We climbed the hill from the Redearth creek parking lot on nice cold snow. My VR45 was gripping well and I didn’t even have to herringbone.
We turned the corner and there they were: the scourge of the cross-country skier, pine needles. The sight could have discouraged the faint of heart(or the fairweather skier like me). Fortunately Mary and Ray were there to give me motivation to carry on.
The pine needles were thick in places on the first 3k but gradually thinned out and by the time we reached 4K it was rarely a concern. At the high point at 5.3K, the snow was cold and clean with excellent tracks and it remained in that condition for the remainder of the trip to the warden’s cabin at 10.5K.
I skied mostly OUT of the tracks for the first 3K. When I was in the tracks, the debris would grab in my wax and I found it annoying.
Snow coverage was good, even at the start. No exposed rocks on the lower part of the trail, and I even managed to descend on the return without taking my skis off.
Temperature at the start at 10:15 a.m was -9°C and the snow was -7. When finished at 2 pm the air temp was -4.
All things considered it was a good day of skiing if you could put up with the initial inconvenience of the tree debris. Hopefully we’ll get that 2 – 4 cm of snow tonight as that is exactly what would freshen up the first few Ks on this wonderful trail.
At 6K as we were descending to the campground there was a deadfall which had been cleared from the trail but it left a lot of twigs scattered about. You had to be quick on your feet to get out of the tracks to avoid the worst of it. On the return, we stopped and cleared away the twigs and branches. 2 – 4 cm of new snow should clean it up nicely.
Here are as few stats from Ray’s GPS:
20.97 Km; 2:43 moving time; 3:45 total time.
Low elev 1418. High elev 1742. Moving avg. speed 7.7Kph
- Spray river west was trackset in Banff today. Keep your eye on the Live Grooming Reports from Kananaskis. Trails were groomed in PLPP last night, and at Kananaskis village/Ribbon creek today.
- Ready for some fun? Loppet season is here. Check out the schedule of upcoming races
More photos from today’s skiing…