Great skiing conditions everywhere

by Bob Truman on January 8, 2014

in Banff, Contest, Emerald Lake, Yoho

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 – The Emerald connector was in great shape –

As enjoyable as it is to stay at Emerald Lake Lodge, it’s probably a good thing we have to come home after two days. All the imbibing and delicious food would make my skis way too soft(and make me slower than I already am!).

An American Dipper feeding in the Emerald river

An American Dipper feeding in the Emerald river

Knowing I wouldn’t be back for a long while, I made the easy decision to experience the fun of skiing the Emerald connector one more time. It was snowing when I started out and already about 2 cm had accumulated in yesterday’s new tracksetting.

As you can see in the photo, it was the typical winter wonderland. Even with fresh snow in the tracks, I was moving faster than yesterday since the tracks had set up overnight and the new snow felt like lubricant on my skis. It was -9°C with a snow temp of -6. Swix VR40 was all I needed. Wax and forget about it. Love these temperatures.

In these great conditions and scenic surroundings, I was in the “soul-mending rhythm” zone in no time, but something caught my eye as I skied along the Emerald river. It’s only a tiny bird, but I’m always fascinated when I am lucky enough to catch a glimpse of an American Dipper.

Moose tracks on the Emerald connector

Moose tracks on the Emerald connector

It is truly amazing to think this little bird can survive all winter in this cold climate, spending a good part of its day in the water.

I broke trail through a foot of snow and stood on the river bank for a few minutes to observe the Dipper feeding, bobbing up and down among the rocks in the shallow moving water.

Remember the cow moose and her calf from yesterday? They like the ski trails also. For 1.2K they walked directly in the tracks. For the most part it’s not a problem, as they simply post-hole and it’s easy enough to ski over. They do less damage than oh, let’s not go there.

Packing the loppet trail along Morant's curve

Packing the loppet trail along Morant’s curve

We were driving along the Bow Valley parkway and encountered Tracksetter John above Morant’s curve. He was digging his snowmobile out from some sugary snow as he packed the trail for the Lake Louise to Banff loppet which goes in ten days.

If you’re not familiar with Morant’s curve, it was the photo on the back of our $10 bills for many years. The trail is now packed all the way from Lake Louise to Baker creek. The trail from Baker creek to Castle Lookout appeared to have fresh tracksetting.

And the winner is…

The bartender at Emerald Lake Lodge makes the draw for two free nights at the lodge

The bartender at Emerald Lake Lodge makes the draw for two free nights at the lodge

I am thrilled to announce the winner of the Emerald Lake Lodge contest is Jody. Yes, that Jody. Tracksetter Jody. When he sent me his confirmation email this evening, he said “Well I am almost too excited to sleep now but it is my first night back on shift tonight and I have been up since 5:30AM, so I had better try to get an hour or two.”

Jody entered the contest with a photo of flooding damage on Pocaterra. Congratulations, and let’s hope that his stay at Emerald Lake won’t cut into the tracksetting schedule! Thank you to everyone who entered the contest. We had some wonderful comments and photos. A new contest will be starting in a few days. Get your waxing horror stories ready.

Get out and ski!

The best skiing conditions of the winter are here right now. Fresh snow, moderate temperatures, and tracksetting is happening all over the place. Spray River. Redearth creek. Kananaskis village. Pocaterra. An almost-full parking lot at West Bragg creek! Keep an eye on the Live Grooming Report from PLPP. There should be some new tracksetting done overnight.

Thanks for all the trip reports. Keep ’em coming.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 John January 9, 2014 at 7:38 am

Yep I was noticing that you need to get some stiffer skis …and the moose does less damage than what Bob ? come on … lets talk about it ! With me stuck in the snow there , I think that spot on the bow valley parkway could have been called Moron’sCorner !


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