More tracksetting news, mostly good

Watridge Lake road at Mt Shark. Photo from Feb 2016

Update Dec 13: Mount Shark…

“Watridge Lake trail was groomed and trackset from the upper parking/trailhead to the Spray river all remaining trails were machine groomed only.”

The grooming at Mt Shark includes the 15K Green trail.

Dec 12, 2019

In addition to tracksetting news, Helen Read’s group saw a Lynx at the Lake O’Hara parking lot. They also had the good luck to see a pine marten while on the trail. You can read about Helen’s adventure on the trip reports. 


Skogan Pass between the Screamer and Sunburst junctions. Photo from Feb 2019

Skogan Pass and Skogan Loop have been trackset…

“Dec 12 Good to excellent skiing conditions on the Skogan system trails above Marmot Junction with track setting in most places and 50 plus cms settled snow higher up. Fair conditions below Marmot with hazards and thin spots existing on Skogan Screamer”

Skogan loop. Photo from Nov 2015

Experience tells me the hazards and thin spots on the Screamer will be no problem going up, but you won’t be able to go full speed on the way back down. The Screamer is 1K in distance with 100 metres of net elevation. It’s the section above the Ruthie’s-Hidden junction. 

When conditions are good, descending the Screamer is the most fun you can have on skis, but we’ll have to wait for more snow. It may be prudent to walk occasionally when descending the Screamer on thin snow. 

Access to Skogan Pass is from Ribbon Creek via Hidden, Nakiska via Hidden, or Hay Meadow and Ruthie’s. 

The Canmore Nordic Centre trail report shows the man-made snow on Banff Loop is now completely trackset and continues further to the meadow. The natural snow on the main trails Bow, Banff, and Meadowview has been groomed but not trackset. 

Lynx on Redearth Creek in Banff National Park. Photo by Chuck from Jan 29, 2017

Redearth Creek

I inquired with Parks Canada about the grooming only going 7K on Redearth Creek, rather than 11.5K which would take it near the warden’s cabin…

“The campground is as far as Don could groom in one day. He will return to Redearth Creek when his schedule allows, and do the section beyond the campground.”

Lake Louise

First tracksetting has occurred on Peyto and Upper Telemark. The Heritage Guides remarked about the tracksetting: “Good condition, with lots of twigs!”

The Lower Telemark was trackset two days ago. Jeannie skied it yesterday and gave it a good review. 

Nipika Mountain Resort’s first trail report of the season…

“All of the south trails have been packed and groomed for both skate and classic. The north trails have been packed and groomed to the bridge. Conditions are early season, so please watch for rocks and grass.”

Pipestone trails at Lake Louise

I also inquired with Parks Canada regarding when the Pipestone trails will be open again…

“Mid-January. Construction activity for the new LL Water Reservoir. Area will remain closed till then.”


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  1. Thanks so much for inquiring about Pipestone – that is great news!

  2. Excellent news about pipestone, and all the additional tracksetting too. How to decide… many options. I’ll just have to ski them all. (-:

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