Trip Reports – Dec 2019

Let’s help each other have a great ski trip by sharing information on trail conditions. 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.

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  1. Tom Snow-north
    The portion of the Tom Snow trail which was most damaged by the 2013 flood was rebuilt on a new, higher and flood-proof alignment in 2016 and 2017. With above average snowfalls this season, I figured it would be worth checking out this portion of “The Great Trail” (AKA the Trans-Canada Trail).
    We started at Spruce Woods day use area, along the south loop of the Jumpingpound Demonstration Forest Loop. That turned out the be mistake, because the trail that connects the parking lot to the expensive new bridge over Jumpingpound Creek is a horrible design. Way too steep, with a wooden staircase. No consideration for snowshoers, skiers, mountain bikers, equestrians. What a waste!
    At the bottom of the steep hill is the first of 4 bridges that lead onto the deadfall strewn Moose Creek Loop trail. I know there is a better connection to Tom Snow, but the signage is so poor, that it was impossible to find it. Next time, I’ll drive down the Husky well site road and park near the gate. It’s a lot easier to get onto Tom Snow from there.
    After crossing the new Moose Creek bridge, however, we were finally on the new Tom Snow trail… and we found ourselves stepping over a big downed tree. The first of 40 blown-down trees that littered the trail.
    We removed the trees that we cold safely move, but many still remain.
    Initially, there were a couple of snowshoe tracks to follow, but after they turned around, we were only sharing the trail with wolf tracks. At one point we came upon a partial leg and about 30cm of spine… all that remained of a deer.
    We made it to a wonderful viewpoint near the Moose Creek/Bragg Creek divide. From there, it took a little over an hour to ski back to the parking lot… even with stops to climb over deadfall.
    The snow depth at the Jumpingpound end of Tom Snow is about half of what is found at West Bragg Creek.
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/nZmk8C2nwVyMiJtw7

    • Alf, nice to see there’s finally a bridge over Jumpingpound Creek. I admire your persistence – the trail looked like an obstacle course! Wonderful photos as always, thanks.

  2. My first Shaganappi ski this year exceeded expectations late this afternoon. I’d call conditions very good. The ground cover is thin in a very few brief sections, but no problem staying on snow in any of them. The tracks are wiped out in a few places, but good 95% of the time. The snow was fast, and old (really old) Swix blue gripped well. The ol’ kick and glide was with me today. Glorious hour and a half; last car out of the lot.

    Lost a pair of prescription sunglasses on the trail, though. Black plastic frame. If by chance you found them, please post a comment.

  3. Skied the Cascade fire road to the campground by the bridge and found evidence of Santa’s elves..tracks are getting pretty washed out but I’m not complaining.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/Tb8LzjGd3kopifUM9

  4. Sandy McNabb and Cascade Fire Road

    I have to agree with Alf that Sandy McNabb offered some challenging skiing yesterday. It is a beautiful area. We skied Long Prairie Loop to Pine Ridge Loop clockwise. We were very happy to be using our skis with metal edges for the steep downhills. Caution is definitely advised. We crossed over and skied back via the Meadow Loop. The south side trails are in great shape and not scary.

    Today, Jamie and I skied the Cascade Fire Road to the campground just past the sign at km 14.4. We used our regular skis; the tracks are in fine shape, and the scenery was exceptional! We had lunch in the sun at the far campground. The trees are snow-laden and awe-inspiring. We are so grateful for these trails. Skiers of any ability should feel safe on the Cascade Fire Road presently. Enjoy!

  5. Sun dec 15: elk/west elk
    The promise of sunny skies and light winds lured us to the meadows. The poster children noticed yesterday the couch needed “rebuilding” after some unkind visitors (not on skis), so we had a work session to rebuild it, along with touring around the meadows. Elk pass track setting is great. Went in and out via fox creek. Decent enough for a diversion. Seems to be more barky woodpecker debris these days. Better on return with a bit of travel pressing tha bark in. The shallow meadow snow pack is deteriorating and pole plants are becoming more bottomless. Not skinny ski meadow time yet. Difficult trail breaking off the track that the poster kids re-established after the aforementioned party chewed up the prior track. Stopped for a fire and potential Geminid meteor shower viewing before the moon came up. No such luck, just satellites and planes. A great day in the sun with intermittent cloud. Tracks of elk pass held up well and nice to cruise home on after the off balance meadow skipping.

  6. BRYANT CREEK CABIN via MOUNT SHARK – Dec 15

    Busy at Mt. Shark… but it got quieter!
    Details available in the captions here:
    https://1drv.ms/u/s!Avuc6aIvjGUAjCzFY6oO7GagHRsI?e=xAGBpR
    Sorry to have missed Helen Read

  7. Another WBC Mountain / Moose loop, conditions on Mountain View West are glorious, the return leg along Moose towards Connector is getting a little ploughed out on some hills, a great ski day.

  8. Mt Shark: Sunday noon -8 bit of wind mostly around parking lot. Skied to Watridge Lake then on to the bridge. Unlike the “mtnmommas” who express no fear, I would like to have a contest naming that hill going down to the bridge. My name for it is SHARK BITE. I would rather ascend that hill three times than go down it once. The closer one gets to the bottom of that hill, the steeper it gets. Good thing no one saw me; the failing hip is starting to show in my total lack of confidence. Then just to add another challenge, I decided to do the recreational loop from the bench at #10 backwards to the # 9 junction. Great roller grooming and skate skiers would be in their glory on that 4-5 kms. loop. But this scared-y cat on the hills climbed down on my skis on at least four hills that freaked me out. This advertised 15 kms. Recreational Loop comes with a big GREEN sign. Today to me, that section felt like double black diamond. The Green choice of colour might lead a beginner skier astray, as it is truly a workout. But I confess to getting closer to my “best before date”.

  9. Cascade Fire Road was brilliant today. The heavy snow cover on the trees remains, the track is FAST, the waxing is easy, and there is a dry picnic table to sit at when lunchtime arrives.?HIGHLY recommended right now.

  10. Lake Louise encore ski today. Tramlime-Fairview-MLR loop. Thermometer on my car was reading a very chilly -17 deg C to start, and was reading -9 deg C at the end. Delightful snow and track conditions (a big thank you to the groomers). The mountains looked stunning, as always. The force is strong in the LL corner of the Skier Bob Empire.

  11. MTN SHARK, Watridge Lake ,- dec 14th
    -Started skiing at 10:30 am, blue V40 Blue Extra
    -Skied Watridge lake road, double lane track set (deep tracks), amazing early season conditions
    -After Spray River continued on an excellent single lane skier track set to past Brewster Creek to the Big Springs Campground BR 9 (9.6 km). Lots of snow, not too much exposed. Good Coverage.
    -In and Out

    • BILL VOTING RIGHTS 4U

      Little correction as to your ski trip:

      That would be Bryant Creek rather than Brewster Creek that you skied up. You would have to go over Allenby Pass, further up Bryant Creek just beyond BR 17, to get to the Brewster Creek Valley. That would be dangerous at this time of year due to avalanches.

      Glad to hear the snow coverage is good on Bryant Creek now. Skier packing trails does wonders in low snow conditions.

  12. KICKING HOURSE FIRE ROAD & OTTERHEAD RIVER (17.1km)

    Beautiful day in Yoho. We started by skiing the Kicking Horse Fire Road past the Otterhead River bench and to the turnaround. Especially enjoyed the single track through the forest – so serene. I had only skied this trail once before when I stayed in Field and Jessica S. invited me along for a night ski on the Kicking Horse Fire Road. That was a magical night with ice lanterns and a fire pit, and I had wanted to return ever since.

    Snow was absolutely perfect for light touring skis, and as we wanted more after having driven out from Calgary, we decided to continue on past the Otterhead turnaround (and MapApp showed a “trail”, so we figured it would at least be open enough). This 3km extension was magical. Initially we switched between frozen water and more open areas, but soon realized that river skiing (on the frozen Otterhead River) is the way to go. Skiing on the ice with a bit of fresh snow was pure fun, it was faster, and the views were wonderful. Seriously, this river skiing is a thrill and we want more!!! Highly recommended for anyone wishing to go touring off the beaten path. And yes, we knew there is water, but as it was never more than 6” deep, we figured skiing it was fine, and breaking through would not be more than a slight inconvenience (which was later confirmed to be true, but hey, it only adds to a sense of adventure). There definitely is 1km of a sweet spot beyond the turnaround where it feels like you’re skating.

    Lovely day, only saw one other person on our ski back, and finished the day with a dinner in Lake Louise and a quick stop to the Christmas Store in Banff.

    https://www.flickr.com/gp/136268189@N02/6d7V5q

  13. Sandy McNabb
    The Sheep River Valley often doesn’t have a lot of snow, but this year is an exception. Most of the Sandy McNabb XC ski trails have been track set and the conditions are generally pretty good. There are a number of spots where there is exposed dirt, some rocks and some barely covered deadfall and branches, but it’s easy enough to avoid those.
    I did a loop that took in most of the perimeter trails: Sandy McNabb Loop, Loggers Loop, Pine Ridge Loop, Balsam, Long Prairie Loop and back to Sandy McNabb Loop. Some of the steeper downhills are fast, frightening or best walked-down… depending on your skill with narrow descents. Balsam was “rugged” if you were on the snowmobile packed track, but the untouched soft snow beside the trail was supportive enough to provide a safer alternative. I love the character of the forests, meadows and rolling hills in this area. https://photos.app.goo.gl/DJWhfAq88SGFfgyg9

  14. SHADOW LAKE

    After reading Helen’s and Chuck’s reports of their recent ski along Red Earth Creek, past the first 7 km of track setting, I figured the track would be even firmer and better than last Sunday when I was there. Indeed it was, with a smooth glide and great grip (VR40). After a snack break on the porch of the lodge (- 6 C), I followed a narrow ski track to Shadow Lake. There I soaked the stunning views of Mount Ball, in spite of a fairly cloudy sky all day. No one else up there. So quiet and windless. The ski back was great and pretty fast on light touring skis. Caution while skiing down from the lodge turn off to RE6: don’t get off the track while getting speed; the snow is very soft away from the skier well packed track.

    https://photos.google.com/album/AF1QipP6DvmBgVRcg0mKG0yLnX_xiInJ-ZX4_SUxvOB8

  15. Skied WBC at 10am this morning-Mountain view West, Moose Loop. Fantastic conditions. Much faster snow than last Sunday. ‘Nough said.

    Rhonda W

  16. Cascade Fire Road today was velvety and FAST. SWIX VR40 worked perfectly, the trees are LOADED with snow and very pretty, and the tracks are well-defined. The only improvement I’d suggest is that next time I start skiing earlier than 3:20 pm.

  17. Skogan Pass today with a 10 year old who made it all the way to the pass.
    We started at Nakiska. Us adults had light touring skis with metal edges. My son also has wider skis ideal for light touring. The Screamer was thin but we bombed down it at a fast pace and didn’t take our skis off on the way down.

    We would have had a much easier time with skins for the long climb up. The snow was very hard and almost had that artificial styrofoam texture. Very hard to climb and quite slippery. We had waxless skis that usually have great grip but today we pretty much had to herringbone the entire 600 meters up.
    The snow was awesome for coming down though and we had great control without aggressively snowplowing.

    Agree with Steve that there were tracked sections where you definitely had to take one ski out of the tracks coming down to snow plow for speed control.

  18. Very good day near Lake Louise. Great Divide and Lower Telemark. Excellent snow and tracks. Lower Telemark, with marshmallow-topped trees, looked like a scene out of Narnia. The clouds even thinned out in the afternoon so we could see the mountains. Not too many people out surprisingly. Waved hello to the dogsledders as they sped on by.

    Did anyone try Redearth Creek today?

  19. Cascade Valley Road: minus 11C to start at 9:00 am and minus 7C to finish at 1:30 pm. VR40 worked perfectly for me all day. Tracks to the Cascade River bridge are quite washed out now, after a week without snow and grooming/tracksetting. Beyond the bridge tracks are very good. The short cut to the Warden’s cabin was rough for my “wedged” descent. (“Wedge” is the new terminology for a snowplough apparently.) This road is in my opinion is a great practice ski for improving your classic technique.

  20. Bow River, Campground (Lake Louise)

    Just trackset today so skiied it all and easter section both ways (13 km). Nice trail for views and sun as it follows the river on both sides. -5oC, used Swix V50, purple. Only four other skiers out on these trails. Wonderful day.

  21. Mt. Shark grooming was great. Out to the river past Watridge, the biathlon trails and even the outer green. Track setting (classic) to Watridge and beyond the rest was well packed for fast conditions. Minus 8C at 10am and minus 5C at noon – perfect conditions.

  22. Sat dec 14: WBC/tom snow(s) on light touring gear.
    Temps ranged -14 to -4 from mid morning to mid afternoon. Moose north to tom snow north and did the loop put in by Alf and co (thanks again!). Only one tree to deal with now on the escarpment portion, but it has a detour. No shortage of wolf tracks indeed. The descent down to the meadow return loop has one exposed rock on the steepest section. Sidestepping by worked fine. The meadow track is nice and solid now with fast travel other than some twiggy sections. Back along moose north to the parallel meadow track and crossed the large meadow direct to south moose at the tom snow (middle) junction. Some thin ice and water if venturing too close to the drainage as one approaches the bridge at moose south. The steep ascent going north to south on middle tom snow is a challenge without skins, but it’s short, and would be tough going the other way. Mostly gentle uphill after that to mountain road with a couple of short moderate hills in the middle. North to south seems like the way to go. Creek crossings just frozen and covered enough. Overall an excellent little tour on a a decent skier set track. More options for exploring inbetween moose south and mountain road. Returning on mountain view, think I saw Shabu, putting the advise into action!

  23. AM Bill Milne gorgeous views, shallow trackset from kananaskis village / highway 40 turn off travelling south to powerlines by golf course. Although thin base exists, evenly packed up until golf course. Road crossings near golf course – minimal snow coverage; took off skis.

    Took Smith Dorrien home so could check out Watridge Lake trackset.

    PM watridge lake – Deep trackset! Great conditions. Only did 3 k, returning tomorrow for a bigger day.

  24. WBC Telephone Loop
    Nice, fast conditions on Telephone Loop today. A couple of the steep descents on east Telephone had a few rocks exposed in the snowplow trough… but easy enough to miss, if you stayed to one side or the other.
    Conditions are great for this weekend!

  25. Lake Louise – Chateau-Fairview-Moraine Lake Road (MLR)- Tramline – Village. Chateau-Peyto – Great Divide – Lower Telemark- Great Divide – Tramline- Village
    Lake Louise is almost 99% ready for business as most of its trails have been groomed or trackset. We did Peyto finally as it at last got trackset. The trail is very good but the centre is very rough and should it become icy it will be difficult to control on the long downhills. We came upon the Lower Telemark just as the groomers were finishing one pass. We completed the trail on the groomed trail and when we finished and gathered at the end, the groomers finished up behind us with their track setting. We saw some rocks on our pass and we can only assume that the groomers were able to cover them with their final pass. We were also behind the groomers as they track set the tramline from to the Village. Very good snow.

  26. Skogan Loop-Skogan Pass.
    Very good skiing, and fine weather, with light winds and highs not far below zero.
    I started from Nakiska- from there, as per the grooming report, things are thin up to the ski area cat track above the Screamer. Beyond that- the trails were in very good shape with pristine tracksets and corduroy that was really firm, almost hardpacked lower down, much softer higher up. I was happy to be on my light metal edged skis, but I wouldn’t say that they were absolutely necessary, just nice to have. Coming down from the pass- some of the downhill tracks felt a tad aggressively set for the average recreational skier (me!) given the firm fast conditions, but it was easy enough to step a ski out and ride the brakes a bit in the corduroy. Back at the top of the Screamer- I elected to take the “Cheater” instead, which was why I had chosen the metal edge skis in the first place. A short uphill on the cat track took me to the edge of Nakiska’s “Homesteader” run, and a quick finish without having to dodge thin spots, or rewax for the short climb back to the daylodge from lower Skogan.
    https://steveriggs.smugmug.com/Skogan-December13/

    • BILL VOTING RIGHTS 4U

      Howdy Steve,

      What kind of light metal edge skis were you screaming down Skogan Pass on and what is the maximum width of your skis?

      Ski Cheers

      • Bill, I was on a older pair of Madshus “Glittertinds”. I think that they go by a different name nowadays. Tip is 68 mm which JUST fits in track, but drags a bit esp. on corners when the track is deeply set. They are a bit stiff for good off trail turning in my opinion, but the other side of that coin is the well defined wax pocket, which makes them surprisingly quick on groomed trails. If I was buying another pair of metal edge skis for mixed on/off trail use, I would likely go for something narrower, with partial edges.
        A note for anyone thinking of bypassing the Screamer via Homesteader. Although I have done this on regular xc skis when conditions were really soft- metal edges would be very highly recommended. Plus- your downhill skills should be sufficient enough to confidently make turns and keep to the fall line, more or less. Although it is a wide novice run, xc skiers doing slow traverses back and forth across it would present a hazard to others, and themselves.
        The Screamer was actually not terrible looking, with only a few scattered exposed rocks, and some thin areas. I have seen it in much worse shape. It would have been easy enough to take it slow and avoid most everything.

        • BILL VOTING RIGHTS 4U

          Norseman Ski shop is suppose to get the new Madshus ski that is 44mm to 50mm with 2/3 metal edges. The ski includes a skin under the foot which I don’t care for. I prefer the option to wax as I do not usually wax for late spring hard ski conditions. Skating up hills works well then with metal edges and is much faster without wax or a skin. I would assume the skin would make skating more difficult in such conditions. This new Madshus ski should be ultra light though and hopefully with a high camber.

  27. Redearth Creek to Warden’s Cabin #31. Looks like a new sign above the door or maybe I best check last year’s photos. Saw NO ONE on the trail in 5 hours: -9 warmed to -5. Takes a lot to impress me on snow and grooming conditions on Redearth but today was superb. It has been previously described by Chuck, Normand, and VR4U (Voting Rights for you; maybe we could invent a new wax for one of our more creative posters: VR4U would be for anyone who likes to ski in the dark!). Picture perfect as Chuck’s photos revealed on Dec 11th, except I likely snow-plowed my way safely down the last 2 kms. I recycled an irresistible Christmas Card at the cabin, from a new puppy describing his first Christmas (kind of like Kazzy does). Ernie: Got to LOVE your description of the ultimate COUCH MARTIN!!!

  28. WBC – Maria, Tara, Ernie (Shad & Anna P/T).

    Wonderful blue wax day in fine tracks with some zip in them on the downsides.
    Crystal Line East-Sundog-Iron Springs-Elbow South to North-Loggers-Crystal Line West to C L East Sun was intermittent but shone nicely on one of the Meadows on Iron Springs were we saw a Pine Martin scampering in the snow (not to be confused with the much larger Couch Martin often seen sitting in sunny meadows)

    Thanks so much to the Volunteers providing another great day at WBC.

    • Not to be confused with the western “lesser couch martin”. Can be spotted around provincial divides in meadows and open alpine areas, often adapting its surroundings for greater comfort. (-: (-:

  29. If anyone noticed a pair of ski poles at WBC they are my wife’s.

  30. Debbie Gauthier-Scott

    Kicking Horse trail in Yoho

    A group of us skied the beautiful Kicking Horse trail, 6.5km in and back from the Natural Bridge. As per Bob’s article, it was very nicely groomed and track set. Temperature was about-5c at 10.30am, blue wax was perfect, great glide on fresh snow. We took lots of photos, such a beautiful trail!

  31. BILL VOTING RIGHTS 4U

    MOUNT SHARK TO BEYOND WHITEMAN CREEK

    Thursday ski- Attention Skate Skiers

    From the Mount Shark parking lot to Watridge Lake/ Spray River Bridge the trail is generally in excellent condition. At 9:30 pm the groomer was on the trail making an excellent surface for skate skiing. I can’t understand why the trial was not being trackset as there is lots of snow. Sweet for the skate skiers though on a soft fresh groomed trail.

    The Upper Spray River trail, to roughly 1 kilometer beyond the Whiteman Creek bridge, is skier tracked and in generally good to excellent condition. Expect to hit a couple of stumps. There is close to 50 cm of snow at the Whiteman Creek Bridge area. Trail breaking was moderately difficult with an average of boot top ski penetration or less under the trees. In clearings the ski penetration is up to the middle of the calf on 60 mm back country skis. Ski penetration is a little better than average for this time of year. Some nice moonlight for the ski out. Light snow flurries coming down. Swix -2c to -8c blue wax provided moderate ski speed and excellent grip.

  32. West Bragg Creek
    As part of todays tour at West Bragg Creek, I took MaSid’s and Squeaky Boots trail a bit farther north up Tom Snow trail from the Moose Loop picnic table. I followed the actual Tom Snow trail on the escarpment to the east of the meadows to make a bit of a loop with the long meadow section. The local wolf pack knows where the Tom Snow trail goes. I just followed their tracks. Great “backcountry” conditions at West Bragg Creek right now… absolutely amazing for early December.
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/YevFPqVojmF8fjHJ6

    • I went that way (about 2 km) last winter but got stopped by a number of fallen trees. How far in have you gone this season?

      • I went a bit more than 2 km north on Tom Snow from Moose Loop. I was making note of the location of the downed trees, in order to arrange for a crew to have them removed. The trees are still on the trail, but I expect they will be gone within the next week or so.
        If you come across some random ski touring tracks between Moose Connector an Tom Snow (south of Moose Loop) or between Tom Snow and Mountain View West, or Tom Snow and Mountain Road… you are welcome to follow them. Lot’s of great exploring to be had out there.

    • Good to have the guiding tracks of the local trail expert. I’ll be checking it out soon. Thanks Alf!

  33. Saw the grooming cat passing Pocaterra Hut at 2:30 pm. Where are they going? Maybe Mount Shark or Elk Pass!
    Skied from Elk Pass parking to Elk Pass and the trail needs a refreshing. Skied Tyrwhitt and Pocaterra to the hut. The best ski of the winter so far. Nice to be able to speed down the hills in good tracks. VR40 worked well for me all day.
    Previous reports tell all and the PLPP live grooming report was accurate.

  34. CANMORE NORDIC CENTRE – 3.75 Km Olympic Circuit – Dec 12

    Check out what I did between volunteer shifts!
    Details available in the captions here:
    https://1drv.ms/u/s!Avuc6aIvjGUAjA03zDwRBXEjgZJp?e=wddy2i
    Excellent conditions

  35. Great ski at Bragg Creek today. Started on the Hwy 66 side, and did the Elbow to Iron Springs loop. The first bit is multi user so not tracked, but we did find some trackset further on. Snow was ‘crunchy’ but not icy. Minus 8 at 10 a.m. and a balmy +5 @ 2 p.m. Enjoyed having lunch in the sun along the trail. Coming back to Calgary the temp dropped by 13 degrees.

  36. We skiied Pocaterra today from the lodge up to the Whiskey Jack junction. The bottom had remarkably good snow for this time of year. Not track set, but beautifully rolled. It would be great for skating. The tracks started at the Lynx junction and then conditions were perfect. It was about -1 when we started and a little above zero when we got back, so we used our skin skis and had great stick and glide.

  37. Bill Milne (from the Hotels to Wedge) / Wedge Connector / Evan Thomas.
    Yesterday’s grooming report indicated that this trail had been groomed. It was indeed. There is not a lot of snow (except up at Wedge) but on a paved bike path you don’t need much. There were essentially no hazards to rub your ski bases on. I did the loop at the end skiing on the groomed (and track set up there) Wedge Connector. The grooming ends at the bridge over Evan Thomas Creek. From there it is about 400 m to the Evan Thomas trail. That piece (lower 200 m for sure) is not ski-able. Once on the Evan Thomas trail there is a skier set track on the north side of the trail (with some walker damage). The trail is gentle enough that the skiing down it was reasonably pleasant even with the divots.

  38. Peter Lougheed Prov. Park – “Skier Bob Special” – Whiskeyjack, Tyrwhitt, Elk Pass, Hydroline, Fox Creek and Moraine.
    Minus 3 at Boulton Creek Campground parking lot at 9:45 am. Not a car to be seen. With light snow falling and VR 40 Blue wax applied, we headed up freshly groomed and track-set Whiskeyjack trail to the Tyrwhitt intersection. Trail continued to stay groomed and track-set until the Lookout Trail junction. From the Lookout junction to Elk Pass, the trail was just groomed – still excellent. With the wind blowing and snowfall picking up, we opted to return via freshly groomed and track-set Hydroline down to Elk Pass intersection, and then enjoyed ample snow coverage throughout the trees on Fox Creek and Moraine to return to Boulton Creek parking lot.
    Conditions were excellent throughout the entire area. All picnic tables had been cleared of snow – great job groomers – thank you!
    Very quiet all day, saw just three other groups of skiers all day. Temperature was -1 at 1:45 pm when we returned to the car, with very light snow falling.

  39. WBC (Mountain View West – Moose – Telephone loop). Minus 4 C when I started and V40 wax worked well. The trails are in pretty good shape, please note on Telephone East a few rocks are present and some debris as well.

  40. Tramline Lake Louise – Fairmont lap x2. What a great workout! Skin skis lap one, wax skis lap two. Blue Extra hit the spot. Paradise on your doorstep, topped by cheese ‘n jam sarni and a cuppa afterwards. Magic.

  41. O’Hara Fire Road Wednesday for four energetic Meanderthals. -9 in parking lot and witnessed lynx walking across lot as we drove down the hill. Later saw pine marten crossing trail. Took us longer to hit Le Relais balcony as some waxing challenges ascending. Le Relais reopens Jan 30 when the Lodge reopens. Temp at lunchtime -4 and some lovely snow-plow powder to make it down the steeper hills. Met big group skiing out from hut who enjoyed touring Opabin and McArthur area. Good workout at 608 m. ascent.

  42. PLPP
    Wednesday dec.11
    fantastic day with great company
    a couple of things to be aware of

    blueberry hill is not trackset yet ,has a snowmobile track to bring shovel’ers up
    Pocaterra – packers to linx is trackset but very very twiggy
    elk pass trail has some sections of snowmobile track on one side ,hikers boot path on the other

  43. Moonlight ski after work at Maple Ridge Golf course which is now trackset. Looking at the solid traffic on Deerfoot Trail as I glided peacefully along feeling so free.

  44. Maple Ridge Golf Course

    I went late this afternoon and found some grooming had been done very recently. I think the grooming schedule may be Wednesday afternoons. Some tracks were set, while some sections were only packed, like corduroy. The snow was good and the scenery was lovely with all the frost and snow on the trees. It’s so convenient to be able to ski only a 10 minute drive from home.

  45. WBC this afternoon- superb!
    A picture says it all:
    https://steveriggs.smugmug.com/SkiPix19-20/i-T2D5VVH/A

  46. REDEARTH CREEK to the cabin – Dec 11

    Record amount of snow for this time of year.
    Details available in the captions here:
    https://1drv.ms/u/s!Avuc6aIvjGUAjALz0YBMT7FnNXxd?e=vRkOSO
    Note – First tracksetting occurred today, but only to the first campground.

  47. Confederation Park – Great skating conditions this am with the new snow falling. Around lunch, trails were being packed and groomed. Should be even better tonight. Thanks to all the volunteers!!!

  48. WBC – Moose Looped into Tom Snow slack-country on a lark, pushing a km or so past MaSid’s track with the addition of 2 to 3 cm of well settled silky fast snow. Don’t know where the proper trail really is, but coverage is pertnear good enough for hacks like us to noodle around and connect the meadows.

    • More tom snow fun. Pushed the squeaky boot track a tiny bit further, by heading more west up an eastward draining draw along a bench on the south bank, instead of crossing the drainage. Tough trail breaking until the protected snow of the draw. Ended pretty quick once the draw chocked up with deadfall. Turned left too early essentially and probably nowhere near the trail proper. The short meadow section was worth the diversion. Not quite west elk pass, but still nice on a sunny day. Back via moose loop, connector, west crystal, loggers, east crystal, all in fine shape. Crossed paths on loggers with the Riggs family and guest. Piper got some lovin’, but once he realized there was no bacon to be had, persona non grata. Some weekday tail gait action in the dwindling sun of the NE corner of the lot, squeezing a bit more fun out of the day. Foggy soup at the round about on the way back with close to zero visibility for a bit.

  49. WBC was great today, the snow is quite deep and well maintained on Hostel loop, however for those who want to go on Mountain road , heading to Mountain view west, a track vehicle has disseminated sharp pebbles/small rocks all along the trail, at first they look like fragments of leaves but that changes when you ski over them, so going uphill, it is possible to spot them, going downhill it is challenging and I personally advise that if you spot anything along the trail, just avoid it categorically.

  50. Seniors’ Outdoor Club of Calgary (SOCC) at PLPP:
    My group started at Boulton Creek in -16C temperatures. VR40 worked perfectly for me all day. We skied Whiskeyjack, Tyrwhitt, Elk Pass, Fox Creek and Moraine back to Boulton Creek. (Bob’s favourite ski tour). The snow was beautiful and plenty on all these first trails, but we found only skier tracks. With grooming and tracksetting this loop will be spectacular in the days ahead. We continued from Boulton north on Wheeler, with an Amos detour, finishing at William Watson Lodge. Amos has still seen no further work and has only a small amount of new snow.
    We learned there was new grooming from Pocaterra Hut to the Amos/Lynx junction.
    Lots of folks coming and going from/to Elk Lakes cabin. Everyone appears to use the Elk Pass trail to access Elk Lakes. Most folks were on skis but several were snowshoeing on the ski trail – not on the tracks!
    A groomer spoke to some of our snowshoers about skiers only permitted on the ski trails, with no exceptions and violators are subject to a fine. A Conservations Officer also spoke to our people at Boulton Creek parking re the same subject.
    Posting a CO at the Elk Pass trail head for a time would be constructive. Another CO at Blueberry/Elk Pass junction could be lucrative!

  51. Sandy McNabb, December 10.
    Four loops were skied- Long Prairie, Pine Ridge, Macabee, and Loggers, on trails that were groomed and largely trackset on Monday. Conditions covered the whole spectrum, from excellent through to a few short spots that I would rate poor due to barely covered dirt and rocks. Overall- good conditions for the area, and very enjoyable skiing. Expect some tracks that are wobbly and/or crunchy here and there. Best, most consistently very good conditions were found on Loggers, but unlike the north side loops, Loggers is lacking much in the way of hills. Speaking of hills and tracks- a caution that some of the tracks on the north side hills are running fairly quick- combine that with some downhills that feature tight corners on a narrow trail, and a lack of groomed only transitions at a couple of junctions- Whoooaaa! 🙂
    Photo link below shows the very good conditions on Loggers, on a typical Sandy McNabb narrower single trackset trail.
    https://steveriggs.smugmug.com/SkiPix19-20/i-N9v6hFP/A

  52. Lake Louise – Bow River and Campground Loops
    A new set of dog-friendly trails now in operation for the season – yay! I had a great time ski-joring today with my humans – I was on my best behavior, trotting along at a steady pace, just enough to give them some doggy assist (well, except for the downhills where I can’t resist galloping flat out!). I never stopped dead in the tracks causing them to stumble over me nor did I pull them off the trail into the trees chasing squirrels like I normally do – they were so proud of me!)
    They said the skiing was just about as good as it gets there, fresh grooming from a couple of days ago, very little traffic since (only saw 6 people today including Helen), very few twigs, and the walkers/snowshoers were kind and stayed out of the tracks. Temp -14C going to -8C, blue wax day. Minor construction work on the Campground Loop didn’t interfere with the skiing and nothing seen on the Bow River Loop.

  53. Cascade Valley Road – The glowing reports from yesterday decided today’s destination for us. Much the same as Bob reported yesterday, the early going tracks are a bit wobbly, but then conditions are good to the Cascade River Bridge, and then they get even better! Temperature was a chilly – 15 at the start and -11 to end, with no wind to speak of. It was a blue wax day, a bit slippy going up, but flying coming back down. We skied to the end of the grooming at Stoney Creek and had lunch at the cabin with John and Dean from Edmonton. Beautiful snow on the trees – it was skiing in a Christmas card!

  54. 2 cars at Moraine Lk Rd at 8:45 am, minus 13. Fairview has plenty of snow and ready for re grooming. Stunning views everywhere. Enjoyed the townsite/campground loops. Perfect grooming for skate and classic skiers! This #9 trail would be a PERFECT MOONLIGHT SKI tonight or tomorrow. Looking forward to our Lovely dog, Kassy’s post later. Post Hotel Pub for dinner after hot tub at Mountaineer Lodge!

  55. Stoney Creek cabin – what an absolute blast!

  56. WBC – it was a great day for fresh tracks and perfect corduroy on South Iron Springs and Elbow. Get it before the hikers do!
    We did the full Iron Springs Loop with Elbow but especially loved the south loop that was in the best condition I’ve ever seen it.
    Such a treat to get first tracks on South Iron Springs too!

    Sundog has been freshly groomed too and was delightful coming down. Soft corduroy is a delight for snow plowing in control.

  57. Confederation Park was in good condition this afternoon. The lightly falling snow was enough to refresh the tracks, fill in thin spots, and muffle the sounds of the city.

  58. CASCADE VALLEY – Dec 9

    What a social occasion today… but nothing to the party the Bow Valley Wolf Pack had here last night!
    Details available in the captions here:
    https://1drv.ms/u/s!Avuc6aIvjGUAi2_liuPZNEmOHFRF?e=mvUJyL
    Never seen so much snow up here… and the tracksetting is excellent.

  59. Shaganappi Golf Course-fresh groomed skate trails last night. Early season conditions for sure and I would only go with rock skis at the moment. Skate skied a big loop around the upper course. Track is very thin along west edge near beige condos and south edge along Bow trail-otherwise very impressed with the grooming on such little snow!! Certainly skiable at this time with the right skis. Hopefully there will be another big dump of snow in the forecast-such a luxury to ski so close to home! Check out Shaganappi Nordic Operations Club on FB for their full report and updates.

  60. Cascade Valley

    I went for a moonlit ski down Casacade Valley to Stoney Cabin last night. Conditions were absolutely perfect. I did not notice ANY damage at all to the trackset from the snowshoers, but both tracksets were destroyed by a skate skier to about the 9km mark. I know the trail allows skate skiing, but please, if the trail is too narrow to skate just turn around.

    • BILL VOTING RIGHTS 4U

      We need Parks Canada to remove all trees that are growing on the trail to return this historic trail back to the way it was in the 1990’s and to increase safety.

      When the old Cascade Road was upgraded in the 1990’s it provided perfect conditions for seeding trees along the side of the road where soils were disturbed. This has also happened on many other wide trails like Spray River, Brewster Creek, Red Earth Creek and others. Human disturbed sites are sometimes excellent places for tree seedlings to grow, depending on soil types and moisture. Parks Canada must maintain such sites if it wants to maintain suitable multi-purpose tourism trails for both ski skaters and classic skiers. Furthermore, clearing the trees on the roadside disturbed sites will provide a safety benefit as Grizzly bears are more difficult to see along trails where such human enhanced vegetation grows. Predator mauling’s are at much higher risk on such trails due to the lack of sight lines caused by the human enhanced vegetation.

      In the past, many trails in Banff were cleared of vegetation to provide better sight lines to reduce predator mauling risks. It is far safer to see longer distances when in predator country, rather than spooking an animal on the other side of dense bush or trees.

      Another reason way these trees grow so well along the trails is because they are unnaturally fertilized by horses (in the past mainly) and humans. The high nitrogen in animal and human waste enables the trees to grow far faster than what is natural. Global warming and atmospheric (fertilizing) pollution is also contributing to faster growing trees. Parks Canada must understand this and take pruning actions on the trails if they want safer and better trails for tourism purposes. Parks should organize volunteers to clear trails if the Superintendent does not want to direct resources to fixing up trails.

      This is where real democracy, where people make the decisions rather than politicians, would greatly help improve the skiing in Banff and elsewhere (hence Bill Voting Rights 4U). The politicians and bureaucrats don’t have what it takes to make the trails better and safer. Push your MP and Superintendent for safer and better trails.

      • Right on!

      • Perhaps creating an arms length organization akin to the “Friends of Kananaskis” that do so much for the knowledgeable stewardship of trails in those Provincial parks.

      • This taxpayer is happy with the width of Cascade trail as-is. Similar to other trails in Banff and Kananaskis, and certainly not a public safety hazard.
        Widening it would remove some of its charm and expose it to more sunlight during the melting months. For those who feel unsafe on this trail, I’d recommend Moraine Lake or Great Divide trails, which are proper roadway width. Or to travel in a group.
        We should also remember that the risk of harm is orders ot magnitude higher on the drive out than anywhere on these charming trails.

  61. Bowness Park
    Decent skier set tracks along the south shoreline of the Bow. From 85 St Bridge to near the Stony trail overpass.

  62. RED EARTH CREEK to SHADOW LAKE LODG’ISH

    Starting at 11 am today with -14 C, I figured a good 5 hours would be ok to reach the lodge and back just by the sunset, with light touring skis on a ski track and the fresh snow (from previous years and similar conditions at this time of the year). About 5-7 cm of snow cover a previous ski track on the first steep hill. No rocks were ever hit the entire day, at least on the Red Earth Creek fire road. After crossing the 2nd avalanche runout zone, the fresh snow got deeper to about 10 cm and the trail got quite a bit softer, i.e. lot slower too. Definitely light touring ski territory from that point on. From RE6, where previous (snowmobile) packing ended a few days ago I presume, up to 15 cm of fresh snow was covering the ski track (which was still welcome); about 35-40 cm total snow pack to the ground off the track (semi dense layer of 15-20 cm in the middle of the snow pack). Painfully slower, but reached the lodge turn-off at 10.5 km. I knew then my 5 hours estimate was out to lunch, given how soft the trail was. Once I got up the hill, past the turn-off, the old ski track disappeared as possibly covered by a thicker soft snow blanket in the 20 cm range. To the point that my 54 mm wide touring skis didn’t do the job, sinking at times as deep as mid-calf level; well maybe it was the skier too being not up to the job. Wider skis would have been preferable for that section. Either way, I had decided to turn around at 3:20 pm, getting within about 200 m from the lodge. Disappointed a bit, but not a big deal as I have been there 20 times or more. Wasn’t too keen to ski out the entire 13 km in soft conditions in total darkness. Got back to the car at 6:15 pm. In the end, a good outing 7 hours of ski in pretty soft conditions throughout. A great shot of moon light as I was crossing back the lowermost avalanche runout zone. Not a sole seen today, peaceful winter wonderland, with tree branches loaded with snow. There is definitely enough snow out there to further pack the fire road to at least the lodge turnoff, and deep enough to track set from about km 1.5 and up. Now for a change, I am keen for some fast track set ski conditions.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/W5W1vh9Hj6rvk3fH7

    • Thanks for the detailed and informative report Normand.
      Yes, it is very misleading when it is said that Redearth Creek is packed. As you indicate, it was only packed by a snowmobile to the first campground and that was before the last big snowfall!

    • BILL VOTING RIGHTS 4U

      I really dig what looks like a night shot in the pictures. Skiing at night is special. The moon lighting on the mountains is marvelous.

      Nice to hear that the hill below the Lodge that I skier packed a couple of weeks back or so is in good condition.

      Time for Parks Canada to get on their snowmobiles and trackset Red Earth Creek to open up more skiing for the tourists. It makes me wonder what they are waiting for.

  63. BILL VOTING RIGHTS 4U

    SOUTH GLENMORE PARK CALGARY

    Looking good throughout much of North and South Glenmore Park for those wanting skiing close to home. Thinner under the big trees on the old Elbow River Trail. Pick clean air days when the wind is not coming from the east so you don’t suck in too much lung harshing diesel exhaust pollution.

  64. Telephone, with a twist.
    Feeling a bit jaded with all the perfectly groomed skiing that we have been enjoying at WBC, and with circumstances leading to a solo ski tour, I decided to take advantage of the good snow cover and recent grooming for fatbikes on some of the all season trails, to ski another variation on Telephone this afternoon:
    West Telephone-Reconnect-Long Distance-East Telephone.
    Shortly into my loop along Mountain Road- I was seduced by an old snowshoe track which turned into a pleasant trailbreaking stroll along a sunny abandoned roadbed in the aspens. Back on plan- I easily ascended Reconnect, took in the expansive views from Long Distance summit, and had a very enjoyable ski north and mostly downhill on Long Distance, to intersect Telephone near it’s NE corner. From there it was a quick easy going return on East Telephone, which was well skier tracked and a bit bumpy in spots until south of Disconnect. West Hostel closed the loop. While this is a loop that I will definitely do again- a few caveats:
    -Long Distance is often narrow and winding, and there are a few rocky and thin spots.
    -I used NNN BC boots, backcountry poles, and a wider (60 waist, 72 tip), softer and shorter (190 cm) metal edge ski, for added support, control and maneuverability.
    -It pays to be familiar with Long Distance from summer mountain biking, which meant that I had a good idea of what to expect, and where the handful of tighter downhill corners were.
    Interested? A few pix showing trail conditions and scenery, here:
    https://steveriggs.smugmug.com/LongDistanceTelephone-December8/

  65. Phil Parker (Fireball)

    Confederation Park was fantastic today. Snow was cold and fast and the grooming simply outstanding. Rather quiet with only a few skiers out at 10am this morning. Get there before the walkers trample it!

  66. Winter wonderland at WBC. The tracks are mostly pretty worn and in need of fresh grooming, especially on Moose Loop, but the snow quality was excellent. I used blue wax because it was already on my skis but green would have been better. Beautiful sunset glowing on the trees and hills.

  67. WBC Moose, Mountain View / Road loop, wonderful conditions VR40 worked well for me another awesome ski @ WBC !

  68. Sandy McNabb was magnificent! I don’t seem to do well at judging snow depth and have been called out on this before so with some trepidation I would like to say at least 4 cm fell last night making the area seem like a winter wonderland. My husband had been out the day before and did the Pine Ridge, Arctic Hill (why is Arctic Hill no longer on the Sandy McNabb Trail Map??) and Arctic Hill was a bit of a nail biter so we ventured across the road and did Loggers, Meadow Loop, Price Camp, Sandy McNabb Connector and a few other trails I could not figure out on the map. What happened to Camper’s Loop? It has had a name change too. It was a bit confusing as we met a fellow from Calgary that was really enjoying his first trip to Sandy. He was looking for something a bit more challenging and so we directed him to cross the road to try some climbing. My husband mentioned Arctic Hill a couple of times and the fellow pulled out his map and asked where the heck it was and did we truly know what we were talking about. True enough, not on map. In total, we passed six people the whole time we were out. I should mention that trails were skier tracked but hoping some work will be done during the week. It was a beautiful day which I cannot prove as my phone would not take pictures. Will have to remain a mental memory.

    • South side of sandy for us, for the full perimeter loop, CW, starting with loggers. Fresh (4cm bang on!) over prior tracksetting. A bit slow but nice and silky smooth. Off trail along east end of loggers, about 18-20 inches of snow. Overall decent deep tracks with the odd shallow/thin bits. -20 to start and warmed to about -8 maybe. Bluebird and virtually windless. Stopping for a fire with sausages and roasted chestnuts made for a nice end to a great day.

    • Hi Sheila!
      I used to wonder about Arctic Hill, too, but now I think it has become the south end of Macabee Loop. I am sure it is the same trail, and great fun! Not sure if we should go there today…….?
      Also, what used to be the south end of Macabee Loop is probably now called the Macabee Connector.
      Cheers!

  69. Cascade Fireroad: Yes, its winter wonderland up there! When we skied up the hill there was a single track to the bridge. We broke trail towards Stoney Creek in about 10cm fresh, fluffy snow, until the groomer passed us on the last uphill. Beautiful scenery, snowy trees and a fantastic ski out on a new classic track!

  70. Cascade! First tracks of the season. The groomer was zipping up and down all over the mountain and even put tracks all they way down the closed road. It’s trackset past the bridge to the warden cabin. But, no sooner had tracks been laid down than a couple of snow shoers walked right on one of the tracks. Anyway, it’s a real winter wonderland out there!

  71. PLPP SOUTH END

    Beautiful day in PLPP today with light touring skis. There was some fresh snow from overnight and we had Fox Lake as our destination. Same old to the Blueberry picnic table, then turned off at the usual spot a couple hundred metres later on and broke trail on top of a track someone had previously used. A little slow going to West Elk Pass, then on to Fox it was.

    We ended up spotting a moose about 200m beyond West Elk Pass and he wasn’t really moving off the usual way to Elk. By this time we stumbled upon another track, so decided to follow it, hoping that it may go to Fox Lake, but instead we discovered the Blueberry meadows mentioned here a couple of days ago and ended up .. back at the Blueberry picnic table.

    We decided we needed to ski some more, so went up to Elk Pass and down the Hydroline. More fresh snow there. Tracks weren’t very fast, but it was a great day for the metal edges.

    Overall we only saw about a dozen people, so it was a bit strange that it felt so quiet out there on a Saturday before Christmas. But of course loved it.

    As we were having a girls day out, we stopped at Woody’s on our way back. Asked the waiter why it’s called Woody’s, he didn’t know, so pulled over another guy. He didn’t know either, but not one to leave us without an answer, looked around, and said it’s because the decor is woody. 😀 We googled it, and sure enough, that’s what their website said. The ribs hit the spot. Great day out!

    https://www.flickr.com/gp/136268189@N02/B994D0

    • Looks like Ma Sid might have some fun-loving “couch Building” helpers in these three skiers who love the “back country”. Fabulous photos of the moose Barbara. Am I mistaken in thinking that Fox Lake is in avalanche terrain ? Enjoyed your slide show.

      • Looks like they might have been having too much fun and missed the couch. Fox lake is fine for avalanche unless one ventures too far to the west side of it. Hard to find sometimes, especially once a number of meandering trails appear later in the season. All the time I have spent in the meadows, I’ve yet to see any large animals from the safety of the couch. Sounds like this moose has found a winter hideout.

        • Ma Sid beat me to it. Fox is generally considered class 1. Frozen Lake (the one higher up) is in definite avalanche terrain. One can refer to the Avaluator as well; no issues based on the terrain and conditions yesterday.

          And yes, love the off-trail. We didn’t stop at the couch yesterday as we wanted to have our lunch at the lake. Last year a couple of us put in tracks through the back side from Elk Lakes Cabin (via the lower summer trail alongside Elkan Creek and popping out at West Elk Pass). Hoping to do that again on the way back from staying at the cabin between Christmas and New Year’s. With a track in that makes for a nice light touring day trip – start via Elk Pass, down Hydroline to the cabin, then back way out with a rest at the couch and then the nice Elk Pass Trail downhill. Maybe one of the other metal edge skiers here would like to get that track going … 😉

  72. Spent the last two days skiing PLPP, it is still early season but conditions are good. Amos, Woolley and Meadow were packed but not trackset, snow was a bit thin in spots and they were packing more when we were skiing. Did Boulton Creek, Elk Pass, Fox Ck and Moraine the following day and conditions were even better, it was old trackset and skier trackset but no roots or twigs sticking out. Both days the waxing was difficult due to +4 temps and reasonably new snow, but fun was had by all.

  73. Canmore Nordic

    It’s Alberta Cup 1 race day here. Lots of people and tons of fun from what I can see. It’s snowing and getting colder right here, right now. The trail system will be rejuvenated by tomorrow morning, which will be another race day (skate ski technique, Alberta Cup 2).

    Have chatted with one of athletes. She said it’s been one of the toughest races for her. When asked why, she pointed out the air is so humid today here at CNC.

  74. Do we really need anymore WBC trail reports? 😉

    Skied midday on Saturday – East Crystal, Iron Springs, Elbow, Loggers, West Crystal, Mountain. It’s all great! Thank you to all the volunteers who make this happen. If you haven’t donated yet, please do!

    • Maybe just one more. (-:
      Warmed up first on hostel loop, waiting for the sun to rise and shine on moose north. Some rutted-washed out spots on hostel where the track veers into the soft edge, but only really on the east side. Thanks to bob’s recon, I passed on telephone. Moose was a bit wobbly here and there but all fine. Ventured off trail through the moose meadows, extending the track further, eventually linking up with an old track set (Alf’s from a week ago?). Detoured up tom snow north, breaking fresh boot top track on light touring gear. Dropping down to the trail at the end of the initial meadow isn’t easy on light skis. Steep but short with an exposed bump. Easy cruising after that. A few thin spots under a couple trees. Turned around after a couple km when encountering a thinly frozen stream. Mountain view west had the best tracks of the day. Finished with a homeward bound cruise on loggers and east crystal, just as the air was noticeably cooling off. Skies to the west looked threatening, but still not snowing by the time I left at 3.

    • Always!! Keep them coming! We love to read them.
      Groomer Bill

      • Saw the single track grooming bikes out on display as part of the fat bike grooming fundraiser. Always fun to have a close look into the novel equipment used for the multi-use trail network. Love the new snowmobile motorbike crossover. Looks like it might be fun, or super tippy.

  75. West Bragg Creek
    Elbow Trail – Dead End – Iron Springs
    Started at 9am and spent 3 hours skiing. Weather conditions were stable throughout: -8C, overcast, calm. The trails are firm and good snow cover. There is some debris from the trees on Elbow. The tracks are well used by now (that’s what they are for).
    The Dead End stretch was the most pleasant, immaculate and fast.

  76. FOUND: Not a trip report, just checking with the SB community to see if anyone lost a pair of RayBan’s in the Great Divide parking lot. They were under several inches of snow. If you think they are yours please reply below with a description.

  77. Knowing Chuck was busy volunteering all w/e at the Nordic Centre races, thought I best check out the newly packed trail on Cascade Fire Road and Meadow. While the initial 1 km of paved road is seeing some construction, tracks on the left worked fine for me. I just did the campground loop but was so happy to see the bridge in great shape and the packed trail beyond. Lots of animal tracks around the campground loop. You will have to wait for Chuck’s terrific photos of the sheep hanging out on the distant slopes past the Cascade Warden’s Cabin. Met five other skiers on my return. Started at 0 but cooled to -3.

  78. Lake Louise continues to deliver. Brand new tracks on MLR and Great Divide. A large slab of snow came down right at the end of formal grooming so extreme caution for anyone venturing further towards the Moraine lake.
    Tramline is divine.

  79. Does anyone know if Moose Loop at WBC has been re groomed/trackset by the groomer in the past few days or will it be this weekend? It was getting a bit tired when I was there this past Monday but still good. I was thinking it would need a redo this week.

    Thanks,
    Rhonda W

    • Was trackset on Thursday. Conditions were very good overall when I skied the south part of Moose loop only, on Thursday afternoon. Some of the downhills were a little bit rough under the new snow. Mountainview West was excellent! The “live” grooming report is your friend:
      https://skitrails.info/report/bragg
      Bob has placed links to all the live reports on the bar above below the head of the webpage.

      • Thanks Steve and Bob, I look forward to skiing there again in the next few days. I’ll keep a closer eye on the live grooming reports too.

    • Rhonda, here’s a photo taken late afternoon Friday near the Telephone junction Moose Loop I thought it was excellent and the tracks were fast. After being on the soft snow on Telephone, it felt like I was flying.

  80. Elk Pass and Tyrwhitt Basin at Peter Lougheed Provincial Park
    Superb conditions as below- just below zero with fresh snow – perfect waxing was difficult. However, with a little scraping the right mix was found for 7 Meanderthals. Tyrwhitt was a winter wonderland with powder on powder.
    Return trip included super conditions on Fox Creek with plenty of snow to protect skis from any rocks.

  81. PLPP Elk Pass – Tracks had at least 3cm settled on top of the new grooming, 5 – 6cm up at the pass. Slow and clumpy on the way up for just about everyone with temps around 0 all day and snowing an additional 1cm (a fair bit warmer than any of the models). 0 all the way down the valley on the road home. There’s now a longer track to the couch – via Blueberry meadows. Glimpsed a pair of moose in the south end; clattering antlers could be heard throughout our tea-break.

  82. just a word of warning for all. Today i ran into a young fellow walking on the ski trail with a shotgun on the south loop at WBC. he claimed to have killed 15 ruffed grouse this season so if he is doing it legally when they are on the fly we had all be ready to “duck” quickly.
    i did not discuss with him that he was damaging the trail.

  83. WBC Iron Springs / Elbow to the highway 66 viewpoint / Loggers / East Mountain View
    The snow conditions are good. Unfortunately walkers have messed up the grooming on Iron Springs south of the short loop all the way down on Elbow to the Snagmore Junction (below which walkers are allowed to be on the trail). The last down hill on Iron Springs to its junction with Elbow was chewed up enough to make the descent substantially harder than it should be. I would recommend descending on Elbow and going up on Iron Springs.

  84. WBC. One word. Sublime.

  85. Tons of fresh snow and still snowing heavily at Louise today. Tramline and Moraine Lake are freshly track set, while Fairview’s previous track set is getting snowed under, but will likely get refreshed so9n. All in excellent condition with this new snow. Beauty day.

  86. Great conditions at West Bragg this morning! Skated Crystal E, Loggers, Mountain View, and Mountain Road. -11C at the parking lot at 11am, which quickly dropped to -14C in the shade on Crystal E.

  87. Skiers heading west can get the double whammy in Golden of excellent skiing at Dawn Mt. Nordic Centre and powder at Kicking Horse Mt. Resort. We have had over 25 cm in the past 48 hours and Dawn Mt. will be groomed this weekend.

    Daily grooming all season starts December 13 at Dawn Mt. with 35K of trails, rentals on site, and lessons by appt. For more information, please see our website: http://www.goldennordicclub.ca.

  88. mallory kosterski

    Good Morning,

    It is -7 degrees and overcast in Peter Lougheed.
    It is snowing !!! Aprox. 5 cm have accumulated overnight.

    -MK

  89. Does anyone know what the conditions are like at Confederation?

  90. BILL VOTING RIGHTS 4U

    BREWSTER CREEK to SUNDANCE LODGE+

    The first 150 meters of the Healy Creek trail is thin and a tad rocky. Once one gets by the parallel with the Sunshine Road, conditions improve. Fair to good skiing with some rocks to the Brewster Creek junction. Moderately fast snow. Skier tracked with roughly 14 cm of crusty snow with a couple of centimeters of new snow on top. This section of trail could use about 7 cm of new snow and then have Parks Canada roller pack the snow to establish better base. That would provide generally good to very good conditions.

    Areas with more sun exposure or wind exposure or under trees tend to be more rocky.

    The lower portion of Brewster Creek to the top of the hills is in fair to good condition with a few poor spots under the trees. The hills have a number of rocks in some areas and need to be skied slowly. Skier tracked snow. The hills could use 7 cm to 10 cm of moist snow to make things good. The sooner Parks Canada roller packs the snow with an old snowmobile, the better.

    Once one gets above the hills the snow pack increases more. Good rain crust under 2-3 cm of new snow. Fair to very good conditions to beyond Sundance Lodge. There is the odd rock. With 7 cm of new snow this section of the trail will be good to very good early season conditions with maybe the exception of the multi bridge area. About 24 cm of snow at the lodge. -10c at night. Green Swix wax worked well. There is a nice bright 1/2 moon out there which makes for nice moonlight skiing.

  91. Sandy McNabb

    Had a super day today, some fresh snow overnight. Chainsaws have been at work and hazards are removed. The trails we skied on the north side have been groomed, not roller packed, but track set. We skied to the top of Pine Ridge Loop, it was rough and verging on out of control coming down the steep hills, less steep sections were great with tracks set. After lunch, we skied the south side, very nice.

  92. PLPP Elk Pass / Hydroline / Patterson figure 8. There was about 5 – 10 cm of new snow over the old grooming / track setting. The snow conditions are quite good now at the south end of the trail network.

  93. Lake Louise: Grooming and track setting were done on MLR and Great Divide mid-day. Upper and Lower Tramline not groomed or trackset making for a wobbly descent to the Village. CPR work didn’t interfere with skiing Bow River Loop to the Village – no grooming though. There is a bunch of new snow now but tracks were soft and skiing was slow. Fairview wasn’t trackset yet at 3:00 pm. Didn’t know the temperature, but there was a sting to the face skiing down MLR.

  94. 3:30pm CNC applied corduroy all the way to the hut and meadow @ Junction #9. Yippee!

  95. WBC – Great skiing (Moose, Mountain View, Loggers, Elbow N, Iron spring / creek, East Crystal) with excellent conditions. Just note that Elbow N, Iron Spring / Creek have been groomed (the ski trails website stated they have not been groomed / trackset since November 28). There was a hiker footprints on Loggers but did not see the perpetrator…

  96. FAIRVIEW PLUS – Dec 5

    Arrived too early for the promised tracksetting, but in time to enjoy the sun and new snow.
    Details available in the captions here:
    https://1drv.ms/u/s!Avuc6aIvjGUAi2H9jP9YXctmVP7X?e=gtGZpc
    Volunteering at CNC for the next three days, so someone else will get first set tracks!

  97. Had a wonderful sunny ski at WBC this morning. I skied Mountain Road – sunny side of Moose loop – Mountain View West – Mountain Road. Very scenic after the fresh snow last night. All was trackset with silky smooth downhills. Blue wax did the trick. A bonus was finally running into Skier Bob who was parked next to me, waxing his skis, when I got back to the parking lot.

    • What a coincidence, I run into Sir Lancelot ( Bob ) as well and it must have been right at the time that you posted this comment .
      Yes I agree, the day has been fantastic, the conditions of the trails were much better than I was anticipating, with the exception of Mountain road, already consumed by users when I got there at 12 noon but I had most of the fun on the more challenging trails, just like you did; I am quite sure that we must have crossed way but I don’t know you unfortunately

  98. Good Morning,
    10am in Peter Lougheed – scattered clouds but mostly blue and sunny skies.
    We got some fresh snow (est. 5 cm); no new track setting reported so far.
    Temp at 10 am is -15 degrees Celsius in shade and -12 degrees Celsius in the sun.

  99. Sandy McNabb

    We checked out Sandy McNabb yesterday. The trails were in excellent condition and there was a few cm of snow whilst skiing. We skied the trails in the SE (Loggers Loop etc.). There was heaps of snow and no thin spots to speak of. Snow as a wee bit crusty in a few spots exposed to sun but otherwise it was smooth. I have been meaning to check out those trails for years now and I was most impressed. The forest is more open with some nice stands of Aspen. Great views of the river and probably the mountains but the visibility was not great towards the west. We didn’t see another soul on the trails and only 1 other car.

    Enjoy!

  100. West Bragg Creek

    This morning apparently the temperature was +6, but by the time I got there at 1 pm it was -1 and snowing. I only skied around Hostel loop, but it has more snow on it than I have seen for decades! Good conditions all around, the old hard stuff and a bit of tree debris being slightly covered with a sprinkling of fresh, probably more by now. Waxless skis definitely the way to go today 🙂

    One slight sour note: in spite of the “skiers only” signs, there were boot holes from the people who chose to walk around the loop. Bah.

  101. A group of two ladies and two gents to be precise.

  102. Today’s ZERO temp made for the hardest I have worked on MLR, but it would have been a lot worse without those 4 ski racers ahead of us breaking trail. Fairview had a sign out saying they were working hard on it, as Heather D and others already noted. Definitely packed today. Puking snow most of the day on MLR and tough drive home but no complaints when snow is falling everywhere. I bet I know what lovely bunch of ladies helped out Shulamit in PLPP today!

  103. PLPP today. Elk Pass. About 1 deg C and snowing. The word of the day was “clumpy” – as in wet, clumpy snow that sticks to skis. But the falling snow sure looked pretty, and people seemed to be smiling anyway.

    I’m extending a heartfelt thank you to the kind group that stopped and helped, scraping off an embarrassing accumulation of wax off my skis and then applying their glide magic – it really helped!

  104. The other trails in Lake Louise desperately need tracksetting after today’s dump. Tramline is the worst I’ve ever seen it – lost count of how many times I nearly rolled my ankles on the wibbly wobbly tourist packing. Absolutely nothing on MLR and Divide (unless you count the dog sled tracks which were a life saver). Lots of skiers out there struggling with icing and snowballing on the fresh falling snow @ zero.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/wWg28nLTrWVyiCMX9

  105. At least 3 busloads of skiers at LL today – incl. Foothills Nordic high school students and their guests from Quebec. We checked out Fairview Loop and it’s getting there. I had no idea how much work it takes to get it into shape. We skied from the parking lot to Paradise trail jct and beyond where the groomer was still at work. The route back was just as lovely, warm, soft but packed snow and very, very quiet. Be patient, it will be worth it.

  106. Today (Wednesday, Dec 04 ) in Peter Lougheed it is 1 degree at 9:54 am with flurries.
    Webcam isn’t working so thought best to share here!
    Elk Pass, hydroline, blueberry hill, and patterson were trackset Nov 28/29.

  107. West Bragg Creek – Dec 3
    Bob,
    Sorry to hear that the south trails were challenging. From 11 am to 3 pm we had perfect skiing conditions on the recently trackset Mountain Road and inner core trails. V40 and V45 provided good grip and glide. Thanks groomers!

    • It was just Elbow South that was difficult. Sundog and Elbow North were fine. I should note that the West Bragg Creek groomers are not responsible for Elbow South. The province does that one. Glad to hear Mountain road survived the warm day.

  108. They’re Back!

    I’ve stayed out of the equestrian discussion until today since the Dec 1 seasonal restrictions are now in place. A horse(s) totally trashed the skate lane on the east portion of the Sundog Loop between Iron Springs and East Crystal. Looks like the equestrian rider possibly went up a fat bike trail and came down Iron Springs and Sundog. Total disrespect by this equestrian rider(s) towards all other trail users, responsible equestrian users, and the Greater Bragg Creek Trail Association. My wife owns a horse so I have nothing against responsible horse owners, just the ones that are self-centred pricks. Did anyone come across this equestrian rider today during their ski or cycle? I started at 3pm so it was earlier in the day. End of rant.

    BTW…Sundog, except for the trashed section, and East Crystal were in phenomenal skate condition for some fun zippy laps.

    Thank you Skier Bob!

    • Tom, I got suspicious and worried when I saw the horse trailer in the parking lot.

      • BILL VOTING RIGHTS 4U

        Record licence plate numbers next time and report the activity to Rangers.

        • Just to clarify, horses are permitted to use most of the trails in the WBC area during the winter. This includes some which are groomed for XC skiing (although definitely NOT the ones mentioned in the post). Full details are available here:

          https://www.braggcreektrails.org/welcome-to-winter-at-west-bragg-creek/

          Please don’t assume that any equestrians that you see out there are doing something wrong.

          • Thanks for the link . However, I find the map confusing.

            Take Telephone Loop for example. The Map has two colours on this route. A black line and a blue line. The legend says black lines are “All-season Trails”, which includes horses, bikes and hikers. The blue colour coding is labeled as “XC trail”. Furthermore the legend says: “Horse use is not permitted on ski trails Dec 1 ? Mar 31. Please do not walk, snowshoe or bike on groomed ski tracks.”. So, what is it?

            Besides the fact that equestrian use basically destroys any functionality of grooming for XC skiing, sections of Telephone include tricky navigation on steep hills with difficult corners. I cannot see how equestrian use would be compatible with XC skiing on this trail. This same colour coding exists on Moose Loop and Mountain Road.

            Is this overlapping colour coding really intended to allow for both groomed trail XC skiing and equestrian use at the same time?

            • I agree about Telephone, Ken. Craters from horses, hiker postholes, and ruts from struggling bikers not only affect the skiing experience- but also present a very real hazard to skier safety on Telephone. My thoughts are that Telephone should be skiers only on the more difficult north half of the loop, between Disconnect junction on the east side, and Reconnect on the west. Another option I guess, would be to widen and tame that section in order to better accommodate all users, but I would hate to see that happen, as one of the attractions of Telephone is the narrower and more challenging aspect of the trail. In my opinion, the other “ski” trails that are also multi-use seem to work more or less ok like that, as they are wider, generally more well packed, and have easier downhills.

  109. Canmore Nordic Centre – Great grooming for classic and skate. Olympic competition trail in perfect condition for those wishing to skate with energy and test their grip wax for classic. Meadow from the top of Olympic has been groomed as has Rundle. Great temperature +1c to start at 11am and +4 by 2pm. Biathlon event taking place and lots of fast skiers just over from the races at Sovereign Lake Nordic held last weekend.

  110. PLPP – Elk Pass Parking- Bolton Creek-Fox Creek – Moraine- Wheeler-Amos- William Watson Lodge (WWL).Lodgepole-Braille-Suicide Hill-Pocatera Hut.
    Good snow conditions in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park. Track setting from the parking lot . Skier tracked on Bolton Creek, Fox Creek and Moraine with indications of machine packing on Moraine. Machine groomed(corduroy) on Wheeler. Skier tracked on Amos. Skier tracked down to Pocatera hut. Much vegetation on Suicide Hill but good snow depth We had one skier who shooshed the whole thing. The pond at the bottom is frozen over but please do not take off your skis. when crossing it. Vegetation through out but sufficient snow depth. Temperature eventually skirted a neg zero but the snow kept its quality. There are indications of skier traffic throughout the park

  111. Shaganappi was pretty thin this am, still better than jogging. IMO.

  112. December 3rd, 2019. Skied the Moraine Lake Road this afternoon. -3 degrees Celsius at the trailhead with flurries and stayed that way through most of the trip. At the end of the day, 5 cm of new snow had accumulated over Sunday’s track set but the track was still in reasonable condition. I felt for the lone skater pushing his way up the big hill as I passed him on the way down. Halfway up the trail I estimated 75 cm settled snow accumulation in the roadside ditch. Lovely!

  113. SylviaA

    WBC
    What a great ski day. It’s nice to start early in the morning, so peaceful and
    Beautiful..

    Before leaving, I left a cute Christmas deer decor by the guest book in the warming hut, hopefully it brings a smile to everyone who walks in.

  114. PLPP: Blueberry, Elk Pass
    We arrived at Elk Pass parking just before 10am, after driving through warm and windy conditions on Hwy 40. It was cooler here, 0C and just a breeze. Good tracks on the Elk Pass trail to the Blueberry junction, although lots of small debris – needles and old man’s beard. The tracks up Blueberry Hill were also great, again with small debris and a few snow bombs that did not affect our skiing. Amazingly, it was almost calm at the top of Blueberry. A good, fast run down, then up to Elk Pass – similar trail conditions. The south section of Hydroline was clean, while Patterson was good, again with needles. From there, back on the Elk Pass trail, and Fox Creek. Fox was snowmobile packed and skier tracked, with quite a bit of debris. Temperature held steady at 0C all day. Great to see lots of skiers from the Calgary Seniors and the Canmore Meanderthals. A very good ski day!!

    • Elk/west elk pass:
      We must have just missed you guys, and diverted to west elk meadows while you were up blueberry. In a similar fashion, less windy than we expected in the meadows. The snow in the meadows was moist and soft with worse pole plants than the other day, with the odd collapse straying to the edge of the track. Nice to see another couple folk adventuring into the meadows, just because. Resident moose has been active in the area, using our track, seeing as we used his. Sllllow on return in the moist snow down elk. But good grip going back up the hill, no herrings on the menu. Hopefully a round of snow to cover any potential freezing of the moist surface conditions.
      Couch HQ update: open for lounging. 3 to 4 seater with full reclining, thanks to the help of cheeky and Simona today. Expansion to follow. Couch/meadow season is on.

    • It was the SOCC from Calgary following Ray and Mary on their tour. Not much to add except to say Fox Creek is rough due to skier traffic.

  115. WBC. – a (relatively) early ski today saw good track conditions with decent preservation of base due to low sun angle and what appears to be still low humidity. Having said that, some transformation is occurring that has affected many skiers grip wax success as I saw many, many ppl re-waxing at various random locations. Note also: poles are starting to push to full depth outside track -continual grooming will help in skate lane but do take care on track margins. Hopefully tracks will be reconditioned and repressed to minimize losses.

  116. Skied WBC today. Air temps hovered around zero but the snow stayed cold. The snow was hard and fast. It was calm most of the day but a few strong wind gusts knocked snow off of tree limbs, stirred up the surface hoar, and blew down a few pine needles here and there (nothing to worry about though).
    Elbow was roller packed today from the south end of Iron Springs to Fullerton trailhead.
    Has anyone skied Goat Creek yet?

  117. Checked out the trail between Baker Creek and Morant’s Curve today. Nice job by the groomer with little snow to work with. Baker Creek end is in the trees and has some debris and hazards, but once out in the open between the railway and 1A it was pretty good. Could not go all the way to the end as TransLink (I think that’s the name of the power company) is still working on their line and had the trail all torn up and a closed sign. Needs more snow.

  118. Priddis Golf Course – Trackset on Dec 2

    Kathy K checked out the Priddis Golf Course today and reports that the course has been trackset – 10 plus km of classic trails. Great coverage with a couple thin spots under trees. Check these trails out if you haven’t before – fun, rolling and flowy. A quick 20 minute drive from South Calgary and half the driving distance to WBC. Trails can be accessed from the clubhouse. Open to the public. Enjoy!

    • Just wanted to mention that we took our dog skijoring at Priddis today, good conditions with waxless skis. Asked at the clubhouse, and they said that dogs are allowed.

    • I’m a newbie and nervous going down any type of incline/hill. Is Priddis hilly or just gentle grades? Hoping to ski and brunch on Dec 22. 🙂

      • There are hills and grooming might not be recent over fresh snow. I’d suggest Maple Ridge Golf course if you want to avoid hills.

  119. PLPP December 2

    Élaine and I went out to PLPP today and has a wonderful ski. We arrived at Elk Pass about 11 a.m. to -3 C. I had to rely on VR 45, which was still giving a bit of slip until I extended my forward kick area. Great tracks all the way to the Hydroline junction. We continued on groomed trails to Tyrwhitt and skied all the way through the meadow before turning around. At reaching Hydroline again, we decided to ski out the way we came in and had a great descent. Yes, the drop from the Big Hill was fast but not terrifyingly so. Leaving the parking lot around 4 p.m., it was -2 and snowing a little. Yeah!

    • Chip. We ran into you just after you had turned around on Tyrwhitt. We continued on to the Whiskey Jack junction and descended to Boulton Bridge on a very fast track. Whiskey Jack is pretty good for early season, a few bumps and rolls to watch for but no ice, rocks or sticks. Cheers, Gord and Nancy.

  120. WBC – Middle Crystal – Moose Loop – Mountain Road – Mountain View

    These trails are in good condition. Tracks within 2 km of the parking lot are worn but the far end of Mountain Road is excellent. The steep sections approaching the picnic table at the high point of Mountain Road are hardened and bumpy from weekend snowplowing. A short section of Moose Connector near the creek is icy and some skiers were walking down it. Other than these short sections the descents were fast and easy to negotiate.

    Todays weather should not have adversely affected the trails. It was zero at noon and did not go above 2 degrees in the afternoon. The sky was mostly overcast as well.

  121. Not a trip report: rookie mistake, left my skis at west Bragg yesterday, drying out in the sun. Drove out today, not in the place I left them, but someone kindly put them in the ski rack by the warming hut! Thanks WBC and patrons!!!! (-:

  122. WBC Loggers/Elbow Trail/Iron Springs/Hostel Loop. I started at -7 degrees and finished at +1 degree. It was a bit slippery at the end… Conditions were still quite good except on lower Hostel which has sustained considerable damage due to walkers on the trail. It is unfortunate that fines cannot be levied against people walking on and wrecking the grooming / track setting. A ticket like one would get for taking a dog on PLPP trails would likely discourage that behavior pretty quickly.

  123. As of December 1, Tak falls road (Yoho NP) is splendid. Track set 4.7 km. Hikers have managed to stay off the tracks!!! Fast with great views. It’s quite cold so green wax was perfect. Thanks to the groomers!!!

    • Ditto to Taryn’s report of yesterday except today excitement in the parking lot of Yoho Valley Road as helicopters were taking in loads to Guy (spelling?) Hut. -10 and snowing as in “Snow Globe” for those old enough to know what that is. Ran into some honeymooners and referred them to this site. Hope they will post the pic I took of them. Talk about bargain shoppers. Her hubby was using skis he’d bought for $2. and hers were under $20. Too bad they weren’t in on the contest for new Fischer Skis. Ran into Dave from Norsemen who was enjoying a short ski on route to Sovereign Lk. Drove to O’Hara end of Great Divide-serious wind happening and wished I had one of those things they use in Norway to ski with a flag thing between their poles. New snow definitely in the works for that Yoho/Louise area.

      • We are the honeymooners! Fun meeting you, Helen. We may be the least technologically inclined millennials ever as our combined intellect can’t figure out how to post a picture here! It turned out great though! Beautiful day on the trail, not a wisp of wind. Perfect snow conditions for our $0.25 and $10 skis (best thrift store purchase ever!). Great time in Canada, back to the US and real life tomorrow.

  124. Middle West Crystal-Loggers-Elbow-Iron Springs-Iron Creek-East Crystal. Not much to add to previous report as to ski and weather conditions- simply put- very good to excellent! The south loop on Elbow-Iron remains ungroomed, but has a very good skier track where, thankfully, hikers broke their own trail alongside of. The steeper downhill on south Iron Springs was a bit chopped up, but soft enough for control on skinny skis. That might be more challenging tomorrow, as the sun beats down on that corner. A side trip from the loop on Iron Creek provided a fast and fun descent on the best tracks of the day. There is payback as this is a dead end trail, but returning to Iron Springs is quick and easy.
    A few pics showing conditions:
    https://steveriggs.smugmug.com/IronSpringsDecember1-2019/

  125. West Bragg Creek-Beautiful day for a ski at Wbc! Started around 10 am. The parking lot was already busy when we arrived. Skied West Crystal Line, Mountain View, Mountain Road, Mountain View West, Moose Loop, the new Moose Loop Singletrack, Moose Connector then back on West Crystal Line. A few traffic jams were encountered along the way but no one seemed bothered as conditions were excellent with milder temperatures, blue skies, and brilliant sunshine!

  126. Maple Ridge Golf course

    Have been enjoying the amazing skiing in Bragg Creek ( Telephone loop, Moose loop, Loggers loop yesterday.) Today just enjoyed a wonderful ski late afternoon at Maple Ridge. Great skier set tracks that were very fast. Good conditions with just a few thin spots. A great spot to ski when your time is limited especially if you live in the south of the city. So many wonderful places to ski. Life is good.

  127. Sandy McNabb…or, be careful what you wish for. Park warden’s parking lot overflowing with about 10 to 15 cars. That means many people have broken trail as there has been no grooming of any description. For the most part, beautiful. Pine Ridge Connector and Long Prairie Loop in beautiful sunshine and skier tracked. There were three notable hazards on these trails that were somewhat exposed by the skiers before us. I call them hazards as you did not know they were there until you were on top of them. Enjoyable day but maybe not recommended for someone who has not had some experience dodging debris. Did encounter equestrians (4) on trail. Was having too nice a time to consider a confrontation even tho it is now Dec. 1st and they were not on a multi use trail. To their credit, they were trying to stay to one side. We smiled at each other and wished one another an enjoyable day. And it was.

  128. BLUEBERRY HILL – Dec 1

    The new tracksetting is excellent, even though it ends about 300 metres from the top due to lack of snow.
    Ensure you read the captions for full details:
    https://1drv.ms/u/s!Avuc6aIvjGUAi1YaHbK-QQ4Ik3z8?e=0zXD2E
    The Wind Chill in Kananaskis made it just as cold as Lake Louise today!

    • Nice photos Chuck. Looks fantastic. I’ve been trying to convince my wife to go up there now for quite a few years. I think the DH (downhill, not Dear Husband…which would be) is intimidating her.

      How many km was that out-and-back of yours?

      • Hey Richie,
        Glad you asked!
        Out and back is 16.5 Km.
        What your dear wife really wants to know is… that it is a grunt going up and fast going down… but as Jeannette says to me… “you can snow plow, or even walk down”. Snow conditions are good… no ice.
        And this could be another bonding experience!

        • Thanks for the photos Chuck! I was headed for Blueberry hill today as well but got a late start so only made it as far as Blueberry Junction. Nice to see what it looked like at the top. The run back down Elk Pass was probably the fastest ever. I decided to avoid the brutal wind on the powerline and took a detour around Fox Creek. It was well packed and skier tracked with quite a few bumps and the odd twig sticking up. A great trail for an early season refresher on quick thinking and tight turns!

        • phew that’s a good haul and lots of elevation. Let me work her up to the 10km threshold first. And the kids. And get all their snowplow skills sharpened up… they don’t feel comfortable at the faster speeds (yet).

  129. WBC – skied the Telephone loop this AM. It’s in good nick, mostly trackset / groomed, a bit rough in spots but good enough for the non-discerning.

    We arrived fairly early this morning (a bit before 9) and had the trail to ourselves — crossed only one other skier, but by the time we packed it up and drove off around 11am, the lot was getting full and there was a steady stream of cars headed in.

  130. Elk Pass – Hydroline – Patterson – Elk Pass @ Peter Lougheed Provincial Park
    Groomers have done a superb job and the conditions were excellent today starting at -13C and ending -10C – I love green or blue wax days!
    Fast snow! Patterson downhill was as good as it gets!
    Debris or twigs were minor and of no concern.

  131. Sun dec 1: WBC/moose/loggers
    -14 and another chilly wind to start at 830. -4 on return at 1230. Super busy parking lot mid day and lots more people arriving in a continuous stream. Tracks getting loved lots. Better glide by 11 so a nice finish on loggers and east crystal line. Cleaned the snow off every picnic table I came across, before it gets icy with the warming temps forecasted, hoping they get used more.

    • Thank you, MaSid, for being such a x-country angel. Enjoyed every single snow couch of yours last year. My Seattle friends were totally impressed… so was I.
      I don’t know you, but hope to meet you on the trails some day to thank you “live”.
      Thank you!

      • You are most welcome Helene! Did you make it to the pipestone couches (3 in total), the Fairview one, and couch HQ at west elk pass? The Louise ones were “pop ups”, built in a day. Hopefully pipestone opens soon and I can do it again this year up at the NW corner on the river. Great spot, and no other seating options at all to enjoy the environs. Couch HQ takes a while to build, farther from the groomed trail, and usually a 10-12 seater, but the best spot ever in my view to spend an afternoon in winter. Just started that process last few days with cheeky and simona’s help. Might be a bench seat by next week and a full size couch with full reclining abilities by end of December. Stay tuned for updates. Maybe we will see you there on a sunny day. Bring a foamy for sitting on and a backpack to place behind you and you can sit for hours when conditions are right (often 5-10 degrees warmer). If it’s bluebird, chances are that I’ll be there, or nearby, roaming through the west elk meadows.

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