Prepping for the weekend

-The snow is accumulating at the Canmore Nordic Centre-

I didn’t ski today, but I was hoping for a report like this one from Jeremy regarding Moraine Lake road:

“By 1:30ish groomers had begun rollering the uphill side of the road, presumably prepping for tracking. They had also skidoo packed Tramline above and below MLR.”

You may have to walk a long way to access the trailhead at Moraine Lake road this weekend

You may have to walk a long way to access the trailhead at Moraine Lake road this weekend

I know there will be hordes of xc skiers descending upon Lake Louise this weekend, whether or not MLR is trackset. With Tramline groomed, skiers will be able to park at the Chateau and ski down to MLR if they don’t want to fight the traffic at MLR parking lot.

Moraine Lake road parking lot(click for larger image)

Moraine Lake road parking lot(click for larger image)

When the parking lot is full, and vehicles spill out onto Lake Louise drive, it’s not unusual to have to walk 500 metres in gravel-laden snow to access the trailhead.

The MLR parking lot has been plowed and I was pondering whether it would accommodate a row of vehicles nose-in on each side. Maybe the first skiers there on Saturday could set the example and see if it works. Better yet, do a test-run tomorrow(Friday) as I’m sure it will be busy. Normally, there’s a row of vehicles parked nose-in, and another row parallel parked. The parallel-parkers don’t have an easy time of it when leaving.

You can take some pressure off MLR by going to the Great Divide, but from the sounds of things, it’s “bearly” skiable. Chuck saw the tracks yesterday, and Anna actually saw the bear today.

Aiden Miller was using multigrade violet with good results on Frozen Thunder today

Aidan Miller was using multigrade violet grip wax with good results on Frozen Thunder today

The daily high temperatures at Lake Louise are predicted to remain below zero, so conditions should remain good.

Canmore Nordic Centre

Snow guns are going full bore at the Canmore Nordic Centre

Snow guns are going full bore at the Canmore Nordic Centre

I was astounded by how much snow had accumulated since last night. Canmore Nordic Centre officially opens on Saturday which means your season pass will allow you to ski on Frozen Thunder. I don’t know what the plans are for CNC, but I’m guessing it will be similar to the 2014 opening with an extended Frozen Thunder.

Today, the snow on Frozen Thunder was cold and classic skiers were using hard wax(mutigrade violet) with no klister base.



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  1. Wow yeah the Nordic Centre is still a great deal. We are also very lucky that we have so many great free options so if you don’t want to pay the Nordic Centre fees then you don’t have to!

  2. As reported by Jeremy, no track setting yet on MLR. Poles are still hitting pavement on some stretches, so there may not be sufficient snow depth for effective track setting. Rollering is good for skating, though. -9 at 10 am, so VR 40/45 mix worked well. Felt warmer at the top, no wind, beautiful day.

  3. Getting excited to ski at the many venues out there.

    Sadly gone are the days of a family ski at CNC for under $30. I wish there was a more cost effective family option because, frankly, $50 for an outing is too much especially when the kids are done after 60-90mins.

    • The family season pass has been and continues to be a great value.

      • I’d have to agree, especially with no Canada Olympic Park pass to buy this year. Assuming that you do the four days of Alberta Cup racing, you only need to go twice more.

        • For families that find it easy to get to CNC and know they’ll be going 10+ times then yes that $300 family pass makes sense. Unfortunately the “break even” point is 6 outings for us (6 x $50). With the other available XC ski locations it just doesn’t make sense for many families. COP’s pricing made even less sense IMO. No wonder so many people scam the system at both CNC and COP.

          I’ll be lucky to get my kids/wife out 10x this year (including Calgary golf course outings, West Bragg, PLPP, Banff, and if we’re lucky Louise area). Really looking forward to the fun family times and getting them hooked on this sport now that they’ll competent enough to tackle a 10km outing this year.

    • A day of skiing at Sovereign Lakes in Vernon, BC for two adults and two kids is $76. A season pass is $515.

      • You skiers in the foothills are very fortunate indeed. The awesomeness of the Rockies and at a bargoon price!

        • So whilst our Alberta pricing may be a “bargain” compared to other areas, there are many families out there that don’t experience XC skiing sadly. Sure it’s cheaper here, and cheaper than DH, but by the time you add in costs of gas, vehicle maintenance, ski tix, equipment purchase or rental, and inevitable food costs it’s often easier, cheaper, and a lower time commitment to just put the kids in front of a screen, go to the mall, go to the gym, or grab some junk food. These are all arguments I’ve personally faced when encouraging (pushing?) friends and family to XC ski, either for their single annual outing, or for several outings within 1 season.

          For those who ski frequently and/or are passionate about the sport it’s easy to justify the expense and efforts. Trust me, I get that (says me, who has 3prs of skis plus 4 bikes at home). Often times I have been “that guy” who has been first-car in the WBC or K-country parking lot just so I can ensure I’ve had my 2-3 hour ski and am back home to spend the day with non-skiing family/friends.

          This is also another reason why it’s so very important to have local access to XC ski facilities both within our city and nearby.

          Reducing accessibility barriers to entice newbies to any capital-intensive activity is always tough to balance against competing entertainment and versus quality/value of services.

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