Heaven for XC skiers

by Bob Truman on March 7, 2017

in Kananaskis, Kananaskis Village Area

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Fallsalot mentioned playing hooky and “skiing orgy.” Tomorrow would be a perfect day to do it. I wish I had thought of “skiing orgy” because that would have described this wonderful day.

Ribbon Creek parking lot

Ribbon Creek parking lot

It’s a nice problem to have, agonizing every day on where to go skiing now that there are so many places to ski with great conditions. I tore myself away from Goat Creek to spend one of the most delightful afternoons of skiing ever in Kananaskis Country.

Climbing up Terrace trail

Climbing up Terrace trail

The Swix thermometer at the Ribbon Creek trailhead was registering -4°C at 2 pm, and the snow temperature was -6. I waxed with VR45 and had excellent grip as I started out by climbing up Terrace trail. I could have started at the village but I wanted to end the ski by coming DOWN Terrace on these beautiful conditions.

The view from Kovach lookout

The view from Kovach lookout

At the top, I took Lower Kovach which has about 6 cm of new snow over the recent tracksetting but the tracks are still great. More climbing up to the Kovach lookout. The picnic table has been cleared of snow and is getting pretty low to the ground.

Kevin and Dominique from Regina at the Terrace trailhead

Kevin and Dauminique from Regina at the Terrace trailhead

The descent from Kovach lookout to the village is incredible when conditions are like this. All those S-turns make it interesting and fun.

I ran into Kevin and Dominique from Regina at the Terrace trailhead. They picked the right time to come for a ski holiday and were thrilled with the skiing around here.

Terrace trail has fresh grooming and the run back down to Ribbon Creek parking lot was absolutely amazing. Maybe the best ever.

I wasn’t finished…

Part 2: Evan-Thomas, Bill Milne, Wedge Connector

Wedge Connector

Wedge Connector

I drove over to the Evan-Thomas parking lot and did the 7K loop which includes Wedge Connector and part of the Bill Milne trail. All fantastic.

Nobody had walked in the tracks on Evan-Thomas

Nobody had walked in the tracks on Evan-Thomas

I was expecting carnage on Evan-Thomas but not one person had walked in the tracks! There was lots of foot traffic on the corduroy which was inconsequential. A couple ice climbers were returning to the parking lot, one of them with a bloody face(see photo in gallery below). I decided ice climbing wasn’t for me.

Bill Milne trail

Bill Milne trail

I could tell by the way my wax was behaving that the the snow was a lot colder on these trails. Mind you, it was starting to cool down in the late afternoon. When I completed the loop, I couldn’t quit, so I went as far as the golf course on Bill Milne.

Terrace trail

Terrace trail

Still unable to call it a day, when I got back to Evan-Thomas parking lot, I decided to go back to the end of the Evan-Thomas trail so I could turn around and enjoy the downhill back to the parking lot.

The air temperature at 5:30 pm was -8.

Speaking of heaven, I remember singing a song at Sunday School called “Count Your Blessings.” Let’s count our blessings, one by one:

  1. Lots of snow. No rocks or dirt to contend with.
  2. Cold snow makes the waxing easy. Apply wax at the trailhead and never give it another thought.
  3. Pleasant temperatures for skiing. No cold toes.
  4. None of those horrible snow fleas to turn the tracks black.
  5. It hasn’t rained
  6. No meltdown is imminent
  7. (Feel free to add more to this list)

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Chris & Karl March 8, 2017 at 3:47 pm

Skied perfect conditions today up Ribbon creek then Link trail then down Kovach and back to the parking lot on Terrace Link trail. Our skis work so well when the snow is perfect!

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2 Kate March 8, 2017 at 8:28 am

8) The dedication of Jeff and all the tracksetters.

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