Trip Reports – Feb 2018

Let’s help each other have a great ski trip by sharing information on trail conditions. Click on “Add one” 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.


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  1. Just returned from 2 two great days of skiing at Sun Peaks. Walking out the Coast Hotel door to the covered bridge that leads to 37 kms. of Nordic Trails was a special treat. Cost: $15/day senior rate and includes two rides up the Morrisey Chair that leads to an 8 kms. blue run called Holy Cow. There are many very tempting back country trails but they are somewhat intimidating as they are all marked black diamond. We tried a few and will try more next time, if I can find “a local” familiar with them. If one does not want to ride the chairlift, the lower section has a good variety of green/blue/black runs and a welcoming McGillivray Lake Outpost cabin to lunch at, which is almost 300 M. below the top of the chairlift. Some trails are dog friendly (both on and off leash) and fat bikes also allowed on certain trails. Evidence of dog sled rides intersecting some trails, and challenging snow-shoeing trails well marked. Sun Peaks is a town and many seniors are choosing to retire there.

  2. Did chickadee. Not a long ski about 5 in and 5km out. Perfect conditions and lots of snow. We used blue with purple vr20 which was just right. Used skins for the first km climb. It was a riot coming down, fast and packed by snowshoers as well. Saw three guys with alpine backcountry doing some of the chutes, bit scary. Nice guys as they picked up my husband when he was flat on his back after his pole got hooked by a tree. Huge group of snowshoers who avoided our tracks except where unavoidable. Love days like this.

    • Helen, have to join one time at Sun peaks. Nice place to ski.
      Great accolades to Calgary ski club today for lake louise loppett.
      Very well organized and the trails were just ace.
      Good fun and so gorgeous with Sun and fresh snow. Love seeing all the young skiers out too.

  3. Feb-28 0700-0800, skied Confederation Golf course, conditions are still very good, tracks in good shape still – the previous day of wind hasn’t filled them in. Certainly hard snow, but not icy.

    • Confed part Deux…
      Confed this eve from about 630-8pm. Beautiful sunset transitioning to an almost full moon was a nice experience. Overall conditions much better than I expected although tracks were pretty hard and my Skintecs were challenged finding traction if I committed too hard. Made for great glide and speedy downhills. Also did some skate and unintentionally followed the groomer who was refreshing the east loops… Sorry dude. The west loop was super fast and fun and I’d hoped for a 2nd lap there too but the groomer got there 10 seconds before me and wouldn’t let me ahead before his snow mixing (musta ticked him off from the prior loop). Other volunteers were out bringing snow onto thinner areas so lots of work happening this evening – THANK YOU!! Foothills kids ski group was out doing lap after lap focusing on their poling – some fast kids.

      • stephen vermeulen

        Glad you enjoyed it! I was part of the “snow harvesting” crew. The groomer usually works a bit later in the evening. With all the new snow that’s to come it should be good for a while.

        From what I’ve been told, the plan is to stop grooming in about a week or two. After that the groomer may have to work at breaking up the snow pack so the golf season can start (depending on how the melting goes).

  4. Great ski conditions continued to be found at WBC this afternoon. It was a bit gusty at times in open areas, but temps at around zero and warm sun made up for the winds. Smooth firm snow made for quick fun skiing, with Start purple wax working perfectly throughout. Tracks are in generally very good shape, and downhills are fast 🙂
    The only exception on our roundabout excursion which took in all the core trails- was Mountainview which I would call only fair-good due to substantial wind affect in spots- particularly the NW facing downhill when going E to W, which some will find challenging due to the hard surface, and drifting.
    By March- I always consider skiing at WBC to be living on borrowed time, despite having skied there into April numerous times. Get it while you can!

  5. PLPP – Skied the “Skier Bob Special”: Up Whiskey jack, south on Tyrwhitt, return on Elk Pass, Fox, and Moraine. Here’s the details:
    Whiskey Jack – good condition, a few snow bombs, a few needles. Looked safe for those who like a fast descent.
    Tyrwhitt – quite a bit of debris/snow bombs in sections where the trees are close to the trail. Clean, good tracks otherwise.
    Elk Pass – well used, tracks a bit wobbly. Minor debris/snow bombs
    Fox – some debris (normal for Fox), but actually quite good
    Moraine – best condition of trails I skied. Minor debris
    Nice weather: almost no wind, -8C to start, -5C at the end.

  6. I recently had a chat with one of the groomers at West Bragg Creek. He came up behind me in his very cool grooming machine on a snowy Sunday morning. I was happy to have a fresh trail to follow after our chat. I was surprised to hear from the groomer that they rely almost exclusively on private donations to fund the grooming efforts. I assumed that they received provincial funding. He commented that if every visitor to the trail system donated a dollar, they would have no worries about funding for machines, gas, repairs, etc. One dollar a visit is a very cheap price to pay for the gem of WBC trails…so, I encourage everyone to bring a buck and drop it off in the donation box at the trail head. Or, if you have troubles remembering to bring and drop off your loonie, you can donate online on the west Bragg Creek trail association website.

  7. feb 26
    Nipika – north trails

    snow temps -14 start -8 midday -12 finish at 8 pm ,overcast most of day.
    did a blend of blue and green wax as I was out of blue special.
    with the forecast “suggesting”10 hrs of sun ( not! got more moonlight skiing in than sunny rest stops) .arrived 11 am with the track setters out packing the 3 cm from overnight and resetting most double tracks making them silky smooth uphill , deep and safe for the fun ,fast descents. no ice ,only a few trails twiggy ,and just one rock I had to toss ,beautiful snow!

    truly amazing experience made possible from the helpful ,knowledgeable girl at the desk and the track setter grooming these exhilarating trails!

    well worth the scenic drive when the snow ,road and trail conditions are exceptionally this good !

  8. Had a great day on the beautiful fresh tracksetting at Ribbon Creek. Skied Kovach, Aspen and Ribbon Creek (what a hill!!!) in near-perfect conditions. The temperature at the parking lot when I got there just after 2 was -2 so Swix Extra Blue worked great. Only saw 5 or 6 other skiers all afternoon.

  9. West Bragg Creek

    A quickie out to WBC this afternoon, shocked that MaSid has only just discovered it??
    Hostel Loop has excellent snow coverage with a little tree debris – not many needles, but a few twigs – and holding up well through warmer, windier weather. It is fairly hard and fast today.
    I did the loop clockwise, but found the descent on the east side surprisingly pock-marked with boot prints, on what I had thought was a designated ski trail?

    • There are plenty of signs at the trail-head that state Hostel is a ski trail (No walking, biking, snow-shoeing), however there will always be those who don’t feel rules apply to them. I’ve only skied Hostel twice without encountering boot prints.

    • Preference for being in a rugged mountain setting at treeline. Skiing is just the means. But with this years conditions some quick exercise to heal the ankle is immediately at hand.

  10. Sun Feb 25
    Had a great day skiing with 10 others (3 groups) from the Calgary Outdoor Club. My group started from the visitor centre, up to Pocaterra, up to Packers, fast and fun ride down Packers and then Wheeler etc. Back to Visitor centre. 19km in all. Snowed most of the day but that kept the steep hills manageable for the less confident skiers. The snow stopped and clouds lifted enough that we could enjoy seeing the mountains on our way home. Swix temp gauge said -10 but people who tried Swix blue had to go to swix green at the first intersection.

  11. FAIRVIEW LOOP – Feb 26

    A quiet, sunny day starting at MLR with a temperature of -14. The loop from the kiosk was skidoo churned with remnants of track setting & occasional snow bombs. Lovely on the lake; the tramline was slow, no fast ride but a downhill double pole. Tracksetters no doubt waiting to do their grooming before the loppet. Nice to see Howard and co!

  12. Castle Lookout to Baker Creek (rtn)

    -12oC at 11:15am and -3oC when done. Swix blue worked very well with a bit of slip at the last viewpoints on the return. Tracks are good with some pine needles on the first km through the wooded area. Rest is excellent. Good place to be on a sunny day and a nice change from the Canmore Nordic Center (which is in great condition).

  13. Priddis Golf Course. I’ve never been there, so thought I would give it a try very early afternoon today. Much to my surprise nice track set, though certain areas that are in the open are wind/snow swept-so you can’t always see the trail. Certain areas I had good glide then others the tracks were “icey”. I will head back this week though this time will try with waxless skis. Saw a very nice “pond” huge skating rink with a picnic table right beside it and fire pit. Great spot for “family time together”. There is also newspaper in a bin and cut logs for one to use. Thank you Priddis Golf Course for giving us another option when we don’t have time to drive far.

  14. Mon feb 26: WBC again.
    Must be addicted. Short morning of work, so off I went for some sunny picnic table hunting (found a few more, thanks Alf!). -5 at 11, zero at 2. Moose loop and west crystal essentially. Snow was holding up well even with the bright sun. Just breezy enough to keep things cool. Tough sledding on a few off shoot trails with wind crust.

  15. just back after a quick ski break on the east side of the Spray Loop starting at Bow Falls. Once in the trees past the golf course there are good tracks and little wind. Even better, lots of sun midday. Stayed below freezing so got by on purple wax. Needle factor low as well, so all made for a pleasant jaunt.

  16. Skied LL highway 1A today – specifically Telemark (8) and Peyto (7). Of course tons of snow, but just a word of caution – most of these trails have no tracks set at the moment. The old tracks have been obliterated by skidoo traffic – presumably preparations for the Lake Louise Lopez this coming Sunday. I think the same is true currently for Fairview as well. MLR and Great Divide (1A) are fine.

  17. On the 22nd we went up the west side of Spray River from the parking lot past the hotel. Glad of other skiers telling us about this parking lot. Definitely still cold so green (V20) worked for us. The trail gets lots of use so expected the odd walker in the track and that did happen – the Goat Creek trail head to the first bridge, two ladies, then on the return on the east side two young men with very long blonde hair. A sight I have not seen before were a couple with a shelf thing on a third wheel behind their fat bike for their dog! They came from the Goar Creek parking lot and then returned that way. Certainly agree that the trail head parking lot at Goat Creek for the first kilometer is very packed and no track so did not bother going all the way as a bit of a luge run. In case others make my mistake, on my return I did not know the way across from the east Spray River to the parking lot and so ended up on the golf course and walking back past the hotel to the parking lot. A fat biker let me know I should have taken the Quarry turn down to the Spray River and that there is a bridge there. It is not signposted as a connector on the east side trail which would be useful.
    Loved the warmer temperature on Friday at the Nordic Centre – love these trails which were really well set and for us also not having to travel. Met people from Germany and Saskatchewan.
    Shark on Sunday was blue/purple (VR40) perfect grip and glide. Used the backcountry skiis which are heavier but with steel edges perfect for the steep turns and downhills. Yahoo. The recreational trail – non track set – was great at the start and someone had been through before us BUT the second part was really snow blown in and up to our knees in places also one of my baskets had broken – not helpful. We actually gave up on one of the last climbs and took the lower route. We met people skiing out from Assiniboine and Bryant on the last part of Watridge down to the bridge. Certainly made them jump as we shot down and they were not looking up but down checking on the progress of their friends. As a plus when we got back to the car we got hints about where to visit and hike in Ireland when we go in September from a very helpful Irish guy who was waiting for some of the group to finish.
    I am glad the fat bikers I have encountered are certainly not like the one harrassing Bob, such a shame but hopefully that guy stops soon.

  18. Sunday 25 Feb, West Bragg Creek, arrived after noon concerned about parking, my go-to is the smallest SE parking lot. A person in that lot was directing traffic for a half ton with a trailer, waiting for a spot. They were trying to position the rig. The person directing traffic advised me that this parking lot was actually designated for equestrian use. That sounded questionable, but when I turned around, sure enough there is a sign stating exactly that, although I don’t imagine that means “exclusive” does it? Anyway, all good, once they got settled and a few other early users left, I found a spot. Temp was -2C so I chose V55 kick wax for 0 to -2C (snow) thinking if anything the temp was trending warmer. Headed out West Crystal to Moose Connector and Loop CCW and could feel the kick icing when not contacting the snow. After herring-boning for example, the first few strides were sticky, then it would subside. Never totatlly caught or jammed, so it was slow but close. Also better around the far wind blown part of Moose, and Mountain Road and Trail, which I continued on CCW where the fine snow maybe was colder and acted *like new? Snow and wax continues to be a bit of mystery to me. MaSid’s comments re “grit” around the back of Mountain Road were spot on. Fine snow, and sand, but not nutty dirty. So the wax was close, the ski was good, conditions warmer, but windy in exposed areas. Grooming continues to be v good.

  19. West Bragg Creek

    Had a great day of skiing with friends and their dogs at West Bragg today. Trails were in great shape. We started on East Crystal line to Loggers loop, West Crystal line, Mountain View, Mountain road, Moose connector, Moose loop (very large ice flow avoided by the bridge on the left), Moose connector, West Crystal line, Crystal link, West Crystal line, and back to the parking lot. Around 19km total. Very windy all day but surprisingly there weren’t many needles in the tracks. Most of our entertainment was provided by the dogs and their antics.
    Fingers crossed conditions stay good and it doesn’t warm up too much this week!

  20. Hasn’t been much reporting on Ribbon Creek so I will. A few needles, still attached even! here and there but not an issue, snowed lightly most of the morning. Took a right turn and went to the top of Coal mine, that is my new screamer, nice wide controllable fast descent made the grunt up more than worth it. Continued onward to the end of Ribbon and back Kovach to a fairly quiet parking lot. All tracks are very fast; with some blue and green slathered I used the trail sides to go up without too much slippage. Don’t be scared off for lack of grooming, it wasn’t needed, higher up on coal mine it was a little windblown but two of us re-set the tracks for ya!

  21. Sun feb 25: west Bragg.
    -4 at 9 am and +1 at 2 on return. Nice to be skiing in pleasant temperatures again. Been a while since Ive worn the thin gloves. My first time ever skiing at west Bragg, and just had to do telephone while it was still good. Decent enough track still, a bit of debri and a bit breezy in open areas. Some wind sifted snow blown into tracks at the top of a few hills but that just made the hard track base silkier. Less of an established track along the west side of the loop. Seems CCW is the way to go. Only saw two bikes and two walkers on the loop. The barbed wire fence is covered nicely and the orange snow fencing gave me ample warning. A nice trail with some fun ups and downs that were exciting when you don’t know what or who are ahead. Hills are all short though. Turned onto moose loop and saw many more people. Tracks in fine shape. Nice chat with three young ladies at the picnic table. Oddly the only one I saw. Then onto mountainview west. Definately windier. Dust and grit on the trail near the two exposed dirt banks. And then back on mountain road. Lots of dogs on that section, 95% off leash. 100% on leash near the parking lot. I was surprised to see no west Bragg turn left sign at the T intersection over the bridge. Would
    Be nice having more table stops too at key points, have a tea break and chat with fellow like minded skiers. I must have been on the wrong trails. Happy to help make some benches with local downed wood (have the tools and know how).

    • I was also in the Bragg Creek area today. I started at Allen Bill parking lot and skied north to the West Bragg Creek parking lot and then back. I skied Iron Springs north bound and returned via Logger’s Loop / Elbow. The first km out of the parking lot sees a lot of foot traffic so it is now hard packed but ski-able to the Fullerton Loop junction (about 1 km). After that it is much better with still some foot traffic messing up the middle of the trail to the first Iron Springs junction. From there north the trails are in fine shape. Other than walkers on the initial km out of the parking lot, there are very few people on the trails until one gets close to West Bragg Creek.

    • There are several picnic tables along the WBC XC trails:
      -at West Crystal-Moose Connector-Mountain View Junction
      -at East Crystal-Sundog lower Junction
      -at Moose Loop-Old Shell Road Junction
      -at Moose Loop-Tom Snow north Junction (needs some screws, bolts and some 2 x 6” boards for repairs)
      -at the old youth hostel site on Hostel Meadow Loop.
      I agree. A few more would be nice.

  22. PLPP after the Cookie Race – two words – “VR40” and “perfection”. Blue skies, fantastic grooming, and temps in the -6 to -9 range. Where was everyone else? ;-

    • I was there. I’ve done cookie 42K poor man’s version, which means you have to carry your own water and the timing chip a.k.a wrist watch. It was silky smooth in falling snow but generally slow glide. Many tree cookies on Tyrwhitt, not edible though.

  23. Brewster Creek

    Worried about the effects of yesterday’s extreme winds in K-country, we decided to head to Banff and check out Brewster Creek, starting from the Sunshine Road parking lot, which was strangely full of buses! (never seen that before)
    Well, the trail is still “pretty” good, nice cold snow, mostly white, but……..
    (1) tree debris — not quite needlemania, but significant
    (2) the descent was hard, fast, and rather bumpy in places – not for the faint-hearted!! (which could be us)
    There is ski track on one side, and mostly narrow snowmobile pack on the other, making it hard to snowplow when you really need to, and plenty of weekend traffic today of various types.
    Still a beautiful day to be out in the mountains!

  24. We had our sights set on Skogan Pass, but the hard packed trail and relentless herringboning tuckered us out and wasn’t fun, so we turned around at the junction with Sunburst Trail. The descent was fast, but so many people were out and about, (a large group on the Screamer) that even that wasn’t as much fun as usual. Not wanting to give up a sunny, blue-sky day, we lunched at the Village Centre and went out for another 12 kms. on the Village trails which were in great shape, given their use. Again, lots of people out – beginners, kids just learning, groups, singles, and pros. Great to see all the happy faces. When we started in the morning at Nakiska parking, temp was -10C and at the Village at 2:30 pm, it was a balmy -5. We ended the day with coffee and cookies in the Village Centre – a nice, relaxing day!

  25. Goat Creek Trailhead Parking lot to Banff Springs Hotel – Glorious trip in -11C to -5C. Blue wax worked well.
    First 400m of trip hard packed with no track- don’t be discouraged. Rest of Goat Creek trail to Spray River has a passable simgle set track – variously damaged by snowshoes and walkers. Tricky hill down to the bridge is very hard packed but no ice or rocks showing. Spray River bridge to shelter is good single track and West Spray River Trail to Banff Springs Hotel parking lot is double track set holding up very well considering the amount of use it gets. Overall a really nice almost 19 km ski.

  26. Just got back from a fantastic ski at WBC. Started at 10am at -5 degrees and finished around 11:30am at -3. Purple wax worked well the entire time. Skied West Crystal, Moose Connector, Mountain Road, Mountain View, Logger’s Loop and finished off on East Crystal. Double track set on all those trails. Great grip the whole time, and the insane glide kicked in around 11am. What an amazing day! A big thank you to all the volunteers who maintain these trails!!

    • I was there too, skied Telephone and it hadn’t been trackset recently but was still in good shape, no rocks and only the three permanent ice flows to contend with. It was very busy in the parking area and on the popular trails. I paid my trail fee into the donation box, as per usual. There is a campaign currently underway to raise funds for maintenance of the trails. I have skied on a number to trails in BC and the community ones have trail fees, Kimberly, Mt Begbie, Golden, Silverstar. There are fixed costs involved in maintaining things and it is wonderful that there is a dedicated group of volunteers, but the gas to power the groomers isn’t free. If everyone that used this wonderful facility donated a toonie each time they took advantage of this resource the funds would be set. Donations are also accepted online if that is your preference and I would think a tax receipt is yours in that case. Please help out.

      • Agree 100% Vic – You could also donate to the 50/50 and help out that way with a chance get some $$$ back and donate half of that as well.

      • I slipped five bucks in the box (expecting tracks packed and fast ) .
        Then had such a fun ,fast ,long ,no fall day ,pushed another five in.
        I always pay something ,$2 on a crappy weather day $5 on good days.
        The more money we donate adds up to more grooming ,fencing ,signage ,trail tweaking (and everything else that gets done).
        Giving us trail users a better experience !
        “Pay To Play”
        please remember to bring trail money

        • Well said Eric! Without contributors such as yourself, grooming would not happen. Two hundred thousand visitors will enjoy the trails this year, and a very small fraction will contribute to their maintenance. The GBCTA is fully dependent on donations to operate. Without them, we are unsustainable. We are literally ‘running out of gas’ .

          • I had a great late day ski on east telephone loop as well. For those of us from Calgary who ski at West Bragg Creek rather than driving further west, consider donating the savings in fuel for trail system maintenance.

    • WBC: East Crystal – Iron Springs – Elbow – Logger’s – West Crystal (14km)
      West Bragg Creek area constantly attracts active people. It wasn’t crowded today in the afternoon, nor was it lonely. Pleasant gliding, warm air, good conditions overall. WBC is definitely a place to go without driving far from Calgary. I love it.

  27. Elk Pass parking lot (-16 + wind) had barely our 3 vehicles in it as 10 Meanderthals headed to Martin’s Snow Couch for elevensy’s, and carried on thru West Elk Meadows down to the ACC Elk Lakes hut. We did not see anyone in 5.5 hrs except one fellow on a snowmobile at Elk Pass preparing the site for Cookie Race Mania. The West Elk Meadows are in wonderful shape and while MaSid may not be doling out cookies, it is a gem of a spot to soak up the warmth of the sun, and escape the racing frenzy. We saw a beautiful eagle soaring over us at Elk Pass. GREAT day! It was a solid 10 kms. to the hut, skiing the S-turns in and out of the woods on either side. There is usually both a separate ski trail and separate snowshoe trail but not today-it would appear. Good luck all who are competing tomorrow. The Foothills Nordic Club deserves HUGE KUDOS for putting this race on.


    Minus 18 to start, and hard to believe that it got warmer, but the car thermometer said minus 11 on our return. Swix Green worked fine.
    Pipestone is suffering from wind strewn twigs and needles, but Merlin and Drummond were very pleasant.
    I always enjoy the great views of Temple looking south.

  29. Skied the Cascade to campground and it was lovely to get out, with reasonable glide and decent tracks all the way. Mostly out of the wind except for the usual places on the return hill and road. Quiet too, definitely no complaints today.

    10 out of 10 today on Sundog / Iron Springs / Elbow. What else can one say, except Thank You Volunteer Groomers.
    ‘Live grooming’ is not showing the most recent tracksetting so check the GBCTA website.
    Air temp rose to 0C late afternoon when chinook cloud and winds arrived, but the snow remains cold and there has been no sun damage.




    Generally very good moderate to fast skiing. The first 2 km of the trail starting at the highway has low to moderate levels of pine needles on the tracks. Not much of a problem though. -15 to -25 polar Swix wax worked well on the way up. It gave me the non slip confidence on the hills to instead think about why all political donations should be banned and how that could reduce the cost of elections while creating fairer corruption free elections.

    The trail up to Shadow Lake Lodge has been widened by skier packing.
    The night time 1/2 high moon lit up Shadow Lake and made for nice shadows contrasted with bright moon shine snow. Yodeling echoes where awesome.

    Coming down Red Earth there were a lot of snowmobile ruts on the “groomed” portion of the trail. My 60mm metal edges skis got caught in the ruts a lot and it made if the most hazardous trip down that I have ever had. Someone should be grooming out the ruts to make the skiing more enjoyable and safe. Skiers need a smooth safe groomed section coming down the hills in order to avoid crashes. In some cases I could not snow plow because my skis were stuck in ruts.

    The Government may soon be charging for XC skiing in the National Parks in the near future. The Government is starving for money. The backcountry travel annual permits are being eliminated at the end of February and being replaced with a $9.80 per night fee plus a $11 registration fee. This means backcountry overnight travel will more than double in price for a person going out for one night (over $20/night which is absurd for primitive camping sites!!!). Multi week backcountry travel costs will go up by more than 400% depending on trip length. For some cost perspective, cabins in BC’s Mount Assiniboine Park only cost $15/night and a camping fee is $7.50/night and there is running water there! If the government is jacking up these backcountry fees, one must be prepared that costs will be coming for XC skiing as more money is spent on XC ski trails than the backcountry trails. People may potentially be paying $20/ day for XC skiing in the near future. Charging any fees in National Parks is a regressive tax which harms the poor- not the wealthy. Parks should be for everyone, not just the wealthy. Under PM Pierre Trudeau, backcountry travel was free because he had respect for the poor. Write your MP and PM to stop the regressive Liberal tax increases on the land that we the people own! Make way for democratic advancement and Parks for all.


      I forgot to mention I skied to Shadow Lake and beyond yesterday (Thursday).

    • My perspective: free xc skiing increases fitness and reduces health care costs. Tricky to prove to an office based budget guru, despite the principal of it. Need to do better at making the case. I suspect the need for back country fee increases may be related to rescue and public safety costs vs overall budgets. Maybe better educaction and awareness is needed.

    • Back in Ottawa, Gatineau park charges, which is run by the National Capital Commission, has always charged as far as I can remember. Idea that you shouldn’t pay is anachronistic. x-country requires a lot more inputs than normal summer trail maintenance. We also pay fees for things like using some public recreation facilities, sports leagues pay fees to use fields and courts. as for the regressive argument, you need a car to be able to get out to ski and then you need skis. The poor, as far as i can tell, aren’t the ones that will be impacted by x-country fees. freeing up government money for needed, not optional, social services, is going to do more to help marginalised groups than subsidising skiing for people that can afford to ski in the first place. Gatineau park season pass is 160$ for an adult, 105$ for seniors and students and 95$ for kids. Slightly cheaper than Canmore, but both seem reasonable. Two adults and two kids to the movies in YYC is 45$ before popcorn and extras. Same group going to Canmore nordic and the charge is 48$. There is huge academic literature on user fees, but one point on the plus side is that fees can give a greater sense of ownership and demands for improved service.

      • Meanwhile, truckers driving straight through the park don’t pay a cent, and a good chunk of Banff’s budget is spent on highway maintenance. The way I see it, they are asking backpackers and xc skiers to sponsor the trucking industry.


          Arie, you are so right.

          Railways as well do not pay Park use fees either and as far as I know, various businesses do not either.

          According to the Huff Post, Banff obtained $39,000,000 for additional one time funding in 2016 (see: Most of the funds went to the highway upgrading and some to the “valley” highway day facilities or infrastructure. I saw lots of trees get cut along the highway in Banff for no good make work reasons whereas there are places like the Redearth Creek parking lot where the poorly maintained game fence is being damaged from heavy snow laden brush weighing down the fencing wire.

          I have requested to see the back country budget from the Banff Superintendent but was not given access to what should be freely democratically available information.


        CD you suggest not having to pay is “anachronistic.” Here in Alberta we don’t directly pay for health care, fire services, police services, outdoor skating rinks, safe injection sites, kids education, eye exams, bike paths and so much more. So the concept of not paying for something directly is not anachronistic as you suggest, it is democratic. You suggest the poor will not be impacted by fees, but that is not correct. The poor and people on fixed incomes will be impacted the most as they always are. Banff had many more visitors during Canada 150 because it was free for all. Some poor people catch rides with friends to get where they want to go. This includes XC skiing. The poor can borrow skis or buy them dirt cheap at or from other sources. Because someone is poor does not mean you can’t have some fun but they do have to prioritise. Many poor people are the young as well, such as students and low wage earners who can only afford to get to the Parks a few times per year.

        You also suggest that “fees can give a greater sense of ownership and demands for improved service.” When the poor are exclude from the Parks, that they own in part, because of fees, they do not feel a sense of ownership whatsoever. They feel rejected. People can make demands for improved services as you also suggest but that does not mean they will get it. Backcountry travel was free under PM Trudeau Senior and the trails were in better shape. PM Mulroney brought in annual fees and the quality of trial maintenance by Parks has increasingly declined ever since.

        Parks Canada has refused to allow volunteer backcountry trail maintenance by citizens. That is the key to better backcountry trails that will not cost the government any money. Perhaps a box could be put up at XC trail heads asking for donations, like what occurs at some XC sites in other jurisdictions. There could also be corporate or individual sponsorship of trails like what we see along some highways in order to clean up garbage. I think other folks could also come up with other low cost solutions to our backcountry problems that does not involve taxing the disappearing middle class or the poor.

    • Democracy Repressor

      This is not the place for political grandstanding. Take it somewhere else.

  32. WBC Feb 22
    Remarkable conditions at West Bragg yesterday. We skied Telephone, Moose Loop, Moose Connector, Loggers Loop, Sundog and East Crystal. Good tracks almost everywhere, including Telephone. Glide was a bit slow with the skiff of new snow and the cold temperatures. Old green wax worked well all day.

  33. A very busy day around Pocaterra hut today. Lots of folks out enjoying the nice day. When I arrived around 9 a.m it was a chilly -21c. I spent the majority of the day carving the snow podium for the cookie race and once that was complete I did a short ski on Pocaterra and Come-along trails before heading home. The area has plenty of snow to work with so once all the tracksetting is complete conditions should be excellent for Saturday’s race.

  34. Spray towards Goat Creek

    I had a late start directly South of the Banff Fairmont Springs hotel on the Spray. I had the trail to myself other than one couple I met, with the gentleman wearing an oversized CKUA button (Andy Donelly, was that you?). Track set is still in fine shape, aside from a few needles here and there, but’s that nothing to bark about.

  35. BAKER CREEK towards MORANTS CURVE – Feb 21

    Surprised to find that the tracksetting no longer goes all the way to Morants Curve. Nevertheless, the 3 kms of fresh tracksetting west of Baker Creek provided a very pleasant outing.
    A raucous Steller’s jay & numerous warbling pine grosbeaks feeding on seeds deposited by train grain cars enlivened the sunny views. No sign of Helen’s moose… only tracks!

  36. Mt Shark pristine grooming and bluebird skies starting at 1:30 in -14. VR 40 working day after day after day. Never seen the groomed trails quite so wide before; a skate skiers paradise. Some wind but each time you tucked down a loop, you’d escape it. Learned that the name of the creek beside the picnic table is not surprisingly Watridge Creek! The 5 kms Recreational Loop was beautifully skier tracked and looked SO tempting but time would not allow. No complaints, HeatherD; chatted with some skiers who came out from Assiniboine and this morning they had the coldest temp on record -36!

  37. Jan 21. Skied Bowness Park this afternoon. Looked like fairly new tracksetting (within the last day or so?). There are 2 groomed loops, one in the space west of the playground and a long skinny loop alongside the river. Tracks were pretty fast with only a little debris here and there. It’s nice to have such good options for skiing in town.

  38. Definitely tired of the cold mornings and hikes to fill the afternoons, so today we checked out the Tunnel Mountain Campground trails trackset by volunteers. The predicted west wind was its usual force, but the loops beyond the power line were quite nice and so we did them twice before facing the wind to come back. Great place for a quick ski or for those new to the sport. Thanks to the volunteers, can’t wait to skate ski the next corduroy!

  39. Skied Shaganappi Point on fresh tracksetting today. Believe I did all the groomed, trackset trails. A couple of Calgary Ski Club volunteers have done some fine community service at the golf course today.

    • I was there too; after work (perhaps we crossed paths). Finally I was able to get to Shaganappi before the Snow Eater and it was fantastic. I even got a chance to say Thanks to the groomers. Given the forecast, it should be good for a couple of weeks. Knock wood!

  40. Nice ski out to Stoney Creek Warden’s Cabin. Also nice to meet Chuck on the trail. See his Pics Feb20th
    For full report and pictures see link

  41. STONEY CREEK – Feb 20

    Nice to meet Helen and her group of Meanderthals, and even better to relieve her of huge box of (delicious) home-made cookies that she trusted us to deliver to the Banff Tracksetter!
    Check out the day’s mouth-watering details here:!ApWd3WZ3ra9NhAiMNsoOzVTrlV8K

  42. Skied the full enchilada at WBC on Monday, starting at Fullerton trailhead, heading north up Iron Springs, then East Crystal, Telephone Loop, Moose, Mtn View West, Loggers and then south on Elbow back to the trailhead. 40km loop on a stunner of a day. As good as it gets…

  43. PLPP Loop Conquered
    Jamie and I had been wanting to ski the whole loop around PLPP for a long time. Today was the day! The route we took covered 35 km of incredible trails. We started at the Pocaterra Hut at 10:20 a.m. under a temperature of -28 C. We skied counter clockwise under a perfect blue sky up the freshly groomed hill to Sinclair and Lodgepole outer loops. Part of our route took us via Wheeler and Moraine. We detoured slightly to do all of the Elk Pass route. Lunch in the warm sun at the Blueberry Hill junction was quite pleasant and shared with three local whiskey jacks. Tyrwhitt was trackset a few days ago but the new snow slowed us down somewhat. The final stretch took us via Pocaterra, with a celebratory fun ski on Rolly Road, enjoying the last fast downhill. It took us some hours to cover this distance but we only encountered 30 other skiers all day! It was another awesome day on the trails. WE ARE SO LUCKY to have so many trails available to us. We appreciated all the fresh grooming today.

  44. WBC. Telephone loop-Mountain Road. Stable -12 with some windchill. Old green wax worked well enough, glide was a bit slow. Great late afternoon ski in firm tracks – slightly wider skis would have have felt more stable on some of the east telephone downhills today.
    Forest, snow, shadow and sky were the main event until a surprise cameo by a cute red fox with big bushy tail in the parking lot at day’s end.

  45. First time ever on telephone loop at WBC. What a fun trail in conditions like these. New grooming and track setting were perfect and just two ice flows that were small and easy to navigate. I understand the recommendation to have light touring skis, but in conditions like today edgeless regulars worked perfectly fine.

  46. Mon feb 19: elk/west elk.
    -26 at 1030 at the elk pass trailhead. -16 on return at 5. But fantastic sunny warm conditions at the couch and the west elk meadows with light winds. Helen arrived to help with wall building (complete with gifts and Treats!) and we broke trail through the meadows to the hydroline and back. Now Barbara B. has a track to follow, which should be good for a while with no significant snow expected. Tracks are good and solid throughout with a wind crust underneath the latest storm snow. Pole plants are solid too and I expect skinny skis could even make the trip right now. Such a good spot for an exploratory cruise. Check it out on a sunny day. Maybe you will spot the snow dinosaur. lt felt like -10 at the couch with the sun trap and heat affect of the couch. Sunny hours at the couch are about 1130-4 with prime suntanning about 1-3 (my face is burnt now, spring must be close). Now, why didn’t Henry show up I wonder, surely he has some bipolar wax. (-;

  47. WBC, started on green finished on blue wax, no need to report one any particular trail, they are all in spectacular condition, absolutely gorgeous on Mountain View totally still, crystal clear blue skies, brilliant white snow and not another soul or sound, we are so privileged.

  48. Jean-Francois Richy

    Skoki lodge – Day trip
    The car temperature was -30C when we started xcountry skiing at 8:45am.
    Blue skies, no wind and wonderful landscapes once we arrived around halfway cabin. The trail was a mix bag of snowshoes tracks, ski tracks and snowmobile tracks but generally in good shape, due to the very cold temperature the glide was not great but good enough to allow a safe descent from Deception pass on xcountry skis with no edge….
    At the lodge we had the pleasure to meet one of the new manager Vanessa and along our way we met the usual crowd of people skiing out of the lodge and they praise the new management for continuing to offer delicious food. When we arrived at the car the temperature was -16C.
    A great day!

  49. Goat Creek 10km in and out
    Frosty (-23) and sunny morning, not a stir of the air, quiet and beautiful! The father you go from the Goat Creek parking, the better the tracks. Used Swix V green – got good grip, but slow gliding. Those who endeavored to go there might had enjoyed a spectacular view on the river by Goat Creek bridge:

  50. -28 at Evan Thomas parking lot right now!

  51. My friend Elizabeth and I participated in the Yoho Loppet to support the trail grooming by the Kicking Horse Ski Club on Saturday. Conditions were frosty to start (-19 deg C). We warmed up quickly since the trail to Emerald Lake was an uphill roll from the Field Visiter Centre through a forest laden with snow. Beautiful conditions and thanks to Parks Canada for loaning the Kicking Horse Club a grooming machine after theirs had a mechanical meltdown! Once we reached Emerald Lake where there was hot cider, and homemade goodies we decided to complete a 30 km loop by skiing around the lake and the alluvial fan.. By then the temperature was a balmy -5 and the mountain vistas were spectacular! Kudos to Jessica for organizing such a relaxing Loppet!

  52. TYRWHITT – Beautiful day out at the south end of PLPP. We just decided to go there last night, expecting the usual weekend crowds and then some. Much to our surprise, we showed up at Boulton Bridge and had first tracks on gorgeous new tracksetting. That continued just to the Lookout junction. We were on LT skis as we expected to be breaking trail on Tyrwhitt and it was magical up there. The sun started coming out, and the -19C weather didn’t feel bad at all. Breezy up at Elk Pass though, so we pressed on to Blueberry Junction for lunch and where we met the infamous Ma Sid (Happy Birthday if that’s today or this weekend!). Got some good beta on how to press through West Elk to get to Elk Lakes via the back way, so need to try that again (GPS track, anyone, to make it third time a charm from this end? Only found my way through up from the cabin one. Last time we ended up IN the waterfall at GR363029). With all the fresh snow the tracks were slow (had to push down the black hill from Elk Pass), but the snow pillows below Blueberry Junction were phenomenal. Finished off on Fpx Creek and Boulton. Gorgeous day out!

    • Not so Sad. Gotta love autocorrect. Pleasure meeting you guys today. Ski by feel, not by GPS, below tree line anyway, tap into those built in way finding skills and then you can go and explore anywhere (topo maps essential of course).

  53. Two more WBC skis, one Friday aft, the other Sunday aft. Friday, -2C, was worried conditions would be too soft, but after adjusting grip one wax softer, worked well. Moose Loop with a couple up-and-backs up Mountain Road to “top” past junction before it drops down. Sunday, it had snowed a few cm over weekend then turned cold -15C to -17. Skied exact same route and a big shout out to Jeff and groomer crew who must have pulled big duty in cold conditions to create hard tracks like you might find at CNC. Grippy new snow, although not fast b/c of cold temp, enjoyable and good workout. V20 green, for the record. Area was quiet both days. Again, great job grooming, and thanks – much appreciated.

    • I measured about 13cm of new snow that fell in the past 2 days at WBC. All of the trails have been groomed again and conditions are excellent. I used Special Green today and had plenty of grip with slowish glide. It is definitely cold, new snow!
      The big new parking lot was about 20% full… but that’s still about 100 vehicles.

  54. We ventured to Emerald Lake to check out the skiing there. After crossing the lake we got onto the trail in the trees where we had to dodge debris and snow clumps. Once out in the open we were faced with up to 1.5 ft of wind drifts so the first Loop was a challeng but subsequent loops were nice after we warmed up (-18 C with fairly strong east wind). Some of our group bailed and moved to Natural Bridge. We ended up skiing along Emerald River in the glorious sunshine on a decent trail with some debris. By this time it had warmed up to -15 C. After arriving at Kicking Horse trail junction we were blocked by a tree so turned around to head back for warmth and nourishment. With some re-waxing (VR30), no problem heading back up the hill. All in all a great day skiing with good friends. This is my first trip report but am fortunate to ski with some regular reporters. Stay warm!

  55. Goat Creek to Spray River Loop jct
    Started at 10:15, there were only 2 skiers ahead of me. When I passed them, I had to break the trail: 1 inch of fresh snow over yesterday. That new snow is a great refresh! It’s all clean white soft 🙂 Gliding downhills was enjoyable and quite a workout uphill. Cold and calm day. The plan is to repeat it tomorrow.

  56. Sun feb 18: elk/west elk.
    -20 in the lot at 930 and -18 on return at 3. Not much warming today, despite the slightly sunnier skies to the south. A light but cool north breeze with thin cloud reducing solar affect. Luckily lots of shovelling to do. There was a several day old track heading to the meadows. Ankle trail breaking in the track, boot top off trail initially then ankle deep in the more open wind pressed areas (fat AT skis, which were not necessary). No surface wind crusts, just pleasant supportive snow. Couch is open for business again. Needs more work though. The wind walls and back of couch are no longer the preferred height. But doable with a warm hooded jacket. Don’t forget your foamy like I did! Didn’t break trail through the meadows to hydroline given the cold wind in the open, even at my back. Brrr! Toughest part of the day was digging for the chocolates. Like a good Easter egg hunt. Not many folks out at all. Parking lot was empty when I got there and only two other cars when I left. Even pocaterra hut was far less then full for a long weekend.

    • Seeing chucks note below, heard several avalanches while at the couch in the vicinity of mt fox and the turret, but didn’t see anything.

      • MaSid, I wish you a happy birthday weekend, and it’s great to see that you got to spend some time at your favourite haunt. Now, can you remind me as to what was Helen’s big excuse for not being there on such an occasion? -)

        • Thank you Henry! Family commitments (family day weekend and all). Can’t complain about that eh. I had a cranberry raspberry vodka chocolate in Helens honour, compliments of her stash. Tomorrow should be a good day there, warmer with some full force sun and the potential for some Avalanche viewing on mt fox. Unfortunately looks like I’ll be taking a friend new to skiing at shag in cowtown. If that doesn’t pan out, I’ll zip out there again, push the trail further on light touring gear. Met a couple at blueberry today who were prior couch/chocolate stash visitors. (-:


    We had to check out the new avalanches that crossed Redearth this year.!ApWd3WZ3ra9Ng34NUiyUwL1iRWYs
    This year’s one came down an old path that we have often seen people stop at for tea, snack and a view!

    • Oh, that’s interesting! I noticed a few days ago Banff Park was telling us to stay away from Redearth due to avalanche danger. Do you know when it came down?

    • I note you wrote Feb 18th beside Redearth Avalanches. When did this most recent one happen? Is it recorded anywhere, such as ?

      • This recent avalanche actually came down twice in the same location in the first week of this month as the new managers were opening the lodge.
        It is massive, and well worth a look now!
        The trail is trackset but fairly hard packed.

  58. West Bragg Creek. Absolutely stelkar conditions on Feb 17, 2018. This recent new snow has left the trails in excellent condition. Get out and enjoy!

  59. Confederation Park or Maple Ridge Golf Course?

    I’d like to take my teen son Skate skiing in Calgary today. Did anyone ski Confed Park or Maple Ridge yesterday? Any intel on the conditions for Skate skiing in particular?

    Mucho gracias.

    • I have been skiing Mapleridge since they groomed it on Tuesday. With yesterday’s snow, the tracks are in great condition, maybe a bit too much snow for skate skiing?

      • As of this morning Confederation in great shape with good skier/track setting and skate lane grooming. Nasty windchill however so add face protection and dress warm! The sun makes it quite enjoyable. Enjoy!

        • Thanks Elaine and Judy,
          We attempted Confed Park for Skate skiing. Having only skiied there once before I wasn’t sure where to park. We parked on 24th Ave NW but it wasn’t a great place to access the skate trails from.
          Any suggestions for next time for parking?
          The windchill was truly nasty through the golf course and my son couldn’t get his fingers warm so we aborted after 20mins. Oh well.

  60. Field -Emerald Lake
    tally ho-connector-part of the lake trail-fan loop-horse trail-kicking horse .

    super fantastic conditions !!hats off to Jessica ,groomers , rest of team and all the skiers today for “best of the best” ,”near perfect conditions” ,awesome skiing with silky good clean snow and excellent track-setting !
    storm came in late afternoon ,light snow ,strong wind ,still great skiing to be had but the connecter is now debris and snow bombed from reconnector to the last big hill before dropping down to emerald river.south section of tally ho drifting in tracks and south end of alluvial fan has drifting (north end still excellent).nice jem of a place to ski !

    • Sounds like you chose Option #3 skiing The Tally Ho AND Connector AND Horse Trail AND Alluvial Fan AND Kicking Horse Trail for the great Yoho KHSC Challenge. Yes, plentiful snow over the Divide for sure.

  61. SANDY McNABB – This was my first time skiing Sandy McNabb, after always heading out to the mountains to ski instead. It is so worthwhile to go though for a shorter day from the city. Conditions today were wonderful for light touring! Fresh powder from last night, enough hills, and some nice cruising. We started from the Sheep office and skied Pine Ridge Loop, Balsam Link, Death Valley, detoured to the second parking area, and finished on Long Prairie Loop. Great conditions and quite scenic! The only ‘obstacles’ were one ice flow on Pine Ridge (easily seen), a couple of sticks sticking through on Balsam (which otherwise had snow past our ankles), and a couple of logs across the trail on Balsam and Death Valley. Beautiful!

  62. Skogan Pass Trail

    This is a belated report that the entire Skogan Pass Trail was in excellent condition on Thursday Feb. 15, and probably still is. Tracksetting was just being done.

  63. Pipestone – our group of 13 had a great time here today. Parking lot was nearly full when we pulled in at 11am to -12C. Most skied the Pipestone Loop counter-clockwise, with some doing a few side trails. Everything in great shape on the two day old tracksetting. The last downhill section, from Pipestone pond to near the parking area, was so much fun we went back up on Hector and skied it again. Light flurries all day, finished at -10C.

  64. Amazing conditions today at Golden’s Dawn Mountain near base of dh Ski hill. Fresh grooming but lightly snowing all morning and early aft. Made for slow xc but beautiful overall. I also found a few epic hill Climbs which I know you climbers would love. The new snow made for very controlled downhills and corners for all levels. After the classic loop w family (plus an extra few km) i managed another 7km of skate on now softer and less tracked routes which whilst awesome was a bit of a suffer fest. Amazing trails. We need to come more more often!!

  65. West Bragg Creek starting around 10:30 am Saturday. This was my first time at WBC this year. Lots of parking spots available – I like the look of the new parking lot and facilities. Freshly groomed trails and a winter wonderland with fresh snow on the ground and trees, and more coming down. I did Mountain Road, Mountain View, Moose Connector, Crystal Line and Sundog Loop. Did some skating and some classic. The skate lane was in good shape albeit a little soft in places. Classic tracks were also in good shape. V30 gave great grip but my glide wasn’t great and I wonder if V20 might have been a better choice.

  66. Jean-Francois Richy

    WBC – Iron Springs, Elbow, Loggers, Mountain view, Moose.
    It was -13C at 8:45am and the groomers had just finished grooming most trails. Only Iron Springs and Elbow were not groomed and covered with almost 5cm of fresh fluffy snow. A very pleasant skiing, it started snowing at around 10:30am.

  67. Skied Maple Ridge this morning, I was early (8ish) and the tracks were filled with snow but mostly visible. It was a little icy in spots. Rumor has it that the city track sets every Wednesday, and I have heard confirmations from coworkers that that this has been the case these last three weeks.

  68. Cascade Valley.
    It is good to be back to AAS ( Abundant Alberta Snow). There was no skiing in southeast Wisconsin this winter. Ellen and I had our first X-C ski this winter yesterday at CNC on the Bow- Banff loop. Today we did a mid afternoon tour of Cascade Valley. As Ray noted it was track set yesterday. Unfortunately it seems the over night temps were not enough to set a hard track. Although slow, the snow seemed faster today than yesterday at CNC. Everyone we talked to commented about the few skiers on the trail. Only a few skiers went past the bridge. The skate lane showed that not a single skater had ventured up the long hill by late afternoon. It looks like most skier took the turn to Cascade rather than head up the road to Georgetown.

  69. Canmore Nordic Centre: excellent conditions. Majority of Meadowview was double trackset on the uphill (counterclockwise) direction, which I’d never seen before. Likely in preparation for Grizzly Loppet & Relay Sunday Feb 18.

    • Not only were Banff Trail, Banff Loops and Meadowview beautifully trackset but they were pretty much free of tree debris!

      • Also, they finally groomed the complete Olympic/Centennial loop, so you can finish your Meadowview traverse by zooming back to the day lodge!

  70. Ribbon Creek today – arrived to -4 temp and some blue sky, and managed to stay ahead of the ominous building snow cloud from the west while we were there. Skied the perimeter trails (Terrace/Kovach/Link to Ribbon Creek) approx 10.89km so then skied to the Nakiska Road to get our 12km in. A good mix of track setting – skier/rolled and set through out. Only 5 cars in the parking lot. Lovely day.
    *Do be aware of the poor signage heading west from the Ribbon Creek Parking lot, before the dangerous descent down to the creek. The sign has a black diamond and a blue square. Definately a double black!* MUCH easier approaching from the Kovach end, albeit a big uphill climb.

  71. Awesome WBC, arrived 10am,only a handful of vehicles dotted around the parking lots, classic skied a loop around Crystal, Mountain Road, Mountain View West, Moose, excellent conditions everywhere. Jip and I then had a quick lunch before changing gear to light touring and heading off around Telephone loop, best conditions I’ve ever seen on telephone, nice wide packed trail and now its track set, the skidoo came past us about half way around, a couple of ice flows to navigate but plenty of warning and time to plan a route. A really great day.

  72. Ernie, LG and Ruby

    Arrived WBC about 10:45 after reading Groomer Jeff’s report from last night

    “Get out and enjoy it, conditions are fantastic out there!” yes they were

    The WBC Crew are great!!! Out Mountain View Road Moose Loop counter clockwise down Tom Snow (1st time so nice it was) Mountain View road to West Crystal Line Awesome just Awesome. Felt guilty only donating once today. So come on folks DONATE!!!!!!! do the 50/50 !!!!!!!!

  73. Jean-Francois Richy

    WBC, -8C at 9:30 this morning, good grip on Iron Springs / Elbow / Loggers / W Crystal with V30 Blue wax. The trails are for the most part in good conditions and the the glide was excellent.

  74. We had a great day at Ribbon Creek and Village Trails. Tracks were in good condition and all the hills were just right for fun descents.

  75. Superb conditions at WBC this afternoon. I skied West Crystal-Moose Connector
    Mountain Road-Mountain View-Loggers-East Crystal and the full Sundog Loop.
    I call this my “afterwork special”, as there are many options along the route to extend or shorten the skiing, depending on time and energy. Everything was freshly groomed and trackset throughout, with the only hazard being an ice flow towards the west end of lower West Crystal.

    • West Bragg Creek
      Here are some photos to go with Steve’s report.
      West Bragg Creek got between 5 and 10cm of snow and all of the trails were groomed within 24 hours. Excellent conditions on all of the trails right now.
      Great conditions too, for snowshoeing and fat-biking. At WBC there is a huge alternate network of trails for non-skiers.

  76. Safe drive out to Field this morning arriving shortly after 10:00. -18 and Tally Ho had corduroy track done fairly recently. Got to the junction of The Connector, where the never-ending uphill started in about 15 cms. of previous day’s powder. Knowing the big Kicking Horse Ski Challenge was happening this coming Saturday, and not being able to make it, we intended to try the easiest Option 1: skiing from Field to the Lake and back. About 3 cms. shy of the Lake, we had a Salomon binding malfunction. You would think at least one of the 4 of us would have had something sharp in our packs; such as a knife to chip away at the ice, but the boot kept popping out every other step. In unsupported powder, this was a difficult place to even try walking the rest of the trail. We were right where the dippers do their dipping (one of Chuck’s previous photos) and since we were fairly close to the main road, used Gorilla tape (not particularly useful in moisture) to hold the boot into the binding to at least get over to the road. The shuttle took us to the Lodge/Lounge and their wonderful beers on tap (Tall Timber Ale) were just what the doctor ordered!!! A delicious lunch later, and almost 3pm, two gals met a lovely couple from the US, who gave them a ride back to Field to fetch the CRV. Joe went by on the snowmobile and worked very hard all day on the trails for this w/e event. A stunning day of scenery and an experience on the Connector we will not soon forget. We shall return!

  77. Mt Shark – pristine tracks at Mt Shark this am thanks to fresh grooming overnight (and I didn’t leave any doggy prints in any of them!) Great first time ski-joring there this season. -11C, green wax for the humans and they said it was a little slow on the glide (not that I noticed!) Heads-up for anyone going tomorrow – it was very windy today, especially on the ridge tops, so there may be some wind sift in the tracks tomorrow.

  78. Cascade Valley – by the time I finish typing this trip report, it may be obsolete, but here it is anyway. Started at 10:30am to -17C and blue skies. The recent tracksetting had been covered by 8-10cm of new snow, with one person somewhere ahead breaking trail (for about 3km – thanks!). Slow going up the big hill, but grip was excellent with green (V30) and blue (V40) waxes. On reaching the top, new snow coverage was a bit thinner (6-8cm), improving our glide slightly. By the time we reached the Cascade River bridge, the new snow was only 3-4cm deep. At the 10km mark, we turned around, and enjoyed the return ski in our own tracksetting. Set a new record descending the big hill – for slowest speed. Several people were going out as we returned. -10C at the finish (2:45pm). Just before we left the parking lot, the Parks Canada snowmobile arrived, and the grooming equipment was being attached as we departed the trailhead. So expect better conditions tomorrow.

  79. Maple Ridge golf course.
    Classic tracks appear to be set yesterday. On the upper level, bordering Acadia Drive and the residences, tracks were firm and slightly cushioned by 1 cm of snow last night, making for fast and enjoyable skiing. Tracks on the south facing hill to the lower level were absent, and the grooming here was a bit icy. I did not venture all the way down.

    • The tracks on the lower sections are fine and the hills are all pretty good. Very hard tracks but no worries about ice. If you can’t get to the mountains, Maple Ridge is an ideal and quiet alternative.

  80. Does anyone know if there is any evening skiing pissible at west bragg creek? I have a headlamp, just not sure if it is accessible in the evening.

    • Yup! Bikers riding it at all hours!

    • Definitely more than possible. I’ve done it a few times. It’s awesome and fun. As I’m a bit risk averse I prefer to XC ski with a buddy, and even then we stay within about 5km of the parking lot which still allows for a LOT of trails – including Mountain view, the full Crystal trails, Loggers, Sundog. I’d suggest at least 200 lumen, but you really do not need the eye-piercing 1000lumens that a lot of MTB lights give out (which you can turn down).

      In the same vein, CNC is also a hoot at night. You don’t have to stick just to the lit trails. BUT beware there are some people who ski the non-lit trails without lighting who may not respect left/right tracks and directions. So at the very least have a small light TO BE SEEN. Some see no need for lights as apparently it’s all about them and the heck with putting others at risk. Kinda like drivers who don’t have any lights on in the dark or bad snow storms.

    • Yes, evening/night skiing is quite popular at WBC. Literally hundreds of kids in the XCBC club do this every week.

  81. Arrived to fresh grooming on Meadow/Wooley/Amos and Wheeler (and live grooming site is now updated) with even some blue skies prevailing in -5. Then quite suddenly the weather system changed around 2:00 pm so we headed back to WWL parking pronto. Drive home was a bit sketchy in the usual Lac Des Arcs and Deadman’s Flats area. Not that much snow to shovel however on return home. Stay safe.

  82. CASCADE VALLEY – Feb 14

    Following yesterday’s set track to Stoney was a good destination for Valentine’s Day. Rewarded with a soft , lovely snowfall on the return…..magical:!ApWd3WZ3ra9Ng3S5XOwy8mmqp-_5
    Nice to see Barb Banff out enjoying the new tracksetting. Thanks to to the Banff tracksetter for the excellent tracks. It must be nice for him to have all this snow to work with. No more wobbles!

  83. Managed to squeak in an pleasant Valentine ski out in WBC this afternoon.
    A few cms of new snow helped cover up that nasty “schnook crust” from yesterday. Snow temp -6 C, air temp about the same but dropping as we finished.

  84. Wednesday 0700-0800 Confederation Park. Skied the yellow and blue loops, tracks were glazed, frozen and fast after yesterday’s chinook. The tracks are still quite well defined, so if things stay cool this will be good skiing for a while – just need the appropriate wax or technique.

  85. Ribbon Creek was great! Similar to Bob’s report from the same area.

    +4 on the Morley Flats, and high wind. But when we got to the parking lot at 10:30am, it was -5 (snow temp -8). Some wind in the parking lot, but on the trail it wasn’t bad except for one windy burst just as we crossed the bridge at the far end of Ribbon Creek trail. Temperature hovered between 0 and +3 thereafter (chinook must have touched down). Only 5-6 other cars in the lot when we arrived.

    Tracksetting done the day before was pristine and smooth. Descending the switchbacks on Ribbon Creek trail was fun! Up Link, up and down Kovacs, down Terrace and back to the parking lot for 10.5km. I think we saw 2 other skiers on the trail the whole time.

    Back at the parking lot at 1pm the temperature had raised to +3 and the wind was up.

    Surprisingly little drifting in the tracks, few snow bombs and hardly any debris on the trail.

    Altogether a fabulous day.

  86. 9 Canmore Meanderthals skied to Sundance Lodge today. Healy Creek in decent shape but gets wind exposure so more needles there than Brewster Creek. Heading up Brewster we had one snowmobile fresh track and one skier track which disappears from time to time. Mitch, a great staffer (from Queensland) at the Lodge could not have been more hospitable as we spreaded out and ate our lunch on the balcony. There are a few old avalanche sites one skis by, or at least they looked like avalanche-damaged trees. VR 45 worked well for uphill, but possibly should have rewaxed with VR 50 for return trip, as it was -5 or warmer by then. The old horse thermometer on the balcony needs replacing. Go Canada Go!

  87. Anyone been to the couch and through the west elk meadows since this last batch of storm cycles? Might require wider skiis currently if no track, and a bigger shovel!

    • Doesn’t look like Martin is getting a lot of response on his question above, but today, Friday Feb 16th is his birthday. He is more than likely going to celebrate it this w/e out in West Elk Meadows (once he clears off The Couch!). Unfortunately I cannot join him this w/e but if anyone is heading out that way, bring a shovel or help him break some trail. He has a sweet tooth!

  88. Afternoon skate ski at Shaganappi. EC says 8 degrees in town and conditions were squishy but holding up. I imagine that classic will require waxless or klister. Sad to see the amount of damage the chinook had done but if the forecast snow materializes, a quick groom should restore Shag to skiing goodness.

    • I was there between 4:30 and 6:00 on my waxless set. It was fun, but I was sad too. What could have been if the temps had just stayed down a bit 🙁

  89. Ernie, LG and Ruby

    Arrived WBC at 11:00 few cars and plus 4/5 we were wax-less didn’t care.
    It was calm and clouded over did a great loop experiencing some track set magic by the groomers. Glide was good and the middle was soft enough for some hi-speed plowing when the zoom zoom was in the big gear. East Crystal Line, Iron Springs, Elbow,Loggers and West Crystal Line to the parking lot. But wait this is toooooooo good -Thanks Groomers, out Mtn Rd, Moose Connector, by the time we were at the top of Moose Connector The Snow Eater came roaring in and the push back down West Crystal Line was record time. At 3:10 the sun was out and the wind was howling – glad we went today !!!!

    • We skied much the same program as you, on wax and starting out a bit earlier. Silky smooth conditions and VR 50 worked great until the sun came out, making for a bit of slip at times especially on the south facing uphills. The more northerly aspect “core trails” were still decent on wax in the early afternoon.

  90. As the winner of the skier Bob Emerald Lake contest, we spent Sunday and Monday nights at this beautiful lodge!

    On Sunday we skied to Lake O’Hara on perfectly groomed tracks, plenty of snow, a mix of sun and cloud. No icy downhills!

    Friends on the trail told us to be sure and check out the snow depth in Field so we headed there. Incredible snow banks! Another friend said there is more snow this year than in all the 36 years she has lived in Field!
    Monday we skied out toward Emerald basin. Ski tracks close to the lodge and along the lake have been compromised by walkers and snow shoe folks but the loop beyond was better. The trees are spectacularly laden with snow, some with big bombs on the tops!
    The groomers in Yoho have been frustrated by malfunctioning equipment so there is no track on Kicking Horse or Takakkakaw.

    Today, Tuesday, we planned to ski the Telemark trails at Lake Louise however we found out at visitor information that those trails were in a mess because the Calgary ski club groomer was widening the trail in preparation for the March 4th Lake Louise loppet. Traditionally they have groomed a double track for that race instead of the presently set single track. Hopefully, the double will be set soon. So, bottom line, we skied Pipestone instead on perfectly groomed tracks. Again, picturesque trees with overloaded snow burden. Some snow bombs–wind in the tree tops.

    Thank you Emerald Lake and Bob for this wonderful prize!

    • Nice to meet Bev at Emerald Lake yesterday. We skied the Tree Hugger and Fan today. Like noted it’s in fair skier tracked condition. Nice to ski if staying at ELL.

  91. Skied Pipestone today. -9º at start, -6º at finish, VR45 good Looks like it was trackset yesterday, though parts of it are changing fast. Some wind, especially at pond and on west side. There is still a lot of snow clinging to trees and “tree bomb debris” on the trail and into forest. Trail peppered with pine needles as well. All said, still lovely to be out.

  92. Spray River Loop and beyond, at Banff today: We parked behind the Banff Springs Hotel and skied out on the west side of the Spray River, 10 kms to the Spray River Bridge. We met skiers from the Calgary Seniors Outdoor Club who had started from the Goat Creek parking lot behind Canmore and who were reporting good conditions. Most of the trail was sheltered, but in the Spray valley by the bridge, the wind was sending snow billowing off the trees. We returned north and then skied the east side of the river to the golf course, and then walked back to our van. It was -7C at the start and -1 at finish. VR40 and 45 worked well for us today, and the tracks were very fast. We found that the wind in the afternoon had begun to blow snow into the tracks and bring down a bit of debris from the trees, but not enough to bother us. It may be a different story tomorrow if the wind continues all night.

  93. Monday 12-Feb 1400-1630, Confederation Park, did a 24k ski (yes, many laps!) of the golf course, lots of snow, the tracks were in fair to good shape. There was still some creaking from the tacks so the snow is still packing. The skating lanes looked quite soft still. According to the grooming report these trails have been groomed and tracks reset since I skied them, so should be really nice now!

  94. Spectacular bluebird day at Nipika yesterday with only about 4 cars in the parking lot. It was -15C and used VR30 which provided great grip except a bit slippy in a few sunny south facing sections. Great tracks probably trackset a few days ago as there was about 2 cm of snow in a few outer sections not yet skied in till I got there. The whole area is regularly trackset for both skate and classic. Make a point of skiing to the Natural Bridge, down to the Kootenay River and along the Cross River Canyon which yesterday and on a sunny day are unbelievably beautiful. If you haven’t been here before you have to go for the fantastic scenery and tranquility, as there are never very many skiers here.

  95. In regards to the Lower Telemark, my guess is they are trying to pack it down more solidly. I was on it yesterday, and while it looked beautiful, it was very soft. They received so much snow last week, that one pass and a track set meant that your poles were disappearing about 10cm, and even a solid diagonal stride kick was collapsing the track. My guess is they realized this and are packing it down again before they track set it again. It will make it better in the long run.

  96. Today might have been a record for me skiing in -27, or should I say skiing over a snowshoe trench starting from Castle Junction for about half the distance to Castle Lookout. The tracks ended and it was up to me to break through, a shin deep, wind swept snow crust. The distance between Castle Junction and Lookout is exactly 5 kms. I did not have the time nor the desire to ski it back, so skied alongside of the 1-A and had the pleasure of seeing a parent moose with their two offspring right at the side of the road. This made the effort all worthwhile, and temps rose to a balmy -15 by noon.

  97. Feb 12 Tour de West Bragg – Telephone Loop, Moose Loop, Mountain View West, Mountain View, Loggers, Elbow, Iron Springs, Crystal Line East:
    Beautiful day and beautiful snow today. -5C when I started out at 1400, and -5C when I got back to the car. Swix VR40 worked very well. Didn’t have to rewax. The trackset on Telephone Trail was good, but showing moderate skier wear and tear. Lots of bike, snowshoe, and boot tracks on the trail, but none in the trackset. Pretty much the same story for Moose Loop. Mountain View West looked as if it were freshly trackset in spite of having been groomed on Feb 9. Mountain View and Loggers were trackset earlier today. Elbow and Iron Springs were great as well. Longest route I’ve ever done at West Bragg!

  98. Stay off the lower telemark loop in Lake Louise!
    It’s been churned into an unskiable, uneven mess after someone attempted to widen the track once it had been leveled and trackset, effectively wiping out most of the track. Not sure what the intention of doing it in that particular was intended to be, other then destroying what would have a perfectly good track.

  99. Two WBC skis this weekend. Saturday morning Moose Loop CCW. V20 green worked okay. 13 km full gas. Trails per other reports, ice flow, etc. Nice snow coverage. Parking full by the time I finished. Sunday morning, started just past 10, cold and parking lot quiet. Went with v20 green wax again but could have been polar. Iron Springs via Sundog out and East Crystal back. Combination of new snow, the cold, and soft tracks made for some heavy sledding. Some fast skiers out on Iron Springs today who looked unaffected by weather or conditions. 17 km. Parking still not full early aft. Cold.

  100. Sandy McNabb
    It’s not often that there is both adequate snow and grooming at Sandy McNabb, so I wanted to take advantage of that combination today. The Live Grooming Report said that most of the trails had been groomed, but not track-set. Add an overnight snowfall, and it seemed like a good option on a chilly Sunday.
    It was -17C when we started and there was 5cm of new snow on the ground. We started at the Sheep headquarters on the Long Prairie Trail, then did a loop on the south trails. These trails have a great mix of aspen woodlands, pine forest and meadows. And it was busy too… a total of maybe 12 vehicles in the 4 main parking areas. There should now be enough snow to track-set these trails.

  101. Chilly day in WBC as my buddy TD and myself got started around 10’ish after braving those slick roads out of Calgary. At the WBC entrance grid there was a large sign advising about dogs required to be leashed. hmmmm

    Surprised to find some fresh grooming/tracks so followed those out of the south parking lot (the one that backs onto the trail) and followed it around to Crystal west until it got to the connector. We veered off and started Moose loop CCW into some blustery winds and awesome snow. Not too many tracks ahead of us. Fresh snow depth ranged 5-15cm’ish today. The ice flow was easy to cross via the bridge… At mountain road we took the road less travelled and broke trail ALL the way to the top hoping for relief. At the top we found some intrepid and thunder-thighed skate skiers had climbed up before turning back. Temps were quite varied along that climb. Mountain view west was pleasant as we started actually seeing people again. Up Crystal (almost caught the skaters) and Sundog before coming back via Crystal east (skate skiers were coming up the big hill as we came down)… quite knackered from our 19km heavy snow outing but happy overall. Pretty slow outing… felt more like 30km.

    Parking lot perhaps 3/4 full… blame the roads and cold. Very appreciative of the trail system and hard work out there. We reminisced how amazing this was compared to 5 years ago… and 10 yrs ago when only the “bad skis” were used, or 15-20 yrs back when pine tar, wide skis, and Bob was just a young fart. 🙂

    Saw about 8-10 dogs today, none attached to their wild owners, however all dogs were well behaved and stayed on their side of the trail.

    Can’t wait to do a night ski again here… did it last year under a full moon and it was spectacular. Was spooked though by the pairs of reflecting eyes… which belonged to two huge moose in the meadow near Mountain view trail turnoff.

    • The dogs on-leash rule applies only in the Provincial Recreation Area. The PRA extends from the bridge, just east of the parking lot, along Bragg Creek to the West Crystal Line bridge and up to the East Telephone/Hostel Meadow junction. That’s roughly 100-200m from the parking lot perimeter trail.
      There are signs on most trails that indicate this boundary and when dogs can be off-leash.
      Dogs must still be “under control”… so think about that, if you own a Husky cross!

  102. WBC. Telephone loop – moose connector – west crystal line. A frigid ski today on decent, sometimes mangled tracks, good glide and grip. Felt much colder than -17, lots of parking available today. Ice flow to watch on west telephone near reconnect. Not far north of that is a barbed wire fence at the bottom of a moderate hill turn and every time I ski past, I think it would be a good idea to have some hay bales or other soft cushion in front of it (perhaps something inedible for the deer). Telephone is a beautiful trail, now is a good time to ski it.

    • Yes Kinga, that cattle grazing fence was placed in a stupid alignment on West Telephone. The West Bragg Creek ski groomers were talking about a couple of ideas to reduce the hazard of that fence.

  103. A cloudy blustery day at West Bragg Creek today, but what a delight to ski Telephone Loop ! The -16 C temperatures are helping to hold the snow coverage and, while the trail is getting beat up a bit from the mixed use, it is still very skiable. This is a great trail and you should get out and do it while the snow lasts !

  104. WBC Sunday afternoon. Temp at -19 but felt colder. Moose Connector and West Crystal- good snow but the tracks have been well loved. Still really great to get out. This area is such a treasure!

  105. Sunday solo mission complete. Lake O’Hara today. It has been trackset since the big storm. Quite slow snow given the cold temps and snow that has blown in to the tracks (up to the picnic table rest stop). Beyond it gets much better.

    I must remember to bring $22 (cash only) for lunch next time, especially on a cold day! Good thing I had matches to start the fire in the shelter!

  106. Castle to Baker Creek.

    Great fresh tracksetting between Castle Lookout and Baker Creek today with two passes of the groomer late morning.

  107. Goat Creek Feb 10

    Great snow. Skier set track was fine. Very good kick and outstanding glide with green swix.

    Took spray west back to Bow Falls.

    Thanks to Rocky Mountain Jack Rabbits for putting the shuttle together.

  108. CNC – Excellent conditions starting out at -15 this morning and warming to -5. Skied Banff Avenue, Meadow, Rundle and Wolverine. Trails are in great shapeand currently almost no debris. As Bob mentioned earlier this week Wolverine is a really fun downhill.

  109. Started out this afternoon to check out the north end of PLPP trails. It has been years since I skied Rolly Road and what a delight, carrying on Come Along, then skied Pocaterra up to Packers. Enjoyed the quick descent on Pocaterra’s excellent grooming and finished off on Pocaterra back to the hut. A most pleasant 15 kms. workout which included 428 m ascent. Wish the Lynx trail could be better marked. One needs to be the Jolly Green Giant to see the official signage-I am tempted to put up a cardboard sign on a tree next time, or maybe a lynx stuffed animal? Glad I took advantage of the colder -9 temp today as snow/waxing was perfect.

  110. Cascade Fire Road and Spray River.

    I speculated that I would show up to a groomed CFR, but no such luck. I gave up on CFR after about 300 meters. Extremely deep snow and very poor skier-set tracks.

    With Skier Bob’s report in mind, Spray River was an obvious plan B. I skied the West-East loop ccw, and it was fantastic – exactly as described in the blog. I ate my pbj bagel at the shelter, along with several other groups enjoying the bliss. Spray River East was incredible. Wow.

  111. WBC – Great conditions for skating, skijored with the boys today; albeit the snow is a little slow but not going to complain about the awesome conditions. WBC has never been this good this late into the season in the time I have been skiing. ICE FLOW on Moose needs some care when you get to the NW corner, otherwise magnificent.

  112. The north side of PLPP was freshly groomed so we set off from Elkwood with a temperature of -14 in brilliant sunshine. We headed north over Lodgepole and Sinclair where the track was in very good shape but fairly slow. When we got to Suicide Hill the decent was so much fun almost everyone went down twice and some people three times. After a quick lunch, we headed up Pocaterrra with the intention of skiing down Packers and back to the parking lot. When we got to Packers, the trail was ungroomed and in poor shape, but Pocaterra was so good we decided to go back and enjoy the hill going the other way. Lynx and Amos completed an excellent ski day.

  113. PLPP – snow, snow, snow

    A day of wonderful skier set tracks at PLPP. Packers, Pocaterra S of Packers, Whiskey Jack are all skier set in maybe 10 – 15 cm of powder over the last grooming. Fairly slow but smooth, gloriously easy climbing. Tree bombs like I have not seen for years, blue sky, just amazing.

    We started up Lookout, but it was way deeper over the last grooming and had been tracked by only a couple of skiers. We realized after a few minutes that it was nice going up, but not skinny-ski friendly for the descent. We turned around and had a blast basically tumbling our way back down. Would have been amazing on the right skis.

  114. West Bragg Creek
    Heidi and Peter are right… today was the best day ever on Telephone Loop. Excellent grooming, beautiful snow conditions, clear skies and perfect waxing temperatures. The tread work, brush removal and new bridges have made the trail better than it has been for decades.
    Telephone Loop is a multi-user trail and lots of snowshoers and fat-bikers were happily sharing the trail with the XC skiers. Yes, indeed…. we can actually all get along!
    I extended the day with a tour on Tom Snow trail. This trail is not groomed, so it was Chuck-style ski touring. It’s a lovely option. The trails within a couple of kilometres of the parking lot obviously got a lot of use today. The new 485 parking lot was completely full, and cars were parked down the access road for 0.5 km… and I bet the new Fullerton Trailhead parking lot along Highway #66 was full too. Wonderful to see so many folks enjoying the winter trails!

    • I have not skied West Bragg Creek in 42 years, but back then we used to race there. I don’t recall a parking lot, just parking on the side of the road. I’d like to understand where the current trails go and would appreciate it if you knew and could explain briefly which current trails were the old race trails. I tried doing this from a map but could not connect them.

      • Try checking out They have trail maps on there that cover West Bragg creek and descriptions of the area.

      • I have a 1980 map of the West Bragg Creek ski trails. It shows the following trails:
        Hostel Loop. The alignment has changed, especially on the west half. Part of the old trail has become Snowshoe Hare and Whitetail.
        Telephone Trail. There are several changes on the west half. Some of it has become Moose Connector, lower West Crystal Line and Snowy Owl. About $100,000 has been spent to upgrade the drainage and tread on the east half.
        Moose Loop. Lots of re-alignments on the east, north and SW end.
        Crystal Line. Lots of re-alignments on West Crystal Line. The middle link between East and West has been abandoned.
        Sundog Loop. The west half has been re-aligned somewhat. Both Crystal Line and Sundog were widened to accommodate skate skiing.
        Elbow Trail.
        So, the short answer is that segments of the old racing trails still exist, but there have been enough changes that most parts would be unrecognizable from four decades ago.

        • Thanks Alf. That explains why I cannot reconstruct (in my head) the old trails from the maps of the new and re-aligned trails.

    • I was at the WBC parking lot around Noon with no spots available and a lot of people waiting so I headed to Fullerton aka Allen Bill trailhead. Parking Lot was only about 3/4 full. It was nice to have the South end Elbow and Iron Springs groomed and trackset. They were in very good shape except that section to the Fullerton Jcn. which was packed down by heavy foot traffic.

  115. Feb 10 – Quick Tunnel Mountain campground loop (5k). Tracks are in great shape.

  116. Perfect weather and excellent ski conditions throughout at WBC today. The only flaw that we noticed might be the ice flow in the big dip at the far corner of Moose Loop- easily bypassed via the footbridge. No parking issues around 10 when we rolled in- however as we packed up at 2, the lots were full with vehicles squeezed into every available nook and cranny, and 40-50 parked alongside the south side of the access road, just like old times. A testament to the amazing popularity of the area with a wide variety of users 🙂

    • Best day ever on Telephone finishing with Loggers and Crystal. Great to see so many enjoying the trails. Skaters, please keep to the skate trails only, Telephone is not wide enough.

  117. Sat feb 10: bill Milne
    Ribbon ck to wedge pond. Freshies all the way this morning. Cool fluffy relaxed cruising in the sun. Very pleasant. First time on this trail, hit It right. Soft and creamy on return. Only saw 4 other people. Track should set up nice for tomorrow. You can feel the ice flow in places with your pole tips at the north end.

    • Was it track set or skier set?

      • Six of us (including Carole who posts to this site) skied it today. Four of us did the complete loop at the Wedge Pond end. The route was skier set. The portion heading out of the Evan-Thomas parking lot gets quite a bit of snow shoe user traffic so it is in pretty rough shape up to the bridge over the creek (about 2km in). After that it is fine.

        • Thanks for the additional info! Much appreciated!

          • Both really. I could just make out the buried track and was able to stay in it when breaking trail. Good and solid on return functioning close to fresh track setting (track on the west side of the trail). Skier set track on the east side of trail was soft and wobbly.

  118. PLPP Update.

    Well my natural optimism had me checking the PLPP grooming report early this morning hoping for some new Feb 10 grooming. No such luck! But I think I skied everything that was groomed Feb 9 (see the live grooming report), and it was all spectacular, crisp, well set-up tracks. Note that the Feb 8 grooming is still showing green on the live grooming map, but I checked out a part of one of those trails and turned back – too deep for enjoyable skiing on skinny skis, though folks on slightly wider gear might enjoy it. -19 when I started skiing at 8:30, -6 when I left around noon.

  119. Great divide 1pm Saturday
    Dogsled plus skier tracks on 30-40 cm fresh snow

    Photo Great Divide

    • It was a bit of a rough ski on the dogsled tracks. We were there at 11am and did 2 hours worth. Some poop to avoid, but beautiful weather. Main complaint is that one ski goes in the sled track, but the second one is in the middle at a higher point, putting your feet at different levels and hurting the hips a bit. The actual ski tracks are under 3 feet of snow, hope they groom soon.

  120. Saturday 10 Feb: Confederation Park 0900-1000, all trails have been packed and have tracks set about 90% of the way. Sometimes the tracks disappear and then reappear on the other side of the skating lane. The tracks are a little shallow and are still somewhat slow and “crunchy” (you can hear the snow packing a bit under your skis), so you’ll get more of a workout in the same distance. By the time I left, the parking lot was 3/4 full. Parking on the street might be a challenge for a car…

  121. Friday Feb 9 – we skied the Moraine Lake road to Fairview loop to chateau Lake Louise then tramline. All trails are user set and beautiful scenery!

  122. West Bragg Creek
    The ski conditions at West Bragg Creek were fabulous today. I skied in the afternoon, when the temperature had gone up to about -10C. I skied a loop that included Sundog, Crystal Line, Mountain View, Moose Loop and Mountain Road. Excellent grooming on all of the trails. And I mean ALL of the trails. Everything from Fullerton Trailhead on Highway #66 to Telephone Loop has been freshly groomed.

  123. Could not have asked for a more perfect day to introduce a friend for his first time to Skogan Pass trail. -22 at 10:30 with skins already on the Asnes, we started up. We GREATLY appreciated it being perfectly skier tracked-those younger men even kept to that track all the way down. We did not ski the further 2 kms to the actual Pass, nor did we take in the Loop. While people like Bob and the Perrott’s love the speed of the tracksetting and grooming, we prefer the abundance of powder to slow us down and will not return until such conditions arise again. Just as Bob’s brilliant suggestion of making one single track on Goat Creek, made the absolute best sense for that narrow multi-use trail, I would love to suggest keeping Skogan a single track from High Level junction upwards. For those of us who live to snowplow down such 650 m descents, the double track, particularly above High Level Junction is just too narrow to avoid messing up one or other track. Thanks Jeff for the wonderful grooming you do for us on these trails.

    • Helen, I think you have a good idea here. There are many sections of trail above the High Level junction where a single track makes good sense, as you’re not the only person to snowplough these sections. By the way, the tracksetter this past week is Alex, who is learning from Jeff.

  124. Snow shoers wrecked Maple Ridge Ski track

    Maple Ridge Golf Course, 12:30pm Feb 9:
    I headed to Maple Ridge thinking there’d be fresh snow on the tracks that were groomed earlier this week. When I arrived I saw that only a few skiers had skied before me since the last snow fall so I did one full loop thinking I’d pack it down and make it easier for my second loop and for other skiers. The first loop was so slow that it took me an hour to complete which included the lower part by Deerfoot.
    At the start of my second loop I was so disappointed to see that someone on snow shoes helped themselves to my packed ski tracks. I talked to 3 other skiers who shared my frustration. The thing we all wondered was with all of that fresh snow on the Gold course…why oh why did they have to wreck our ski track???!!!

    • This is the problem when there’s no visible trackset. Still, the city website clearly says which parks are trackset for skiing only. Signs at the parks might help clarify things too… these days it seems like posting something on a website makes it common knowledge.

  125. Peter Lougheed Provincial Park (PLPP) was picture perfect today.Clear Alberta blue skies! Although it was -22C at 11:00AM, it warmed up rapidly to about -14C within an hour. New tracksetting overnight west of the vehicle roadway (Kananaskis Lakes Trail) was great on Meadow (VIC(Visitors Information Centre) to Lodgepole), Sinclair, Lodgepole. On the east side Wheeler to Amos junction, Amos to Lynx junction and Lynx were freshly trackset. Otherwise skied broke trail redefining track barely visible with 8 cm new snow Wheeler to southern Amos Junction, Amos back to Lynx, Wooley and Meadow (Wooley to VIC). A quiet day in a snow laden forest with spectacular views. Apparently track setting is limited due to the trailer to move the equipment being out of the area on other business. Perhaps someone else can explain the consequences.
    With the amount of new snow in the past week – conditions are outstanding.

  126. Feb 9. Confed. Parking lot plowed and driving range roller packed when I got there. Everything else was skier tracked but it was still a lovely afternoon to ski. They were just beginning roller packing trails when I left at about 4pm.

  127. West Bragg Creek got about 8-12cm of new snow out of this past storm. That’s a lot less than the 31cm I had on my driveway in Calgary. But it is certainly enough snow to bring the WBC trails back to full winter condition. I went up the east side of Telephone Loop for a while, then did a couple of laps on Hostel Loop. Telephone is now in great shape for a more backcountry kind of experience. It was perfectly groomed earlier this week and now has a soft blanket of new snow on top. It will likely be groomed on Friday afternoon, in preparation for the weekend.
    My first lap on Hostel Loop was also with powder on top of the previous track-setting. By the time I finished the loop, the Greater Bragg Creek Trails Association volunteer groomers had packed and groomed it… so I just had to do the loop again on fresh tracks. Beautiful!
    All the WBC trails should be in fabulous condition for the weekend.

  128. Intention was to ski up to Sundance Lodge today but decided on Plan B with 6 Meanderthals to ski from Cave ‘n Basin to the base of Sunshine Road parking lot in big powder on Sundance/Healy Creek. Temp -15 and snowmobiles x 2 came shortly after we started out at 9:45 heading into Sundance Lodge with supplies and work-related cargo. So we got to ski in their tracks which was certainly better than breaking trail all the way. Not often one can enjoy Healy Creek adorned in such beautiful depths of powder snow. Get out there everyone tomorrow to enjoy it everywhere.

  129. A Special Public Avalanche Warning has been issued for BC interior, Parks Canada and Kananaskis effective until the end of the day Monday to stay out of all Avalanche terrain. Natural avalanche activity is expected given the new snow loads that also came in with wind and that they will be large and run full path to valley floors. So caution for cross country trails at the base of any Avalanche runs outs.

  130. Natural Snow Trails at Canmore. I’ve been avoiding the natural snow trails at the Canmore Nordic Center for the last few weeks based on previous poor coverage and comments/status on the CNC trail report. However, I checked out a range of the natural snow trails this afternoon: Bow, Meadowview, Frozen Shoulder, Wooded Bliss, parts of Silvertip, Bruin and Rundle) and was very pleasantly surprised. Coverage now seems good for skate and classic, and trail conditions are very enjoyable! And things will only get better with the coming snow tonight and tomorrow 🙂

  131. Wonderful conditions at Maple Ridge golf course. Thanks to the groomer who laid pristine tracks today.

    • Thanks emd. I was just about to ask if it was groomed today.

      • Rhonda we skied Maple Ridge at 8pm on the 7th 3 hours after EMD’s report and the tracks were already almost entirely filled in but we were able to follow the trails reasonably well. I imagine they completely disappeared by the end of the snowstorm yesterday afternoon and so hopefully they can be reset again soon as the conditions will be outstanding.

        • Bernard, Thanks I skied before seeing your post. It was a slog for sure. A few skiers had gone before me so I did one full loop thinking I’d pack it down and make it easier for my second loop and for other skiers. I was so disappointed to see that someone on snow shoes helped themselves to my packed tracks and they were gone for my second loop. I talked to 3 other people who were skiing and shared in my frustration. With all of that fresh snow why oh why did they have to wreck our ski track???!!!

  132. One more day is right – to take advantage of existing track set trails. Had lovely soft tracks from Baker Creek today. Skied west towards Morant’s Curve, but had to turn around where there is road access to the tracks. After this Fortis is at work on the powerline. Tip: take the trail to the right at first junction west of the resort to avoid water feature on track near CPR. Since this was a shorter jaunt than expected, we high-graded the trail east of Protection Mtn campground to Castle lookout trailhead. The water feature on this end is bigger, but drier. The river was a lovely turquoise with water flooding on the surface. There was pile burning between Baker Creek and Protection earlier in the day and the smoke was lingering. Temps between -3 to 0. Good ‘ol VR45 did the trick once again.

  133. SPRAY EAST – Feb 7

    Thanks to Jeannette’s lovely report of Feb 5, it was time to get the full details!

    Check it out here:!ApWd3WZ3ra9Ng25OephfmtMnVYQC

    It was just trackset yesterday, and is very pleasant with hardly any elevation gain or loss.

  134. Hello from the bottom of Skogan Pass. Epic skiing. Best ever. Nothing but fun!

    • The neat thing about the Ribbon Creek trails, is cell service!

    • Hey Bob. In case you were wondering where I disappeared to, I detoured onto Skogan Loop (or is that Slogan Loop?) and then on to Highlevel and Sunburst. A great day of skiing and in the sunshine too which wasn’t really expected. And nice to chat with you.

  135. Hello from the top of Slogan Pass. Perfect conditions. Sun is shining but the first flakes of snow just started. Photos to come later.

  136. Simply an outstanding day today at Ribbon Creek in K Country. Trails just groomed and track set yesterday (Feb 5) and we were the first and practically only ones on the trails today (we only encountered one other). Conditions and trails are perfect currently. Get out there!

  137. Skied Cascade Fire Road today-freshly trackset late yesterday. -15 at trailhead, Tracks in great shape-looks like its been groomed to Stoney Creek.

  138. Shaganappi Golf Course – great weather today and lots of glittery powder to be had. Roller packing and some trackset on the main loops, but mostly skier set tracks. Lots of people out enjoying the day.

  139. It was so good to spend a few hours with Bill Milne today. The beautiful snow glistened off Bill’s freshly groomed corduroy and classic tracks. The sun was shining on my face the entire way from K village to Wedge Pond.
    The mountains rose up in front and around me and restored my energy.
    Each Winter there are very few days when Bill is in perfect condition and today was one of them. So grateful to spend it with him.

    Thank you Bill. I’ll see you again soon.



  140. Canmore Nordic Centre

    I skied outbound on Bow and inbound on Rundle. The conditions were excellent everywhere. The grip was very good with VR 40 (blue), and the tracks were medium in speed. The Nordic Centre is probably at its best right now, and the extended forecast of cool air suggests that it will stay that way for a while. Another great day in the mountains.

  141. EMERALD LAKE – Feb 6

    Tracksetting was just starting as we arrived.
    Check out what Joe provided us here:!ApWd3WZ3ra9Ng2WSzBLiayM_rwvC

  142. Skogan Pass – It was a cool -21C when we arrived at the parking lot at Ribbon Creek. We started on Hidden Trail, which was skier tracked to Nakiska, then down to Ruthie’s where we joined the Skogan Pass Trail. From here, we had corduroy grooming most of the way to the Pass, with one section of skier tracked. We knew the Pisten Bully was ahead of us, and came upon it as it just started down from the top. We didn’t stay long on top as the breeze made the -10C feel colder. At last, some tracks! We again came upon the track setter just below junction with Skogan Loop. Good grooming and track setting, Alex! (It was nice to talk to Alex, a new track setter for the Village area.) The groomed runs were very fast, and we made it down in no time at all. The Screamer was a lot of fun and felt safe with the new snow. The lower trails under Nakiska still have thin snow and they feel icy underneath. The Skogan Pass trail should be perfect for skiers going out tomorrow.

  143. Banff West Spray to Goat Creek. -21 at trailhead but sight of the Parks truck and new grooming warmed our hearts. Met our 3 friends coming from Goat Creek end at the Spray River Bridge, where we swapped keys. I have never used two hand warmers in each mitt before, but they were sweet. I enjoy skiing this route in either direction, but the majority prefer the 192 m ascent Canmore to Banff vs the 392 m ascent in opposite direction. Fresh grooming and track-setting beautifully covered every inch of the way. VR 40 worked well although in -20, pretty much anything works. It was nice heading into the sun and balmy -8 as we were approached Goat. That big rock on the first hill down is still visible just below the surface.

  144. Jean-Francois Richy

    Kananaskis Village (Coal mine, Ribbon creek, Kovach, Aspen, Terraces, Bill Mine to Ribbon creek parking lot).
    It was -23C when I started skiing and all the tracks were perfectly groomed and trackset, the downhills were fast and safe (Thanks groomers).
    On my return I met groomer (Jeff I suppose) who has been grooming the area since 1980 (i.e. before Nakiska was developed) and shared a few stories on the trail system at that time (you could ski from Marmot to Coal mine at that time).

  145. Maple Ridge golf course late afternoon today – plenty of snow, no grooming yet. Beautiful day!

  146. Goat Creek, Spray River West, and back Feb 5
    -13C when I arrived at noon and about the same when I returned. Beautiful day of sun and blue sky, no wind. 3-5cm of gossamer light snow over the trackset.

  147. SPRAY EAST – Feb 5

    First time on the Spray East this year… and it was just lovely.
    Short afternoon ski with friends. Sorry no photos, just memories!


    Minus 10 all day, blue skies and lots of fresh snow to enjoy.!ApWd3WZ3ra9Ng1evhIzds0HSyrQo
    Unfortunately, no one to enjoy it with!
    Only 12 km each way, and Swix Special green (-5 to -9) was perfect.

    • Take me next time. I’ve wanted to try this trail forever! How hard is it compared to Boom Lake? I have metal edges. Thanks!

      • Boom Boom Tanya!
        Birds of a different feather, I’m afraid.
        Boom Lake is a well traveled short route. Johnston Creek is isolated and has a few challenging spots… even with metal edges.
        Thanks for your interest.

  149. Good conditions at West Bragg today. We were there while grooming was ongoing on the fresh snow. There was very fresh grooming on East Crystal, Sundog, Loggers, West Crystal, Moose Connector as far as Mountain Road and also on Mountain Road. The tracks were very soft and slow at first, but by 1:30 were firming up and becoming excellent.

    • Also nice new track setting on Mountain View, Mountain Road West, Mountain View West all the way to Moose Loop, we turned left here and the track setting continues to the somewhat slushy creek crossing – it is best to use the bridge. There is probably more track setting from here but it has seen more skier traffic. Thanks to the groomers for their hard work.

    • Ernie, LG and Ruby

      We did the afternoon shift and launched at 1:00 pm in wonderful sunshine, -12 or so and as noted by GMJ the tracks had great glide, Thank-you WBC Groomers. Did 2 1/2 hours of smiling around the Crystal Lines Sundog and Loggers. Not a lot of others out there but all were happy with the return of WBC.

    • West Bragg Creek
      As noted by others, the weekend snowfall and recent grooming has brought the West Bragg Creek XC trails back to great conditions. The area got 9-10cm of snow out of the storm… perhaps not as much as the forecasts had predicted, but enough to refresh the skiing.

  150. Feb 4-WBC

    Took advantage of the fresh snow and skied close to home. Did Iron Springs/Elbow loop. No recent track setting on that loop (as far as we could tell) and under the fresh snow you could feel the old/frozen snow. Iron Springs was pretty nice with good control on all the downhills thanks to the new layer of snow. Glad we did the loop clockwise because there was quite a bit of debris and ice on Elbow.
    Sundog to finish off the day, back to the parking lot, was grand!

    • A group of us skied WBC – Crystal Line loop, Sundog – which had been groomed & trackset Sat. Noted discontinuous track as if perhaps the tracksetting gear was bouncing. Less snow at WBC than in Calgary but it was a refresh even if tracks had to be shallow.

  151. PLPP
    Elk pass-Blueberry Hill-Tyrwhitt-Lookout-Hydroline-Elk Pass, -12 at 12:30 start. Green wax worked well. Enjoyable conditions on last night’s prepared trails; thank you to the groomers who made it easy to choose our destination today. Light but steady snow all afternoon didn’t affect glide too much but did soften tracks and almost fill them by day’s end. It was a serene day in winter’s embrace.

    • I’ll second Kinga’s report on PLPP – we started a bit later and found that the continued snowfall during the afternoon pretty much undid the early morning grooming work. Most of WJ / Lookout / Patterson / EP / FoxCk / Moraine was skier set by end of day making for a pretty wobbly outing in ankle-to-shin deep snow depending upon whether it had been groomed Sunday morning or not.

      Found: One pair of sunglasses on the Hydroline side of Lookout. Reply here if you believe that they could be yours.

      • Those sunglasses might be the ones Tanya is looking for. She posted yesterday on contact Bob page.

      • Indeed, those are Tanya’s glasses! We skied together. I will let her know you found them. Thank you, Mike, she will be very happy!

      • Hi Mike,

        This is amazing that you climbed the fun Lookout and that you found my sunglasses somewhere on that decent.

        Please send me a note at on how I can pick them up from you. I live in Arbour Lake, NW, Calgary

        Thank you!

  152. Skied the terrace, aspen to Kovach loop at kananaskis lodge today. Temp was -13 and no wind. Trails had tons of snow and were only skier set today, but beautiful with barely anyone out with us.

  153. Skied Cascade again today. Was really hoping for track setting to have occurred, but not so lucky. Set out around 1030, only 2 other cars in the lot. Only saw one person on the way to Stoney Creek. Followed tracks on the way to the cascade bridge, then had to go through a few cm of new snow. ( Rob had to do that). Was fun on the way out, even though slower than last weekend. From the bridge to the parking lot was ok, a number of tracks cutting in and out of the makeshift tracks….Still a fun day. From – 20 to -11 at the end.

  154. Skogan Loop
    There was 7-8cm of new snow over the Feb 1 grooming on Skogan Pass/Skogan Loop. It was little enough to allow for easy skiing up the the high point, and just enough for smooth, controlled skiing on that long descent back to the Nakiska parking lot.

  155. Great day to ski to Skogan Pass!


    SHAGANAPPI POINT (golf course)- Next to LRT Blue Line On Bow Trail

    The volunteer groomers and track setters were out all day today working like snow dogs to lay a sweet carpet of snow. The few thin spots in some wind exposed areas were filled in with snow by a hard core volunteer. Excellent skiing with all the new snow. By dark many of the track sets were getting filled in by moderate falling snow. There should be some great skiing there this week. The spectacular downtown panorama views are something else on the east side trails. If you like LRT Blue Line access cross country skiing and city views, this is the place to be. Tell your Mom.


      The Calgary Ski Club uses volunteers and donations to operate the Shaganappi Point cross country ski trails. A lot of poor kids and adults learn how to cross country ski at Shaganappi Point. It is a great service for all Calgarians who want to get out and get enjoy the winter.

      The Calgary Ski Club could use your help, either with your hands or financially, to keep the trails going.

      If you enjoy ski the trails, maybe consider lending a hand as the Calgary Ski Club always needs help to make better skiing. If you can help out some how, contact:

      Skiing Cheers.


        Sorry for the couple of sentence errors above. I really should not be writing without glasses on or after working out hard all day- I am just a little to tired to do anything but sleep and dream about skiing!

  157. It was a treat to ski on the trails above Kananaskis Village today. Fresh snow, good tracks, and fun skiing back down to the village.

  158. Goat Creek

    Started out from Spray River Trailhead at 10:15am. Was very happy to see the Parks Canada truck and trailer in the parking lot after the dump of snow yesterday. Skied towards the Goat Creek Trailhead on the freshly trackset trail, we encountered only a small section past the bridges without grooming before the groomers caught up to us and trackset the trail. Upon returning from the Goat Ck trailhead we found the entire length had now been groomed and trackset. Downhill sections were very manageable. Fresh snowfall was lightly covering the tracks but they were still in wonderful shape!

    • I did not know grooming took place from Goat Creek. I left the trailhead at 9am to ski to Banff and back, so was very impressed at seeing the groomed trail on my return! Fresh setting Banff end too. The snow was wonderful. Sorry to see one dog owner ‘did not see’ the no dog sign (according to the Parks groomer). I left my dogs at home. I say that not to be righteous, but because those who ignore the rules cause the privileges we are given to be taken away from us.

  159. We ventured out on the Cascade this afternoon and I can attest to no new track setting yet. It was trying to snow and temps were in the minus double digits. Luckily calm and lovely with all the snow on the trees and soft underfoot.

  160. Skied on classic today with my wife at confederation golf course. Lots of people out enjoying the fresh snow, skiing, tobogganing, and snowshoeing. Tracks were getting a little worn out in spots but were fine otherwise (thanks foothills volunteers!). It started snowing as we finished so everything will be well covered by tomorrow.

  161. Skied around Maple Ridge this afternoon, obviously plenty of snow and more falling. No grooming but lots of people out so skier set was good. Fun outing on the E99s 🙂

  162. Canmore Nordic Center

    Best of the season and even ran into Bob. Up from stadium to Meadowview, Rundle, Wolverine, Meadowview, Silvertip and Banff back. The long Wolverine downhill was in great condition. -14oC warming to -12oC (blue wax). Not sure why some trails are rated fair.

  163. West Bragg.
    West Crystal to Moose connector to Moose Loop, back down Mountain road.
    Great grooming overall, even on Moose Loop. Grooming report indicates no fresh grooming on Moose but I saw lots of fresh corduroy. Tracks were generally good too with a crusty edge to make things fast.
    Big ice flow before the bridge on the loop but fortunately there’s the bridge off to the side.
    Most hills were good with only the occasional icy patch.
    Roads were good (better than in Calgary) and it was -10. No wind.

    • The groomers were out by 8:00 and we just got home now 5:00. It take a while to do all this and unfortunately updating the grooming report only happens after we get it all done, our evening chore. Hope you had a great ski!!

  164. Feb 4, Confed. Good coverage on the trackset wherever I was.Some of the tracks are starting to get washed out here and there, especially in the corners. I am guessing that is due to the sheer number of people that were out! It seemed like everyone in the NW who didn’t go to the mountains went to Confed. When I arrived at 1:30pm, the parking lot only had a spot or two and there were a good number of cars out on the street as well. I have never been there when so many people were out and about. Looks like there were a couple of lessons going on but also plenty of families and groups. Good to see everyone just enjoying the day.

  165. West Bragg Creek
    There is 6-8 cm of fresh snow on Iron Springs and Elbow trails, the base is hard and slick.
    Crystal system is groomed and trackset, good conditions!
    Logger’s is also groomed and trackset, but felt as if the snow layer is too thin.
    The weather was mild today (-9). V40 green + V20 extra blue(?) did not provide enough grip… I need to learn how to wax skis properly… Overall it’s been a great ski in fresh air on fresh snow.

  166. Wondering if anyone has checked out Confederation Park today for track setting. On the Foothills trail report it says that they were set yesterday? Just wondering if this happened later in the day after the snow subsided? Thanks for any updates on Confederation’s conditions.

    • Yes, the tracks at Confed are fresh and scrumptious. They must have tracked it Saturday night or Sunday morning.

    • Skiid this afternoon at Confed from about 230-330. Parking areas all quite full – I’ve never seen it this busy before with so many folks enjoying the trails. Kudos to the tracksetters who did a great job working with not a huge amount of snow either last night or early this morning. Tracks were mostly holding up ok, with the odd washout areas especially on side slopes. For an in-town ski I was still very impressed.

      I just did classic on my Skintec waxless, so glad I’d recently added new glide wax. Skate wasn’t nearly as busy and the folks there seemed to be going ok although my perception was it looked a bit soft. The snow that just started falling again will refresh everything and if they’re able to re-roll and trackset that would make for ideal conditions. Canmore Park was not trackset and didn’t see too many people there.

      Bob – could you please add the Confed and Canmore Park trail maps to your Map section?

  167. Broke trail around N Bearspaw this afternoon for a few hours in constant snow, 4 inches of fresh snow over a base that varied from hard packed to weak crust, polar VR30 provided plenty of grip,it did not fell like the -20C on my deck thermometer. Only one intrepid neighbour encounter the whole trip.

    • Today was a repeat of yesterday only better conditions all around, very rewarding to enjoy the trails I broke yesterday.

  168. Further to Bob’s post today, I can report that the conditions on 27th Ave NW in Calgary were excellent, with a single skier set track over a vehicle packed base 😉

    After skiing the two blocks from my front door over to Confederation Park, I broke a trail over to the Confederation Golf Course, where there were a handful of skiers. No grooming as of mid-afternoon (of course) but the damage from the last chinook has been erased and if the weather forecast is accurate we should have excellent skiing there for the next couple of weeks. There was also good “urban backcountry” skiing to be had in the adjacent Canmore Park.

    With apologies to those who had to deal with driving today, if this is February, bring it on!

    • Love the “Vehicle set tracks”.
      Your posting also reminds me of wonderful (rose-coloured?) days when I also lived in that neighbourhood (25th Ave) and had the one block walk with skis to the top of the hill at the park.
      I’ll never forget one night when I looked up during my excursion, witnessing a magnificent red aurora, to date the only one of this colour I have ever seen.

  169. Fairview.

    All the indications pointed to Lake Louise as the best bet today. As per normal, LL did not disappoint. It was minus 16 Celsius when we set out to do the Fairview, Moraine Lake Road, Tramline Loop. There were close to ten cm of fresh snow in the LL parking lot. To our dismay, we arrived to fresh grooming on Fairview and it was amazing. It was comfortable, with very grippy kick and decent glide. As always, the Fairview meadows were magical. MLR was not groomed and a bit messy, but Tramline back up was excellent. With our remaining energy, we continued on to the lake and picked up the groomed tracks that we followed almost to the end, and back. The weather and conditions on the lake were not nearly as good, but still enjoyable.

    All in all, we had a fantastic ski on a day that offered very little promise. As I always say, “when in doubt, Lake Louise”.

  170. 7 Meanderthals heard the call for “Lunch at the Lodge” today. Risking some blustery driving conditions westward, we arrived at O’Hara parking lot in huge amounts of fresh snow and -12. While Bruce had groomed the trail prior to the Thursday Lodge opening, tracks were barely visible. Thankfully some AT skiers had set a track before us, so we arrived in perfect timing @ 12:15 for heart-warming homemade soup, plentiful bread, salad with delicious balsamic dressing, Earl Grey Mousse and coffee/tea. If I could only figure out how to post a picture, you’d see us warming our butts in front of the fireplace. The snowfall was so perfect, barely a snow-plow turn was req’d.

  171. Does anyone have the inside scoop on why so little grooming is happening at CNC? Live Grooming shows no new track setting despite all the new snow received. Typically they have groomed daily and been the most reliable option for fresh track-setting. This year has been an anomaly and I would like to know why if anyone knows.

    • The first line on the CNC’s trail report states, “Live Grooming currently not working or updating!”

      Grooming is ongoing as per usual.

      • Thanks for the info Bob but I believe there appears to be a lack of resources compared to previous seasons and that grooming is not occurring as frequently as in past seasons. I skied there Tuesday and despite 15 cm’s of fresh snow overnight there had been barely any new grooming.

    • Nancy: There is a glitch in the web page that illustrates the grooming and the layout of the trails, they are trying to fix it.
      If you got to the CNC main page, which does not have the layout of the trails but rather the condition of each trail such as good, fair, it also has the date of the most recent grooming as well as track setting.
      I have been reassured that the trails are redone quite frequently to ensure the longevity, therefore it is almost sure to have an excellent ski session for both classic and skating.

  172. Skied a few loops at Shaganappi golf course this afternoon. The new snow is so nice, too bad it’s so cold!!

  173. Kananaskis Village Trails – Skied from 10-1 PM on the outside loop – Kovach, Terrace etc We went one way, then back the other. Old tracksetting was covered in a couple cm of new snow so very pleasant ski – considering it was -20C. It was just snowing lightly there. Much more snow in Calgary when we arrived back around 3PM. Roads were terrible between the PetroCan and Calgary.

  174. Lake Louise Trails
    Overnight it went from a balmy -3 to -16C with some wind which made it chilly in open areas. Steadily snowing all night and today.
    Nursing back issues I skied the lovely Campground and Bow River Loops. Powdery new snow easy to plow through on older track setting; good glide on old blue -4 to -10 . Forgot how pretty this set of trails is and really enjoyed it. A nice option for beginning and rehabbing skiers.
    Another Norseman Ski Club group did variations on Pipestone reporting good conditions.

  175. Went for mid-morning ski from the Cave & Basin down the Sundance trail and then along the Healy Creek trail to Healy Creek bridge near Sunshine Road. Yes, it was windy and cold out in the open, but otherwise quite lovely in the forest with all the new snow and hard surface underneath it. The more skiers that ventured out onto the trails, the better the tracks got (except in the windy spots near river of course) VR30 and other cold blue waxes worked extremely well today.

  176. Stephen Vermeulen

    CNC Banff Trail 2-Feb: I saw that Canmore was much warmer than Calgary, so decided to head west for a warmer ski. Banff Trail was in great shape, very good tracks all the way to the end. Snow temperature about -3C, so the LF7 glide wax I was using was near the top of its range and running a bit slow. A very light snow was happening during the afternoon, so maybe it’s going to get heavier this evening? Hit the cold air on the drive back a bit east of Lac des Arcs.

  177. Cascade Fire Road (9 km in)

    Followed Jeff’s suggestion yesterday. Great conditions at -1oC and Swix purple gave good grip and glide. Stayed in the tracks going down the last hill too. YEAH.

  178. Shadow Lake Lodge (SLL): -5 ending in -2. “Vintage” blue special -4 to -6 worked great. I can understand why Bob was encountering so many imaginary snow friends (gnomes, dragons, fairies, monster) on Redearth a few days ago, as I saw only two people in 5 hours. Thought the Lodge might be opening up this w/e but not a soul up there either. Snowmobile tracks were great from SLL junction, but I am getting soon past the best before date to walk up that first km. How do the cyclists do it??? Distance 26.7 and ascent 578 M. Needed my googles it was snowing so much on way down.

  179. Pipestone Trails today – snowing all day, breaking trail in 4-5 cm new snow. Very quiet, met only 2 other skiers during our ski.

  180. PLPP
    Arrived at 11 am at Elk Pass Parking, Temperature was -1 (not a typo). Did Elk Pass, Blueberry Hill, Elk Pass to Hydroline and Patterson, then back to the Parking Lot. It was snowing the whole time and intensity increased towards the end. Roughly 5cm of new snow while I was there. Tracks were still good but they will probably be covered in snow by tomorrow. Overall a fantastic day of skiing in really nice temperatures.

    • We were also enjoying the balmy temperatures at PLPP. Did you notice the cat tracks preceding us up Blueberry Hill? Bobcat or Lynx? Does anybody know?
      I shot some photos, but am not sure how to upload them.
      Maybe there will be new tracks in all the pretty new snow.
      Does anybody know how the roads are?

  181. GREAT DIVIDE – Feb 2

    Minus 4 and snowing all day!
    Check the captions for details:!ApWd3WZ3ra9Ng0X6qRDyjWtGdh-p

  182. Mt. Shark – arrived at 10:15am to -4C and pristine new grooming. Snowing lightly. We headed out on the Watridge Lake road, and within 10 minutes we engulfed by gusty winds. The tracks in the open areas were soon blown in with snow. Trip down to the Spray River bridge was very good, with the big hill being quite safe to descend. Quick stop at Watridge Lake on the return – very windy there. Snowing more heavily now, and the tracks nearly obscured in open areas. We skied the Blue Loop around the biathlon range a couple of times – calmer here so the new tracks were still very good. Snowing fairly heavily and -3C when we left at 2pm.

  183. Well I was on Thyrwitt for the 2nd time today and came across the boss in person, I never met Bob before but we certainly shared our views about our beloved wildlife and the trails off course; yes, it was a day of contrast, temperature wise as well as trails conditions, I started from Pocaterra hut and made my way to Whiskey jack by Amos and Wheeler, this last is in impeccable condition, the long hill wasn’t that bad today even if it wasn’t track set, Thyrwitt after that, than Elk pass, Patterson, Hydroline, back on Thyrwitt and all the way to Pocaterra; my Garmin cycling computer had 39.8 km and only 2200 calories burnt, not bad for a old f……t like me, that proves that ketosis is the best way to provide energy for your exercise.
    In the next few days we will have more snow, hopefully a good dump at the north end of the park..

  184. Cascade Valley

    I still prefer saying Cascade Fire Road, thank you very much! Skied to the bridge and back (first bridge) in perfect conditions. It was groomed yesterday (31st) and the tracks were fantastic. I would rate it as medium speed, and my VR 45 (violet) gripped perfectly. I easily stayed in the tracks the whole way down the big hill. Air temp was around minus five to seven Celsius. Calm and sunny. What more can I say about a perfect ski?

  185. Canmore Nordic Center

    Skied out on Banff and back on Bow trails. Very good tracksetting, The new snow from Tuesday was groomed in to give super grip and glide. New moving speed record for Nancy. -4oC and used Swix purple from Tuesday’s Meanderthal ski day.

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