Trip Reports – Dec 2018

Let’s help each other have a great ski trip by sharing information on trail conditions. Click on “Add one now” to submit a comment. If you have photos, upload them to a photo-sharing site such as Flickr or OneDrive and leave a link with your comment. Last winter, the Trip Reports were viewed over 100,000 times

{ 140 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Chuck December 14, 2018 at 5:05 pm

MORAINE LAKE ROAD – Dec 14

What a day… just in time for the weekend!
Check the captions for details:
https://1drv.ms/a/s!AgTx5EOCG7eShDVzqc1OcWc1VMl4
As Fran said, nice to be there when it was so quiet and calm.

Reply

2 Rhonda W December 14, 2018 at 3:43 pm

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.

Thanks,

Reply

3 Jim December 14, 2018 at 1:23 pm

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!

Reply

4 Mike W December 14, 2018 at 1:22 pm

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!

Reply

5 Chip Scialfa December 14, 2018 at 11:49 am

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.

Reply

6 TZ December 14, 2018 at 10:06 am

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

Reply

7 Rhonda W December 14, 2018 at 8:25 am

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.
Thanks
Rhonda W

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

Reply

8 Mike W December 14, 2018 at 1:45 pm

I might be interested in the future with a bit more notice!
Bob – Would it be worthwhile to set up a carpooling section on the website?

Reply

9 Steve December 14, 2018 at 2:41 pm

I’ve often wondered the same thing. (…& frequently take an all-wheel drive, snow-tire equipped car with empty seats)

Reply

10 Rhonda W December 14, 2018 at 3:39 pm

Ditto on wondering whether a carpooling section might be beneficial on Bob’s site. We’ll see what he says.
Rhonda W

Reply

11 DonC December 13, 2018 at 7:30 pm

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.

Reply

12 Martine December 13, 2018 at 5:24 pm

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!

Reply

13 Bob Truman December 13, 2018 at 5:37 pm

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.

Reply

14 MaSid December 13, 2018 at 7:05 pm

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.

Reply

15 Simona December 14, 2018 at 7:13 am

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.

Reply

16 Martine December 14, 2018 at 9:55 am

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.

Reply

17 Donna December 14, 2018 at 11:56 am

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.

18 Jodie M December 13, 2018 at 3:14 pm

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.

Reply

19 Steve Riggs December 13, 2018 at 1:51 pm

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…

Reply

20 Kris December 12, 2018 at 11:02 pm

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

Reply

21 Chris and Karl December 12, 2018 at 9:33 pm

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.

Reply

22 Thian Hundert December 12, 2018 at 7:21 pm

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.

Reply

23 Thian Hundert December 12, 2018 at 7:28 pm

Looking west.

Reply

24 fallsalot December 12, 2018 at 7:20 pm

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.

Reply

25 Alf Skrastins December 12, 2018 at 10:43 pm

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. https://photos.app.goo.gl/GFro4pdTK7LCoNXb8
Unfortunately, the forecast isn’t looking promising for the next week or so.

Reply

26 Alf Skrastins December 13, 2018 at 8:18 pm

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. https://photos.app.goo.gl/9K11F9Q9yEbcL9ep9

Reply

27 Chuck December 12, 2018 at 5:39 pm

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:
https://1drv.ms/a/s!AgTx5EOCG7eShCx6WkyVV4lAS7Vz

Reply

28 Mike W December 12, 2018 at 2:47 pm

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.

Reply

29 Chris and Karl December 11, 2018 at 10:08 pm

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

Reply

30 Steve Riggs December 11, 2018 at 5:05 pm

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!

Reply

31 Alf Skrastins December 11, 2018 at 11:15 pm

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.

Reply

32 Mary Perrott December 11, 2018 at 4:14 pm

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.)

Reply

33 Adam December 11, 2018 at 8:12 pm

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.

Reply

34 Pete Spidermann December 11, 2018 at 12:43 pm

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. https://imgur.com/a/IEuSw4V 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.

Reply

35 Helen Read December 10, 2018 at 10:43 pm

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.

Reply

36 Whitney December 10, 2018 at 9:09 pm

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 https://www.volunteersignup.org/EHBPL

Reply

37 gh December 10, 2018 at 6:51 pm

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.

Reply

38 Nick December 10, 2018 at 5:39 pm

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.

Reply

39 Normand December 10, 2018 at 12:19 pm

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.

Reply

40 LEGALIZE REAL DEMOCRACY December 9, 2018 at 10:35 pm

GREAT DIVIDE 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.

Reply

41 Tanya December 9, 2018 at 9:22 pm

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.

Reply

42 Ulrike December 9, 2018 at 9:11 pm

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!

Reply

43 Alf Skrastins December 9, 2018 at 9:00 pm

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.

Reply

44 Ern December 9, 2018 at 7:48 pm

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

Reply

45 Bill Richardson December 9, 2018 at 4:41 pm

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.

Reply

46 Michelle December 9, 2018 at 9:32 pm

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.

Reply

47 Attentive December 10, 2018 at 7:30 am

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.)

Reply

48 Hugh December 9, 2018 at 1:38 pm

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!

Reply

49 Rhonda Wilson December 9, 2018 at 8:35 am

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

Thanks.
Rhonda

Reply

50 Risto T December 9, 2018 at 12:58 am

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?

Reply

51 Steve Riggs December 8, 2018 at 11:02 pm

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:
https://photos.smugmug.com/SkiPix2016/i-ZJtS9BS/0/b5cdb7f9/O/P1040772%20copy.jpg
As Nick said- the weather and ambience were truly 5 star!
https://photos.smugmug.com/SkiPix2016/i-VZdWZsG/0/2a409025/O/P1040775%20copy.jpg

Reply

52 David December 8, 2018 at 9:32 pm

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.

Reply

53 Russell December 8, 2018 at 8:30 pm

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.

Reply

54 Chuck December 8, 2018 at 9:21 pm

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.
Thanks

Reply

55 Nick December 8, 2018 at 5:18 pm

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.

Reply

56 gh December 8, 2018 at 5:16 pm

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.

Reply

57 Ray Perrott December 8, 2018 at 4:49 pm

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!!!!!

Reply

58 Don December 8, 2018 at 2:01 pm

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.

Reply

59 RichieRich December 8, 2018 at 1:21 pm

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?

Reply

60 Steve Riggs December 9, 2018 at 9:19 am

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.

Reply

61 MtnGirl December 7, 2018 at 9:56 pm

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.

Reply

62 Hugh December 7, 2018 at 7:19 pm

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.

Reply

63 Chris Nykoluk December 7, 2018 at 5:31 pm

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!

Reply

64 MaSid December 7, 2018 at 4:52 pm

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.

Reply

65 gh December 7, 2018 at 6:22 pm

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.

Reply

66 MaSid December 7, 2018 at 7:14 pm

I took the first iron springs left, going counter clockwise, and was glad I did it in that direction.

Reply

67 gh December 7, 2018 at 8:22 pm

That was the way to do it… I went counter clockwise as well but turned at the second left.

Reply

68 Eric Leavitt December 7, 2018 at 10:02 am

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.

Reply

69 Ernie, LG, Ruby-Ruby Tuesday December 6, 2018 at 5:02 pm

WBC

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

Reply

70 GraemeP December 6, 2018 at 4:44 pm

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.”

Reply

71 Chuck December 6, 2018 at 4:28 pm

YOHO ROAD to TAKAKKAW FALLS – Dec 6

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:
https://1drv.ms/a/s!AgTx5EOCG7eShB2CofvKiM1gd16D
Minus 17 at the end of the day… but what a beaut!

Reply

72 Sarah December 5, 2018 at 10:09 pm

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 🙁

Reply

73 Diana Piggott December 5, 2018 at 6:13 pm

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.

Reply

74 Karla Handy December 7, 2018 at 8:52 am

Thanks for the update, will probably head down today.

Reply

75 Chuck December 5, 2018 at 6:05 pm

KICKING HORSE TRAIL – Dec 5

While this area still needs more snow, the beauty and tracksetting make it a great new choice.
Read the photo captions for details:
https://1drv.ms/a/s!AgTx5EOCG7eShBWp_0EUSmwUqDWJ

Reply

76 Helen Read December 5, 2018 at 6:20 pm

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.

Reply

77 Jeannette December 5, 2018 at 6:38 pm

If not a hot tub, how about a Fire Pit?
Thanks for the instructions too!

Reply

78 AaronF December 5, 2018 at 7:21 pm

How far does the tracksetting go?

Reply

79 Chuck December 5, 2018 at 8:22 pm

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.

Reply

80 Judy Reside December 5, 2018 at 5:36 pm

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?

Reply

81 AaronF December 5, 2018 at 5:19 pm

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!

Reply

82 Mike W December 5, 2018 at 3:48 pm

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!

Reply

83 Michelle Huynh December 5, 2018 at 2:47 pm

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.

Reply

84 Judy Reside December 5, 2018 at 6:20 pm

Thanks Michelle! I will be giving them a call for sure!

Reply

85 Helen Read December 4, 2018 at 8:24 pm

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.

Reply

86 Don Workman December 4, 2018 at 8:12 pm

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.

Reply

87 Charles December 4, 2018 at 9:59 pm

Was the parking lot open?

Reply

88 Stephen Vermeulen December 5, 2018 at 7:01 am

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.

Reply

89 Tom Lambert December 5, 2018 at 8:28 am

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 https://nordicalliance.ca.

Reply

90 Whitney December 5, 2018 at 9:01 am

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!

Reply

91 Keith Bagnall December 4, 2018 at 5:45 pm

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.

Reply

92 Steve Riggs December 4, 2018 at 5:28 pm

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.

Reply

93 GraemeP December 4, 2018 at 4:38 pm

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.

Reply

94 Chip Scialfa December 4, 2018 at 5:43 pm

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

Reply

95 GraemeP December 4, 2018 at 6:25 pm

He/she was very large. I was (ahem) very close, and saw no ear tags. Not sure about a collar.
The Pretty Wife was super easy to out run.

Reply

96 JeremyN December 4, 2018 at 7:01 pm

HaHa! (Something tells me though you’d be a more enticing prey!)

Reply

97 GraemeP December 4, 2018 at 7:10 pm

Yeah. They prefer to eat handsome.

Reply

98 LEGALIZE REAL DEMOCRACY December 6, 2018 at 2:14 pm

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.

Reply

99 GraemeP December 6, 2018 at 4:25 pm

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.

Reply

100 Chip Scialfa December 4, 2018 at 3:29 pm

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!

Reply

101 Ernie December 4, 2018 at 5:06 pm

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.

Reply

102 jasmine chatelain December 4, 2018 at 2:55 pm

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

Reply

103 Keith December 4, 2018 at 5:14 pm

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.

Reply

104 Chip Scialfa December 4, 2018 at 5:41 pm

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.

Reply

105 Judy Reside December 5, 2018 at 5:38 pm

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!

Reply

106 Norseman Dave December 5, 2018 at 6:49 pm

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.

Reply

107 Norseman Dave December 5, 2018 at 7:02 pm

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……

Reply

108 Sue Scott December 5, 2018 at 6:53 pm

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!

Reply

109 Charles December 3, 2018 at 9:18 pm

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.

Reply

110 Wes December 3, 2018 at 6:14 pm

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.

Reply

111 Wes December 4, 2018 at 4:36 pm

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.

Reply

112 Steve December 3, 2018 at 6:00 pm

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…

Reply

113 gh December 3, 2018 at 4:59 pm

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.

Reply

114 JeremyN December 3, 2018 at 8:16 pm

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.

Reply

115 Helen Read December 3, 2018 at 8:51 pm

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.

Reply

116 JeremyN December 3, 2018 at 10:23 pm

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).

Reply

117 Mike W December 3, 2018 at 4:00 pm

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

Reply

118 TC December 3, 2018 at 3:48 pm

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

Reply

119 Janice P December 2, 2018 at 8:32 pm

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..

Reply

120 Helen Read December 3, 2018 at 4:21 pm

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.

Reply

121 Chip Scialfa December 2, 2018 at 6:31 pm

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!

Reply

122 Chuck December 2, 2018 at 8:20 pm

Nicely written… I’ll know better than to challenge you!

Reply

123 Chip Scialfa December 3, 2018 at 6:38 am

I’m sure you’d leave me in your powder, Chuck! Thanks for the compliment though.

Reply

124 Steve Riggs December 2, 2018 at 4:48 pm

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.

Reply

125 MtnGirl December 2, 2018 at 4:42 pm

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.

Reply

126 Charles December 2, 2018 at 4:21 pm

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.

Reply

127 Hugh December 2, 2018 at 1:43 pm

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.

Reply

128 Hugh December 2, 2018 at 3:35 pm

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.

Reply

129 barb banff December 3, 2018 at 4:37 pm

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 ?
tks

Reply

130 RichieRich December 1, 2018 at 4:51 pm

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…

Reply

131 Legalize Real Democracy December 1, 2018 at 8:31 pm

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 paddy@redwoodmeadows.com.

Reply

132 Ray Perrott December 1, 2018 at 2:56 pm

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.

Reply

133 Rhonda W December 1, 2018 at 11:09 am

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

Reply

134 Rick B December 1, 2018 at 2:18 pm

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

Reply

135 John A December 1, 2018 at 5:02 pm

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!

Reply

136 Rhonda w December 1, 2018 at 9:01 pm

Thanks Rick and John!

Reply

137 Cheeky December 1, 2018 at 8:09 am

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.

Reply

138 MaSid December 1, 2018 at 9:17 am

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.

Reply

139 LEGALIZE REAL DEMOCRACY December 1, 2018 at 12:15 am

WATRIDGE LAKE/ BRYANT CREEK BR 17 CAMPGROUND

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.

Reply

140 LEGALIZE REAL DEMOCRACY December 1, 2018 at 10:24 am

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.

Reply

Leave a Comment