This could be one of the best weekends of the winter for xc skiers. We have cold snow and an absence of tree debris. Most trails have sufficient snow coverage. Temperatures are just cold enough to make for easy waxing.
TSJ after tracksetting in K-Country yesterday: “Conditions around the Kananaskis Village are very good.” Then, to whet our appetite further, “Tomorrow it is Skogan Pass.”
Mt Shark was groomed and trackset last night.
A rare opportunity: Sandy McNabb has been trackset
PLPP: “The tracks on Fox Creek are the best I’ve ever seen.”
West Bragg Creek: “Everyone including XC skiers, snowshoers, fat-bikers, hikers, trail runners, dogs, and people of all ages from infants to seniors enjoying excellent conditions!”
“Great skiing at Canmore Nordic Centre”
PLPP: “It might have been 24K of the easiest, most pleasant skiing I’ve ever done.”
Cascade Valley: “Conditions were wonderful. The scenery along the first 6K is astounding right now.”
“Another great ski on Goat Creek again today. I could ski it over and over”
“What a beautiful day to be on skis! Perfect grooming and tracksetting in PLPP”
All of this without even mentioning Lake Louise, Yoho, or Emerald Lake where conditions are also excellent. Pipestone trails were trackset on Monday and reported to be excellent. Yoho Valley road has been trackset for the first time in years.
Good opportunities for beginner skiers
If you are a beginner or novice skier, there are some good conditions on easy trails right now. Tunnel Mountain Campground in Banff which I wrote about a few days ago is a beginner’s paradise. Wedge pond and Bill Milne were trackset two days ago. You have a practice grid at Canmore Nordic Centre and two of them at Pocaterra hut. The Rolly Road grid(from Pocaterra) also offers a 200-metre easy trail.
If you want to drive a little further, The Great Divide in Lake Louise is the ultimate in easy trails that offers more distance and great scenery. I wrote a blog post specifically about the Great Divide last year aimed at beginner skiers An excellent beginner’s trail. The initial 2.6K on Moraine Lake road is also beginner-friendly.
You can also read this Beginner’s guide to xc ski trails in Kananaskis
BEGINNER TRAILS IN BANFF
And don’t forget my favourite recommendation for an easy ski in the sun:
Lake Minnewanka to Upper Bankhead
Hey Bob, you can add some West Bragg Creek trails to your beginner ski trails list:
-Bunny Loop & Chickadee Loop
-Lower West Crystal-Crystal Link #2-Crystal Link #3
-Hostel Meadow Loop
-East Crystal Line & lower Sundog Loop
All of these trails are shown as green lines on the map signs at every trail junction.
I was hoping someone who is familiar with West Bragg would add to the list, thanks Alf.