Cheryl and I are at Emerald Lake tonight, but on the way here, I skied at Lake Louise for a couple hours. I started behind Deer Lodge on the freshly trackset Peyto trail. I enjoy skiing down to the Great Divide trail as it drops about 100 metres in a space of 2.2K.
It was a green wax day. Snow and air temperature were both at -13°C at 2:30 pm. I guess this will be the last cold day for a while, however.
My intention was to ski to the Lake O’Hara trailhead and be picked up there, and continue on to Emerald Lake(by car!). The Great Divide had about 6-8 cm of fresh snow and it was slow going in the soft tracks. I eventually realized the dog-sledding trail was hard-packed and I moved a lot faster on the canine trail even though it had no tracks. The dogs were finished for today, so I didn’t get run over by a pack of hounds.
I was out 5.6K when I heard my phone ringing. My call display showed that it was Cheryl’s phone but I heard Tracksetter John on the other end, advising me to turn around and come back to the Great Divide trailhead. Good thing I did, too, because as soon as you hit the divide, there were fierce winds and blowing snow, and suddenly a lot colder. In -17°C temperatures it wouldn’t have been much fun to go to the end. I’m sure if you’ve ever skied the final 3K of that trail, you’ll know what I mean. It can get downright nasty with wind and blown-in tracks. It’s truly amazing how the weather can change once you cross the divide. On the Alberta side, it was a reasonably pleasant day. The road is quite icy around the Lake O’Hara turn-off too.
We made the draw(again) for two free nights at Emerald Lake Lodge. It was actually the bartender in the lounge at Emerald Lake Lodge who made the draw. As soon as I receive a confirmaion email from the winner, I will announce the name.
While driving the Bow Valley Parkway, I noticed fresh tracksetting on the Baker Creek to Castle Lookout trail. From Castle Lookout to Castle junction, it’s trackset with about 5 cm of fresh snow on top.
Spray river west was trackset. With Goat creek being done yesterday, you could almost do the entire 19K trip from Canmore to Banff on new tracksetting. There’s still a 2K section between Goat creek bridge and the Spray River which would only be skier-tracked.
World Snow Day
It’s on Sunday, January 19. The Canmore Nordic Centre will be offering free skiing for children (6 – 11 years) and juniors (12 – 17 years). Trail Sports will be offering free rentals for those 11 years and below on cross country skis and skates.
The CNC skating rink and toboggan hill are currently open for the season. As usual,
there is no charge for these two activities.