Trip Reports – Dec 2018

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  1. Family went for a ski at Lake Louise yesterday. Did the Tramline-Fairview-Moraine loop and back down Tramline . Clear blue sky -19C at trailhead and felt colder on Fairview. VR30 provided good grip but glide was poor. Track was in good shape with a fresh uphill track on Tramline. The rest was skier set on older track. A beautiful end to the year. Happy New Year All.

  2. Pleasant skiing along the Upper Spray River from Mt. Shark. Many thanks to whoever broke the trail. Beautiful blue sky day to end the year.

  3. Dec 31 Lake Louise – Great Divide & Lower Telemark:
    It was -22C at 1030 when we set out, dropping to below -25C at one point just west of the divide. Because of the cold, glide was pretty poor. At one point I had to diagonal stride downhill! VR30 provided enough grip, but I should have used graphite glide wax. Trackset on the Alberta side of Great Divide was adequate, but could use a refresh. The trackset on Lower Telemark was in good condition and seemed faster than Great Divide. It looked like the BC side was trackset this morning. The track was still a bit soft, perhaps because it was too cold to set up. When we got back to the parking lot, there was lots of entertainment from several dog teams barking and howling in anticipation of their sledding trip.

  4. Skied a nice loop up in Camrose. The trail network is great and the trail crew are very meticulous. There is great skiing to be found in the land of Ole Uffda!!

  5. Hey Gang… first time poster. Anyone know the conditions from Mt Shark parking lot to Marvel lake? Thinking of starting 2019 off on a high note!

    • See the trip report from yesterday on the “January” trip report page. It’s rare that there is a skier set trail down to marvel or owl lake. Trail breaking likely to be a challenge with state of shallow snow pack.

  6. Confederation Park
    The small amount of snow in the last day or so has been great for conditions at Confederation Park. Along with some grooming and a little track setting both classic and skating is pretty good.

  7. Bowness Park still has tracks and is skiable. This includes the trail beside the river and the two interior loops.

  8. December 30th – Found at the upper Boulton Creek parking area a pair of heavy winter gloves. You left them on my car. They at the PLPP Visitor Centre to be picked up.

  9. Parked at Pocoterra and skiied Rolly Road, Pocoterra, Packers, back to Pocoterra via Info. Centre. Heads up going down Packers – not much of a base so there is vegetation and enough bumps to launch one into an unplanned yard sale. As indicated, not trackset so tracks are messy in places. Doesn’t matter – it was great to get out with some fresh snow.

  10. Had a marvellous ski up Red Earth Creek today. The first 1-2 k were a bit thin and fine for climbing up but caution advised skiing back down to avoid some rocks just below the surface. The rest of the trail was great with good fast tracks. Scenery was beautiful and temperature was around -4.

  11. Sun dec 30: elk pass+
    -6 to start at 9. -10 on return at 5. Its was an excellent day of fresh snow with good company. Started out solo and given the 2 inches of fresh in the lot, opted to break trail along fox, moraine, whiskey jack and tyrwhit to elk pass. Moraine was in decent shape with the new snow. The only thin spot was on the open ridge by the three benches. Poles were hitting ice or ground, but not the skis. Whiskey jack was in fine shape. Snow depth stayed at a manageable 2-3 inches along the whole route. Good grip and glide and no stickage despite getting snowed on quite heavy up whiskey. Good cruisy snow. Didn’t see anybody until elk pass. Down elk pass and on to the couch for some tea. Along came some
    Familiar couch visitors, and after a short sit we teamed up to push the meadow trail all the way to hydroline. It was hard knee deep work even with switching off. Returned the same way to pack it down and extended the meadow skipping to include the blueberry meadows, and back to blueberry junction. Returned via fox creek. Starting to look a little worn with use. A fantastic day that wouldn’t have happened if we didn’t run into each other. (-:

  12. We skied Pocaterra today. Fresh snow since last night. Not track-set, but we took joy in cutting tracks. Forecast was way colder than what we experienced. About -5 to -4 all day. Snow temp at -4. Some fresh snow fell as we skied. A great day.

  13. Fairview – Moraine Lake Road: As anticipated, Lake Louise is a winter wonderland with snow hanging off the trees like icing oozing off the roof of the most generously decorated gingerbread house… Fresh tracksetting on MLR is appreciated, but there is so much snow the tracks are still a bit soft in places. Fabulous skiing though.

    The only sad point is that I think my prescription eye glasses fell out of my pocket – black rims, Oakley brand. If you see them please let me know!

  14. Strathcona Wilderness (east off Edmonton)
    Edmonton received fresh snow and cold air yesterday. I went to Strathcona Wilderness for the first time. It’s a great net of ski trails, all groomed for skate ski and trackset for classic. Constant -18C in the afternoon didn’t feel cold thanks to calm air. Got good grip with swix green. Very, very pleasant aspen forest and beginner-friendly trails. Enjoyed it 100%

  15. Everyone and their dogs out on the Pipestone trails today. Great conditions with a few centimetres over last grooming the tracks had a skier set feel but were still in great shape. We ran in to a few Canmorites enjoying the excellent conditions. Groomer was heading out on the trails at 3 o’clock so ther should be fresh tracksetting for the last day of 2018. Happy New Year everyone.

  16. Pipestone counter clockwise, great conditions, a very nice ski, warmer than we expected, -6.5 at an overflowing parking lot, went with the VR40 I’d already prepped, 45 would have been better. Cannot believe this is the only Pipestone report considering its popularity today!

    • Yet another Pipestone report for the 30th! Despite it being a delightful loop that is on-leash dog friendly, we don’t go there that often, but- Piper the retriever hadn’t been out skiing since the West Bragg meltdown. Along with the superb skiing today- so pleasantly fast and smooth- it was a good opportunity to work on tethered skiing. At two years old, pretty much all of Piper’s skiing experience has been off leash at WBC, so there were some initial glitches today, but by the final two long downhills going CCW- we both had things figured out and were able to descend confidently and quickly together. Given the narrower, winding nature of Pipestone- I’m not sure I’d wholeheartedly recommend it for total novices to on-leash dog skiing.

  17. Yesterday did Cascade Valley to campground and conditions were good. Minimal snow at Lake Minnewanka to start but improved greatly with elevation gain and had an awesome day of skiing. Today we started at Castle Lookout Trailhead and skied 5km on the packed trail. Sun was shining with lots of snow perched on the trees. Amazing views and another GORGEOUS day in the Rockies.

  18. Mt Shark
    The area received maybe 10cm overnight. Not groomed, but trails well packed under the fresh snow. The system should be near perfect once the groomers come back. Quite a few people out enjoying it. I noted that the fatbikers and snowshoers were diligently avoiding the skier set tracks – thank you!

    Low wind, partial sun, VR45 worked fine.

  19. We skied PLPP today, starting at Boulton Bridge it was -7 in the parking lot. I used V40 with adequate grip – we skied Fox Creek to Elk Pass then down hydro line and back through the fun Fox creek and conditions were awesome. Yes there were a couple and I mean only a couple of thin spots on Fox Creek but nothing that was of a concern. The rest of the trails were amazing.

  20. Just curious if anyone knows what peter lougheed or cascade are like for cross country…looking for a good option without driving to Louise. Thanks

    • Read Chuck’s report on Cascade from Dec 28th complete with great photos (even if I do say so myself!) Doubt they have had any decent snow since. Hopefully reports will come in on PLPP tonight.

    • Did Cascade 2 days ago and it was good enough… trail became even better at higher elevations.

    • Skied Cascade today, on 1cm of fresh snow over skier set tracks. Conditions were good to the bridge, a bit worse after. One rocky section at the post-flood detour, after the bridge, a few minor ice flows at usual spots close to the warden’s cabin, thin cover but very pleasant nontheless. Started at -3C, a skier who used waxable skis put V40 on which worked well.

  21. December 29th
    First Blueberry Hill trip of the year! Tracks were smooth and pleasant, but by the afternoon the wind left a lot of debris in the tracks. Blueberry itself has a lot of fresh snow coverage thanks to the constant snow bombs, making the downhill easy to control. Even though it was cloudy and windy, it’s always a lovely day in PLPP!

  22. Louise Van Polanen

    Chuck M. and I had a great time skiing part of the Pipestone loop in Lake Louise today. Neither of us had ever skied there. There was a good bit of fresh snow, so all previous grooming and tracksetting was covered. However, the skier-set tracks were quite decent. While we were out the groomers came by, giving us some fresh tracks to ski in. Really nice, though it will be even nicer now once the snow sets up. Here and there we skied over the occasional pine needle or twig, but nothing serious. I can’t complain about the trails! Hopefully the fresh tracksetting doesn’t get covered overnight by more snow. It was snowing lightly all day.

    We covered Pipestone north to the Mud Lake junction, then headed WNW on Drummond towards Pipestone Pond, and then back SE on the Pipestone Loop again to the parking lot.

    Earlier in the day we drove to Emerald Lake to have a look around. Serious snow was falling in the area, making hard work for the plows to keep up. We decided to head back to Alberta so as not to get stuck in the snowstorm at the end of the day. There is going to be some great skiing in the area once they get the trails groomed!

    Check out Cross Countey Skiing YYC on Facebook for a few photos.

  23. Lake Louise, Great Divide.
    Fresh snow and lots of it but I don’t think they redid the tracks today. It snowed a lot yesterday so the tracks were pretty much over run with snow. What was left of the tracks were made by skiers — so it wasn’t very smooth and it was slow-going. Nonetheless, I had a lot of fun.

  24. A Non ski report from Sandy McNabb. The trails on the south side of the highway around the campground are still bare with a few patches of snow. The hiking is great, and if you are itching to ride your bike, the highway past the winter gate is mostly bare with a skiff of snow and some icy patches.

  25. Skied Peter Lougheed from Boulton Bridge. Followed Fox Creek – Elk Pass – Tyrwhitt – Whiskey Jack with side trips up both Blueberry and the north side of Lookout. Generally similar experience to Bob’s post from the 27th. Fox had good coverage with no track. Conditions were excellent on Elk and Blueberry with a little snow over fresh track-setting – possibly the best time I’ve ever had coming down Blueberry. First time I’ve done Tyrwhitt this year – I was surprised at how thin the base was but it did the job (just a few twigs and one very small ice flow). Whiskey Jack was similar or maybe a little better, except for a big rock in the middle of the steepest bit of trail. Lookout also recently groomed with a skiff of fresh snow so good control coming down. Weirdly, hardly any wind at the top but howling in the parking lot 20 minutes later. -6 at departure, +8 at the casino, very windy all the way along Hwy 40.

  26. December 28,
    Baker Creek west to Louise.
    Trackset for 3km, then skier trackset for another 2km.
    First 500 m thin and rock showing in the thick trees, then excellent after that.
    Great snow but cold day, minus 10

    Shannon, Corey

  27. REDEARTH – skied yesterday to the cutoff for Shadow Lake….the bottom 2 km or so are getting thinner, conditions improve as you go up. More snow would be nice as there are some rocks peeking up at the start of the trail. Glad we had our metal edge skiis!

  28. Nipika Mountain resort

    Spent the last week at Nipika mountain resort, x-country skiing, fatbiking, and of course eating to much! Conditions were fair to very good depending where we were skiing but in general it’s pretty thin. Much more snow is needed so don’t bring your new skis. The scenery and peace and quiet make it all worthwhile though!

  29. Driving home tonight amidst a frightful snowstorm from 3 day stint at Kickinghorse Resort in Golden (Dawn mountain for us xcountry skiers) great conditions which can only be improved with the predicted 20 cm of the white stuff for that region. We passed Canmore and not a flake to be seen. Go yonder if you seeking ideal conditions. We passed Pipestone and Lake Louise which was still in the blizzard status.

  30. Went to Peter Lougheed today and did the Whiskey Jack, Tyrwhitt, Elk Pass, Fox Creek and Boulton Loop. Started at the Boulton Creek parking lot and went up Whiskey Jack via the detour. It was a great day, -9C at the trailhead and a light southerly wind. VR40 worked great. Whiskey Jack was in good shape, just a few bare spots showing. Tyrwhitt was great. Twigs are showing through but it still skies well. Trail was good over Elk Pass down through Fox Creek. The final portion down Bolton could use some snow. It is getting scraped off.

  31. I skied up to Elk Pass around the Patterson Loop and then back down from the Elk Pass parking lot. The conditions are pretty good. The non-track parts of the trails are a bit rough in places due to non-skier usage. We left the main trail after the Blue Berry Hill junction to have lunch at MaSid’s couch. He was there working on it so I had a nice visit with him and I introduced my four friends to lunch at the couch.

    • Excellent to see the family out for some couch time. Unfortunate it’s wasn’t warmer and sunnier. Next time! -17 when I started from elk pass this morning at 9. -9 back at the car at 3. Probably didn’t get warmer than -12 at the couch site. Somebody pushed the meadow Trail south of the couch. I pushed it further, but not all the way to hydroline yet. Still difficult trail breaking in unsupportive snow off track. Between blueberry and the couch things are improving with recent travel thanks to helen, dianna, GH, etc. Better pole plants and a nice solid track.

  32. CASCADE VALLEY – Dec 28

    While I don’t think it has been trackset, it is in surprisingly good condition for the amount of snow. Many snowshoers and hikers, but most have been very respectful of the ski tracks.
    See if you ca recognize the SkierBob reporters before you read the captions here:!AgTx5EOCG7eShTSICpe-t-jw6tdt

    • I saw Helen on my way down. You are right about the conditions. Beautiful snow but little of it. If you had this little snow in November you would have been advised not to go! Glad I did though. The sun shining on the trail, trees and marshes made a quite cold day, warm.

  33. Pipestone with Helen Read leading the Meanderthalls. In great condition as Chuck reported. We saw a lot of fellow skiers even going in the traditional counter clockwise direction. Only day two and everyone knows it is open.
    See blog report for pictures



    Red Earth Creek has about 20 cm at the parking lot. What a difference 10 cm of new snow makes in reguards to the conditions as compared to a couple of weeks ago. Skiing is generally very good for the first 2 km. The big hill has a couple rocks that are avoidable if you ski on metal edged skis. After the first 2 km skiing is generally excellent. A couple of thin spots under the trees near the new flood avoidance trail. The trackset is fairly fast up to RE 6,

    After RE 6 campground, it is mainly groomed trail skiing with a skier tracked trail. The skiing is moderately fast and mid winter like.

    The trail up to Shadow Lake lodge has greatly improved and is skier packed fairly wide. There are a couple of rocks that are avoidable. Generally the trail is good to excellent skiing. At Shadow Lake lodge there is now about a 45 cm to 50 cm settled snow pack. Temperature -10 C. This would be a good time for the snowmobiles to get into the lodge and pack the trails.

    The trial to Shadow Lake from the lodge is skier packed. I broke trail about 1/3 of the way up the lake from the bridge where I enjoyed the red evening sky. Trail breaking is easy to moderately difficult and variable on 59 mm skis. Ski penetration was from ankle deep to boot top deep. Skied out at night from the lodge and enjoyed some nice stars twinkling in the heavens.

  35. PLPP Wheeler to Bolton and back
    Starting temp at 11:00 at Elkwood parking was -14
    The first 2/3 of Wheeler to the Amos junction is not trackset… or if it was, it has been skied to nubbinses. At about the 2/3 point, trackseting appears, but the jubilation was short lived as for a couple of hundred meters the tracks were full of needles with the occasional dirt patch. (Think skis stopping, body continuing. Body falling.) Closer to the Amos junction things cleared up and from there to Bolton it was delightful. (Okay, it was not perfect but after what we had skied, it was heavenly.) Of course, we still had to face the ugly part on the return.
    Temperature back at Elkwood parking was -8
    Wax of choice was V-20 Green

  36. REDEARTH – skied halfway up the trail, snow conditions still very good. Snowplowing down on classic skiis still good today, just enough snow to slow down on steep hills. Lots of skiers out today.

  37. Cascade Rd to bridge (Dec 27-Norseman Ski Club):

    Just wanted to confirm what Chris and Mojo reported on Dec 23 for Cascade Rd. Very thin snow cover for first km or so (pole tips striking pavement). Snow depth improved with climbing and conditions were actually quite good. Made a fast, but controlled, run out.

  38. Boom lake, firm wide snowshoe track made for an fast, easy and fun ski on light touring, only saw one very obvious rock, a couple cms of fresh on top and it would be perfect.

  39. Thanks Bob and for anybody who scanned the trail for my keys. False alarm in end, somehow they ended up buried in a basket of mitts! Lesson learned, enjoy the trails, great to have more to choose from now.

  40. anybody have a best guess on next tracksetting at PLPP ?
    Thanks ! and happy festive season to all 😉


      Hello Eric,

      Generally it has to snow about 7 cm before tracksetting occurs. There can be exceptions to this however, depending on the type of equipment used for tracksetting. If expensive tilling equipment is used, towed behind a snow cat with hydraulic equipment, it does not have to snow to trackset but the tracksets will be of less desired quality and generally made up of small chunks of course snow. Often this type of trackset will be fast and hard offering less ski grip. If new snow is used for tracksetting, then the snow in the tracksets will be fine grained. When snowmobiles are used for tracksetting, new snow is generally required to make tracksets. Tracksets can either be shallow or deep. Deep snowmobile tracksets require more new snow than shallow tracksets. There is specialized equipment for shallow and deep tracksets.

      If my old school ski resort operations and management information is out of date, I hope someone will provide new school information to better inform Eric et al.

      Enjoy the cross country ski tracksets while the political environment and money is still there to lay them out for free for the poor and wealthy to universally enjoy.

      • Thanks for that info !
        will help me guess where to go on my ski days

        • Hi Eric,
          Legal is right on some points but not all. Kananaskis grooming and particularly PLPP works on a set schedule not snow amounts. The schedule should be available at the info centres. In perfect years new snow just happens to show up when grooming is about to occur. Lots of times new grooming can be covered with new snow with no planned re-tracking for another week . West Bragg uses drag style groomers and wnen conditions allow they may refresh some of the trails daily because of the volume of skiers. Lake Louise being in the national parks are in some ways governed by Park’s regulations. They can only groom during daylight hours which can be problematic with the amount of use.
          There are a lot of variables when it comes to fresh track setting best advice is to check the various grooming reports available online for freshest tracksetting.

  41. We burnt off some Christmas turkey with our annual Boxing Day ski- a tradition dating back at least 20 years now, featuring the same core group of friends. This year we opted for Blueberry Hill, where a few fresh cm’s of downy new snow, blue skies, light winds and a temp of around -10 made for a great day out.
    As is the norm these days it seems- a crew of hikers were merrily trampling Blueberry, along with an oblivious horde on slowshoes spread completely across the upper Elk Pass trail. In light of this- can someone please give me a logical reason why I can’t bring my on-lead dog to the PLPP trails?

    • With most of the skiable terrain being on dog unfriendly trails I’ve been ponder the same question and cannot think of any reason …

      But they’d be poop on the trail, sorry we already have that issue with other critters using the trails as latreens and they never pickup
      But they’d present a hazard to other skiers blocking the trail, sorry we already have that issue with bikes, snowshoers, walkers etc
      But there’d also be dogs off lease, no, not possible, that would be against the rules and no one breaks the rules now, right!

    • You cannot bring your dogs unfortunately but it would make sense to carry you own Kalashnikov LOADED!

  42. Has anyone skied into assiniboine from Mount Shark recently? Ski conditions?


      I made it as far as BR 17 earlier in the month. It was good to very good skiing before the last big snowfall with a 45 cm settled snowpack at BR 17. I would assume that Assiniboine Pass would be relatively good. Do expect to hit a rock or 2 on the steep slopes. Also expect to break some trail beyond BR 17. I would expect the snow depth at Assiniboine to exceed 70 cm by now. Watch the avalanche slopes and expect instability. Be prepared for the best and worst. Come back with pictures for

    • We skied to BR9 on the 24th, conditions were good throughout

  43. Due to good reports from Red Earth Creek, we decided to try one of our favorites. Temperatures were warmer than predicted (bonus for us!) with -11C. to start and -7 to finish. The first couple of kms of trail had some rough sections but kms 3-7 were quite good. Km 8-10 had been rolled/skier tracked and very skiable. The last km or so was only skier tracked, but soft enough for the descent to be nicely controlled. A few of us hit buried rocks a couple of times on the way down, but no damage done to either skis or people! The snow-laden trees were lovely, and there were lots of people out later in the day enjoying the tracks.

  44. Peter Lougheed Provincial Park was great on Boxing Day
    Two cm of overnight new snow over great used track set. Elk Pass Trail, Tyrwhitt, Hydroline, Patterson and Fox Creek all in top condition with easy green waxing at -12C . A paradise.


    All TRACKSET yesterday! This is what we have been waiting for.
    Read the cations here for details:!AgTx5EOCG7eShR113lmHgU_eWGca
    We did not see a single soul today. Travelling in the traditional anti-clockwise direction helps everyone feel they have the world to themselves.
    Thanks to Parks staff for working extra hard on Christmas Day.

  46. Just did Protection Mountain to Castle Lookout and back. Nice to be on the trail, even nicer if we got more snow. Even better is if anybody finds a set of keys I may have lost on the trail!

  47. CNC Boxing Day ski:
    -10C Classic rock ski day Swix VR 40 covered by VR 45.
    Skied out Banff Tr and hooked onto Olympic where there STILL are snow piles and then beyond onto Coyote Trail. Usual corduroy and the occasional rocks. Fresh dusting of snow overnight made for good glide. We ventured up onto Meadowview and up on Roller coaster, Bruin and up Wapiti until it joins with Rundle and Wolverine. We skied down Wolverine which can be a fast fun descent . However due to the marginal conditions we snow plowed a lot to check speed. Once down to Meadowview we turned right and skied back to Bruin, up Bruin to Meadowview above the Mine scar and skied down King of Sweden. (Another fun trail that under the right snow conditions can be lots of high speed fun. )Today we picked our way down and hooked back onto Olympic and then worked our way back to the Stadium. We sure need snow. Skiing is really good off the snowmaking if you don’t mind the lack of tracks. Skaters are having a blast as the coverage is good.

  48. Christmas Day – Castle Lookout
    What a pleasant surprise today – warm temps (-5 snow temp), just enough snow to ski (beware of a few rocks/moss/needles still poking through), and not a breath of a breeze! Everyone do the snow dance for this beauty of a trail.
    Merry Christmas!

  49. PLPP-Elkwood Loop
    Todays loop from Elkwood parking lot was a mixed bag of grooming and snow conditions. The first half of Wheeler was groomed, but not track set and was pleasantly fast. The second half of Wheeler was track set, but the bottom of the tracks occasionally went through to the pavement or was filled with needles. Skiing was more consistent out of the tracks. Whiskey Jack was nicely track set and the snow quality steadily improved as you gained elevation. Nice visit with Miles at the Whiskey Jack-Pocaterra Junction. The segment of Pocaterra from Whiskey Jack to Packers was superb! Perfect track setting and nice, fast snow!
    Continuing south to Lynx, Pocaterra had about 10 cm of new snow on the previous roller-packing. There were a pair of wobbly skier set tracks, but the snow was still pretty fast. Lynx was similar, but with rougher roller-packing and fewer, even more wobbly skier set tracks. Amos was basically a skier set track on a sometimes bumpy base. Still, it was an enjoyable loop, with no real hazards. More snow would sure help!

  50. Christmas Day Winter Wonderland at the south end of Peter Lougheed Provincial Park!

    I skied most of the trails at the south end of the park this morning – Whiskeyjack, Tyrwhitt, Elk Pass, Blueberry Hill, Hydroline, Lookout, Pocaterra south of Packers, Packers. Everything was in great condition, with only very minor twigs sticking up and a few spots where they had to lift the track for a while. Except for Packers, which is still in very rough early season condition. Give Packers a miss until we get some more snow and just enjoy all the other trails that are in great condition at the moment!

  51. Tue dec 25: lookout/tyrwit.
    Inspired by Helens long tour, went for a longer jaunt myself now the couch is a decent size. And a good pre-turkey workout.
    Christmas gift #1: pocaterra hut is now open till 8! New official signage in place this morning. Thanks Alberta parks! Best gift ever, even as a regifting. (-;
    -15 to start at 9 from elk pass, -6 on return at 130. Excellent barely travelled grooming on south lookout ascent.
    Christmas gift #2: a shiny thermos on the trail between the two big switchbacks. Not for me though. It’s on the lost and found counter at pocaterra hut now. Probably from yesterday as contents were not frozen. Nor was it Christmas grog. )-: Still a few sticks in that same spot down the middle of the trail, but otherwise ok for descent if you like that kind of steepness, other than maybe the few footprints and divots and a little unevenness on the switchback corners. North descent was cold in the morning air but travelled well. Nice and smooth. Tyrwit has a fair amount of pine cones on the trail. All it will take to cover the rest of the sticks is one more decent snowfall. Didn’t see anyone until I got to elk pass. Excellent speedy descent back down elk pass trail to the blueberry junction. No couch visit today. An uneventful return via fox creek. Lost of bark on the trail in that one spot by the woodpecker trees.
    Christmas gift #3: kids blue hut booties found on a snowbank in the pocaterra lot. They are now also on the lost and found counter inside the hut. Happy feasting!

    • Hope the thermos is returned to its owner. I found the thermos yesterday on the north trail. Picked it up, thought it might of been from a group of four I passed near the Tyrwit intersection. It was my first time going down the south. Definitely steep not surprised I lost it, I crashed at least three times . Not to bad the snow was soft and deep enough. Went to CNC Christmas Day, Banff loop was very nice. Also went Meadowview from warming hut to King of Sweden trail some rocks poking out near the bottom.

    • MaSid, it looks like you need to visit the couch again soon 😉

      We had a lovely family outing to the couch today, but very late due to midnight mass and other things….. left Elk Pass parking around 1:45, arrived West Elk Pass after 3 pm, getting dark and chilly, enjoyed hot chocolate and goodies in luxurious comfort and then the fast, fun descent! Split up, two of us took Fox Creek detour and found it quite lovely, very good conditions as twilight came upon us, apart from that one tiny spot you mentioned.
      A great way to spend Christmas afternoon with the family 🙂

  52. CNC Christmas Day 10:00 AM parking lots have 20 cars total!
    Classic rock skis VR 45 covered by VR40. Although I’ve said one can ski with your good skis,we still are using rocks skis. If you don’t have any rocks skis just be careful. The trackset trails are in top shape. its out past the meadow and all the other natural tracks that are groomed only.
    Skied out Banff trail and saw that Banff Loop has been pushed out, as has some of the races trails above the stadium. Finally more tracked trails to ski! We looped up onto Snowshoe hare for a bit and continued up to just past the Warming Hut and jumped onto Bruin and then at the confusing junction of Bruin, Silvertip and Flying Squirrel we got onto Silvertip and skied it out to the end of the centre. Silvertip is another one of the original trail system if memory serves was the Rec 15. It’s interesting rolling and has a couple of good hills to contend with. Still just groomed and no tracks. We weren’t the only ones to have skied these there are lots of tracks on the trails.Returned via Rundle and as has been mentioned its the drainages that have the lurking land sharks. We worked our way down on Olympic and finally found some groomed tracked trails above the stadium. Arrived back right at 12:00 and still parking lots were empty. However by the time we got packed and underway the exodus had begun .

  53. Xmas miracle. Night loop open at CNC

  54. Mount Shark Dec 24
    Track set to Watridge Lake, tracks have broken down and need a refresh. Lots of snow available for a good groom.
    Wonderful bluebird day.
    Merry Xmas!

  55. Skied the Kicking Horse trail a couple of days ago, about 7 km one way west of the Natural Bridge parking area to the Otterhead River. Lightly snowing, air temp -6 C, snow temp – 4 C, a few cms of fresh snow on an existing track. A great trail to tune up your technique for the season. Merry Christmas to all.

  56. -11 to start and -7 to finish a long ski tour in PLPP. Decided to park at Elkwood and try Wheeler (thin), then crossed the road to access Whiskey Jack. Good coverage except one big lunch plate sized rock in middle of trail at start of first steep S-turn descent. Enjoyed being back at that wonderful junction with Tyrwhitt. Some snow angels on Tyrwhitt, but am guessing they would have struggled backing back upright. Carried on to Elk Pass Trail and then skied VERY carefully to The Couch. Basket poles a good idea as snow very unsupported. Ma Sid has been very busy with a 4 seater ready for sun worshippers. Returned via Fox/Moraine and Amos back to the car. Maybe 10 people seen today. Merry Christmas Everyone. Am asking Santa to get Pipestone opened and groomed before Thursday 27th. They promised it would reopen by end of December. Sorry Chuck I did not join you on breaking trail on Redearth.

    • PLPP. Dec. 24th. Just to add to Helen’s report, we skied from the Visitors’ Centre along Meadow/Wheeler to Whiskey Jack. Rock removed. Back on Pocattera the track was “spectack”! We took Lynx (not groomed) back to Wooley (thin but OK) to return. It was chilly but there was no wind and beautiful sunshine. The VR30 worked the whole day. Lots of animal tracks on the trail, mostly coyotes but others seemed cat-like.

  57. Nice and quiet on Moraine Lake road today. Great conditions and track, V30 worked well. Also skied down tramline to the river and along the village trail to Laggens. Great track and conditions here too.

    Merry Christmas to Ski Here land.

  58. CASCADE – the snow on the trail to the river bridge was surprisingly good today. Skier tracked. We skied just over 8km one way….beautiful day. It was disappointing to see on the way back that some rather large footed hikers walked all over the ski tracks for the bottom 4km of trail… their defence Parks Canada has absolutely no signs indicating to hikers where they should walk….PLEASE put out the hiker signs. Trail will likely need another snow before it gets groomed out properly again…..

  59. Canmore Nordic Center – natural snow trails holding up… just!

    I decided to check out a selection of the natural snow trails at the Canmore Nordic Center this afternoon to see how they were holding up over the last few weeks of virtual drought. I skied parts of Banff, Silvertip, Grey Wolf and Bow Trails. Coverage was very thin, but pleasantly (skate) skiiable in most places after being rolled this morning. All trails had a few rougher patches where you needed to pick your way with care. That said, I came home with no scratches on my ski bases. None of the trails I mentioned have classic tracks yet.

  60. REDEARTH CREEK – Dec 24

    With news that Redearth had just been trackset yesterday, one had to be fast to beat the crowds!
    The tracksetting is wonderful, but it stops about 1 km before the end. A few rocks in some thin areas to watch out for.
    Read the photo captions for today’s details:!AgTx5EOCG7eShQel6mTRmaRHuB_n

  61. Went to ski Nordic Ctr. Dec 23 and conditions were somewhat marginal – had a good ski on Banff trail not much else was open. Definitely worth getting out and probably the closest place to Calgary with snow…



    Mojo navigated up beyond Stoney Creek about 3.5 km.

    The road is covered with a thin snow pack and groomed. No tracksetting. Poles will hit the pavement in many places. Fair to good skiing. I did not hit any pavement. Lots of skate skiers out enjoying the soft snow.

    The Cascade River Fire Road to the Cascade River bridge is generally good groomed early season skiing. A few rocks under some trees. Hit 3 rocks coming down at night. Moderate snow speed and good grip with -10 to -18 Green Swix wax. A few skate skiers. The snow gets a little deeper up high and faster. Nice soft snow.

    After the Cascade River to Stoney Creek the trail has not been groomed. It was snowmobile packed quite some time ago before the last snowfall. There is about 10 cm of new snow on top of the snowmobile trail. Conditions are fair to good for about the first 1.5 kilometers after Cascade River bridge. There is one short very thin area of poor skiing going up a south facing hill. Once a person goes around the new trail part the avoids the old flooded trail, the conditions improve to generally good to very good skiing. There is about 20 cm of snow at the warden cabin. I broke trail from about 2 km after the Cascade River bridge to well beyond Stoney Creek. After the trail ends near the Stoney Creek flood zone, there are a few rocks until one gets past the flood zone beyond Stoney Creek.

    Beyond Stoney Creek, there is generally good skiing with the odd rock on my straight ski trail. There is pretty good base for breaking trail under the new snow. Moderately fast, very sweet dry snow to dash through like the last couple of remaining Woodland Caribou left in southern Alberta.. I went roughly 3.5 km beyond Stoney Creek before turning around after enjoying the sunset and dark thirty hit.

  63. Skied Great Divide today from Lake Louise to the O’Hara parking lot and back. Lots of snow partly cloudy and around -6. Tracks were a little soft with all the snow but great fun regardless. Lower Telemark was track set for the firs time so did a quick loop at the end of our trip. Nice to have that fun trail in good shape

  64. We went to Cascade Valley today (23rd Dec). Website stated the trail as fair and groomed. It’s not track set yet, but once off the road the snow is good and the trail condition perfect for a morning’s outing. Sun is lines up with he trail nicely for some welcome warmth in the morning’s too.

  65. PLPP
    Elk Pass parking – Moraine – Whiskey Jack – Pocaterra – Tyrwhitt – Elk Pass

    Much warmer today, -6 at noon, and sunny. Light snow was falling down on the Elk Pass after 2:30pm.

    The best conditions are at Pocaterra up from Packers and Tyrwhitt due to the last night tracksetting.

    Moraine isn’t in great shape, only the great views up there as usual. Everywhere else it was great. Silky snow, smooth gliding.

    • Sun dec 23: elk pass/west elk
      -9 @ 930, -5 on return at 430. Fox creek still in good shape. Nice and cruisy with the track setting. Couch update: full chesterfield for 5 now, solid back wall for reclining and wind protection. Gets sun about 11/1130-3 right now. Meadows had Sun and cloud and calm winds mixed with very light snow on and off in the morning and later afternoon. Very pleasant. About 4 inches new at the couch since Friday. Hydroline single track set and holding up well (less windy). Patterson in great shape. No more twigs. The entry to the meadows trail now has a gentler descent option. Still not the best for skinny skis and small pole baskets but the meadow is starting to get a bit more supportive.

    • We also skied the Tyrwhitt loop this afternoon and agree- great skiing!
      A few further notes:
      -A small parking area can be found at Boulton, up the hill towards the campground, from which a short groomed connector leads to the WhiskeyJack-Moraine junction.
      – Generally we prefer to do the loop in the opposite direction, but today we went up WhiskeyJack, as the grooming report seemed to indicate that the lower part was thin, however it looked fine to us for descending.
      -Fox Creek was very enjoyable- good track setting and smooth with no tree bombs.
      Pixels- Jo and John enjoying the fine conditions in the Tyrwhitt meadows:


    Classic trackset again yesterday. A great place to avoid the crowds during the holidays.
    There were quite a few twigs poking through from Baker Creek to Protection Mountain Campground, but the rest was very pleasant.
    Read the photo captions for details here:!AgTx5EOCG7eShHAyJXINCNEAzFLr

    • Thanks, Chuck – I’ve been wondering about those trails. Do you have any info on the trail west of Baker Creek, to Morant’s Curve?

      • Yes Ray,
        The trail west of Baker Creek has been trackset, but only for 3 km. Construction work west of that means that the tracksetter is not able to continue to Morant’s Curve.
        Nice to see that Baker Creek staff are doing what they can for our ski community.

    • The snowmobile and tracksetter made two more passes later in the afternoon.

  67. Finally got some skiing in at CNC! Classic VR40. Skied out Banff Trail to end of Meadow and hooked up onto Meadowview Tr. Until the top of the long downhill Junction 31
    Surprised to see Banff loop has not been pushed out just piles of snow at either end.
    Good tracks and grooming until the end of the meadow. After that it appears most of the trails beyond have been groomed but not trackset. We skied with rock skis knowing beyond the snow making the trails are thin. We were surprised to find you could easily ski with your good skis if you used caution.
    Same for skaters.
    We returned via Bruin. Bruin is one of the old time original design trails, rolling, twisty and lots of fun to ski .
    Back onto Meadowview and then cut through the mine scar on Coal Cut and onto Coyote back into the trees. hooked up onto Freddie’s Flip and returned via Banff Trail. Due to the fact that only Banff Trail is groomed ( other than the Biathlon competition trails), it was quite busy. However the parking lots were no where near full.

    • I skated at the CNC as well today. Went out the Banff trail to the junction just past the warming hut and then up Meadowview hill back toward the lodge. Meadowview had been rolled and was good skiing except for a few thin parts until about 3/4 of the way along. There was a sign there saying that conditions were marginal and skiing wasn’t recommended. And they were very right! I assumed that I could pick my way down the hill rather than going right back to the Mine Scar. But ended up just taking off my skis and walking down because there were so many rocks. I should have believed them!

  68. A classic winter’s day for a classic ski. My wife and I skied Fairview Dec 22 in perfect conditions. The temperature was a chilly -16 when we started a bit of a shock considering the mild temps we have had so far this winter. Kudos to the Heritage Guides for all the great work they do grooming and tracksetting this trail it really is a winter wonderland.

  69. PLPP Elk Pass Dec 22

    Elk Pass freshly trackset was fantastic! Fox Creek also trackset and in great condition.

  70. KICKING HORSE TRAIL, YOHO – lots of new beautiful snow on this freshly groomed trail! In awesome condition! The sunny spots helped mitigate the cold temps today. At km 5 we saw tracks of cow moose and calf…..near the same general spot as last year. The parking lot has lots of thick snow – beware small vehicles w/o winter tires!

  71. Lake Louise-Great Divide trail. We skied from the LL end to the Lake O’Hara parking lot. Clear, blue skies, fantastic snow and excellent groomed trails. But chilly! We started out at 9am in -22. Used V20 but the going was slow nonetheless with the cold. But many layers and handwarmers kept us happy and moving. Our only company for the ski out were the sled dogs-exciting to see in action! We didn’t see a sole on skis until we were on our way back.

  72. BOOM LAKE – Dec 22

    Thanks Ken for the reminder of an awesome destination this weekend. The parking lot has still not been plowed, so the recommendation of a high clearance vehicle still stands.
    For a visual update, check out these photos and remember to read the captions for the fluffy details:!AgTx5EOCG7eShGeLKLcj7LxUBCw_

  73. Confederation Golf Course – Being a busy mom, three days before Christmas, I have no time to get to the mountains this weekend, so I went for a short spin on my skate skis this afternoon at Confed. Considering the warm weather we’ve had recently, the track was surprisingly decent. The driving range had been freshly groomed for skating, and was most delightful. The other loops were variable, with grass and dirt showing in spots, and leaves here and there. The trail on the south side of the creek in much better shape than the one on the north side. The north side trail is especially troublesome down by the Christmas lights – I had to remove my skis to cross the sand trail that has been created for Christmas light visitors to walk on. The south side trail is quite good, but be careful on the little hillsides, as there is a bit of grass and dirt here and there that could trip you up on the downhills. I didn’t go on the part up by the south fence, but it looked quite good from what I could see. From what I could tell, the classic track seems to come and go, and has various grassy spots – I would not use my good skis! Overall, it was better than going to the gym! Thanks to the volunteers at Foothills Nordic for the great work you do keeping these trails skiable!

  74. Lake Louise Area: fresh grooming and double track setting in both directions on Moraine Lake Road this morning. Fresh grooming and machine track setting also on upper and lower tramline this morning. Fairview was freshly rolled. Lots of fresh cold snow around. -22 at 9am, -14 when we left at 1pm.

    • Fresh track set on Fairview completed. Fresh track set on Lake Louise too if you can get there before people who can’t read signs! Awesome snow depth everywhere at Lake Louise with 3 cm new overnight.

  75. PLPP
    Oh, it was a cold start! -20C in fact at 9am at both Pocaterra and Elk Pass parking. -15C at 11am.

    Attempted Pocaterra, but gave up on it after 2K. It’s got some fresh snow, likely on Friday, it isn’t groomed, skiable, but messy (skiers’ tracks).

    Elk Pass
    Due to the nicely done fresh grooming and tracksetting, skiing Blueberry Hill was amazing! I had good grip with Start -1..-5C wax, which was already on my skis. Reasonably fast and safe gliding downhills.

  76. Emerald Lake

    15cm new snow overnight, excellent conditions along the lakeshore trail and around the alluvial fan. The lake itself, while looking inviting with a smooth coating of powder snow, still has slush and standing water lurking below. Kicking Horse Ski Club have done a great job packing, grooming and track setting.; disappointing that within a day of the most recent track setting, sections of the ski track were obliterated by a group of snowshoers from a Calgary based outdoor club that should know better. Still, a great day overall!

    • !5 Cm of new snow? The fact is if you are going to get 15 cm of new snow over a groomed and trackset trail you no longer have a trackset trail. What you did have though was
      a good base to make trail breaking fairly easy. If you are going to blame the snowshoers for taking the only trail available to them at the time, blame the ski marketers
      for selling equipment that only works on a packed trail. Emerald Lake is a beautiful spot but appears also to lack capital(money). The only grooming available is by the
      local ski club which is apparently funded by donations. The contrast between Emerald Lake and Lake Louise is striking from the roads entering ea
      ch area to the trails themselves.It is interesting that more uniformity between the two cannot be found

      • To clarify previous comment…….
        The trails around Emerald Lake and the Alluvial Fan had been groomed and trackset the day before, and following the new snowfall multiple skiers on both track skis and wider metal edged skiis had broken trail and set a great track on the circuit. Despite there being machine packed snow alongside the tracksetting with plenty of room for snowshoers to walk, several groups chose to walk down the middle of the trail, eradicating the obvious tracksetting. Easier traveling for them, but a bit frusttrating considering the time and effort put in by a small group of dedicated enthusiasts who volunteer their time to maintain this trail system. There is one smallish sign at the trailhead requesting snowshoers to walk alongside the tracksetting, but it’s probably unrealistic to expect everyone to adhere to this request.
        All in all, we still had a great day in a magnificent setting.

  77. Fri dec 21: west elk pass
    -3 at 9, elk pass pkg lot. -6 on return at 3. 1 inch of fresh at pocaterra hut in the morning, 2 inches at elk pass. Still a skier set track for most of the day. Groomers were starting to do their work in the afternoon, roller packing via snowmobile fox and moraine, and might even have track set it by now. The west elk meadows still not the easiest trail breaking, even on the fat AT skis. Boot top mostly, some knee deep bits. Lots of whumpfing throughout with the new snow load, even returning on the same track. Didn’t go past the couch site. Snowing lightly the whole morning on the way in. More intense at the couch site in BC. About 1cm/hr for the few hours I was there. Couch has graduated past the single barkalounger size to about a 5 seat semi-chesterfield. Limited reclining for now. Bring your personal cushion. And don’t believe the sharpie adjusted signs at pocaterra hut that it is now open to 8. Not official according to visitor centre staff (but we remain hopeful).

  78. Skied to Boom Lake today. Parking lot had over 30cm of fresh powder which made me glad I brought my Rubicon. The trail was bursting with powder but we thankfully came across came across 5 parties which helped pack it down. Would make for an awesome destination this weekend. Just bring a high clearance vehicle just to be safe.

  79. While we all hold our breath waiting to see where Chuck went today, I will hope he went to Pipestone as Info centre not holding much promise for grooming any time soon. Tramline had great skier tracks ahead of me, MLR was being double tracked both up and down. Had to swing out a few cookies for the groomers who were afraid to stop and get stuck in the big snow on their descent. Met a visitor who wanted to jog into Moraine Lake and while he did not jog, he kept a pretty decent pace using the skier tracks before the groomer got to them. He will have burned a few calories with that effort. Fairview had hardly anyone on it and those views are spectacular. Skier Bob, you might need to send us out “on assignment” to check on Cascade, Goat Creek, Redearth, Pipestone.

  80. Did anyone ski Cascade Fire Rd today? Inquiring minds want to know how it is.

  81. Skied the trails in the trees yesterday at the south end of PLPP. Parked at Boulton Bridge, up Boulton Creek to the sidetrail to what I thought was Moraine, but at that intersection there is new signage which doesn’t mention ‘Moraine’ but identifies the north section of Moraine as the High Rockies Trail. It wasn’t until I hit the benches and campground that I realized I had turned the wrong way. So I turned around and skied all of Moraine to Fox then up to Elk Pass. All have very good skier tracks and enough snow…fun to ski those trails again! I returned the same way to Boulton Trading Post and encountered the very cryptic signage for the detour around the plowed bottom of Whiskey Jack, that Gord F had mentioned. To find the trail back down to Boulton Bridge one needs to follow the detour right around the Trading Post. Better signage and a map of the detour would be helpful. The temps were mild and the Skin Tecs were perfect, albeit a little slower than my wax skis on the downhills.

  82. Lake O’Hara Road

    Good conditions all the way. No sign of the lodge running skidoos yet, but still good skier-set tracks up the road. Lots of new snow falling yesterday afternoon, clear skies and fluffy powder at Emerald Lake this morning. Talked to another group who reported great skiing on groomed/trackset trail from the Natural Bridge / Wapta River.

  83. Any suggestions for a full moon skate ski in PLPP Sat?

    • Stay at the north end of the park, where it is only roller packed and tracks haven’t been set yet. Please don’t skate PLPP after tracksetting. The tails are too narrow to accommodate skaters. If I meet you skating over trackset I’ll unleash a litany on you right there on the trail. A full on turrets syndrome outburst – straight at you – Christmas or not. Fair warning.

    • Take a head lamp with you or better take two and spare batteries. At night it is pitch-dark in PLPP unlike in the city, you will not be able to see your hand in front of you let alone skis. If you prepare right or have experience night skiing it is totally worth it.


      I recommend that you ski an east west valley as I saw the moon shortly after sunset in the east. It was kind of low so mountains may now block it. Mount Shark parking lot to Watridge Lake might be a good choice. A week ago the trail had no tracksets but was nicely groomed. The 1/2 moon was higher then when I was in the Upper Spray River which made for nice night skiing. Bring the headlamp just in case it is cloudy or the moon is too low.

      Merry Moonlight Skiing and keep the ski tips up,

  84. Well, skied PLPP today and conditions were nothing to complain about so must point a finger at my new skies cuz, gawd knows, it could never be my fault. Headed up big hill from Elk Pass on my brand, spanking new Fischer Twin Skin Performance skies. Thought skins would save me from sliding backwards but no such luck. Heard clicking from back of skies and turned around to yell profanities at my beloved for stepping on my skies only to realize he was ahead of me. Realized my skies were so long I was crossing them all by myself doing herring bone up hill. Hate it when I am wrong. Started downhill after climb and (I have been skiing 25 years folks) hung on for dear life as skies had demonic mind of their own and could not have been faster if I had added Mazola oil to them and took same course as Clark Griswold in National Lampoon Christmas Vacation. So, should I return skies or tough it out? Would hate to disappoint the very nice man at MEC that convinced me to buy them. However, I believe they came from the same maker of “Chucky” and they are out to kill me. Either that, or it was the conditions. Comments, sympathy, and advice or a new pair of skies would be much appreciated.

    • It sounds to me like they could be too stiff. That’s interesting, because the first ever pair of skis I bought(also at MEC) ended up being too stiff for me. If you get a softer camber, you’ll have more grip but you might lose some of that “Mazola oil” glide. -Bob

      • Thanks, Bob! The space between my skies if I put them back to back is huge. I also think they might be a bit long for me as I am less then 5’6 and my skies are only marginally shorter than my 6′ husband. While glide was good, my hesitancy on the downhill, difficulty in climbing, and crossing on back end of skies was not worth the trade off. Will head back to MEC and see if they can offer some advice. I do feel weird carrying Mazola oil in my backpack and tired of the stares and winks when I pull the bottle out. Or, it could be just my imagination.

        • Under bluebird skies you crossed your skis…

          • And my fingers, HenryL Sadly, no bluebird skies either. Gloomy, windy, light snow, but otherwise perfect. Except for the demonic skies. And the scary way they smiled up at me daring me to break snow plow and take my life into my hands. Did I mention they were an Xmas present from my beloved? And he is my beneficiary?

            • I think HenryL’s comment refers to the correct spelling of the plural forms of “sky” and “ski”. 😉

              Ski stiffness is much more important than ski length. For a particular person’s skill level and weight (one’s height is virtually irrelevant), it’s the ski stiffness that determines whether the grip area will make good contact with the snow surface during the kick phase, but clear of the snow during the glide phase. That said, for the same model of ski, the longer the ski is, the stiffer it is. And for the same length of ski, “racing” models are generally stiffer than “performance” models, which in turn are stiffer than “recreation” models. The back-to-back space between the skis is not a good indicator of how stiff they are.

              Based on your comments, it does appear your skis are too stiff, which can be corrected by getting shorter skis of the same model. The MEC web page for the Fischer Twin Performance Skis lists Fischer’s recommended length for a given weight. (Best if you use your normal total weight while skiing, including your clothes, ski boots, and backpack if applicable.) For example, 192cm is “recommended” for a weight range of 50 to 64kg. It doesn’t take into account your skill level, but it’s a reasonable starting point.

              I’d take the skis back to MEC and ask for their best ski fitter to fit you up with the correct length.

            • Thanks Mike for all this incredibly helpful information. I checked ski length and thought you might be interested to know they are 197’s. Did not plan on a trip to MEC today but now on the agenda unless I grew overnight which I feel is unlikely. Length wise anyway.

            • Perhaps after Xmas dinner you’ll be the correct weight for your current skis! 😉

    • Sheila,
      You say your skis are 195cm and you are less than 5’6″ tall? 195 seems way too long in my opinion. I’m 5’11” and 160 lb. and I ski on 195’s.
      I know that ski fitting involves skier weight in relation to ski length and flexibility, but a ski that long for a person of that height would certainly be difficult to manage. There’s a good chance the salesperson was inexperienced and I would be returning those skis.

      • Sorry, I note that your skis are 197cm. Even more reason to switch.

        • Hi Gord: Made the obligatory trip to MEC and returned the skis. The staff could not have been nicer or more helpful which is the reason I purchased from them to begin with. Not too many establishments would not only take them back without question but apologize for the inconvenience they caused me. Will be heading to Kimberley on Monday so will try my luck at finding something out there. Thanks for all the info as it will be really helpful when I go ski shopping again. Should have maybe posted this in the “Ask a question, leave a comment” section so my apologies. Should also maybe have kept the skis until after X-mas dinner as Mike suggested. I LOVE turkey dinner!!!! Merry Christmas

          • Hi Sheila:
            You are always best to by skis at a Nordic specialty shop rather than at a general outdoor equipment store as the specialty shops have the staff expertise to fit the skis properly the first time. There are several of these shops advertised here on this website that are located in Calgary, Canmore and Edmonton.

  85. Dec 16th Great Divide Trail

    Nitin led a meetup. We did the side trail out & back. Lots of snow, some little rollers…fun!

  86. Peter Lougheed Visitor Centre Dec 19th

    Skied a loop Meadow-Wheeler-Amos-Woolley-Meadow.
    Good amount of fresh snow skier set, especially closer to the visitor centre.

    Further along, just enough snow as you could hear the clack of your poles against the paved surface, still sufficient.

    Great ski with Cat & Christine.

  87. (From Dec 18) Lake Louise Pipestone Loop

    It looked like Pipestone was open to public, so we were gearing up for a nice ski in the loop when we encountered construction staff exiting the area. They informed us construction continues and the area remains closed, hopefully will be re-opened on FRIDAY, DEC 21.

    As he left, he kindly uncovered the “area closed” signs that had been buried in the snow. Due to the closures, area likely not track-set (we couldn’t tell from the parking lot)… will try again soon!

  88. (From Dec 18) Skied Lake Louise Moraine Lake Road > Fairview > Tramline.

    Started late afternoon. Outdoor temp was just below 0, snow was fluffy but noticeably “sticky” in some places so made for a slow go. Fresh snow continued to fall the entire time – it was SO beautiful so we didn’t mind the slower pace. Only noticed a few twigs poking up through the set tracks, so our base isn’t quite deep enough (but we’re getting there!). Certainly an enjoyable time all around. Can’t wait to go back…

  89. Paradise Valley
    Great conditions up Paradise Valley! 5cm new snow at Moraine Lake Road parking lot, shin deep powder on a 50cm Base farther in. Due to strategic planning (and a sluggish 11:00am start) we were able to enjoy broken trail from an earlier group as far as the first meadows, then carried on to the Lake Annette turn-off in ever deepening snow. No evidence of avalanche activity on the several runout zones the trail crosses, but slopes overhead are getting loaded.

    Great cruise back to the road, where we shared a chocolate Brandy Bean with SkierBob on his way to a lap around Fairview. More snow falling this morning at Emerald Lake so conditions will only get better.

    • That is interesting – I have been wondering about repercussions from a big avalanche off Mt. Temple on Sunday, which looked huge from a photo taken from Lake Louise ski hill. It sounds like it was all sound and fury, signifying next to nothing?


    Another magnificent destination is “Good to Go”.
    Amazing amount of snow… 50 cm base with 15 cm fresh snow.
    As usual, check the captions here for details:!AgTx5EOCG7eShF8uDHMaUG77BYAR
    Only 14 km each way, and now it is freshly skier tracked!

  91. Hyperborean Wanderer

    PLPP from Pocaterra hut.
    Some fresh snow, maybe 10cm. Far less than reports from higher up. The trails were being rolled flat. Nowhere near enough to press tracks yet. Skating skis would have been ideal today on lower Pocaterra, Rolly Road, Come Along and Lynx.
    The packing ended at the top of Packers. The top hill on Packers has a few bumps and folds so watch your speed. We worked our way on skier set trails to Lynx and back to start. Moist snow VR45 worked fine.

  92. Canmore Nordic Center, Dec 19

    A large majority of the trail system off the snowmaking loop has been groomed! I skate skied to the end of the Banff trail and back on Rundle. I would actually recommend going the other way as the decent on Rundle would be much more fun going out because it would be downhill. (Meadow view was groomed, as well as the bow trail and many other trails intersecting the Banff trail). I walked down the World Cup trails to hook back into the snowmaking loop due to many rocks and thin snow.

    Overall conditions are fair to good depending where you are. The usual thin-snow hazards exist but I didn’t have any major shark encounters. I was able to avoid rocks, but there is alot of shrubbery poking through the snow. I would use skis you don’t mind getting a nick or two in and wouldn’t recommend anything off the Banff trail for those that aren’t comfortable descending without snowplowing (as there isn’t much snow to plow!).

  93. Dec 19. PLPP. We parked at Boulton Bridge and skied Boulton to Elk Pass, Tyrwhitt and down Whiskey Jack. Quite a few happy skiers out today in the deep powder, a bit slow but quiet and beautiful. I see Mike estimated the new snow at 5cm, but I’d say more like 10 to 15 on top of the last dump. Nothing is groomed as of today; perhaps it’s best to wait until the next storm passes to make all that grooming work worthwhile? We were surprised to find that no one had climbed Whiskey Jack so our descent was a bit deep, (not as deep as the 2 skiers in front of us however). When we arrived at the Boulton parking lot we discovered why. There’s a rather wide and cryptic detour around the construction that’s going on at the Boulton parking area. I can imagine not many would choose this as an ascent route in it’s current state. Here’s a shot of the snow at the Whiskey Jack-Pocaterra intersection.

  94. PLPP Dec19: Elk Pass Parking – Elk Pass trail to Elk Pass – Hydroline – Patterson – Elk Pass trail – Fox Creek – Boulton to Elk Pass parking:
    -4C to -2C, about 5cm new snow over skier trackset. All trails in good shape, including Fox Creek.

    • Yes, all who skied out of Elk Pass parking lot today, appreciated the hard work of the Perrott’s and Chuck’s Meanderthal group setting such a nice skier track through all that wonderful powder. I especially lucked out, starting later at -2 and ending five hours later still at -2. The recommendation of using vintage blue 0 to -4 worked all day. I was even able to climb back up from halfway down to Elk Lakes Cabin in lovely skier set tracks. It was heavenly skiing down into BC and got to help an overnighter with a raging blister and my way back up to Elk Pass. Gotta love that Compeed-like Elastoplast for bad blisters.
      Once back at Elk Pass picnic table, I pondered if the groomers were to only put in one single track on Hydroline, leaving the rest rolled for the snow-shoers, then maybe, just maybe, that would solve the problem for multi-use. I agree with Bob that the snow is so unsupported where the existing small red snowshoe signs are, that unless a skidoo ran over that path a few times after a snowfall, then it will rarely ever be used by snow-shoers.

  95. Snowing all day from Emerald Lake to Lake Louise. At Moraine Lake parking lot at 12:30, groomer just finished a run. At -1 degree, Barbara happy on her new skin skis. I wasn’t happy on my somewhat neglected older skin skis, turned around after 1 km to switch to wax skis, which were only a little better. Potluck of grip wax iced a bit. 1/3 of way along Fairview, encountered fresh grooming tracks, wonderful! Also, snow consistency often changes along Fairview, giving better glide. Finally caught up with Barbara half way to the Chateau, where we warmed up. Return on Tramline on new grooming a delight.

  96. Lake Louise: Bow River and Campground Loops – another fun day skiing with my humans on dog-friendly trails. About 2-4 cms of new over the most recent grooming and snowing all day. Temp -2 to 0, waxless fish scale skis seemed to be the ticket as waxing was a little tricky and in the end, my human decided that VR50 provided the best combo of grip and glide without too much icing. We noticed the groomer had gone up Tramline sometime this am but I’m not allowed up there, darnit!

  97. Elk Pass Trail in PLPP. When we arrived in the parking lot (-2C.), the lot had not been plowed and there was about 20 cm. of fresh snow on the ground! It snowed vigorously for most of the morning and tapered off after lunch. Luckily, we were following about 6 other skiers, so did not have to break trail until we got to Blueberry, where we and another couple traded off trail breaking in about 25 cms. of snow. It was fun to ski and not be able to see your skis in front of you, not even a ripple in the deep snow! We turned around about half way up after a hard go in the untracked snow. The ride down to the Blue-Elk table was slow, dreamy and creamy. Below this point, the tracks were surprisingly fast, since many other skiers had come up behind us and helped to pack and define the tracks. We opted for Fox Creek on the way back (which several people had come up) and found it to have a lot less snow (5-10 cms.) but very wobbly tracks. We only managed 14 kms. today and usually do 20 in the same time, so we did get a workout! The lot was plowed by the time we got back. We used waxless fish scale skis with a lick of Swix easy glide liquid wax. Mine worked perfectly all day long (no slipping, no clumping). A fun, unexpected day to play in the snow.

    • Good to hear about the snow amounts. Bodes well for expanding the couch!

    • 3 Meanderthals skied and broke trail onwards to Elk Pass and the picnic table on Tyrwhitt. 25cm new snow all the way. Beautiful fresh soft snow caused some icing at 0 to -1C. VR50 was a bit too sticky and some old 0 to -4C super blues seemed best.
      We returned via Hydroline, Patterson (up to our knees at times!), Elk Pas and Fox Creek. Fox Creek is ready for more packing and the snow coverage bodes well for the rest of the season.
      Another superb ski day in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park!

      • We were a little later getting to at Elk Pass parking lot but had the pleasure of many skis track setting a truly winter wonderland ahead of us. Got to the famous picnic table at Elk Pass for a snack but it was soooo nice continued on for awhile before turning back. Soft velvet snowy decent – no singing the Bird is a Word song – but smiling all the way. Did Fox Creek and it was in it’s most magnificent winter look with the trees snow covered top to bottom.
        It was such a great day !!!!!! Snow dancing works !!!!!!

  98. 17 December- Lake Louise-Fairview-Moraine Lake Road- Upper Tramline- Peyto- Great Divide-Upper and Lower Tramline- Bow River Trail North the Village.
    It was a great day today with fresh temperatures just above zero C. I ran into Chuck of this site fame and we had a nice chat along Fairview. Basically, Fairview and Peyto somewhat, have been snowmobile groomed but no tracksetting. If you like off-track skiing this s a good way to get it as both trails will get you back to track set trails and you can have some reprieve. Lake Louise, hands down has the most snow and the snow crew there is the quickest to do something with it.

  99. FAIRVIEW, MLR, GD (1A), Telemark, Peyto and the Lake – Dec 17

    My only mistake was… bringing my rock skis!
    Select each photo to read it’s caption:!AgTx5EOCG7eShE2XRflrzwgoO-yj
    No rocks lurking… just lots of happy folk… machine tracksetting seems imminent.

  100. Rum balls and delicious baked Gingerbread Men were our treats on Yoho Valley Road today for 7 Meanderthals. -2 at start/finish and lots more fresh snow. Thankful for the skier tracks of yesterday (Peter N) and perhaps others skiing out from Stanley Mitchell, but conditions for waxing were challenging for many of us. My VR 45 Special worked with a little perseverance. We went to the top of first switchback and much easier ski back in our nicely formed track. Got to enjoy watching the train heading into and out of the Upper Spiral Tunnel. I love YOHO’s Winter Wonderland.

  101. Great Divide, 16 Dec 18. Now THAT’S what I’m talking about! Fantastically groomed trails, MUCH warmer than last Saturday, and a manageable stream of smiling faces. The dog-sled track is now clearly defined, more so than last week. This is the place to go if you want a steady, mostly flat, ~20k total, end to end. Really great day with great company.



    Afternoon ski. From Mt. Shark Parking Lot to the Spray River Bridge, the trail was generally good early season skiing. Groomed firm skate skiing conditions. Moderately fast skiing with excellent grip on -2 to -10 C blue Swix wax. A little tree debris and the very odd rock in about the first kilometer but nothing really serious. The hill down to the Spray River was sweet for cutting parallel turns on the metal edge skis.

    From the Spray River Bridge to roughly 3.0 kilometers past the Whiteman Bridge it is good to very good early season skiing. The is the odd rock around. I broke the trail and ski penetration was averaging about boot top. Less in the trees and more in the meadows. I probably was roughly 2 kilometers from the warden cabin when the strap on my 3/4 year old Rossignol poles that I bought from MEC broke. Grrr. This is the first time I have ever had a strap break on poles. The snow at the end of my cut trail was roughly 50 cm deep and mid winter like. Skied out at night.

    This is a good time to go up the Upper Spray River. The trail breaking is not to hard and the snow is fairly fast with good grip. Nice moonlight to ski to.

  103. Lake Louise (Bow River Loop and Lower Tramline) Dec. 16th

    I have to echo a previous comment, that it’s a winter-wonderland out at Lake Louise. Trail conditions were a dream, with freshly groomed tracks on the Bow River Loop, surprisingly quiet, and around -3C. VR40 worked fine. I always forget what a nice trail this is! Perfect if you don’t want to do a lot of elevation. Lower Tramline was also in great shape (trackset).

  104. Fairview…Finally has enough snow. Starting at the main parking lot it was a long trudge out on skier tracked snow, then up the finally manicured Moraine Lake Road. About half way back met one of the Heritage staff on grooming equipment. Midweek skiers should be able to enjoy a well groomed trail. Fairview as always was scenically spectacular.

  105. Great temperatures and snow conditions on Lake O’Hara Rd today with Calgary Ski Club. Skier packed snow. Our group had a mix of metal-edged touring skis, waxable skis, fish scales and skin skis. For waxable skis, it sounds like V30 Blue (-2C/-10C) worked well. Fun smooth gradual downhill through pow.

  106. PLPP Dec 16 from Elk Pass parking. -4C at 10am, -2 at 3pm:
    Elk Pass – Some needles and cones near the parking lot but otherwise good.
    Hydroline – Windblown, but good coverage.
    Lookout S – Soft snow, fine for climbing, but would be tricky skiing down.
    Lookout N – Good snow
    Upper Pocaterra to Packers and back – Best snow of the day – nice firm but not hard track.
    Tyrwhitt – Needles and cones on the trail in the treed sections.
    Blueberry – Great conditions.
    Elk Pass back to parking lot.

  107. Great Divide – Sunday Dec. 16
    Nice skiing today. Yesterday’s trackset is holding up well, though its a bit soft with all the new snow. -7C to start, and -3C to finish at 1:30pm. VR40 worked fine. As usual, it was a bit breezy west of the Divide; otherwise a very pleasant day. Lots of people out – parking lot was overflowing when we returned. Six dogsled teams in action – managed to match their pace for about 20 meters before exhaustion. Evidence of packing on Lower Telemark – so hopefully some more trails available with the next snow.

  108. Confederation Golf Course – Sunday 16 Dec

    A few of us did some more snow farming on the yellow/purple loop. The plan for the next week or so; at least until we get new snow, will be to concentrate on the driving range (training grid) and yellow/purple loop (the east ski trails on the map). The snow seems to be holding up quite well, there are thin spots – so watch for them on your first lap.

    Apparently the crew that put up the Christmas light display spread some sand on the tracks in that area, so take care if you use that track.

  109. Sun dec 16: elk pass plus.
    -5 at 8, -1 on return at 1230. Windier day than Friday. But tracks holding up well. West elk meadow track was blown in again and the open meadows a bit uninviting. Food was gone from elk pass picnic table. Thanks to somebody, hopefully. Hydroline trackset was fully blown in but a decent skier set track was forming. Patterson seemed to benefit from the recent snow (less sticks). Checked out old Rollie’s blueberry meadow trail from Friday. Less blown in than the wider west elk meadows. No straightening required, a good meander back to west elk. Also had a gander at boulton creek via fox. About the same as fox, but a bit less traffic wear and tear. Starts getting thin after about 700 m. Not recommended starting from boulton bridge, but ok to add a km or so to an elk pass day. Busy day with lots of people ascending to the pass and a full lot of cars. Stopped into the visitor/discovery centre. They were well aware of the food garbage issue and had already started some kind of official ball rolling.

  110. Lake Louise is a winter wonderland! Apparently we went there to escape the crowds?!?
    Access to Fairview from the main parking lot is a bit strange with the exit road plowed. The trail is skier tracked only, but oh what beautiful soft, white snow! It was heavenly, and surprisingly quiet today. We did the loop with MLR and Tramline and it was all great. There were a few needles on the trails, but nothing significant, and a surprising number of leaves on MLR, with many leaves still clinging to trees up there.

  111. PLPP- December 15
    Busy at Elk pass parking this morning. There was a few cm of fresh snow over the recent grooming which made conditions a bit sticky. Skied to Elk pass and visited the carved wooden arch at the top. Very nicely done! We lost the crowds on our descent down Hydroline and continued up the south side of Lookout. No grooming and a bit lumpy as someone had walked the whole way up. After a lunch break at the lookout we headed down the north side. Good conditions down to the Tyrwhitt junction where we headed north on a skier set track to Packers. Packers was challenging to descend due to the thin snowpack, slush and bumps. Best avoided until there’s a lot more snow! We continued from the bottom of Packers to Moraine which was very thin in spots with a few roots and rocks poking through. We continued past the Fox creek, Boulton junctions to Elk pass trail and back to the car. Nice to be back at PLPP! Hopefully there will be a big dump of snow there in the near future!

  112. Cascade Fire Road – I reckon we were the brave souls on classic skis that one of my predecessors mentioned. This trail just plain ‘ol doesn’t have enough snow just yet. Our poles hit road/ground most of the way out and back. We saw a few snow-shoers and one fat-biker, but the trail is fair game for everyone and it looks and feels it… Trampled and … well … trampled. We went beyond the bridge and it was slightly better but it’s just not quite ready for us ski-folk yet. Hopefully there will be a few more dumps over the next few weeks as it’s quite lovely and well protected from the wind. Get some gas in your car and go further afield, like Lake Louise or PLPP, and come back here later.

  113. Mt Shark – thanks Bob for your Sat am round-up. My humans were wondering where to take me skijoring today so it was a pleasant last minute surprise to see that Watridge Lake trail and the Blue 2 km loop around the biathlon had been groomed (some of my favorite trails!) Both humans assumed the trails were track set – not! No worries, we had a fun time on the fresh grooming with 0 to 2 cms of new snow redistributed by the wind (and boy was it windy today too!). Conditions were better than expected with only a few thin earthy patches. Lots of opportunity for me to trot and gallop (on leash of course) with my humans in tow (Chris usually squealing on the down hills when I got going too fast) and I’m finally learning to pull a bit more on the uphills! Temperature was around -3C. I used K-9 4 Paws Special for grip, while my humans used waxless and VR40 over VR 45 (whatever they are).

  114. One more report on where not to ski: Cascade Fireroad!
    Managed to skate ski to the bridge today. Only 2-3 cm of snow coverage on the road with pavement showing, numerous rocks on the lower part of the hill. Snow coverage increases half way up. The trail was “rolled over” by a snowmobile and mashed up with foot and snow shoe prints. We saw a few other brave skiers on classic skis. Skiing down the hill was surprisingly slow which helped minimize the risk of hitting rocks. To sum it up: very marginal skiing with rock skis, use extreme caution going down the hill, walk the road!

  115. Three to five centimetres new snow overnight on Friday night just added to the very good quality snow on Elk Pass, Tyrwhitt, Hydroline, Patterson and Fox Creek. Snowing very slightly throughout the morning on Saturday in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park. Early skiers avoided the packed parking lot and access road at Elk Pass Parking!

    • The dusting of snow continued throughout the day…waxing with this wet snow was a challenge I started with a swix pink and later a warmer blue..suggest a colder blue….word on the tail was that doing the Tyrwhitt loop was d able but in a clockwise manner as Whisky Jack isn’t trackset because of rocks protruding at lower elevations.

    • Ppl were actively leaving at 1pm thus giving their parking spots to those coming to enjoy Elk Pass in the afternoon.
      Blueberry Hill is in fact a white snow hill, immaculate! Amazing!
      I’m seconding to the comment above re challenging waxing today.
      Many cars were parked at Pocaterra Hut. Curious to see a report from anyone who skied Pocaterra today.

    • As noted by Chuckley, Greg and Nick, there were lots of people enjoying the new snow and recent grooming in the Elk Pass-Blueberry Hill-Hydroline-Patterson-Fox Creek area of Peter Lougheed Provincial Park today. Waxing was no challenge at all today, for those on Twin-Skin/Skin Tech skis.
      It was interesting to see that the new signage was helping to keep most snowshoers on the right path up to the bottom of Hydro-Line. But they happily stayed on Hydro-Line all the way to Elk Pass. There not been a single snowshoe track on the signed snowshoe trail along the power line. It’s not hard to figure out the reason for that… just try stepping off of the groomed trail and see what happens.

  116. Fantastic ski at PLPP: Skied up Blueberry Hill on a freshly trackset trail. Coming down was fast, fun and controlled in the soft snow. Continued to Elk Pass, then on to Tyrwhitt on intermittent tracks due to lower snow coverage and twigs, but no rocks. The grooming continued up to the Lookout so off we went. Awesome views with wind! No grooming on the other side. A taste of backcountry skiing coming down in 20cm of fresh snow! Grooming resumed at bottom after the last steep corner. Finished with a fun cruise down Hydroline back to Elk Pass parking lot.

  117. Fri dec 14: elk pass plus.
    -2 in the lot at 930, -1 on return at 3. Hwy 40 was just merely wet. Didn’t get below freezing until turning into the lakes trail. Grooming trailer present in the lot and rumours of Jodi working the magic through much of the trail system. So, nice new grooming all the way to the pass and up blueberry (which I didn’t ski). A bit of debri mixed in with the track setting and some new debri from the winds, although the wind wasn’t too bad. Ventured into the west elk meadows for a trenching workout. About 50 cm of snow in the meadows and knee deep trail breaking (light touring gear) through a cracking soft slab, almost to ground basically when not on boot bang’s old track. No real support in the snow pack. Should settle out nicely over the next few days given the mild temps. It was slow going to get to the couch site, so didn’t venture further past that, but probably soon. Not much though work with at the couch site, but did manage to start the process by scraping together a single barcalounger seat. good to have some back support. More snow needed for expansion. Low odds of getting the couch to a decent size before Christmas unless there is at least another foot of snow. Skied in and out on the approach trail a couple of times to get it set up nice. Still marginal for skinny skis, mostly due to almost bottomless pole plants. Went up to elk pass proper after that. Arrived at the picnic table to a mayhem of packs, poles, sleds, people and other human detritus. It was the walking hut group with the sleds coming home (somebody reported their ruinous track crushing the other day on their way in). In the middle of the picnic table was their dump of left over meals. Probably two pounds of rice and whatever, apparently “left for the birds”. Despite advising not a good idea at all, carry out your garbage, pointing to the sign clearly riveted to the table top inches away, they weren’t buying what I was selling and sauntered off down hydroline, but keeping to the side at least. Terrible understanding of our Mountain environment. I gleaned that English was not their first language. But no excuse for that activity. If I had a large zip lock freezer bag I would have packed it up and carried it to the furthest party member down hydroline and made them stuff it in the pack (or the GD sled! Which didn’t have an empty keg by the way). So if somebody is heading to elk pass tomorrow, bring a large freezer bag and scoop that crap up before wolves or cats get to it and start hanging around picnic tables in winter. If it’s someone from Canmore, drop it off at the ACC headquarters as a “lost item” by the Eastern European party of about 4 or five people. On a more pleasant note, ran into bob on the way back for a nice seasonal reacquaintance. Hydroline and packers were very nice. Track getting filled in a bit by wind.

    • Back-pocket Rollie Syndrome

      Two can manage to squeeze onto that sturdy seat, it turns out. And now folks can also get there this weekend by way of a scenic Blueberry meadows track. Some straightening may be required.

      • Vertically I assume. Couldn’t find a willing participant within miles. It may not have anything to do with proximity. I take it that you took the “upper high line” approach, yes? Equally difficult trail breaking up in the higher meadows? It’s a shame I missed you guys, being early and all, what with the hut closure stuff. One day soon. Maybe Sunday. Make it at least seat three seeing as the snow isn’t so supportive. Blueberry picnic table loses sun at 2pm at this time of year. A bit longer at the couch, but not by much.

  118. Tally Ho in Yoho. Yes the Chinook we have been waiting for has laden trails with snow. Dropped into the lake Louise information centre and that more trails will be trackset as the weekend progresses. Knocked another trail off my bucket list. The trail was freshly trackset as I arrived and I was the sole skier on the trail all day. Definitely worth the extra drive from Louise. The trAil is new user friendly with a couple of picnic tables in scenic locations.

  119. Dec 14. We started at elk pass parking lot ..bright sunny beautiful day. Using vr40 we started up the big hill which was trackset and in great shape
    By the time we got to blueberry we changed the wax to vr45 which worked great for the rest of our ski. New track set and lovely corduroy to come down. It doesn’t get much better ..minimal wind and bright blue skies up there
    It must have been our lucky day as the groomer had just done Hydroline and elk pass back to the parking lot. We were the first ones down and it was just like butter. Thankfully he was in the parking lot so we could THANK him. Awesome day.

  120. Canmore Nordic Center

    Banff Trail was in excellent condition out to the natural snow. 2.9 km from the Lodge to this the furthest point. 3oC (Swix purple) at 1:30pm with some sun peeking out from Whiteman Gap. Looped through some of the tracks that will be raced on this weekend as well. As Bob indicated most trails will be closed for races this weekend but the Banff Trail should be open. Fast, fun and no sign of glazing.

  121. MORAINE LAKE ROAD – Dec 14

    What a day… just in time for the weekend!
    Check the captions for details:!AgTx5EOCG7eShDVzqc1OcWc1VMl4
    As Fran said, nice to be there when it was so quiet and calm.

  122. Skied from Pocaterra this morning. The trail was machine groomed yesterday around 2pm and it snowed a few more cm’s after that (according to the guys cleaning the parking lot). Conditions were marginal with some rocks, lots of tree bits and I had the trail to myself. The snow improved as I got higher as expected and I turned around just before the Whisky Jack junction.
    If you’re sitting down, stand up and do a Snow dance for Pocaterra. If you’re standing, do the same dance. And tell one other person to do the same.


  123. Redearth: I was going to try cascade but it didn’t look very inviting from the parking lot, so headed west. You could see the difference in snow accumulation past sunshine. Redearth had around 5cm of new snow on a thin base.

    Made tracks up to the avalanche area and had a nice controlled ski down in the soft snow. It’s a winter wonderland out there!

    • Legalize Real Democracy

      Hey Jim,

      Did you hit very many rocks on the trail coming down the hills?

      Was it snowmobile packed?

      Ski Cheers

      • I was using wider skis and didn’t feel any rocks. My poles would hit the ground when double polling in spots, and the descent was so controlled, I didn’t catch air at the bottom of the hill at the little foot bridge…

  124. Confederation Park Dec 14 11am:
    Light winds and +7C. Conditions are becoming marginal, especially for track skiing. The training grid is still in good condition, but you can only go around the loop so many times… 😉

    Kudos to last night’s snow harvesters for covering the bare spots!

  125. Bowness Park-Dec. 14

    Steve’s report of yesterday enticed me to try Bowness Park, one of my favourite spots but, oddly, a place I’ve never skied. At 10 a.m. this morning it was +7 with light winds. I took the $85 Peltonen fish-scales, a wise choice in retrospect.

    Yes, the track-setters are making a valiant effort to create some trails in the park. I skied for about 45 minutes, covering all the set track that I could see, with some redundancy. The cover is very thin, with grass, gravel and leaf litter producing a rather lurching style at some points, but it was still enjoyable to have a different place to ski so close to home. Don’t expect tranquility: The road noise from the Stoney Trail bridge is quite noticeable. Bring rock skis and, if you don’t try the trails today, you might have to wait until the next snowfall.

  126. Had pleasant loop from PLPP Visitor Centre up Whisky Jack (10 cm+ of untracked powder), down Pocaterra to Lynx and back to Visitor centre area which had approx. 5cm of new snow. Pocaterra was freshly machine packed as far as Packers. The remainder of trip was on ungroomed or packed trails. Awkward skiing but pleasant

  127. Good morning,
    I’m not sure if this is ok to post but I also know Bob is all about ski friends helping other skiers…I’m going to PLPP this morning and wondered if anyone wanted a ride. Short notice because I’m leaving at 9am from the West side of the city.
    Ok, there it is.
    Rhonda W

    It’s fine to post this. We’ll be looking forward to your trip report! -Bob

  128. Heavy snow all day at Lake Louise. Skied from the bottom of Tramline to the Chateau and out and back on Morraine Lake Road. Both were trackset today. Fairview has ample snow and lots of skier tracks but hasn’t been trackset yet.

  129. PLPP – Elk Pass
    Great conditions at Elk Pass today! -3C temperature with little wind, and close to a foot of new snow. Skier tracks were great…until we crossed 5 people walking while pulling sleds (no snowshoes with tons of new snow???) to the cabin ruined the tracks near the end on our way back grrr. I hoped someone would tell them to get off the tracks after we realized too late what they did!

    • They’ll be walking back out on the new tracksetting. Hopefully it will set up before they have a chance to trash it. I don’t imagine they paid any attention to the sign which would direct them onto the appropriate trail.

      • It doesn’t help that the ACC website for the elk lakes hut has no specific details about how to travel there in winter if not on skis and how to avoid issues with a multi use trail system. No mention of the separated snowshoe track, not walking/snowshoeing in ski tracks, no update on specifics for biking there in winter, or what to do if pulling a sled for the keg.

        • I wrote to ACC last week about it, they wrote back with a fairly generic response and thanked me for including links to the comments. Perhaps it will have more impact if someone else sends the links to them this time.

          • Thanks for doing that Simona. These 5 people didnt have a clue what they were doing and appeared to be ill prepared with safeway bags full of stuff in their sleds, and only small backpacks. They told us they left their snowshoes in the car because they did not think there was that much snow. We crossed them close to the start of Elk Trail around 1 PM which seemed like a late start to us, so I hope they made it to the cabin ok. ACC should give more instructions to their members.

            • Three years ago in February, a group of 7, including a baby and 2 toddlers, arrived at the cabin hours after dark, pulling two over-loaded sleds on foot, no snowshoes or skis. They said the ACC person told them it would be no problem.

  130. Any news on the Priddis Golf Course having xc trails this year? I thought I read something about it last year but didn’t get a chance to try it out.

  131. Bowness Park:
    A fresh round of grooming was underway as I cycled through the park at around 10 this morning. Conditions looked okay, with good coverage mostly, and set tracks. Across the river in Silver Springs this afternoon- it’s plus 4 and windy, but it’s pretty sheltered down in Bowness Park…

  132. Skied Lake O’Hara road. 10 cm fresh powder with previous skiers having nicely set some tracks. Very good conditions

  133. GREAT DIVIDE TRAIL – in excellent condition today, a few cm of fresh snow had fallen. We skied from the Lake Louise side to the Divide head gate then had lunch in the picnic shelter. Some strong winds. Two fat bikers on the centre of the trail today.

  134. FYI; Ran by South Glenmore Park this afternoon and saw that it has been rolled. Still looks marginal but likely would be ok to skate ski. If this snow lasts the next snowfall should allow for it to be track-set.

  135. WBC – no new snow to report on, strong chinook winds created needlemania, plenty of rocks sticking out, be prepared for faceplants, wait for new snow or take fat bike with you or go to LL.

    • West Bragg Creek
      The snow is generally hanging on the West Bragg Creek ski trails, but the Chinook is having an impact. Track setting is getting glazed, but there are trails with good skiing, especially in sheltered areas without a lot of conifers.
      Lots of needles, cones and bits of branches, where there are too many adjacent pines and spruces.
      Unfortunately, the forecast isn’t looking promising for the next week or so.

      • There are two sides to a Chinook weather pattern. Near the continental divide area of the Rockies, it means precipitation, such as is currently happening in Banff Park. In the eastern foothills, it means warm, dry winds. The Chinook winds were blowing at dangerous intensity today at West Bragg Creek, blowing needles, cones, branches and entire trees onto the trails. Groomer Jeff took this photo on the access trail to Hostel Loop.

  136. LAKE O’HARA – Dec 12

    Helen and I arrived to at least 20 cms of fresh snow at the trailhead!
    My VR45 wax started globbing up on the hills, so I scraped it off at the picnic table… no problems after that.
    Check the captions for details:!AgTx5EOCG7eShCx6WkyVV4lAS7Vz

  137. Confederation Park Dec 12 2pm

    The parking lot is now open: Mon-Thu 9am-9pm, Fri-Sun 9am-6pm. “Gate locked at closing! Park at your own risk.”

    As noted on the Calgary Nordic Alliance website, Purple and Yellow were groomed last night with a skating lane and a trackset lane each. Considering the snow base looks like it’s only a few cm, the skating lane was in excellent shape and the trackset looked pretty good as well. The strong wind, although annoying, was probably helping to keep the snow surface cool, preventing it from icing up in the warm sun. The perimeter skating track on the training grid was hardpack; the inner skating tracks were much better.

  138. Morraine Lake Road – excellent conditions today with the new snow. Still quite fast skiing down the long hill today… was really fun. Should be even more snowfall overnight.

  139. WBC at mid-day: not a extensive ski report, as I was out there primarily to bike. However- after riding, I did get in a quick out and back skate ski on Mtn Road. Conditions were very good, almost no hazards, with fresh grooming out to Mountainview junction. Tracksets were in surprisingly fine shape as well. Extrapolating that to the rest of the core trails- I would guess that conditions on those remain good. Nothing was melting despite sunny skies and an air temp of plus 2- something like Start purple wax would have worked fine for classic.
    As Alf says in the topic du jour- such a great example of a multi use trail system!

    • West Bragg Creek
      As Steve noted, conditions remain good at WBC. The Mountain Road-Moose Connector-West Crystal-Sundog-East Crystal loop was in fine shape, with no real hazards. I was happy on my good skis. Volunteers were out snow harvesting, so they are definitely doing what they can with the snow that is available.

  140. Moraine Lake – Another first for us! Helen Read inspired us to ski right down to Moraine Lake today. Incredibly, we were the first ones in the parking lot (-10C.)and on the trail. There was another skiff of new snow on MLR which made for quiet skiing. The skier-set track to the lake was a bit wobbly and a couple of walkers had punched holes in it, but still reasonable and fast. There were only 2 other skiers heading down to the lake as we headed back. Once on the trackset again, we found the new snow made for slower skiing. I carried on down Tramline to the Railway Stn. in what Keith described as ‘creamy’ snow. It was snowing pretty good by the time we left (-7C.)

    • I started at 11 am, so probably saw you while you were going down already. I passed those 2 skiers you were referring to about 2 kms before the lake as I was going up (they were returning). At the lake I was the only one there and nobody else was going all the way to Moraine Lake later on. Nice conditions all along, snow was picking up quite a bit in the afternoon.

  141. CNC
    Skied up Banff Trail almost all the way to the top. Then skated over the snow gun moguls through the mine scar and past the hut. Had heard about conditions on Meadow so climbed up to investigate. Not terrible. Used my Spidey Sense to avoid rocks and went two thirds of the way to Banff end. Then it got rockier so we turned around. Did the mine scar climb and the top was the nicest bit of snow. Skied our way back to the stadium and walked down the steep bits where it was just a snow gravel mix. Escaped with only one deep gouge on one ski.

  142. FAKE NEWS?? Hardly anyone out on Moraine Lake Road today @ 10am. They must have heard 13 Meandering Meanderthals were planning a ski to the lake. Skiff of snow overnight and two groomers on snowmobiles going over the skating lane, translated into very acceptable conditions. We had a good skier-set track going down to the lake in -5 temp and an even better track coming back up. By 1pm, we had seen maybe a dozen skiers and two walkers. Varied blue and cloudy skies but looked like snow could be on the way.

  143. Confed tonight – considering the warm weather, the driving range is in fairly good shape. A number of sections of the trails outside the driving range have bare patches. You’ll want to use rock skis if you have them. Calgary Nordic Alliance needs volunteers for’snow harvesting’ shifts on Wednesday evenings, where crews of 10 people shovel snow from adjacent areas on to bare spots on the trail before grooming – with little snow in the forecast, this work is critical! Sign up at

  144. West Bragg Creek. Today I skied the Hostel Loop (counter clockwise)/ Mountain Road to Moose connector / Moose Loop (counter clockwise) / Mountain Road to Mountain View east / Crystal Line west. The only recent grooming on Hostel is on the hill coming down from the west at the first Telephone trail junction. That is why I went counter clockwise. Indeed, conditions were marginal for most of my uphills but that was not a problem going up. The run back down to close the loop was very nice, with essentially no hazards. It was the best downhill of the day. It had been a week since I last skied in the Moose Loop area. Conditions have not changed much there. Going counter clockwise, nearly all of the downhill sections are quite pleasant. The only marginal area was the 5 m drop to the bridge over the creek near the end of the loop. Skiing in the other direction would be unpleasant. Mountain View east is a little more worn down than last week but still reasonable to come down fairly fast. Crystal Line west is still a fun run down to the parking lot.

  145. West Bragg Creek
    Mountain Road is thin though in decent condition for classic. It was +3C this afternoon with warm wind and sunshine, and the tracks were lightly softened. Swix V60 Red Silver +3..0C delivered strong grip.

  146. Shadow Lake Lodge via Red Earth Creek

    With the crowd enjoying good early season conditions at WBC, Lake Louise and the Elk Pass areas, I figured there would be few people attempting the no so good conditions along REC. Indeed, it looks I had the trail to myself all day yesterday, not seeing anyone. Left late morning, with light touring skis and metal edges. Definitely still not narrow x-c skis territory, especially coming down. First hill is plastered with rocks; ok for going up but I walked down late pm not wanting to turn my boards into scrapping machines. The following 2 km is quite thin in places with less rocks exposed as you gain elevation, requiring quite a bit of care and control when coming down; full speed not recommended, unless you are craving for a few good wipeouts. Conditions really improved about km 3, before the 1st 2017 avalanche path. Essentially no snow looking up that path. My poles were hitting the ground quite a few times until about RE6. Good skier track and well packed down starting after the 1st avalanche path and until about km 9, at which point the skier track is quite soft (looks like the skidoo may not have gone all the way to the lodge turn-off. One snowshoe track toward the warden cabin. The steep hill from the turnoff has large rocks exposed all the way; better (and much faster than the herringbone technique) to walk either way. A few ice flows crossing the trail before dropping into the meadow area, before the lodge. Nice and sunny while having a snack on the porch of the lodge, looking at Mt Ball. Looks like one or two skiers may have skied toward Shadow Lake; it had to wait as it was getting late for me and I anticipated a slower return time, given the conditions below RE6. No more than 20 cm of snow on the ground by the lodge. Where the conditions were good, the skiing was fast while heading back down. But had to be constantly on the lookout for rocks poking through the snow, certainly over the last 4 km. Overall, I think more than the 12 cm projected at the REC trailhead will be required for good track set conditions, especially on the lowermost 3 km of the trail.



    An afternoon ski to the end of the trail near O’hara parking lot from the Lake Louise Road.

    Conditions were very good. Moderate speed skiing with excellent grip on -10 to -18 Swix green wax. Minor debris on the trail. Excellent skate skiing conditions on firm but winter like snow. There is a settled snow base of roughly 35 cm with ankle deep penetration off trail with 59 mm metal edge skis.

    No side trails were groomed or trackset. One trail towards Lake Louise appeared to have snowmobile tracks but looked too rutty to enjoy skiing.

    When first arriving at the parking lot, there were 5 dog teams with roughly 40 or so dogs barking like crazy. The barking sound reminded me of listening to 10,000 Canada geese coming off of the Red Deer River near Buffalo, Alberta in my old bird hunting days. What a haunting racket. When the dogs were running, they did not bark and the dog sled teams snuck up very quietly behind me as I was skiing. Impressive stealth, strength and speed by those dogs. I could not keep up with them.

    A lady was injured on the trail with a possible broken leg according to a relative. She had to be hauled out on a snowmobile. Thankfully this was not a ski or die situation.

    Live long and ski long.

  148. I’ve been out a bit in the past few days:
    Shaganappi Golf Course – wait for snow. The only good skiing is through the fluffy powdery snow where apparently you are not allowed to go. They want you to only ski on the groomed paths (which are not track set and are a sheet of wind blasted ice right now.)

    Elk Pass – if you’ve ever lamented that the trail could be just a little bit faster so there’s less double poling and skiing on the way down, go now!! I had to stick one foot out of the tracks coming down in a half snow plow cause my speed was bordering on dangerous. And a fall would hurt right now.

    We tried Fox Creek on the way down to get around the big double hills. It was a challenge to say the least. Much more snow needed. Do not take this trail if you have wax on your skis. It would be a big mess to clean up after.

    Today we hiked to Rummel Lake and had no need for snowshoes or spikes. There is no snow in the Spray Valley. It’s like early November out there.

  149. A cold ski day at Lake Louise. Started at -18C up the Tramline Trail to MLR on fairly good old tracks. Decided to head up Fairview. Nice views of frosty trees. But not recommended for skiing (better for hiking)! The roll packing that was done earlier has now turned it into an extremely bumpy trail. We were basically “ski walking” and in survival mode on the short downhills. I’ve never seen Fairview Trail that rough at this time of year! Hopefully new snow is on the way soon!

  150. West Bragg Creek
    There were lots of people out enjoying the good conditions at West Bragg Creek this afternoon. My loop included West Crystal, Crystal Link #2, Middle Crystal, Loggers, Elbow, Iron Springs, Sundog and East Crystal Line. Conditions are generally good, considering the thin snow-pack. Everything was groomed and track-set (where snow depth permitted). There are some bare spots under overhanging conifer branches and on some of the steeper hills, but there is always enough snow covered space that you can get by.
    The single-track trails and winter multi-user trails also looked in great shape for fat-biking, snowshoeing or hiking.
    It takes a great deal of work to keep these trails in good condition, especially when there is limited snowfall. Please remember to donate to the Greater Bragg Creek Trails Association, to keep up this level of maintenance.

  151. Elk Pass, mid-aft Sunday, was a “rocket sled on rails”. That is all.

  152. Maple Ridge Golf Course – I believe the track was set on Tuesday so, with the warm weather, it is hard and fast now. Some areas had a good track but in other spots, it was pretty messed up. There was also lots of leaf litter in the treed areas. Given what the guy doing the track setting had to work with, I have no complaints. I started on V40 but switched to 50 after the first lap. It was better but the hills were still so slick I had to herringbone the steep sections. It was still a good ski and I hope the track setter is able to fix the track on Tuesday. I will definitely be back to check it out.

    • I was there this afternoon and have to add one more thing. Dog owners: please pick up after your pooches! There was at least three different piles of poop directly on the tracks as I skied today. Pretty disappointing to see. Please be respectful and clean up after you pets.

      • Yes, and I’d add, whomever’s dog crapped on the middle of that steeper hill last week… Sadly, your dog has worms. (I think I should pay less attention to things sometimes.)

  153. CNC An extra 400m of tracked trail! The groomers have pushed snow and trackset out to Junction 5 1.2km out from the stadium! VR 40 rock ski kinda day. Snow piles have been pushed out along Banff Tr. Up to the Meadow. One lone snowgun going at the end of the meadow and some guns blowing on Banff Loop. We dropped down onto Bow Trail and skied out to where it touches Banff Tr, out to the end of Banff Tr. and returned via Meadowview. Some good skier set tracks and ball bearing hoar frost snow.Talked to a few skaters who found skiing pretty decent. Rundle and Silver tip have been rolled. We saw a grand total of four other skiers out past the grooming. The Nordic Centre has new trail signage at the junctions. much better than the old ones!

  154. If anyone has skied Maple Ridge Golf Course this weekend I’d love to know if it’s still in good condition…


  155. Any news out of Dawn Mountain at Golden? Website says it was opening weekend, but nothing detailed on their “conditions” page and can’t see the trails from the webcam. Did anyone go this weekend?

  156. WBC: We skied the northern Iron Springs- Elbow loop, plus the trails that Nick has already commented on- Sundog, Loggers, West and Middle Crystal. Snow and track conditions on the loop are holding up surprisingly well, considering. Swix VR 45 worked fine with the wide swing of temperatures between frosty shade and warm sun. The downhills are getting a bit worn and slick, but hazards were easy to spot and avoid. The skiing was fast and fun- Piper had a great time:
    As Nick said- the weather and ambience were truly 5 star!

  157. Spent most of the day at CNC for my kid’s biathlon race. The only trail open to the public during the event (which also runs Sunday) is Banff from the stadium to junction 5 (the fork in the night skiing loop) straight out and back. At that point, there are “trail closed” signs in front of huge mounds of snow waiting to be rolled out. A groomer was busy for most of the afternoon, pushing out snow piles on the competition loops above the stadium. They are doing the best they can with effectively zero natural snow base and several major events to prepare for. Nevertheless, it remains slim pickings for the recreational skier.

  158. Yoho Rd to Takakkaw Falls & Angels Staircase viewpoint

    The temperature was about the same as Chuck’s recent post. At least it was calm and sunny. After the trackset ended the trail left something to be desired but did the job. I had some time so I broke trail as far as Angels Staircase viewpoint. I don’t think they are much to look. The ice on the river there was more interesting.

    • Hey Russell,
      Glad to see that you are out and about!
      That is the Russell we remember… breaking trail well beyond the grooming… well done.

  159. West Brag Creek
    Classic skiing today afternoon on Crystal, Sundog, Logger’s, Mountain View and Road.
    Snow base: **
    Tracks: ***
    Ambience: *****
    Weather: *****
    The most western end of Mountain View is featured with many rocks popping out of the ground. Not great. Other sections are almost great.

  160. Al and I skied Blueberry Hill as an out and back from Elk Pass parking lot today. This entire route (and up to Elk Pass and back down hydroline) is groomed and trackset. Most of the route was in quite good condition. It is a bit rough the last few hundred metres to the Blueberry lookout but that will have little impact on travel as it is nearly level. The steep hill about 2/3 of the way along Blueberry lookout trail is also a bit rough as there is so little snow to run the groomer over so extra caution is required on the downward journey. Conditions on the entire route were very fast.

  161. Lake Louise – starting at the train station at 10:45am and -22C, 5 of us skied the west side of the Bow Valley Loop trail down-river for about 3.5km to the pedestrian bridge, and returned on the same side of the river. We added a loop of the campground (good track except small section where Parks vehicles had driven). The upstream part of the river trail (train station to the campground) has lots of pine/spruce needles, but the downstream section was pretty clean. Tracks were generally decent. After a warm lunch at the Visitor Center, we the drove to Great Divide. Parking lot was almost full when we pulled in at 1:30pm, to a somewhat warmer -17C. We skied out some 3km, before returning to call it a day. Tracks here were decent, if old and well used. Need snow!!!!!

  162. Went skate skiing in Confederation Park this morning. I was glad to get out – it’s in pretty good shape. It seemed like there was a little more grass showing through than earlier in the week (or maybe I just didn’t see it last time because it was dark) but it’s great that the groomers and volunteers have made it as good as it is.

    It looks like there are a lot of places where the tracks are in great shape and some areas where they’re a little skied out.

  163. Shaganappi golf course very underwhelming bordering on why bother. Adequate snow coverage just no tracks and just ok. Kinda narrow mostly for skate except the range. IF it had been track set then some utility vehicle tracks had driven over ALL of them on the trail. Oh well it was nice outside and pleasant to be there with my wife. After 2.5km she had had enough. Perhaps with another 10-25 cm and track set it would be great. Hope Confed is better?

    • Confed was very good for classic and skate on Thursday afternoon. Firm base with a few hazards, plenty of track setting. Best skiing was on the northerly and eastern loops, which are pretty flat. The more rolling south side loop was only OK overall with more thin spots and less track setting, but there was some grooming and snow farming underway.

  164. Checked out The Great Divide in LL today. Chilly at LL, -17 until about noon. Around -13 on the Great Divide Trail with a nippy wind on the downhill. No sign of the bear, just a few very happy sled dogs leading some trip goers. Tracks in pretty good shape, fast conditions on the descent. Glad we braved the chillier temps as it was a very nice ski to the Divide sign and back.

  165. CNC -6C VR 40 Rock skis: Reminder Biathlon races this weekend limiting the groomed tracked trails to the Stadium and out Banff trail to the snow farm.
    However there is Hope! There are snow piles all the way up Banff Trail out to nearly the warming hut. As of 2:00 pm Snow guns were running along Banff Tr to end of mine scar and back down on Banff loop. Hopefully they will push out the piles to give us a bit longer route to ski.
    We worked our way up onto the meadow and returned via Coyote Trail which has been rolled. Back on Meadowview to Olympic. This all has been rolled but conditions get progressively worse the closer one gets to the Stadium. Snow guns were working hard above the stadium.
    Lots of wolf tracks up in the meadow.

  166. MORRAINE LK RD – very cold today (minus 18 at 11 am ) so fewer skiers out today. Trail still in good shape and very fast on the way down! Nice sunny warm spot by the avalanche sign!

  167. WBC: fri dec 7.
    -15 at 930 to start. -4 at 4 back at the lot.
    Mountain Rd: the north track is hit and miss for hazards. Most people using south track as a result (careful on descent). Went past the grooming towards packers and turned back at the upper tom snow junction. Nice freshies on that section over an old skier set track. Difficult snowplowing in my herringbone though.
    Mountain view: lots of thin sections in the track necessitating back and forth from grooming to track. Had to keep your eyes open for hazards ahead, especially on the downhills, weaving around the brown patches (which was really the name of the game on most trails). I’d give it a miss until another dump does its repair.
    West crystal: better than mountainview, less track issues.
    Loggers loop: pretty good, just a few hazards
    Elbow (north): sections of ample track hazards, sections of clean track.
    Iron springs: mostly good until you get to the sunny meadow section headed back north. All the above were granular and abrasive in the morning until I was back on sundog, east crystal and all the central trails (finer snow in the tracks from use). All the central trails south of the road were the best given the more north aspect, so kept going west again.
    Moose connector: the hills were a bit more thin with a few hazards to dodge around so ended my trip at the first picnic table on moose loop. Just as I arrived the thin clouds departed and enjoyed the sun until it dipped below the trees at 330. A great day out for rocks skis but I probably won’t go back after the warmer temps forecasted until some new snow.

    • I skied some of the same trails today but perhaps further south on Elbow/Iron Springs. I skied south on Elbow as far as the second loop to Iron Springs. Beyond (south of) the first loop, there has only been one pass of grooming, no track set. The terrain was ski-able but fairly rough. Coming back up the hill on south Iron Springs was okay but going down that hill would be really tough. You would want this to be the last trip on a pair of skis that you were planning on throwing away. Elbow south of the last Iron Springs junction towards the Elbow River has also seen one grooming pass so it is likely passable but not great.

  168. Skied at WBC, Thursday, Dec 6. It was -21C in the morning but warmed up to -8C by the time we finished. We skied Mountain Road, Moose Connector, Moose Loop (north loop), Mountain Road West, Tom Snow, Mountain View, West Crystal Line. Mountain Road West, Tom Snow, Mountain View,West Crystal were all track set, the rest were skier track set. Good conditions on a beautiful sunny day, but watch for rocks in places, especially going on Mountain Road West. If one is watchful not to hard to avoid, except for the one that caused me to take a tumble. Used Blue VR40 which worked well but started to wear off after 10km.

  169. Ernie, LG, Ruby-Ruby Tuesday


    WOW so nice it was – a little fresh at minus 15 at launch but blue sky and new grooming (wonderful job refreshing the trails) tracks were firm and fast and
    the snow has held up much better then expected. minus 5 when we were done. Definitely a WOW day.

    So it is up to us to snow dance like crazy now and keep those great groomers busy – thanks guys

  170. M.L.R is still very good. -22 at 10am and only warmed up to -15. Tracks are cold hard and fast with little debris. Mach 2 (with my hair on fire) in the tracks just above the S turns was much more fun than the Grizz on Tuesday.
    I hear they are friendly ’round these parts. Next time I’ll see if he maybe knows “Shake a Paw.”


    Thanks Helen for braving the cold to get fresh tracks on the new tracksetting up the Yoho Road. It was minus 22 as we passed Lake Louise, so we were happy to head down towards Field where it was a balmy minus 18.
    Despite some truck tracks on the tracksetting near Cathedral Lodge, conditions were amazing. Check the captions here for details on Yoho’s best kept secret:!AgTx5EOCG7eShB2CofvKiM1gd16D
    Minus 17 at the end of the day… but what a beaut!

  172. Skied Maple Ridge today, conditions are great! Coverage is really good for this time of year and it’s not only groomed but mostly trackset! Looks like some new trails are being put in and there are loops down by Deerfoot. It was groomed yesterday and today! I strongly suggest getting out while it’s good.

    As posted below, another skier told me the groomer was advising those who like skiing there to call the city (311) and let them know you want grooming to continue! Apparently it’s on the list of things to cut money from 🙁

  173. Bowness Park

    Lots of grooming around the city now! I skied a quick tour of Bowness Park this afternoon and found tons of grooming and tracks – two long loops around the west end, and two short nested loops east of the main parking lot, as well as along the north (Bow River) side. The tracksetter got a bit carried away, as there wasn’t enough snow for tracks everywhere, and many corners were too tight for skis to get around.


    While this area still needs more snow, the beauty and tracksetting make it a great new choice.
    Read the photo captions for details:!AgTx5EOCG7eShBWp_0EUSmwUqDWJ

    • Click on the little “i” on far right top bar to enjoy Chuck’s captions. In photo 5, it looks like a portable hot tub is coming? Great photos as always Chuck and as Marilyn described the trail, it is indeed “bushy” but nothing that another dump of snow won’t fix.

    • How far does the tracksetting go?

      • We thought it would only go to the site of the missing picnic table, but we were happy to find that it actually went to within a half km of the end of the trail. That last half km is very nicely skier tracked. Thanks for the good question Aaron.

  175. First time out this year at WBC, great conditions, especially given the lack of snowfall. Thanks groomers!! And don’t forget to donate, we are so lucky to have access to these well maintained trails!
    A question: is there somewhere to get more information on Mapleridge golf course? We had some great skiing there last year, but it doesn’t seem there’s any consistency to their grooming. I know they have the equipment, do they need volunteers? It’s just such a great for us and so close to home, ideal for getting a cardio workout during the week!
    Also, what’s happening at Shaganappi? Anything?

  176. MLR and Tramline are still holding up. Lower Tramline has some needle accumulation (and no tracks for the first ~25m up the hill), but Upper Tramline is pristine! -12 at noon when I arrived in town and SkiGo HF Blue worked well all the way to the top. Terrific blue bird views!

  177. Confederation Park Dec 5, 2pm
    1-2cm fresh snow over previous grooming and tracksetting. Tracks go down to the grass in many places. No rocks at least! Ran into Bob & Chip. Surprised I got this report in before Bob’s!

  178. Skied Maple Ridge Golf Course yesterday afternoon – it is double track set for almost the entire loop. Tracks are thin with some grass poking out, but in good shape!

    Apparently the City of Calgary is cutting the funding to groom Maple Ridge because of low numbers. If you ski there (or even if you don’t!), please call 311 to make it known that we would like the grooming to continue.

  179. Anxious to get into Yoho and parked at Field Info Centre. Tally Ho needs more snow (I walked half of it) but Bruce and Hans and the trail crew have sure spent a lot of time getting Tally Ho and Kicking Horse Trail ready with tracks. Natural Bridge parking lot has some slippery sections. Great fast ski down the first hill which has a nice picnic table ready for picnickers. Lots of bushes prevail and my skis were tight in the tracks so skied along side of track. Saw alot of animal prints and moose prints towards the end of the trail. Stunning scenery out there and had a great visit with Marilyn, Bruce and friends who were thoroughly enjoying the trail ahead of me. No snow in forecast there so will delay a senior’s trip for awhile.

  180. Skate skied Confederation Golf Course tonight (Tuesday). Conditions were quite good – a little rough and bumpy in spots but the snow coverage was good. Not a mark on my brand new skate skis. (I did my first lap on old skis to check out the conditions.) Tracks have been set – I skied in the tracks a bit and they were in good shape. Great job by the groomers to make this skiable with the little snow that we have.

    • Was the parking lot open?

      • Stephen Vermeulen

        On Tuesday night the “snow harvesting team” were working at Confederation for the first time this season. The parking lot wasn’t open yet, but it has been plowed and the city has put up the fences around it, so I’m guessing we’re just organizing the volunteers who will open and close the gates.

        The conditions were really good. On the 1km that I added snow to, there were perhaps 10 thin spots in the tracks where a bit of grass was showing. The skating lane was fine the whole way. The hill going east from the club house is still a bit thin, though the driving range side looks ok.

        There must have been 30 skiers out last night enjoying it. Bring your headlamp.

        • Small correction: it was Calgary Nordic Alliance volunteers that put up the fence around the Confed parking lot. Calgary ski weenies can show their appreciation for the great skiing at Confed by volunteering or donating at

          • Thanks Tom! Nordic Alliance volunteers take on pretty much all of the work required to provide such great conditions at Confed – grooming, snow harvesting, fencing, lighting, parking lot operations (we even provide the porta-potty!). It’s all funded through donations from clubs and individuals, and Foothills generously lets us use their grooming equipment and trailers. And, Shaganappi is similarly volunteer-led by the Calgary Ski Club. Folks that love having these facilities in Calgary should check out the link Tom provided above – we could always use more support!

  181. Thanks to Bob’s trip reporters and Bob for news about grooming at the south side of Peter Lougheed PP.
    10:00 am start from Elk Pass Parking with air temperature of minus 12 C. VR 30 wax and other equivalents worked well going up the Big Hill. Descending to Fox Ck. Junction was controlled with no ice in the corduroy (big sigh of relief) Skied Elk Pass trail, part of Blueberry Hill, Hydroline, Patterson and back down Elk Pass. Two skied back to the car on Fox Creek trail. They reported it was washed out skier tracks but doable. The woodpeckers have littered the trail with bark in places – this is common along Fox creek trail.
    Conditions were as described by Bob in his report yesterday. We all experienced nasty bushes reaching out to grab passing skis. One caused a controlled spill for me – no harm done. Replacement of wax was required by most all as we found the snow to be abrasive. A great first day in Peter Lougheed.

  182. Tuesday at West Bragg, building on Chip’s report:
    In addition to the very fine skiing on Loggers and all the various Crystal Lines- I ventured south and looped around Elbow and Iron Springs. Note that I skied as far as the packing went- to the first loop. These trails have only seen some preliminary grooming since the latest snowfall, but are in very reasonable early season shape. Although choppy in spots- there is a hard base most everywhere, and often, a good skier set track, with only occasional minor hazards poking through. As expected- the sunny exposed stretch halfway along Iron Springs north was really thin, but simple to negotiate. All of the hills were in decent enough shape to descend worry free, using a bit of caution. I also took in Iron Creek (the “dead end” trail) as an out and back. It’s groomed only, and thin in a couple of spots, but was easy enjoyable skiing until the rocky downhill at about the 1 km mark, which is where I turned back.
    On a different route, my wife Jo along with Piper the dog and a friend- also skied MountainView and said that it was in nice shape overall, with a few easily avoidable exposed hazards.

  183. Bear Spray in December.
    Johnston Canyon.
    As any “local” would tell you, Johnston Canyon is soooo much better (for many reasons) to hike in the winter. Pretty morning began at -16 waxed with Yaktrax which gave excellent grip but very little glide.
    On the way back down, just above the lower falls, the Pretty Wife swore (shocking!) as we walked up on a very large Grizzly right beside the trail 10 meters away. We backed away slowly, got out of sight around a bend, and then ran like hell (with excellent grip!) back towards a large group coming down that we had passed a few minutes earlier. He/she was non-aggressive, but did follow us back up the trail for quite a ways. Finally, three of us got real big with our poles in the air and Gandalfed (THOUGH SHALL NOT PASS!!) her down the hill off the trail.
    Skiing Elk Pass tomorrow. Bringing my bear spray, because WOW, I wish I had it on earlier today.

    • Holy frijoles, Graeme! These warmer winters are creating a real hazard. Guess I’ll have to add ANOTHER object to my backpack.


      Griz roam the mountains during every month of the year. As a grizzly tracker, I have seen tracks every month of the year while skiing or hiking. This has been going on before any man or woman ever stepped onto the North American continent.

      Some griz know where to find food in the winter. Animals get hit by avalanches and trains dump grain which the bears eat. Hunters and poachers also leave meat behind. Blue berries may be frozen on the plants just under the snow.These are examples of winter food sources. In the spring, ants area a big food source on dry south faces so keep that in mind when you are skiing.

      The bear in this instance was likely very friendly and use to humans. There is no way a human can out run or out ski a griz on XC skis. If a griz wants to get you it will unless you blast it with bear spray.

      Where I have may farm, I have watched bears climb high vertical rock faces. There is no place to hid from them if they really want to get you. Trees are your best bet but you are still not 100% safe.

      Most of the griz in south western Alberta and south eastern BC are friendly. I would suggest these bears have the genetic traits to be friendlier. The griz with nasty and big gene traits were predominantly shot out as late as the 1970’s. This does not mean that some griz in a nasty mood won’t rip you to shreds one day and crap you out in the mountains, but you will likely win the million dollar jack pot lottery before that happens.

      If you are worried about getting mauled by a bear, either always carry bear spray and know how to use it or stay out of the woods as it is no place for those that are terrified of bears. Remember you bear spray may freeze on you in cold temperatures.It is also a smart idea to take bear awareness courses. The more you know about these animals, the less likely you will fear them- unless you have been mauled before. Bear awareness courses will also help you determine when to enter griz country and be safer. Be bear aware in order to help save the remaining southern grizzlies. They are important to maintain the environment and certain plant species.

      • I’m very Bear aware and have been hiking and skiing in these mountains for some 50 years. Tuesdays grizzly was my seventh that I have encountered. Never seen one in December. Ever.
        700 lbs of friendly. Yeah . . . no.

  184. WBC, December 4

    I really have to echo the praise given to the track-setters at WBC. Pat, Sue and I skied Crystalline, Loggers Loop, Sundog and Mountain Road today, all track-set (though with some plant material poking through in spots). We started at 11 a.m. with a temp of -9 C or so. VR 40 worked well throughout. Skating on Mountain Road after lunch was ideal. On leaving at 2 p.m., it was only -3 so there should still be snow tomorrow. Lots of smiling faces!

    • We arrived at the parking lot and chatted with Chip, Sue and Pat prior to their launch. Maria Wendy Johann Ray and I (c/w 2 dogs) did the same loop and
      as noted by Chip’s Team, and we were smiling big time. Wonderful first day at WBC on great track-set snow by the groomers. Put a few $$ in the donation pipe as every-one does that – don’t they !!!!! If not then start those guys give it their all for us.

  185. jasmine chatelain

    Hi there

    I’m sorry I have nothing to report,but rather I have a question. I am coming from Quebec to the Rockies first week of January. I am a experienced x-country skier and would love to ski around Banff, lake Louise, Golden and Revelstoke. Finding it hard to get info on safe/good places (I am NOT avalanche ready!). Also, wondering how skate skiing works in your parts (I do both classic and skate). Thanks so much!!! Jasmine

    • Hi Jasmine,
      I have information on the Banff and Lake Louise areas for you. I know nothing about the Golden and Revelstoke xc ski trails.
      There is not enough snow around Banff townsite to set xc ski tracks.
      Lake Louise offers both skate and classic skiing on two trails Moraine Lake Road (16 km return and elevation gain of 250 metres) and the Great Divide trail (20 km return and elevation loss of 60metres). Check with the folks at the Parks Canada Visitors Info Centre for maps and the latest grooming info.

    • Hello Jasmine,
      You’ll have no problem finding excellent places to ski around Banff and Lake Louise. Skier Bob’s site is a great place to search. Parks Canada does not have a live grooming report, but you can go to the web site for Banff and Yoho NPs to find trail conditions for both the Banff and Lake Louise areas. All of these are no avi risk trails.

      Don’t forget that just east of Banff, Kananaskis Country offers excellent skiing including Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, Mt. Shark and the Ribbon Creek areas. And, if you are closer to Calgary, you can ski at Confederation Park Golf Course, Shaganappi Golf Course and the trails at West Bragg Creek.

      Generally speaking, there is more opportunity for classic than for skate skiing. However, excellent skating can be had on Moraine Lake Road and the Great Divide trail, Cascade Fire Road, West Bragg Creek and Mount Shark.

      Someone in Golden or Revelstoke will, I hope, fill you in on skiing in those areas.

      If you’re plans aren’t written in stone, then I’d like to suggest going to Rossland and Nelson. Both areas have excellent track skiing and, if you like groomers, you can go to Red Mountain and Whitewater, too.

      I’m sure you’ll have lots of fun.

    • Jasmine, you must go to Revelstoke! They have a great network of trails there, we discovered it last year on our way back from vancouver. And the town is lovely!

      • A few more suggestions:

        Nipika, which is about 2 hr from Banff off Hwy 93, about 45 min from Radium. It is out of the way, 14km on logging road from the hwy. However they groom almost all trails for nordic and skate. Beautiful rocky mountain scenery along the kootenay/cross rivers, away from it all. They have accomodations on site otherwise Radium is the closest place. Check their website.

        No one mentioned the Canmore nordic center, most trails groomed for skate and classic.

        And close to Banff, Cascade fire road groomed for both and Redearth Creek and Goat Creek/Spray River classic only. All great rocky mtn scenery and the feeling of being in nature.

        Can’t go wrong with any of the above although check conditions (trip reports and trail reports on this website) as to snow conditions and recent grooming.

        • And Dawn Mountain area near Golden (just past Kicking Horse ski hill) is excellent too, smallish area but usually excellent snow and grooming plus nice day lodge and almost all trails groomed for both skate and classic. And more rocky mountain views……

    • Hi Jasmine,

      The XC Ski area in Revelstoke is 7 kms outside of town on Hwy 23 (heading towards Nakusp) and is indeed fantastic…26 kms of hilly, classic and skate trails and a lodge. They charge a nominal fee…I think it’s $10 or $11. More info is available on the Revelstoke Nordic Ski Club website.

      Dawn Mountain, the XC Ski area in Golden, is up by the Kicking Horse downhill ski resort. It’s also fantastic with beautifully groomed trails, a lodge again for a nominal fee.

      Enjoy the endless xc ski opportunities! You’ll love it!

  186. Confederation Golf course is now mostly trackset. The extra grooming today made the skate trail very firm. Classic track does hit the grass in many spots.

  187. Shag golf course after work today. Some OK skier set trails, but there was a groomer out packing down the main loop. Not sure if there will be any track setting, but I’ll be back tomorrow to check.

    • I noticed when I got off the C-Train at Shag Station, the road to access the Shaganappi parking lot was closed off. I don’t know what changed from yesterday to today.

  188. WBC this afternoon. Extreme kudos (is that a thing?) to the grooming crew! It is exemplary what you’ve done with such a meagre amount of snow. I’ve got some experience in that realm & was blown away by the quality of the skiing, all things considered. Classic (& then skated some laps) on a variety of the ‘core trails’: east Crystal, Logger’s, Mountain View, Mtn road, etc.
    Keep it up…

  189. West Bragg Creek trails: Crystal Line (upper) / Moose Connector / North and West Moose Loop / West Mountain View / West Mountain Road / East Mountain View / Loggers / East Sundog. By this afternoon (most of it in the morning) Crystal / Moose Connector / Sundog / East Mountain View / all of Mountain Road had been groomed and double track set. The conditions are pretty good, especially considering how little snow there is to work with. The volunteers do such an incredible job. Mountain View and Moose Loop West had been packed (but not yet today). Most of the hills are pretty good to ski down if one is careful. I did not hear a lot of scrapping on my bases. The only places that I would not ski down (I was going up anyway) are the down hill from North Moose in the trees down to the meadow near the Telephone junction and Mountain View West going down north from the high point towards Moose. The creek at the Tom Snow junction is not frozen yet. I did not ski there, but the entrances to Iron Springs and Elbow to Alan Bill had not been worked on yet.

    • Yes, fabulous conditions indeed. Do watch out for (expected) land sharks on those Mtn View far west hills yet ungroomed, …I was seasons first casualty with a compound dislocated thumb thanks to sharp deceleration on descent due to inattention and bad luck. (Sorry about the red trail!) Ski safe out there.

      • Very sorry to hear this bad news on your thumb. I thumb-planted and dislocated a thumb on one of those CP Airlines promotions to get a full day of lessons with Karen Stemmle and Liisa Savijarvi at Lk Louise back in the 80’s. Of course, I was trying to change my technique (learned to ski on rope tow at Mt Royal in Mtl) heeding their suggestions up until my face and thumb-plant. I was able to immediately give the dislocated thumb a solid yank (old emergency nurse!) and managed to pop it right back in place. Yours sounds way more serious but hope you can get it fixed well with a good plastic surgeon or hand specialist.

        • Thanks kindly Helen. Good story your is! -mine a little less so, but I did do the same yank after 10 or so strides to regain feeling. Now, a game of healing (my life story).

  190. Confederation Park Dec 3:
    Grooming in progress as of 2:30pm. Tracksetting on yellow and orange.

  191. West Bragg Dec 2nd, skijored while skating with my sled dogs. Great conditions, will be primo for skating once roller packed.

  192. PLPP

    After skiing many times this year in beautiful Lake Louise it was time for a change. Last weekend we skied to Elk Pass from the secret ( not so secret anymore)’trail from Hwy. 40. We had a wonderful ski and now that the road is closed we decided to head to Elk Pass parking lot. As we got closer on the road we were pleased to see that there was a decent amount of fresh snow . Under sunny skies we skied on decent skier tracks up to Blueberry Hill. We also had a delightful ski on one of our favourites, Fox Creek which was good but thin in a few spots. All and all I would recommend the skiing from Elk Pass parking as long as you don’t mind having pristine grooming and tracksetting..

    • Very much appreciated your post this morning as 10 Meanderthals headed up Elk Pass. We split into two groups at Hydroline Junction with 5 turningd up to Hydroline and 5 skiing on Elk Pass Trail, meeting at the Pass for lunch. -7 to start and -4 to end. We saw two big moose right off Hydroline between Patterson and Elk Pass. Then what to our wandering eyes did appear, but two shiny headlights of the groomer so near!!! How excited we were to ski back to the parking lot on both fresh corduroy and tracks. Of course a homemade cookie for the groomer quickly came out of my pack and we ran into Skier Bob heading out as we finished. I wish I knew how to attach the moose photo but that is one of my goals for 2019.

  193. Great Divide-So Nice, I Did it Twice!

    After a day of sitting (great course but still…), I decided to stretch a bit on the Great Divide Trail, as I’d not done it yet. Arrived at 10:00 to -9, the VR40 I’d put on early was the choice of the day. I made it to the Lake O’hara gate in about 55 min, feeling pretty good about myself. Just as I started the return, I was met by a very fit woman who was “doing intervals”. She invited me to join her last one. Thank the gods I’m not a betting man, or I’d have lost the farm! This lady was a machine! In the first 10 strides, I knew I was in for a challenge. After 10 more, I was behind and losing ground quickly. After 30, I felt like my heart would burst my lungs. I gave in, complimenting her in all earnestness after I caught up, still gasping for breath.

    I bit later, I ran into another skier whom I’d met through Skier Bob’s site. When I related the experience, he said, “You know that was Sheila Lenes, right?” Well, stupid me. I’m not well-informed on the superstars of Canuck XC, but she’s a near-legend, it seems. I felt a bit better, though still humbled.

    I got back to the car in 2 hrs and, after a lunch break, decided to try the new skate skis (Well, let’s say “never used”) on the same trail. At first, I was only going to go to the top of the hill. Then, that changed to the historic portal gate and then to the Lake O’hara gate. Turning around, I knew it would be a slow return. By the time I was 2 km from the parking lot, my triceps were in spasms and I was stopping every 200 m. But…the conditions were wonderful. It was -3 when I left and there were still quite a few people enjoying the trails. Don’t we live in a great place!

    Tomorrow is a day off!

  194. West Bragg;
    New snow depths ranged from 6 at the trailhead to over 10 at the Moose junction, making for very enjoyable, silky smooth skiing. With fresh grooming but no track setting, the trails that were packed last weekend- Mountain Road, Crystal Lines east, west, and middle, Moose Connector and Mountain View- had the best skiing and were all in good condition. Still early season though with a few thinner spots- I’m not quite ready to bring out the best skis just yet. Sundog was great except for an ice flow and thin area not far down from the top on the west leg. Moose and Mountainview West had new grooming, but we turned back after brief forays on each of those as we found a thin rocky base- it appeared that they have not seen much if any prior packing.

  195. Skiied Morraine Lake Road. Around -5 degrees. Not too busy and things are still in good shape. Not much for new snow out that way in the valley bottoms.

  196. Skied at confederation golf course (Calgary) today. They were just finishing grooming the last trail as I was leaving. They are all groomed for skating only. No tracksetting. Most of the 40 or 50 people out today were classic. I would imagine that a decent track will get skied in soon. (I was skating).
    I would estimate they got 10 cm of snow. The skating was quite good. Just a bit soft.
    The parking lot was plowed and open today (Sunday). It was very icy. It is pure ice in the middle. I was sliding with studded tires.

  197. CNC -4C VR 40 and 30 Rock skis
    Not much has changed on the open groomed front.
    Biathlon race this w/e limiting the grooming to out an back on the Banff Trail to the snow farm.
    However the colder nights have allowed the snowmakers to blow snow further out on Banff trail to where Banff and Bow Split off at junction 5. Snow still in piles but it’s only a matter of time….
    We skied out Banff loop onto Banff Trail to the end of the mine scar on old rolled snow with a new skiff on top. To our surprise Banff trail and Meadowview have been rolled/ groomed (no tracks) full width! It also appears that part of Coyote Trail has been rolled at east end of the mine scar.We skied out Meadowview to junction 35 where Wolverine crosses. Return via Meadowview up onto Olympic. The snow cover gets progressively thinner the closer one gets to the stadium. We ended up walking down the service road as that’s where the groomer went. The land sharks are out in force.

    • Clarification; Skiing out past the mine scar and up on meadowview is good it’s only as you get back closer to the stadium that the rocks appear.

    • Hugh
      On CNC main there is only a mention of race for Friday.
      do u know if this is accurate so Saturday and Sunday would be
      normal trail openings ?

  198. Re: Redwood Meadows Golf course
    The last few years I’ve noticed RMGC has sections that appear to be track set for classic. Has anyone ever actually skiied there? Any feedback? anything? distances? etc…

    • Legalize Real Democracy

      I suggest you contact Redwood meadow to get the information you need reguarding distances etc. You can get the information directly from the horses mouth by calling 403-949-3773 or drop Paddy Big Plume an email at

  199. Moraine Lake Road – very nice today. Tracks holding up well. Downhills quite fast. -14C at 10am start; -7C at 1pm finish. Lots of frost crystals on the bushes. Lots of people enjoying the trail.

  200. Does anyone know what’s happening at Pipestone? I read the trails might be closed?
    Thanks, Rhonda W

    • Banff Park website says there is water main construction. Ski trails are expected to open in mid-December.

    • I spoke with one of the Park’s people in the LL info centre this week. She indicated that they will try to open up the western loops (Hector, Merlin, & parts of Pipestone) as soon as the construction crews leave the area AND there is enough snow (not quite enough up to that point). Opening of the outer (eastern) loop of Pipestone will depend upon whether there is additional cleanup work (e.g. brush piles) required after the construction is finished. In other words … stay tuned to the BNP website!

  201. PLPP – Hwy.40-Pocaterra-Tyrwhitt-ElkPass-MaSidCouchSite
    Descent from Elk Pass to Blueberry is unnecessarily treacherous – courtesy of a pair of pronaited chuckleheads walking a sled in and out of the hut. Wish they’d figure-it-oout, eh? From -10 in the morning, it got up to about -1. Off track meadow travel is supportive albeit twiggy. We put in a fair site compaction effort, but alas, there’s not much snow.

    • A valiant effort. I wasn’t enticed by the appearance of the meadows last time I was there, so thank you for that, the compaction and helping me decide where to go tomorrow after some fresh snow.



    Good to very good ski base from Mt. Shark parking lot to Watridge Lake. It is wide snowmobile packed and suitable for “big leg” skate skiing. The base is firm but not hard. There is about 10 cm of snow at the parking lot with up to 20 to 25 cm at the lake trailhead. The snow was fairly fast with -3 to -8 Swix blue old snow wax. Just the odd rock in a wind exposed area closer to the parking lot. Some willow stubs as well.

    The hill beyond Watridge Lake is in very good shape with no rocks. The trail to the Bryant Creek bridge from the Spray River bridge is very good and skier packed.

    From the Bryant Creek bridge to the top of the hill at the Spray Lakes West Trail intersection, the snow base is fairly good to good. I hit 3 rocks coming down at night. Thankfully I was on 59 mm old rock skis with metal edges.

    From the Spray Lakes West trail intersection to BR 17 campground, the skiing is generally very good. There are about a dozen trees laying on the trail or over hanging the trail up to about the Owl Lake Junction. The big hill below BR14 campground has a few avoidable rocks. I buried the culvert and ski packed the hill to widen the trail, The snowpack at the top of the hill near BR14 is about 40 cm deep. Below the hill it is about 25cm. The snow is heavenly up to BR 17 campground where the snow is about 45 cm deep and mid winter like. Beyond BR17, the trail has been broken by a skinny skier. The BR17 area has fantastic scenery at sunset and into twilight, particularly on a clear night with no wind, like the way I experienced it. Boogied out at night from BR 14.


      I forgot to mention that I skied to BR17 on Nov. 30/18 starting in the afternoon.

      With 12 cm of new snow, the trail to Watridge Lake should be good for tracksetting. Hopefully we get that snow soon.

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