The halo effect

West Bragg Creek. I’ve darkened the photo so the halo would show more clearly.

Thank you to all the hardy souls who submitted a Trip Report on this chilly day. It looks like Helen Read found the warmest place: Lake Louise at -15. Mike W had a good suggestion on where to find warmer temperatures for skiing. Make sure you read his comment on the previous update. 

Crystal Line West: Francine and Bernie weren’t bothered by the cold

Saturday is normally a day when I would not entertain any thoughts of going to West Bragg Creek.  When I looked at the webcam at 11:00 a.m. and saw the near-empty parking lot, I thought this was my chance for a Saturday foothills adventure. 

Sun was starting to appear on Crystal West

This Grooming Report from Boomer Groomer made it sound even more tempting…

“Your grooming crew was up early and have been packing and track setting across the whole trail system. More snow is expected today and temps will be quite cold so prepare accordingly. Groomers David, Jeremy, Peter, Bill, and Dan have all put in big hours this week volunteering their time for your enjoyment. Be sure to give them a wave if you see them out on the trail!”


I was right in the middle of making a big pot of stew, so I had to finish that before I could go. I arrived around 2:15 pm and got the closest parking spot to the trailhead. 

The air temperature was -20°C, but the snow was much warmer at -13. The sun wasn’t shining when I started, but it made an appearance later, surrounded by sundogs. Upon a closer look, it was a halo around the sun.  

Beautiful conditions on Sundog

I felt a slight breeze in the parking lot, so resolved to ski trails in the trees and stay away from the exposed trails like Mountain Road and Mountainview. As it turned out, I was having so much fun I ended up on Mountainview anyway. 

With my skis glide-waxed for cold temperatures, I was moving along at a nice pace as I started on Crystal Line West. Grip is no problem at these cold temperatures and a couple layers of VR30(-10/-30) did the trick. 

With my toe warmers and an extra layer of clothes, the temperature was not an issue. I met a lot of skiers on the trail who were enjoying the day and were happy with the great conditions. 

I ran into Brian at the high point on Loggers. He had already been out for three hours and did Iron Springs and Elbow among others. He remarked that South Elbow, which Alberta Parks is responsible for, had not been trackset. 

Starting tomorrow(Sunday), we have six consecutive days with highs of -20 and colder. 

The Kananaskis Village trails are being trackset as I write this. 

Goat Creek, Spray River East and West were trackset today. 

Today’s tracksetting at Lake Louise included the Great Divide, Moraine Lake Rd, Fairview, Lake Louise Surface and Shoreline.

I think the dumplings are ready. 

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