33k at Lake Louise

Update: Saturday’s skiing on Video (You’ll see many other skiers in this vid)

Moraine Lake road and the Great Divide: I’m usually content to ski one or the other, but nothing’s ever that simple when I go with Chip, so we had to ski both trails. The weather did not get as cold on Friday night as predicted, and was balmy, maybe too warm for my liking with a high of 0°C. The snow stayed just cold enough to use wax without any problem. We were using VR50 which is rated for 0/-3. The snow temp at the end of MLR at 12:30 pm was -1°C.

MLR was trackset on Saturday morning

MLR was trackset on Saturday morning and was still very soft. The tracks were taking quite a beating from all the traffic, but these are still good conditions for November.

The Great Divide did not appear to have been trackset, despite what the trail report indicates. The tracks, while still reasonably good, were quite washed out in places, and they seemed faster than the soft tracks on MLR, which tells me they were not trackset. Did anyone actually see the tracksetter working on the Great Divide?

Chip arrives in BC

While relaxing and visiting at the end of MLR, I finally and happily encountered Sabrina, again. She’s in the photo on my blog header with her friend Brooke. It was on Elk Pass in 2008, and one of the best photos I’ve ever taken, consequently being on the header frequently. I’ve been waiting all this time to meet again and thank her for providing such a great picture for my blog.

The main topic of conversation on the trails today was the proposed user fees for cross-country skiers in PLPP. As you may know, I did an interview on CBC on Friday regarding the controversy. If you’re interested in listening to it, you can click this link SkierBob’s interview on CBC Homestretch. There are also some good comments on Tony Daffern’s blog Kananaskis Blog – User fees rears its head again


The Kananaskis trail report indicates that some grooming and tracksetting occurred on Friday in PLPP. Elk Pass, Blueberry Hill, Hydroline and Patterson were all trackset and should be in reasonably good early-season condition.

According to Ross and Sheila, “We skied Elk Pass yesterday and were really pleasantly surprised! As mentioned, the first 200 or so metres would be compared to excellent conditions if you were skiing Sandy McNabb but considered brutal for PLPP. After that…beautiful. We were loaded down with all the waxes we figured we would need to survive the trip (so loaded down we sadly forgot our water) however, we glided along (well, I shufffle, my husband glides) without a problem. Well worth the gas money (or a user fee if that what is comes down to) so don’t be frightend off by official trail reports.”

Other trails are not recommended, “Tyrwhitt, Whiskey Jack and the lower section of Pocaterra are still quite rough and extremely thin in places, and trail crews do not recommend skiing these trails.”


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  1. On the topic of user fees in PLPP:
    a) I’m spoiled. I have cross country skied in Norway, Sweden, Germany, Austria and Alaska. All these countries have significantly larger cross country ski networks than Alberta, and nowhere were they charging any usage fees.
    b) For me, solidarity is a cornerstone of a developed modern society. You pay a general fee to the goverment (i.e. your taxes) for a variety of services and you don’t pay for each individual service such as public transportation, libraries, pools, police, etc. as you go. Sometimes you pay for something you don’t use and other times you are the beneficary. Works for me.

  2. Interesting difference in snow temp between MLR and 1A : Recorded -6 on the 1A at about 2:30 pm. Tracks on 1A indeed shallow, but firm and pleasingly fast. Started with VR40 outbound, topped up with VR45 on return leg. Others used warmer wax.

    Hi Peter, sorry we missed you. The snow temp at 11:00 a.m. when we started on MLR was -4. -Bob

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