Bill Milne trail

by Bob Truman on February 8, 2019

in Bill Milne, Kananaskis

Post image for Bill Milne trail

Bill Milne trail

Skiers are enjoying the excellent conditions on the Bill Milne trail, but the monstrous ice flow has presented some challenges. 

Tracksetter Jeff with saw in hand, working on a bypass trail

The tracksetting crew is working hard to try and create a bypass trail so skiers can traverse the entire trail.

Bill Milne trail

A snowmobile-packed trail was created and is skiable but rough with a bit of snowplow debris mixed in to the snow. Yesterday, Jeff mapped out a shorter route and was using the snowcat to groom it. Still a work in progress. 

Skiing the bypass reminded me of the lower trails of the Lake Louise to Banff Loppet with twigs and uneven surfaces. 

Bill Milne trail

Do you know why ice flows are a problem on the Bill Milne trail? My guess is that it has a lot to do with the opening and closing of the dam. Calgary’s need for electricity supercedes our need for cross-country skiing. 

Bill Milne trail near Ribbon Creek.

If you want to avoid the ice flow altogether, I would suggest skiing from Wedge pond northward where you can still do 6-7K before encountering the ice flow. If you start at Ribbon Creek, you’ll only have about 1-2K of skiing before encountering the ice. 

The newly-created bypass trail(right) where it meets the Bill Milne trail

The Bill Milne trail officially starts at Kananaskis Village, so you can add on some distance but you have to be willing to do some climbing on the return, but it’s a fun downhill to Ribbon Creek. 

Last night’s tracksetting in PLPP included Elk Pass, Blueberry Hill, Hydroline and Patterson. The single-track trails including Fox Creek, Moraine, and Boulton Creek were trackset yesterday. 

Brewster Creek and Healy Creek were groomed and trackset yesterday. Healy Creek is accessible only from the Sunshine road parking lot, and not from the Cave and Basin. 

Lake O’Hara fire road is normally groomed on Thursday. 

Seeing as Banff National Park is very reluctant to share information regarding the distance of the tracksetting on Redearth Creek, would someone please ski it today and tell us how far the Feb 6 tracksetting goes? 

Canmore Nordic Centre: The World Cup Biathlon men’s relay race goes at 12:30 today, and the womens at 2:45. There is no public parking at CNC during race days. The final race day and time is yet to be determined. It might be too cold to go on Saturday. 

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rhonda W February 8, 2019 at 8:17 am

I’m going to have a chat with Bill this morning and see how it’s going out there. From the Ribbon creek end. I know…maybe not the best end to start from.

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2 Bob Truman February 8, 2019 at 8:21 am

I’m not sure of your intentions, but classic is the best way to ski the bypass unless you’re willing to double-pole your way through on skate skis. Looking forward to your update tonight!

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3 MaSid February 8, 2019 at 8:15 am

Cold weather and ice jams have a lot to do with it too. the bow river in calgary has risen in places a foot or more in the last week now that things have finally frozen up. Lots of water and ice flowing where it doesn’t normally given that normal channels are plugged with ice. It’s almost spring flow levels in some spots. Up and down flow rates of water release from damns on Kananaskis river exacerbates the ice damning when its cold. Without the deep freeze, probably wouldn’t be as much of an issue.

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