In the photo above: Fiona in the one piece purple snow suit. Charlotte in the purple jacket and patterned pants. Juliette in the dark purple with pink gloves outfit with rainbow hat and Chloe in the green/yellow and pink jacket.
I didn’t want to disappoint any of the kids in the photo by not remembering their names, so I asked one of the moms to send me an email with the details.
Today was simply spectacular. What a treat it was to use waxable skis again! Funny thing is, though, I didn’t even have to wax them. I used whatever was still on them from two weeks ago. I think it was VR50(0/-4) and I had excellent grip all day. The air temperature was zero at 1 pm, and the snow was -3.
I hemmed and hawed about where to go today. I was thinking that skiers needed a report on PLPP with family day being tomorrow. I heard that Lake Louise received some snow overnight and my desire to ski on some real snow won the day. Thank you to Mike W, Philippe, and Karin for the reports on PLPP.
I hadn’t yet skied the Great Divide this winter, so that was my destination. As I drove past Moraine Lake road, the vehicles were lined up along the road. When I reached the Great Divide trailhead, same issue.
The GD parking lot was overflowing onto the road. In addition, there was a mini-gridlock occurring because a minivan was stuck at the entrance, unable to move forward because of the ice. Vehicles behind him wouldn’t allow him to back up and take a run at it. I decided to avoid the mayhem and continued on to the Peyto trailhead by Deer Lodge. It’s 2.3K to access the Great Divide from there, and it turned out to be a good choice.
How wonderful to feel cold snow under my skis again as I started out on Peyto. It must have snowed about 3-4 cm last night. I could feel the icy crust with every pole plant, but it did not cause any consternation. Much better than having your poles break through in wet snow as I was experiencing earlier this week.
The 2.3K is mostly downhill, from Deer Lodge to the Great Divide. My GPS indicated a drop of 80 metres over that distance. On the return, I took the upper Telemark trail from the GD until it met up with Peyto. Upper Telemark was skied down to the hardpack on the steep hills.
The GD was busy with lots of skiers and their kids, and we also had the pleasure of seeing the dogsleds racing by in their own track. There was also a pooper-scooper guy going along the dogsled track. The dogsled issue is no issue here. They have their own space which takes up a very small portion of the trail, and I enjoy seeing them go by. They also keep the trail reasonably clean. I hope Alberta Parks and the dogsled companies from Canmore take some cues from this, and mitigate the situation at Mt Shark which we’ve been reading about on this blog.
When I came upon Chloe and Charlotte, I couldn’t help but smile at these happy kids who were having so much fun. Their parents were further up the trail, so I imagine it gave them licence to act sillier than usual. Earlier on, I came across two girls who had dropped their water bottle and were trying to pick it up with their poles. It was futile, but fun to watch.
I skied as far as the border, or as it’s better known, the Great Divide. I talked to other skiers who continued on to the Lake O’Hara parking lot and they reported conditions to be excellent today.
On the way back, I ran into the Cookie Lady and her son who was laying on the trail relaxing. Kids do that some time. I think she was trying to cajole him into getting up by tempting him with her homemade chocolate cookies. I came along at the right time because she shared her cookies with me. Hope I meet her again because those cookies were delicious. Very tasty, and chewy, not crunchy, which is better in cold weather.
I also spoke with three ladies who had just finished skiing the lower Telemark trail and they reported good conditions.
The parking lot at the lake was choc-a-block full of parked vehicles, and other vehicles were circling.
I stopped at Moraine Lake road and took a picture. The conditions appeared to be similar to the GD.
This blog broke the record for unique views in one day with 5796 yesterday. Thanks for logging in! The record will be broken again today… we’re already up to 6511 and the day’s not over.
Hi Bob! My husband and I recently got into xc skiing and he always talks about your website. Last week we were separated on a trail in Kananaskis and he said he met you (actually he gushed about it). He just sent me a text and apparently I was talking to you on the Great Divide trail this past Sunday and didn’t even know it. I think we met up just as you got on the trail from the lodge, I moved out of your way but you said it wasn’t necessary. Anyhow, just wanted to quickly say hello, hope to see you out on the trails again this weekend and great work on the site, thanks for keeping us informed 🙂