-Wonderful conditions between Castle Junction and Johnston Canyon-
This is your chance to ski the Lake Louise to Banff Loppet trails while they’re in top-notch condition, especially from the lake(Lake Louise) to the end of the backswamp.
If you just want to hit the hi-lites, ski from Lake Louise to the end of Leg 3 at Johnston canyon(44K).
Most trails received 2-3 cm of snow last night which hid most pine needles, and mitigated the icy conditions around Castle Lookout which had received some rain on Friday.
I was thrilled to ski the 21K first leg to Baker creek on such pristine conditions. It almost seemed sacriligious to be going as fast as I could through the Campground and Bow River loop in Lake Louise, it was so incredibly beautiful this morning with the snow-laden trees, the icy river, and the sun not even up yet.
As I moved further along, past Coral creek, Morant’s curve, and on to Baker creek, the sunrise was spectacular over the distant mountains.
It looks like we’ll have enough cool weather to preserve the excellent snow conditions for a couple more days, so don’t delay.
The only inconvenience is 800 metres with no track from Morant’s curve, up the hill, to where the tracksetting resumes. It would be best to walk this section, although most of us were skiing it today in the fresh snow on the road.
Keep an eye out for the Lynx which Risto spotted on the ski trail today on Leg 3 around Castle Junction. He said he stood and observed it for 30 seconds while it stayed put on the trail. After the Lynx finally moved along, Lu managed to get a photo as she was driving along the Parkway.
You may recognize Risto’s name as one of the regular Trip Reporters on this blog. I was at the finish line when Risto completed the entire 72K as a solo skier. Congratulations on an amazing accomplishment, and congrats to all the skiers and a big thank you to the volunteers.
The overall winner of the loppet was solo skier Dan Roycroft with a time of 4 hours and 59 minutes. Unbelievable as it may sound, in second place was a team who were only one second behind. After 72 kilometres, and almost five hours of skiing, he won it by one second! I was told it was an all-out sprint to the finish between Roycroft and a member of the women’s team “Haggis, Herring, and Kapusta.”
While they were sprinting to the finish line, I was skiing Leg 5 through the Backswamp. I’ve been through some pretty nasty conditions in the Backswamp in previous years, but today it was as pleasant as it gets in the ‘Swamp.
My team consisting of Barbara M, Barbara B, Peter and myself finished in a time of five hours and fifty-one minutes.
The full results have been posted online.
We couldn’t have asked for better conditions or weather, at least for the first five legs. Air and snow temperature were -5°C at the start, and I used VR45(-2/-8) for the first leg, and it worked well. The fresh snow slowed the pace down a bit, but I think it was better to have the clean, cold snow with no icy patches or pine needles. Leg 6 was reported to be less than ideal with some icy patches.
Here’s a story in the Rocky Mountain Outlook Roycroft Victorious