I’m optimistic that we’ll be skiing on groomed trails this winter in Kananaskis including PLPP, Ribbon Creek/Kananaskis Village, and Mt Shark, but nothing has yet been announced. Let’s give the government people some encouragement by leaving a comment regarding what you enjoy about skiing in Kananaskis.
I’ll start by saying I like the remoteness, silence, and remarkable beauty of Tyrwhitt trail in PLPP, and the fact that you have to do some strenuous work to get up there. The reward is well worth the effort.
P.S. Government officials and MLAs read this blog.
I discovered my love of cross country skiing in Kananaskis. Going to Mount shark area and skiing with my friends and our dogs on a sunny winter afternoon is my little slice of heaven. I remember going there for the first time and thinking… all of this for free!? It’s the greatest gift we can give Albertans and visitors to Alberta – groomed access to this winter wonderland for free. It’s such a low cost way to get people outdoors in the winter. It’s a gift to our health and wellness, and should be prioritized at times like these.
PLPP is my favourite place to ski. We skied there for years when the kids were small. They still talk about the echo where grandma did a face plant one Christmas. Now they choose to ski there with me, and come home to Calgary for the specific purpose to ski there with me. I’ve also skied there many times on my own, either for the pure enjoyment or to decompress from life. It’s a spectacularly beautiful place with fantastic trails and grooming. Winter would not be the same without it.
I like the variety, accessibility and long season of sking in Kanananaskis: Ribbon Creek, Peter Lougheed and Mt Shark.
Ribbon Creek has three different areas: the trails close to the village with lots of loops possible, the calorie burning trails towards Skogan Pass and the scenic Bill Milne and Watridge Lake area. Ribbon Creek is close to Calgary for a quick spin around some trails or to spend a day at a more leisurely pace.
Peter Lougheed is amazing with plenty of rolling loops on the valley trails with access via Pocaterra, Visitors Centre, Boulton, William Watson Lodge and Elkwood. The tour over Elk Pass and Trywhitt is an all time favorite with endless possibilities to start, end and do side trips such as Blueberry Hill and Lookout. Also don’t forget the trails on the other side of the road that are great to do on their own or in combination with the valley trails: Lodgepole, Braille, Meadow and Sinclair. I first discovered the newly developed trails in Peter Lougheed in the mid to late 1970s and have been back many times every year since. I have many fond memories of bringing the kids out for Jackrabbit lessons here, many a short and long tours, helping out with the Cookie race and more recently skiing out of William Watson Lodge.
Mt Shark has the long season and lots of variety in the easy to hard loops plus it gives great access to day trips into Bryant Creek hut and the upper Spray. Again fond memories watching my kids race and helping out at Sharkfest where the final races of the year were once held.
These areas are a treasure for all to enjoy and continued grooming and track setting whether it be free or for a fee is something the Alberta Government needs to maintain for the health and well being of thousands of people to enjoy both now and well into the future.
I grew up learning to ski here at the age of 7 and I still love skiing here many times a year. I love the variety of trails that are all available for free, with such a wide range of terrain and always neatly trackset. Everyone on the trails is so kind and polite, and the views always make for a magical day. It truly would make our province less to lose this wonderful space.
Kananaskis provides fantastic skiing for everyone, every ability and every ambition, from family picnic adventures at Nakiska to elite athlete at PLPP all set in incredible scenery and amazing snow. Its the winter jewel of Alberta and would be a crime to Canadians and our tourist industry for it to disappear.
I can’t wait to get out again this season. Isolation sucks.
How beautiful the mountains are in the snow ?? it gets us out to enjoy the outdoors all winter!
I like that I have an amazing outdoor hobby for myself and my family (my 5 and 3 year old included) to keep us active in the winter and enjoy our amazing landscape!!! Also I love the feeling of working hard up to fly all the way down!!
The cross-country ski trails in Kananaski are world-class and are a big part of what has drawn my husband and I back to the region from Ontario most years since we started visiting on nordic ski trips in 2011. The trails are amazingly well-maintained, the mountain vistas are wonderful, and everyone is so friendly. There are lots of funding models that the Alberta government could follow to keep this wonderful system in operation for local Albertan skiers and the many folks who keep returning to visit this Western Canadian gem. We were skiing at Peter Lougheed Provincial Park in March on the last day of our trip and were shocked to hear the Alberta government announce the plan to stop grooming in Kananaskis as we drove back to Calgary to fly home. This year especially underlines the need to get outside and to be active to stay healthy. We wholeheartedly support Bob and this whole group of people who are passionate about skiing and the importance of maintaining access to these spaces.
My favorite place to go to get away from it all in the winter. Stunning scenery, amazing conditions, peace and quiet. A much needed escape. Well worth the drive.
Cross country skiing in Kananaskis is special because there is no commercial privatized feel to it – it just feels like you are taking yourself, family, and friends to wilderness that is so close and convenient to Calgary /such an unique attraction that can be shared by all, young or old, poor or rich. I always want my out of town/province/country family and friends to experience it. We built very strong family bonds and memories on the groomed trails!
Having groomed trails has been so important. There were many years when I did not have the money for other winter pursuits and it was so vital for my peace of mind to be able to get out in nature to and recharge from a taxing routine. It is a absolutely essential for our mental and physical wellbeing.
Honestly, xc skiing in Kananaskis is the only way to get through our long Alberta winters. I love that you can drive one hour from Calgary and leave the stress behind.
It truly is mountain therapy.
I am soooooooo hopeful that something can happen to arrange the grooming on the trails, and am more than willing to pay for using it!
I have spent the last 3 years getting my whole family into cross-country skiing. Now my wife and 4 kids ranging from 13 down to 4 love it. When we are in the mountains we are at peace. Kananaskis is our favourite place. In the summer we rock climb and backpack and in the winter we ski. I would be heart broken not to be able to ski the wonderful kananaskis trails. Without these trails there will be six very sad skiers.
If government officials want a compelling reason to keep grooming PPLP trails, healthcare costs is one. I rarely use the healthcare system, hardly ever need to go to the doctor. Skiing in PPLP is great for physical and mental health! I’m convinced that getting out and skiing there weekly makes me healthier and thereby saves the government money.
The beauty of the area and the thrill of outdoor activities.
Creating family memories
Free FAMILY Fun and FITNESS
The chance to discover the beautiful province of Alberta in all its splendour.
World class trails with excellent grooming and amazing scenery. Ideal for both beginners and experienced skiers. A great winter outing, whether you ski fast or slow, for an hour or the whole day, with friends, family or alone.
The groomed xc trail network in Kananaskis should be treasured for generations to come rather than being consigned to the memory banks as something we sacrificed in 2020 – to allegedly save a few bucks. It’s beyond belief we are even talking about this during a pandemic – given so much else has been taken away from us.
As for memories, there are many over last twenty years living here, and many more for my wife who learned to ski here with her Dad. One specific thing sticks out from last winter – that was being soundly beaten down Whiskey Jack by my laughing 10-year old as we made our way back to the parking lot at dusk after an epic family ski over Elk Pass, on the same day as she and her 7 year old sister did their first Cookie Race. The end to grooming was announced the next day…..
Every time I ski at Kananaskis I think of 2 things:
How wonderful that I can make use of my tax dollars by skiing on these amazing trails!
Why would I ever want to go anywhere else to take a XC ski vacation when a short drive from Calgary I can ski on some of the best trails in the world?
It would be a shame to lose the grooming on these trails. Most of us would be prepared to pay a reasonable user fee to keep them. During covid, people need every opportunity to get outside to exercise where transmission is minimized. There was a huge explosion in biking due to covid – maybe the same will happen to XC skiing. How bad would it be if the best location was no longer maintained?
What I love about skiing in Kananaskis is the great variety of trails for various skill levels and the phenomenal views. I visit Kananaskis Village, Peter Lougheed, and Mount Shark trails each season, though I am definitely a repeat visitor at the latter two. PLPP and Mount Shark are my favourites: Mount Shark for the fun hilly trails and Peter Lougheed for the trails up to and around Elk Pass… it is so beautiful and such a fun way to get outside during the long cold winter!
Often I stop in the village for food or a drink after skiing, and, if there is an occasion for it, enjoy an overnight stay along with my xc skiing!
Having groomed trails in Kananaskis is a wonderful benefit to the many skiers in the Calgary region and beyond. More than ever we need options for people to stay physically active, fit and healthy.
Given the current situation with Covid-19, we need groomed trails more than ever. This year I have never seen so many people using the trials in Kananaskis and Banff. Please continue grooming the trails.
We truly need as many ways to keep healthy and stay positive this winter, especially this winter. K-country ski trails are incredible. Please, please , please continue this grooming program.
For me, groomed ski trails in Kananaskis are irreplaceable. The setting, the amount and quality of snow for cross country skiing are unsurpassed. It is a magical experience.
As a family we ski Mount Shark, Peter Lougheed and Ribbon Creek. Kananaskis provides a healthy outdoor sport, relatively close to home, affordable for families. Track set trails are much easier for beginner skiers and for children who are learning to ski, are necessary for training, and are an integral part of cross country skiing.
I love the easy climb at Ribbon Creek with a beautiful view at the end. It is so quiet and when the tracks are set, I get lost in the flow of motion and stride. Surfing back to the parking lot, I take in the sound of wind, birdsong and the creek. I soak in the sights of the forest. Such a beautiful drive to enjoy with a couple of friends. We visit the village after for a beverage. It is a wonderful day trip.
As our society seems to become more unhealthy and health care costs grow every year, I find it incredible that the ucp government would eliminate a healthy activity for Albertans. This article says it all:
Please give the government some encouragement by emailing your MLA. Now is the time to let them know how important skiing in our parks is for the well-being and mental health of Albertans.
A written letter via snail-mail will get you a letter back, although a “canned response” one. That is what I received in the Spring after sending a letter to Jason Nixon, the Minister of Parks and Environment. I did not get a response at all from my MLA. Emails are ignored altogether.
Skiing in the Kananaskis forest is the best! Your body gets a great work out, your soul gets to soar with the mountain peaks and your imagination takes you bsck to this place until the next time you are there.
Blueberry hill! The grooming is always pristine and the effort is always worth the view at the end. And then the descent tests all the muscles again. It’s always a magical winter wonderland
I love taking my classes out to PLPP to learn to cross country. I love sharing in the kids successes when they hit the open spots on Wheeler for the first time spotting the mountains rimming Upper Kan Lake.
I love booking LowerLakes group with my classes in the winter and having the remoteness, and the true winter wilderness experience for them.
I love the silence that comes from skiing in Kananaskis. When there’s a fresh snow it absorbs any sound and it’s the purest form of nature. I love that I can go to Peter Lougheed or Mt Shark and ski a little ways back in the trails and see no one for hours or see families out being active an healthy together.
The complete and utter lack of sound on some days, when you stop for a breather or whatever, almost hurts this city slicker’s ears! I hear you (har har)!
Umm… “obey themselves”? I meant “behave themselves”. Type, PROOFREAD, send…
I’m with you on Tyrwhitt, Bob. As weird as it sounds, when the track on a certain slightly curvy downhill section heading south (?) to the hydroline is a bit icy, one can hip-steer (I just made that up) through it. It’s exhilarating; try it! Just swivel your hips to keep them square to the tracks, and your skis will obey themselves. As I said, sounds weird.
Fox Creek and Moraine sure are purdy, especially when there’s a fresh dump.
There’s a short stretch along the Kananaskis River I just discovered last year (Sinclair?) that was a nice surprise too. Done now.
I’m looking forward to getting on the skinny skis again!
I rediscovered cross country skiing in PLPP in 2013, and it was a game-changer to my well-being. I went from being depressed in winter to loving it. From couch-potato to a fit, active person. PLPP gave me a place to escape life’s stresses and replenish my spirit. I then put my kids on skis, and it became our place of choice to enjoy time outdoors together. It would be such a personal loss if this resource were lost to us.
I can think of ten reasons at least why I love PLPP:
1. The groomed trails are accessible to everyone, young and old, beginner or advanced.
2. It’s BEAUTIFUL there.
3. PLPP retains its snow long after many other parts of Kananaskis are ruined by Chinooks.
4. It’s not too far from Calgary.
5. The trails are designed to take you places – you’re not stuck accumulating kilometers by skiing in circles.
6. The trails are busy enough that I feel safe there, even when I ski alone.
7. Speaking to safety again, the groomers keep the trails in great shape, and this adds a layer of safety.
8. The trails are not so busy that it feels crowded (except during the Cookie Race :)).
9. Every skier that I meet on the trails is always smiling.
10. I often meet people visiting from outside the province or Canada who tell me what a gem we have here.
I’d add a further shout-out to the visitor center and warming hut, but due to Covd-19, they are unfortunately closed. It would be such a shame if they were closed permanently though. I love that there are always lots of people of all ages in the Centre, enjoying a hot chocolate and admiring the view – it’s a happy sort of place in winter.
Would I be willing to pay for all of this? You bet. It would be such a tragedy to lose this incredible resource for our well-being.
Fresh air. Rosy cheeks. Natural beauty. Sparkling snow. camaraderie. Rejuvenation!
this area is beautiful and used and loved by many every year. it s cruciall that everybody spends as much time as possible out doors this winter due to covid. this area MUST be groomed for x country this winter.
As a newbie to the sport last season I bought my own equipment literally the day before the announcement that the province was going to stop grooming the Kananaskis trails! Talk about gutted!! I was so excited that I would finally be able to head out to K country whenever I wanted, be it for the day, or just a couple of hours to practice what I learnt in my lesson and just enjoy our beautiful backyard. So important for our mental and physical health at any age but even more so as we try to cope with the new ‘normal’
Peter Lougheed is a winter wonderland with beautiful scenery of snow covered trees, mountains and perfect ski conditions. The amount of snow this area gets allows for some of the earliest season skiing as well as well into spring. The diverse terrain allows for so many abilities and our kids are now starting to enjoy the trails we’ve loved for years. This is our primary ski area for so many reasons and are obviously loved by so many!!
Our Winnipeg-based cross country ski club has organized an annual trip to Alberta during the first week of March for over 30 years. 20 to 40 of us stay in Canmore for a week, and ski every day. Typically, we ski at Peter Lougheed Provincial Park and/or Ribbon Creek on 3 of those days. It’s something we look forward to every year. We hope the club doesn’t have to consider an alternative trip this year if there’s no ski trail grooming in Kananaskis.
I love the trails in K Country, especially the PLPP trails – the combination of fabulous scenery, groomed trails with a backcountry feel to them that actually cover distance and reach destinations like hills, passes and viewpoints, a long winter season and easy access on good roads close to the city just can’t be beat anywhere. It would be a major loss not just to Alberta but to the entire western North American mountain system if these trails are gone (it certainly wouldn’t help to “improve the quality of life for Albertans” to eliminate them). If I’m going to live in a climate with long, snowy winters I want to take advantage of it!
Kananaskis – my favourite place to ski! The breath-taking beauty, many kilometers of trails, the peacefulness, and the impeccable grooming and tracksetting by experienced Alberta Parks employees always make for a great day. Since we live in Alberta, where the winters are long and cold, the best way to really ‘live’ in winter is to embrace your inner snowman/snowwoman and get out into the wilds! We are winter people! Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
Exercise, fresh air, peace and serenity!!
I learned to ski in PLPP, and its been my favorite ski area ever since. There is a wonderful variety of trails for both beginners and advanced skiers, and often long trail sections between junctions. Blueberry Hill is mesmerizing after a big snowfall. Even when the parking lots are full, the trails don’t feel crowded. The other ski areas in Kananaskis – the Village trails and Mt. Shark, are also exhilarating. I love the wildness and tranquility of skiing in all these areas, and enjoy the physical and mental health benefits of a day on the trails. I’m looking forward to another winter season there.
Love the peacefulness, scenery and the swish-swish! A day xc skiing in kananaskis offers a mental refresh and a workout!
Easy drive from Calgary to some exceptional skiing terrain. Whether a beginner or a veteran skier there is lots to choose. The scenery is outstanding, the people you meet are wonderful and the occasional tracks or sighting of wildlife is exciting. This place is a treasure that should be enjoyed year round.
X-country skiing is our family’s favourite recreational activity, and it is also our children’s main competitive sport. Kananaskis Country is a gem for all mountain activities and especially x-country skiing. We love all 3 main areas of Kananaskis Country for x-country skiing. Mt. Shark for it’s consistent snow and classic and skate trails, Ribbon Creek for it’s proximity to Calgary and Peter Lougheed for it’s great variety of classic trails. Also the Pocaterra Lodge at Peter Lougheed provincial park makes it possible to ski in the mountains with young children. Losing the trail maintenance at these areas would be a great loss to us and other Albertans. We love the fun, the affordability, wildness and tranquility of cross-country skiing.
Cross country skiing is how my family gets outside together over the winter. We can’t afford downhill skiing so cross country helps us to stay active and look forward to winter rather than sit around and complain about the cold. Kananaskis is our go to place to ski. When the kids were especially young, we would always ski in the Ribbon Creek area close to the lodge so that we could warm the kids up. We arranged regular lessons with Kananaskis Outfitters along with some other like minded families. Now, we are part of the Foothills Nordic Club and I , at the age of 40, participated for the very first time in a loppet (the Cookie Race at Pocaterra). Cross country skiing is our lifelong sport and will help my husband and I stay fit and active into our old age. The trails in kananaskis are world class (told to me by a Canadian Olympic team member who has skied all over the world) and should be maintained for generations to come. The cost of grooming is a drop in the bucket compared to the overall provincial budget, but the rewards are long lasting and significant! I hope that not only I, but my kids and their kids can continue to enjoy this amazing sport in such a beautiful locale. Thanks for reading.
I love to spend a day out in the mountains with my family. We love winter activities but we are not die hard backcountry enthusiasts (nor prepared).
Groomed trails allows us to enjoy the #1 reason we even live in Calgary, which is the mountain trails that make us feel connected to nature and connected to each other. I moved to Calgary 20 years ago. I met my husband in the mountain parks, and we have been bringing our kids to the mountains since they were born. Skiing lifts my moods, keeps my body healthy, and my family off video games too.
There is so much negativity in 2020, and we are all facing challenges of a different flavour, surely cross country ski maintenance is a small price to pay for such massive rewards. I don’t know if the healthcare system can manage the physical and mental repercussions, either.
When x-c skiing in K-country I love the fresh air and scenery – great views atop Blueberry Hill and Lookout. It is an exhilarating way to get your exercise and stay fit. We need those trails groomed.
Xc skiing in Kananaskis is something I look forward to every year. The peacefulness & magical beauty of the snow glistening on the trails, makes my heart sing.
This is an Albertan pastime that needs to be cherished & looked after. It is an activity that is affordable, that brings out people of all walks of life & results in happy, healthy Albertans. Let’s not lose sight on the forward thinking of Peter Lougheed & his legacy that he left Albertans to enjoy nature & the many activities associated with it. Please continue to groom & track set our trails for years to come.
Cross country skiing is my favourite activity, and I would be devastated if the trails were no longer groomed. It’s also an activity that improves both physical and mental health, and saves a fortune on health care costs. It’s very short sighted to think that stopping the grooming will save money.
Have been enjoying these wonderful Kananaskis trails with my friends and children for 20 years. Just started bringing my grandchildren. Such a fun and healthy activity, mentally and physically. Can’t imagine not having access to these groomed trails.
I have made over 18 years of memories skiing in Kananaskis (since I first moved to Calgary!). What I love most is sharing all those memories with my children (ages 7 & 10) and creating new memories XC skiing together. We ski in Kananaskis so much every year and reflect on how lucky we are to have access to such amazing XC skiing so close to home.
Kananaskis has the best selection of trails for all abilities. Flat trails like Bill Milne, Meadow, Woolley and Amos plus trails with elevation, like Kovach, Elk Pass, Tyrwitt and Blueberry. Many other areas have limited low elevation trails for new XC skiers. Not the case with Kananaskis. Multiple parking lots means lots of entry points for skiers to keep distance and enjoy the trails. Groomed trails in Kananaskis are low avalanche risk. Keeping these trails groomed for skiers means inexperienced skiers won’t go exploring for terrain unknowingly in more high-risk areas.
My kids have enjoyed these trails every year of their lives, from being pulled in a pulk, to getting to put on their own skis and explore on their own steam. It is an affordable way to keep us active as a family and having fun all winter long. We love these trails.
I love teaching my kids to ski and being outdoors for some dedicated family time away from the city.
Blueberry Hill when grooming and track setting has been completed with good snow is a great run.
Awesome place to xc ski, and for families on a budget it is ideal for exercise, Vit D, and family time. Keeping Kananaskis xc trails groomed and user friendly, especially for less experienced folks, should be a no brainer. Only the small minded UCP types who think the $ is everything would disagree.
Our absolute favourite family activity! We are so fortunate to have access to such beautiful wilderness, practically in our backyard. The kids are a bit older now, and we can really enjoy some wonderful family adventures on the multitude of track set trails…everyone has so much fun that no one thinks of it as exercise! Time in the mountains, and on these trails, has had amazing benefits for our family – both physically and mentally. I can’t imagine an Alberta winter without cross country skiing!!
We love cross country skiing as a family. It’s an affordable sport that keeps us moving all winter. There’s much excitement in my house when we head out for the first few trips of the season.
We climb to fire lookouts on our skis and have a blast skiing down, we ski into backcountry lakes, and we get out for big tours where we get to enjoy the fresh air, frosty trees, snow covered bridges, and beautiful mountains towering over us.
We like downhill skiing too but there’s something more relaxed and natural about xc skiing. Less people, less crowded, no having to show up at an exact time for first lifts, and no packed day lodges.
This is the year we need xc skiing!! So many families are struggling financially and can’t afford expensive sports like downhill skiing. Xc skiing is perfect for physical distancing too and there are no high touch points. Just people spread out throughout the woods outside with space for kilometres in all directions. For mental health alone so many people need this sport this winter!
Cross Country Skiing in Kananaskis provides thousands with enjoyment and enhances their mental and physical health. Groomed trails and available warming facilities dramatically increase the safety for all and make cross country skiing accessible to a broader spectrum of the population. I would propose we transition to an all Kananaskis annual pass for teams, individuals and families that covers the Nordic Centre, Mount Shark, Ribbon Creek, and Peter Loughheed Provincial Park.
XC Skiing allows people to get out and enjoy the benefits of nature. It reenergized the soul. The second part is allowing people to get exercise to stay or become healthy so that they can deal with the stresses of every day life. Allowing users to pay to cover the costs is a far better answer than just stopping the grooming process.
It’s great! Beautiful way to get exercise.
When I get on my skis, put them in the track and set off, I forget that I am on my skis. I feel quiet, peace and the mountains all around me. XC skiing in Kananaskis is where I find my mental and physical health, and what helps me get through the 6 months of winter ever year. One of the main reasons I have chosen to live in Alberta is the amazing recreation opportunities we have here – xc skiing is a big part of this.
I discovered the joy of cross country skiing in my early 20’s as a complement to the running and cycling I did and haven’t looked back in the 30 years that have ensued. For me the trails in PLPP are a true treasure that offer diversity, beauty, connection with nature and with like minded people while being active. The benefits of physical activity and social connectedness are well documented, as are the benefits of unplugging and being in nature. In addition, facilities like William Watson Lodge and adjacent trails foster access for persons with disabilities and mobility challenges.
With a winter of covid restrictions ahead – xc skiing in PLPP is a beacon of hope that will enable many to stay mentally well.
For years I’ve thought that when I pass on, I would love to donate a bench to the park, or picnic table so people can pause to drink in the beauty, feel the gratitude and rest a bit with a thermos of tea, as I have done so many times.
I’m grateful that both my teens know skiing – and hope we can share more outings like our ski to Blueberry Hill on Family Day 2019….
We live pretty far away from nice, groomed ski trails, so we come up to Kananaskis area at least twice in the winter and stay in hotels, pay for food at restaurants etc, contributing to the local economy of Canmore and Kananaskis. Without these groomed runs, which are world-class, soothing to the soul, and a solace to surviving long, cold winters, we will be taking our winter vacations elsewhere. We do not like skiing at the Nordic Centre, it is too busy, trails are limited, and does not offer the same attraction that the Kananaskis trails do.
I know the mental and physical benefits of xc skiing. As I age and fight to keep healthy and out of old age homes, xc skiing during the long winters become so very important. I dont have the strength or skill for breaking my own trail. Having Kananaskis allows me a place close to Calgary, an affordable outing that gives me joy! I’d be lost without it. During COVID it is the one healthy thing I can do with friends and stay safe! Physical, social, mental health and benefits- this in turn helps all residence of Alberta.
Having PLPP and Kananaskis Village machine groomed for xc skiing isn’t just necessary for enjoyment but also required for safety. People will venture there regardless. The user evidence in Kananaskis this summer is proof that this winter will mimic. Not everyone that skis needs or can be in close quarters at the nordic centre as they cannot handle that kind of user pressure nor is that location in any way the same sort of experience. People should have the opportunity to safely recreate and have unanimously declared support for a user pay system to that end. Options exist that can be implemented facilitating safe trail use, supporting a diversity of entry/exit points whilst observing safe distancing protocol. Albertans: elected officials working with bureaucracy and citizens, must find an equitable solution to continue this in-demand service.
The health and well being of the society depends on the health and wellness of its individual. The ski trails in Kananaskis are treasured asset to the people of Alberta. The varied terrain, stunning beauty, well groomed trails are great for all skiers!
The XC skiing trails in Kananaskis are world-class, up there with the best in the world. There is no better way to get a dose of nature therapy, proven to positively improve one’s mental health. What an amazing area for peacefulness, beautiful scenery, disconnecting from media (social, TV, etc). Add in the fitness benefits and this is a region that is vital to protect and maintain. The maintenance and trail grooming pays for itself many times over – keeping the population that utilizes it healthy physically and mentally, decreasing utilization of the healthcare system.
It’s “snow” amazing!
As a senior, hoping to stay healthy, I enjoy the quiet glide of my skis on the snow. Fear of falling on the icy streets and breaking bones or getting a head injury in the winter curtails my ability to walk in the city in the colder months. Breathing the clean fresh air, feeling the wind in my face, getting covered in snow by a snow bomb from the evergreen trees and just the freedom of being outdoors are some of the joys of cross country skiing.
With the pandemic, I feel there will be a much increased demand on the ski trails this winter as new converts to the sport hit the trails in search of healthy ways to get entertainment and exercise.
It is an affordable sport for families, that benefits all ages. My parents introduced their seven children to cross country skiing back in the 1970s, and all of us children have introduced the sport to our children in turn. Dad and Mom would stay in Kananaskis every winter (coming from the Edmonton area), and go skiing with their grandkids. Lots of fun family memories have been made this way. Dad skied into his 80s, which shows what great exercise it is for seniors. When my kids were younger, I would take them out almost every weekend to ski in Kananaskis because of the superb trail system. Now that they are adults, they go on their own with their friends. It is such a gem in the provincial park system, and draws tourists to the Kananaskis area.
Alberta Parks are our treasured recreation spaces that provide escape and reprieve from the stresses of life. Skiing on groomed trails is truly the ultimate winter outdoor activity, for mind, body and soul. They are one of the key features that drew me out west from Ontario as a young adult looking for richer outdoor rec experiences!
The feeling of cool wind on my face, the challenge of each different trail and the bringing together of unique people. Who wouldn’t want to spend time in a place that brings so much positive energy to everyone. I hope to get out more this winter, and I will do as much as I can to make sure that is a possibility. 🙂 There is nothing better than the freedom of a glide…!
In Kananaskis I love to ski
Afterwards enjoying my cookies and tea
Great for the heart great for the soul
Ski a short way or reach a new goal
Scenery is exquisite, beauty to behold
Variety of trails so incredible it never gets old
Trails up and down with views everchanging
Skiing big loops in Kananaskis is amazing
Striding and gliding and feeling so free
Kananaskis is a sacred place for you and for me
Skiing in the PLPP is hard to beat: the beautiful scenery, the varied terrain, and space enough to find solitude even on the weekends. My all-time favourite is the Whiskeyjack-Tyrwhitt-Elk Pass-Fox Creek loop.
I like the terrain and vast selection of areas form beginner to most challenging cross country ski trails. I also love it’s proximity to Canmore.
The quiet solace of being outside amidst mountains, trees and other like minded people. The beauty of the outdoors, the heart rate surge, and the post ski invigorating feeling. We are so lucky to live near the mountains and should take advantage of exploring them and appreciating them. Thanks for all you do Skier Bob to bring the community together.
Cross-country skiing is what I do in the winter to get outside and exercise and that’s critical to my mental health and I know this is true for so many others. This winter is going to be tough on all of our meant health with COVID. Having groomed trails and access to an affordable outdoor winter sport such as cross-country skiing seems like a no-brainer when it comes to efficient ways to use government funds.
Kananaskis is my favourite place to cross-country ski. The groomers do a professional job that I have not experienced elsewhere. Skiing is essential to my well-being in winter. I suffer from seasonal affective disorder and being able to get out into beauty and solitude and move my body vigorously on safe trails is the activity that gets me through the winter.
Cross country skiing is such a peaceful, healthy, and active way to enjoy the winter, great for all ages and many abilities, especially when groomed. The equipment can be reasonably affordable and makes for a great way to enjoy the mountains with family, friends, and on your own. We are so lucky to live in a place with the opportunity to enjoy such a diverse set of trails and activities in our area, and I hope it stays that way!
Skiing to Elk Pass from the parking lot via Fox Creek, Elk Pass trail and then on Tyrwitt and Pocaterra trails is a healthy, visual treat. Hopefully Pocaterra Hut and the Information Centre will be open to allow for warming up before continuing on your ski day. Mt. Shark and Kananaskis Village area trails are also in the same category. With any luck we will be able to continue skiing in what has become one of the best cross country ski areas in Canada!
Skiing in Kananaskis, particularly around PLPP is my favourite winter activity! It is beautiful and it is great for exercise and for mental health. I love that so many of the trails are family friendly! With so many families who are experiencing financial stress due to the pandemic, it is great that we have so many amazing trails and a lodge to bring picnic lunches to. This will help families get out, stay active and help their mental well-being. Please don’t take this away!
Skiing in Kananaskis Country is the best part of living in Calgary, and without it I would probably want to move away. The beautifully groomed trails provide excellent exercise in a safe setting, which is particularly important for seniors and families.
There is often good snow, especially in PLPP, and the variety of trails is fantastic. There is something for everyone!
I truly feel alive when cross-country skiing, and hope to be able to continue for many years.
Ribbon Creek and Mt Shark are two of my most favourite places to ski and some of the few that are accessible for Skijoring. The cessation of grooming will limit my skiing to very infrequent instead of the multiple time’s a week that I normally ski. I am hoping that a change in decision comes about so that we will still have a cross country season at these 2 amazing areas! Yet I understand it costs money to do, so why wasn’t a user pass system evaluated? I don’t downhill ski anymore for physical reasons but when I did i knew that it meant paying for a pass, whether it be daily or seasonal. I was always surprised that we didn’t have to do similar for cross country skiing. It makes sense to me that it would go a long way towards operational costs.
Last year, for my first ever time on the Bill Milne trails, I really appreciated the excellent track setting that made gliding along in the crisp air and glorious sunshine a truly wonderful experience.
Last year, and over the years I have also skied on and appreciated the amazing network of groomed trails in the Kananaskis: Ribbon Creek, Elk Pass, Pocaterra etc.
Cross country skiing has been an important part of my winter fitness program and I hope to continue that in the coming years.
Skiing in Kananaskis has given winter purpose for me. It is the most beautiful area and has a variety of terrain for all levels. I learned on these trails when the W. Bragg Creek system was too difficult for me. Now that I’m more skillful, it remains my favourite destination due to the scenery and the services provided by the visitor centre.
Skiing in Kananaskis is my favorite winter activity and it gets me through the long winter season. It’s good for mental and physical health! It is an activity that my family and I can do together and we go almost every weekend because we look forward to it so much.
Kananaskis is my favorite place to ski because it is close to Calgary, but once you get on the trails you hardly see another soul. It’s so vast, beautiful, wild and has good snow.
The trails at PLPP have provided these senior ladies with a wonderful and safe place to ski. We love the scenery, the quiet and the variety of trails that provide a constant challenge but are well within our abilities. Having these facilities within an easily driveable distance from home makes our weekly trip there something we all look forward to.
Proximity to Calgary
Sport for life
My children laughing
These are all the reasons I like skiing in PLPP.
Skiing in PLPP feels like home and happiness. The beauty and fun brings our family together every time we go out. We have two boys who are in their pre-teens. When we hit the trails, their tech goes off and within a km or two, they open up and we ski and chat. I have yet to find a family activity that brings them out of their shell the way xc skiing in PLPP does. It’s one of my most favourite places and activities in the winter.
The trails encourage physical and mental well being in a very difficult time and this reduces the burden on the health care system… And it’s fun.
It preserves my mental and physical health being outdoors skiing in a winter wonderland of PLPP.
I love everything about skiing at PLPP! The beauty everywhere I look, the sense of achievement and health when I get to the top of Whisky Jack or Blueberry Hill, the visitor’s centre and Pocaterra hut for a warm and quiet place to get myself ready, and if course the reliably great trails. I’ve skied there on many occasions and I’ve never had a bad time! (Except for one time when it was very sticky snow and I brought the wrong skis…)
Skiing in PLPP is always one of the highlights of the winter. My 6 year old daughter joined an XC ski club that held lessons out in Kananaskis. This program has been put in jeopardy. The governments decision is so short short sighted and frustrating. The XC ski network in Kananasksis is important for many people’s physical and mental wellbeing.
I love these trails, especially starting from Pocaterra or Elkwood, a little warm up before heading towards more daunting hills, but I could go for several hours, with so much variety
I love skiing in K Country! Its beautiful, close to Calgary, fantastic exercise and easy to access. My mother skied these trails, I grew up skiing these trails and now my kids ski these trails. They are gems and we can’t let them go.
I love how Kananaskis is so close and yet so remote and wild. Groomed trails makes cross country skiing accessible and family friendly.
Skiing Kananaskis is good for the body, mind and spirit. No other place in the world could be as beautiful as K-Country for x-county skiing. It is one of the best things about living in Alberta! This year we need it now more than ever.
I’ve never skied Kananaskis, but in fact I am seriously considering moving to Calgary so that I can. The potential for challenging but accessible cross-country skiing is a huge priority in my decision making.
While skiing, watching the sun rising higher and highlighting different views of the snowy landscape around me is a joy.
Kananaskis is our favourite cross country spot. It has a perfect balance of up and downs and several openings that let you see the beautiful mountains.
My son likes when we stop at the new gas station after on our way back home for some snacks.
We cross country ski every Sunday. It’s a great family activity.
Skiing in Kananaskis is the highlight of long Alberta winters!