I check the Banff Trail Report for grooming updates, but after that, I pretty much ignore the portion of the report where it gives the conditions. It can be very misleading as this email from blog reader Greg Burt illustrates:
“The Parks Canada site is showing Spray River West as in good shape, when in reality it is poor or at best fair. It is icy and littered with debris. It would be a shame for people going out there thinking it is in “good” shape when in reality it is not.”
I sent Greg’s email to Greg Danchuk, the Visitor Experience Manager, and received his reply with a request to give them feedback on the state of the trails. Send your emails to banff.VRC@pc.gc.ca
This is the entire reply I received from Greg Danchuk:
“The posted report was based on the most recent information received from visitors and staff. Unfortunate timing that no one had sent in an update but the report is only as good as input from users, volunteers and when possible staff who are out in field. I know no one from my own team has been out there in the past week plus. Regardless of that, very much appreciation the info, it is being updated right now. Would it be possible for you to also encourage readers to contribute direct to PC via the email banff.VRC@pc.gc.ca?”
Banff National Park made a huge improvement to Goat Creek and Spray River West with the new grooming configuration this winter. I hope we get some more snow because it is a such pleasure to ski those trails.
I could have titled this update “The Law of Unintended Consequences.” I am aware of anecdotal evidence from readers who have received the following advice from Banff Info Centres when asking for trail condition updates…
“Oh, for that information, you need to go to SkierBob.ca”
Good advice, I’d say. I would be disappointed, however, if Banff’s trail conditions were not being updated properly because they have SkierBob to depend on. This blog was intended as an “enhancement” to the trail reports from the provincial and national parks, not a replacement.
I agree. And it would be great if Parks Cda would participate in the ‘Live Grooming’ service!
I agree Bob that you should not be a replacement for the National Park trail reporting process. They should have done what you do long ago. However, to be fair they were slammed with cutbacks. On or before January 27th feel free to provide your ideas and feedback to Minister McKenna on anything National Park related.
Perhaps it would make more sense for Parks Canada to periodically review the reports on your website instead of asking your “reporters” to send off a duplicate email to Parks Canada!