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1 Ann April 24, 2017 at 2:11 am

Hello everyone

I am putting together a winter holiday in Canada. I am keen on x country skiing, nordic style. Does anyone know of a group I could join for a hut to hut trip or a trip with a base camp and day skiing? Either with a commercial operation or with a club?

I will be travelling alone and I am keen to meet up with a group of like minded people? I have very good endurance for long days, reasonable skiing confidence, though would be keen on some instruction beforehand to get used to the local conditions.

Any help would be much appreciated

(New Zealand)


2 Charis Copland April 17, 2017 at 8:35 pm

Hey folks,

Lost a car key in PLPP this afternoon. A single key on a KIA fob. No falls or any obvious place or reason to loose it, but if you are wandering along Fox Creek/Elk Pass/ Patterson/ Hydroline, please keep your eyes open.



3 Jen Gibson April 12, 2017 at 4:34 pm

We are planning on going x-country skiing tomorrow, April 13th, 2017. Curious to know where to take kids x-country skiing either in Banff (preferably) or Canmore where there is plenty of snow. We just went to the Canmore Nordic Centre on Sunday so would prefer a different location in Canmore if possible please.
Thank you in advance.


4 Bob Truman April 12, 2017 at 4:52 pm

The only other places with skiable snow would be Lake Louise(Moraine Lake road or the Great Divide), and Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, preferably on the newest grooming.


5 Cathryn March 26, 2017 at 8:46 pm

Hi Bob! Just wanted to say how variable spring skiing can be as my partner and I had one of the most difficult skis of our lives on Friday at Mount Shark around 2pm. We were skating and it felt like we were wearing classic skis with very unsuitable wax on compared with today at 10 am where conditions were hard packed and much speedier! Of course by noon things were softening up but excellent given the temperature. Great ski day!


6 Pete March 26, 2017 at 6:37 pm

Hi Bob! Just wondering with regards to the 1000km club are you counting km’s from the start of the season or from January 1st on?


7 Bob Truman March 26, 2017 at 6:52 pm

From the start of the season. If it was from Jan 1st, I would never have become a member of the club.


8 Pete March 26, 2017 at 7:30 pm

I’m sure you’re more then capable Bob!


9 Jennifer March 23, 2017 at 6:02 pm

Hey folks!!

I have been out of commission for cross country skiing all season and am now ready to go out for as much skiing as I can get before the season ends. Has anyone been out to the great divide lately? The website lists Conditions as fair. Is it very icy? How about the Canmore nordic centre? I’m looking for some good quality tracks within a few hours drive from calgary. Any suggestions?


10 Doug March 17, 2017 at 2:09 pm

I haven’t seen any recent updates on the Lake O’Hara fire road. Parks Canada said there was evidence of avalanches on the road, but didn’t provide advice on whether I should ski it. The news is saying the conditions are ripe for avalanches throughout the back-country. Can anyone provide advice or a recent trail report?
It would be much appreciated.


11 Pete March 17, 2017 at 2:24 pm

Parks is advising avoiding all avalanche terrain including run-outs as anything that comes down is running full path. Saturday it’s rated as extreme danger at and above tree line and high below. There’s a few large run outs on lake O’hara road that cross the road so I wouldn’t risk going near them. I’d check for more info.


12 Hugh March 17, 2017 at 2:34 pm

Doug Avalanche Canada lists Banff and Yoho as HIGH HIGH HIGH today and EXTREME EXTREME HIGH tomorrow. It’s safe to say (probably the wrong word) that there will be avalanches in the back country. Conditions appear to be ripe for avalanches to rip new paths as well. Even in Canmore we’ve seen spontaneous releases on Lawrence Grassi.
Lake O’hara has had at least two slide down to cover the road along traditional paths.Do you want to risk it whether or not Parks gives you advice? If you go ,Avi gear and the knowledge to how to use it is essential. More importantly knowledge of where you should be or not as you ski along. Be safe. I’d be skiing the Divide Pipestone, Moraine if I was out that way.


13 Pete March 17, 2017 at 2:52 pm

Just read on the banff park avalanche report “30mm of precipitation Saturday with 100km/hr winds in the alpine” Yikes! You might want to go for a stroll in downtown Banff or Canmore instead!


14 Normand March 17, 2017 at 3:51 pm

About 25 yrs ago, I had seen an old x-c ski trail map from PLPP, showing a potential avalanche path onto the Tyrwhitt ski trail. Quite feasible to have a runnout of avalanche debris reaching the x-c ski trail, coming down the Lewis Range, from Mt Pocaterra to Mt Tyrwhitt spine. No different from slides coming off Pilot Mtn onto the Red Earth Creek trail. Most people are unaware of this. Given this, I would likely not ski Tyrwhitt between Elk Pass and Whiskey Jack this weekend, but that is only me in spite of my risk tolerance being high. Stay stay either way.


15 Normand March 17, 2017 at 3:55 pm

Forgot to mention, on Google Earth, one can clearly see at least 4 runnouts from the Lewis Range, all the way to the Tyrwhitt trail.


16 Pete March 17, 2017 at 5:20 pm

A number of years ago an avalanche actually did reach the tyrwhitt trail but like you say most people wouldn’t realize it would be possible. Even the steep slopes on the sides of trails like elk pass have potential to bury a person(s) in these conditions.

17 Pete March 17, 2017 at 5:34 pm

Actually if you search “Tyrwhitt avalanche” on this site there’s a write up about it.

It occurred April 2012. Although it was near the end of the season, they were still grooming in PLPP and had to refrain from doing Tyrwhitt. Here’s the link Tyrwhitt Avalanche -Bob

18 barb banff March 16, 2017 at 3:46 pm

thanks. sorry 4 dumb question. i never go to CNC mail! just live grooming.
it might be the best place to ski for a while!


19 bonnie March 16, 2017 at 8:17 am

Me and some other ladies are off for a xc ski trip this tuesday March 21. Where is our best bet for safe and good skiing – given the avalanche warnings and higher temps? We are all about intermediate level.

We have done lots of kananaskis village trails, looking to expand.


20 Helen Read March 16, 2017 at 11:44 am

In these kind of Spring-like conditions, my recommendations would always be going wherever the most recent grooming has occurred, eg. Elk Pass/Blueberry just done and whatever is newly tracked out at Lk Louise way, but the snow was so wet, it is difficult for groomers. “Planned” grooming is for Moraine Lake Rd and Great Divide. Waxless would be my choice of ski, unless you are good at waxing in these kind of temperatures. Have a terrific w/e. It is nearing the end of the season (for me anyways).


21 barb banff March 15, 2017 at 11:52 pm

Does anyone know how to find out what trails will be affected by the cross country races starting this weekend ?
CNC website has no information.


22 Bob Truman March 16, 2017 at 8:11 am

This is what’s been posted on the CNC Trail Report:

EVENT NOTE: Cross Country Ski Nationals are taking place from March 18 – 25th. Closures will include Olympic, Centennial, King of Sweden, Osprey and parts of Meadowview and Coyote.

Expect the parking lot to be congested during this time. We highly recommend taking Roam Transit on the weekend.


23 GordN March 10, 2017 at 6:04 pm

Speaking of Blueberry last weekend, I recall way way back (Toko ski wax from the Bay, stickers price tags kinda way way back) that it was a really narrow twisty trail? Or would that have been Skogan?…I’m thinking maybe 1987,,ish?


24 Jeff March 10, 2017 at 6:53 pm

Hi Gord
If you go back even further to when x-country ski pants were wool knickers and bindings had 3 pins with a wire gate to hold you onto your wooden skis . Skogan Pass went through the middle of where Nakiska is now. The trail though was always a power line access road with a large metal tube gate just above the Skogan Loop jct. Beyond the gate the trail always felt very narrow because it had grown in. We used a D4 cat around 1987 to reroute the trail to what is now known as the “screamer” all the way to the bottom.


25 GordN March 11, 2017 at 8:34 am

I still wear the wool pants! LOL, see my pic on the home page last Sunday, OK, good to know, I remember getting the pants scared off me coming down that.


26 Keith March 8, 2017 at 5:16 pm

Hi Bob,
The old PLPP xc ski map shows the length of Whiskey Jack at 4.3 km. The new map shows it to be 3.4 km. Is there a mistake on the new map.
I know you have spent time reviewing this distance.


27 Rap Perrott March 8, 2017 at 8:29 pm

My GPS generally shows Whiskey Jack at 3.3km


28 Bob Truman March 8, 2017 at 11:08 pm

I consistently get 3.4K from the Moraine junction, and 3.8 from the Boulton Creek parking lot.


29 Diana Piggott March 9, 2017 at 8:13 am

Thank you for that clarification, Bob!
I notice that some maps show Whiskey Jack beginning at the Boulton Bridge parking lot, and wonder if that explains the difference?


30 Jennifer March 5, 2017 at 10:22 pm

Does anyone know what Shaganappi is like? I can’t find any info posted after Feb. 11.


31 Jody March 5, 2017 at 7:55 am

Gold For Canada!
Kudos to Alex Harvey for an amazing race and the gold medal in the 50k at the World Championships in Finland. A record was set in the process for the fastest 50k race at 1:46:28.9.


32 Jody March 5, 2017 at 7:58 am

If anyone wants to watch this exciting race, it will likely show up on the Skiing Vinnie youtube channel later today.


33 fallsalot March 5, 2017 at 5:06 pm

That is awesome, I’ve heard on the radio coming back from LL. I will definitely watch it on Youtube but was hoping for a CBC broadcast.


34 Chuck March 5, 2017 at 6:10 pm
35 Larissa March 3, 2017 at 9:09 am

Has anyone skied at Maple Ridge recently? Just wondering if anyone knows what conditions are like for both classic and skate.


36 GordN March 2, 2017 at 2:46 pm

Chuck needs his very own “tag”. I’m trying to search one of his reports w/pictures (McArthur ??) to no avail, Even the googs was stumped


37 Diana Piggott March 3, 2017 at 9:24 am

Look under “Backcountry” trip reports, it is near the top, February 24th 🙂


38 GordN March 3, 2017 at 11:06 am

aha! Thanks,, It’s lake, not valley!


39 Anne February 28, 2017 at 9:37 pm

Anybody driving by Pocaterra?
We forgot my son’s skis at Pocaterra on Sunday, Feb 26. They are about 160 cm long, Fisher, NNN binding, waxless, with black Swix poles. They were still there by Sunday night (thank you Pete for noticing !!)
Anybody willing on stopping by and driving them back to Calgary? I don’t have time to get them from Pocaterra before the Lake Louise Loppet upcoming Sunday.
Your help would be greatly appreciated!!


40 Steven February 28, 2017 at 6:12 pm

Had a great time skiing at the north end of PLPP on Sunday morning, but encountered several perplexed adults, and at least two asked “But where is POCATERRA?” Obviously they had not skied since the flood.

I found myself wanting to say “This ain’t your mom’s Pocaterra.” I commiserated with them all over the fact that there wasn’t an easy trail out of the Pocaterra lodge anymore. Really though, was there ever an easy trail there? The bowling alley of a hill at the beginning/end of Pocaterra was always a blocker for beginners.

I wish that there was a sign at the lodge saying explicitly that there are NO easy trails at Pocaterra and to point them to Elkwood or William Watson for a better experience.


41 Pete February 28, 2017 at 6:25 pm

I had the same question from a couple last week. I had to explain to them how the flood changed everything and that pocaterra is a whole new trail (except for the hilly part from the hut you mentioned) and come along uses a section which used to be part of the original pocaterra. Boulton isn’t a beginner trail anymore either as the flood damaged much of the original.


42 Anne February 28, 2017 at 9:20 am

Lost Skis at Pocaterra!
We forgot my son’s skis at Pocaterra on Sunday, Feb 26. They are about 160 cm long, Fisher, NNN binding, waxless, with black Swix poles.
Anybody seen them?
I already tried the K-Country “lost and found”, but they have not found it.


43 Pete February 28, 2017 at 10:38 am

I briefly walked by the hut late on Sunday afternoon and saw a pair of skis and poles leaning on the ski rack. Couldn’t tell you if they match your missing skis though. There was only one car in the lot at the time. Your best bet would be to drive out there and have a look.


44 Anne February 28, 2017 at 9:12 pm

Hi Pete,
thank you so much for the info! I might have to go on a drive to check for them and retrieve them.


45 Pete February 28, 2017 at 10:07 pm

You’re welcome. I feel bad I didn’t grab them (if they were in fact your sons skis). Hopefully they are still there or some kind person picks them up and returns them to you.


46 Martin Jones March 1, 2017 at 9:13 am

I plan on a PLPP trip tomorrow, Thursday, if that helps, I live in Bearspaw, Calgary NW


47 Michael and Annalee February 25, 2017 at 7:16 am

Can anyone hazard a guess on what Cascade fire road would be like for skate today?

It was last groomed on the 23rd and I’m wondering how much loose snow is present.


48 Bob Truman February 25, 2017 at 7:32 am

Check the Trip Report from HeatherD. She was there yesterday and saw the groomer/tracksetter.


49 Nancy February 23, 2017 at 1:00 pm

I’m looking for advice on the Goat Creek trail from Canmore to Banff. Is it track set and what are the conditions? We hope to ski it (only one-way) this weekend.
Thanks for your help.


50 Bob Truman February 23, 2017 at 4:56 pm

Nancy, I went up there today and checked it out for you. I was amazed at what I found. I will give details and photos on tonight’s update.


51 GordN February 20, 2017 at 11:22 pm

My tip of the day:

Stopped to wax? Skin up?

The dreaded snow “jammed under your boot” syndrome?

Pull out your seat pad ( I use a cut up ’80’s blue sleep foamy) and stand on it! Also slows down the inevitable post holing when you step off.

Tried it today, out off the blue (sky) it came to me. Works like a charm.


52 MG February 19, 2017 at 4:39 pm


What a great website. Planning a visit to the Canmore/Banff area March 26-30. Is that typically too late in the season to find some good XC skiing? Seems like a warm year, here in Manitoba everything is melting. I thought I read somewhere that the late season is better near Lake Louise.

Looking for advice.



53 GordN February 20, 2017 at 11:17 pm

That’s a tough one but maybe look at the archives (by month & year) on the right side of the home page?

We just never know!


54 Bernardk February 21, 2017 at 6:23 am

I agree with Gord that depending on the year, trails like Great Divide or Moraine Lake can be still okay in Lake Louise at that time. The Canmore Nordic Center is hosting Canadian Nationals March 18-25 so they should still have snow as well on the competition trails


55 Barry G February 21, 2017 at 5:37 pm

Hi Manitoba. There are usually periods of warm days in the double digits by late March, but frequently there is a brief (1-2 day) final shot of winter. Plan to ski early in the morning on glazed tracks, finishing before things warm up and get soft and very very slow. Waxless skis are advisable, klister too, fluoro glider sure helps me. My records for Peter Lougheed PP and Canmore Nordic Centre follow. Mt Shark will probably and Ribbon Creek will no doubt be finished by then. Lake Louise typically has a bit longer season.
Last day of grooming:
2012 – 7 Apr – PLPP
2013 – 20 Apr – still skiing at CNC albeit skirting patches of bare asphalt
2014 – 20 Apr – PLPP, 1 May – CNC
2015 (el Nino)– 27 Mar –CNC, 5 Apr –PLPP
2016 (el Nino) – 8 Apr –CNC, 10 Apr – PLPP


56 Tawny February 15, 2017 at 8:17 am

Going out to Cypress (from the Elkwater side) to ski this weekend. I know they trackset on Monday, but I’m hoping someone is out there and can let me know how the tracks are doing in this heat.



57 RichieRich February 12, 2017 at 11:48 am

re: Bill Milne trail near Kananaskis Lodge

I always wondered who this guy was, what made him important, and how come there was a trail named after him. Guessing I’m not the only one. Anyways came across this random story quite by accident that explains answers to the first 2 questions… does anyone know the answer to the 3rd?

In short: Bill was the architect for the Calgary Tower when built in 1960’s.


58 Rose February 12, 2017 at 1:20 pm

I’m pretty sure that there is a sign with info about him at the bridge over the Kananaskis river leading into the village area. This seems to match what I read:


59 Bob Truman February 12, 2017 at 6:34 pm

You can read the wording on the plaque on this update I posted last year Thank you Bill Milne


60 GordN February 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

speaking of names, who the heck is Soapy Smith??!


61 Henry February 13, 2017 at 8:00 am

That’s a great name. Doesn’t appear to have a Canadian connection, or am I mistaken?


62 GordN February 13, 2017 at 9:56 am
63 Barry G February 13, 2017 at 5:55 pm

Apparently Soapy Smith founded Rafter 6. Interesting to see the different info in these two sources:

Rafter Six Ranch History
In the 1880s Colonel James Walker of the Northwest Mounted Police (NWMP) established a rough line shack, and pastured and bred horse’s on the land that today is Rafter Six Ranch. The Mounties eventually moved their horse operations closer to Calgary, and next into the area was an old Trapper and Mountain Man, called Soapy Smith. Soapy was quite a character, and in addition to having a rep’ as a man who never sold a good horse, he had an eye for the ladies. In his mid seventies, Soapy took a teen aged wife, Eva, and together they homesteaded the land and took rich clients on guided hunting trips.
Soapy and Eva operated the guest ranch, and housed their guests in tents, teepees, a small log lodge. Cabins were added as the years went by. Soapy died in the late 1930s, and Eva remarried and operated the ranch right up until Stan Cowley bought the ranch in 1976. A half-diamond over the number six – is what is called a rafter six in branding lingo. After acquiring the Ranch, the original horse brand was registered to Stan Cowley. The Tradition continues. . . .

Rafter Six Ranch was first established by Herbert
Alonzo “Soapy” Smith (who changed his last
name from Scott), born in 1878 in Vermont,
who began working for the Brewster brothers in
1905 as a harness maker and later as a guide.
Soapy, who immigrated to Canada in 1904,
worked part of the season as a guider, and then
leased land for horse ranching in the Jumping
Pound district with his half-brother Fred Scott.
Herbert registered the Rafter Six horse brand,
which was placed on the horse’s right shoulder,
in circa 1914. He maintained ownership
of the brand until his death in 1948. In the
1920s, Herbert leased a plot of land adjacent
to the Kananaskis River from the provincial
government that would later become Rafter
Six Ranch. There he built a small vernacular
log cabin near the river, which was later badly
damaged in a spring flood. Together with his
partner, Eva Alice Coates (1915-1976), who
would became his wife in 1934, established
Rafter Six Ranch as a horse ranch with guiding
services offered to interested parties.
Herbert’s skill with ranching was unparalleled
in the area; however, his great love was guiding
and outfitting, and after he established Rafter Six Ranch he slowly began to develop the site
for guests.


64 GordN February 13, 2017 at 8:39 pm

That’s awesome, I think that trumps Pocaterra’s story!

65 Pete February 13, 2017 at 9:09 pm

It’s a shame the old ranch building was torn down recently by the new owners. There was a lot of history in that old building.

66 Diana Piggott February 13, 2017 at 10:55 pm

Bizarre. So there were at least two completely different Soapy Smiths??

67 Henry February 15, 2017 at 8:31 am

That’s great detective work. What great history.
Indeed, what a difference between the two accounts.
The one has him dying in the late 1930’s while the other has him marrying in ’34. That’s possible, I guess.

68 joe February 11, 2017 at 11:58 am

I was hoping to do some skate skiing on Bill Milne tomorrow but it looks as though it hasn’t been groomed since the last snowfall. Anybody have an update? Just wondering if there is several cm of snow on top of the grooming, making for slow conditions. Thank you in advance for any updates/advice!


69 JeremyN February 10, 2017 at 1:34 pm

RE:PLPP -found an old map from when I skied there LAST century (ya I’m a map hound), and noticed the trail called LIONEL which took off south from sounding lake /pocaterra and rejoined it b/w packers & wj. Anyone know why parks doesn’t trackset that anymore (maybe b/c wildlife corridor?). If not it would be a nice alternative given pressure pocaterra sees on weekends. Thx.


70 Alf Skrastins February 10, 2017 at 5:48 pm

The Lionel trail is Hwy #40, south of the winter gates. It was groomed because… the road already exists, it is gentle and perfect for novice skiers and it is wide enough to groom for skate skiing (think Moraine Lake Road).
The grooming ended with the Ralph Klein cut-backs. There has been no extra money for Alberta Parks, so the grooming of Lionel was never re-started.


71 JeremyN February 10, 2017 at 6:44 pm

Thanks Alf. That is also what I suspected -I’ll have to take that pocaterra ‘off-shoot’ coming north of wj coming sometime and enjoy a fresh road decent down for a change. Cheers.


72 barb banff February 7, 2017 at 10:35 pm

lake o’hara
does any know if it’s been trackset yet- and/or
what day it’s usually done? i’m thinking it might have been
on Thursday?

It was trackset on Thursday but would be covered with fresh snow. Should be done again this Thursday. – Bob


73 Donna January 28, 2017 at 12:41 pm

Hi, has anyone been skiing at Emerald Lake Lodge? What are the conditions like? Can anyone help with this? Thanks


74 Bob Truman January 28, 2017 at 4:26 pm

Willski was at Emerald Lake yesterday and did a blog update complete with photos.


75 Aldona January 27, 2017 at 10:19 am

Our group from Regina is wondering if Goat Creek is doable tomorrow? Any reports?


76 Bob Truman January 27, 2017 at 11:00 am

We haven’t had any recent reports, and I’m surmising that’s because nobody is skiing it. After the meltdown, we’ve had no new snow, so it’s probably very icy and borderline dangerous.


77 Tammy January 25, 2017 at 7:31 pm

Anyone know what the current conditions at Mt Shark are. Thinking of going there this weekend. hasn’t been groomed in a week and no fresh snow. Wondering what the melting has been or if the base has kept fairly well.


78 Bob Truman January 25, 2017 at 7:39 pm

Check Helen Read’s trip report. She was there today. It’s usually groomed on Thursday nights.


79 Tammy January 26, 2017 at 7:28 pm

Thanks Bob! Very helpful. First time using your site. Will definitely make more use of it. Lots to navigate through but figuring it out. Will check out Mt Shark this weekend


80 Hugh January 24, 2017 at 4:12 pm

I know this is an XC site VS backcountry but this is of interest to all of us. I’ve talked to folks who were in Avi terrain on snowshoes or touring/ skinny skis who told me they didn’t go on avalanche slopes!
“Lindsey Corrigan is no stranger to the mountains. Born and raised in Revelstoke, the daughter of guide Buck Corrigan, she’s spent a lot time in the backcountry.

Last Tuesday, Jan. 17, she was caught by surprise when she and her partner Trent Kidd triggered an avalanche while out for a dog walk at Carnes Creek campground north of Revelstoke.”


81 GordN January 23, 2017 at 10:32 pm
82 Rose January 23, 2017 at 9:44 pm

We skied Pipestone on Saturday and came across the two old cabins on the Merlin trail. We were wondering if anybody knew the story of them?


83 fallsalot January 22, 2017 at 11:57 am

Canada’s men team is on the roll. Today in 4×7.5 km relay Canada takes bronze( almost silver). Congrats.


84 Henry January 23, 2017 at 8:16 am

Thanks for sharing. What a strong finish! Wonderful to watch.


85 Christine January 21, 2017 at 8:19 pm

Tried to ski up to the Ink Pots towards Larry’s Camp but conditions were hard and icy. So many walkers had been on the trail that it was very fast coming down so we kept our skins on. We followed the trail a short distance beyond the Ink Pots (about 1 km) before returning. More snow needed.


86 fallsalot January 21, 2017 at 6:54 pm

Wow, another gold for Canada in cross country world cup competition. This time Alex Harvey wins in 15 km freestyle. Congratulation to Alex. Go Canada Go.


87 Ania January 19, 2017 at 12:38 pm

Has anyone been to mount shark area lately? What are the conditions of the trails? We were hoping to head down on Sunday – but not planning on ice skating 😉


88 Jan January 21, 2017 at 7:19 pm

Skied at Mt. Shark today. Conditions are great, with recent tracksetting holding up very well and skaters were enjoying the fresh grooming. High was forecast around -6C, but I think that might have been in the sun, so colder than expected. No wind. Go!


89 Manfred Kintop January 19, 2017 at 8:46 am

Hi Bob, I noticed that you do not have a link to the Sandy McNabb trail system. Here you go:

Thanks, I’ve added it to the maps menu. -Bob


90 Catherine January 17, 2017 at 6:48 pm

Where near Okotoks would you suggest a total novice skier goes for their first time out?


91 Peter January 17, 2017 at 6:09 pm

Does anyone know what condition Lake O’Hara Road is in?


92 Barbara January 17, 2017 at 6:11 pm

I went there yesterday, but didn’t end up skiing it because it looked pretty beat up. It’s not trackset yet and had seen all the use from the weekend. It snowed a fair bit here today, so I’d guess that everything is snow-covered without tracks now.


93 GordN January 17, 2017 at 9:46 am

Some interesting tips in this video and in the comments too.

Anyone seen electric socks??


94 GordN January 17, 2017 at 9:48 am
95 ute January 15, 2017 at 7:05 pm

Hi All,
I would like to ski Goat Creek this coming Saturday. Wondering if there is a shuttle or taxi service that would take me from Canmore the the trailhead.

Thanks, u


96 GordN January 17, 2017 at 9:47 am

Maybe try ? Not sure if they run in winter or not though


97 fallsalot January 15, 2017 at 3:04 pm

Canada men team wins gold in Toblach in sprint free style.


98 Hugh January 15, 2017 at 6:13 pm

What a great race!


99 Rose January 14, 2017 at 7:36 pm

Today we skied Sandy McNabb up the east side of Macabee Loop, up to the Pine Ridge viewpoint then down via Balsam Link and Long Prairie. It seems this is pretty typical of our preferred kind of ski … Lots of work up, with a big reward returning to the trailhead. It made me wonder how many folks prefer this kind of ski compared to more rolling terrain like at Kananaskis Village or Mt Shark. I like both, but it makes for a very different outing.
Ps. All four of us returned to the car with the most amazing grins on our faces!


100 Lucie January 14, 2017 at 10:34 am

Is there any way to find out what trails are track-set in Calgary and where they are? I heard that South Glenmore Park has something, but cannot find any reliable info. Unlike info about trails in the mountains, I am not sure where to have a good info source re: Calgary. Thank you!


101 Bob Truman January 14, 2017 at 10:54 am

Besides the Foothills Ski Club link for Confed and Canmore Park, as far as I know, this is all there is


102 Rose January 14, 2017 at 7:28 pm

The city has been grooming Maple Ridge and it is really good. To find out where the city has trackset at South Glenmore, I suggest calling 311


103 Manfred Kintop January 17, 2017 at 11:36 am

The city has track-set a trail running from the tennis courts at South Glenmore Park (where the marina is off 24th) west to the parking lot close to the Weaslehead access @ Oakmont drive and 90th. Last week it was in great shape but as of this writing..your guess is as good as mine!


104 joe January 12, 2017 at 7:30 pm

Hi everybody
I am new to skate skiing and had a question about trail use. Based on trail descirptions, some trails are said to have skate lane, and others are designated as classic. But when I look at photos I see groomed lanes as wide or wider than on others that are designated skate trails. For example, somebody from work says that there are skate skiing options on some of the trails at Peter Lougheed, but I haven’t read that in trail descriptions. Moose Connector is said to have skate lane on trail descriptions, but I find it barely wide enough to skate. Am I missing something here? Is it taboo to skate on these trails? Are there some unwritten rules that skiers understand when it comes to skate skiing?

Great blog; thanks to Bob and contributors for sharing reports and information with fellow skiers!



105 dan January 9, 2017 at 3:00 pm

Does anyone know if the Lake O’Hara fire road is trackset yet, and if not, when it might be this year? Thank you


106 Bob Truman January 9, 2017 at 4:21 pm

This question gets asked a lot. The tracksetting is done by Lake O’Hara Lodge, and they will trackset the trail when the lodge opens, usually the last week in January.


107 helen Read January 9, 2017 at 6:22 pm

Lodge does open on February 2nd. I have a letter from Alison stating so. This means Bruce and staff will be getting the road ready likely a few days prior to their re-opening on that Thursday. Best for skiers to keep sending in their reports and then we will know EXACTLY!!!


108 Laura January 8, 2017 at 3:38 pm

Hi there! I’m looking for some etiquette help on the single tracks at PLPP (e.g. Moraine, Fox Creek). I noticed there is a sign reading “One Way” sort of by the north end of Moraine (around campsites). Does this mean the xc ski trail is a one way and if so what way is it to be skiied? Or two way traffic, yield to downhill skiers? I have had a couple of near misses and find it tough to jump out of tracks on a downhill, particularly on some of the narrow sections.


109 Martin Jones January 8, 2017 at 3:57 pm

I don’t know of any ‘one-way’ skiing @ PLPP or anywhere else for that matter, I think the sign you’re referring to is a summer traffic sign for the camp site.

As always, yield to the downhill skier, on the flats play chicken and see who blinks first !


110 Laura January 9, 2017 at 8:43 am

Thank you! Some of those trails get pretty narrow and I wanted to make sure I wasn’t in the wrong 🙂


111 Martin Jones January 4, 2017 at 10:52 am

Interested to hear grip wax tips/tricks whilst on the trail, in particular how to apply apply wax in cold temps. My own experience is it’s really tough to crayon on cold wax onto a cold ski, for sure warming the wax and drying the ski would help, but how?


112 pat davis January 5, 2017 at 12:20 pm

Try keeping the wax you think you are likely to want to use inside your clothing and under the insulating layer. Works for me.


113 Shulamit January 5, 2017 at 12:36 pm

I keep a lighter and/or matches and candle in my kit. I’m interested to hear about other ideas too.


114 Alf Skrastins January 4, 2017 at 9:23 am

West Bragg Creek live weather info:
The weather at the West Bragg Creek trails is often different from both Calgary and the Canmore/Kananaskis area. Fortunately, there are two “Weather Underground” personal weather stations near the WBC trails, which will provide you with current conditions. This station is located just east of the West Bragg Creek parking lot at about the same elevation as the Crystal Line trails. The second station is located at ridge-top north-west of the parking lot, at about the same elevation as Long Distance, Merlin View and Ranger Summit trails.
It is currently -32 at Lake Louise, -31 in Banff, -19 C in Kananaskis and -12C at West Bragg Creek. It’s certainly worthwhile to know how to find the better weather!


115 Bob Truman January 4, 2017 at 9:35 am

Thanks, Alf. I added one of those to the Weather menu.


116 Dan January 3, 2017 at 3:30 pm

Hello there

I am visiting Alberta (lake louise) in March and really want to catch a glimpse of Moraine Lake but am aware of the road closures. I have read up on the cross country ski route but as a novice skier and outsider of Canada, wouldn’t have a clue where to start! Would someone be interested in helping me or guiding me on this route? (Happy to pay!)
Please, any advice would be greatly appreciated



117 Chuck January 3, 2017 at 5:02 pm

Hello Dan,
Do you realize that Moraine Lake will still be frozen, and covered in snow in March?
You should also know that while the first 9 km up to the viewpoint is fairly straight forward, the last 3 km down to the lake exposes you to a significant avalanche path and is not groomed.
Wondering why you ‘want to catch a glimpse of Moraine Lake’, and why you are coming in March?
I am sure our blog community can give you some good advice!


118 Pete January 3, 2017 at 9:29 pm

I agree with Chuck. If you are a novice skier going solo I wouldn’t chance crossing the avalanche slopes before the lake. They are large and can’t be crossed quickly enough especially if you are breaking trail across them. They also tend to slide more often that time of year as the temperature goes up. You could try finding a guided ski to the lake, perhaps from the university of Calgary outdoor centre, or other organization that runs trips around lake Louise. At least then you would be part of a larger group. Or go in the summer when the lake is visible (but then you have to deal with the hazardous hordes of tourists!).


119 Dan January 4, 2017 at 12:15 am

Hey Pete,

Thanks the advice too!

Yeh not gonna risk the avalanche bit! As i said to Chuck, simply being able to view the area from a safe distance would be perfect.

I will definitly try and contact the university and see if any kind soul would be willing to help

Thanks again!



120 Dan January 4, 2017 at 12:13 am

Hey Chuck!
Thanks for the advice!

I am aware it will be frozen over, to be honest, i think its a glimpse of the ten peaks i would like to see.
Can you ski down to a viewpoint did i read correctly?
I don’t want to get right down to the lake as such, just a glimpse of the area would be magical.
Unfortunately March was the only time i could go




121 Chuck January 4, 2017 at 9:03 am

Hi Dan,
That clarification means good news for you. The viewpoint to get a ‘glimpse of the ten peaks’ is easy to get to. The viewpoint is at the 9 km mark at the end of the trail grooming and the actual high elevation point along this road.
The easy way to get relevant information on this straight forward trip is to type ‘Moraine Lake’ into the Search field in the top right hand corner of this Blog (just under the banner).


122 Dan January 4, 2017 at 2:32 pm

Chuck, that is fantastic news! As an outsider of Canada its so hard to get a genuine understanding of the place.

I have emailed the University of Calgary Outdoor Centre, and got a quote back of $500 for me and my girlfriend to have a guide for the day (inc ski equipment), does this seem a fair price?

appreciate it!



123 GordN January 7, 2017 at 12:30 pm

Wow, seems a lot, to me anyway. Test the waters on and see if there’s anybody heading out. Use Calgary Banff and Canmore as your search areas and search outdoor, and or cross country groups. Also there’s Julie from Full circle adventures, I think she’s under the resource tab at the top of the page. There’s the Calgary Outdoor club too but if your only in town briefly that may not match up

124 Martin January 2, 2017 at 7:35 pm

Is it possible to ski from Lake Louise village to the Pipestone loop? Is it necessary to make a mad dash across the highway when no one is looking.


125 Barb banff January 2, 2017 at 9:47 pm

Complicated but- –go down tramline to bridge and station restaurant- take Skis off – walk across rr tracks, down to road, turn left, walk 200 m west to end of govt. compound where there’s a highway pedestrian overpass which might have packed snow from tracksetters skidoos.
You come out across from Pipestone parking lot.

Alternatively from bridge at bottom of tramline there’s (might not be set yet) a trail that goes to east to mall, village area then back west along rr tracks past post hotel, hostle to the same end at compound area.


126 Martin January 2, 2017 at 10:27 pm

Thanks Barb, I’ll give it a go


127 Nancy January 2, 2017 at 8:06 am

I’m sitting here thinking to myself “when is it too cold to ski?”. Please share your experience skiing in the coldest of temperatures and what layering method works for you in these conditions?


128 Bob Truman January 2, 2017 at 8:21 am

Check today’s update, or go directly to this recent posting and read the 22 comments from readers


129 Nancy January 2, 2017 at 8:27 am

Thanks. I’ll know after today what works for me. Going to head to CNC where I can take refuge if it’s too brutally cold to ski.


130 barb banff January 1, 2017 at 7:03 pm

anyone braved the Bow – meadowlark trails that were allegedly trackset last night? rated ‘fair’ wonder how bad?


131 Peter L January 1, 2017 at 10:55 am

We had a great ski up on the Pipestone Loop yesterday (December 31st)… One thing we noticed was an EXTREME lack of animal tracks (rabbits, rodents, fox, etc.) compared to skiing within the Kananaskis (PLPP/Elk Pass) area… Does anyone know why (or want to speculate)? Is it due to the predator/prey ratio or is something else going on in BNP?




132 Barb banff January 1, 2017 at 11:08 pm

Well that is an interesting question. I lived in LL from 1996 to 2009 and skied the Pipestone multiple times a week. Back then the tracksetting was once every 2 weeks at Best. I rarely saw more that a couple people on the trail and the parking lot was NEVER full. Skiers with dog were the minority.
It was my favorite place to ski because, unlike the trails on other side of the valley, seeing wildlife sign or tracks was common. Lynx, wolves, hare and even wolverine.
Of course wildlife activity comes and goes,and there is some cycling with hare but my opinion is that the observed decline is a result of a large increase in human use.


133 cat December 29, 2016 at 7:15 pm

We’re thinking of going up to Boom lake tomorrow, but we’re unsure of conditions. Can anyone comment? Thanks!


134 Tracee Bersani Collins December 28, 2016 at 7:10 pm

Hi Bob
What are the conditions at Pocaterra now- Alberta parks and website says groomed but is it decent?


135 John December 28, 2016 at 12:16 pm

What’s the scoop on the x-country trails at Norquay? I see signage up there but have never seen anyone on skinny skis?


136 Chuck December 29, 2016 at 8:09 pm

Hi John,
Check out today’s Trip Report.
Thanks for the encouragement!


137 John December 30, 2016 at 8:41 am

Thx for the detailed trip report Chuck. Your pictures make it look very enticing.


138 Helen Read December 28, 2016 at 8:10 am

Has anyone been up to Sundance Lodge as yet? Am sure Chuck or Skier Bob will be headed that way in the near future or anyone else?
Also to answer Yuri’s question: suggest move up holiday to mid March. I noted last year: the last grooming of Moraine Lk Rd was April 10th, PLPP April 5th, Mt Shark end of March, and CNC closed prematurely Mar 27th. I usually hang up my skis by first week in April.


139 Bob Truman December 28, 2016 at 9:15 am

Good advice for Yuri.

As for Brewster Creek and Sundance Lodge, I’m going to take a break from rock picking for a while. The Banff trail report shows it’s been trackset but rated “Poor,” also known as “Rocky Road.”


140 Yuri December 27, 2016 at 5:45 pm

Average closing season for nordic center? Kananaskis? Looking to travel april 20, likely to be open/groomed???


141 GordN December 28, 2016 at 12:06 pm

That’d be pushing it I’d think.


142 Leah December 27, 2016 at 4:57 pm

Has anyone seen a groomed run at bowness park in Calgary? I see they are supposed to have it this year on the website that is groomed by the city. Any idea where the trail might be or go ?


143 Diana Piggott December 28, 2016 at 8:50 am

I have never seen a groomed trail at Bowness Park, though I have skied randomly around the park. I will look next time I am there. The whole park has been re-built since the flood.


144 pat davis December 26, 2016 at 12:42 pm

No-one skiing or snowshoeing the Chester Lake area? Anyone have any info?


145 Marc December 25, 2016 at 5:20 pm

First time skijoring with our 1 year old 75 lb Aussie Cattle Dog mix and I am hooked. So is he 🙂

Anyone know of any informal groups / clubs that do this sport or any others on here want to meet up to do this near Calgary / Bragg Creek and the surrounding areas?

Thanks in advance.



146 Zoe December 25, 2016 at 9:51 am

I am in Calgary today and tomorrow with a set of skate skis! Could someone recommend their favourite place in the Rockies that’s appropriate for some skate skiing? Easy to get to and beginner/intermediate trails? Thank you 🙂


147 Alf Skrastins December 25, 2016 at 10:13 am

The West Bragg Creek trails are your closest option from Calgary. The trails just got a bunch of new snow and were groomed on Dec 24. The skate trails include east and west Crystal Line, Sundog, Moose Connector and Mountain Road.


148 Bob Truman December 25, 2016 at 10:17 am

If you want to venture further than West Bragg Creek, Canmore Nordic Centre has about 10K of trails in excellent condition on their man-made snow and all are groomed for skate-skiing.

Upper Bankhead in Banff is an easy trail, 4.6K return from Lake Minnewanka, groomed for skating and classic. While there, you could also give Cascade Valley a try, but there is a big hill at the start which climbs about 100 metres over a distance of 1.5K.

Further yet, but worth the drive, the Great Divide at Lake Louise is very easy, and about 15K return with options to go further. Moraine Lake road at LL is a bit more difficult with another one of those long hills.

Have fun!


149 Zoe December 25, 2016 at 10:49 am

Thanks so much for your prompt and helpful replies! I appreciate it!


150 hugh December 24, 2016 at 12:38 pm

For Bob: here is the latest from Parks on how they are managing the Spray River /Goat Creek loops. Seems to be well thought out.


151 Bob Truman December 25, 2016 at 10:23 am

That’s an excellent plan that should eliminate a lot of conflict. Can’t wait for some snow to put it to use!


152 Philippe December 19, 2016 at 4:49 pm

Has anybody skied Red Earth Creek today Monday or even yesterday Sunday the 18th. Still track set to the junction? I’d like to to make the trip to Egypt Lake if conditions are good.


153 Bob Truman December 19, 2016 at 5:29 pm

Skied Redearth today. It’s in great shape and no more rocks on the first K. 5 cm of new snow since it was trackset. Tracks are still well-defined and quite fast. Downhills are safe with all the new snow. Will have some photos later.


154 Martin Jones December 19, 2016 at 3:19 pm

I ski and hike alone, I do carry bear spray, but don’t have any concerns about wildlife, I feel perfectly safe in popular areas even when I don’t see another soul for hours. Driving to and from the ski area is a very different matter!


155 Nancy December 19, 2016 at 3:07 pm

Do you ski by yourself? I will visit next week, and I will spend part of the time skiing by myself on the Lake Louise and Emerald Lake trails. Do you worry about wildlife? Do you carry bear spray? Thank you in advance for your help!


156 Derek December 19, 2016 at 8:08 am

Hi. I’m planning a XC ski vacation. Ski in-ski out suits our family situation the best. In the past we have either gone to Silver Star, Kimberley, or Canmore (not quite ski in/out). I’m wonder about Kananaskis Village area as a possibility. Maps seem to show a network of trails. I’m wondering about ease of access from the hotel without driving, amount of skate sking available, and anything else of interest to a nordic skier. Thanks for the ideas.


157 Bob Truman December 19, 2016 at 8:27 am

The first time I ever skied was from a hotel at Kananaskis Village. If I hadn’t gone for that weekend, I may never have skied to this day. To your question, you might have to walk for two minutes to get to the trailhead for Terrace trail. Skate skiing is available on the Bill Milne trail and Wedge connector, also within easy walking distance from the hotels if you start at the Village(you would have a speedy downhill to start, but a big climb to end the day).


158 Lindsey December 18, 2016 at 5:00 pm

Hey Bob! My friend and I are going to Kananaskis for a few days over the holidays to do some skiing. I am decent skier and she has never tried. We are looking for some easier trails to get us going. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated!


159 GordN December 18, 2016 at 11:32 pm

If you are going to the hotels there, you’ll find lots in the immediate vicinity, if you head south consider this link:

Also, on the way into the Park via Highway 40 (if enroute to the hotels) you’ll pass the Barrier Lake visitors information centre, stop in there as well.


160 Bob Truman December 19, 2016 at 8:19 am

Check out this link for novice skiers. I stress that snow and trail conditions should be your first concern.


161 Lindsey Stringer December 20, 2016 at 10:37 pm

Thanks a bunch!!


162 Anne Prendergast December 18, 2016 at 2:48 pm

We are arriving from Ottawa on December 27th to spend New Years in Canmore and would like to ski goat creek trail to Banff. How are the conditions at present and does anyone have any suggestions as to how we could get back to Canmore/our car to avoid having to ski the trail in both directions?


163 Hugh December 18, 2016 at 7:25 pm

There is the Bow Valley Roam Bus
You can get from Banff to Canmore and the NEW Bus service in Canmore will get you around.Canmore. However getting either to or from trailhead above Canmore is problematic. Either Taxi/Rental car or Rental car/taxi. ( if you are renting a car.)


164 Bob Truman December 18, 2016 at 7:44 pm

Goat Creek needs more snow. Hopefully in the next nine days it will arrive. I’ll be the first one to ski it if we get enough snow, so stay tuned.


165 GordN December 17, 2016 at 9:08 pm

Do we have list of rental places in the Valley and the city (ies)? Specifically for x-country gear?

I’d post it if someone wants to compile it. -Bob


166 GordN December 18, 2016 at 9:05 am

I can. So I know, so far,
Kananaskis outfitters. Château Lake Louise, Wilson Mountain Sports.


167 Pete December 18, 2016 at 12:11 pm

In Canmore there’s Trail sports at the Canmore nordic center and Gear up mountain sports and rentals. In Calgary the U of C Outdoor center, sports rent, and the Norsemen ski shop.


168 Pete December 18, 2016 at 12:29 pm

I’ll also add Banff Adventures, Snowtips-Bactrax in Banff. In the Edmonton area Strathcona Wilderness centre, Totem outfitters. In Jasper
Pure outdoors, Totem ski shop, and Jasper source for sports. Also Mec stores rent cross country ski equipment also.


169 sheila December 18, 2016 at 6:10 pm

Believe it or not, the little hardware store in Bragg Creek has a small supply of x-country skies, boots and poles for rent. It is called Country Hardware and young fellow at the till told me he has not yet rented out a pair this season. Either only fully outfitted skiers head to WBC or people are unaware that they can rent from this local store.


170 pat davis December 19, 2016 at 8:06 am

I have no experience with any others but I received information and service that I rate as Above and Beyond from Trail Sports at the CNC.


171 Marc December 17, 2016 at 12:22 pm

Can anyone recommend a good flat location to practise skijorning within 2 hours of calgary?

Many thanks in advance.



172 Pete December 17, 2016 at 5:17 pm

I’d say your best bet is the Mount Shark trail system south of Canmore off the Smith dorrien road. I’ve seen a number of people skijouring there in the past. Right off the parking lot there’s a large flat area you can practice. You could also follow the trail to Watridge lake which is more hilly. It’s possible you could do it on sections of road that are closed in the winter in Kananaskis country. You should contact Alberta parks to see if that’s allowed however. There’s a list of closed roads on the Alberta parks website. Hopefully that helps you out a bit!


173 Martin Jones December 18, 2016 at 8:38 am

Sadly I lost my Siberian Husky a couple of years ago but we used to have wonderful adventures skijorning , I can recommend the terrace @ Nakiska for an easy place to start.
The really great news is we’ll be getting another Husky very soon 🙂


174 Martin Jones December 18, 2016 at 5:07 pm

Wedge pond is another good place to start very flat but not very long.


175 Willie December 16, 2016 at 12:43 pm

Hi Bob
Could you please add a map of the Mt Shark Ski Trails under your Map Tab?


Done! -Bob


176 Annie December 11, 2016 at 11:09 am

Is it true that Skogan Pass gets groomed?


177 Bob Truman December 11, 2016 at 11:29 am

Yes, but you’d have to ski over some dirt and rocks to get there.
You can see a photo and read about it here (scroll down)


178 Barb banff December 7, 2016 at 9:25 pm

Anyone know if the CNC will be closed to public for races again this weekend?


179 fallsalot December 8, 2016 at 8:03 am

I would say yes, Frozen Thunder for sure.
CNC main page shows next event:
12/10/2016 – 12/11/2016
Biathlon CalforEx Cup #2


180 Hugh December 8, 2016 at 8:21 am

Trails will be open as the Biathlon has cancelled races this W/E due to the cold


181 barb banff December 8, 2016 at 9:00 am

thanks Hugh!!now that’s timely beta
so we are Free to Freeze!!


182 Jean-Francois Richy December 6, 2016 at 5:16 pm

Anyone skied goat creek recently?


183 Darren December 5, 2016 at 11:10 pm

Hi, does anyone have any experience skiing the canal between Calgary and Chestermere? I can’t find any information if there is any grooming or track setting.


184 pat davis December 14, 2016 at 4:54 pm

I have biked it. As the canal is crossed by several roads/streets, I doubt if it is set at all. Note I said “doubt” not “know”.


185 Megan December 5, 2016 at 12:55 pm

Anyone know how the trails at West Bragg made out with all the fresh snow yesterday??


186 Diana Piggott December 5, 2016 at 7:51 pm

Yes. See my trip report, but there is not enough snow for good skiing yet. Skiing yes, up to a point, but lots of scraping on rocks 🙁


187 Scott M December 6, 2016 at 11:55 am



188 Scott M December 4, 2016 at 10:13 am

I see that there are cross country ski trails in Waterton National Park. Does anyone know if they are trackset or are they strictly skier set/ backcountry.


189 Scott M December 4, 2016 at 10:14 am
190 Diana Piggott December 5, 2016 at 7:50 pm

Hi Scott,

I have never been skiing there, but it is on my list! Look at Parks Canada site (hint: look above to Trail Reports, select Banff, then on the side you can select other parks, including Waterton). There will eventually be reports of the two groomed trails up the Akamina Parkway. Everything else would be “backcountry” skiing.


191 barb banff December 3, 2016 at 11:00 pm

but this link is from dec 1st??!!’
read it- different story. A joke perhaps?


192 Diana Piggott December 3, 2016 at 10:42 pm

Knock me down with a feather! I just looked at the live grooming report, not expecting to see anything, but according to the site almost everything in PLPP was groomed on December 1st????!!!


193 Henry December 4, 2016 at 6:33 am

The recent trip report by Kasia seems to suggest at least packing of some of the trails.


194 Bob Truman December 4, 2016 at 7:06 am

When I checked the Live Grooming Report on Dec 2, it showed nothing was done. I think it’s a computer glitch. We’ll get to the bottom of it.


195 RichieRich November 30, 2016 at 12:38 pm

As our warm and dry fall continues (at least for a few more days), I have to wonder whats the LATEST date that PLPP has ever been trackset?


196 Bob Truman November 30, 2016 at 8:49 pm

My records indicate the latest date for Elk Pass is December 12. In 2014. Funny thing is, we had tracksetting at Kananaskis Village/Ribbon Creek on Dec 3 of that year. I also skied Goat Creek to Banff on excellent trackset conditions on Dec 2.


197 Peter L November 27, 2016 at 8:44 pm

Bob, et al,

Sorry if this has been addressed, I tried a search and didn’t seem to find an answer…

Is Fat Biking allowed on track-set trails in BNP? We experienced some Fat Bikers on Moraine Lake road today. Seems that they are going to chew up the trail for skate skiers.




198 Pete November 27, 2016 at 9:29 pm

As far as I know bikes are allowed on the same trails in winter as they are in the summer in the parks. There’s a list of bikeable trails under the important bulletins section on the parks website. Fatbikes hardly leave an imprint on groomed trails as the tires are so wide. Regular mountain bikes on the other hand tend to leave ruts in the trail. Probably best to contact parks directly though to be sure on the rules.


199 Jonathan November 29, 2016 at 9:44 pm

This is what I was told at the Parks Visitor Centre last year. As Pete says, the fat tire bikes leave very little imprint on the snow, probably less than skate skiers (based on what I saw on the Great Divide 2 weeks ago) and definitely less than a snowmobile. Last year there was a fat bike race at the Nordic Centre with a significant number of competitors riding 5 laps of a course that included a short section of ski trail. After everyone had finished, the trail was not rutted at all.


200 Bob Truman November 27, 2016 at 10:04 pm

Pete’s answer is correct, at least temporarily. There are a few initiatives which BNP is undertaking to address the growing number of multi-users. For example, they are planning to encourage fat bikers, snowshoers, and walkers who are setting out from Banff Springs Hotel to use Spray River East and leave Spray River West to the skiers. Signage is being prepared to facilitate this, and possibly even “trail ambassadors”(that’s my name for them) will be on hand to suggest to users where they would have the best experience. Spray river west would continue to be groomed and trackset for xc skiers. I assume Spray River East would be groomed but not trackset. No user group would be prohibited from using any trail, but hopefully some education will encourage _____________.(fill in the blank). 🙂


201 Maja November 22, 2016 at 1:20 pm

Any info on snow condition on Lake O’Hara fire road?
Thank you 🙂


202 Amber November 29, 2016 at 9:20 pm

I skied in this weekend and there was enough snow not to worry about damaging the bases. Just skier trackset.


203 Carolyn macaulay November 22, 2016 at 11:39 am

Any snow or tracking in PLPP?


204 Jean-Francois Richy November 22, 2016 at 5:38 pm

Hi Carolyn,
I went today to PLPP and parked my car on highway 40 (10km after the gate when the highway will be closed on December 1). The snow cover was not too bad but no tracks yet. I went up to Tyrwhitt and turn back as there was fresh grizzly bear tracks and I did not have bear spray with me.


205 Diana Piggott November 22, 2016 at 8:05 pm

Hello Jean-Francois,

When you say “no tracks”, do you mean fresh untouched snow, or that there had been no grooming yet?


206 Jean-Francois Richy November 23, 2016 at 9:37 am

Hi Diana,
Just no grooming, sorry for the confusion


207 Alec November 19, 2016 at 6:30 pm

Norseman Ski Shop


208 John November 19, 2016 at 4:06 pm

Hello skier bob community!

I’m in the market for a waxing bench, or a ski form that I can clamp to a table.

Does anyone have any info on where to get one in the Calgary/bow valley area?



209 Duane November 19, 2016 at 11:26 am

Good afternoon,

This note is in regards to the webcam in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park.

The webcam is currently offline due to requiring repairs/replacement but rest assured that AB Parks/Kananaskis staff are working to secure a new unit with hopes of having it operational in time for the heart of the cross-country ski season.

In the interim folks may find the Kananaskis weather stations, which we’ve recently put online, ( to be extremely useful in terms of new snow, total snow depths and recent temperatures. To find the plots simply zoom in on the map and find the most appropriate location. While most of the stations are at higher elevations than the Peter Lougheed Facility Zone cross-country ski trails, the Mud Lake plot ( is close to the Chester Lake Day Use area and provides a decent point of reference.

Happy Trails,


210 Emily November 7, 2016 at 3:54 pm

Anyone have contact information for booking the shangri la cabin up in Jasper. I only have bette weir’s old number out of my ski trails in the rockies book and its out of order.
Also, I’ve been trying to find one night two day ski trips to do into huts in Alberta. I’d love suggestions if you have any. I’ve done Naiset huts in assiniboine, Egypt lake shelter, elk lakes hut, and bryant creek.


211 Gary Klein November 3, 2016 at 9:36 pm

I have a pair of old Cross country skis from Germany. The brand name is Sundei. The model is Sprint 2000 and they are 210 size. I was wondering if anyone has any information on this brand…??? Any info is appreciated.


212 Henry November 4, 2016 at 7:56 am

What vintage? Are they wood?
The name ‘Sprint 2000’ sounds vaguely familiar. My brother had a pair of green-dyed wooden skiis that perhaps had this name. This was back in the early 80s. Purchased in Hamilton.


213 Alec Bialski October 25, 2016 at 12:27 pm

Perhaps golf course owners should be emailed by each member of the nordic community to let them know that it is not a good PR for them.


214 Sandi October 25, 2016 at 10:18 am

Thinking of cross country skiing at Canmore Nordic Centre Jan. 15 – Feb. 3. Are there any events, etc., that would interfere with X-country during this time? Any recommendations for a hotel in the $95 – $150 range with breakfast? Thanks in advance


215 Henry October 25, 2016 at 12:34 pm

I’m not a local, or expert, but these links may help.

The Cross Country Canada events calendar shows nothing in Canmore.
You’d have to check the local calendar at a closer date:


216 Jeremy October 4, 2016 at 11:31 pm

Just a quick ICYMI, that Crystal Ridge Nordic(Okotoks) has suffered an abrupt door-slammed-shut in the face by their private golf club landlords -a very disappointing trend in the nordic community ski. See website for information 🙁


217 Jeremy October 4, 2016 at 11:34 pm
218 Robert October 25, 2016 at 12:24 pm

Very disappointed to hear. It was a great urban track.


219 Alec October 4, 2016 at 9:42 am

BC boots are fine for back country skiing. There are boots with ankle support from Ficher, Alpina, Rossi and Madshus. In fact, Rossi has a racing boot, which can be used for classic and skating, But that is expensive boot. My advice, go to a reputable small store and ask the same question. Put the booyts on.
The questions like your are too personal to answer in a generic fashion, properly.


220 Henry October 4, 2016 at 7:29 am

I’m looking for a non-racing boot with a bit more ankle support.

Would the BC NNN binding/boot combination be a realistic choice if one does ski great distances but wants only one type of boot and binding? I’ve been a Salomon user so am ignorant of NNN.


221 GordN October 4, 2016 at 10:24 pm


I bought NNN Rosignol X-5 boots from life sport. Nice ankle support, easy in and out, laces slip a little over the day.

Can’t recall the binding this second, basic basic.

Call and ask if and when they’re doing the annual sale.


222 Barry G October 7, 2016 at 11:37 am

Hi Henry. I too am anxious about ankle support, also always look for lightest weight and – especially – gaiter loops which is quite a limitation. Here is my non-expert experience for what it’s worth – not great, I am still on the hunt for some serious ankle support.

Rossi X5’s – wore these for 3 seasons. First pair: one lace broke after 30 days, 6 days later an ankle strap broke; these ankle straps just don’t seem strong enough to cinch up tight for true ankle support. Second pair (thanks to MEC’s generous return policy) had a painful pressure point in the toe box but I was able to push this out using a screwdriver handle from the inside; never had blisters from any XC boot until I wore these; got 2 seasons, 93 days, 1432 km from the second pair. Both pairs – treacherously slippery soles (on parking lot ice). Both pairs – speed lacing was just terrible, perpetually loosening to the point where I actually rejoiced when one of the speed locks broke and I had to put in normal laces; but not long after that, one of the fabric lace loops broke and the interior insulation at one heel deteriorated – beyond repair.

Fischer XC Control – one season on these now, found them at Norseman. Comfortable, better traction, a little pricey. The ankle straps on these are no more effective than on the Rossi’s – worse maybe, because the ‘male’ and ‘female’ sections of the Velcro are dimensioned so as to make it impossible to cinch the straps up tight enough to provide any support at all. Dunno, maybe these straps are only meant to hold the plastic support frame around the heel area. The tongue is not wide enough to fully cover my in-step which is a major PITA. Maybe these negatives are due to my foot geometry and not the boot design. At least the Fischer’s don’t have that pesky speed lacing.

Bindings. NNN vs Salomon – no comment on performance as I have never skied on Salomon but I will always stick with NNN after running into compatibility problems when lending / borrowing skis, since I find that the majority of folks are on NNN. Personally I haven’t yet found any value in the adjustable NIS bindings.


223 Henry October 7, 2016 at 5:15 pm

Barry, thanks so much for the detailed description of your experiences.
This will help me tremendously when I go shopping.
Hey, two seasons and 93 days is pretty darned impressive!


224 Henry October 8, 2016 at 8:02 am

I recall that Salomon got on the NNN bandwagon last year, so things look bright in the NNN direction.


225 RichieRich October 3, 2016 at 1:23 pm

Perhaps not everyone on this site is aware of the recent issues at COP regarding their XC ski zone and how they have dramatically reduced it. Additionally some of the ski clubs have been raising funds and putting together a work-plan for snowmaking and grooming at a local golf course (or two?) within the city. Personally I know very few details, however I suspect that many blog-readers would appreciate a bit of history and knowing how we are moving forward. Not to mention it would generate a lot of NEW blog-traffic!! So if you’re able to sleuth some truth and get some facts out that would be wonderful and appreciated.


226 Leah August 27, 2016 at 3:19 pm

Hi have you ever tried skiing the paskapoo mountain biking trails in Calgary ( aka east lands?). I know they aren’t maintained by COP but are wondering if they were doable without being groomed.



227 Finn August 31, 2016 at 2:55 pm
228 GordN August 25, 2016 at 3:05 pm

Hey Bob,

Did you get a 2016 Farmer’s Almanac yet? Are they out?


229 GordN July 25, 2016 at 8:21 am

Big display of Grizzly power (I assume) on the meadow just on the lakeshore at Chester. Seemed to be going for ground squirrel? Also, lots of dogs ON LEASH! save one, I was impressed. Considering the upturned vegetation was barely wilted I would presume that Bruin had been there in the morning hours pre us arriving at 11 ish.


230 Diana Piggott June 11, 2016 at 9:09 am

Regarding Kananaskis trail reports:

I am unable to access any trail reports. I go to the page and get the map and listing of areas, but when I click on a particular area, nothing happens. Is it just me, or is there a systemic problem?

I can’t even figure out who to call!?!
Bah, humbug 🙁


231 GordN June 12, 2016 at 7:44 am

I see what you mean.
Maybe the trail report has been lowered to two options:
Open or

? “Kananaskis Information Line” 403-678-0760


232 Henry June 12, 2016 at 7:52 am

When I use Firefox (Win 10) the area names that are in blue on the left side of the page do not appear to work. In Chrome or MS Edge, they take us to the page for that area.
In both browsers the map seems to react to our hovering over a name in the left hand listing, but otherwise the map doesn’t appear to be interactive at all, other than zoom in/out.


233 Diana Piggott June 13, 2016 at 5:46 pm

Interesting…… I always use Firefox. I wonder why there would be a difference?
I will try to visit an Info Centre soon and see if anyone there can do anything.


234 Barry G June 18, 2016 at 5:43 pm

Hi Diana.

Parks staff at PLPP and Barrier L VIC’s had previously coached me to go to On the right side of that page, you will see ‘Still cannot find what you’re looking for?’ This link opens a box where you can submit questions or comments. Mention PLPP in your subject line.

I have used this feature twice, got a reply once but not the second time. I still intend to pester them before winter to find out the precise location of the Weather Network weather station ‘Boulton Creek.’

Maybe you could also report that the webcam feed from the PLPP Discovery Centre is still down.

Interested to hear how you make out.


235 Diana Piggott June 20, 2016 at 9:51 pm

Hello Barry!
I tried giving the feedback as you suggested, and I have received a reply, though not terribly helpful:

“Thank you for your inquiry. For the Trail Reports, I found that it works when using the Google Browser instead of Internet Explorer.”

I also mentioned the webcam, and they said they would look into it.

Here at home, I have tried looking at trail reports using Safari instead of Firefox, and it does produce results. A bit inconvenient, but better than nothing, and we did manage for decades without all this information…….


236 Diana Piggott June 21, 2016 at 1:28 pm

More news today: the webcam is apparently causing them some grief…..

“As for the webcam, this is an ongoing issue we are attempting to resolve. Unfortunately it appears that significant investment will be required and we do not have a timeline for repair at this time.”

I would love to see a webcam at Highwood Pass!

237 Barry G June 28, 2016 at 10:43 pm

Google Chrome gets me into trail reports at

Maybe a person should talk to a humanoid next time passing by one of the Discovery Centres but it seems that local staff have no influence over infrastructure issues so it would probably be more productive to drop in to the govt office in Canmore – a year or more ago, the office of the ‘Regional Director’ in Canmore seemed to understand how much the skiing public appreciates the webcam (see old email appended below). If more folks complained, the message might get through.

There is power and internet at PLPP VIC so I’m not sure why there would be a ‘significant investment’ to get some sort of camera running again. Highwood Pass would be a different matter.


From: ESRD KanReg Contact Us
Sent: Monday, December 21, 2015 2:40 PM
To: Barry G
Cc: ESRD Alberta Parks
Subject: FW: Contact Us – web cams

Dear Barry;

Sorry for the delay in responding to your inquiry through the Alberta Parks ‘contact us’ web link.

In contacting our information and ‘web folks’ in Edmonton, I have learned they are working on switching the web cam feed to work in all browsers without needing to download a plugin. They are hoping to have it back online in January. Our web cams are very popular so I understand many people are missing this service.


Lxxxxx Cxxxxxxxx, BA | Assistant to the Director/Office Manager

Kananaskis Regional Office

Parks Division | Environment and Parks

Suite 201, 800 Railway Avenue, Canmore, AB, T1W 1P1

P: 403-678-5500/275 | F: 403-678-5505 | W:

238 Mike June 9, 2016 at 5:05 pm

Hi everyone.

I’m heading on out on a back country hike. We are starting at shark mountain trail head and heading to Bryant creek, from there I’m heading over the Allenby pass to Banff cave and basin.

I’m wondering if there is enough water stops along the way that I would be able to bring my dog? And how difficult is this trail?


239 Henry April 11, 2016 at 1:55 pm

Very brief time lapse video of sunrise over Rock Isle Lake, courtesy of Sunshine Village Rock Isle Lake Cam. April 11, 2016.

I’m sure that I saw some early morning tourers glide by -)


240 Cindy Heselton March 24, 2016 at 6:59 am

Hi all. It’s been a few years since being back in the land of snow but I can hardly wait to return. I have a short return trip to Canada in a week and planning to spend some time in the snow. I was just reviewing the trail reports on the K-country website – am I missing something? There used to be detailed reports for each trail, now just an “Open” status and a grooming report that seems to miss the entire south end (perhaps because it is not groomed). Am I missing something? Gov cutbacks? If anyone can offer some insight, that would be great.


241 Jonathan March 24, 2016 at 7:14 am

Hi Cindy

You can check out the live grooming report here for the most up to date grooming status.


242 joe March 22, 2016 at 4:13 pm

I was considering buying some roller skis this spring to help keep me in good shape throughout the summer months. I love skate skiing so I figured this would be the next best thing. I do have a couple questions about roller skiing before I dropping a bunch of money on gear. Thanks in advance for any good advice from local skiers!

I read that Calgary and Cochrane (where I live) poles are banned from pathways. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody roller skiing anywhere except around Canmore. Where can people from Calgary roller ski legally? Parking lots? Roads?

Some roller ski brands claim to have speed reducers or brakes. Are these commonplace now? Are they much more dangerous than rollerblading? I have yet to try out a pair; I asked Trail Sports and they don’t rent them anymore.

I hope everybody is enjoying these last weeks of skiing!


243 PM March 24, 2016 at 9:24 am

Most of your gear questions can be answered at – they’re based out of MN. Skip the speed reducers/brakes and get a slow wheel/bearing combo. Check the FAQs and browse the skate ski models for fitting information.

Not a lot of options for Calgary-area ‘legal’ roller skiing. Below is a link to Foothills Nordic training sites – Church Ranches is one of the roller skiing options.


244 fallsalot March 24, 2016 at 3:44 pm

I don’t find roller-skiing any more dangerous than rollerskating. In some regards it is safer because you are lower to the ground, you have poles for support, you have larger wheelbase and rubber wheels are much softer. Generally speeds are much lower because you are looking for a workout of skiing muscles not a thrill of speed.
I find it ironic that city that is proud to be an organizer of winter Olympics makes it illegal for cross country skiers to train on their pathways. It’s a classic example of bureaucracy run amok.


245 Colin March 25, 2016 at 9:33 am

Joe, I bought the Fischer RC7 skates “skis” from a sale in Montreal that Fallsalot pointed out earlier and I really like them so far.

I have been using them without poles on Calgary pathways. No poles is the best way to start in my personal experience as you can focus getting your legs under you and don’t have any attention shifted to coordination of poles.

The balance is slightly more challenging than actual skate skiing in my opinion but it’s not out of anyones reach in my eyes.

I agree with Fallsalot on the safety comparison of roller skating and that your safety factor is pretty big if you’re not chasing speed.

As Alec pointed out there are safety risks, but these can be mitigated. There are serious health risks to sitting on the couch doing nothing is how I look at it.

Hope that helps some.


246 Kaliper March 18, 2016 at 9:17 am

Red Earth Creek

Has anyone skied Red Earth Creek since the cold has returned? looking at that for Saturday.


247 Dylan March 12, 2016 at 6:15 pm

Support your local shops. Spending “more” on the wrong product is still cheaper than spending “less”on the wrong one. Plus, it’s like an adult version of a candy store. If you love the sport, going to the local shop should be a treat not a chore, and the shop should make sure it stays that way. Today’s shops still need to compete in the reality of E-commerce and need to redefine their product, because it is not just what is sitting on the shelf. It’s their knowledge, it’s the experience they provide to each customer when they walk in the door, it’s the feeling they leave their customers with about the sport and the gear, it’s confidence in the decision to buy. Or perhaps it should be. There is deifineltiy something to be said for the physical shops but they too need to keep up with change, we should do nothing less than demand it.


248 Alec March 13, 2016 at 8:48 am

Dylan is absolutely right. Back to rollerskis to make the point. The physical shop should and must make sure that the skier gets the experience that is satisfactory to his or her level. In my past experience as a shop owner I have seen too many self appointed experts who think that just because they are proficient in some activity they can spread advice to everyone. It is a false posture as advice must be given not from personal viewpoint but with empathy to personal situation and each situation is different. This is a problem of the internet advice. The case of rollerskis is very relevant as rollerskis can cause a lot of damage when used by relatively inexeperienced user. A personal advice is essential here.


249 Colin March 13, 2016 at 10:48 am

Ok Alec. Appreciate the concern.

The original post was to merely inform other people of a sale.

It was quickly turned into a platform for people to peddle their opinions.

Hopefully this is the first and last time this happens on the Internet.


250 alec March 12, 2016 at 10:34 am

It is not my shop. I sold it 2 seasons ago. As for 21 or 22 d century, I am not sure that buying on line of specialty products is anything but adding more junk to your home.
Commodity, I agree, but not specialty and we need to challenge our local shops, rather than buy on amazon or whatever.


251 fallsalot March 11, 2016 at 6:42 pm

For people considering roller skiing this summer check this site out. They have free shipping until March 13 and gear on sale.
Disclaimer: I have no relations with the manufacture or the retailer.


252 Alec March 12, 2016 at 8:22 am

Why would you order on line something that you need an advice and mounting of bindings for? There are independent shops here in Calgary that carry roller skis, such as Norseman. It beats me when the community does not support local businesses.


253 fallsalot March 12, 2016 at 9:41 am

Those roller skis have NIS mounting plates on them so it is really easy to slide the winter bindings on and off. No advice or mounting services required in this case. Your shop does not advertise the product you sell, the models and prices are a mystery. You do not respond to inquiries also. I don’t have free time to drive there and find out it is not what I am looking for. Perhaps you should reexamine the business model you operate under instead blaming the customer. I support the local if I can. Couple years ego I have bought skate roller skis from made in USA. Great roller skis, great website, free shipping and excellent customer service. Lets move into 21st century Alec.


254 Colin March 12, 2016 at 11:31 am

Fallsalot I really appreciate the heads up on the website and the current sale. I just bought roller skis that I’ve been researching for months online from the comfort of home.

I must say I agree with you on the lack of information on the local shops websites considering pricing, and makes and models etc. carried.

I too support locally when I can, but to be honest the last time I went to a local shop to inquire about roller skis, I was really turned off at the attitude I encountered.

I was told unless I was a “competitive racer” I don’t need roller skis, and that I should be mountain biking or running instead for exersice. I appreciated the fact that the salesmen didn’t try to make a sale no matter what and that he was trying to maybe be a voice of reason but to be honest the arrogant attitude with which it was presented with really turned me off that specific shop for the time being.

In all aspects of life now the amount of information a consumer has at his or her fingertips is phenomenal. Not everyone uses this resource but I truly believe some customers are often more informed and educated than the sales people.

I do appreciate the local shops but let’s be honest here, at the end of the day if there is a significant difference in price for the same product not many of us have unlimited resources to give away for no good reason.

Again, really appreciate the heads up Fallsalot!


255 Colin March 12, 2016 at 11:31 am

Fallsalot I really appreciate the heads up on the website and the current sale. I just bought roller skis that I’ve been researching for months online from the comfort of home.

I must say I agree with you on the lack of information on the local shops websites considering pricing, and makes and models etc. carried.

I too support locally when I can, but to be honest the last time I went to a local shop to inquire about roller skis, I was really turned off at the attitude I encountered.

I was told unless I was a “competitive racer” I don’t need roller skis, and that I should be mountain biking or running instead for exersice. I appreciated the fact that the salesmen didn’t try to make a sale no matter what and that he was trying to maybe be a voice of reason but to be honest the arrogant attitude with which it was presented with really turned me off that specific shop for the time being.

In all aspects of life now the amount of information a consumer has at his or her fingertips is phenomenal. Not everyone uses this resource but I truly believe some customers are often more informed and educated than the sales people.

I do appreciate the local shops but let’s be honest here, at the end of the day if there is a significant difference in price for the same product not many of us have unlimited resources to give away for no good reason.

Again, really appreciate the heads up Fallsalot!


256 Alec March 12, 2016 at 2:46 pm

Again, I am not responding as an owner of an independent business, which I am not. But, I would like to point out that rollerskis are not for everyone. They can be dangerous, when too fast, or on gavel covered pathways. There is also an issue of skill in braking. If a salesman is vague, perhaps he or she tries to gauge the skill of the skier in order to recommend the best equipment.

There are many types of rollerkskis. If you guys are experts, good luck with online buying, but if people are not, you seem to be insensitive to the needs of intermediate or beginners who potentially can buy an equipment dangerous or unsuitable for them. That is why I would recommend to try reputable local people, who know stuff.
Beware of internet expertise, people, that is what I am saying.


257 Lisa Christie-Brooks March 10, 2016 at 8:45 pm

has anyone skied Mt. Shark lately? Just wondering what the conditions are like. thinking of going there on March 13th.


258 Chris Thomas March 11, 2016 at 5:00 pm

Hi Lisa, we skied Mt Shark this am on the weekly fresh grooming – immaculate as ever thanks to Jody! -3 at 9.30 am, 0 at noon, I skated (great texture if a little slow because of the new snow being groomed in), my husband classic’d – VR 45 most of the time, with a skiff of VR 50 towards the end when things were starting to warm up in the sun. Usual caveats for how it will be by Mar 13 depending on how warm it got this afternoon, what happens with the weather tomorrow etc. etc.


259 Lisa March 11, 2016 at 5:07 pm

Thanks Chris! I appreciate the update. I think we will chance it on Sunday – hopefully the conditions will still be good.


260 Sue March 10, 2016 at 5:19 pm

Thinking of skiing into Lake O’Hara for lunch this Saturday March 12th. Has anyone skied it recently? What are the conditions?


261 Jonatan March 9, 2016 at 3:39 pm

I was wondering if anyone was going to be taking part in the Red Bull Nordic at Lake Louise this weekend. It looks pretty wild, but maybe that is the future of Cross Country skiing.–2016-03-12.php


262 GordN March 11, 2016 at 10:35 am
263 Reinier March 9, 2016 at 1:16 pm

Hi all, my wife and I are staying at Emerald Lake Lodge this weekend (Sat-Monday) and hoping to get in a 30+ km xc ski (classic) on Sunday. Can anyone recommend any routes/combinations of routes that would be most enjoyable?
I’d say we are intermediate in skills with high fitness, so limit black diamonds to uphills if there are any.
Thanks very much in advance!


264 Helen Read March 11, 2016 at 7:48 am

So hard to respond any earlier than day of your trip into ELL, especially not knowing temps, current snow conditions and if you are on waxless or not? Local trails at ELL were refreshed recently and relatively flat so would recommend doing the Fan in both directions, Kicking Horse trail at Natural bridge would be a 3 hour ski, very flat. I would try Lk O’Hara Fire Road (11 kms one way) or skiing partway into Skoki Lodge (8 kms of stunning scenery to Boulder Pass), but staying just below the Pass (to avoid more difficult descent). The most dependable standbys for beg and end of x-c ski season are always Moraine Lake Rd (8+ kms one way) and Great Divide (11 kms one way) which get tracked on the most regular basis. Enjoy those scrumptious breakfasts at ELL!!!!


265 Reinier March 11, 2016 at 9:08 am

Wow thanks for the great response Helen!
They are waxless and good call on snow conditions. I’ll be checking it today and tomorrow morning.
Appreciate the route options, I will look them up on the map!


266 Barb March 6, 2016 at 7:05 pm

Anyone been to PLPP (not Shark) yesterday or today? Curious about how warm its gotten there. And I noticed a new weather Network link for Boulton Creek….does anyone know how accurate its been – is it based on an actual weather station or is it more ‘computer modelling’?


267 Lorraine March 4, 2016 at 8:17 pm

Hi. Thinking of skiing Cascade just outside of Banff tomorrow (Saturday). Do you know what the trail conditions are like?


268 Chuck March 4, 2016 at 9:19 pm

Hi Lorraine,
It depends how far you want to go up the Cascade Valley!
It is icy until you get to the top of the first big hill, but quite pleasant after that.
However I would suggest going up to Lake Louise instead, if you don’t mind the crowds.


269 pat davis March 4, 2016 at 10:35 am

Any word on conditions for snowshoeing in the Sawmill area?


270 Alf Skrastins March 4, 2016 at 7:57 pm

Excellent at Sawmill.


271 pat davis March 5, 2016 at 7:27 am

Thank you, Alf. Much appreciated.


272 Clae March 3, 2016 at 7:41 pm

Lake Louise Loppet,
Hi Bob , we were thinking of going to Lake Louise to ski on Sat. Turns out the Loppet is on Sunday. Will it be worth while to go out Saturday or will there be too much action going on with organizing etc.
Thanks for this site.


273 Bob Truman March 3, 2016 at 8:50 pm

Yes, it would still be worth it. There’s really not too much disruption to the trails. In years past, I used to go on Saturdays and work with the Calgary Ski Club to prepare ramps and shovel snow in preparation for the loppet. Later, I’d go for a ski and there were always good trails and tracksetting to ski on.


274 Clae March 3, 2016 at 9:52 pm

Thanks Bob, we will still go out and camp at the Parks Campground and enjoy the skiing and lend a hand if needed.


275 Clae March 1, 2016 at 8:45 pm

Hi,wondering if anyone knows of campsites in or around Canmore or Lake Louise that are open for winter camping in a small motor home. I know of Mt Kidd and Tunnel Mt.
Thanks all,


276 GordN March 1, 2016 at 10:06 pm

I think Parks has Lake Louise open year round as far as I l know.


277 Clae March 2, 2016 at 9:08 am

Thanks Gord, I called Parks and they told me that it is on a first come first serve so no reservations which is fine. Off to try the trails there this weekend !! Still need to find a spot in Canmore for later.


278 Simon February 25, 2016 at 12:46 pm

Hi Bob-

Just wondering if you, or anyone in the know, might have any updates on if the Cookie Race is going ahead this weekend? I assume it is as I have not heard anything to the contrary. I was at Pocaterra last Saturday, and the waxing conditions were “challenging”. In other words hard pack snow to ice at Pocaterra, becoming hard pack with 2-3 cm of new snow up Tyrwhitt. Fox Creek and Moraine were icy/fast/occasionally thin-based then, so I am wondering what they are like now?

Great site – thanks for running it!



279 Bob Truman February 25, 2016 at 7:25 pm

The Cookie Race is still on.


280 Pete February 25, 2016 at 7:57 pm

The Alberta parks staff were hard at work today on Pocaterra, moraine, fox creek and come along adding snow on thin spots and grooming in preparation for the cookie race. Without their hard work the cookie race would not be happening!


281 Finn February 22, 2016 at 11:13 am

Does anyone know when and if Sunshine Meadows will be groomed and track set again in May? Will those trails be available for public use like they were last season?


282 Dan February 16, 2016 at 1:05 pm

I was wondering if anybody has been to Bearberry lately and how it was?


283 Tawny February 13, 2016 at 4:06 pm

Has anyone been up Goat Creek recently? A friend is insisting on doing it but the trail report says poor. I want to know just how poor. Thanks.


284 Bob Truman February 13, 2016 at 7:22 pm

Hi Tawny, I think Goat Creek would be challenging to the point of being dangerous. I’ll qualify my assessment, however, by saying that if it received 10 cm of new snow it might be skiable. I received a skiff(less than 1 cm) of new snow in Canmore today. Goat creek is 280 metres higher and might have got more, but I doubt if it was significant.


285 GordN February 12, 2016 at 11:58 pm


Kananaskis map library link has been changed to

Thanks, Gord. I’ve updated it. -Bob


286 Hugh February 11, 2016 at 8:55 pm

Strictly my opinion: With all this warm weather our decision to upgrade to Skintecs was a wise one. We’re finding we can travel with them and not carry wax a definite plus.
They have a wider useful temp. range than our SCS Crowns. A friend of mine who is still in the ski industry,ex national team coach, another MB boy who grew up with Special green wax and poohpooing waxless says that this new generation of skin skis (every manufacturer has a lot of models) are like an iPhone vs a rotary dial phone. IE, the fish scale Crown style skis. Apt way to put it.
So if you are thinking about new waxless skis, the time to upgrade is now! In this case you will get better performing skis . Just remember that the flex needs to match your weight and performance needs.


287 Doug Connery February 12, 2016 at 11:45 am

I agree totally. Due to concerns about climate change I recently purchased both Skintecs and fish scale (crown) skis so I have a couple of options for when the conditions are less than ideal. Have skied on both and found skintecs have a wider range and are quieter, however they tend to grab the snow unexpectedly at times especially going downhill. I have also held onto tubes of klister for a third option.


288 Dylan February 16, 2016 at 7:11 pm

Perhaps I am an old soul but I still have a rotary dial phone and I think wax just can’t be beat if you take the time to get it right. Just this past year I forced myself to learn Klister applications and techniques and I have had some remarkably fast grip and glide days. Never mind that, waxing on a day like yesterday (+7) is still doable on hard waxes and there are so many combinations and tricks to try. Some things just can’t be beat. Like taking snapshots with an iphone…


289 Henry L. February 17, 2016 at 8:51 am

I love your old soul attitude! But what’s your recipe hard waxing at +7C?

BTW, for old souls, I see that the iPhone retro video apps are the big rage.

Apparently Malik Bendjelloul used such an app when filming the amazing documentary ‘Searching for Sugar Man’.


290 Scott P. February 10, 2016 at 8:03 pm

Anybody been around Sundance / Healy Creek this week? Anything left there?


291 GordN February 9, 2016 at 9:27 pm
292 Shulamit February 8, 2016 at 10:27 pm

I skied Elk Pass to Blueberry Hill today. I was somewhat alarmed when the outside temperature thermometer in my car read +8°C at the Hwy 1/Hwy 40 junction, but the temperature dropped to zero when I reached the Boulton Creek parking lot. The snow wasn’t fresh, but it was holding up well, and the tracks were in good condition along Moraine, Fox Creek and Elk Pass. Fox Creek has an accumulation of pine needles (yuck!) The tracks on Blueberry Hill varied from good to non-existent but the snow was plentiful. I had to stop several times to scrape snow that was sticking on my skis, but the view from the top was lovely, as always. When I finished my ski, the temperature at the trail head read 6°C. Overall, conditions weren’t that bad, considering how mild it was today, but I’m not sure how long that will last, given the forecast. By the way, does anybody know what the elevation gain is from Boulton Creek up to the top of Blueberry Hill? Thx


293 Bob Truman February 8, 2016 at 10:49 pm

The net elevation gain is about 330 metres. Thanks for the report, it sounds like waxless skis will be needed for the rest of the week.


294 Shulamit February 8, 2016 at 10:55 pm

Thanks Bob. That makes sense. I read one website that suggested 600 m, but that makes no sense!


295 Cheryl B February 5, 2016 at 8:54 am

Has anyone attempted skiing up to Boom Lake recently? My husband wants to do it this weekend (last time we skied it was about 6 years ago, when there were way fewer snowshoers and it was great), but since winter hiking and snow shoeing has become so popular, so I’m thinking it may not be so good in the recent warmer conditions. If anyone has heard anything about the trail conditions, I’d really appreciate it 🙂


296 Barb February 3, 2016 at 9:25 am

CNC? Anyone know if it’s possible to ski with wax on any trails?


297 Orleen January 29, 2016 at 9:34 am

Elk Pass, Pocaterra area – has anyone been out there since Thursday, Jan 28/16? Concerned re rain yesterday on the trails and current conditions.

See Trip Report from Rene. -Bob


298 Alec January 27, 2016 at 4:36 pm

We went there. It is very good. But check the conditions before. It will be spring conditions for sure. Waxless skis and so on.


299 Jeremy January 27, 2016 at 4:34 pm

Looking for feedback to those in the know on spring conditions “over there”: at Sovereign Lake, BC that is. Specifically, we were wondering if its a worthy trip at end of March. Of course, we always enjoy the cold powder of the Rockies and appreciate it is indeed hard to beat PLPP in March, but I’ve never been and curious anyone’s past experiences spring skiing “over there”.

On skis everyday!


300 Brent M January 25, 2016 at 2:09 pm

Found, 1x-country ski Rossignol 185cm
Found on road between 14th street and 38th ave sw
Contact Dan At 403 605-7086


301 GordN January 21, 2016 at 1:20 pm

Wanna a BIG ski day(s)?
What it’s like to be a part of the Canadian Ski Marathon:


302 Bill January 21, 2016 at 4:17 pm

That looks really interesting. Thanks for posting the link!


303 GordN March 26, 2016 at 11:50 pm

Not sure if you monitor this page Bill, but here’s another visitor’s report


304 Bill March 27, 2016 at 11:43 pm

Another good read – the stories within the story are fascinating.


305 Derek January 21, 2016 at 10:37 am

Hi all,

Heading to Calgary next week from Kamloops and looking at doing a long distance xc with some nice mountain vistas along the way.

Have read most of the trip reports and have narrowed some areas down, but I was hoping to get a few locals viewpoints on the best bang for your buck with scenery for a few interior skiers!!!

Thanks so much!


306 jenn January 21, 2016 at 10:45 am

It us worth the 2 hour drive to lake louise. Moraine lake road and the great divide are perfect and are both in the same general area depending on how far you want to go.


307 GMJ January 21, 2016 at 3:01 pm

You might try Peter Lougheed Provincial Park ski trails. While they are a ways from Calgary they are unmatched in the scenery department. For starters try Elk Pass and Tyrwhitt.


308 Jeff McMillan January 20, 2016 at 9:33 pm

Hello, my family is heading out to Canmore next week (Jan. 24-29) from Manitoba. We have three kids aged 6, 8, 9. All have grown up skiing and can handle distances up to about 8km. We are trying to decide between skiing at Mt. Shark or Peter Lougheed. Any advice on what routes you would recommend would be really appreciated as we have never skied there before. Our kids are very good at going up and down hills and enjoy both skate and classic skiing.
Thanks in advance.


309 Rose January 20, 2016 at 9:55 pm

I would head to peter lougheed. Mt shark trails are fun but there are so many combos you can do in plpp. Have a look and check out starting from Boulton bridge – maybe do boulton, to elk pass to fox creek and back on moraine. There are a few creek crossings, fox winds through trees, morraine has some fun dips with good runs. Thats about 8 k. Have a look at that bit of Elk Pass, it is a pretty steep hill – you could skip it or go up and down fox instead. Our kids loved to stop at Boulton bridge picnic site. We would bring wood and hot dogs and hot chocolate to enjoy after we were done plus I am pretty sure my kids found a good steep bank behind the picnic sites for bum sliding! If campfire doesnt appeal, the Plpp visitor center is an excellent place for lunch, snack or just explore the displays


310 Jeff McMillan January 21, 2016 at 10:07 am

Thanks so much Rose, that’s really helpful. I love the campfire idea.


311 RichieRich January 21, 2016 at 1:20 pm

PLPP really is all about classic and no skate so heads up. that said there are spectacular vistas and routes which you can create based off the map drop-downs on this website.

About 30mins closer is Kananaskis Village area (immediately SE of the Nakiska ski resort) which is primarily classic oriented. Our 9/12yr olds who are not very fit or skilled thoroughly enjoyed their 6.5km loop a couple weeks back which included some climbs and the switchback descents. I don’t particularly recommend the Ribbon “shriek” Creek trail any more for most users. Apres ski the Kananaskis lodge has some stores for snacks/drinks and a nice warm fireplace and seating area.


312 Shulamit January 20, 2016 at 2:01 pm

I have some questions about the trails in the Lake Louise area and the Ice Magic Festival. Looking at the brochure from Parks Canada, I see the designation for the Tramline trail shows that it’s an easy beginner trail, but the elevation gain is 195 m over about 4-5 km (one way). We’re thinking of skiing with some young children and wondering if this might be a but much for them. Does anyone have any suggestions? Are there better suggestions for skiing with kids in this area?

Also, during the festival, is there parking allowed at the Moraine Lake Road trail head (and is it fairly limited space?). Is there parking available at the Chateau itself or are only shuttle buses allowed? Are skis allowed on the buses?


313 Gordn January 20, 2016 at 2:31 pm

Hmmm, I’d say the super easy is the lake, then Moraine (tedious for children though?). Great divide has parking and is flat with some offshoots for excitement.

Lots of parking up at the parks lot (pass checks!)


314 Bob Truman January 20, 2016 at 8:20 pm

I believe parking would be allowed at MLR trailhead, but I like Gord’s suggestion that the Great Divide might be a more appropriate trail with kids. Tramline would be a hit with the kids if you did it only in the downhill direction – drop them off at the top, or at MLR, and pick them up at the train station.

Here’s some info from Banff-Lake Louise Tourism regarding Ice Magic which might be helpful:


315 Barb January 15, 2016 at 11:32 am

Re: weather links
Hi Bob
I noticed you don’t have a link for Env Canada Yoho forecast on your site.
It can be the best to get temperature for any Lake Louise trails as the weather station used for forecast is near the TCH at Wapta Lake- Kicking Horse Pass.
Sometimes winds are greater there however, and it’s not great for the ski trails in Yoho.
See you on the trails!

It’s on there now! -Bob


316 Mary Perrott January 14, 2016 at 3:21 pm

Hi Bob, I wonder if you need a new section on Trail Etiquette for those new to xc skiing, or even some veterans. On Tuesday while skiing up Elk Pass Trail from Hydroline, at every slight incline, someone had herring-boned right on top of the track set. This went on all the way to Elk Pass. I realize that where trails are narrow, this is inevitable, but Elk Pass Trail is plenty wide to step into the middle of the trail and herring-bone there. Doing this on the track set breaks down the edges of the tracks very quickly. Imagine what the tracks would have looked like if even two or three had done this! Please people, save the tracks for those who want to ski up in them and do your herring-boning between the tracks.


317 GordN January 13, 2016 at 7:40 pm

Some interesting Wolverine stories in this update:

“Especially hunters become the hunted.”


318 Barb January 14, 2016 at 9:46 am is a link to ongoing project in Alberta- BC along the Divide. Banff- Yoho- Kootenay – Waterton-PLPP and beyond.
Also a Facebook site of interest.


319 Barb January 14, 2016 at 9:50 am
320 Carol January 12, 2016 at 5:28 pm

Hi, I’m a new mom wanting to take a double chariot to Shaganappi or Confederation. Are there any barriers, such as gates that would prevent a double chariot to be taken on the trails? I recall at Confederation a couple years ago, there was a gate secured with a chain with just enough room for a single skier to get by.


321 Diana Piggott January 13, 2016 at 9:43 pm

Hi Carol!
I haven’t been to Shaganappi for a while, but I remember it being wide open. The only access I know of to Confederation does have that very narrow entrance you remember, but maybe there is an easier way at the SE corner? I would have to look into that. Perhaps you have already found out?


322 Carol January 18, 2016 at 10:23 am

Thanks Diana! I did email the tracksetters at Shaganappi and they confirmed that it is pretty wide open. I haven’t followed up with Confederation, but will look into it when I decide to go.


323 pat davis January 11, 2016 at 7:39 pm

Helen Read’s January 11 posting raises a question about nite skiing. With the full moon coming in two weeks, can anyone suggest unlit trails that would be good to ski by moonlight? The first bit of Pocaterra used to be a favourite of mine, but I am not all that enamoured of the realignment. Suggestions anyone…?


324 Helen Read January 16, 2016 at 7:37 pm

Several Full Moon skis we have done bet 7-10 pm below:
1. Goat Creek down to first bridge, but sometimes moon hides behind mountains. Also encountered a whole group of fat bikers one time and nearly scared us half to death on our return.
2. Banff Spray West to Spray East junction, more open and lots of places to grab a hot chocolate after.
3. Bill Milne Trail before Xmas starting right at turnoff to Ribbon Creek from Hwy 40. We skied down to Golf Course and back. You can ski all way up to Kananaskis Lodge (or drive) and they sell a mean pint for $6
4. Friends had a fabulous ski last year at Baker Creek in moonlight.
5. Chuck previously gave an excellent report on his moonlight ski on Cascade Fire Rd.
6. Best night sky and stars I have ever seen in my life were from Braille Trail when staying @ William Watson Lodge.


325 Larissa January 9, 2016 at 6:28 pm

Does anyone know if Shaganappi, Maple Ridge, Confederation, or Okotoks golf courses have been groomed recently?


326 C January 11, 2016 at 11:52 am

I’m looking for this info too! I want to head to Shaganappi this afternoon but am assuming it was busy over the weekend – so want to know if there’s enough snow that it’s worth the trip. Anyone do some in-the-city skiing this weekend?


327 Doug Connery January 11, 2016 at 10:29 pm

You can check the conditions for the Calgary golf courses on this blog under trail reports. Also regularly check the trip reports. I was at Confed golf course twice this last weekend and it is track-set and in great shape.


328 Larissa January 12, 2016 at 8:15 am

Thanks Doug! Yeah, I was checking the trail reports, but nothing had been updated after the recent snowfall. You’re right – there was an update about Confed under trip reports. Good to know what you found at Confederation also. Thanks! Last weekend I couldn’t find any up to date info anywhere about the other locations I listed. I ended up skiing at Maple Ridge on Sunday, and it had been groomed since last week’s snowfall. Lots of people had been skiing, so the tracks were well used. The conditions were still ok though, and it was worth going – I skied the course twice that day. Not sure how the warm weather yesterday and today have changed things there though.


329 Ania January 8, 2016 at 3:05 pm

Hello! Does anyone have any suggestions for easy xc ski trails for a new mom who will be hauling a chariot? I feel that people tend to dislike the chariots at the Nordic centre..
Somewhere not too remote either as I would be going on my own.


330 Alf Skrastins January 8, 2016 at 10:34 pm

Try Chickadee Loop, Lower West Crystal and Crystal Link #3, Middle Crystal and Crystal Link #2, or lower Sundog and East Crystal Line, or Mountain Road, Moose Connector South and lower West Crystal Line at West Bragg Creek. I can guarantee you won’t be on your own and you’ll see plenty of other parents with Chariots.
At Ribbon Creek, you would like Hay Meadow or Bill Milne trails


331 Chuck January 8, 2016 at 11:00 pm

Or better yet…
Try Upper Bankhead!


332 Kaliper January 8, 2016 at 1:53 pm

Wondering if anyone has skied Goat Creek, Canmore to Banff recently. Planning on getting out tomorrow and it looks as if it hasn’t been groomed or trackset since about Christmas.

Any comment on its recent condition?


333 Bob Truman January 8, 2016 at 6:31 pm

I’ll have an update later tonight. It’s pretty good, as Goat creek goes. The magic number is 3.8


334 Charlene January 7, 2016 at 9:28 pm

I am wondering if anyone has info on the trail up to Island Lake Lodge in Fernie. Thinking of skiing in for lunch but don’t know if the trail is suitable. Any and all advice appreciated!


335 Jeff January 9, 2016 at 7:20 am

I have skied that trail many times, but not yet this year. The scenery is beautiful. There are no dog restrictions. It’s one of my favorite trails around Fernie. The thing you need to know is the priority for island lake lodge for that trail is the snow cat heading to island lake lodge. They allow skiers to ski it and pack it down, but the cats travel it frequently and shall we say it’s “not always pristine grooming”. I prefer skiing it with my rossignol BC 70 skis with metal edges and width because there’s not always a track for Nordic. If its really packed down, you can skate on it (and considering current conditions I suspect that’s the car right now) but I’ve definitely been on it, especially when it’s warmer, and the cars leave a ripple that would make it difficult to skate. I have never had a problem with my BC 70s.

The scenery around the the lodge is gorgeous and there is a bit of a lovely trail network up at the top of the lodge hat you can use for free. The elevation gain to the lodge and that network is roughly 450-500 m so it’s not exactly a leisurely stroll.

I think the trail is well worth it and it would be worth setting out. If he conditions don’t suit you for the first 100 meters, the elk valley Nordic centre is only a 5 minute drive away and usually has fantastic grooming.


336 Jeff January 9, 2016 at 2:45 pm

Ok – did the island lake lodge trails today. See my trip report. The cat track is a bit choppy/chunky right now, not trackset, I’ve definitely been on it when it was smoother. Beautiful trail and still worth it if you’re confident without a track on a bit of a chunky surface, but if you’re looking for well groomed cross country trails I would check out the Elk Valley Nordic centre which is on your left on the way up to island lake parking lot (or the Fernie alpine resort trails. . . Or the montane trails. . . Or the golf course – we now have a lot of Cross Country options in Fernie!)


337 Shulamit January 4, 2016 at 9:13 pm

I’m looking for more information on the 2016 Cookie Race. I’ve never yet taken part in a loppet and the link on this site leads to a cancellation announcement from 2015. Can someone provide some information (registration, cost, routes, events)? I’m not a competitive skier but would like to try one of the events just for fun.


338 Bob Truman January 5, 2016 at 9:03 am

I’ve updated the link on the loppets page, but it still doesn’t give much information. Here’s a first-hand account from a racer with some relevant information: Cookie race post-race report You might be able to glean some information from the results page


339 Leonora January 4, 2016 at 8:39 am

Hello, I hope that everyone is great!
I want to try doing cross country ski, but I don’t know how to start. I would appreciate any kind of help to know where to begin!
Where can I go to do it for the first time? there’s tours?


340 Bob Truman January 4, 2016 at 8:59 am

One way to get started with some help is to take a lesson, which I would highly recommend. I have a page which lists the places where you can take ski lessons.

If you’re determined to go it alone, rent skis and go to one of the golf courses listed under “Trail Reports” on the menu. At this stage, waxless skis would be the best.

If you’re willing to drive to Canmnore, Trail Sports at the Canmore Nordic Centre will rent you the gear and give you a lesson. You’ll have good snow conditions and plenty of trails to practice on.


341 Barbara January 3, 2016 at 9:18 pm


Can you tell me how to discern when skate skis are worn out?
I have a pair of Atomics. I have had them about 6 years and ski about 15-20 days a season.



342 PM January 8, 2016 at 1:46 pm

Structurally, look for: differences in camber between skis (laid on a flat surface), soft or spongy spots and/or loose bindings (indicating water penetration into the core). Cosmetically, look for cracks, delamination, bubbles in the top sheet or base and/or rounded off edges (from skating on ice). If the skis are still sound and have equal camber, likely just need a base grind + hot box to get them running again.


343 Alec December 31, 2015 at 7:25 pm

I kind of think that you confuse back countywith alpine back country. Totally different and you will need a new gear. There is a light BC xc gear and heavy duty XC gear. Your track skis are absolutely no use for BC skiing unless you wish to wreck them. Norseman sell all this gear and also rents some good BC gear. First tiem? Go to Lake O’Hara or Burstall pass, or Chester Lake.


344 Sarah December 31, 2015 at 1:45 pm

Thinking of going out for some backcountry skiing tomorrow (Jan 1). Never gone backcountry before, but we are fairly seasoned XC and downhill/snowboarders. Can anyone recommend a good first time trail for alpine skis and snowboards? Also any tips for the first timer? Thanks!


345 GMJ December 31, 2015 at 10:16 pm

You don’t want heavy alpine gear for light touring, and don’t you dare go alpine touring for your first ski tour. As mentioned, don’t use XC skis for backcountry touring, you will have a horrible time and there is a good chance you will ruin your skis. Yes I know people do this but you shouldn’t. Likewise, backcountry skiing with downhill gear is not possible.
You want to use light touring or telemark skis, preferably with metal edges (they track better.) Wood touring skis are fine but different. I use telemark skis. You also don’t want XC poles, you want touring poles with wide baskets, a similar principle.
I reccomend you look at Chic Scott’s “Ski Trails in the Canadian Rockies”, and (if you can find a copy!) Gillean Daffern’s Kananaskis Country Ski Trails. Gillean’s book, which dates to 1992 and is out of date as well as out of print, is nonetheless a jewel, of descriptions, writing, and history, that is well worth finding.
Some good first time trails: Chester Lake, Quaite Creek, Powderface Creek, the Sandy Mcnabb trails, the High Noon Hills, as suggestions. I will contradict Alec and advise you not to go to Burstall Pass first time as it involves avalanche hazard.Speaking of which, you need to know something about avalanche hazard. Tony Daffern’s Backcountry Avalanche Safety is required reading.


346 Alf Skrastins January 4, 2016 at 10:23 pm

Sarah, the answer to your question depends a bit on whether you are hoping to go backcountry XC skiing or backcountry powder skiing.
Backcountry XC skiing is essentially touring on skier-set trails. Often that involves skiing along a summer hiking trail to meadows or viewpoints. In that case, you’d want light Back Country XC gear such as Alec or GMJ recommend, up to and including lighter telemark gear.
If you are interested in backcountry powder skiing and already have downhill skiing skills, you would probably want Alpine Touring gear. Several years ago, I would have recommended mid-level Telemark Gear, but unfortunately it is no longer possible to telemark skis or bindings which are light in weight and comfortable for touring. By contrast, there area many Alpine Touring boots and bindings, which are much lighter and more comfortable for touring than the current crop of Telemark gear. Sad, but true.
In either case, I’d add a few tours to the list of first trips:
Rummel Lake, near Engadine Lodge in the Spray Valley,
Healy Pass, from the Sunshine Parking Lot
Boom Lake, near Vermillion Pass on Highway 93 south
Chickadee Valley, at Vermillion Pass on Highway 93 south
Boulder Pass/Hidden Lake, from the Lake Louise Ski area
I suggest renting both types of gear on different days and trying out a couple of these trails. You’ll soon find out which way you want to go into the backcountry.


347 Alec December 31, 2015 at 6:10 am

Great Idea. And also a special mitt with a hot finger, so one could text while skiing. And GPS app warning about the upcoming trees. Happy New Year!!


348 RichieRich December 31, 2015 at 12:24 am

Don’t know if this exists, but it seems obvious to me there is a great need for this item (go ahead, if you make millions$$$ please spare me a few):
It would be great if one could obtain an online map of the area, trace your intended route, and have the App tell you the total distance and elevation gain/loss.
Often times I try to put together a route of say 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, or even 30km for an outing in WBC, PLPP, or CNC and having all this abundantly clear would so nice. Certainly much easier than trying to add in your head the following: .1+.2+2.8+1.3+.5+4.6++++ etc… = ?? dang did I miss a decimal? aaargh.
Does anyone know of one we can use for local-to-Calgary trails?


349 Nancy December 24, 2015 at 9:06 pm

I have never skied Goat Creek and spray River that you have posted reviews about so often. I would like to know if this is a mandatory shuttle or if shuttle is not an option what is the best way to ski this trail?


350 Bob Truman December 24, 2015 at 10:22 pm

It depends what your objectives are. If you want to get lots of exercise and work hard, ski it in both directions from either end(like Chuck). There’s a net elevation loss of 270 metres when skiing from Canmore to Banff, so if you’re lazy like me, you’ll have someone pick you up in Banff. Well, not totally lazy…there’s still a total ascent of 250 metres so there are a lot of little hills.


351 Nancy December 25, 2015 at 8:06 am

What is the total distance when skiing as an out and back? Do you have a preference? I wish I had Cheryl to pick me up in Banff but no such luck!


352 Bob Truman December 25, 2015 at 8:54 am

I’ve done it twice as an out-and-back, both times from Banff. If you ski to the Banff boundary, it’s 18K one-way, 36K total. You can start at Spray river west and on the return, take the easier Spray river east, for a little variety.


353 Viktoriya December 24, 2015 at 11:14 am

Does anybody know if the tracks have been laid/groomed for the 5th leg of Lake Louise to Banff loppet? Thanks so much!!!! 🙂


354 Bob Truman December 24, 2015 at 1:11 pm

The grooming and tracksetting for the loppet occurs the week before the loppet. On the fifth leg, there is no tracksetting for the portion which is skied on the river and through the backswamp. This video will give you an idea of the snow in the backswamp


355 Viktoriya December 27, 2015 at 9:47 am

Thanks so much!!!! 🙂 Awesome video!!!! 😀


356 Alexander December 22, 2015 at 3:46 pm

Are there any good tracks within city limits (preferably to the west) where I can train youngsters how to ski? Thank you


357 Alec December 18, 2015 at 9:23 am

Carry a lock de-icer spray with you. Also, get the ice from under the bat of your boot. You can scrape it with the end of your pole.


358 pat davis December 18, 2015 at 12:53 pm

Thank you, Alec. I am a bit embarrassed as that should have been obvious to me. Duh…


359 pat davis December 18, 2015 at 9:02 am

A couple of days ago at WBC, I took off my skis to scrape wax, and I had a great deal of difficulty getting one back on as it appeared there was some icing in the binding. I did manage eventually, but I am wondering if anyone has a preventative solution. Silicone spray? Anything?


360 Martin J December 15, 2015 at 9:28 am

The area is zoned for redevelopmentthe building will be demolished !!


361 Bruce December 17, 2015 at 3:28 pm

Building was sold, but will become a heritage building under new development of the block. Norm says they will be open for the ski season.


362 GordN December 14, 2015 at 9:40 pm

Lifesport retirement? What what now?


363 Martin J December 14, 2015 at 9:53 pm

Get down there fast and buy some gear !


364 GordN December 15, 2015 at 9:06 am

Are they shutting down? I love that place.


365 Erin December 14, 2015 at 2:50 pm

I’m not sure if this goes under Gear Swap, but does anybody know where I can find maternity ski pants? It seems like most maternity brands don’t believe that pregnant women engage in any snow activities. I would pretty much pay anything if I could find a good pair of ski pants with room for my growing belly!


366 Alec December 14, 2015 at 2:56 pm

You might wish to check Norseman Ski Shop. They used to carry and I think still do, wonderful Spporthill pants made of SP3 material, which is windproof, breathable and stretchable. I think it is your best bet.


367 Erin December 15, 2015 at 8:56 am

Thanks Alec, I’ll check it out!


368 Brent M December 14, 2015 at 9:05 am

Great skiing on Pocattera Friday the 11 of December
However, may have lost a man’s wedding ring on the Trail
Not expecting to find it , But I can always hope for a X-mass Miracle
The groomed trails made for some awesome skiing, Thank you


369 Wendy December 13, 2015 at 10:22 pm

Can anyone tell me if the Ross Lake trail is skiable on light touring skis? I was also wondering if Hwy 40 passes through avalanche terrain once you get past the Wintour snowshoe trail turnaround point? Any suggestions and advice for trails for light touring skis would be greatly appreciated, thanks!


370 Diana Piggott December 14, 2015 at 9:18 am

Hi Wendy!

We have done the Ross Lake loop on light touring skis in the last couple of years. The biggest challenge is getting up the hill west of the lake, especially if snowshoers and backcountry skiers have made a narrow canyon of a trail! The descent on the west side is quite fun, and then the descent on the Lake O’Hara road too 🙂
Now that we have kicker skins I am keen to do it again!
Other trails we enjoy include Boom Lake and Paradise Valley (start from along Fairview). Usually all you need is good wax.
Chuck does a lot of that kind of thing!


371 Bob Truman December 13, 2015 at 7:41 pm

Can someone who is familiar with West Bragg Creek help Renee?

Hi! I have a question, I am looking at introducing a friend to country skiing. She has skied before, but only once or twice and I usually ski the nordic centre, the reason I am reaching out to you is we don’t have time to get to Canmore and I will be pulling 2, two year olds. What trail in west bragg area would you recommend for such ambition?


372 Alec December 13, 2015 at 7:50 pm

Sorry, but West Bragg Creek trails are not for beginners, unless you do not care about them. But the main drag is fine, a few km back and forth.
People always underestimate the fear of a beginner, particularly, if they are with their kids. Please take it from someone who dealt with thousands of XC skiers. So, take the main road. or go to Canmore, or go to K country and take trails from Elkwood. Amos, Wheeler and so on,


373 Diana Piggott December 14, 2015 at 9:22 am

There are also a couple of new bunny loops at West Bragg Creek, in addition to the main road, so there are some options. Then if you gain confidence you can try a lower Crystal Line trail.
Are you pulling kids in a pulk or similar?


374 Diana Piggott December 14, 2015 at 9:24 am

Also see Alf’s comments below – he lists the so-called novice trails, as well as other ratings 🙂


375 GMJ December 14, 2015 at 10:54 am

Take it from someone who remembers, years ago, being a rank beginner on these trails and I would say the best ones for beginners are the Mountain road, parts of Crystal Line, Sundog trail (except the very big hill just past the parking lot, which is a good place for newbies to practice their downhill skills and little kids to goof off…says me who was once a little kid goofing off on this hill… and of course the new bunny loops.


376 Mike December 11, 2015 at 6:49 am

What west bragg trails would you recommend for a couple novice/intermediate skiers?


377 Diana Piggott December 11, 2015 at 8:05 am

Well, everyone is different — depends on age and eagerness for adventure!
Mountain Road is easy all the way, and right now has good snow. The Crystal Line trails are a little more challenging, but nice and wide, and you can make a nice loop with Mountain Road and Moose Connector.

I expect Alf could give more suggestions 🙂


378 Mike December 11, 2015 at 8:27 am

Crystal with Mountain Road looks great on the map. Thanks. Preferred direction of loop?


379 Diana Piggott December 11, 2015 at 10:11 am

Our preference is to go up Mountain Road, turn left onto Moose Connector, and return on lower West Crystal. You may need to snowplow a little!


380 Alf Skrastins December 11, 2015 at 10:46 pm

The West Bragg Creek trail junction maps show beginner/novice trails as green. These include: Hostel Meadoe Loop, Bunny Loop, Chickadee Loop, East Crystal/lower Sundog Loop, Lower West Crystal Line and Crystal Links #2 and #3 and Mountain Road to Moose Connector.
All of the other trails are rated intermediate, although they range from easy intermediate to more difficult intermediate.
A few of the easier intermediate loops include:
Lower West Crystal-Moose Connector-Mountain Road, which I prefer to do in that order.
Lower West Crystal-Crystal Link #2-Middle Crystal-Upper West Crystal-Loggers Loop-Sundog-East Crystal Line.
Moose Loop from via either Mountain Road or Lower West Crystal/Moose Connector.
And Hostel Loop going clockwise.


381 Andrea December 9, 2015 at 3:19 pm

Has anyone skied Wedge Connector in the last day or two? How were the tracks and snow conditions? Thank you!


382 Bob Truman December 9, 2015 at 3:29 pm

The tracks had gone through a thaw-freeze cycle and were icy the last time I stopped there about four days ago. Hopefully the Wedge received some of this new snow which should rejuvenate the tracks somewhat.


383 Aglaia December 3, 2015 at 8:14 pm

How wide are cross country ski tracks? Would light touring skis that are 70mm wide fit in the tracks?


384 Wendy December 3, 2015 at 9:13 pm

My light touring skis are 69mm with metal edges and they fit in classic tracks. They are not fast and light on the trails but it’s a good trade off for added stability and control on descents, especially with icy conditions. A great boost for those of us with orthopaedic issues. We also enjoy skiing un-maintained trails with them so the best of both worlds.


385 Hugh December 6, 2015 at 4:34 pm

a quick google says tracks are 60-70mm wide. not definitive but it will give you an idea. Just skied Pipestone loop today on my 60mm tip width metal edge skis and thought about your question. I stepped into an untouched groomed track and it appeared to be 60 mm wide at the bottom.
The limiting factor may be more about boot and binding width.
If you’re rocking 75mm bindings the wings will drag in fresh groomed well setup tracks. 75 mm boots will drag as well as the soles tend to be more like a hiking boot with flat bottoms and squared off edges.
My NNN BC binding sole plates stick out over the edge of my skis and tend to drag even on softer tracks like we skied on today.


386 Bill December 2, 2015 at 7:51 pm

Anyone have any experiences with the use of glucosamine for osteoarthritis related joint pain? Or any other pain reduction strategies, for that matter?


387 Alec December 2, 2015 at 8:05 pm

Actually I just review the results of MRI, after years of waiting. So, the doc says: how come you can walk? with broken meniscus etc. The point is that I have osteoartritis like anyone in a bit advanced age. But a couple of years ago the sport doc says. Try to avoid a surgery if you can. So here is the scoop:

1. No skating XC skiing
2. No running
3. Moderate hiking, 2-3 hours max
4. Classic XC skiing
5. Biking is good
6. Glucosamine, chondrointin regularly
7. If there is pain, arthrotec.

So, here I am 2 years later and doc is surprised that knee had healed. Aparently.


388 Bill December 2, 2015 at 8:32 pm

So Alec, you’d say it’s had a positive effect for you? I’m in no danger of doing any running but I’m not quite ready to abandon my skate skis – so if glucosamine has any potential at all, I’m thinking it’s worth a try. I’m still at the stage where I can live with the pain, but if there was another option, of course I’d take advantage of it!


389 Alec December 3, 2015 at 7:20 am

Glucosamine/chondroitin unfortunately are not miracle drugs. They can help, but only as a part of general approach, which I outlined in several points. On its own, gluccosamine/chondroitin/MSM are not a big game changer. For pain, single malt is a miracle drug, highly recommended.


390 Chris Thomas December 4, 2015 at 3:04 pm

I have had success with glucosamine-chondroitin-MSM after breaking my tibial plateau several years ago, in terms of mitigating pain and aching in my knee – I was told that MSM is a critical component. It’s not an instant cure however, it can take several weeks for it to be fully effective, and you need to take it long term. BTW I still skate ski and hike up to 6-7 hours at a time.


391 fallsalot December 3, 2015 at 7:57 am

Some people find rose hips and turmeric helpful. Check those links below. You can consume up to teaspoon of turmeric a day without side effects. Cooked turmeric has anticancer properties but raw fights inflammation.


392 Bill December 4, 2015 at 9:47 pm

Thanks all for the insights – appreciated!


393 GordN December 1, 2015 at 4:55 pm

For anyone interested about the trail work done since 2013’s flood damages


394 Helen Read December 3, 2015 at 9:39 pm

Thank you Gord for posting this to remind us of the many dedicated volunteers who put in huge man/woman-power hours every time they were asked, to work on so many trails in K-Country. As one whose home was demolished in Lac Des Arcs, I was astonished at all the work done even on our lovely Heart Creek Trail that following summer, and this summer did two hikes up Galactea to check out all the work done there-a massive job. About 6 weeks ago, I did a snowshoe up Hidden to Coal Mine and was so impressed by the new Ribbon Creek connector and all the work done there. It is humbling to see how much new trail has been created (for eg. on Galactea) and so very much appreciated by all of us who love these trails in our unique K-country.


395 GMJ November 30, 2015 at 3:15 pm

So I have these leather touring boots with a plastic sole. A few days ago, the leather came undone from the plastic sole on one of the boots from about the middle forward. I tried using contact cement, but it didn’t work too well! It seemed fine at first but came off after I skied on them for a few minutes. Yes I followed all the cementing protocol!
Anybody have any ideas how to fix this problem, short of taking it to a shoe place? Thanks.


396 Alec November 30, 2015 at 3:50 pm

Nothing will do. You do not want that to happen again in a middle of your skiing. Cannot repair these kinds of problems on cheap xc boots. Go to a reputable store, i.e. Norseman Ski Shop or such and fit a new pair.


397 GMJ November 30, 2015 at 4:13 pm

Sorry Alec it won’t work….and they are not cheap xc ski boots! they are expensive telemarking boots that have been around for a while and are in perfect condition…’cept for the blasted contact cement. I haven’t seen boots like these for sale anywhere.


398 GMJ November 30, 2015 at 4:14 pm

Anybody else?


399 Hugh November 30, 2015 at 4:30 pm

Try Freesole. It’s a one part adhesive rock climbers use for gluing soles, repairs etc. I’ved used it on light hikers soles and it works great. Most outdoor stores carry it and MEC probably does.
Follow the instructions and be sure the boot/sole area is clean and roughed up.
You may be hooped though. Tough to say without seeing it. You didn’t say what sole you have other than plastic, I had Merrells with NNN BC sole Sweet boots but couldn’t get the sole to stick and just chucked them. If you are in Calgary Alpine shoe repair does a great job and could give you a read on if it’s fixable


400 Alec November 30, 2015 at 4:34 pm

OK, TM boots, a real problem, What binding, 75mm? I have a new pair I do not use. What size are you wearing?


401 GMJ November 30, 2015 at 5:34 pm

Thanks Hugh, I’ll see if I can find some.
They are NNN BC soles, on an Artex boot. They have no size label on them but my feet are size 10 US. (I got them second hand.)
Where is Alpine Shoe repair and how can I contact them?


402 Hugh November 30, 2015 at 10:12 pm

Alpine Shoe Service – 1225 Kensington Rd NW, Calgary, AB
403 283-5224

403 Steve Riggs December 2, 2015 at 10:02 pm

Just noticed this, if you haven’t solved it yet, here is what I have done to successfully repair several pairs of hiking boots with the same failure.
First off- from any building supply, you want to get a tube of PL Premium, which is a moisture cure polyurethane construction adhesive that will bond most materials, is reasonably flexible, and has excellent gap filling abilities. Also, a solvent like acetone or xylene, and disposable gloves rated for such.
(1) Spread apart upper from sole as much as you can without further damage, and THOROUGHLY remove any old adhesive including the contact cement, as best you can, using mechanical means (wire brush, scraper, sandpaper). While you are at it, if the plastic sole is smooth or shiny- abrade it a bit too. Blow out any dust or debris.
(2) Clean both surfaces using the above solvent (paint thinner can leave a greasy film). CAUTION! These are very volatile products that are also hard on the skin and eyes. I would also use sparingly on any plastics as they may or may not be capable of dissolving them. Let solvent dissipate completely. If you are confident that you have cleaned things completely in step 1- you could skip this step.
(3) “Dry fit” to make sure pieces mate together properly, and to work out how you are going to hold them together until adhesive sets. What I have done is to fill toe with newspaper, and wrap the assembly with a tape with a bit of give such as electrical.
(4) Read precautions on adhesive and wear gloves! With parts pried apart as much as you can- wipe mating surfaces lightly with a damp cloth. Using a spreader such as a popsicle stick, work adhesive completely into both surfaces as far back as possible. Close up, and check if there is enough adhesive to fill all gaps. If not, spread a bit more- you want a bit of “squeeze out” .
(5) Tape up and let cure for at least 24 hours. Do not worry about cleaning up any “squeeze out” just now, cut or rasp it off when cured.

As a professional woodworker with decades of gluing experience- I can say that preparation of the surfaces, and getting a complete bond, are critical to ensure success.
Hope this helps!


404 GMJ December 16, 2015 at 1:19 pm

So does anybody have suggestions for removing old contact cement without wrecking the leather?


405 GMJ December 31, 2015 at 10:17 pm

(Forget that last comment)
I fixed my boot using Steve’s instructions with Freesole goop. So far it has held up well. Thanks!


406 Cheeky November 29, 2015 at 12:16 pm

SkierBob’s brush with death by malnutrition spurs me to share a recipe. It’s perhaps the most nutritionally dense food you can pull from a backpack and still find edible at -20C. If you’ve tried to eat a cold Power Bar, you know jus’ wha’ m ‘alkn abou’.
Based on Food Network – Good Eats (Alton Brown) – Power Trip Protein Bars
The Silence of the Lambs homage episode wherein Cocoa Carl divulges (quid pro quo) the food industry’s least expensive sources of animal protein… mmmm… ssssut ssut tut-tut-tut.
My changes attempt to make it taste less like a ridiculously sweet peanut-butter-jelly sandwich and more.. adult? Substituting almond-butter for peanut, honey for brown sugar, dried cranberries for dried cherries, and lately hemp protein powder for soy protein powder (soy’s usually gritty or not fine enough).
I lovingly call this stuff “Puck”. Yes, just Puck. Because face it, protein rich food is dense. Also, the name pays homage to the episodes thinly veiled Power Bar reference “Captain Proton Protein Power Puck” which turns out to be impossibly unctuous for all the wrong reasons, including hydrogenated palm kernel oil that yields a shelf-life of plutonium. My version of Puck is impossibly unctuous for all the right reasons. You’ll need parchment paper and a scale, ’cause ya never get consistent texture by volume.

Cheeky Puck

Chopped Dried Fruit:
3 oz. raisins
3 oz. dried blueberries
2 1/2 oz. dried cranberries
2 1/2 oz. dried apricots
Dry Bowl:
2 1/4 oz. oat bran
2 3/4 oz. whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt (kosher, of course; whadaya never seen da show?)
4 oz. hemp protein powder
3/4 oz. wheat germ
1/2 oz. cocoa (just a little, more changes texture)
Wet Bowl:
6 1/2 oz. almond (or almond-hazelnut) butter
7 oz. apple juice
4 oz honey
12-ish oz. box of soft tofu (silken style if possible, but no big whoop)
2 large eggs

Oven to 350C. Chop the fruit, stir the dry dowl, zing zing the wet bowl. Stir together wet and dry, fold in fruit. Spread in parchment lined 9×13″ glass pan. Bake 35 min and cool slowly and completely (hours) before removing. No glass pan? Maybe 325C, shoot for 205F (96C) on probe thermometer and insulate around pan with towels when cooling.

Last batch included chopped toasted walnuts and the verdict was yum.


407 Henry November 30, 2015 at 5:08 pm

“…Chop the fruit, stir the dry dowl….”

Is the wooden dowel chopped or finely sanded?


408 Barb November 29, 2015 at 9:31 am

Wondering what App you use for tracking your ski? There are so many. … I’m just looking for basic info – moving time – elevation -average speed ?


409 Bob Truman November 29, 2015 at 9:44 am

I use a Garmin Oregon 550 GPS. I expect you could get something simpler and more compact to suit your needs. Before buying anything, read this blog post from Tony Daffern. He says, “don’t believe a Garmin odometer reading.” I can get small inconsistencies when doing the same trail.
What I’ve liked best about using a GPS is that it allows you to explore without getting lost, mostly for hiking.


410 Doug Connery November 29, 2015 at 10:03 pm

I use a basic Garmin Forerunner. It is great to see distance, speed and heart rate at a glace. I started using a Tracker App on my phone. Harder to check stats while skiing but it does sync automatically to Google Fit.


411 Risto November 30, 2015 at 10:41 am

I use a Polar M400 GPS watch. I used to track with my iPhone and an app (Runkeeper, Endomondo, Strava), but I found that the phone would often run out of battery in the cold on longer trips.

The great thing about Polar is that it has separate activity profiles for classic, skate, and roller skiing with their Polar Flow service ( The watch also tracks your steps and calories burnt for each day.

No matter how you track your activities, it can be helpful to sync your activities across various apps. Syncing is especially helpful if you have a watch, but sometimes still use a phone to track, or if some of your friends use one service and others use something else like Garmin Connect, or if you want to switch apps and bring your activities with you. For syncing I use and


412 Hugh November 30, 2015 at 5:08 pm

Ditto on the Polar M400. Works well. It is quite user changeable. Perhaps too much info but steps, calories burned. GPS maps elevation. You can load up different activities to it. IE XC ski Classic ,skate , Back country ski, DH ski Run Bike etc.
Had a Fitbit Surge which has HR GPS speed steps, etc. Loved the interface and ease of use. However the HR was not accurate so sent it back.


413 Shelli December 6, 2015 at 2:36 pm

My smart phone has GPS so I use the Endomondo app (free!).


414 Cheeky November 27, 2015 at 8:08 am

Pocaterra Hut – is it open yet? Does it open on a certain calendar date rather than when grooming starts?

It’s open daily from 8 a.m – 8 pm. I don’t know what the policy is, but I posted last week that it was already open. -Bob


415 Dan November 26, 2015 at 5:33 pm

New to the area and looking for skate skiing trails that are as close as possible to Calgary? Any suggestions? I struggle with figuring out which trails will be classic only…

Skate trails and locations are listed here -Bob


416 Kate November 26, 2015 at 11:30 am

Does anyone know of a map of CNC with distances marked? I vaguely remember an old map that provided it. With such great snow this year, I’ve set myself a goal of skiing a loppet distance by the end of the year and would like to figure out loops at CNC that will help me build up to it. I know the 13 km blue loop but I want to plot a 20 km, then 25, etc. etc.

Great to see Ski Bob at Ribbon Creek yesterday. What a glorious day and what exquisite tracks. Jeff provided the best birthday present for my partner with his expert track setting.


417 Hugh November 28, 2015 at 6:07 pm

Kate: As you mention the 13KM blue loop,I’m assuming you have the Winter trail map from CNC. It has 4 loops along the bottom of the map. That is the only map of CNC that I’m aware of. not sure if you only want to ski longer IE 45-60km loppet distances or ski a loppet. So if all you want is distances at the CNC I can’t help so ignore the rest of this 🙂
However ,if I may. if you are training/working up to/for a loppet it may be better to work out using time VS distance as your goal. The rationale is that some days conditons are faste/slower/ you are faster/slower , so you may be discouraged on a slow day or not get enough training effect on a fast day.
We use the Nordic centre regularily and when we are aiming for a loppet we do a long ski using the longer easier trails, most of which are past the Mine scar. Hope this helps


418 Kate November 30, 2015 at 9:37 am

Thanks, Hugh. I do have the current CNC map but I thought I had remembered an older one, with distances. I appreciate the tip on time versus distance as I had wondered about ‘cheating’ (doing the easy trails instead of the hard ones) to get in the distance. Time is probably a better goal!


419 Kelly November 25, 2015 at 7:31 am

Can someone clarify something for me….

I have been classic skiing for years and this winter is my first winter with skate skis. I have been researching all the local spots with skating lanes. The Banff trail report says that Spray River Trail West is “double trackset with skating lane.” I parked in the lot behind the Fairmont and began my ski only to discover the skating lane was trampled my hikers and snowshoers making it impossible to skate.

Was I in the wrong spot?
Is this the norm for this trail?

Thanks for your help.


420 Bob Truman November 25, 2015 at 8:51 am

You were in the right spot. I don’t think it’s always that bad. My theory is that the big snowfall has made the walkers gravitate to groomed trails because the snow is so deep everywhere. After the next grooming, try it again, and try to tough it out at least 700 metres because a lot of the walkers turn left at the junction which goes down to the river.


421 Alec November 25, 2015 at 8:54 am

Yes, you run into problems typical to a lack of outdoor civility. In Banff, you have tourists who are just ignorant. Lesson number 1, do not go to Banff for skating. The best skating is in Canmore Nordic. Also on Cascade road, from Lake Minnewanka. Mount Shark, if recently groomed can be fantastic. Lake Louise, Moraine lake Rd, Sometimes great Divide is OK. In town, if there is enough snow, Shagannapi Golf course is fine. Sometimes Conferderation Park. COP has skating but I would not recommend for beginners.
Bragg creek can be good but you can run into lack of civility of users too.


422 Kelly November 25, 2015 at 12:29 pm

Thanks! My goal was to hit up every potential skate lane just to see what was out there and what to avoid.


423 CoryD November 23, 2015 at 6:38 pm

Hi I was just wondering if the trail maintenance crews needed volunteers or where to leave donations for all the track setting? Also, are there any groups which meet up for cross country skiing in West Bragg Creek?


424 GordN November 23, 2015 at 6:56 pm
425 CoryD November 24, 2015 at 7:25 pm

Thanks I will look into that. Trails are looking awesome this year!


426 Bob Truman November 24, 2015 at 9:48 am
427 CoryD November 24, 2015 at 7:27 pm

Thanks Bob, exactly what I was looking for.


428 Willie November 23, 2015 at 3:07 pm

Hey Bob

I am wondering if the track setting in PLPP and elsewhere is of the same specifications as the CNCPP (60 mm) or if they are track set wider. I would like to get out some of my wider light touring gear to re-break the boots in. I have a feeling we are going to have a good backcountry season this year.


429 Alec November 23, 2015 at 3:19 pm

Last time I checked, K country tracks at 65 mm at the bottom, while Canmore Nordic does to 60mm. What oit means that you can ski on come lighter BC gear, i.e. 65, even 68 mm wide, which will still fit the tracks


430 Willie November 23, 2015 at 3:42 pm

Thanks Alec

Very helpful. My skinniest pair of LT skis are 68 mm. That will help me work those ole leather boots in.


431 Alec November 23, 2015 at 3:49 pm

Hold on, not so fast. If you use 75mm bindings they will still scrape the sides and slow you down. I would put new BC bindings and get new boots to avoid it.


432 Willie November 23, 2015 at 7:05 pm

All is good Alec. Made a plate to raise the bindings. I was just concernd about the skis fitting in the track.

Thanks again.


433 Dean November 22, 2015 at 8:06 am

Say, does anyone know of a good site for trail conditions in the Jasper area? besides the Parks of course


434 Jennifer Nunes November 21, 2015 at 2:29 am


I am fairly new to xc skiing. I just started last year after moving from Ontario. Last year, I went on a few beginner trails (the great divide, Moraine lake road, Mt. Shark and the canmore Nordic centre). I am curious if there is a list of good beginner and intermediate xc trails along with an address for the trailhead or directions. The longer the trail, the better! ! 🙂 I remember trying to find a few last year without success.



435 Bob Truman November 21, 2015 at 8:05 am

On the main menu, under “Maps,” there’s an item “Trailhead Locations” that might be helpful. I’ve written a few articles on trails for beginner skiers, but I think most of the recommendations would be too short, except Great Divide which you’ve already done. Another suggestion would be to start at Elkwood Amphitheatre trailhead in PLPP and ski on trails such as Wheeler, Amos, Woolley, Meadow, and Spruce road. You could get a day’s worth of skiing there. Ironically, this trailhead isn’t on the “Trailhead Locations” map, but follow the directions for William Watson Lodge, and instead of turning right, you’ll see the sign “Elkwood Amphitheatre,” and turn left. Or, you could just start at William Watson Lodge as all those trails connect. Right now, WWL might be a good starting spot if Elkwood hasn’t been plowed.


436 GordN November 21, 2015 at 8:15 am

Maybe this that Bob made?

There’s more somewhere on this site too,…


437 Greg Grundberg November 25, 2015 at 1:20 pm

Something I ran across when doing trail research was that some of the better trail maps out of the US and Europe have recommended routes for skiers at a novice to intermediate level. These routes are most helpful if you are new to the trailsystem and helps overcome looking at the “spaghetti” on a piece of paper, discerning what trails to go on. A prime example of where it could be used is on a trailsystem like Mt Shark…where novice skiers have often found themselves on trails above their ability level, when their are scenic routes which would sell the trailsystem at its best.


438 Dean November 19, 2015 at 7:47 pm

Can anyone tell us if the Cascade fire road bridge near Banff has been replaced yet? Thanks in advance,

Yes, it has been replaced. -Bob


439 Dean November 20, 2015 at 9:20 pm

Thanks, will head up tomorrow 🙂


440 pat davis November 19, 2015 at 10:35 am

As a fossil from the days of pine tar, I have a question about the new (at least to me) fluor glide wax. I have just scraped my skis and am ready to put on a base wax. I have usually used the old polar wax, rubbing it on and then ironing it in. I have been given the fluor wax. Can I use it as a base the same way?
Pat- striving mightily to catch up to the last century


441 Alec November 18, 2015 at 3:52 pm

If you wish to just try BC skiing for a week-end, go to Norseman Ski Shop. They rent some lighter BC gear. You can see options there for more heavy duty equipment


442 Celia Norman November 18, 2015 at 12:05 pm

Hi Bob,
I heard that I could place an ad for ski equipment on your blog.
How do I do this.


443 Bob Truman November 18, 2015 at 12:17 pm

Place it on the Gear Swap page.


444 Santos November 18, 2015 at 9:56 am

Re: Nordic backcountry touring setup

I’m crowdsourcing opinions on nordic backcountry setup for going to Assiniboine, Elk Lakes, Egypt Lake, etc. I’m 125lbs (55kg) and have classic/skate and alpine touring gear already. Any thoughts on ski width and binding recommendations, especially on the NNN-BC vs 75mm debate. Has anyone actually had an NNN-BC binding break? How steep are the hills on those ski routes (to make the turnability or climbing wires of a 75mm worthwhile)? This segment seems to have gone out of vogue (at least in my circles).



445 Greg G November 18, 2015 at 11:55 pm

Well the diversity of trails you listed reflects different types of backcountry gear….and is not a new problem. Trail guides are of limited help as well as they tend to reflect the classifications used by either the national park or Alberta provincial parks….yet most who live in the Bow Corridor ski in both areas. Having said that ….check out Rocky Mountain Ramblers, Bow Waters Canoe Club or The Norseman Ski Club. All were part of a multi-club committee that developed a common trail classification. Generally most backcountry skiing occurs on hiking trails…and depending on the gradient you will want light touring gear or touring gear (beefier with metal edges). As soon as you start in the Alpine areas…generally you want to beef up your equipment more and add side cut for turnablity. I will leave it to others to comment on the preferred equipment for each terrain category. Of course if you are really into backcountry skiing you could purchase a different ski for each terrain category.


446 Barbara B. November 17, 2015 at 8:53 pm

I’ve been XC skiing for 4 years, typically do 20km or so in PLPP, but my technique is anything but pretty. All my instruction has consisted of a total of 3 days of lessons. So, I’m looking at taking some lessons on weeknights, and then continue to have my weekends for heading out to the mountains.

I came across a December – March evening session by Foothills Nordic called FAST (Foothills Adult Ski Technique). Has anyone taken this and comment on it? It runs one night a week at COP. I’ve also been trying to find a photo online of COPs XC area, with no luck. I’d imagine with it being in the city it won’t be the greatest, but it would allow me to get out on a weeknight and practice a bit.


447 Alec November 17, 2015 at 8:57 pm

Any lesson is good. I know that Norseman Ski Shop has one day lessons for advanced skiers. Check it out


448 Santos November 17, 2015 at 11:18 pm

Can’t comment on FAST but the lessons from CNC are good. If you can do it, Supercamp, run by Silverstar Nordic in Vernon is one of the best in the country.

The other important thing with improving is milieage. CNC is lit up until 9pm (and free after 5pm). And, you have the practice area to yourself, so you could do drills for four hours if you wanted to. Cajole an experienced skier friend and buy them beer back in Calgary as a thank you.

Also, I’ve found YouTube vids (instruction and races) helpful, but many disagree with that sort of thing.


449 Shelli November 21, 2015 at 9:06 am

The Calgary Nordic Training Group has an adult skill improvment course that may be what you’re looking for:

The Calgary Ski Club also offers lessons for adults:


450 Judy November 16, 2015 at 6:52 am

How does one decide what kind of clothes to wear for skiing? I found myself really overheated last Saturday in MLR. I couldn’t take off my jacket though because it was snowing– I was getting wet both from the snow and my profuse sweat. What are the alternatives to snow pants? Thanks.


451 Jennifer Nunes November 16, 2015 at 6:56 am

If you check out the xc ski shops in calgary or the Nordic centre, you will find pants specifically for xc skiing. They are thinner than snow pants but still have a light fuzzy lining inside to keep you warm. I find some winter biking pants are very similar too, but harder to find. I had this same issue last year. Hope this helps!! 🙂


452 Diana Piggott November 16, 2015 at 7:35 am

We just wear ordinary street clothes, with long underwear when it is really cold. A breathable jacket might help, but when it is warm I think sweat is always a problem.


453 pat davis November 16, 2015 at 7:54 am

For the legs, if the weather is warmish, I like my cycling pants with wind-cheating material. (Wind-porous pants are a real problem for a guy on a fast downhill) If it is a bit colder, a thin pair of long underwear helps.
The same idea holds for the torso; that is, you wear layers. I’m heading out today and I am wearing a synth. underwear with a cotton T over that. On top of that, I shall either wear a wool sweater of a fleece jacket and over all that, a water-resistant shell.
If you cycle in cold weather, your cycling outfit should work very well.


454 Andrea November 16, 2015 at 7:57 am

I really don’t enjoy being cold, so I tend to overdo it with clothing, too. I find that layering is the key. I usually wear a thin breathable waterproof winter jacket with a fleece underneath, so I can take one off if I need to.

My favourite pants to wear are from Mark’s. They are incredibly comfortable and soft inside! If it’s not too cold, I wear them alone. If cold, I wear leggings or long johns underneath.

Hope that helps!


455 Chris November 16, 2015 at 10:33 pm

Hi Judy. We skied MLR on Saturday as well and it was just one those days I guess! Just to add to the previous comments about layering – when people say layering, they’re saying you have 1) a baselayer (a snug fit – tight to the body, either synthetic or natural, like merino wool) 2) an insulating layer (fleece jacket, wool sweater, down jacket) and 3) an outer layer, such as light windbreaker (ideally, something with a windproof membrane on the front), a vest or some variation of a waterproof-breathable shell. There are variations on the theme, but goal here is too move the moisture away from your body (wet = cold) to the outside, where it will start to evaporate. (*cotton fibres will absorb the moisture, much like a towel does – I would not recommend wearing a cotton t-shirt whilst cross-country skiing) Depending on the conditions and your personal humidity levels (ie. sweat) you may likely wear all three at some point during the day. As far as pants go, look for something that has a trimmer fit than snow pants – less bulk to carry around. A zippered cuff is a nice feature and fits easily over the top of your boot to prevent snow from coming in. A lighter, more breathable material will also keep you cool. I’ll wear a baselayer bottom underneath a pair of windproof pants on colder days. See you out on the trails!


456 GordN November 17, 2015 at 9:12 am

Couple of places I found reasonable priced breathable inner layer. Mark’s Hi Dri is not too bad and they have a lot of sales around this time a year, plus $10 of $50 every month. Also we’ve been lucky to pick up Merino and Merino blend tops from Costco. Little scratchy but good breathing.


457 Alec November 17, 2015 at 1:51 pm

Cold conditions, -10C and below require a bit of thinking.
Typically, 3 layers. Base layer, thin, preferably merino wool, then a middle layer, usually a thin fleece breathable and a third layer, a jacket, a soft shell with either vents or breathable panels. When out of the car, preparing and so on, put on a forth , say down jacket to keep warm before the start, but shed it when you ready to ski and leave it in the car.

Anything close to zero and warmer, shed the middle layer and use only 2 layers.
For bottoms use one less layer than for the top. Everything should be breathable. Trapped moisture will make you freeze eventually.
You can check all these clothing at the Norseman.

Of course, the wind does change things somewhat.


458 Greg G November 17, 2015 at 3:45 pm

Love Alexs comments especially on three layers…I got into the habit of carrying a dufflebag filled with extra clothing so that I could fine tune my choices at the trailhead. I had various choices of fleece, headgear and socks for the middle layer….depending on how cold it was not wanting to overdress when it was warm….A favorite of mine was a cycling shell which I would put on as soon as I got out of the car while I prepared skis to stay warm and then would tuck away once I got underway. Skiing when the humidity is high is always a challenge.


459 fallsalot November 17, 2015 at 7:10 pm

Don’t listen to these people Judy. Take your gold and silver coins, your cash, debit and credit cards and go to your favorite x-country ski shop. They will fit you with the right equipment.


460 Alec November 17, 2015 at 7:14 pm

Funny, but true. Go to Norseman Ski Shop


461 Shelli November 17, 2015 at 7:23 pm

My advice to new skiers about clothing is to first ask them if they are runners. If they are, I recommend clothing similar to what they would wear running in the same weather.

As Anderea already stated, layers are best so you can take something off if you’re hot, put something on if you’re cold.

As for pants, I have a couple pair of these SportHill pants:

They are wonderful! Not too thin a material but not too thick, stretchy in all directions and therefore very comfortable. If conditions aren’t too wet or windy, you may not need a shell pant, but I often wear some because I get cold fast. The only issue is that cat/dog hair loves to cling to them. I’ve seen them at MEC and Lifesport in the past.

My favourite skiing jacket is from MEC and it’s years old. I don’t see anything quite like it on their website, It’s a poly/nylon/spandex mix that is fuzzy on the inside and smooth on the outside and it breathes. It’s got a bit more wind break ability to straight polar fleece jackets. Check out any of the outdoor gear stores and I’m sure you will find similar materials/designs.

If its warmer, I wear a light top similar to this under my jacket and if its colder another layer underneath, usually a thin merino wool one.

As long as I’m moving that usually is good enough for me. But if you stop for extended breaks or it’s really cold (< -15C), you might want to carry a warmer jacket with you in addition. Down is great for warmth and because it packs small in your bag.


462 Alec November 17, 2015 at 8:51 pm

One of the great misconceptions and mistake is that running clothing will do the same job for XC skiing. Not at all. Most people run 30-40 60 min at a time, from door to door. And it is a warm door. Please look up my write up about 3 layers and such.


463 Doug Connery November 17, 2015 at 8:46 pm

I find good merino wool is the best for at least your first layer next to your skin. Wool has amazing properties that nicely control heat and moisture and unlike synthetics they don’t smell after several wearings. I tried a cheap brand of merino once and it was course, scratchy and unpleasant to wear. So I have “invested” in Icebreaker over the last few years and will never go back to synthetics or cheap wool again.


464 Santos November 17, 2015 at 11:05 pm

No has mentioned the benefit of differentiated/body-mapped fabrics. Cycling and ski-specific clothing tends to have windproof/water-resistant fabric on the front (Gorr Windstopper) and stretchy/breathable microfleece on the back for ventilation. The faster and higher-output you go, the more of a difference this makes. Cycling clothing has more in common with XC skiig clothing than running clothing. I use my cycling tights and jackets as much for skiing as I do for cycling.

Also headbands are great because they protect your ears but vent your head. Bring a toque for the descent. Also, a pair of gloves *and* mitts is nice in case you get old or they get wet.

If you’re at a place where you can do laps (CNC, PLPP, Shark), keep a bag and extra clothes at the lodge. If you’re on a long-distance mission, bring extra layers. You don’t need much insulation for getting up MLR, but it sucks to descend it all sweaty without extra layers.


465 GMJ November 18, 2015 at 3:17 pm

Skiing is one of those sports with all manner of technical fabric created specifically for them. Go to a ski shop, tell them what you are looking for, and they will get just the right thing.
Running clothing is not designed for skiing in different cold temperatures: cold weather ski clothes (as opposed to WARM weather ski clothes) are specifically designed for skiing and makeshift options are inferior. BUT they are really pricey.
I will admit that I use technical clothing that WASN’T usually designed for skiing that I found for cheap. It works fine.
Oh yeah and get a Buff or something similar (i.e. technical multi-purpose headwear.). They are great for ventilation and warm. My ears like to freeze off and even in warm weather, I can hardly survive without a Buff. For colder weather, invest in a merino Buff.


466 Jayne November 15, 2015 at 9:10 pm


Lost a pair of brown Smith sunglasses on the Moraine Lake Road today. Would love to hear from anybody who may have found them.



467 Jennifer Nunes November 15, 2015 at 1:40 am

Does anyone know if they have started tracksetting the Canmore Nordic centre, or if they are just roller packing?


468 Bob Truman November 15, 2015 at 8:25 am

The only tracksetting so far is on the Frozen thunder trails of which there are about 1.5K. Here’s a descriptive report of conditions from Drew Goldsack who was skiing on the natural snow last night

The U.S. para-nordic team is training in Canmore and posted some photos of Banff trail on Twitter It’s not trackset but looks pretty nice.


469 Darlene Plastow-Bruce November 14, 2015 at 4:23 pm

Hi Bob
Are the trails ready at Poccaterra?


470 Bob Truman November 15, 2015 at 3:33 pm

Not yet. There’s snow but no track setting.


471 Viviann November 14, 2015 at 11:10 am

Is Deer Lodge a good place to stay in Lake Louise if we want to cross country ski in the area? I assume you need to still drive over to the trailheads to ski and can’t just walk out and ski. (We are beginners and will need to be using the green trails). Do you have any other better recommendations on where to stay in Lake Louise, that are reasonably priced? Thanks


472 Bob Truman November 14, 2015 at 11:25 am

The Mountaineer Lodge offers a special rate of $119(with breakfast) to readers of this blog. Mountaineer Lodge SkiHere rate

Deer Lodge is also a good choice, and you could walk to the Tramline trailhead or the Peyto trailhead from there, but if you want to ski the easier trails such as Great Divide or Moraine Lake road, you’d have to drive.


473 Helen Read November 14, 2015 at 5:25 pm

Peyto Trail #7 down to Great Divide is one of my favorites out at Lk Louise because it does not see the traffic that other trails do. It is classified as green with only the bottom end of it considered a blue run; but one can get onto the Great Divide staying on the easier “green” portion. Peyto starts directly out the back door of Deer Lodge. As Bob mentioned you can also walk across the road and pick up Tramline #3 down to Moraine Lake Road. Historically, it was the former tramline of yesteryear connecting people arriving by train to Lake Louise train station up to the Chateau with a very modest grade of 3%.


474 Andrea November 14, 2015 at 4:42 am

I’m taking my senior parents XC skiing in early December for their very first time. I think the Wedge Connector sounds like a fantastic place to try, as I would love to share both my love for XC and our beautiful natural surroundings with them. Bob, you mentioned in your awesome report on beginner trails that the trail head starts at Wedge Pond, about 5km south of the turnoff to Kananaskis Village. Are there any tricks to finding it? Is it well-signed and are there any landmarks to look for? Also, I would love to read a trip report from anyone who heads out to Wedge Connector in early December. Thanks!


475 Bob Truman November 14, 2015 at 8:24 am

It is well-signed. You’ll pass the golf course, Mt Kidd RV Park, and soon after the sign for Wedge Pond will appear. The trailhead is at the far end of the parking lot.


476 Andrea November 14, 2015 at 8:40 am

Thank you!!


477 Cheeky November 12, 2015 at 9:25 am

In addition to SkierBob’s excellent weather links, I also like the Mountain Weather Forecast.


478 Marie November 10, 2015 at 7:50 am

Hello dear community, I own skate skis where is a good place (Canmore,Calgary) for waxing? I do not own any wax.Thanks much.


479 Bob Truman November 10, 2015 at 12:56 pm

Any ski shop will hot wax your skate skis for a small fee. They provide the wax.


480 Martin J November 8, 2015 at 8:07 am

I’m determined to improve my kick waxing this season by adding a thermometer to my tuning. Any advice on this sticky subject


481 PM November 17, 2015 at 1:13 pm

Get a digital cooking thermometer from any grocery store (they’re the same as the Swix/Toko/Major Wax Company – just different colours). Can be had for <$20. Only stick it in a centimeter or two (i.e. the surface on which you'll be skiing – not the underlying base snow). Even better, get 2 thermometers – one for air temperature and one for snow temperature. You'll then know which direction the wax will take for the day (i.e. colder or warmer).


482 Martin J November 23, 2015 at 8:19 pm

Thanks PM, I’ve found a folding cooking thermometer on eBay I’ll give it a try.


483 Doug Connery October 30, 2015 at 1:36 pm

Check out the Lake Louise webcams – it is snowing !!!!


484 pat davis October 26, 2015 at 8:12 am

I have had a series of expensive misfortunes buying waxless skis, and as a result I would recommend the following: Go to a rental shop, rent a pair, and if you find they work, buy skis of the same brand and length and stiffness there. If you are not sure, rent a couple of times from a couple of different shops.

I have been treated well by MEC and very, very well by by Trail Sports at the Canmore Nordic Centre, and very poorly by another shop I shall not name. Renting first would have saved me a ton of money.


485 Roger George October 25, 2015 at 4:20 pm

I am an intermediate X-C skier. I have only ever used wax skis. I want to extend my ski season and with the poor snow last year I am thinking about buying wax less skis. Looking for advice on what to buy. Are there any resources on this site? Is their a source I can do some research. Do I want fish scales or mohair type? What brand and type do you recommend. Thanks.


486 Bob Truman October 25, 2015 at 4:35 pm

Roger, I’ve written a few postings where waxless skis are discussed


487 PM November 17, 2015 at 1:19 pm

Check the new Fischer Twin Skin skis for 2015-2016. Theoretically, a better design than the forerunners (Atomic/Salomon/Rossignol) with the variable mohair length over the kick zone. Should eliminate the ‘draggy’ feeling of the prior designs. For a ‘one-ski, ski-any-condition’ ski, tough to beat the latest version of skin skis.


488 Risto December 8, 2015 at 3:02 pm

Anyone try the Fischer Twin Skin Race skis yet?
I am considering getting a pair.

The only review that I found so far is in German and Google Translate makes a mess of it 😀


489 Hugh December 9, 2015 at 9:35 am

They only got into the country this week so perhaps we’ll get a chance to try them before Christmas.


490 GordN July 21, 2015 at 2:01 pm

Some Rossi skis on sale at mec for $129. Limited stock. No, I don’t work for them!


491 GordN May 20, 2015 at 9:07 pm

Trail Fest. I’m sure many of you already know about it!


492 Wendy March 8, 2015 at 9:46 pm

Fantastic weekend at Shadow Lake Lodge. Thanks to Alison, Brian and staff for all of their hard work and great care. Awesome to meet you, Helen Read!
I enjoy reading about your adventures, hope to cross paths again sometime.


493 cath March 5, 2015 at 9:39 pm

Has anyone skied at the trails near louise? Pipestone or near the chateau?


494 Martin J March 1, 2015 at 5:52 pm

Why are there no wolf tracks in PLPP this year when there were lots last year, I sincerely hope the pack hasn’t been ‘removed’


495 Jisgoskee March 5, 2015 at 9:01 am

This year we’ve started skootchin’ over to the highway for something different at lunchtime. From Pocaterra (betwixt Packers and Wiskey Jack) there’s a summer trail with a bridge over Pocaterra Creek. Early season the midpack support wasn’t there but it’s fine now. Powder baskets are helpful for the uphill return trip but not absolutely necessary as the meltdowns tightened everything up. On that section of the highway we frequently see both ungulate and wolf tracks heading south; less frequently in both directions.


496 Martin J March 5, 2015 at 8:05 pm

That’s great to hear I’ll look forward to seeing some fresh Woolf tracks of my own


497 LYdia February 28, 2015 at 4:31 pm

has anyone skied the Kananaskis at the Delta lodge recently? More specially at the Kovach trails wondering if there’s snow out there for skiing on


498 WB February 27, 2015 at 7:12 am

Has anyone skied Cascade since Chuck’s report of Feb. 21, 2015?


499 Jean February 24, 2015 at 8:34 pm

I’m skiing into Elk Lakes hut with some friends in a couple of weeks and we are having a hard time finding info about where to ski once we get there! Does anyone have any trail recommendations? We will be on “backcountry” cross country skis, not A/T gear.


500 Jim D February 25, 2015 at 6:42 pm

We went into the cabin two years ago and although there are no designated ski trail as such there are great routes to the lower Elk Lakes and Upper Elk Lakes indicated by signage, arrows and distance as I recall. If you follow these trails there is little to no avalanche hazard. I think I also recall a Chic Scott type trails map in the hut. For another adventure you can head downstream along the hydro line towards Elkford until your heart’s content. There is an old cabin several km’s down that way which is habitable but likely heavily used by the snow mobile community. Remember to make your reservations for the hut and enjoy. Once the hut gets warmed up you won’t need much to sleep under as the sleeping quarters up stairs gets quite warm (hot). Replace the wood you use and have fun!!


501 Jean February 25, 2015 at 9:54 pm

Thanks a lot for the advice! We’re looking forward to a great trip 🙂


502 Jeff February 22, 2015 at 2:41 pm

Hi. I’m looking for any updates on goat creek.
I have organized an outing for our Rocky Mountain jack rabbits group for Sat 28 and am hoping that it will be worth it. Missed it last year due to bridge out and year before it rained the previous night (last 5k was like skiing on a slurpee).
Any news will be welcome.


503 Jude February 21, 2015 at 11:28 am

I am wondering if anyone knows if the Lake O’Hara road was groomed this week? Thanks


504 Heather February 16, 2015 at 12:16 am

Anyone skied to skoki lodge lately? I am curious about the conditions out there. Thank you in advance!


505 Hugh Burton February 17, 2015 at 9:33 pm

I talked to someone who skied in there this past w/e an conditions were good. they even got in a few truns on both side of Deception Pass.


506 GDN February 13, 2015 at 12:58 pm

Couple of rec skis at Atmosphere sans bindings Market Mall marked down under hundred. Not many choices though.


507 Hugh Burton February 13, 2015 at 9:15 am

Tried out Skintecs Demos from Wilson’s yesterday on Great Divide trail.
+4-5C partly cloudy Snow was not sloppy but tracks were glazed a bit with a tonne of snow fleas in them.
Skied out and back with the full insert (skin part all the way across the ski base)
depending on aspect grip was good to poor. glide was the same. Sonetimes you felt glide was great then the skis would grab enough to make weight shift hard to do and a shuffle was the best bet.
Came back to the car and switched to the Spilt skin underfoot. ( skin part is narrower and there is a void in the skin part to match the groove on the ski.
In a 200m non scientific test the Split skin gave better grip and glide. Not as much grab so I’m thinking I could weight shift and kick with more confidence..
We then switched to our Fischer SCS crowns and found them to work as well as the Skintecs. Even when we used one crown and one skintec ski it was hard to tell them apart.
Conclusion: (totally personal) Skin tecs were the equal of our Crowns on this day. I’m thinking they may have a broader usage range than a waxless base that
has been cut into a base, which I call a negative pattern IE Crowns. The positive pattern (skintec) which sticks out should work better in more conditions. These observations are based on using double camber skinny skis on a groomed trail. Your experiences may vary depending on, conditions, your technique and expectations. I’d love to thry them at the CNC on the bullet proof man made snow.


508 Jennifer February 13, 2015 at 11:13 am

My waxless skiis were perfect for the conditions at the great divide yesterday. Lots of grip, lots of glide. Past the great divide into bc the tracks were surprisingly better. I don’t think many people have skied there, and the snow fleas were almost non existent.


509 Jennifer February 1, 2015 at 9:15 pm

Hello! I’m VERY new to skiing, and have been checking trail reports lately. However, I have come across a term that I cannot find on google. What does “rollerpacked” mean? Should I expect decent skiing on a trail that is rollerpacked?


510 Pete February 1, 2015 at 9:31 pm

I believe roller packing is done by a type of trail groomer towed behind a snowmobile. It’s basically a heavy round drum (or roller) that imprints grooves into the snow surface and at the same time packing it down. Skiing on the surface would be fine after the snow sets. Hope that helps answer your question!


511 Barbara February 1, 2015 at 1:19 pm

I’m looking to ski the Spray River Loop (east and west). Which is the best direction of travel to maximize downhill gliding – clockwise or counterclockwise?


512 Hug Burton January 28, 2015 at 3:51 pm

Atomic Skitec demo skis available for tryout at Wilson’s In LL.
As a retired ski rep, I love tech stuff!
I dropped into Wilson’s today and talked to Bill. He has 5-6 prs of Atomic Skintec demo skis.
I could have used them today but had the wrong boots on. They are mounted with Solomons.


513 GordN January 27, 2015 at 1:43 pm

I seem to have a case of the squirrels today. You may have to copy and paste this link to a close encounter with a Moose in Quebec


514 Carolyn January 24, 2015 at 2:12 pm

Last Sunday Jan 18 I found a single sunglass lens right next to the track about 1km from the Great Divide trailhead. If it’s yours I can reunite you.


515 Greg January 23, 2015 at 9:47 pm

Can anyone suggest some trails that are appropriate for skate skiing? I’ve been to Canmore a number of times, and have also tried Cascade Fire Road and Mount Shark. Any other trails near Calgary/Kananaskis/Banff that are appropriate for skate skiing?


516 Bob Truman January 23, 2015 at 10:09 pm

The Bill Milne trail and Wedge connector near Kananaskis Village. Spray River West in Banff.


517 Alf Skrastins February 11, 2015 at 10:30 pm

The East Crystal Line and Sundog trails were widened this past summer and are designated as “Skate Loop”, with a wide skate lane between the two track set lanes. Mountain Road gets groomed for skate skiing, with one track set lane. However, you’ll have to wait for the next good snowfall. Recent chinooks have turned these trails into sheets of ice right now.


518 Alf Skrastins February 11, 2015 at 10:31 pm

The above trails are at West Bragg Creek.


519 john January 23, 2015 at 8:35 am

great info on xc skiing and trail conditions. keep it up. does anybody do an unbiased report on sunshine and louise resorts. we do both sports and wish we had more info on resort snow and run conditions.


520 jjdoug February 6, 2015 at 3:00 pm

Try this one from CBC Calgary Eyeopener


521 Meghanne January 20, 2015 at 5:01 pm

Where are your fav trails with good cell reception? I’m on call a lot and need some new trails!


522 Pete January 20, 2015 at 5:25 pm

Try the trails around Kananaskis village near Nakiska or Canmore Nordic centre. Those are the only places I can think of where you for sure get cell reception in the mountains.


523 Diana Piggott January 20, 2015 at 10:12 pm

Lake Louise also gets pretty decent reception. Perhaps it depends on your provider? I get good reception on Moraine Lake Road, and I expect other trails in the area would be just as good. Not something I have really investigated thoroughly….


524 September January 9, 2015 at 12:19 pm

How long approximatly to cross country ski 13km on a groomed trail?


525 Dennis January 9, 2015 at 9:35 pm

Everyone is definitely going to be very different, just like walking/jogging/running, or swimming, or … . I might think I’m making great time up Moraine Lake hill and then some team of skiers with maple leaves all over their suits goes past me in a blur and disappears around the next bend before I’ve even finished shaking my head in wonder.

I find that track skiing is consistently a little faster than I would do walking or running (in summer; not in snow!) for the same amount of effort/exertion. For example, my Cookie Race ski marathon time is just a bit slower than my running marathon time, but the Cookie Race terrain is much hillier than any marathon I’ve done. And the ski marathon is way more fun and less painful than a running marathon.

For me, a relaxing ski “stroll” would likely be around 7 km/hr, cruising along at a brisk, comfortable, go-forever pace would likely be 9-10 km/hr. (Okay, don’t anyone be out there with a stopwatch to hold me to that!)

Since you are asking, I’m guessing you are new to xc skiing. I’d allow 2.5 hours for the 13 km to be on the safe side. Plus picnic time.


526 Dennis January 9, 2015 at 9:37 pm

P.S. I’d hate to leave you over-confident and get you in trouble! maybe three hours, plus allowance for steeper terrain.

The more I think about it, the more I see why no one else has answered. 🙂


527 September January 10, 2015 at 11:48 pm

Thank u sooo much for the generously detailed info! It helps a lot as I have been Invited on a trip out to a wardens cabin in Jasper- sooo excited to go now that I know 13km will be no prob!!


528 Sarah January 6, 2015 at 2:41 pm


I’ll be visiting Calgary on business the week of the 19th. Won’t have time to get out to Canmore unfortunately, but would like to take advantage of one of the in-town places to ski. Looks like there is Confederation Park or Shaganappi? Are either open at night (I have a headlamp) and is one better than the other? I can’t find much detail about this on-line. Thanks!


529 Bruce January 6, 2015 at 5:59 pm

Confed is better protected from the wind and usually groomed earlier than Shag if it is cold out. Both are very susceptible to chinooks as we are always just one snowfall away from great skiing.


530 GordN January 6, 2015 at 9:27 pm

No idea if you can’t slip in the gate at night…..wink wink

Here’s bit of info on Shag,

you may have noticed no updates since Nov, check in at this skierbob site maybe?

Don’t know much about Canada Olympic Park but they advertise night. Trails are in blue on the left side


531 Alf Skrastins January 6, 2015 at 12:55 am

Hi Bob,
I noticed that your “MAP” link for the West Bragg Creek maps is no longer working. This link will work for the latest version of the WBC trail maps.

Thanks for the update. It’s fixed. -Bob


532 Alf Skrastins January 6, 2015 at 10:00 am

I tried the WBC map link, but it is giving an error message.


533 Bob Truman January 6, 2015 at 10:45 am

For the second time, I think it’s fixed. The link I posted had an “html” at the end which isn’t supposed to be there.


534 Alf Skrastins January 6, 2015 at 10:48 pm

Looks as if the K-Country Parks website information is out of date. It shows the old map…so it does not show all the new XC and snowshoe trails that were build or re-routed over the past summer. I’ve asked Alberta Parks to update the map information on their website.
In the meantime, you could try these links from the Greater Bragg Creek Trails Association:
North WBC Map:
South WBC Map:


535 GordN December 25, 2014 at 9:39 am

Nice picture of the Tonquin Valley on the Emerald Lake contest Jim Wiebe!


536 Bob Truman December 23, 2014 at 9:47 pm

I received this email from Hubert:

Saturday I left my backpack with all my extra clothing, first aid etc. at the Elk pass trail head, a very kindly person turned my belongings into the Visitors center
Thank you very much.


537 WB December 10, 2014 at 10:19 am

Has anyone skied Yoho Valley Road or Lake O’Hara the past few days? Trail report indicates they are skier track set. Thinking of heading that way with light touring skis. Wondering how the conditions were/are.



538 Diana Piggott December 11, 2014 at 7:14 am

WB: See trip reports!


539 Diana Piggott October 31, 2014 at 8:58 pm

Question for you, especially Canmore locals:

I just got my copy of Volume 3 of the new Kananaskis Trail Guide! I know – what took me so long?? But I notice there are dozens of trails around Canmore, most of which I don’t know.

My question is this: are any of these trails NOT popular with mountain bikers??



540 LucieV October 23, 2014 at 11:04 am

Hello! Can anyone recommend good sunglasses that will not fog up while XC sking?


541 pat davis December 15, 2014 at 9:14 am

I know it’s a bit late for the answer. One thing I have determined is that glasses that are held away from the face more are less likely to fog up. IMHO, the wrap-arounds are the worst. FWLIW


542 Pete October 4, 2014 at 7:51 pm

Hey Bob! Noticed you had feb 21 marked down for next years cookie race. I’ve heard from others it’s supposed to be on feb 28. Just wondering where you got the feb 21 date from. I haven’t been able to find any current info on it.

It was a bad guess. I’ve changed it, thanks for the heads-up!(I have to update the dates before any of them are officially announced, so I might be wrong on some of the others, too.) -Bob


543 Pete October 4, 2014 at 11:03 pm

Thanks Bob! Foothills Nordic doesn’t have anything on their site about it. I’m assuming it’s taking place on the last weekend of February as usual.


544 Stephanie September 15, 2014 at 8:37 pm

Curious of when the ski swap in store well happen this year?
Ive heard this happens yearly?


545 Henry September 9, 2014 at 7:28 am

With this weather, the national ski team could train on Nose Hill over a month before Frozen Thunder opens up ! Just amazing.


546 Henry September 9, 2014 at 7:43 am

Or, Alf needn’t drive out of town to get his September ski in the books -)


547 RichieRich August 27, 2014 at 1:28 pm

Can’t believe I’m thinking about this in August… but all of Bob’s ravings about his Atomic Skintecs having me seriously thinking of upgrading from my existing waxless. Would love to hear other reviewers of these skis regarding range of conditions they work in, how sensitive the inserts are to varying conditions and skier weights, what shops stock them in Calgary, and where to get the best deal?


548 Bob Truman September 2, 2014 at 10:57 am

My Skintecs are the longest, stiffest ones available but with my weight at 210 pounds(with all my gear) I’m still about 10-15 pounds too heavy for them, so take that into account when reading this information. They are fabulous for climbing on almost any type of snow whether it be wet, icy or “normal,” but I experienced some “grabbing” when gliding on a fast downhill, especially if there was any soft or loose snow. Mine are 205 cm and recommended for weights between 176 – 209 pounds, but my experience tells me the high end of that range should probably be 200. The only stores I’m aware of that sell them are the Norseman in Calgary and Wilson’s in Lake Louise. If anyone knows of any other outlets which sell them, please leave a comment.


549 RichieRich November 26, 2014 at 9:24 pm

Bob… I know from numerous postings you have used your ZERO waxless skiis, perhaps prior to the Skintecs. How would you compare the two? pro’s and con’s in various temps and conditions perhaps? thx.

I am still leaning towards the Classic Skintec’s (ie 2 different inserts) in a 198 hard (approx 150-190lb range, I am about 165lb + clothing, my wife might hit that 150 all geared up so increases utility value). Will have to wait until January 1st though.

The Zero skis have a limited window where they are effective. They’re useless in fresh snow. They are excellent on Frozen Thunder type conditions. Skintecs can be used in a wider range of conditions and will give you grip in any type of snow, and won’t ice up. Its critical to get Skintecs which fit you well because thay will grab if you’re too heavy for them. The zeros are lighter than the Skintecs. -Bob


550 Jan October 19, 2014 at 9:27 pm

I just picked up my new Skintecs from Wilson’s today. I had ordered them at the end of last winter as the length/flex combination I wanted was completely sold out in Canada. I had rented the 198 cm, hard flex (154-198 lbs) from Wilson’s last Xmas but it was too stiff for my 140 lbs + pack, not gripping enough on the uphill and flying on the downhills (that was fine!). I decided that the 198 cm medium flex (132- 165 lbs) would be better as my weight plus pack would put me just above the middle of the weight range for that ski. What really sold me was they felt about the same weight as my waxable skis. I’m anxious to find out how they perform….bring on the snow!


551 Bob Truman October 19, 2014 at 9:44 pm

I just discovered today that Trail Sports at the Canmore Nordic Centre sells the Salomon version of the Skintec.


552 RichieRich October 20, 2014 at 11:04 pm

I’d love to learn more about these skintec-competitors, however the Salomon website isn’t working for this model plus there’s really nothing online about them. My impression is that Atomic has now refined their product with new versions whereas Salomon has missed the boat?


553 Henry October 21, 2014 at 8:07 am

re. the Salomon Equipe RC Skin.
The link worked for me, including the cool video (FF 33.0, Win 7).


554 Hugh October 21, 2014 at 3:20 pm

Salomon and Atomic are essentially the same company so the assumption is that the products are the same


555 Jan October 21, 2014 at 11:08 pm

Found some discussion about the Atomics and Salomons at It seems there may be a difference in the mohair inserts…adhesive or magnetic. Atomic skintecs are also mentioned in this review article on best x-country skis

556 Henry October 22, 2014 at 8:55 am

“Amer Sports Corporation (formerly Amer-Yhtymä Oyj) is a Finnish headquartered sporting goods company with brands including Salomon, Wilson, Atomic, Arc’teryx, Mavic, Suunto and Precor.” (wikipedia)

Still, I’m not sure that we can jump to the conclusion that they have consolidated the manufacturing of the different brands.
Maybe someone can dig into this a little more.

On the matter of the skis, it was very interesting to hear the feedback regarding the perceived difficulty in lateral motion (ie. during quick step turns) when using the skintecs.

557 Derek Ryder August 17, 2014 at 7:09 pm

The Friends of Kananaskis continues to support Alberta Parks in maintenance & development of trails including XC trails in KCountry. New members (membership is free) and volunteers are always welcome. So far in 2014, the Friends has done work on the Pocaterra trail, ski trails at Mt. Shark, and Ribbon Creek. There is more work to be done. For more info, to get our outstanding monthly newsletter, or to sign up to assist in trail maintenance, visit


558 Diana Piggott August 15, 2014 at 3:11 pm

Bob, you are getting some rather bizarre spam here 😛


559 Bob Truman August 15, 2014 at 4:59 pm

It seems to happen every summer. With very few “legitimate” comments, the spam shows up to fill the void. That being said, the spam filter does a pretty good job. Right now there are 14,411 spam comments waiting to be deleted. Those would have come in over the past four months.


560 GordN June 16, 2014 at 4:02 pm

Anyone hiked and/or camped in the Beehive Area? Opinions?


561 Lynette MacCulloch May 19, 2014 at 11:08 pm

I was hiking today May 19, up along the McConnelly trail area and lost my raincoat. It is an orange and yellow gortex coat from MEC in very good condition. Just wondering if anyone finds it could they contact me


562 Henry April 29, 2014 at 4:50 pm

Over the last couple of weeks, I would occasionally check the Lake Louise (Chateau) webcam when getting home from work, just to see how the lucky ones live 🙂
I’ve seen groups of people heading out across the lake, in a line that intercepts the summer trail at the head of the lake.
What could they be doing???


563 GordN April 29, 2014 at 5:16 pm

We were there snowshoeing last weekend and noticed the same thing, Didn’t trek over there but I’m thinking based on the crowd dispersal, they were coming up from the public parking and making their way out on some trodden down trails. The front of the chateau was fairly quiet (PS Good deals on rooms right now). I was surprised how may sneakers and what I would call business shoes out and about! They was some fantastic sized post holes by the lake!! We could tell they went right down to their nether regions….


564 Henry April 29, 2014 at 5:27 pm

Interesting observation Gord.
Maybe they should take a head count before they start out 🙂


565 Bob Truman April 26, 2014 at 5:53 pm

Tony Daffern has an insightful post on his blog regarding the cause of last year’s flooding:

Are you concerned about a higher than normal snowpack this spring? There seems to be a lot of paranoia as we approach this years snowmelt season fueled by alarmist statements to the media by people who don’t fully understand what caused last June’s extreme flooding.

Read more


566 Bob Truman April 23, 2014 at 9:17 am

Amazing video of elk swimming in the Bow river under the main bridge in Canmore:!/photo.php?v=10100237047177586&set=vb.23507833&type=2&theater


567 Diana Piggott April 23, 2014 at 5:35 pm

That is fantastic!! 🙂


568 Glenn April 21, 2014 at 9:55 am

I had a good ski up to Skogan Pass on Easter Sunday but lost my Volvo Key about 30 m from the pass — dropped out of my pocket when I removed my hat. Would greatly appreciate being notified if someone finds it. cell# +1 403 604 8537. Glenn


569 GordN April 12, 2014 at 9:22 am

Friends of Kananaskis dot org looking for volunteers to clean hwy 40. We signed up! You? Drinks @ Bighorn after?


570 Bob Truman April 12, 2014 at 8:54 am

Here’s a different take on “Bluebird days.” How many of you remember a time when it was acceptable to throw trash out the window? I remember it well, but am glad that we have changed our attitudes. (However, I did make spending money by collecting beer bottles in the ditches that bordered the roads through our farm). I just wish Mr. Price was still around to see that he was ultimately right. The weirdo of yesterday is looked upon as a visionary today.


571 Henry April 12, 2014 at 9:25 am

That’s a great story. Imagine being hauled in for picking your neighbour’s trash from the side of the road.

If any of your readers have not seen a bluebird live, they are in for a treat when they do. Just magnificent.


572 Jody April 11, 2014 at 5:35 am

Found one very cute 70cm blue ski pole in the snow at the Watridge Lake trail head at Mt Shark.


573 GordN April 10, 2014 at 10:29 pm

If anyone goes to Louise Friday, report back? Thanks!


574 Hugh April 11, 2014 at 7:42 am

Try here:
this website has forecasts for all the ski resorts. It will give you an idea of the weather across the valley form the Lake. The weekend looks good.


575 GordN April 11, 2014 at 7:50 am

Yea, weather did look good, intrigued us enough to consider going, nothing like a few retirees to check the trails and save us 3 hours of driving to stickiness!


576 Henry April 11, 2014 at 8:53 am

It’s so funny that you won’t get a forecast for Lake Louise from Environment Canada, but you will from the aforementioned British site, and the Norwegian ‘’.


577 Brad April 1, 2014 at 8:01 am

Lost a MEC x-country ski glove at Mt. Shark March 23. Left hand, black cuff & thumb, grey finger area with blue slash.


578 Martin March 24, 2014 at 5:24 pm

Did anyone else see the white pickup trying to drive to the start of Whiskey last Sunday, what were they thinking! Guess they missed the ‘no motor vehicles’ and ‘more difficult’ blue skier sign LOL

On my latest post(Have you skied Lower lake?)I posted a photo of the tracks which he left. -Bob


579 Lia March 24, 2014 at 12:27 pm

Visiting Banff this week for work. I’m an avid xcountry skier so would love to get out, any suggestions. I don’t have a car, so will need to rely on buses/shuttles to get to the trailhead. 20KM moderate-hard would be ideal. staying @ hotel in banff


580 Henry March 25, 2014 at 7:10 am

Any suggestions for Lia from you locals?


581 Diana Piggott March 25, 2014 at 7:27 am

Well, I’m not really local enough……..

I know there are buses from the hotels to the ski hills, but I don’t know if you can use them as shuttles, i.e. not paying for the lift tickets. Paying for the lift ticket at Sunshine will get you into fantastic backcountry!

I hear trails around Banff are in poor condition, so getting a bus to Lake Louise would be a good idea, as the snow there is still good with recent grooming. The visitor centre in Banff could definitely help with transportation!

Hope that helps………


582 GordN March 25, 2014 at 10:22 am

Spray River may be the only option via bus and 20K? but as Peggy mentioned, conditions are “Fair”


583 Gail March 25, 2014 at 5:00 pm

What about the “Roam” bus in Banff? I know it goes up to the Banff Springs and the Spray trailhead is close by (walking distance) from the bus stop there. Don’t know how they feel about skis on the bus.

Also haven’t skied there for a few weeks so no advice on the conditions on the Spray trails.

Also be aware that not all the bridges are still there. Ask at the Banff Park visitors centre for information. I know you can ski the first 5+ Km’s to the picnic area and then return on the loop to the hotel.


584 Diana Piggott March 25, 2014 at 5:11 pm

Spray River loop:

Conditions may improve with new snow tonight, but yesterday the warden at the info centre said they were pretty lousy 🙁


585 GordN March 23, 2014 at 10:42 pm

My Rossignoll boots have this friction lock for the laces, it doesn’t seem to keep them tight and I have to keep snugging them up, which is a pain because I have to undo the Velcro strap and open the boot zipper.

Anyone know a way to make the laces stay tight?


586 Hugh March 24, 2014 at 1:43 pm

My Fisher boots are like that.
I don’t seem to have the words to properly describe it but… the spot where the ankle meets the top of the foot, try the old hiking boot trick of throwing in the first part of doing up the bow IE one lace wrapped around the other 2X Tighten the foot part of the lacing then pull this overlap tight. (this locks in the foot into the foot of the boot). The friction will hold the laces. Proceed to tighten up the top of the boot. Hope this makes sense.


587 GordN March 24, 2014 at 3:08 pm

There’s no lace to “tie up” it’s like a slider that cinches the lace, that cinch mechanism seems to slowly let go


588 RichieRich March 24, 2014 at 4:42 pm

I have NNN Rossi combi boots (used for both skate and classic) and have the exact same problem. I spoke w/ Lifesport about it and they suggested either replace the small-gauge straps with grippier laces or, as Hugh pointed out, cinch the laces as tight as normal and do your best to lock the slider. Then do a half-bow. I find this holds them in place for up to a 3hr ski of all intensities. Been doing this now for about 2 years after being frustrated for the 2yrs before that. The half bow stops the laces from loosening, and you can just pull on the non-looped section to undo the half-bow when you need to loosen them off.


589 GordN March 24, 2014 at 7:59 pm

Aha! OK, I get it now. I knew there’d be some Engineers in this group, Many thanks to both I will try this, hopefully next weekend!!


590 Linda Vaxvick March 21, 2014 at 9:43 pm

Foothills Nordic Ski Club will celebrate its 50th anniversary on April 6, 2014. Former and current members are all cordially invited to join us for a party at the Red & White Club. Details on


591 Dennis Kolba March 15, 2014 at 11:53 am

Looking for recommendations re skins or kickers. I just came on line to look for options on how to ski up Assiniboine Pass late this week. I skied into Assiniboine from Shark a few years ago for the first time on my skinny skis (old Fischer RCS, still the only pair I have) and decided I wouldn’t do that again without skins of some kind.

I had planned on buying a set of AT skins and cutting them in half lengthwise to fit my skis (getting a pair for me and a pair for my wife). Then I started reading about kickers and met others with variations on kickers.

“Met others” includes Chuck’s daughter and son-in-law on their way into Assiniboine a few weeks ago, wearing a kickers variation. How did those work for them, Chuck? (It was fun to have the “recognized, once removed” experience when we made the connection to Chuck, of skierbob fame.)

My ever-so-much-more-sensible wife just looked over my shoulder and said just go to MEC and buy the ones that Duane gave an enthusiastic thumbs-up to, in response to Dan and Chuck yesterday (Back-country 2013-2014). Of course, she’s right so I’ll inevitably do that. But my natural frugal and jury-rig loving self still wonders what has worked well for others.


592 Henry March 15, 2014 at 5:48 pm

Fischer RCS racing skis ? Wow.

I think that you would enjoy yourself a lot more, and also would be prepared for more varying snow conditions if you went to a metal edge back country touring ski. You’d be able to enjoy getting off the trail to explore -).
The regulars like Duane and Chuck have given you good options.


593 Helen Read March 15, 2014 at 8:15 pm

Dennis, I was brought up with a rather frugal appreciation for things like a pint of ice cream every two weeks to share with a family of five, and confess my favorite store in Canmore is Victory Thrift. However at 66, I am now more comfortable spending my hard earned nursing wages of 43 years on good equipment to meet my #1 passion of x-c skiing. NO GUILT! Two years ago I skied in Norway and most of the locals were skiing on Asnes. My girlfriend bought a pair before she left Canada and she fit right in. I was skiing on my Rossignol BC 65’s (like Chuck’s) and struggled with full skins taking over the metal edges, getting snow under the top and peeling off, etc. I never tried the kicker skins however. If you click on The Norseman link on this home page and then click on Asnes skis, you will see a Norwegian back country ski like no other. They sell many varieties of Asnes and all take 33 mm half skins that clip right in the underside; (watch 4 minute video) easy on/easy off. I bought a pair of wider skins 45 mm but hardly ever need them as the 33 mm work perfectly well for going up or down terrain I am comfortable with. I love my Asnes skis with NNN BC binding; they are light and suit going into Skoki, Lake O’Hara, Sundance Lodge, Bryant Creek, etc. Suggest going to The Norseman and checking out their unique technology before outlaying the monies elsewhere. They offer a modest Senior’s discount.


594 John Jenkins March 15, 2014 at 8:46 pm

I own a pair of Asnes Combat skis for my touring setup and LOVE them. I paired them with the voile 3 pin binding and use a 2 buckle tele boot. I didn’t end up buying the trademark asnes kicker skins because I already had a pair of full skins from my previous skis that fit them, but they look awesome, and I may end up buying a pair in the future for lighter touring days. I considered buying the skis at The Norseman, but saved $300 by buying from Neptune Mountaineering in Boulder , CO and having them shipped to my in-laws in WA.


595 Jen Peddlesden March 15, 2014 at 9:30 pm

Helen, I did the same, after many years gave up the old skis, got the Asnes Vikafell with the 1/2 skins, they are great. … Also 66 🙂


596 Dennis March 15, 2014 at 11:54 pm

Thank you all a ton for your thoughtful responses. All the enthusiasm for the Asnes, I just might have to spend a few bucks for them next season. They sound pretty amazing. For the past few years I’ve been thinking I really should have a few other skis, but my skinnies just seem to get me everywhere, and then I think, “no rush”. (Well, there was that time I turned back after an hour of bushwhacking from Red Deer Lakes towards the natural bridge, having covered almost 50 metres, breaking through the crust up to my crotch on two out of every three steps. That time I was sure I’d wear touring skis to skoki next trip. But …) For now, I’m off to Norseman to pick up a couple pairs of kickers ( MEC doesn’t stock the 50 mm size), and while I’m there I’ll be checking out the Asnes.

Soon I will at least try out a pair of light touring skis, and no doubt I’ll think what was I waiting for? Henry and Helen were so right. I’m looking forward to meeting you along the way somewhere. And Helen, please take me on a shopping tour of Canmore sometime! =)


597 Henry March 17, 2014 at 6:49 am

Have a great trip!


598 Stephen Boucher March 15, 2014 at 11:11 am

We are to ski up Redearth creek to Shadow Lake lodge in a few days.
I cannot get the Parks Canada website to open.
Is the route at risk of avalanche?
and how are trail conditions?


599 Pete March 16, 2014 at 11:13 pm

Redearth creek trail crosses three or four avalanche runouts but they are short. As long as you don’t linger in the middle of them (not good lunch spots!) you will be fine. You should also cross them one at a time instead of exposing your whole group if the avalanche danger is high at the time. It’s rated class 1 terrain by banff national park which means it’s pretty safe terrain. Hope that helps!


600 Greg March 15, 2014 at 8:17 am

Parks Canada Trail Report

Is anyone else having problems with this website? I can’t get it to open.

It won’t open for me either. -Bob


601 Grizzly March 7, 2014 at 10:59 pm

Well the news on the knee front wasn’t what I wanted to hear. I have to get fitted for braces and I’m wondering if anyone here has experience with skiing with them? My problems began with a meniscal tear due to herringboning (well, that was the tear, the problem started with running I imagine). I’ve had to resign myself to no more running, I’m darned if I have to give up skiing too!

So I’m looking for any advice and or stories from the braced…


602 Pat Davis March 8, 2014 at 7:59 am

Can’t help wrt braces, but when my running ‘career’ came to an inglorious end due to knee problems, I did move to cycling. It seems to have helped with strength and the cycling season is generally longer than the skiing one. I do find I can ski moderately.
In any event, I feel your pain and hope the braces work for you.


603 Dale Ulan March 5, 2014 at 11:04 pm

I was knocked out of this ski season by a nasty fall (not skiing) that re-injured my previously herniated L4/L5 disc and I already have a congenital L5/S1 fusion. I’m missing skiing very badly. Does anybody have experience with skiing after a lumbar fusion? I wouldn’t *think* it would be too bad but if anybody has dealt with this, I’d be interested to hear your experiences. I’ve been reading all of the trip reports this season and wishing I was out there but the risks are too high until I get it fixed up.


604 Henry March 6, 2014 at 7:21 am

I feel for you Dave. I have experienced herniated disk a couple of times, the most recent just last month, stemming from a rib injury and then too much snow shoveling. My back used to spasm regularly back in the old days, especially from playing a lot of squash, but now with age and lack of activity, the spasms can cause the dreaded herniated disk.

This last time, I was skiing three weeks after the injury, and it has felt great ever since.

What I need to work on are balanced strength and stretching.
By balanced strength I mean strength both in the core (abs) but also in the back – lats, glutes. For stretching, the most effective for keeping the spasms away are lat stretches, lunges, hip-flexor stretch, as well as the grandaddy of them all – the McKenzie stretch, or poor mans push-ups.

Regarding nordic skiing, I was reading somewhere, as far as the forward angle which is used, that we don’t want to exaggerate the reversed arch in the back (dog stretch) too much, but rather have a more relaxed rounded upper back. This apparently relieves some of the stress on the back when skiing.

It would be interesting to hear from Bob and the other more active, regular, skiers, on the skiing posture as related to lower back pain.


605 Dale Ulan March 6, 2014 at 10:36 am

Thanks! I’m still waiting for the specialist consultation but from viewing the images, multiple people (physiotherapists, mostly) have suggested that they expect me to either have a fusion or microdiscectomy as the disc nucleus (a piece of the jelly) is pressing on my spinal cord and creating all sorts of wierd twitches and feelings in my lower body. My massage therapist wins the prize for the closest guess. After getting up off her table one time I collapsed and described the pain pattern. She said ‘you have a posterior-lateral herniation of your L4/L5’. The MRI confirmed it. I will mention to the specialist that I do XC a lot. I have given up mountain biking because of the pressure on my low back.

I can confirm that the hip flexor stretch is a good one and most of those stretches I was doing. My wife has commented that my posture while skiing looks far more natural than when I walk. Thanks again!!! Hoping to be back on the trails next winter!


606 GordN March 7, 2014 at 8:10 am

After having a sore back from going halfway up to Skoki I’m interested about your comments regarding skiing posture. I’ve never had this happen before.


607 Henry March 7, 2014 at 8:57 am

I’ll try to ‘re-find’ the article on the web. I hadn’t saved it.


608 Henry March 7, 2014 at 11:11 am

Gord, I found it, but only just.
There is a section on ‘Core/Back’. See if you can decipher it. Too many letters of the alphabet for me!

Oh, to be young and do this stuff (okay, I just love the intro music!);


609 GordN March 7, 2014 at 2:25 pm

This is great! Thank you!


610 Helen Read March 6, 2014 at 9:20 am

While I’ve never had a specific back problem, I have nine orthopods to my name for bad knees, a total knee, a fractured humerus, fractured wrist involving pins, etc. I cannot “afford” to fall. So guess my take on a recommendation is to minimize falling and that would be best served by a heavier touring ski boot and NNN BC binding, and some nice light shorter touring skis with steel edges. I ski a lot each season and the equipment is what saves me from falling most of the time. The remainder of the time what saves me is picking perfect conditions for such trails as Skogan Loop. Good conditions and stable footing gives me a greater confidence going up and down big hills like Whiskey Jack, Skogan and Lookout. Of course, you will want to start on more gentle terrain until you get your recovery behind you.


611 Hugh March 24, 2014 at 2:05 pm

I had back surgery last June (Discectomy and Laminectomy 1/2 of L3,L4 and 1/2 of L5) no fusion.
I did a lot of research and as no doubt you’ve found out ALOT of people have back problems!.
The “cures” are everywhere. Everyone’s back issue is different.
I did the whole deal of: Physio, massage, Steroid cortisone injections.
Core strength work was really the only thing that worked well for me.
Get thee to a gym and a trainer. $$ I know but well worth it.
Try this website for back issues
Warning I’m no expert but I do have experience.


612 Tyler March 24, 2014 at 10:47 pm


I too also have back issues. I have severe disc damage between L3, L4,and L5 that I have been living with all day every day for the last nine years and counting. Believe me, there have been days I have prayed for surgery even though the expected time it was to be on the shelf is 6 months so I am told. The problem is I am too young (only 31) to undergo the slicing and the dicing that would be involved. Instead, my treatments are split between chiropractors, physiotherapy, back specialty clinics, massage treatments as well as at home stretching and strengthening. To echo some of the above sentiments, core strengthening does wonders as does cycling. I am disappointed that I can no longer enjoy multi day backpacking trips due to my predicament and eventhough I don’t ski ( on the dark side as a snowshoer :-)) I feel your pain. I will say this though, I will give up any activity if it means not seeing the look on my wife’s face when she had to wait for me in the emergency room after I passed out due to pain and hit the floor. Not a pleasant experience.


613 Paolo March 5, 2014 at 8:53 pm

Hi Bob:
Just wandering who had the brilliant idea to allow bikes on ski trails and what is your position on this matter: I was hit by an idiot in Canmore supposingly where cyclist are not allowed, wrote to Michael Raycroft to tell him that this is not going to work and didn’t get an answer so I think is time to go to the next level and start a petition to change this crazy situation>
Many thanks: Paolo


614 Hugh March 24, 2014 at 2:26 pm

Are you talking CNC?
From what I hear mtn bikes are allowed on the snowmaking parts at the nordic centre. Not sure why just there. perhaps wider trails and harder snowpack so less damage to trails?
Good luck getting a reply out of the Nordic Centre. I’ve left two notes this winter about the grooming and lack there of ,with no reply.
IMO skiing and biking on the same trails are not compatible. Cyclists have a a different usage pattern on trails from skiers. Running into a bike after a cyclist has had a yard sale on downhill is vastly different scenario than skiing around a fallen skier.


615 Vivianne K February 28, 2014 at 8:45 pm

Hi all,
When it’s super cold out, like it is now, and we go skiing I get sweaty then extra cold fast. I wear non-cotton base layers but they just stay wet under all my other layers. Does having a merino wool base layer really make a huge difference? Not sure if it’s worth the extra cost as won’t it just stay wet under the layers too?



616 GordN February 28, 2014 at 8:49 pm

I’ve tried these recently, Costco has had “too good to not try them” base layers with merino blend at about a $20 price. I’m pretty pleased with them so far.


617 Mark H March 6, 2014 at 10:33 am

I switched to 100% merino wool base layers this year from the synthetic moisture-wicking materials. I’ve found the difference to be worth the cost, with increased moisture evapouration and heat retention. You can always find them on sale at ourdoor stores.

Of course wetness and warmth are most related to your layer management. Ideally you want to be wearing layers such that your work output, sweating, and heat comfort are balanced. When any of those conditions change, you need to adjust your layers. I generate a lot of sweat when I ski and have learned over the years how I need to manage my layers. Normally I will have my moisture wicking base layer with a wool sweater over top for warmth, and this is good down to about -15. When I stop for a break, I bust out the wool hat and outer shell immediately to keep my heat in. In colder temperatures, or if I know I will be stopping for a longer break at some point, I will bring another heavy wool layer to throw on. I’ve found that skiing with a windbreaking layer (such as a goretex shell) causes more moisture buildup, and I’m usually colder at the end of my trip. But everyone reacts differently and you need to figure out the best configuration for yourself.

So don’t think that merino wool is a miracle cure, but rather as a better tool for the task.


618 Vivianne K March 8, 2014 at 9:50 am

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts Goes and Mark!


619 Vivianne K March 8, 2014 at 9:51 am

Sorry, typo. Thanks Gord.


620 pat davis February 25, 2014 at 11:54 am

Question regarding waxless skis
I have a pair of waxless skis for which I am too heavy. They are very good skis and I have tried to sell them to no avail. Now I am wondering if I can physically sand down some of the “scaled area” at either end to increase glide and stop the grabbing. Has anyone ever tried this?


621 Henry February 25, 2014 at 2:47 pm

Pat, if they are scaled, and if the deeper part of the scale is below the level of the base in the glide zone, then I think you might ruin the ski by attempting this operation.

Can you give the skis away to a good home, perhaps to a youth or elder ski group?


622 Henry February 25, 2014 at 2:54 pm

Pat, also, if they are not meant for your weight, then even if you found a way to nicely grind back some fish scales, I think that the ski would under perform for you because so much of it is on the snow compared to a better fitting ski. Perhaps someone else can expand on this.


623 pat davis February 25, 2014 at 3:25 pm

Thanks, Henry. Yes, I could give them away and it would bother me if I ruined them, but at the moment I am hoping to salvage something. These are better than the first ones but still not great. I’m thinking maybe just a bit of tweaking… Sigh


624 GDN February 25, 2014 at 3:07 pm

2nd Chance sports? Won’t get a lot but it’s one way to get a few bucks, I do not work or make money from them in any way’ but HAVE picked up a few good deals there. Edmonton Tr NE


625 pat davis February 25, 2014 at 3:26 pm

Thanks, GDN. I shall use that as a fall-back position. I do still live in hope


626 Dennis Kolba March 15, 2014 at 10:44 am

Have you got them on kijiji or somewhere, Pat. I’d consider for the right price if they fit. I’m 5′ 11″, 165 lbs, reasonably strong skier (for an old guy who still thinks in inches and pounds). is my direct email.


627 Mark simpson February 13, 2014 at 7:41 pm

Good trail conditions at upper/lower Bankhead trail today (feb 13/14) at lake minnewanka. Temps about 0/ -1 with light flurries in the afternoon…lovely relaxing track for those who want to get out for an easy ski this weekend


628 Bob Truman February 11, 2014 at 9:10 pm

I imagine by now that everyone has seen the video of the men’s xc sprint final in Sochi, and the amazing and unexpected occurrences. I looked around the internet to try and find some quotes from Emil Joensson, the very lucky Swede who won the bronze. This story explains what was going on with him…

If you didn’t see the video…


629 Henry February 20, 2014 at 9:32 am

What are the odds that your Emil Joensson would have been doubly lucky in the same olympics? Simply incredible.


630 Martin February 10, 2014 at 9:42 pm

I’m interested in some coaching for my classic technique or lack off, I’ve specifc aspects I’d like some help with, any coaches out there willing to spend an hour or two with me?


631 GordN February 20, 2014 at 10:18 am

Any response? I may have a idea for you if you’re still looking.


632 Martin February 20, 2014 at 5:33 pm

You are the only response, yes I’m still interested, what do you have in mind


633 GordN February 21, 2014 at 10:43 am

I think my reply was filtered because I tried to give you my contact info in a way a spybot wouldn’t get it. Maybe Bob can release it.

Gord, I didn’t see anything come through. Maybe try again. If it doesn’t show up, send me an email and I’ll post it. -Bob


634 GordN February 21, 2014 at 1:12 pm

I have some CNC lesson gift certs that we may not get to use b4 they expire, I have to find them but contact me at wgfaej at hotmail – I’ll find them tonite and let you know what they can be applied to?


635 Jen Peddlesden February 4, 2014 at 1:32 pm

Our family belong to the Sturgeon Valley Nordic Ski Club which is just N of Edm. (though we live in Chestermere AB!) They have rented Ribbon Creek Hostel for Family Day Wkend Feb 14 check in – check out Feb 17 but need a few more skiers to fill the hostel which guarantees day use for the whole w/e ( Need 16 more—they have 25 booked) Some usual attendees can’t come. Pot lucks Sat, Sun, participate or not, also usually some music etc. And skiing of course! Families, singles, everyone welcome. $65/pers for whole weekend/ 3 nights. Email me or call Ben 780-973-7045. You don’t need to be a member of SVNSC.


636 dan February 2, 2014 at 8:56 pm

Skoki trail

I am planning to x-country ski up to Skoki this Tuesday, and am wondering if there is a shuttle that can take me to Temple Lodge, from either the Lake Louise townsite, or the nearest day parking area to the Temple shuttle (if one exists). Any info on this appreciated, thank you.


637 GordN February 21, 2014 at 10:46 am

In the same situation, did you find anything out?


638 John Jenkins February 21, 2014 at 11:09 am

I’m pretty sure there isn’t any shuttle to Temple Lodge unless you are staying at Skoki Lodge. You might be able to contact them to see if they have space on one of their vans, but I wouldn’t count on it. I’ve always just skied up the ski-out from the Fish Creek Parking lot. Another option might be to buy the Sightseeing Pass (one time gondola pass) from the ski hill and ski down the back side, but it’s $22 to save maybe 45 minutes to an hour.


639 GordN February 21, 2014 at 11:50 am

Thanks John, good intel.


640 dan February 21, 2014 at 11:22 am

As per John’s comments…..I didn’t bother even asking about the Skokie van shuttle, as I was informed that it was for guests only. The extra distance is not an issue anyway, the question was motivated by laziness on my part mostly. 🙂

Gord, if you are up to doing it sometime soon, and want company, let me know. Cheers…


641 GordN February 21, 2014 at 12:27 pm

Here’s the situ, I was offered a ride to LL ski area with some downhillers going early March, I was looking at options around the hill because I may be “stuck” around the area. I don’t know that I could do the Lodge and back in one day being a desk jockey. This Fish Creek lot looks like an option and see how far I get.


642 John Jenkins February 21, 2014 at 12:36 pm

It is still a nice ski into the Ptarmigan Hut/Halfway Hut and you can easily do that with plenty of time to explore around the area. The ski out is super fast (and fun). I would plan on using an edged ski if you weren’t already.



643 GordN February 21, 2014 at 1:13 pm

Ooooh, I like that. I have metal edge yes, they are a bit narrow but looks like it’s doable. Thanks John!

644 GordN February 24, 2014 at 5:16 pm

Conflicting info, so the Fish Creek trail connects to the “Ski Out”; is that correct? Or can I just use the Ski Out right from the LL main lodge area?

645 John Jenkins February 25, 2014 at 10:47 am

Hey Gord,

To confirm:

The “Skoki Lodge Parking Lot” and “Fish Creek Parking Lot” are the same lot.

You start skiing up the ski-out from the Fish Creek Parking lot, I suppose you could start at the main lodge, but you would actually be adding more distance and work to your trip since the Fish Creek Parking lot is actually further up the ski-out.

The ski-out parallels the road that the Skoki van uses to get to Temple Lodge, but there is no point skiing up the road when the ski-out is just fine.

Once you are at the Temple Lodge, the trail to Skoki is just above it and super obvious with a sign. As long as you stay on the main trail and don’t head up one of the side valleys (to Purple Bowl, etc) you cannot get lost.

646 GordN March 5, 2014 at 1:11 pm

So ya, it’s like 1000 ft in the first 5 km! I was breathing hard, I don’t believe I went the right route as I figured out I was on ski out too late to turn back, when I moved over later to the access road, there was no way to ski on it anyway, gravel and plowed. And so steep near the end of it I walked up. I see why the van is a great option!! Ski out fast and furious, kept to the corduroy as best I could, I figured if I caught an edge I could kiss my groin muscles goodbye. Made it to the Hut, thanks for all the input and assistance.

647 dan February 21, 2014 at 3:24 pm

I see your situation now. Good to start slow then. Perhaps keep it in mind for the future when you are “up and running” in the sport. As an intermediate middle aged skier, I didn’t find it as difficult as various blogs suggest it to be. Also, I didn’t have skins on my skis, although I have read a few blogs suggesting them. But then it was quite cold when I did it, and the wax I used did a great job. Have fun!


648 Diana February 21, 2014 at 10:47 pm

A lot depends on conditions, of course. We tried it a few years ago, and the ski-out was an icy nightmare. Beyond that, there wasn’t much of a trail and we didn’t get very far. I know I have changed since we easily skied there in the 1980s (sadly), but the conditions must have been much worse, too. In the 1980s we just had the old wooden go-anywhere skis, and we did go almost anywhere on them! Oh, to be young and adventurous again….

649 Henry February 24, 2014 at 7:38 pm

Gord, I haven’t been there is winter in 30 years, but was there in the fall of 2012 dropping a hiker off. It was a messy construction zone, with tiny parking lot.
However, if we look at a trail map of the Front and Larch sides of the ski resort, it appears that the ski out parallels the Temple Lodge access road, and both of these are very close to the
‘Skoki’, or ‘Fish Creek’ parking lot. I hope this helps.

650 dan February 25, 2014 at 5:56 am

“Conflicting info, so the Fish Creek trail connects to the “Ski Out”; is that correct? Or can I just use the Ski Out right from the LL main lodge area?”

Gord, if you have a smartphone, download a free GPS app (I use both OsmAnd and Navigator interchangeably, depending on which one has better detail). It not only shows the trail, but also tracks your progress as you ski. That would be the easiest….in my experience anyway.

Hope that helps.

651 Henry February 25, 2014 at 7:12 am

Hopefully some of the ski tourers who visit this blog can help out.
In the old days, they would sell you a one trip lift ticket, and we used that one time, taking the lift, then skiing down Larch (?) to get to Temple lodge. We were on metal edged back country skis.

See explorer Vern Dewitt’s recent trip report on Heather Ridge for a few words and some photos of the ski out. Some people just go up the Temple lodge access road, but I’m not sure what Lake Louise thinks of that.

Another intrepid explorer, So Nakagawa, shows his GPS route, which starts at the Skoki Parking lot. It’s interesting that So thinks that the approach to Temple Lodge is so straight forward that he doesn’t have to describe it -).
I hope these help.

652 Dennis February 2, 2014 at 11:46 am

I might still have time for a quick ski ( I guess I should more accurately say short ski) at West Bragg today. Have never been there before! Can anyone say where to start for the likely best conditions? Thanks.


653 pat davis February 3, 2014 at 2:59 pm

Not going to help you for yesterday, but I usually ski the Moose Loop. Mainly because for my old bod, Telephone Trail is too long. The ML is usually as good as anything out there. IMHO, of course.


654 Charlie February 1, 2014 at 11:58 am

Does anyone know how to get an accurate temperature/forecast for PLPP? The Weather Network’s Kananaskis forecast seems high. Bob has mentioned a webcam thermometer, but when I try to load it all I get is a blue screen. Thanks!


655 Mark H February 1, 2014 at 3:59 pm

I’ve been using the weather forecast for PLPP from the weather network ( but it lists the weather station as being at Nakiska ridgetop. That said, the PLPP webcam temperature reads 3º-5º warmer than the actual temperature, probably because the sensor is up against a south-ish facing wall. I use these two readings to get a good idea for the temperatures at the trails, and haven’t been fooled yet.
As for your problems seeing the webcam feed, there are a few reasons I’ve encountered that does not allow me to see it, as you described:
1) If you’re accessing it from behind a firewall (say at work), it may be configured to not allow the feed through,
2) Your web browser may have ad block or popup block that is interfering. These may need an exception added for the website, allowing the feed through, and,
3) Your browser may have Java disabled, or your Java needs updating.
Keep in mind too that the site can take a minute to load sometimes.


656 Charlie February 1, 2014 at 7:02 pm

Thanks, Mark, appreciate it. I had no idea PLPP was in TWN.
I suspect my problem with the webcam is trying to access it from iPad/iPhone which doesn’t support Java.


657 GordN February 1, 2014 at 9:05 pm

Doesn’t work on my wife’s Ipad either. And I have to “allow” each time on the PC, Should probably create an exception sometime.


658 Simon January 27, 2014 at 5:26 pm

Does anyone have feedback about skiing along the Simpson River in Kootenay?


659 Sally January 26, 2014 at 9:50 pm

Has anyone skied Yoho Valley Road on XC skis? I’m new to Calgary and have been getting out to the mountains as much as I can this winter, but only have XC skis/experience and not backcountry skis/experience. Any suggestions on which trails classified as “touring” are still manageable with nordic skis?


660 Helen Read January 27, 2014 at 12:02 am

This road is fairly flat with slight elevation to the 6 kms turn-around spot where road has the big zig-zags. Only back country skiers experienced with avalanche training should go beyond that point. Any ski works for that first 6 kms. but it is only skier tracked and likely with a wider ski. There has been a lot of snow up there so if you fall coming down, it will be a soft fall. The road/parking lot should be plowed now, but that is not always the case. I love the scenery but Alluvial Fan would be one not to miss while out that way.


661 Jeff Dolinsky January 23, 2014 at 9:08 am

Golden’s Dawn Mt Nordic Centre set for a perfect weekend! Valley temperatures are forecast to be -1 to-5 and the new snow is being groomed on all the 33k of trails. A good weekend to escape the hot winter temps of Calgary and ski clean natural BC snow. Our Loppet course is set of the 4 to 30k classic event February 16.


662 Bob Truman January 20, 2014 at 7:37 pm

I’ve just added five photos to Chip’s Backcountry report from Helen Lake


663 Vivianne K January 20, 2014 at 12:38 pm

Now that it’s been even warmer in the last week, I imagine the golf courses in Calgary shouldn’t be skied at.
Could someone let me know the flatest/safest trail in either Kananaskis/Banff/Lake Louise that a super super beginner can go on? Sad enough, I tried skiing on the Terrace Trail in Kananaskis Village and I’m not ready for it. I need something a bit more flat – if it exists out in the mountains. haha Thank you!!


664 Diana Piggott January 20, 2014 at 4:09 pm

Well, Vivianne, you might be quite surprised, but there are some very flat trails deep in the mountains. The flattest I can think of is the Great Divide/Old 1A Hwy trail from Lake Louise. You should
visit the Lake Louise Visitor Centre for maps and information, but the trail starts on the road up to the lake, near the top there is an intersection on the right with a parking lot. There are other fairly flat trails in the area, and of course it is a spectacular place to visit.


665 Bob Truman January 20, 2014 at 4:19 pm

Diana’s suggestion is a good one. Great Divide(1A Hwy) is flat for a long distance and snow conditions are usually excellent.

If you don’t want to drive so far, Spruce road in PLPP is a flat trail but it’s not very long. It starts at Elkwood Amphitheatre or at William Watson Lodge. If you master that one, you can try the first 2K of Wheeler which also starts at Elkwood. The first K of Amos, which branches off Wheeler, is also flat.


666 Vivianne K January 20, 2014 at 6:51 pm

Thank you Diana and Bob for your suggestions!! I will try them 🙂


667 GordN January 18, 2014 at 8:49 pm

There’s a show called Klondike on discovery next week, some parts of been filmed in Kananaskis.


668 GordN January 18, 2014 at 8:25 pm

The Chester Snowshoe pamphlet says dogs are not allowed on groomed trails, I assume this means if you are ever snowshoeing on or near a groomed ski trail and that snowshoeing with a dog is “allowed” (without starting a whole bunch of dog issue rants)


669 Carmen January 17, 2014 at 2:16 pm

Curious about night cross country skiing @ Shaganappi Golf Course. I’m guessing there are no lights; head lamps are needed? Conditions? With this mild temperature?



670 Mike January 17, 2014 at 4:00 pm

Hi Carmen,

I regularly ski at Shaganappi but have not been on it this week so I can’t tell you conditions. Riding by it this afternoon, I noticed that there are quite a few bare spots, especially near the corner of Bow Trail and 33rd (4th hole tee box I think). I would recommend caution if skiing it as it is easy to go through the snow and get caught on the asphalt cart path and end up with a nasty ding. As for night skiing there: with some knowledge of the terrain and a bright moon, it is possible and enjoyable to ski without a light. Given that you will want to see any dry spots in the snow in front of you right now, I would bring a headlamp. It would be a good idea to bring beater/rock skis if you are set on skiing there tonight.

Good luck,


671 pat davis January 18, 2014 at 7:24 am

Hi, Carmen
I have skied at Shag several times and never used a headlight as there is a lot of light from the surrounding city. having said that, there are places and times I could have used one.
BTW, the east end of Shag is wonderful at nite as you look out over the downtown.



672 Karoline January 13, 2014 at 12:08 pm

Hi! We are wondering if there are any Calgarians here that could be helpful with some questions I have.

– Are dogs allowed in the tracks that are in Calgary, and which place would be best to live in Calgary with tracks just outside the door?

Thanks for any help! 🙂


673 pat davis January 13, 2014 at 2:44 pm

Be aware that Calgary is a city that has low snowfall anyway (Except maybe for this year) In addition, chinooks regularly remove the snow we do get. In view of this, were I moving here, I would look for proximity to other amenities rather than counting on stepping out the door for a ski. Closeness to bike/pedestrian pathways maybe? Access to the C-Train? IMHO, of course.


674 Flora January 10, 2014 at 1:53 pm

I’m also wondering about Ribbon Creek area today?


675 Flora January 10, 2014 at 1:51 pm

Hey, just wondering if anyone has been to Cascade Fire Road and/or Spray River Loop today?


676 Vivianne K January 9, 2014 at 9:19 am

Just wondering if anyone has skied in the golf courses within the city in the last few days? It’s been so warm I imagine there’s not much snow left which is unfortunate. I was hoping to go to Confederation park to practice this weekend but not sure if it’s worth driving over there. Thanks. Vivianne


677 John Jenkins January 9, 2014 at 9:31 am

We skied Confederation Park last night (Wednesday) and there was still lots of snow. It was trackset on Sunday the 5th (according to the Foothills Ski Club website) and the tracks, although a little messy, were still in decent enough condition. We used V30 and had no issues.

I imagine as the weather warms they’ll lose a bit more snow, but as of last night, conditions were definitely skiable.


678 Vivianne K January 9, 2014 at 11:17 am

Thanks for letting me know!
Is it pretty dark when you ski at night? I am sort of interested in skiing at night; however, since I’m a super beginner I wonder if I will have issues.


679 John Jenkins January 9, 2014 at 10:56 pm

Bring a headlamp and you’ll be fine. There is plenty of ambient light from the neighbourhood, and if the moon is out you likely won’t need to use the headlamp, but I had mine on in the darker parts.


680 Diana Piggott January 9, 2014 at 2:34 pm

Confederation still very good Thursday afternoon! I’m sure it will be okay on Saturday as it is not really “hot”, but after that maybe not so good.


681 Vivianne K January 10, 2014 at 10:56 pm

Thanks for the info Diana and John!


682 pat davis January 8, 2014 at 4:57 pm

Regarding the New Pocaterra. Does anyone know if the trail has been rerouted due to flood damage, or is it because the new trail lessens the winter stress on the moose in the willow meadows? I suppose both could be true too…

It was because of the flood damage. -Bob


683 pat davis January 9, 2014 at 7:36 am

Got it. Thanks, Bob. I guess the lessening of stress is just a beneficial side effect.


684 John Jenkins January 8, 2014 at 4:11 pm

Hi all, I’m looking for any tips from anyone with experience taking newborns out for longer ski trips. My wife and I will be taking our baby on a 3 day trip to the Elk Lakes Cabin in February (don’t worry, we’ve booked the whole cabin with friends, so we’re not surprising anyone with an unruly baby that’s expecting a child free weekend). I have a Chariot Cougar 2 with the ski kit, and I’ve done the the trip before with a fully loaded pulk, so I know what to expect regarding terrain once were off the groomed stuff into BC, but I’m looking for advice on the baby end of things. Any tips that people have would be great. She will be 3 months old when we go, and bottle feeds fine. Any must have gear, or suggestions for making her life (and ours) a little easier during the ski in and during our time in the cabin would be appreciated.



685 Shaun K January 6, 2014 at 5:36 pm

Does anyone know if there is night skiing at Confederation Park? Like with a headlamp or otherwise? During the week it is impossible to get out during the day, so it would nice if it was possible.



686 Dave Gammie January 7, 2014 at 6:53 am

There is no lit skiing at confed just bring a headlamp. There is usually enough ambient light from the city plus the Xmas lights ( until they are done) in conjunction with your headlamp to make skiing at night no problem



687 Shaun K January 7, 2014 at 2:45 pm

Thanks Dave. I will give it a whirl.


688 GordN January 4, 2014 at 8:31 am

I notice the PLPP visitor Ctr is open all week (minus lunch time) now. If that’s changed, seems to me it was closed a few days/week in the past years.


689 Grizzly January 3, 2014 at 2:19 pm

Last minute plans need to be made. A vacation in the mountains – consider everything between here and Lake Louise as having been thoroughly skied and not qualifying for vacation… where would you go for “ski from your cabin” good quality trails that would keep the interest up for a week?


690 Annie January 3, 2014 at 5:45 pm

My husband and I love Silver Star/Sovereign Lake near Vernon. Tons of trails in immaculate condition!


691 john January 6, 2014 at 6:19 pm

Baja California , Sur !


692 Jody January 7, 2014 at 12:03 pm

I will second Annie’s vote. I lived at Silver Star for six years, and worked at Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre for five, and you cannot get a more incredible variety of trails in a more beautiful setting, usually with great weather and snow conditions. Sovereign Lake has a wide variety of super fun impeccably groomed trails combined with cross country ski culture; and Silver Star is a full service resort with good food and beverages, amazing views from most trails, and if you want to have some help with gravity in order to explore more of the mountain your day pass allows you on the lift as many times as you like. The trails for both Sovereign and Silver Star can be accessed from the summit of the mountain where the chair drops you off. You can also get free tours from volunteer “ski hosts” (of which I was one) that meet twice a day in the village centre and will show you around the mountain, and you can ski from your door (or have a very short walk) from every accommodation on the mountain.


693 Kim Harris January 3, 2014 at 10:24 am

I am trying to find information about trail closures due to the biathlon in Canmore this weekend (Jan 4 and 5th). They have the event listed but no other information. Lots of fresh snow in Calgary today!!
Thanks for your help.

All the popular recreation trails will be open to the public this weekend. Check the CNC page for more info. -Bob


694 Anne Felix January 3, 2014 at 9:59 am

Anyone know what’s happened to Parks Canada ski trail reports?
No entry since dec 31 for Banff-Lake Louise -or Yoho!!!!


695 Bob Truman January 3, 2014 at 11:20 am

They finally updated it a few minutes ago. So far, no new grooming in Banff but I expect with this new snow, that all the trails are due.


696 Anne Felix January 3, 2014 at 11:55 am

Txs for that -u must have the Power! I thought the website was down!
Holidaze…no one would be skiing of course! Going to check out the Spray. Don is reliable


697 Bob Truman January 3, 2014 at 12:48 pm

Let us know what you find.


698 blair January 2, 2014 at 10:31 am


Happy New Year. I’m new to skate skiing and was wondering what trails are available in Calgary and the surrounding area? Is the Hawkridge Centre open and does it have trails?



699 Bob Truman January 2, 2014 at 10:42 am

Blair, check this post regarding skate skiing options:

Hawk Ridge is no longer open.


700 Annie January 2, 2014 at 8:38 am

I am trying to figure out trail section distances at Canmore Nordic Centre. Their trail map just has a couple of loop distances shown. Am I dreaming, or did there used to be a trail map showing all the segment distances? Does anyone know of any links to this info? Thanks! Annie


701 Nancy January 1, 2014 at 7:04 am

I just read your comment on the new Loppet trail and was wondering if there is any update on when this track setting may occur. This is very exciting news!

Chuck reported on Dec 29 at 8:48 pm that it’s already trackset between Baker Creek and Castle Lookout, snowmobile packed with good skier-set tracks from Castle Lookout to Castle Junction. -Bob


702 Wendy December 29, 2013 at 6:48 pm

In the list of Alf’s suggestions for xc touring he recommends the old logging road that runs between the Mt. Shark road near Engadine Lodge and Commonwealth Creek. Can anyone tell me where to park? Is it the same trailhead as Commonwealth Creek? Is there any avalanche risk?
Thanks in advance!


703 Leslie December 29, 2013 at 12:30 pm

I have a 4 year old grandson who is relentlessly asking to come cross country skiing with me. Does anybody have some advice about equipment to get him started?


704 Lora December 26, 2013 at 8:09 am

Has anyone been to West Bragg Creek in the last few days? I’m just wondering if there is any snow left there and what the conditions are like?



705 Barry G December 26, 2013 at 8:39 am

West Bragg was great yesterday afternoon (25th). Lots of snow; insignificant debris; groomed tracks holding up really well; log hauling hasn’t started so even the skier-set tracks on the haul roads are skiable.


706 Heather December 23, 2013 at 10:53 pm

We just got back from Emerald Lake area, skiing for two days. Conditions were exceptioonal around the lake and even the connector, listed as “fair” was just fine.

The volunteers who do the track setting do a great job. Thank you.


707 Vivianne K December 23, 2013 at 9:18 pm

I’m a new cross country skier… bought some skis just yesterday after renting a couple of times. I’m not very good but I’m hoping to get better! Could you recommend any good trails for beginners that are close to Calgary please? So far I have gone to Shaganappi Golf Course but would like to try going to the mountains. Maybe not too far away yet. Thanks for your help!! 🙂


708 Bob Truman December 23, 2013 at 9:41 pm

Are your new skis waxless or waxable? With this warmer weather, that might determine where I would recommend. In any event, click this link to see posts where I’ve discussed beginner’s trails. -Bob


709 Heather December 23, 2013 at 10:54 pm

suggest you consider the canmore nordic centre. Lots of choices for trails and skills but has some nice beginner trails and its not too far away


710 Vivianne K December 28, 2013 at 9:14 pm

Sorry for not responding, I didn’t know I got replies 🙂
I have Salomon elite 6 waxable skis.
Thanks for the beginners link. I will check it out.

With the weather being warm and then suddenly cold, would you say that skiing in the city tomorrow may not be the best idea?

I thought the Canmore Nordic Centre was geared towards experienced skiers?

Thanks for the help 🙂


711 Lucy December 19, 2013 at 8:38 pm

Wondering what whether Peter Lougheed trails are open for skiing as I can not find any information on the trail conditions there.

See my latest blog update. Lots of trails have been trackset in the past two days and I would expect more will be done before the weekend. -Bob


712 Wendy December 18, 2013 at 5:03 pm

We are thinking of skiing into Lake O’Hara on the weekend. Has anyone skied it recently? How are the conditions?


713 Elizabeth DesCamp December 17, 2013 at 8:44 pm

Wondering if someone could suggest a beginner cross country location for tomorrow, Wednesday within easy drive of Calgary. Looking for being outside and accommodating beginners.


714 Diana Piggott December 17, 2013 at 8:59 pm

Given the weather and the fact that more snow seems to have fallen here than anywhere else, I might suggest Confederation Park, in NW Calgary. We have lots of snow in Silver Springs!


715 Diana Piggott December 14, 2013 at 8:19 pm

Question 1: I’m pretty sure Bob will know the answer to this one – how far is it from the Lake Minnewanka parking lot to the Cascade River first *bridge*, i.e. actual skiing distance?

6.1K. Sometimes you see 6.4K, as on the Banff trail report, but I believe that’s to the end of the campground. Ray Perrott, GPS expert, confirms it’s 6.1K. -Bob

Question 2: Does anyone know how many bridges were lost in the great flood? I mean trail bridges, not roads, thinking somewhere between dozens and hundreds?


716 sherryl December 14, 2013 at 12:29 am

can you include the sigge’s payak in your loppet listings? February 22, 2014 this year, Whistler Olympic Park, to register! thanks


717 Troy Proppe December 12, 2013 at 9:12 am

Hi. A friend and I were planning to ski Canmore to Banff Saturday. I see the “Banff Trail” at CNC is now open. Does this mean we can ski all the way to Banff? Last year we skied Spray Lakes to Banff Springs but I hear that might be closed due to washed out bridges. If neither of these options are open can anyone recommend another afternoon ski around Banff? Thanks, Troy

The “Banff Trail” at CNC is trackset only for 5.5K to the Banff park boundary. Thereafter, it would be a challenging ordeal on the Rundle Riverside trail which is very rough with unknown snow coverage, lots of big tree roots, rocks and dirt. If you go, make sure you let us know how the conditions were.

When you say “Spray Lakes to Banff,” I’m assuming you mean the Goat creek trail? It’s trackset for 7k only. Both Spray river bridges are out.

In Banff National park the following trails are trackset: Redearth creek, Cascade valley, Upper Bankhead, Sundance Canyon, Healy creek, Brewster creek, and the Banff Springs golf course. -Bob


718 Arunas December 19, 2013 at 3:58 pm

Are the Spray river crossings passable on skis? I haven’t been on the trail in a number of years. I don’t recall how wide it is or whether it freezes over.


719 Arunas December 23, 2013 at 4:38 pm

The answer to the above question is “YES”. As was mentioned here on Friday, one of the bridges has been replaced. The other is standing sufficiently, and has a good snow track leading up to it so it’s completely passable. Lack of tracks might discourage some folks, but many have been down the trail.


720 GDN December 4, 2013 at 8:02 pm

There’s a free sample of some waterproofing stuff if you answer a cheesy questionnaire… I have nothing to do with them, I just answered the cheesy quiz and they’re sending me some waterproofing stuff. I think some of my gortex is going on 25 years old. Err… 30.


721 Kelly December 4, 2013 at 5:58 pm

Does anyone know if the Shaganappi Golf course has been track set?


722 Judy M November 22, 2013 at 11:39 am

Anyone know about West Bragg trail conditions
at the moment?


723 Cathy B November 21, 2013 at 3:42 pm

Hi, I’m hoping to head out to Mount Shark tomorrow with my dogs. Does anyone know what the conditions are like? Have they done any grooming yet?
Or, any suggestions on where it’s good for skijoring right now. Thanks so much.


724 Joy November 17, 2013 at 4:44 pm

Does anyone know where the nearest washrooms are to Shagganappi and Confederation Parks? It seems either by the time we get to the park or half way through our time at the park, one of has to go. Thanks!


725 GordN November 14, 2013 at 5:21 pm

Bob, want to put this link on the resource section?

I’ve added it, thanks! -Bob


726 Graeme P. November 14, 2013 at 10:02 am

Driving to the coast last summer I noticed some certain elevations that I found perplexing.
Is it true that the Scott Lake hill summit 30 minutes away has roughly the same elevation (+/- 5 meters) as both Rogers Pass AND the Coquihalla summits? Really?


727 Diana Piggott November 17, 2013 at 9:24 pm

Scott Lake Hill is surprisingly high, very close to the elevation of Banff, but I don’t think those three summits are within 5 m of each other. Scott Lake Hill is much higher than Rogers Pass, which is much higher than the Coquihalla.


728 Gerry B. November 21, 2013 at 4:42 pm

Scott Lake Hill- 1410m
Banff Townsite- 1383m
Rogers Pass- 1330m
Coquihalla Summit- 1244m


729 GordN November 21, 2013 at 8:22 pm

I did this route last summer for the first time ever, thank goodness it was cool up there, thought the car was gonna pass out!

“Pennask Summit
Hwy 97C, 74km west of Kelowna, (elevation: 1717 metres)”

Comes out at Peachland from Merritt.


730 GordN November 8, 2013 at 8:36 pm

We never made it to the Kananaskis village this summer, are the renovations done?


731 jeff November 8, 2013 at 10:25 pm

Hi Gord,
The renovations at the Village Center are mostly complete and it is now open to the public.


732 Henry October 31, 2013 at 7:22 am

Has anyone canted their skis?

I’m thinking of becoming more active in both my nordic as well as alpine skiing again.

I’ve got laughably bowed legs, and has skied all my early days without being aware of canting. I would always be on my outside edges.

When skate skiing came out, I was happy to try it, but it was never enjoyable because of the knee and hip contortions I would have to do in order to push off the inside edge properly, and also to have the opposing ski ride flat on the snow. This crosses over to ice skating too.

For classical skiing it is a similar problem of not having a flat glide ski. In a hard set track there is a bit of an advantage of having the outside wall of the track hold the ski on line. I’ve spent my life riding that outside wall !

I’m curious if anyone is using canting in their ski system (either nordic or alpine), and wonder if it made a big difference for their enjoyment level.


733 Henry October 31, 2013 at 8:25 am
734 Henry November 3, 2013 at 4:49 pm

While the above Fischer system cants the cuffs of the tall nordic ski boot, similar to alpine systems, the additional or alternative is to place a wedge insert beneath the ski boot, something which is also done in Alpine systems.
Here is Salomon’s wedge described:

Has anyone tried one of these options?


735 Henry November 9, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Just a heads- up to anyone who reads my previous questions and comments.
The 2010 version of the Salomon wedge is not a sideways canting system for vargas or valgus legs, but is a fore-aft wedge meant, apparently for ankle flexion performance gain.


736 PM November 9, 2013 at 4:39 pm

For clarity – cant adjustment is for boots only. Skis are ‘wedged’ by raising the forefoot (as youve noticed). There are too many variables to cant XC skis effectively (and would then need to ski the same skis to feet every time).

I’ve run wedged skis for a few seasons – climbing seems a bit better as it forces ankle flexing for proper technique (which generates more power) – also unloads the tips of the skis on downhills. Takes a bit getting used to (and you’ll notice the difference switching back to non-wedged).


737 Henry November 10, 2013 at 12:51 pm

PM, thanks for your insights, and giving your experience with the wedge system.

I agree that it appears to be more straightforward to cant at the ski/boot interface if dealing with alpine skis and boots, where everything is quite solid. Hence we also see that the only nordic boot with canting system is the high end of the Fischer skate racing models, due to their taller, more rigid construction.

I still wonder if some custom orthotics might not help a person, even in very flexible recreational classic boots. For a bow-legged ‘vargus’ situation, if the orthotic was raised towards the inside slightly, could it make it easier to glide on a flatter ski. My whole life I have had to push the gliding leg by rotating the knee inwards a bit, so that the outside edge doesn’t catch too much, or ankle want to roll over.

738 PM November 10, 2013 at 3:27 pm

Custom orthotic will offer you the widest range of boot options. Fischer boots run a touch narrow – relying on their upper end boots with a wide foot may result in disappointment.

739 Henry November 11, 2013 at 9:57 am

PM. Thanks for the caveat regarding the width of the Fischer boots.

740 Rhonda October 28, 2013 at 5:27 pm

Hi Bob,
I’m trying to remember when Mt Shark was groomed and ready for skate skiing last year….does anyone remember or know?

I classic skied for the first time on Nov 15. The blue trail would have been okay for skate skiing with a bit of care and caution. -Bob


741 Rhonda October 29, 2013 at 8:40 am

Thanks Bob, After I sent that message I checked the archives but couldn’t find any comments on Shark. Thx for your reply.


742 meghan prescott October 25, 2013 at 8:30 pm

My husband and I are relatively new to the area, and to x-country skiing. My fitness level is much lower than his. I’m working on that so I can be better prepared for the season.

Where are the best places for beginners to start on the trails? We are in Calgary and will very gladly drive to any of the nearby National parks/Provincial Parks/K-country.


743 Bob Truman October 25, 2013 at 8:50 pm

Hi Meghan,
Welcome to our trails! A couple of the best trails for beginners were washed away in the June floods, Ribbon creek and Pocaterra. There are others, however.

Wheeler in PLPP
Spruce road in PLPP
Moraine Lake road at Lake Louise
Great Divide at Lake Louise
Terrace at Kananaskis Village
If you look on the right hand sidebar under “Places to Ski,” you’ll see blog posts which I’ve made about these trails. You can also check the “Categories” where it says beginner skiers or access it here:


744 GordN October 18, 2013 at 12:03 pm

Is it just me or is the “lake” in front of the PLPP visitor centre drying up?


745 Henry October 18, 2013 at 6:38 pm

Hi Gord,
It sure is! It has really come down a lot visually just in the past few days.

Since the end of July I have been saving some of the webcam images every day and haven’t missed a day since July 27. I wouldn’t know who to ask about whether the park saves all of this data in the long term, so I did it myself.

I hope to put together a time lapse of the draining some time after the snow sticks around.
I was still amazed that for several weeks in July that the level basically didn’t change at all. It hadn’t dawned on me that it would be fun to do a time lapse until near the end of July.

Stay tuned…


746 Henry November 14, 2013 at 10:22 am

Hey Gord,

Here’s the youtube video I made of the water draining out of the PLPP Visitors Centre meadow.


747 GordN November 14, 2013 at 5:20 pm

Very cool!

Nice arrangement by Kelly too.


748 Sonya October 13, 2013 at 1:17 pm

The flooding has been so very hard on our trails close to Calgary (Peter Lougheed Park, Ribbon Ck, Healy Creek/Banff etc). Any thoughts about which trails might be repaired, or alternative trails for day trips from Calgary this winter?


749 Jan October 9, 2013 at 10:34 am

While I believe we have some of the best x-c skiing in the world in our Rockies, sometime I’d like to take a x-c ski vacation somewhere else. I’m looking for recommendations of x-c ski areas anywhere (US, Europe, South America, other) with trails (track-set or not) comparable to those in Peter Lougheed or the Paradise Valley/Lake Louise area. My preference is for areas in beautiful settings; I am not into x-c racing/training or alpine touring. Any suggestions would be welcome.
Thanks, Bob, for putting up this page.


750 Yuriy Ivanov October 2, 2013 at 9:03 pm

I am a 66 years old xc skier from Kazakhstan. I am looking for a veteran club (if we have it here in Calgary or Alberta,where I am living since May with my daughter’s family). I represented Kazakhstan on the Masters World Cup since 1993 year. I would love to compete with my Canadian friends. Any information will be greatly appreciated.



751 GordN October 9, 2013 at 6:42 pm

You want to compete or just go with a group of similar age individuals?

Like this?


752 Alec November 19, 2015 at 10:50 am

There are some people that compete at Master level. You might find the information at Norseman Ski Shop. Talk there to Erik, the Master technician, who competes too. There is a Russian fellow who buy skis there. His name is Alex, forgot his full name, but they should be able to find him.


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