I was pleasantly surprised at the conditions on the West Bragg Creek trails late this afternoon and had a very enjoyable ski. I ran into Groomer Bill as I was starting out and he recommended some trails which were in good shape, and he wasn’t kidding.
The trails I skied were Upper and Lower West Crystal Line, West Sundog, and Loggers. They were all packed and had very few hazards. I was expecting to encounter a few rocks and twigs, but I must say, it was very few. I picked only six loose rocks and about the same number of tree branches. Remember, it’s Nov 4!
The volunteers work really hard all summer to remove hazards, mow the grass and brush so that grooming is possible with the slightest amount of snow.
I skied the north end of Loggers from Sundog to the high point and returned to Sundog, so I don’t know what shape the south end of the trail is in.
Bill said most of the ski trails have been groomed but there are still hazards lurking under the snow. The groomers had to quit early because the snow was getting a bit wet and was gumming up the machinery.
The temperature upon arrival at 3 pm was 0°C and upon finishing had dropped to -2. I used my fish scale waxless and I think it was the correct choice. I made one early-season mistake – I forgot to polish the grip zone to prevent snow sticking to the fish scales. I had to endure a bit of grabbing for the first part of my ski, but it had cooled off enough late in the day so that it was no longer an issue.
With the temperature dropping to -4 tonight, the snow should set up well and will be a lot firmer and faster tomorrow. That is, until the new snow appears.
The sky was grey with low cloud so the light didn’t allow for spectacular picture-taking. On the bright side, however, clouds are our friends at this time of year.
The weather forecast is calling for another substantial snowfall tomorrow, so with any luck, we might even see some tracksetting before the weekend.
Two fat bikers(must have been newbies!) decided to forgo the dedicated fat bike trail which intersects Loggers Loop and try their luck in the fresh grooming on the ski trail. The tracks indicate they struggled and ended up walking in the soft snow most of the time. The destruction was considerable. When they reached Sundog, they wisely decided to resume their fun on the dedicated bike trail.
The fat bike trails were also packed today.
Perhaps the bike shops will show these photos to their customers and try to deter them from biking on fresh grooming. I know that 99% of fat bikers are responsible and wouldn’t do this.
Thank you to Darrell for the Trip Report from Lake Louise. It looks like more snow is required before we’ll see any grooming.