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  1. Bow river loop and campground today. Trails in decent shape. But lots of pine needles and twigs in the tracks on the campground side. Lots of foot traffic beside and around the tracks. Used blue rode multigrade wax and didn’t pick up too much debris. Overall a great day. Tracks were definitely worn but held my skis in place. Was advised to bring bear spray, no sightings of the Boss, but he’s out and about.

  2. MAKE ALBERTA A DEMOCRACY

    HEALY PASS/ PLUS

    From Sunshine Parking Lot. For advanced (metal edge) skiers. Skier tracked only.

    Generally Very Good skiing with variable snow. Very nice early winter snow conditions for the most part The odd rock mainly around creek crossings and on the old Sunshine ski out. I side stepped the trail in many areas to widen it. I skied with -5 to -15c old snow waxed 59 mm metal edge cross country skis.

    The snow just below Healy Pass had some areas of sun crust and has better silky cold snow in the trees. The Egypt side of Healy Pass has some real sweet cold silky snow and no crust where I skied. I dropped down maybe 600 feet vertical to get into the Sub Alpine Fir for shelter from the light to moderate wind as the sun went down. Temperatures were roughly about -7c with a colder wind chill. At night frost hit the trail on the Egypt side of Healy Pass and made climbing up very nice and grippy. I regretted not dropping to the Egypt area with such grippy conditions for climbing. The hoar frost was medium sized and twinkled like stars in the heavens when my light shined on it at night. Either that or it sparkled like a disco ball. Pretty awesome hoar frost light reflections.

    I find skiing up Healy Pass in the late spring is much faster than this time of year on cross country skis. The firm spring snow allows for more of a ski camber rebound or bounce which helps spring up the hills than the winter snow does. This makes for easier climbing if you know how to use the spring snow under your skis.

    Coming back down Healy Pass/ Creek towards Sunshine Parking lot was fast snow at night. Widening the trail in areas on the way up made skiing down easier, faster, safer and real intense hard core fun.

    Thanks for Chuck’s photos yesterday to stoke me up and experience that blue sky for myself on Healy Pass. It is always a pleasure to be up there with clear blue daytime skies and twinkling starry nights.

  3. West Elk Pass “couch loop”. Despite the tempting new grooming elsewhere, it seemed like the perfect day to visit West Elk Pass and the couch, as our friends Bob and Liz had never been. Conditions overall were very fine, with good fast older track setting on Elk Pass, a solid skier track in the meadows, and easy off-trail travel on 55 mm waisted light touring skis. A couple of demented hikers had postholed the existing skier track as far as the BC boundary, but thankfully turned off towards Fox Lake. Skiers ahead of us had already set a new route around much of that mess-with our passage added, it should firm up nicely. After Normand’s prior report mentioning the plowed logging road, we cut off east towards the power line a bit sooner through open forest and easily gained the cutline and skier set track, without hitting the logging road. With the supportive off-trail travel-we easily broke a trail up much of the east side of the cut, to take full advantage of the afternoon sun. The return from Elk Pass was fast and fun- the hills are slick and quick, as are the tracks. We all agreed that we were happy to be on metal edges, which also allowed for some nice alpine turns on the hardpack, especially on the final downhill. Temps stayed cool all day- VR40 worked perfectly, and as a bonus, didn’t pick up much of the tree litter that is found in the more forested sections of Elk Pass trail.
    Pix:
    https://steveriggs.smugmug.com/WestElkPassLoop-Dec4/

  4. Ah sorry I read your comment too quckly. Agreed it’s great for aging joints and chronic injuries and I’d use it in a pinch for an acute injury if I had no acetominophen.
    Thanks for clarifying.

  5. Michael Nozdryn-Plotnicki

    December 3: Chester Lake and Elephant Rocks
    What a beautiful day and super conditions. It was -10 at the parking lot but +5 by the time we got back. No wind!
    Firm trail and probably could have been done with boots rather than snowshoes as long as you don’t step off the trail.

  6. Pipestone Green Trails up: Hector/Drummond to Mud Lk/Merlin then Blue #20 down. Saw 4 people in total starting in -15 and warmed up a lot. Some skier tracks across Pipestone Pond were tempting (maybe Chuck’s) but wasn’t willing to gamble with the ice today. Lots of twigs, some rocks but the scenery made up for the VERY early packed only snow conditions. Looked like groomers had done a lot of shovelling work-thank you!! One might prefer to avoid skiing up the initial 1.9 section of Blue as some other ladies even chose to walk parts of it to the junction with Mud Lk and Drummond.

  7. FAIRVIEW – trail in surprisingly good condition despite the need for more snow. Blue wax worked well. Skied up to Paradise creek and then the connector back to Lake Louise. Tons of snow on this trail right now.

  8. Great Divide from Lake Louise to Lake Ohara lots

    Gorgeous day and snow, and I was able to double-pole for most of the way down the trail, and even some of the way back up. Tracks are in good shape. Lots of happy smiley skiers as I was coming off the trail. A surprising amount of yellow snow beside the trails, mostly on the way out, less on the dog-sled side, which makes it less of a winter wonderland for me… Just my opinion…

  9. Fri dec 4: Simpson pass
    Went in via heally. Some slide activity in the avalanche paths, point releases off cliffs and trees. One made it down half way. 1 ft of snow at the first bridge (the useless one), 2 ft at the second bridge, 3 ft at the Simpson turnoff, 4 ft above the headwall. Surface hoar development in the valley bottom and open areas. No need for trail breaking, until above the Simpson headwall where the track didn’t follow the normal route. Some awkward moves on the steep track through the rocks. Ankle to boot top ski pens after that until out into the meadows, then toe to ankle. Didn’t encounter any sun crust until above the headwall at about 7000 ft. Easy cruising into sunshine between twin cairns and wawa. The NW route up twin cairns looked very boney, peppered with rocks and raked by wind. Wind pressed in the meadows, but not boiler plate. Back to the car via wawa and the ski out for a quick lap. Some gravel and ice on the ski out but not too bad until the last couple hundred meters.

  10. Looking for a Chariot ski attachment kit – thank you!

  11. Looking for Classic boots for my daughter. Size 40 NNN. She has grown out of her old boots.

    Have a pair of women’s Solomon Siam 9 Pilots (SNS) for sale. Size 7.5(39 1/3). $40. In great shape.

  12. For sale: Fischer Carbonlite RCS cold skate skis 187cm SNS Pilot bindings. Bases are in good shape. $200. Located in Calgary. Can deliver to Canmore.

  13. Dec 3 PLPP: Tracksetting occurred on Hydroline, Lookout, Tyrwhitt and Pocaterra north of the Packers junction.

    Whiskey Jack: “Groomed and trackset on Dec 3rd only above the top of the steep S turn hill, where a decent early season base exists. The remainder was groomed and trackset on Nov 20th (no track was set below Moraine), but caution advised on this section due to shallow snowpack, resulting in some uneven surfaces with potential for exposed rocks. The downhills in this section are likely scraped very firm.”

  14. PLPP southern trails and West Elk Pass – December 3

    Started from the EKP parking lot (about 12 cars) at 11 am on “plastic” skis and VR45. Nice sunny day. Went up BBH; fast going down, still with some snow to control although getting scrapped off. Then over the famous couch for my first time ever! Nice furniture; well done MaSid. The view south and west were just awesome with the sun. Did not want to sit in, as I would have been way too comfy to leave and carry on a long loop. Then south to HYL, where the road had been plowed (no more than a few days ago). Nice ski along those meadows. Walked 250 meters north before seeing the uphill ski track to EKP. The downhills on TYW are getting scrapped off, especially north of the meadows. In fact, I had a wipeout coming down fairly fast just north of the meadows. Could have been avoided, slowing down a bit or with metal edges, as the snow is getting scrapped off too. Shaken up a bit, but I was mad at myself for being a bit complaisant on that section given the local conditions. Be careful going down on WKJ; below the , sharp bent, the trail is hard pack and very fast. Above the sharp bent, I could see the ski-doo track from the rescue 2 days (just read about it) and it required good control on my skinny skis. Finishing off with Boulton Creek to EKP parking lot. Boulton Creek is not good at all; need more snow with some rocks showing off for the 1st km south of the Boulton Creek bridge parking lot. In fact, I hated that section so bad today, that is does not deserve an acronym! Pending a new dump of white flakes, caution and care will be much needed on those downhills over the next few days, irrelevant of your abilities.

    A nice tour, which should sustain me for a few days.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/rqhyCRUjLKz353z69

  15. A long 30 km ski today at Lake Louise. Minus 15 C at the Train Station parking lot at 9:30 am. Skied Tramline to the Great Divide cut-off and walked down to the GD trail. Skied to the Lake O’Hara access road and returned the same way. All tracks skied were hard providing great glide. Tramline tracks were very good to excellent. Two short sections below Louise Creek had lots of pine needles. GD tracks were fast providing an opportunity to practice double poling – lots of it. Beyond the border to the O’Hara road the tracks were excellent. No debris, hard, crisp and clean. The VR40 wax was mostly gone by the hill top above the border. Rewaxed with VR45 at the O’Hara road and this worked perfectly for the return climbing. The icing on the cake was a nice fast glide back down Tramline to the cars. Air temperature at 2:30 pm was minus 5 C.

  16. Interesting as I was coming down whiskey jack alone this afternoon and was thinking I should get a pair of metal edge touring skis for situations like this. Also I do have an inreach but didn’t bring it with me as I tend to have it for backcountry trips, but that also crossed my mind. It was a great day and the trails are holding up but more snow is required.

  17. Salomon XC ski boots. Very good condition. Men’s 9.5 (43). $50.

  18. You do not need metal edges (this accident proved that). You need focus, determination and sheer fuc… sorry, and braking. Lots of braking. Lower your speed to safe value every time when going downhill first time of the day in every potentially dangerous location, try it first. It’s never the same it was yesterday.
    Edges may not help in some situations and make you dangerously overconfident (hello mr. democracy) but low speed always works.

  19. HEALY PASS and a Little Further – Dec 3

    Glorious conditions today… with weather like this, I feel another sick day coming on!
    Details available in the photo descriptions here:
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/4eiPAqeXPkmXiMxn7
    Metal edges essential here.

  20. Elk Pass – Tyrwhitt Loop Dec 3

    From the Elk Pass parking lot we skied Moraine, Whiskey Jack, Tyrwhitt, and back on the Elk Pass trail. Had a great day even if the trails had more debris than snow in many places. Moraine is pretty bad, the tracks on Whiskey Jack are quite glazed causing me to climb in the loose snow, things improve on Trywhitt with very good conditions except in tight trees are the tracks are needle covered. Elk Pass Trail was good, glazed, with debris in the treed areas. It was -8º at 10 am in the parking lot and it stayed quite cool all day. We used blue wax and had good results even if the wax was more or less black by the end of the day. As was noted elsewhere, all the descents are very fast right now. You might be able to set a speed record on the Elk Pass Hill.

  21. Despite warm temps in the Bow Valley and strong temperature inversions at the ski hills, Lake Louise trails remain wintry. Skied Great Divide trail today. -7C at 11:00 am, -5C at 2:30 pm. Used Swix VR45. Classic tracks were very good throughout and had minimal needles despite the recent wind. The skate lane looked a bit used and could do with a refresh but still doable.

  22. As MaSid says Vitamin I, along with a first aide kit.
    We carry that and down jackets, extra gloves and mitts, toque, buff, Warmup pants or wind pants. when out of Cell phone range (K Country ),I carry an InReach and a VHF radio.
    Most of this sits all season long in my pack.

  23. Hi Bob:
    Have enjoyed your site for years. Good work
    I’m the skier referred to in that post, waiting for surgery in Foothills to repair a fractured ankle.
    My group was well prepared and did a fabulous job. I’m proud of them all. I was kept cosy until the toboggan arrived.
    I’m an experienced skier with quality gear, including metal edges. This was a moment of inattention on a hill that I usually do easily, icy or not.
    Just thought you might want to know.

  24. Chester Lake
    Plenty of snow for climbing and descending. Used skins then VR40 for rolling parts. Climbed the right hand (alternate) route, descended main route. Both great fun. Winter wonderland at the top. Lots of cars in the parking lot but they must have been snowshoers because we only saw two other skiers. It’ll only get better from here.

  25. I lived in LL in ’97. Pretty sure I was enjoying a car-free 1A on return journeys from Ross Lake mountain bike rides.

    But when was it closed in winter? I first skied there in the mid ’80s so definitely before then.

  26. While I would usually prefer to be on my regular light and fast xc ski setup- also having a pair of metal edged light touring skis for those conditions can be invaluable. Even better is pairing those metal edged skis with the more supportive NNN-BC boot and binding, if you can afford to run two systems. A bonus is that this sets you up for off the groomed trail exploration as well.
    And- ditto to Peter’s comments about being prepared- it sounds like this group was.

  27. MAKE ALBERTA A DEMOCRACY

    I really urge people to ski on safer, better controllable, metal edge cross country (xc) skis and know how to use those metal edges on the snow. As an advanced xc skier, that is all I ski on although with my ability level I could ski on faster plastic skis. Being an expert downhill skier, I just hate the feeling of unsafe plastic ski edges. Metal edges allow for more safe hardcore ski fun.

    As I do not wish to have hundreds of dollars in skiing assets sitting around doing nothing for most of the year, I find metal edge xc skis to be the best all around alternative if you just want one pair of good xc skis. Metal edges allow you to carve up the icy slopes at a superior level as compared to dangerous plastic edged skis that can not carve into hard or icy snow.

    If you want a faster pair of metal edge xc skis, buy the most narrow pair available with a high camber, like the Madshus Fjelltech M44 skis available at Norseman or Life Sport. If you can find even more narrow metal edge xc skis, buy them for the speed and let the Skier Bob nation know where you got them from.

    With metal edge skis I do not have to worry about what kind of snow conditions exist on the ski trails if I happened to forget to check out the ski conditions on Skier Bob. That is a big bonus which allows for overall better and safer skiing days.

    Metal edge skis allow me to travel at any speed I wish. If I want to go 100 kilometers per hour down a hill in a tuck position, I will knowing I can stop quickly with metal edge skis, pretty much similar to my downhill skis. On groomed trails or hard smooth spring snow conditions, I can also cut turns similar to slalom downhill skiers.

    Also metal edge skis extend your ski season. When people pack in the XC skiing in spring because of hard spring snow conditions, metal edge skiers can keep on skiing with safety. This is the time of year when metal edges really shine. Just look for smooth hard spring snow conditions, which are often best off trails in the higher country.

    If you are not a good XC skier, it is a good idea to take lessons on how to become a better skier. Also, you can take your cross country skis to downhill ski hills to practice turns, snowplowing and stopping. You will need safety straps on your skis to meet the ski hill standards for run away skis though. Good ski shops can help you with that.

    It would be a good idea for a section on this website to promote XC ski lessons to encourage more safety on the slopes. There seems to be a few too many accidents occurring out there as the above story suggests.

    Ski or die (- an old hard core extreme skier saying- if you crash then their is potential for death from smashing your head into a rock or tree or getting taken out by an avalanche).

    Keep your ski bases on the snow and your ski tips up.

  28. Ouch! (((Shudder))). Another useful item to have is some anti inflammatories, not so much help for severe injuries of course, but can get you home safely sometimes. Good value for weight.

  29. Salomon size 8 (the boot says 7 but I am a solid 8) 39 SNS women’s boots – Good condition. FREE. Pay it forward 🙂

  30. On Tuesday my wife and I skied Elk Pass and she skied out Trywhitt and Whiskey Jack. Conditions were rather icy and the trail could use more snow and some grooming. Earlier in the day we meet a group of older skiers (like us) on the trail. Later in the day my wife encountered the same group with one skier having fallen on one of the steeper downhills of Whiskey Jack and having suffered what appears to be a severe break of one of his legs. The trail was very icy and fast. The group had moved the skier off the trail, had him wrapped in a space blanket and one member was sent off to summon the SAR team as there was no cell phone coverage in the area. We met the SAR team heading off with Ski-doos at the Boulton Parking area about an hour after the incident. The lesson here is that conditions are quite icy and accidents can happen at any time. The group seemed well equipped with warm clothing and some safety gear. They did not have a way of communicating and as I was coming down a shorter route from the pass, I was carrying the InReach, so I could not help. But would have this been faster that someone did by skiing out and driving to find the Rangers. I often see skiers who have nothing more than a little bum bag with a water bottle and Powerbar and no extra clothing or safety gear. Luckily it was not to cold on Tuesday, but having to wait an hour or several hours for rescue could be very uncomfortable or dangerous. Carry some extra clothing, some safety gear and a way of communicating such as an InReach or a Spot if possible. PS, when my wife asked if they needed any more help, the skier asked her for Whisky, which she could not provide at the time.

  31. EQUIPE 8 SKATE Pilot Ski Boots by Salomon, 39-1/3. $100, great condition. Pick up in Calgary.

  32. I was able to find this:

    Adams, Jeff. “Tourists vs. Nature: Five-Year Plan Must Serve Two Masters”. Calgary Herald. 29 May 1994. B6.

    “As for closing the 1A Highway west of Lake Louise, the new five-year plan says the summer-only road is so rough it will soon be dangerous for the average 500 motorists a day who use it each June, July and August.”

    So it sounds like the road was open in the summers up until the mid-90s. I clearly remember driving the road as a kid in the 80s (well, I wasn’t driving: my dad was). If memory serves me correctly there was a gas station where the current parking lot is now.

  33. I’m looking for women’s skate boots, SNS pilot, size 9 / 40.

  34. I think it was 1999. I’m pretty sure that it was still open to traffic in early 90s.
    I have worked at the Chateau for a few years, and remember taking this shortcut a number of times.
    There was a popular tourist attraction at the Continental Divide. A creek that forks, with one side draining east to Hudson Bay, and the other side draining west to the Pacific Ocean.

  35. Are you talking about closed to vehicles in the winter? It is still open in the summer, isn’t it?

  36. The road closed in the mid 90s. It was deteriorating really fast.

  37. Mt. Shark -10C 10:30 no wind Trail reports show no grooming in past week. Still some evidence of rolling under wind blown snow.
    Skied out Watridge road and hooked onto the 10 km return track and then skied out the 15 km loop. Skier set track in the trees with enough coverage to cover most land sharks.
    came off the 15 km loop at Watridge Tr and skied out to top of trail down to the Lake.
    Watridge Tr is hard packed and skier tracks are thin. Our Skin skis worked ok on the hard pack.
    Five cars in parking lot no one showing a parking pass,

  38. anyone ski Plpp today? curious about conditions? besides the needles is it
    .ice. wax or skin skis appropriate?
    Thanks

  39. Great Divide starting from the BC side
    My dad (the amazing Jeff) and I set out from the Lake O’Hara parking lot at around 10:30, and my car said -17(!). Beautiful tracks all the way to the Alberta arch, and good tracks all the way to the warm and sunny Great Divide parking lot. Our skins were perfect and made for a very fast 20k. Around -7 when I pulled out of the lot and still not a cloud in the blue sky.

  40. Chuckley with Karl

    Moraine Lake Road still excellent. Accessed from Chateau Lake Louise parking lot and returned via Fairview. Fairview has good snow coverage with some patches of pine needles and a few twigs sticking up. If the weather stays cold I would ski down it next time. Started -17C at 9:15AM – -7C when finished!

  41. Lint collected from a dryer lint filter is an excellent fire starter with twigs. I always take off the (lithium) batteries of my headlamp, in case it gets turned off while in my pack; it happened to me twice! Carry bear mace in winter ski season until early January and starting mid-March. A spare tuque is good on long trips, especially for long and warm spring ski days, in case of an unplanned overnight.

  42. Lac Des Arc still clear of snow?
    Can’t see any webcams close enough

  43. Are users required to purchase and display a Couch Pass?

  44. SNS classic boots, mens 8.5, Sleger 184 cm classic skis , very light and fast. $100 for the package.

  45. Skate Boots – size 47 Alpina SP 40 NNN binding. Virtually new – $125.

  46. 200 cm Asnes Norwegian skis. 5 cm wide. 200 cms length with steel edges along the kick zone.
    Salomon Profile bindings
    Salomon boots in vg condition size 9 men’s
    Swix poles 140 cm
    Recently tuned at MEC
    One owner, originally purchased at The Norseman as a set
    $195 for the complete package
    Skis with bindings only
    $130
    Boots only $50
    Poles only $35

  47. MAKE ALBERTA A DEMOCRACY

    BREWSTER CREEK/ BEYOND SUNDANCE LODGE

    From Sunshine Road parking lot. Variable ski conditions and snow depth. Classic rock ski skiing.

    The first 100 or so meters of the Healy Creek trail is in poor windswept shape as usual at this time of year. After 100 meters the trail improves and skiing is fair to good early season conditions with some thin spots and rocks, particularly under big trees. The snowpack peak is roughly 13 cm deep with a crust layer at about the 7 cm depth level. The trail has been reasonably well packed by hikers, snowshoers and skiers. With another 5 cm of new wet snow the trail will be ready for snowmobile packing or roller packing and will make for some good skiing for the most part.

    From the Healy Creek Junction up the Brewster Creek trail to the top of the hills, the skiing is fair to fairly good with a thin base of up to 15 cm. Expect to hit rocks on some of the hills. I ski packed the hills and pushed and pulled trees off the trail. A couple of trees remain on the trail. With 7 cm of wet new snow, the skiing should be generally good. Currently extreme caution is needed to go down the hills due to rocks.

    From the top of the hills to Sundance Lodge the snow depth increases and peaks around 23 cm but is variable in depth. Conditions in this section are fairly good to good. 7 cm of new snow will make for good to very good conditions. All bridges are snow covered. The odd rock is showing on the skier track. Moderate to fast speed skiing.

    Beyond Sundance Lodge the skiing is fair to fairly good with some rocks. Another 15 cm of new wet snow on this section should create good to very good conditions. Ski penetration while breaking trail is about ankle deep and pretty good base for travel. Nice silky snow.

    The temperature at night at the Lodge was -8c with clear skies. Skied out at night and seemed to hit fewer rocks than when skiing in. There was a nice bright moon out which made the headlamp useless in some areas.

  48. Great Divide Trail. 10:00 am -12C sunny Skated for the first time in years .
    Skate lane was uneven slow and hard . It was almost like skating at the Nordic Centre.
    Could use a renovation not a roller.
    Tracks were usable but could do with a reset.
    parking lot has 5-6 cars but was almost full when we left at noon. -5C

  49. Besides trying to bring cookies for the various locations of groomers, I am a bit of a “Candy-holic” so as soon as I see those Dark Chocolate BRANDY BEANS on the shelves before Christmas, they are in my pack!

  50. Moraine Lake Road.
    Accessed MLR, from Chateau parking lot, on Upper Tramline. First skiers out so tracks were frosty and a little slow. We were also first on MLR but the snow was cleaner and the skiing easier and faster. Soon though other skiers passing were passing and setting the snow in the tracks for us. It was sunny, warm and calm at the viewpoint, which made for a relaxed lunch break. The ski down was fast and controlled. The skating lane is not very flat and has many longitudinal grooves. A few passes with the grooming equipment would make it safer. Returned to Chateau parking lot on Fairview. Fairview is rock and roll now, but fun and in very good early season condition. Nice to talk with Skier Bob on Fairview.

  51. Found the left arm for Smith sunglasses on Great Divide today. I placed it on the map sign, below the dog prohibited poster. Cheers!

  52. After an incident where someone was injured and lay on the snow for a while and getting extremely cold before being airlifted out I always carry space blankets. Better than hypothermia from laying in the cold snow. Besides the items everyone has suggested I also have a whistle. We always ski on weekdays when there weren’t many people around, may be different this year. I will include duct tape in my pack from now on.

  53. Lower Tram Line / MLR / Fairview / Tram Line
    Snow conditions were good. Fairview is groomed and trackset. Conditions for this time of year are good but there are a few bumps here and there. The only dicey spot is at the Lake Louise end where the trail joins Tram Line. If you are coming down from Fairview to Tram Line, take that turn wide (towards the parking lot) as there is a substantial dip there with a trickle of water that you could end up landing in. There is no problem if you are heading up.

  54. Hi Bob, do you know where I could get some beginner lessons? I down hill ski but have never tried x country and would like to try it out,
    Thanks

  55. Tue dec 1: west elk pass
    Couch maintenance day, reinforcing walls before the heat arrives next few days. Stayed below zero in the area and along the trail, but good and cozy at the couch during heat of the day. Lots of visitors today, and through the meadow and back. So track continues to be solid with the odd wonky pole plant busting through the wind layers. A good day for it with no cloud, only a light breeze and no moist snow. The only annoyance was the sound of logging machinery wafting down the meadow on the breeze. All of the meadows in the area travel well, on and off track (AT). Not sure about the next few days. Bring yer ski shorts, sunscreen and klister/blister salve.

  56. PIPESTONE LOOP – Dec 1

    Good conditions overall, but not trackset yet.
    Details available in the photo descriptions here:
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/3FgRY48ti87kEZ9h8
    Amazing what Parks Canada staff can do with a snowmobile and a shovel… maybe the Province could learn a few lessons!

  57. Moraine Lake Road.
    Pretty good conditions today. Tracks are holding up well, and are firm and fast. The first 2km or so had a moderate case of needle-mania, but beyond that things were pretty clean.
    We accessed MLR via upper tramline – decent tracks but with quite a few needles. -13C to start at 9:30am; -7C to finish. A few cm of fresh snow will clean things up nicely.

  58. Bow River Loop/Campground Loop, Lake Louise
    Great day for my first skijor of the season! Bluebird skies and well defined fresh tracks and very quiet. I had a blast galloping on leash on the downhills, and trotting along on leash on the flats and ups. There was some tree debris in the tracks under the trees and a couple of very thin spots (NW corner of loop near train station), neither a problem for me! We saw very few other skiers and no other doggies. We did run into Helen Read who said Skier Bob was just heading towards us but we never saw him. Temps -10C at 11 am to -5C at 1.30 pm. My humans used Swix Extra Blue or VR45/40, I just used my canine four paws as usual. Now off for a well-deserved nap!

  59. Hello
    Has anyone been out to Mt Shark yet? Wondering if there is as much snow there as in PLPP?
    Thanks
    DQuinn

  60. Well today we had to do last chance for plpp and backdoor, we got there by ten and thought no more could park.. Enterprizing as at least three more squeezed in.
    We did across to hydroline and down to the elk park alpine cabin. It was ace. Met bob and dave (not skierbob). They turned back short of the cabins. We had tried this last thursday but with skinny skis turned back as did bob and dave today. The snow going down was super fun. A couple of spots to cross the creeks. Elk pass fun and fast. Met a couple of trads with older skis but real great who did blueberry. Went down to fox creek and moraine, not nice, needs snow. Then so glad we had skins for whiskeyjack. Then skins off and super fast run back to backdoor. They r logging on the west side of the trail down to the elk park alpine cabins – not sure for what but cuts off some of the side trails. Anyway a very nice day. Please send more snow…

  61. GREAT DIVIDE TRAIL: blue wax worked perfectly for gripping, and gliding was quick from the Yoho side to Lake Louise and back. Blustery snowfall at the Yoho side when we got back there, with tracks blowing in a bit. Saw a pine martin near the Lake Louise parking lot.

  62. Thanks for this. Is it bad etiquette to ski with 65mm skis at a nordic centre?

  63. Trail conditions to Boom Lake were good for early season. VR40 wax worked great over packed trail used by hikers, snowshoers and a variety of skiers. Downed trees have been removed and the “water features” are easily crossed.

  64. Yoho NP
    November 29-30

    Although there isn’t much snow cover, the Yoho Valley Trail yesterday and the Kicking Horse Trail today were really delightful. Less wind than expected, trails a bit glazed but fun anyway. Two American Three-toed Woodpeckers being very co-operative. BIG moose tracks, today, as well.

    Chip Scialfa
    Calgary

  65. PLPP: Boulton Bridge parking, Whiskey Jack, Tyrwhitt, Elk Pass, Boulton Creek
    Wonderful ski today, snow not super fast, Boulton Creek has a lot of debris, divots and bumps, but not too problematic.

  66. Just had a nice Classic XC from Field visitor centre. We were pleasantly surprised to see it was track-set all the way down ‘Tally Ho’ to Natural Bridge. The skiing beyond Natural Bridge down the Kicking Horse logging road was a dream. Almost 20k’s return.
    We left a little donation in the KHSC box at Natural Bridge.

  67. Peter Lougheed Provincial Park
    It was -8C at the Boulton Creek parking lot at 9:15am. We went up Whiskey Jack (we saw a couple of rocks on the way up so be aware), Lookout, Hydroline to Elk Pass, Tyrwhitt, Pocaterra, Packers.
    The descent from the lookout on the south side was fast and exhilarating and we were happy to see there was no open water / creek at the bottom of the hill as mentioned by Alberta Parks. Conditions were excellent on Tyrwhitt and Pocaterra with good tracks. Skiing down Packers is doable but I would say challenging around the steeper parts were you have open water / ice and a lots of bumps, the upside being a great balancing exercise….

  68. Reading the list of risks laid out by MaSid, it got me thinking ”outside the trails”. Considering that cross-country and light touring skiing will be far more popular this winter, in part due to the pandemic, it might be appropriate to have a string of suggestions about equipment to bring along for safety purpose. I am thinking more for those less experienced and beginners. The lack of snow at WBC will bring a flood of Calgary skiers into PLPP, where conditions have been stellar for 5-6 weeks. A couple years ago on this site, many of us with lots of ski experience provided useful suggestions as such. If those prevent some unfortunate situation on the trail with proper planning for less experienced, far away from a parking lot, that would be good. Maybe add a section in the Resources tab. My two cents worth.

  69. Thanks Bob. I have been in touch with them and will be picking up my lost ski later today.

  70. Not skiing related but another neat outdoor option if it gets cold enough is the planned Ice River Skating Trail

    New for 2020: North Glenmore Ice Trail Pilot
    Coming soon: a new Ice Trail pilot project is launching at North Glenmore park in late 2020.

    This ice trail is a free and fun destination for Calgarians during colder months, and another way we’re helping to keep Calgarians safer as they stay connected this winter.

    You’ll be able to skate over 730 metres of connected track, through North Glenmore park, with an attached skating rink located in the centre. Benches, picnic sites and portable washrooms are available on site. This pilot is part of The City’s ongoing commitment to delivering value for Calgarians’ investment, creating exceptional experiences in public green spaces, and further activating parks during winter months.

    The ice trail and skating rink will be open from 11 AM – 10 PM daily.

    The North Glenmore Ice Trail is expected to open towards the end of December 2020.

  71. There are a few risks in the west elk pass meadows for those venturing off track with narrow skis:
    1. falling over due to soft snow/track, blown in track or an unintentional deep pole plant, and can be hard to get up in the ungroomed stuff
    2. getting lost if enough fresh new snow and no visible track to follow, can also sometimes be an abundance of tracks wandering about with no apparent destination at some times of year. Having some knowledge of the landscape and navigation skills is key in those times. If in doubt, just reverse course. But probably good travel conditions for the next few weeks until the above average snowfall arrives (unless it gets too warm).
    3. sun burn: it can get intense back there some times, especially at the couch if hanging out for a while (particularly the non-covid version of other years as it’s a big parabolic reflector that generates solar heat)
    4. addiction: its gorgeous throughout the meadows when the weather is nice, and if you brought a foamy to sit on at the couch, you might just stay too long and develop meadow narcolepsy (see #1 above).

  72. Fantastic ski around the Elk Pass trails today.
    Skied up the Elk Pass Trail to West Elk Pass. Backtracked across the meadows to Blueberry (been wanting to find this route forever so it was an exciting day for me,) and then returned the same way to West Elk Pass to find the couches (another big winter goal for me!) We followed the meadows south towards Elk Lakes and climbed back up the Hydroline to Elk Pass. Back down the pass, around Fox Creek to the bottom.

    Conditions:
    Elk Pass Trail: very fast! The double hill was getting icy. Tracks were speedy on the way out.
    West Elk Pass meadows: fantastic!!! Tons of fresh fluffy snow. Easy traveling.
    Hydroline up to Elk Pass from BC side: best I’ve ever seen. Barely had to herringbone a single hill. Lovely soft snow.
    Fox Creek: AVOID! Super wobbly, icy, and hard to ski. Saw people actually walking it today, skis in hand. I double poled my way along on what felt like a skating rink.

    Elk Pass Parking lot was about full at 10:00.

  73. PLPP West Elk Pass
    We just went straight to the Upper Lakes parking lot. It should really be the main Elk Pass area parking lot because it has plenty of space and it’s a nice, easy warm-up ski to get to the base of the Elk Pass hill. (You do have to search around to find the toilets, however).
    We connected a number of the usual south end trails and toured over to West Elk Pass and “couch headquarters”. Travel conditions were great for the lovely meadow tour that loops back to the Blueberry Hill trail. https://photos.app.goo.gl/1wJC5A2MSxDTWfXRA

  74. Skied Fairview/MLR/Tramline today with blue skies. No new tracksetting. Fairview is in pretty good early season condition and certainly a nice change from Tramline. Lots of wind debris on any of the treed trails. In the afternoon we skied the Bow River Loop. Close to the town site the trail is multi use and in rough shape from all the foot traffic, but it has good coverage. The campground was much nicer and a delight to ski. Only passed a few skiers the whole afternoon. If you’re going to ski this trail drive to the campground and start there.

  75. MAKE ALBERTA A DEMOCRACY

    Did you know that the Alberta UCP Government further subsidized the NHL with $4,000,000 this year while charging XC skiers to ski?

    Why the billionaires that own NHL teams need even more government subsidizes is beyond my understanding. UCP stands for “United Corporate Power” rather than being for the people and skiers. The Kenney Government is taking away from skiers to subsidize corporations like those that own NHL teams.

    If we lived in a real democracy where people make the decisions, you can bet that Albertans would not further subsidize Conservatives to go watch hockey games.

  76. Pipestone loop
    The big loop was recently track set but unfortunately snow and wind filled most of it in. Some sections in the trees still had nice tracks but open exposed areas were blown in. Crews were working on the lower trails today with shovels and snowmobile packer. Pipestone photo

  77. Make Alberta Gondwana Again

    Cascade Fire Road
    A lot of people are talking about the ski I did today. Lots of them. I invented skiing but nobody remembers that. I have a lot of friends who can’t stop talking about it, believe me.
    The section of paved road has very thin snow. Skis suffered some damage. It’s a miracle I could ski on it. They told me I couldn’t do it. But I did. Turning right onto the Fire Road proper it is also thin. It stays this way at least halfway up the big hill. Watch for rocks. I encountered a fallen tree halfway up. The fake news media said I couldn’t move it off to the side. But I did. With almost no others helping. Very few others. I was terrific.
    By the top of the hill the snow is deep enough that no more rocks can be seen. Was able to skate on the skidoo packed trail to the bridge. I could have continued but I’m too classy.
    Anyway, it was a tremendous ski and if it gets another 10cm of snow, it will be a winner.

  78. Guessing Running Rain Lake and the west ridge :-).

  79. Great Divide Trail.
    Skied the Great Divide Trail from the Lake O’Hara parking lot. A chilly -16 at 9:00 am made for a cold start. Great tracks and conditions and plenty of smiling faces all the way to the Lake Louise parking lot and back.

  80. Went to Blueberry Hill today. Elk Pass parking lot was close to full when I set out at 9:45. Elk Pass trail was in good shape, Blueberry Hill excellent! The trail crew did a great job in covering the last bit to the picnic table.

    PS – Where is the self pay box at Elk Pass? Didn’t see one!

  81. Is there a way to search this site for ski terrain that is NOT trackset? I only ski real / natural terrain.

  82. Fischer Carbonlight Classic Race Skis – 182cm
    Comes with Solomon SNS Profil bindings
    Fast and in very good condition
    Bases were stone ground in Feb 2020
    Asking $275

  83. DSSHSS (Double Super Secret Highwood Secret Stash)

    We parked in a massive empty roadside turnout 10km from the nearest other vehicle and went on this family-member-oriented backcountry ski outing.

    Like all good secret stashes conditions in the early going were marginal at best.

    Again, like all good secret stashes, conditions were awesome at ####### #### Lake!

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/bDT4jNDF5N4PeGzM6

  84. I’d like to start hot waxing my own skis, took a session on it a couple if years ago, have the brushes, iron, and scraper, but didn’t write down what wax to use. So, what is a universal wax to use for hot waxing?

  85. Ski boots are sold. Thanks for your interest.

  86. Chester Lake, Saturday.
    One of our foursome was looking for a short easy tour to test out new boots- Chester seemed like the logical choice, especially with about 10 cm of overnight snow. We knew it would be busy, and it certainly was- with travellers of all types out enjoying the winter wonderland- at least below treeline, as the alpine is totally wind hammered. In the environs of the lake, a decent snowpack of 80 cm exists, with the “Biden Crust” over basal facets now about 45 cm down providing both good off-trail support, and resistant but planar results as a potential sliding player. A good ski track on the way in was transformed into a wall to wall beaten down groomed ski run on the way out, by the hordes on snowshoes or foot. It wasn’t worth fretting about as skiers have obviously lost that battle, and it made for fast fun turning on the trail out, over a firm surface with no hazards at all. My guess at a ‘shoer-hiker-skier ratio would be 60-20-20. Around the lake- it was so busy that it was hard to get photos without a crowd in them!
    https://steveriggs.smugmug.com/Chester-Nov29/

  87. Good Morning. It is -14 degrees Celsius at the Discovery Centre in PLPP.
    -Happy Skiing.
    MK

  88. Yoho Otter Tail and Head

    Like Carole and Jamie, I also skied twice today in Yoho. In the morning, we headed up the Ottertail Fire Road on light touring skis with hopes of making it all the way to the McArthur Creek Warden Cabin and getting a view of the Goodsirs. It was fairly easy ankle-high trail breaking. Parks had been busy previously removing lots of blowdown from the first few kilometers of trail. But by about 5km in, we were climbing under, over, and through fallen trees every 50-100m. We turned around at that point and headed back to the car. If you want to ski this, bring along a saw, or better yet, a chainsaw!

    We drove to the Natural Bridge parking and like Carole and Jamie, skied the Kicking Horse Trail as far as the Otterhead Trail. We were treated to beautiful late afternoon lighting on the mountains on our return to the car. Got to see moonrise on the drive home. Photos – https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1bnLNYgo-9FOxGCutcgS5C3zUuIu6QGNu?usp=sharing

  89. Lost – iPhone 10 on Saturday, Nov. 28. Possibly in the Upper Lake parking lot after 4 PM or within 250 m northbound on Highway 40 just after leaving Peter Lougheed access. Contact mastenbrolsma@gmail.com or text 403-880-3517. Thanks

  90. Interesting ski day in Yoho

    Jamie and I skied twice today. Early in the morning, we skied up the the Takkakaw Falls (Yoho Valley) Road and up the switchbacks. There were no fresh track setting but great skier tracks to the base of the switchbacks.

    Later in the afternoon (after walking around Emerald Lake), we skied the Kicking Horse Trail to the Otterhead River. Our idea was to ski back under the full moon. We kind of gave up on that idea as the moon seemed to be hidden behind Mount Stephen. We stopped at the picnic table (4 km or so from the trailhead) but couldn’t stop too long to wait for the moon. At 5:40 p.m., I caught a glimpse of the moon between tree tops. We were headed back by them. We eventually turned around and made it back to the picnic table by 5:50 p.m. We were rewarded with the bright full moon beaming down on us. We watched it in awe for a while. We returned to our vehicle at 7 p.m., skiing in the moonlight. What an experience!

  91. Lost: one Fischer Xtour Escape 203cm cross country ski. Believe it might have fallen out or our vehicle at the Barrier Lake Visitor center Friday. Contact Gerry at gnmilner@shaw.ca

  92. LAKE O’HARA RD- new skiff of snow on skier made tracks, used our classic skiis. A bit of sticking on our waxables but not too annoying. Had lunch on the warden cabin steps. Nice sunny views on the trip back. Only about 9 other skiers all day.

  93. Elk Pass upper parking to Elk Pass via Hydroline / couch / back country route to hydroline / Patterson / Blue Berry “shortcut” to the couch and out…
    There were lots of people out today but Hydroline / Patterson see relatively little traffic. After lunch at the couch, I refreshed Helen’s / MaSid’s route. I seem to ski into the places that MaSid and Helen go to but sadly, I keep missing them. The track had indeed been pretty much obliterated in the meadow areas but was fine in the trees. There was about 5 cm of fresh snow. The winds did no damage to the couches. At the end of the day I tried (for the first time) the “short cut” from Blue Berry to the couch again. The place to turn off of Blue Berry Hill trail is pretty obvious but the track disappears in the meadows. I guessed where I should go and indeed, I did see old tracks from time to time. I ended up encountering the summer trail (decent track) a little bit south of the Frozen Lake Junction. Now that I am home and I can see my GPS track, I see that it is not a very short cut, but non the less, pleasant back country skiing in the meadows.

  94. Nov 28 Lake Louise upper trails update from Chateau Tracksetter Jeff:

    Hi All!

    Fairview Loop (#2): Double trackset, Nov. 27. Fair condition, with the normal early season hazards like twigs, rocks, stumps and roots in random, unforgiving places. Use caution and maybe not your race skis!

    Shoreline (#4): Double trackset, Nov. 28. Good condition.

    Lake Trail (#4): The lake ice thickness ranges from just under 8cm to 12cm where we build our trail the width of the lake (we haven’t measured the length yet). We need at least 15cm of ice thickness to use our machinery safely.

    Upper Telemark and Peyto Trails (#5&#7): Skier set, poor condition. Shovel and sled work has started and we hope to have it trackset for next weekend (Dec. 5-ish).

  95. Great Divide at Lake Louise. We started at the Lake O’Hara end in -2 temperatures. The wind was fairly brisk along this first section to the Divide, but no problem later on. There was new tracksetting this morning and the conditions were excellent! Lots of people out enjoying the fresh air and views, and even a couple dogs, which are not allowed on this ski trail. The owners didn’t seem to know about the restrictions. Maybe signs at the trailheads? The way back was into a headwind which didn’t bother us too much except on the big hill back down to Divide and West to the O’Hara end. A super day on fast tracks.

  96. For sale- $25- Cana dog Skijoring harness, with 8 ft detachable (including the 18” bungee section).
    Attaches to any dog harness with a standard Leash clip
    Also posted on Kijiji

    It’s so much fun to ski with dog power! But I just couldn’t get my beast to consistently run straight

  97. For Sale – Salomon Classic X-Country Ski Boots Womens US size 9 or Euro size 41 1/3. Like new. $50

  98. Mount Shark was quite nice today with a few cm of fresh snow to cover the areas that were wind scoured yesterday. Not much evidence of grooming anymore but skier tracks on the 5 and 10k loops are pretty good. Skate skiing would be a bit challenging until there is a fresh roller pack.

  99. In search of two pairs of Madshus ski pups. Please let me know if you have any to sell. Thanks!

  100. Lost: Fischer Xtour Exscape cross country ski 203cm at Barrier Lake Info Center Parking Lot. Believe it fell out of back of vehicle when leaving area.

  101. Hi Fellow Winter Enthusiasts!

    I am looking for a light touring set up and open to suggestions. I am a size 38/39 boot and 5’5 130lb.
    Thanks in advance for any help,
    Tara

  102. With the closure of Barrier Visitor Information – your website is even more important. I’m hoping all the new to skiing will access this site for trip/trail reports. Really appreciate the trail ratings – may save a lot of ‘rescues.
    I’ve been x-c skiing in K-country for many years but never heard of “Back Door ‘ Parking lot – perhaps I know it by another name but looking at maps & can’t find it (as stated). Where is this parking lot..
    Thanks and keep up the great reporting….

  103. Good Afternoon,

    -4 C, overcast (little bit of blue peaking through). at the Discovery Centre in Peter Lougheed, Kananaskis.

    The information centre is open. 10am-3pm daily.

    -MK

  104. Fri Nov 27 Mt Shark: -1C 9:30 AM WINDY!!! Skin skis Trail reports showed some trails rolled or groomed. Due to the wind no tracks to be found. Watridge trail was wind blown with foot traffic right down the middle. We ducked off onto the groomed trails to avoid the wind. Skied the Biathlon trails and the return part of the 5 and 10 km loops.
    Ran into Ken Hewitt posting signs about parking passes at the trail head. Payment box is at Engadine lodge parking area.
    Only one other car there when we left.

  105. PLPP: Blueberry Hill, Elk Pass, and Patterson were trackset on the evening of Nov 27. The Upper Lake Connector was groomed.

  106. MAKE ALBERTA A DEMOCRACY

    BREWSTER CREEK/ SUNDANCE LODGE QUESTION

    Does anyone know if it is skiable to Sundance Lodge from the Sunshine Road parking lot?

  107. As an addendum to Bob’s Tyrwhitt report, both Elk Pass and Pocaterra parking lots had about 30 cars each – and approx 50% had parking passes – which is about what you’d expect for this early in the new “parking season”. Only 3 or 4 cars in Boulton. Staff at Visitor Centre (aka Discovery Centre) were busy prepping to open tomorrow.

  108. Chickadee Valley
    Nov 27, 2020

    Although there is a good deal of open water in Valley bottom and more snow is needed, it was a delightful day. We toured almost to the Valley head, headed up a shallow, NE slope (25 deg) and dug a pit before descending. HS = approx 1 m, 60 cm of consolidating snow on top of icy crud to ground. Compression test did not yield a failure. A fun run down. Temperature was near 0 C with intermittent flurries. Protected from wind most of the time.

  109. Visit to the TRIO of Covid Friendly Couches starting also at Back Door. We were 8th car in arriving at 9:30. Sorry to miss you Bob to return your ski thermometer. We could faintly see Ma Sid’s tracks through West Elk Meadows to Hydroline and hopefully helped to keep it open for the weekenders. Heading north on Hydroline to top of Elk Pass was the hardest part of our day but VR 50 held up for those 2 kms of workout. Tyrwhitt and Pocaterra a lovely downhill back to the car, after we skied those three amazing meadows. Saw two dogs: one on Tyrwhitt and another on Pocaterra. Please check the tab above for Dog-Friendly Trails.

  110. Not really a ski trip report- I was on wheels this morning at WBC. The finish to my loop took me along Mountainview, where I started reminiscing about the amazing week of skiing that we enjoyed a month ago.
    Then, and now:
    https://steveriggs.smugmug.com/SkiPix2021/i-DZHbdc3/A
    Some of the sheltered core trails have more snow cover, with a bit of an icy base remaining. and I could see that a few brave souls have been out on the boards recently. Not for me, though.
    For the MTB’ers here- “winter” trail riding conditions have been superb on my 3 rides this week in the foothills, on a mix of packed snow, ice, and dirt. No need for fat tires at all, but studs are pretty much mandatory.

  111. PLPP-after reading Jean-Francois’s report from yesterday we planned generally the same route. Parked at Boulton creek (1st car!) headed up Whisky Jack (good conditions)-Tyrwhitt (freshly groomed and tracked, what a treat!)-Elk Pass to top of Blueberry (skier tracked with fluffy snow making the descent easy and fun)-Elk Pass to Fox Creek (LOTS of debris on trail)-Boulton creek back to the parking lot. Although the waxing was a bit tough with the mild weather we had a wonderful ski. What a gem to have this area-thanks groomers!! Back at the lot there were a total of 4 cars (at 2pm) and all had parking pass (yay!).

  112. SkierBob! We must have just missed you this morning! We met 2 friendly skiers along Tyrwhitt who said they had parked at the back door and were one of the last cars to get a spot. Have always wanted to meet you on the trails! Perhaps we did see you in passing somewhere along the way…..we had a great ski, glad to hear you did too!

  113. Friday, November 27th morning: Dropped a Motorola walkie talkie (blue) on the Elk Pass trail or Fox Creek trail. Please send me a reply if you picked it up. Thank you kindly!

  114. Hayfield Trails

    We were spooked by the wind warning, so changed plans and headed up north. We had a pleasant morning ski with no wind at all, getting about 7.3 km on groomed trails. The snow is nice but a bit thin, and the track-setting was a tad optimistic! (i.e. often twiggy)

  115. Nov 27 Upper Lake Louise trails update from Tracksetter Jeff:

    Fairview Loop (#2): Double trackset, Nov. 27! Fair condition, with the normal early season hazards like twigs, rocks, stumps and roots in random, unforgiving places. Use caution and maybe not your race skis!

    Shoreline (#4): Sled packed, with one problem drainage 300m from the North access preventing us from pulling equipment, we are hopeful that by the weekend we can manage it.

    Lake Trail (#4): The lake ice thickness ranges from just under 8cm to 12cm where we build our trail the width of the lake (we haven’t measured the length yet). We need at least 15cm of ice thickness to use our machinery safely. Over night a slush layer developed that will certainly slow the ice thickening process, 2020 keeps sending us curve balls!

    Upper Telemark and Peyto Trails (#5&#7): Skier set, poor condition. Work will start tomorrow (Nov. 28) and will take at least a week. Thank you for your patience.

  116. PLPP
    We had to do one trip from the back door before the gate is closed; following Bob’s example, we first headed south as far as the Lookout junction then turned around to enjoy the fabulous run down Pocaterra to Lynx. This trail has the least amount of tree debris and is a joy to descend. On Lynx we moved a very tall but slender tree from across the trail into the forest, the wind has brought down a large amount of needles and twigs on Lynx, Amos and Wheeler . The climb up Whiskey Jack was OK (no major hazards if you descend), then we got the fun of skiing down Pocaterra to the back door junction all over again. We used skin skis so no waxing decisions were necessary on this windy day hovering around zero degrees. 15 cars were neatly positioned in the parking lot, as we left our spot was quickly taken over, we counted 4 more cars in the parking area further north.

  117. After a week where it is CLEAR that we should actually be having much more strict rules than the UCP government has decided upon, and not having a province wide mask by-law yet, please be diligent.

    Please for 2-3 weeks even be more careful about car pooling. If you listened to CBC last week, a gentleman said he was cautious for 8 months, only to let his guard down ONCE, carpooling with an Asyptomatic friend… unknowingly.

    Given we now get to PAY $$ to XC and PAY$$ for track setting, the last thing we need to do is PAY with our mutual health!

    Hope everyone who follows SKIER BOB stays healthy and well for the duration of the ski season.
    Merry Christmas is coming!

  118. Alberta Parks:

    Tyrwhitt
    Some rough or uneven surfaces remain but generally in good condition. Groomed only for the first 1 km south from Lookout Junction.
    Groomed: Nov 27 Track Set: Nov 27

  119. Lost Smith tortoise shell sunglasses on Nov 21 at Pocaterra.

    Most likely fell out of my pocket while not so gracefully falling down the south part lookout trail after the fire lookout. Will probably be in one of the butt prints on the side of the trail..

    We skied Lookout to Hydroline to Tyrwhitt. If found my eyeballs will be forever in your debt.

  120. Groomed in PLPP on the evening of Nov 26:
    Elk Pass: Trackset from Elk Pass Parking to Hydroline Junction only.
    Hydroline: Trackset
    Lookout: Groomed. Open water/creek crossing at bottom of hill of south side!
    Tyrwhitt: Mostly trackset. Some rough or uneven surfaces remain but generally in good condition. Groomed only for first 1 km south from Lookout Junction.

  121. MAKE ALBERTA A DEMOCRACY

    CASCADE RIVER TO STONEY CREEK

    Skate skiers take note. Rare wide trail skating opportunity on Cascade trail to 3 km beyond the bridge.

    The Cascade River trail has been snowmobile and wolf pack packed up to Stoney Creek. It is suitable for skate skiing if you have rock skis and are a good tough ski skater. Conditions are generally fairly good to very good with a few rocks. Some hikers hiked on the trail to the bridge.

    The snow conditions on the Minnewanka road are fairly good. The base is thin but the skis did not hit the road, only the pole tips in many places were getting ground down on the pavement.

    Once one gets through the field after the road, conditions are generally good to the Cascade River Bridge with the odd rock on the hills. I hit 3 rocks coming down the hill at night while skiing to the brilliant moon light. There is a hard rain crust base with softer snow on top which makes for decent early season skiing.

    From the Cascade River Bridge the skiing is generally good to very good except the trail which was re-routed after the 2013 flood. The hill on this section is poor, but thankfully just a short section. Much of this re-route section of the trail is fair to fairly good. There are a lot of wolf tracks from the Cascade River Bridge to beyond Stoney Creek. This wolf pack seems to be dining in the area.

    Beyond the end of the snowmobile and wolf pack packed trail, the ski conditions are only fair with some rocks. Stoney Creek is open water so to ski beyond Stoney Creek the bridge must be crossed. I would expect conditions to get good again after the flood plain with easy trail breaking travel.

    With another 7 cm of new moist snow, the Cascade Trail could easily be trackset and skiing will generally be good to very good at that time.

    The temperature after the sun went down at Stoney Creek was -3c with partly cloudy skies. Snow speed was generally fast and the snow felt very nice and silky to ski on. There is about 20 cm of snow at Stoney Creek. The rain crust is about 10 cm deep with nice snow on top.

    Get out and enjoy the moonlight mojo navigating skiing while the moonshine is upon us.

  122. I learned of cases in Canmore starting by 4 people carpooling from Calgary to Canmore. One fellow who was asymptomatic spread it to 1 of the others. The other 2 in the car stayed negative. I don’t have details re: masks, distance in car, etc…but I find people get caught up in the details to justify their own risk tolerance, and lose sight of the big picture that we are in unprecedented times requiring really tough decisions, and sacrifices by all of us on a variety of fronts.

  123. SHADOW LAKE – November 26

    Having already broken a ski trail on REC six days ago in soft snow and slow conditions (see post in the backcountry section), I wanted to pursue to the ultimate destination of Shadow Lake. Looked like about 1-2 skiers have further packed down the trail, all the way to the warden cabin, making it very nice to ski on. After climbing the 60 meters from the lodge turnoff, I was glad to see a new ski trail (not there last week), with about 10 cm of fresh snow on it. One very large tree fell on the trail and it will have to be cut for any skidoo to go through. The old ski trail ended about 1 km further from the climb, at which point I start breaking trail all the way to the lake, via the meadows along REC proper. Lots of “whoofing” in the 50-60 cm of snow pack below me, as I was skiing there. The view of Mount Ball, from the bridge area over the lake outlet, was very satisfying as usual. Pretty windy conditions by the lake and back toward the lodge. After a short break there, I looped around to ski back in the trees past the campground. Went for a quick side trip to the warden cabin. The ski out along the REC trail was fast(er), now with a nicely packed trail. Last 1.5 km to the road is thin, but I did not hit any rock this time while snow plowing on last sharp bend and the ramp down to the parking lot. A great day.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/fD9NYrQiqLLMTVMY8

  124. Lake O’Hara Fire Road: Skied to campground on partially snow-mobile’d 4 ft wide path. Tried to set some decent skier tracks (Rode Blue 0 to -6) but four AT + 2 snowboarders leaving Liz Parker hut, descended and added alot of boot divots. Rather quick descent for us as O’Hara did not get the snow that Lk Louise Ski Hill got. Met four young people who were working at the Lodge and about 4 other couples in total all day. Parking lot and road down was nicely plowed. A group of half a dozen Calgary snow-shoers headed up to Ross Lake and made their own separate track. -4 to start and -1 to finish. If anyone knows why there was so much flagging (green, pink, orange) on both sides of the road, it roused our curiosity.

  125. I’ll echo previous comments about Blueberry, and the cold north wind- our group of Ramblers enjoyed a great easygoing descent after tagging the summit, where there was not much of a view anyway, and hastily retreated back to the junction for warm lunch in the sun. I guess we should have paid Martin a visit at the couch! With about 10 cm of recent snow at Blueberry- grab it when it gets groomed (tonight?)- it will be amazing! We started from Boulton Creek, not a trail that I ski often. I was reminded of how much fun this roller coaster of a trail can be in both directions. Even with wobbly skier tracked conditions and less than ideal snow cover in spots, it was very enjoyable.
    https://steveriggs.smugmug.com/BoultonToBlueberryNovember26/

  126. We skied the Great Divide today, starting at the O’Hara end. Tracks were skier set on old grooming, with some gaps. But the snow was like silk. The tracks at the top of the hill were better. It seemed that more skiers had succeeded in keeping the tracks clearer. Skin skis worked well for both of us. Another great day out!

  127. Found a pair of X-C poles left at Mt. Shark trailhead Sat., Nov 21. Send me a note to claim them?…they’re in Canmore. Thanks!

  128. The “2 friend rule” is interesting. If you live alone, you are allowed to not go crazy through lack of social interaction. Not sure that applies to driving together as a none household unless it’s the only two you ever interact with, as if they were a household, and no interaction with anyone else. Solo days aren’t so bad, but I won’t stop skiing.

  129. Thu nov 26: west elk pass
    Couch update: 3 separate seating options now, seating a max of 6. Nice and protected in today’s strong north winds. Fully compliant with the enhanced covid health measures, being well below the max 10 for outdoor gatherings (although it’s technically in BC).
    Saw 3 black wolves cross Hwy 40 this morning near boundary ranch. That was a treat. Kananaskis is alive and well. Came back via Patterson and the hydroline snow shoe trail (see if they take the bait again). Just as I exited the snow shoe trail at the steep hydroline descent, up came the groomer (stole my powder!). All good. Nice fast corduroy for the final leg back to the car, which was the only one in the lot at 4 other than the grooming trailer. Max 15 occupancy now at pocaterra hut. A bit of a social day running into fellow trip reporters!

  130. Fairview, MLR, and Telemark today. The upper part of Fairview was rolled until we got to a parked snowmobile and a Parks employee shovelling snow onto the trail. Presumably the whole trail is rolled now. MLR had just been groomed and was a bit soft and slow, but otherwise in great condition. We took Tramline partway back up, then crossed the the 1A and took Telemark back to the lake. Telemark has not been packed yet, but there was a skier-set track to make things a bit easier for us!

  131. FOUND on ELK PASS Ski Trail
    Black insulated travel mug along x-c ski trail. Placed (hanging) on right-hand side support of the kiosk at the Elk Pass trailhead. I have a photo if you need it.

  132. Peter Lougheed Provincial Park,
    -3C when I started at Boulton Creek Parking. I went up Whiskey Jack, Pocaterra until Packers junction and return to Whiskey Jack junction – Tyrwhitt – Elk Pass – Blueberry – Fox Creek – Moraine.
    Pocaterra had been freshly groomed and it was a delightful ski. Blueberry has fantastic conditions, Fox Creek and Moraine are hard packed but the skiing was pleasant. When I left out of 10 cars, 5 cars had a Pass displayed……

  133. Skogan Pass/Loop – Nov 26 – Not Recommended!
    But I went anyway. I didn’t want to drive all the way to Louise or PLPP, and WBC is for hikers again. So I elected to check out the Skogan Pass Trail.
    It’s just plain nasty up to the Sunburst junction, about half as bad to the Highline junction, well snow covered above that but with lots of ruts. Much of the trail has been heavily used by various small and large tracked vehicles, especially up to Sunburst. That part has tons of dirt/rocks showing through. Presumably there is maintenance occurring on the hydro line.
    I set out from Nakiska lodge with my Kazama Mountain High skis (early 80’s, narrow, steel edges). Had to walk part of the way down to the bottom of the bronze Chair and started on VR45 wax. But the trail down there had seen heavy foot traffic and was icy, so I put on my kick zone skins.
    Unsurprisingly the higher you go, the better the snow. I did not go all the way to the pass, elected to do Skogan Loop instead. The intial short steep part had some deep snow with a crust that was a bit of a challenge. Below Sunburst I had to walk the steeper stretches, as is was dangerous to snowplow because of the many rocks.
    Looking at the weather in the next week, it seems like it will be a while before the Skogan Pass trails become a good option.
    Cheers,
    Carl

  134. If you’re planning to ski in the Highwood Pass area tomorrow, the winds at 2500m are forecast for 80-95kph. And not a good day for climbing Mt. Rae with 125kph winds at the summit!
    https://www.mountain-forecast.com/peaks/Mount-Rae/forecasts/2500

  135. Hi everyone,
    I’m hoping to begin skate skiing and after some whining, a friend gave me his old SNS Pilot Salomon boots.
    If you have some skis with Pilot bindings or just the bindings, please consider me as a possible buyer.
    My weight is 180 pounds.

  136. BTW – The town of Banff has declared a state of local emergency and the Banff, Lake Louise area has the second highest rate of infection in the province. Please stay away!

    https://www.rmotoday.com/banff/update-banff-council-considering-limiting-operating-hours-occupancy-for-some-businesses-2911256

  137. The idea is to limit your exposure to other people as much as possible. The virus doesn’t care about climate change or politics and will take every opportunity to spread, regardless of what the rules say. I always ask myself if what I’m about to do will increase my risk of exposure, not “will I get a fine if I get caught”? Like I said, the virus doesn’t care.

  138. I think the intention of the restrictions are that your Bubble or Cohort are the same two people if you live alone. So not one for skiing then another one for restaurants, etc. I realize it is not that environmentally friendly more safest to have so many people driving, but this is one of the sacrifices we must make or stay over to reduce your times on the road.

  139. Suddenly the environment is no longer a concern. Burn gas and pollute all you want.

  140. The intent of the restrictions is to minimize unnecessary indoor gatherings. If you are not in the same household, taking more than one vehicle is going to be safer, and possibly more enjoyable as you won’t have to wear a mask. As others have said, this is only for three weeks and if we all try and stick to the intention behind the restrictions they might work and be lifted at the end of that period. Trying to bend or stretch them will almost certainly mean that we are faced with more restrictions. In the spring we lost access to the Parks, and obviously we don’t want that again.

  141. The restrictions are currently only for three weeks – winter in the Canadian Rockies lasts months! Please stay home if you cannot adhere to the restrictions, and please don’t try to ‘stretch’ or ‘bend’ the new regulations to suit your immediate desires. The snow will be here all winter.

  142. I believe the cohort/bubble rule has changed with these new restrictions. As of November 24, 2020, close contact must only be with members of the same household. Indoor social gatherings – even among members of the same cohort – are not allowed. It would be logical that” indoor social gatherings” would apply to vehicles as well. Check out Alberta.ca for the newest update on restrictions.

  143. From the Alberta Parks trail report for PLPP:

    Nov 25th: Pocaterra Trail groomed and trackset from Tyrwhitt trail junction to Packers trail junction only! Remainder of Pocaterra trail was groomed only from Packers junction to Pocaterra Hut/trailhead. The groomed only section is very thin with ruts, some dirt or rocks and un-even tread and getting worse as you travel north. Caution advised on northern sections of Pocaterra trail!
    Groomed: Nov 25 Track Set: Nov 25 Roller Packed: Nov 23

    Pocaterra grid was groomed only on November 25th. Snow pack is very shallow!
    Groomed: Nov 25

  144. I have 1 friend (other than my husband) who I will share a Vehicle with and thankfully she is my ski buddy. If we stick to the cohort /bubble rule I think we’re fine.

  145. Seems like a good question but we can still travel by public transit, taxi and aircraft, without limits on seating, provided all occupants are masked up. Maybe the same holds here?

  146. Nov 25 Peter Lougheed Provincial Park (PLPP)
    Elk Pass Parking – Blueberry – Elk Pass – Tyrwhitt – Pocaterra – Lynx – Amos – Woolley – Meadow – Wheeler – Moraine – Boulton – Elk Pass – out and back to Upper Lake Parking

    First car to arrive at Elk Pass at 0915. 6 more arrived in the following 10 minutes! Mixed sun and cloud, -5C at start rising to -2C during the day. About 5cm fresh snow at the trailhead, increasing to about 20cm at the Elk Pass / Blueberry junction, decreasing on the rest of my route. Tried out my new Rossignol R-Skin skis. Broke trail on Elk Pass for about 45 minutes until I was overtaken by 2 snowmobiles towing sleds heading up to shovel snow on the top 30m or so of Blueberry Hill. Thanks to the sleds, the track left behind was surprisingly smooth. Great powder ski down the hill! The amount of fresh snow decreased over the remainder of my route (check out picnic table photos), but there was enough to cover most of the tree debris that blew onto the trails as described in Bob’s Nov 24 report. Photos at https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/113UrxNO4MXMTzfUub3Izy3M_XC2oaSVW?usp=sharing. Click on Details to see captions.

    The guys at Blueberry Hill said that Tyrwhitt and Lookout north would be groomed later today, and maybe trackset if there was enough snow.

    If you’re in a rush to post your PLPP report to SkierBob, you can use the WiFi at the Visitor Centre even when they’re closed, by standing outside the entrance!

  147. Mt Shark – Watridge Lake tonight. 5-10cm of new snow on top of the grooming and more coming down. The trails didn’t appear to be trackset. Hopefully the new snow improves the base!

  148. Bow River Loop

    Lake Louise got fresh snow! (Maybe 8-10cm?) We were the first to ski the entire loop today, some of it was skier tracked, some boot tracked, and quite a bit untouched so far. There are some thin spots beneath trees, but most of it was very good. It looked like lower tramline was groomed today, so should be great now.
    Sad to see that Laggan’s was closed, as we enjoy a post-ski cup of tea there.

  149. Elk Pass upper / Bolton / Whiskey Jack / Tyrwhitt / Elk Pass / lunch at the couch
    There was about 1 cm of new snow at the parking lot up to 10 or so in places near the divide. Snow conditions were pretty good. Tyrwhitt is not track set yet but travel on it was fine. I think that I was the only one that checked out the couch. There was about 5 to 10 cm of snow in the track. I also did an extra loop of Bolton / Fox Creek. Bolton is fine. Fox Creek is pretty bumpy.

  150. Kicking Horse Trail & Yoho Rd (sorta)

    Everyone seems to be on PLPP these days, so I decided to head to Yoho and do Kicking Horse for the first time this season. I got to the Kicking Horse trailhead (I skipped the 3 km from the visitor centre) around 1020 and temperature was -6. There was about 5-6 cm of fresh, wet snow. As I was skiing, the trail was groomed and trackset! How’s that for timing! It looks like it was also set all the way back to Field. Track condition is excellent, There’s an ice/crust layer not far below the snow, but it doesn’t interfere or come up. Conditions were kinda sticky, but it’s hard to beat the scenery. Cooler temperatures should take care of the stickiness. Kicking Horse was trackset pretty well to the end.

    After finishing Kicking Horse, on my way back I stopped by Yoho Valley Road to check out conditions. It hasn’t been trackset for a little while, but it’s got a good solid base, and the skier tracksetting on the machine trackset base is still really good. It looked like only two or three people had been on the trail since the 6-8 cm snowfall the night before. Snow was much less sticky than at Kicking Horse. I only went as far as the steel bridge.

    Overall, both trails were great.
    Photos: https://photos.app.goo.gl/gxho1FUMq7CSfZ43A

  151. PLPP- between 30-40 people on south network trails today, so yes busy for mid-week November but EVERYONE was observing good social distance protocol and enjoying the frolic of pressing in the 2-4” of atypical fresh, early morning wet snow (from lower Pocaterra to most at Elk Pass). A good day of ski fellowship with spirited discussion.

  152. Nov 25 – Elk Pass Parking – Fox Creek – Ek Pass – Tyrwhitt High Point

    The Back Door Parking was closed when we got there this morning so we went to Elk Pass Parking which worked out well. There was 3 cm of new snow at the parking lot, 3-5 cm on Fox Creek, and a variable 5 to 10 cm on Elk Pass and Tyrwhitt.

    With the new snow there was good skier trackset conditions on all trails all the way from the parking up to the High Point on Tyrwhitt. On the return, conditions were excellent on skier trackset until we reached Fox Creek. There is good snow coverage on Fox Creek but it is very uneven and with the heavy ski traffic today all the fresh snow is now hard packed (no tracks). With temperatures warming to just below zero today and cooling tonight, we would expect Fox Creek to be a bit challenging until there is some new snow.

    We had a great day that was capped off when we returned to our car and noticed that all six of us parked on the south side had parking passes displayed.

  153. LOST OAKLEY SUNGLASSES ON WHEELER TRAIL
    I skied the outside loop at PLPP today and as I was getting to Elk Pass I noticed that my sunglasses were not on top of my head. I think I might have dropped them on the Wheeler Trail early in our day. At the end of the day I skied back to Wheeler Trail but didn’t find them. It did look like someone might have stopped where I thought they fell off.
    Thanks.

  154. Hey there, I’m trying to find a up to date trail report for Calgary so I know where I can ski & can’t seem to find anything. Your help is greatly appreciated.

  155. Nov 25 Lake Louise Upper trails update from Tracksetter Jeff:

    Hi All!

    Looks like lots of Nordic Skiers have been enjoying a fantastic social distanced recreation! Work has been on going for the past week and progressing more slowly than normal due to the Nov. 3-5 rain crust being quite difficult to work with. We want to thank you for your patience and enthusiasm!

    Fairview Loop (#2): Sled packed from Lake Louise to the big hill. Work is ongoing and we hope to have a track in 2 or 3 days.

    Shoreline (#4): Sled packed, with one problem drainage 300m from the North access preventing us from pulling equipment, we are hopeful that by the weekend we can manage it.

    Lake Trail (#4): The lake ice thickness ranges from just under 8cm to 12cm where we build our trail width of the lake (we haven’t measured the length yet). We need at least 15cm of ice thickness to use our machinery safely.

    Upper Telemark and Peyto Trails (#5&#7): Skier set, poor condition. When we finish with the Fairview Loop, work will begin here.

  156. WANTED – Looking for a pair of Salomon XC ski boots – size 38 Euro

  157. A potential “resource” article suggestion bob: some kind of waxing primer for beginners, understanding the different types, varieties, do’s and don’ts, fluorocarbons, synthetics, and acronyms (brand naming etc: VR vs “special extra”). When is best to use fishs scales, skins, or wax. I’ve always used fish scales for cross country gear, being daunted by it and not wanting to bother (and never really cared about maximum speed or distance). I have used wax on my AT gear but have only had real success with polar wax temps. Anything warmer seems to be more art than science. There may be many new users looking for a similar overview and additional resources.

  158. I had never skied the Upper Lake – Elk Pass connector before, so today I parked at Upper Lake and started from there. I skied through Elk Pass meadows to the hydroline going into BC, where I could hear noise from heavy machinery. It sounded like a logging operation is going on just on the other side of the hydroline. Something to be aware of for those skiing through to Elk Lakes cabin.

  159. WANTED – looking for a classic cross country setup for my teenager. womens us size 9-9.5 boots and 105lbs. prefer SNS profil but will purchase matching skis/boots of any other setup.

  160. Lower Tramline / MLR. Snow conditions were good today with temperatures around -5 for most of the day. The track setting is a few days old but travel was reasonably efficient. There was about 1 cm of snow last night and there may be a bit more for tomorrow.

  161. Fat bikers….

    What’s lower?

    Their IQ or their tire pressure?

  162. PLPP: South Pocaterra and Tyrwhitt from the Back Door
    We were the first two cars in the backdoor parking just after 9:30am. South Pocaterra is trackset and in great condition. Tyrwhitt roller packed only, quite skiable if you don’t mind the absence of tracks. Some needles and debris in the treed sections. On the return, it was great to get back in the tracks of Pocaterra – a pleasant reminder of how wonderful tracks are. 5 cars at backdoor parking at 1pm. Temps -4C to start, -2C at the end.

  163. PLPP report for yesterday –little to add that isnt in Bob’s update save for my advice to skier’s -novice and experienced alike: avoid downhill (west/south) travel on Packer’s trail in early season. That means now until likely Christmas as a safe bet. Their are several trecherous downhill sections of irregular awkward humps, bumps, open ground, open water, and thin base throughout the middle and upper reaches. This isn’t just about ski base preservation but personal safety and enjoyment. If you figure you’ll just walk unpleasant sections, know that your deep boot prints are destroying the base further as prints freeze in unevenly and creates additional hazards for skier days later. Parks really SHOULD have recommended difficulty colour coding and/or directional travel signage on a few reaches of trail in PLPP, that being the most critical early season. No wipe out sitzmarks/divots seen yesterday but if their is an accident that’ll happen, its there. Saw 37 people out skiing in total -unprecedented for a November Monday.

  164. Is the Elk Pass trail trackset from the Elk Pass parking lot? Or is it still better to start from the back door?

  165. Great Divide Lake Louise to O’hara and back – 23 Nov 20

    Had a really nice ski. Classic trails are track-set and in good shape. Skate ski lane is a bit tramped down but there were lots of skiers out. The dog sled groomer was also out, so expect the pups in the near future.

  166. I am looking for size 40 NNN x- country boots and 140 poles.

    Thank you

  167. Pocaterra Hut Friday 20 November

    Someone grabbed my daughters brand new poles at 11am or so when they finished their ski. We were waxing up when they drove away.

    403 478 9905 – Darcy

  168. PLPP: Back door, Tyrwhitt, Elk Pass, Fox, Moraine, Whiskey Jack

    We skied this route a week ago prior to grooming, how wonderful it is to have grooming, we are so grateful. Bumps are gone, snow was fast, had a blast coming down Elk Pass. Fox and Moraine could use some snow. Had a fantastic day.

  169. Pocaterra & Tyrwhitt from Hwy 40
    A gorgeous day to be out skiing. We got a last spot at the “back door” parking lot. Pocaterra to Lookout was trackset and still in great shape, in use by skiers and wolves. Tyrwhitt was nicely rolled but not trackset – snow is still too thin, particularly in the trees, and needs a good dump of snow.

    Could drivers park their cars as close together as possible, say no more than 75 cm / 2.5 ft. apart. This will allow as many skiers as possible to start at their preferred trailhead in this COVIDian era. Just be a little careful opening doors!

  170. Looking for Madshus CT 120 Men’s Boot Eur Size 44/US 10 NNN

  171. Mon nov 23: west elk pass.
    Busy at the couch for a Monday! Several friendly visitors. FCFS as they say. It takes a pandemic (maybe) for more people to wander away from the beaten path. To rectify, a third socially distanced “snofa” is in the works. Only a bench for now, but full couch soon, which should bump up max capacity to 5 or 6. But that will be it. No more room in the tree bay. But full sun dial coverage at least, choose your couch based on time of day. Gets sun from about 1130-3 this time of year, 12-2 best.
    Scoped out an east aspect avi slope off mount fox (BC side). Thin in the trees still above the meadows (60 cm) making forest skiing in that area a bit sporty, unless you like wood and twig carving. Lots of peckerwood trees in the lower reaches of the slide path that needs much more snow for decent skiing. Didn’t check the other slopes out, but perhaps better “around the corner”.
    Haven’t seen the coyote last few trips, but might have spotted him in the ditch, “resting”. )-: Perhaps he was getting fed, or enjoying the occasional road kill. Never works out for the best.

  172. Wedge Connector from Wedge Pond

    After playing around in the Highwood Meadows for a bit, I decided to check out Wedge Pond just in case, on my way home. Surprise! Despite no grooming and lots of foot traffic, the skiing was pretty decent! There are a few early season hazards to watch for, but conditions were much better than expected. Fat bike tracks stayed on the Bill Milne trail.

  173. ELK PASS/MEADOWS/HYDRO LINE/ FOX CREEK: We would agree with Frank’s recent posting, although we sure enjoyed the snow conditions today. The Elk Meadows are full of snow, great touring through to Hydroline and then back up to the picnic table at the Pass. Nice to visit with Masid at his new couches. Fox Creek needs some new snow, although the recent skidoo packing is appreciated. Trail is nice and generally wide. Very busy today.

  174. Peter Lougheed Provincial Park: Elk Pass Trail-Boulton Bridge-Fox Creek-Moraine and return.
    These trails showed the results of the large amount of weekend traffic and no overnight
    fresh snow which have left the trails hardpacked and fast.There is sufficient texture for the advance skier but more tentative skiers should take note. Snow is in the forecast for the rest of the week. We went over to Elkwood later and noted that no grooming has been done there, at least around the parking lot although there are skier tracks. The excavator was at work at Elk Pass parking, safely behind a barrier It is easy to infringe on the barrier, so keep your head up.

  175. What a beautiful day on Elk Pass with my hubby on his birthday! Ok, it’s the day before his birthday, but I’m working tomorrow. The sun was shining, our skins were working really well in the approximately -5 degree weather, and the tracks were still quite nice. We ran into MaSid at the Blueberry Hill junction on his way to work on his couch… if we had a few more minutes to spare we would have had a seat. Counting the days until we can go back!

  176. I found some sunglasses on Tyrwhitt yesterday. They were frosted over and it was 7:45 am, so I am sure they were lost on Saturday, Nov 21. Picked them up and brought them back to Okotoks with me so they didn’t get groomed.

    Reply with brand/colour and we can figure out some way to get them back to you!

  177. I went skiing on the Great Divide trail / Old 1A highway on Sunday from Calgary and left behind a pair of Under Armour gloves at the parking lot. It would be nice to have back. Thanks

  178. Sunday was a great day of skiing up to Lake O Hara. As always the scenery at the lake is magical and the road up is skier track set but the conditions are very good with 20-30 cm of fresh powder. Highly recommended.

  179. I went skiing on the Great Divide trail / Old 1A highway on Sunday from Calgary and left behind a pair of Under Armour gloves at the parking lot. It would be nice to have back. Thanks

  180. Based on the above, we can see that grooming is expensive, especially to achieve the high quality Pisten Bully grooming. On Friday, we skied with a group of friends on the marvellous fresh grooming on the Elk Pass and Blueberry trails. Everyone had a great time and most certainly enjoyed the grooming.

    PLPP is the closest location to Calgary with a reliable snow pack for a long ski season.

    In the past years, there was no charge for this grooming at PLPP and this year there is a very modest charge for parking. There is no reason why the users should not cover the grooming costs.

    Many users would be happy to pay for more frequent grooming with examples such as at the Golden Nordic Club (Adult $12/day 35 km of trails), the Sovereign Lake club (at Vernon Adult $19/day 50 km of trails), Canmore Nordic Centre (Adult $15/day 65 km of trails) and others. Note that Golden grooms about half of the trails daily and Sovereign grooms all of the trails daily.

    At PLPP we have witnessed MANY happy skiers so far this year. This large group of skiers should be able to fund more regular grooming of more trails daily at PLPP, especially this winter of high demand for ski trails.

    Thanks to the groomers, Nordiq Canada and the volunteers who helped to retain grooming at PLPP. We are indeed fortunate to have these trails groomed this winter.

    Also a shout out to the excellent work done by the volunteers at West Bragg! They are also seeking a bit more funding for their proposed new smaller Pisten Bully equivalent (Sno Rabbit). We should all help with their funding as well.

  181. Hi! I’m wondering what is the widest width of ski that can be used in the tracks? I’m looking for a backcountry ski that can also be used in the tracks. Any suggestions?
    Thank you!

  182. Ribbon Creek – Not recommended.

    I need new skis now. Meh, reason enough!

    Needs more snow coverage, lots of walkers on the trail too. Kinda disappointing to see, however, not a big deal at this point.

  183. Perhaps I should have offered some wax….

    Several facts: 1) A small portion of PLPP contains the only high quality classic ski grooming (Pisten Bully) in South Western Alberta.
    2) There are very small signs at the start of the trails in PLPP stating that skating is not allowed since it damages the classic track. The tracks are too close together to provide room for skating.
    3) Many people are not aware that skating is not allowed in PLPP, but will copy other people that skate, since it is of low probability that they have read the small signs.
    4) One person skated over much of the groomed classic track up Whiskey Jack.
    5) One person was skating on Tyrwhitt. There were no groomed classic tracks on Tyrwhitt.
    6) Yes, I was irritated.

    Note that the only trails currently available in this area for skating are at Lake Louise (MLR and GDT) and Frozen Thunder.

  184. Family has outgrown this XC ski gear, so time for a new home:
    Alpina Boots size 35 NNN
    Fisher Sporty 177cm Wax NNN
    Rossignol Max 167cm, 157cm, 147cm Wax NNN
    Rossignol XTour 140cm Waxless NNN
    Atomic 130cm Waxless NNN
    Fisher Standard 190cm Wax SNS, TechnoPro Century 170cm Waxless SNS, Karhu 120cm Waxless
    Poles: Swix 130cm & 125 cm, Atomic 110cm, TechnoPro 110cm, Excel 100cm & 95cm
    Madshus Vette 140cm Waxless no bindings

    pictures, price, and contact here:
    https://www.kijiji.ca/v-view-details.html?adId=1537417051

  185. If the Pipestone trails at lake Louise are being groomed/trackset this season, is the parking lot open? If not where is the closest parking space? Thanks!

  186. Perhaps Brews did not remember that he skated much of the way up Whiskey Jack as wel as skating on Trywhitt

  187. Appreciate the informative article.If a trail is packed and not track set eg Tyrwhitt this weekend , what is the etiquette regarding skating ?
    I found it difficult in places to maintain glide & was switching between classic diagonal and skating . A gentleman stopped to tell me it was extremely rude to skate on a classic trail . I don’t see the issue on an uncrowded trail with no set tracks to damage but willing to consider other viewpoints

  188. Elk Pass upper parking to Blue Berry Hill, the “couch” for lunch, Elk Pass / Patterson and then a short trip up Whiskey Jack. Snow conditions were quite good on all of these routes. There were a lot of skiers on the Elk Pass route so the track is not real tight (which is good for me with my wide bindings). There were far fewer skiers on Whiskey Jack. It was a treat for the 3 (Carole and Jamie) of us to have lunch (with out a reservation) at the “couch” which amazingly was a bit out of the wind. The cup / thermos bottle holder was a nice touch.

  189. Hi Bob, we skied down Packers on Saturday not realizing the condition it was in, happy to report we survived! But yes, it was very dicey. It was a veritable roller coaster. Great day nonetheless!

  190. Found a pair of X-C poles left at Mt. Shark trailhead yesterday (Sat., Nov 21). Send me a note to claim them?…they’re in Canmore. Thanks!

  191. TAKAKKAW FALLS via YOHO VALLEY ROAD – Nov 22

    No parking hassles here. Glad I took gaiters as I had to break trail in about 25 cms of new snow.
    Details available in the photo descriptions here:
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/jbmhHq1i5kaqGQiCA
    For a full day challenge, it was a good idea to get straight into my ski pants as I rolled out of bed!

  192. GREAT DIVIDE: Excellent condition, lots of people out. Snow was a bit slow but it is a beautiful winter wonderland out there. Drove back on 1A, lots of nice snow between Baker Chalets and Castle Bungalows. Tracksetting sòon?

  193. Easiest way to look at grooming is to think of it like making a snowball. What is required when the snow is cold and dry? What happens if you make a snowball when the snow is wet and it freezes?
    The answers to these questions is the basic principle of all grooming.

  194. I concur with Mike W. This article is most useful and should make a lot of people think about the crew and all they do for us ( I know it certainly made me appreciate even more what is done for us). This article is good for both new comers to our sport but as well to people like myself who have been using the area for many, many, years. Thank you Bob.

    I would also like to pass on a huge thank you to all the folks who sent in emails etc. to the government. Without the pressure we put on Jason Nixon and others and without Nordiq Alberta the wonderful service described here would not have happened.

  195. An excellent article, Bob! How about listing it under Resources, so it’s readily accessible into the future?

    Good idea, done! -Bob

  196. Bob, you mention “There’s been lots of concern about there being no Live Grooming Reports. Nobody seems to know anything except for the fact that it’s not functioning.” Does anyone presently know any further? As a retired IT professional, is there anything that I can help with in that regard to investigate?

  197. Skied Tally-Ho in Yoho from the Field info centre out and back to the Emerald Lake road yesterday, Sat. Nov. 21. Track was great with a few baby trees poking up here and there, but no big deal. The little bit of open water running across the track was no problem to avoid by removing skis and stepping over. Really struggled with wax as it was right around 0 deg. C. I covered swix blue extra with Violet Extra and started icing. Violet special was a little better, but eventually I tried to scrape that all off and suffered with no grip blue extra and less icing (not zero). My wife’s twin skin Fischers worked perfectly, of course! It was a beautiful day to be out!

  198. Rossignol Skate Skis – carbonSK, XIUM, 193 cm for about 95 kg skier with NNN Rossignol skate bindings. Skate Boots – size 47 Alpina SP 40. Both are nearly new – used less than 6 times (maybe much less…) Asking $400 or offers. Text to 403 667 4050

  199. Left Pocaterra Hut about 9:40 am. It was -5 and I used good old VR40. The skier trackset on the Marathon route allowed for some kick and glide, but it was good to get to about 1 km east of the start of Whiskeyjack on Wheeler where the powder was machine packed. Whiskeyjack to Tyrrwhit to Elk Pass machine tracked and a great kick and glide. The run down Elk Pass to Fox Creek and Moraine back to Boulton was mid season smooth and fast. Then the slog back east to Pocaterra Hut was a little slower with warmer snow, but still the best November ski ever ! It was -2 back at the hut, so pretty ideal temps throughout.

  200. Great to meet you Skier Bob! We had a great day out!
    -Lindsay and Mitch

  201. Looking for a pair of 195-205cm classic skis for beginner, waxless is preferred.

  202. Rummel Lake
    We decided to check out the Rummel Lake tour today. There were around 30 vehicles at the roadside trailhead and the majority of people were either snowshoeing or hiking to the lake. The trail was so well packed that anything from wide touring skis with skins to running shoes worked well. Off-trail travel conditions were excellent, with 20-25cm of light snow on a supportive base. So, we did a bunch of wandering around just to enjoy the powder skiing.

  203. Moraine Lake Road and Great Divide were probably even better today than last weekend. The trees are loaded up with snow and views into the Bow valley and drainage below Moraine Lake were mid-winter’s finest – in November! Easy waxing and superb tracksetting combined for a most enjoyable afternoon and lots and lots of friendly people were out enjoying this warm, winter day. HIGHLY recommended.

  204. Thanks to Skier Bob for the Upper Lake parking tip. We were the first vehicle in the Upper Lake lot at about 9:40 this morning. When we finished at 1:30, the Elk Pass parking lot was completely full, including vehicles parked on the side of the short access road into lot. Upper Lake had probably 15 or 16 vehicles and my buddy commented that the massive Upper Lake lot is a much better option than the crowded Elk Pass lot. We also enjoyed having that nice little 0.9 km connector stretch to casually ski after coming down to the Elk Pass lot.

  205. Moraine Lake Road; started 09:15 from the Chateau parking lot; -6C start and +1C finish at 14:30; VR40 worked perfectly. Approximately 2 cm new snow fell overnight on Friday’s grooming, muffling the sound of skis and poles on snow. MLR up tracks were tracked by earlier skiers providing an easier ascent. Lots of team skiers training, young and old, mostly skating. The turn point was sunny with no wind, which made for a pleasant lunch break. The air was full of the laughter of young skiers enjoying their day and Whiskey Jacks mooching lunch. The ski down was controllable in the soft snow but quick enough to keep your attention. The climb on Upper Tramline was even pleasant at day’s end. MLR always a pleasure!
    I hope Parks groom and track-set for the Sunday ski crowd giving them an even better day.

  206. Pocaterra Hut to Elkwood area: Best to wait for more snow and some grooming. This area has not been groomed. It is skier tracked, but with all the ups and downs there are not very many sections with ski tracks to follow.
    Please remember that COVID protocols should be followed, even outdoors. Don’t park right next to a car when there are people standing there waxing their skis and preparing their gear. Give people their space.

  207. A month ahead of normal schedule, including travel in the meadows! Happy days. As I have no cross country gear currently, unlikely to be any couches on pipestone or Fairview this year. So couch HQ is it, for now. Bring a foamy to sit on.

  208. We arrived at 10:30 today at Elk Pass parking and were the last to squiz in

  209. Sat Nov 21: west elk pass
    Starting from elk pass parking, using fox creek to start. A bit smoother on the way back after some travel. Couch HQ now has a covid separated love seat and throne (seating for 3 total). Cheeky and Simona swung by for lunch via blueberry meadows and helped build. More visitors showed up (the heli-skiers) and couldn’t resist some snow-chitecture! The poster kids and I zipped off and skied the meadow through to hydroline, leaving the heli-skiers the shovel and saw to add their own sculptural snow art (they did!). There’s a kid inside everyone. The later season efficient route through the meadows is good to go, before December! Went back via blueberry meadows. Theses meadow trails saw some bodies today so are in nice shape now until the next dump (powder baskets probably best, but doable without). Elk pass lot was clearly busy enough today that some cars were parked on the access road, making it essentially a narrow single lane driveway. Another excellent day with sun at the couch in the afternoon. Not so good coming down the hill and having to make a quick narrow left.

  210. I was one of the skiers who told you not to ski down Packers, and we only realized it was you after you left!

  211. MAKE ALBERTA A DEMOCRACY

    Does anyone know how much snow there is at the Cascade Valley ski trail parking lot in Banff?

  212. Do you know if Cascade valley is trackset yet?

  213. Skied Blueberry Hill today with three other families and it was INCREDIBLE!!! The snow, wow! It was a bit sticky for some in our group but those of us with waxless skis had an easy time. My son and I put glide wax on at the top of Blueberry Hill and flew down screaming. We love hills.

    The fresh grooming was amazing and the hills were easy to descend. We appreciated the track setting coming down too. Sure made double polling easier.

    Photos: https://photos.app.goo.gl/1c7XMy19GeLtWpPD6

  214. Sat Nov 21 – Elk Pass Amazing

    Words cannot capture the simply outstanding day that Mark, Richard, Jeff and I experienced today.

    Mid-winter snow – superb glide – made for a memorable first ski for Sam!!!

    Gratitude for grooming and track setting that was so uncertain for a time – and a dream come true today!!!

    For those who haven’t been out yet – go, go, go!

  215. Skate ski boots – Fischer RCS Size 42. Brand new $130 OBO, Located in Canmore. If interested send me an email andrewcotterell@hotmail.com

  216. Salomon BC xadv5 ski boots size 45 1/3 good condition…with BC Binding Salomon SNS xa $125
    Rossignol BC H6 W Ski Boots Size 41 excellent Condition $100
    See photos on Banff/Canmore Kijiji

  217. Fischer RCS skate ski with NNN binding $300. today’s version would cost around $700 for ski and binding – These have a few cosmetic imperfections as they have been around a few years but bases were stoneground and in good shape – 185 cm long so fits someone 5.5 to 5.8/9 depending on your weight – best camber for 140-160 pounds.
    IF interested email me bob.milko@gmail.com

  218. Some of the trails around the Kananaskis Village were packed yesterday. These are still early days and the base is very shallow. Skiing is possible on the flat trails such as Terrace and Terrace Link. Extreme caution on any hills due to hidden surprises such as blue ice and rocks.
    Upper Skogan Pass has over 40 cm of snow but Alta Link is currently replacing power poles up there and using parts of Skogan as their access.
    Lots of great skiing in Lougheed at the moment best to wait before you try Ribbon Creek.

  219. Please add me to your email list. Thanks!

    Mailing list? News to me. I don’t have any such list. -Bob

  220. REC past SDL turnoff

    With all those reports of fresh corduroy and knife edge trackset conditions in PLPP, I figured my day of trail breaking was a better fit for this backcountry section. Leaving at 10:45 am on metal edge light touring skis and VR45, I intended to ski to Shadow Lake Lodge. Wishful thinking with up to 20 cm of trail breaking all along Red Earth Creek. I was able to see the ski track made about a week ago, covered by 10-15 cm of new snow, up to about the Lost Horse Creek campground. Poles were hitting the ground through 15-25 cm of snow until then. Then it is was pretty much untracked soft snow afterwards, with hint of an old ski track at times and up to 40 cm of snow on the trail. Pretty slow going throughout the day, tiring, but certainly a good workout. By the time I got to the lodge turnoff, it would have been a return in the dark if I had continued to my initial destination. I decided to just walk up the steep section from REC and turn back. The return to the road was a bit faster in the soft snow with not much of a compacted base. Went from a turtle pace up to a galactic 5 km/hr pace down. Not the longest distance for me this season, but certainly the longest day so far on skis. A good day in the (outdoor) office! Scrapped a few rocks on the last 1.5 km down; still need more snow to cruise that section. The first kilometer from the road is a graveyard of fallen trees.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/cwgH8V3WkjkhFtpo6

  221. Friday Nov 20 – Back Door Parking, Pocaterra, Lookout, Tyrwhitt, Elk Pass

    We wanted to ski on natural powder today so we picked ungroomed trails.

    This trail report will not be too helpful for those planning the weekend because parking at the back door, as discussed in other trail reports this week, is a problem during the weekend. Also, as we were leaving we saw the Piston Bully trailer heading toward the back door parking so there may be additional grooming overnight.

    There was probably only about 5 cm of new snow last night but in the last three days there was between 10 to 20 cm of fresh snow with skier trackset. The descent from the top of Lookout on the north side was most enjoyable and required almost no snowplowing. Tyrwhitt is not quite as bumpy either.

    Please see the pictures at the link below for details.
    https://1drv.ms/u/s!AqCMMdfYEozbg1UoHZrx23JCEAbE?e=AXF0vh

  222. Chester Lake
    We found great conditions at Chester Lake today. It snowed lightly all day. There was 20-25 cm of light new snow on top of a supportive base. Total snow depth was 65cm at the lake. Travel conditions were good on or off trail. https://photos.app.goo.gl/hYGxwWutcG6YLFBFA

  223. Chester Lake
    We found great conditions at Chester Lake today. It snowed lightly all day. There was 20-25 cm of light new snow on top of a supportive base. Total snow depth was 65cm at the lake. Travel conditions were good on or off trail. https://photos.app.goo.gl/hYGxwWutcG6YLFBFA

  224. Mt Shark; Arrived 10:00 AM -4C VR 40 metal edge LT skis. 5cm fresh snow on rolled track. Skied first 5km with trepidation thinking we’d blow through the the base on the downhills.
    Base held up well, skied the second 5KM at turned back. It apppeared the 15KM loop has been rolled as well.
    Skaters seemed to be having a good ski.
    Small parking lot was 1/3 full when we left at 12:00.

  225. I rode down the Kicking Horse Trail this summer and was blocked well before the Ottertail river by an ever growing number of large fallen trees. Much thanks (and maybe even a KHSC donation) must be given to the maintenance crew in getting this trail (and all the Yoho trails) in tip-top shape!
    I only discovered these “hidden” gems last year around the time of the loppet -also a hidden gem of an event. And, COVID notwithstanding, really hope to see it go ahead. Well worth the trip, even from Edmonton (and we have snow!)

  226. So many comments already?!!
    Anyway…….Pocaterra:

    We thought there would be enough people doing Elk Pass that we should check out Pocaterra today. Not the first: when we arrived just before noon there were about 10 vehicles in the lot. The hut was open, warm and inviting 🙂
    Skiing was very good on skier tracks, which we followed to the table just past the Lynx junction. Many tracks continued up Pocaterra, only a couple going up Lynx. There were a few twigs, some bumpy sections, and a bit of deadfall debris – thank you to whoever moved the trees! But overall it was very good and most enjoyable. I do worry that more traffic over the weekend will scrape off the steeper hills.
    Snow temps were between about -5 and -2 C, and there were 20 vehicles when we returned at 2:15 pm.

    Very sad to see the dead elk in the ditch 🙁

  227. MaSid looks hardcore.

  228. Has Pocaterra been trackset yet? I knew it was groomed this week. Planning to go there tomorrow. Anyone, please advise.

  229. Thank you for your wonderful reports and dedication to the nordic skiing community! I reluctantly bought my parking pass today…not because I believe we should be paying the UCP government twice for this but because I didn’t want the hassle of explaining to volunteers how I feel this shouldn’t be a user pay facility (we already have one in Canmore). People should know that the pass is actually $54 because of the “processing” fee on Zone4.

    I encourage everyone to write to Jason Nixon requesting that the live grooming be re-instated. I’m not sure why it’s “no longer functioning” which sounds pretty final to me.
    You can submit your feedback using the offical contact form https://www.alberta.ca/contact.cfm#forms

    Anyways, I think I’ve made my point known so now it’s time to try and put all this behind me on the trails. 🙂 I’ll try to be less grumpy in the future (but this government is making it very difficult)

    Happy skiing!

    Cindy, the Live Grooming Reports were operated by a private individual who seems to have disappeared. There was no government involvement. -Bob

  230. Fri nov 20: west elk pass.
    A good day to build furniture. Peaceful, quiet, calm and mostly sunny in the meadows. Had a perfect hole in the clouds all afternoon, shining down on couch HQ. There’s a single seat throne for you now helen! See you there soon. Too nice not to push the trail further down the meadow for a bit (to the log bench). Good travel with only Ankle ski pens (AT). Fox creek snowmobile packing now complete.
    Be wary of the coyote that’s been hanging out on Hwy 40 near hood creek. Seen him pretty much every time I’ve been out the last two weeks. Tough to spot when running down the middle of the road in fading light. Seems to understand what lane to be in, eventually. He’ll probably be checking out that elk carcass tonight (in the ditch near Eau Claire). Covers quite a bit of ground using the road, so could be anywhere.

  231. Black Prince Fan
    November 20, 2020

    Black Prince Fan, in spectacular conditions! 10 cm or more of fresh and no one been there in several days. Dave dug a pit on a 25 deg, NE slope. 60 cm of soft snow on top of 50 cm of rain crust that ran to ground. Collapse on M7, might have happened earlier on a steeper slope. Cathy supervised in fine fashion.

    Evidence of a 1.5 slide perhaps a couple of days earlier but hard to tell. Several dry sloughs higher up.

    After we put in the uptrack, 2 fellas came along, developers and owners of Paradise Ski. They are making Alberta skis, starting up a business (not giving up their day jobs).

    Chip the Backcountry Pro decided to try a new technique; linking turns with one skin still on. Don’t try it at home…or anywhere!!!!

    And yes, we trashed the lines!

  232. We were going to head west again after a terrific day yesterday on Great Divide, but after Bob’s last ski report at PLPP, we headed east and got to Elk Parking lot around 9:40 and -5. Thank you for all the extensive grooming done last night James. What a treat to be back on Elk Pass again. Super running into the rest of James’ family at Blueberry junction. Skied to Couch HeadQuarters (HQ) and thank you Ma Sid for likely breaking trail to it yesterday. Added a Rudolf ornament to his Christmas tree. Hydroline was sweet as were all the hills.

  233. Great Divide/1A – freshly groomed and trackset AGAIN this am! Many thanks to the grooming crew, I think that makes 4 days in a row of fresh grooming. Tracks were great, VR40 plus skiff of VR45 later, and Swix Extra Blue worked well. Temps -4 to -2, little bit windy at O’Hara end but not enough to blow snow into the tracks.

  234. Winter wonderland at Boom Lake: my friend and I arrived at the empty parking lot with 15cm fresh snow; we used skins on light touring gear and broke trail to the lake. The temperature was very mild at -3C. We stepped over and crawled under 2 fallen trees and navigated a few small open creek spots. The return trip was fun gliding through the deep snow. 2 walkers were heading up when we came down the last hill. A very enjoyable outing.

  235. KICKING HORSE TRAIL – Nov 20

    Freshly trackset again today, so much nicer than just grooming.
    Details available in the photo descriptions here:
    https://1drv.ms/u/s!AgXbvmC40zK_jgNfk-OBjwYGeC5R?e=EVbb60
    Here is a secret for just you: Joe plans to trackset the Yoho Valley Road tomorrow!

  236. BLUEBERRY HILL, FOX TRAIL: BLUEBERRY was freshly groomed this morning, excellent skiing condition, both up and down; FOX CREEK trail skier tracked and in excellent condition too. A perfect day on light classic skiis.

  237. Hi.

    Someone grabbed my daughters poles this morning at Pocaterra hut while we were waxing up.

    They had just finished their ski at approximately 1130.

    Any info to 403-478-9905

    Other than getting to work harder on our technique we had a good day on skier set tracks.

    Numerous logs blown but adequate coverage. Decent kick on blue Swix.

  238. Thanks for information Mike W and Masid.

    I share most of the sentiments you’ve expressed and am surprised more details are not available.

  239. Went to Narao Glades on Tuesday Nov 17 to see if there was a chance for turns – not so much. About 30 cm in the lower glades at the Ross Lake Summer Trail sign with lots of brush to mash through, so just decided to tour out on the summer trail and back. Beautiful day in the woods!

  240. That’s great news about pocaterra warming hut being open. Surprising even. Thanks Bob! Couldn’t post below the home page post.

  241. That’s good news about pocaterra warming hut. Surprising even. Thanks Bob!

  242. Peter Lougheed Provincial Park-Elk Pass Parking-Bolton Creek-Fox Creek-Elk Pass Trail toBlueberry Hill Junction and return,
    Excellent snow conditions at a high of -2C. Skier tracked throughout. At the end of the day we saw grooming coming down from the Hydroline and on to Ek Pass Trail to the parking lot. We ran into Skier Bob on return as he was going up Elk Pass. My wife was able to exchange pleasantries with Bob as I was going too fast (lol).

  243. Skied the Great Divide today. Conditions were excellent. The track setters finished up just as we started out int he morning. Tracks were set all the way to the train track crossing. The temperature when we started was -11C but warmed up to -5C by the time we got to the train tracks.Using Blue VR40 wax gave excellent grip and the glide was great. It snowed lightly most of the with less than 2 cm accumulating on my car. There were enough people skiing that any new snow got pressed down. When I left at 2:30 the parking lot was basically full.

  244. As for the Cooperating Agreement itself, it isn’t available to the public, including on Alberta’s “Open Government” website. This was confirmed with a phone call to the Alberta Environment and Parks FOIP Office. I looked into making a FOIP request. It costs $25 just to file the request, at which point a FOIP representative will give you an estimate on the fee to process the request. The government should have released the Agreement to the public to begin with. If I’m going to donate money to the government, whether or not it’s through an intermediate organization, I want to know exactly what’s going to happen to my money. Withholding this information is counter-productive to public trust and buy-in.

  245. Hi skiers
    I saw a report from Helen Read on Nov. 6, 20 snowshoeing to Ross Lake. If I consider skiing to the Lake would it be advisable to ascend with light touring skis from Great Divide junction and descending via trail that connects to Lake OHara fireroad? How much downhill is there? Thanks

  246. GREAT DIVIDE – Nov 19

    Trackset this morning by Andrew, and now silky smooth travel for all. Snowing much more heavily on the west end.
    Details available in the photo descriptions here:
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/WnYKpEMksYAzDDM26
    My Swix Special Blue wax was perfect… Started at minus 8, ended at minus 5.

  247. Looking for a pair of 195-205cm classic skis for beginner, waxless is preferred. Compatible with Prolink, NNN, and Turnamic bindings.

  248. Thu nov 19: west elk pass
    From elk pass trailhead. 4″ of fresh at trailhead. More at pocaterra this morning as I drove by. Enough that I didn’t dare pull in to see if hut open. Looked like close to a foot! Truck with trailer was present, but perhaps that was the construction crew. Luckily timed it right to get behind the first snow plow pass down the lakes trail. 8″ on top of the blueberry junction picnic table. 80cm now at provincial boundary in west elk pass. Neither of the above lots plowed on my way home in the early afternoon.

    With a user pay winter permit system, and covid, tough to spread out over time as well as location, when lots not plowed in a timely manner. That’s a wrinkle that will need to be sorted as part of this “pilot”, especially if busier than normal (which it has been and will continue to be).

  249. Moraine Lake Road
    Skied down Upper Tramline to MLR in about 5cm fresh snow, partially trackset by others. Headed up MLR in similar conditions – slow going. Then part way up the big hills, two snowmobiles passed us – one grooming the center, the other laying tracks on the uphill side. Now the skiing was easier. The return trip was pleasant, though the soft snow slowed us down on the steepest sections. Constant flurries all day. Upper Tramline was also freshly trackset for the return to the car. -8C to start, -5C at the end.

  250. I bought my pass this morning and am good to go, but its still a bit unclear to me how the funding is going to work? I presume my payment will go to Nordiq Alberta, but will they then transfer all or some of the payments they receive to Parks or general revenue or even some other account? If the amount of funds raised exceeds or falls short of the cost of grooming what then.

    Maybe this has been explained in detail somewhere and I’ve missed it, so if there is a link to that information I’d appreciate it.

  251. November 19th, 2020 Shaganappi Point golf course update:

     The gates to Shaganappi were opened for the winter as of November 10th.  

    Skiing is not recommended until there is a compacted base.  

    -Skis on snow with no compacted base likely will go right through the snow down to the ground hitting grass, asphalt, and the shale cart paths, which can permanently damage your skis. 

    Feel free to go for a walk or snowshoe.  After grooming and track setting has begun, please do not walk on ski trails.

    Grooming and track setting for cross country skiing at Shaganappi will begin in December.  
    -Shaganappi Point golf course and Confederation Park golf courses have two different microclimates.  Shaganappi has significantly more year-round sun and wind exposure compared to the Confederation golf course. (Confederation has longer frost delays during the golf season due to having less sun exposure than Shaganappi)  If the snow above the turf at Shaganappi is machine compacted for skiing in November, freeze/thaw cycles of November Chinooks create an ice layer that remains in place all winter preventing air exchange within the snowpack, which kills the turf underneath.  Turf death in the spring directly equates to lower visitor numbers and revenue loss at golf courses, as golfers in general prefer to play at golf courses that are in pristine condition. 

    Please stay off tee boxes and greens, as the fragile turf is easily killed by compacted snow. 
    -All greens are  roped off. Tee boxes in general are flat areas with a hill around them. Some tee boxes are roped off, but not all. (roping off greens are the Golf course’s responsibility, roping off tee boxes near ski trails are SNO’s responsibility.  There are 80+ tee boxes, and 27 greens at Shaganappi).   

  252. MAKE ALBERTA A DEMOCRACY

    MT. SHARK, WATRIDGE LAKE, UPPER SPRAY RIVER

    SKATE SKIERS TAKE NOTE

    The trail from Mt. Shark to Watridge Lake, along with other Shark Trails, have been roller packed. Thin but good base. Suitable for skate skiing if you have big honking legs and can deal with a slightly rough skate ski surface. Don’t use your new skis yet. Fairly good to good conditions. Just the odd rock, mainly in the first 1/2 kilometer under the trees. I hit one coming back at night. The hills are in pretty good shape considering the thin base. Moderate speed snow with light snow falling at night, around 10:00 pm.

    If it snow 7 cm in the next day or so it will be very possible to track set the trail and have generally very good to excellent classic skiing right to Spray River.

    There were a couple of French women hikers walking all over the trail with a brown mottled pit bull cross that was running around with no leash in the afternoon on my way in.

    I broke trail up the upper Spray River and conditions are also fairly good to good. Thinner near Whiteman Creek, either side about 500 meters. I skied roughly to within about 2 km of the Palliser Warden Cabin. Snow depth is variable and up to 45 cm. There are a couple of rail crusts in the snow pack. Generally very good off trail travel, much better than normal for this time of year, with ski penetration a couple of inches above the ankle on average. Ski penetration increases near the cabin. There is the odd tree root and rock. I did a fair bit of side stepping on the hills to improve the trail. 7 cm of moist new snow on this trail will make for good to very good skiing conditions and may make better trail breaking.

    Nice to have another area to ski.

  253. I drove towards Pocaterra back door but the parking lot was roped off. I guess they want people to start using the parking lots towards Kananaskis Lakes. So instead I skied up to Elbow Lake and beyond. The initial big hill is somewhat icy and there is some deadfall and open water. Beyond the lake the skiing is easier and conditions were generally good. The trail was packed by skiers, hikers, snowshoers and fat bikes. Near the Piper Pass turnoff there are a few spots where the wind has blasted the trail to bare rock and it is necessary to do some walking. At Tombstone junction I turned right and broke trail up up towards the Sheep Valley for a ways. There was a windblasted spot about 1 km up this trail but the snow got better beyond that. I’m glad I brought rock skis because I did hit more than a few rocks. In fact I hit one hard enough on the hill back down to the parking lot to cause one of my skis to snap in half. Oh well they were rock skis anyways.

  254. With Parks now grooming GD (Great Divide/Hwy 1A) trail twice without updating website… got me thinking about (pining for) that mind boggling web app for Norway nordic trail conditions. Or was it Finland? Someone dropped it here at SkierBob a year or two ago. The country map starts out peppered with hundreds of dots and zooming in reveals nearly every dot is a PLPP sized live-reporting trail system. I lost the link. Recall that one?

  255. Skied Peter Lougheed today. Parked at Elk Pass, maybe 20cm at parking lot. Icy and pine needles until Fox Creek junction, improved quickly afterwards. Skied Blueberry Hill then over Elk Pass and Tyrwhitt to top of Whiskey Jack and back. At least 40-50cm coverage over that area with ~ 70cm on top of Blueberry. All was skier track set, little to no grooming or tracksetting.

  256. More good news for PLPP. Not sure if this is the right corner of SkiHere for this, but PLPP staff have confirmed that the Visitor Information Centre (aka Discovery Centre) in PLPP will re-open for the winter on Nov. 29. Hurrah!

  257. Hey Bob, tried to ski out of the Backdoor access today. Don’t know if I was at the correct spot at about 8km from the gate. There was 2 No Parking signs with yellow tape blocking the access to small parking lot. Sure looked like I was in the right place from descriptions I have read prior.
    Thanks…

  258. Great Divide/1A – Lake Louise escaped last nights rain fortunately, with about 2 cms new snow overnight. We arrived at the 1A around 11 am just as the groomers were finishing off the skate lanes and both classic tracks again. Very good skating on the fresh grooming, just a tad slow due to the soft snow and the classic tracks were great. Twin skins worked really well. More snow in the forecast for tonight so hopefully the groomers get on it yet again tomorrow!

    Heard on the grapevine that Lower Telemark (ungroomed) has lots of moguls, and it rained at Emerald Lake last night so not sure how the Yoho trails will be now.

  259. For sale excellent condition – $60 Fischer Comfort NNN classic ski boots Eur 42 – a warm comfortable boot – here is the newest versionhttps://www.fischersports.com/ca_en/xc-comfort-255

    email me at bob.milko@gmail.com

  260. Healy Pass, Nov 18

    A beautiful day at the Pass today, but hard work to get there. The 10 cm of new snow was heavy and sticky and we were a bit “out of shape”. Temps varied from -5 at the start to near zero at the Pass with a fair amount of sunshine to make things even slower. My “skin glue”, newly applied, was sticking to the bases a bit but I wasn’t the only one with glide-stick issues. Time for a new wax job and some silicone spray on the tops to keep off the extra weight.

    No sign of avalanches aside from a few dry sloughs. No cracking or whumping. 50 cm snow depth on top of suppportive crust.

  261. I’m looking for poles, 155cm and 165 cm.

  262. Free – metal edged back country skis, three pin/cable bindings. 190 cm

  263. Hi there
    Snowshoeing with a dog off-leash – where is that available, and do you report those kind of updates in your website (which is a very useful site; kudos!)

  264. BCA avi shovel for sale – never used $40. this is the model.

    https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5025-941/B-1-EXT-Shovel

    email me at bob.milko@gmail.com

  265. Should be a good chunk of new snow in Louise tonight for a little refresh before the weekend, perhaps allowing some grooming expansion, maybe….

  266. Just wondering where I can get a map to find out where all the groomed trails are.

  267. Nov 17th. Skied MLR today from the Upper Parking lot. Sunshine with about 6 cm of fresh snow. On the way back we decided to give Fairview a try rather than climb back up Tramline. From the Paradise Creek end up to the meadows it’s a rough skier track. From the meadows to the Chateau the track is pretty good. No fallen trees of water crossings of concern, just a lot of bumps in the track. Needs more snow and packing yet.
    I think they groomed the Great Divide in the morning. They definitely did MLR in the afternoon.

  268. Skied backdoor and up Tyrwhitt this morning. Got off road parking at 10am with -0.5C air temperature. Snow was nice on the way up, but once we got to the sunny meadows and on the way back we found the snow was sticking to the fish scales at times. Despite the thick fog in Calgary, we enjoyed blue skies and sunshine and dodged most of the tree bombs once the wind picked up. It was +11C at Fortress gas station as we passed by on the way home at 1:30pm.

  269. BOOM LAKE – Nov 17

    Chose to go HIGH for cold snow today!
    Details available in the photo descriptions here:
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/9AaKkmC5UQanQK2v5
    Some hazards but lots of fun.

  270. Looking to get into backcountry at a low cost?
    For Sale
    2 pairs Elan SCX Cap Parabolic skis, 183cm and 173cm. Fitted with Rottefella TRP release plates and Red Chili bindings. Includes custom fitted Ascension climbing skins. $100 per pair complete.
    Set of 2 Ortovox M1 avalanche transceivers. Excellent condition. $200 for pair.
    Ortovox collapsible probe and Voile shovel. Like new. $60 for both.

  271. Hi, I’m in Calgary, looking for women’s intermediate classic skis/bindings – 5’8” 65kg.

    Thanks

  272. Pocaterra Back Door to Elk Lakes Cabin Front Door- Nov 16

    The day started out great – we got a parking spot and the temperature was -6. There was only a trace of snow from the parking to Elk Pass. Pocaterra and Tyrwhitt was hard packed snow from the weekend traffic but with steel edged LT skis the trails were great.

    The BC hydroline had 15 – 20 cm of fresh snow on a good skier set base. This made for effortless cruising on the way down. 2.8 km south of Elk Pass we encountered service truck tracks which, when covered with the fresh snow make for perfect gliding, with the exception of a short mess at a steep section where the truck got stuck. After following the good truck tire tracksetting for about 500 m the road was plowed and we needed to walk about 1 km to the access road to the Elk Lakes Park sign. We were able to ski the final 400 m on skier set track. The cabin was unoccupied and very peaceful. Ian thought we should avoid the plowed road and return directly across the marsh and directly under the steep trail under the powerline. In hindsight, this turned out to be a poor decision because we spent a lot of time avoiding wet spots in the meadow. Also, the temperature was about 2 degrees when we started up the 10 to 20 percent grade under the powerline. The fishscales were of marginal effectiveness so we herringboned/smashed up 70 vertical meters which was quite a lot of work with a poor base and 20 cm of wettish fresh snow. The service road was a welcome sight when we reached it. Wikipedia states that the backcountry ski access to the Elk Lake cabin is for “advanced skiers”. On this particular day we would certainly agree that this applies to the return portion of the trip.

    Pictures are at
    https://1drv.ms/u/s!AqCMMdfYEozbg0X7GW38zX9Tym1L?e=ftJf27

  273. Is “skitrails.info” defunct? Early grooming of CNC and PLPP used to show up on the map (as well as other select spots in North America), but nothing on the site seems to be working.

  274. looking for classic mens cross country set up for 205lb 6’3″ male. size 13 feet (eu48). also need womens size 9 boots for SNS bindings. thanks!

  275. Has anyone been to Skoki recently and skied on the road yet?

  276. No update on live grooming so far.

  277. Skated MLR from LL parking lot yesterday, starting at 11:45 after spending 20 min chatting with friends from FNSC who had their biathletes out double poling MLR both ways (yep, not for me, just teenagers). Had LF6 and was a great glide until about halfway, then the new snow crystals caused a lot of drag. Super pleasant day, no wind until at the end of trail, we had occasional gust while sitting on that guardrail during snack break. Great glide back and then a bit of a slog skating back up to the parking lot but easy to do as you know you have a hot drink at the end. Even, firm to soft compacted surface for skating. We live in an awesome place – even with packed parking lot we had tons of space! Have to rewax now as 22km probably wore off any remaining glide.

  278. 1a Great Divide Lake Louise to O’Hara parking out and back

    No new grooming today but conditions are quite good. The tracks are a bit wobbly but travel was still reasonably efficient.

  279. I always figured that AT stood for Aging Telemarker, given how many of us have gone over to the dark side, often due to aging knees.

  280. Hopefully Steve was able to contain his joy and move off to the side.

  281. Healy Pass: Nov 16
    Good travelling on the Healy Creek Trail to Healy Pass today. A bit thin for the first 200 metres, then solid coverage. Snowpack in the meadow below the pass was 86cm complete with the super hard Nov 5 raincrust at 43cm. Ski pen was 35-40cm. Lots of deep light powder up there.
    The luge run out was fast and fun with lots of deep powder on the sides to slow you down when necessary.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/wX7CUjKiUYnL3VmVA

  282. I skied a loop at PLPP today, starting and ending at the Elk Pass trailhead parking lot. I headed up toward Elk Pass and beyond, and returned to the Elk Pass trail via the Boulton Creek trail junction about 500m from the parking lot. At which point I was surprised to see that the Elk Pass trail was now roller packed full width! I don’t know how far up the trail the roller packing went or if any other trails were groomed as well. I’ll follow up with details of snow conditions on my route later this evening.

  283. LAKE O’HARA ROAD – Nov 16

    Good conditions with cold snow on a solid snowmobile packed and skier tracked trail. No thin areas and absolutely no rocks. No tracksetting yet.
    Details available in the photo descriptions here:
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/JCTd8bjfPkJ8zx4m8
    Rodi Blue -2 to -6 kick wax was perfect, and metal edges were nice on the return.

  284. Hello
    Are there skate-ski trails in the Peter Lougheed Park? ( I would have posted this in “Ask a Question” but there doesn’t seem to be a link….

  285. Tickets are being handed out if you park on the road at the Back door. Over 40 cars were ticketed on Sunday November 15 from the CO people. Not a pleasant thing to come back to.

  286. Looking for a light touring rig, (skis, boots and bindings).

    Skis – Somewhere in the 190-205cm range with metal edges, waxable or no-wax base
    Boots – Men’s size 12-13 (Euro 46-47) leather or synthetic with some ankle support three-pin or BC NNN.
    Bindings – Compatible with boot type

  287. CW (clockwise)
    CCW (counter clockwise)
    KNP (kootenay national park)
    YNP (yoho national park)
    Ski Pen (penetration, depth of trail breaking)
    HS (height of snow, total snow depth)
    Couch HQ (couch headquarters, west elk pass)

  288. Skied Moraine Lake Road both days on the weekend, the conditions were simply superb. Mid-winter cold snow, a few centimeters of new snow both days, hard wax, great tracksetting, and a ton of friendly people out enjoying the wonderful weather. HIGHLY Recommended.

  289. Not a report, but a request (which may allow others to report):
    Social distancing is only “a thing” for people, not cars. So please be considerate of other users by parking as if there were marked parking lanes… not this 5 and 6-feet apart parking stuff. Makes me wonder how some people drive safely, not to mention park at home, if they can’t visually identify the difference between 3 feet and 6+ feet.
    Thanks all ya’ll for your cooperation, consideration, and respect for others.

  290. Yoho Valley Road – Nov 15

    Enjoyed a quick ski yesterday with my dog on “YVR”. First time and it was perfect with an older dog that likes to take in the scents and sounds more than doing technical trails. We skied from 1:15-3:15 pm and the tracks were well used by then and lots of fresh snow. I used wax less skis and it seemed perfect for the mild temps.

  291. PLPP Blueberry Hill
    There is now enough snow on the trails at the Elk Pass and Upper Kananaskis Lake Parking lots, that there is no need to use the “back door” trail access. There is 15-25cm of light snow over a very supportive rain crust. Travel conditions are excellent on and off-trail. Starting from Elk Pass parking lot, we went up the Elk Pass trial, up to Blueberry Hill and back, then up Patterson to the Hydro-line and skied down the Elk Pass snowshoe trail to complete the loop via Fox Creek. It all looked like a Christmas card.
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/wmt84LGuAPaGbSVHA

  292. Pete (the 13th Troll)

    Fairview Loop
    Sunday Nov. 15th – Early season conditions – not quite enough snow to cover all the creek crossings; but skiable so long as you stay in control (or risk an icy plunge). Will be great with another 20cm of snow. Quite busy on Tramline and Moraine Lake Road but didn’t see another soul on Fairview loop? Track-set on Tramline & Moraine Lake Road – skier set on Fairview Loop. Far too many cars parked on the roadway by Moraine and 1A Hwy – lower parking lot stuffed – upper parking lot nearly empty (particularly on East side). Wise skiers will go directly to the upper parking and leave the lower parking and roadway parking for the tourists.

  293. Great Divide/ 1A
    As Mary and Charles have written, there were many people enjoying this trail today. Gliding through the silky, soft, new snow is one of life’s pleasures. The tracks were “well loved”. Disappointed that parks had not refreshed the tracks in 5 days of heavy use.

  294. It’s so underused they have to ticket people so it’s less used!

  295. where is that parking lot exactly? The fire lookout parking lot I mean

    By the way… AWESOME website. Please keep it work. Thank you for the great work 🙂

  296. I think your question has been answered but the vehicles were encroaching the driving lane. I’m not sure if it would be possible to park completely on the shoulder. The advice the CO was giving was to seek out another trail when the parking lot is full.

  297. Parking violations at the Back Door
    It was a great early season ski day today at the “back door” in Kananaskis along Hwy 40. Too bad the grinch showed up to give most of the cars a ticket for parking along the side of the road. The parking lot supports about 10 cars, so the other 20 cars needed to park along the road. All got tickets along the road due to “parked with no clear space for passage”. Maybe our parking pass fund raiser wasn’t enough money.

  298. I was at PLPP today via backdoor. When we returned to our car there were conservation officers putting tickets on the cars parked on the road. Might be worth warning people.

  299. YOHO VALLEY ROAD – Nov 15

    With news that Joe trackset the Yoho Valley Road yesterday, we have more groomed trails in the National Parks to enjoy.
    Details available in the photo descriptions here:
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/FP664PuaZ7VPbpyt8
    Today, it seemed like a locals day, with lots of parking!

  300. Great Divide – We also started early, about 9:45 a.m. and skied to the shelter just past the divide arch for a ‘first’ lunch. The couple cms of fresh snow made the skiing much nicer than on Thursday. Tracks still a bit wobbly in places, but generally good. We saw lots of families out enjoying the outing, and some youngsters in training. Everyone seemed happy to be out in the lightly falling snow. When we left at 1 pm, there were about 20 cars parked on the roadway, as the parking lot was full. When we drove past the MLR entrance, there were about 70 cars parked on the main road with skiers accessing MLR from there. Popular place!

  301. Great Divide Skiing
    November 15, 2020

    Wonderful skate skiing on the GD today. I started at about 9:30 with maybe 1-2 cm of fresh snow on the road. No views to speak of today, as the area was pretty well “socked in”, but the flurries added some charm and the hordes of people enjoying themselves is always a pleasant experience. Along the way, I met up with fellow skiers, Bill, Ray, Mary and Javier, a chemical engineer from Colombia who was skiing for the past two days (the slow-moving vehicle sign dangling from his backpack made me think of Mennonite country). Couldn’t catch up with Matthew on his fat bike, but he wasn’t causing any damage.

    Ended before noon and drove back to Calgary before the ski swarms. Nice.

  302. Elisabeth Beaubien

    are there any loppets around Edmonton happening in 2021?

  303. ACRONYMS SKIING IN PLPP – November 14

    Started at BKD. PTR – TYW – EKP – BHL – PTS – LKO – PTR – BKD.
    What a change in a week from good snow coverage a week ago and only 2 cars in the BKD lot, to winter wonderland and >> 50 cars! Very good ski track up BHL; fun to ski down. Boulton Creek (hard to pick an acronym for that: how about BTC?) at the base of LKO is slowly starting to be snow bridged. LKO is now a well groomed trail, compared to 6 inches of trail breaking a week ago, thanks to snow plowing squads. Can’t believe I have already been up LKO 3 times so far this ski season, before November 15.

    BKD should be enlarged with a coffee/hot chocolate stand and Helen’s cookies as prime treat after a ski day. Where can we donate to get that going!

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/ywqaiTKXthYfkKLUA

  304. Looking for a pair of 170cm classic skis and size 37 boots. Preferably waxless.

    Thank You!

  305. Pulk Has been SOLD

  306. I am looking for a XC NNN classic ski boot, size 7 or 7.5 (US). Please let me know asap.

    Thank you!

  307. Hi, we had a great late afternoon ski along Pocaterra today, coming in via the Backdoor turnoff. We found a black Auclair mens XL RH glove on the trail as we skiied back about 4 pm, just before reaching the Backdoor. If anyone lost it, I’ll be happy to mail it to you or you can pick it up. We live in Crescent Heights.

  308. Trip report Fire look out/pocaterra/tywhitt
    Not sure how you submit these. Been planning on a back door trip for a couple of weeks, knowing it can be good early season. Don’t think about checking site this early in season. We were third vehicle to arrive at fire look out parking lot. Arrived to a fresh dusting of 10cm of light and fluffy snow. Only 1 set of touring tracks heading up to Elk Pass was before us. Temperatures and wind were perfect for the 7.5km climb. We saw no one on the way up to the Elk Pass arch. Skier track was solid and the glide up was fantastic with the new BC skin skis picked up this summer.

    Way back was significantly different. Lots of people out enjoying the fresh snow, and everyone happy to be out of the city. 51 cars parked in the lot and on the road when we left. Busy for Nov! But nice to see so many people out enjoying the trails we almost lost. Hopefully they all purchased a pass for what promises to be an amazing season in PLPP!

  309. Elk pass via the back door in PLPP with a great gaggle of kids. Dads turned around at the pass, moms and kids continued down to the bottom parking lot via the Elk Pass and Fox Creek Trails.

    Super fun ski, amazing snow, fresh powder, and the best conditions I’ve ever had on the Elk Pass trail in November.

    No grooming yet but many of us had wider light touring skis.

    And the traffic congestion Ma Sid referred to was a police check stop to catch drunk drivers coming from the ski hill I presume. It took us a long time to make it to the TransCanada.

  310. Sat nov 14: elk/west elk/blueberry (via Hwy 40).
    Perhaps some report delays from Kananaskis today. Accident or something at the north end of Hwy 40. Turned around and came back through Longview for a longer day than expected.
    4 knuckles of new snow at the parking lot this morning. 4″ on the whiskey jack table. 5 on thyrwitt table, 6 on top of the elk pass table. Probably close to 8″ new in west elk meadows, now 60cm total. Above ankle trail breaking (AT) off trail. No sign of prior track at all. Swung over to blueberry using the meadow short cut and got more trail breaking up to the top. Ran into a number of trip reporters, hopefully not still stuck on Hwy 40. Thyrwitt and pocaterra saw a lot of travel today, like a well loved backcountry access route. Snowing light to moderate all day with limited views and calm winds except top of blueberry, but easily managed in the mild temps. Like skiing in a snow globe. Very pleasant snowy outing.

  311. I am selling a pair of Scarpa Inferno mountaineering boots. Size 6.5 (fit womens 8.5). They are not nordic but I am getting rid of them due to the fact that I have spent more time cross country skiing in the last few years.

    They were used for 2 expeditions and have been dormant too long.

    If anyone is interested drop me a note. I am selling them for $80 but would take best offer.

  312. Looking for a NNN classic ski boot size 40 EU women’s.

  313. Hey Skiers, anyone been to Mt Shark lately? The Alberta Parks live grooming report shows last grooming was March, wondering how it is looking for skate and also if leashed dogs are still allowed with the new grooming arrangement? Thanks.

  314. For sale excellent condition – $60 Fischer Comfort NNN classic ski boots Eur 42 – a warm comfortable boot – here is the newest versionhttps://www.fischersports.com/ca_en/xc-comfort-255

  315. I am looking for XC ski tuning vise. Please let me know asap.

    Thank you,

  316. MAKE ALBERTA A DEMOCRACY

    RED EARTH CREEK TO WARDEN CABIN

    Friday, late afternoon/ night ski.

    The first kilometer of the Red Earth Creek trail is in poor shape with lots of rocks on the big hill. I side stepped the hills to create a base with rock skis I thought I was going to permanently retired . There is roughly 6 cm of snow on the trail in this section with ice below. A few trees down on the trail.

    After the first kilometer and once on top of the first big hill the snow improves greatly. Conditions are fair to good with a few rocks. There is an icy bottom layer with around 6 cm of soft snow on top.

    The snow depth increases the further as one goes up the trail At the warden cabin there is somewhere between 20 cm and 25 cm of snow on chunks of fire wood. At night temperatures at the cabin were -7c, partly cloudy with light snow falling.

    If 10 cm of very wet new snow falls soon, conditions will improve substantially to fairly good to very good skiing and it will be no problem to run a snowmobile on the trail to pack it down. Rocks skis will still be recommended at that time.

  317. Chester Lake 5cm fresh, L touring skis VR 40 wax. Smith Dorian road was OK
    Great snow cover and solid base. A few land sharks lucking under the steep pitch up to the Lake.
    A good assortment of Lt tourers AT skiers, walkers and Snowshoers.

  318. MLR Today:

    To add to Chuck’s good conditions report… I met up with the tracksetter at the trailhead around 3pm ish who was setting up for the weekend crowd.

    Any word on when the MLR parking lot construction will start? Seems strange to walk across an empty lot.

  319. MORAINE LAKE ROAD (via Tramline) – Nov 13

    Great conditions with some new snow on excellent tracksetting. My VR 45 kick wax worked perfectly at temperatures around minus 6.
    Details available in the photo descriptions here:
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/yNNGhsqTMFrcLcAy6
    Smiles were the order of the day… our friendly ski community is a true gift.

  320. Hi,

    I’m looking for some old SNS Profil bindings. Does anyone have some collecting dust?

  321. For sale in excellent condition: Halti Stormwall XC Ski Jacket and Pants – Mens Large

    https://www.kijiji.ca/v-ski/calgary/halti-stormwall-xc-ski-jacket-and-pants-mens-large/1535518760

  322. Any word on if the Pocaterra Hut will be open? What about the PLPP Visitor Center?

  323. Based on MaSid’s Nov 11 6:33pm post in the Trip Reports section, we need to add:
    AT Alpine Touring (skis)
    LT Light Touring (skis)

  324. Hi, Anyone ski Whiskey Jack yesterday ? I assume snow to be ok but would like it confirmed for those steep descends. cheers,

  325. Lake O’Hara Fire Road – how far in before you start hitting the avi run out zones? Or is it pretty much right away? thanks!

  326. Anyone know if the Bill Milne Trail to Wedge Connector is groomed?

  327. I’m looking for a women’s skate ski boot size 38 for SNS binding. Let me know if anyone has anything. Thanks!

  328. SUBARU

    Sanctimonious Urbanites Bumbling Along Roads Unpaved

  329. MLR – good conditions, used Blue VR 40. The set tracks will still in good shape.

  330. Found on the SkierBob website:
    BNP Banff National Park
    CNC Canmore Nordic Centre
    GBCTA Greater Bragg Creek Trail Association

  331. SBFPM = Skier Bob For Prime Minister

  332. BOW SUMMIT – Nov 12

    With news that the Bow Summit parking lot is now open, this is the place to get those powder turns!
    Details available in the photo descriptions here:
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/fTT9Zt5AgQi3eHH88
    Today was quiet, but yesterday was busy.

  333. Great Divide Trail from Lake Louise to Lake Ohara and back. Was gorgeous day and very busy by the time I got off the trail (~1:30pm). Track-set trails are visible but have been tramped down a bit. There are a few twigs sticking up in the trail but all very jumpable. Everyone was happy – the usual cross-country skier smiles – and it was great to be out. Also, I love this site – thank you – and have one suggestion: I’m not great with acronyms and would appreciate a guide to the acronyms that are used here. Maybe there is one and I just haven’t found it, but PPLP, MLR, GDT, WBC, etc, all take me a beat to figure out the location, and I’m sure it will be hard for newer skiers – and there are plenty-a-coming – to figure out. I’m pure introvert and enjoy my solo ski journeys so this seems counter-intuitive, but I also love and thrive on the reports and want to know where the great snow sits.

  334. PLPP -Pocaterra-Tyrwhitt-Hydro-Lookout loop – wonderfully wobbly tracks 2 or 3 abreast and well skier packed made for fun balance tune-in. Snow more abrasive than silky appearance; hydroline the least skied and South lookout in better condition and more powder than North lookout trail which was hard ‘snow-plow’ packed —either way, DO have your wits and knees about ya on descending big hills in these early season conditions. Hopefully parks gets it rolled soon. And always anticipate gullies, downed trees (a few) and open water this early. Enjoy the Pocaterra back door parking lot till dec1.

  335. PLPP back door ski today. Tyrwhitt, Elk Pass, Blueberry Hill, Fox Creek, Moraine, Packers, and Pocaterra. I started early enough to be able to ski all of Tyrwhitt in blinding sun before it got cloudy.
    It was super beautiful, with a dusting of fresh snow glittering in the sun. Fox Creek was a bit thin, and Moraine was definitely for rock skis only… luckily that’s what I was on! There were a few downed trees on the bottom half of Packers and some damp spots throughout as well. I was on normal skinny skis, nothing wide or with metal edges.

  336. 1A tracks for classic very washed out unfortunately. MLR I would rate good-excellent. Solid tracks and skate lane firm but not overused to cause a wobble.

  337. Nov 11 PLPP via Hwy 40 Back Door
    I have a bit more to add to the several posts yesterday on PLPP. We did a loop on light touring skis down Whiskey Jack, Moraine, Fox Creek, Elk Pass, Tyrwhitt, and Pocaterra, with a side trip up Blueberry Hill. Coverage was good on upper Whiskey Jack, but there were a few shallow-covered hazards on the lower half. At the junction with Moraine, the snow was down to 1cm over asphalt! We walked the first 3/4 of Moraine before we were able to put the skis back on. Coverage on Fox Creek was adequate. About 5cm fresh snow on Elk Pass Trail over a somewhat crusty and bumpy base. Blueberry Hill was excellent with 15cm of fresh snow over a smooth solid base. No open water crossings to deal with on Tyrwhitt.

  338. Highwood Pass, Nov 12, 2020

    With great hopes based on SpotWx predictions, we ventured to Pocaterra Ridge yesterday. As expected, on arrival at 10 a..m the parking lot was nearly full; early season enthusiasm and the holiday. The temperature was -14 C, but with virtually no wind, it was quite comfortable.

    Conditions were the good side of marginal. Many slopes had 5-10 cm of fresh, but a rough crust underneath and many lines had been overused. We saw 25 skiers going up to the high point in one glance!

    Even though vis was poor and snow needs replenishing, it was a wonderful first day out on the fat rig.

    Chip Scialfa
    Calgary

  339. PLPP Back Door Loop
    Yet another report from the back door approach to the PLPP trails. Our loop today included Pocaterra, Lookout (north and south), Elk Pass Snowshoe Trail/Hydroline, Tyrwhitt and back via Pocaterra. As described by Tanya, MaSid and Steve Riggs, conditions on these trails are really quite good for early November. Upon reaching Hydroline, I figured that I would ski the “Elk Pass Snowshoe Trail”, since snowshoers seem unable to find that route. Perhaps if they see a set of ski tracks, they will follow them and the snowshoe trail will get established for the season. A better idea would be to groom the snowshoe trail for skiing, since it is actually much more aesthetic than the Hydroline ski trail.
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/mCqkMXCET3JZYwMy9

  340. Skinned up to Healy Pass today on AT skis. Very thin coverage at the bottom from Sunshine Parking lot – better to hike the first km but good after that. 10cm of light powder on top of a supportive crust in the alpine with about a 65 cm base. Good early season conditions.

  341. Loved that photo of the skiers observing a moment of silence at 11am on Nov 11 that I posted it on my book face page. It gives credit to Chuck and Bob. Thanks.
    Rhonda

  342. We’d nov 11: elk/west elk passes/lookout (via Hwy 40)
    An inch of fresh in the parking lot this morning. Superb travel in the west elk meadows on the rain crust with 15cm of powder on top (AT, should work just fine with LT). Only about 40 cm total on the BC side but no problems meandering around the drainages. Earliest I’ve travelled through there so easily. Sure didn’t take long for snowshoers to find my fresh track though. People have been up blueberry and reported good coverage. Returned via Patterson and south lookout. Both aspects of lookout trails got a thorough scraping today by all manner of skiers, some body prints and boot tracks on the south side. Hints of dirt patches starting to show here and there. The couch building process has begun. Needs more snow before any shovelling starts and seating available. Busy enough at the lot that people were parked on the road shoulder when I got back. An excellent day out.

  343. Great Divide Trail: started on the Yoho side at about 10 am. Beautiful snow and freshly groomed. Within a kilometer we were passed by a swarm of local junior ski club. Track now all scratched up!! Come on coaches, didn’t you notice that your guys were skiing abreast for 10 km? Hundreds of people on the trail today, many first time skiers. Please show consideration for other skiers.

  344. Rossignol Skate Skis – carbonSK, XIUM, 193 cm for about 95 kg skier with NNN Rossignol skate bindings. Skate Boots – size 47 Alpina SP 40. Both are nearly new – used less than 6 times (maybe much less…) Asking $400 or offers. Text to 403 667 4050

  345. Great Divide Trail was good today! It was being groomed and trackset while I was there, at about 10 am this morning. Skin skis worked pretty well. The tracks were shallow and wavy at times, but no rocks or exposed dirt showed through.

    Skied to Lake OHara parking lot and back.

  346. PLPP was fantastic today!!!!!
    We skied from the back door to the top of the fire lookout. Great workout and easy climb with the fresh snow. Coming down was definitely exhilarating and I was wishing I had backcountry skis. No shortage of snow, no rocks, and plenty of coverage!

    This is definitely the place to ski right now.

    We used light touring xc skis with metal edges. My son also has wider xc skis (no edges.)

    Here are my photos and videos: https://photos.app.goo.gl/6ttL2cNhhALhdrSa9

    My 11 year old is a great model so there are lots of photos of him. 😉

  347. Moraine Lake Road – we started down the Tramline Trail from Lake Louise parking lot on a wobbly skier track in -9|C. At Paradise Creek 2 groomers passed us, rolling the center for skating and putting in a nice classic track. With about 5cm new snow and sunshine lots of skiers were out enjoying great conditions. I ventured down to Moraine Lake on a single ski track, very peaceful, beautiful views and powdery snow. The return trip was nice and fast in the new track, no ice on the big downhill. Fantastic day!

  348. Quoting Bob from the bottom of Back Door to PLPP:

    “Kananaskis pass sales. Season pass sales have surpassed 1200. Along with donations, we are 35% of the way towards the goal of $200,000.”

    Does anyone know what the outcome might be if the initiative fails to raise the $200,000?
    No grooming?
    Limited grooming?

  349. Bob, there seem to be no grooming reports coming out of skitrails.info for any location. Are they operational?

    George, I don’t know the answer to your question, but it’s early season, so let’s give them a chance. -Bob

  350. Shaganappi Point golf course in Calgary update:

    The gates to Shaganappi are open for the winter, as of today.

    Feel free to go for a walk or snowshoe, but please stay off tee boxes and greens, as the fragile turf is easily killed by compacted snow. All greens are roped off. tee boxes in general are flat areas with a hill around them. Some tee boxes are roped off, but not all.

    Skiing isn’t recommended until there’s a compacted base.

    Skis on this new snow likely will go right through the snow down to the ground hitting grass, asphalt, and the shale cart paths.

    Grooming is not allowed until December, as machine compacted snow above fragile grasses prevents air exchange through the snowpack. Gases formed from natural decomposition during the winter is prevented from escaping up through the snowpack if the snow is compacted. The decomposition gases then concentrate along the surface of the grass, and kill the grass over time.

  351. Nice one Steve, great photos. That’s a brave sheep, hunting season and all? Or maybe he knows he’s not legal yet.

    So far Kananaskis remote weather stations aren’t showing that much new snow (highwood and mud lake). So maybe Bragg is lucking out. Assuming if enough they will roller pack it to help prepare the next base. At least temps will be cool.

  352. Kids Equipment for Sale:

    Size 29 Fischer XJ Sprint boots- $50
    Size 31 Fischer XJ Sprint boots- $50
    Size 33 Fischer Snow Star boots – $50

    120cm waxless skis with Salomon bindings- $35

    All equipment is in excellent shape. Email jktimbitshockey@gmail.com for pictures or more information.
    Pick-up in Calgary

  353. Divide Trail, 1-3cm new snow. -8c when we started and finished. No grooming as of 1 pm. New snow skied in nicely in the tracks. Waxing changed from yesterday with the arrival of new snow, still feel the ice underneath in places but didn’t need any klister in the binder.

    First two days of classic skiing, going to feel the hip flexors tomorrow.

    Basewax: SWIX VG 35

    Kick: 4 layers of SWIX V40 (Blue Extra)

  354. MAKE ALBERTA A DEMOCRACY

    What is with the UCP discrimination against cross country skiers?

    Mountain bikers in the Provincial Parks are not charged fees for riding on trails, particularly those nice paved ones! Cars are not charged fees for driving in the parks. People putting garbage into garbage cans are not charged a fee. People using toilets are not charged fees so why is Premier Jason Kenney charging cross country skiers fees to park? This is a Keystone XL pipeline money grab by a Premier who is discriminatory .

  355. TYRWHITT-LOOKOUT, today via the Hwy 40 backdoor access. Good early season skiing thoughout with skier tracksetting in roughly 7 cm recent snow over a hard base. Expect wobbly skiing especially on Tyrwhitt which also has some dips and detours at drainage crossings to watch out for. None of which pose a real problem. From Elk Pass, the skiing north on Hydroline was delightful, with a good skier track over a consistent base, full on sunshine after escaping the light cloud creeping over Elk Pass from BC, and the breeze at my back! Ascending Lookout south was sloggish as usual- I would not recommend descending it on xc skis until there is a decent refresh of new snow, as the steep bits have been chopped up by descending skiers, as well as a moose that went up and then back down the whole south side. With the new snow- the north side descent was easygoing, but the hard and sometimes uneven base did not lend itself to good turns on my 54 mm waisted metal edge light touring skis, leading to snowplowing the steeper bits. All in all-a very fine day to be out!
    https://steveriggs.smugmug.com/Tyrwhitt-LookoutNovember92020/

  356. Unfortunately due to Covid we will be seeing a LOT more trail users out there… of all types: Walkers, classic skiers, s’shoers, skate skiers, fat bikers and skinnier-tired-fat bikers. Since so many of them are relatively new to their respective sports and perhaps don’t crossover much, they will require patience and education. Many will end up on some of the wrong trails, some by accident and others by ignorance. Education starts at the shops they buy gear from, from trailhead signs, from other infrastructure users, and from being open to conversations and education. So I would ask the question of how can we include the local shops in the educating process? So if we go looking for conflict it’s pretty easy to find it, whereas if we go looking to share and educate you will most often find friendly reception.

  357. Skied MLR today, -8 when we started at 11:30 from the Lake Louise parking lot, down tram, very rough and not good for beginners. Skiing up MLR the skiing got better and better. Snow is slick from last weeks rain and small amount of fresh snow since then. Some tree debris in track. Luckily we had been advised to use some klister as part of our binder. We encounter several groups of walkers that barely left a mark in the hard packed surface, both were very pleasant and avoiding the track. I think we are going to see an increase in Winter Walkers with Covid and people just wanting to get outside. We did see a group skiing up with dogs as we were descending, wished them a good ski and hope they didn’t get caught. The ski back up tram is arduous to say the least after you have been descending for 30 minutes, made sense why a gentleman was walking up when we originally came down. There were cars taking down the barriers and parking in the lot, even though Parks has a giant electronic sign saying not to. All in all a great first ski with early season conditions.

    Binder: SWIX VG35 with 6 dots of Start Wide Klister mixed in. Wax Swix V40 (Extra Blue) 4 layers

  358. MAKE ALBERTA A DEMOCRACY

    My grinds with fat bikers is only with those who run down track sets which is exceedingly rare, those that do not stay to the side of the trail on blind downhill corners and those that bike illegally on trails closed to bikers.

    Other than that, they are ok on limited trails as bikes do far less environmental damage on snow covered trails as compared to dirt trails- ie ruts from bikes that lead to more erosion and debris entering fish bearing streams and rut erosion harm to trails which make hiking more difficult and increase trail maintenance costs.

    Technically, Parks Canada should limit the speed of biking in the parks, like the City of Calgary does, on the bike trails to a maximum of 20 kph for safety purposes. The bikers are more of a hazard to hikers on certain hiking trails with blind downhill corners than skiers as they can move much quicker on solid ground than typical winter snow. Speed can be used in court cases involving accidents to help determine negligence or fault.

    If Parks Canada does not have a biker responsibility code, it better move it’s butt and develop one for legal liability purposes. Parks Canada could be held legally responsible in the event of an accident on its trails which it controls and permits bikes to be utilized. We don’t need Parks Canada wasting more money on court cases than it already does because the Superintendent or Minister of Environment is too ignorant or lazy to develop a biker responsibility code for within Park boundaries.

    As a hiker who has been highly injured in a crash by a bike going to fast downhill around a blind corner, I believe a biker responsibility code would be an excellent idea as it would simplify any court cases involving such accidents and educate people to be more careful riding. Making court cases simple also means less lawyer costs for the injured or crash victims which is greatly needed to keep money in the pockets of the injured.

    If you ever do get hit by a biker, take pictures immediately for evidence purposes.

    Keep on biking and skiing as safe as possible to keep the fun for all out there.

  359. I like using liquid glide waxes when I don’t have time to hot wax, or when optimal performance isn’t an issue such as on light touring waxless skis. After trying out different brands, I hit upon Vauhti LF (low fluoro) “Polar” and “Mid” about 2 years ago. Its performance on its own is superb, and it significantly improves the performance of a hot wax when applied on top. But now Vauhti (and I think most other manufacturers) have discontinued their fluoro waxes due to the health and environmental concerns of fluoro additives. Vauhti LF sold for $23 at Norseman, about $5 more expensive than their lowest price GW non-fluoro waxes. These have been replaced by Vauhti’s PURE line of non-fluoro waxes, starting at $30 for PURE ONE, $64 for PURE UP, and even more expensive ones. Has anyone had experience with these waxes, and which would be comparable to the performance of Vauhti LF?

  360. If you were at the Canmore Nordic Center Yesterday or today, you will notice that the guns aren’t running and its was prime snowmaking temperatures. If you’re like me, you just start conjuring all kinds of reasons whey they are not making snow, the unfortunate reality at the moment is that they have encountered an infrastructure problem that has caused the system to shut down, not great timing, i know!
    I have been assured by management that their staff are working as quickly as possible to get things back up and running.
    Thank you for your patience.

  361. Anyone check out West Bragg yesterday? Is it worth driving out from Calgary?

  362. Good morning,

    Is Bragg Creek skiable this coming Wednesday? I am planning to ski this Wednesday.

    Thanks a lot,

    Charlie

  363. Where is the Great Divide parking lot? Are you referring to the one on north side of the highway? If so, do you then cross both the highway and the railroad tracks to get to the ski trail?

    Thanks,

    Matt

  364. Did the GDT today to Lake O’HARA and would rate this as mildly acceptable at best and witnessed two wipeouts as evidence. Nothing that a few cm of snow and then grooming couldn’t fix.

  365. Lake O’Hara fire road today. No rocks showing, but the snow and at times ice underneath a skiff or two of loose snow are hardpacked. Only made it to the 9km market as I had a time commitment, but watch for ice in the snowmobile tracks, especially just after the 4km marker; and a tree down (shallow – easy to walk over, but I took my skis off anyways) after the open area after the 5km marker. Not very busy, but as grooming won’t start for a couple months, not unexpected. Beautiful blue sky!

  366. ELK PASS and LOOKOUT from the front door. Norman’s report of fresh powder up high did not disappoint. Ten to 15 cm of fresh on a supportive crust. We should have gone in by the back door though. The slightly icy conditions from the Elk Pass parking lot were impossible to descend the steep parts due to deep ruts from an off-road vehicle and lots of footprints. Soon they will be but a memory though.

    There’s a couple of trees down, but one can squeeze through still. There’s also still a stream crossing coming out towards the front door from Lookout.

  367. Hi,
    We are looking for two pairs of waxless x-country skis with bindings. One pair approx. 180 cm and the other approx. 190. Please email if you can help. Thank you

  368. Yesterday the Moraine Lake Road and Great Divide were in excellent shape. Lots of friendly people out enjoying the great tracksetting, temperature a few degrees below zero, and just enough fresh snow to make for a most enjoyable day. Recommended!

  369. According to the Parks Canada trail report today, the Great Divide Trail is multipurpose, including fat bikes, so where is Charles coming from?

  370. Can you tell me how far the Backdoor trail head is from the gate on HWY 40 and where the parking lot is?

  371. A few years ago, when switching to studded bike tires, all the local shop had were 2.2, which was much narrower than the 2.8 stock tires. Because I had already switched our SUV to narrower winter tires and noticed a significant improvement, I decided to give the narrower bike tires a try as I normally bike on plowed roads. (Plus the price of studded fat tires is eye watering). However, you do end up biking on seasonally closed roads after large snowfalls that have not yet been plowed, or ones that are still not too deep such as the dog loop at the end of the golf course road in Banff. It became apparent that I was able to keep a straighter line, and proceed through unpacked snow better than fat bikes due to the narrower tires that do not push a wall of snow up in front of a fatter tire that pushes back. Fat bikes do require a packed surface because they can only sink so much before they cannot be controlled and require a huge amount of effort to push the wall of snow. That’s why you see them favoring ski trails – up to a point. You’ve probably seen signs of this: evidence presented by spaghetti tracks that they tried for awhile biking on a groomed trail and gave up and turned back (as I did last year early season on the Great Divide Trail when all there was were 2 tire tracks from a truck). I get the impression that someone that’s new to the concept of Fat Bikes does not fully appreciate their limitations, and discover that they are largely also limited to plowed roads, or packed ski trails. Hence it is likely that packed trails will see an increase in this type of use every year, with the bikers being forced to find some sort of packed surface to ride on. And if there are no other alternatives, the track, or the skate lane, may be the only options for the determined biker (or snowshoes).

  372. Is a Snow Rabbit a cheaper alternative to the Piston Bully?

  373. Managed to swing by elk pass parking lot on Saturday. Only a few inches on the ground at the trailhead, barely covering gravel. Snow amounts at highwood dissipate rapidly below the elevation of the pass. The snow that fell has also settled very quickly in that area.

  374. I also had a very pleasant chat with that young fellow and certainly echo Charles’ comments. One important detail I would add is that his fat bike was not affecting that firm surface in any way at all. Zero damage to the skating track.

  375. ELK PASS and LOOKOUT from BackDoor – Nov 7

    Started at 11:15 am, with only one other car at the parking lot. A VR45 day, under low clouds and heavier snow falling as the afternoon unfolded. Conditions to Elk Pass as described by Gord yesterday, with a few water puddles on the bumpy Tyrwhitt Trail. The soft snow in the meadows made for a great glide. Only boots tracks (heading to the Elk Lakes side) from the pass. Soft fresh snow made it easy to control while heading down to the Blueberry Jct picnic table. No sign of any recent traffic up Blueberry Hill. Left the boot packed Elk Pass trail for untouched fresh snow on Paterson. At least 10-15 Cm of fresh snow on Hydroline. After reaching the Fire Lookout site, I was quite pleased to head down in the soft powder.
    A great loop to do, even only one week into November.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/YVXyULEWSU7cBPG37

  376. MAKE ALBERTA A DEMOCRACY

    If you are poor do not worry about buying a parking pass and just keep on xc skiing like usual. Don’t let Premier Kenney ruin your winter again.

    Kenney’s election slogan was oddly “strong and free” yet he is eliminating what is free. Be strong and keep skiing for free if you don’t have the bucks to pay for parking in our parks.

    Be sure to vote out the United Corruption Party, also known as the UCP, at the next general election and support a skier friendly party.

  377. Great Divide Trail: as an add-on to Charles’ post, we started at the Lake O’Hara end around 10.30 am and the tracks were still decent thanks to the new snow from yesterday but getting thin towards the Lake Louise end with icy stretches. Late-morning the groomers came by and groomed the skate lane (looked good!) then attempted to track-set back in from Lake O’Hara – it seemed like their machines weren’t up to the task of breaking down the ice so the track ended up very shallow, wonky and slippery. As I returned from Lake Louise to Lake O’Hara the groomers went to pack down Lower Telemark so I don’t know if they made another track outbound as I didn’t see them again. -6C at start, around -3C at end; I used twin skins, hubby used VR45.

  378. Looking for 32.5 (US2) NNN boots, alpina preferred but open to others. Thanks!

  379. MAKE ALBERTA A DEMOCRACY

    WOW!

    51 mm metal edge skis are now available at Norseman Ski- hopefully no wider! The downside is they include some skin system rather than being waxable which makes them pricy. Wax is the best preferred option for a hard smooth surface spring snow skier like myself.

    Is it possible to skate ski on hard smooth spring snow with these new skin system skis? Let me know if you have experience with such skis.

    Thanks.

  380. After the spectacular day yesterday, I returned to the Great Divide Trail this morning at 9 a.m. Air temperature was -10 C but the tracks were pretty worn and icy in spots yesterday so I put a small pocket of VR40 over the VR45 remaining. It worked perfectly. Nice track all the way to the Yoho Road. On the way, I met, Matthew, a fat-biker with cerebral palsy who made me re-think my aversion to these machines on the trails. More on that later…perhaps.

    Chip Scialfa
    Calgary

  381. Just wondering if anyone found a pair of prescription sunglasses on the Great Divide Trail last weekend (November 1st). I somehow lost them between the Lake O’Hara Parking lot and the the Lake Louise trail head and would love to see them again! They are Maui Jim’s. Thanks all.

  382. Hi James, thanks for the inquiry . At this moment it looks like they are sold but if it falls through I will drop you a note. regards.

    Paul

  383. ISO kids size 29 (11k Salomon) xcountry ski boots for my 5 year old.

  384. Hi! I am looking to go x country skiing tomorrow on some dog friendly trails. I checked out your list of dog friendly ski trails but am having trouble determining what has decent snow conditions currently. Do you know if Mount Shark or Sandy McNabb are skiable?

  385. MAKE ALBERTA A DEMOCRACY

    Nice to see parking lot fee payments will be voluntary as they should be. Poor people can continue to ski for free if they can not afford Kenney Parking Lot Fees in our Parks.

    Once Joe Biden eliminates the Keystone XL Pipeline, Kenney can stop building the pipeline to no where and shift tax dollars back to our Parks where there are better returns on investment for our tax dollars rather than wasting them on subsidizing American oil companies with cheap ass discounted below market value environmentally unethical heavy Alberta bitumen.

    If the unintelligent Conservatives would have been less American influenced and built value added oil refineries in Alberta decades ago, rather than foolishly exporting our raw crude oil then the discussion of Parking lot Payments in Alberta Parks would not be an issue today.

    Viva live poor XC skiers in Alberta Parks free of costs. Keep on skiing and keep your ski tips up!

  386. Mary and I headed to O’Hara parking lot to do her first snowshoe to Ross Lake. Before reaching our turnoff onto Ross Lake Trail from O’Hara Fire Road, we met a returning split-boarder, who reported seeing a wolf on the trail around km 4. Thankfully our Ross Lake Trail had been already snow-shoe’d but possibly during isothermic snow conditions as it was VERY narrow and tracks were almost at the earthy rock bottom. The lake provided us a stunning sunny lunch spot with Divide Mtn towering above us. Once reaching Great Divide Trail we checked out some huge big bear prints which went back almost to O’Hara end of GD. We met Bob and Chip and you will likely get his report on the Divide shortly after this one. Bring on the snow!! Beautiful day. T-C was closed around 3pm just a few kms past Jasper cutoff but not sure why. Ambulances were present but we could not see an obvious accident.

  387. Elk Pass via Backdoor Update. 11-06-20

    I don’t want to bore anyone by reporting on the same trail again but I was back on Tyrwhitt today, from Backdoor to Elk Pass and back. I was hoping it had snowed a few cms up there and it turned out to be true. There was zero new snow at the PLPP turnoff so I considered turning right and heading to Burstall Pass, but thought I’d drive up to Backdoor to check it out. There was 7cm fresh at the trailhead, 10 cm at the Tyrwhitt high point and 13 cm at Elk Pass. I also found the total snow depth at the top of Tyrwhitt to be 42 cm. It was apparent the base had absorbed a good amount of rain yesterday which should become super tough base for the rest of the season. Temps were hovering around zero all day, with heavy cloud and although the new snow was quite warm, it held up very well. Still some open water, great off-road skiing.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/ZyvmZRSTdoZFSMFv6

  388. Arrived MLR on a glorious day to discover I could still park on the Lake Louise road and walk through the parking lot. Icy conditions covered by 3 cms of nice fresh snow. No new grooming since last weekend and was not expecting any due to previous day temp. BUT a snowmobile had travelled the full length of MLR with no smoother outer behind machine. These tracks froze in, to totally ruin any chance for skaters. Machine also destroyed some of the classic tracks on the inside turns. Dhhh. Plus a couple of walkers postholing in track and in pole track which also froze in. Hopefully the parks staff will be able to mitigate this damage tomorrow when the crowds arrive. No sign of groomers today – Friday nov 6. @ 1300hrs

    Upper tram line down to MLR will be icy until more snow arrives or aggressive grooming is done.

  389. Desperately seeking Salomon s-lab Vitane skate boots with pilot system in size 40, US 8 W. I’m hoping to keep my pilot system going for a bit longer! Will pay for shipping to rossland!
    Thanks!

  390. Word has it that The Saskatchewan Avalanche Rescue Team has just gone to DEFCON 2.

  391. 10 cm of new already at highwood pass today.

  392. Hi there, where do I find out where to XC ski in Kananaskis? Is there a map or directions to parking?

  393. Theme is all the trails are in Kananaskis and were in danger of not being groomed and trackset this season. With the work spearheaded by Nordiq Alberta, we will once again be able to enjoy these trails on groomed/tracked conditions at bargain rates.

    Congratulations, Jan. I’m glad to see someone figured this out. -Bob

  394. So far looks like this next system is coming in wet to start. Raining in Banff and Louise and not turning to snow until morning. Blast! Saw some pictures from ramblers up at picklejar lakes and three lakes valley last few days. Still pretty snowy in places, but gaps in between depending on wind and sun exposure.

  395. $50 for a pass is an amazing deal, given the range of trails and quality of grooming you enjoy. I’m pretty sure anyone who doesn’t live in your area realizes what a gem and privilege you’ve had for so many years and at no cost to users. I’ll buy a pass gladly. I live in BC and visit every year for a week of skiing and this is a true bargain.

  396. Catherine and Ian

    We arrived at a lazy 3pm start at The Great Divide trailhead. It had been a warm day, about 7 degrees, but the tracks were still very skiable. Snow was crusty/slushy in some spots but not too bad, definitely way nicer than I expected. Great early season ski!

  397. My dad and I decided to take a chance on MLR this morning, and we were so glad we did! We started out at about 10:45 this morning, and the car said it was around 6°. We weren’t sure what kind of tracks we would get, but they were way better than expected! My grip was fantastic on my skins, and my dad‘s grip was slightly less fantastic but still OK on his fishscales. The snow was softer at the top of the hill at the 6K mark, but overall the snow felt fast and we made it to the end and back in record time.

  398. Great Divide Trail, Monday November 2nd- tracks are intact but crusty and icy. Still made for fun skiing on such a beautiful day. Had the trail mostly to ourselves other than one or two others.

  399. ATOMIC REDSTER S7 SKATE SKIS FOR SALE…..350 $
    Solomon Prolink bindings compatible with NNN and Turnamic boots
    Basically brand new (used twice)
    Ski flex is for skier weights between 165-198 lbs

  400. Cross country ski waxes for sale asking $250 for the lot

    Swix special (red) X 4, Swix special (green) X 2, Swix extra (blue) X 4, Swix special (purple) X 9, Swix polar(white/black) X 7, Swix glide (white/purple) X 2 – Retails $15 X 28 = $420
    Swix underglider base prep X 5 – Retails $20 X 5 = $100
    KUU alpine hot wax (green) 3 bar package, KUU alpine hot wax (black) 3 bar package – Retails $30 X 2 = $60
    Swix speed granulate, various cork and waxing hand tools and bindings.
    TOTAL RETAIL $600+

  401. Elk Pass – Lookout Loop from Backdoor. Nov 2-20
    I’ve been watching for reports from PLPP but haven’t seen anything in over a week, so I thought I’d check it out. I parked at the Backdoor entry to Tyrwhitt off Hwy 40. Snow coverage is still very good, up to 30cm at higher elevations. The day began cloudy and zero degrees. Nothing is groomed of course, but I was pleasantly surprised to find 4cm of dry powder on top of a firm base. Tyrwhitt was a bit rough in places, many dips and bumps, some open water but no need to remove skis. I skied to Elk Pass then down to the Blueberry Hill Intersection where the sun finally appeared. From there the snow became very sticky, just right for climbing. I continued up Patterson to the Hydro Line, down to the Lookout Trail, up to the Lookout and back to the trailhead from there. I was skiing on Rossignol 90mm Backcountry waxless skis which were just about perfect for this little excursion. I had skins with me, but didn’t need them.

    https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1DNFUFXSTra7rjMnJQPlFgGixhdSUaohM?usp=sharing

  402. Mike W, Jim, Bob et al. Know that your comments and questions are being read and considered. But there are legal and ethical issues here , and FOIP legislation of course. I am only a volunteer here, like many others, and certainly not at liberty to release documents without approval. Please be patient.

  403. Will Nordique Alberta be activating the real time reports on track setting? Any idea when track setting might actually start, once we get some more snow?

  404. Goals are always a better way to motivate people.
    If we are looking for 200k how about we have a counter on the Nordiq website?
    I mean technically there are 7k members of that club alone…

    Thoughts?

    – Yes btw I already bought mine.

  405. Rossi NNN Xium skate boots size 40.5. Older. $40. Women’s 8.5 equivalent. Photos on Foothills Nordic Ski Club Facebook Group.

  406. In a perfect world, where everyone is buying a pass, what would happen to excess $ raised above and beyond the cost of grooming? Does it all go back to Alberta Parks (government) or does Nordiq and maybe other ski clubs benefit from monies raised?

  407. found what I needed – not looking any longer.

  408. Hi! I’m looking for 170-180 waxless, classic skis w sns profil bindings. email me at whitewrabbits@gmail.com

  409. Great Divide Trail Sunday, Nov. 1st: started skate skiing from the parking lot by 10 am (new time) at -1C. The snow surface was crusty and bumpy, so double poling in the tracks was easier. The downhill to the divide was less bumpy and quite controllable in a good track and no ice. Snow surface was much smoother for the rest of the way to the Lake O’Hara end. Lots of cars parked there. Snow was still crusty on the return which made for wobbly skate skiing. Beautiful views and sunshine. Last year my first ski at Lake Louise was on November 9th, so this is quite a bonus to be able to ski in October and that early in November.

  410. Hi Bob!

    Piggy backing a little on “Friends” post. What trails work best for pulling a chariot ski pulk? My wife and I are intermediate skiers, our daughter is 10 months and our son who is 3 has already been skiing since he was a year and a half, but when the little man needs a break we are hauling about 60lbs plus the sled. Thoughts? Just wondering what you and the community think.

    Thanks,
    Darren

  411. I am a snowshoer. When I go to the Kananaskis Village or PLP parking lots will I be expected to pay?

  412. Hallowe’en’s Blue Moon howled 8 of us Canmore Seniors up to the top of Kananaskis Fire Lookout last night. We hiked/skied/snowshoed/gripper’d on a variety of methods to reach the top, 4.5 kms from Pocaterra’s Back Door. We got to the Lookout at the end of dusk and enjoyed the moon rising over Elk Range just after 8pm. We knew this was the last time we could do such a thing with the Groomers soon able to resume working their magic on these X-C trails.
    I agree with many writers that ALL users of these parks, winter and summer should consider purchasing a Parking Pass. The bike rack atop of Lookout is evidence of that because trees fall 12 months of the year, a very difficult challenge to maintaining all trails year round. eg. Watridge Lake Trail into Bryant Creek/Assiniboine. Now onto baking cookies for the Groomers!!!

  413. The tracks on the Great Divide on Sat were quite icy although it did improve a bit after a few km. The rain on Fri left a crispy crust on all the snow. It was still a decent ski on skin skis and a beautiful day.

  414. Skiing the Moraine Lake Road today was a complete pleasure; cold enough to make waxing easy, warm enough to be completely comfortable lunching at the lake. The track is great; well defined, firm, and very fast. Uphill, downhill, stopped and chatting – today it was ALL good. Highly recommended!

  415. I was 5185 yesterday at 5:30 pm

  416. Mt Shark Watridge Lake Tr
    Some skidoo packing appears to have been done on all trails we saw. WL Trail gravelly and rocky in sections, improving the farther out you go. Most users were hiking today. A skiff of fresh over sun/rain affected crust. Rock skis, skate or classic recommended. Significant new snow needed before additional grooming or track setting can be done.
    Would advise watching your speed approaching the bottom of the Watridge Lake access hill. Rocky and roots at the end, lake ice also questionable.

  417. Moraine Lake Road
    There were many more people skiing MLR today than two weeks ago. The parking lot was full at 10am. Conditions improved and were great. Just some ice glaze in the tracks in the afternoon on the lower 2 km (down from Paradise Creek parking). Otherwise the whole path is complete awesomeness.

  418. How does this affect people who use the nearby snowshoe trails? Will a pass be required? Just wanting to clarify so I know what I need before I head out.

  419. Hopefully they will open PLPP Visitor Centre for shelter for people. This is a safety issue.

  420. If you are missing either your receipt or pass, check your Junk email box. My receipt and pass ended up there.

    That will help solve the mystery of the odd missing pass. Thanks John. I updated my post to add that reminder. -Bob

  421. If I’m not mistaken, Kyle and crew perform the ski trail grooming and trail maintenance in Sandy McNabb AND the south Elbow trail from Fullerton day use parking lot. So, technically speaking, parking for xcskiing there for that trail may? warrant a pass too …ABParks and GBCTA should clarify this, or better yet, just implement same for their agreement area. Happy Skiing!

  422. Always partial to a bit of chocolate. Direct deliveries only. Critters will find any stash.

    Is nordiq Alberta a charitable corp or whatever? Does payment get you a tax credit, seeing as it’s meant to augment government expenditure?

  423. Sat oct 31: fish creek (Louise).
    Couldn’t resist a final October ski attempt. Only about 4-6″ at the parking lot. Ski out to temple day lodge marginal. Crusty snow, no fresh at that elevation, twiggy and open water within first 50 ft. Didn’t meet the covid safe descending standards. Terrible to have to wait until November (-:

  424. First of all, thanks to Ken Hewitt, Nordiq Alberta, Bob, and everyone else who contributed to this effort. If the Kananaskis trails were outside Alberta Parks and groomed by a non-government organization similar to West Bragg, I wouldn’t hesitate to spend $50 for a pass. But I’m uneasy about doing so for Kananaskis, because I’m then implicitly supporting the government’s decision that the best way to save $200,000 is by eliminate grooming, rather than cutting back on other expenses like its Energy War Room and Corporate Tax Cuts. The War Room is a complete waste of money. It makes sense to spend money to create jobs, but why spend billions of dollars in corporate tax cuts hoping that a fraction of it trickles down into job creation? A program that rewards corporations specifically based on the jobs they create makes more sense. Rather than contributing $50 to Kananaskis, I’m considering increasing my West Bragg donations by $50 instead. I’d appreciate any thoughts others have on this issue. Specifically, how can I contribute to Kananaskis Grooming without implicitly condoning the government’s actions? On a related note, what happens if the money raised by Nordiq Alberta exceeds the grooming costs? I certainly hope it doesn’t go into the government general coffers!

  425. I am thrilled and thankful for the hard work of putting this proposal together! We are more than willing to pay for the grooming. We go regularly to Sovereign lake. Due to the worry about our own access to tracks near home, we have 2 X 2 week stays booked there. We could consider cancelling the interprovincial travel now. A question: is there any plan, or consideration for more frequent grooming? Sovereign Lake charges much more, but has Daily grooming. We would support higher fees IF it meant more grooming.

  426. Great perspective in comparing other provinces (they also have a PST/HST) $50 is indeed a bargain! Count me in. I am relieved that a reasonable solution was found. Thank you to all the people that put in the effort.

    However, on the political side of things, please note that the Alberta government is planning to close 20 parks and remove 164 from the Alberta Parks system. A total of 175 parks could lose protection and Albertans could lose access.

    https://defendabparks.ca/maps/

  427. The receipt has a pdf attached that you print.

  428. Any idea if the access road to Lake O’Hara is/will be groomed this wither?

  429. I was #5135 and I thought that I was quick to “sign up”! I’d like to hear how many annual passes have been purchased already.

  430. Does this fee apply to hikers as well? So this year because it is voluntary, you don’t need to buy a pass and will not get ticketed?

  431. Got my season pass about 2 hours after the announcement. Number is 5197 !
    Wow. If numbers are sequential that’s already enough to pay for grooming.

  432. It really is only reasonable to expect the people who use the XC ski trails to pay for the excellent service provided by the hard working caretakers of the trails. I feel it was not something that XC skiers could have felt would last forever to have so much hard work and cost borne by the general taxpayers for a treat enjoyed by a small fraction of the population.

    Lets pay up and be grateful for the ability to cohabit with nature on beautiful trails, enjoy the whiskeyjacks, stare with unadulterated one at the views and see people we know travelling on these peaceful pathways of snow.

    I look forward to paying for the trail makers, and hope that the experiment works and that we can go on enjoying “paying to ski” as we should.

  433. Thanks so much to everybody who helped make this happen!

  434. Lucky us to get to pay for something that was free a few months ago. Does the government seriously expect a pat on the back for this?

  435. Great initiative! Looking forward to enjoying the great trails this winter. Thanks for your work on this project – Nordiq Alberta, Ken and your team and Skier Bob.

  436. It would be nice to have the option to add both my cars plate #’s to the pass so I’m not stuck having to pick only one.

  437. Thanks to everyone who made this possible!!

  438. Thanks to Bob and Ken Hewitt and Nordiq Alberta. I was skiing at WBC last Sunday – what a crowd! Folks were just glad to get outside and enjoy our wonderful backyard.
    Looking forward to Pocaterra!

  439. WBC ice-o-rama this early am but was expecting so prepared. Spent couple hrs double-poling laps on crystalines and parts of mountain rd on old fishscales. Track varietied b/w transformed glazed snow, clear ice and puddles with plenty of boot divots rendering skating not a safe option either. Go hiking elsewhere this weekend pls (a dryer Sheep Valley is a good option).

  440. Hi there, looking for 195/200 skis w sns profil bindings, preferably waxless.

  441. Chris, Peter & Kazzy Thomas

    Great news! Thanks to everyone who was instrumental in making this happen, especially Nordiq Alberta! And thanks Bob for promoting our great sport. Now let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

  442. Great, Great News!!!!
    Thanks to everyone who participated in this project-making process.

  443. Great news! Pass bought already w/ donation.

    Thanks for all efforts facilitating this! Looking forward to a great XC season of 2020-2021, especially in the crucial pandemic.

  444. This is excellent news. Bought and printed the pass already. Special thanks to Ken Hewitt for all his hard work in putting this program together. Looking forward to another visit to Masid’s couch! YIPPEE!

  445. BRAVO NORDIQ ALBERTA, Skier Bob and all 4600 emails and letter-writers sent in and T-Y to government officials who read and responded to them (Ministers Jason Nixon, Miranda Rosin and other elected officials). I read about this on Bob’s awesome website on 2:45 pm, and had my Parking Pass via efficient Zone 4 purchased at 3:17. We can celebrate this great news and hope Zone 4 gets overwhelmed with eager responders. Now let’s bring on the next big dump and colder temperatures.

  446. * Online purchases require payment of supplementary credit card processing charges – approximately $2-$3 per transaction. Processing charges do not apply for cash payments at retailers.

    this is a rip off on $10 charge to a credit card

  447. Thank you Bob! That’s indeed an awesome news!

    Just bought my pass. Ready to play “Guess the date when Elk Pass Trail is trackset” 🙂

  448. Hi Skier Bob, thanks for posting our fundraiser article. The version have is now out date and so I am wondering if you could update your site with the new version? If you send me your email I can get it to you. Thanks!
    Karena Brawley, Secretary GBCTA
    403-969-7793

  449. First good news we’ve had in a long time. Next stop, season pass. And I’m so excited to find another volunteer opportunity – shall be putting my name in immediately as a parking lot volunteer.
    Thanks so much, Bob, for the work you do.
    And thank you Nordiq Alberta.
    Well done, all.
    Can’t wait to see you ut on the trails, and let’s hope for a fantastic xc ski season!!

  450. Thank you Bob for the information. I appreciate all your hard work and your obvious passion for the sport. See you on the trails.

  451. Annie M. Caldwell

    Thanks, Bob for keeping us informed. You are so on top of anything that has to do with XC-Skiing. I know I am stating the obvious, but I want you to know that you are super appreciated.

  452. I’m so disappointed that people in the cross country ski community capitulated so quickly and easily and fell right in the current government’s trap to privatize and offload their responsibility onto the backs of Albertans.

  453. Thank you to all that made K-Country happen for grooming this season!! <3

  454. This is great news.

    I will bite my tongue before I say something I regret about the useless penny-pinching mavens in government who thought that cutting this program was a great idea.

  455. For backcountry users on a multi day trip to BNP or Assiniboine that do not have an annual pass, the best solution would be to purchase 2 day passes, one for the day in, and one for the day out?

  456. That’s great – from the sidelines it appears that people put serious effort into making this happen. We don’t use the trails, but we certainly understand the importance of them, and did write to our MLA who sits at the cabinet table.

    As someone who buys both a national park pass and a ski area pass, plus day tickets when we go to other resorts, a user-pay system seems extremely fair to me. Our province is fighting for its economic life and if we want recreation areas to exist, we may have to pony up. It is unfortunately present day reality.

  457. Fantastic,
    I feel we pay enough taxes this should be available regardless but obviously this was cut from Provincial services so…awesome work getting a solution figured.
    Got Mine Already!

  458. Christian L'Archeveque

    Wonderful, thanks so much to everyone who got involved in making this happen!!!

  459. #12 is Pocaterra, just past the Lynx junction heading west

    And here is the news about it:
    https://www.alberta.ca/news.aspx

  460. I am not sure if this is a done deal or not and i dont want to discourage anyone but this looks like a very expensive groomer toy. There are many, many winters in wbc where the snow is thin at best and a machine this size will be of no use. Better to get more light weight equipment and train more people to use it. I am very happy to make my donation but I do not think this is the right direction.

  461. #1 Bill Milne

    Correct! -Bob

    #12 is the only one which hasn’t been guessed. I thought it would be one of the easiest. -Bob

  462. #1 Skogan

    Nope. The unique mountain you see when you look south should be a giveaway. -Bob

  463. Kananaskis trails
    I think I got most of them but I did have to guess a few
    #1 Terrace
    #2 Whiskey Jack
    #3 Elk Pass
    #4 Tyrwhitt
    #5 Mount Shark
    #6 Hay Meadows
    #7 Ribbon Creek
    #8 Lynx
    #9 Skogan Pass
    #10 Pocaterra
    #11 Packers
    #12 Lynx

    Good job. 10 out of 12 correct. #1 and #12 are incorrect. #8 is actually “Link” but you have the right idea. -Bob

  464. #2, Whiskey Jack/Pocattera junction
    #4, Tyrwhitt
    #7, Hydroline

    You’re off to a pretty good start with two out of three correct. -Bob

  465. Hello, whereabouts are the trails at South Glenmore and North Glenmore park for cross country skiing? I know that they are ungroomed. Is it just in the grassy areas nearby the paths?

    Also, can anyone suggest a good group(s) to join who would meet to ski together outside of Calgary i.e. WBC?

    Thank you

    Nancy

  466. We decided on MLR and it was the best. Newly trackset and good snow. A nice guy from czech and working at whistler and another guy skier set down to the lake. Thank-you. I am hoping the snow holds or we get more dumps. Anyway watch out for gremlins on the trails. Happy halloween.

  467. I found a pair or Rossi poles in the middle lot at CNC at 8pm Oct 29. One white shaft and one black. I left them outside the Bill Warren front doors.

  468. Another great day on the Moraine Lake road. It was an in-auspicious start, with rain on the highway and warm temps. But conditions were great on the road – particularly because the wonderful groomer was just starting as we drove in! So we had nice clean tracks both up and down. We were both on skin skis which worked well. Likely about 2 – 3 degrees today. And yes, the parking lot was still open.

  469. Lake Louise – Great Divide Oct 29 am

    Thank goodness for my Fischer twin skis – they saved my bacon again today! About 4-5 cms new on a reasonable track but very slow with the wet new snow! Made it to the top of the hill down to the Great Divide Arch and back. Very few people out. Temp around 0 – +2C. Then heard from a little birdey later in the afternoon that the 1A was being rolled for skating and then tracksetting.

    Stopped briefly at MLR this am – yes the parking lot was still open – and grooming was just beginning there so everything should be good for tomorrow unless it snows too much on top of the tracks tonight and/or it gets too warm tomorrow.

  470. My understanding from talking to staff at WBC is that the new machine effectively allows all of the necessary snow work for the local conditions and excellent track setting in one pass, vs multiple passes doing multiple stages given the limitations of the current machine relative to the snow conditions. This saves much time and labour as well as maintenance hours on the machine and the product is better for the conditions that have to be dealt with and the amount of use the trails get. Sounds like a wise choice, especially with 65+ km’s of trail. I’m sure boomer or Alf could add more if need be for people to understand the need. I always thought the track setting was great and never realized it could be better, or faster. Thanks for educating me on what it takes to make it great for our use and enjoyment.

  471. A Groomer Named Sue

    The snow came real early around here,

    I rode in on my groomer and the skiers let out a big cheer!

    But then came a chinook,

    And the snow was all took.

    Now they’re kickin’ and a gougin’ in the mud and the blood and the beer.

  472. The donation links are kind of buried in there. So here they are:

    https://www.braggcreektrails.org/donate-now/

    or directly:
    https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/13948 (one time or recurring)
    https://donorbox.org/gbcta-trail-donations (recurring only)

  473. Check out Snow Rabbit manufacturer’s site: http://www.snowtech.co.kr/en/company/greetings/ “Snow is God’s most beautiful and romantic gift to man”.

    Thanks, Peter. I updated my story with some of this info. -Bob

  474. Hi Bob!

    My wife is pregnant and is a beginner skier who just learned to snow plow. We are planning a day to ski in early December. Do you have any flat ski area you would suggest? We live in Calgary. It would be nice if the dog could come too. Thanks for all your services with the ski community.

  475. Tale from some not-too-intrepid skiers.

    First ski of the season -can cause us big stress
    Self doubt runs rampant -our minds are a mess.

    We’d been thinking about it -for a week, maybe two
    Winter was here now -so what will we do?

    I asked of Gazelle -“do you want to go?”
    She paused but a moment -her answer was “NO!”

    She saw in her mind -scenes of despair
    Backsliding downhill -both skis in the air

    And hearing again -that gut wrenching sound
    Of “my little soft body -smashing to ground”

    I knew what she meant -cause I’d felt it too
    Several times on the trails-I’ve been black and blue

    So our plan for the day -we’ll go for a HIKE !
    Moose Mountain’s a place -we both claim to like

    We met with “Our Keener” -she was up for the task
    “You can ride in our car -but you must wear your mask”

    The road to the trailhead -was icy as hell
    But our little car -managed quite well

    We started on soft snow -like walking in sand
    That made it much harder -than what we had planned

    We finally got there -I mean out of the trees
    The wind was now hellish -no longer a breeze

    We attacked the false summit -post holing some snow
    we sent OK ahead -“the Keener should go”

    The wind was so strong now -it nearly undressed us
    We got up the false one -then turned back to our bus

    OK kept going – she got close to the shack
    But the trail disappeared -and she had to turn back

    Our day overall -was a little insane
    We’ll rethink ’bout skiing -ere we set out again.

  476. ISO classic cross country SNA Profil compatible boots, size 39 or 40.

    Thanks!

  477. Anyone know conditions now at plpp as thinking of this tomorrow thursday?

  478. Great Divide /1A Arrived 10;00 AM TCH was scary, black ice.
    5cm new -3C Skintecs
    Waxing appeared problematic. Our skintecs and waxless iced up slightly,causing drag.
    Tracks were OK close to the parking lot but at around 1/2 way to Divide arch tracks became skier tracked, rattley but with a firm base. Not sure if there ever was tracks out to the end as we couldn’t find any trace of tracks
    Skaters had is good. Great glide with a firm base.

  479. Buying – I am in need of 2 pairs of cross country boots, pro link style binding. Size US 2 or Euro 32 for my kids.

  480. Moraine Lake Road – Oct 28

    After reading Chuck’s comment that MLR was better than the 1A/Great Divide yesterday, we changed our plan from 1A to MLR (thanks Chuck!) and it was very good. 2 cms new at bottom, about 3-4 cms at top made for silky tracks which are holding up well in spite of no new grooming, if a little slow. I decided not to risk a wax nightmare with the forecast warm temps by using my skin techs which worked really well (I overheard someone saying they were clumping up with wax), meanwhile Peter skated. Temp at start -3C, 0C at end.

    No sign of the parking lot being closed, in fact, a Parks employee didn’t know when it would happen, and she thought it was supposed to be today.

    Also, we mentioned to the Visitor Centre that there is currently no warning sign of avalanche issues at the end of the grooming, from the lookout down to the lake. Apparently they don’t usually put up a sign till November. However, even though the base isn’t all that deep yet, there is still risk, and people should be made aware of that.

    Lots of walkers again but fortunately not in the tracks.

  481. Selling light-weight SkiTrab classic cross-country skis. The SkiTrab Classic “Race Aero’ skis are an Italian-made cross-country race ski with a softer flex, suitable for body weights around 120-130 lbs (+/- 55 kg). The wax pocket (or grip zone where the grip wax is applied) is marked. Length 198 cm. The ski deck is pre-drilled for mounting of NNN bindings. These skis and bases are in excellent condition and have received only minimal use.

    Selling Fischer RCS Classic Plus skis. $200 Soft flex. Length 202 cm. With Salomon SNS Propulse bindings. These skis were at one time Fischer’s top-of-the line racing model. Skis and bases are in good condition. Skis are suitable for persons 60-75 kg.

    Selling 2 pairs of Salomon SLab Vitane Skate boots ($150 each). Size USA 10, Eur 42 2/3 and Size USA 6 Eur 37 1/3. Both pairs of skate boots are in very good condition.

    Selling 1 pair Salomon Slab Classic boots in very good condition $100. Size USA 9 Eur 42 2//3.

    Both the skate and classic boots are compatible with the Salomon SNS binding system (Pilot 2 bar).

    Available in Canmore. Call or text 403 679 1069 if interested in any of these items.

  482. LOST: a pair of men’s black ski gloves (eau claire?) at Little Elbow on Monday. Last seen on top of car parked just before the closed gate.

  483. Selling some older but high quality mens skis, boots and poles, all in excellent condition. Make me an offer:
    – Salomon Profil classic boot, size 45 1/3 (11)
    – Salomon Pilot skate boot, size 46
    – Salomon Equipe 10 classic skis, Pilot bindings, 206 cm – 175 lbs plus
    – Excel 170 cm 100% carbon skate poles (can be cut down)
    – Fischer RCS Skating Plus skate skis 192 cm, Pilot bindings – approx 175 lb
    – Fisher RSC Classic Plus classic skis 202 cm, Profil bindings – approx 175 lb

  484. Neighbour at Maple Ridge in the white house
    He could be upset because i have seen parking in the back alley blocking access to his and neighbours garage. When there is lots of snow there is only one lane to drive down. so if you want to use that access point park on the street not in the alley.

  485. Martin O'Brien-Kelly

    MADSHUS SKIS PUPS WANTED! Hi I’m looking for a pair of Madshus Ski Pups for my boy….if anyone is looking to sell a pair or has some similar equipment that they’re looking to unload please contact me.

    Thanks,

    Martin

  486. MORAINE LAKE ROAD, TRAMLINE & GREAT DIVIDE – Oct 27

    What a social occasion… everyone knew where to ski today!
    Details available in the photo descriptions here:
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/DrQNgW1LDwS2bv3y9
    MLR is better than the GD because it is higher with more snow and less prevailing wind.

  487. We were out on Sunday too – on AT skis to test out new boots.

    The classic track on Moraine looked good, but the skate area had been thrashed by walkers and fat bike treads. Would be nice if they can either designate a section for them (nor why you’d want to walk that road in the winter anyway…) or at least strongly discourage walking/fat biking. It had decimated all the grooming work – and it’s one of the few places with a great skate track. And in places, I think the tire ruts hadn’t quite been flattened out.

    As to the gate- that would be that gate after the parking areas, and that’s always shut all winter long. Doesn’t interfere with the normal parking. It sounds like parking on Lake Louise Drive is not permitted — not safe. Getting out of the parking area on Sunday was scary given how people were parked every which way. Get there early or park elsewhere, but don’t make it a gong show for people to get in and out!

  488. Yoho Valley Road (-5/6 to start and -2 to finish). Set a nice skier track c friend Mary to about 2 kms above the switchbacks. First km. seemed a bit thin but improved greatly after Cathedral Lodge and campground. Very little wind despite warnings of 40-60 kph. Saw a few people driving in to the parking lot. When we asked two gals where they were headed, they said to the Falls. They left once they we told the total distance and avalanche risk. Chuck, trail broken to kms 7.5! Snowing extremely lightly and were amazed how temps were colder on Field side of Divide.

  489. Spring conditions at WBC today. Moose loop and mountain view west were the softest, despite being the first trails I took this morning. Mountain road and Elbow had colder snow and were in much better shape. Iron springs was absolutely cooking in the sun when I finished off around noon. I skied on VR65 and it kinda worked in most places, but there were some spots where it was too slick.

  490. Three of us from the Seniors Outdoor Club were out Tuesday morning. Snow was soft but skiable with either softer than violet wax or my fish scale skis worked very well! Started at 9:00 and off trail at 11:30. A good morning for a short ski on East Crystal and Sundog and back.

  491. Have you been to Mt. Shark? Do you know what the conditions are like today (October 27/20)?

  492. Chinook has arrived! +7 to +9 C already by 7:00am. Bring water skis, if you are coming out to WBC.

  493. West Bragg Creek
    Todays tour included Mountain View West and Moose Loop. As others have noted, the new re-routes on Mountain View West are a nice improvement, as they have replaced a couple of the chronic sun/wind problem areas with very enjoyable sections of new trail. As well, then new wide bridge and re-graded approaches at the north end of Moose Loop are wonderful. If you’re wondering what happened to the skinny bridge that used to cross that stream… it got moved onto the upgraded Tom Snow trail nearby. Tom Snow and the Moose single-track trail that it connects to are not designated ski trails, but they offer a “Fox Creek” alternative, if you don’t mind a bit of trail breaking.
    https://www.braggcreektrails.org/trail-maps/
    A chinook started blowing in during the late afternoon, so that may be it for the October bonus ski season at WBC.

  494. ISO: men’s xc ski boots size 47 (or US 13); need to be an SNS ‘Profil” sole

  495. Ribbon Creek

    We decided to check out the trails from the Kananaskis Village parking lot this morning. There was less snow than I had hoped, but still had a pleasant ski. The snow was about -7C at 10 am and a chilly wind blowing. We stuck to “bunny slopes” due to lack of snow, skied up Terrace and Kovach to the junction with Link and back. Some packing of trails has been done, and even a bit of grooming. There are early season hazards like grass and bits of dirt and rocks, plenty of foot traffic and a few ski tracks. Just below the jct with Link it looked like some deadfall had been cleared but debris still on the trail, so we moved a few twigs.
    Not bad for October! Hopefully the packed snow will stay and provide a decent base for future snowfalls.

  496. Wow what a start to the season! Went to WBC today, arrived just before 2pm. Snow was soft in some places but overall it was fantastic. Nice and warm, sat on the bench on Mountain Road getting some much needed Vitamin D. My boots gave me a blister and some under foot pain (new from last year), any suggestions to stop this much appreciated!

  497. Arrived at WBC at 10:30 thinking I need another day given the forecast. Not sure what I would find after the hordes had their day yesterday so what a surprise to find it was just great. Did Mtn View Rd to West Moose all the way around then Moose connector to Crystalline to the parking lot. Pure Joy it was WBC Groomers at great. Lots of over joyed people all thinking DEFEND ALBERTA PARKS (can you eviscerate PLPP and still call call yourself an Albertan?) Definitely a double donation day.

  498. At K Village today Terrace/Lower Kovach/Aspen was pretty sketchy conditions with thin coverage and a few rocks.

  499. Found on MLR today – gloves and thermos in one location and vest in another. Gloves and vest are at the LL Visitor Centre but I had no room for the thermos it’s still up there.

  500. FOUND:

    Pair of Rossignol Skis found this morning at Mount Shark trailhead.

    Call or text 4068991568

  501. Hi SkierBob: Been an avid follower of your great blog since its inception. Just wondering if you could or why you haven’t included a “Lost and Found” section to your already informative blog.

  502. WBC + a huge Skiers Hug to the parking lot angels Amy & friend

    Pretty perfect conditions this morning upon arrival around 10 am to a temp of -6. Did the south side trails before they softened up too much. What a glorious ski in October!
    I also must sincerely thank Amy & friend (sorry not to get your name) as I had car issues and they graciously helped me out. And a thank you to the gentleman who picked up a hitch-hiking skier by the side of the road and drove me back to my car – who is now aware of SkierBob’s most excellent website! Skiers & fat bikers are truly the best people!

  503. MORAINE LAKE – Oct 26

    As Alaric said, tracks are firm and fast… and today a little warmer with -8 to start and -2 to end… Perfection complete!
    Details available in the photo descriptions here:
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/qXCnEih4KTCx71Vi6
    And yes, Thanks to Parks Canada for the amazing early tracksetting this year.

  504. Definitely great minds! Krazy Kazzy (new nickname) says she had a great time again today (and first day of the season for us last Friday) – she just loves running off leash bounding in and out of the trees and bushes following various scents! Kudos to the GBCTA for the great grooming, new bridges and trail rerouting.

  505. Another shout out for WBC, Jip and I enjoyed a glorious ski around Moose and Mountain View * this morning, WOW, talk about trail transformation. Amazing conditions, the snow was a little cooler than I had waxed for but that’s no bad thing considering the current weather forecast, let’s hope it’s wrong. Also had the pleasure of skiing and chat with Eric Lloyd (Director (Special Projects Lead) & Treasurer) for a short distance, learnt a lot more about the GBCTA and heard delivery of their Snow Rabbit is imminent, apparently its capable track setting on a single pass as well as snow sculpting with its multi direction front blade, grooming game changer! https://www.braggcreektrails.org/winter-is-coming-lets-get-grooming/ Also meet up with Krazy and humans at about the same spot on Mountain View West as last season, great minds?

  506. Alpina 438 X Country Ski boots for NNN bindings.

    Size 40.5 Eur/ 8.5 Women’s

    $43.00

    Good used condition, pick up in Strathcona, SW, Calgary

    Email for photos: rhonw@shaw.ca

  507. ISO of XC skis for a 4 yr old. With or without bindings.

    Thanks!

  508. With respect to the Live Grooming Reports, I’m wondering if the company that provides the service has gone out of business. The security certificate for their website https://skitrails.info/ expired 2 months ago and their home page doesn’t even display their map. I tried phoning them, but the call gets forwarded to another number with a generic “no one can take your call right now” voice mail prompt. Perhaps someone from West Bragg or the Nordic Centre can clarify what the situation is?

  509. Anyone know which day they trackset the Divide (1a) in lake louise ?
    Thank you

  510. You have created an incredible resource Bob! I have followed you for years. Anytime I meet someone new who xcountry skis my first question is -where do they love to ski? My second question is always-do you follow SkierBob?
    Thanks for all the work that goes into this-very much appreciated!
    Jenn

    Thanks, Jenn! I’m glad I could facilitate creating this awesome XC skiing community. -Bob

  511. PLPP Oct 25
    Skied PLPP via the “backdoor” today on waxless light touring skis. -13C on arrival at 1200, up to -8C during the day, and down to -11C on departure at 1715. Did a loop of Pocaterra, Tyrwhitt, Elk Pass, Fox Creek, Moraine, Packers, and back up Pocaterra. I had expected lots of people, but we only saw about half a dozen all day. Of special note, there seems to be some Ninja machine packing going on, if not actual grooming. Elk Pass trail was well packed from edge to edge, with machine tracks visible along each edge. There were faint snowmobile tracks on Fox Creek and Moraine, and at least a couple of tracks on Pocaterra as well. Tyrwhitt had an excellent single skier track through the meadows. Beyond the meadows, the trail was well-packed full width up to Elk Pass. Along the Elk Pass trail to Fox Creek, the trail had evidence of lots of skier and hiker traffic, but the entire width of the trail was so well packed that boot prints hardly made a dent on the surface. Not much in the way of a well-defined skier-trackset trail though. Fox Creek had an excellent skier track over a hard base, and was in about the best condition I’ve ever seen it. Moraine was similar, although the snow depth decreased as we approached the Boulton area, where it was down to about 10cm off-trail, compared to 40-50cm further south. The bottom of Packers had a pair of snowshoe tracks which soon turned back, and we continued on breaking trail as perhaps the first visitors there this winter. There was one large tree down, a couple of bridges that we had to step up onto and down off of, and several thin areas near creeks that were easy to get around. I wouldn’t advise going downhill on Packers until there’s quite a bit more snow. Yet another great day!

  512. Mustang Hills
    Highway #66 is closed to vehicles after December 1, so most years it’s a long slog on the highway to get there during the snow season. But with a nice blanket of snow on the ground already, I thought we’d give it a try.
    Although Rainy summit is quite a bit higher in elevation than West Bragg Creek, there was only about 20-30cm of snow depth… maybe 1/3 less than at WBC. Nevertheless, we toured over the 4 little summits and across the year-old cut blocks to Cobble Flats and then back up to Rainy Summit. Lots of potential, if one could get there when there was a metre or more of snow depth! https://photos.app.goo.gl/hTg4F8txPK6izTGW8

  513. Skied Backdoor totday, Highwood pass , not much new snow, but plenty for a good ski no rocks, a few trees down . skied to and down Hydro line, and then returned back up Lookout. We had to take skis off to cross one creek after leaving Hydroline heading up lookout. a 2 foot water section. .
    We were a group of 4, skiing was great skier set, The down hill coming of lookout a bit of a challenge, plenty of snow shoe tracks .no grooming yet so a bit of a challenge to keep the speed down .

    Interesting part to the morning was a set of large Bear tracks coming off the highway down onto the Backdoor trail , we followed them until they turned up Lookout, we went along the Trywit to hydroline.

    Be aware the bears are still out there.

  514. Sunset Ski at WBC. I showed up late in the day and had a beautiful evening ski. It must have been a busy day, judging by all the cars that were exiting the parking lot as I drove in. The temperature was a very comfortable -3°C to start and about -6°C when I finished. I skied Mountain View and Moose Loop (clockwise) and the snow was still great, despite all the heavy use. I watched the sun go down and the western sky turning into a delicate palette of pink and mauve. At the top of the last hill, I paused for a few moments to listen to the nearby creek rushing by. It felt like I had the whole place to myself.

  515. Contribute to the WBCTA campaign to raise $25K to finance a Snow Rabbit (aka BabyPiston Bully). Given the 1000+ people there today, this should be a short campaign.

    https://www.braggcreektrails.org/winter-is-coming-lets-get-grooming/

  516. West Bragg again- I skied up Demi-Tel and then along Long Distance to the viewpoint at the high point of the trail just past Disconnect with NNNBC gear. Very good snow with a few rocks. Demi-Tel is massively chewed up by walker traffic and hasn’t been groomed for a few days (neither has Hostel) but is fine with the wider skis. I went around the core trails for a little bit after and conditions are excellent – like February if we’re lucky.

  517. Telephone Loop and others

    As part of a longer ski trip today, on track skis, just have these observations on the loop. Great snow coverage everywhere but rather rough on skinny skis and chopped off by hikers until the junction with Long Distance. Then the next 4 km are nicely skier tracked, followed by 2.5 km of heavily hiked and byked section until the Moose Loop is intersected (12.7 km from the parking lot). Not complaining here, just giving the info to those who want to ski the entire loop. Felt great end the loop and enter the very nice mid-winter x-c conditions for other trails, 2 months BEFORE XMAS. A great day for all, skiing, hiking, snowshoeing or byking.

  518. After reading Bob’s remarks about xc skiing in Cypress Hills Prov Park I’m wondering does Alberta Parks provide the grooming there? If yes, a number of questions could occur to me.

  519. Pinch me, I must be dreaming! Our little group enjoyed a perfect day of midwinter skiing today, on the Moose-Mountainviews west and east loop. Is it really only October? Of special interest was the new route bypassing the two former trouble spots on MV west. Kudos- it should hold the snow much better, and adds a little more spice to the trail.
    https://steveriggs.smugmug.com/MountainviewOctober25/

  520. I skied Moraine Lake Road yesterday and it was being trackset by snowmobile from about 10- 11:30 am. Great conditions!

  521. Toodled over to West Bragg around 1:30 pm.

    Circled around the lot with the masses for a while and ultimately decided to drop the wife off so she could ski.

    I went back and shoveled off the roof.

    All in all, a pretty good day.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/C8otoMX3HkKCbDnm6

  522. Due to prior commitments (& who’d’ve guessed 1.5 weeks ago we’d have XC choices!) skied Frozen Thunder this afternoon. Sadly they’ve not had the snowfall Bragg & LL have had these past few days, but the grooming was stellar. Arrived at noon to a hardpack that eased up a bit over the next couple of hours (likely due to recreational skiers like me snowplowing hard, as we remember how this all works). Great first ski of the season!

  523. Ah yes, the neighbor in the white house… I too have felt his wrath. Maybe he should take up woodworking or some such.
    Thanks for the update. My golf clubs are still in the car, in anticipation of this weeks’ heat wave. Pathetic, eh?
    We did Moraine Lake Road today. It was crawling with various ski teams, including two male national team members, who I had a nice chin wag with. I am always in awe of these people, and their willingness to (delight to?) push themselves to the wall over and over again.

  524. I have a used Child’s single Fjellpulken sled c/w shield for sale. It comes complete with a snow sled waist harness, skier shaft as well as a single dog shaft and harness.
    Mint condition. I would like $600.00 or best offer.

  525. Moraine Lake Road

    As good as I have ever seen it! The tracks were firm and fast. -22 at 10am, but up to -12 by 12:30 when we finished. Huge thanks to Parks Canada for the amazing grooming.

    Too bad our Provincial Government does not seem interested in trails (not to take anything away from the team at the Canmore Nordic Centre who do a great job when they have staff). End of political rant – sorry!

  526. Great Divide was sunny, fast and fairly busy. Still some roots sticking up but overall good coverage for pre-Halloween!

  527. My Nordic comrades…
    Fantastic day at the Spring Creek Trails in Cypress Hills Provincial Park.
    -12 and sunny. Skier packed. Great to see so many friends out so early!

    Courtney

  528. Maple Ridge golf course. Reasonable conditions, a thin base in some areas. No problems from grouchy neighbours, as mentioned in a previous report, although I have experienced that before. (Even when the course was fully open for skiing). Bring on the snow!

  529. Knee Jerk and the Eye Twit

    South Glenmore Park. Wow. Busy. Despite no grooming, 20+ people skiing the grassy loop betwixt the two parking lots at 2pm today. Yesterday was almost as busy and covered the whole gamut – from dirtbaggers with pie eating grins to conspicuous consumers with furrowed brows. Takes all kinds. Need new city-iot terrain to explore? Slide behind the new Enmax power station, follow the fence line 100m to duck through a hole and get out into the meadows. Lots of deer in there today and new ring-road din is really not that bad. Mostly settled snow over long grass and thistle patches – no rocks at all.

  530. Sun oct 25: WBC (tom snow north).
    Went in via the great trail along the north side of the grooming on moose loop. Excellent travel on the previous skiers track, before the storm? Same on tom snow north with a solid base supplied by the maintenance equipment that was in there doing work, also before storm. Some of the south facing hills were tricky on wax with an ice base under the snow. 60 cm back there in places. And wild. All manner of tracks, including predators.

  531. West Bragg Creek. Arrived at 11:30 and still found parking. It was -13 when we started. By the time we finished it was -3 and the parking lot was at capacity. Cars parked all up and down the road, a dozen parked by East Crystal, and every possible space filled with a vehicle. Cars were circling the lot waiting for people to leave.

    It was so great to see so many happy skiers, bikers, and hikers, but I hate to think this could become the norm for busyness if there’s no grooming in Kananaskis this winter.

    We skied Sundog, Iron Springs, and Elbow. Fantastic conditions.

  532. WBC had much better conditions than expected and certainly the best I’ve ever had for my first ski of the year. It was a very chilly -22C when I arrived this morning and already noticed that too people are social distance PARKING. Folks… just cos there’s snow on the ground and you can’t see the lines doesn’t suddenly mean parking 5’ apart. Please be considerate so more users get to share the enjoyment. By 1230 when I left the lot was full and people were driving back down the road looking for shoulder parking. There was a constant stream of soon-to-be-frustrated and disappointed drivers coming in as well. Hopefully it worked out?

  533. I’m looking to hire an instructor to teach my friend and I how to skate ski. We’re hoping for a few lessons in Calgary. Any suggestions on who to reach out to?

  534. Alpina BC2250 NNN-BC cross-country ski boot Size 38
    Like new. Too big for me.
    $100.00

  535. Looking for size 33 boots and size 160 classic skis for my kid. He grew right past his previous set over the summer.

    Greatly prefer NNN but still interested in SNS. Happy to buy boots and skis separately or together.

    We aren’t demanding skiers, just recreational.

    Let me know what you have and what you’d like for it!

    tylerwsnagel@gmail.com

  536. Great Divide! October 24, 2020 – started at the Lake O’Hara end! Not track set yet, but enough skiers have been that there is a great “track”! Some small sticks bushes still aren’t covered but amazing snow and conditions for this early in the season! Lots of skiers out, mostly Nordic as it wasn’t hard packed groomed for Skaters just yet!!

    Thanks for the first-hand report. The trail report for Lake Louise now indicates the Great Divide has been groomed and trackset. -Bob

  537. In search for skate skis, NNN bindings, 170-175cm; 65kg. Anyone any leads?

  538. West Bragg Creek
    As noted by lots of others, the conditions on the groomed ski trails was like mid-winter. In fact, there are plenty of times in the winter when a chinook or a snow drought means that conditions are not this good.
    As is my habit, I mixed up the groomed snow skiing with a bit of a side trip on Tom Snow and West Meadow Horse Trail. https://photos.app.goo.gl/vdn8Ldzx4Tv2J9sSA

  539. I discovered my love of cross country skiing in Kananaskis. Going to Mount shark area and skiing with my friends and our dogs on a sunny winter afternoon is my little slice of heaven. I remember going there for the first time and thinking… all of this for free!? It’s the greatest gift we can give Albertans and visitors to Alberta – groomed access to this winter wonderland for free. It’s such a low cost way to get people outdoors in the winter. It’s a gift to our health and wellness, and should be prioritized at times like these.

  540. I skied the the Maple Ridge Golf Course tonight (Sat) and had an interesting experience. Snow conditions are pretty good for the golf course, not track set yet.

    However the locks on the golf course parking lot were pinned shut instead of the usual chain that you just squeezed through. Not to be deterred we checked the other gates and the same thing, there were pinned or chained to tight to get in. It was clear other had skied there before.

    As we were looking at the gates a grouchy neighbour said we couldn’t ski there and he would call the police. We ignored him. We checked around the fence eventually find a gap in the fence to go through.

    We were skiing about 10 minutes when the cops shined their spotlight on us and said we were tresspresing. They told us that the owners of the gold course had us on camera and we were trespassing. After some discussion about the sign on the front of the gate that says “Skiers and Snowshoers please keep off greens and tee boxes” and how the city website says this is a place you can ski, and how there are no hours of operation posted and how squeezing through the fence was how you always got in the officers let’s us finish our lap. I’m pretty sure it was nosy neighbor and not the city that called the police but can’t be certain.

    I looked at the city website to see if there were any hour limitations or changes to maple ridge and couldn’t find any. Did anything change with Maple Ridge this year? I am planning to call 311 tomorrow to find out what’s going on there but a heads up for anyone going out tomorrow to follow the tracks to find the gap in the fence.

  541. Hi Bob,
    “The final sentence on the notice doesn’t make sense to me. “The Moraine Lake road traffic gate will remain closed during the seasonal winter road closure.” I hope that’s a mistake.”
    That just means that the Moraine Lake road will continue to be closed to vehicle traffic for the remainder of the winter season (after the improved gate is installed), as usual.

  542. YES ! the 1A was track set Friday afternoon according to a friend that was there! it did not show up on the trail report even last night! parks is still very short of staff don’t think it’s changed since Covid came through.
    The tracks were good enough and lot less people than at MLR. amazing turnout considering it was 19 at 11 am.
    track goes all the way to the end past the great divide. A few plants showing but easy to avoid- I used vr 30 which didn’t work very well. But then it was my first time on wax skis

  543. Quinnett-Fix Annie

    Was wondering if cross country ski conditions at Cascade Valley in Banff are posted anywhere?

  544. West Bragg Creek-I went around Moose Loop and some of the core trails. Amazing conditions considering it’s only just past Christmas! Very soft from the very fresh tracksetting. I also went up Demi-Tel, which had a few inches of powder over the packed base and a skier-set track.

  545. One of the great things about nordic skiing is that it can be done pretty much anywhere, with a relatively small amount of snow. With more than enough on the ground in Calgary, today seemed perfect for my usual xc ski tour from home in Silver Springs. And…it was!
    https://steveriggs.smugmug.com/UrbanSki-October24/

  546. Sat oct 24: WBC (moose packers).
    Went up mountain road past the grooming (30 cm just off trail), up to the pump station and on to moose packers. The pipeline ROW didn’t seem to have enough hazard coverage. Some wet base in places, only affecting pole tips. 40-50 cm near the moose packer junction and down to 15 under heavier canopy. As a summer trail, the occasional trenched bits made for a cautious ski descent where thinner. Managed to not encounter any rocks. Scooted over to middle tom snow, heading north towards moose loop. 20-25 cm on the narrower south end, back to 35- 50 in more open areas. The short steep descent down the north end of the ridge was reasonable, but the creek crossing was not. Reversed course and took the horse trail east to the meadow and back to mountain road. Good day of quality trail breaking. Saw a hunter returning on the way in. Looks like he had come from the big south meadow looking for deer. Glad I had a bright hat on wandering around off the grooming.

  547. Does life get better than this? Fantastic conditions amd beautiful sunshine at Bragg Creek today!

  548. MORAINE LAKE ROAD TRACKSET – Oct 24

    Parks tracksetter Andrew repaired all the damage and set awesome tracks this morning.
    Details in the photo descriptions here:
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/bkRTkW7hd6nzgeUf6
    No wonder the ski teams came… they like natural snow too!

  549. Huge Smiles at WBC,
    Jamie and I skied East Crystal, across to Logger’s Loop, down the fun West Crystal, Mountain View, Mountain Road, Mountain View West, along the south side of Moose Loop, Moose Connector and returned via West Crystal. The snow conditions are rather fantastic for this time of year, with the occasional rough spot. All we felt was gratitude for the early trails. We encountered plenty of big smiles. The temperature held steady around -14C with no wind. The trees are laden with snow.

  550. The following trails have been re track set as of 10 am Saturday morning thanks to about 5-7cm of snow overnight:
    Mountain Road, West Crystal and links, East Crystal, Loggers, Sundog, Mountian View, Moose connector and Hostel Meadow. All other trails had been track set the previous day with the exception of Telephone (roller packed only) and Elbow South (which we do not groom)
    Conditions are lovely, but expect it to be soft and some hazards exist although they are few and far between.

  551. Apparently (from a friend’s post) there were vehicle ruts on Moraine Lake road Friday from lodge staff trying to drive in. Hopefully those will fill in quickly.

  552. Heard from a friend that the groomers arrived at Divide trail as they were finishing their ski Friday afternoon.

  553. The “Live Grooming” links don’t seem to be activated yet this year?

  554. Skied MLR this afternoon. Good coverage but skier set track only and the grooming was chewed up by a vehicle driven up to the lake today. Apparently the lodge owners needed to go in there. Hopefully this will not be a recurring issue…

  555. Arethusa Cirque
    The snow depth at Arethusa Cirque was 44 cm in the middle of the larch glades… a bit less in the open areas near tree line. That’s great for October, but its also about the same as at West Bragg Creek. The snow is quite supportive, but it is early season and rocks, deadfall and little creeks are not far below the surface.

  556. I didn’t have time to go out of town, so settled for skiing through my local big park spaces this evening. It was lovely and quiet under the gentle white glow of a city night under snow.

  557. Seven Rocky Mountain Ramblers explored some of Peter Lougheed Provincial Park today. We started from the Kananaskis Lookout (and Mt Roberta) trailhead on Hwy 40 (8.9 km south of the PLPP turnoff).

    We skied across to Pocaterra and up the last bit of it, the full length of Tyrwhit to Elk Pass, down Hydroline to Lookout, up Lookout to the fire lookout and down to the Pocaterra/Whiskyjack junction, and back to the cars (18km).

    The snow was amazingly good, a full foot of snow that was heavy enough to barely, if at all, hit any rocks. But light enough to make for easy trail breaking except for the steepest bits. We broke trail for almost all of Tyrwhit and most of the way up Lookout. Other sections have seen some traffic, largely snowshoes, but also some skiers a day or two ago. Hydroline had been travelled by snowmobile. There were a few obstacles: a couple of trees across the trail on Tyrwhit, several slightly tricky wet spot crossings also on Tyrwhit, and one spot (the low point of Lookout) where we took skis off to cross the creek. The temperature was pretty steady at around -12. We did have and used skins (mostly short kick-zone ones) for the steep climb up the south slope of Lookout.

  558. Fabulous day at WBC, snow was perfect and no wind in the woods. Took Sundog, Loggers loop and west crystal – tracks were decent and trails were quiet. Best October ski ever!!

  559. As others today, had a great early season ski at West Bragg Creek – East Crystal Line, Sun Dog, Loggers, Moose Connector, Mountain Road, Mountain Road West, West Crystal Line.

  560. Trip reporters, please bear in mind that this may be too much excitement too early for those of us with bad hearts.

  561. WBC – skied Sundog, Elbow, Irons Springs and East Crystal Line this morning. Landscape is gorgeous with all the snow on the trees, it was wonderful to be out skiing. Very quiet route, no skiers on Iron Springs, snow was soft, no difficulties at all, downhills were super fun.

  562. Like many others here, I took advantage of (way) early season conditions and grooming at WBC today. Skied West Crystal line, Loggers, Sundog, and East Crystal. A few twigs sticking up through the track and a couple of iced over slush where you’d normally see ice flows, but otherwise ethereal. Still think I may be dreaming.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/jnKAoXfvBtBT5tW37

  563. We returned to West Bragg this morning and skied West Crystal, Moose Connector, Moose Loop, Mountain Road and Mountainview. All trackset and in good early season shape, with a few minor thin, rough or wet spots. Fun skiing in soft snow, on a wintery day! The only issue was near the east end of Middle West Crystal- two easily crossed little bits of open water, and some ice. The new Moose loop bridge was much appreciated by Piper and Jo:
    https://steveriggs.smugmug.com/SkiPix2021/i-6cCXWHj/A

  564. West Bragg Creek… In February?? I kept having to remind myself that it is still October as I enjoyed every second of West Crystal Line, East Crystal Line, Loggers, and a little bit of Mountain Road. What a treat to have tracks on natural snow…happy birthday to me! 🙂

  565. Anyone know who grooms Bill Milne trail? K Village or ex-Prov parks?

  566. West Crystal / Loggers / Elbow – Iron Springs short loop / West Sundog. Conditions are really good. Grooming on Elbow – Iron Springs was taking place this afternoon. Currently only the short loop is groomed. There are a few skier tracks south of there but that would be “back country” for now.

  567. I had a lovely ski around Sundog and Loggers at West Bragg Creek this afternoon. Everything had been groomed and trackset, and there was fresh corduroy on Sundog as we finished up.

    Earliest I’ve ever skies groomed trails and the snow was fantastic! No rocks or grass showing. Could have been February!

    Some of the steep hills are still a little rough so take it slow. Lots of rollers, bumps, and uneven spots. Truly though it was quite spectacular for October.

    If you’re going out tomorrow dress warm! It was very chilly and my legs were frozen after an hour.

  568. WBC Groomers report:
    The whole trail system has now been roller packed and the following trails have been track set: West Crystal and links, East Crystal, Sundog, Loggers, Mountain Rd., Mountain View, Mountain View West, and Moose Loop.
    Snow is falling as I type and we hope to get Iron Springs, Elbow N and Iron Creek track set this afternoon.
    Skiing should be great this weekend. As it is early season watch for hazards such as subsurface rocks, uneven tread, and slushy areas where water has percolated up through the snow.
    Extra caution advised on Iron Creek where there is post holing and debris on the snow from equestrian traffic.

  569. Thanks for the great early season grooming!! Thursdays conditions were great compared to Tuesday especially on Mountain Road leaving the parking area which was a miraculous improvement.