-Spectacular conditions on the Baker Creek to Castle Lookout trail in Banff. Photo by Jo Lunn.-
Have you skied this little-known trail? Jo Lunn, one of the Lake Louise to Banff loppet organizers sent this stunning photo to me today. Jo is particularly interested in this trail because it’s the second leg of the infamous race from Lake Louise to Banff.
The trail is 9.7K one-way(19.4 return). This trail has some of the best scenery and I’m glad to see they’re tracksetting it all winter long, not just for the race. You can access the trail from two different parking lots along the Bow Valley Parkway; at Castle lookout or at Baker Creek Chalets, and it’s dog-friendly. I guess you could also start at Protection Mountain Campground if you can find a spot to park. The section of trail from Protection Mountain to Castle Lookout is away from the road and more secluded, and incredibly beautiful.
Later on this winter, when they get more snow, the section between Castle Lookout and Castle Junction will be trackset which adds about 5K. I see from the Banff trail report the trails around Castle Mountain Chalets have been trackset already.
West Bragg Creek
I didn’t ski today and have no photos, but I thought this eye-catching picture of West Bragg Creek from Steve Riggs was worth posting along with his trip report:
“We had a glorious mid-day ski at West Bragg today, with snow conditions holding up very well on our loop of Sundog-Elbow-Iron Springs and the Crystal Lines both East and West. Temps of plus 1 starting out at 11, warming to about 4 at 2 pm, Start purple wax (-1 to +3) worked flawlessly except on two short, very sun exposed corners of Iron Springs. The tracksetting remains in very good shape, with some of the downhills being a bit choppy out of the track, thanks to walkers. At least they had the sense to not stomp in the tracks like the morons yesterday at Goat Creek! The far south loop of Iron Springs had been sno-mo packed only by the looks of it, but still skied nicely. With stunning blue skies, no wind, and sun in the aspens, West Bragg was at it’s finest today.”
Seeing Steve’s dog in the photo reminds me that for all skiers who like to take their dog along, I have a page which lists Dog-Friendly ski trails. It’s on the main menu under Resources.
Speaking of dogs, we received this cute photo from Sara as her entry in the Emerald Lake Lodge contest.
Make sure you read the captions under the photos when you go to the contest page. Robin left an interesting comment regarding Fat bikers, and Georgina on Norwegian sports bars.