Joe posed this question on the blog yesterday but didn’t get any answers:
I am new to skate skiing and had a question about trail use. Based on trail descirptions, some trails are said to have skate lane, and others are designated as classic. But when I look at photos I see groomed lanes as wide or wider than on others that are designated skate trails. For example, somebody from work says that there are skate skiing options on some of the trails at Peter Lougheed, but I haven’t read that in trail descriptions. Moose Connector is said to have skate lane on trail descriptions, but I find it barely wide enough to skate. Am I missing something here? Is it taboo to skate on these trails? Are there some unwritten rules that skiers understand when it comes to skate skiing?
See the List of Skate skiing trails
There are no designated skate skiing trails in Peter Lougheed. Pretty well every trail at the Canmore Nordic Centre is a skate trail. In Kananaskis, the best skating options are Mt Shark and the Bill Milne trail.
We’ve had many discussions about skate skiing on this blog. Here’s a comment from Georgina that might explain some of the issues:
After experiencing skate skiers two days in a row skating over freshly classic groomed trails at PLPP, I have to add another piece of information to the debate. Ron Robinson, you may want to take note.
The comment about wider trails is mute. PLPP is a Provincial Park and deforesting many hectares by widening 75+ kms of trails will never be allowed by the park. There are two perfectly acceptable areas to skate ski within 40 minutes of PLPP – Mount Shark and Canmore Nordic Centre.
Yes, the PLPP trails are paid for by all tax payers. This does not give skater the right to ski there. Only in cold frozen conditions do skate skiers cause little damage to the trails. Most skate skiers knows that it is better suited to warmer conditions when glide is at it’s best, and waxing is at it’s most challenging. When the temps are warmer,as they were this weekend, one skate skier can create alot of damage to a trail. Chunks of warm snow are knocked into the track on every stride that crosses the track. These chunks set up and make classic strides difficult. I often hear the argument that stepping in and out of the track creates as much damage. A classic skier is stepping in and out of the track very infrequently as compared to every stride of a skate skier. The cumulative damage is far greater by the skate skier. My comment to anyone that skate skis on the PLPP trails is to think about other skiers, not just themselves. It is plain and simply inconsiderate.