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  1. Hawai’i state parks are starting to charge visitors for parking at my favorite snorkeling spot on Maui, and they don’t even groom the trail.

    From Maui Now:
    Earlier this month, on Oct. 1, 2020, ‘?hihi-K?na‘u Natural Area Reserve on Maui began charging non-Hawai‘i residents a user-fee of $5 per vehicle. Two machines in the reserve’s parking lot accept credit or debit cards and produce the receipts that must be displayed on their dashboard while using the area. Fees paid by visitors will go toward infrastructure costs or projects that protect the reserve’s unique natural resources. Hawai‘i residents will not be charged but must still display a daily pass that will be generated from the same machines.

  2. Hi, I am planning to learn how to Ski. I have never skied before. My, my wife and my 3 year old. Can you please help if find some ski lessons for all of us?

  3. Hi all,

    I am looking to buy skis this year. I’m fairly new to the sport (typically rent equipment and get out 4-5 times a year). I want to up that this year by a lot.

    I just bought boots and now am looking for skis and bindings. I bought nnn classic boots and now need some advice on skis. I know I don’t want to fiddle with wax so I need help deciding between fish scales and skins.

    All comments welcome on pros and cons of each.

    Thank you in advance!

    Laurie

    • Laurie if you are going waxless the most efficient option are skins skis. Just like any ski, the flex should be matched to your weight and ability.
      The Coles note version is think of skin skis as a smart phone vs an old rotary dial phone.
      Skins skis VS fish scale:
      Cost Fishscales are cheaper.
      Skins are more $ but are usually are put on better quality skis with better materials , better flex patterns, better bases that are designed to hold glide wax and ski faster.

      Neither type is the magic bullet. Due to the fish scale or skin both tend to be slower than a properly waxed ski, presenting the same base to the snow regardless of the conditions.
      Skins perform better on a wider variety of conditions VS fishscales. Notably in icy conditions.

      We have skied on Skin skis for five seasons and quite frankly 90% of the time. (46 years of skiing, racing, coaching, running Jackrabbits, instructor,working ski retail and being a ski rep)
      Regardless which direction you go, take a lesson, to get the most out of your investment.
      Go and enjoy!

    • Laurie, I agree with everything Hugh said and I have both skins and fish scales. The skins required replacing after a moderate amount of use because they would no longer grip well. Skins would still get my vote, but they will be more expensive.

    • I agree with the recommendation for skintecs as discussed by Hugh. Now looking forward to my 46th yr of x-c and I am now almost exclusively skiing on them. There was a news report on CBC online today about how beginner x-c packages are flying out the door and/or waitlisted. Buy or order now!

    • “What Hugh, Bob, and Jan said”. I’ll add that fish scales are generally considered “slow” because most of them are manufactured as entry or intermediate level skis only. Some of the major companies (Salomon, Atomic, Rossignol, Madshus, Fischer) now offer only an entry level fish scale, or have replaced them entirely with skins in their lineup. However, Fischer continues to offer a full variety of fish scales up to race level. When properly fitted to your experience level, a high end fish scale will equal the performance of a skin under all but icy conditions, and requires the least care and maintenance. Full disclosure: I work part time at the Norseman ski shop, and we have a hand full of high-end Fischer fish scales :-).

  4. For the weather geeks out there. Got this from a solo circumnavigation site of a Cdn just heading out from Vancouver.

    https://earth.nullschool.net/

    http://glennwakefieldaroundtheworld.com/2020/solo-non-stop-circumnavigation-2/communications/

  5. Highwood Meadows has 4 inches of summer skiing snow! I could hardly wait to put on my rock skies this morning and take a few tours of the meadow. By the forth lap the track was tired and melting in the summer sun’s glow. Still lots of space there for fresh tracks of your own.

  6. Can anyone tell where I can access the bear and pylon video that was featured Wednesday morning? Much obliged
    pat

    Here’s the link. -Bob
    https://www.facebook.com/tedkim1/videos/10157040847205060/?t=2

  7. WHat a lovely way to end the season by thanking the tireless workers who have made this season such a joy for us all. Thank you so very much, tracksetters!??????
    And now it is time to shut down the trip reports as well. At the risk of being ‘preachy’, it is the only responsible thing to do. People who continue to try and find loopholes and flout the directives that are out there are encouraging others to do the same. To take the position that you are not the problem is to not understand the insidious nature of this virus. ANYONE can potentially be an unwitting carrier.
    PLEASE shut down for the season. When people read that very popular bloggers on your site have found yet another place to ski, it can indeed encourage irresponsible behaviour on the part of others.
    Be a leader in this and let’s all enjoy running up and down our stairs at home.

  8. Found: hat on Boulton Creek trail on the evening of March 27th. Now that all areas are closed I am not sure where to turn it in for lost and found. Any ideas? If it is yours please contact me.

  9. A question for folks in banff, Canmore, kananaskis, Bragg, etc: Noticing any changes in animal behaviour/habitat expansion with less human presence and activity? An interesting time to learn something (other than ski conditions) and stave off the boredom a bit.

  10. Where can I sign the petition for continuing grooming in PLPP, Mt Shark and Ribbon Ck?

    Thanks very much,

    Lauren

    If anyone knows of a petition, please leave a comment and a link. -Bob

    • It is better to send a letter via snail mail, and cc a copy to the Official Opposition. You won’t like the reply, though. I received a letter from the Minister of Environment and Parks today. Grooming is a no go by provincial employees in the future.

  11. Provincial Parks and Public Lands CLOSED. “If a car is required to access a park or recreation area, do not go. Please do not leave vehicles on the side of the road or on private property. Walking, hiking, biking, horseback riding and off-highway vehicle use are still permitted on designated trails and users are reminded to practice physical distancing”. If you don’t live on the boundary of a park, you can’t go right? And why the exemption for OHV? Is the rationale they can drive “beyond” the crowded parking lot and stay isolated?

  12. I heard that Peter Lockheed is no longer
    track setting as of yesterday
    is this true?

  13. Hello, Does anyone know if you can ski at the Great Divide in Lake Louse? I heard that National Parks are closed.

  14. It looks like Parks Canada is closing operations. I suspect this means it’s the end of the season for xc skiing as well.
    https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/voyage-travel/securite-safety/covid-19-info

  15. For the weather nerds/geeks
    I was trying to determine where the Sask Hydrology stations are located, mostly interest. I see they do have the altitudes on each telemetry page.
    Came across this gorgeous nugget

    https://www.earth-syst-sci-data.net/11/455/2019/

  16. Does anyone know the status/legality of random winter/spring camping in the area west of the developed trail system at West Bragg Creek? (i.e. up past the cutblocks above the Mountain View trails), into the drainage to the west. My (limited) research seems to indicate that camping is okay as long as one is at least 1.6km/1mi away from a road, but what is considered a road? Any old logging or survey cut? Only roads that are still in use?
    And, IF it’s okay to spent the night, any problems with leaving a vehicle overnight at West Bragg Creek?

    • The area to the west of the West Bragg Creek parking lot to Moose Mountain and beyond is in the Kananaskis Public Land Use Zone. Random camping is permitted, as long as you are 1.6 km from a public road (i.e. one that is open for regular traffic)… which ends at the WBC parking lot.
      Yes you can leave your vehicle at the WBC parking lot overnight. The parking lot is an entry point onto The Great Trail, so people doing multi-day trips on the Great Trail are able to leave a vehicle there for several days.

    • Thought about that also given the good snow year. Too late now though of course. What deterred me, having done a few excursions this year beyond the track setting, was the amount of fresh wolf tracks seen. Spooky nights. ?

  17. Hi Bob: Question…We were out at Sandy McNabb today and while skiing with my dogs (on Loggers, off-leash) a “lady” skied by me with some rather nasty words and an obscenity (or two). I have very carefully studied map that is online and clearly shows the areas that are on-leash and off-leash in this area. I was (according to map) in the off leash part of Loggers. My question is, there is a large sign on right hand side of road that says “All dogs on leash or $115.00 fine”. There is also a sign that says “No off leash dogs on x-country trails”. Yet, official map posted on line clearly shows off and on leash areas. Is this just during summer? If so, that is not stated. I find this confusing, and, if you can clarify, that would be great. I carry a copy of map on me because this kind of encounter (although not nearly so rude) has happened before. If I am in the wrong, my dogs will be on leash in the off leash area regardless of what map states from now on. I am reasonable enough to also see why this is confusing to people who do not like to see dogs off leash on trails. But my trip was kind of wrecked after this “lady” tore a strip of me.

    • Sheila, the area in white on this map is off-leash. I was given that information by a conservation officer at the Sandy McNabb info centre.

      • Thanks, Bob. I will continue to carry the map but in this case she skied right past me while yelling and I was not about to go after her. Just glad to know I was not breaking any rules.

  18. Here is southern Ontario our latest winter snow pack melted off about 2 weeks ago (It has been a very warm month of March).
    So, in the last of the snow, about 3 to 4 weeks ago, we had great numbers of Snow Scorpionflies on winter walking trails. Interestingly I see that they are not related to your Snow Flea.
    I have not seen mention any snow fleas on your trails yet.

  19. Parks Canada has announced there will be no more truck setting in Lake Louise or Yoho as of tomorrow .!,,,,,
    Is plpp Going to continue??

  20. Lake O’Hara Lodge is closed as of March 17. No more track setting.

  21. Little Red Trails NW of Olds was mentioned. Where is it? Can’t find website or map.

  22. O’Hara???
    According to the Yoho website it was last groomed February 28! A week ago
    I called park can at LL -staff was helpful. They said they would call
    O’Hara. He couldn’t talk To any one Just a machine.
    End of story.

    Has any one been there?
    Thanks

    • We were there on Sunday March 15 and it was not recently groomed. The snow gets better the higher you go, but the trail is a mishmash of ski, snowshoe, walker, and dog tracks, and is quite packed for the first few km. The lodge is no longer serving skier lunches because of Covid, and you can’t even go into the lodge.

  23. Hi Bob,

    Do you know how safe it is to go on trails with the whole Covid-19 happening in the city?

    • IMO, no problem so long as we practise social distancing which cross country skiing is well suited for, I really hope we can continue to pursue our sport though these difficult times.

  24. Bob makes reference to a Hay Meadow thermometer on his update today. Does anyone have a link for it?

    Thanks

  25. Yoho O’Hara
    Does anyone know if there still grooming there hasn’t been an update on the Yoho site since February 26th
    .?.???

  26. It is my belief that altho signing onto an e-mail petition is better than nothing, if you really want your objections to have an effect with politicians, send and actual letter outlining your points- an actual letter like with paper and signature and envelope and stamp.
    If anyone has additional information, I would love to hear it.

  27. It’s good to see trip reports again on this site and that people are skiing. It was a beautiful day in near Kananaskis Village today. That said, I’m still outraged that the government want to shut down XC ski in K-Country. Having signed the petitions and written the protest letters, I’m wondering what else we can do. There would be more impact if we were to direct our actions as a unified group, so I’m wondering if we can start listing clubs or groups that recreational skiers like me can get in touch with. If it’s a matter of fundraising or getting our voice out there so that someone listens, I’d really like to help in a meaningful way.

  28. Does anyone know if there is snow on hwy 66 beyond the winter gate at Elbow Falls?

  29. My wife and I are staying a couple of nights in Field next week and we had planned to ski into Lake Ohara for lunch on Tuesday. I found out today that the lodge doesn’t offer lunch on weekdays so now I’m rethinking which trails we’ll ski. What are your favourite trails in the Field area? We’re up for a 20km ski or thereabouts.
    Little Yoho? Emerald Lake? Maybe Lake Ohara without lunch?
    Any recommendations are appreciated. (we have all sorts of skis, skins, etc.)
    Cheers,
    Gord

    • Yoho Valley Road (about 11 km round trip, but great scenery with lots of frozen waterfalls towards the switchbacks), Kicking Horse Trail (about 14 km round trip, and maybe 100m total ascent, most of it on the return) – it’s flat, runs a long the river, but looks like a marshmallow wonderland. You can continue further, if you feel like it, but gaiters would be recommended), Emerald Lake – it’s a treat to ski out to the middle of the lake and take a look around. The Alluvial Fan loop at the end of the lake is gorgeous and easy to do. We usually loop around it two or three times just for the sheer joy of it.

      You can easily do Yoho Valley and Kicking Horse the same day, depending on how your are with distances. It’s a 5-10 minute drive between trailheads.

      I’ve never done the connector trail running between Kicking Horse (Natural Bridge) and Emerald Lake.

      Yoho Valley and Kicking Horse don’t have a ton of traffic, especially during the week, which make them even more fun, but don’t be surprised if you end up breaking the trail.

      Lake O’Hara is generally groomed on Thursdays (though I ran into the groomer on Friday morning a couple of weeks ago). I’d recommend doing that trail on a Friday, if you like fresh grooming, and that way you get it before the weekend crowds (relatively speaking). If you can pack a lunch, my first choice of all of these would be O’Hara on a nice day. Be forewarned, though, the temperature swing from the trailhead to the lake can be quite large. When I was there it was -22 at the trailhead at 0900, but when I got to the lake just over 2 hrs later, it was floating around 0.

      It’s one of my favourite areas to ski in, so I hope you enjoy it!

    • Skiing at Emerald Lake and then lunch in the Lodge (Charcuterie Plate, Wine, local beer, any dessert) is one of my all time favourite places in the world. Anything you order from their menu is delicious and the skiing is a winter wonderland. Afternoon skiing from the natural bridge west along the river is a relaxing way to finish the day.

      I have never skied the whole connector from Emerald Lake to the natural bridge but with good snow it looks like fun but is about 18 kms return back to the lake.

      • Thanks Gail. That sounds like a great plan. I think we’ll ski from the Natural Bridge to the lake, around the Alluvial Fan and then to the lodge for lunch, back along the river. Sounds spectacular.

        • How did it go Gord? How was the connector from the bridge to the lake? And did you enjoy lunch in the lodge? This is one of my all time favourite places winter or summer.

  30. I am very disappointed in the lack of strategic thinking and the lack of dialogue from the government on the matter of Parks transitions and end of grooming trails. The longer term impact to the health and wellness of Albertans and added costs to future health care are going to escalate while our care options are being reduced. The economic impact for tourism will take a considerable hit. While it is understandable that we have to restrain spending, and that our oil and gas have given us many benefits for a long time, it would have been accepted to a much greater extent if a plan had been thought out in advance and presented as a transition.

    User fees certainly appear to be a viable option elsewhere. Since this government is willing to continue to groom Canmore Nordic Centre where a fee structure is in place, it seems that it is a cost effective option.

    While all the efforts to convince our elected representatives to reconsider are necessary, I hope we send them another message in the next election. This is unacceptable leadership in this province.

  31. Happy to support a demonstration…let’s go!

  32. I heard rumours in January that something like this was going to happen from park Staff. there hope was that there would be a huge uproar from the public.
    Apparently there have been a series of cuts That was affecting the services .

    I hope this makes the media and All the hundreds of people, School groups, racers, ski Clubs , Young old and disabled can be that UPROAR!

    Plpp IS “Renowned signature destination”

  33. Bob, did you see this? I am in tears…

    Beginning fall 2020, there will be no groomed cross-country track setting in the three main areas traditionally groomed by government staff in the Kananaskis Region. These areas are: Peter Lougheed, Mt. Shark and Kananaskis Village area. Grooming will continue to occur at the Canmore Nordic Centre. Track-setting will continue to occur in the West Bragg Creek area, done by the West Bragg Creek Trails Association.

    • Makes no sense at all. Wasn’t there a announcement by another arm of the government recently about the importance of promoting tourism, and economic diversification? Is this a prelude to handing over grooming to a private, for profit operator? I for one would be willing to pay for an annual XC ski trail pass at Ribbon and PLPP, as is the case in most other xc ski areas. Or, maybe better- a park pass as in the national parks.

      • I hope everyone is writing letters!

      • I’m guessing the government was hoping to sneak in this change quietly. I think it needs to be noticed. Calgarians love Kananaskis. It’s a place we can go to celebrate being outside in the mountains, away from the tourist crowds in Banff.

  34. Uh-oh! Goodbye PLPP, Mt Shark and Ribbon Creek!
    What a loss for all of Alberta. This is completely unbelievable. https://albertaparks.ca/news-events/

    • This is terrible!

      • Start a petition, Bob!

        • I’d happily pay to ski but Ribbon creek, seriously, that’s just stupid, yet another death nail for Kananaskis Village!

          • Yes, I too would be happy to pay to ski or have a private organization take over the management of the trails if they are too expensive to maintain. I understand the need to trim costs. It’s completely eliminating them that is unconscionable, with no public consultation or inquiry into trail user fees.

            • I’m with you GMJ. I’ve been skiing in PLPP and around Ribbon Creek area for over a decade. Kananaskis is a gem and I’d rather pay for use than have it closed outright. This really brings me to tears.

      • Let’s show our displeasure… demonstrate!

  35. What are the toughest xc climbs you’ve ever done?

    I love going up hills be it by bike or ski and coming across the Hill Pain Score several years ago helped give me a hit list I’m still working on. So, outside of the “SBU” what are some of your “favorite” ascensions? A couple of mine are:
    – Edith Cavel road. This one has a narrow window since it is mostly closed in the winter as a wildlife corridor. Pretty relaxed climb by bike, but a true brute on skis. 12.5km @ 4% puts it at 200-hps
    -Larch Hills, chalet to Sky View. Longest climb I’ve found so far in a nordic center. 4km @5.5%, 120-hps.

  36. pipestone
    I Heard third hand that the all of the Pipestone
    is going to close soon.
    Does any one have any details on this?

  37. Does anyone know the current state
    of the cascade to Stoney Creek?
    Any tracks left ? ice?
    I’ve been away and out of touch
    thank you

  38. Hi there,
    I just started Cross Country skiing 10 days ago and I am skiing almost every night at the Maple Ridge Golf Course. What’s really exciting is that I have had a total Hip Replacement and I am skiing pain free!

    The reason for my email is that I would love to compete in a 5 KM or 10 KM race this winter, within a 3 hour drive from Calgary and I have no idea what races are out there and if you could let me know I would greatly appreciate it! Thanks!

  39. Lost – iphone 6 on Bob Milne trail, Saturday Feb. 15. It has a silicone cover with green leaves. Call Dan at 403-479-3975

  40. I am looking for advice on trails in the PLPP/Kananaskis areas where we can have mountain views and not a lot of ski traffic. Skiing 2/15-2/17. We are moderately experienced xcountry skiers, 10-15km per day.

    Same question for trails in the Lake Louise area.

    Thanks!

    • In K-country, the trail with the best views is Bill Milne. It’s an out and back where you can ski anywhere up to 20K.

      In Lake Louise, the best views are on the Great Divide. Up to 20K out and back.

    • Even with full parking lots, we all get spread out so traffic isn’t usually an issue once you hit the trail.
      Elk pass to Blueberry hill in PLPP lookout has awesome views.
      In Lake Louise you just have to look up, and there’s a view! Add Moraine lake as a possiblilty.

  41. How do you prevent iceing and clumping up of ski bases in fresh warm snow? (And yes I live near the ocean).

    • Cold glide wax (yes, you’re talkin about a warm day, but) generally works very well for me, as it is harder and lasts longer than warm glide wax. The liquid or paste stuff works well to cover waxless scales, if that’s where it’s happening. I just rub on without heat then giver-wah with a cork or buffer sponge. Repeat for more layers over the usual trouble spot behind the kick zone. Word has it that if you melt and scrape a very thin layer of polar kick (ultra cold kick wax with negligible resin) over your trouble spots before adding glide wax, it will last significantly longer.

      • Zero skis are designed for exactly these conditions and are very fast, but as the name implies they only work around zero degrees.

  42. Does anyone have a suggestion for two very fit young people to ski at Lake O’Hara with minimal avalanche danger? My son and his wife are heading out for a day trip, and unlike us, they don’t find the ski up to the lake and back to be quite exhausting enough! They are considering Opabin Plateau.
    Chuck, Alf, ………. anyone?

    Thanks!

  43. center picture on your website, single track groomed going over a bridge open valley then mountains – where is that?!

  44. Since there isn’t a lost and found section (that I can find) I’ll post this here! Found someone’s favourite well frozen water bottle (From “Boss Frog’s Cycles” in Maui) at the Pocaterra/Lynx junction this afternoon. It’s waiting for you on the desk at the Pocaterra warming hut.

  45. It is 55 min to Lk Louise from Canmore where I would be most tempted to ski today: something relatively flat like Moraine Lk Rd, Lk Louise townsite trails are beautiful, Peyto/Great Divide, some of these get groomed fairly frequently. Baker Creek skiing eastwards to Castle Lookout or west 6 kms but views would be compromised in this weather. Even waxless skis can be a challenge in new snow and +1 and above. If Cascade Fire Road in Banff has been groomed (not evident on website) but skier tracked works, this is a possibility and a nice long ski (26 kms) to Stoney Creek Warden’s Cabin. CNC has evidence of most recent grooming but even our driveway is treacherous in Canmore from all the rain last night. Glad I don’t have to make your decision.

    • Thanks Helen. I guess we’re heading to PLPP. We’re from Saskatchewan and this hardy group of mostly seniors said let’s go!

  46. Thanks again for all who advised on Goat Creek yesterday for a group of us with the Regina Ski club. Today seems to be a dilemma and maybe someone has some more advice for us. We usually go to PLPP on Saturday and Sunday but the trail report for today doesn’t look good because of the rain. Does anyone have suggestions for a bus load of skiers with a wide range of experience. While sometimes of us did Goat Creek most of the skiers took the bus to Mt. shark yesterday and it took almost an hour and a half to get there with the bus. We are staying in Canmore and realize the Nordic Center is an option but would there be any options in Banff Park? Lake Minnewanka or others? We are set to leave somewhere in an hour so thanks for any advice.

  47. Once again the Regina Ski Club is on it’s way to Canmore and once again some of us are wondering about Goat Creek. The trail report from last week didn’t sound great but we are wondering if anyone can give us an updated report or an educated opinion as to if it would be doable tomorrow (from the trailhead to Banff). Thanks for any information!

    • The trail report at https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ab/banff/activ/randonee-hiking/etat-sentiers-trail-conditions says that Goat Creek and Spray River East & West were trackset Jan29.

      • Thanks Mike – I should’ve known to check the park grooming website. Thanks for directing me. Looks like it’s a go!

        • Goat creek??
          I would use the “recently groomed” information on the parks website. it reads – GOAT CREEK Jan 22!!
          as far as I’ve been able to tell the comment field shows the date when the comment was made -NOT THE GROOMING DATE.

          • Hmm that seems silly. I tried calling the park to confirm but could only leave a message. Heading out in 30 minutes-will go ahead and try it and will report back later today.

            • Aldona, the Banff trail report is confusing and has had some inaccuracies this winter. Let us know what you find.

              When I skied Goat Creek/Spray River 7 days ago, it was still in good shape except for the final 2K near Banff. We’ve had some warm weather and wind, however, in the past week.

            • Banff Park called back! Trail was groomed 2 days ago. Good conditions except for snowshoe tracks and needles. Yahoo!

              That’s great news, have fun! -Bob

            • I just called the Banff Info Centre (403-762-1550) to complain about how inconsistent and confusing the Trail Report is. Apparently the group that updates “Recent Grooming” is not the same group that updates the “Comment” for each trail. The trail “Comment” date refers to the date the comment was entered, which often but not necessarily coincides with the date of the latest grooming. “Recent Grooming” is supposed to specifically refer to when trails were last groomed. The confusion arises when a trail is groomed and the “trail group” updates the trail “Comment” before the “Recent Grooming group” updates the “Recent Grooming” section. I was told they are working to fix it and it should be done soon. It sounded like they’ve had a few phone calls about this today. I suggest everyone phone the Info Centre themselves to complain. Presumably the more public input they get, the more effort BNP will put into fixing the problem. Hopefully we won’t have to do this all over again for the BVP and Lake Louise sections of the report!

  48. I’m pretty new to cross country skiing and am looking for trail recommendations that are known to be good for beginners and are primarily flat. Help appreciated! Thanks!

    • Sorry, to elaborate. Looking in and around the Calgary/Banff/Kananaskis area. Thanks!

    • Shannon, the most important thing for a beginner skier is to have favourable snow conditions. Right now, with the thaw-freeze cycle, a lot of the flatter, easier trails would be icy and very difficult to ski on. The wind has also deposited lots of tree debris on the trails.

      Wheeler in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park is a fairly flat trail that would normally be a good beginner trail. The trailhead is at Elkwood Amphitheatre parking lot.

      Hopefully some new snow will materialize soon and other beginner trails will be in better shape. Mountain Road at West Bragg Creek, Wedge Connector, Terrace and Hay Meadow near Kananaskis Village would be good choices. Any of the golf courses in the city would be okay but again, wait for better snow conditions.

  49. I was wondering about the trails in around Lake Louise. We have done Moraine Lake Road and Fairview in the past. I was thinking of trying Tramline and make it a circuit.
    So my question is what is the best route to take if I park at Moraine lake road to ski? Moraine Lake Road -> Fairview –> Tramline. Or Tramline -> Fairview –> Moraine Lake Road.

  50. Is snowshoeing from Goat Creek trail head to Bow Falls allowed?

    • Hi Keith,
      From what I know and according to Park Canada website: Goat Creek Winter Trail Please walk or SNOWSHOE BESIDE TRACKS, NOT ON TRACKS

    • Keith, the answer is yes. There is a multi-use lane the whole way as long as you finish on Spray River East which I’m assuming you would if going to Bow Falls.

  51. Jan 23. Is the Pipestone loop open @ Lake Louise ?

    • John, I received this update from a Parks Canada official on Jan 16:

      “I haven’t received the opening date confirmation from the Parks Project Manager responsible for the new LL Water Reservoir construction at Pipestone. It remains closed. As soon as I get word I’ll let you know.”

  52. I have seen a 2011 pamphlet by parks that describes the 9.5km Ross lake loop. I’ve also seen the trail heads for Ross lake on both the great divide trail and Lake O’Hara access road.

    There is no mention of it in the current parks website (other than as a snowshoe trail) or anywhere else I can see.

    Is this still a passable trail with on trail touring skis (~55 mm wide with metal edge)?

    Thanks – Steve

    • Ross Lake Circuit

      Yes Steve, those skis will be perfect. Check out this link for my most recent trip through there (details are in the captions):
      http://skierbob.ca/trip-reports-march-2019/#comment-762066
      Enjoy!

      • I feel the need to put in my two cents worth, since Chuck is a super-athlete who can ski anything on any skis! The trail from Ross Lake to the Lake O’Hara road can be very narrow and deep, especially if set mainly by snowshoers, and very challenging to manage on skinny skis. Personally I would recommend kicker skins for the uphill part of that portion of the circuit.
        We really miss the good old days when skinny skiers made nice wide tracks everywhere!

    • Thank you Chuck and Diana.

      In the end we opted for a more leisurely ski from the train station in Lake Louise on Friday, Tramline -> Moraine Lake Road -> Fairview – Tramline.

      The fresh snowfall made it a bit sticky so a red wax / waxless was needed.

      Lovely conditions on the whole though.

      Ross Lake is definitely on my to do list for more of a workout.

      Thanks again! – Steve

  53. Are there any groups of skiers I can join ?

  54. Thank you for skibob web side, it is very nice for us. My vacantion are finish, we will come back. Last week the weather was bad but we saw nice trail for skiing and hike.we will skiing below 28 degres!
    Merci pour votre site Web
    Simon

  55. Hi, Left the West Bragg Creek (south) parking lot Sat, Jan 18 at about 5pm but left my skis and poles there. (Darn!) Went back and an hour later and couldn’t see them. Not where I left them nor by the hut nor lost and found. I emailed Bragg Creek trails. If you know of their whereabouts, please call me at 403-561-8372.

    Thanks!

    Louise

  56. A spreadsheet comparing the stated hi and low temperatures from: Ventusky, Windy, Weather Network, Environment Canada, Ranger Stations, etc. from actual site reports of snow temp from skiers would be nice. This might help improve reliability and more accurately inform we who ski.

    Is there such a project already?

  57. Your cold snap (wow, -40.8C in Jasper!) has me in a contemplative mood.

    If skiers in the SB Empire use the Pocaterra hut biffy at the start of the day, are they known as “squirtin’ Albertans”, but by the end of the day they are “hurtin’, squirtin’ Albertans”?

  58. In keeping with Bob’s cold weather theme, what are people’s recommendations for getting the best glide on classic and skate skis in sub -15C temperatures? I tried hot waxing with my coldest KUU alpine low-fluoro wax, scraping, and brass-brushing. I then applied Vauhti LF Polar liquid wax (-2C to -20C) and brass-brushed again. It worked superbly yesterday on Skogan Pass, but it wasn’t much of a test since the temperature was about -8C.

  59. Thanks for all your replies, so it would compare to a V20. I used V20 this morning in Lake Louise, our group was the first ones on the Great Divide trail , there was ca. 2-3 cm of new snow on it. Had a visitor from Saskatchewan that was the perfect trail for him.

  60. Would any of you who are not quite 20 any longer know for what temperature range the old “Special Green ” Swix wax is? “The writing on it is damaged and I am no longer able to read it? If anyone could help it would be greatly appreciated.

    • My Swix Green wax does not have the word Special on it, but indicates that it is for -8/-15 fresh snow or -10/-18 old snow.
      Cold enough for me!

    • There is a “2” in my age, but that would be 72. My VINTAGE Green Special only states -10 to -15. Must be before they classified different ranges. Statement on wax says” FOR FRESH AND FINE GRAINED SNOW”
      Guess I best keep it handy for upcoming week.

  61. Hey bob I’m just wondering where I would
    Get all the calgary locations and maps to where I could go shred some trails in the city …. please point me in the right direction … we have been using the amps for Bragg creek and they are bang on … thank you

  62. Hi, just curious if the Redwood Meadows golf course has been groomed this year

    • I’ve seen beautiful tracksetting at Redwood Meadows when I drive to west Bragg Creek(but don’t tell anyone, it’s a secret).

  63. Samsung Smartphone (black case) with screensaver of a family of 3 kids + 2 adults LOST in Peter Lougheed, Kananaskis on wooley trail area on cross-country ski trail. Returned to Peter Lougheed Visitors Centre.

  64. Does anyone know if goat trails Trails are groomed? From Canmore to Banff??

    • Ingrid, the Banff trail report indicates that Goat Creek and Spray River west were trackset yesterday.

      • Wonder where Bob is skiing today then …

        It sounds inviting but I have to see if I can get my body moving. I’m worn out from Telephone loop. -Bob

  65. Thanks Hugh, feel free to send an email to CNC (Canmore.NordicCentre@gov.ab.ca) and we can chat further about volunteer support.

    We were lucky enough to have our former Trails Supervisor come in today and do some volunteer machine grooming on more of our natural trails that were yet to be packed. Thanks Paul!

  66. Hi Hugh,

    Thanks for your feedback on the grooming at CNC today. I oversee the grooming program and can give you an update on why the trails past the meadow weren’t machine groomed last night. We normally have 2 grooming staff in on the weekends to groom trails for our users and unfortunately, 1 is currently unwell so we only have 1 team member on.

    Our priority is maintaining the trails currently open and then focusing time between pushing out manmade snow and getting this amazing fresh snow groomed out. Last night’s groom wasn’t an easy one with heavy snow conditions so there wasn’t any additional time to get out on natural trails. Our team is working hard to get as much terrain open as possible for our users, bear with us it might take a few days. I am as keen as you are to get out and ski these with a machine groom on them!

    I can also give an update that a colleague and I went out for 5 hours of roller packing today on Rundle to Meadowview, Banff from the meadow and Bow jct14-15. It’s tough going out there with over 50cm of fresh snow on Bow it took us 6 sled passes before we could even do a pass with the roller packers. We will be doing more work on these trails tomorrow and Tuesday.

    We also try to pass on as much information as we can to our front desk team so they can keep our skiers up to date with where we are at. It’s exciting to see so much terrain almost ready to go this early on in the year.

    Enjoy your holiday season and skiing at CNC!

    • Briony Thank you for the quick response. I’m glad you got Rundle, Bow and Banff Tr packed
      Looking forward to skiing them .
      If you need volunteer machine operators there are a few of us in town with tracksetting backgrounds who would lend a hand.

  67. Big disappointment with CNC to the lack of grooming beyond the minescar and out Meadowview and Bow loop/ We skied these trails on Friday AM at the start of the storm about 15CM down. With the Forecast in mind, It would have been the perfect time to groom the trails.
    However today Sun Dec 22 still no grooming /track setting. Skier set only.
    Question: What’s up with the lack of grooming in the past few days ?

    Hugh, thanks for your reports. This is highly unusual. The CNC is normally the first to have groomed trails after a big snowfall. I’m sure there’s an explanation but I don’t know what it is. -Bob

    • I heard by someone who should know that 4 staff
      were cut. Groomers
      Thanks to the government

    • Bob; Grooming was the topic of conversation with everyone we met today. All regulars and longtime skiers. I went into the building after my ski to register a complaint. Everyone we talked to had an opinion as to why. I see barb Banff was there too.

      This was posted on the trail report “Challenging grooming conditions last night with the amount of fresh heavy snow and rain.” Did the snow look wet? -Bob

      • Bob Saw the reply from Briony. Good response. As to the wetness of the snow today ,the snow wasn’t wet, just deep. The issue I have is really the timing of when the Groomers get on it. I’ve spent my share of time on a machine and know the sooner you get on it the easier it is to pack it, groom and then track. If the accumulation is too much it takes 2x as long to ge the snow into shape. The Nordic Centre appears to have some issues. Budget or manpower or both.
        If PLPP can get it done after a huge snowstorm so should CNC. The Nordic Centre is the showcase for the Province’s Cross Country program, especially at Christmas .

  68. Does anyone have any information on Crows Nest Pass trails? Im going there tomorrow and am desperately trying to find out if they got any of this snow and if they’ll groom over the next couple days. Ive sent messages on Facebook, etc. Their grooming report hasn’t been updated since Dec 13.
    Thanks. Guys
    M

  69. BILL VOTING RIGHTS

    Are there any skiing lawyers out there that know how to set up an incorporated non profit and can do so extremely cheaply?

    This has to do with establishing Bill Voting Rights For All Albertans whether they ski or not.

    Please let me know and leave a number.

  70. Hi Skier Bob
    Is Maple Ridge Golf Course groomed and trackset? Don’t see any reports on it.
    Thanks!

    Maple Ridge has been groomed and partially trackset but there are still some thin spots and exposed gravel. -Bob

  71. Grey wool mitt on the south side of the road parking area. Then the other one is roadside further down heading east south side leaving west Bragg creek

    • I’m thinking they were on the car roof. One didn’t make it very far, the other, like Woody, held on for dear life, but the subsequent wind velocity tore the wool fabrics from their tenuous grip on the smooth painted metal. Poor buggers.

  72. Hi! I bought a used Chariot CX1 but am having a very difficult time finding the ski attachment for it. I don’t think the new version sold in stores is compatible with the the older chariot models so it has to be bought used. Anyone have one they’d be willing to sell or a lead on somewhere I’d be able find one? Kijiji hasn’t been working out. TIA!

  73. Where could I learn to Skijor with my 1 year old Wire haired pointer Griffen?

    • My son just picked up the whole outfit at Norseman last week. They fitted the dog at the store and gave him lots of good info.

    • On Facebook check out “kicksled calgary” and “AB Mush for fun” groups. They occasionally have mushing clinics – good for all types of dog powered sports, not just traditional mushing. Very friendly group and can point you in the right direction for gear etc. Also recommend the “skin or with you dog” book. Cheers! It’s loads of fun.

    • Depends what you’re hoping to achieve, Mad dogs & Englishmen in Canmore do lessons although I have no experience of them, if its just for fun buy a harness, watch a video or read a book and give it a try @ WBC along Mountain Road!

  74. Hello, I am planning to ski Moose loop at WBC with my kids. Can someone recommend the direction in which we would climb up steeper hills and ski down gentle slopes?

    • Counter clock wise has always been the nicer ski for me, there is no shame in walking down the steeper slopes but right now they are all very manageable. Lookout for the stream crossing after the first long open straight section its still open water so take the bridge

      • Moose loop is an intermediate ski please take that into consideration if its new to you, I rarely see young skiers out there

  75. Hi, can anyone recommend xc trails within 2 hours of Calgary with full cell coverage?

  76. Hi all. Any learned folks out there who could comment on the difference between Salomon Aero vs. Snowscape skin skis? I’m looking at both the Aero 9 and Snowscape 9, with the latter being the cheaper. Thanks in advance!

  77. Any word on Emerald Lake /Yoho grooming?

  78. I am heading out to BC and was wanting to ski Revelstoke, just not sure what they mean by BIG GROOMER. Does that mean track set? They mention
    Ginzu and the big groomer. Anybody???

  79. hello
    I would like to do an overnight at a cabin cross country ski trip. Around 20 to 30 km . Do you have any suggestion for easy to intermediate

    • Lilianne, easy does not exist for any cabin trips. These are all intermediate trails with substantial elevation gains.
      Shadow Lake Lodge and Sundance Lodge have access by trackset trails. Shadow Lake is 13K. Sundance Lodge is 11K. These are one-way distances.
      Elk Lakes cabin is 9K but the final 3k is not trackset.
      Skoki Lodge is 11K on a snowmobile packed trail over two mountain passes.
      Elizabeth Parker hut at Lake O’Hara is 11K. The Lake O’Hara fire road is trackset beginning in late January.

  80. Does anyone know if Redearth Creek has been groomed or is skiable? Thanks!

    • I’ll answer my own question if anyone is interested… it has now been single trackset but apparently only 7 km to the campground. Groomer will return soon to continue up to the warden’s cabin.

      • Hi Dean, I’ve updated the Redearth Creek tracksetting two times in recent days on my blog updates, most recently yesterday. I inquired as to why the tracksetting only went 7K, and this was the reply from Parks Canada:

        “The campground is as far as Don could groom in one day. He will return to Redearth Creek when his schedule allows, and do the section beyond the campground.”

        • Thanks, clearly I’m not finding the information. I searched this site for info before posting the question and reply. I do love your site and appreciate all the comments and reports. I skied Redearth yesterday and it was in fantastic shape, even past the campground up to the Pharaoh Creek junction.

  81. I asked a current park staff they said it has something to do with a water reservoir they weren’t on the project and had no idea when it’s supposed to end
    They also said there is an email address to send questions
    If numerous people inquired we might see some action.
    information@pc.gc.ca is the address.
    Stressing how popular it is would be a good idea
    I do a lot of complaining they would probably ignore my comments

  82. BILL VOTING RIGHTS 4U

    Does anyone know why the Pipestone Trail is really closed?

    Parks Canada suggests it is due to construction. Construction seems to have been going on in this area for several years now. It was open last year for a while but early in the season it was closed for construction as well.

    What the heck are they constructing up there?

  83. Someone at Parks (?) must have a sense of humour, I just seen a trail near Moose Mountain Road titled/named

    “Family Guy”

    Giggity.

  84. Hi does anyone know the conditions at Shag?
    Thanks

  85. Has anyone checked out the Chester/Sawmill area on the SD road?

  86. Anyone know if mapleridge golf course has been groomed and track set?

  87. Shouldn’t we respect our heritage and refer to ‘back door’ as Lionel? Does anyone know the history of this name?

  88. that’s great Bob- I will see you there one of these days I can’t quite handle this cold but will try tomorrow and check out grooming to Moran’s curve!

  89. When does the gate close To access the back door ?

    • The barricade goes down on Dec 1.

      • I can’t remember the trip reports about going up to the pass from either direction and did not have any luck searching for them. A reminder would be greatly appreciated!

        • Hi Barb, Went to “Back Door” twice in last week: just park 8 kms further south of fence closure on hwy 40. You will see excellent tracks of 0.7 kms leading you to Pocaterra. From there turn left (uphill) and in just over 90 min you should be accessing Elk Pass summit from Tyrwhitt. Recent rolling going on and even tracks I believe on Upper Pocaterra. Girlfriend skied up to Lookout yesterday and encountered new rollering for her descent. Our ski to Elk Pass was 15 kms return from back door.

          • Thanks very much for that info
            only one more question- would you recommend rock skis?

            • Barb, I skied Upper Pocaterra and Tyrwhitt one week ago and didn’t need rock skis. The trails have received more snow since. The parking lot for the Back Door is exactly 8.9K from the barricade.

  90. Is there any way to confirm snowfall at Sandy McNabb? Maybe Sheila can help us out there??

    Also wondering if there would be similar amounts of snow up the valleys – Sheep and Little Elbow – I suspect not following our experience a couple of weeks ago, but is there any way to find out? Or does anyone know firsthand?

    Thank you!

    • You can check the Alberta River Basins website https://rivers.alberta.ca
      Select the “Precipitation” filter from the box on the upper right side.
      Then zoom in to find Sheep II (near Sandy McNabb) or Elbow Ranger Station (near Fullerton Trailhead) to see the data.
      Sheep II is showing about 28mm of water content in the Sheep Valley
      Elbow Ranger Station is showing about 38mm of water content in the Elbow Valley.
      1 mm of water is equivalent to about 1 cm of snow, during an average snowfall.

      • Thank you, Alf. I did find something similar, and it looks like Sandy did not receive as much as West Bragg according to those data, which is a bit disappointing.

        Also, when we went up the Little Elbow a couple of weeks ago, West Bragg had just received 30 cm fresh snow, but we only found 2 or 3 cm beyond the recreation area. That was really disappointing!

  91. can anybody tell me if there is cellphone coverage when skiing the west bragg creek trails?thanks

    • There is no cellphone coverage on the trails at West Bragg Creek.

      • We’ve had occasional coverage for a few short sections of the Telephone Loop, mainly near the north end where there are open sections with views out to the east. Pretty hit-and-miss; need to have your phone handy and keep checking for the few small areas where a signal gets through.

    • There is some cell phone coverage at a number of points in the West Bragg Creek trails. There is a cell signal booster at the Trail Centre, with a “hot spot” on the deck. I often get a cell signal at the high point on Mountain View and Mountain View West and about the mid-point on Loggers. East Telephone and Hostel has cell service at several high spots. So, there are a few cell service locations… I just wouldn’t count on it.

  92. How about a letter writing campaign to bring back the PLPP webcam?

  93. Curious about the groomer’s report of Baker’s Creek to Morant’s curve – I couldn’t find it on the park maps… how long is the trail and is it also dog friendly? TIA!

    • It’s about 6K and stops a bit before it actually reaches Morant’s curve. It follows the trail which is used for the Lake Louise to Banff Loppet. I don’t know officially if it is dog friendly but I would assume it is, considering the Baker to Protection Mountain trail is dog friendly.

  94. I really need some local help. My wife and I are in Canmore to ski Nov 27/28/29. We planned this trip for the sole purpose of skiing the Canmore Nordic Centre. I am an advanced skier she is more intermediate. It appears to me that the CNC while very close does not have many trails open.

    If there is not much to ski at CNC by wed this week where should we go, even if we have to drive for up to an hour each way? Looking for well marked trackset routes with some variety of difficulty. I see some good spots on the trip reports but it is hard to tell how far they are from Canmore .

    • It is well worth your while to drive 55 min to Lk Louise to ski:
      1. Great Divide (GD) provides 20 kms distance and max 140 M elevation. End to end will give you lots of skating practise and/or traditional track. Parking is just above the Village on right.
      2. Moraine Lake Road (MLR) is exactly same location as #1, but lot is on your left ascending the hill above Village. To where they stop grooming, it is 18 kms return (usually under 4 hr ski) and 270 M elevation. One can ski further 3 kms right to Moraine Lk passing one small avalanche slope-still very early season for high concern.
      3. Many other trails exist out that way (Tramline and possibly Fairview) and Townsite trails.
      4. Peter Lougheed Provincial Park is getting in superb condition-track setting likely to begin any day now. This is well worth an hour’s drive east of Canmore and a beautiful scenic drive at that. One can choose many options: but Elk Pass likely with best snow at this time. Personally, I would choose one of these three options each day.

      • Super helpful- thanks.

        Do all of these locations have some type of Chalet/basecamp with basic services?

        If we go to LL I assume that we need to buy a park pass?

        • At Peter Lougheed Provincial Park(PLPP), there’s Pocaterra hut as you enter the ski area, and a Visitor Centre further along. Most trailheads in PLPP such as Elk Pass have only a cold bathroom. Same at Lake Louise, but there are amenities at the village or the Chateau. You will require a park pass if going to Lake Louise.

        • Yes you need a park pass for Lake Louise. A daypass for two costs about $20. Note that the daypass will expire at 4 pm the next day, so it’s possible to do two days skiing on a single daypass. Skiing at PLPP is free.

    • BILL VOTING RIGHTS 4U

      If you can travel 60 minutes by car go to Lake Louise. Ski Moraine Lake Road and other trails in the area. Enjoy a meal or drink at the Chateau.

      If you can travel further go to Lake O’Hara on the BC side- down the Trans Canada Highway. There may be an open hut up there.

      If you have rock skis and metal edges go to Bryant Creek Warden Cabin #25- Start at Mount Shark about 30 minutes south of Canmore. Consider Robertson Glacier or Burstall Pass if you have avalanche training.

      If it snows 15 cm, a lot of local trails will improve, like Goat Creek/ SprayRiver, Cascade River to Stoney Creek, Red Earth Creek to Shadow Lake, etc. Keep an eye on Skier Bob’s website for grooming if it dumps.

      Expect very cold weather. You will be hitting it at its coldest so far.

      Ski Cheers

    • ToSkier
      Two of us are heading to “back door” of Pocaterra in PLPP tomorrow. If you drive up to Kananaskis hwy 40 to winter gate, which is the turnoff for PLPP, and stay on hwy 40 for 8-9 more kms. there is a parking lot to the right side which may not be plowed, so might want to park on side of hwy 40 if that is the case. Two of us (maybe 3) are going to ski into Pocaterra junction (0.7 kms.) then turn left (which is actually south) and ski to Elk Pass via Trywhitt Meadows. This is one of the most beautiful places to ski around here. It will be a total of 15 kms ski for us, should you wish to follow our tracks. We won’t get there before ten am. No amenities/no fees/just wonderful fresh cold powder. Drive carefully if rental car without winters.

  95. In the Kicking Horse update I read this:

    “get ready for Langlaufen on the Great Divide”

    What does that mean?

  96. What is the width of the individual tracks set for classic cross country skiing at the Canmore Nordic Centre, and in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park ?

    • I looked into it for CNC a year or two ago and think i determined that that their tracks are 67 mm. I have 65 mm “off-track” Rossi’s that work fine in them.

  97. BILL VOTING RIGHTS 4U

    Has anyone tried a pair of Madshus Fjelltech M44 metal edge cross country skis?

    These look like the narrowest metal edge skis on the market that I can find. Norseman ski shop has them apparently. If someone knows of something even more narrow, please let me know.

    The thinner the faster, particularly a high camber metal edge ski. I want something faster than my Rossignol metal edge X-C skis.

  98. Today I saw two hunters carrying rifles on East Crystal Line. What are the rules for hunting at WBC? It’s a busy area with lots of people around.

  99. Anyone else get this seasonal spam message? LOL. Every year.

    ———————————————————————————————-
    Hello,

    I want to confirm availability in your establishment, I need

    the services of a good ski instructor for a group of 6 .Below is the details for the booking.

    ARRIVAL DATE: 20th January to 26th of January 2020. { 7days} NUMBER OF PEOPLE: 6, ( All adults,3 Males and 3 Female, Between the ages

    of 19 to 33)

    EXPERIENCE LEVELS: All Beginners

    SKI TIME : Afternoon lessons

    Let me know if you have space for the date, the total cost for the lesson and the cost for equipment.

    Regards
    Mark Cooker

  100. Found a phone on the Moraine lake road this afternoon. It is a white Google phone. I brought it to the lake louise visitors centre in the village. If it is yours I hope you find it!

  101. hello we will be in the canmore area for a week and i would like to have suggestions for stays on cross-country skiing in the country,
    As we planned to go to the National Cross Country Ski Center 2 days in Canmore , and 1 day or 2 days to Lake Louise. Thank you for your ideas

  102. I’ve noticed that Chuck’s better-half sports a warm skiing-skirt. I’m intrigued. Is that something improvised, or is it available in specialty shops?

    • Norseman, Lifesport in Calgary (among others)

    • Thanks for noticing!
      Available in any sports clothing store in the Bow Valley and Claude’s. Variety of lengths, colours, & fabric; mine is lightweight down. Creative friends have made their own – happy shopping!

  103. Hello Skiers!

    I’m getting ready for the ski season and plan to buy new skate skis…and looking for advice from fellow skiers.
    During the winter I skate ski 2-3x/wk approx. 20-40km/wk. I’ve been skate skiing for about 7 or 8 years but always happily recreational. I’ve only ever bought used skate skis. My current skis-Madshus-have been great performance wise but have had some structural failure-cracks along the sides exposing the foam core, not sure how much longer they will last….hence looking for new skis.
    My local ski shop has recommended 3 types of skis for my intermediate skiing:
    Madshus Terrasonic
    Fisher RCR
    Rossignol S2
    Each of these increasing in price by about $100. I don’t want to blow the budget but also want to get quality, responsive, durable, efficient skis (and due to previous experience I feel I am shying away from the Madshus).
    Has anyone had experience with these skis? Favourites? Any others I should be looking at? How about the Fisher CRS and the Rossi Delta Comp sold at MEC at similar price points?
    Thanks all! Any advice is greatly appreciated-I’m excited to get out there and be on the snow again!

  104. Hi
    hello, we would like to go to Canmore National Cross Country Center. Is the month of January a good time?For one week.
    do you have any idea of there a map with the total number of kilometers per trail at the Canmore Provincial Center?

  105. HIWOOD PASS IS OPEN. FROM Ridly cycle
    snow Free. on Facebook

    • thanks Barb, I almost tried to contact you via email this morning but figured you rode Highwood today as well as half of Calgary. I am the “slow and steady” turtle who was going 6-7 kph today but put it into grannie gear for the last 3-4 kms. when the going gets more TOUGH! The to “peak” too soon. The gravel section was my only stop en route. It was tremendous being up there again and only put on my jacket because thought the downhill looked like it might rain. Many people out enjoying themselves and a few young families who really impressed me!! Bravo parents!!

      • tomorrow ! with the hords
        any smoke there??
        thanks

        • Should be ok for smoke tomorrow. Was clearer today at castle junction than further east, starting to seem hazy past Canmore on the way back. Check out “firesmoke.ca” as a resource. Provides a mapped forecast for fire smoke density. I use it all the time to plan summer trips to avoid the smoke.

  106. I’m trying to find out about Highwood pass also .
    Found a site but there was no date attached so it could’ve been last year!

    • PS– anyone cycled the road to tac falls in Yoho? Heard about a week ago it was snowbound at 7 km ..its short but fun ride with no vehicles
      ..

  107. Am wondering about hwy 40 past the winter gate for freedom from snow? Anyone been to Highwood Pass as yet to comment. I don’t like cycling in snow, but have biked all the way up to the winter gate.

  108. I am intyerested in going to Chester Lake. Information on spring breakup conditions for the Smith Dorrien Hwy is requested
    a) coming from Canmore
    b) coming from PLPP

    • Somebody posted recently about the road. Sounded like potholes and ruts at the north end until the bridge. Then drier and smoother south of that. It will get a lot of melt runnels across the road as things melt, usually early March and still potholes to look out for even when reported as “smooth”. It does get graded reasonably regular. If you want to be nicer to your car come from the south and keep your eyes peeled. I avoid it in my little car altogether except winter given the state of my shocks.

  109. I’m looking to find out if the road south of the highway 40 closure is dry yet? If anyone reading this is in the area this week and could comment on what it looks like that would be fantastic.

    • I was just there yesterday and there was a good amount of snow right after the gate by Lougheed.

    • And still a few patches of snow past the road closure at elbow falls end of day yesterday. Lots of melt between start and end of hike, but still looks like there is more up the road.

    • Last year on March 24th, I skied 9+ kms up hwy 40 to the parking lot connecting to Tyrwhitt and skied down Pocaterra to the hut. Glorious ski. Today, at least 1/4 of the road is down to pavement but all broken up, so one cannot ride a bike up there as yet. We skinned up the rock hard snow/ice to kms 3.5, enjoyed a nice leisurely lunch sitting on guard rail, constantly shoulder checking for any bear activity, and skinned back down in the slush (was trying out new skins). Recommend walking it instead, using poles and grippers (if still hard in morning). Poles hit pavement with every stride. No evidence of bears as yet (OR TICKS!)

  110. Hey guys just wondering how technical Watridge Lake trail at Mt Shark is.

    Thanks,

    Wyatt

    • It’s an easy trail with a few very gentle hills for 4.8K. At that point there is a screaming fast, steep downhill with tight turns for the final 1K to the Spray River. It would be scary on icy conditions.

  111. Great to have yesterday’s Report on Lake O’Hara …..
    Planning going there tomorrow so I wonder if anyone was there today? and whether it’s wax or turned to ice mush..
    Thanks

  112. Looking at skiing Crystal Line in Bragg Creek. Very new to the area….where is the trail head?

    Cheers, Tracy

  113. Lost skis at Maple Ridge Golf Course. Calgary
    Saturday March 9th, 2019 at about 3 pm. Leaned my Madshu Skate skis against the side of my truck and drove off with out loading them. 🙁

    If you happened to find them I would love to get them back 403-615-6111

    • My skis were found the same day by a caring neighbor across the street from Maple Ridge. I placed a sign on the gate to the parking lot announcing my loss. Meghan responded and reunited me with my new skis. Happy guy 🙂

  114. Anyone out there want to ski this Thursday in Banff? Spray River West trail or Healy Creek/Sundance Creek? We’re less likely to become cougar food if we aren’t alone! Im free all day until 2:30.

  115. I have had several great outings at West Bragg Creek this season. What a treasure that place is! I am amazed every time I go at how well the multi-use concept is working in reality. That brings to mind this question: who are/is the fantastic people/person who envisioned this and then worked to bring it to fruition? They have created a wonder and deserve public recognition. For my part- a huge THANK YOU!

    • Thanks for the question and your kind words of appreciation.
      In late 2009, the Greater Bragg Creek Trails Association formed a public advisory committee to develop a comprehensive trails plan for the West Bragg Creek area. The advisory committee consisted of representatives from the hiking, biking, equestrian and XC skiing communities, as well as staff from Alberta Parks, Public Lands, cattle grazers, Spray Lakes Sawmills, etc.
      The https://albertaparks.ca/media/5113149/kananaskis-country-all-season-trail-plan-for-west-bragg-creek-2010-.pdf was approved by the Province of Alberta in September 2010.
      The volunteers of the Greater Bragg Creek Trails Association work closely with Alberta Environment and Parks staff to build and maintain the trails and to adapt the trails plan to provide the best possible experience for the full range of trail users at West Bragg Creek. All of this has taken over 45,000 hours of volunteer time and $1.4 million in financial support from donors.
      Check out the GBCTA report for 2018… https://www.braggcreektrails.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/GBCTA_Annual_Report_2018-sized.pdf

      • Thank you for the answer, Al;f, and thank you again for the work you put in. BTW, I think I still have some old FWJs around somewhere, esp. the guide to the Upper Kootenay.

  116. christina larkins

    Where exactly was the wolf seen on March 3rd? The caption under the photo indicates it was by the Bow River. Thanks.

  117. Hi, we are 2 xc skiers from MOntreal looking to go skiing the banff Lake Louise National Park and or Canmore from March 16 to 21. In fact we are looking for any xc ski center that offers a variety of nice groomed trails, nice scenery. We are experience xc skiers and intend to ski approx.4 to 5 hours per day.
    we would like to know what would be our best option to have as much as possible of nice groomed trails, good conditions, nice scenery, etc. We were thinking to stay in Canmore and ski at the NOrdic Center for the total of our journey. HOwever, there seems to have less snow that the Banff Lake Louisse Park. So we are thinking instead to go skiing in the National Park and stay at a hotel in Lake Louise. What do you think of our thoughts? We looked at different websites, including theNAtional Park but could not find how big is the resort of ski trails in total ie. how many km in total. How far would we need to drive to get to the trails from Lake Louise Village? Any other suggestions?

    • I recently wrote a post about this very topic in which I’ve included a list of my recommendations. Readers also submitted comments. What trails would you recommend to visitors?

      Trails around here have plenty of snow.

      • thanks for the info. I do not know where the 23 must ski trails you indicated are located. close to the Banff area, Lake Louise, Koho? Can you please tell me which Area the trails you indicated are located, Lake Louise, Banff, Koho, other area? We will book our lodging soon and I would like to book lodging where most of the ”must ski” trails are located. If I stay in Lake Louise Village, will we be close to some of the trails you indicated?
        to answer your questions, we are intermediate to expert skiers and would like nice scenery, views and certaintly very good ski condiitons i.e groomed trails. Thank you in advance

        • Lake Louise would not be the best place to stay. Canmore would give you better access to all the trails. I’ve indicated beside each trail where it is located and I’ve displayed the legend at the bottom. All these trails are groomed regularly but I can’t guarantee they will be groomed to your liking. If it snows previous to the day you go, there may be fresh snow on the trail. As to which trails have the best views, that is very subjective. Perhaps you could look on the sidebar “Places to Ski” and search out the trails you’re interested in and read the descriptions and look at the photos. For example, if you click on Bill Milne, there are 31 posts with descriptions and pictures.

          This may help you: Trailhead locations

          If you’re looking for a challenge: Risto’s Hill Pain Score

          On the main menu, there’s lots of helpful information under the “Resources” and “Maps” tabs.

          • Hi Bob and Eric,
            Thank you very much for the info. Very helpful. Pictures of the Bill Milne are great. That is the type of trails I am looking for. the scenery seems fantastic. I think it may be more convenient if I stay in Canmore. I understant that Cannore and Kananaski are together. I will try to find lodging. I will be alone, so if you or other skiers are available I would be more than happy to ski with companions!

          • Hi Bob,
            Is there a web site or blog where skiers posted in the morning where would be a good area to ski? I see the posts after the day. but if we want to know in advance either the day before or in the morning where people go, how do we know? Thanks france

            • If you check in the morning, the Live Grooming Reports for Canmore Nordic Centre, Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, and Mt Shark will indicate which trails have been groomed overnight. There is no website(that I’m aware of) where people post in the morning their plans for the day.

    • hi, If you stay in canmore you are more central to all the best ski areas,strong skiers could do the best skiing in Lake Louise in two days (avg 50-60k and drive between two trails;eg pipstone and moraine lake, yoho then on to field )day3 peter Lougheed provincial park ;Blueberry Hill /Tyrwhitt Loop/ kananaskis Fire Lookout /Climb Whiskey Jack followed by 6K of fast downhill on Pocaterra. day 4 Canmore Nordic center. day 5 Skogan Pass summit,then Skogan loop to Hummingbird Plume, day 6 goat creek from banff then drive to cascade valley.this is a very aggressive ski week and will be happy to join you on any of these trips on my 3 days off.as local skiers we know to watch the weather / groomer reports and know alberta has a lot of new skiers and trail walkers ,plus spring could be here in full force by the 16th….. our 60 k days will not be 6 hours in warm temps or new snow……all in all canmore nordic center will have the best skiing culture (lots of regular grooming) rest of areas ,need to watch reports for best skiing.cheers !

      • Hi Eric and Bob ,
        thank you very much for your great informaitons. very helpful. I love your plan with trail suggestions for each day. I like to do long distance especially when the scenery is nice. I will tray to find the trails on a may and figure out how I can do that. I initially planned to stay in Canmore but the trail reports on their Website always says ”Marginal conditions” so that’s why I was thinking to ski in Lake Louise and Banff. I was told that there is more snow. I will check again and try to find lodging in Canmore. I would certainly love companion skiers as I will be alone. That will be great. If you are available to ski within those dates March17 to 22, you can email me at bordeleaufrance@htomail.com

        • And make sure you stop by the snow couches on pipestone and Fairview in Louise if it’s a sunny day. Discover the value of a little basking mid way on your ski day with some tea and dark chocolate. Another one in west elk pass in PLPP (the best one).

        • Hi again,
          Finally, I will be staying in Canmore, the Alpine club from March 19 to 25th. I hope I will have companions to ski with.
          Looking forward for great ski and fun.
          France

          • Hi,
            how can we read the live traffic streem? I see on the main page that there are posting but I cannot read them.
            Thanks
            France

  118. Some bluesy tunes by a dude from Ft McMurray.

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvGvrKmYkIa0L4-1z5W4sYQ

    Gord

  119. What are the best options for cross country skiing from Sunshine Village? I have a group of friends downhill skiing at Sunshine and I am looking for the best option either from the same parking lot or near by for a moderate/intermediate XC ski trail.

    • Pay the “gondola only” fee for the ride up to the village and ski south from there into the sunshine meadows. This involves going up downhill ski runs (and back down them) to the south boundary and no grooming beyond there, just skier set track if you are lucky. Metal edge light touring to full AT terrain really and still tough to ski back down to the gondola on skinnier skis. Apparently there may be some “groomed” trackset, based on a post from chuck early in the season. Another option from the parking lot is heally pass. Not groomed cross country trail, but just doable on light touring if a proficient and skilled skier. Most use AT gear for this trail. Past the camp site it gets steeper, also some avalanche terrain. The better option may be to drive back down the road to the highway and ski Brewster creek.

  120. Semi pity-party posting ahead… looking for advice. I’ve been diagnosed with Mononucleosis, which actually started manifesting late January. This obviously isn’t fun at all. My Doc and pretty much every resource online does not address recovery from an athletes perspective. I get that I need to lay low for a couple weeks but after that? Any/All advice either first hand or otherwise is appreciated. Am looking for timing, intensity and efforts when returning to motion, rebuilding, etc… all appreciated.

    • My son was quite young when he had it, as a track cycling sprinter. They treated it like a viral flu, several weeks off, and then it was basically back to normal, if there can be such a thing in competitive athletics.

      Not sure what happens to an older athlete.

      I wish you a full recovery and great skiing in the future.

    • Google ‘Epstein-Barr + athletes’ instead of mono and you’ll get a lot of info. Early return to sport has risk of spleen rupture and/or recurrence. Down time is contingent on the specific case but the ranges reported are 3 – 6 months (return to full blown activity).

    • I was diagnosed with mono in late 2010 and didn’t listen to my body and it ended up morphing into a post-viral fatigue which has taken me years to slowly recover from. However, I don’t mean to scare you. For most people, recovery is usually a matter of weeks. I’ve found the following helpful in my recovery. Keep in mind these are things that I’ve needed to do beyond the initial normal recovery period, i.e. I think it’s normal to sleep a ton early on in mono recovery but after awhile I found long naps during the day unhelpful.

      – Keep as regular a sleep schedule as possible. Try to get to bed and wake up at roughly the same time each day. If you nap, keep it relatively short.
      – Nutrition has been important in my recovery. If you google Epstein-Barr nutrition or diet you should get some guidelines. Basically, it’s about eating healthy (duh) but there are some foods that are more helpful than others and vice versa.
      – Exercise was something I neglected even when advised to start slow. As you start to feel a little better, I recommend slowly beginning an exercise routine. Even if it’s just gentle walking for a bit.
      – I found mono isolating and depressing (though I’m prone to that). Getting sunshine, having some social contact, getting out of the house at some point, even for a short walk, are all things that were helpful.
      – The key is to listen to your body. Take exercise slow.

  121. I drove past Redwood Meadows Golf course and could see the track set from the road. I am wondering if any one has information about the trails, as I wasn’t able to find any. Thanks!

    • I’ve asked that question here too, perhaps twice last year. Really nobody responded. Eventually after much searching online I seem to recall finding online that the trails were intended to be for golf members. I might have found that on the golf course web page somewhere. If you find out please let us know. The trails look nice especially for those wanting or needing flatter trails.

    • I’ve heard from someone that lives in Redwood that a few folks just go out and trackset along the berm and part of the golf course. I’m pretty sure anyone could ski it if they were so inclined.

      • I also have heard from a Redwood resident that she can ski almost from her front door, and there is an approx. 10k loop 🙂

  122. How does one submit a photo to accompany a trip report? I see folks sometimes do; is there a way without emailing or linking?

    • Linking to a photo sharing site(similar to what Chuck does) is the only way for readers to display a photo. Readers will occasionally email a photo for me to attach to their comment, which is fine, but I can’t guarantee I’ll have time to put it on right away.

  123. For Sale: Trip to Assiniboine Lodge March 1-6, 2019
    Helicopter from Canmore return.
    Shared accommodation in double room with 1 female.
    Alpine and/or Nordic skiing, fully guided, gourmet meals.
    $2000 negotiable
    Have to cancel due to ski injury.
    Phone Jonny at 604-698-7400 or email ejcovello@gmail.com

  124. How well will Rossignol BC 70’s fit in the groomed tracks around here? I know they’ re at the limit but will they be more difficult than BC 65’s?

    • I don’t have personal experience with either ski, but Cross-Country Canada’s 2009 tracksetting specifications says the track width must be between 60 and 70mm. I presume the “70” in “BC 70” means the ski is 70mm wide. If so, then you are indeed at the limit, or even beyond the limit if the tracksetting equipment is less than 70mm wide. Even if you have a 70mm ski in a 70mm track, you’re going to get some friction between the ski edge and the side of the track, which will slow you down. This friction will be worse in a curve since the ski is straight and will cut across the trackset curve in a straight line. The tip and tail of the ski will be cutting into the outer side of the curved trackset, while the middle of the ski will cut into the inner side of the curved trackset. I’d say the BC 65 is already pushing the limit for trackset skiing. Of course, if you want the BC 70 primarily for out-of-track skiing and are willing to put up with the added friction in the tracks, then go for it. But if it looks like you are going beyond having added friction in the tracks and are actually damaging the tracks, then you need to be prepared to ski out of the tracks entirely.

    • Hi Matt,
      The 70mm skis are moving into the realm of light touring and are not a track ski. My wife skis on the Rossignol 59 mm which is already the width of most of the tracks set in Kananaskis. Old well skied track or slightly snow filled tracks might give you some glide but a newly set track you will be scraping against the side walls. Typically people on wider skis are encouraged to ski beteeen the tracks and not in them.

  125. Hello fellow skiers!
    My husband, pup and I are headed to Kimberley!(best mountain town in BC in my humble opinion :). We’ve skied many of the trails around town and love them all. This trip though we like to ski the rail trail from Kimberley townsite to Cranbrook-approx. 28km. We know its not groomed but have heard rumours people do ski/snowshoe the trail. Has anyone skied the full length? Also-Round the Mountain is a great hiking/biking trail in Kimberley in the summer-has anyone cross country skied this trail? Thanks in advance for any tips and info!

  126. Yesterday looking at the ski-trail maps, I figured going from the Kananaskis golf course to Wedge Pond would make a nice outing. Unfortunately, I could not find a parking spot where I could access the trail. That brings up two questions: first, did I totally miss what is an easy access at the golf course? Second, any reports on the quality of the route? Any info will be gratefully received.

  127. Jennifer Ferguson

    Hello – we are excited to come ski in the mountains next weekend as we are from Ontario and very little snow here for good X country skiing. We have visited Lake Louise 3 different years and skied many of the trails around Lake Louise. Last year we skied Lake O’Hara which was unbelievable. I was hoping for a response for a few good suggestions that might be a good 3-5 hour ski or a favourite ski that might include a break for lunch!! Appreciate any suggestions. Thanks,
    Jen Ferguson

    • Kicking Horse Ski Club is hosting a Yoho Challenge on Sunday Feb 17th for $20. The Connector (can start at Field Info Centre or at Natural bridge) and Alluvial Fan (which includes the Horse Trail and Tree Hugger) are my two favorite trails out at Emerald Lake. Lunch could be bought at Emerald Lake Lodge. On w/e’s Lake O’Hara Lodge is open to skiers for a light lunch on a first come-first serve basis. Cost $22 cash provides soup, salad, dessert, homemade bread, tea/coffee. Pipestone often busy on w/e’s but a moderate to easy 13 kms circuit. PLPP worth the drive with Elk Pass/Blueberry/Tyrwhitt being some of the favorites. Those liking bigger hills enjoy The Lookout there. Check live grooming link. Redearth is a neat ski but I prefer it not on a w/e. Mt Shark has various lengths of loops; the 15 kms GREEN (but not “green” for easy!!) is a big workout. Temps should be calling for blue wax by next w/e. Be thankful you are not here this w/e.

      • Best advice always Helen! I would only add to Jen, that PLPP (Peter Lougheed ProvPark) is a must visit to the Discovery/Visitors Centre and to start off skiing the scenic & friendly Meadow-Amos-Wholley-Wheeler circuit. Good picnic spots & great after ski fire and warm up at centre. Word to wise: PLPP is classic skiing only (no skating).

      • jennifer ferguson

        Thanks Helen Read for the advice – if anyone else has any 2-3 hours skis let me know. Thanks!

  128. My husband and I have a room at Lake O’Hara Lodge for the Feb 22/23 weekend and unfortunately are unable to use it. It is approx $1500 per bedroom. If anyone is interested please let me know.

    There are infact two rooms available so two couples/two sets of ppl could go.

    Happy Trails 🙂

  129. Further to Bob’s Feb 2 article on cold-weather wax, several sources recommend graphite glide wax in really cold weather. Apparently it is cold-weather glide wax to which graphite has been added. The graphite provides mechanical lubrication to the snow-ski interface. Has anyone had experience of using this wax in very cold conditions?

    • Mike, I have used graphite glide wax quite successfully in cold conditions back in my coaching days. I’d probably use it for <-10C
      No doubt there are good cold Fluor waxes out there but $$$

    • Tried a non-fluoro graphite cold wax yesterday on my skate skis in about -12C (in comparison to low-fluoro non-graphite cold wax in similar conditions about a week earlier). The low-fluoro non-graphite wax performed much better. The graphite wax was more like a polar grip wax. I had no problem walking straight up gentle inclines, and could even go straight up moderate inclines with some support from the poles. As for trying to skate, I could only keep the skis moving on gentle downslopes or steeper. Glide was noticeably better in the sun and noticeably worse in the shade. Perhaps a fluoro wax with graphite would perform better.

  130. We too are wondering about Goat Creek. We are a group with the Regina Ski Club who hope to do it on Friday. Any report from the last few days would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    • I skied Goat Creek to Banff yesterday and it was excellent for most of the way.(My update was lost due to a website glitch) I don’t know how warm it got today so I’m not sure if it’s still in good shape. The final 2K into Banff on Spray West are compromised with tree debris, glazed and shallow, washed-out tracks. Photos: Goat Creek Goat Creek2

      The temperature going forward is sub-zero, so if the snow didn’t deteriorate today, it should be good.

    • See my and Kerrie’s trip reports from today.

      • Thanks for the excellent report on Goat Creek from yesterday! Hopefully it won’t melt much today. We’re planning to go tomorrow unless we hear a negative report from today….

  131. Goat creek-
    Anyone know how the trail and tracks are holding on the Goat creek to Spray section? Bob’s Trip looked wonderful! But it doesn’t usually last long ….
    Thanks

  132. Is anyone here familiar with the XC or light touring trails around Jasper? I’m look8ng at skiing the Pyramid Fire Road. Is it similar to the LOH fire road? Which of the other trails around Jasper are the most scenic?

    Ski trail map here:
    https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ab/jasper/activ/activ-experience/hiver-winter/carteski-skimaps

  133. Wondering if anyone has skied on Lake Minnewanka, or if it’s even allowed. I skied on Maligne Lake last week and it was fantastic.

    • People are reporting good ice skating on Lake Minnewanka. Apparently this is a good year for skating, with the lack of snow :-/

      • Thanks. I’m basically looking for other places to do overnight trips with a pulk. Lakes are great because there’s no slope.

        • When I drove by the other day on my way to Cascade there was open water 100 m from the dam. I would not trust the ice on Minnewanka. Two-Jack seemed to be well frozen.

  134. Hi Guys,

    I just Have to go skiing today and would like to try Cascade Valley for the first time but am undecided as to whether Cascade Valley would be a good option. I read on this site that Cascade Valley was +1 celcius yesterday and the track was fast. I’m a relative beginner so I’m thinking that the track may be frozen or too slushy for me today. Would it be better for me to go to Lake Louise today?

  135. Does anyone know when the Bearspaw Kananaskis Travel Centre Esso and Tim Horton’s will be opening?

  136. Hi Guys,

    I’ve skied about 20 time now so consider myself a pro–not!

    Anyways, I bought some solid wax and liquid wax. On youtube, it says that I should melt the wax onto my skis with a hot iron and scrape off the excess wax but that’s too much work and mess for me.

    I looked at my friend’s rental skis and it looks like the wax is about 3mm thick. When I rub my solid and liquid wax on my skis, the applied wax is so thin that it looks like crayon has been used on my skis.

    Honestly, I can’t tell any difference in performance whether my skis are waxed crayon style or if they are without wax. Am I doing something wrong by just rubbing on the wax bar and liquid wax?

    I would like to try getting the skis professionally waxed in order to see if there is any difference in performance but I don’t want to spend $50 and find out that I don’t see any difference.

    Any information would be appreciated.

    Thanks.

    • “I looked at my friend’s rental skis and it looks like the wax is about 3mm thick.”

      You shouldn’t be able to see any wax thickness, at least not on the tips and tails(the glide portion of your skis).

      Let’s start at the beginning. Are you talking glide wax or kick wax?

      • I’m not sure. The store sold me Swi F4 all temperature universal glide wax rub on which I use for the smooth ends of my skis, and Swix F4 all temperature universal glide wax Paste Wax which I use for the scales in the middle of my skis.

      • In addition to this, If you are talking glide wax, what level of ski do you have?
        IE lower priced skis tend to have an extruded plastic base which has mediocre glide and responds to glide waxing ok.
        More expensive skis have a higher quality base which is sintered. Which really means it accepts glide wax into the pores of the base and gives you better glide. You can melt glide wax in, iron it then scrape it off.
        Rental ski bases for the most part fall onto the first category of extruded.
        Personal opinion is that if I had better quality skis, I would hot wax them,. With extruded bases I’d try a hot wax to see if it improved glide but with no expectations.

        • My skis were about $200. The scales are pretty rough. I think the store gave me wrong wax. Shouldn’t they have given me kick wax for the middle of the ski and glide wax for the smooth parts?

          • We’re making headway. I’ve determined that you have waxless fishscale skis. You don’t need kick wax for your skis, however the tips and tails require glide(hot) waxing. The rub-on stuff tends to wear off quickly. Universal wax is adequate but unexceptional. If hot waxing is “too much work and mess” you’ll have to be content with average performance.

            If you want to make your skis perform well, I’d follow Hugh’s instructions for glide waxing. To fine-tune even further, use the correct temperature glide wax for the conditions.

            The only time the fish scales will require any treatment is in sticky wet snow where they need to be polished with something similar to Swix Eazy-Glide to avoid the snow sticking to them.

            If you are of equal ability and fitness as another skier, but you’re using waxless skis with extruded bases and rub-on glide wax while the other skier has waxable skis, sintered bases, and the correct glide wax for the conditions, you will always be slower.

            • Thanks for the info guys. I’m just going to keep waxing my skis crayon style everytime I go out. Then, once I’m a better skier, I’ll get better skis and learn to hot wax them.

              Thanks again.

            • By the way…I see senior citizens pass me with ease while I am out of breath. After reading your advice, I now realize that it may be my skis.

  137. Hi Guys,
    I’ve skied Banff a couple of times last year and it was nice. I want to go again this weekend but don’t know if there’s enough snow there. I don’t know the name of the ski trails but the ones I would like to go are right below the Banff Hot Springs. Would anyone know if there would be enough snow to ski there this weekend?

    • Hi Paul,
      I believe you are referring to the Sundance Trail, which starts at the Cave & Basin. It is rated as “poor” and I would not recommend it.
      Suggest you go a little bit higher in elevation to the Cascade Valley for more snow.
      Have a great weekend.

      • Thanks Chuck,

        You saved me hours of driving. Will go to Lake Louise.

        • Not to confuse things but the trail that is below what is called the upper Hot Springs is the spray fire road trail. It was track set a few days ago and definitely has enough snow. I can’t swear to it current quality however..
          Check out “trail conditions ” On this website.
          It starts just pass the Fairmont Banff springs hotel.. good luck

  138. Hi Folks,
    In the Rockies in Jan/Feb, what temp range GLIDE wax are people using on
    their cross country skis?
    The recommendations I’m getting at a ski store seem warm (Maplus Universal
    Yellow -5/0C )
    Any info very appreciated!

    • While most people don’t ski in these temperatures, I often record REALLY cold ski days. Last Jan 10th it was -19 C on Goat Creek and last Feb 20th it was -27 C at Cascade Warden’s Cabin. This is the Land of Chinooks and our temperatures range greatly-just above zero to these teeth-rattlers.

    • Here is how I manage my glide wax using the Swix ratings:
      – Yellow (CH10) is for summer storage and base cleaning only
      – Blue (LF6 or CH6) for days with a high above -15ºC
      – Green (CH4) when the high is below -15ºC
      Glide wax fails pretty hard when you ski below the low temp rating, I describe it as skiing on the beach. But it will still work reasonably well above it’s listed temp range. I will have blue on for most of the Jan/Feb season and only periodically go to green as required. The temp range for your Maplus wax will be too warm, try to find something that bottoms out around -12ºC or so.

    • My wax coach has a great little saying “kick soft and glide hard”. In other wards, it is generally best in the Rockies with the dry snow to use a harder or colder glide wax than the snow temperature. Thus use blue when is cold and green when it is really cold.

    • Thank you all for the information!
      I’m just about to try glide waxing for the first time. Never put much
      thought into it before… just used whatever they put on during a ski tune-up,
      through out the ski season.

  139. Would be interested to hear from anyone who is running newer waxless skin skis. How are they working, have they replaced your waxables or your regular waxless?

    • I have a pair of Fischer Twin Skin and an identical pair of Fischer Classic (taxable) skis. I’ve used the twin skins in all conditions from -16 C to +12 C.
      I prefer to use the waxable skis, whenever the air temperature is below -4C as long as there is not a significant melting effect from sunshine. On cold, dry snow, wax is still faster. Anything up to about VR45.
      But if the temperature is forecast to get near or above 0C, if there is strong sunshine, if there is new, wet snow, if there is old snow, if there are needles and cones in the snow… then I use the twin skins. It saves a lot of irritation and it means I can carry a much smaller wax kit.

      • Sounds like they deserve to be Taxable!

      • I also concur with Alf. I use both types however I found one time when conditions where really wet, the skin techs soaked up the water, got really heavy and slowed me down to a crawl. I often wondered if a pair of fish scales would have been a better choice that day.

    • I concur with Alf. Around here we will use waxable or Atomic Skintecs We travel exclusively with them. No wax box needed.
      Used them at CNC today +3 great kick and glide.
      A friend compares them to old style waxless like an iPhone to a rotary dial phone.

  140. Does anyone know what the condition is like for Lake Louise Great Divide today?

    Also, can you rent skis at Lake Louise?

  141. Trying to figure out where to ski today. Wondering what might get trackset? Any educated guesses?

  142. I wonder what the skate skiing trail will be like at Shark mountain on Saturday?

  143. Anyone know what’s the deal with the CNC grooming reports the last few weeks? no updates at all.

  144. Does anyone know of a trip report or website that shows a Goat Creek elevation profile? Curious for how long a flat stretch there is on the Banff side and how much gain total.

  145. Seems my madshus light touring 3/4 metal edge waxless fish scale skis (52 mm) with NNN BC bindings are finally at the end of their life cycle after 15 years of use. Lots of noise in the track and bad glide requiring more effort to keep up to others who are gliding and double poling with ease. My guess is the camber is shot after lots of trail breaking off track. Any recommendations for an equivalent light touring ski that will stand up to the off trail abuse and still function in a groomed track? Make/model/store in calgary, etc. Thanks in advance for any helpful advise.

    • I have a pair of skis in the Gear Swap section. Details are there. A good deal if you think they will work for you. Can send a couple photos if you email me.

      Cheers

    • I use a pair of light touring Fischer E89s that I picked up from Life Sport about 10 years ago. They are about 59-60 mm at the shovel so they just fit into groomed tracks. They are wax-able skis with camber and have metal edges.

      They have served me well for trips into Skoki, Tonquin Valley, Paradise Valley, Chester Lake, Molar Meadows etc. They are also great for the Telephone Loop in Bragg Creek when it is icy.

    • I have the Rossi EVO 65 BC skis with scales, full edges, about 3 yrs old.. They seem just fine for light backcountry and they work pretty well in tracks too. I use skins with them sometimes as well. Got em at MEC. I think the new model is the BC 59 which would fit a little more comfortably in tracks

      • Thanks folks. Willie: probably too long. Will check out the other suggestions. Probably go with the known madshus product (double camber) as it had served me well. Curious if quality has changed over the years though through relocating manufacturing, as is the case with many products these days.

  146. Bearberry conditions? Does anyone know what the snow conditions are like at Bearberry? Thank you.

    • They have packed and track set the trails with good and bad spots.They need more snow to improve the conditions.

  147. Anyone know of the ski conditions at the River Bend Rec area in Red Deer?

  148. Happy New Year All!

    I have a question that’s not about skiing, but about biking in the winter that I hope to get some advice on as I believe there are fat biking skiers who read and contribute to skier bobs website. I have a Specialized Rhyme Comp 27.5+ MTB that I’m considering putting studded tires on. With the shortage of snow this year I thought I might be able to ride at WBC and also at Nose Hill and Fish Creek.
    Are there guidelines for tire width and psi that I should follow when riding trails? Or perhaps a resource that I can access to find this information.
    Thanks a bunch,
    Wendy

    • https://www.braggcreektrails.org/fat-biking/

      Essentially – if you’re leaving a rut, you need wider tires or firmer conditions.

    • Well put, YYC! That’s it for etiquette in a nutshell. Don’t expect a huge amount of extra flotation though, from your plus tires. If you are leaving ruts- riding will be a struggle and no fun anyway, plus you can expect to incur the wrath of fat bikers- same as you would from skiers for trashing a set track by walking on it. I don’t own a fat bike, as my main winter interest is skiing, but once things get packed down, and the inevitable chinook hits town making for poor skiing at WBC- things are usually firm enough for great riding on “skinny” tires. Studs are generally needed in such conditions- although yesterday the WBC trails were either dirt, or grippy packed snow. This past week- I also enjoyed very good riding on firm packed snow in 12 Mile Coulee and Paskapoo Slopes- expect a bit more ice once things freeze up again.
      One more bit of advice from this long time winter rider- hands and feet seem especially vulnerable to the cold when riding- figure out a reliable system before committing to longer rides in colder weather.
      Enjoy!

    • HI Wendy,
      I have basically given up x-country skiing this winter and ride a fat bike all the time now. To answer your question a regular mountain bike with 3″ or less width tires will not do well on any groomed or machine packed surface. But since this year we are talking about little to no snow or mixed riding snow, ice and dirt your studded tires should be fine. Trails that get lots of hiking traffic are also great places to ride as they tend to be packed to concrete. For groomed trails we recommend at minimum 3.8″ tires with 8psi or less. If you have a fat bike in loose snow conditions you can ride as low as 2psi (tubeless recommended). That being said fat tires really don’t float in deep snow and as Steve mentions its more of a struggle than its worth. A 2 psi inflated tire in deep snow will drag like having both breaks on and will sap your energy very quickly. For your hands get a set of pogies.

      https://www.amazon.ca/Bar-Mitts-Mountain-Black-Large/dp/B009F9ZQH4/ref=asc_df_B009F9ZQH4/?tag=googleshopc0c-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=292980735072&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=5466219252606974713&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9001367&hvtargid=pla-451146585796&psc=1

      • Thanks All for your helpful thoughts and comments! I took my bike in today to get my new studded tires and I’m looking forward to some winter riding. Who knew we would be dealing with spring temperatures in January in Calgary? I’m still doing the snow dance and I’m sure will get some of the white stuff soon.
        Wendy

  149. Is goat Creek skiable yet?. Thx

  150. Hello fellow skiers!
    Anyone know the ski conditions at Strathmore golf course right now? Looking for a bit of a warmer ski with the pup tomorrow.
    Thanks!

    • Jenn, you’re in luck. I just received an update from Ed Meyer who grooms the course. I’ll be posting an update shortly. The news is good!

      • Awesome Bob! Thanks (and thanks from our pup Bodhi too who will be very happy with a more mild weather ski tomorrow!!). Looking forward to your report.

  151. What ever happened to the Crystal Ridge Nordic Club that used to be based in Okotoks on the location of the Crystal Ridge Golf Course? I’m a relatievrly new resident and frequently use trails on the North side of town at Laudan Park which are town maintained, but Crystal Ridge would have been a great spot to ski.

  152. Has anybody checked out Sandy McNabb recently? Curious of trail conditions.

  153. Has anyone skied at Mount Shark lately?

  154. Hi. I would like to ski at Lake Louise in the evening. I’m a beginner. Would anyone know if it would be a bad idea. My concern is bear and cougar. Thanks.

    • As a beginner, daylight may be best. But great divide is a reasonable choice for a night ski being Flatish and a nice wide road to let lots of light in if its a clear night. You may or may not need a head lamp. If it’s snowing, even lightly, with a breeze, it can be quite disorienting to the balance with a head lamp (especially modern LED style) with slanting snow. As to bear and cougar, your odds of running into one are low, but possible (not probable) and are likely similar everywhere other than perhaps the most populated spots. Most bears should be napping by now, but doesn’t mean that it’s not posssible. Probably less odds than running across a cougar. We often see cat and wolf tracks on the groomed trails in the winter as they provide an efficiencient means of travel for night hunting and no humans around. If a large noisy group, not much of an issue. If you are travelling solo and are of small stature, the odds go up for both an encounter and an attack. CNC may be a better option as there is now night skiing.

      • Thank you for your note, MaSid. I went there and checked it out. Yes…the lamp is a bit disorientating but I didn’t see any cougars or bears. Hope to run into you one day.

  155. Hello. I’m a newer xc-skier. I have waxless skis. When I bought them the people at MEC waxed them (glide wax on tips and tails I guess). That year and the next I skied on them as they were. A couple weeks ago I took them in to have them waxed again in the same way, thinking this would be a good thing to do. I was able to take last Wednesday off and took the skis for their inaugural trip this season. I went to ski Moraine Lake Road with a friend, who has the same same skis, bought a year later at a different place. He has never put any wax on his skis. As the trip went on I got slower and slower and more and more exhausted and thought I must be really out of shape. However, on the return, which has downhill, my friend was enjoying the ride and I was actually stopping and getting stuck on the downhill. Eventually I thought to look at the bottom of my skis. Both skis had ice stuck behind the fish scales. I scraped it off and glided better for a little while then it iced back up again. This continued for me to the parking lot. Not fun. Did the people who waxed them do something wrong? Or was it just bad luck with the temperature? It was a little +/- 0 all day and snowing. But my friend didn’t have this problem at all. If he had, I’d know it was the temperature. I’m just not sure what to do before I go out again. Perhaps this is a really rookie question. I would appreciate any advice.

    • Genevieve; It’s a combination of two things:
      – 0 degrees and fresh snow, a receipe for icing. (You’re right in you’re assesment)
      – Without seeing your skis one can only speculate but there could be some glide wax still on the surface of the ski which caused the icing.
      ( to be clear when a ski is hotwaxed there should be no wax on the surface but in the pores of the plastic base.)
      Try scraping the affected area with a plastic scraper.
      There also could be some residual wax in the fish scales clean them out.
      We’ve all experienced the frustration of icing skis.I maintain my own skis and have a racing/coaching background. Nothing is more frustrating than icing up.

      • Thank you Hugh, for the response. I chose the cheaper machine wax over the hand wax. Maybe next time I’ll spend the extra $. For now I’ll do what you suggest and make sure there is no wax on the surface or in the scales. Hopefully I’ll be gliding well the next time out!

  156. Anyone have any Intel on Priddis Greens this year? Are they tracksetting? Has anything happened yet?

  157. glenn hetherington

    Anyone skied west bragg creek lately, just wondered what the conditions are like

    • There has been no snow at WBC for weeks, just Chinook winds. Las track setting was Dec 13 and those tracks are filled with conifer needles, cones and branches. At least 105 downed trees have been removed from the trails.
      The snow cover is thin and icy, with bare spots and rocks.
      Wait for a substantial snowfall.
      On the other hand, the hiking and biking is pretty good.

  158. Hello,
    I would like to ski some easy courses at Peter Lougheed Provincial Park but Google Map doesn’t show how to get there. Could someone tell me if I should just drive south on Highway 40 and then just walk it to get to the easy trails. Thanks.

    • Drive south on Hwy 40 for 49K to the barrier. At the barrier, you have to turn right on to Kananaskis Lakes trail. In 2K you’ll reach Pocaterra Hut. There are a number of trailheads for the next 10K including the Discovery Centre, Elkwood Amphitheatre, Boulton Bridge, and Elk Pass. I don’t know your level of ability or fitness, so I’m not sure what you consider easy. If you are referring to a lack of hills, the easiest trail would be Wheeler which is accessed at the Elkwood Amphitheatre parking lot.

  159. Dang, there’s very little dog friendly skiing available, we’re feeling very left out and badly represented, we need more dog friendly skiing where the good snow is.

  160. Anyone know anything about the cross country conditions in Jasper? Heading there for Christmas and wondering which if any skis I should bring. Thanks for any info !

    • Kathryn, you can check this page: go to “Trail Reports”, click on the Banff site, and then on the left side of the page the other national parks are listed. You can then click on Jasper to find conditions there.
      At this point, it looks like they really need more snow 🙁

  161. We are thinking ahead for March break…
    The last few years the snow has not been great by end of March for x-country skiing. I’m just curious if the Canmore Nordic Centre typically still has snow for end of March? Since they blow snow I am assuming they would be open later in the season but wanted to see if my assumption is correct.
    Thanks!

  162. Does anyone know why the Live Grooming for Canmore Nordic Centre is not up and running?

    Rainer

  163. Just stumbled across this place not too far from Kamloops.
    https://www.overlanderskiclub.com/enjoy-our-trails/
    Stake Lake
    or here:
    https://www.facebook.com/overlanderskiclub/

    • Good – re overlanders
      I wondered If it’s open yet?
      I’m heading that direction in a few days and was hoping to ski there but couldn’t get details from the website as the weather it’s actually skiable yet?
      Thanks

  164. Lost and Found

    Found one smart phone at West Bragg Creek along Mtn Rd trail about .5km fr warm up hut. Its now in the hut on a shelf. Another great day. -Robert Murray

  165. am visiting Banff and Jasper area in Feb to cross country ski / hike /explore . As far as skiing goes we are looking for 4 or 5 trips that just are top of the list. Figure the best plan is to start with the people who live in this paradise all the time . We are experienced skiers who can probably handle 20km on a trip if its not all uphill. Anyway just some opinions on some great day trips Thanks KF

    • I’m not familiar with Jasper so I’ll give you some favourites in Banff/Lake Louise.
      Pipestone trails at Lake Louise. Perimeter loop is about 13K.
      Moraine Lake road in Lake Louise. 18K return
      Redearth Creek in Banff National Park. 22K return
      Cascade Valley in Banff National Park 29K return(you can turn around sooner if 29K is too long)
      My favourite in Banff is Goat Creek/Spray River West as a 19K one-way trip, mostly downhill from Canmore to Banff.

    • Jasper…Maligne Lake has a few loops, and a hut which you can ski to. Trails are also located in the Athabasca River Valley. Back country skiing is limited (mostly closed) due to Woodland caribou preservation. If you are into track skiing check out the Hinton Nordic Center…about 45 minutes out of Jasper. Bring your skates, snoeshoes for activity at Pyramid Lake and Jasper Park Lodge.

  166. I didn’t know they track set at Bowness Park. Where do you park to access the trails!

    • The ski trail parallels the paved path around the perimeter of the park(sort of). I’ve placed a red arrow on this map of the west end of Bowness Park that shows where I accessed the trail. It’s at the extreme west end of the parking lot and right beside a playground. Bowness map

      • Thanks Bob! Fingers crossed for some snow soon. Do you know if dogs are allowed on-leash?

        • There were numerous people walking dogs on-leash in the park so I would assume they are allowed.

          • Thanks Bob! We are going to check it out tomorrow. Maybe not on skis with the warmer weather in the forecast but at least a walk to go explore.

            • Take your skis anyway! Bowness Park is a cold, sheltered place which tends to hold the snow better than the more open golf courses.
              Also it is a very popular dog-walking place.

  167. Trail Sports 403 678 6764 would be able to provide lessons for your group.
    Check their web site http://www.trailsports.ab.ca

  168. Seems legit…lol
    “Greeting,
    I trust that my mail find you well. We intend to book for a winter ski lesson in your resort.
    We need to services of professional ski instructors that can handle about 7 people for a private lesson.
    Below is the proposed information for our intended training.

    NUMBER OF GUESTS: 7 All Adults{ Between the ages of 19 to 25}
    RESUMPTION DATE: 1st of March to 7th.{ 7 DAYS}
    SKI LEVEL: Beginners

    The guests will like to ski in the afternoon between 2 to 4pm daily { 2 hours per session.
    Kindly confirm if you can accommodate the guests for the period of 7 days.
    Get back to me with your acknowledgement and the total cost for the 7 guests for one week session.
    Regards
    reply to francisleo3227 gm*il.com aka Graham Burke
    sent from faahim.am22 gm*il.com”

    Just a heads up, no idea where it’s tracked me from but it’s definitely a hit via skiing I would think. They think I own a ski resort Wonderful news! I shall inform my wife after I reply

  169. Has anyone ventured out to Egypt Lake Hut yet this season? Any info on the snow in that area would be appreciated 🙂

  170. Has anyone checked out Maple Ridge Golf Course in the past few days?

    • I haven’t been there, but noticed this morning that the city website indicated that grooming was suspended until equipment was repaired (they typically groom on Tuesdays when there’s enough snow). It may be skiable, but looks like it won’t be groomed or track set today.

      • Curiosity got me today and I went to check it out. It is groomed and trackset for the majority of the trail.

        • The city usually grooms Maple Ridge on Tuesdays.

          The city is considering cutting the funding for grooming at Maple Ridge. Please call 311 to let them know you’d like the grooming to continue!

  171. If you happened to pick up my turquoise and purple neck-tube at Confederation Golf course on Sunday, I would love to retrieve it.

  172. Does anyone have any idea what Mt Shark is like? Live grooming text is from Nov 21st and says skiing is not recommended due to inconsistent base etc. However, the trail report at albertaparks.ca is from Nov 28th and says “trails generally in good condition”. Maybe they roller packed it and it’s not showing up on live grooming? We’re looking for options for Saturday with kids (strong skiers) and, preferably, dog. Any of you retired/semi-retired folks want to check it out tomorrow? Pretty please? 😉

  173. Hi Bob!

    My friend and I are interested in an easy, 3-4 hour ski this Saturday, that’s not too far from Calgary (i.e., Great Divide Trail). What trails do you recommend? I’ve read over the trail conditions reports and comments for PLPP and West Bragg, but am not sure which ones might be easier and appropriate. We’d love to get your thoughts. Thank you!

    • If you want 3 hours of easy skiing, the Great Divide is your trail. It’s pretty much the only trail that would fit your criteria right now.

      • Okay, thanks! Do you think it’s too risky to try going to PLPP on Saturday? We’d like to spend some time at the spa in Kananaskis Village after, so we’re thinking Lake Louise might be too far.

        I don’t know your level of fitness and ability or your risk tolerance. With the barricade coming down on Dec 1 on Hwy 40, your only option would be Elk Pass. If you’re looking for easy skiing, PLPP would not be recommended until there’s more snow and grooming. We’ve had plenty of trip reports from PLPP, so make sure you read them and make an informed choice. -Bob

  174. Hi:

    How far past the gate on Highway 40 is the connector to the Pocaterra Trail? I want to try it this Sunday. Is there something to look for on the side of the road?
    Thanks in advance,
    Herbert

    • Hi Herb, It’s about 10K past the barricade. On the right hand side you’ll see a small parking lot. Ski 650 metres on the access trail to reach Pocaterra.

  175. hey, I have a group of gals that are keen to have a xc ski outing. I looked through the maps of ski options, but having trouble finding where any warming huts/cabins are. Any recommendations for trails that would have a warming hut/cabin as part of the destination?? Maybe somewhere that would make for a great evening/head lamp ski?

    • Once Lk O’Hara opens their lodge for the winter (end of January) the Le Relais is open and one can go inside there and start a fire but it is 11 kms up Lk O’Hara Fire Road and past an avalanche path so would not recommend for moonlight ski. Their campground also has an open cooking place but not really a shelter. The ACC huts both there (Elizabeth Parker) and at Elk Lakes (start from Elk Pass parking lot/PLPP) technically need a day pass to use. Both even longer skis in. Bryant Creek Shelter is from Mt Shark area; again a long day ski and should utilize longer daylight hours. The best warming hut in Bow Valley is the one in the Meadow at Canmore Nordic Centre. It stays open until (?) 9pm and even has outdoor nifty toilets and warm inside. Great for night ski and can get 5-7 kms of skiing circuit in. Popular evening pursuit in Canmore. A warming hut on Cascade Fire Road would be a wonderful idea but no such thing exists.

    • Back in the day I led moonlight skis for the Calgary Ski Club from Pocaterra Hut. Pocaterra trail is a lot more difficult since the floods, so I don’t know if it would be suitable now. In the near future Pocaterra Hut will be open every day ’til 8 pm. We’re still waiting for more snow so the trails in the area can be groomed. Read more about the hut.

      • Also a warming hut at west Bragg creek, but it’s at the start point. But plenty of options for doing numerous loops bouncing back to the hut each time. Elk lakes cabin usually has people staying there on weekends, so fairly certain of a warm hut. Its perfect for the day after having pizza at home. Wrap it in tinfoil and throw it on the wood stove while sitting on the porch. Best hot lunch ski day that also gets you skiing from Alberta into BC and back. But long (24k total?), not for the first adventure. 26 k out and back to Bryant creek. We could do with more of these options for sure.

        • All great suggestions -especially the pizza oven! Too bad Alberta hasn’t a kind of trail side hut culture as exists in other parts of the world (PQ, NE US, EU of course). It surely gets cold enough here! Doesn’t need to be fancy … really, no more than an shack on skids to rotisserie brown a half-dzn bodies and share in good cheer.

          • Skied to an interesting warming hut outside Nelson BC once. 2×4 A-frame wrapped in plastic with a wood stove inside. A very simple ski club contribution, but not in park land. Got the fire going and kept doing laps, returning to the hut a number of times throughout the day, enjoying it so much I skied back to the car in the dark. No pizza though.

  176. It’s great to see folks out skiing. This time of year there is tremendous pressure on the grooming at MLR and Divide. However this comment applies to grooming everywhere.
    When the groomer goes past the temptation is to jump into those pristine tracks or skate on the fresh corduroy. It takes time for snow to set up and become firm. It would help with the longevity of the tracks if we all resisted that urge.
    It would be great if all ski trails were groomed early in the AM or late in the day when there is less usage to allow for proper setup but especially out at LL grooming happens during the day shift. Sometimes these is no option, but think about it next time you see the groomers.
    .

  177. I’m looking for advice and training tips for skiing with my one yr. old border collie. I’d like to keep her on a waist leash as I don’t want her pulling ahead, but rather following along behind, to keep her away from the business end of ski poles and out of the way when I need to step out of the tracks descending.

    Thanks,

    Wendy

    • Best advice I can give is ski with you dog in front where you can see her! Start with very short trips on nice flat well groomed trails and see if you and your dog get along skiing. Do lots of research and don’t forget to have fun.

      You could always skiing WBC with your dog off leash if she is reliable.

      Mad dogs and Englishmen https://www.maddogsexpeditions.com/adventures/winter/skijoering-tours offer skijoring training with your dog, although I not heard any reviews.

    • How wonderful to have a young, enthusiastic dog to ski with. I’ve discovered that my dog is more likely to run into the tips of my ski poles when she is behind me. I’m with Martin, and think you’ll have more success with the dog in front. I trained Tessa to move over by saying “side” when a skier was coming. Unfortunately, she has recently gone deaf(according to the dog-age calculator, she’s 84 years old, but is still faster than I am!). Border Collies are intelligent and she’ll learn quickly.

      • Thanks Martin and Bob for your advice, and thank you for Bob for posting the picture of Kazzy and Chris skiing together. That is exactly what I’d like to be able to do with my pup this winter! I enjoy reading Kazzy’s trip reports!
        Klara’s recall is very good although I’m not sure it’s totally reliable yet. A rabbit or squirrel would likely send my little rescue pup into full on pursuit. I would hate to see her cause a fall and possibly an injury so I’d like to train her on leash and then work toward off leash when I know I can trust her recall all the time.
        Bob, I really like the idea of “side” when a skier is coming toward you, we will work on that and hopefully see you at WBC this winter!

        • Hi Wendy, not sure I can offer too much by way of training tips, being an Alaskan Husky aka “sled dog”, it came very naturally to me. I trot along side Chris, who uses a much longer leash than when we’re out walking, and she uses a waist harness. I try to match my speed to hers, and do pretty well on the flats and uphills (though she would like me to pull more on the uphills!) but I like to go really fast on the downhills so she hands me off to my other human, Peter. I sometimes forget not to walk in the tracks, and I have caused a few tumbles, usually by getting a good whiff of squirrel which I can’t resist, and occasionally stopping dead in the tracks if I get in front of Chris causing her to cartwheel over me. So we obviously have more work to do but boy is it fun!

          • Hi Kazzy!
            Thanks for replying to my humans questions about xc skiing. I’m really looking forward to getting out with them this winter. I don’t know if skiing will come naturally for me like it does for you but I do love to run and I have a ton of energy! I’m looking forward to learning how to become a good ski dog. My humans don’t own snowshoes yet, but I think they are going to buy some so we can spend more time together playing in the snow. I hope we see you on the trail sometime this winter!
            Klara the Border Collie

  178. Hi! Your best destination for XC ski vacation at the end of November? Staying at the same place or to be on the move? 6 nights.
    Thanks for helping!

  179. Hello everyone – I was unfortunately not able to do any skiing last winter in those fantastic conditions, and had to be satisfied reading about all of your excursions and pics instead (thank you all and especially Bob for sharing your trips and photos). However, it was for a very happy reason at least – I had my first baby last November. Although I’d planned to get out as soon as I could, my body just wasn’t up for it recovering from pregnancy and leaving the newborn for a few hours proved more challenging than I thought. I am very excited to finally get out again this year and introduce my little one to XC skiing for the first time. He will be a year old by the time conditions are good, so I was looking for any advice or tips this wonderful and experienced community can offer about skiing with a baby. I’m not going to invest in a ski pulk yet, just in case he doesn’t enjoy it, so I thought I’d try some short skis initially with him in his MEC baby hiking backpack, and maybe rent a ski pulk a few times if he tolerates it well. I have no clue about trying to ski with a baby, so any advice, tips or experiences you can offer would be greatly appreciated, so I can hopefully help him to enjoy it as much as I do.

    • Congratulations and great to see that you are already thinking about how to get your youngster out on skis. Our kids (11 and 8) have been skiing since they were very small and I have a few random thoughts for you, apologies if these don’t exactly answer your questions:
      – A Chariot carrier with skis is very useful for little kids and serves double (or triple) duty as a stroller and bike trailer. Unlike pulks, the skis sit outside of the track so you aren’t ruining the grooming for other people (not an issue with firm machine grooming like the Nordic Centre). Also the straps and ‘rollcage’ provide good protection – I have a vivid memory of a laughing two year-old after a massive wipeout on the old Sawmill trails!
      – That being said, in the longer term we have found that a pulk is the more versatile choice because they are more stable in mixed conditions and on backcountry trails (Boom Lake, etc.). They also hold more stuff and can be used for gear (hut trips) once the kids are skiing independently.
      – We don’t have much experience using the baby backpack in the winter – just a little snowshoeing. I know some people who ski with these and enjoy having their kid closer and with a better view. Reducing the risk of a crash and making sure junior is warm would be the main concerns.
      – On the subject of warmth, we always carried those little chemical hand warmers for emergencies but usually found that a good snowsuit and mitts was enough. Nevertheless, it’s important to check hands, feet, and especially cheeks regularly!
      – The plastic skis that strap over winter boots might be good for very simple introductory skiing and help little ones get excited about snow. However, proper bindings and boots make a big difference even at an early age and there are lots of ski swaps around town.
      – We really enjoyed the Nordic Centre – two different places to warm up, consistently good grooming, and a tobogganing option on site were a winning combination for us.
      – Bringing friends is also key – even now, our kids go twice as far, twice as fast with friends!
      – When your kid is a little older (4) try a program with a club – high quality Bunny/Jackrabbit programming made a huge difference for our kids’ skills and motivation.

      I think I’ve digressed into stuff that’s not going to be relevant for you for a couple of years! Like everything else in parenting, there’s no one right way – this is just my two cents. Enjoy his first proper winter!

      • Thanks for the info! That is indeed very helpful. Just wondering though, do ski pulks mess up the track setting? I was looking at one that said it was designed to fit into standard tracks. Still not sure about spending all that money on it for such a short time period we’d be using it though. We already have a bike trailer and separate strollers so getting a Chariot that does all 3 functions now would be an additional expense my husband won’t agree to. Used ones at a reasonable cost seem to be pretty rare (I’ve been keeping my eyes open for them on Kijiji frequently).

        • They’ll mess the track up depending on a number of variables – mainly firmness of the track setting, the weight in the pulk, and the pulk design. At the Nordic centre I’ve never seen ours leave a mark. At Peter Lougheed I’ve often had to ski up the middle between the tracks.

          • Good to know – I never want to be the one to mess up the track setting. The Nordic Centre sounds like a good choice for trying it out. Oddly enough, I’ve never skied there (only biked) since there’s so many other free options to ski. However, I bet the nice solid tracksetting is worth it. I may rent a ski pulk at some point to try it out if the baby backpack doesn’t work. I’ve skied with a heavy pack before, but not one that pulls my hair and shifts around on its own…It’s been a long time since I’ve wiped out in non-icy conditions, but a squirmy passenger could certainly change that 🙂 It will certainly require being way more careful.

    • Hi Cheryl – Congrats on the new baby! You should check out the Hamax Outback. It is a multi-sport stroller that has ski attachments but also functions as a stroller, bike trailer, and even jogging stroller. It would be a great way to introduce your son to cross-country skiing. Hope you are able to get outside this season!

  180. Hello
    Looking for a great recommendation on ski groups.
    I’m a 40 something recreational intermediate skier based in Calgary. I’m not fast nor am I competitive but I love getting out for a good 15km ish (longer is fun too) classic ski or to be pushed on the skate skis for an hour or so.
    I’m looking to join a fun, non-competitive yet sporty group (organized or not) that skis primarily Sundays and possibly even some weekdays (I’m a nurse so have a fluctuating schedule). Favourite ski spots would be West Bragg and Kananaskis.
    Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated-thanks!
    Jenn

  181. Who’d have thunkit! A CC trail system near Oliver and Osoyoos…

    http://mckinneynordicskiclub.com/

    • There are 9km of groomed cross country ski trails and approximately 5km of marked snowshoe trails.
      I would be afraid of getting lost!

  182. Can anyone help me reconcile information in the PLPP live grooming map versus table?

    The table shows no grooming/tracksetting newer than Apr14, but there are several “green” trails on the map, indicating 1 day old grooming/tracksetting.

    Is the map perhaps no longer updated?

    Thanks.

  183. Did anyone find a skin on Elk Pass trail April 8th? Came off my ski between 1-3pm somewhere before the junction with Highline and tyrwhitt, wasn’t aware they we attached by magnet and could just come off!
    If found please contact or return to The Norseman. Thanks very much

  184. Hi folks,

    How much use will I get out of AT skis around Skoki Lodge? i.e., turns?

    Just booked Skoki for tomorrow night. I’ve been there several times, always on my (very) skinny skis. Despite the good advice and many thumbs up for getting some light touring skis (comments string from March 15, 2014, below), I still have only the same old racing skis. (Getting out quite a bit less since that season.)

    But I just outfitted with the full light-ish AT kit (G3 Synapse, tech bindings) including avi stuff. I ‘m thinking I’ll use it for Skoki tomorrow just for a change. I haven’t seen much terrain on my trips to and around Skoki that cried out for AT, but I wasn’t really looking for it either. (Apart from turns, the 101 mm skis would be a lot better for another run at the natural bridge!)

    So I think I just persuaded myself to take the ATs. But I’d still be interested in thoughts from the many very experienced (yet youthful! 🙂 ) readers and posters here.

    Thank you.

    • PS: I just saw Chuck’s Skoki Grand Tour posting from a few years ago. Wow!! I have to do it. Maybe next weekend. It’s reason enough to get out and buy that BC gear finally! (Still plan to get some anyway.)

    • PS2: I might stay Sunday night too, if they will allow me to book it while I am there. So comments about terrain can consider that I would have a layover day in addition to ski-in, ski-out.

      • Hi Dennis,
        My thought is that if you take AT Gear you can find good turns, but check out the newly updated avalanche rating first. As you already know, skinny skis can work for a single day trip in and out. Light Touring skis are the best all round option, and would allow you to enjoy the many tours in the area, including the Natural Bridge.
        Is it too late for you to rent Light Touring?
        Might see you out there!

        • Thank you, Chuck. I’m off with the AT skis and blue wax to start. I hope to get the light touring kit and try your Skoki Grand Tour next weekend.

          Enjoy your tours this weekend!

  185. Anyone been snowshoeing near/to Commonwealth Lake recently?

  186. SKI STORAGE: For years I’ve only had waxable skis, which I had hot waxed (but not scraped off) before storing the skis for summer. This winter I got a pair of light touring skis with fish scales and am wondering what can be applied to protect those over the summer. Any thoughts? I think I had read somewhere that people have applied Vaseline; that seems like one nice mess.

    • I use a universal paste glide wax (liquid would work too) over the entire length of my Fish Scale and Crown skis, both for when I ski on them and when I store them for the summer. Apply the paste wax and polish it in the direction from tip to tail so you don’t end up with globs of wax stuck in the grip pattern.

  187. Has anyone skied anywhere in Calgary since yesterday’s snow fall? If so, where at and what were the conditions like?

  188. I found a womens dark blue full zip Lulu Lemon sweat shirt at the 5km picnic table on the way into Lake O’hara on Sunday March 11th. Let me know via this comment section if it is yours and I will get it back to you. Cheers!

  189. Hi there,
    Wondering if anyone has skied Elk Pass to Elk Lake Cabins as of late – looking for conditions and tracking info – Whether to use back country XC skies or Classic Wax XC skies.
    Skiing in a couple weeks – so any info is appreciated – TIA

    Ashley

    • Hi Ashley

      We went into the cabin yesterday and came out today. Conditions were pretty good and we had no trouble with Classic Wax XC skis. It was warm and sunny today, but SkiGo HF red worked great the whole way. Skier set tracks were well established.

      • Thanks Jonathan,

        Much appreciated – went out yesterday at Shag and it was quite warm … Looking forward to skiing into the cabins next week.

        Cheers!

  190. New one I stumbled across….

    “Nordiculous.”

    As quoted by ppl skiing at Whistlers lesser known neighbour Callaghan Country

  191. Posted this on the wrong page, so copying here…apologies!

    I live in Ontario, but originally from Alberta. Winter decided to disappear here, and so I thought, “good time for a trip home to visit the family and ski in Canmore.” The long range forecast looked promising. But I know exactly what can happen. So I took the risk…

    So evidently temps are going to spike next week, just in time for me to come out. How does Canmore Nordic usually fare in these situations? I assume they have great grooming and can stretch things out…? I’m cool with spring skiing (although this would really be spring skiing). At this point, I’ll ski in slush if I have to. Would complement the ice I’m skiing on here at the moment.

    Sigh. This winter just will not stop being a jerk.

    Thanks for any insight!

    • You should be able to find good tracks at the Nordic Centre on the main trails that are groomed frequently.
      Check the live grooming reports (top of this page) the day-of for fresh tracks in Peter Lougheed, which should be ok if they haven’t gone through the freeze/thaw of tracks a few days old. Trails toward the south tend to do better during the wam spells.
      Lake Louise looks like it might be alright weather-wise, but the grooming reports aren’t as up to date as the places that use the live grooming app.
      Waxless, skin, or zero skis will give you less grief if the tracks aren’t really glazed from freeze/thaw cycles.

      • Thanks Mark! Much appreciated.

        I think I just needed reassurance that I’ll still probably be able to ski…:)

        The weather reports are all over the place – different sources show a 10 degree difference in forecasts, which tells me no one really knows what’s going to happen. (Not that they ever do).

        Fingers crossed, and happy skiing!

  192. Bob, et al

    i’m looking to pick up a new pair of skis, thinking end of season to save some $. any ideas? do certain retailers have regular end of season sales?

    cd

    • trail sports at the canmore nordic just started their sale on new skies and stuff.
      sport experts start their sale easter weekend.
      for MEC I put things I want on my wish list and start checking for sales soon.

    • Monitor the front page of this site, eg I see over here —–>
      Lifesport has a March sale for a few more days

  193. Pierre Lamoureux, St. Paul, AB

    Hi everybody. I would like to ski a double-header at PLPP- Kananaskis Lakes on Saturday, March 3 and the LL Loppet on Sunday , March 4 this weekend. Does anyone know if the trails will be track set at Kananaskis Lakes by Saturday? Are the conditions down there actually as good as reports last week said they are?
    The 7 hour drive from NE Alberta to the Bow River corridor is a long way to go…

    • There’s plenty of snow with more on the way. Some grooming will occur in PLPP tonight, Friday night and Saturday morning but with the ongoing snowfall, you’ll probably have fresh snow in the tracks. The crews usually finish grooming around 5-6 a.m., so if you want to get out there really early…

  194. Does anyone know where to find the condition of the XC trails in Fish Creek Park.

  195. I recently purchased a pair of Atomic Motion Skintec skis. I have been happy overall with them until yesterday.
    I am a retired recreational skier that is trying to improve my striding technique. I often ski without poles assisting me in order to improve my stride. My goal is fitness and enjoyment.

    I am 6 feet tall and I weigh 100kg (220lbs) without ski clothes, boots etc. The Motion Skintec are 204cm Xtrastiff with weight range of 90-110kg.

    I ski in Gatineau Park on the groomed trails at the end of the day. (Mostly between P8 and P9). Up until yesterday, I had been happy overall with the skis. I have not been as fast as other skiers who are skiing on waxed skis. Normally, I can run/stride uphill with limited glide (without poles). I am pleased with the downhill glide performance overall – again not as good glide as others on wax skis.

    Here is my problem/question:
    Currently we are experiencing a spring melt with daytime temps of 5 and nighttime of -5. The tracks are well travelled by the end of day and mostly smoothed over and glazy when I go out at nightfall.
    Yesterday, I had variable grip/kick. Mostly, the the grip was limited and I would slide-out on my kick. I had to use my poles to assist me, particularly on the uphill. (There were times where the grip/kick was OK – but not in the main)

    I was very disappointed in my performance with the skis yesterday. I do not know whether it was the skis (too stiff) or my technique. Are there conditions where the Skintecs just don’t work well?

    Any help advice, knowledge, experience would be appreciated !!

    BG

    BTW: I took my skis to purchase/mount bindings on the Atomics to my local highly respected Cross Country Ski Shop (That is all they deal with in the winter – where I normally make all my purchases, were sold out of Skintecs) evaluated my Atomics with me and said they would probably be too much on the “Soft” side ??

    • Skiing at the end of the day after lots of traffic and cooling temps is a challenge regardless of wax or no wax skis. Skin skis regardless of name brand aren’t perfect. We ski at the Canmore Nordic Centre a lot . Especially close to the stadium in high traffic areas our Skintecs require some thought when kicking. It gets better further away in lower traffic areas.
      As far as technique, I’ve given up trying to improve by skiing without poles. I think it’s a waste of time for me. What I do while skiing is I “Look Ahead” I look 30-50’ down the track and think of putting my nose over the track I’m gliding on. Very subtle left to right shift. I don’t think of kicking. I bring my back leg though past the gliding foot. Looking ahead improves balance allowing you to glide on one ski longer and bring the other foot through. In Yoga it’s called as Drishti point. Since all your weight is on the gliding ski you can kick and don’t slip back. Full disclosure here: I was a CANSI instructor from the very beginning. I’ve taught all the tricks and drills to get better weight shift, set you wax, yadda, yadda. I no longer think of all those points I “look ahead” Good Luck!

  196. Does anyone know what the x-country ski conditions are for the Rundle Riverside Trail that runs from the Canmore Nordic Centre to Banff (Banff Springs Hotel)? I’m hoping to try it out tomorrow (March 1).
    Thanks
    Nancy

  197. Does anyone know what Lake Ohara is like now?
    And what day I see it regularly trackset? I searched this site and found ‘weds’ from 2013. Thursday or Friday?
    Txs!

  198. Gold medal for U.S. wax technician at sprint relay race!

  199. My jaw dropped when I saw young Johannes Klaebo ascend the hill that has now been nicknamed in his honour at the Olympic classic sprint course venue.

    He would do a great Red Bull ad. (it gives him wings!!!)

  200. Banff Park trail reports?.?.
    Does anyone know what’s happened- any grooming?
    How come all the other jurisdictions can manage reports in a timely manner?
    Anyone have inside scoop?
    Thanks

    • I’ve contacted Greg Danchuk, Banff’s Visitor Experience Manager about this. He replied and said he’ll look into it.

      • thanks for that. i heard a rumor today that the Cascade
        was set Sunday! and went to spray west late today for a look. Set

        since big snow, a worn wobbly track remains.

  201. While skiing trackset at West Bragg today, the snow appears to be packed/groomed for 40-50cm to the outside of the outer ski track, but often if I planted my outside pole more than 10cm from the outer track, it would go right through the snow pack to the ground. I’ve experienced the same thing in many other XC ski areas as well. Anyone know why that is?

    • Hi Mike,
      It’s a great question and often comes up. The grooming equipment that we have at our disposal does not allow for much compaction at the periphery of a pass. We pull a device known as a Ginzu Groomer. It can compact and renovate snow and also lays classic tracks with 250 lbs of down pressure. Unfortunately, the outboard 30 cm of the groomer is designed to be soft and malleable, so that it won’t break should it run in to an obstacle. The floppiness of the mat that lays corduroy at the periphery of the trail is what causes soft pole plants. There is not enough weight over the mat in this area to compact the snow enough to get a reasonable density to support pole plants.
      The problem is compounded when we attempt to widen a trail to accommodate different user groups. If we laid classic tracks right up the middle of any of our trails, soft pole plants would not be an issue. This is not a practical solution however, so we are at the mercy of time and multiple passes of grooming to get the snow to a firmer density.
      The positive side of this is that it helps us coach our young athletes to avoid ‘tenting’ their poles and keep their pole plants as vertical as possible to maximize their efficiency!
      Hope this helps.

      • Thanks for the reply Jeff. And when I posted my question, I had a sneaking suspicion that the groomers were conspiring to improve everyone’s pole plant technique! 😉

  202. Does anyone know of a way to release an automatic binding which is very stiff? Jackie has sent an email asking for help. When she falls, she can’t push it down with enough pressure to release the boot.

    “The binding is Rottefella Touring. We’ve put WD 40 on the metal parts which makes the mechanism a bit more flexible, but still when I’m down on the ground, if I use my pole to press on the indented release mechanism, I don’t have enough leverage to release it. That’s why I thought there might be a trick or a gadget that would help.”
    Photo of binding
    Photo2

    • I have HEARD that a silicone sp[ray might help if it is water getting in and freezing. otherwise? I have the same problem with an old backcountry NN and usually have to slip out of the boot at day’s end.
      If you got the binding at MEC, I’d contact them. Otherwise??

    • When you’re on the ground and pushing against the release with a pole, the tendency would be to counter the pressure from the pole by pulling up with your foot. This would increase the forces (and friction) on the binding and make it more difficult to release. I this situation I usually have to reach down and release the binding with my thumb on the release button and fingers wrapped around the bottom of the ski.

      Pat’s reply sounds like it may have been a similar issue. Some bindings (or if there’s a snow buildup under your boot) benefit from applying pressure into the binding through your toe, like the same force you would apply when stepping in. This takes some of the upward force off the clips and allows them to release.

    • WD40 and silicon lubricant might help temporarily but won’t last long with the binding being constantly exposed to water. I’ve used lithium grease in a spray can which doesn’t wash out and will last a lot longer. You can buy it at Rona or the Home Depot. Just spray it in and work the mechanism until it operates smoother. You may also have strong springs that require more force to compress so try leaning on your pole harder next time.

      • If none of the above works and you decide to get new bindings, I’d get manual ones. All too often I’ve seen automatic bindings freeze or get stuck for some other reason in the open or closed position. In one case, my ski partner had to leave her boot attached to the ski at the end of the day because the binding refused to release!

  203. Where can I find up to date information on Grooming conditions for Shaganapi golf course? Any been since the snow fall Saturday night, Feb 10th 2018?

    • No doubt you’ve checked the Trail Reports link on my blog for Shaganappi, but as we can see, it hasn’t been updated although I imagine grooming has occurred. Alasdair Fergusson from the Calgary Ski Club sends me an email, usually within 24 hours of grooming, and I post it on the Groomer’s Reports. I haven’t had anything since the recent snowfall. I don’t know of any other place to get the information.

  204. Astro report for just about everywhere besides Priddis. Hope this helps.

    http://www.cleardarksky.com/csk/index.html#chart_list

  205. Consider for forecasts. Though limited, lots of data…

    http://www.cleardarksky.com/c/RothneyALkey.html?1

    • We amateur astronomers use Clear Dark Sky all of the time, but there are caveats. The data isn’t updated very often during the day, so you can get some surprises. Otherwise, a very nice tool.

  206. Noting Jean-Francois Richy’s Village area report, how far can one go on Marmot now? Anyone ventured in?

    • Hi Gord,
      The first 1km was completely wiped out in the 2013 flood. I have hiked through the worst of it a few times. You can go all the way around but it would be like skiing through the rock garden at Lake Louise when there is no snow. I would suggest snowshoes for the bottom wiped out section then skis afterwards,

  207. Sandy McNabb – does anyone know if the recent snowfall was good there? The live grooming report says it hasn’t been groomed for over a month, can that be right?? The last comments were from Feb 1, before the snowstorm. I’d like to try something new, but maybe I should go to West Bragg to be safe.

    Courtney

  208. Anybody know if either Shaganappi or Mapleridge trails have been groomed since yesterday’s snowfall?

  209. I thought it would be cool to hear about people’s apres ski routines. After a few hours skating the awesome trails we are fortunate to have in southern Alberta, I have a particular routine I follow afterwards: gear down, stretch, hydrate, drive home or to the pub, down a couple of beers, feast on a burger, then hit the tub for an epsom salt bath. Oh, and nothing is better than a nice sleep-in the next morning to recover. What is your apres ski tradition?

    • Finish drinking my big thermos of tea while driving home from ski. take skis out for the next waxing job in garage. Remove outer ski pants and drape on stairs, rang up everything else for wearing next day. Hit computer for conditions via weather stations, write and check all trip/backcountry reports on skierBob, review my current “ski to do ” list, email friends who might be interested for next day/s ski outings, refill lunch bag, prep thermos for next day’s tea, make supper with or without beer/wine, watch 10:30 CTV news and hit the sack! This routine will be followed until I hang up my skis on April 1st, and that is no April Fool’s joke! (unless I injure myself before that date, which happened last Spring).

    • After a typical ski around Ribbon Cr or PLPP I head back to our campsite at Mt Kidd. Stretch, start a fire in fire pit and down a couple of beers to hydrate : ) and retire to the camper van , have supper and add up the km’s I had just skied. Life is good in the mountains!!!

      • Arrive home. Ignore housework, laundry, texts from anyone other than kids, and jump into hot tub, very carefully as I am holding a 9 oz. glass of wine. Discuss with my beloved what we should (he should) make for dinner, check Skierbob website to make sure all is well with the trail reports, (once out of hot tub, of course), do my best to stay up till 9, boot Bob (the dog, people, let’s not start rumors) off my side of the bed, then fall into a blissful slumber. I love retirement!

    • You youngsters!

      For me, it’s a walk home from Lake Louise, only to find that the roof of my cardboard abode in the back alleyway of Market Mall is sagging with ice. After propping it up, having a cold snow bath, and gnawing on a few chicken bones, I brush my teeth with salt and hit the coal sack.
      At 4am my wife kicks me out into the snow and I start all over again. First stop is Tim Hortons, where I chew coffee grounds from their morning garbage.

      Agh, you kids these days have it easy.

  210. Another question from the Saskatchewan skiers – can anyone provide us with a trail report for Mount Shark. We are planning to go tomorrow but have heard conflicting reports on conditions. Three years ago our 2 buses had to retreat to the CNC due to icy conditions at Shark and we are hoping not to have to do that again. We understand that it is usually groomed on Thursdays – can anyone confirm this? Any information would be greatly appreciated- thanks!

    • Mt Shark access just fine, especially from south, but grooming is long overdue! We broke trail around yellow 10 km loop yesterday and it was rather slow going.

    • Aldona, I expect Mt Shark will be groomed tonight but to be sure, check the Live Grooming Report in the morning. http://skitrails.info/report/mtshark

      You won’t encounter icy conditions anywhere right now, but you might have a bit of fresh snow on the new grooming.

      • Aldona,
        Mt Shark was groomed and trackset last night. The report mentions the area received about 1 cm of snow to 6:30 a.m. so the tracks may have a bit of fresh snow in them. Have fun!

  211. We are a group from Regina on our annual ski trip to the mountains and a few of us are hoping to ski Goat Creek from Canmore to Banff on Sunday. Although we have all done this (and are aware of the tricky approach to the bridge) it has been several years since conditions have permitted us to do it. We have read the last report from January 27 which sounds promising but with the recent and yet to come snowfall we are wondering if anyone can advise us if there is a site to check on grooming and tracksetting. Also we Saskatchewanians would be most grateful if anyone who does this on Friday or Saturday could post a trail report here. Thanks!

    • There’s 15 cm of snow in the forecast for Saturday, and more on Sunday, so I doubt that you will have any new tracksetting by Sunday morning. It’s always possible the Banff tracksetter will choose to do Spray River and Goat Creek on Sunday but chances are the trail will be covered with a lot of fresh snow.

      Tomorrow would be the day to do it because Spray River West was trackset today(that covers the final 9.9K) and Goat Creek(the first 9K of your trip) is skiable. You can check for grooming updates here http://www.pc.gc.ca/apps/tcond/cond_E.asp?oPark=100092

      • Thanks for that Bob. Looks like we’ll do Mount Shark tomorrow and try Goat Creek Saturday morning – hoping the heavier snow will hold off till later Saturday. Nice to have this forum!

  212. Yesterday, while people in Calgary were in the cold and gloom, I was skiing in the sunshine at PLPP! . It was -8 and calm when I started out at 11:30 from the visitor centre and -5 with some wind at 3:30. Rode blue multigrade worked well for the first half but later was a little slippy. Beautifully fast trackset between KVC and Bolton (lots of double poling) but the rest over Elk Pass was skier tracked in about 10 cm of snow. A great day to be in the mountains.

  213. Hi all- just looking for clarification. I had posted a trail report for WBC and mentioned we had skate skied loggers trail. There was a reply saying loggers is not a skate trail and that we were ruining the tracks. The trail was definitely wide enough for us to be skating without dipping into the classic tracks and we certainly saw other skate tracks. And with the recent conditions the skating was much better than classic. So….is skate skiing allowed on Loggers trail? Thanks!

    • http://braggcreektrails.org/files/WBC-WEB-Full-20161119.pdf

      According to the official map the skate skiing trails are: Hostel Meadow, Mountain Road, Moose Connector, East and West Crystal Lines (except for middle and the links) and Sundog Loop. Logger’s appears to be classic only.

    • I’m a 90% classic / 10% skate skier. As per Steve’s reply earlier today, GBCTA designates several trails for both classic and skate skiing (including Sundog, but not Logger’s). But it’s unclear whether skate skiing is specifically prohibited on other trails. Clearly one should avoid skating across classic tracks, which would damage them. This applies even on the trails that are designated for both skate and classic. But is there a problem with skating on classic trails as long as you don’t damage the tracks? It’s possible to restrict your skate stride so you don’t cross the tracks. For many trails, you’d have to restrict you stride so much that it would be a waste of time to try to skate them. Some trails, like Loggers and Mountain View, are wide enough that’s it quite feasible to skate without touching the tracks. And just because you’re on skate skis, it doesn’t mean you’re always skating. I was on skate skis on Mountain View yesterday (West to East) and double-poled virtually all of it.

      But what it comes down to is this: Is skate skiing specifically prohibited on WBC classic trails? Anyone have an official answer?

  214. Hello Dean,

    Allison Creek is a fun trail system when the snow is good. It is managed by the Crowsnest Nordic Ski Club and it looks pretty good now.
    http://www.allisonwonderlands.ca/report_detail.php

  215. Hello skiers…wondering if anyone has been to the Allison-Chinook Lake ski trails near Coleman lately, or if anyone knows where to find information on conditions there. I’ve been up there in summer and the trail system looks like it would be fantastic.

  216. In this site’s trip reports, I keep reading about people meeting Skier Bob on the trails, but I have skied in PLPP for years and to my knowledge I have never seen him. I am wondering how you know if you do meet him. Does he ski with a banner waving behind him saying, “Skier Bob is here”? Does he employ minions to ski ahead holding signs that say, “Here comes Skier Bob”? Is there a secret Skier Bob Society whose members greet each other on the trail with secret code words. I need help here, people. The suspense is getting to me.

    • You likely ski far too early in the day to run into Bob because he can often be found in parking lots starting to ski around 1pm. He has an identifiable toque which reads “Ski Here”. Ski Here was the previous name of this blog. Before he got Cortisone for his shoulder, he was skiing using only one pole but glad to hear he took on those hills at Redearth yesterday (in search of gnomes, snow fairies, and dragons) using two poles. He does love Goat Creek to Banff so perhaps after the next dump up there, you can be waiting at Banff West Spray parking lot for him with a lunch invitation to Silver Dragon Buffet.

      • Okay, thanks, Helen. I feel much more informed and will be able to sleep better tonite.

        • I had envisioned Bob wearing a superhero costume with SB on the front and a red cape flowing out behind. Reality pal;es in comparison… unless he can be talked into that???

    • I know how you feel, Bob and I have conversed for years electronically but never connected in the wild. One day while out with most of my ski family (Dad, Bro, Daughter) there he was! I rest better now too. I often wonder if his skis are many more hours for all the stopping to chat he must do

  217. Anyone know what happened to the LIVE GROOMING REPORT for CNC?.
    Hasn’t been updated foe at least 4 days.

    Thanks
    Barb

  218. Does anyone know of a shuttle service that would pick us up in Banff and take us to the Goat Creek parking lot so we could ski to our car back in Banff? I only see Bike ‘n Hike for the summer.
    Thanks.

  219. Just skied Crystal Line West and Moose Connector at West Bragg this morning 26 Jan). Pretty icy and minimal control going down the steeper hills. I don’t recommend this area until there’s a good snowfall.

  220. Found Garmin watch last Thursday evening (Jan 18) on Confederation Golf Course driving range. Let me know if it might be yours.

    Thanks

  221. Hello XC-skiers!

    I’ve never been at any Peter Lougheed PP ski trails before and plan my trip on coming week-end. I found the map and details of trails, BUT couldn’t find any mentions about trails suitable for skate style there?

    Can you please educate me which trails can be used for SKATE XC-skiing as I am not a classic-style skier at all. Thank you in advance!

  222. Now I have a question: is there any sort of ski trail now from Baker Creek to Morant’s Curve? I thought I heard rumours earlier this year……
    By the way, could we get them to remove some trees to restore the view of the railway??

  223. I used to be able to go to this URL-

    -and access snow depth info for various sites in the mountains such as Little Elbow summit. This could be found as a chart or as a graph which showed the depth for the current year, the previous year, and an average range.
    It appears Alberta Environment has “improved” things and I cannot find that info. Does anyone know to where it has migrated?
    🙁

  224. HI there,
    Looking for trail info/conditions on connecting Banff Golf course to the west end of Banff Ave/Nordic centre.
    Essentially we want to link up the Goat Creek Trail to the Nordic Centre.
    THx

    • You’re referring to the Rundle Riverside trail. My nickname for this trail is “Roots ‘N Rocks.” It probably requires more snow to be safely skiable. You can get some good information from this https://www.bikepirate.com/rundle-riverside/ It also gives intel on the access point at Banff. If you ski it, let us know how bad it was(if you survive).

  225. Has anyone else seen the really cheesy casino ads that are on the CanmoreAlberta.com web cam pages that are linked from Bob’s Web Cams page?
    Stuff like “Canada is Ruined – Especially Financially” which turns out to be a web page designed to look like a CBC News page, but is an ad for a Casino.
    These are creepy and tabloid-like.

    • That’s exactly the reason I did not accept Google advertising on my blog. It cheapens the website to have this intrusive garbage.

    • Yep! And the website runner controls the feed, not the hostee, so you never know what’s going to be on “your” site.
      It’s also click bait, and a profile assessment builder. Call me paranoid, but I’m wearing a aluminium foil hat, right now…

    • Ha. I can picture Gord with the aluminum foil hat.

      But it’s such a shame. Canmore, in my mind, connotes a beautiful town, with wonderful people, shops, and restaurants, and access to all of those outdoor activities. It’s so neat to sip a cup of tea and munch at yummy cookie at the window of Beamers, with that 5-star view of mountains in behind.

      Those ads are surely counterproductive.

  226. I am looking for cross country skis/binding for beginner/intermediate (waxless). I am 5’6 and 118lbs. I would prefer to buy used if possible. I am in Calgary & Canmore. I require boots and poles as well…. women size 6-6.5
    Thanks for your help!

  227. Interesting trip report made by Carole January 15, 2018 at 8:06 am about some skier/bikers from Montreal who skied one day and then fat biked the same trail the following day and stated the skiing was more enjoyable.

    I wonder if recent interest in fat biking will actually cause an increase in cross country skiers? Most of the time I see fat bikers on snow I have to admit it does not look like much fun. I feel the same way in the summer when I see folks on roller skis on the roads where I live, I then think, I’d much rather be riding my bike. Maybe that’s just me and I have to admit I’ve tried neither!

  228. Any resources for trail intel Central Alberta? Friend in Sundre looking for beginner places to try, other than Sundre itself, go that one, and Bearberry.

    • I live in Sundre and recommend Rocky Mountain House at the golf course, it’s nicely groomed and track set. There’s also Kevisville which is just north and east of Sundre a bit along the Raven River though not sure of the conditions. Innisfail used to trackset on their golfcourse, again not sure about that. Olds was setting some trails around their townsite. In Sundre we are hosting Tuesday night ski club at the rodeo grounds from 7pm to 9pm, this is nicely groomed for skating and trackset. Feel free to email our club for more info: sundrebikenski@gmail.com

      Paul

  229. Hi, I’m wondering if anyone knows the approx. distance of the full loop at Maple Ridge Golf Course. Thanks!

  230. Hello, I would like to ask if there is a warming hut and a picnic table somewhere in WBC? thanks.

  231. Congrats to Alex Harvey for taking third place in Tour de Ski stage 6. Tomorrow final day and another chance for a podium.

  232. On my drive out to ski WBC yesterday I noted that the Redwood Meadows golf course appeared to have some tracksetting done. Anyone know anything about what’s available there? Nothing is noted on the golf course web page.

  233. What is the attraction of skiing on the left side, particularly up the Blueberry Hill Trail? Are all skiers on the left track from England? Is the body odor of your friend so bad that you can’t follow in a single file on the right? Do you have subconscious desire to own the trail? Do you have a death wish?
    Come on people use your imagination this is dangerous. Blueberry is steep and has lots of blind corners. If you can climb up there you are not a rookie skier and know the rules. Please, be nice to your fellow skier.

  234. We’ve never skied the stretch between Castle Junction and Baker Creek Chalets, but if we were going to pick just some of this trail as an out and back ski, which section is most scenic/fun?

    • For the most scenic stretch of trail, park at Castle Lookout and ski about 5K west(towards Baker Creek). The first half-kilometre is in the trees but it soon opens up and is spectacular after that. I’d say this is probably the most fun, too.

  235. At Sandy McNabb, is there a warming hut?
    If we brought our own wood, where is it permissible to have a fire?

    • I can tell you for sure that there is no warming hut at Sandy. Would be nice though especially near the skating rink. Not sure about the fires. My suggestion would be to call the Ranger Station at Sandy, or, when open, go into the station (right hand side of road) before you get to left turn into campground). The skiing is a little more rustic than WBC and the season is not long so get there while you can. My husband was there today and saw three other skiers. That would be considered heavy crowds for this area! Love you moniker. Could so be me.

      • How was it there, did he say?

        • Oh, I received a full report. Both yesterday and today. He mentioned it was cold. He also said that anything that had been groomed is snow covered and skier tracked. Again, heavy traffic with three cars in parking lot. Still, this is a treat for any living close to the area as Sandy is less than 20 minutes from our house as opposed to a 45 one way drive to WBC. Enjoying it while we can as double digits appear to be in the forecast. 🙁

  236. Heading to Elk Lakes ACC cabin January 2nd with three families. Anyone has an update on trail conditions? Is the power line the only route? Thank you for any info!

    • It is most definitely more scenic in the West Elk Pass meadows which you step into by stepping off Elk Pass trail about 100 to 150m past Blueberry junction (picnic table). A few hundred meters through meadows that choke and reopen will get you to MaSid’s infamous snow-couch on the east side of the now very expansive and beautiful meadow. Study Google-Earth to recognize the large fork further down that meadow. You want the east (left) fork, so that you get to the power-line near or just past the point it makes a slight bend or kink. From there it’s the power line trail like everyone else. Rest assured it will feel too narrow to snowplow at times. If everyone takes a moment to side step and pack just some of a steep section it really helps.

      • Thanks a lot! That is very helpful!

      • I looked at Google earth and I can clearly see the east fork at the end of the meadow. I can’t make out the link between the left fork and the power line. With the cold weather and snow, I am wondering if we will find the trail once we reach that point. Will we end up at the bottom of the kink in the power line?
        THanks!!

  237. Anyone know when/if the CNC will fix or update their weather conditions link? As of today it’s still stuck on Nov 19th 2017. I’ve come to rely upon this for anticipating snow and clothing choices.

    http://www.canmorenordiccentre.org/weather/

    I don’t know the answer to your question, but I’ve deleted my links to it since it could be very misleading. It’s been stuck on -2 for a long time. I’ve sent an email to CNC asking about it and the warming hut. -Bob

  238. Hi, does anybody know when the warming hut will be opening at the Canmore Nordic Centre? Too cold to ski there right now with kids if it’s not open. Thanks.

  239. Hi,
    I am just wondering does anyone know if Canmore Nordic Centre is open tomorrow December 24th? I can’t seem to locate any info on openning hours. Thank you.

    It’s open for skiing every day. The daylodge is closed on Christmas day, but you can still go skiing – for free! -Bob

  240. Hi, is recommended wax temp taken from air or snow? I am finding differing answers. Swix says taken just above snow others say top layer of snow.
    Thoughts …

    • Clae; Simple answer is when it’s cold and wax ranges are large IE -10–30C air temp suffices. It’s cold.
      As the temp gets closer to zero I still use air temp and usually whatever the car temp said when arriving at trailhead.
      If you have a waxing thermometer ? laying just under the snow gives you an idea of the temp your skis will be gliding/gripping on. Use the aspect which mimics where you are skiing. IE in a shady or sunny spot depending.
      If the air and snow temp are wildly different use the snow and work from there.
      After years of waxing for racers and myself for loppers I’ve become pretty lazy. I don’t worry too much about temperatures and wax via feel.(if that makes sense) I live in Canmore and usually wax up one or even two waxes warmer due to the hard manmade snow and the fact the Nordic Centre tills their snow which changes its consistency.

      • Wax tin temp ranges are for snow temps. Air temps (or forecast) tell you what might be expected an hour or two from when you start out (e.g, warming/cooling/overcast/etc.).

  241. I have a question:
    All dogs are to be under the care and control of their owners. So, if I were to be skiing down a hill, even in a dog friendly are such as West Bragg Creek, and the owner is not in control of the dog, and the dog attacks me or decides to step in front of me while I’m on a down hill, and I fall over the dog and injure myself, would I be able to sue the owner for not having the dog under their control?

    • I’m not a lawyer, but I believe in our part of the world anyone can sue anyone else for anything, winning is more complicated.
      I skied WBC today with my black and white husky, she is harnessed and I always try to stop interactions with other people and dogs when they would prefer to be left alone, in my experience this is normal for dog owners @ WBC

    • You can pursue the dog owner and their insurance for compensation and/or sue if you run into an out of control dog. But you also have the responsibility to be skiing in control, so the exact circumstances will determine how successful you would be.
      However, if the dog attacks/bites you, Alberta has legislation (Dangerous Dogs Act), http://www.qp.alberta.ca/documents/Acts/D03.pdf.

      • What about ‘care and control’ of your dog? In all circumstances when cross country skiing you have limited control when coming downhill. Other skiers coming uphill are to yield to you… and step off to the side when they stop going downhill (you can’t read their minds) but if you have a dog that is limiting your route choice…and a moving target, what exactly is ‘care and control’?

    • What about this scenario? You are skiing down that same hill and you are about to hit my dog and I step in front of you to prevent that and I am injured by you – can I sue you? Can you sue me? Which state of the US are we in?
      I have been chased, bitten and hit by dogs and people (well no people have bitten me yet) while skiing, running, biking etc and I have never had the inclination to seek monetary compensation nor would most people. A few unkind words should suffice .

      • I agree with you Greg. I have had children, novice skiers (I was on the uphill yielding to downhillers that wiped out and crashed into me), errant branches and twigs, and a rabbit all cause me to take a tumble but the last thing on my mind was revenge and retribution. I honestly did not even go the unkind word route as in each case (children and novice skiers) they were so apologetic and obviously did not intend to ruin my day. I also realize that when I go to heavily populated multi use areas and the one area in Calgary that allows for dogs to be off leash that this is something that could occur. I do have a suggestion for Barbara to avoid all of the above but a trip to Siberia might not be on her bucket list.

      • I would like to ask what the definition of “care and control” is with respect to a dog on aski trail in an area like WBC?

        • Staying out of Barbara’s way, me thinks.

          • Barbara B. (a different Barbara)

            I’ve wondered about this as well since this post was started. Even XC skiing downhill, I would sure hope that skiers are in control at all times, and that if one feels out of control or with limited control, you adjust your skiing until you feel in control again. Otherwise of course one will take a fall or crash into something sooner or later.

            Merry Christmas!

        • As someone who frequently skis with our dog at WBC, I would hate to see the off-leash privileges taken away. One easy way to reduce potential conflicts that we often do- is to tether the dog when ascending the longer faster hills, just in case she wanders into the path of a quickly descending skier.

          • Steve, I so agree with your comment on not wanting this rare off-leash privilege to be taken away. Of course, all dog owners have a responsibility to have their dogs under control but, like children, sometimes the unexpected happens. Best possible scenario is that we all try to show patience and compassion. Personally, I love seeing the excitement and energy of the dogs leashed and controlled in the parking lot but by the time we all disperse on the trails I have yet to witness a major altercation. This is being said after 25 years of skiing in the WBC area. I feel that if anyone really has an issue with dogs there are so many areas they can ski where off leash is not permissible. Let’s try to get along.

  242. If you are on Facebook FB and ski at the Canmore Nordic Centre CNC check out this page. It’s dedicated to folks skiing the obscure trails at CNC. Lots of folks only ski the superhighways. Give the lesser know narrower old school trails a try.
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/1294354243924226/

    Hugh

  243. Hi everyone! I’m getting skin skis this year (first time trying this out) and I’ve narrowed it down to 3 budget-friendly options : Atomic Motion Skintec, Fischer Twin Skin Power EF and Rossignol R-Skin Sport. Anyone has any experience with those skis? I’ve read that the Atomics are a bit too grabby, and both others are faster, but I can get the Atomics almost half price so I’m wondering if others felt that they were slower. Thanks!

    • Martin
      Flex should be the deciding factor for you Get the correct flex and the drag effect is minimized. If cost is an issue buy Atomic.
      I know Fishcer changes the length of their skins based on ski length. In order to maximize grip and glide it changes the depth of the skins into the base.. I don’t think Atomic does any of that. No idea on Rossi.
      See my comments below as to Atomics and flex.

      • I always like reading your helpful comments, Hugh.

        I googled the products that Martin is interested in, just for fun.

        Martin, I notice that Sportchek has the Fischers for $183.99 on their web site. Perhaps too good to be true?
        https://www.sportchek.ca/product/332152499.html

        • Thank you both for your answers!

          I am pretty much in the middle of the weight range for both skis (75kg dressed for the 194´s 70-85kg range) so both could work well I guess.I have found the Atomic Skintecs for 189$ with Prolink bindings installed and the Fischer Twin Skin Powers for 189$ without bindings. At that price, both are within my budget. Visually, the Atomics seem to be much better quality, but a few shops (that didn’t sell Atomics) told me that people seem to like Fischers for the glide. Tough call!

          • Hi everyone,
            Here’s a follow up of my experience in case others would be interested by skins. I bought the Fischers and tried them today in -20C weather, along with my wax skis that I had carefully waxed to make an eve comparison, swapping skis between my friend and me. We were both amazed by the uphill grip of the skins, and the glide felt like 90-95% of the waxed skis’s glide. My friend decided to keep the Atomics that I had also bought, so we’ll compare between brands, but I’m not going back to wax skis! Happy ski season everyone!

            • Martin, thanks for letting us know your experience with the Fischers and Atomics. Great news for skiers.

  244. Hello! I’m wondering if anyone might have any recommendations for something that’s dog-friendly and no crazy hills (I’m pregnant, so taking it easy), preferably close to Canmore/Banff area. I think I might have a good idea already from the great info on this site, but thought I’d put the question out there in case I might be missing something. Heading out this Friday which I’d imagine will be great snow. Thanks! 🙂

  245. We are planning to go to Golden just after Xmas; can you tell me if it’s far from trails in Lake Louise? What ski area/trails do you recommend; fairly close to Golden. Intermediate skiiers.
    thanks
    Allie

  246. Hi. I’m planning a ski trip in the next week or so. I recall reading that the highway between Banff and Lake Louise is/was under construction (cancelling the Lake Louise to Banff loppet??). Are expected driving times between Canmore and Radium delayed? P.S. Great website. Lots of first hand info for planning ski trips to new locations. Thank you.