It was sunny and bright. The snow and trail conditions were excellent. Parking spots were easy to find. Those are the only good things I have to say about skiing in this windy deep freeze.
Okay, one more: at least we’re not in Regina where the wind chill reached -50 today. I grew up in southern Saskatchewan, did chores on the farm in brutally cold weather, and it should have hardened me for these conditions but I’ve obviously become soft and spoiled.
In fact, today was the worst weather I’ve ever skied in. According to Environment Canada, the wind chill in Canmore at 2 pm was -31°C. I had this crazy notion that temperatures might be nicer at higher elevation(which is often the case) so I originally tried my luck at Goat creek which is about 300 metres higher than Canmore. It was even colder and the wind was howling in the parking lot. There were occasional places along the trail where the wind wasn’t a factor, but I only went a couple Ks and turned back.
To my surprise, right behind me were Lars and Alex who had skied out about 11K on Goat creek. The washed out bridge on the Spray river is at 10K and they reported that it was no problem getting across the river ice.
My next attempt was the Canmore Nordic Centre. Same brisk wind near the daylodge. After about 300 metres on the Banff trail it was a lot calmer and actually tolerable. That is, until you turned around and returned with the wind in your face.
I saw about 30 other skiers at the nordic centre in the one hour that I was skiing. The weather station indicated the air temp ranged from -19.5 to -22.5 with wind speeds up to 25 KmH. The snow temperature was -18, and polar wax gave fantastic grip.
I’m now giving more credence to Ray’s suggestion that hibernating for three days may have been the answer to these frigid conditions.
The Lake Louise Loppet which was scheduled for tomorrow has been cancelled. See previous post for details.
“To me this is an example of how far off base the program ended up being and was a BIG mistake, as it just doesn’t happen that way.” Some further theories on what went wrong for the Canadian(and American) ski team at Sochi from former US and Canadian Head XC coach, Marty Hall http://skitrax.com/71848/