At one with the universe

There’s nothing like a good, early-season snowfall to make cross-country skiers excited and happy. After teasing us for a few days, the snow finally arrived  –and in abundance!

I hope all the snowmobile and snowcat batteries are fully charged and gas tanks full.

Scenery along the Great Divide in Lake Louise

Scenery along the Great Divide in Lake Louise(file photo)

Now we’re waiting for the trails to be packed, groomed, and hopefully a few have enough snow to be trackset. Parks Canada tracksetter Jeff reports 25 cm+ at Lake Louise and they have started packing. I’m pretty sure this means the Great Divide will soon have tracks.

Emerald lake Alluvial Fan trail

Emerald lake Alluvial Fan trail(file photo)

In addition to shoveling snow, this looks like a good day to start hot waxing skis, and with the cold temperatures in store, I will be waxing one pair with green, for very cold snow. Yesterday I picked up my skis from the Grinders Ski Service who stoneground and hotboxed my favourite pair of skis which were getting a bit worn.

Stone grinding is the process of flattening, polishing, structuring and cleaning a ski base in order to make skis glide faster. Stone grinding will result in a flat base with a fresh, open p-tex base surface for good wax absorption, and a structured base suited to the snow conditions, which is generally cold in this area. Being the overweight, out-of-shape skier that I am, I need every advantage I can get.

Warming up by the Emerald lake Lodge's fireplace

Warming up by the Emerald lake Lodge’s fireplace(file photo)

CBC tweeted that Yoho has received 20-25 cm of snow. I’d like to remind everyone that Emerald Lake Lodge in Yoho is once again offering their special rate to XC skiers who are members of a ski club. You’re not a member of a ski club? No problem. The Kicking Horse Ski Club in Field, BC is grateful for anyone who joins their club for the small fee of $40, and it will help the club to maintain the trails in Yoho and Emerald Lake.

Horses at West Bragg

Work horses at West Bragg Creek. Photo by Alf Skrastins.

If you enjoy skiing at West Bragg Creek, consider a donation to the Greater Bragg Creek Trails Association.

Here’s an album created by Alf Skrastins that highlights some of the work done by volunteers with donated funds at West Bragg Creek this summer, and you can read about all the new trails.

I never get tired of looking at the pictures of the work horses. My dad was one of the last farmers to use work horses for doing farm chores, mainly in the winter. I remember the churches’ young people’s group coming out on weekends for sleigh rides. Too bad I didn’t have skis; I could have let the horses pull me through the flat prairie covered in snow. Sleigh rides and wholesome activities were nice, but our religion was pretty strict; no swearing, no dancing, no smoking, no drinking, no sleeping late, no slothfulness. Some of the things I was taught were sinful turned out to be a lot of fun, but I still don’t smoke!

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