A new tactic

by Bob Truman on December 4, 2017

in XC

Did you read Hugh’s incredible story on Ask A Question, Leave a Comment?

Un – freakin’ – believable! Maybe on a single track narrow trail such as Pipestone, but on the Great Divide? 

My story won’t top Hugh’s, but it could stop a few walkers from trashing the trails. 

Click for larger image

I skied Fairview(which was fabulous), Lakeshore(which Chuck has already reported on), and Tramline(wonderful). I’ll post more details and photos on a second update.

I was returning back to the trailhead on Fairview this afternoon when I saw two walkers coming towards me. There is a sign at the trailhead, and a second one a few metres further up, saying “No Walking.” These folks spoke perfect English. 

I stopped and asked them where they were going. (Ten years ago, I would have approached it much differently, but I’ve mellowed). 

I found the trail to Fairview Lookout and I wasn’t even looking for it

They answered, “Fairview Lookout.” While talking to me, they stepped on and mashed up the tracksetting. I politely pointed out to them that the tracks were for skiers.

I said, “You’re on the wrong trail.” 

I looked at my GPS and said, “it’s only 700 metres back to the trailhead.”

To be honest, I had never heard of the Fairview Lookout, and I didn’t know where it was. I looked it up later and indeed, they were on the wrong trail. 

This was in reference to the fat bikers incident on Blueberry Hill

I didn’t want to spoil their day by telling them they weren’t supposed to be on the trail, or by suggesting that they pay closer attention to the signs. I know, I’ve become too much of a wimp. 

The moral of the story: When you meet people walking on a trail where it’s forbidden, ask them where they are going and simply tell them they’re on the wrong trail. If you don’t mind being confrontational, you could be like me ten years ago and say, “you’re not allowed to walk on this trail, now get the hell off.”

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jonathan December 6, 2017 at 1:15 pm

I’m just wondering about the status of the trail. I can’t find anything on line saying that hiking is prohibited on this or, or any other trail in the area. The trail map does state that walkers should avoid treading on the track set, which it doesn’t look like they were following.

I also wonder about those signs, they look pretty unofficial to me, especially since they are not bi-lingual and not in Parks usual color scheme. It’s probably better if, as skiers, we don’t start trying to enforce rules that don’t exist.

Reply

2 Jonathan December 6, 2017 at 1:24 pm

On closer inspection of he photo it does look like they were avoiding the track set, so they probably weren’t doing anything wrong.

Reply

3 TSellers December 6, 2017 at 1:57 pm

Jonathan, you are correct. For a restriction to be legal within the Park, an RAO (Restricted Activity Order), must be signed off by the superintendent. It is posted at the trailheads with bilingual wording, and a map of the affected area. It is also posted on the internet here:
https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ab/banff/visit/installations-facilities/fermetures-closures
What we find on this page is the following:
Lake Louise Cross Country Ski Trails November 1 to April 30 Cross-country skiing Dogs are not allowed on certain track set ski trails.

It would appear there is no legal basis to stop pedestrian traffic on any of the trails, track set or not, unless it is in a closed area.

The telling of porkies indeed seems to continue to be the best deterrent to post-holes on the trail.

Reply

4 Henry L December 6, 2017 at 2:13 pm

Eons ago, when doing astronomical observing on Mt. Kobau near Osoyoos, I noticed that the fence surrounding the large transmission tower had an ingenious warning sign painted in bright red:

DANGER: One Million Ohms

Reply

5 eric r December 5, 2017 at 8:22 pm

there was dozens of foot prints on this trail when I skied out at 9 pm .looks like most of them came from the junction of a walking trail (no “keep off ” sign).
lost walkers that refuse to respect a xc ski track-set trail.
this was a hour after I passed the four young snow shoeing adults mashing up the skier set tracks going to moraine lake.

Reply

6 eric r December 5, 2017 at 8:28 pm

passing the adults at a good clip ,on the steep turns before crossing paradise creek. I had to yell out at them to “respect the ski trails a.. h….s”

Reply

7 TSellers December 4, 2017 at 11:44 pm

I usually tell them I ran into an aggressive predator 300 meters further up the trail and had to turn back. I’m only telling them because I don’t want them to get supraglottic stenosis from the pepper spray I had to deploy. Same tactic for dogs off leash.

Reply

8 Doug Wiens December 5, 2017 at 3:47 pm

Along the same lines I like to tell people who play radios etc. on the trail that these devices are not allowed in the park, since they attract cougars.

Reply

9 JeremyN December 5, 2017 at 10:10 pm

I’m adding that gem to the playbook! Thanks Doug, and p.s., this golden bear hopes to ski some more north this winter).

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: