This new trail is a feast for the eyes. Being completely in the open, you are surrounded by spectacular scenery.
As a result of the Cascade valley trail being closed at the 6.4K bridge, Banff National Park is grooming and tracksetting further along the Lake Minnewanka road to the Upper Bankhead parking lot.
From the Lake Minnewanka trailhead, you can now ski a total return distance of 4.6K on the paved road. It’s entirely double-trackset and groomed for skating. It’s pretty easy, with long, gradual, small hills and a net elevation drop of 10 metres. At the end, it makes a loop around the Upper Bankhead parking lot.
Being exposed and in the open won’t be so pleasant if the weather is cold and windy. The trail also gets a lot of sun, and today the snow was already becoming too moist in mid-afternoon for wax to perform adequately. Chuck skied here before it was groomed back on Nov 21. You can see what it was like in his photos.
From there, I crossed the meadow and skied on the Cascade valley trail. I was surprised at how much colder the snow was. Even as you climb the big hill on the sun-exposed south-facing slope, the snow was still in good condition. With trees adjoining the the trail, the sun at its low angle doesn’t get a chance to do much damage.
- The weather forecast is calling for snow on Monday, followed by very cold temperatures.
- I’ll be announcing the new contest tomorrow(Hint: get your photo ready).
- If you ski at Lake Louise, remember to stop at Wilson’s and Enter the contest for Atomic Skin-tec skis