Sandy McNabb, West Bragg, Lake Louise

Welcome to ski season! I’m thrilled to see all the old stalwarts are back posting trip reports. Finally, we can give Frozen Thunder a break and see what else is out there.

Crystal Line trail at West Bragg Creek. Photo by Steve Riggs

Chuck, Steve, and Alf have all been on their skis today and have weighed in  with valuable information, thanks guys.
Now I’m hoping we’ll hear from Tracksetter John in Lake Louise to let us know if Moraine Lake road is going to be packed.

Here’s the report from Alf:

I just knew that Steve would beat me to posting a trip report!

I checked out the Sandy McNabb ski trails in the Sheep Valley, west of Turner Valley. This is a great little ski trail system, which tends to see infrequent use due to unreliable snowfalls and lots of chinooks. However, when it does snow, it is worth a try, especially if you live in the south of downtown Calgary. Most of the trails are gentle as they wind through a mixture of aspen groves, pine forest and open meadows. If there is enough snow, they may get machine packed or trackset, but that doesn’t happen too often. It’s best to expect to make your own tracks. 

Moraine Lake road at Lake Louise. Photo from Chuck O’Callaghan

I found similar conditions as Steve noted at Bragg Creek. About 12-18cm of low density snow, with a few ski or snowshoe tracks and lots of wildlife tracks. Given the fact that it is still October and this is the first real snowfall and I was using old skis, the skiing was quite enjoyable.

This is also a great area for snowshoeing, with many additional options on “summer” trails and off-trail exploration.

Here are some photos: Sandy Mcnabb photos

You can see all the trip reports here Trip Reports

The Kananaskis trail reports were updated today. PLPP only received 4 cm at the Visitor Centre. “Though all trails are snow covered, there is not yet enough to snowshoe or ski as a base hasn’t yet been established.”

Ribbon Creek area received 5cm on the valley bottom and 10 cm at higher elevation.

If you’re new to this blog, I hope you’ll take a minute to check the main menu at the top of the page and familiarize yourself with all the different pages and resources you’ll need to make your ski season enjoyable. Also, on the sidebar, you can access all my previous posts going back to 2008 in the Archives. The Tag Cloud which I’ve just re-named to Places to ski will give you information on all the wonderful places where we can ski.

Hello to Roy, Lisa, Sanjaya, and Mandy. Thanks for liking me on Facebook. You’ll be getting updates from now on.


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  1. I will be High River this Monday and Tuesday and wanted to know if cross country skiing is possible in the area, is there enough snow at Sandy McNabb? Is there another area recommended that’s higher with more reliable snow? We don’t get a lot of snow in Jacksonville, Florida.


    Lake Louise is the only place with adequate snow for xc skiing right now. If you can handle backcountry conditions, Boom Lake is a possibility. -Bob

  2. The Parks Canada website says tracksetting is planned for Morraine Lake Road for Oct. 25. That was yesterday. Does anyone know if it actually happened?

    Yes, it has been packed but not trackset. -Bob

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