Drop-dead gorgeous

 

The blushing bride was radiant and beautiful, but I’m referring to the trail conditions.

Chateau tracksetter Jeff Douglas(left) also instructs new skiers

Chateau tracksetter Jeff Douglas(left) also instructs new skiers

All of the trails around the Chateau Lake Louise had been trackset since receiving 5 cm of snow a couple days ago, and conditions couldn’t have been better.

I skied all of the trails which are usually covered in Chateau tracksetter Jeff Douglas’ frequent updates: Peyto, Upper Telemark, Lake trail, Shoreline, Fairview, and Upper Tramline. I skied across Moraine Lake road on my way down Tramline and took a photo. It looked immaculate with recent grooming.

Peyto trail

Peyto trail

At 1:30 pm it was -6°C as I started at the Peyto trailhead behind Deer Lodge. After my last trip which was on my wide, heavy, metal-edged skis, I felt like I was flying. I circled around the back of the Chateau, descending very quickly to the lake on Telemark. The snow and tracks on the lake were as good as I’ve ever seen them.

Lake trail

Lake trail

At the end of the lake, I climbed the short, steep trail which is right under the icefall, and proceeded back to the Chateau on the Shoreline trail which looked like it had just been trackset this morning. The snow was sparkling clean with absolutely no footprints. It’s good to see all the instructional signs indicating where people are supposed to walk.

Ice fall near the end of the lake

Ice fall near the end of the lake

The bride and groom were on the Shoreline trail as I approached the Chateau, and was pleased to be invited to join them in their celebratory photos. Congratulations, and all the best, John and Kerry.

Fairview

Fairview

Next stop was the ice bar where people were imbibing mostly in hot chocolate I think. The ice carvers were in the preliminary stages of their Ice Magic exhibition and were handling some pretty big blocks of ice.

I skied across the lake and coming upon the teaching grid, there was the man himself, Jeff Douglas, now on skis, instructing a couple trainees. Jeff has done a wonderful job with the grooming on Fairview which I skied to the high point and back.

Tramline was terrific all the way down to the train station. I couldn’t have asked for better conditions or a better day.

Over the past two days, the Ribbon creek, Kananaskis village, and Skogan pass trails have been trackset.

For any backcountry skiers, K-Country’s Avalanche Awareness day is this Sunday, Jan 17.

 

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