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1 Glen December 15, 2017 at 9:15 am

Is there a charge to use these trails in K country? Where does a person pay to use these trails?

There is no charge, just drive to the trailhead and start skiing. -Bob


2 JeremyN December 15, 2017 at 9:23 am

No charge at Peter Lougheed Peiv Park, Ribbon Creek/Delta Kananaskis Lodge or Mt. Shark -do visit Barrier Lake info centre on the way for upto date conditions. Donations welcome in drop box at West Bragg Creek (no snow right now) and of course, Canmore Nordic Centre does have trail/facility day use fee. Happy skiing!


3 Anne-Marie Wiedemann December 15, 2017 at 9:04 am

Does the poccaterra hut have a microwave? Heading out tomorrow and would love to have something hot for lunch.

No, but the PLPP Discovery Centre(formerly known as the Visitor Centre) has a microwave and tea kettle. I often stop in there to make tea for the drive home. It’s about 2K up the road from Pocaterra. -Bob


4 Barbara B. December 14, 2017 at 10:26 pm

Where can one purchase replacement rubber ‘stoppers’ (not sure what they’re called) for ski bindings? I’m specifically replacing the ones on my light touring Salamon SNs XA manual bindings. Tried Lifesport, MEC, and Norseman, all without any luck. Also contacted Salomon, who claim that somewhat crumbly stoppers don’t affect performance. However, I’d hate for one of these break and lose half of it while on a multi-day tip, and then have my boot crazy loose in the ski. Tried ordering online as well, again without any luck. Surely someone must have run into this? I’ve had these bondings for five years and only used them maybe four or five times. I think it’s just like an elastic band that just breaks down over time.


5 Barbara B. December 14, 2017 at 10:27 pm

P.S: Click here to see a photo of what thos manual binding looks like:


6 JeremyN December 14, 2017 at 11:12 pm

I bought mine from the tech. at Norseman last year. Also try Trail Sport (Canmore) and also Track and Trail and Fast Trax (Edmonton): they’re GREAT ski stores with superb service and humility. It’s not a rare part and should be readily available.


7 AJ December 11, 2017 at 10:16 pm

Hello, I am wondering if there arw any clubs or individuals that will come to a school to teach basic x-country skiing?


8 Henry L December 12, 2017 at 9:05 am

AJ, your query, and I hope you get a good answer, got me to thinking. I guess that a teacher going indoors can use roller skis to teach and mimic the classic stride action.

I wonder if though, with today’s mohair grip technology skis, it’s possible to find a combination of plastic (teflon?) sheet and glide wax that would let a teacher use a long roll of plastic sheet indoors in a gym on which to show the kick and glide using a real ski? What do the ski jumpers/aerialists use on their ski jump ramps in summer?


9 JeremyN December 14, 2017 at 11:05 pm

I’m sure you’ll get a good answer from the program coord. at Cross Country Alberta and I believe Biathalon Alberta has a trailer of equipment/mobile classroom still -we had them to our club in Okotoks a few years ago and they’ve also visited area schools (phenomenal experience for the kids). Foothills Nordic also (used to?) have same I believe. If your rural, check with local clubs and Ski Fit North as they’ve been to a variety of Reserves and have programming and personnel. Good Luck!


10 Henry L December 15, 2017 at 7:56 am

That is so cool that they have a trailer/mobile classroom experience to share with students and others!


11 Bill December 10, 2017 at 8:26 am

In case a game of Kananaskis trivial pursuit ever breaks out, can anyone confirm the correct pronunciation of “Pocaterra”? Is it POKEaterra or POCKaterra?


12 Keith December 10, 2017 at 1:53 pm

Too bad George Pocaterra is long past on, he would be the best authority.
This comment isn’t confirmation but I use POKEaterra.


13 Diana Piggott December 10, 2017 at 1:56 pm

Since George was Italian, I expect you are right about the “poke”. Imagine someone with an Italian accent pronouncing the name 🙂


14 GordN December 10, 2017 at 3:46 pm

And if you want to really blow ‘em away with your George trivia read the book “The Diva and the rancher” available from CPL


15 Diana Piggott December 10, 2017 at 9:20 pm

I have that book! It is a really good read.


16 TC December 10, 2017 at 12:51 am

Can you skate on Pipestone or is that not allowed?


17 barb banff December 10, 2017 at 5:47 am

it’s not “illegal” – but you would suffer the wrath of the many classic skiers
who enjoy this trail!
The trails are all relatively narrow, and skating would destroy the tracks.


18 JeremyN December 10, 2017 at 5:55 am

Not being the defacto authority, but I would say until classic track is layed down, YES it’s fine as I’ve seen a quite few people do it early season. Bear in mind the narrow trail & double-pole when decent skier-set classic track is established is courteous. Don’t forget to leash Fido -he’s subject to a $25K ! fine if caught (notwithstanding reasoning of deterring wildlife harassment and safety). Hope that helps TC.


19 TC December 10, 2017 at 11:47 am

Thanks it isn’t somewhere where I would skate normally; I saw a trip report that said they skated on Pipestone so it perked my attention for skijoring. Thanks for the info!


20 Jenn December 11, 2017 at 8:03 am

This is good info-thanks all! Does anyone know of good skate skiing areas you can take dogs on leash? We will take him classic but much easier to skate with an energetic dog 🙂
I know West Bragg but anywhere in Banff or Lake Louise?


21 Bob Truman December 11, 2017 at 8:19 am

Sundance Canyon in Banff has 3.9K. The Campground Loop in Lake Louise has about 1K. Dogs are allowed in parts of the Tunnel Mountain trails in Banff and I believe they are wide enough for skating. If you’re not familiar with Tunnel Mountain trails, here is an update from their grand opening There’s not enough snow yet at Sundance Canyon or Tunnel Mountain.


22 Jonathan December 11, 2017 at 1:44 pm

Bill Milne trail at Ribbon Creek is another option when there is snow. The trail map says dogs aren’t permitted, but I think Bob got confirmation from Alberta Parks that this is incorrect. It is still on the list of dog friendly trails.


23 Mike Wipf December 6, 2017 at 9:05 pm

Hello Bob and Everyone else

I’m going to be downhill skiing with some friends at sunshine Banff next Wednesday. We like to do some XC Skiing on Thursday nearby . Can anybody recommend some great beginner intermediate locations for XC .



24 Chuck December 7, 2017 at 8:43 am

Of course, it depends on what you mean by “nearby” Mike!
No XC Skiing available in Banff, so try the Canmore Nordic Centre or drive to Lake Louise like the rest of us.


25 Mike Wipf December 8, 2017 at 10:31 am

Ya mention the closest trails to Banff . So that would be Canmore or Lake Louise . My friends have hinted interest in Louise already . I just don’t know my way around yet and haven’t looked at maps yet .

Strange I’m not getting the replies sent to my email . Thought I had it set up that way . Thanks for the replies .


26 GordN December 8, 2017 at 2:06 pm

I believe you have to set the frequency. In this situ, you’d want it set to “immediate” alert. Or whatever they call it.


27 GordN December 7, 2017 at 9:39 am

Try this link, (you may have to re-load once you have picked your official language) There’s also a PDF link on the page.


28 Chuck December 7, 2017 at 9:32 pm

Note… the above website provides general information, but does not reflect current snow conditions.


29 Mike Wipf December 8, 2017 at 10:48 am

Thanks guys

I looked a bit closer here at the site and am going to print of some maps and target the XC trails in the Louise area .


30 Hugh December 4, 2017 at 3:07 pm

Passing on a wide open trail with two tracks with a skating lane in between:
We were classic skiing back along the Great Divide trail and passed a skier talking to a friend. As we passed I heard “I’ll just step into the tracks behind you” coming from this skier. Ok I thought, odd someone would say that but …..
After a few strides I hear something to the effect of “I think ,I’ll pass you”. Ok, go ahead, in my mind. A few strides later I realized she must be thinking to track me.
I was so surprised, I stepped out of the tracks onto the skate lane, and she skied by in the tracks, without a thank you.
With the advent of superhwy skate lanes and double tracks, who tracks anyone anymore? I can see tracking on single tracks while overtaking. She sounded so polite too, to a point, minus the thank you.
Of course within a few minutes we passed her, standing in the tracks, talking to someone else on the skate lane. We skied around them without a word and ended up back at the parking lot without seeing this skier again.
I always ski around if I’m faster (which now a days doesn’t happen all that much) I trust my ability to change lanes and have no idea of the other skier’s ability, so it’s much safer to go around.


31 Martin December 4, 2017 at 7:23 pm

IMO recreational ski tracks are just like roads, they are there for all and passing is the responsibility of the fast to go around the slow. I pass plenty of skiers and get passed myself, have never called ‘track’ and don’t remember hearing anyone calling ‘track’ to pass. I can imagine calling ‘track’ does happen at CNC, for an athlete in training there’s good reason too, I very rarely ski CNC and that is partly the reason why.


32 Mike W December 5, 2017 at 9:19 pm

I call “track please” from time to time. Usually it’s on double-track where two people are skiing side-by-side and I’m catching up to them, and I need them to ski in single file in one track so I can pass them in the other track. Also, as Hugh mentioned, on single track trails such as Fox Creek in PLPP.

On rare occasions is the situation of a normally multi-track trail where there has been a significant amount of fresh snow that hasn’t been groomed yet, but there is one skier-packed track. If I’m significantly faster than the person ahead, I’ll step into the fresh snow and break trail while passing. But if breaking trail slows me down so much that I can’t pass, then I’ll call “track please”.

PS. I’ve yielded to faster skiers in all the above situations as well.


33 Henry L December 6, 2017 at 7:55 am

One option, as is done on some city walking/biking trails is to perhaps courteously inform the people that we are going by (ha! It wouldn’t be me doing the passing anymore).

So, perhaps a polite “coming by on your left”, which I prefer to the more brusque “On your left”, which can be bewildering to the uninitiated.

It makes me smile when I think of the wonderful velodrome “Stick!”, which is shouted with a beautiful combination of assertion and pleading -)


34 Clae December 3, 2017 at 10:44 am

Hi Bob, do you have any info on Emerald Lake and surrounding area trail conditions we are planning a stay at the Lodge mid December. Anything you or anyone else has would be great. Thanks …


35 Helen Read December 3, 2017 at 2:16 pm

Under Bob’s heading “Trail Reports” you can scroll down to YOHO and then Kicking Horse Ski Club home page. You will see the most current information there; the lake needs time to freeze up before they can start working on Alluvial Fan etc. Then click on “Winter Rentals” on same website and there is a number you can call into Emerald Sports store and perhaps find out more current information.


36 Clae December 3, 2017 at 4:02 pm

Helen, thanks for the info I will check them all out…


37 Carman November 27, 2017 at 10:01 am

Non-skiing technical question. When accessing Live Grooming with Safari on my Apple computer running OS X, the interactive map portion of the page is a no show. The same action on my I Pad running iOS gets the map.
I’m sure things were working normally end of last season.
Has anyone else experienced this?


38 Bob Truman November 27, 2017 at 10:07 am

One suggestion is to contact the Ski Trails people who run the site:


39 Lyle Opseth November 26, 2017 at 3:48 pm

Thanks Bob for informing the fat-tire cyclists on Blueberry of their mistake. I was also descending down Blueberry when I nearly ran into them. I had just passed you as you were heading up and said “Hi. Nice to see you again.” as I passed by though you didn’t recognize me.

Although I didn’t know that fat-bikes were not allowed in PLPP I did know that no one obstructs an entire ski trail on steep downhills whether he or she is a cyclist, skier, snowshoer or whatever. I silently cursed them for their stupidity as they scattered just in time. They should have figured out the danger from that incident alone. Their lack of etiquette was extremely dangerous and they need to learn proper rules whether they are in PLPP or going up to Skogan Pass. I have met some skiers coming down from Skogan Pass at high speed as I’ve skied up and proper knowledge and observance of etiquette is essential to prevent injuries.

It was even more unacceptable that they shouted at you (an experienced skier) that it’s not their fault your just learning to ski (and you’re on a ski trail!!!) and nor to continue along the trails once you’ve informed them they are not to be on the trails.

Thanks again!


40 JeremyN November 21, 2017 at 9:13 am

Skogan Pass?: dog friendly as per Ribbon & Kananaskis Village? Also, anyone know of conditions this morning? (Notice not recently groomed).


41 Bob Truman November 21, 2017 at 9:26 am

I believe Skogan Pass is under the same rules as Ribbon and Kananaskis Village. No new grooming so I expect there would be a lot of fresh snow on the trail. Just a guess, but there might be some tracksetting activity today. The village trails were trackset yesterday.


42 JeremyN November 21, 2017 at 9:45 am

Thank you Bob. I’ll check at Barrier Lake and let you know if I learn otherwise.


43 Julia Viola November 20, 2017 at 1:22 pm

I am an intermediate skier who is most interested in good scenery and a decent length ski. Any recommendations? I was thinking Kananaskis, Peter Lougheed, Canmore, or Bragg Creek area. Thanks.


44 sheila November 20, 2017 at 3:01 pm

Hi Julia: While any and all of the places you mentioned are amazing, we find we make our decision based on proximity. That is, the best skiing conditions available that happens to be the closest to us. I hate wasting time driving. While I do love Peter Lougheed, Bragg Creek is close (even closer is Sandy but grooming is sporadic at best) to us so always check there first. It has the scenery, distance, and as an added bonus, it is the only off leash dog area (trails only,not in parking lot) in the city. Warming hut, huge parking lot and wonderful volunteers round out the draw to WBC. However, if you are closer to K-country then that should be your “go to” as it also provides all that you are looking for. Best place to find out all this info is on “Trip Reports”. Happy trails!


45 Chuck November 20, 2017 at 5:40 pm

As Sheila says, it depends where home is. Snow, grooming and other factors may also be important to you, so the Trip Reports page is a great place to find info that is relevant to you.
Happy Trails, and we look forward to your reports!


46 Rick November 16, 2017 at 9:59 am

Question. What is the maximum ski width for sking in machine groomed tracks?



47 PM November 16, 2017 at 1:36 pm

The 2009 CCC Competition Guide indicates a bottom set track width of 6 – 7 cm. Other FIS sources suggest 62 mm bottom and 68 mm top. As such, a ski wider than 60 mm is going to drag/plow quite a bit in set track.


48 Dow November 17, 2017 at 11:11 am

I had the same question as well when I was looking to purchase a set of skis that would work for both in track and light back country touring. I was debating either the Rossi evo OT 65 or Rossi BC 70. I suspect that BC 70 is probably too wide to have much fun on the tracks. I am not sure how skiing the OT 65 on track would feel like. I asked the manufacturer they said the skis would be fine, I read a few reviews online who agree with this as well. However someone at MEC and a ski shop told me they are too wide. Its so hard to get a definite answer. Once the tracks are set I am going to get a ruler and measure the width personally. Lol.


49 Henry L November 17, 2017 at 11:54 am

I would not use 65’s. As in PM’s post, if the bottom of the track is anywhere from 60-62mm, you’ll be toast.

The Kastle Trail LW used to be just such a ski, but I don’t know if there is really a market for that kind of thing anymore. It was < 55mm wide but with metal edges and some camber.

One suggestion is to find a slightly wider (44 – 50mm) non-racing profile nordic ski that can be used as a light touring ski on the trails. This will give some stability for snowplows etc.
Then, you can always have a nice 41-44 performance ski as well. Thirdly, this leaves you to have a pure 65 or 70mm side cut metal edged back country ski for just that purpose.
But don't ski with Alf or Steve. Otherwise you'll end up wanting 110 or 120mm wide AT skis too, just for playing around in the loose stuff -)
I know


50 Jim November 17, 2017 at 1:29 pm

I have Rossi evo OT 65 skis I use for easy backcountry. I really like them for flat terrain because they weigh a fraction of the typical AT setup and you can put skins on them. Because they have scales I occasionally use them in tracks in warmer weather when my skinny waxables are problematic and I haven’t had any noticeable trouble with drag. I guess that could be because warm tacks tend to be a little sloppy dimensionally but I would agree with those who say they work fine.


51 dwu November 17, 2017 at 3:44 pm

Thanks Jim for your first hand account! Finally able to hear from someone who actually used the skis. A little bit more research led me to conclude the the widest ski width that would have little/no problem on tracks would probably be 65mm or so. Henry, you are right about the base of the track being around 60-62mm, while at the top its about 70mm. After speaking to a wellknown XC ski shop, I was told as the tracks get more frequently used, the width might be widened a little, hence 65mm or so might still borderline-ish work.

Q&A from Onion River Sports also touched on the width topic:

@Henry, in an ideal world I would love to have one set for pure tracks, one set for light BC touring, and one set for the steeps, but for the sake of my wallet, I would prefer to keep it simple for now 🙂 Perhaps when I get more devoted to the sport I will be willing to splurge more.


52 Henry L November 18, 2017 at 9:14 am

Yes, money is an issue. Go with what you have.

I’m sure that you don’t need this reminding, but maybe I do -)
For a full day of track skiing, we won’t enjoy dragging around on a single cambered metal-edged side-profiled BC ski nearly as much as on straighter, lightweight track skis with more camber (even if not fully double cambered). That said, you skiers in the shadow of the foothills aren’t skiing flat terrain all day (the old up/down syndrome), so the BC or light touring ski gives you a lot more stability and security coming down any of the big hills in PLPP – Elk Pass, or the Skogan Screamer, as examples.

Have you looked at used skis? That would be an economical way to start. Sometimes sellers have other skis they want to get rid of. You may end up getting two pairs for one.

Surely some of Bob’s active skiers can chime in here!

I hope you find the skis that work out for you.

53 Henry L November 18, 2017 at 9:36 am

dwu, I’m rethinking what I wrote earlier this morning.

When I first moved to Calgary, it wasn’t track skiing that got my interest.

It was the back country!

So, go, get those BC skiis and explore! There are lots of places to go where you don’t have to worry about being in machined tracks.

54 Barbara December 7, 2017 at 8:50 pm

All great responses. Let’s aim to take some rulers the next time we’re out skiing and get some definitive stats for our local areas – PLPP, Moraine Lake Road, etc. I’m also in the market for a new pair of light touring skis.


55 barb banff November 14, 2017 at 1:55 pm

I also skied Great Divide yesterday, just before the snow storm.
I was wondering who actually saw the wolverines the day before?
I was pleasantly surprise to see that in fact there were a slew of tracks, mostly at the east- parking lot- end.
Having spent years tracking them in the LL Yoho – banff area, I know actual sighting are very rare.

I would like to file the report with Parks.
Need rough time of day, location, number. Relative sizes- same or one larger and behaviour – ? Disappearing in the trees- curious- etc
If anyone knows who saw them, perhaps you Gould let them


56 David P November 15, 2017 at 9:56 am

I know the person who saw them (not well, just through our club). Email me at david (dot) pugh (at) and I can put you in touch with her Dad – she took photos.


57 John November 11, 2017 at 8:22 am

New to cross country skiing so I don’t know the names of the routes. Was wondering if just pass Moraine Lake road. I think it is the old highway 1A if it is track set. Thanks.


58 Chuck November 11, 2017 at 2:45 pm

Not yet… just packed.
The route is more usually called the Great Divide. See under Trip Reports.
Lots of people were out enjoying it today (and there was even parking) but we need more snow!


59 Wendy November 10, 2017 at 8:46 am

I’m looking for advice/suggestions for a light ski tour this weekend. I’m on light touring with metal edges. Thanks in advance!


60 Chuck November 11, 2017 at 3:05 pm

I would go to the Great Divide or Moraine Lake Road. Those skis will be nice and stable.


61 Jill Fuller November 8, 2017 at 9:29 pm

when will they track set PLPP and Mt Shark?


62 Bob Truman November 8, 2017 at 9:34 pm

Shark and PLPP will require more snow before tracksetting can occur. Let’s hope it comes soon.


63 Peter November 7, 2017 at 11:39 am

Are dogs allowed on any of the trails near Emerald Lake?


64 Cheryl Tryon November 7, 2017 at 12:19 pm

Click on the tab for dog friendly trails on the main menu


65 Peter November 12, 2017 at 11:15 am

Yes I have looked on there. But there is no where saying that dogs aren’t welcome up at Emerald Lake or the surrounding trails.


66 Bob Truman November 12, 2017 at 11:21 am

It would be a long list if I had to post all the trails where dogs are not allowed. Maybe this will help you:

“In Yoho National Park, dogs are not allowed on signed cross-country ski trails when snow covered, which includes Kicking Horse Trail, Tally Ho Trail, Emerald Lake Connector, Emerald Alluvial Fan loop and Emerald Lake Horse Trail.”


67 barb banff November 12, 2017 at 11:26 am
Go to the above- yoho park trail conditions.
look at bottom- cross country trails.
See all red signs with / over DOG picture.
that means .,,,,,,,?


68 Bob Truman November 12, 2017 at 11:57 am

Thanks, Barb. I see another one which I can add to my list of trails where dogs are allowed – Monarch Trail (Yoho Brothers to Monarch Campground).


69 barb banff November 12, 2017 at 12:33 pm

u definitely have found a full time job !!
you must have more patience than I.

70 Henry November 12, 2017 at 1:33 pm

The Banff and Lake Louise winter trail maps also indicate where dogs are not allowed.

New links to these maps are at:


Lake Louise:

I can’t find a map for Yoho.


71 Jenn November 6, 2017 at 5:20 pm

Not sure if this is the right spot on the site to be asking about this….
Shaganappi golf course trails? Anyone know the status on these? I was out yesterday (all gates were closed) but myself (and at least a dozen others) found our way in and had access to some amazing packed snow and ski trails (just skier tracks at that time). As I was leaving I heard someone saying that the course was property of the Calgary ski club and shouldn’t be skied on unless the gates were open….so what’s the deal? When do the gates open? Is the course public property during the winter for everyone? I’m new to the area and live within walking distance so would be great to know if I can start hitting the trails. Thanks!


72 Bob Truman November 6, 2017 at 6:15 pm

Shaganappi golf course is property of the City of Calgary. The Calgary Ski Club is responsible for grooming the trails. They usually email me when the course is open for skiing and I post the good news on this blog. Eventually they will have an update on their website. Their website says it’s open for skiing, but that was posted in March.

On the main menu, under Trail Reports, there’s a button for Shaganappi Golf Course.


73 Keith November 6, 2017 at 3:58 pm

Are there restriction on snowshoeing the “west” leg of the Spray River Loop?


74 Bob Truman November 6, 2017 at 6:11 pm

Until the trail is groomed, I don’t think there would be any restrictions. Some snowshoe packing would be fine. When the trail is groomed for skiing, multi-users are restricted to the first 700 metres. At 700 metres, there’s a junction with numerous sign directing multi-users to Spray River east.


75 Jennifer Nunes November 3, 2017 at 4:12 pm

Hello everyone!

I have been cross country skiing for a few years now, but didn’t get out much last year because I developed plantar fasciitis which I have now had for over a year.

This year, I am going out no matter what and I’m hoping that someone will have some recommendations for boots with a lot of support and a heel cup to accommodate my condition. Any suggestions are welcome.



76 Jennifer Nunes November 3, 2017 at 4:20 pm

Oh…my skis have rottfella bindings if that helps. 🙂


77 Anne-Marie November 2, 2017 at 1:24 pm

Hi! I would like to start getting in to cross country skiing this year. I’ve done some in the past and have done lots of downhill, so I’m not a complete beginner but I’m not sure where to start for gear. I don’t know much about x-country skis other than fishscale vs wax. How does sizing work? What other factors do I need to consider? Are there any good rental locations where I could try some out? Any places that sell used? Thanks in advance!


78 GordN November 2, 2017 at 7:12 pm

Lifesport has had used, might be worth a call, and they’ll help with sizing. Kijiji (set up an automatic alert) always seems to have some (but make sure yo know how to size them first, and that the bindings on the skis match the bindings on the boots, and vice versa)

I was appointed the “rental list” make but I have failed Bob in my duties, but that’s another way to test out the sport. Wilson’s in Lake Louise, as well as Sports Rent, Norseman…


79 RichieRich November 2, 2017 at 11:00 am

re: Confed Golf Course 2017/18 season
Haven’t seen an update from Foothills Nordic on any Confed developments and agreements with the city, nor with any of the area homeowners who weren’t keen on winter usage. With all this snow no doubt there’ll be people out on the sticks pretty quick and so setting expectations early is important. Bob – are you able to poke anyone to get an update please?


80 Martin Jones October 6, 2017 at 11:33 pm

I see the bow valley parkway is closed this winter just after Baker Creek cabins cannot wait for it to be track set!


81 GordN October 3, 2017 at 11:00 pm

Any ski swaps? I’ve seen max bell but that’s it.



82 Cat August 29, 2017 at 10:23 pm

I’m looking for a training group for this upcoming season offering dry land and a little bit of race prep. I’ve tried a few in the past but mostly end up in ski improvement classes. I work full time so Canmore’s master’s program won’t work for me.
I’m in Calgary.



83 Simon August 29, 2017 at 11:07 pm

You should have a look at Space Dogs, who are in Calgary;

It is run by Dasha Gaiazova-Atkins – really excellent person. Drop her a mail and let her know what sort of program you are looking for.



84 Phil Parker August 30, 2017 at 4:53 pm

I second Simon on his recommendation. I joined Space Dogs last year and had a complete blast. Great group of masters skiers who range from competitive to enthusiastic. Superb coaching – dryland, on snow and for those that want/need it a little race support too.




85 RichieRich August 12, 2017 at 10:11 pm

Hi Bob – periodically you show a screen shot of your Garmin watch. Is it the one that also shows your GPS’d map whilst wearing it? I want one that shows a live map/position just like my Garmin Edge does… the edge being a cycling head unit that has a stem mount. I want to stick with Garmin so would be interested to hear others opinions. My wife just got the VivoActive HR which is awesome EXCEPT no live position on a map. So…. feedback please!!


86 Sylvia A. June 25, 2017 at 7:03 pm

Today did party of the High Rockies trail. One area to the left was taped off with yellow tape/bear warning signs and a huge white metal bear enclosure to capture a bear. I’ve seen those before when I was in Churchill but never seen it on a trail in the Rockies.

ON another note I LOST ITEMS on the trail today.

PLS delete if not allowed: Lost today(Sunday June 25th) my bear spray and air horn held together by a carabiner in the parking lot of Goat Creek – could also be on the trail heading towards Goat Creek Trail then going left to High Rockies Trail. Pls email me if found oR leave a comment.. many thanks.


87 Diana Piggott June 15, 2017 at 9:58 pm

I drove up to Highwood Pass today, along with many others. Having followed the Avalanche Canada weather station data there, I took my skis, hoping to find enough white stuff to play a little. Disappointment ensued.
I have wondered about the calibration of their snow depth readings ever since the one at Mud Lake went below zero. Another question, of course, is the location of the sensors. There is patchy snow around Highwood Pass, and might be the odd patch in the trees reaching the advertised depth of 55cm or so, but it wasn’t enough to put my skis on. The area around the parking lot is quite dry, looks good for walking.
I did have a very pleasant hike up to Elbow Lake 🙂


88 barb banff June 1, 2017 at 10:15 pm

Anyone cycled to high wood pass???
Love to hear if it’s snow free!


89 Pete June 1, 2017 at 11:10 pm

Hi Barb! I cycled (mostly) to the pass on Tuesday (may 30) from fortress junction. The road is fine till Elbow pass parking. After that (or before, close by anyways) there’s a short section with rock debris on the road then shortly after a large pile of avalanche debris covering the highway. I climbed over it but others climbed the metal barrier and walked on the grass past it. After that it’s clear for a bit then the snow started encroaching on the road. The last 3-500 meters to the Highwood pass sign is all snow and calf deep in places. You will get wet feet! Various people I encountered turned back before the top. The south side was also snow covered as far as I could see. No bear signs up there yet. I had fenders so was able to stay dry on the wet bits. Others on road bikes probably got pretty wet on the descent. Hope that helps!


90 GordN May 13, 2017 at 11:04 pm

Not sure how much this site page gets monitored now but here goes… Need to move the heel backplate of rossi NNN bindings back a bit on my daughter’s skis. Anyone know how ? Was close to a find on a website called epic ski that looked perfect, but they closed the forum down for good…TODAY!



91 Pete May 15, 2017 at 12:50 am

Hi Gord. Is her heel plate designed to click out and slide to different positions or is it the older style with the heel and binding being one part? The newer ones require a small metal lever to release the heel so you can move it to a different position.


92 GordN May 15, 2017 at 8:54 am

I wish I could post a pic, it’s just the basic unit. so yeah, looks like the heel plate slides back, I can see there’s some kind of pin underneath.

I was poking around the googles, might have to remove the front part first…?

Night owl eh?


93 Pete May 15, 2017 at 11:50 am

If I had a picture to go with I could give you better advice. You could try bringing them by the Norseman or mec and get their opinion on how to do it.


94 GordN July 5, 2017 at 1:22 pm

Embarrassed to say it was staring me in the face the whole time. The sticker had come off the heel plate on the ski that I wasn’t “working on” .
Big ol screw holding the heel plate was right there! D’uh.


95 Henry May 4, 2017 at 8:11 am

Your weather forecast shows that Chuck’s tour might be the last one for the foreseeable future, unless you are going up to some of the icefields, with daytime high temps above 20C, and evenings well above zero.
What do you all do to while away the days in the off season, before hiking and scrambling start in earnest? Surely not every Calgarian/Canmorovian goes to BC to sea kayak!
I guess that cycling would be one of the choices, or perhaps it’s the time when some of you work on a passionate indoor hobby until the trails dry out?
That having been asked, its going to be below 10C out here in the east for another week, the only upside being that the magnolia trees are staying in bloom very nicely -)


96 GordN April 27, 2017 at 8:36 pm

There’s a FB post on the Bragg Creek & Kananaskis Outdoor Recreation (BCKOR) about a lost camera….

In case you lost one in the BC area….


97 Henry April 25, 2017 at 9:06 am

Looks like lots of fresh snow at Sunshine Village, and a huge amount coming in your forecast for this week, especially Friday night.


98 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)


99 Henry April 24, 2017 at 6:26 am

Mind you, this was 25 years ago, but my wife and I enjoyed La Traversee de Charlevoix in Quebec. Six nights, and 105km through nice back country. It more a touring experience. I would say that if the trails haven’t changed, some back country confidence is necessary, and wider skis would be a must. Mind you we started just after a huge snow storm, and had some trail breaking to do! The track is fairly obvious, but there is elevation change. You can carry everything yourself, or have them transport your gear and food. They also do your car shuttle.
They are wonderful people there. We shared the huts with three Montreal firemen, but you can book completely for yourself. The huts hold about 6-12 people if I recall correctly.


100 Henry April 24, 2017 at 7:02 am

I should add that at the end of the last day you ski on the maintained X-C trails of the small Malbais ski hill. So, part of your plan could be to stay there at the end and do some skinny skiing! Don’t forget that on the drive up to St. Urbain, you will pass Quebec City, and you’ll want to take advantage of the huge nordic ski trail systems at places like Mont Ste.-Anne.

But heck, what trip to Canada would be complete without a trip to Alberta? You might even get to meet our famous Bob!


101 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.



102 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.


103 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.


104 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!


105 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?


106 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.


107 Pete March 26, 2017 at 7:30 pm

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


108 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?


109 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.


110 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.


111 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.


112 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!


113 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.


114 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.


115 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.

116 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

117 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!


118 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.


119 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).


120 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.


121 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.


122 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?


123 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.


124 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.


125 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.


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

My GPS generally shows Whiskey Jack at 3.3km


127 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.


128 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?


129 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.


130 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.


131 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.


132 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.


133 Chuck March 5, 2017 at 6:10 pm
134 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.


135 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


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

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


137 GordN March 3, 2017 at 11:06 am

aha! Thanks,, It’s lake, not valley!


138 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!!


139 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.


140 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.


141 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.


142 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.


143 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.


144 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.


145 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


146 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.


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

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


148 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.


149 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.


150 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.


151 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.



152 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!


153 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


154 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


155 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.



156 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.


157 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:


158 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


159 GordN February 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

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


160 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?


161 GordN February 13, 2017 at 9:56 am
162 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.


163 GordN February 13, 2017 at 8:39 pm

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

164 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.

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

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

166 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.

167 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!


168 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.


169 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.


170 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.


171 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


172 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


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

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


174 Aldona January 27, 2017 at 10:19 am

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


175 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.


176 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.


177 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.


178 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


179 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.”


180 GordN January 23, 2017 at 10:32 pm
181 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?


182 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.


183 Henry January 23, 2017 at 8:16 am

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


184 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.


185 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.


186 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 😉


187 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!


188 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


189 Catherine January 17, 2017 at 6:48 pm

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


190 Peter January 17, 2017 at 6:09 pm

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


191 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.


192 GordN January 17, 2017 at 9:46 am

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

Anyone seen electric socks??


193 GordN January 17, 2017 at 9:48 am
194 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


195 GordN January 17, 2017 at 9:47 am

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


196 fallsalot January 15, 2017 at 3:04 pm

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


197 Hugh January 15, 2017 at 6:13 pm

What a great race!


198 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!


199 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!


200 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


201 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


202 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!


203 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!



204 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


205 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.


206 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!!!


207 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.


208 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 !


209 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 🙂


210 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?


211 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.


212 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.


213 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!


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

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


215 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



216 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!


217 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!).


218 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!



219 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




220 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).


221 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!



222 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

223 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.


224 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.


225 Martin January 2, 2017 at 10:27 pm

Thanks Barb, I’ll give it a go


226 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?


227 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


228 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.


229 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?


230 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?




231 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.


232 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!


233 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?


234 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?


235 Chuck December 29, 2016 at 8:09 pm

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


236 John December 30, 2016 at 8:41 am

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


237 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.


238 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.”


239 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???


240 GordN December 28, 2016 at 12:06 pm

That’d be pushing it I’d think.


241 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 ?


242 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.


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

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


244 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.



245 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 🙂


246 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.


247 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!


248 Zoe December 25, 2016 at 10:49 am

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


249 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.


250 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!


251 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.


252 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.


253 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!


254 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!


255 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.


256 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).


257 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!


258 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.


259 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.


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

Thanks a bunch!!


261 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?


262 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.)


263 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.


264 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


265 GordN December 18, 2016 at 9:05 am

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


266 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.


267 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.


268 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.


269 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.


270 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.



271 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!


272 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 🙂


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

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


274 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


275 Annie December 11, 2016 at 11:09 am

Is it true that Skogan Pass gets groomed?


276 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)


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

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


278 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


279 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


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

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


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

Anyone skied goat creek recently?


282 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.


283 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”.


284 Megan December 5, 2016 at 12:55 pm

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


285 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 🙁


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



287 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.


288 Scott M December 4, 2016 at 10:14 am
289 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.


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

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


291 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????!!!


292 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.


293 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.


294 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?


295 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.


296 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.




297 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.


298 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.


299 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). 🙂


300 Maja November 22, 2016 at 1:20 pm

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


301 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.


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

Any snow or tracking in PLPP?


303 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.


304 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?


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

Hi Diana,
Just no grooming, sorry for the confusion


306 Alec November 19, 2016 at 6:30 pm

Norseman Ski Shop


307 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?



308 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,


309 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.


310 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.


311 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.


312 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.


313 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


314 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:


315 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 🙁


316 Jeremy October 4, 2016 at 11:34 pm
317 Robert October 25, 2016 at 12:24 pm

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


318 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.


319 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.


320 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.


321 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.


322 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!


323 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.


324 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.


325 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.



326 Finn August 31, 2016 at 2:55 pm
327 GordN August 25, 2016 at 3:05 pm

Hey Bob,

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


328 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.


329 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 🙁


330 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


331 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.


332 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.


333 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.


334 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…….


335 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!

336 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:

337 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?


338 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 -)


339 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.


340 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.


341 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!


342 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.


343 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.


344 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.


345 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.


346 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.


347 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.


348 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.


349 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.


350 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.


351 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.


352 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.


353 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!


354 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!


355 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.


356 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.


357 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.


358 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.


359 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?


360 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


361 GordN March 11, 2016 at 10:35 am
362 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!


363 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!!!!


364 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!


365 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’?


366 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?


367 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.


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

Any word on conditions for snowshoeing in the Sawmill area?


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

Excellent at Sawmill.


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

Thank you, Alf. Much appreciated.


371 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.


372 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.


373 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.


374 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,


375 GordN March 1, 2016 at 10:06 pm

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


376 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.


377 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!



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

The Cookie Race is still on.


379 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!


380 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?


381 Dan February 16, 2016 at 1:05 pm

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


382 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.


383 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.


384 GordN February 12, 2016 at 11:58 pm


Kananaskis map library link has been changed to

Thanks, Gord. I’ve updated it. -Bob


385 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.


386 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.


387 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…


388 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’.


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

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


390 GordN February 9, 2016 at 9:27 pm
391 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


392 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.


393 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!


394 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 🙂


395 Barb February 3, 2016 at 9:25 am

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


396 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


397 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.


398 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!


399 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


400 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:


401 Bill January 21, 2016 at 4:17 pm

That looks really interesting. Thanks for posting the link!


402 GordN March 26, 2016 at 11:50 pm

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


403 Bill March 27, 2016 at 11:43 pm

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


404 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!


405 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.


406 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.


407 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.


408 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


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

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


410 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.


411 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?


412 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!)


413 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:


414 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


415 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.


416 GordN January 13, 2016 at 7:40 pm

Some interesting Wolverine stories in this update:

“Especially hunters become the hunted.”


417 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.


418 Barb January 14, 2016 at 9:50 am
419 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.


420 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?


421 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.


422 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…?


423 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.


424 Larissa January 9, 2016 at 6:28 pm

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


425 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?


426 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.


427 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.


428 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.


429 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


430 Chuck January 8, 2016 at 11:00 pm

Or better yet…
Try Upper Bankhead!


431 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?


432 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


433 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!


434 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.


435 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!)


436 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.


437 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


438 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?


439 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.


440 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.



441 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.


442 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.


443 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!


444 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.


445 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.


446 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!!


447 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?


448 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?


449 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.


450 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!


451 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.


452 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!!!! 🙂


453 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


454 Viktoriya December 27, 2015 at 9:47 am

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


455 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


456 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.


457 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…


458 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?


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

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


460 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.


461 GordN December 14, 2015 at 9:40 pm

Lifesport retirement? What what now?


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

Get down there fast and buy some gear !


463 GordN December 15, 2015 at 9:06 am

Are they shutting down? I love that place.


464 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!


465 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.


466 Erin December 15, 2015 at 8:56 am

Thanks Alec, I’ll check it out!


467 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


468 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!


469 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!


470 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?


471 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,


472 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?


473 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 🙂


474 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.


475 Mike December 11, 2015 at 6:49 am

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


476 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 🙂


477 Mike December 11, 2015 at 8:27 am

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


478 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!


479 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.


480 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!


481 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.


482 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?


483 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.


484 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.


485 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?


486 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.


487 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!


488 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.


489 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.


490 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.


491 Bill December 4, 2015 at 9:47 pm

Thanks all for the insights – appreciated!


492 GordN December 1, 2015 at 4:55 pm

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


493 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.


494 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.


495 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.


496 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.


497 GMJ November 30, 2015 at 4:14 pm

Anybody else?


498 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


499 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?


500 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?


501 Hugh November 30, 2015 at 10:12 pm

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

502 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!


503 GMJ December 16, 2015 at 1:19 pm

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


504 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!


505 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.


506 Henry November 30, 2015 at 5:08 pm

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

Is the wooden dowel chopped or finely sanded?


507 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 ?


508 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.


509 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.


510 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


511 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.


512 Shelli December 6, 2015 at 2:36 pm

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


513 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


514 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


515 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.


516 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


517 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!


518 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.


519 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.


520 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.


521 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.


522 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?


523 GordN November 23, 2015 at 6:56 pm
524 CoryD November 24, 2015 at 7:25 pm

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


525 Bob Truman November 24, 2015 at 9:48 am
526 CoryD November 24, 2015 at 7:27 pm

Thanks Bob, exactly what I was looking for.


527 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.


528 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


529 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.


530 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.


531 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.


532 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


533 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.



534 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.


535 GordN November 21, 2015 at 8:15 am

Maybe this that Bob made?

There’s more somewhere on this site too,…


536 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.


537 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


538 Dean November 20, 2015 at 9:20 pm

Thanks, will head up tomorrow 🙂


539 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


540 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


541 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.


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

Place it on the Gear Swap page.


543 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).



544 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.


545 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.


546 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


547 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.


548 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:


549 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.


550 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!! 🙂


551 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.


552 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.


553 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!


554 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!


555 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.


556 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.


557 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.


558 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.


559 Alec November 17, 2015 at 7:14 pm

Funny, but true. Go to Norseman Ski Shop


560 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.


561 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.


562 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.


563 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.


564 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.


565 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.



566 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?


567 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.


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

Hi Bob
Are the trails ready at Poccaterra?


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

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


570 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


571 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.


572 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%.


573 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!


574 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.


575 Andrea November 14, 2015 at 8:40 am

Thank you!!


576 Cheeky November 12, 2015 at 9:25 am

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


577 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.


578 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.


579 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


580 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).


581 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.


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

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


583 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.


584 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.


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

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


586 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.


587 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 😀


588 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.


589 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!


590 GordN May 20, 2015 at 9:07 pm

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


591 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.


592 cath March 5, 2015 at 9:39 pm

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


593 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’


594 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.


595 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


596 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


597 WB February 27, 2015 at 7:12 am

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


598 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.


599 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!!


600 Jean February 25, 2015 at 9:54 pm

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


601 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.


602 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


603 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!


604 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.


605 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.


606 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.


607 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.


608 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?


609 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!


610 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?


611 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.


612 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


613 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.


614 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?


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

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


616 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.


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

The above trails are at West Bragg Creek.


618 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.


619 jjdoug February 6, 2015 at 3:00 pm

Try this one from CBC Calgary Eyeopener


620 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!


621 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.


622 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….


623 September January 9, 2015 at 12:19 pm

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


624 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.


625 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. 🙂


626 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!!


627 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!


628 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.


629 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


630 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


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

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


632 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.


633 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:


634 GordN December 25, 2014 at 9:39 am

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


635 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.


636 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.



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

WB: See trip reports!


638 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??



639 LucieV October 23, 2014 at 11:04 am

Hello! Can anyone recommend good sunglasses that will not fog up while XC sking?


640 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


641 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


642 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.


643 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?


644 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.


645 Henry September 9, 2014 at 7:43 am

Or, Alf needn’t drive out of town to get his September ski in the books -)


646 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?


647 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.


648 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


649 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!


650 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.


651 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?


652 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).


653 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


654 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

655 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.

656 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


657 Diana Piggott August 15, 2014 at 3:11 pm

Bob, you are getting some rather bizarre spam here 😛


658 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.


659 GordN June 16, 2014 at 4:02 pm

Anyone hiked and/or camped in the Beehive Area? Opinions?


660 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


661 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???


662 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….


663 Henry April 29, 2014 at 5:27 pm

Interesting observation Gord.
Maybe they should take a head count before they start out 🙂


664 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


665 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


666 Diana Piggott April 23, 2014 at 5:35 pm

That is fantastic!! 🙂


667 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


668 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?


669 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.


670 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.


671 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.


672 GordN April 10, 2014 at 10:29 pm

If anyone goes to Louise Friday, report back? Thanks!


673 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.


674 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!


675 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 ‘’.


676 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.


677 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


678 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


679 Henry March 25, 2014 at 7:10 am

Any suggestions for Lia from you locals?


680 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………


681 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”


682 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.


683 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 🙁


684 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?


685 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.


686 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


687 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.


688 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!!


689 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


690 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.


691 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.


692 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.


693 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.


694 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 🙂


695 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! =)


696 Henry March 17, 2014 at 6:49 am

Have a great trip!


697 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?


698 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!


699 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


700 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…


701 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.


702 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.


703 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.


704 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!


705 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.


706 Henry March 7, 2014 at 8:57 am

I’ll try to ‘re-find’ the article on the web. I hadn’t saved it.


707 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!);


708 GordN March 7, 2014 at 2:25 pm

This is great! Thank you!


709 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.


710 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.


711 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.


712 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


713 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.


714 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?



715 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.


716 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.


717 Vivianne K March 8, 2014 at 9:50 am

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts Goes and Mark!


718 Vivianne K March 8, 2014 at 9:51 am

Sorry, typo. Thanks Gord.


719 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?


720 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?


721 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.


722 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


723 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


724 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


725 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.


726 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


727 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…


728 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.


729 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?


730 GordN February 20, 2014 at 10:18 am

Any response? I may have a idea for you if you’re still looking.


731 Martin February 20, 2014 at 5:33 pm

You are the only response, yes I’m still interested, what do you have in mind


732 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


733 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?


734 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.


735 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.


736 GordN February 21, 2014 at 10:46 am

In the same situation, did you find anything out?


737 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.


738 GordN February 21, 2014 at 11:50 am

Thanks John, good intel.


739 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…


740 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.


741 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.



742 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!

743 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?

744 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.

745 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.

746 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!


747 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….

748 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.

749 dan February 25, 2014 at 5:56 am