Meltdown #3: Get out the waxless skis

Tweet from Kananaskis Public Safety at 4:30 pm

Tweet from Kananaskis Public Safety at 4:30 pm

With reference to the above Tweet, there are very few xc trails with an elevation above 2000 metres. Kananaskis Fire Lookout is about the only one. Tyrwhitt is around 1900 – 1980. The forecast is calling for a low of -2 in PLPP, so there might be a lot of fresh, wet snow on the trails tomorrow(Sat).

Thanks to all skiers who braved the road conditions for today’s trip reports. It sounded like mayhem on the highways this morning from the things I was reading on Twitter.

Mid-afternoon temperatures at the Canmore Nordic Centre

Mid-afternoon temperatures at the Canmore Nordic Centre

I haven’t skied much in the past seven days on account of my old beater finally dyeing. My car saw its last trailhead a week ago when I skied at PLPP. I’ve borrowed Cheryl’s car twice and those were the only two updates I’ve written in the past week.

Judging from the trail reports today, I haven’t missed much. It rained most of the day in Canmore and reached a high of +10°C. Tomorrow will be another warm day with a forecast high of +5 in PLPP from the Weather Network, but the Snow Forecast is more optimistic, calling for only +1.  The weather Network predicts +7 in Canmore, and a little better in Lake Louise at 0. It starts to cool down on Sunday.

Chateau tracksetter Jeff Douglas

Chateau tracksetter Jeff Douglas

This report from Chateau tracksetter Jeff Douglas illustrates some of the conditions at Lake Louise today:

“Lots of wet heavy snow followed by rain fall made progress very slow today, but we were able to set ourselves up for success tomorrow and will be able to trackset all afternoon.

Fairview Loop (#2): Double trackset, Feb. 5. Fair condition with new snow.

Upper Tramline (#3): Double trackset, Fair condition with new snow.

Shoreline (#4): Leveled, Feb. 6. Will trackset tomorrow, Feb. 7.

Lake Trail (#4): Leveled both the walking trail and xc ski trail, but with the warm weather and rain (!) there is slush through both trails. It’s not very deep and fairly intermittent on the walking path so please use the walking path only, the ski trail has long stretch’s of slush up to 10cm deep. With the forecast calling for more warm weather it’s most likely only going to get worse before it gets better.

Upper Telemark and Peyto Trails (#5&7): Leveled, Feb. 6. Will trackset tomorrow, Feb. 7.

Teaching Grid: Leveled, Feb. 6. Will trackset tomorrow, Feb. 7.”

While skiing on Pocaterra last Sunday, I encountered a hazard in the track. See what happened next…


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  1. re. “I haven’t skied much in the past seven days on account of my old beater finally dyeing”

    What about crowd sourcing?

    After all, look at how many local skiers rely on this blog, and all of the timely trip reports which tell everyone where find the best skiing, or where and when NOT to go. The worse the ski conditions, the more people rely on this blog.
    This has become an important local resource.

    So what could be offered in a crowd sourcing deal? Perhaps to have your photo taken with the man himself, or perhaps a personally guided tour of his favourite ski haunt? How about an “I met Skier Bob” toque?

    You’d only need to come up with a fraction of that which Detroit worker James Robinson raised by the telling of the story of his walking to work -)

      • I’m not sure I want to drive a tank so do you think we we could make it a BMW? I like cars with manual transmissions, and it has to be big enough to fit my long skis. BMW is the only one I can think of. Pretty good photoshop, you’ve must have been hangin’ around Chuck.

        That’s an uplifting story about the “Detroit walking man.” I can identify with him. He is quoted as saying “I went to the casino on Saturday, and people wanted to get their pictures taken with me.” Well, that’s happening to me all the time on the ski trails now. Will I become the “Alberta skiing man” if we do this? 🙂

  2. 11:50pm, Friday night. Still raining in Banff!

  3. Skied West Bragg Creek on a partially sunny Friday Afternoon. Minus 13 when I left Calgary, +9 @ WBC at 1:00PM. Despite soft wet snow, many icy patches and ice floes; rocks and dirt clumps; bare patches; pine needles and tree debris and a howling Chinook wind; managed to ski Sundog, Elbow, Iron Springs. and East and West Crystal Line. Surprisingly there is still snow coverage on the above trails except for about a half a kilometer along Iron Springs which I hiked. Attribute this to a good ,hard base as the snow on the ditches, banks and tree wells next to the trails is rapidly disappearing. Used Swix red extra which mixed with tree debris gave me surprisingly good grip. Good thing I used my rock skiis, should have used my hiking boots and Microspikes.

    When I sum up this ski season. I think I’ll use this comment! -Bob

  4. Bob, the video seems to have been blocked for copyright reasons??

    I’ve edited it and it’s back on. -Bob

  5. A very strange day for weather. It has been -12 or so all day in Calgary. I drove to Bragg Creek around 10am. West of Calgary fresh snow covered everything – the trees were absolutely beautiful and I was imagining that I would be skiing in a winter wonderland. Unfortunately the snow disappeared before I reached Bragg Creek and at West Bragg Creek the temp was around +5 and the wind was very(!) strong. Branches and needles blanketed the trail and the glide was terrible (I was skate skiing). 30 minutes of skiing was enough.

  6. At 530pm Fri eve it was lightly raining at Kananaskis Lodge by Nakiska. There were puddles everywhere and I saw a fair bit of bare pavement in the trail alongside the road. Boooo. Hiss. So much for our big xc ski weekend out here!! Might hit zero overnight. Glad I brought my waxless. And swimsuit for the hottub. Sigh…

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