-Helen Read and Bill McKeever were almost back when I met them-
The Banff trail report this morning indicated that Redearth Creek was trackset yesterday.
I revamped my wardrobe and backpack for cold weather and headed out. Toe warmers were a requirement. I had a wonderful ski all the way to the Warden’s cabin and back.
I’d rate it overall “good” except for the first 800 metres which still has a few exposed rocks. Snow temp -14°C, air temp -17 at start, -19 at finish at 5:23 pm. Yes, I skied the last bit in the dark. I spent way too much time on the way up doing trail repairs. Before the trail repairs, it was only “fair.” I felt a lot more secure and confident returning on the fast downhills knowing the exposed rocks were covered or removed(except, of course, the downhill near the end). While not perfect, the trail is immeasurably better than it was 10 days ago when I posted Picking Rocks on Redearth Creek.
There are also a few tree canopies where the snow can’t get through to where it’s needed so I pushed a lot of snow from the side of the trail. I also covered a couple small ice flows on the final kilometre. You can still encounter the odd bit of grass poking through the tracksetting.
The trail is single trackset on one side and packed on the other. I tried to snowplow over the ridge in any precarious spot where there’s a fast downhill and flatten it out.
Beyond the campground at 7K, the trail narrows. When the snowmobile was making the return trip and grooming the trail, it pushed a lot of snow into the tracksetting. In some places the left track completely disappears.
I just noticed on the Canmore Nordic Centre’s Live Grooming Report that more distance has opened up on Banff Trail and on Frozen Thunder. This cold weather should be conducive to making tons of snow.
Nipika Mountain Resort has done an initial packing of the trails. It seems to be a few degrees warmer in the Kootenays with a predicted high of -14°C on Wednesday. Canmore’s forecast high is -20.