Ribbon creek just gets better

by Bob Truman on February 20, 2013

in Animal tracks & sightings, Kananaskis Village Area, Ribbon Creek, Wedge Connector

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Update Feb 22: Due to a cougar kill, there are some closures in effect for Ribbon creek west of Link junction, and Link. Check the Trip Reports and the Kananaskis trail report for more details. Pat Davis has posted photos of the dead elk.

Don’t forget, it’s the Cookie race in PLPP on Saturday. Pocaterra will be crawling with vehicles and skiers.

After seeing this morning’s Kananaskis trail report I went to Ribbon Creek with Tessa to ski on some of the best conditions of the winter. Jeff put in a solid day of grooming on Tuesday, resulting in 95% of the trails in the Ribbon creek and Kananaskis village area being trackset and in fantastic condition.

The Pisten-Bully is coming down the Bill Milne trail near the Kananaskis golf course

The Pisten-Bully is coming down the Bill Milne trail near the Kananaskis golf course

Graeme’s trip report on Marmot and Coal mine confirms what I’m telling you, “Fresh trackset and courduroy was absolutely wonderful.” The tracks were even faster than on Monday but the snow is still very cold. I hope these conditions stay like this for a while, as I would sure like to ski up to Skogan pass lookout one more time this winter.

Tracksetter Jeff

Tracksetter Jeff

There’s been a lot of foot traffic and snowshoers on Ribbon creek, but they’re staying out of the tracks. Thank you.

I was using VR45(-2/-8) and it was gripping very well. As we were leaving around 5 pm, it seemed to be getting a lot colder although the thermometer indicated only -3°C air temperature.

Fresh corduroy on the Bill Milne trail. On the second pass, a single track will be set on one side of the trail.

Fresh corduroy on the Bill Milne trail. On the second pass, a single track will be set on one side of the trail.

I noticed fresh corduroy on the Bill Milne trail on the way out, so I tracked down Tracksetter Jeff near the golf course as he was making the first pass over the trail. If you want some excellent conditions for classic or skating, the Bill Milne, Wedge connector and Evan-Thomas will be in great shape for the near future. There will be a single classic track with a skating lane on these trails by late tonight.

The Pisten-Bully on the Bill Milne trail near the Kananaskis golf course

The Pisten-Bully on the Bill Milne trail near the Kananaskis golf course

In Banff National Park in the past three days we have new tracksetting on Cascade valley, Goat creek, Spray river loop, and now Healy creek and Sundance. It makes me wonder what’s happening with Brewster creek.

The PLPP trail report shows the usual tracksetting is ongoing and conditions should be superb for the Cookie race on Saturday. There will be hundreds of vehicles at Pocaterra, so if you are planning a trip to PLPP on Saturday, it would be prudent to start at one of the other trailheads.

Another upcoming race is the Lake Louise Loppet on March 3.

Curious about what it’s like to ski in BC?

Check this page for Michael’s excellent review of five ski areas in BC: West Kelowna, Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon, and Golden. Skiing in BC

Ribbon creek

Ribbon creek

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 ivana February 22, 2013 at 11:48 am

Not for the sensitive readers…or skiers. Unfortunately the tracks were “spoiled” on a part of the Ribbon Creek trail by a desperate pray animal fighting to survive. The attack must have happened last night. The trail is covered by blood splatter and hair for about 10m or so just past the village trails turn off. I guess this is part of nature as well.

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2 Matt February 21, 2013 at 9:35 pm

…and now I know what it’s called – corduroy! I’m a snowshoer and have enough sense to stay off ski tracks, but I came across corduroy this winter (Evan Thomas) and wasn’t sure what it was or its purpose. For future reference, is this something that everyone except skiers should stay off, or is it general purpose for everyone?

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3 jeff February 21, 2013 at 10:11 pm

Hi Matt,
Thank you for asking the question. The corduroy serves a lot of purposes in some areas it is for ski skating, on steep downhills it is for snowplowing and on uphills for herring boning. If you are snowshoeing on cross country ski trails and you come across corduroy stay to the edge between the track and the edge of the trail, if there is no track walk to the right edge on the uphill and to the left edge on the downhill. This makes it safer and enjoyable for everyone.

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4 Matt February 22, 2013 at 5:22 pm

Ah, thanks! That was my instinct too (move to side), but I wasn’t aware of the uphill-downhill etiquette. Good to know!

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5 Chris Thomas February 21, 2013 at 4:28 pm

Thanks for the heads-up on the fresh grooming on the Bill Milne trail, Bob. I got fresh skate tracks on both the Bill Milne and Wedge Connector today. And a big thanks to Jeff for the immaculate grooming job – both were in great shape!

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