Getting an early start. Skiing in October

Update 3:40 pm: Alf Skrastins reports 58 cm of snow at West Bragg Creek. Alf has submitted a detailed report on the Trip Reports page, but you have to see his 38 phenomenal photos. 

West Bragg Creek. Photo by Alf Skrastins. (Click for larger image)

Update 1:42 pm: This photo was sent to me by a Pisten-Bully operator with the following note….“Pisten Bully seen wandering out of its lair today. Winter must be coming soon.”

Where could this be happening?

Chuck on Spray River West in Banff: “Last year it was November 7 when I first skied Spray West. This year, with 20 cms of fresh snow, we had to get out and enjoy  it.”

With yesterday’s snowfall, skiers were getting an early start on the season. Thanks to Chuck for the above photo, and Dasha Gaiazova-Atkins from Space Dogs ski club for the photos below. Scroll to the bottom to see a photo from the Canmore Nordic Centre.

This morning(Oct 3), Dasha sent this email along with her photos:

Dasha, Peter and baby Kristina(in backpack)

“As of this morning, everything here in Calgary is very skiable – especially the local parks – lots of snow on the ground, and no rocks!

My husband Peter, myself and our 9-month old baby Kristina (in a backpack) skied directly from our house in Sunnyside, on bike paths, across the pedestrian bridge to Prince’s Island Park, and around the park. It was a lot of fun, and still enough sunlight in the evening to ski after work! Downhills were skied in mid-shin powder!

Peter observes a Calgary landmark from his skis

Pretty much the best day ever here in the city.

I should add that I skied with hairies (no-wax skis), and my husband had his skin skis (Rossignol R-skin). I would say that the skin skis worked better than hairies yesterday evening. My friend Risto skied in Calgary on Rode Weiss, and it was too sticky.”

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Dasha on the trail and chatting briefly. With her happy disposition and positive outlook, I always ski away feeling uplifted!

“Our Canmore Nordic Centre staff could not resist setting the first (unofficial) tracks of the 2018-2019 Winter Season.”

The highway near Lac Des Arcs was closed last night and people were stranded in their vehicles for up to 10 hours. Eventually an emergency shelter was set up at the high school in Canmore. How much snow did you get? The Mud Lake weather station is showing a snow depth of 47 cm and a temperature of -12°C this morning. Mud Lake is across the road from Chester Lake parking lot. 

Canmore Nordic Centre season passes are on sale for 10% off until Oct 31. You can purchase your pass online. 


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  1. Have any trials been packed ?

    • Hi Martin,
      As tempting as it is with the amount of snow the reality is this just won’t last. The ground not being frozen and high solar temps will chew up this snow in a hurry. Anything packed will be showing rocks very soon, leaves are still falling off the trees covering the trails. The time to ski will be over by end of the weekend unless you go up high.

  2. I live inNW calgary and skied in the green space behind my house. Earliest I can remember skiing!

  3. As of 7:30 last night I had 44 cm in my backyard in NW Calgary.

  4. ribbon creek/Kananaskis village area or bill Milne? Some deciduous foliage in the background, so probably not pocaterra. And who wants to trailer it around after that storm and with all the road work going on, so somewhere close To the barn.

  5. I can’t believe that Calgary got a record snowfall and I missed it!! Boo!!!!
    Sitting in the pouring rain in Ontario………..

  6. Awwww. Thank you Bob! Ski you soon!!! 🙂

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