Who’s SkierBob?

Someone who loves cross country skiing!

Bob Truman on Cascade Fire Road
Bob Truman on Cascade Fire Road

I made one of the best discoveries of my life when I rented a pair of cross-country skis at Kananaskis Village in 1997. I got hooked! I was out skiing every chance I got and enjoyed discovering all the fabulous trails in Kananaskis and Banff. I believe we live in the best place in the world if you are a cross country skier.

I became very active in the Calgary Ski Club and enjoyed a terrific winter as their Nordic director during  2003-2004. I organized weekend trips to places such as Nipika and Emerald Lake, created many new bus trip events such as the Moonlight Ski, Ski Mania, Goat Creek(without having to do that annoying car shuttle), and tried to make beginners in the club feel welcome by giving them lots of assistance with waxing, other relevant advice, and making sure no one was ever left behind. As a beginner skier myself not too many years ago, I remember how frustrating some aspects of this sport could be so I wanted to ensure that everyone had a good experience.

When I originally joined the Calgary Ski Club I was expecting to be strictly a recreational skier, enjoying the trails with other like-minded people who wanted to go out for a wonderful day in the mountains. I somehow ended up in their masters training program and started doing the various citizen’s races(loppets) that are so much fun. I developed friendly rivalries with my peers and have made some wonderful friends.

In the winter, I now spend much of my time In Canmore which allows me to get out to the ski trails a lot easier and quicker.

If you are wondering what type of job will allow me to ski so much, here’s my personal website: www.dailystats.ca.

I was the first person in Calgary to post daily information about the housing market on my website, and it is now followed closely by thousands of people. In keeping with that tradition, I have started this blog in order to make information on cross country skiing available to everyone. Keep in mind that I work hard during the summer!!

I hope you will share your skiing experiences with all the other blog readers.  You are welcome to comment on anything that pertains to XC skiing.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Emry December 25, 2013 at 5:24 pm

Hi Bob;

You and a small group of us from Edmonton met you at the bottom end of Packers last Feb, even took a group photo. Then I checked out your fabulous website. Congrat!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks very much for doing this.
Incidentally, Has the Alberta Parks snow report for PLPP been terminated, or will it start Jan1,2014?
Best for 2014 and beyond…Emry

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2 Steve November 28, 2012 at 7:24 am

Hi all,

I am looking for somewhere to stop and go for a skate ski on the way to Calgary from Invermere this week, the Canmore nordic centre looks to be busy with race training, any other spots that someone can suggest? It needs to be close to the highway as I have limited time( ie Moraine lake is to far to back track)

Thanks,

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3 Bob Truman November 28, 2012 at 7:29 am

Steve, Cascade Valley(formerly Cascade fire road) has a skating lane for the entire distance of 15k(30k return). Take the Lake Minnewanka road from the outskirts of Banff townsite. It’s about 10k off the highway. -Bob

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4 Erin November 28, 2012 at 11:52 am

How about Spray River from the Banff Springs Hotel? Drive through the hotel and back behind is a parking lot – great trail that is groomed!

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5 Jeff Bolte October 24, 2012 at 7:18 pm

Hi Bob

Wow, skiing in October is almost beyond beleif here in western Wisconsin.
I’m recovering from an injury so the coming ski season may not be much.
Where is the Fox Creek, the trail on the “postcard” video? I can’t seem to find it. If the audio track said where the trail is, the computer is not palying audio at present.
Are there more trails like that one-classic only- in the area?
I’m taking at least a year off work, maybe for good starting in August 2013.
In reading the web site, a guess is that early November might have more than just Frozen Thunder in shape for skiing. The mountain bike season is pretty much done here in November. Why roller ski if there’s real snow somewhere?
I’ve enjoyed the web site and learned a lot about your area.

Jeff Bolte
Hudson, WI USA

Hi Jeff:
Is this the video you’re referring to? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiLTIBKMZt0
Every trail in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park is designated as classic only. There’s 75k in total. If you’re specifically looking for the narrower single track trails, in addition to Fox creek there’s Boulton creek and Moraine. Here’s a map http://skierbob.ca/plpp-trails-maps/ We’re usually skiing in PLPP by late November. I hope you make it up here for some great skiing. Other areas you can consider in the vicinity are Ribbon Creek, Lake Louise, and Banff. -Bob

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6 Clive Cordery February 2, 2009 at 9:30 pm

Hi Bob, love the site – it’s great to be able to get current trail reports. Re the fellow asking about the Elk Lakes cabin. I’ve done the trip from the Elk Pass trailhead several times both on back country touring skis and also track skis. Typically you can follow the snowmobile trail up the powerline access road from Elk Lakes Provincial Park in BC right up to Elk Pass. Its quite reasonable if the snow conditions are good.

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7 Chip January 29, 2009 at 10:43 am

Hi Bob. I know that your site is a wonderful resource for track skiers but, as I occasionally venture to the dark side of backcountry skiing, I thought that I’d give a report on a few recent trips.

Baker Creek. Icy up to the meadows at about the 6 km point as of last week. Given other reports of lack of snow in the area, I’d stay away.

Hector Gorge. Chic Scott describes this as an easy tour through forest. Well, it may have been such when the book was written but those conditions are no longer current. There is a great deal of deadfall on the trail and so had skins on the entire trip (9 km in 5 hours) because we were literally climbing over and under trees. My unofficial count is that we hopped and kick-turned and crawled over and under 50+ trees out and back. What’s worse is that you don’t get any views of the Gorge. So…if you want to practice your climbing skills in 2 meter shoes, give ‘er a go. Otherwise, find another trail.

Yesterday, we did Healy Pass (9.5 km and 700 meters gain). We had beautiful snow once we cleared the trees and the trail in the trees was firm but good. New snow falling all day. I’d say that this is THE place to go right now.

Cheers,
Chip

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8 Rachelle December 28, 2008 at 9:22 pm

Hi Bob,

It was a pleasure to meet you on the Cascade fire road today. The skiing was great, and the scenery was fantastic as always.

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9 Bob Truman December 29, 2008 at 12:11 pm

Hi Rachelle;
Thanks for the comment. It truly was a spectacular day. It was fun trying to keep up with you. I kept waiting for you to zoom past me on the long downhill at the end. My camera lens was foggy when I snapped the photos but they are interesting nevertheless. Hopefully I’ll get another opportunity to meet you on the trails and get a better picture. – Bob

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10 ed roebroek November 30, 2008 at 4:17 pm

Thanx for the blog
i am adding this to a list of my favorites
even though my wife and i dont do a lot of xc skiing
a couple of days a year in banff/kcountry is all
we like to get in about 20 days a year of back country skiing
so we find any info about snow and trail conditions useful

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11 Gordon Kirk November 27, 2008 at 4:10 pm

Bob, thanks for the quick response to my earlier message. I too have met the skiers who feel ‘entitled’ to ski “any way they want anywhere they want” and yet I still feel, with proper education and continued polite but active discouragement they will eventually get the message and go to a trail where they can properly enjoy their ski experience. I use the analogy of it’s like trying to kayak in a diving pool when divers are using the dive platforms; you can do it but not safely and why bother.

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12 bobtruman November 27, 2008 at 11:28 am

Hi Gord;
I often wonder at the mindset of skiers who insist on skating on PLPP trails. It’s obvious to anyone that the trails are too narrow for skating without damaging the tracks. I can only surmise that some people are inconsiderate of anyone but themselves.

I have often suggested, in a very pleasant way, to skate-skiers where they can find trails which are specifically groomed for skate skiing. I remember one instance in particular where the offender retorted that “I pay my taxes, I’m entitled to use these trails.” I don’t know if any amount of education will help people like that.

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13 Gordon Kirk November 27, 2008 at 10:41 am

Bob, nice informative site/blog. Lots of great info and nice pictures of lovely ski trails. Is there any chance of you mentioning that P. Lougheed Provincial Park Trails, due to their narrow width and close set double tracks, are not conducive to skate skiing, without doing noticeable damage to the classic tracks and creating potential safety concerns on hills and corners. I do both types of skiing but wouldn’t dream of trying to skate ski on the narrower trails of P. Lougheed Park. Any educational message you can provide on your blog would be appreciated by the many classic skiers who use these trails. I’ve raised this issue with Prov. Parks personnel but they say they can’t ‘ban’ skate skiing on these trails but have agreed to put an educational message in their new Trail Etiquette brochure suggesting skate skiers consider nearby Mt. Shark for this activity. Any educational message you could build in to your Blog site would be appreciated, I’m sure.

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