Avalanche on Redearth Creek

Redearth Creek avalanche has covered the ski trail.

Redearth Creek avalanche has covered the ski trail.

No sooner were Hugh and Pete commenting about avalanche danger on Lake O’Hara fire road, and I received a photo and a report re Redearth Creek. It’s very unusual to experience an avalanche on a groomed xc ski trail, but Redearth Creek is one trail where they do occur, albeit infrequently. It’s the first one I’ve heard about in my many years of skiing there. I received the photo and this email from Caitlin Goodfellow:

Hi Bob,

Tried skiing up to Shadow Lake Lodge this morning on Red Earth creek trail. Left the parking lot at 9:45. First 30mins were great. Not track set but still fantastic. By 10:30, hit first avalanche run off. Ended right on the trail and skiable thru it. By 10:45, about 5km in, hit another massive avalanche shoot. See picture. This one was recent as of maybe an hour old. We were freaked out. No way around it. It took out the road and we could not see how wide it was, certainly massive. The picture does not do it justice. Advised Parks Canada and Shadow Lake Lodge. Thought would let you know. Definitely not advisable to ski it. We were headed in for 1pm tea/snacks but after calling them, they were closed anyway!!!

The first slide path on Redearth Creek. Photo posted on Backcountry YYC by Scott Parker

The first slide path on Redearth Creek. Photo posted on Backcountry YYC by Scott Parker

Avalanche danger is extremely high.

Banff  Yoho Kootenay Avalanche Bulletin

Kananaskis Avalanche Bulletin

The weather forecast wouldn’t look too bad if it wasn’t for the rain on Saturday.

St Patrick's Day


I’d like to wish a happy St. Patrick’s day to our own skiing leprechaun, Chuck O’Callahan. The trips he undertakes seem daunting, and the destinations are unreachable for most of us, but we sure enjoy reading about them. Leprechauns obviously possess special powers and abilities which we mere mortals can’t hope to ever have.

Ribbon Creek and the Kananaskis Village trails were groomed today. Be sure to read the remarks on the Live Grooming Report.

The Pipestone trails were groomed today. It’s usually a little cooler in Lake Louise so that might be a good choice for waxable skis.

Emerald Lake avalanche danger


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  1. “If you are lucky enough to be Irish, you are lucky enough”,
    but don’t be fooled by Bob’s Photoshop skills!

  2. Red Earth Creek RARELY sees avalanche conditions on the trail! Sunday, March 12th we cross country skied into Shadow Lake Lodge with perfect ski conditions. That was the last day the lodge was open, and enjoyed an amazing spread of savoury and sweet food with our tea before a lovely cruise back down Red Earth Creek trail. The owners were working hard to keep up with the fresh snow by grooming the trail and making sure all the area around the lodge and cabins were safe. The ski conditions are always unpredictable at this time of year, and is why they close the lodge early in March. I highly recommend hiking into the lodge once the summer season begins, and for sure a day or weekend trip next winter on skis or snowshoes! I am happy to share pictures and more stories of our amazing ski day if you are interested. Best, Sabrina

  3. I love Chucks new look! Hopefully that hasn’t made him cry in his green beer!

    Green beer! So that’s the secret which enables one to ski 50K daily! Leprechauns are almost impossible to capture on camera, so this was a rare sighting. -Bob

  4. When I went back the photo loaded. Maybe it takes longer. Quite the photo.

  5. Hi Bob. I could see the photo when you first posted it but I can’t see it now.

    • I’ve shrunk it a bit and reloaded it. I hope everyone can see it now. Let me know if you encounter problems like this. I’ve been having some problems with the site. Changes are coming.

  6. it’s the middle of March and we are still x country skiing,Awesome!!!!

  7. Lest any of my skiing co-workers think that I was skipping out on work today, it was actually my husband Vince that sent in this report from my email. Stay safe out there everyone!

  8. Picture is not viewable, would love to see the avalanche depris.

    That’s odd. Is anyone else having trouble seeing the photo? -Bob

    • Same thing. Just a big white box (must be a huge avalanche).

    • shrinking the photo worked , thanks Bob. Speaking of avalanche danger etc.., I have not seen any avalanche control on the EEOR is the road up to Goat Creek trailhead safe?

      • Kananaskis public safety bombed it just over a week ago, cleaned out a lot of the weak snow. I’m sure it’s loaded up again with recent winds and snow, but maybe not enough to warrant bombing again, yet. That might change with this next storm which is expected to come with major winds. Wouldn’t be surprised if the road gets closed Sunday or Monday for some bombing. Always the alternate route of course to avoid risk, but other run out zones along the smith dorrien Rd. Closure might include larger sections of road should it happen.

  9. Doug this should help make your decision a simple one! Stay home!

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