Skogan pass and summit

by Bob Truman on March 29, 2014

in Kananaskis, Skogan pass

Post image for Skogan pass and summit

 - Skogan pass at the junction with the Upper Skogan loop(approx 8.2K distance and 500 metres elevation). - 

Trip Report from Keith Bagnall(pictured in below photo):

“We skied to Skogan Pass today from Ribbon Creek parking lot. The temperature at the car was +2C and the trails were slippery, so we chose our waxless skis. Conditions were excellent for making snowmen.”

Keith, Ray and Mary near Skogan pass summit

Keith, Ray and Mary(the snowman builder) near Skogan pass summit

This may be the one and only time when I will say it was more enjoyable going up than coming down.

Skogan pass

Skogan pass

I had awesome grip on the inconsistent snow conditions(sometimes wet, sometimes cold and dry, slushy later in the day) with my zero skis. I did not have to herringbone anywhere, not even on the steepest parts of the trail. It was a different story coming down, however, with cold, fast snow for a few metres; turn a corner and you would grind to a near halt in slush.

The view from Skogan summit

The view from Skogan summit

I was holding on for dear life for most of the trip down. Terror-stricken facial expressions replaced the usual howls of delight on the Screamer portion of the trail. Quite a few crash sites were evident along the trail as I was descending(one of them was mine).

If it freezes tonight, the trail will be very icy in the morning. Update: Check Alf Skrastin’s Trip Report for some good news. It snowed 2-3 cm! Also, the weather forecast is calling for cooler temperatures for the next two days. 

I counted 17 skiers either at the summit or descending from the summit. Some more skiers and a golden retriever were still on their way up. It was very challenging for anyone trying to use wax today.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Blair March 31, 2014 at 3:17 pm

I was one of the 17 getting to the top of Skogan on Saturday (my 35th day of x-country skiing this winter), and it was great to see sweat dripping from everyone’s chins due to the tough workout! What wonderful trail grooming (is it Jeff?), especially as I noticed he actually piled some extra snow on top of the most egregious ice patch to make things a bit less treacherous. Thanks for that, and for overall superb grooming this winter.

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2 Alf Skrastins March 29, 2014 at 8:51 pm

I got a later start for Skogan Pass than Keith and his group and got more variety of weather and a different result for the ski down. On the way up, I used a 25cm strip of climbing skins on my waxable skis. That provided excellent grip and reasonable glide for the main climb up Skogan/Sunburst/High Level/Skogan to the Skogan Loop junction. After that, I switched to VR45 wax and had a good ski to the pass. The weather was a mixed bag of brilliant sunshine and bursts of graupel (small hail pellets) or snowfall. On the way back, there was an intense snowfall that quickly put 2-3cm of fresh snow on the trails, making for a smooth and silky ski down.
https://picasaweb.google.com/112757355578245802406/SkoganMar292014?authkey=Gv1sRgCPXsn6iGxp7FUg&gsessionid=0PPFi4p4YJ_GvKAURYhqsw#
With cooler temperatures overnight and tomorrow and the forecast snowfall, I expect conditions will be excellent for Sunday.

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3 Bob Truman March 29, 2014 at 9:15 pm

Keith asked me if I saw you, but I don’t know what you look like. Wonderful to hear about the 2-3 cm fresh snow and that you had a better trip down. I should have followed my usual schedule of starting at 3 pm! I always wondered what that stuff was called – graupel.

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4 Henry March 30, 2014 at 9:03 pm

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