This list includes trips which were remarkable, whether it was exceptionally good conditions or some other reason, and are in chronological order.
- Nov 7 Smilin’ Faces
First tracksetting of the season on Moraine Lake Road. This wonderful day is anticipated all summer long. It’s nice to get re-acquainted with everyone on this early-season trail.
- Nov 21 End of the Trail
It’s rare to have such superb conditions so early in the season on the Kananaskis Village trails. Skiing here without Ribbon creek, which was destroyed in the flood, was very different this winter, especially for me, as it was where I learned to ski. A day of mixed emotions.
A number of bridges throughout Kananaskis and Banff were damaged or destroyed, hence “end of the trail.” The Kananaskis Village, Ribbon creek, Skogan pass trails were in nice shape throughout the winter, probably the best snow conditions in recent memory. It’s possible we may have a new Ribbon creek trail for next winter but it will be at a higher elevation than the old one.
Nov 24 Skogan summit
“What an amazing and demanding ski trail. What a spectacular day.” This has become one of my favourite destinations after I finally discovered it last winter. Getting up here so early in the season was a bonus.
- Nov 29 First tracks on Elk pass
“Today was about as good as it gets. It felt wonderful to be climbing the big hill on good snow conditions.” Not only a fabulous day of early-season skiing on Elk pass, but I saw a beautiful black wolf as I was driving out.
Cheryl and I look forward to this annual trip to Emerald lake Lodge. We hit it lucky again this year with excellent snow and tracksetting. The wonderful Emerald connector has been re-connected, skirting around the avalanche path. You can ski all the way from the lake to the Natural Bridge again.
- Jan 20 Lake Louise to Banff Loppet
I survived. Better than that, I had fun most of the way. It’s a major accomplishment for me to ski 50K in one day.
- Jan 23 Here’s what you missed today
“The most spectacular scene awaited us on Tyrwhitt where the low cloud produced a surreal atmosphere. As we skied on the perfect tracks, the frost-covered trees were a sight to behold.” This was truly a memorable day with incredible scenery.
Jan 25 PLPP North loop
“Today’s skiing was fantastic.” This trip was remarkable for a number of reasons:
- My first time on new Pocaterra with good conditions
- The best-ever snow while rocketing down Pocaterra “The only wind was created by my 40 KmH descent of Pocaterra on the best conditions I’ve ever seen. The stretch between Packers and Lynx was freshly groomed and was greased-lightning fast.”
- The cloud over the south end of the park. “What a phenomenal sight in the bright sun as it moulded itself over the fire lookout.” Photo
Feb 2 Skiing at its best!
“It was the perfect day of skiing that you dream of. It was one of those days where you only burn half the normal amount of calories because it all seems effortless. At the end of the 18K loop I felt as if I had barely worked. The snow was cold, the sun was bright, the tracks were excellent, glide was superfast, no debris, no wind, and easy waxing. What a fantastic day of skiing!”
The damaged Spray river bridge created some problems with one of my favourite trails, Goat creek/Spray river from Canmore to Banff. Despite that, I had a wonderful day on Spray river west: “My favourite section of the Spray west trail is between 7K and 9.5K. It twists and turns with gentle uphills and downhills. It’s very wide, and is a lot of fun in both directions. It feels very secluded and peaceful.”
Feb 26 Lake O’Hara fire road
“This is a ski trip with magnificent views, and I had the perfect bluebird day to marvel at all the fantastic scenery.”
This trail is more accessible to track skiers now that it’s being groomed with a snowcat.
March 27 Magical
“On such a beautiful day we took our time skiing to the end of the Wedge connector while observing some spectacular tree bombs and feeling the misty fallout on our faces.”
Although 300 metres shorter due to flooding damage, and no longer connecting to the Evan-Thomas trail, the Wedge connector is still an enjoyable trail. Tessa says it’s the best.
I compiled a Top 10 list three years ago. Read it and compare to this year’s http://skierbob.ca/2011/04/my-top-10-list/