It’s very enjoyable to ski the trails around Ribbon creek and Kananaskis village when the conditions are good. With the weather forecast not even dropping below zero for two of the next four days, I thought today might be the last opportunity to ski these interesting trails while wax would still work okay.
Starting out from the village at noon, the air temperature was +3°C and the forecast was for a high of +10. I thought the snow would already be wet, but I was wrong. I waxed with VR50(0/-4) and it was giving very good grip. In fact, it was a bit grabby but I thought as the day wore on, it would get better as the snow warmed up.
The snow and the grooming were absolutely perfect. Starting out from the village on Terrace, no footprints, dirt or needles had yet spoiled the immaculate groomed snow. This is how I remember it when I skied for the first time in my life 16 years ago right here.
As I reached the junction at 1.6K, I met Lynn who was coming up Terrace from the Ribbon creek parking lot. She said to watch out for two more skiers coming behind her as I started down the hill on the fresh corduroy. There’s now good snow cover all the way down to the new Ribbon creek bridge.
It’s been a long time since I’ve skied the scenic Hay Meadow trail, and today it was in the best shape I’ve ever seen. Too bad it won’t last. Along the way I saw some very distinct critter tracks and made a side trip to the spectacular frozen waterfall, Troll Falls. There was one other person at the falls taking pictures, a snowshoer in a short-sleeved t-shirt.
The 300-metre trail to the falls is not groomed but it’s been well-packed by hikers and snowshoers. On good snow conditions as they were today, it’s fun dodging the numerous trees, especially on the return as you go slightly downhill.
I had forgotten what a steep slog Ruthie’s is. It was especially difficult because in this location, the snow was starting to get wet and my wax didn’t work very well.
When I reached the top at the Skogan pass junction, I encountered two skiers who had just come down the “screamer.” As the second skier coasted to a halt, her words were, “I was too scared to go fast.” I didn’t go up the screamer today, but headed south on Lower Skogan back to the Ribbon creek parking lot.
Back up Terrace, and poor grip as I started climbing on the corduroy. Surprisingly, however, as I reached the tracksetting, my wax was gripping as good as ever as I headed up Kovach, Aspen, and Kovach again down to the village. The snow in the tracks was still very cold and in places the wax was back to being almost too sticky.
It’s a shame about the weather which will compromise these wonderful conditions. Today, it only reached a high of +4 at the village so the snow might still be okay in the morning, but I’d be prepared with waxless skis if skiing in the afternoon.
At 10 pm, my thermometer shows it’s still +3 in Canmore and it’s not predicted to get any colder tonight.
I’m enjoying reading the entries in the wax contest. I laughed out loud when I read the comment, “Let me win the wax table before I destroy my kitchen.”
Thanks for the trip reports. It will be interesting to see where the cold snow is over the next few days.
The Sochi 2014 Canadian Olympic cross-country ski team was announced today. Congratulations Chandra Crawford, Heidi Widmer, Emily Nishikawa, Len Valjas, Graeme Killick, Jesse Cockney, Alex Harvey, Devon Kerhsaw, Perianne Jones, Dasha Gaiazova, Ivan Babikov! Read more Canadian ski team
More photos from today’s skiing