Yoho Valley road – trackset today

by Bob Truman on January 6, 2016

in Dog-friendly, Yoho

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The last time I skied Yoho Valley road was in 2005, so I’ve never written an update about it until now. It was nice to re-familiarize myself with this beautiful trail, and I was happy to meet tracksetter Joe for the first time.

Here comes Joe with the tracksetter on the other side

Here comes Joe with the tracksetter on the other side

After two weeks of heavy multi-use, the trail was pretty chopped up so Joe smoothed it out and laid down two new tracks. Air temperature was -3°C at 2:45 pm and the snow was -5, so I had to dust off the VR45(-2/-8) for waxing, and it worked perfectly.

Yoho Valley road is now double trackset

Yoho Valley road is now double trackset

With tracks less than 10 minutes old, I skied mostly in the centre of the trail where it was much firmer. This trail reminds me a bit of Moraine Lake road, except with dazzling scenery and something new and eye-catching around every curve in the road.

Yoho Valley road

Yoho Valley road

It’s 5K to the end of the tracksetting with a net elevation gain of 95 metres. You could continue beyond the tracksetting on snowmobile packing and skier-set tracks, up the switchbacks and further on to Takkakaw Falls. This trail is often referred to as the “Takkakaw Falls road.” If you go beyond the tracksetting, be aware there’s avalanche risk.

Yoho Valley road

Yoho Valley road

The trailhead is about 2K this side of Field and the area at the trailhead is known as the Monarch campground. A couple hundred metres down the trail you’ll pass by the Cathedral Mountain Chalets(closed during the winter).

Sign at the Yoho Valley road trailhead

Sign at the Yoho Valley road trailhead

There’s even a packed trail which runs from the Monarch campground to Field. The Kicking Horse Ski Club reported its condition as follows on Dec 23 after Joe packed it: “Last week he packed the Monarch trail which leads from Yoho Trading Post in Field to the Tak. Falls road. Bruce and Boomer followed along to do the pruning of so many twigs that have overgrown in the last 3 years. We now have a “ROUGH” TRAIL(NOT tracked yet) which is DOG FRIENDLY from town –all the way to just before the switchbacks on the Tak. Falls road.”

Thanks, tracksetter Joe!

Thanks, tracksetter Joe!

Grooming in Yoho and Emerald Lake is done by the Kicking Horse Ski Club with the help of volunteers. If you enjoy skiing there, consider making a donation to the club. If you want to stay at Emerald Lake Lodge (Sun – Thurs) for the low price of $119 per night, buy a membership in the KHSC for $40.

The weather forecast is predicting a couple cm of snow tonight for just about everywhere in the mountains.

Skijoring Races

I just received this email from Shawn:

“I thought there may be skiers that use your website who could be interested in a ski-joring race in Didsbury next weekend.
Part of a sled dog racing weekend – ski-joring races are 2 mile with one dog and 4 mile with 2. Looks like a lot of fun!” Didsbury dogsled derby

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 William Mills January 19, 2016 at 2:05 pm

Great to find a snow conditions report for this magnificent route. Last Feb it was very icy with little snow. Global warming is making skiing Yoho a tricky proposition below 2,000 meters. Sounds better this year–long way from Virginia but who knows?

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2 Tanya January 7, 2016 at 8:31 pm

Sweet. Thanks. I need to spend more time in Yoho. I haven’t skied there much.

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3 Bryon Howard January 7, 2016 at 10:57 am

Great report. My wife and I skiied it on Winter Soltice, Dec 21, 2015. Beautiful! Thanks for the tip about Emerald Lake Lodge and getting a xc ski membership to Kicking Horse Club. #BucketList

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