Dog-lover’s delight

by Bob Truman on January 20, 2016

in Banff, Dog-friendly

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I’ve never skied in such pristine, clean snow on Healy creek. Usually, there’s more than a few pine needles and spruce cones. The 3 cm of new snow today really freshened up the trail and we even had reasonably good tracks for 90% of the distance. A thoroughly enjoyable time for skiers and dogs!

Jazz and Pat on Healy creek

Jazz and Pat on Healy creek

We left Canmore while the snow was still coming down, but the sun was shining and the snow had finished upon arrival at the Healy creek trailhead at 3 pm. Air temperature was -3°C. Still using VR42 – the mixture of VR40 and VR45, and it worked perfectly.

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Healy creek

At the Brewster creek junction we met three skiers who had just come down Brewster creek and they reported about 3 cm of new snow on the trail all the way to Sundance Lodge. I skied up Brewster creek for 700 metres to see if there were any tracks remaining, and there are none for the first bit, but a reasonably good track appears 600 metres along. It will be a crying shame if they don’t trackset it with all this new snow.

These 3 skiers had just come down Brewster creek

These 3 skiers had just come down Brewster creek

I know the Healy creek trail will be groomed and trackset for sure before Sunday. It’s the final leg of this Sunday’s Lake Louise to Banff loppet. This new snow came just in time to create pretty good conditions.

Healy creek

Healy creek

This is the first time I’ve skied the entire length of Healy creek since the new bridge was installed and the trail was reconfigured. The trail is now 600 metres longer than before, and it’s 5.4K from end to end. The increased distance comes at the beginning of the trail as it meanders around to the new bridge.

Click for larger image

Click for larger image

There’s negligible elevation change between the two ends of Healy creek, but my GPS indicated I did 90 metres of total ascent with all the ups and downs.

I skied out a few metres onto Sundance Canyon and took a photo. The classic tracks are still there, but the skating lane has been appropriated by snowshoers.

Whether or not you are a backcountry skier, it’s worth looking at Alf Skrastins’ amazing photos of his trip to Taylor Lake.  Check the Trip Reports – Backcountry.

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