Thank you Bob for your blog! Your blog and information has helped me and my friends immensely when it comes to deciding where to go skiing. Many places we’ve never even thought or heard of. Your information has been well informative and, on some occasions, humourous :-). Best of luck to you. You will be missed.
We use the trip and grooming reports every time we head out for a ski. When we first started seven years ago, this site was recommended by many people, and we have since passed it on to many new skiers.
Thank you so much for keeping the blog going, it has been fantastic. Happy retirement!
Wendy and Rob
Good Morning. It is -10 and overcast at the Peter Lougheed Discovery Centre in Kananaskis.
Above all else maintain the down home dawn-of-the-internet vibe.
In addition to other comments, attributes of a “ski community” information sharing web site (if that’s the goal, hopefully):
– A public, open and inclusive platform, no membership login or exclusivity
– Not a for profit business or overly explicit advertising or product based platform
If you use the search bar on this site and look for ‘track width’ you will find:
A frequent question: What is the maximum width of ski that can be used in the tracks made by tracksetting equipment:
This is a reply to the question by Tracksetter Jeff(Ribbon Creek):
“The bottom of most track pans is 70 mm The sidewalls flare out to 140 mm at the top of the track. If you were skiing on 65mm skis there will be times when you will get a bit of drag from the sidewalls Also understand that unless you get the first tracks in a fresh trackset the sidewalls are subject to scraping from all the other skiers who went before you.
If you are looking for performance in the track I’d go with the 59. If you are out for a nice easy ski and want good support for the hills the 65 should be fine.”
Will it be possible to use Fischer backcountry 104-74-95 skis on this trail?
Thanks a lot,
PLPP- Boulton Creek parking: (9:30 am – 5C) Six skied Boulton > Fox Creek > Elk Pass > Blueberry > Elk Pass > Hydroline > Patterson > Elk Pass > Fox Creek > Moraine (finished 2:30 pm at -3C).
The hill down to Bouton Bridge was frozen and very rough but everyone arrived at the bottom on their skis! Boulton’s new grooming and TS had lots of tree debris on and in the snow so slower than expected. Fox was not as littered as Boulton and was at a winter best. Elk Pass had some tree debris on and in the snow but grooming and TS were very good all the way to Elk Pass. Grooming and TS on Blueberry were great on lower half but extremely littered with black lichen on the top half. The few snow bombs and twigs on the down-side grooming were removed on the way up for our own safe return. Hydroline to Patterson was clean and crisp with no evidence of drifting. Patterson was spectacularly fast with clean grooming and sharp TS. Moraine was in very good condition without a lot of tree debris or black lichen.
VR45, VR50 and V40 Blue Extra worked well today.
Having a daily featured post is one of the things that brings me to your site every single day. Then, I go to trip reports. Like many others, I also use SkierBob as the primary link to weather stations and forecasts, webcams and grooming reports. I could save them all as “favourites” in my browser, but it is way easier to just go directly to this site.
Hi Bob. You will be missed a lot 🙂
Trip reports for sure. And pics.
The link to all trail maps in one place!
Thanks for all. Cheers
Hope this is appropriate… I would like to thank you, Bob, from the bottom of my skis for all you’ve done to keep us inspired and informed over the years.
You probably don’t remember me but a few years back, I took your photo celebrating your 1000th kilometer (that season). It was at the top of the big hill at the beginning of Elk Pass with the splendid view of Upper and Lower Kananaskis Lakes down below.
Wishing you many, many more kilometers, Bob!
CNC this AM 9:00 -11:30. -1C windy. Sunny day using Skintecs
Started the day demoing Fischer Twin Skins from Trail Sports. New skis in my future. We’ve had Atomic Skintecs for 5 winters now and love their versatility!
After skiing a couple of KM on the Fischers, ended up skiing up above the stadium on Chipmunk, Osprey, Olympic,Rundle. Each winter we try to ski every trail at the Nordic Centre. We just about have them all covered. We are always amazed that other folks ski the more obscure trails too.
Snow was great today even on the trails that haven’t been groomed or TS lately.
Alberta Budget 2021 – I think a lot of us have been nervously anticipating the provincial budget for the coming year which was announced today. Now, it always takes a few days for the generalities of the budget to be broken out into specifics – such as whether they will/will not be winter ski trail grooming next year, or park closures, etc. Still… I perused the available documents for a while today, and all I could find was this: “Improve recreational access management through effective engagement and a modern and integrated approach to Crown lands management (including public lands and parks), implementation of the Alberta Trails Act and establishment of a sustainable recreation funding framework.”
Did anyone else find anything more specific?
My priorities for a new blog:
Trip reports are #1 90% of my time is spent on Skier Bob is on trip reports. Details like snow conditions (track conditions, skate -ability, dirt on the tracks , wax used, temperature. Parking etc.
Ability to add pics VS a link to a photo storage page.
After a while, I get to recognize the writer and trust their reports for accurate beta.
Grooming updates are great as well.
Keeping it current is probably the most important.
Having a FAQ page for those questions that seem to get asked everyday on any Facebook page.
WBC entire south and west perimeter including Elbow south out and back and Dead End out and back
Snow conditions were good on lots of freshly groomed trails. Unfortunately walkers and fat bikers, as usual, get right on that fresh grooming to mess it up. Elbow south is really rough. A couple of horses have been on that section (part of the winter equestrian network). It was cool enough (2 degrees) that melting did not occur so glazing is not going to be an issue tomorrow.
Hi Bob, the trip reports for sure, the grooming updates and links to grooming reports, and the info on the loppetts were most useful to me.
Shaganappi skate ski conditions are very good. The wind kept things cool so the grooming was nice and firm, pretty much perfect. A few icy sections. Condo alley was still skiable but Westgate corner is now asphalt and the detour will probably melt out on Sunday if the forecast holds. The remaining tracks were being rapidly filled by the wind and there is some drifting and debris, but not bad considering. The groomers have done a great job this winter.
The daily posting is where it all starts, and is a vital contribution.
Kananaskis Grooming Cooperating Agreement
Following a Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) request to Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) a few months ago, I just received the Kananaskis Grooming Cooperating Agreement between AEP and Nordiq Alberta. There is no restriction on the distribution or use of this document. There’s nothing “scandalous” about it, and I don’t know why the government and/or Nordiq Alberta were so reluctant to release it in the first place. I’ve posted the Agreement at https://drive.google.com/file/d/152HMMbAR6HUrctwcppQ5Q3O67OB0UbFg/view where you can view and/or download it.
Feb. 24, 2021
A chilly start at -14 C, but the sun was quite warm. Nice glade skiing interspersed with “AST” review. Size 1 slides on east aspects dictated tree skiing and, to be honest, we needed steeper slopes in places, but it was still great with plenty of room for turns without bumping over old down-tracks. It will be used up Friday, unless the predicted storm keeps folks away. Oh! I should have written that the skiing was hellish and that no one should bother going!
Noseeum North Chutes
Feb. 23, 2021
First time in and what a treat. Yes, we broke trail on a pile of fresh, but were able to find the old up-track most of the way to the headwall. Most of the north-facing chutes showed slides that were not brand-new. After going to the headwall, we skinned up two south-facing slopes, found decent skiing interspersed with pow over slide debris. Open water down low gave great beauty to the setting, Andromache to the south and Noseeum to the north. Protected on 3 sides from prevailing winds (sort of), it’s a fantastic place for newbies as the scenery is jaw-dropping for minimal effort (2 km access to the chutes). NOTE: If there is no roadside parking, pull in to Mosquito Creek and ski south along the road for 1 km to the bridge at Noseeum Creek. The up-track is on the south side.
Feb 22, 2021
Poor vis and sobering avalanche risk levels motivated us to stay in the trees today, which turned out to be a wonderful choice. There was no wind and hardly anyone out. Of course, with the 20+ cm of fresh and no earlier track, it was slow going. We could “sense” an old track, occasionally, but meandered off that often enough that we didn’t make the Pass. I’m sure that those coming in the next day were thankful. A few signs of slides along the 93 and lots of wind affect.
Lake Louise, Feb. 25
Despite the dire weather warnings, as we were already out in the area, we skied from Lower Tramline to MLR to Fairview and then down Tramline. Miracle of miracles, hardly any wind and NO ONE there. Honestly! We ran into, perhaps, 10 people all day. Beautiful tracks though a bit slow. No debris to speak of. Should be great skiing tomorrow.
Found prescription sunglasses at Jura Creek Feb 25/21.
Found a set of ear buds on Sawmill Loop in Kananaskis around mid-day on Thursday, February 25. If you can identify them, we will get them back to you.
Mens Waxless (fish scales) Classic Ski Package for sale:
Salomon Elite 6 Grip Skis, 206 cm, flex 80-95kg
with SNS pilot bindings.
Salomon Escape 9 Pilot Boot, Size 10 US.
Madhus CT 20, carbon composite XC ski poles, 150cm.
Equipment lightly used and in very good condition.
$250 for the xc ski package and pickup in Canmore.
Please text me at (306)-596-5702 if ur interested.
Feb 25 – Cascade fire road to Stoney Creek
Skied up to Stoney Creek today. The first few km of the trail have some tree debris on the trail. There are also a couple snow drifts across the trail in the open area at the bottom of the fire road. There was another area of heavy tree debris in the flood detour beyond the campground. I was on VR45 and it worked well in the shade, but it was a struggle to get grip in the sun when I finished around 1pm. If I had started an hour later, I probably would have had to go up a few grades of wax stickiness.
WBC (-5C at 8:15am and quite windy and +1C at 11:15am)
We skied West Hostel were we met Groomer Jeremy N, Telephone, Moose loop (CCW) and back to the parking lot on Mountain Road.
Telephone is hard packed and with little tracks until the junction with Disconnect, the downhills were fast but safe. As usual the West section has better conditions. Just be careful at the junction with Moose and there is an ice flow developing but clearly visible. Moose loop was really nice and excellent tracks / grooming.
I wonder if the earthquake had anything to do with triggering an Avalanche.
I’m not sure what the fuss is all about. It looks like this lynx walked with its legs splayed apart to avoid stepping in the ski track?
Re: Helping people out at Bragg Creek: I am not by any means a regular there so you can stop reading right now, but from all the posts I see about Bragg Creek and all those who are passionate about the place, would it be worth while to initiate a “SNOW HOST” kind of concept as works very well at Canmore Nordic Centre? The program basically runs only on weekends, or perhaps also during Race Events, but those involved and trained “can” snow host, wearing their identifying vest, any day of the week.
Part of the deterrent of my wanting to explore the trails at Bragg Creek more, is the entire area has such an overwhelming abundance of trails and perhaps the hikers/snow-shoers could be more efficiently managed by designating more trails JUST for them. Recently while in PLPP, I was impressed how many trails are now totally designated to walkers/snow-shoers/fat bikers. There is a big map available at the Discovery Centre “PLPP Winter Trails”, showing Elkwood Loop, Marsh Loop, Lower Lake, Canyon, Penstock, Tall Water, Frozen Toad and Torpor Loop (and likely some shorter distance ones). Yes, there have always been issues with people heading to Elk Lakes Cabin but for the most part, PLPP has done a great job of providing this many snowshoe trails. All of these are marked on this map, and alot of excellent general information also included on the back.
Thought Mike W’s and Herbert’s comments were very well said.
While “taking a photo and shaming them on the internet” might solve the immediate problem, society takes a small step backward.
February 24 Shaganappi Point golf course in Calgary grooming update:
All skate lanes were groomed Wednesday evening by one volunteer however there wasn’t time to set new tracks on the trail sections that need it.
Ski conditions are great overall. Expect existing track setting to be of variable quality from excellent and solid to non-existent, unfortunately. Keep in mind there are sections of trail where the snow is too shallow for track setting.
Currently, it is taking 5 passes over the old track setting to make new track setting with our 50″automated renovator and track setter. (Our kingdom for a tiller!)
We will do our best to get the track setting done in the next few days. Have fun on the snow!!!
*Westgate Corner (SW corner of the golf coure) has a very thin layer over the asphalt cart path, beware, but there are skiable workarounds once the snow does disappear from sun and wind exposure.
Volunteer hours grooming Wednesday evening: 2.25
Bob, with respect to shaming the walkers, I’d start with shaming the skate skier who sliced up the trackset. He/she did way more damage than the walkers (one couple was still figuring out where to go, and the other couple had just started). And the skier couldn’t claim ignorance as to what the purpose of the trackset was.
Salomon womens ski boots, siam 7, size 6
fits SNS profil bindings $60
Salomon womens ski boots, siam 5, size 6.5
fits SNS profil bindings $50
Wed feb 24: lookout/tyrwhitt/east elk pass/elk pass.
Chilly start but didn’t seem so bad with the sun and mild breeze in the morning. Decent track set along lower elk pass and up north end of hydroline. Freshies all the way up to lookout from the south. Lots of folk coming up the north side, but still a decent descent with the snow over the grooming (first descenders). Ankle + trail breaking off grooming to east elk pass (2 on LT, 1 on XC). A party had been in before the last storm so the old track was mostly visible in all but the most open areas. Couch H2.0 and the wind wall had morphed into breaking waves but miraculously still intact. Some rebuilding ensued to support a nice break in the heat of the day. Wind picked up in the afternoon, but couch was nice and comfy. Another party of two encountered on the way back to grooming, so 5 bodies out and back on the track will make for good travel. Bigger pole baskets still preferable but not critical. Open areas may be blown in after today, but should still be followable. Back to elk pass, and for more meadow sun, put a track through Patterson meadows via the hydroline snowshoe trail. Skier set track on Patterson grooming. Wobbly track back along elk pass trail until the newer grooming at north hydroline, which was much welcome. The descent of the big hill was perfect and easy. Stopped at wedge on the way home for a fire and sausages with cheeky and Simona. Wind wall there now for future fires. A good end to a great sunny day.
Brewster Creek to Sundance Lodge
There is a very good skier track up to Sundance Lodge and beyond. After tea and lunch on the lodge porch, we continued up a skier track to BW10, took a mini tour through the campground and headed back. This is such a beautiful area, and we found solitude here, having only met three skiers all day. The return was fantastic, we did not break any speed records due to the fresh snow, but the descent and the curves were very enjoyable. When we got down to Healy Creek, it was freshly groomed.
Pics for today:
Feb 24 – CNC
Nice afternoon skate ski at CNC today. Trails skied: Banff, Snowshoe Hare, Coyote, Freddie’s Flip, Banff again, Silvertip, Flying Squirrel, Grey Wolf, Bow, Cold Shoulder, and then back on Banff. Nearly all of the trails I skied had been groomed since the last snow, with the exception of Cold Shoulder which is a dead-end trail and probably of lower priority. Some good, fast snow out there! Teeny tiny bit of debris on the trails that hadn’t been groomed in the last 24 hours, but nothing to write home about.
PLPP. It was a chilly -19C to start at 8 am, but it warmed up to -3C. Mostly sunny with a few clouds, and some wind higher up. Starting at Pocaterra I skied Rolly Road, Pocaterra, Lookout, Hydroline, Fox Creek, Moraine, Amos, Wooley, and Meadow. Only the last trail had fresh grooming. The other trails had 5-10 cm of new snow with lots of fresh animal tracks.
An amazing day at WBC. We skied Moose-Mountainview West-Mountain Road-Mountainview-Crystal West-Loggers-Sundog. Other than a couple of minor ice flows, it was perfect!
FEB 24 WEST BRAGG CREEK
Crystal East, Sundog West, Crystal West (Upper), Mountain View, Mountain Road, Mountain View West, Moose Loop North, Moose Connector, Mountain Road, Hostel Meadow laps
-10C when I arrived at 0945, with the parking lot only about 1/4 full. -1C when I left in the early afternoon with the parking lot about 3/4 full. Took the skate skis for a spin with a combo of skate, double-pole, and classic technique. Awesome fresh corduroy on most of the trails, a bit soft in places. Beware of a 20cm-long strip of exposed grass in the right (east) trackset when descending a hill about 1/4 way in from the south end of Mountain View West! Also, a skate skier decided to slash most of the right (east) trackset – https://photos.app.goo.gl/TUKSwxPaJbcm8PJHA. If you can’t or won’t ski “between the lines”, please stay off trackset trails!
Had a friendly chat with a couple who were walking their dogs on Hostel Meadow despite the giant breadboard sign saying “skiers only”, “no walking”, etc. They said they thought the sign applied only to the trackset; not the corduroy. They apologized, turned around, and headed up Telephone. I also chatted with another couple who had spent a long time looking at the trail map at the south junction of Telephone and Hostel Loop. They said they were planning to walk up Telephone and return on Hostel East. I redirected them to return on Fisher Link and Snowshoe Hare instead.
LAKE O’HARA – Feb 24
Beautiful conditions today with recent snowfall and few cross country skiers.
Details available in the photo descriptions here:
No evidence of even snowmobile tracks, which makes it very pleasant, if a little slow.
Has anyone skied Nipika in the past few days? Their last update is from Feb 19 so wondering what conditions are like now.
Must have dropped my black left Descente xs liner glove behind the car in the Shaganappi parking lot this afternoon about 4:00 PM. I went back there and looked for it at about 5:00 PM but couldn’t find it so I am hoping someone picked up.
Feb 24 Upper Lake Louise trails from the Chateau grooming team:
Fairview Loop (#2): Double trackset, Feb. 24, good condition.
Shoreline (#4): Double trackset, Feb. 23, good condition.
Lake Trail (#4): Double trackset with a separate path for walkers, Feb. 24. There are several large ice patches along the length of the lake, use caution. Fair condition.
Upper Telemark and Peyto Trails (#5): Rolled, Feb. 24. We hope to tracket this tomorrow morning (Feb. 25)
Feb 24 Skied WBC East Crystalline, Sundog, Elbow, Iron Springs and the conditions were fantastic, -7 to start warming up to -1 at noon. Lots of room in the parking lot and fresh grooming on the trails, happily paid my trail fee.
Anyone want to head to West Bragg on Thursday for an intense day?
Alberta Parks XC trail reports – that annoying drop down menu above the status column to increase the number of trails shown IS GONE!
The default is now for All trails, no longer a default of 10.
This was a quick response by Parks – it was only a couple of days ago that I suggested this change via their ‘Contact Us’ feature.
After this small success, I am tempted to whine again to Parks Canada about getting Banff NP on Nordic Pulse.
That pristine scene in my photo didn’t last long! In minutes, just around the corner, I encountered two walkers heading south, leaving pits of roughly 7 cm in depth. When I mentioned that the trail was “skiers only”, as per the prominent sandwich board sign at the south junction with Elbow, which seemed to be effective for most, given the trampling south of the junction- they claimed to be lost. I explained that they should walk off to the side rather than mangle the centre of the trail on the upcoming south facing hill, which was already a bit sun-softened and would be icy and possibly hazardous to skiers in the morning. Last I saw of them- they were still stomping down the centre of the downhill….
PLPP- Elkwood 9:30 am – 10C Five skied Wheeler > Whiskey Jack > Tyrwhitt > Elk Pass > Elk Pass “big hill” and Fox Creek > Boulton Creek > Wheeler > Amos > Wheeler > Elkwood finishing at 3:15 pm at -5C.
Peter Lougheed Park was blanketed in new snow! We were not going to find the pristine new grooming on Tyrwhitt, Lookout and Hydroline. We skied in first track on Wheeler, then had the help of two fore-runners up Whiskey Jack and south on Tyrwhitt to Elk Pass. They set a great track and we skied easily behind them – thank you. Skier tracks on last night’s grooming had the least snow depth – 5 cm. The ski down from Elk Pass to Blueberry Junction was very rough in snow depth of about 8 to 10 cm. Lower reaches of Elk Pass had better skier tracks to follow. We split up at Fox Creek junction; the big hill was very easy in the snow over last night’s grooming. Fox Creek trail was fast with good tracks and tree debris all covered. Boulton Creek had good tracks with new snow on the hills and covering the at times icy trail. Amos showed very good skier tracks so we returned to Elkwood this way for variety. Green and VR40 worked well today with icing happening only on the Whiskey Jack climb. A hard and rewarding day of skiing.
WBC: logging road heading west and north of Telephone Loop (west side about 4 km north of the Moose Loop junction).
I had noticed this logging road a number of times and today I figured I would explore it. Trail breaking made progress very slow. I turned back about 2.5 km away from Telephone. My GPS app indicates that I made it about 1/2 way to the end of Homestead road (at the rifle range) coming south from highway 68 so I guess that the entire trip would be about 5 km up and then back.
Feb 23 Upper Lake Louise trails from the Chateau grooming team:
Fairview Loop (#2): Sled packed and rolled, Feb. 23, skier set, poor condition. We hope to work on this tomorrow morning (Feb. 24)
Lake Trail (#4): The ski trail is trackset for about half the length of the lake, beyond that there is a large amount of slush that is now exposed and we hope freezes overnight. The walking trail is packed, but like the ski trail about half way along the length slush appears, although not nearly as bad as the ski trail, those without boots will regret it. Poor condition.
Upper Telemark and Peyto Trails (#5): Double trackset, Feb. 17, poor condition with new snow. We hope to work on this tomorrow afternoon (Feb. 24)
WBC Snowshoe Hare
I managed to ski up all of Snowshoe Hare to Telephone. Good fun. Just enough fresh snow. Good climbing on Red Swix. I did see another skier coming down as I was climbing up.
It was quite hard and icy under last nights fresh snow. Definitely not a beginner trail. Metal edges would have been nice. Dropping a knee would have consequences if you found a rock or root.
If the snowshoe users could pack the trail 3 abreast that would be awesome.
There could be a future for this shared use trail. I will definitely ski it again after the next dump.
Hats off to all the dog owners who had the doggos under control.
1A, Castle Lookout towards Baker Creek return.
Overnight snow covered most of the debris but it was full of air and moisture which created some clumping. The route was trackset today as we skied and this resolved the problem, a big shout out to the groomer. I used a -2 to -7 wax and had just enough grip and excellent glide. The sun shone a lot but the snow survived well.
Pipestone – We weren’t sure what to expect when we pulled in, but saw snowmobile tracks entering the unplowed parking lot, so we decided we were in luck. Sure enough – first car in the lot and first tracks in the freshly groomed and tracked Pipestone Loop. We skied the whole loop, hoping to lunch at the ‘couch’. The wind was quite strong around Pipestone Pond, and the couch was quite buried in snow, so we stopped to eat at the Merlin Jct. We then skied Drummond to Mud Lake and back up Drummond and down Lower Pipestone to Hector, up Hector to Drummond, up Merlin, down Merlin and down Lower Pipestone again, backtracking to Hector and finished at the West gate for a total of 30+kms. We skied every trail in the area, which we had always wanted to do, and today was the day to do it! The tracks were good everywhere, if a bit soft. I used fish scale skis and Ray used V40, neither of us had problems with sticking. Temp. -6C to -3C. A very quiet ski, as there were not more than 20 people out today.
West Bragg Creek: Mountain Road, Moose Loop South, Mountainview West. A wee bit soft, one ice flow on Mountain Road, skier set track on Mountainview West. Fabulous way to spend a sunny Tuesday late afternoon. Should be nice and firm tomorrow, I’ll bet, The grooming is excellent, with much thanks to Jeff, Bill and the crew. Don’t forget to donate.
WBC- FEBRUARY 23.
West Crystal-Loggers-Elbow-Iron Springs-Iron Creek-East Crystal.
Very good conditions, as you would expect. Good tracks that were decently fast, if a bit soft and easily damaged in places. A minor bit of sticky snow on the most sun exposed spots, using VR 45. A bonus was finding the south Elbow-Iron Loop groomed, set, and in pristine condition.
Get it while you can, as south of the loop- Elbow is already trampled.
We had a great fresh powder bluebird ski to the Skogan Loop picnic table viewpoint from the Ribbon Creek parking lot and returned the same way to take advantage of our tracksetting. We got a good workout setting trail on 8 cm at the parking lot and 15 cm at the top. We did not have to snowplow at all on the return. Temperature was minus 8 degrees to begin and zero at the end. Fish scales worked quite well with no clumping. Unfortunately a large group of snowshoers walked on the trail, passing and ignoring the ski only sign on Skogan at the Ruthies junction. They continued up the Screamer, up Sunburst and returned on High Level. We met a nice ski couple on the trail that had met the group and told us that it consisted of 6 to 8 friendly seniors. The tracks covered much of the trail width with big divots and will make snowplowing difficult at best, and possibly dangerous, tomorrow after the snow cools and sets tonight. Such a pity because it was such a good trail this morning.
Don’t you just HATE water when it’s not crystallized?!
SPRAY WEST to GOAT CREEK BRIDGE – Feb 23
Not trackset yet, but great snow conditions with between 5 to 15 cms of fresh snow depending on elevation.
Details in the photo descriptions here:
A social day with so many happy skiers
PLPP – Pocaterra-ComeAlong-Pocaterra-Lynx-Amos-Wheeler-WhiskeyJack-Pocaterra
Started from the Pocaterra trailhead at about 0845, temp was -9 and there was about 4-5 cm of fresh snow on the trails. This increased to about 10 cm at the higher elevations, and my turn around point at the Whiskey Jack/Pocaterra junction.
Trails are all in good shape, but are now skier-trackset. The fresh snow has taken care of the debris problems. I was on skin skies, which were a little slick, but others on wax skies were saying they were having problems getting the grip just right – problems with too much grip and too much glide, depending on where they were. Temp was -2 when I finished at about 1330. Beautiful conditions, with no wind and few people. Saw only about 12 during the whole time out. 8 cars in the parking lot when I left.
West Bragg Creek: Mountain Road, Moose Loop, West Crystal Line, Sundog Loop, East Crystal Line
I drove in to WBC (-8 at 9:15) without a specific plan this morning, which is unusual for me, but it ended up being a beautiful morning of following the new tracks and seeing peoples’ smiling faces as we crossed paths. My blue wax worked well for today…a bit grippy at the beginning then not quite grippy enough near the end after it warmed up, but still quite good. The tracks…what can I say about freshly laid tracks except a huge thank you to the groomers who were hard at work! It was +3 when I drove away at 11:30, happy and hungry for lunch.
We skied the Telephone loop at WBC this morning. Trail was good. No exposed dirt, rocks or ice. If going, recommend early start as snow is soft.
I remember the time dad read us kids “The Avalanche on Redearth Creek”.
Worst. Bedtime. Story. Ever.
February 23 Shaganappi Point golf course in Calgary grooming update :
All trails were groomed this morning, however we only had time to track set the driving range, as we had electrical issues with the automated track setter.
At 11:45 am one volunteer is going out with our manual track setter to see if it will work for us.
Conditions are soft, and there are thin sections around tree bases to be aware of but the skiing should be really nice at Shaganappi today!
We hope to track set and regroom everything this evening, if all goes well.
Check us out on Nordic Pulse!
Volunteer time: 6 hours between 2 people.
I am looking for some high end Salomon SNS Skate boots – Size 42 2/3.
Is the October 23, 2013 photo of the bridge over the Spray River free for use?
Probably another road closure coming for spray lakes road and avalanche control affecting access to goat creek/shark etc. next few days.
To be more precise for the Red Earth Creek fireroad past km 7, with respect to the highest avalanche hazard potential and based on ancestral slide path off Copper Mountain, the section of the ski trail from km 8.2 and 8.7 is the most obvious. When the ski trail gets very close to the creek, past the Lost Horse Creek campground, you are entering that 500 meters section.
My wife and I skied or should I say tried to ski Bill Milne trail today starting at one of the lower parking lots at Kananaskis Village. We skied to Highway 40 and I nearly did a couple of face plants since my ski’s went from glide to grip in an instant. I thought maybe it was the way I was skiing since I haven’t been skiing that long. I checked the bottom of the ski and there was a solid 2 to 3 inches of snow built up in the kick zone. We scrapped the snow off our ski’s and headed back to the truck. We thought the Bill Milne trail might be better up by the Kanananski Golf course so we packed up and drove there to start again. Now for the rookie mistake…. I had a can of Swix Klister which I have never used. The can said it is good for snow temperatures in the -5 to +10 temperature. This Klister stuff is sticky just like fly paper. It worked real good cause the snow stuck to the bottom even better than the V40. I read the small print on the Klister can and it said its good for Icy tracks. We finally gave up and headed home. It took me half hour and half a bottle of base cleaner to scrap and wipe off the Klister.
10:00 to 14:30, 0C to +2C. Boulton Creek, Fox Creek, Elk Pass, Tyrwitt, Pocaterra, Packers. Skin skis and waxable used. Blue/purple had no grip, purple too much grip. Some icing on skins even with application of Swix Skin Care liquid. None of this was enough to spoil the day. Wind debris had been covered up by 4cm new snow which also meant that downhills were all easily managed. Some grauple flurries and also hints of sunshine.
WBC: East and West Crystal / Moose north side of loop / both Mountain Views / Loggers / Iron Springs – Elbow figure 8 both loops / Hostel loop
Conditions today were variable, pretty decent in shaded areas and glazed in the sunny areas. The snow pack is still good so some cooler weather and grooming should make things better. There was a bit of debris here and there due to the winds of the last few days. Hostel and the southern Iron Springs – Elbow loop have considerable damage due to walkers. South of the loops towards Fullerton the damage pretty much renders the ski trail unskiable.
Skiing on metal edged waxless skis with an application of liquid glider wax on the fish scales made for decent progress (32 km).
I need ski poles 140 cm is the size I need. Please call or text 403 835 7383
I forgot my waxless skis when I headed out to the Bill Milne trail in Kananaskis so ended up trying to wax for the warm temps.. As expected it didn’t go so well. Ended up with lots of snow stuck to the kick zone and felt like I was walking on stilts.
On the return I scraped as much of the warm wax off as possible (with my pole) and added a colder wax for a mostly double pole, glide back to the car. I seem to manage this stilt walk at least once a season repeating to myself that I’ll use my waxless skis in warm weather next time.
Lucky, especially when getting pushed into lake water!!!! Another report from guides yesterday accessing saddleback and surprise pass at lake Louise. Conditions rapidly changed while they were travelling so they pulled the pin and headed back, only to see their up track had been hit by avalanches. It’s quite possible that some of the avalanche paths near cross country trails will run also (or hiking trails or other areas without fences or signage), increasing risk to potentially unaware cross country skiers, snowshoers and hikers. It’s that kind of time right now, and maybe another week or more of heightened risk. Avalanche terrain exposure maps are available to the public. It’s the users responsibility to inform themselves, always.
To be clear, the avalanche path in question is not off the headwall at the end of the lake, but rather about half way along the lake at the base of a huge avalanche path, as seen in pictures number 5 & 6 in this photo link from March 2019:
This avalanche regularly breaks the lake ice on impact and should never be approached. Any pictures taken should be with a long zoom lens like mine!
Confederation Park Golf Course
Slippery in parts, soft in others, but still lots of snow. Most of the classic tracks are still visible, albeit getting soft.
CNC Monday 9:00-11:00
5cm fresh 0-+1C Skin skis. In anticipation of icing conditions,I used Nikwax Ski Skin Proof on the skins.
At 9 am, although the man made trails were showing groomed and TS they were warning about the fresh 5cm on top of the grooming.
The natural trails showed no grooming. We skied up Banff loop through the fresh snow with a bit of icing. Icing didnt occur on the skins but directly behind my heel.
Once we got out past the Meadow there was brand new grooming & TS on Meadowview, Banff Trail and we think Bow had been freshly groomed and TS
We even saw fresh wolf tracks on Banff trail out past the Meadow. We returned via the Banff trail with most classic folks struggling a bit. The CNC website appears to be quite up to date and accurate as it updated between the time I checked at 8:00 and 11:30. https://www.albertaparks.ca/parks/kananaskis/canmore-nordic-centre-pp/trail-report/trail-report-cnc/
I posted the original incident report to Avalanche Canada. Thanks for reposting here and increasing the visibility of this incident.
I believe that Parks Canada needs better signage on this trail to indicate where the avalanche terrane begins and what that means. Currently there is a small sign, posted on a tree, that says something along the lines of “ski touring beyond this point”. This language is not clear to non-skiers (heck it’s not that clear to skiers) which are the majority of trail users these days. There are clear warnings at the trailhead but they are lost in the clutter of maps etc.
Thanks the update Bob, regarding the Boom lake avalanche incident, I have seen over the last months a few posts on Hike Alberta of folks wanted the « perfect Instagram shot » of themselves near the frozen waterfall below the avalanche path. Even from their photos you could see right away they were putting themselves in danger and many comments were like « stunning photo » lets go there!
Shaganappi: Was there yesterday, about 15h00. Classic, loop starting w/ “expert” of to right from parking lot. Mixed conditions, first hill was fine w/ decent snow as was field on other side, then hit slush on back side of that field, crossing the creek the snow was soft but still a lot of it, coming up toward the condos conditions deteriorated quickly, snow turned to slush w/ icy patches, that was pretty much the “top” part of the loop. Lot of bare patches, but easily avoidable. Tracks were largely non existent.
On the flip side, the place was quatro gatos empty as they say way down south.
Snow preservation is the right call.
February 22 Shaganappi Point golf course in Calgary grooming update: No grooming!
+8 Sunday +temps overnight = no grooming at Shaganappi
Sorry to report, we are opting for snow preservation over grooming at Shaganappi right now so be warned! The skiing may not be enjoyable.
The temperature at 8pm Sunday was +8 at the airport. There is a very shallow base of snow on most sections of trail at Shaganappi, so we are choosing to not groom until below 0 temperatures return. The temperature dropped this morning from +3 at 6am to 0 degrees with a windchill of -4 at 7am at the airport, but it is +2 in the community of Shaganappi.
If you venture out to Shaganappi today, do let us know what the skiing is like and what time you were there…how hard or soft the snow was, whether you were on classic or skate skis, whether your skis sunk down into the snow and how deep…the skate lanes likely will be rough from Sunday’s ski and foot traffic.
Trail reports can be emailed to us at shagnordic AT gmail DOT com.
We hope to groom this evening, depending on temperatures around 5pm. Right now, the hourly temperature forecast for today is for + temperatures until midnight, so grooming is unlikely to be done until early Tuesday morning from 7am onward.
We’ll update on Nordic-Pulse, this page, and our blog when we do venture forth to groom the trails.
Nordic Pulse live grooming website:
Our website and blog:
In the meantime, Shaganappi likely needs a LOT of snow moved onto the notoriously thin sections of trail…so feel free to do so if you see a scoop shovel on the side of a trail and are so inclined, that’s what they’re there for! Help keep Shaganappi open through the first few weeks of March.
Next winter we hope to do a lot more snow farming and harvesting of snow to add to the ski trails. Since Calgary’s snowpack typically is shallow, we need to be creative!
Skied Mount Shark today. Was planning on going to Cascade fire road, but forgot to bring classic boots. Oh well.
It was very windy. Didn’t feel the wind in the trees, but it was very noticeable on watridge. On the upside, wind had blown the new snow off the trails, exposing perfect grooming in most places. On the downside, there were some snowdrifts which were quite slow. I actually took a bad spill going through one on a downhill. It totally caught me flat footed. Also, not sure how much fun it would have been to collect debris with classic wax.
Overall, pretty good conditions. Just gotta watch out for those snow drifts. They’ll sneak up on ya.
Started the day with a 9 am lesson on the Great Divide trail at Lake Louise. Great shape – then skied Telemark & Peyto with just a little debris and snow bombs but all good and weather better than expected. Saturday traffic & parking was insane but Sunday there were 4 cars at Moraine Lake at 2 pm.
Yoho – Natural bridge to Emarald Lk then around the alluvial fan and back to ELL for a drink and a snack before heading back to the Natural bridge. 22km for the KHSC Virual Challenge. -3C to start @~11am +3C when we finished @~5pm. And what a difference those 6 degrees made. Quite slick to start but manageable with fast downhills. Track holding up well. Started getting soft on the alluvial fan with some sinking. The return on the Connector was a trial. Very slick, lots of debris and snow bombs turned to ice marbles. It wasn’t windy so just the warm temps to blame. Waxless skis were the ticket today, the waxed ones had no grip making for a big poling effort. Will feel it tomorrow. Dinner at Truffle Pigs in Field capped the day off nicely.
Out and back along Pocaterra to the Whiskey Jack junction. Pocaterra was recently groomed and trackset so made it all the more worth it once we reached the top. Was a little slower than you would expect on the descent due to fresh snowfall but still a very enjoyable day. Wind was negligible in the trees which made it worth the trip into PLPP.
PLPP – Pocaterra Trail
Started at 9:45am at Pocaterra Hut to -3C. The drive south on Hwy 40 gave us some fierce winds, especially in the golf course area and near Fortress Junction. However, it was mostly calm in PLPP early on. The first trail section, hut to Lynx Jct, was in good shape, with quite a few needles in the tracks, but not bothersome. The second section, Lynx to Packers, again had good tracks, but needles and debris were more prominent. The third section, Packers to Whiskey jack, groomed last night, was pristine and delightful – only a few needles. Quite a crowd when we arrived at WJ – maybe 15 happy people. Temp here -2C, with flurries. A short ski then to our turn-around point, the Lookout Jct. The return trip on the same trails was good, though needles were certainly more prevalent north of Packers, due to the strengthening wind gusts. Finished on Come-Along and Rolly Road, now nearing needlemania as the gusts were getting very strong. Temp +3C. Super gusty at times on the drive back north on Hwy40
PLPP – arrived at Boulton at 9AM, Air temp was -3. Applied to coats of VR45 and then two coats of VR40. Whiskey Jack was fresh groomed and a dream. Grooming continued until Lookout Turnout. Tyrwhitt tracks were a few days old but still good albeit quite a few tree bombs on the trail Coming down Elk Pass trail made for some excitement with lots of snow balls rolling onto the trail. Heard that Fox Creek had a lot of debris and some postholes so took the big hill down to the Boulton Creek turnoff. A little windblown at the top of the big downhill but the big hill was in great shape. Moraine was fun as always even on days old Track-setting. Needles and lichen were around but no Armegeddon as yet. Finished off on wheeler which was a nice fast ending to a great day.
I would like to post to sell my ski
CNC 9:00-11:00. 0C Skin skis
Parking lot 1/4 full but at 11:00 it was vultures circling looking for a parking spots.
We skied straight up Banff Trail over through the the meadow on Coyote then back onto Banff to Silvertip to the end. Returned via Bow TR.
Major trails were all groomed and TS. Fantastic conditions! Even the trails that hadn’t been groomed like Slivertip, had good tracks and soft enough snow for skating or snow ploughing. Kudos to the trail crew.
By skiing early we missed a lot of skiers. The return on Bow had a lot of traffic.
Left at Mt Shark Sunday Jan 31
Children’s white, fish scale Salamon ski’s – Team Racer
I finally made it to the SkierBob front page photo! Small correction on the photo credit: The photo was provided by me, but not taken by me. I don’t know who took the photo.
Now you tell us!
And to top it off you post up drone footage!
Got any with “lignum vitae” edges?
Hi I’m looking for some kids cross country ski boots size 4-5 for an SNS bi ding set up. Pls contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any thx
It is -5 and overcast at the Peter Lougheed Information Centre in Kananaskis.
Skied Telephone Loop Saturday morning, beginning just before 9 am. Conditions were quite good, the snow was fast and most of the loop had a decent track. Though there was evidence of foot traffic along the entire trail, almost all of it avoided the track. Returned to the parking lot just before noon and it was bonkers.
February 20 Shaganappi Point golf course in Calgary grooming update:
Once the rest of the trails were groomed Saturday morning, the skiing was awesome all day! It is great to see Shaganappi being used by more people this winter, it’s indeed a hidden gem in the middle of Calgary. A nice urban playground!
All trails were groomed on this beautiful moonlit Saturday evening. The Chinook wind is forecasted to be persistent tonight, so expect drifting on the trails and especially in the track setting. It might just be a case of see if you can even find the track setting on some stretches of trail!
The Chinook and the fact the sun is getting stronger as we progress toward March is melting the snow quickly around tree bases, so we are losing snow fast in areas of trail near tree and asphalt heat collectors.
Hopefully some snow angels will pick-up one of the many scoop shovels that are in strategic locations around Shaganappi…to move snow onto some trail sections with thin coverage.
Sunday is the return of the Adaptive Ski program through Ultimate Wheelchair Sports… let’s hope Mr. B with the program won’t have another verbal disagreement with that pesky rock that seems to be a ski magnet on the Valley 5 fairway! 😉
Have fun in the Sunday sunshine on the snow!!!
Saturday morning: 2 hours grooming
Saturday evening: 3 hours grooming
Strange goings-on at Emerald Lake today. A White Rabbit was rushing along the trails muttering “Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!” with the Queen of Hearts, a Mad Hatter, and someone named Alice desperately trying to keep up with her. Rumour has it they rushed around for 45km, followed by a never-ending tea party at Truffle Pigs! https://photos.app.goo.gl/8QZjJ9BZ4kYWVq7KA.
PS Only 4 days left for the Kicking Horse Ski Club Virtual Loppet – https://www.khsc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/2021-Virtual-Yoho-Nordic-Challenge.pdf
I skied with « race » xcountry skis (i.e. no metal edges), it’s a bit rough in some areas but nothing too scary, the issue sometimes is your skis getting lightly stuck in a snowmobile gouge, therefore not directing your skis where you would like them to go…. In any case the steepest parts have been already smoothed out as Mr Democracy mentioned. I don’t consider myself as an advanced skier but I am not afraid of downhills and / or to fall….Hope you will enjoy this trail.
Redearth to Shadow Lake
Overcast and light snow, -3c at 10am, +1 at 3pm, at the parking lot which was full.
Pleasant skiing on a cm of new snow; the old track is rather washed out, and a refresh would be nice to have.
About 20 skiers today, on AT, light touring, and skinny skis, all seemed to have a great day.
Skied the Sandy McNabb Loop on the south of the highway this morning. Conditions were decent- a bit of debris in the tracks, hiker tracks on some sections of the ski trails, and some drifting snow covering the tracks in open areas, but otherwise the skiing was pretty good. +2C and very windy when we left around 1:00. Sun exposed areas will probably be somewhat icy tomorrow.
PLPP- February 20
After a bit of a late start (2:15) we skied Packers, Pocaterra, Lynx, the west section of Amos, and Wheeler which made a nice loop. The best conditions were on Pocaterra and Lynx. The wind was blowing on and off throughout the afternoon so there were tree debris in some of the tracks. It was also surprisingly quiet for a Saturday.
STONEY CREEK HORSE CAMP up the CASCADE VALLEY – Feb 20
Good conditions on the trackset trail to the Warden Cabin, and then good skier set conditions to the river crossing.
Details available in the photo descriptions here:
Sara M… this is not a ‘request’ to improve on previously reported wet crossings!
Arrived 944am and already cars were circling the parking lot and taking every available conceivable and inconceivable spot. Lucky to land a spot after an early bird pulled out in front of us. Frustrating getting there and seeing excessive “social distancing” between vehicles. 3-4’ should be enough space, no need for 6-8’ between vehicles.
Warmer snow yielded amazing glide but my older Skintecs (was of hairy waxless) did not like gripping the finer grains so it was a lot of arm work. Significant winds were picking up through the morning which made for a “parasail-like” flight home on the trails. Hopefully not too much blowdown.
Saw lots of signage around the various Crystal off shoots. What was going on? Anyone know?
Brewster creek / Sundance lodge
Only a couple of cars in the parking lot at 9:15am. The trail is in great shape with the recent grooming and we enjoyed our lunch on the lodge porch. We had a brief chat with a lodge employee, nowadays they accommodate up to 2 groups of 6 people max vs 32 people pre-Covid times. The return was fast and we decided to ski Healy Creek towards Banff until the trail is closed due to some works in the area.
Back in the parking lot we had a few persons asking were the trailhead was…maybe it deserves a better signage.
Just curious Skier Bob of the location the middle header photo is taken? It is stunning and perhaps one day I would love to ski that trail.
Thanks for all you do and your website is a Godsend!!
It is -6 degrees C at the Peter Lougheed Information Centre.
February 19 Shaganappi Point golf course in Calgary update:
All trails were groomed Thursday morning, and most were groomed again Friday evening.
Track setting is finally done, except where it’s not (think thin areas of snow like Condo Alley (Junction 6 to 7) and other notoriously thin areas).
THANKS to Jamie @ Confed for reaching out to give us advice about adding weight to our wee little baby Ginzu…that combined with putting the renovator knives shallower in the snow resulted in 3 to a maximum of 5 passes to break and then redo the track setting, yaaay for not having to do 8 passes!
Skiing should be AWESOME this weekend!
Volunteer #1: 3 hours
Volunteer #2: 6.5 hours
Trail map: https://www.shaganappinordic.ca/trails-updates
Check the grooming updates on Nordic-Pulse!
Did a quasi-epic trip at Sandy McNabb today. Starting from the visitors center, I went up Pine Ridge, then broke trail north along the very nice ungroomed Pine Ridge North trail. Descending the west slope of Pine Ridge into Death Valley on this trail didn’t really work as there wasn’t enough snow, but it’s very scenic. Then I headed west up the Windy Point trail to the pass between Foran Grade Ridge and Windy Point ridge and traversed across Foran Grade Ridge (which also had many unskiable sections) down to the road, and then took Sheep trail and outer Meadow Loop back to the visitors centre. Beautiful day. The conditions on the groomed trails are still excellent, with nice fast tracks.
Goat Creek & Spray River West
Such a beautiful ski! Fast and glidey snow in all the right places, and good grip on the big hill down to the bridge (my blue wax couldn’t have been better). The tracks were better than expected considering it’s been a while since they have been set. The warm sun made today feel a lot different than my polar vortex ski adventures last week… clearly many others agreed because I have never seen the GC lot so full or run into so many skiers on the trail!
Bill Milne (all of it) / Wedge – Evan Thomas loop
Conditions were quite good today in terms of snow and air temperature so it should be good for tomorrow. The track is drifted in a bit now and then in wind exposed area. The trip down Evan – Thomas was pleasant. There has been a fair bit of walker traffic there since the last grooming but it is still decent if one has to snow plow a bit in the middle.
VIRTUAL BIRKIE along BAKER CREEK to CASTLE LOOKOUT – Feb 19
Wasn’t expecting to encounter Virtual Canadian Birkie racers along this route today!
It appears that the race has been extended to February 28.
Details available in the photo descriptions here:
Don’t worry if it’s too late to register, just get out and enjoy this great trackset trail like so many other happy folk. Note no more tracksetting west of Baker Creek, and no tracksetting in Protection Campground as Olivia is denning in the area.
Cascade Fire Road
Jeff and I started a bit late today – met at trailhead around 11 AM. Temp was a few degrees below zero. Despite not having been groomed/track set since Feb 7 – the conditions were superb. In particular the trail to the first bridge – silky tracks and amazing glide. Beyond the first bridge – conditions remain excellent.
Don’t know how long these pristine conditions will last – so we would encourage folks to get there soon!!! Enjoy!!!
Hi, does anyone know if Maple Ridge Golf Course is groomed and trackset?
We skied Kicking Horse trails today Connecter from Natural Bridge -Emerald Lake return .
-11C at 10:00 only one other vehicle in the lot. VR40 out and added VR 45 on the way back.
We met the groomer as we turned up onto the connector. He had come from Field along Tallyho Trail . We met him again on his return, close to Emerald Lake. So we had groomed trail for 7km and Track set for the return 7km. We tried to stay out of the fresh tracks letting them set up.
This trip is truly an Intermediate trail. It’s narrow with lots of woopdedos (undulations) and quick changes of direction. The base is soft so my racing baskets tended to punch through. I did a couple of snow studies after my pole sunk down. Old time skiing!
On our return we met 7 other skiers, 3 folks on woodies.
Good news for the weekend is fresh grooming and TS.
No wax skis. Fischer Sporty Crown from MEC. 197 cm. NNN bindings.
Available free if you are out of a job. If not, it will cost you a donation to the Calgary Food Bank of whatever your conscience says. Use e-mail or text me at 587 777 5868.
Fri feb 19: WBC again
Despite the warmish temps, thin cloud moved in just before lunch to keep the snow cold for the heat of the day, preserving the good tracks for tomorrow. Nice silky quiet gliding ensued. Did a section of the great trail paralleling moose, which was very nice with powdery wind sift. Good times visiting various meadows out of the wind (not always easy today) with cheeky and Simona.
Confederation Park Golf Course – night and day
I popped by last night, Thursday, and while it was too peoply for my liking, I also really loved seeing the headlights zooming around the course. They look like fireflies. I also did a few loops this morning and with the glorious weather, night and day from the recent cold snap, there were many people out and the classic tracks are getting soft but still very workable.
Yesterday Gary M and I decided to tackle the Skoki-Pipestone 43 km loop. We figured with no new snow for awhile we might get lucky and find broken trails for most of it. The upshot was that it took us 13 hours, the last 4 hours in the dark! We both meant to bring headlamps but both forgot them, luckily a half moon provided some illumination. We did the trip counter-clockwise and had hard packed trails to Merlin meadows then we were on our own. Trail breaking was slow with 8″-10″ ski penetration. The meadows when we connected with the Little Pipestone were particularly beautiful, they are named Governors Meadows?? At that point we connected with the summer trail from the Pipestone Valley following Wolverine tracks that also favoured the summer trail. At 8 PM we finally connected with a skier set trail at the 29 km mark (14 km from Pipestone parking, thanks to Sarah and/or Chuck who skied up the Pipestone that far), the going was much faster then. The most dangerous part was careening down the steep hills on the grooming near the end in the dark with tired and wobbly legs! Definitely underestimated the time of this trip. I had done the same trip 8 years ago, clockwise, in April but was able to crust ski up the Pipestone so much faster.
There is a broken trail until the next snowfall.
It is -11 with just scattered clouds
From the Peter Lougheed Info Centre.
Another thing I’ve been trying to sort out this week is my wax. How should the ideal wax feel? Especially for trails with lots of ups and downs. I was doing pretty well sorting out wax for the flats. And now that I’m adding in elevation, sometimes it feels too sticky or not sticky enough for the uphilks. Thanks again!!!
Hi! Thanks again for this wonderful portion of the site! I’ve been out enjoying great skiing this week. But I’ve also developed quite this blisters on my heels, and On the bottom of my second toe. Any suggestions?
At the risk of being repetitive, I skied up Macabee and Pine Ridge, which were in great shape (especially for Sandy). My green wax worked surprisingly well.
Note for the group I met at the picnic table at the top of Pine Ridge: I did decide to break with tradition and ski back down the east side. I found it substantially easier than the west side, and the descent was fast, fun and way too short!
Just a thank you for the great response from skierbob fans, we saw many on the Castle->Baker Creek trail and everyone knew about my lost cell phone already!
As it turned out, a young Edmonton couple found it near the Castle Cliff parking lot and got it back to me. A big shout out to Edmonton!
thanks so much for all the assistance looking, and to Bob for mentioning it in his mailout. And what a sunny, blue-skied day it was yesterday!
Feb 18 – Brewster Creek and Sundance warden cabin
At MAAD’s “request”, I set out for the Sundance warden cabin up Brewster Creek today. On the way up, I took the horse trail shortcut. It has been snowshoe-packed and the skiing was good! A couple easily-avoided rocks near the bottom, a couple downed trees, but not bad at all for an ungroomed trail! The groomed trail was good to Sundance Lodge. From there, I followed skier-set track for about 5km. Once I got to the end of the track and started breaking trail, I slowed riiiiiiight down. MAAD was a little optimistic when he guessed there was 4km to go, it turned out to be closer to 6km. The final challenge before I reached the cabin was crossing the creek. Took some poking around before I found a spot that seemed safe enough. After a late lunch on the sunny cabin porch, I headed back. The going was a fair bit quicker on the way back. Shortly after I got back to the skier-set track, I came across Mr Democracy himself! We had a quick chat and then continued on our ways. I took the normal groomed trail down to Healy Creek on the way back. The snowmobiles seem to be preventing it from coming too hollowed out, but they also make the surface more lumpy so I’m not sure which I would prefer. It was a looooong day for me, 9 hours including all breaks. 5.5 hours up, 3.5 hours down. Time for some rest!
PIPESTONE RIVER – Feb 18
Thanks to previous trail breakers, including ourselves, Sara M. and Rob, we had no new trail to break!
Details available in the photo descriptions here:
Beautiful snow conditions and a fine 28 km day on the river.
Ribbon Creek Parking Lot:
-20C at 9:00 am / -3C at 1:30
VR40 worked well until noon and then no more lazy technique was possible.
From the parking lot we skied Hidden > new Ribbon Creek trail > Kovach Link. My first venture down the switchbacks which gave up spicy fun. The snow plows have been out on the hill! Skied up Kovach to the high point and cruised to the south side of K-Village. Circled around and skied all the trails above K-Village. Until noon-ish all trails had very good clean tracks. Early afternoon the winds came up and were blowing snow into exposed tracks, particularly Terrace and Terrace Link. The Terrace hill down to Ribbon Creek parking was in good condition. Ventured north but didn’t get far. Hidden was skier track only, beyond Ribbon Creek, so we dropped back to finish the day.
Glorious day in the foothills, Sandy doesn’t get any better than this, conditions are stellar. Skied the north side in the morning, Macabee Loop was the trail of the day, felt like we were floating down, the corduroy was so good. Skied up Pine Ridge, then down Balsam and back on Long Prairie Loop. We crossed the highway to the south side and skied off of Loggers Loop on a snowy snowshoe trail, deep into the trees, for tea and lunch in a clearing. After lunch, we futzed around in the meadow, near the Sheep River.
Pics for today:
February 18 Shaganappi Point golf course grooming update:
All trails have been groomed by two volunteers the morning of February 18th, and track setting is slowly getting done when volunteers are able to.
Due to the hard-packed conditions, it is taking 8 passes over the old track setting to break the snow up enough so that it will take on the shape of the track setter for new track setting.
Ski conditions are excellent, hopefully we’ll see more people out at Shaganappi now that the temperatures aren’t Arctic!!!
Volunteer time: Total of 11.5 hours Wednesday and Thursday
Volunteer #1: 3.5 hours Wednesday night, 5 hours Thursday
Volunteer #2: 3 hours Thursday
WBC – Ze grand tour
Inspired by Mike W and Sara M and seeing that all the trails had been groomed, I decided to ski for the first time the outer trails.
Temperature was -18C at 9:30am and skied Hostel West, Telephone, Moose, Mountain View West, Mountain, Mountain View, West Crystal, Loggers, Elbow, Iron Springs / Iron Creek dead end, Sundog East, East Crystal.
All the trails were in great shape (including Telephone and Elbow South).
A very pleasant outing, getting ready for the famous Elk Trap 🙂
As MaSid says it was a wonderful day at WBC, new grooming on some trails and lots of smiling faces on all of them. No wind and the sun was shining. Plus it was not all that busy in the parking lot. Get out there before the winds wreak havoc.
I am looking for a pair of skate (or combi) boots (size 10-10.5 men) that are compatible with SNS bindings.
Thu Feb 18: WBC (mountain road/view/loggers/elbow/iron springs/east crystal).
Conditions very good throughout. Mainly sunny with a thin cloud, so snow stayed cool (even iron springs south slope) but picnic tables in the sun were comfortable and getting lots of use. Prime couch skiing weather! Parking lot maybe 2/3 to 3/4 full at 10AM.
CNC 9:00am -15C Wax classic Vauhti blue with Swix VR40 Parking lots were quite empty.
Skied the Biathlon trails: Salt Lake, Nogano,Albertville Lots of fun hills from a quick scoot to longer protracted ones wit a few screamers. Great grooming and TS These trails are usually empty and being at a lower elevation, snow cover can be thin. Skiing in the AM means you do run into Team athletes working out. Keep your heads up or go later in the AM or PM.
I lost a stone and silver bracelet at West Bragg yesterday Feb 17/21 Our little ski jaunt took us along Mtn road to Moose connector . Thinking the junction of Moose Connector, Snowy Owl and West Crystal Line is a possibility of it’s location since I took a layer off. We continued along WCL to ECL and then across the bridge that is kind of perpendicular to the parking lot. (further west of the equestrian parking area.) My Mom passed recently and it was hers, a treasured memory I would really like to have again.
Thanks. 403 217 2230
Hi – anyone have an old set of bindings lying around? I’m looking for SNS profil bindings, to match the boots I have.
Please text 4035409424 if you are selling and for how much – thank you!
February 16 Shaganappi Point golf course in Calgary grooming update:
One volunteer was able to go out Tuesday evening to groom the trails and try out the Nordic-pulse app on their phone for the first time at Shaganappi. Nordic-pulse is awesome!
All skate lanes have been mostly groomed the evening of Feb 16, during at times a heavy snowfall.
Skiers will be encountering new corduroy covered with fresh powder. No track setting was done, as the polar vortex has hardened up the existing snow base. (sorry classic skiers!!!
We’re trying to get the track setting done but with the hard base of snow, it literally takes 8 passes with the knives of the drag groomer to first break-up that hard base of snow and then have that snow broken into small enough particles from the repeat passes over it to be able to set a good quality track)
Should be some nice soft skiing Wednesday to Friday depending on the overnight snow. Skier set tracks mostly….we’re slowly getting the new track setting in.
Volunteer hours: 3
Goat Creek trail from Canmore to Banff. A picture perfect day of blue sky & sunshine & winter magic! The trails had some fresh snow cover since they were last groomed & track set. Tracks were soft & made for easy going cruising for the day. Even managed to negotiate the quick turn onto the Goat Creek Bridge without impaling myself 😉 Yay! VR30 was the ticket for the day!
Short 9K at Lake Louise – lower telemark, old 1A and peyto. All in great shape. Looks like it was groomed very recently. Some foot traffic in the skating lane for the first couple k. -8 at 3PM. Pretty much deserted.
And I know I’m a bit late on this but just wanted to say a great big thanks to Skier Bob for all your fantastic work in running this site and keeping this community thriving. You’ll be missed – enjoy your internet retirement!!!!
Keith – I was askking about the Stoney Trail that follows the powerline from Skogan Pass / Troll Falls / Hay Meadow trailhead north along the west side of the Kananaskis River and Barrier Lake to Bow Valley PP. A couple of days ago, under the Home page, Bob wrote about it being newly groomed for 5 km at the south end. I have ridden it on mountain bike in the summer.
Fairview, Lake Louise. Even though the grooming report says last tracksetting was 6 days ago, the tracks are still in fabulous condition. Beautiful morning blue skies, no clouds, couch in very good shape and well used. Few skiers here today. Snow crunchy.
Taylor / Panorama Ridge. This are has seen quite a bit of traffic in the past while, but the skiing is still good. One postholer hiked all the way up to Panorama ridge in the skin track. There were two trees down on the trail, both near the bottom. It was nice and sunny and warm in the meadows below the ridge. Ski pen about 20 cm with moderate trailbreaking. The midpack is still very supportive, and the cold snap didn’t rot it all out. I skied a few laps, managing to find some freshies each time. Ski-out was hardpacked and very fast.
ELK MEADOWS in PLPP – Skied on fresh snow with green Role wax up to the junction with Blueberry Hill, then skied to Elk Meadows; the ski trail through the meadows to the hydroline had a few cm fresh snow as well. Very quiet today, only saw about a dozen skiers. Lots of room in Elk parking lot all day. Variable sun and cloud, when the sun was out it was quite hot. Looks like spring skiing has arrived early. Superb ski day.
Wed feb 17: Simpson pass/heally pass P-loop.
Started up heally pass trail and took the first junction left up to Simpson pass. Skier tracked to the junction. Downhill tracks from the pass but no up track direct to pass. Ankle to boot top ski pen (AT) away from the tracks and up towards the south end of the monarch rampart and across to heally, linking meadows and lakes. Eventually hit a prior ski track towards heally. Pretty good descending conditions on heally pass trail with moderately packed cold powder, easy to scrub speed. Two trees to dodge around below Simpson junction with slightly awkward detours but not in a fast descent spot, so easy enough. Evidence of a party of two? on the heally trail but never saw anybody all day.
Telephone loop counter clockwise – absolutely FABULOUS conditions and…didn’t run into a soul (?). Fresh grooming – only thing we missed was a bit of sunshine. Even the boot tracks in the tracks didn’t bother us – much. But hey, can’t have everything, right? Thank you, groomers, for the amazing job you do! I always throw in at least a toonie for Hubbie and me. Thanks, Boomer groomer et al.
Matt: you made me smile. One of the best trips we ever took with our two young sons (then ages 5 and 8), now 28 and 31) was to the Trickle Creek Lodge in Kimberley. Such a great place for families!
Skogan Pass- very nice conditions with a bit of powder over the old snow on top of the grooming. Took Skogan Loop both up and down. Beautiful sunny day. Could use some fresh grooming though: the Screamer is covered in boot prints outside the track which makes snowplowing harder.
PLPP Feb 17th
-10C, calm and sunny at the Pocaterra parking lot at 10:30am. Not a lot of vehicles. A centimetre or two of fresh snow. The three of us skied Pocaterra> Lynx> Woolley> Meadow> Wheeler> Packers and back down Pocaterra. Great conditions all along the trail from very good trackset from a few days ago to many segments of heavenly, fresh trackset. Can’t say enough good stuff about the groomers! Gawd, we are so lucky to have this on our doorstep.
We spent the Family Day weekend in Kimberley, BC. Stayed at Trickle Creek Lodge; being able to bring in our own groceries and cook for ourselves was a bonus plus being able to take a soak in the hot tub after an afternoon / evening of hitting the trails was awesome.
1. Feb 12: Kimberley Nordic Club charged only $8 a head due to the cold conditions; as we had the boys, did a single loop out on Centennial, then to Snowbird (I bit it on a downhill pretty hard; tracks were icy and I popped out on the corner and faceplanted) onto Trapline and the group split between Meadow and Spruce on the way back. The trip was normally 6.5k but I think there was about an additional 1.5k added factoring in turning back to check on the kids and keep encouraging them forward.
2. Feb 13: Still chilly; started at the Trickle Creek Golf Course as it is pet friendly; not track-set and would need to break trail. Not good for the skis I had, so after about 15min there, went back to the Nordic Club for a single loop. BONUS: Came back with my wife for lit evening skiing on the Centennial / Spruce loop. Was probably warmer than during the day.
3. Feb 14: Took kids again on a loop of Centennial, Snowbird, Moose Pasture, Trapline then a finish on Meadow. Drove the kids back to where we were staying and then came back and did a reverse loop with my wife; Spruce, Landem, Biathlon, Snowbird, Centennial, Lowrider and finished at the stadium. Was a great day and way to spend Valentine’s with the family!
Feb 17 – WBC
Skied a shortened version of the WBC perimeter today: East Crystal Line, Sundog East, Iron Springs + Iron Creek deadend, Elbow, Loggers, West Crystal, Mountain View, Mountain Road, Mountain View West, Moose Loop, and the last bit on Mountain Road again. I was planning on doing the full perimeter, but a pounding headache that started on Moose Loop made me skip Telephone and Hostel. Conditions were fantastic! Every trail I skied was freshly groomed except for Mountain View West, which had some fresh powder on top but still had very fast tracks.
Hi! I’m looking for xc poles 145cm. Also, if someone has those xc ski pole baskets, I need 2.
Did Moose Loop in WBC today..as per website it says that was groomed today but wasnt..tracks were in pretty good condition anyway..
Has anyone lost a Mail key while skiing at Maple ridge golf course recently.
Q: What did one moose say to the other moose?
A: Waoh…. that is one BIG rabbit!
Checked out the new Stoney Trail grooming yesterday for about a km. Wondering if a classic track will be put in? Classic skiing on corduroy gets a little tiring.
Maple Ridge Golf Course, 16 Feb 21
We made the best of some disappointing skier track set conditions as the sun was setting. The tracks are wobbly through out the usual course. ( The track setting snob inside of me kept thinking a herd of cats could make better parallel tracks.) There is plenty of snow coverage so hopefully the city does some track setting soon.
Shaganappi Golf Course, 16 Feb 21
SOME groomed classic trails but mostly designed for skate skiers, and beautifully so, with very wide paths. Some of the classic tracks have been tramped down a bit but all in all, it was a good run. Plenty of snow and very little debris.
Looks like a nice treat for a happy hungry skier. (-:
Sundance Lodge is in Banff National Park, about 10 km up Brewster Creek.
Trailhead is at the base of the Sunshine Ski Resort access road off Highway #1, along Healy Creek.
WBC: Telephone CCW / South half of Moose Loop / Mountain Views / Loggers / Sundog west
Conditions were still pretty good after a 3 day long weekend. Some of the track setting is a bit worn but that was good for me on my wide 3 pin bindings. The 3 km on the east side and the last km on the west side are fairly rough due to walkers and fat bikers. One person made it all the way around on foot so there are divots all the way around although for the most part the track is okay. There is a enough snow and the grooming is recent enough that the down hills are reasonable. Metal edges made it pretty simple. There is an ice flow immediately north of the intersection with Moose Loop that can be avoided by keeping left (if you are going down).
The other trails were in pretty good shape. I was surprised at the lack of walker damage after a 3 day weekend.
When you say Sundance Lodge I think of Sundace Lodges off hwy 40. I’m starting to gather there are two places with similar names.
Yoho Virtual Challenge: 22 Kms return from Field to Emerald Lake today. -12 at 11 and -6 when we got back. I had forgotten how strenuous the trail up is! It was lovely to stop for lunch at Emerald Lake Lodge and even lovelier to realize the trail back down would be much easier and faster. A great day, topped off with hot drinks at Truffle Pigs lodge. Khsc.ca to register….
Sensational day on Skogan, the lower trail, along with Sunburst to Hummingbird Plume, was much travelled by hikers over the weekend. We timed it perfectly to have tea and lunch at Hummingbird Plume, in full sun, prior to cloud moving in. High Level was really great with no boot divots. We skied up Skogan Loop in a cw direction, the downhill side after the big hill was a bit rough, skiing over herringbone tracks that are quite firm. The divots posed no problem on the descent at speed, as the snow made for super control. The tracks were nice and fast. Only encountered four other skiers, met more hikers than skiers. If we didn’t muck this up, some pics:
Thanks for adding the photos, beautiful! -Bob
PLPP Skierbob special. Great ski and conditions. Whiskey Jack was in good shape and Tyrwhitt was freshly groomed. Elk Pass trail was in decent condition too. Raced my wife from top of Elk Pass. She took Hydroline on fresh grooming and I took Elk Pass on slightly older grooming. Apparently the older grooming was faster than the fresh grooming. Returned to Boulton Parking through Fox and Moraine. Skiing was too much fun, so my wife drove the car to Pocaterra to wait for me. Wheeler was in great fast condition, as was Meadow and Woolley. Lynx had some snow on the grooming and Pocaterra had great grooming. Skiing was so good that I “got lost” on the way to Pocaterra. Snow was -20 at start, with air of -10. Air warmed to -5 by end of day. My VR 30 was getting slippy, but trail was mostly downhill…and fast glide.
Smith Dorrien Highway-Burstall Pass Trail-Parking Lot-Meadow below the headwall-Approach to Robertson Glacier
Before the introduction of track setting to the area trails, the Burstall Pass trail was a popular route for tourers It was one of the first trails one could ski in the fall. Today, it is a popular route for backcountry, telemarkers, snow boarders and skiers on AT equipment. Snow shoers and trekkers are also on the trail. To my mind, it is a trail that should be done once a year particularly on a sunny day as the views are spectacular once you get to the meadow. An awareness of avalanche conditions are important as you proceed to either Robertson Glacier or above the headwall towards Burstall Pass. It is not necessary to achieve either goal but rather favour time constraints. The assessment of the Robertson route can be done visually and a center left route should be chosen Avalanche conditions for the path above the headwall towards Burstall Pass should be known before hand and conditions become worse for avalanches the further you get away from the headwall.
The route from the parking lot to the meadow consists of a gentle slightly rolling climb to the meadows. The return is a rewarding steady descent. An option on return at the meadow is to take the lake and avoid the tight trail through the trees.The route rejoins the trail further down The trip has been done by many types of skis but if you have a pair of steel edges, take them to give you a little more bite on the skier tracked trail
Never been to Emerald lake trails. Which ones do you recommend? I am an avid skier from Canmore
Feb 16 Upper Lake Louise trails from the Chateau grooming team:
Fairview Loop (#2): Double trackset, Feb. 11, fair condition.
Shoreline (#4): Double trackset, Feb. 16, good condition.
Lake Trail (#4): Double trackset with a separate path for walkers, Feb. 16, good condition.
Upper Telemark and Peyto Trails (#5): Double trackset, Feb. 10, fair condition
West Bragg Creek. The Bragg Creek trails are holding up well, despite all the skiers that come out every day. This morning at 11:00, the parking lot was quite full despite it being mid-week. We headed up Moose Loop at around 11:00, in glorious sunshine, and temperatures hovering around -7. We had on V45 wax, which seemed to work well. The tracks are a bit skied out on this loop, but still quite skiable, and the hills had a nice covering of snow, which made them ideal for someone like me who likes to snowplough. After lunch we went the other direction, and did the West Crystaline Loop, which was in much better condition. All in all, it was a great ski, albeit short. Bragg Creek is a wonderful facility thanks to the groomers and the West Bragg Creek Trail Association who keep it in great shape. Let’s hope for more snow so we can enjoy it for the rest of the season.
Skied Castle Mtn to Baker today, and lost my cell phone. Possibly close to where you cross the road on the way to Baker (near Baker).
BREWSTER CREEK to SUNDANCE LODGE – Feb 16
Adding to CMS’s excellent report from yesterday, it is nice to have another trackset trail to choose from.
Details available in the photo descriptions here:
Glad we chose to go the day after the long weekend, but all guests seem to have been skiers, so no fat tire tracks.
Blueberry-Elk Pass. Super day at the South end of PLPP today. Only -13 to start , and -5 at 2:30 pm. We encountered new tracksetting on the Elk Pass Trail to Hydroline. Fox Creek has not been groomed in a while and was a bit needley. The tracks on Elk Pass Trail and Blueberry were in great shape, except for the countless snow bombs. We did lots of trail maintenance on Blueberry to try to remove some of the bombs, to make our descent safer. Luckily, we survived the downhill with a bit of snazzy slalom, but this is a trail that requires caution! Nice to talk to a couple of women at the top of Blueberry, a group from the West Winds Ski Club at the BlueElk Table, and some friends we encountered at the end of the day. After skiing down Blueberry, we skied up to Elk Pass and then down Hydroline. The tracks were absolutely perfect: fresh grooming and tracks strobed by sunlight, and NO SNOW BOMBS! We made a quick descent back to Elk Pass Trail and up and over the big hill, which was firm, fresh and fast. It was great to end on such a high note!
Check out the Feb 2021 Trip Reports. There’s a Sandy McNabb report that was posted yesterday evening.
Does anyone know the current condition of Sandy McNabb? I looked at the interactive map and it says some trails were track set about 5 days ago. I went out there 4 weeks back and there was nothing… no tracks no trails, everything was pulverized by people walking on them. I used to ski there as a kid and would love to take my kids out there but don’t want to get out there and be disappointed again 🙁
Hello,how are you. My wife and daughter and I live in the Okotoks area and are beginners to novice skiers. We are looking for a nice user friendly course relatively close to Calgary. As well we will need to find equipment to rent. We are planning just a day trip,so we’d need to rent for just the day. Can you direct me to the best way to go about this? Thank you
Skiied up Brewster Creek to Sundance Lodge yesterday. Packed all the way. Trackset in varying conditions: skiied out along Healy Creek portion of trail, pretty good in most places to the double bridge before the Lodge, then no track after that as they can’t get the tracksetter across those bridges and the creek is still open. Narrow snowplowing on most of the downhill and getting pretty hard-packed in places. Could do with more snow and a refresh on the grooming. Maybe a dozen people seen throughout.
I found the same thing at the nordic centre. The air was warm, but the snow was still very cold and slow
Skiing on the connector trail from natural Bridge to emerald lake. Which way has more downhill ? How much ?
*i would assume emerald Lake to natural bridge
We also lost Marmot to mid-mountain in the flood too.
WATRIDGE LAKE- BRYANT CREEK- BR17
Monday afternoon/ night ski.
Nice straight tracksetting in excellent shape all the way to Spray River. Moderate speed snow on polar wax at night.
From the Spray River to beyond BR17 Allenby Junction campground there is a well used skier tracked trail in excellent snow condition.. The trail was painfully narrow so I did my best to widen it. Some people were staying in the warden cabin at BR14. Beautiful golden lighting on the top of the mountains as the sun went down up at Allenby Junction campground. Skies were mainly clear with a breeze at night. Temperatures hit about -5c in the afternoon and dipped likely to about -15c after dark.
The trail to Marvel lake is skier tracked.
The trail to Assiniboine is said to be skier tracked all the way to the lodge. Much of the trail beyond BR14 is cut in the meadow which makes for great mountain viewing.
MAAD wouldn’t have turned around.
Looks great! Stoney Trail NE of Troll Falls perhaps? Maybe route was originally packed for powerline access?
Cascade Fire Road
Monday 1:30 – 4pm, turned around about 1km after the bridge. Loads of happy skiers today in the -8 temps so the tracks are getting a little sloppy, but the snow is soft and thus very forgiving on that beautiful trail. I have to put in a plug for my new Rossi skin (sport, low end) skis with adjustable bindings – they have been good to great on everything from glazed tracks at CNC when it rained to falling spring-like snow, and in temps from -12 to +4 – I’m shocked at how versatile they are. Happy trails everyone- thanks to this awesome community for all the information and encouragement!
Looking for a three pin size 13 men’s ski boot. Have the skis and poles, just missing the boot.
Anyone know anything about potential XC skiing fees in National Parks? Just saw the following at https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/voyage-travel/tarifs-fees:
In 2019, Parks Canada conducted public and stakeholder consultations on fees. Canadians from across the country took part in these conversations, and their feedback helped inform upcoming fee changes that will take effect beginning in January 2023.
These updates will not affect admission or front-country camping, but will result in changes to fees that offer a high level of individual benefits to visitors, such as enhanced experiences, facility rentals and special event permits.
These updates will help Parks Canada recover a greater portion of the costs of service delivery by reflecting changes to the cost of living since fees were last reviewed in 2008. These changes will also bring some Parks Canada fees closer to those charged by nearby tourism providers, helping to avoid unfair competition with local businesses providing similar services and experiences. Examples include special guided tours, CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING, golfing, and access to hot pools.
Skier Bob Special in PLPP.
We also wanted to take a detour to East Elk Pass but nobody had visited the area recently and we were hoping for tracks to follow (never been there before.)
We did make it to West Elk Pass and thankfully we had tracks to follow (though I’m quite familiar with this trail.)
We stopped by the site of Ma Sid’s snow couch but it had been heavily snowed under and you could barely make out the furniture. It just looked like lumps of snow.
We had also thought about taking the upper meadow route out towards Blueberry but the trail was buried under enough snow to warrant backcountry skis so we returned the way we came.
We did break trail to visit the big sign though.
I guess this is all a big plea for some backcountry skiers with fat skis to go break trail in the East/West Elk Pass areas. 🙂
Lake O’hara Fire road.
There is a skin track up to lake O’hara, It is approximately the width of a city sidewalk. It is well packed but not trackset.
Decent climbing on green swix. We dabbed some blue on near the lake where the trail steepens. The cold snow helped moderate our decent. The track wasn’t quite wide enough to snow plow. There is lots of soft snow on either side of the skin track if you needed to scrub some speed.
It warmed up from -17 to -10 by the time we got back to the vehicle.
I was volunteering with Nordiq Alberta today at Pocaterra Parking Lot and someone turned in a phone that they found out on the ski trail. I took it to the Alberta Parks Information Centre in PLP (just down the road from Pocaterra). If you lost your phone, and ID that was with it, you can contact the Parks Information Centre. They were going to contact the RCMP so perhaps they have tracked you down already.
WBC: north Iron Spring / Elbow loop via Sundog West and Loggers (plus Mountain Views / Moose reported on below). Snow conditions were quite good. I started out at 1315 (-6 in the parking lot). It warmed up to -2 by the time I got to Mountain View west but then cooled off back to -6 for the Iron Springs / Elbow loop. It was nice to get out somewhere and not have to worry about freezing my face off.
Sandy McNabb-superb. Skied around the north side trails on excellent fast tracks with a bit of tree debris here and there (worst on Macabee). Much warmer than Calgary (-5 when I left at 4) and sunny south facing slopes were starting to get a tiny bit sun affected. For some reason the north leg of Long Prairie hasn’t been groomed. Amazing to watch the dashboard thermometer drop on the way home.
-11 and sunny at the Mt Shark Trailhead at 1330 this afternoon. Beautiful weather with only a little bit of wind, noticeable here and there. Did the Watridge Lake trail to the end of Spray and back. Trail is in great condition. Single trackset pretty well the whole way. No one’s walked on it! Yet. Which was great. Tracks are hard and holding up really well. Side trails looked to be in excellent condition. The snow on the hill down to Spray was soft enough that I was relatively in control the whole way down (anytime I make it down that hill without wiping out is a good day…).
Lots of people out with their families, which was nice to see.
Feb 15 – Pipestone and beyond
I was the first one at the Pipestone parking lot at 9:30 this morning. I skied out along the Pipestone trail counterclockwise, with a little detour to Mud Lake which looked lovely in the sun. The tracks on Pipestone were already a bit washed out in places, but still pretty good. At the far end of the trail, I hopped on the skier-set trail on the river. The track was well-skied for the first 1km, then snow-covered and less solid for the next 3km. After the end of the old, covered track, I pushed the trail out another 3km to the big meadow/swamp visible on the satellite map, which was my objective for the day. Other than one short section on the actual trail, I skied beside/on the river the whole time. The sun was HOT on the way back, and I don’t think my SPF60 sunscreen was strong enough! Once I got back to the groomed trail, I completed the Pipestone loop in the counterclockwise direction. I passed a few groups on the way out, and the parking lot was full! Looks like people are happy to be out in the warm(er) weather.
What time are you allowed to get on the trails at the Nordic centre in the morning? I know the official hours are at 9am but with the sun coming up earlier wondering if we can access earlier or is this time dedicated to trail grooming etc?
Quick ski at CNC this PM 2:00 pm parking lots were FULL!.
Classic day -8C Wax VR 40 sunny
We skied up the old service road, up Beckies on Olympic out Meadowview up onto Rundle to the high point and return via Rundle, Wapiti,Bruin, Meadowview and deked onto Osprey which has just been groomed & TS in the last week. Great little ridge trail! Al these trails were groomed and TS.
We’re starting to see trail runners tracks on the groomed ski and fat tiretrails. The footprints left behind, depending on snow conditions, can be dangerous especially on the hills.
Jeff and I zipped up from Ribbon to the Wedge – beautiful conditions, scenery and WARMTH! Ate our lunch in brilliant sunshine at the Wedge parking lot. And it was a bluebird day to boot! The return was a smooth glide. Life is good.
WBC , parking 1/4 full at 9:30am (-20C). We skied Moose loop (CCW), Moose Connector, Loggers, Elbow (until the Snagmore junction), Iron Springs & Creek, Sundog, East Crystal, West Crystal and back on Middle Crystal.
Overall good conditions and good glide, Swix V20 green was perfect for today.
Before we had the pleasure to meet MaSid, we were really surprised and concerned while skiing Moose (half way between Telephone junction and Mountain View West junction at 10:30 am ish and -20C at that time) to encounter a little boy who looked to be 7 -10 years old on the trail by himself eating a snack. We checked on him and he told us his parents were « over there ». We checked with all the adults we encountered if they knew the boy and it was just at the junction with Mountain View West that two gentlemen told us the father was somewhere ahead of them …Anyway we did not catch up the father who presumably skis ahead and then turns back. The boy had to be by himself for at minimum 30 -45 minutes (? Guess), a weird family day…..
Back at around 2:00pm, the temperature was a mild -6C and the parking lot full!
Great conditions West Bragg this morning. Was warmer then Calgary with no wind and great sun.
PLPP: **LOST CELL PHONE** my friend lost her cell phone on our beautiful morning out around Pocaterra/Come Along etc.! If you found it, can you please call 403-815-6547. Thanks so much!!!
So grateful for a lovely community of skiers, gorgeous trail maintenance and relatively balmy weather today!
Do you know if the Little Red Trail paths for XC skiing and open and groomed this year?
February 15 Shaganappi Point golf course grooming update:
All skate lanes have been groomed the evening of February 14 by one volunteer after discovering an electrical issue made it impossible to use the track setter or knives on the drag groomer. (sorry classic skiers!!!) So, we have corduroy!
Three of the resident Coyotes were having a great time playing in the snow and following the groomer. One Coyote did a fancy boxing move while on their hind legs, like they were daring the groomer to get into it with them. Hilariously playful!
Forecast for Monday in Calgary is still indicating cold weather, fingers crossed the warmer air mass in the mountains will make an early appearance.
Westgate Corner (SW corner of the golf course) has some of the asphalt cart path coming through the ski trail.
Condo Alley (trail between junction 6 and 7) has some thin sections at the bottom of the hill…other than that we have great coverage on the trails.
Trail map for reference: https://www.shaganappinordic.ca/trails-updates
Skiing is great, just keep the face, hands and toes warm Monday and you’ll have a great time…have fun in the snow!
Volunteer hours: 3.5 grooming all trails with the Ginzu
WBC Arrived ~3:45pm. Lots of cars heading out but still a fair number of cars in the lots. -18C and pretty much NO wind so quite pleasant. Skied Mountian Rd-Mountian View-West Crystal (what a blast coming down the tracks) -East Crystal. Classic tracks were in great shape. Saw relatively few people. A great end to Valentine’s day! 🙂
We were at Confed late afternoon Thursday (11th) and saw the Valentine’s sentiment on the hill. Glad it lasted and hope whoever it was intended for saw it!
Evan-Thomas Recreation Area – Bill Milne Trail:
Parked under the power lines north of the Kananaskis Golf Course access road. (-17C at 11:00 am; -10C at 12:30 pm; -15C at 3:30 pm) VR30 kick wax worked well all day. Grooming and tracks on Bill Milne are in very good condition outside the detour. Skied north to inspect the ice flow and take the detour through to the north end. Cautionary signs on the Bill Milne trail are in place at both ends. The detour was groomed with the Piston Bully and is not track set at this time. Then skied south on Bill Milne to do Evan-Thomas and Wedge Connector loop clockwise. Evan Thomas trail is in good shape with walkers respecting the ski tracks. Snow is covering the boulders under the skier set track across Evan-Thomas creek bed. The Wedge Connector tracks were in excellent shape, all be it slow in the shade. A beautiful sunny day with moderate south winds. This is, in my opinion, the most scenic ski trail in K-Country.
Went out to Emerald to do my Virtual Yoho Challenge. Parked at the Natural Bridge. It was -18C at the parking lot at 10:30. Which was better than temps around Lake Louise. Easy wax choices VR 30 and some Cera. LF3 powder for glide. Worked well till later in the afternoon when waxed with VR40. Skied up the Connector to Emerald Lake. Connector is skier set-hasn’t been groomed for a while. Still good to ski with caution. The lake and the alluvial fan trail were track set and in good shape once you got away from the hotel and it’s walkers. Back down the Connector to Tally ho which was trackset to Field. Back to the Natural Bridge and on to the Kicking horse trail out to just past the Otterhead bridge. The kicking horse trail was in great shape and freshly track set. Then back to the truck which was at -12C. Great day out and thanks Kicking Horse Ski Club for maintaining the trails and setting up the Virtual Challenge
Banff Springs to Goat Creek Parking lot & back
Jamie and I skied from Banff Springs up to Goat Creek and back today. The conditions were quite good; track set a few days ago, with some minor trail damage. We didn’t see anyone until we got to Goat Creek itself. We started at 10 a.m. with the temperature of -20C under a bright sun and a perfectly blue sky. The trees are still laden with snow which made for beautiful vistas. The Goat Creek Parking area did not have much wind. We met some walkers and more skiers at that end of the trail. No fat bikes have been on the trail lately. Some people walked from the Goat Creek parking lot to 1 km or so from Goat Creek. They damaged the trail, but not the tracks. Upon our return, we met many skiers on the last 5 km stretch. The sun hid after lunch and it became cloudy. We finished with a temperature of -8C, which felt warm.
Yesterday, we skied most of the north trails at Sandy McNabb. They are track set, with a few sections of thin snow and a few hazards. The hills were fast but mostly controllable. The south side Loggers Loop was track set only for a short section. The temperature stayed at -19C throughout our ski yesterday.
CASTLE Lookout: arrived about noon, minus 15 degrees, there were about 8 cars parked. Skied to Baker Creek and back, only saw 10 skiers until 4 pm. Tracks in great shape.
Believe the weather reports! It really was 10 degrees warmer in Kananaskis. Skied Evan Thomas, Wedge Connector, Bill Milne and the tracks were excellent.
Thanks so much to the Ribbon Creek groomers for grooming a detour around the ice floe so quickly! We didn’t ski it today but saw it as we drove past and several folks were out on it. BTW the temp. at Evan Thomas/Wedge Connector/Bill Milne was around -10C early afternoon and more people out than yesterday.
Cascade Fire Road was still there and still in very good shape after the earthquake. :). -14 when we arrived at noon to find 2 perfect parking spots in what otherwise looked like a very full lot. Not that many folks on the trail though so where is everyone going? Skating, walking around the lake maybe…. the tracks are in great shape and the Sunshine made it feel like much warmer than it was!
Sun feb 14: WBC (sunny moose loop/great trail)
Good times, even with a light wind. Almost spring like after the last week. Broke trail along sections of the great trail paralleling moose loop north. Thin in places, especially where it dodges into the trees. I’ll wait for more snow. Moose tracks in fine shape and not that busy. RCMP cruised through the lot at the end of my day and later was ticketing on the 80k redwood meadows section of highway.
Looking for Salomon Profil X-Country ski boots Mens size 11 US / 45 EU to fit Salomon Profil Bindings.
Ph or Txt 403.875.1834
TEMP: @8ish -24 degrees C @ 11ish -13 degrees C (used Polar wax)
PARKED: Ribbon Creek Parking Lot.
Skied UP Coal Mine. Saw some animal tracks. Skied DOWN Coal Mine, turned right onto Ribbon Creek > Link > Kovach > Terrace. Ended at the Ribbon Creek Parking lot.
CONDITIONS: great ! fresh track setting. Steep downhill corners a touch slick and just minor debris mixed in with grooming on Coal Mine.
Historically, Telephone loop (along with many of the trails in WB) was designed specifically as a ski trail by Don Gardener in the late 1970’s. It was not groomed consistently until a few years ago when the GBCTA took over responsibility for it from Parks.
The east half of it has been deemed multi use which has led to heavy amounts of foot and bike traffic.
Maintaining this as a groomed ski trail is proving to be impractical, and we see it as being possibly delegated to a primitive ski trail. Our efforts to provide a quality experience for tracked skiing are better suited to areas that are restricted to skiing only.
In an effort to be all things to all users, the original intent of this trail has been lost.
Hi Bob. I’m trying to find a trail where I will have cell phone coverage because I need to be reachable. I am wondering about the Cascade Valley trail starting at Minnewanka. I know there is cell coverage at the parking lot but not sure beyond there. West Bragg is too spotty.
After volunteering for Ski Nordique on February 13th I decided to ski up Pocaterra to the Whiskeyjack trail junction. It was a frosty day but clear and sunny with not a whisper of a breeze. Trail conditions were soft since there had been maybe a few cm of snow overnight. Very few people out and on the return trip I did not see a soul. I opted to use SWIX Polar (-15 to -30 deg C) which covered the temperature range nicely and had some good glide on the way back.
WBC – Telephone Loop et al – Feb 13
Start skiing at 10:30 am, likely in the ski strides of Jean-Francois. About same path, without West Hostel but adding Loggers, Sundog and East Crystal Line. Except for the first 3-4 km on Telephone East, great conditions throughout. The best track set conditions ever seen on Telephone Loop in years. Not that many people, but will sure be the place to ski over the next week. LF4 as glider work decently, along VR 20 (green) wax. Not the fastest conditions, but better than I expected.
Will donate tonight online to the trail maintenance; those guys do such a great job. All that gas money saved and more in a donation, for being so close to YYC. Bravo.
BANFF EARTHQUAKE ABOUT 6:40 pm
There was a 4.4 magnitude earthquake in Banff roughly at 6:40 pm today.
If any night skiers felt that please let the ski nation know. Such an earthquake could trigger avalanches and landslides potentially.
Skiers wanting more information can search Earth Quake Tracker and look under “recent.”
High Rockies Trail from Goat creek to Goat pond return. 1:00-4:00 12km -18 C
Light Touring skis with Vauhti Blue/Rex Mantaranta and some Rex green. Glide was slow.
Dog sledders have kept the whole route open and well groomed. Evidence of hikers,PITA. Admire their tenacity but post holes are annoying. Didn’t see anyone else all afternoon!
The thought occurs: If it is a multi-use trail then why set ski tracks? Or think for even one second that non-skiers should stay off our precious ski tracks? I think the non-skiers should be free to enjoy a trail without having to tiptoe around ski tracks. Guess I won’t make any new ski friends with this remark.
Bill Milne “double”
My humans finally (!) decreed it warm enough to ski – after several days of shorter than usual trips to the dog parks, I was ready to go skiing! We parked (initially) at Kovach and skied south to the ice flow – it must have grown since the groomer’s report as there was no way around it without getting wet feet/boots/skis so we back-tracked. Then we drove to the Golf Course and did another section heading back north to the iceflow. Immaculate grooming everywhere (not that it matters to me!), “balmy” temps of -15C between around 1.30 – 3.30 pm (I didn’t even get cold feet!). Apparantly polar wax or green provided good grip and surprisingly decent glide. Very quiet – seemed almost spooky for a long weekend (did we miss something?) – very few humans and no other doggies for me to say hello to but I had a great outing.
Confederation Park: Sunshine and minimal wind at 10:30 am, parking lot half full. As Bob wrote yesterday about Strathmore golf course, two light layers of polar wax gave excellent grip. Cold glide wax yielded surprisingly good glide in the well used, well groomed tracks. Parking lot starting to fill when we left at 12. If lot is full, plenty of room along Constable Rd/31 Ave NW, with gaps in the fence. Beautiful day.
A couple possibilities would include:
1. Nordic Alberta’s website (would require modifications to have SkierBob functionality)
2. Creating a subreddit on Reddit for Alberta xc skiing
WBC (-22C at 10:15am and no wind, -16C when we returned to the parking lot)
We skied West Hostel – Telephone – Moose – Mountain View West – Mountain View – West & Middle Crystal.
All the trails are in great shape, as usual for Telephone, the West part has the best snow / tracks although the East part was quite good (except for a « humility check » as my friend Vanita put it, as I was not paying attention to a deep bike rut…).
The glide was excellent (compared to earlier in the week) and Swix V05 Polar provided good grip.
We headed out for a leisurely arrival of 11am and the parking lot was only half full. Nobody in the second lot. Quite amazing and the first good thing I’ve found about the polar vortex!
It was -26 with wind chill, never warmed up, but we were never cold. We had dressed warm and you just had to fully cover your face coming down hills.
Loop skied: Coal Mine to the lookout (hadn’t been groomed since the last big snow fall. Felt more like ski touring than Nordic skiing.)
We continued on Ribbon Creek which also hadn’t been freshly groomed in a while and had a lot of fresh snow. It was a bit challenging skiing down the steep descent to the creek because it was a mess of frozen herringbone and snowplow tracks, along with numerous boot holes.
I’d wait till this trail has been groomed again before attempting it.
We took the short cut retreat back down the snowshoe trail because the bridges are fun to ski over. It was skiable. Better with fresh powder though.
Well done Skier Bob. Thank you for all of the wonderful ski updates and the service you provided for us all. You’ve served the community well and I wish you all the best!
Sat feb 13: skogan pass powerline
-27 at nakiska 830. -15 back just after lunch. Bomber grip going up skogan and hummingbird with the old green wax on the AT skis. Skins for the powerline track laid down today by a local park resident doing some laps before work (thanks!). Much nicer temps in the sun of the powerline than the XC trail. Descent down powerline a bit punchy off old tracks with a week of faceting and a breakable thin crust down about 20 cm. Elected not to ski the lower section (balam) given shallower pack and faceting. Skogan and high level grooming both still in good shape for easy travel up and down and it’s wasn’t seeing much traffic today.
Dear Skier Bob,
Although our paths probably have crossed when the Regina ski club made it’s annual 4 day trip to Canmore area I don’t think we’ve actually met. We would often pick your brain/blog for the best skiing options for us flatlanders and your prompt replies always sent us in the right direction. I believe one year you told us not to do Goat Creek unless we we’re planning on doing it with a luge. It’s another “end of an era” but it’s totally understandable. On behalf of the Regina Ski Club thank you so much for countless hours you’ve spent to make this a better world. ?
Sandy McNabb – Feb. 12
I did a late afternoon ski on the south side of Sandy McNabb. Conditions were quite good, though a few spots in the track setting are thin or down to some ice. Also, most of the connector trails are groomed but not track set. Loggers Loop and Sandy McNabb Loop are groomed and track set.
There were already some footprints on some of the trails close to the campground road so I’m guessing that will only increase this weekend.
It is -32 degrees at the discovery centre in peter Lougheed Provincial Park, Kananaskis.
Blue skies, sunshine, and only a trace of clouds (and a trace of snow on the ground).
I know I’m late to the game, but better late than never! Skier Bob, you’re a regular part of my winter routine. Every week I check out your posts to find out where to ski and have explored so much more of the Rockies because of you. Thank you so much for all you’ve done to advance XC skiing for all Albertans!
Lake Windermere WHITEWAY (Advertised as The World’s Longest Skating Rink): Friday Feb 12th Started at Kinsmen Beach in temps around -20 and warmed to -15 (blasting bright sun: where were the Eskimo Slit Goggles?) After skiing all loops and to far end of lake, we reached our desired goal of 31 kms. Supper at FUZE was wonderful, especially to sit down warm and cosy inside. Almost needed “extracting” out of the car at 9pm, but Mission Accomplished for our Virtual Birkie on two opposing teams.
Thanks Steve! Sounds great!
I have a friend in Norway, in Sandvika near Oslo, who ski often, here is their map of ski trails and info on grooming/tracking near Oslo.
On their web site of the ski association https://www.skiforeningen.no/magasinetmarka/aret-som-gikk/
I am reading:
“A total of 16,265 kilometers of ski trails were prepared in 2020. Compared to 43,585 kilometers the year before(2019), it is understood that it was a demanding winter. In some terrain trails, there was not enough snow to prepare at all.”
Info might be of interest to our groomers and others,
anyway, thanks for your contribution over the last 13 years,
Beautiful conditions at WBC this afternoon! Hubby and I started out just before 2pm at -16…balmy compared to every other day this week. We were pleased to find Mountain Road, Moose Loop (and Connector), and Mountain View West very freshly groomed and trackset with silky snow. My green wax was perfect, and hubby’s skins were slightly slower but gave great grip. With the warmer weather coming, it’s sure to be a busy place this weekend!
As an aside, my HUGE thanks to Skier Bob for everything he has done to support skiing and skiers over the years!! This blog has become my go-to on my days off work during the ski season, and it’s hard to imagine not having this community and resource to turn to for life’s most important questions (i.e., where are the freshest tracks? Which skis to use today? Where is the best snow? How to avoid the crowds?). Enjoy your recreational retirement skiing Bob!
CNC. The Nordic Centre was in great shape this afternoon. The natural snow tracks may have been a touch slower than the artificial snow tracks, but they were all pretty good. The temperature ranged between -17 C at the start and -13 C at the finish. I only sampled Lower and Upper Banff Loop, Meadowview, Bow and Banff, and conditions were excellent everywhere. All the skiers were really happy!
Emerald Lake / Alluvial Fan – It’s hard to complain when the sun is shining and you almost have the place to yourself! Tricky trail conditions, along the lake, wide tracks from ski touring folks going up the fan, nice going down, them pretty wind blown and crusty coming out of the fan. Benches are cleared off and a great place to take in the beauty of this place. Set your expectations if you go before it gets track set again.
It is -30 degrees C at the Peter Lougheed Discovery Centre in Kananaskis.
Skier Bob – Wishing you all the best with your retirement. Come visit us today – it’s cold and slow.
P.s. We live in Cochrane, so if there are any other trails close to us for the busier work/school days, that would be great to know too!
Hello! My family is new to Calgary and my 9 year old daughter is new to skiing. We’ve been loving WBC and working up through the trails. Moose loop was beautiful on Sunday, if a little slow. Technically the trail was perfect for my daughter, and she is excited to go again, but the length was at her upper limit. Any suggestions for the next set of trails for us that would have nice mountain or trees or any nature scenery views? We are willing to drive a couple of hours. Thank you! Happy skiing! And happy Chinese New Year!
February 12 Shaganappi Point golf course in Calgary grooming update:
All trails were groomed Thursday evening by 2 volunteers and conditions will be excellent this weekend!
We’ll try our best to round up a couple volunteers to get the track setting done on Friday sometime, as there was only time to groom Thursday night. (sorry classic skiers…some of the skier-set track setting was groomed away because it made for too narrow a skate lane in the middle).
Have fun on the snow!!!
Volunteer hours grooming Thursday night: Total of 9.75
Volunteer #1: 5 hours
Volunteer #2: 4.75 hours
I have loved your blog and will miss it immensely! Thank you for all the time and effort you’ve put into it over the past years. I met you once on Goat Creek and it was a real highlight!
Could a trail in the Empire be renamed the SkierBob Classic or the Bob Truman Trail!?
Feb 11 Upper Lake Louise trails from the Chateau grooming team:
Fairview Loop (#2): Double trackset, Feb. 11, good condition.
Shoreline (#4): Double trackset, Feb. 9, good condition.
Lake Trail (#4): Double trackset with a separate path for walkers, Feb. 9, good condition.
Upper Telemark and Peyto Trails (#5): Double trackset, Feb. 10, good condition.
No problem keeping comfortable this afternoon at Confederation, if you were properly dressed. In fact, once I warmed up I had to start opening zippers and peeling back face coverings. That heat was partly thanks to working harder on some slow sections of track, due to a bit of windblown snow, but otherwise conditions were decently quick and enjoyable in the afternoon sun.
Not a trip report, apart from just checking the webcam at WBC. Not much busier than posted this morning at 10 am, with only 3 cars seen in the main parking lot. Should fill up a bit starting tomorrow, with a projected balmy high of -17 C and hard dedicated work on the track setting.
I emailed Banff NP info centre about whether Parks Canada could join Nordic Pulse. This has been ‘passed along to management.’
Thanks SO SO much for bringing together the Nordic community through your website.
I still hope to meet you on the trail someday.
Best wishes to you,
East Village (Calgary)
This 1k loop is mostly open to the elements so while I could KIND OF see where the groomed tracks were, I broke trail on every loop. It’s worth it, but bundle up…
I concur with your comments regarding the utmost importance of trip reports, on a personal note, the groomers reports are equally important as they provide first hand information and usually before the « official » website.
Regarding the grooming as Skitrails.info seems to only work for Kananaskis Village greater area trails, I have noticed that WBC uses Nordic Pulse to provide a similar colour coded map. What do you think to « push » this option to other ski areas?
I’m still having a hard time accepting the new reality that this blog will not be available next season.
If someone is going to design a new blog, a few suggestions come to mind:
1) Anyone wanting to post should be required to create an account including a unique UserName linked to their email. This would eliminate the confusion when two people use the same name, knowingly or unknowingly!
2) The ‘Search’ function should be allowed to work on contributed Trip Reports. At the moment the ‘Search’ function only works on the Home Page. The Administrator(s) can’t be expected to ski everywhere! Year’s ago our reports did go directly to the Home Page, but that became unmanageable. Users often want to check out the recent reports for a particular trail (or by a particular reporter), so this would facilitate their search.
Confederation Park Golf Course – 10 Feb
Like Alf, once the temperature warmed up to -24, I ventured out, and it wasn’t that bad! I think I’m getting used to the blistering cold… There weren’t many people out, but the tracks were still in quite good shape and I was grateful for the sunshine.
West Bragg Creek
From the weather forecast on Tuesday, it didn’t look as if today would be a viable ski day. But, by mid-day the thermometer at WBC had shot all the way up to -24C, so it seemed like it might be worth a try.
Finding a parking spot was no problem. And we decided to do one of those “Alf” tours that doesn’t actually involve skiing on a ski trail. We started on the Interpretive Trail at the east end of the parking lot and then went around Snowshoe Hare and up DemiTel. From there, it turned into an off-trail tour, following the powder-slope cut-blocks parallel to the Long Distance Trail. And then we returned on Whitetail.
There were no frozen toes, fingers or noses… so it was a pretty good ski day!
I’m so sad!! Checking in on your website has been a part of almost every winter day for many years – that being said I realize this is a tremendous amount of work and those are hours you could be out on the trails. Thank you so very very much Bob! Your dedication to sharing good information has been so valuable to a huge community. Thanks for so many years of great service!!
Thank you Bob for creating this wonderful resource for the x-country skiing community! Your site has been the go to place for current trail conditions and everything else x-country skiing for myself and many others for the last 13 years. I’m sure I’ll bump into you on the trails in the future. Until then wishing you all the best!
Feb 10 Upper Lake Louise trails from the Chateau grooming team:
Fairview Loop (#2): Double trackset, Feb. 6, fair condition. We hope to work on this tomorrow, Feb. 11.
Thanks, Jeff. I always enjoyed skiing your tracksetting. Skogan Pass, my favorite, has the most elevation of any trails I ski. And Bill Milne – well, its the flattest. So you covered both ends of the spectrum. Enjoy your retirement , and thank you..
Thank you Bob! The positive, welcoming style of your updates has done much more than just inform us about conditions and entertain us with stories. It has created a community of cross country skiers. It has embraced and celebrated all the different ways that we enjoy skiing. Many of us check SkierBob every day, often several times. There was always something new on the site- a new post, fresh trip reports, grooming reports and it was the hub that linked us to more details about weather, grooming reports, etc. But, to accomplish that, you had to be working on the website every single day. What a huge commitment!
I’m hopeful that your remarkable example will inspire some others to pick up the torch to ensure that something similar will continue on. I expect it may require a team effort.
Thanks for all that you have done to bring us together! See you on the trails!
Thanks so much Bob for all you have done. I read your blog and the trip reports nearly every day during the x-c ski season. What you created has had value beyond belief. Congratulations
Mr. Bob, a few years ago we stumbled onto some expertly groomed cross country trails but cannot remember if they were off the 40, 3 Sisters Parkway or beyond. They looked like they could be used for competitions. Might you have any idea where they might be? With thanks, Ann.
Spray East, West and Connector
Frosty and pretty out there today. Tracks on WS in great shape. ES had only a little foot damage – most walkers doing a good job of staying to the side. Only non tracked portion being the Connector.
The nice thing about this weather is you don’t need to go very far to get a good workout!
We really can’t add many more accolades Bob. You have a huge loyal fan club, and they have stated it quite eloquently and we echo their sentiments.
There is nothing but respect and admiration for all your hard work. You give up a lot of your own ski time to help others out, always with a big smile on your face. (And a happy greeting for the canine)
When I read it on CBC today my reaction was Oh No! Will REALLY miss your blog!! Thanks so much for all your work over the years
South Glenmore Park is trackset.
Cloud veil is thin, sun rays still working.
On behalf of myself, and my humans Chris & Peter, thanks so much for all you’ve done for the XC community, especially where pupsters on trails are concerned – it’s been great to have access for doggies clarified. I know my humans check your page regularly before deciding where we will ski – this input will be sorely missed! Hope to see you on the trails soon!
So long Jeff, and thanks for all the tracks!
thanks thanks thanks
Thx BOB, amazing to have used this for so many years
PLEASE not a FB page. Not all of us rejoice with FB or have accounts.
the “end “
So many great comments from all your followers , friends and admirers!
You deserve them all and more- You covered the basics 10 times over, Always relevant ,interesting ,helpful and sometimes funny!
I don’t know how you had time to ski!
And all work on getting PeterLPP Back And successful
It won’t be the same.
Sad to hear, but you must need a rest
hope we will Cross paths in the future
Jeff – Thanks for the many years of great tracksetting! When the weather is very cold, Skogan Pass is my favourite trail. The extreme cold greatly improves grip on the ascent and reduces the need to snowplow on the descent. Very little of the trail is flat or low angle descent where you’d notice the impaired glide. Having enough layers to survive the wind chill on the descent is challenging though!
Enjoy your retirement in Quebec. I’m sure Alex has been well-trained to carry on the great work the two of you (and others?) have been doing.
Merci Jeff pour ton travail assidu à tracer les pistes pendant toutes ces années. Grâce à toi et ton expertise, on a pu pratiquer un sport de glisse dans des conditions excellentes. Bon retour au Québec et fais-nous savoir qu’elles seront les pistes que tu y traceras!
East Village (Calgary) 9 Feb 21
Very cold and tracks were slightly visible but blown over so I created my own. Again, great little 1k loop if you don’t have much time and live close by.
Hello Jeff, I had the pleasure to meet you a few years ago and I remember you telling me all about pre-Nakiska trails that you had groomed. Just for my sake, on YouTube there is 2015 video of the Skogan pass grooming, was it you?
Skogan pass and shootouts are my favourite place for a good workout and many thanks for the prefect grooming.
Bonne retraite au Quebec et un grand merci pour toutes ces années!
Looking for package men’s classic ski gear. 190 cm fish scale (weight 160 lbs) size 9 boots.
Wow, everyone is retiring this winter. What a shame, we’ll miss Jeff’s tracks. Hopefully someone will take over and this isn’t an excuse for the government to end grooming at Ribbon Creek?
It’s good to hear that your knowledge and skills will continue to benefit skiers. And bikers too, I’m guessing. Sounds like Alberta’s loss is Quebec’s gain! Thanks for going above and beyond, Jeff.
Owning a place in Lac Des Arcs (purchased in ’93) made this whole area at Ribbon Creek “my” Nordic Centre. Those many deep snowfalls made Ribbon Creek such a joy to ski. It was and still is a Winter Wonderland. Just last Friday we skied up Coal Mine in perfect conditions; I guess in hindsight, it was in your honour although Alex, your well trained successor, might have groomed it. After Kovach’s loop we skied down from the Hotel (is that trail really called Bill Milne Paved Trail as my Gaia would suggest?) back down to the car, a wonderful pot pourri. It would be awesome if you would list the Top Ten Beefs from an EXPERT Groomer’s perspective before you leave us. Thank you Jeff for your years of service to our deeply loved Kananaskis Country.
What was the second announcement? 🙂
The second announcement was Ribbon Creek Tracksetter Jeff’s retirement. -Bob
Hey there, thanks for the Trip Report, glad you liked it at Shag. We don’t have enough trained volunteer groomers who have the capacity/ability to mobilize according to the weather and track setting needs at Shaganappi.
We’re working to increase the track setting capacity…fingers crossed!
Latest grooming update:
Thank you, Jeff, for your years of dedication! Your retirement is well-deserved! You will surely be missed. All the best to you in your future adventures!
Thanks for all your hard work on the trails, Jeff. I skied on your tracksetting in the 1980’s . How lucky we all were — and are — to have teams like yours. Best wishes for your move to Quebec!
Many thanks to tracksetter Jeff for the his superb tracks in Kananaskis country. You’ll be missed.
What a week of announcements for the x-country community. Another loss it feels but a very deserved retirement for Jeff. Hopefully he is able to pass on his skills before he leaves!
Thank you Jeff for hours of blissful trails we enjoyed because of you. We have been skiing here since the mid 90’s so we owe a lot of memorable skiing days to you!
What a fantastic story of the early days of Jeff the Groomer. His early grooming career occurred at a time when the Alberta economy was hurting from very high interest rates, the American oil pull out in protest of the National Energy Program and oil as low as $12 per barrel, about 4 times lower than todays rate of $58.27/ WTI per barrel. This was an age that people in Calgary were selling homes for $1 because the economy was so brutal. Yet the Alberta Government had some intelligence to expand cross country skiing at the time to benefit the health of Albertans and to expand our tourism industry which would help the government books in the longer run. The Progressive Conservative government of the day had so much more tourism vision back in the 1980’s as compared to recent years with the elimination of new open pit coal mines in the mountains, expansion of parks and xc ski trails.
It would be great to expand the story on Jeff and get more details. I wonder how much input he had on expanding the xc ski trails to make way for the first Piston Bully. It must have been a glorious day to step into such modern technology. He could have been stuck in a Tucker Cat instead!
To hear that the first Piston Bulley used in the Eastern Slopes of Alberta, which was bought way back in the last century, is still in use today in the glorious Eastern Alberta Cypress Hills is fabulous That is another clear example of why it is better for the government to buy good equipment rather than leasing it. The savings are superior this way and it reduces the cost for xc tracksetting and grooming which is something we all want to see.
Too bad Jeff is heading to Quebec to retire. Lucky Quebec that will benefit from Alberta’s brain drain. Jeff’s experience would be valuable for the next new Alberta Government after the 2023 election in order to upgrade the Alberta XC ski tourism industry here for the next 7 generations.
Thank you Jeff – wish you all the best in the move!! The trails are always such a dream to glide on. Ribbon creek is where we discovered our love for XC skiing !
All the best to Jeff, wishing him a long and happy retirement. Many thanks for a great job on the trails, I am fortunate enough to have been able to enjoy them these last few years.
Like everyone else who has commented, thank you for your tireless efforts promoting and advocating for cross-country skiing in southern Alberta and eastern BC! May you enjoy whatever you have planned next.
A coupe of years ago we relocated to B.C.’s Lower Mainland for work. I knew one thing I would truly miss was cross-country skiing in K-Country and WBC. I was right: I’ve been on my skis three times since moving here (and the skiing isn’t the same). I ski vicariously through this blog. =)
Skiing on your tracks in Kananaskis has been pure pleasure! I’m so glad my toddlers got to enjoy your trails on your last season with us too! Your retirement plans sound perfect. Best wishes to you, your wife, and those lucky Quebecois skiers! 🙂
Thank you Skierbob! For all your work putting together timely info and also your generosity in sharing it. Your blog is positive and upbeat, filled with great photos, current conditions, etc. Everyone who submits trip reports has been so willing to give info and tips to help us all have a better experience… Your website has so much helpful info/tips – webcams, weather, maps, competitions, gear, etc. We may not have known about the grooming kerfuffle with the gov but your website rallied us all and hopefully the user pay passes will have made a difference to keeping the tracksetting going. Enjoy your skiing next winter but know that you will be missed a lot.
Thank you Bob for all you and your blog has done for the X-C ski community over the years. Also thank you for bringing together a group of great, thoughtful, kind and generous individuals through the blog. Everyone needs to retire at sometime and you have decided it is your time, so go for it. See you on the trails!
Hi does anyone know if Mt Shark has any picnic tables and fire pits there or near by … gonna miss this Bob!!
Confederation- February 9
Plenty of skiers out in minus 24 enjoying the excellent conditions and brilliant afternoon sun. Highly recommended if you are beginning to suffer from cabin fever!
Firmly defined tracks with polar glider giving fast glide. I scraped off almost all of the V05 polar grip wax from Sunday, and still had plenty of kick.
Shaganappi Point golf course grooming and track setting update:
Excellent skiing due to the new snow! Grooming done Saturday. Track setting to come Thursday evening.
Two hardy volunteers were out on Snowmobiles Saturday morning and afternoon, packing down and grooming the new snow on all trails with our drag-grooming equipment. Hopefully the new snow will harden fast so skate-ski tracks aren’t sinking down too much!
Track setting for the classic skiers will hopefully be done Thursday evening as that’s the soonest someone from our volunteer grooming team is available who also has the capacity/time/desire to track set using our manual shallow track setter on the Tidd Tech. (on many sections of trail, the snow base is too shallow for the regular depth track setter)
On the weekend the parking lot had over 30 cars in the afternoon! It’s great to see so many people out even in the cold, kudos to all of you!
Remember the parking lot may look “full” meaning vehicles are parking in the lower lot, but the trails likely won’t be busy. People visiting Shaganappi spread out quickly which is the bonus of the large parcel of land Shaganappi is on compared to Confed!
Volunteer time: total of 8 hours
Volunteer #1: 2.5 hours snowmobile grooming
Volunteer #2: 3 hours snowmobile grooming
Volunteer #3: 2 hours doing a gas run/other work in a support role
Volunteer #4: 0.5 hours enabling snowmobile access, starting help, etc.
Heartbreaking news. Wonderful to have had this blog for as long as we did – always something to look forward to. All the best!
Feb 9 – Packers Pass Peak
Skied up towards the Skoki area today on AT gear. I left the trail on Ptarmigan Lake and skied up towards “Packers Pass Peak”, between Packers Pass and Deception Pass. The last ~150m of elevation gain was windblown and I hiked up. Not a breath of wind until I got to the top! It was -35 when I started and -20 when I got back to the car. The track in to Skoki is well-packed by snowshoers, skiers, and snowmobiles, and with this cold, slow snow, would probably be fine with waxed track skis.
WBC – Afternoon ski, -23C at 1:30pm and no wind.
Skied Moose, Mountain View West, Mountain. Plenty of cold snow, excellent grip with V05 Swix polar and poor glide…
I left a pair of G3 collapsible poles in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park on Feb 7. They were left on a little pullout on Kananaskis Lakes Trail just south of Lake Shore Drive.
One is black and orange and the other is white and orange.
If you found them, please give me a text at 403-466-8473
Feb 9 Upper Lake Louise trails from the Chateau grooming team:
Fairview Loop (#2): Double trackset, Feb. 6, fair condition.
Upper Telemark and Peyto Trails (#5): Double trackset, Feb. 5, poor condition. We hope to work on these trails tomorrow, Feb. 10.
Thank you, Bob, for all you have done for cross country skiing. I will miss your posts.
Love, love, love the updates and seek them out before heading out. I will certainly miss seeing what Skier Bob says.
Bob you truly paved the way and kept us up to speed on where to go for incredible skiing. Thank you for taking the time to do this! I fondly remember the Lake Louise to Banff relay we did together with the others. Will hopefully see you on the trails!
Thank you for providing such an amazing platform for the xc ski community!! When we moved back to Canada last year our friends told us that we had to follow SkierBob to get the best info about xc skiing…it completely exceeded our expectations. We follow all of your posts & website to help us plan all of our xc ski days. You are going to be sorrily missed and have left a legacy that will live on forever!! Good luck to you and Happy Trails!!!
Bob, your support of the southern Alberta / eastern BC XC community has been outstanding. A hearty congratulations and many thanks.
RIP (retire in peace) SkierBob! It’s been a fantastic journey, for you and many many others. What you have created will endure in more ways than just the technical cogs of a web site. It really is a wonderful inclusive community. Thank you so much for that. Retire with pride. We all look forward to a post covid retirement party when it’s ok to hug again. Maybe one last raffle/contest is in order though: It’s time to pass on the SkiHere toque (literally and figuratively) and don a trip reporter hat. Happy care free skiing Bob and see you on the trail, or better yet, at a relaxing comfortable couch. (-:
Bob, thanks for all that you have done for the Calgary and area cross country ski community. You will be missed! Best of luck for your future endeavours.
My family and I will miss all the comments, trip reports and insight. As with many it was an honour to meet you on the trail a few years ago.
Yes, me too. Will miss you Bob. I check your site every day before I go to sleep and as soon as I wake up. Plus some days even more often. I probably would not have to do it, since I ski with Helen often and I think she is on your web every hour. But I do not blame you, I also am trying to limit my time on the computer and the contrary is happening right now. Maybe you will still change your mind when the next winter comes. Enjoy this one.
Confederation Golf Course – 8 Feb
REAALY cold and few brave souls out there but wow!!! on gorgeous fresh track-setting! Thank you groomers! Just gorgeous!
The first question I always ask a fellow cross country skier, “Do you follow Skierbob”. The answer is always “Yes”! This site provides so much information and inspiration. It is the first (and pretty much only) site I check on before we head to the trails. Your blog posts,Bob; trip reports; answers to questions, trails conditions; your site is such a huge part of our winter. You will be greatly missed!! Thank you for all you have done for this ski community.
I secretly hoped that somehow, miraculously, this site will go on forever; can’t imagine heading off to the mountains without looking for info here first. Thank you, Mr. Truman, for your great service to the community.
Well, they say that “all good things must come to an end” 🙁
It’s just that “WE” – the XC Skiers of the EMPIRE aren’t ready to say farewell to what has felt like home base for so many of us for so long. “SkierBob.ca” has become every skier’s BFF 😉
BOB: Thanks for your dedication & the many hours you devoted to your exceptional website – a true labour of love! So grateful to you for sharing it with us for these many years!
Best wishes to you as you “retire” to the freedom of the many happy trails ahead!
Cheers to you!
Bob, you deserve our thanks! I recall when we first started to xc ski, how frustrating it was to glean a little information from the websites, and then just how relieved we were to find your humble “home page”. Kudos for what you’ve accomplished here! Grateful that your webpage doesn’t demand to turn us into a product.
Thank you Bob for all the work you did over the years.
For years you have been our #1 resource to decide where we would ski.
I also love how positive you were and always stayed away from criticizing anyone or anything.
Whoever is thinking to take over will have BIG shoes to fill.
Thank you, thank you and looking forward to meeting on the trails for many more years.
Sophie & Andrew
Bob… you’ve built a wonderful following thanks to your ongoing passion, engagement, and willingness to tackle/facilitate many challenging issues. You’ve given voice to the average person (comments, reports, etc), enabled and solicited engagement and participation from many, and even though this is a very simplistic blog/forum it is true to it’s cause and maximizes utility. You’ve managed to help keep much of the cr@p off this site (ie: poor comments, trolls, bad advertising, “selling out”, etc…).
Between you, and the many contributors, you’ve helped so so many of us find anticipation, joy, and share our crazy/gleeful moments on ye ‘ole misery sticks.
Hopefully you will entertain many out on the trails as we encounter you. Hopefully you have some swag you can find a way to offload (hint: fundraiser for ski-related services).
Hopefully you will consider some form of “hand-off” and/or continuation in whatever form this site and you would support?
Thank you for the few times you referenced any of my posts. Thank you for some of the personal notes over the years too. Thank you.
As you ski off to the end of the tracks… be proud man. Be proud.
(dangit… dunno how this became a long drawn-out note)…
Tears are running down my face. What will we do without you Bob??? You leave a lasting legacy and the XC community was very fortunate to have you for as long as we did. Thanks for everything!!! Happy Trails 🙂
Nipika Resort today (saw it was -13 in Invermere cemented the decision) Besides the terror of meeting three massive mining and logging trucks driving FAST on the 14 kms road in, we enjoyed the easier South trails first, temperature -13. Their numbering system had its challenges but trails were groomed and tracked in perfect condition with a couple of cms. fresh snow. We stopped for lunch upstairs in the barn (maybe 6-10 cars in total in parking lot) at 1:30 and temp was -9. Skied some of the North trails, but as we passed the toboggan hill, took a toboggan ride down there. I know how much this is one of Skier Bob’s favorite places, so ironic that I can write a report on it today for him. An incredible resort for families, especially those with dogs. If any skate skiers in particular are looking for a skate skiing paradise, it was a 2 hr drive from Canmore and great to get out of the deep freeze for even a day. $12. fee/cash or Visa.
Bob thanks for all you have done for the cross country ski community with much appreciation from Janice and Charlie Perry .
One last poem for the Blog for you Bob by Janice
When looking for a good cross country ski source
Everybody tunes in to Skier Bob’s Blog of course
Information on trails, conditions, maps, and stories
Anecdotes and photos of skiers in all their glory
Bob’s camera ensures a picture says a thousand words
As we see scenic trails, happy skiers, mammals and birds
Let’s not forget all the contests and prizes
There’s always something wonderful to surprise us
Informative trip reports bring our ski community together
Details of trails, waxes, conditions and weather
Everything you need is in one place
Hopefully the info won’t disappear without a trace
If you lost something on the trail don’t sob
Look for it in the Lost and Found section of Skier Bob
Looking for information on Loppets to try
Find this on Skier Bob in a blink of an eye
Not sure where to ski with your dog
There’s even a section to help on Bob’s blog
Need to write a letter to the government to lobby
Get all the information on the Blog of skier Bobby
Want to ensure you have great conditions for your favorite sport
Just click on the section titled Grooming Reports
Bob you have made so many friends on the trail
Now its time to just ski and enjoy your fan mail.
Thank you for your beautiful blogs and excellent reporting. You’ll be missed Bob! Happy Ski Trails.
All of my friends and I say (when deciding anything relating to xc skiing) “but what does it say on SkierBob?”. You will be missed greatly. THANK YOU so much for everything that you have done, and the way you have done it – such grace and positivity – what a great spokesperson for xc skiing.
Hope to see you on the trails!
Bob, what will we do without you! You’ve become a legend in the xc ski community. Thank you so much for your years of dedication to providing us with so much information about our favourite sport! I certainly hope you never lose your passion for skiing – maybe you can get out even more now! We’ll be looking forward to seeing your trip reports in whatever new blog rises from the ashes! Happy ski trails, Bob!
Looking big for vintage rossignol avalanche ski boot size 41. I have size 40 and now too small
Thanks a lot Bob for the commitment on your website over the years, in being the common thread of the skiing community in the Calgary and Rocky Mountain areas. Whether it was for track-set, flat-pack, knee-deep trail breaking or powder turns, there was always a good snow all-you-can-climb’nglide buffet on the website. It will be a tough task to replicate the same standards and wealth of info we could find before and after any ski adventures. Hopefully, there will be a unique place for all the regular contributors to share their stories and all of us to gain valuable information.
I enjoyed reading all accounts daily, especially those from Helen, Alf, Chuck, MaSid, MAAD, Mike W. et al. Knowing where all those contributors will post their reports starting this fall, to get accurate info on trail and snow conditions as well as photo galleries, would be great to fuel up on each other outings. Ski safe.
Bob, Empires come and go, but not many, if any, depart at the height of their powers. Skierbob has been an invaluable resource to me over the past many years. Many thanks for your significant contribution to our winter pleasure.
Devasting news – just devasting! We are mourning the loss of this exceptional website.
We actually get “all the news we need” on the Skierbob report!
What will we do every evening and early morning without checking out who went where, and what they found?
We luckily discovered this site about 8 years ago and what a blessing it was. We learned so much and were incredibly inspired by so many of your Trip Reporter’s exploits. What an incredible crew of reporters.
Great job Bob – you are star and we can’t thank you enough for all your hard work and dedication to the sport. Your website is REALLY going to be missed in our household.
Enjoy your new schedule and we look forward to seeing you the Skierbob Special in PLPP.
3 Cheers to you – JR & Karen
You are a LEGEND. Thank you for the years of information, insight and communication. I hope someone can fill the BIG shoes you leave behind so we can continue this awesome community of active peeps sharing knowledge and trail tips.
Thanks again ROCKSTAR BOB!!
Wow! You’ve been my go-to website to figure out where to go skiing for the last decade!
I will miss this structure (as opposed to the FB structure), but understand the need to step-back at times.
Thanks for everything you’ve done for the community.
I can’t imagine a ski season without you and your BLog Bob. 🙁 . But I completely understand your decision. I was just saying to a friend on the weekend it must be so much work for you to maintain this blog as well as you do. I can’t remember how many years ago I started tuning in but it was many.
Thank you so much for all you’ve done for the x country ski community and for announcing this now instead of end of the season. Other bloggers may take on this challenge but it’ll never be the same or as great as yours.
Thank you SkierBob!
Identifying primarily as a backcountry skier I have nevertheless found your blog to be extremely valuable and entertaining.
Hopefully someone with a lot of time on their hands will *just get off the couch* and pick up the reins.
Thanks Bob for your great contribution over the years.
YOU WILL BE MISSED.!!!!!
I, and some friends were some of the first groups (from Edmonton and Vancouver) greeting you on Pocatera 15 or so years ago, and followed you on this blog ever since.
Your notes, friendly banter and pix lightened up the day:-). Now that the Long Loop (cca 30km) from WWL is too much of a challenge for me , I do my skiing in Edmonton and view this blog to reminisce!! Alas, with warmer winters the XC tracks are rather unreliable here. So I went to the dark side, to down-hill skiing at Snow Valley, Edmonton. They groom every night, so ice is not a problem.
Thanks again, good health and all the best, Emry
Thanks Bob, I refer to your blog often. I appreciate all the effort you have contributed to our community.
Thanks Bob for all the years of providing a great platform for trail information. This has been a big part of our trip planning. While Skierbob blog may ski into the sunset, hope to see you on the trails. Warm hearted thank you.
Thanks for everything that you do for cross country skiing Bob, we are very grateful for the vast amount of information you provided, and for the community you have fostered with your website. It will always be the SkierBob Empire, best wishes!
Thanks for all your hard work over the years, I don’t know how to manage without this site. I hope someone else can take it over, or start a similar one.
CNC 12:00 12:00 -23C Parking lots pretty empty. Slight east wind.
Lots of new grooming and TS all over the Nordic Centre.
Wax was Rex Mantaranta and Vauhti Blue. Both extreme cold waxes, tough and fast. ( I had to root around in my wax boxes to find them )
Due to the prevailing east wind we skied out Banff Tr dropped down onto Bruin Cub and returned Bow Trail. We hoped to miss the wind but did find it cooler on the way back. Just wear more layers.
We found some sunny patches with no wind which was a treat.
Manmade snow tracks were like sandpaper due to fine snow drifting into them. We skied the corduroy which was quite fast.
Natural snow had normal cold weather speed. Tracks were fast especially compared to man made.
Thanks Bob, for all the effort you’ve put into this website over the years. I find that just posting a trip report with photos is a lot of work, let alone what you have to do on a daily basis. Hopefully you’ll have more time now to go skiing! Just post your phone number at the top of your home page so we can all phone you to find out where to ski! <>
Similar to MAAD’s idea, perhaps a XC ski shop or a ski club would be interested in setting up a similar website. That way, the work could be split between several people.
Thanks for all your hard work! I have treasured this site and the community it has forged. Wishing all the best in your new adventures!
I just wanted to say thanks, Bob! We appreciate everything you’ve done for our local ski community. Enjoy the next chapter, you deserve it.
Thank you for all the years I’ve turned to Skierbob to check trail conditions & reports & enjoy folks’ shares!
Enjoy retirement from managing the blog & hopefully see you on a trail!
Our small group has found your blog so helpful over the years. So so appreciated! Thank you for your tireless efforts. Wishing you the best.
Absolutely new to cross country. Have never tried and really want to try. I am a single mother and have a very athletic and coordinated 9 yr old and was hoping there was a place I could get a quick lesson or an intro lesson for half of a day ( a couple of hours ) in the Canmore area
Does such a thing exist ?
It won’t be the same, but you’ve certainly done more than your share for the rest of us over the years. Thanks, Bob!
You are Skierbob, professional, star quality, ski royalty extraordinaire. You started your own blog, Skierbob Banana Republic in 2008 because you found your passion for skiing. It was a great idea as you wanted to provide all the information that you became interested in, in one location.This information took a tremendous amount of time to accumulate as well as providing a one-stop blog to obtain all the answers for others who enjoyed this sport as well, and wanted this same knowledge and could find it all in one place. I am sure it took you a lot of time to contact all of your support people, experts, government contacts, groomers, and of course introduce yourself to each of them to explain your idea and concept of your blog.
By reading your blog today, I can see why many people read it as they all can see the amount of time and effort you put into it. I can also see it has been a time consuming passion of yours. Not only did you get the support from others, you compiled excessive amounts of material from individual sites to provide complete and necessary information to aficionados like yourself who are looking for similar information also for enthusiastic beginners. You answer so many questions daily on your blog and while some of the questions don’t appear to pertain directly to this sport, you still faithfully supply what information you can. I am amazed at how you find some of the information sometimes to help others. So may enthusiasts want to know: the weather today, tomorrow and the amounts of snowfall, the condition of the snow, and even potential storms, when the trails were last groomed, the condition of the trails, any trail hazards, or hidden curves and training or speed hills. Besides all that people want to know wax treatments for the skis in any weather, parking availability or restrictions. On top of all of this you took the lead in compiling more information and contacting everyone to help push the voluntary purchase of parking passes, to support the continued upkeep of the ski trails. So once everyone reads these facts, you further entice them to go skiing right now by showing all those gorgeous pictures taken by your friends and of course your own. As one person stated on your blog, this is a gold mine!
This blog isn’t all hard work for you though there is a lot to do. You must get off the ski couch and ski around yourself, talk to numerous people, say hello to all the beautiful dogs (you talk to them all). You talk to as many people as you can, you are friendly and concerned, asking everyone how they are and if they have any issues. It is all about your ambassadorship for skiing and treating everyone as part of your skiing family, Skierbob Banana Republic X-Country Skiing.
No wonder you are known as a celebrity on the slopes Skierbob! You blog is a one-stop dynamite place where you have provided your own attachments and insight into the contribution from others. This sight is a part of you, the humour, the honesty, it is your heart. It’s a joy for all of us to read and take advantage of your knowledge and facts. Thank you for all of your dedication.
This and Kamloops trails are my two favorite, resourceful and most helpful blogs I’ve ever subscribed to.
Well done and your work was most appreciated!
Hopefully someone will carry on all the resources you’ve built up.
I have been reading your blog for many years. Thanks for all you have done! Catch you on the trails 🙂
Rats. Thanks a lot for all the work you’ve put into this site over the years. Thanks to you and the people you’ve brought into your world, I’ve discovered new places to ski, learned a lot about the sport, and have found a community I’m happy to be part of. I’m convinced that a big reason there are so many people on the trails this year is due to the access to information you’ve been providing.
Thanks again, and hopefully I’ll finally run into you on the trails one day!
As the novice XC Skier 7 years ago, Bob, your blog was the first source I found which inspirited and informatized my wife and myself searching for joys of freezing winters. Thank you very much for over-years efforts running the blog. Wish you all the best.
Bob you have made a measurable and considerable impact on our xc skiing community. Thank you so much for your dedication and enthusiasm for this wonderful sport. Wishing you a happy “retirement” and now more time for getting out on those trails you love. All the very best!
Thanks for everything you’ve done. I promise to do my part to keep things going in the Facebook group (apparently we have 6000 members!)
Starting a new blog isn’t in my future but I hope somebody is inspired to do so.
You’ll be missed. I’ve visited your site nearly daily over the past several years.
It’s clear this website has been a labour of love for you over the years, Bob. We cross country skiers have benefited significantly from your commitment and dedication to providing this forum to share information and encouraging a sense of community for all us. Thank you! and Happy Trails!
Bob, it’s just the start of a new trail for you! Thanks so much, your blog has done so much for cross-country skiing.
I’m sorry to hear this as your site has been a real source of inspiration for me! When I moved to Calgary from my home country of Sweden I found your site pretty fast and it has helped me feel more at home here, it has inspired many trips with my family. Thanks for all the work with keeping it such a current and relevant site. I will miss it!
But I just signed up yesterday!! Sounds like you have been a great asset to this community and will be missed. All the best:)
Hi Bob, all of my university students have their reading break coming up, and I want to get them out to all of the different trail networks that we never get a chance to ski because we are usually so busy with racing. I was hoping you know in general what days of the week some of these places typically do their grooming? My experience often gets me out their with shin deep powder;) Pocaterra, Skogan Pass/Ribbon Creek, Yoho? Thanks, and keep up the great job on the blog.
I’m sad to hear that you’re intending to end your website this season. It’s an amazing site. I wish I had known it in 2008. I’ve recommended it to many skiers.
I understand that it’s a lot of work to keep it up.
I’m sure you will be out on your skis on the trails you love.
Take care and keep skiing!
Will miss you Bob! Thanks for an amazing blog – we read it all the time and will continue to look back on all the wealth of information you have provided to the cross-country skiing community! Thanks for keeping the site on.
Hope you can enjoy your skiing even more now!
Thanks so much for your dedication and hard work, Bob. The terrific information in your blogg has been a great help to our small cross-country ski group. We will miss you!
Your blog will be sorely missed! There’s such a community feel to it- skiers sharing photos, trail updates, photos of wildlife or dogs encountered, etc.
I hope there is someone out there willing to continue with a blog as many folks prefer an emailed blog to using Facebook, although it’s great to have both.
Thank you and happy trails.
Shutting down SkierBob will harsh the XC Ski Nation’s buzz.
I hope you are going to shift to Making Alberta A Democracy now!
Thanks for the great service Bob.
Ski long and prosper.
(PS Sell your website to a ski shop)
Bob, you have done a fabulous job in conveying a worth of info to hundreds of enthusiastic Skiers. I am blind and your blogs really helped me to choose where I could to and safely ski. Truly, we will miss you. Thanks indeed. I hope someone else takes over to administer your site or starts another one. May God bless you.
We’ve really appreciated this site for a wealth of reasons. You have created a community and injected us all with tremendous spirit for the winter season. We will all miss you. Does one have to have a FB account to access the FB site? We do not have a FB account. Please someone think about picking up the mantle. I nominate Helen. But I know there are several others that get out daily.
There is not a day in winter when I don’t read all the updates / trip reports to plan my next outing……the blog will be sorely missed and for sure you would deserve a proper send off at the end of the ski season from all the readers / trip reporters! Would you consider letting a group of aficionados take over the blog and continue your “oeuvre” or are you more inclined to just close the blog?
In any case many many thanks for the time and energy you dedicated to the ski community and being such a great ambassador to this sport.
I just got back into XC skiing before Christmas and your site as recommended by a long time follower of yours (thanks Rhonda) was instrumental in getting me the information needed to facilitate a fast and informative launch! Thank you so much, Bob!
Thank you for a great website So nice to have access to all the information! A job well done!
In the market for some used classic skis with SNS!
Thanks Bob, for doing so much for the xc ski community!
Don’t put that camera away, though.
Wow, this blog will sure be missed! I’ve only started cross country skiing this year but I appreciate all the work you (and others) have put in over the years. Also, meeting you on the trail and having my photo make it onto the blog was a special memory from this year – yes, I sent it to my parents because I think it’s a big deal! I’ve really enjoyed visiting skierbob.ca and I’ll be sad to not check this site every morning next winter. Thank you again!!!
Is there a more useful, comprehensive and appreciated xc ski blog in the Universe than the skierbob universe? I think not. Entertaining and helpful, principled and ethical. Thank you, Bob.
I feel as though a dear friend is about to pass away. The memories will linger on, long after a “new” initiative emerges.
Happy trails Bob!
Thank you so much for your enormous volunteer contribution to the XC skiing community. Your site contains so much valuable information. You will be missed, I hope to thank you in person soon.
Thanks so much Bob! My husband and I have Loved your blog and have viewed it for years as we love x-country skiing and find your blog to be so informative!
you will be sorely missed!
A heartfelt thank you. Your work on behalf of the skiing community is so greatly appreciated.
Its a very sad day to hear this news Bob, thank you for all you’ve done for our skiing community, I’m personally very appreciative of the tremendous energy you’ve put into Skier Bob, awesome, awesome job
Wow you will be sorely missed! This blog has been such a benefit to all of us who love cross country skiing… hope to meet you on the trail someday and thank you in person.
Thanks for all you have done Bob. I have enjoyed reading your blog for years and I appreciate the huge volunteer commitment you have provided.
Looking for gently used leather Nordic Norm ski boots, mens size 9 – Not big heavy “tele touring” boots of the late eighties/nineties, the lighter-weight ones from the seventies/eighties. Thanks!
Healy Creek was great today! A little slow on my waxless skis, but winter wonderland!
Volunteer parking shift at Ribbon creek this am & the masses missed a beauty! Hardly any traffic & though it was -31 for a small part of the westbound drive on the trans-Canada this morning, by early aft ‘ski time’, the car thermometer registered -15.
The Village trails had all been freshly trackset and were world class; the ‘setter’ deserves some kind of reward!!! At those temps, a cocktail of Swix Polar & Toko green grip waxes made traction easy-peasy. No breeze in the trees, so downhills on Kovach, etc. were an absolute joy! Go get some!!!
Hello, I am looking for a pair of women’s skate skis, maybe package with boots and poles. Size 170 to 175 cm, boot size 38.
Please phone or text me at 250 306 5386
Sun feb 7: hummingbird plume/skogan pass (from ribbon).
Yep, cold start, but bluebird and almost calm, making for manageable conditions and a nice day out. A dusting of snow on the grooming made for good grip and smooth descending, albeit slow cold snow, which kept the wind chill down at least. Enjoyed the odd pleasure of wearing a face mask on descent for non-covid reasons. An insulated codpiece might have been beneficial too. Only saw two other skiers all day and less than a handful of cars in the lot on return. Descended the north side of the pass a bit on an AT track for some wind free sun and views away from the power line. Returned via hay meadow, perhaps my first time on that trail? Some Walker traffic on that section.
Answering Bob’s query about why the Bragg Creek Trails Snow Rabbit is called Erica:
The ‘Erica‘ decal on the front windscreen recognizes our primary benefactor, Erica Frischkorn, who is a keen XC skier and who loves the fact that she can take her pooches along when she and her husband are out enjoying the trails. The Frischkorn Family Foundation stepped up as the anchor donor for the $172,000 Snow Rabbit. Following along with substantial donations were Pieridae Energy and the Shell Legacy Fund.
To make up the bulk of the remaining money needed, our trail users responded to an appeal and collectively contributed an amazing $68,000. The final $9,000 came from Bragg Creek Trails’ general funds. From the Board and the leadership team, thank you to all of our awesome supporters. The Snow Rabbit has been a game changer this winter, providing a huge boost to the efficiency of Bragg Creek Trails’ grooming operations.
New personal best starting temp…maybe best isn’t the right word.
-28 is what the Subie thermometer said. Brrr
But what a beautiful bluebird day.
Handful of vehicles to start. Not much more after that.
A light dusting of snow covered the setting from yesterday, making everything a bit slower. I think this what they call working snow…definitely no issue with grip.
Started on East Crystal, Iron Springs, Elbow, Packers, home on West Crystal.
Kept a nice pace, trying to keep sweat down to prevent chilling down. Stops were at a minimum, but sunny spots were definitely the place to do it.
Overall a nice morning of earning super bowl snacks.
Shaganappi Golf Course
Continuing our golf course forays we checked out Shaganappi for the first time this afternoon in the cold temps (-21C @ 1pm) but brilliant sunshine. Although only skier tracked it was pretty good for the most part on the recent grooming. Did a loop of the upper trail, then the expert track and then a smaller inside loop of the upper trails followed by one scoot around the learning area. No trouble staying warm as the wind was minimal. We will definitely have to come back following some tracksetting. Parking lot perhaps a quarter full.
Selling women’s black salomon skate boots ,, in good shape for 75$ . Would need the pilot bindings on their skis.
Saturday Feb 6 3pm at Maple Ridge Golf Course
– skier set, will be awesome if the city could trackset. There is excellent snow cover
– not busy, maybe 15 cars in the lot and I only encountered 7 people on the trails
– dang cold and I forgot to wear contacts so my glasses kept icing up!
ALSO – A Mat & Nat Purse was left in the washrooms at the Discovery Centre (Information Centre in Peter Lougheed PP in Kananaskis). If this belongs to you please reply in this thread.
It is -28 at the Peter Lougheed Discovery Centre.
The roads were cleared but both had hard packed snow on them.
Kananaskis Cross Country Parking Passes are now being sold at the discovery centre with cash or cheque.
Stay Warm Everyone!
West Bragg Creek
As Bob said in his report, snow and grooming conditions were good at West Bragg Creek. I didn’t update my glide wax, so my glide was slower than it should have been. My afternoon of skiing included Hostel Loop and Moose Loop. It was cold, but comfortable enough, with the right clothing. No photos… camera froze up.
Spray River / Goat Creek was excellent today. Superb tracksetting after the recent storm snow and lots of loose and minimally skied snow on the hills made it easy to manage the downhill approaches to the bridges and left me smiling. 🙂
If you’re going out, be careful with clothing and food; at -20C, a day outside is draining. The wind within 1 km of the Goat Creek parking lot was savage.
Lake Louise, starting from Great Divide: -17 around 10:30 warming to -15. We skier tracked down Upper Tramline. MLR had a couple of passes of packing down with skier tracks, and arrived at Fairview to soft but beautiful new grooming and track-setting. Took shortcut to Lk. Louise and skied on new tracks there to check out ice climbers. Our fingers were frozen just looking at them. A few other walkers climbed all the way up, but our thumbs were too cold to watch them sliding back down that very steep slope. Took Peyto (could see yesterday’s track under 7 cms of fresh snow) back to the car and drive to our very favorite “LAGGAN’s trail” for the last two of their Hazelnut Macaroons and a Latte. NO wind all day until nearing Banff on Trans Canada coming home.
Cold but rewarding,
We were inspired by MAKE ALBERTA A DEMOCRACY’s post and skied to Sundance Lodge today. We were lucky to encounter two martens up in a tree by the trail, nearing the viewpoint. One of the martens was carrying a squirrel while the other barked at me trying to distract me. Eventually, the marten with the squirrel jumped to another tree and had its lunch. When we arrived at Sundance Lodge, the thermometer showed -16C. We had lunch, then ventured past the lodge for 15 minutes or so on the beautiful trail. It was getting blustery when we got back to the vehicle. We only met one other skier all day, nearing the parking lot. The temperature stayed pretty consistent all day.
We stayed warm skiing. It’s definitely more of an effort to ski without track setting but it was so pretty with snow all over the trees. The highway was in good shape with one clear lane, and sometimes two.
Peter Lougheed Provincial Park-Elkwood Parking Lot – Wheeler -Amos -Wheeler counterclockwise
Skier tracked, good snow.
Confederation Golf Course
3pm -21C and no wind. A surprising number of brave souls. Parking lot close to full. No problem keeping warm enough for an hour on the trails. Did all of the classic trails except orange. All in reasonable shape for the most part.
Selling: Woman’s Salomon X-country Elite S Skate Skiis, 171 cm, G4 Base. – Hardly been used.
Women’s Salomon Boots, size 7.5, Eur 39.3 cm 24.5
Fisher poles 145 cm All in excellent shape. In SW Calgary. $200 for entire package.
Text me at 867-444-0515 if interested
If you’re looking for somewhere to ski without the extreme cold, I suggest Mars. The latest weather (Feb 4) from the Curiosity Rover is sunny with a high of -6C! You don’t have to worry about wind chill because of Mars’ minimal atmosphere. Because Mars has only a third of Earth’s gravity, getting up hills will be a breeze (without the breeze). Great views everywhere! (Unfortunately Mars is a bit too far from Earth to spot MaSid’s East Elk Pass wind wall.)
I recommend skin skis with a Teflon base. As an extra bonus, a Parking Pass is not required. Safety Tip – Get back before dark; the overnight low is -74C. – https://mars.nasa.gov/msl/weather/. Hey Bob, how about adding this link to your Weather menu?
Feb. 6, 2021 0800h
West Bragg Creek received another 3-5cm of snow overnight. Most trails have been groomed and track set today with the exception of Telephone and Mountain View West. Although cold and slow, ski conditions should be excellent. Dress for the weather, the forecast is for cold temps for the next few days!
A chilly -21 start. Weird…no other cars or skiers seen today 😉
Lots of new snow, followed the skier set on green loop for a couple spins, then a loop on the expert track.
First time there. Very enjoyable ski. Glide was pretty good considering the temps.
Good gear and you will stay warm. Have fun.
The population of the Calgary/Southern Alberta region has tripled since the 1980’s.
Except for the creation of the Canmore Nordic Centre and the addition of new trails by West Bragg Creek volunteers, the actual amount of XC ski trails in Kananaskis Country has decreased. There has been no comprehensive plan in the past 30 years to address the increased demand for outdoor recreation that results from this regional population increase. Successive governments since Don Getty and Ralph Klein have cut funding for trails. The NDP did create the Castle Parks and invested in trail and infrastructure upgrades in Kananaskis.
The UCP governments helpful plan is to have Australian companies remove mountain tops and sell the coal for nothing to China… and to turn the rest of the public lands over to OHV users.
Peter Lougheed would be ashamed of the lack of leadership and vision.
Have noticed the term ‘sporty’ being used more frequently in trip reports. What do folks mean when using this description?
Kananaskis, Peter Lougheed
It’s -19 at the Peter Lougheed Discovery Centre with about 5 cm -10cm of snow accumulation at the centre. There may be more snow in the southern areas of the Park. Both lanes of Highway 40 were ploughed, however there are still snow patches. The lane going Southbound is more clear.
In PLPP we also lost part of Boulton Creek due to the flood. This were subsequently replaced, though I preferred the original. Sunshine used to groom and trackset trails up in the village on a regular basis and even had a nordic lift pass that allowed a ride up the gondola and one ride up either Strawberry or WaWa. There was one loop above WaWa, a loop in the meadows beyond Strawberry and a loop below the village. I don’t know what the total km was. Last time I was at Sunshine it looked like the loop below the village was groomed for skating, though without a season pass you’d have to pay the full lift price to get up there.
Feb 6: Last night’s tracksetting will have varying amounts of fresh snow on top.
PLPP: Elk Pass, Blueberry Hill, Patterson, and Upper Lake. Hydroline was groomed only. The temperature at the Lower Lake is -17
Skogan Pass, Sunburst, High Level, Skogan Loop, Hay Meadow, Ruthie’s.
Healy Creek in Banff.
Confederation golf course: Blue, green, and orange.
BREWSTER CREEK – BEYOND SUNDANCE LODGE
The Healy Creek trail was trackset today. It is in excellent condition to the Brewster Creek junction.
The Brewster Creek trail to Sundance Lodge is only snowmobile packed for some reason. There is an excellent snow base with a couple of centimeters of snow on top as of about 9:30 pm. The hills are in great shape.
Beyond Sundance Lodge I rebroke and broke trial to about 1 km past the bridge after Sundance Lodge or beyond the old trappers cabin location. Skiing is generally very good . Trail breaking gets easier beyond the bridge. Skied out at night.
The temperature at Sundance was -13c with 1 to 2 mm of light snow coming down per hour.
On the way up to Sundance I took the old horse trail/ short cut. It is generally good skiing going up hill with a few rocks in the usual sections. With 7 cm of wet snow it should be in generally very good to excellent shape for climbing up.
A short ski from the Spray West parking lot to the Spray West/East junction, a bit beyond, and back. As Ulrike said, the trail is soft (very soft!), and I’m sure the weekend traffic (well, those willing to brave the cold) will do a good number on the tracksetting. The storm was moving in as we were leaving around 1500, and quite a bit of snow (small flakes) were being blown onto the trail. Whoever’s first out tomorrow should have fun breaking the trail!
This morning I observed a couple of ice flows starting along Mountain View West in WBC. I suspect there may be a few others lurking and slowly growing.
Before your time Bob pre 1988 Ribbon Creek had almost 68 km of groomed trails. The trails around the Nakiska ski area like Stump Meadow, Timber Trail an extended Coal Mine and Ruthie’s were some of the best ski trails in Kananaskis.
Great ski in Yoho NP today. Started at Natural Bridge and went up the Emerald Connector to Emerald Lake, then across the lake and around the alluvial fan, and back to Natural Bridge (26 km). Track great throughout. Only walked on for a few hundred metres on the fan, and just downstream of the lodge. Mostly overcast but the monochrome scene of snow and cool trees on the fan was wonderful. Squall blew through when we were crossing the lake on our return, otherwise warm, a high of -2C. Trail back down was sporty in places. Blowing snow and occasional whiteout conditions didn’t hit us until east of Castle Junction.
First off, great page! Been a wealth of information!
My group is feeling adventurous and wants to try the Lookout Trail in PLPP. We usually do 10-15km when we go. I’ll admit we are newer, but have done most of the black hills at PLPP. What’s the best way? Make it into a loop with whiskey? Or just out and back from the elk pass lot? Any advice would be great!
Thanks in advance!
Fri feb 5: tower lake BNP
No trail breaking required. Well skied with just enough fresh at the sides. Didn’t encounter the wind until back around the shoulder and into the bow valley corridor again. Colder down there. Drive home was bad vis, ranging from a couple hundred feet to near zero on occasion. Hopefully the winds are calm during the cold of the next few days.
BOULTON, FOX CREEK, ELK PASS, TYRWHITT, WHISKEY LOOP: minus 12 when we left the parking lot, mega snow on the whole loop now. Tyrwhitt and Whiskey were groomed, the rest skier tracked. Some falling snow stuck to my skies after lunch. Easy skiing down Whiskey today.
The blizzard hit us on the way home, a bit scary at times. Great ski day!
Ribbon Creek: -9 to start: Warmed up on Hidden then Coal Mine (beautiful grooming Jeff!), across to Kovach Loop with fun downhill out/back on Aspen, stopping in Pomeroy Lodge for huge serving of fries and large Lattes, then back down to car via trail that starts right at Lodge parking lot entrance. Super job Lodge has done creating separate snowshoe and biker trails. Drive home quite challenging when people insist on passing at too high a speed. Lots of whiteout conditions. We were sure glad we had not chosen to ski Skogan Pass this morning, but got in 665 M likely most of which was on Coal Mine.
This is literally the moment the cold front blew over me at 1130am almost at the peak of the road on Mountain View West at WBC. In a few moments it went from about -7’ish beautiful and sunny to windy, dark, and plunging temps. My truck said -16C at the parking lot about 35 mins later. Prior to the storm it was much warmer there than in Calgary. On the fresh snow there was great glide and it was grand to be out. Post arrival however tracks were being filled in, wind gusts stirring up squalls and blinding snow, and folks were quickly adding layers to their heads and body. Storm arrival
CNC. I started a bit after 10:00 am in very pleasant weather, -6 C. Got to Silvertip via Olympic and Coyote, which were ungroomed but wonderful. I then skied Silvertip and Rundle, which were both in excellent shape. The east end of Rundle was not groomed, but again perfectly manageable. The weather abruptly changed up there, and was blizzarding by the time I descended into the stadium. Overall a really fun ski.
Goat Creek to Canmore: Started in mild temperature from the Banff Springs end and only saw a couple of skiers. Enjoyed skiing in good tracks and soft snow, sheltered from the wind. The downhills were packed but easy to control. A very peaceful trip. The storm hit me when I reached the Goat Creek trailhead and temperature started to go down.
According to the latest news and weather the empire’s assets will be frozen this weekend.
Feb 4 Yoho from Kicking Horse Ski Club:
Emerald got groomed and tracked today. There was tons of snow in that valley. The Connector and Tally-Ho are done also. Enjoy!
Bragg Creek-Feb 4=Great job groomers-thank you, we had a fun day.
Only issue were the Dogs. Love Dogs, though ppl seem to forget that Having unleashed Dogs on xski trails is a privilege, and when we are going down a steep hill you need to get your Unleashed Dog off the trail – it is not up to me to tell your Dog to move(like it happened yesterday). Some Dog owner’s’ were just looking at ppl going down the steep hills and not taking action to move their dog out of ones path. If your dog does not listen to you, perhaps kindly pls leave your dog at home Or leash your Dog., do not leave it unleashed. A lot of “serious accidents- near misses “that could have happened. Dogs are great but pls if you unleash your dog at xski trails pls take responsibility that your dogs do not block the trails. Happy xskiing
WBC – Moose Loop and Mountain View West
Three words: FAB-U-LOUS! I started at 9am at -11, and found my green wax with new blue roll-on for glide to be just perfect throughout my ski. No new snow despite a good amount in Calgary, so the tracks were still good. I didn’t run in to many other skiers for most of the ski, until heading down the big hill on the way back (so happy to run into my friend Wendy and her husband Jose just starting their ski). Back at the car just before 11am it was -7… much warmer than the -16 with blowing snow on the highway. If anyone wants to escape the cold and wind for the afternoon, I bet it’s still lovely at WBC!
Looking for a pair of skate boots, 45-46 ish, NNN compatible. Not after anything super fancy – sub $100.
James 587 582 4816
Yesterday we skied a loop in PLPP. Conditions depended on which order trails were groomed during the snow. Poccatera was lovely with about 3 cms on top of the grooming. Lynx was a bit softer and then Amos and Wheeler were deep and skier set. – About 20cms of soft new snow. Packers had obviously been done last and it had pristine corduroy and tracks. The ice patch is back. Then we came back on Poccatera on 2 cms of new. (Fresh grooming on Pocaterra if we had headed uphill at the junction.) We were both on skin skis which climbed well but overall it was slower than usual. A lovely day!
Feb 4 Upper Lake Louise trails from the Chateau grooming team:
Fairview Loop (#2): Double trackset, good condition, Feb. 4.
Shoreline (#4): Double trackset, good condition, Feb. 3.
Lake Trail (#4): Double trackset with a separate path for walkers, Feb. 4, fair condition. Caution, there are two large ice patches near the south end of the lake.
Upper Telemark and Peyto Trails (#5): Sled packed, skier set, poor condition, Feb. 4. We hope to trackset this tomorrow morning (Feb. 5).
Avalanche control to occur on spray lakes road/east end of rundle Friday by Kananaskis public safety crew. Road will be closed in the morning starting between 9 and 11 am. If wanting to do goat creek Friday, go early and you may have to return the long way round, depending on outcome.
GOAT CREEK – SPRAY RIVER WEST & RETURN – February 4
Great snow and track conditions throughout. The steep descent to the Goat Creek bridge was a charm with the recent snow. Also skied about 750 m along the Spray River trail heading south just enough to get a nice vintage point of the valley; 15 cm fresh snow over a sun crust and an old ski track continuing further, about the river. VR40 works fine until the return at the Goat bridge, where I topped up with some VR45.
FEB 4 TOUR DE WEST BRAGG CREEK
East Crystal, Iron Springs, Iron Creek, Iron Springs South, Elbow South to Snagmore, Elbow, Loggers, West Crystal, Mountain View, Mountain Road, Mountain View West, Moose Loop South, Moose Connector, West Crystal, Hostel Loop East & West, Telephone Loop, Moose Connector, Mountain Road
Lots of reports from West Bragg today, so I’ll just add what hasn’t been reported on yet: Was on skin skis. Elbow South was trackset with loose powder next to the trackset. The ground was peeking through the trackset in several places on Elbow South, Mountain View, Mountain View West, and Hostel Loop. Telephone Loop was packed snow, with recent roller packing on the west side. Most of the loop was 5-10cm of packed snow over ice, crust, and dirt. Nevertheless what little fresh snow there was, was sufficient to keep the skis away from the nasty stuff below. There were a few very shallow ski tracks, but not really any skier trackset.
Sandy McNabb was groomed today. Long Prairie Loop is fair but the dogs, hikers, and horses are already chewing up the thin snow on the west side of the loop. The south side trails were very good and the place to be. Smooth corduroy mostly skier track set made for enjoyable skiing. So, with even more snow on the way, I’d say Sandy is back in the game.
I had a fantastic ski today up Whiskey Jack, to the picnic table on Trywhitt and then back down via Pocaterra and Packers!
I’m wondering if anyone happens to know if Pocaterra Hut will be reopening soon and same of the lounge at the discovery Center? Restaurants are reopening for dine in on Feb 8th and both were closed at about the same time that dine in service was banned in December 2020.
Also couldn’t help but notice new signage on Highway 40 for the Kananaskis Visitor Information Center (Barrier Lake). Does this mean that they will be reopening it?
Bill Milne today from Ribbon Creek. The parking lot wasn’t plowed and there were no other cars but the new track setting was fabulous. The weather co-operated, it was quite warm but little wind and no snow until we were leaving.
We met several skiers along the trail in the afternoon, everyone was smiling and having a good time, being very polite on the single track trail except for one lone skier who felt he owned the right of way and wasn’t willing to yield to the three of us coming from the other direction on the flats. Too bad he hadn’t carefully read the skierbob info on trail manners (he told us skierbob had said that he had the right of way because he was on the right hand side). Might be worth another discussion especially for all the new (and not so new) skiers out there.
The folks with us who had never skied this trail before were really impressed. The snow plow was just coming into the parking lot as we left about 2:30.
Ribbon Creek – K-Village
Skied many of the trails in the area (Kovach, Terrace Link, Aspen, Bill Milne) and all were were track set relatively recently and were in great shape.
Feb 4 – Goat Creek
A good amount of people out today! Yesterday’s grooming was excellent. A bit soft outside of the tracks. There were a couple runners on the trail, which was a bit frustrating but at least they stayed out of the track.
Very little tracksetting at CNC. Some trails were groomed. Quite disappointing really.
WBC: -8 C at 9:00 am / -2 C at 2:00 pm
Started with VR40 and added one application of VR 45 after 12:30 pm for Hostel Loop. Kick and glide were very good.
East Crystal Line: tracks improved further away from parking lot and skating lane soft,
Iron Springs: grooming and tracks very good to the fence line, then turned back to Iron Springs/Elbow connector,
Loggers Loop to West Crystal Line: good grooming and tracks for a quick decent
Moose Connector: Steep hills scrapped to old snow/ice with some small rocks exposed.
Moose Loop: West bound tracks skier damaged to the Tom Snow junction and bridge. Uphill and East bound tracks and grooming in very good condition to Moose Connector.
Mountain Road: Solid tracks and great glide to the parking lot.
Hostel Loop: Most of the track and grooming through the loop are in very good condition.
Certain trails popular with dog’s companions are covered with paw dents – wall to wall over certain sections. Dents didn’t affect skiing in the soft snow though. Dogs can have fun too!
On Jan 20 I lost my favourite touque in Canmore. Somewhere between the Nordic Center, downtown and cougar creek area. It’s blue and white striped and has a small Toko logo. Very sentimental, pls let me know if you find it.
Also lost a pair of ski poles in December, likely from the fence at the Nordic center. Yellow straps and yellow handles. Exel brand.
WBC (-3C at 10:30am and lot 2/3 full)
We skied East Crystal, Iron Spring / Creek & South (the part groomed by Alberta Parks), Elbow, Loggers, Mt View / Mt View West, Moose (south side) and back n Mt Road.
The snow / tracks were quite soft, glide was excellent and Swix V45 Violet provided excellent grip.
Bragg Creek East Side: we felt very fortunate snagging one of the last 2 or 3 parking spots today at 1115! The car did not have a thermometer but it seemed pretty warm heading out on East Crystal. Not a lot of folks out on Iron Springs and Elbow, surprising given the lots were packed. Thanks to the grooming crew for getting out there so fast! Conditions were decent, not fast snow and mushy trails in spots, likely from the crowds of the last 2 days, but so fun to finally be back at Bragg. I will now proceed to the Ski Bragg donation page….
CNC 9:30-11:30 -6C parking lots were quite empty in the AM, 1/2 full by noon.
Skied with VR 45 with a cover of VR 40.
Trail Report showed grooming and TS on main manmade trails and on Banff Trail past meadow. A lot of the natural snow trails were grooming only. Two days after a snowfall I expected more track setting on the natural snow.
Turns out Classic skiing was really good on the groomed only trails and non groomed as well. The snowfall wasn’t enough to cover the tracks and they have been tracked in by skiers.
We skied out Bow loop onto Bow, up Greywolf,onto Silvertip. Returned via Banff trail. Banff trail’s tracks are a bit dirty and the bottom of the tracks are a bit margarita in makeup. Great morning of skiing!
Spray River at Banff – We were the second car in the lot behind the Banff Springs Hotel this morning. Temp was -9C. and calm. New tracks were lovely and soft in the fresh snow. We skied all the way to the shelter at the Jct. with Spray East and half way to the Spray Bridge before we met anyone at all. It felt as though we were the only two on the face of the earth! Then we met Helen Read, Bill McKeever, and Dana Roman who were skiing down from Goat Creek. Nice to have a short visit with them. The track set along this section was much softer than the east-west loop tracks, but still great. We turned around at the loop before the bridge and skied back to the jct. for lunch. A short exploratory trip took us onto the east track (nicely set) and then back the way we came and up to the hotel parking lot for an early exit (-2C.)
Confederation Golf Course
Wow! That was one busy place for a weekday! Snow was great, groomers were slaving away, and the parking lot was jammed when I left just before noon. I was glad I had parked on the street. As an aside, a fellow skier drove up close behind me as I was parking, obviously assuming I was pulling into the parking lot, and was furiously waving at me when he realized I was parking on the street, immediately below the 2h parking sign. I pointed to the sign, but that wasn’t enough – he had to share his grievance with me, so wound down his window as he pulled up alongside. His complaint was that I had ‘parked too far from the curb’. I was only saved from hearing more by the other skiers who drove up behind him and honked so that he would move along. He was right – I took a photo and there was indeed a third of a foot (yup, 4 inchs) between my car and the two-foot drift of snow that sits 3 feet deep from the curb, so I really could have squeezed my car those 4 inches closer to the edge for him, in spite of all the other parked cars that were aligned with mine when I left. Gentle reminder that when you follow someone around the corner from 19th St, s/he may not be pulling into the parking lot like you, so make sure you follow at a reasonable distance so you can move around street parkers. That street has not been properly cleared, so the SNOW prevents us from parking right beside the curb, much like the majority of side streets in Calgary. And for heavens sake, don’t reprimand someone when you’re in the wrong. That’s just poor form.
Enthusiastic dog+bushes=busted pole. Can’t find a set of 140 cm poles anywhere! I just need a basic level recreational set-the broken one I’d bought secondhand over 15 years ago.
Looking for skate ski boots; size 39; NNN. If you have an old pair to sell me, you’d make my day! Text: 403-397-0215
Yesterday we skied the Montaine Trail and Silvertip Golf Course, above our house. We started at Cougar creek parking lot, there is a bit of the steep slope at the beginning of Montaine Trail, but after that, the views and powder were incredible. There are usually a few dog walkers on the golf course early in the morning, but we went at eleven when the sun came out and we did not meet a person. Wondered around the golf course, which is designed for the great views. Our initial plan was the Goat Creek, which we love to ski when the conditions are OK (not too often) but we forgot, that it is still closed. The golf course was an excellent option.
After the beating Mountain Road took yesterday, we decided to re track set it to the cattle guard. Also track set last night were Mountain View, and Moose Connector. Temp last night was -17 so the new track setting should be solid!Within the last 24 hrs, the whole system with the exception of Telephone has been groomed and track set. More snow is on the way.
Shaganappi Point golf course in Calgary grooming update:
14cm of fresh snow!!!
All trails were groomed Wednesday night by two volunteers, but unfortunately there was not time to do any track setting. Thursday morning one volunteer may be able to go out to track-set no promises, though…they were out for 7 hours Wednesday already!
Wednesday afternoon three volunteers Skidoo track-packed the new snow on the trails, then two volunteers groomed over the Skidoo track-packing in the evening leaving some nice corduroy!
Coverage is great on most trails with the exception of the notes below:
Areas to be aware of:
(SW corner of the golf course) is not recommended, as it’s got just a little bit of snow on top of the asphalt cart path. We are not sure if our volunteers have the capacity to move snow onto that section of trail, as it requires a lot of snow to make it last through March. There are two skiable workarounds that were used a lot last winter, we may just let nature win that one.
This trail between junctions 7 and 8 still has thin coverage with rocks just below the snow, and is not recommended. Snow farming would be really helpful there. Se may put some scoop shovels at the bottom of the hill, hoping some skiers will help that section of trail out!
Trail map link for junction references mentioned above:
Thanks to volunteer Lynn B
… the super amazing snow angel for dedicating 10+ hours of time over multiple days moving snow back onto the asphalt cart path between Junctions 1 and 2 from the huge snow pile in the parking lot, that trail section is now mostly skiable!!! Beware of one thin area of snow that is juuust covering the asphalt cart path by the 1st tee for the Valley 9. We suspect that will be covered up in the next few days by the snow angel, or other snow angels!
Volunteer time Skidoo track-packing the new snow Wednesday afternoon:
Volunteer 1: 4 hours
Volunteer 2: 4.5 hours
Volunteer 3: 4.5 hours
Volunteer time grooming Wednesday evening:
Volunteer 3: 4 hours
Volunteer 4: 2.75 hours
PLPP. Fantastic night ski starting at Pocaterra lot. Temp was -7 in parking lot at 5:30pm. We stayed on Pocaterra all the way to Whiskey Jack junction and back to the lot. We enjoyed some fresh corduroy between Packers and WJ. Whiskey Jack was freshly groomed as well. Snow was fast and tracks were decent on our route, most connectors had a lot of snow on them but the groomer was out so I bet tomorrow will be fabulous.
Ribbon Ck-Skogan: Back to the Future
The skiing on the Skogan side of the Ribbon Creek trails today was like a time travel experience back to the 1970’s and 80’s. Before COVID19, before crowds on every trail, before trail apps, before the 1988 Olympics… even before Kananaskis Country.
We were the only vehicle to push our way through 15cm of fresh powder into the un-plowed Troll Falls Parking lot. With a smooth blanket of fresh snow, we had to guess a bit to find the start of the Hay Meadow trail. There were no tracks at all, just smooth untouched snow. And there was no hint that anyone had ever been to Troll Falls, except for the sign post. So we broke trail to visit the falls. Except for the recent barrier fencing and signs telling people to read the signs that they had just ignored, it could have been the 1970’s.
Breaking trail up Ruthies, we joined onto the track of a single skier who was headed up Skogan Pass trail ahead of us. We met her at Sunburst junction on her way down. While my friends had lunch, I skied a short way down the power line corridor from Sunburst. A nice bit of powder skiing!
We continued up Sunburst and over to the view-less Hummingbird Plume Lookout. In the 1970’s there was a view from this spot, but now it’s just a cleared spot in the forest. A short bit of off-trail skiing does provide the reward of the original view.
We then toured along High Level to the power line and did a powder descent to Sunburst. And then continued on down along the power line to the valley bottom. It seemed vaguely familiar, but it was only once we got back and checked the old Kananaskis Country Ski Trails book that we remembered that this was once an actual ski trail called “Balam”. XC skiing was definitely different in those days! It was great to re-live that again today!
Goat Creek was PHENOMENAL today!! We started out from Canmore in a good 10 – 15 cm of fresh snow and broke trail for about 45 minutes until we heard the glorious snowmobile coming towards us!
It took the groomer 6 passes to get the full trail trackset so we saw him a few times as we graduated from fresh powder to packed snow, corduroy, and eventually happy fresh tracks.
Best of all, we beat all the dang hikers!!! It was my first time skiing it end to end without a single footprint! We saw nobody but beautiful skiers all day!
And, I finally met the incredible Skier Chuck!! I’ve been wanting to meet Chuck forever! We all had a lovely long chat.
Link to my photos. (Thanks Chuck for the group photo!)
GOAT CREEK (Including SPRAY WEST and SPRAY EAST) – Feb 3
Trackset today with a good 15 cms of new snow at higher elevations.
Details available in the photo descriptions here:
Surprisingly few people out today.
WBC – AMAZING groomers. We were fortunate to follow the groomers today at WBC at noon today! -12 at the parking lot. West Crystal Line to Ironsprings then returning Sundog – all track set with amazing tracks!!! It was a blue bird day and glorious ski.
A shout out to the groomers who have kept the trails in such great shape allowing us to have access to Mother Nature!!!
I had never thought of skiing on the High Rockies Trail, but after seeing Chris S’ report it seemed like the perfect thing to do after it stopped snowing in Canmore this morning. There was 15cm of fresh, surprisingly fast powder on the trail. I didn’t have a lot of time so only skied halfway to the campground and back. I saw a snowshoe hare, a pine marten, and a moose… and the off-leash dog that was chasing the moose. It’s a provincial park, folks. Leash your dogs.
Confederation Golf Course
Feb 3 – noon
Purple and Yellow groomed and trackset, great conditions
Self-made tracks through fresh snow on Blue and Green. Powder on skate lanes
Hello – I have had a number of hip surgeries and walk with a cane, however I have been able to do some limited skiing on nordic trails. As part as my rehabilitation I would like to get back on x-country skis. I need flat trails as even the slightest incline can throw off my balance. I did ok at the East Village Loop in Calgary and I have read that the Wedge Connector may be good for me in Kananaskis. If anyone has any other thoughts on where to find very flat tracks for me to practice and get my confidence up — please share!!
Giving away Alpina BC (back country) boots USED 3 TIMES; mens size 9-10.
Sturdy high ankle boots for NNN BC bindings (single thicker bar and wider, deeper channels). “Bill Peterson Alpina power-bed” inserts. Size “43”.
Bragg Creek Hamlet got about 10cm of snow overnight with temps around -10C. Can’t wait until the BCT groomers work their magic and rejuvenate the trails after the freeze/thaw we recently had!
Its -10 degrees at the Peter Lougheed Discovery Centre this morning. I measured 30cm of fresh snow at the PLDC. Highway 40 has been plowed in both directions but the trailheads may not have been.
Thanks again for all these links and resources. When the Pandemic ends I will have to quit my job so I can explore all these gorgeous places on skis!
High Rockies Trail
Snow temp -3 C (until the cold front blew in)
Decided on a change in scenery today.
The trail is not trackset but a good base is packed down by the sled dog tours. Makes for easy skiing. A beautiful scenic route past Goat Pond and further on to the Spray Lakes West Campground which happens to be the base for the sled dog tours. Just beware and look out for those sleds as they come down the trail rather fast. I’m amazed by the energy exerted by those dogs (if only I had half as much). I saw 8 teams of dog sleds! That’s over 50 dogs, quite the noisy ruckus before they set off.
Useful Tip: I met up with the tour photographer, Boris, and he said the best day to ski the route is on Wednesdays. The tour groups don’t run their tours on that day so there’s no interference between sleds and trail users.
Skied back against heavy snow and ended the trip caked in fresh snow. Reminded me of my backcountry ski trips.
Tuesday, February 2, 2021 PLPP: -3C at 10:00 am -1C at 3:00 pm
All skiers on waxless skis (one twin skins three fish scales) with mixed results re sticking and clumping.
No Monday night grooming updates were found on SkierBob or at the Discovery Centre, so we decided to start our day from Elkwood. There we discovered new grooming covered with 1 cm of new snow and graupel. Following the grooming we skied first tracks on Lodgepole and Sinclair to Pocaterra Hut. Only other tracks we saw were on Sinclair made by the two moose we found lounging off track at the top of the bigger Sinclair hill. Suicide Hill was a piece of cake with the soft new corduroy. The new grooming continued over Rolly Road and still no sticking or clumping. Come Along, Pocaterra and Lynx all had skier tracks in the snow-over-grooming (SOG) and we experienced increasing problems with soggy snow. Amos South and more SOG caused considerable problems sticking and clumping. Maybe Wheeler’s exposure to west winds cooled the snow because less sticking and clumping was experienced back to Elkwood. Not happy with all this soggy snow the author set off again to loop around on South Meadow, Woolley, Amos (through the campground) and Wheeler. Arrived back at Elkwood in time to see the Piston Bully set of south on Wheeler.
It’s good to know that there’s more detailed information on the grooming in PLPP. What puzzles me is that Amos, Wheeler, and Woolley were last groomed on Jan. 17, while Braille, Lodgepole, and Sinclair have been groomed 3 times since then (Jan. 19, Jan. 26, and Feb. 2). Blueberry, Elk Pass, and Patterson were last groomed on Jan. 20. I thought that there might be more of a regular rotation in the trail grooming, as in past years.
I lost my Maui Jim tortoise shell sunglasses on Sunday, Jan 31 on a goat creek trail (Canmore end) or High Rockies trail.
I Would be so grateful and happy If found!
Selling Men’s Rossignol X-IUM WC Classic boots SIZE 42 brand new this season. Worn a few times this season. Now they are too small for my son.
Selling Youth Fischer Jr Combi boots SIZE 37, 1 year old.
See kijiji for ads including photos and prices.
Bill Milne, Wedge Pond, Evan Thomas. Started at 9:30 AM OC and light snow which made the tracks great! Clouds gave way to sun. A great loop with lots of double polling. I must have gone for more than a km on the way back with nothing but double polling. Parking at Kovach Pond was convenient. +4C when we finished. Super day!
CNC. I went out around 10:45 this morning to get a ski in before the snowfall and temperature drop. Bow was groomed and track-set on the 1st, but conditions were variable. It was messy in spots, wet and slippery in others, and excellent in others. I tried out Wooded Bliss and Cold Shoulder for the first time and quite enjoyed them. These are the two dead-end options off of Bow. Wooded Bliss had some very dirty sections, but Cold Shoulder was clean and fast. There is a picnic table at the apex of Cold Shoulder in a very pretty location. My return on Banff Trail was clean and fast. It is in great shape. I used my skins and they were excellent except for a few of the steeper and slicker uphill pulls. It’s now 2:40 pm and the snowfall has begun.
Selling a pair of classic cross country skis:
– Salomon Aero 9 skin skis, 182cm (with Salomon Profile Auto SNS binding)
Used but excellent condition. I bought them to have a second set (my other ones are older scaled skis), but found the length of these Salomon’s too long for my liking.
Text or call me at 403-701-3783 if interested.
Your page is a wealth of great information. I’m wondering if you could provide some insight for me. I’m taking a solo vacation later this month (FEB2021) to Canmore. Any advice for solo skiing in Canmore? I’m thinking of a few daily visits to the Nordic Centre trails. And see also that one of the routes is lit. Is it fair to say that there is enough regular traffic on these trails that being out there alone isn’t a concern?
Great way-back referencing! I’ve got the revised ed. in my library aside David Rees’ xc compendium and Savage’s Ski Alberta. Question: what of these old gems? Whitehorn Loops; Sundance & Sunshine nordic trails; Johnson Lake Loops; Chester/Sawmill & Kananaskis Golf Course networks —some easy light touring trails that a new generation of skiers can explore.
Thank you Helen, Doug and Roy- I appreciate the information and look forward to checking out those sites– and those trails eventually. Enjoy the bounty of snow you are getting!
Kevin: I am partial to Yoho area and they have a smaller hotel in Field, BC called Truffled Pigs which I believe has 12 rooms and is complete with a very funky restaurant. Prices were very reasonable and a month ago hubby and I stayed there and were offered a discount for being members of Kicking Horse Ski Club ($50/yr). Trails available at that end and within 12 kms are: Lake O’Hara Fire Road (11 kms up one way), O’Hara end of Great Divide which one can ski to Lk Louise (11 kms.), Yoho Valley Road (5 kms or more if avalanche danger LOW), Tally Ho (right from Field Info Centre) takes you to The Connector (7 kms) which then takes you all way to Emerald Lk., and at Natural Bridge can ski Kicking Horse Fire Rd (7 kms). and scenic winner of all: Alluvial Fan at end of Emerald Lk. (8 kms starting at parking lot of Emerald Lk). Only problem is after a BIG storm, sometimes Trans Canada can be temporarily closed for avalanche control. They also have a CANSI level xc ski instructor who lives in Field, who is active in http://www.KHSC.ca above.
Kimberley has the best Nordic Center between Rossland and Canmore. It is also halfway between the two towns.
This website appears to have lots of info about xc skiing areas in the Kootenays.
Today was grinning from ear to ear in powder on Lookout in PLPP!
We started at noon from Elk Pass parking lot, temperature of zero degrees with forecast calling for above zero temperature in the afternoon. We both had skin skis so didn’t worry about anything. We did a loop that included Elk Pass, Tyrwhitt, Lookout, Hydroline, Patterson, back on Elk Pass and Fox to finish. Most trails were skier trackset except for Lookout on the South side. Coming down in ankle deep powder was an absolute blast! The stillness throughout the day was therapeutic. Driving back, we saw a large coyote on top of the snowbank between the two parking lane of Pocaterra parking lot. The temperature was still overing around zero at 4:30 when we left.
He is a link to picture /video of pow time!
WBC: Upper and Lower West Crystals / West Sundog / Loggers / Moose Connector / Mountain Road / Elbow N out and back / Iron Springs over the big hill out and back
Conditions were actually quite decent today, especially when I read about all of the clumping issues at other venues. I set an all time personal best for average speed today even though I was using my waxless skis.
Grooming had been done on the Crystal Lines so they were in the best shape. Sundog, Loggers and Mountain Road were pretty good too. Elbow N and Iron Springs N were okay. Surprisingly, the big hills on the all the routes were good, with the exception of the south bound hill downward on Iron Springs which had softened a bit around noon when the sun really hits it. The other hills are largely shaded.
In case readers didn’t notice it, Alberta Parks has provided some guidance on how to search for the most recent grooming reports on their website http://www.albertaparks.ca.
To search for most recent grooming…
a) Use the drop down menu above the status column to increase the number of trails shown.
b) Sort by activity type by clicking the top of the permitted activities column.
c) You can also use the same search box above the Trail Name column to search for specific dates.
PLPP – Hello all, skied Elk Pass, Tyrwitt, Whiskey Jack, Moraine as a loop today. Lots of fresh snow at the Elk Pass end all the way up and into the Tyrwitt meadows. A beautiful day with trail breaking all morning (peaceful but not my fave). My VR 40 was awesome until Whiskey Jack where like others the intense clumping began. Moraine was a mix of icy slush and later deep stuff near Fox creek. I nearly wept while on moraine in The campground ?. In all, a tough day for this intermediate skier with lots of nice people coming in from Pocaterra. Love it there and looking forward to some track setting next time.
STONEY CREEK CABIN – nice cm of new snow this morning made the ski into Stoney Creek very easy, temps approached 0 at noon making the snow near the cabin a bit wet. However, aside from scraping our skies once, we had minimal problems with sticking snow. Tbe ski back was quite fast, the tracks will be icy after they freeze again. A great ski day, once we get past the Cascade bridge it feels like real backcountry skiing. Used warm blue swix wax all day. Saw a pine martin at about km 5.
I trust every one in The Domain is hoping for some early sunbeams tomorrow morning so Balzac Billie’s prognostication will be for 6 more weeks of “Let Snow Let it Snow Let it Snow.
It is so fun to read these precious articles. Really appreciated. Thanks for sharing.
Those are Pine Marten tracks!
Feb. 1, 2021
Not to take anything away from Ray’s glowing report of the peacefulness here (I’m envious of the lynx sightings), today’s ski conditions were the WORST I’ve experienced in 32 yrs. The snow was sticking to the bottoms of waxed skis AND fish-scales AND EVEN skin skis! I did more scraping than skiing. I even had snow building up on the tips and tails! I’m sure that things will improve with the cold, but don’t be surprised if you’ve got no glide and enough grip to climb walls.
At 10am, it was -3 with about 5cm of new snow in the parking lot. Jeff G and I headed out, he on fishscales and me on blue wax with a bit of special violet under my feet for the hill. Even though the skier set tracks were pretty good, I started snowballing up pretty quickly (dad’s skis didn’t ice up at all but he found them to be very slow today). After scraping off most of my wax, and also a snowmobile on the way down flattening the trail nicely (it was worth the sudden lack of tracks!) we were able to make it about 1km past the campground before my skis told me that I wouldn’t get much farther up. After meeting Helen and Mary on their way down, it became clear that I wasn’t the only one to struggle with wax! The way down was much faster than the way up, and all the snow made plowing easy peasy (despite the footprints from some hikers for the last 2km or so). It was about +1 back at the car.
Quick ski at CNC early this afternoon. I skied up through the competition trails to Meadow, then took Rundle all the way out. I don’t think that trail was groomed yesterday, and there was a thin (~1cm) layer of SLOW fresh snow on top. I skied back on Bow which had been groomed, and the snow was much faster. Warm out there today. The snow wasn’t slushy at all, but it definitely had a high water content. I was glad to be skating because I’m not sure what I would have tried to wax with… Felt like spring.
Redearth almost to Shadow Lk Lodge turnoff before high heel phenomena commenced around 11:30. Beautiful powder 4-6 cms in parking lot -2 on arrival at 9:15. An alpine touring skier preceded us (maybe Normand?) and we appreciated his/her track to ski up. Before we arrived at Campground the snowmobile came by (perhaps staff getting time off) but no track-setting. Was a toss-up to apply HF Ski Go +1 to -3 OR VR50 1/0 C. Made it down with alot of snowplowing on lower hills. Walker boot prints got smoothed over thankfully! Amazing how fast that perfect powder can transition within 2 hrs. Am guessing even my waxless would have iced up.
PLPP – Pocaterra – Lynx – Amos – Wheeler – Whiskey Jack – Pocaterra
Arrived at the Pocaterra Hut at around 0800 this morning, with about 8 cm of fresh snow on the ground. Skiing the loop, the new snow depths varied from about 3 cm to 8 cm. I was breaking the trail pretty well the whole way, only encountering previously skied tail briefly on Wheeler, and on Pocaterra from about half-way between Packers and Whiskey. By the time you read this, I’m guessing all trails will have been skied on. Temperature was -1 when I stared, and about 3 when I finished at 1230. Snow was slow, even where it had been skied on before me, and icing was a bit of an issue here and there, primarily in the sunny areas as the temperature warmed up. All the debris on Amos and Wheeler has been nicely covered over.
I love being out on the trails early – there’s a peacefulness that I just don’t get when I start later in the day. After a fresh snowfall, though, it’s magical. You can see all the animal tracks from the night before, and I always smile when I see them following the tracksetting. Today I saw deer, moose, lynx (several), and rabbit (many) tracks, primarily on Wheeler, Amos, and Whiskey. I always wonder if they’re watching me go by… https://photos.app.goo.gl/wnNU3gMsAaqCeZCz7
Thanks For Keeping It Real.
we like to try new trials wherever they are in alberta. we prefer trails that have elevation with lots of hills and prefer them to be at least 10 kms. Do you have any recommendations? we have been to pipestone and lake ohara. also goat creek and skoki.
Confederation Golf Course
Beautiful freshly groomed track and gorgeous sunlight! What a great way to begin February!
My wife and I and 9 month old are going to be cross country skiing in the Canmore area in March. We have skied PLPP & Kananaskis area lots before in January and Feburary and loved it. I was wondering what the snow conditions typically are like near the middle and end of March?
Peter Lougheed was the only quasi decent Premier in my life time who expanded Alberta owned oil and gas infrastructure to generate non tax revenues. Back in his day as Premier oil royalties were at least 43% higher which enabled Albertans to have so many more government services with less oil production. Today, with oil prices higher than the Lougheed days, most of the royalty reduced public oil wealth is being funneled to supporters of the Conservatives rather than the owners of the resource- you. This is one of the reasons why there is a reduction in the quantity and quality of ski trails in Alberta today as compared to the last century.
If we lived in a real democracy where you are given the legalized right to vote on government bills as well as having citizen-initiated legislation, you can bet Albertans would utilize their resource assets in a superior way to the neo conservatives and we would have an expansion of our parks not a decrease. That is why we need to Make Alberta A Democracy- for the betterment of Alberta and our future. Ski trails not pipelines to no where.
Hello everyone! I was XC skiing at Mt. Shark on Jan 31st and was wondering if anyone found a small black credit card holder with a drivers license, 3 credit cards etc…?
Please contact me at (403)836-8797
Salomon Skate Ski boots for sale.
Good used condition.
Size 40 and 2/3rds. (Approx size 8.5-9 womens)
Pick up only.
Posting pics on kijiji ad.
And now, thanks to our latest version of politicians, we have parking fees at trailheads, a closed Barrier Lake Information Centre, etc. Time does not always improve matters.
At the PLDC this morning its -3 degrees and we’ve got 9cm of fresh snow. Highway 40 is plowed both directions. Kananaskis Lakes Trail is plowed Southbound only.
Wow, so different from the current crop of Alberta politicians, who do not give a hoot about the environment unless they can make money from it. Can you imagine the Jason Kenney Provincial Park? I can’t!
I met Bill Milne in a professional capacity in his later years when he sat as a member on the Calgary Planning Commission. I didn’t know at the time his involvement in the protection and creation of kananaskis. It would have been fantastic to thank him personally and directly for the immense value it has provided.
CASCADE RIVER – CUTHEAD CABIN
Sunday afternoon/ night ski.
The Cascade River trail was trackset 3 days back. It is in well used good condition with a couple of cms of new snow. There is some minor damage from ski skaters. There were a lot of groups on the trail and a tad too many that were not giving proper COVID social distancing.
The trail from Stoney Creek to the Cuthead Warden Cabin has a well used ski tracked trail. There was roughly up to 4 cm of new snow in it since it was last skied. The elk skeleton has been ripped apart more with legs all over the place. Skied out from the cabin at night. 1 to 2 mm per hour of light snow was falling. Temperature at Stoney around 9 pm was -3c. Very mild with only a slight breeze. The light snow that was falling was a touch sticky and of moderate speed skiing out.
PLPP North trails
Just adding to the Shulamit, GMJ and Mike W reports… It was an overcast day with near 0C temperatures at the north half of the Peter Lougheed Provincial Park trails. Our loop included Pocaterra, Lynx, Amos, Wheeler, Packers, Pocaterra, Lynx, Amos, Lodgepole and Braille. Great conditions throughout, with nice new grooming on Packers and Pocaterra. https://photos.app.goo.gl/urZnsAK2hTocnpKR9
Excellent bit of trivia Bob. Including Sandy McNabb, WBC, Mt. Shark, and PLPP, there are approximately 200kms of groomed trails in Kananaskis today.
I thought everyone had a copy of this!
Peter Lougheed Provincial Park (PLPP) – leisurely ring around the middle with the family. Started at Elkwood, and skied a counter clockwise loop including Wheeler, Packers, Pocaterra, Lynx and Amos. Easy-peasy. Cloudy with snow falling gently. Some of the snowy tree corridors looked like a scene out of Narnia. It was a misty-mountain sort of day. Temperatures were very pleasant around the zero-mark, and the snow and tracks were in fine shape. A few needles were on the trails here and there, but nothing too terrible. In all, it was a fine afternoon.
PLPP late afternoon ski. Starting from Boulton Bridge , skied Boulton Creek, Elk Pass over the first hill, Hydroline, Lookout and Whisky Jack. Temp hovered around zero so the snow was pretty sticky but still very nice conditions. Trails south of Pocaterra-Lookout-Tyrwhitt junction haven’t been groomed for a bit.
PLPPPWPPPLP (Peter Lougheed Provincial Park Perimeter Whiskeyjack Plus Packers Plus Lookout Palindrome)
From Pocaterra Hut: Lodgepole, Meadow, Amos, Wheeler, Moraine, Fox Creek, Elk Pass, Tyrwhitt, Lookout (out and back), Pocaterra, Whiskey Jack, Packers, Pocaterra, Come Along, Rolly Road.
-9C when we set out at about 0930, going up to +2C during the day. Overcast with 1cm fresh snow at Pocaterra, clearing by the time we reached Elkwood, followed by steady snow on Elk Pass and Tyrwhitt with 15-20cm fresh snow. Blizzard on the top of Lookout. Great trackset on all trails including Amos and Wheeler, which supposedly hadn’t been done since Jan 17. Lots of fun descending Lookout and Whiskey Jack with perfect “edgeability” for navigating the hairpin turns at speed. Ice flow on Packers is starting reappear. Lots of people on all the trails. Skin skis today with Vauhti Pure One liquid base binder wax and Pure One LD +5C/-10C liquid glide wax.
Healy/Brewster creek- skied to till the trail closure at the 5.4km mark. It was absolutely beautiful out. We met only 6 people total and were so happy we made the choice to ski there today.
Trip report for the 15km loop at Mt. Shark – although it pains me to have this beautiful hidden gem revealed – I have to say the conditions on this loops were PHENOMENAL! Fresh snow, approximately 4-5cm and it was snowing while we were skiing back there!
Temp -4 in the parking lot at 11 am and V45 worked well until it didn’t and there was clumping – however V50 was the winner for the last portion of the 15km loop. So nice to see so many families and pets and friendly people enjoying the majestic parks.
Did anyone lose Bear Spray at Pocaterra?
Not sure what trail we found it on … maybe Lynx?
REDEARTH CREEK – Beautiful new snow on the entire trail, tracks in good condition. First big hill in good condition too. A bunch of happy people skiing and snowshoing out of Shadow Lake Lodge. We skied to the Shadow Warden cabin return. Aside from the lodge folks, trail was not as busy as we expected for a weekend day.
Thanks for volunteering. It’s so awesome that the various groups were able to figure out a way to keep the grooming going.
We were up there just before 10AM and managed to get a spot but barely. There were several groups from Foothills Nordic starting at Pocaterra and there sure were a lot of FNC jackets on the trail. But since they travel at least twice as fast as the regular recreational skiier, that probably explains the emptying of the lot by noon. Great to see so many kids taking up XC. Skiing was superb!
PLPP: fun and warm day on Whiskey Jack, Tyrwhitt, Elk Pass, Fox Creek and Moraine. Dumping snow on Tyrwhitt and down to the Fox Creek junction, skier set tracks from the top of Elk Pass. Very few skiers on WJ and Tyrwhitt and lots of folks on Elk Pass…
We parked at Nakiska where it was -1C at 9:00am. We skied Sunburst, Hummingbird lookout, High Level, Skogan pass to the end of grooming and Skogan Loop on the way back. The snow coverage is excellent, the tracks in good shape and we just saw 2 skiers at the junction of Skogan pass trail and the snowmobile trail.
Swix V45 violet special provided reasonable grip. Many many footprints from walkers on Sunburst, High Level and surprisingly to Skogan pass, looks like Skier Bob empire is being invaded….
The snow was very soft providing an efficient snow plow when required.
Great photos, thanks, Skier Bob!
Insoles and ankle pain advice: Hi skiers! Wondering what special insoles people use in their ski boots??? I’m putting more and more miles on my skies and the paper thin boot insoles aren’t cutting it. After big days my feet are achy with some sharp pains under the toe bed. Any insole advice? Also – occasionally experience pain inside the ankle, seems to be when carrying heavier packs on long skis – any tips to alleviate this? Thanks all, very grateful for this great ski community!
Agree with all you wrote Skierbob-trails were in fantastic condition ( even enough snow at the underpass near Lake Louise to ski through) and sunny blue skies made for the perfect temperature. And after all these years of following your blog I finally saw you on the trail. You passed me about 2km from my finish at Castle Junction and asked if I was doing the loppet and wished me luck. Wished I had stopped to chat but I was stunned by the celebrity siting and bonking from low sugar. Highlight of the ski!
looking for kids salomon boots size euro 34-35 , u.s. 2.5-3.5
403 638 4031 sundre
Lost Hyundai car fob about 2-3 weeks ago. Thinking that may dropped on one of the trails after finding that zipper is broken on my Fanny pack (()
Congratulations to all who did this one. Great stamina.
Anyone have size 13/47 NNN mens classic boots for sale?
Ideally to collect today as Im off to work for 17 days tomorrow!!!
Jan 30 Excellent conditions on the Kananaskis Village trails with the bit of new snow on the older tracks. Bill Milne from the Village to the bottom of the hill was in great shape and across the valley the tracks were well polished and fast. VR 40 worked well all day -13C to start and -1C at end of our ski.
Decided to check out Cascade on Saturday afternoon and was astounded by the amount of traffic to Minnewanka. Great to see skaters and skiers out getting some great sun and fresh air.
The trail was lovely, with some soft sections and great grip and glide on VR 45. Outstanding day apart from the parking mayhem, which took about 20 min to queue into a spot.
Jan 30 – Had an amazing time at PLPP. Minus 8 to start at 11:15 am at Pocaterra Hut. Decided to go out a little farther this time; it’s my 7th time ever on x-country skis. Followed Pocaterra all the way up just past the turn off for Packers (what a climb! Thank god for adjustable grip on my skin skis!). I turned back and enjoyed the (fast) downhill (again, thank God for the adjustable glide on the skin skis!). Erin went all the way up to the Whiskey Jack turn-off (she used to race and train) before turning back. Met up in the parking lot after a good couple hours on the trails. Sincerely appreciate the work of the Alberta Parks grooming crew for setting tracks and taking advantage of the recent snowfall on Jan 29/30. PLPP (so far) is my favourite place to go!
Hello all- hoping to get my husband out with me and the kids – got some skis, learning to wax, and now looking for NNN classic boots, size 9 men’s – anyone? Please text 403-540-9424- thank you!
Good morning! It’s -9 degrees, overcast with light flurries at the Peter Lougheed Information Centre in Kananaskis.
The trail from the Cascade River up to Elk Pass is broken with AT ski gear most of the way and in sporty condition in places. Bring waders for the Cascade River crossing or your in for a chilly surprise.
Trails groomed on Jan 30(Saturday) and early Sunday:
Ribbon Creek and Kananaskis Village trails groomed overnight after 4 or 5 cms new snow fell the last few days. Temperature steady at -3 during the night. Good conditions. A couple shallow spots exist on Ribbon Creek and Hidden trails.
PLPP: Whiskey Jack, Packers, Upper Pocaterra, Lower Lake. Very light snow began falling just as the grooming was ending, under a partly cloudy sky; at least a trace of snow is likely on the trails groomed over the last two nights.
Lake Louise: Lake Louise surface and shoreline; Fairview; Great Divide; Bow River Loop; Campground Loop.
Banff: Goat Creek, Spray River West and East.
Thanks Sophie, it helps to have a dog owner advocating. If anyone wants to report an off leash dog, just call Banff warden dispatch and they will address it when possible.
I agree, having too many owners not complying puts responsible owners at risk.
People with off leash dogs don’t understand/care how much it upsets others. Dog owners or not.
Skate lanes were groomed Saturday evening, and we discovered the snow is too shallow in many areas to redo the track setting, sorry classic skiers. Keep in mind the existing track setting is still in great shape!
Hopefully the sit skiers that will be out Sunday with Ultimate Wheelchair sports will have fun on the fresh grooming…and fingers crossed Mr. B and “the rock” at the side of the Valley 5 fairway don’t have another verbal disagreement like they did the other week! 😉
Please remember Calgary’s had very little snow since December. If there’s no track setting on some trail sections, there is a very good reason: the snow is likely too shallow and we’re trying to preserve it as much as possible.
Trails to avoid:
Condo Alley (trail between junctions 6 & 7 ) is not recommended and has barriers up warning folks the skiing is marginal at best. Beware that the bottom of the hill has the shale cart path rocks melting through the snow.
Trail between junctions 1 & 2: There is bare asphalt in the usual locations in between the trees, and the snow has been plowed away on one half of the ski trail going down the first part of the hill to enable contractor access to the pump house by the Valley 5 green. This trail under the trees has had one dedicated volunteer spending 4.5 hours in the past few days moving snow back onto the trail from the monster snowpile nearby…it may be skiable now…thanks Lynn B!!!
Westgate corner: (SW corner of the golf course) Westgate corner is bare and done for the season unless we get a good March snowfall. No point fighting nature on that one. There is a workaround nearby that is skiable that takes skiers down to the straight away from Westgate corner to junction 5 or 6.
Map for reference: https://www.shaganappinordic.ca/trails-updates
Volunteer time this evening: (total of 9 hours)
Volunteer#1: grooming: 4 hours; breaking and redoing the track setting between junctions five and six: 30 minutes
Volunteer#2: 4.5 hours grooming
Mount Shark: Watridge Lake / Bryant Creek to Meadows Warden Cabin
A fair bit of new snow last night over the grooming made for a soft ski down to the Spray River bridge in the morning. By the afternoon the big hill down to Spray River bridge had seen enough traffic that it is fairly gouged out. There were quite a few walkers, some even walking on the track.
The back country route up Bryant Creek is skier set and in pretty good shape. There are a number of trees down but only 2 of them require off the trail detours. There was quite a bit of traffic on this route today so the steep hills are packed down enough that they are quite fast.
Beautiful sky and lots of smiles
Jamie and I skied from Baker Creek towards Lake Louise to the railway underpass and back. We had lunch under the warm sun and a blue sky near McNair’s Pond. We met loppet skiers and pulled off to allow them to pass efficiently while cheering them on. Smiles were popular today with the exceptional skiing weather. We started under a cloudy sky and -13C but it warmed up to -5C. We were happy to meet Chuck and Jeannette and had a great conversation with them as a train rolled by us. We have appreciated Chuck’s fantastic wildlife photos over the years. Merci, Chuck!
Today I heard of a lot of dogs off leash on Pipestone. I posted this on the Cross-Country skiing YYC Facebook page:
PRIVILEGE OF DOG FRIENDLY TRAILS IN DANGER.
Dear fellow skiers, I have been skiing in the Rockies with my dogs on leash since the 90’s. I consider any trail that allows dogs a huge privilege, that could be taken away quickly if some dog owners continue to ignore the on-leash rules. With the increased number of people enjoying the trails lately, it’s just a matter of time before this privilege (not a right) is taken away.
Please kindly remind any dog owner with an off leash dog of the privilege we have and how fragile it is.
Pass the word!
As a trick, we put a mountain bike tube around our waist so it flexes if pooch tries to pull. We then clip a retractable leash with a carabiner on the tube. This way the leash never drags or trips us and we can lock it shorter going uphill to protect skiers coming downhill.
As Tanya put it so clearly, if you can’t handle skiing with your dog on leash then chose a different activity or leave it at home.
Sophie, Andrew & Bajoue
Hero’s Knob / Smith Dorrien. Jan 30
Not really in Skier Bob’s empire, but only 15 or 20 kms north. I was astounded to find over 50cm of new snow on Sweet 16, below Hero’s Knob today. BTW Hero’s Knob is just north of Black Prince, west of Sawmill parking lot. It seems that the snow fell Thursday and Thursday night and likely had some wind to help it along, but I was xc skiing at PLPP on that day and didn’t see more than a few isolated flakes. Interesting to think how localized some of these snow events are.
Here’s the video to prove it.
Hello. I’m looking for trails that are the next step up from “Beginner Trails 101 – The easy trails for raw beginners”. I’m comfortable on the intermediate trails at West Bragg Creek and I’m looking for somewhere else to ski for a change of scenery, ideally not too far from Calgary. Any recommendations would be appreciated. Thank you! Rachel
Jan 30 Upper Lake Louise trails from the Chateau grooming team:
Fairview Loop (#2): Double trackset, good condition, Jan. 30.
Shoreline (#4): Double trackset, good condition, Jan. 30.
Lake Trail (#4): Double trackset with a separate path for walkers, good condition, Jan. 30.
Upper Telemark and Peyto Trails (#5): Double trackset, fair condition, Jan. 22. We will work on this in the morning of Feb. 2.
Checked out the Great Divide Trail in Lake Louise today. It was -11 at 10:45 AM and about 5 spots remaining in the parking lot. The sun had yet not poked through the low lying cloud but it was a beauty of a morning. Many groups were present on the first 5 km of the trail. Found that many of the groups would stop in the middle of the tracks to take a break or chat so I did lots of leap frogging. This also made it difficult to distance as many of the groups were stopped on or beside the track. Tracks heading West (To Lake O’Hara Fire Road) are skier set and are a bit messy. The East track is track set and is in good condition. Went to the end and back and on the way back the trail had emptied (so I thought), however the parking lot was gong show with Standish Traffic Control present to help with parking control. The lot was clogged up beyond max. capacity. We didn’t bother going up to the Lake, there was a slow parade of cars heading up and we figured the masses would likely be converging in high densities. Very nice conditions out there today!
Sat Jan 30: fox-tyr ridge/west elk.
Elk pass cloud was in place in the morning, so went up north boundary cut line direct, bypassing the east elk option. Kananaskis avalanche forecast had indicated 30-50 cm of snow from last round of convective storms thu/fri. Weather stations didn’t show it, and it wasn’t at mount shark ski trails yesterday. Not sure where it occurred but must be localized, somewhere? Only a couple inches of fresh in my old tracks. Once the cloud moved off at 1240 in west elk pass, the oven turned on, but snow stayed cool in the flats. No hat or gloves required. Glad I hopped on some open sun exposed slopes in the morning before the sun started packing its punch. Possibly a sun crust on steep solar aspects now. The meadow touring back to blueberry in the sun was fantastic.
Arrived shortly after 9:30am; -12C. Skied out past Watridge Lake to the Spray River, then returned to the parking lot for lunch (at a sunny picnic table). The Watridge Trail was covered with 5-7cm new snow since Thursday night’s tracksetting. The outbound track was in poor shape, not well defined or much used, but the return track was pretty good, so we mostly skied out on that. The final 1km downhill to the Spray River was good fun – the new snow helped our speed control, though there were a few “interesting” corners. Quiet on the way out, but we passed some 25 people on our return, including 3 young walkers with a dog who were doing a very good job of walking right in the tracks. Yes, we encouraged them to be more considerate. After lunch, we skied the red/black and the blue loop – decent conditions considering the fresh snow. -5C to finish. A pleasant day overall.
I Volunteered today for K country Parking. We had parking attendants at Pocaterra, Boulton and Elk Pass.
It was fun talking to skiers as they got ready to ski. I wandered around Pocaterra PL and asked the wax of the day. Most said VR 40.
Pocaterra parking was full by 10:00! Folks were parking on the road. It opened up starting around noon and by the time we left, parking was ok.
By noon all the other parking sites were full.
A majority had heard of the program and already had their seasons pass or had gotten a day pass.
The program really isn’t a parking program but a grooming program. The voluntary fees help offset the grooming costs of K country.
We returned to Canmore via the Smith Dorian. Lots of traffic. Watch at trailheads where there is parking on both sides of the road! Lots of inattentive drivers!
I’m a fairly new skier, who has mostly done yyc golf course trails. Would like to meet a friend somewhere in k-country for a fairly flat set-track trail. My skis are waxless and I have the winter k-country parking pass. Any advice, friends, for where to go?
Alpina T 30 Eve Cross-Country XC (Nordic) Ski Boots – Women’s Size 40
Really good condition.
See ad: https://www.kijiji.ca/v-view-details.html?adId=1548704362
Good Morning it is -14 in Peter Lougheed at the information centre.
Roads were ploughed – but some icy/snow covered sections.
Wolf Moon ski one day later on Castle Lookout to end of railway tracks, then across thru Protection Mountain Campground (skier tracked only). -7 at 6pm and -10 at 9:30. Fresh and well loved double track-set grooming for almost whole way; which made for more careful attention to poling in the dark. First time skied there at night and moon took its sweet time to rise over Castle Mountain. Surprised by the number of trains going through at night and so noisier than alot of other Moonlight Ski trips but stars were magnificent, as was the moon around 9pm. Saw two others zooming by us.
Shaganappi Point golf course in Calgary grooming Update:
Corduroy and another skiff of new snow!
Skate lanes have been groomed tonight, and with the new snow and cold temperatures the skiing at Shaganappi this weekend will be fantastic!
Existing track setting is in good shape with the additional snow, and the Bow Trail loop running parallel to Bow Trail is too shallow for track setting right now.
Please be aware there are some spots where the asphalt or shale (rocky) cart path is coming through on trails but in general, coverage is really good considering there hasn’t been significant snow in Calgary since the December snowfall before Christmas.
Get out on the snow this weekend, the weather is going to be fantastic!
Condo Alley (trail between junctions 6 & 7 ) is not recommended and has barriers up warning folks the skiing is marginal at best. The trail now has just enough snow on it to hide the rocks that were melting through from the sun. Beware that the bottom of the hill has the shale cart path rocks melting through.
Trail between junctions 1 & 2: There is bare asphalt in the usual locations in between the trees, and the snow has been plowed away on one half of the ski trail going down the first part of the hill to enable contractor access to the pump house by the Valley 5 green. This trail under the trees may not be salvageable unfortunately, not without a LOT of volunteer work, one volunteer spent 2 hours putting snow on that section of trail, got about 10 meters done.
Link to online map for references mentioned above:
Volunteer hours on snow Friday night: (total of 8 hours)
Volunteer#1: 4.5 hours
Volunteer#2: 3.5 hours
Bryant Creek warden cabin – January 29, 2021
The drive along the Spray Lakes Road from Canmore was pretty rough, with the new snow. The road had not even been plowed when I drove back late pm. Started to ski past 10 am, too late to ski beyond the cabin and given the soft and sticky snow conditions. It snowed quite a bit until about 12:30 pm, with 5 to 15 cm of fresh snow over an old ski track, as well as on the recent track setting done at Mount Shark. I could see that one skier was ahead of me, refreshing the ski track. I met a couple skiing out with a sled, after having camped at BR9. Caught up with Aire on his lunch break around km 11, with my turn to pack on 10+ cm of snow on the old track. Quite sticky conditions for waxing. I just ended scrapping most of my wax for the last 4 km to reach the warden cabin. The blue sky was finally part of the day, with the solar panels at the cabin getting a good load of rays. With all wax removed, it was a smooth glide all the way back to the Bryant Creek bridge.
Spray River Trails, Banff
Had a great afternoon on the Spray River Trails in Banff. I was the first car in the lot at 10am.
Did the loop of West side to East side, but would recommend just sticking to out and back on the West. Double track set just yesterday, with a few cm of fresh snow, it was pretty lovely. East side manageable, but not nearly as groomed (or as much snow).
What a beautiful day! Thanks for helping us with waxing Tennessee’s skis 🙂 As beginners we are really loving the sport, the warm community, and this site. Thanks for all you do, Bob.
Skied Ribbon Creek 10:30-12:30. Still good track-set with some fresh snow lightly falling as I started & bit heavier towards the end. It must be wet snow as I really had to scrape off snow packed on bottom of boots when I finished. I skied Kovach-Aspen-Kovach-Terrace.
Took a break at the picnic table Kovach/Aspen & had to scrape snow build up off my waxless skis, otherwise it was fine.
Please buy a pass to support tracksetting so it’s continued next year!
PLPP-Blueberry Hill, West Elk pass
From Elk Pass parking lot we took an off-trail route up Blueberry hill. Some bushwhacking and steeper sections but for the most part it wasn’t bad. I managed it with just wax (a lot of it!). Near the top we stopped for lunch then the rest of the guys went tree skiing near where we climbed up. I continued to the viewpoint on Blueberry, took some pictures, enjoyed the scenery for a bit, then followed the x-country trail (skier tracked) down to the Elk pass trail. I continued to West Elk pass meadows for a quick visit. Caught a few rays of sun near the couches then back to the Elk pass trail. Slow going in the fresh snow and skier set tracks back to the parking lot. The rest of my group hadn’t arrived yet so I did a short add on to the Upper lake trailhead and back. The rest of the group arrived shortly after. It was a nice day out and everyone enjoyed themselves!
Mt Shark. Green loop. Despite 3 to 4 cm of fresh on top, the track setting was still easily felt under our feet; subsequent tracks are still nice and straight. We had always wanted to get down to the lakeshore for some views, and today we found a couple of access points: both of them divert from the yellow trail, only about a km and a half or two from the parking lot. The lowest points on the most northerly sections of the trail are fairly obvious. The first track that diverts is about 400m of only slightly tricky travel for track skis, the second is just a hop, skip and a jump over to the shoreline. Nice place to be as the morning squalls broke up, the clouds lifted and we watched dog sled teams head up the lake.
Great conditions at the south end of PLPP today. Boulton Bridge and Elk Pass lots were both full at noon so I started from Upper Lake. A few cm of fresh snow on the trails. But sticky to start (-3 at the parking lot) but it got better as the sun went down. Skied Lookout south to north, Tyrwhitt and Elk Pass with a side trip to West Elk Pass. Martin your couches need some packing down.
Lost some prescription Etnia spectacles at the top of the first downhill on Elk Pass, coming off the powerline. Transition lenses, tortoiseshell rims and white arms.
Selling NEOS Explorer winter overshoes, fully insulated, front gusset with 2” wide velcro closer, adjustable ankle strap/Fastex buckle, H 11 inches. Size M ( Women 8-10.5; Mens 7.5-9; Euro 39-42). In great shape, worn occasionally. $90. See add on Kijiji: https://www.kijiji.ca/v-view-details.html?adId=1548614709
Selling waxless cross country skis. Atomic Redster Skintec classic skis, 2 sets 100% mohair skins, can be switched depending on snow conditions. L187cm, weight range approx 110-130lbs/49-59kgs. Bases in great condition, regularly glide and summer waxed, skins treated. No bindings. $190. See add in Kijiji: https://www.kijiji.ca/v-view-details.html?adId=1548614507
Tour de PLPP
Visitors Center – Lodgepole-Pocaterra-Tyrwhitt-Elk Pass-Fox Creek-Morraine-Wheeler-Meadow – Visitors Center
Car said -4 at 11:00, thermometer by door of Visitors Center said -8 ….. VR40 was too slippery so I think closer to -4. -1 at 2:00 pm
Trails other than Tyrwhitt and Elk Pass in great shape, just a few cm of new snow since last grooming which has been well skied into the existing trackset. In fact, track seemed a bit glazed in places. Tyrwhitt has about 5 cm of new snow on old tracks, and Elk Pass perhaps 10 cm, so the track is a bit wobbly and wandering and a bit slow, but still good.
All of the debris from the wind event on Jan 20 now covered. Kudos to our trail crew, Fox Creek in great shape!
On the drive out temps around Nakiska were close to 0 deg, so Bill Milne and the Ribbon Creek trails may suffer. Seems they were good today due to a few cm of new snow, fingers crossed for sub-zero temps.
We – Sam, Jeff and Richard – met at Boulton at 10 AM. -7, silky tracks. Whiskey-Tyrwhitt-Elk Pass-Fox Creek- Morraine. Gorgeous conditions and scenery. Snowing on and off – more to come!!!
Mt Shark: there was more snow overnight and all morning/early aft. Some icing around the lunch/early aft period, then better when it cooled off again. Enough travel to pack it all down for good tracks tomorrow. Didn’t notice any overhanging branches along green loop at all.
WBC: Crystal East and West, East Sundog, Iron Springs – Elbow North loop, Loggers, Moose Connector, Mountain Road
Most of these trails have been recently groomed with the exception of the full loop of Iron Springs – Elbow North. Considering the lack of new snow, conditions are quite good, especially on Mountain Road. Recent grooming on Iron Springs extends over the hill but not through the meadows. Grooming on Elbow North extends to the picnic table at the Iron Springs junction. The loop between these points is not great to ski on (icy) but certainly can be done.
Pipestone was near perfection today. Minus 5 at the parking lot to start around noon, about the same when we returned 3hrs later. Beautiful blue skis, no wind and a bit of fresh snow in well maintained tracks. Not quite sure why the Parks website is listing conditions as fair…it was magnificent!! Saw just a handful of other skiers the whole afternoon. Only thing missing was my pup who would have loved it as much as I did!
Pocaterra to the Lookout junction
Skiing solo (without my dad Jeff G as he was enjoying a ski with some friends in south PLPP) and I got nervous about what conditions I would find while driving through a snowstorm on highway 40. Luckily, the storm didn’t last long and the other side of it was full of blue skies and warmer weather. My car said -8 at the parking lot at 10am, and I was so happy to find pristine tracks with snow that matched my skins perfectly all the way up. Many skiers out today enjoying the beautiful weather and conditions. Back at the trailhead just before 1pm, and my car (which has been sitting in the sun) said +4! I have a feeling the lot will be full tomorrow…
TRAMLINE/LAKE LOUISE/ FAIRVIEW/MORRAINE LK RD AND DOWN TRAMLINE- about 5 cm new snow on all trails made for a beautiful ski day: Morraine Lk road being groomed by Parks as we skied down it.
Lots of folks out enjoying the recent grooming and new snow (approx. 2 cms making for soft skating texture from Kovach parking to H40 crossing to Wedge). -4C on arrival, -1C on departure at around 2 pm (some folks were beginning to have waxing problems by then but not an issue for skaters!) A few lucky/happy pupsters out including Kazzy!
CNC 10:00 -10C. Wax VR 40 with VR 30 cover. Still some fresh snow around to slow things down. A snow shower moved though while we were there leaving fresh sharp snow.
Parking lots were close to empty but at noon they were just about full. Hardly saw anyone on the trails until we returned via Banff Trail.
Out Bow Tr skied Wooded Bliss and up GreyWolf. Bow and Wooded Bliss dirty in the tracks.
Tracks on Bow are getting shallow and washed out on the downhills.
Returned via Banff Tr and skied across middle of the meadow on Coyote
Grey Wolf has been groomed and TS great shape Banff Tr had been groomed and TS but the tracks are shallow.
I found a smart watch while hiking this morning, Jan 29. I think it’s a Fitbit, but I’m not sure. Not a single brand name on it. Dead Battery. Found on Billy Dog Trail, about halfway between Family Guy and Canyon Creek Road.
Confed. Lots of folks out enjoying the sun. Conditions are very good. Good coverage everywhere I skied. Groomers have done a great job!
SKI POLES LEFT BEHIND. if you were parked on the street by the lower gate before 12:30pm, check that you have your poles. There are a set stuck in the snow.
Skied most of ‘The Village’ trails on Thursday the 28th. The snow was really good – very soft, no ice, temp around -10. Downhills very manageable due to good grooming and light snowfall. Very few people parked behind the hotels.
Elk Pass – Patterson – Hydroline
All in all a good morning to be skiing for most! We had struggles with distance as the fresh falling snow was dry and slowed us down a fair amount. Gotta hate when downhill glides are work too!
We cut trail going through Patterson and down Hydroline, hope it’s decent for everyone out today! Parking lot was mostly empty when we arrived at 9am, and very full when we left at noon. Happy skiing!
(As a side note, my dad had quite a remarkable telecrash on the way down the connector to the parking lot. A great source of laughter for my day)
Here’s one I have of a bighorn bidding us adieu on the last day of skiing up at Highwood Pass one year.
Kananaskis Area –
It is 11am and it is -8 degrees with broken cloud cover at the Peter Lougheed information center.