Thursday morning update


The Lake Louise trail report indicates “20 cm of fresh snow overnight.”

For those of us who stick to groomed ski trails, the avalanche danger is minimal but there are a few trails where it could happen.

Redearth Creek avalanche in March 2017 covered the ski trail.

Redearth Creek at 3.7K and 4.7K

Moraine Lake road beyond the tracksetting. At 9K there is a warning sign. Pete observed a large avalanche yesterday which would have affected anyone going to the lake. 

Emerald Lake. I haven’t received an update to know whether the ice is thick enough to avoid the avalanche zone when you start skiing at Emerald Lake. 

Avalanche zone on Redearth Creek after being cleared of debris.

Tyrwhitt experienced an avalanche in April 2012. The zone is approximately 100 metres past the high point if traveling south which is right at the beginning of the meadows. 

Spray River West. I’m not familiar with this one. 

Kananaskis Country Avalanche bulletin

Banff, Yoho and Kootenay Avalanche Bulletin

CBC: Avalanche Bulletin issued for Banff, Yoho, Kootenay due to major winter storm.

Web cams are showing heavy snow at Lake Louise and Castle junction. The road report from AMA shows the Trans Canada Hwy snow covered west of Castle Junction. 

Normally, we can at least see the ice castle on the lake on the web cam at the lake in Lake Louise but not today.

Drive BC, the province’s online travel information system, says Highway 1 between Revelstoke and Golden is closed until at least 8 p.m. today, Jan. 3, for avalanche control and no detour is available. Heavy Snow Closes Trans Canada in Southeast BC

I was looking for info on Healy Creek/Brewster Creek and came across this description of the trail. Do you think this is an accurate portrayal of the difficulty level of the Brewster Creek trail to Sundance Lodge?

“Are you a skier but never cross-country skied, or are you a beginner at both? Either way, this is an easy option for any skill level…”

An easy option for any skill level? When I think of myself as a beginner skier, it would have been incredibly frustrating trying to negotiate the steep hills and tight turns even on good snow conditions. 


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  1. Any thoughts on Lake Ohara road right now?

    There’s avalanche risk. I consider it a backcountry trail, at least until the grooming begins. -Bob

  2. We are new skiers with two kids who have also never skied. So far we’ve been sticking to trails in Calgary. My husband and I tried the Canmore Nordic center without the kids and found it difficult enough that we didn’t think the kids would be able to do it. Our goal is for all of us to get good enough that we would be able to ski most easy/intermediate trails and would love to get out into the mountains. Does anyone have trails that they would recommend that are actually easy enough for our family? Or should we stick to the city for now?

    • The easiest beginner trail is the Great Divide at Lake Louise. It’s a wide, double-trackset trail with a skating lane. You can ski 6K before encountering any significant hills.

      Wheeler in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park. Start at Elkwood Amphitheatre parking lot. It has thin snow cover now but should be trackset soon.

      Spruce Road in PLPP is super-easy but quite short. Can also be started from Elkwood Amphitheatre.

      You can ski for 1.1K on easy terrain(one small hill) starting at Pocaterra Hut. The first 700 metres is on Pocaterra, then continue on Come-Along. It’s nice to have the warm hut nearby.

      If it ever gets groomed this winter, Wedge Connector is an excellent beginner trail.

      For more information and ideas, read the posts on this link

  3. Brewster cr., up to sundance lodge, don’t take the short cut, stay on the road, and it is as your description: “… Either way, this is an .easy option for any skill level…”.

  4. Red Earth Creek is definitely out of question for a couple days. Not only are there the recent avalanche paths either reactivated or created in March 2017, at the 3.7 and 4.7 km marks, but there are some high potential for devastating slides all the way down to the ski trail between km 7.5 and 9, after RE6 going up. There are what appear to be ancestral and only partially overgrown slide paths coming down from the SSW flank of Copper Mountain. I never linger too long when I ski up that section of the trail. Ski safe, whatever gears you have.

  5. Healy creek? Easy? Those hills are terrifying and always so icy.

  6. I can’t recall ever seeing “Extreme” before on the BYK avi forecast

    • Indeed. It is a rare event. Large natural avalanches, potentially involving the whole snow pack depth and running to valley bottom, are likely. Not a time of risk mitigation or minimization, but complete risk avoidance. Lakes may not be a good way to avoid an avalanche of it runs far and fast and impacts the ice.

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