new tracks on Pocaterra up to the Packers junction. My original intention of turning back at Packers was easy to ignore with the beautiful conditions today, and we continued to the Whiskey Jack junction.

Becky and Ella were enjoying the nice weather

Chip was using Toko red wax(-1/-2) and I experimented with some SkiGo rated for 0 to -6. We both had good grip going up. Not much grip is required on the way back with all the downhill, but as we neared the hut, there was a lot of wet snow where it would have been difficult to get grip if you were just starting out.

I imagine the tracks will be a bit icy early tomorrow morning, then slushy as the day warms up to a predicted +7. It appeared as if there was some snow trying to fall as we drove away from the hut.

Was anyone at Elk Pass? I wonder if it stayed cooler there?

The Banff trail report says that Goat Creek was trackset today(see comments for a first-hand account).

Temperatures are staying cooler at Lake Louise, but remember, the LL loppet is on tomorrow. You can still participate, as they take registrations right up until 10:15 a.m. according to the  Calgary Ski Club website.


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  1. We skied Goat Creek today (Canmore -> Banff) and it wasn’t freshly trackset unless they were out after 3 p.m.

    I don’t think the trail report would have been updated that late, so it must be a mistake. How were conditions? -Bob

    • Conditions were good Bob – there had been enough fresh snowfall to keep the worn tracks well usable, and keep the downhills manageable for our group (including a bunch of 9-12 year olds). Wax was tricky and I never did find one that worked throughout the day! The trail was getting a bit thin as we crossed the river and headed towards the golf course near Banff.

  2. Pocaterra Hut to Elk Pass and back. Greeted you in passing near Packers on your way down, Bob. Tyrwhitt was cooler for sure, with some fresh / windblown and also sizable tree bombs. Higher up, Swix red iced up but just a bit. Great day, no? 7 out of 10 in my books. Looks like klister tomorrow at all the nearby trailheads – yech – but we might as well get used to it as there are only (sob) maybe five weeks of grooming left. I really appreciate the mid-week and Saturday reports on your site – great blog.

  3. We had a good day as well, Bob, skiing the 24k Cookie route beginning from Boulton at about 1:30pm. We skied with Swix VR55 to begin with which was fine up Packers and down to Pocaterra. The only glazed conditions we saw were in the last few km to Pocaterra. Working our way back to Boulton, it was beginning to cool off in the afternoon, and we had to mix in some VR50. There was some snow falling in the afternoon, but most was wind-blown from the west – so the tracks on Wheeler were beginning to fill in a bit.

    Good to see that you’re out on the tracks again, Bob.

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