Trip Reports – Feb 2021

394 Comments:

Leave a Reply to DaveM Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Bill Milne – Evan Thomas – Wedge Connector and back: 20km
    Jeff G and I were the only ones in the Ribbon Creek lot all day long… where was everybody? We started in sunny and warm conditions at around 11:00, not sure what to expect in terms of conditions. Although there were some messy sections with debris (especially near the village) or boot/paw prints (especially approaching and around Wedge Pond), we were pleasantly surprised with the good tracks and the great glide (me in skins and he on fishscales). It clouded over after lunch which helped prevent the tracks from becoming too wet and mushy. A lovely day overall!

  2. CASTLE LOOKOUT to BAKER CREEK via PROTECTION CAMPGROUND – Feb 28

    Lots of people enjoying the lovely ski conditions while temperatures here are still cool.
    Details available in the photo descriptions here:
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/kpSfSwzu3gQf72jV6
    The return was fast given a strong west wind!

    • Chuck, can you tell me if the 1a east or west of castle junction has snow on the road still? My husband wants to ride his bike with studded tires while I Xc ski.

  3. West Bragg Creek- Early sunny morning skate ski to beat the crowds. Started about 8am , a couple loops of West crystal line, Sundog, East crystal line. Saw about a dozen people and a few pups on the trail. Snow and grooming was fantastic. No ice and barely any debris. Thanks groomers! Parking lot full when we finished up just before 930.

  4. We classic skied South and North Trails at Nipika on Saturday and Fatbiked them Sunday. Great conditions for both. Friendly people and 4 legged friends.

  5. Saturday was a lovely, tranquil 35km XC ski at Yoho National Park (Emerald Lake > Natural Bridge via Connector Trail > Kicking Horse Fire Road > Field via lower Tally Ho Road > Emerald Lake). Arrived at the Emerald Lake parking lot at 8:30am and plenty of spots available. First on the Connector Trail and there was some fresh snow. Watch out for the exciting dips, twists, turns, and the final steep descent in the trees – no tracks in this section and there is no shame in taking off your skis as the sign suggests. Tracks on Kicking Horse Fire Road were crisp and great. Kudos to the Kicking Horse Ski Club for the well-maintained trails and helpful signage throughout. Amazing to see only less than a dozen people on the trails on a Saturday. Was well worth the 2.5 hour drive from Calgary.

  6. Feb 28: Mt. Shark
    Haven’t seen too much posted on Mt. Shark lately so here goes…beautiful conditions and cooler snow still to be found. Plush snow allows for some extra speed on the downs and gives you great grip on the ups. Minus 5 today at the parking lot to start (11:00am) then minus 3 a few hours later (2:00). Did the 15km loop with only a handful of other skiers. Had the picnic bench on the 10 km loop all to ourselves. Great conditions even though not groomed in a few days. Enjoy!!

  7. Sun feb 28: east elk pass.
    Temps ranged from -7 to -1 for the morning/early aft. Fox creek in good shape on the way in, some minor debri. Same with elk pass trail. Good straight tracks despite the old grooming and new snow. The track to east elk pass travelled well with some fresh snow on the old track. Should be fine for skinny skis, with some caution using small baskets. Bailey can attest as she came in for a visit on XC gear. Winds picked up from the north and started blowing in the track, but comfy enough at Couch H2.0, watching the snow Devils race through the pass. Things clouded up in the afternoon and the snow stayed cool in south PLPP. Returned via Patterson meadows.

  8. High Rockies Trail Goat Creek parking lot to Goat pond return 13km
    -6C warming to -3C used VR 40 and a bit of VR45 Fresh snow on top of dog sledding trails soft but very skiable. We ski it with light touring metal edges but it can be done on non metal edge skis.
    This figure 8 loop has an upper and lower part to it. We usually ski it CCW IE Cross the bridge over Goat Creek and ski up the hill right in front of you. We skied the upper part which is an old logging road. Return via the more winding hummocky/swampy trail. The entrance to this lower section is roughly 50m from the west end of the dike. At the figure 8 junction you can turn back and ski the lower trail instead of going the whole way.
    Watch out for dog teams! Step well off the trail to allow them to pass. Be courteous. The drivers are quite friendly and will tell you how many other teams are coming.
    This is a multi use trail. You will meet fat bikers, snowshoers, walkers as well as dogsledders.
    There is some wildlife on the trails. Moose and wolves are around. We found big wolf tracks this AM. The tracks followed the trails all the way to Goat Pond.

  9. WBC- early Sunday. Arrived at 8:10 am with few cars in the lot. Skied East Crystaline, Elbow connector, Loggers, West Crystaline, Sundog and repeated East Crystaline, Loggers, West Crystaline and back to the lot. Great conditions! Thanks to our hard-working trail crew. When arrived back at 10:00 am, lot was completely fill and cars parked along the road for about 1 km. Glad I went early! Used Toko red and had no problems climbing or descending.

  10. Confederation Golf Course

    A big thank you to Foothills Nordic ski club for maintaining the trails. This has been the best year I can remember at Confed, conditions have been good on most days since Christmas. We had another enjoyable ski yesterday on fresh snow and fresh tracks. Great to see so many kids out.

  11. Ribbon Creek- did Ribbon Creek, Coal mine, more Ribbon creek (down the s bends), Kovach past the viewpoint and then Hummingbird Plume (up on High level and down on Sunburst). Very nice day out with beautiful sunshine and mountain views, though a bit slow on the several cm of ungroomed fresh snow. Walkers are *mostly* doing an admirable job of avoiding the ski tracks, with a few minor exceptions. I wish someone would tell them to stick to the side on long downhills with no tracks though. I sure do appreciate these trails.

  12. Skied all over the place at Pipestone today and the snow, tracksetting, and weather made it a great experience. Five centimeters of snow fell after the most recent tracksetting but all of the many skiers created beautiful, soft-edged tracks. VR40, -8C, and friendly people everywhere added up to a wonderful time.

    After tea, the skiing continued on Fairview and the Moraine Lake Road. Only 4 skiers over there but the same superb ski conditions. HIGHLY recommended!

  13. Banff Springs Hotel to Goat Creek parking up and back – Great conditions

    There was about 10 cm of fresh snow on top of yesterday’s grooming. The groomer was out this morning refreshing yesterday’s work as far as the upper Spray bridge. After that there was enough skier traffic for a good track set. The down hill sections were good. Even the toughest one, north bound down to the Goat Creek bridge was relatively easy to get down without smashing into the bridge. I only saw 2 walkers up near the Goat Creek end but unfortunately they were walking in the skier tracks as there was too much snow in the middle for them…

  14. Brewster Creek/Sundance Lodge

    What a wonderful ski to this hidden gem. I can’t believe with all the trails we have skied over the years that this was our first time here. We had a late start and trouble accessing the parking due to the long lineup of downhillers waiting to be allowed up the Sunshine road. Once on the trail the snow was wonderful and we enjoyed a lovely 2.5 km double pole by stunning Brewster Creek to the turnoff for Sundance Lodge 8.5 km ahead. The few cm’s of new snow was freshly trackset and our blue wax worked well. We enjoyed the climb through the forest with some undulating terrain and good viewpoints. After a refreshment stop outside the lodge the run down was great. The trail was only trackset on one side allowing a perfectly groomed area to descend and snowplow if needed. With the fresh snow the descent was perfect on our skinny skis . Love finding a new trail. We will be back.

    • Hi Janice P.,
      FYI, and as you will be back (and hopefully making more great reports), you need to know that that first 2.5 km is actually along the stunning Healy Creek. Brewster Creek is the one further up that you cross on bridges as you approach Sundance Lodge.
      Happy trails,
      Chuck

  15. WBC- February 27

    We had a great ski at Wbc today! We started out by heading up Mtn road to Moose connector then over to Moose loop. Went counter-clockwise on Moose loop to Mountain view west. The tracks on ML were a bit wobbly but it wasn’t a problem. Mountain view west had the best tracks of the day. Amazing! Thanks groomers! We continued on Mtn road (nice tracks) to Mtn view then back to the parking lot on West Crystal Line. Get out and enjoy it before the heat wave shows up next week!

  16. PLPP Treasure
    Jamie and I skied PLPP today. We started at Boulton Creek Campground at 9:20 a.m. with 6 cm or so of new snow on the old tracks and a temperature of -11C. I broke trail on Moraine, then followed someone’s trail along the first part of Elk pass, back to breaking trail after the Hydroline Junction. Someone had gone up to Blueberry Hill ahead of us (from Elk Pass), so we followed that trail up to the lookout. There was very little wind at Blueberry Hill and good views of the lakes, in between clouds. More snow had fallen at Blueberry Hill. The decent was fun and controllable. We toured around to Elk Pass, Tyrwhitt and down Whiskey Jack. The steep downhill was fast; we had to watch the main curve of the S-turn, but it was all fun. Jamie picked me up at Elkwood Parking. Nothing that we did today was newly track set after the snowfall, but we had reasonable glide without sticking. It wasn’t very fast with the new snow.
    We sure appreciate the beautiful trails and scenery at PLPP. Recently, we also skied to Moab Lake and the Pyramid Lake Fire Road near Jasper, as well as Cooking Lake – Blackfoot east of Edmonton.

  17. CNC 9:30 -12:00 -9C VR 40 5cm fresh on top of grooming. Parking lots were 1/2 full at 9:30 and the lower parking lot, closest to the highway, still had spaces at noon.
    The Nordic Centre has really picked up its grooming game in the last few weeks. Almost everywhere we skied today had been groomed last night or within the past 48h.
    We finished off our 2021 Ski Every Trail Challenge this AM!
    We skied Centennial, Olympic above the stadium, and a small section of Rundle at the South end of the trails. Lots of backtracking finishing off small connectors between trails. The trails above the stadium are designed as race trails. They can be challenging but in the right conditions are lots of fun to ski. We started our challenge back in January, persevered though the cold and ended today in perfect ski weather. — with Cheryl Burton at Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park.

  18. WBC – Outer trails (CCW)
    -12C at 9:30am and -5C when we returned. Blue bird sky and no wind.
    We skied West Hostel, Telephone, Moose, Mountain View West, Mountain View, West Crystal, Loggers, Elbow (including the south portion), Iron Springs / Iron creek dead end, East Sundog, East Crystal and a loop around Middle Crystal to end up with 42km for the virtual Cookie Race.
    Great conditions with an inch of new snow of older grooming / tracks, excellent grip during the whole ski with two layers of V40 Blue extra and a layer of V30 Green
    Elbow after the southernmost junction with Iron Springs is quite a mess and would not be pleasant to ski…

    • Ha! Always a good day following J-F (mostly). Probably the most pleasant day of skiing I’ve had at west Bragg. Groomed tracks a bit worn in places, but good snow and temps throughout with sun (and impending meltdown) trumped the Wobblies by far. A bit of scraping on telephone on the east side, but minor. Some walkers in the track on the west side. Telephone was nice travel with the bit of fresh. Stepped off the grooming at the NW corner to check out GH’s track, but went all the way to the plowed road. It’s like mountain road width, gently rolling, but better afternoon sun protection through most of it. A nice add on to telephone as an out and back. Doable with any width ski right now (if you go early tomorrow). After telephone, returned via moose, mountain views, loggers and east crystal. No way I was doing elbow though.

  19. Redearth Creek:
    Having read Dana’s trip report on Redearth from yesterday, and knowing the tracksetting was only 2 days old, we decided to go there today. -9C at our 9:45am start. About 5cm fresh snow in the parking lot. We were the first skiers on this trail today, and the going was slow as we broke trail in the new snow over quite a soft trackset. Just before we reached Lost Horse Ck campground (at 7km), a group of about a dozen skiers caught and passed us, and from there on the skiing in their trackset was much easier. Lunch at the Warden’s cabin, and a very enjoyable return ski. Tracks somewhat wobbly, downhills quite manageable. -4C at our 2pm finish. Enjoyable day under mostly sunny skies.

  20. MAKE ALBERTA A DEMOCRACY

    EAST FISH CREEK PARK

    Take advantage of the new snow and ski East Fish Creek. There is a skier tracked trail on much of the creek east of Macleod Trail. Lots of skiing to be had and no fees. Get it before the chinooks do later this week.

  21. Barb aka Snowfairy

    opps, February 26!

  22. Barb aka Snowfairy

    February 28 Boulton Bridge-Whisky Jack-Packers-Back to Boulton
    -3 C at 11:00
    50 layers of wax applied four weeks ago-still holding up well! (just kidding! went with good ol’blue and green).
    Beautiful ski up Whiskey Jack.
    Packers had some needles, tracks a wee bit warbly.
    Grateful for a dusting of new snow to cover the needles and for a good ski down.
    Here’s my take on a new ski song. sing like you’re singing “I love to go a-wandering”.
    I love to go a-wandering
    On PLPP trails
    I slide, I glide, at times I stick
    My knapsack on my back
    Skis underneath my boots
    Valley hi, Valley lo, valley hi
    Vally Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha
    Valley hi, Valley lo

    I love to wander through the trees
    And view the snowy peaks
    So joyously it calls to me
    Come join my skiing song

    Valley hi, Valley lo, Valley hi,
    Vally ski, ski, ski, ski, ski, ski
    Valley hi, Valley lo
    Skis underneath my boots.

    Have fun!
    Ciao

    • Barb aka Snowfairy

      Delete the line ‘My knapsack on me back, otherwise, it won’t work! Have to work on my editing! While I’m here again I lost a white dongle for my iPhone, if you happen to find it give me a shout, I’ll buy you a hot chocolate some time. I once lost a small pearl earring in the snow, in the dark and still found it with a flashlight! so it is possible! Stay safe on the trails!

  23. Sorry for the delay! It is -10 in Peter Lougheed. We received 3-5cm of snow (likely more at higher elevations) at the visitor’s centre.

    Roads were ploughed (8am) but still hard-packed snow coverage.

  24. I skied couple of laps around Hostel Loop yesterday afternoon, while my grand-daughter was at her Jackrabbits class. At the time I would have rated conditions as fair, due to some glazed tracks in spots, sometimes bumpy hardpack out of the tracks, and enough debris from winds to necessitate a good scraping afterwards. The few new cm’s this morning should take care of all that.

  25. Skied from Goat Creek parking lot to Banff Springs, excellent newly track set conditions, east Spray loop had a good amount of debris near the end but not enough to ruin the day. Skin skis worked very well with new application of glide wax.

  26. Ribbon Creek area: Hidden / Skogan Pass / Sunburst – Highlevel loop / Terrace – Terrace Link to finish up

    The route up to Skogan has not been groomed for a while. I suspect that might change this evening. As it was, there was lots of snow on what amounted to skier set tracks. I see that there are now “Trail for skiers only” signs at the Troll falls / Nakiska junction and the point where a snow shoe trail coming up from the valley reaches the trail just uphill of the old Marmot Basin junction. Sadly, that works about as well as it usually does. The “screamer” was fairly tough with the walker / snow shoe damage. Even on the fresh tracks (south of Ribbon Creek) there is already some walker damage. It should be fine tomorrow morning but with weekend traffic it will likely get pounded up pretty much by the afternoon.

  27. GREAT DIVIDE and TAMARACK – Feb 26

    Great ski conditions and very few people out today.
    Details available in the photo descriptions here:
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/EitQkJabcthSXUmX6
    With temperatures just below zero, my VR 50 wax was perfect.

  28. Redearth Creek to Warden’s cabin. I was deciding if I should go on light touring skis or waxing skis. The trail did not look groomed and was covered with needles, but the snow looked soft and dry. So the waxing skis won. Good decision, since the surprise groomed track started just above the first hill. Even the needles disappeared soon. The rest of the trail is in excellent shape. We met maybe 15 people walking up to the Shadow Lake Lodge, carrying snowshoes in their packs. But skiing down was delightful, their footprints did not ruin anything.

  29. Cascade to the 11km mark (I would have loved to continue to the end but errands called me back to the city). Sara M’s report yesterday says it all…all I have left to add is that it was a fabulous day with perfect blue wax grip and glide and warm temps, especially when the sun came out. It was nice to chat with Helen and see her Meanderthal crew along the way!

    • I did almost exactly the same, but probably a bit later in the day, with the snow “storm” hitting just after 3 pm.

      It seems odd how there is so much tree debris in some areas, and none in others. Most of the snow was surprisingly clean. I did find it a tad sticky at times, also with blue wax.

      Saw lots of happy skiers of all ages on the trail today!

  30. Four Norseman members started from Boulton at 9:00 am and skied up Whiskey Jack and along Tyrwhitt to Elk Pass. There was a thin layer of new snow on the tracks which made climbing easier, and had good control on the downhill sections. At the T-junction we skied up to Blueberry and back. Snow conditions were good but had some sticking as the snow built up in the kick zone with VR40; had to stop and scrape once. Fast and fun downhill run from top of Blueberry all the way to the Fox Creek junction. Although Fox Creek and Moraine had tree debris, there was just enough snow to cover the debris and make the skiing enjoyable. The lower trails could use a bit more snow and the tracks were hard packed and slightly glazed in places.

  31. First time ski up Brewster Creek to Sundance Lodge. Enjoyed a quiet trail with good snow and tracks. I met several skiers and some hikers on the return trip which was quite fast. I was on my 50 light touring skis. Snow was a bit crunchy with some bootprints in the snowmobile lane on the way down, skinny skis would have been still fine today. I agree that this trail is fine for skinny skis if you hit it right after a recent snowfall and tracksetting.

  32. CNC 10-12:00 -3C Classic VR 50 (purple) Ended up a bit slippy as typical Nordic Centre tracks tend to require a step warmer wax. Parking lot was 3/4 full.
    We tried valiantly to finish off our quest to ski every trail this year. Just a couple more sections of the race trails above the stadium left to go.
    We skied Salt Lake Connector and Sarajevo to finish off all the trails north of the stadium. We skied parts of Centennial Trail and Olympic.
    All trails were in great shape. Good tracks and skate lanes with some needles in the tracks
    Ended up our ski by dropping into Trail Sports and test skiing the brand new Salomon S/Max eSkins with the new Shift-in binding. All I can say is wow!
    The bindings allow for its position to be moved forward or back on the ski allowing for more grip or glide depending on snow conditions. This type of binding system works well on any skin ski allowing for the fact you have the same base on the snow VS changing waxes to match the conditions.
    The Salomons skied really well. Great downhill control and gave great grip and glide. They are in the mix for our next skin skis.
    If you are in the market for skis and want to try before you buy, try some Demo skis at Trail Sports in Canmore. We saw a woman testing out some new boots before she bought them!

  33. Confederation Golf Course
    A bit slick for us classic skiers but anyone who showed up in my wake today (after 12) will have been able to take advantage of fresh grooming, at least on the north-east side.

  34. Good Morning. It is -10 and overcast at the Peter Lougheed Discovery Centre in Kananaskis.

  35. PLPP- Boulton Creek parking: (9:30 am – 5C) Six skied Boulton > Fox Creek > Elk Pass > Blueberry > Elk Pass > Hydroline > Patterson > Elk Pass > Fox Creek > Moraine (finished 2:30 pm at -3C).
    The hill down to Bouton Bridge was frozen and very rough but everyone arrived at the bottom on their skis! Boulton’s new grooming and TS had lots of tree debris on and in the snow so slower than expected. Fox was not as littered as Boulton and was at a winter best. Elk Pass had some tree debris on and in the snow but grooming and TS were very good all the way to Elk Pass. Grooming and TS on Blueberry were great on lower half but extremely littered with black lichen on the top half. The few snow bombs and twigs on the down-side grooming were removed on the way up for our own safe return. Hydroline to Patterson was clean and crisp with no evidence of drifting. Patterson was spectacularly fast with clean grooming and sharp TS. Moraine was in very good condition without a lot of tree debris or black lichen.
    VR45, VR50 and V40 Blue Extra worked well today.

  36. CNC this AM 9:00 -11:30. -1C windy. Sunny day using Skintecs
    Started the day demoing Fischer Twin Skins from Trail Sports. New skis in my future. We’ve had Atomic Skintecs for 5 winters now and love their versatility!
    After skiing a couple of KM on the Fischers, ended up skiing up above the stadium on Chipmunk, Osprey, Olympic,Rundle. Each winter we try to ski every trail at the Nordic Centre. We just about have them all covered. We are always amazed that other folks ski the more obscure trails too.
    Snow was great today even on the trails that haven’t been groomed or TS lately.

  37. WBC entire south and west perimeter including Elbow south out and back and Dead End out and back

    Snow conditions were good on lots of freshly groomed trails. Unfortunately walkers and fat bikers, as usual, get right on that fresh grooming to mess it up. Elbow south is really rough. A couple of horses have been on that section (part of the winter equestrian network). It was cool enough (2 degrees) that melting did not occur so glazing is not going to be an issue tomorrow.

  38. Shaganappi skate ski conditions are very good. The wind kept things cool so the grooming was nice and firm, pretty much perfect. A few icy sections. Condo alley was still skiable but Westgate corner is now asphalt and the detour will probably melt out on Sunday if the forecast holds. The remaining tracks were being rapidly filled by the wind and there is some drifting and debris, but not bad considering. The groomers have done a great job this winter.

  39. Lake Louise, Feb. 25

    Despite the dire weather warnings, as we were already out in the area, we skied from Lower Tramline to MLR to Fairview and then down Tramline. Miracle of miracles, hardly any wind and NO ONE there. Honestly! We ran into, perhaps, 10 people all day. Beautiful tracks though a bit slow. No debris to speak of. Should be great skiing tomorrow.

  40. Feb 25 – Cascade fire road to Stoney Creek
    Skied up to Stoney Creek today. The first few km of the trail have some tree debris on the trail. There are also a couple snow drifts across the trail in the open area at the bottom of the fire road. There was another area of heavy tree debris in the flood detour beyond the campground. I was on VR45 and it worked well in the shade, but it was a struggle to get grip in the sun when I finished around 1pm. If I had started an hour later, I probably would have had to go up a few grades of wax stickiness.

  41. WBC (-5C at 8:15am and quite windy and +1C at 11:15am)
    We skied West Hostel were we met Groomer Jeremy N, Telephone, Moose loop (CCW) and back to the parking lot on Mountain Road.
    Telephone is hard packed and with little tracks until the junction with Disconnect, the downhills were fast but safe. As usual the West section has better conditions. Just be careful at the junction with Moose and there is an ice flow developing but clearly visible. Moose loop was really nice and excellent tracks / grooming.

  42. Wed feb 24: lookout/tyrwhitt/east elk pass/elk pass.
    Chilly start but didn’t seem so bad with the sun and mild breeze in the morning. Decent track set along lower elk pass and up north end of hydroline. Freshies all the way up to lookout from the south. Lots of folk coming up the north side, but still a decent descent with the snow over the grooming (first descenders). Ankle + trail breaking off grooming to east elk pass (2 on LT, 1 on XC). A party had been in before the last storm so the old track was mostly visible in all but the most open areas. Couch H2.0 and the wind wall had morphed into breaking waves but miraculously still intact. Some rebuilding ensued to support a nice break in the heat of the day. Wind picked up in the afternoon, but couch was nice and comfy. Another party of two encountered on the way back to grooming, so 5 bodies out and back on the track will make for good travel. Bigger pole baskets still preferable but not critical. Open areas may be blown in after today, but should still be followable. Back to elk pass, and for more meadow sun, put a track through Patterson meadows via the hydroline snowshoe trail. Skier set track on Patterson grooming. Wobbly track back along elk pass trail until the newer grooming at north hydroline, which was much welcome. The descent of the big hill was perfect and easy. Stopped at wedge on the way home for a fire and sausages with cheeky and Simona. Wind wall there now for future fires. A good end to a great sunny day.

  43. Brewster Creek to Sundance Lodge

    There is a very good skier track up to Sundance Lodge and beyond. After tea and lunch on the lodge porch, we continued up a skier track to BW10, took a mini tour through the campground and headed back. This is such a beautiful area, and we found solitude here, having only met three skiers all day. The return was fantastic, we did not break any speed records due to the fresh snow, but the descent and the curves were very enjoyable. When we got down to Healy Creek, it was freshly groomed.

    Pics for today:
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/HHTy3fb35Dd2CvJHA

  44. Feb 24 – CNC
    Nice afternoon skate ski at CNC today. Trails skied: Banff, Snowshoe Hare, Coyote, Freddie’s Flip, Banff again, Silvertip, Flying Squirrel, Grey Wolf, Bow, Cold Shoulder, and then back on Banff. Nearly all of the trails I skied had been groomed since the last snow, with the exception of Cold Shoulder which is a dead-end trail and probably of lower priority. Some good, fast snow out there! Teeny tiny bit of debris on the trails that hadn’t been groomed in the last 24 hours, but nothing to write home about.

  45. PLPP. It was a chilly -19C to start at 8 am, but it warmed up to -3C. Mostly sunny with a few clouds, and some wind higher up. Starting at Pocaterra I skied Rolly Road, Pocaterra, Lookout, Hydroline, Fox Creek, Moraine, Amos, Wooley, and Meadow. Only the last trail had fresh grooming. The other trails had 5-10 cm of new snow with lots of fresh animal tracks.

  46. An amazing day at WBC. We skied Moose-Mountainview West-Mountain Road-Mountainview-Crystal West-Loggers-Sundog. Other than a couple of minor ice flows, it was perfect!
    https://steveriggs.smugmug.com/SkiPix2021/i-jDgKKL4/A

  47. FEB 24 WEST BRAGG CREEK
    Crystal East, Sundog West, Crystal West (Upper), Mountain View, Mountain Road, Mountain View West, Moose Loop North, Moose Connector, Mountain Road, Hostel Meadow laps

    -10C when I arrived at 0945, with the parking lot only about 1/4 full. -1C when I left in the early afternoon with the parking lot about 3/4 full. Took the skate skis for a spin with a combo of skate, double-pole, and classic technique. Awesome fresh corduroy on most of the trails, a bit soft in places. Beware of a 20cm-long strip of exposed grass in the right (east) trackset when descending a hill about 1/4 way in from the south end of Mountain View West! Also, a skate skier decided to slash most of the right (east) trackset – https://photos.app.goo.gl/TUKSwxPaJbcm8PJHA. If you can’t or won’t ski “between the lines”, please stay off trackset trails!

    Had a friendly chat with a couple who were walking their dogs on Hostel Meadow despite the giant breadboard sign saying “skiers only”, “no walking”, etc. They said they thought the sign applied only to the trackset; not the corduroy. They apologized, turned around, and headed up Telephone. I also chatted with another couple who had spent a long time looking at the trail map at the south junction of Telephone and Hostel Loop. They said they were planning to walk up Telephone and return on Hostel East. I redirected them to return on Fisher Link and Snowshoe Hare instead.

  48. LAKE O’HARA – Feb 24

    Beautiful conditions today with recent snowfall and few cross country skiers.
    Details available in the photo descriptions here:
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/8BnAiZDBroQtKA1q7
    No evidence of even snowmobile tracks, which makes it very pleasant, if a little slow.

  49. Has anyone skied Nipika in the past few days? Their last update is from Feb 19 so wondering what conditions are like now.
    Thanks,

    • We skied there on Sat Feb 20 and everything was great, north side groomed on Feb 19 and south side on Feb 20. Not sure what the wind and warmth will have done to the trails though (all were mid-winter snow on Sat) – best bet is probably to give them a call.

    • Hi Rhonda: We skied Nipika this afternoon (Thurs 25 Feb) from 1-4pm. Temp around -4C. They had new snow overnight and all the main trails have been impeccably groomed. They are having a banner year for snow and some of the best conditions we have ever skied there . In addition to our party of 3, we saw only 4 other skiers. Should be packed on the weekend as the conditions are excellent.

  50. Feb 24 Skied WBC East Crystalline, Sundog, Elbow, Iron Springs and the conditions were fantastic, -7 to start warming up to -1 at noon. Lots of room in the parking lot and fresh grooming on the trails, happily paid my trail fee.

  51. Anyone want to head to West Bragg on Thursday for an intense day?

  52. PLPP- Elkwood 9:30 am – 10C Five skied Wheeler > Whiskey Jack > Tyrwhitt > Elk Pass > Elk Pass “big hill” and Fox Creek > Boulton Creek > Wheeler > Amos > Wheeler > Elkwood finishing at 3:15 pm at -5C.
    Peter Lougheed Park was blanketed in new snow! We were not going to find the pristine new grooming on Tyrwhitt, Lookout and Hydroline. We skied in first track on Wheeler, then had the help of two fore-runners up Whiskey Jack and south on Tyrwhitt to Elk Pass. They set a great track and we skied easily behind them – thank you. Skier tracks on last night’s grooming had the least snow depth – 5 cm. The ski down from Elk Pass to Blueberry Junction was very rough in snow depth of about 8 to 10 cm. Lower reaches of Elk Pass had better skier tracks to follow. We split up at Fox Creek junction; the big hill was very easy in the snow over last night’s grooming. Fox Creek trail was fast with good tracks and tree debris all covered. Boulton Creek had good tracks with new snow on the hills and covering the at times icy trail. Amos showed very good skier tracks so we returned to Elkwood this way for variety. Green and VR40 worked well today with icing happening only on the Whiskey Jack climb. A hard and rewarding day of skiing.

  53. WBC Snowshoe Hare

    I managed to ski up all of Snowshoe Hare to Telephone. Good fun. Just enough fresh snow. Good climbing on Red Swix. I did see another skier coming down as I was climbing up.

    It was quite hard and icy under last nights fresh snow. Definitely not a beginner trail. Metal edges would have been nice. Dropping a knee would have consequences if you found a rock or root.

    If the snowshoe users could pack the trail 3 abreast that would be awesome.

    There could be a future for this shared use trail. I will definitely ski it again after the next dump.

    Hats off to all the dog owners who had the doggos under control.

  54. 1A, Castle Lookout towards Baker Creek return.
    Overnight snow covered most of the debris but it was full of air and moisture which created some clumping. The route was trackset today as we skied and this resolved the problem, a big shout out to the groomer. I used a -2 to -7 wax and had just enough grip and excellent glide. The sun shone a lot but the snow survived well.

  55. Pipestone – We weren’t sure what to expect when we pulled in, but saw snowmobile tracks entering the unplowed parking lot, so we decided we were in luck. Sure enough – first car in the lot and first tracks in the freshly groomed and tracked Pipestone Loop. We skied the whole loop, hoping to lunch at the ‘couch’. The wind was quite strong around Pipestone Pond, and the couch was quite buried in snow, so we stopped to eat at the Merlin Jct. We then skied Drummond to Mud Lake and back up Drummond and down Lower Pipestone to Hector, up Hector to Drummond, up Merlin, down Merlin and down Lower Pipestone again, backtracking to Hector and finished at the West gate for a total of 30+kms. We skied every trail in the area, which we had always wanted to do, and today was the day to do it! The tracks were good everywhere, if a bit soft. I used fish scale skis and Ray used V40, neither of us had problems with sticking. Temp. -6C to -3C. A very quiet ski, as there were not more than 20 people out today.

    • GOSH!!! If you had signed up for the Virtual Birkie and Ski-anderthal team, you could have entered the 31 kms class and added 60+ kms to our total kms. Sounds like a heavenly time and the hills with new track-setting must have been a joy to you!!

  56. West Bragg Creek: Mountain Road, Moose Loop South, Mountainview West. A wee bit soft, one ice flow on Mountain Road, skier set track on Mountainview West. Fabulous way to spend a sunny Tuesday late afternoon. Should be nice and firm tomorrow, I’ll bet, The grooming is excellent, with much thanks to Jeff, Bill and the crew. Don’t forget to donate.

  57. WBC- FEBRUARY 23.
    West Crystal-Loggers-Elbow-Iron Springs-Iron Creek-East Crystal.
    Very good conditions, as you would expect. Good tracks that were decently fast, if a bit soft and easily damaged in places. A minor bit of sticky snow on the most sun exposed spots, using VR 45. A bonus was finding the south Elbow-Iron Loop groomed, set, and in pristine condition.
    https://steveriggs.smugmug.com/SkiPix2021/i-rXf8fGk/A
    Get it while you can, as south of the loop- Elbow is already trampled.

  58. Skogan Loop

    We had a great fresh powder bluebird ski to the Skogan Loop picnic table viewpoint from the Ribbon Creek parking lot and returned the same way to take advantage of our tracksetting. We got a good workout setting trail on 8 cm at the parking lot and 15 cm at the top. We did not have to snowplow at all on the return. Temperature was minus 8 degrees to begin and zero at the end. Fish scales worked quite well with no clumping. Unfortunately a large group of snowshoers walked on the trail, passing and ignoring the ski only sign on Skogan at the Ruthies junction. They continued up the Screamer, up Sunburst and returned on High Level. We met a nice ski couple on the trail that had met the group and told us that it consisted of 6 to 8 friendly seniors. The tracks covered much of the trail width with big divots and will make snowplowing difficult at best, and possibly dangerous, tomorrow after the snow cools and sets tonight. Such a pity because it was such a good trail this morning.

  59. SPRAY WEST to GOAT CREEK BRIDGE – Feb 23

    Not trackset yet, but great snow conditions with between 5 to 15 cms of fresh snow depending on elevation.
    Details in the photo descriptions here:
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/Zc1dgEs59Lr6TFZi6
    A social day with so many happy skiers

  60. PLPP – Pocaterra-ComeAlong-Pocaterra-Lynx-Amos-Wheeler-WhiskeyJack-Pocaterra

    Started from the Pocaterra trailhead at about 0845, temp was -9 and there was about 4-5 cm of fresh snow on the trails. This increased to about 10 cm at the higher elevations, and my turn around point at the Whiskey Jack/Pocaterra junction.

    Trails are all in good shape, but are now skier-trackset. The fresh snow has taken care of the debris problems. I was on skin skies, which were a little slick, but others on wax skies were saying they were having problems getting the grip just right – problems with too much grip and too much glide, depending on where they were. Temp was -2 when I finished at about 1330. Beautiful conditions, with no wind and few people. Saw only about 12 during the whole time out. 8 cars in the parking lot when I left.

  61. West Bragg Creek: Mountain Road, Moose Loop, West Crystal Line, Sundog Loop, East Crystal Line

    I drove in to WBC (-8 at 9:15) without a specific plan this morning, which is unusual for me, but it ended up being a beautiful morning of following the new tracks and seeing peoples’ smiling faces as we crossed paths. My blue wax worked well for today…a bit grippy at the beginning then not quite grippy enough near the end after it warmed up, but still quite good. The tracks…what can I say about freshly laid tracks except a huge thank you to the groomers who were hard at work! It was +3 when I drove away at 11:30, happy and hungry for lunch.

  62. We skied the Telephone loop at WBC this morning. Trail was good. No exposed dirt, rocks or ice. If going, recommend early start as snow is soft.

    • We didn’t start until just after 1 pm. Still fabulous (can I just whine one more time about walkers stomping DIRECTLY in the tracks, even though the signage – lots of it – gives them pretty clear direction), but it still didn’t impede us. I love that trail when the sun is shining, there’s fresh snow on the trees and the conditions are great. So glad we did it today! A huge shout out again to the groomers who make all of this possible.

  63. My wife and I skied or should I say tried to ski Bill Milne trail today starting at one of the lower parking lots at Kananaskis Village. We skied to Highway 40 and I nearly did a couple of face plants since my ski’s went from glide to grip in an instant. I thought maybe it was the way I was skiing since I haven’t been skiing that long. I checked the bottom of the ski and there was a solid 2 to 3 inches of snow built up in the kick zone. We scrapped the snow off our ski’s and headed back to the truck. We thought the Bill Milne trail might be better up by the Kanananski Golf course so we packed up and drove there to start again. Now for the rookie mistake…. I had a can of Swix Klister which I have never used. The can said it is good for snow temperatures in the -5 to +10 temperature. This Klister stuff is sticky just like fly paper. It worked real good cause the snow stuck to the bottom even better than the V40. I read the small print on the Klister can and it said its good for Icy tracks. We finally gave up and headed home. It took me half hour and half a bottle of base cleaner to scrap and wipe off the Klister.

    • Hi Len,
      All of us have similar Klister stories and the junction signs at the top of some hill will be covered with the stuff on the edges. For future reference Klister is the last resort for an icy track. For warm wet new snow you need a PHD in waxing to get it so snow doesn’t stick.
      I hope you return to Bill Milne when cooler temperatures come back.

  64. PLPP
    10:00 to 14:30, 0C to +2C. Boulton Creek, Fox Creek, Elk Pass, Tyrwitt, Pocaterra, Packers. Skin skis and waxable used. Blue/purple had no grip, purple too much grip. Some icing on skins even with application of Swix Skin Care liquid. None of this was enough to spoil the day. Wind debris had been covered up by 4cm new snow which also meant that downhills were all easily managed. Some grauple flurries and also hints of sunshine.

  65. WBC: East and West Crystal / Moose north side of loop / both Mountain Views / Loggers / Iron Springs – Elbow figure 8 both loops / Hostel loop

    Conditions today were variable, pretty decent in shaded areas and glazed in the sunny areas. The snow pack is still good so some cooler weather and grooming should make things better. There was a bit of debris here and there due to the winds of the last few days. Hostel and the southern Iron Springs – Elbow loop have considerable damage due to walkers. South of the loops towards Fullerton the damage pretty much renders the ski trail unskiable.

    Skiing on metal edged waxless skis with an application of liquid glider wax on the fish scales made for decent progress (32 km).

  66. I forgot my waxless skis when I headed out to the Bill Milne trail in Kananaskis so ended up trying to wax for the warm temps.. As expected it didn’t go so well. Ended up with lots of snow stuck to the kick zone and felt like I was walking on stilts.
    On the return I scraped as much of the warm wax off as possible (with my pole) and added a colder wax for a mostly double pole, glide back to the car. I seem to manage this stilt walk at least once a season repeating to myself that I’ll use my waxless skis in warm weather next time.
    Happy Skiing.

  67. Confederation Park Golf Course
    Slippery in parts, soft in others, but still lots of snow. Most of the classic tracks are still visible, albeit getting soft.

  68. CNC Monday 9:00-11:00
    5cm fresh 0-+1C Skin skis. In anticipation of icing conditions,I used Nikwax Ski Skin Proof on the skins.
    At 9 am, although the man made trails were showing groomed and TS they were warning about the fresh 5cm on top of the grooming.
    The natural trails showed no grooming. We skied up Banff loop through the fresh snow with a bit of icing. Icing didnt occur on the skins but directly behind my heel.
    Once we got out past the Meadow there was brand new grooming & TS on Meadowview, Banff Trail and we think Bow had been freshly groomed and TS
    We even saw fresh wolf tracks on Banff trail out past the Meadow. We returned via the Banff trail with most classic folks struggling a bit. The CNC website appears to be quite up to date and accurate as it updated between the time I checked at 8:00 and 11:30. https://www.albertaparks.ca/parks/kananaskis/canmore-nordic-centre-pp/trail-report/trail-report-cnc/

    • Hi Hugh – I use Nikwax Ski Skin Proof as well, but I ran out and can’t find it anywhere. Do you know of a place that has it in stock? In the meantime I’ve been using spray-on waterproofing designed for Goretex clothing, but it’s not as good as Nikwax Ski Skin Proof.

    • Just to add to Hugh’s excellent report, I skied CNC from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm. Fish scales with de-icer on the kick zone worked perfectly all day. Bow was groomed & TS starting at the bottom of Bow Loop. The groomer must have approached from the west and returned that way. A few of us enjoyed viewing some great animal tracks at the very west end of Banff, heading into Banff Park. We concluded that they were Lynx, as the steps seemed a touch too small for cougar. By the time I returned to my car for some lunch, the Stadium had been groomed & TS.

  69. Skied Mount Shark today. Was planning on going to Cascade fire road, but forgot to bring classic boots. Oh well.

    It was very windy. Didn’t feel the wind in the trees, but it was very noticeable on watridge. On the upside, wind had blown the new snow off the trails, exposing perfect grooming in most places. On the downside, there were some snowdrifts which were quite slow. I actually took a bad spill going through one on a downhill. It totally caught me flat footed. Also, not sure how much fun it would have been to collect debris with classic wax.

    Overall, pretty good conditions. Just gotta watch out for those snow drifts. They’ll sneak up on ya.

  70. Started the day with a 9 am lesson on the Great Divide trail at Lake Louise. Great shape – then skied Telemark & Peyto with just a little debris and snow bombs but all good and weather better than expected. Saturday traffic & parking was insane but Sunday there were 4 cars at Moraine Lake at 2 pm.

  71. Yoho – Natural bridge to Emarald Lk then around the alluvial fan and back to ELL for a drink and a snack before heading back to the Natural bridge. 22km for the KHSC Virual Challenge. -3C to start @~11am +3C when we finished @~5pm. And what a difference those 6 degrees made. Quite slick to start but manageable with fast downhills. Track holding up well. Started getting soft on the alluvial fan with some sinking. The return on the Connector was a trial. Very slick, lots of debris and snow bombs turned to ice marbles. It wasn’t windy so just the warm temps to blame. Waxless skis were the ticket today, the waxed ones had no grip making for a big poling effort. Will feel it tomorrow. Dinner at Truffle Pigs in Field capped the day off nicely.

  72. Out and back along Pocaterra to the Whiskey Jack junction. Pocaterra was recently groomed and trackset so made it all the more worth it once we reached the top. Was a little slower than you would expect on the descent due to fresh snowfall but still a very enjoyable day. Wind was negligible in the trees which made it worth the trip into PLPP.

  73. PLPP – Pocaterra Trail
    Started at 9:45am at Pocaterra Hut to -3C. The drive south on Hwy 40 gave us some fierce winds, especially in the golf course area and near Fortress Junction. However, it was mostly calm in PLPP early on. The first trail section, hut to Lynx Jct, was in good shape, with quite a few needles in the tracks, but not bothersome. The second section, Lynx to Packers, again had good tracks, but needles and debris were more prominent. The third section, Packers to Whiskey jack, groomed last night, was pristine and delightful – only a few needles. Quite a crowd when we arrived at WJ – maybe 15 happy people. Temp here -2C, with flurries. A short ski then to our turn-around point, the Lookout Jct. The return trip on the same trails was good, though needles were certainly more prevalent north of Packers, due to the strengthening wind gusts. Finished on Come-Along and Rolly Road, now nearing needlemania as the gusts were getting very strong. Temp +3C. Super gusty at times on the drive back north on Hwy40

  74. PLPP – arrived at Boulton at 9AM, Air temp was -3. Applied to coats of VR45 and then two coats of VR40. Whiskey Jack was fresh groomed and a dream. Grooming continued until Lookout Turnout. Tyrwhitt tracks were a few days old but still good albeit quite a few tree bombs on the trail Coming down Elk Pass trail made for some excitement with lots of snow balls rolling onto the trail. Heard that Fox Creek had a lot of debris and some postholes so took the big hill down to the Boulton Creek turnoff. A little windblown at the top of the big downhill but the big hill was in great shape. Moraine was fun as always even on days old Track-setting. Needles and lichen were around but no Armegeddon as yet. Finished off on wheeler which was a nice fast ending to a great day.

  75. CNC 9:00-11:00. 0C Skin skis
    Parking lot 1/4 full but at 11:00 it was vultures circling looking for a parking spots.
    We skied straight up Banff Trail over through the the meadow on Coyote then back onto Banff to Silvertip to the end. Returned via Bow TR.
    Major trails were all groomed and TS. Fantastic conditions! Even the trails that hadn’t been groomed like Slivertip, had good tracks and soft enough snow for skating or snow ploughing. Kudos to the trail crew.
    By skiing early we missed a lot of skiers. The return on Bow had a lot of traffic.

  76. Good Morning.
    It is -5 and overcast at the Peter Lougheed Information Centre in Kananaskis.
    MK

  77. WBC
    Skied Telephone Loop Saturday morning, beginning just before 9 am. Conditions were quite good, the snow was fast and most of the loop had a decent track. Though there was evidence of foot traffic along the entire trail, almost all of it avoided the track. Returned to the parking lot just before noon and it was bonkers.

  78. Strange goings-on at Emerald Lake today. A White Rabbit was rushing along the trails muttering “Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!” with the Queen of Hearts, a Mad Hatter, and someone named Alice desperately trying to keep up with her. Rumour has it they rushed around for 45km, followed by a never-ending tea party at Truffle Pigs! https://photos.app.goo.gl/8QZjJ9BZ4kYWVq7KA.

    PS Only 4 days left for the Kicking Horse Ski Club Virtual Loppet – https://www.khsc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/2021-Virtual-Yoho-Nordic-Challenge.pdf

  79. Hi Ulrike,
    I skied with « race » xcountry skis (i.e. no metal edges), it’s a bit rough in some areas but nothing too scary, the issue sometimes is your skis getting lightly stuck in a snowmobile gouge, therefore not directing your skis where you would like them to go…. In any case the steepest parts have been already smoothed out as Mr Democracy mentioned. I don’t consider myself as an advanced skier but I am not afraid of downhills and / or to fall….Hope you will enjoy this trail.

  80. Redearth to Shadow Lake
    Overcast and light snow, -3c at 10am, +1 at 3pm, at the parking lot which was full.
    Pleasant skiing on a cm of new snow; the old track is rather washed out, and a refresh would be nice to have.
    About 20 skiers today, on AT, light touring, and skinny skis, all seemed to have a great day.

  81. Skied the Sandy McNabb Loop on the south of the highway this morning. Conditions were decent- a bit of debris in the tracks, hiker tracks on some sections of the ski trails, and some drifting snow covering the tracks in open areas, but otherwise the skiing was pretty good. +2C and very windy when we left around 1:00. Sun exposed areas will probably be somewhat icy tomorrow.

  82. PLPP- February 20

    After a bit of a late start (2:15) we skied Packers, Pocaterra, Lynx, the west section of Amos, and Wheeler which made a nice loop. The best conditions were on Pocaterra and Lynx. The wind was blowing on and off throughout the afternoon so there were tree debris in some of the tracks. It was also surprisingly quiet for a Saturday.

  83. STONEY CREEK HORSE CAMP up the CASCADE VALLEY – Feb 20

    Good conditions on the trackset trail to the Warden Cabin, and then good skier set conditions to the river crossing.
    Details available in the photo descriptions here:
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/XRzgzHnsh8okkK3Q8
    Sara M… this is not a ‘request’ to improve on previously reported wet crossings!

    • Great meeting you today Chuck
      We’ve enjoyed today’s conditions and made it past the first bridge?even had a short walk at Minnewanka Lake.
      Keep up a great work.
      Lubi

    • Haha, I’ll splish-splash across rivers all day in the summer, but I try to avoid wet crossings in the winter!

  84. WBC
    Arrived 944am and already cars were circling the parking lot and taking every available conceivable and inconceivable spot. Lucky to land a spot after an early bird pulled out in front of us. Frustrating getting there and seeing excessive “social distancing” between vehicles. 3-4’ should be enough space, no need for 6-8’ between vehicles.

    Warmer snow yielded amazing glide but my older Skintecs (was of hairy waxless) did not like gripping the finer grains so it was a lot of arm work. Significant winds were picking up through the morning which made for a “parasail-like” flight home on the trails. Hopefully not too much blowdown.

    Saw lots of signage around the various Crystal off shoots. What was going on? Anyone know?

    • I skied WBC 3 times this week, pretty much covered every trial and didn’t notice anything different apart from the best conditions every LOL. What did the signs say?

    • Hey Richie, there’s a fun virtual event called 2point4 hours of adrenaline. Registration is on now until Feb 28. Skiers go around West Crystal loops (3.4km loop) as many times as they can. Individuals ski 2hrs24minutes, family and teams can break up the time and add up the kms. There are prizes too!

      Registration link here https://xcbraggcreek.us7.list-manage.com/track/click?u=e747ec54bc9eec9fda86306cb&id=7ffe433700&e=2ba7b67874

      Option to donate to the wonderful Bragg Creek Trails on registration link.

    • Also skied WBC today. Arrived around 2pm to try and avoid the rush, but there was still very little parking available.

      Skied Moose Loop via Mountain Road. Warm and windy. Moose was pretty chewed up by the afternoon due to heavy use and warm temperatures, with the tracks often very shallow or in some places completely absent (maybe blown in due to the wind). We also had some grip issues with our skin skis. Still a great day out.

  85. Brewster creek / Sundance lodge
    Only a couple of cars in the parking lot at 9:15am. The trail is in great shape with the recent grooming and we enjoyed our lunch on the lodge porch. We had a brief chat with a lodge employee, nowadays they accommodate up to 2 groups of 6 people max vs 32 people pre-Covid times. The return was fast and we decided to ski Healy Creek towards Banff until the trail is closed due to some works in the area.
    Back in the parking lot we had a few persons asking were the trailhead was…maybe it deserves a better signage.

    • Hi Jean Francois: did you use metal edged light touring skis or cross country race skis to ski into Sundance Lodge? Never skied in there so have no idea how good the tracks and controllable the downhills are. thanks

      • MAKE ALBERTA A DEMOCRACY

        Howdy Ulrike,

        If you are a good advanced skier you should be able to ski with “plastic” edge XC skis at this time on the Brewster ski trail hills. On Thursday night the skiing was winter like but snowmobiles have tracked the trail. That would make it a little chunky for plastic edged skis but still skiable if you are a good skier.

        The more people that ski the trail the better it will get, particularly around the sharp hill corners. People will smooth out the snowmobile tracks.

        On Thursday, I used metal edge skis so I could fly down the hills full parallel speed and around the corners with no worries at near midnight. It all felt real good to me. No chunkiness that my BC59 skis could not handle. It is moderately fast skiing down the hills. I likely hit speeds of up to near 70 kph when tucking.

        Enjoy carefully.

        Ski Cheers.

  86. Good Morning.
    It is -6 degrees C at the Peter Lougheed Information Centre.
    MK

  87. Goat Creek & Spray River West
    Such a beautiful ski! Fast and glidey snow in all the right places, and good grip on the big hill down to the bridge (my blue wax couldn’t have been better). The tracks were better than expected considering it’s been a while since they have been set. The warm sun made today feel a lot different than my polar vortex ski adventures last week… clearly many others agreed because I have never seen the GC lot so full or run into so many skiers on the trail!

  88. Bill Milne (all of it) / Wedge – Evan Thomas loop

    Conditions were quite good today in terms of snow and air temperature so it should be good for tomorrow. The track is drifted in a bit now and then in wind exposed area. The trip down Evan – Thomas was pleasant. There has been a fair bit of walker traffic there since the last grooming but it is still decent if one has to snow plow a bit in the middle.

  89. VIRTUAL BIRKIE along BAKER CREEK to CASTLE LOOKOUT – Feb 19

    Wasn’t expecting to encounter Virtual Canadian Birkie racers along this route today!
    It appears that the race has been extended to February 28.
    Details available in the photo descriptions here:
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/trQYdcEyByR15E7Q7
    Don’t worry if it’s too late to register, just get out and enjoy this great trackset trail like so many other happy folk. Note no more tracksetting west of Baker Creek, and no tracksetting in Protection Campground as Olivia is denning in the area.

  90. Cascade Fire Road

    Jeff and I started a bit late today – met at trailhead around 11 AM. Temp was a few degrees below zero. Despite not having been groomed/track set since Feb 7 – the conditions were superb. In particular the trail to the first bridge – silky tracks and amazing glide. Beyond the first bridge – conditions remain excellent.

    Don’t know how long these pristine conditions will last – so we would encourage folks to get there soon!!! Enjoy!!!

  91. We skied Kicking Horse trails today Connecter from Natural Bridge -Emerald Lake return .
    -11C at 10:00 only one other vehicle in the lot. VR40 out and added VR 45 on the way back.
    We met the groomer as we turned up onto the connector. He had come from Field along Tallyho Trail . We met him again on his return, close to Emerald Lake. So we had groomed trail for 7km and Track set for the return 7km. We tried to stay out of the fresh tracks letting them set up.
    This trip is truly an Intermediate trail. It’s narrow with lots of woopdedos (undulations) and quick changes of direction. The base is soft so my racing baskets tended to punch through. I did a couple of snow studies after my pole sunk down. Old time skiing!
    On our return we met 7 other skiers, 3 folks on woodies.
    Good news for the weekend is fresh grooming and TS.

  92. Fri feb 19: WBC again
    Despite the warmish temps, thin cloud moved in just before lunch to keep the snow cold for the heat of the day, preserving the good tracks for tomorrow. Nice silky quiet gliding ensued. Did a section of the great trail paralleling moose, which was very nice with powdery wind sift. Good times visiting various meadows out of the wind (not always easy today) with cheeky and Simona.

  93. Confederation Park Golf Course – night and day
    I popped by last night, Thursday, and while it was too peoply for my liking, I also really loved seeing the headlights zooming around the course. They look like fireflies. I also did a few loops this morning and with the glorious weather, night and day from the recent cold snap, there were many people out and the classic tracks are getting soft but still very workable.

  94. Good Morning,

    It is -11 with just scattered clouds
    From the Peter Lougheed Info Centre.

    Happy Trails.

    MK

  95. Sandy McNabb:

    At the risk of being repetitive, I skied up Macabee and Pine Ridge, which were in great shape (especially for Sandy). My green wax worked surprisingly well.

    Note for the group I met at the picnic table at the top of Pine Ridge: I did decide to break with tradition and ski back down the east side. I found it substantially easier than the west side, and the descent was fast, fun and way too short!

    • Hi Diana; You made the correct decision! There were terrible hazards on Balsom. We all fell numerous times and have decided we won’t return to Sandy McNabb. Very narrow steep trail, very uneven with roots sticking out, it was just plain dangerous!!
      Glad you enjoyed your run down after the big climb.
      If you want to really have a pleasant ski we would suggest Peter Lougheed Provicial Park. We have never felt unsafe there.
      Nice to meet you at the scenic top the the hill!

    • Pleasure meeting you Diana! I found there to be great potential in the Sandy McNabb area, and enjoyed all of the skiing through the lower elevations especially with the limited traffic…the ridge trail though, in its current state, is not somewhere I would ever suggest to friends.

      Glad to hear you had an enjoyable decent!

      • Nathan, I’m glad you see the potential in Sandy McNabb. I would never recommend Pine Ridge to anyone not looking for a serious challenge! And conditions were particularly good yesterday…..
        I really enjoy the Macabee trail when snow conditions are good, and the trails on the south side are much less dangerous.

        John, I know the PLPP trails very well, and do love skiing there. I try to visit Sandy at least once a year, as it is very different, but also it is all too rare to find decent snow in that area.

        • Pine Ridge is probably the most difficult trail in the SkierBob empire, but it’s also one of my favourites. I always take my metal edge skis there nowadays, and you can always use walk down the steepest parts. Balsam is arguably even harder because of those awful cross bars which seldom have enough snow to cover them. For some reason people seem to think of the Sandy McNabb trails as easy, which the trails north of the road definitely are not. The trails south of the road are much easier. Personally I always jump at the chance to ski at Sandy on the rare occasions that there is enough snow.

  96. Feb 18 – Brewster Creek and Sundance warden cabin
    At MAAD’s “request”, I set out for the Sundance warden cabin up Brewster Creek today. On the way up, I took the horse trail shortcut. It has been snowshoe-packed and the skiing was good! A couple easily-avoided rocks near the bottom, a couple downed trees, but not bad at all for an ungroomed trail! The groomed trail was good to Sundance Lodge. From there, I followed skier-set track for about 5km. Once I got to the end of the track and started breaking trail, I slowed riiiiiiight down. MAAD was a little optimistic when he guessed there was 4km to go, it turned out to be closer to 6km. The final challenge before I reached the cabin was crossing the creek. Took some poking around before I found a spot that seemed safe enough. After a late lunch on the sunny cabin porch, I headed back. The going was a fair bit quicker on the way back. Shortly after I got back to the skier-set track, I came across Mr Democracy himself! We had a quick chat and then continued on our ways. I took the normal groomed trail down to Healy Creek on the way back. The snowmobiles seem to be preventing it from coming too hollowed out, but they also make the surface more lumpy so I’m not sure which I would prefer. It was a looooong day for me, 9 hours including all breaks. 5.5 hours up, 3.5 hours down. Time for some rest!
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/HP3cfdV4uXMeczu58

    • But no headlamp required!

    • Great work Sara! I see the sign on the cabin says “Sundance Cabin”, but p149 of Canadian Rockies Trail Guide 2007 calls it “Brewster Creek Warden Cabin”. Are they the same cabin?

    • MAKE ALBERTA A DEMOCRACY

      Sara cut a killer straight sweet trail up to Sundance Warden Cabin. It was a masterful ski cut trail. That must have burned off some serious calories on track skis. I arrived at the cabin just before dark and enjoyed the mountain scenery and dinner. The temperature was -8c at dark 30. Hung out well after dark and then skied out. The excellent skier tracked snow was moderately fast to Sundance Lodge. I had absolutely no grip going up hills on this section of the trail and side stepped quite a bit. I used V30 Swix wax -5 c to -15c old snow wax.

      The trackset from Sundance Lodge to the parking lot was moderate to moderately fast snow at night. Temperature at the Lodge was -8 around 9:30 pm. The hills were a night rush of speed. The snowmobile had run over the track in a number of areas but it is still good for the most part.

      This is a fine time to ski to Sundance Warden Cabin as it is somewhat rare to have a broken trail up there at this time of year. Thanks Sara!

      • Glad you enjoyed the trail! I’m about 20 pounds too heavy for the skis I was on, plus I added a few layers of VR45 when I started breaking trail, so I was able to stomp my way up a lot of the hills!

        • MAKE ALBERTA A DEMOCRACY

          20 lbs too heavy for your skis????

          Odd, I did not notice a big honking beer gut on you! Or is it just massive muscle weight in the legs that allow you to plow through the snow pack crusts with your toothpick skis?

          I did not sink in the snow quite as much as you did with my 205 cm x 59mm metal edge skis.

          My VR30 wax worked ok on the Brewster trackset in most areas but it was useless off trail. Just at the beginning of the cold snap it worked very well breaking trail up Brewster Creek. I feared going with a warmer wax thinking I would stick to the snow like a stamp to paper. Obviously that was not a great choice. I only wax at the parking lot in order to reduce weight and to allow more room for food, water and clothing in the pack.

          I should have offered you an orange or water being that you were skiing on “overtime.” Excuse my manners.

          I was back at my car at about 12:30am after about a 1 pm start with extra water and food.

          • I was still a growing girl when I got those skis! They fit me when I was 13, not so much now. They serve well as adventure/rock skis, though. Don’t worry, I packed extra food and I was chowing down on gummy worms for the rest of my ski! My water was starting to get a little slushy, though…

  97. PIPESTONE RIVER – Feb 18

    Thanks to previous trail breakers, including ourselves, Sara M. and Rob, we had no new trail to break!
    Details available in the photo descriptions here:
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/gpeK6wqyMaZUxgVn7
    Beautiful snow conditions and a fine 28 km day on the river.

    • Chuck,

      So wonderful to see you and your crew at Pipestone today.

      Wow, what an adventure – next time I’ll get off the groomed trails and join you 🙂

  98. Ribbon Creek Parking Lot:
    -20C at 9:00 am / -3C at 1:30
    VR40 worked well until noon and then no more lazy technique was possible.
    From the parking lot we skied Hidden > new Ribbon Creek trail > Kovach Link. My first venture down the switchbacks which gave up spicy fun. The snow plows have been out on the hill! Skied up Kovach to the high point and cruised to the south side of K-Village. Circled around and skied all the trails above K-Village. Until noon-ish all trails had very good clean tracks. Early afternoon the winds came up and were blowing snow into exposed tracks, particularly Terrace and Terrace Link. The Terrace hill down to Ribbon Creek parking was in good condition. Ventured north but didn’t get far. Hidden was skier track only, beyond Ribbon Creek, so we dropped back to finish the day.

  99. Sandy McNabb

    Glorious day in the foothills, Sandy doesn’t get any better than this, conditions are stellar. Skied the north side in the morning, Macabee Loop was the trail of the day, felt like we were floating down, the corduroy was so good. Skied up Pine Ridge, then down Balsam and back on Long Prairie Loop. We crossed the highway to the south side and skied off of Loggers Loop on a snowy snowshoe trail, deep into the trees, for tea and lunch in a clearing. After lunch, we futzed around in the meadow, near the Sheep River.
    Pics for today:
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/ZvLaYXxgKcR28SZn9

  100. WBC – Ze grand tour
    Inspired by Mike W and Sara M and seeing that all the trails had been groomed, I decided to ski for the first time the outer trails.
    Temperature was -18C at 9:30am and skied Hostel West, Telephone, Moose, Mountain View West, Mountain, Mountain View, West Crystal, Loggers, Elbow, Iron Springs / Iron Creek dead end, Sundog East, East Crystal.
    All the trails were in great shape (including Telephone and Elbow South).
    A very pleasant outing, getting ready for the famous Elk Trap 🙂

  101. As MaSid says it was a wonderful day at WBC, new grooming on some trails and lots of smiling faces on all of them. No wind and the sun was shining. Plus it was not all that busy in the parking lot. Get out there before the winds wreak havoc.

  102. Thu Feb 18: WBC (mountain road/view/loggers/elbow/iron springs/east crystal).
    Conditions very good throughout. Mainly sunny with a thin cloud, so snow stayed cool (even iron springs south slope) but picnic tables in the sun were comfortable and getting lots of use. Prime couch skiing weather! Parking lot maybe 2/3 to 3/4 full at 10AM.

  103. CNC 9:00am -15C Wax classic Vauhti blue with Swix VR40 Parking lots were quite empty.
    Skied the Biathlon trails: Salt Lake, Nogano,Albertville Lots of fun hills from a quick scoot to longer protracted ones wit a few screamers. Great grooming and TS These trails are usually empty and being at a lower elevation, snow cover can be thin. Skiing in the AM means you do run into Team athletes working out. Keep your heads up or go later in the AM or PM.

  104. Goat Creek trail from Canmore to Banff. A picture perfect day of blue sky & sunshine & winter magic! The trails had some fresh snow cover since they were last groomed & track set. Tracks were soft & made for easy going cruising for the day. Even managed to negotiate the quick turn onto the Goat Creek Bridge without impaling myself 😉 Yay! VR30 was the ticket for the day!

  105. Short 9K at Lake Louise – lower telemark, old 1A and peyto. All in great shape. Looks like it was groomed very recently. Some foot traffic in the skating lane for the first couple k. -8 at 3PM. Pretty much deserted.

    And I know I’m a bit late on this but just wanted to say a great big thanks to Skier Bob for all your fantastic work in running this site and keeping this community thriving. You’ll be missed – enjoy your internet retirement!!!!

  106. Keith – I was askking about the Stoney Trail that follows the powerline from Skogan Pass / Troll Falls / Hay Meadow trailhead north along the west side of the Kananaskis River and Barrier Lake to Bow Valley PP. A couple of days ago, under the Home page, Bob wrote about it being newly groomed for 5 km at the south end. I have ridden it on mountain bike in the summer.

    • With help from Diana Piggott I got my bearings on the K-Country Stoney Trail (aka Mystery Trail courtesy SkierBob). I have never known it to be groomed. Thanks for your reply “cms”.

  107. Fairview, Lake Louise. Even though the grooming report says last tracksetting was 6 days ago, the tracks are still in fabulous condition. Beautiful morning blue skies, no clouds, couch in very good shape and well used. Few skiers here today. Snow crunchy.

  108. ELK MEADOWS in PLPP – Skied on fresh snow with green Role wax up to the junction with Blueberry Hill, then skied to Elk Meadows; the ski trail through the meadows to the hydroline had a few cm fresh snow as well. Very quiet today, only saw about a dozen skiers. Lots of room in Elk parking lot all day. Variable sun and cloud, when the sun was out it was quite hot. Looks like spring skiing has arrived early. Superb ski day.

  109. Telephone loop counter clockwise – absolutely FABULOUS conditions and…didn’t run into a soul (?). Fresh grooming – only thing we missed was a bit of sunshine. Even the boot tracks in the tracks didn’t bother us – much. But hey, can’t have everything, right? Thank you, groomers, for the amazing job you do! I always throw in at least a toonie for Hubbie and me. Thanks, Boomer groomer et al.

  110. Matt: you made me smile. One of the best trips we ever took with our two young sons (then ages 5 and 8), now 28 and 31) was to the Trickle Creek Lodge in Kimberley. Such a great place for families!

  111. Skogan Pass- very nice conditions with a bit of powder over the old snow on top of the grooming. Took Skogan Loop both up and down. Beautiful sunny day. Could use some fresh grooming though: the Screamer is covered in boot prints outside the track which makes snowplowing harder.

  112. PLPP Feb 17th
    -10C, calm and sunny at the Pocaterra parking lot at 10:30am. Not a lot of vehicles. A centimetre or two of fresh snow. The three of us skied Pocaterra> Lynx> Woolley> Meadow> Wheeler> Packers and back down Pocaterra. Great conditions all along the trail from very good trackset from a few days ago to many segments of heavenly, fresh trackset. Can’t say enough good stuff about the groomers! Gawd, we are so lucky to have this on our doorstep.

  113. We spent the Family Day weekend in Kimberley, BC. Stayed at Trickle Creek Lodge; being able to bring in our own groceries and cook for ourselves was a bonus plus being able to take a soak in the hot tub after an afternoon / evening of hitting the trails was awesome.

    1. Feb 12: Kimberley Nordic Club charged only $8 a head due to the cold conditions; as we had the boys, did a single loop out on Centennial, then to Snowbird (I bit it on a downhill pretty hard; tracks were icy and I popped out on the corner and faceplanted) onto Trapline and the group split between Meadow and Spruce on the way back. The trip was normally 6.5k but I think there was about an additional 1.5k added factoring in turning back to check on the kids and keep encouraging them forward.

    2. Feb 13: Still chilly; started at the Trickle Creek Golf Course as it is pet friendly; not track-set and would need to break trail. Not good for the skis I had, so after about 15min there, went back to the Nordic Club for a single loop. BONUS: Came back with my wife for lit evening skiing on the Centennial / Spruce loop. Was probably warmer than during the day.

    3. Feb 14: Took kids again on a loop of Centennial, Snowbird, Moose Pasture, Trapline then a finish on Meadow. Drove the kids back to where we were staying and then came back and did a reverse loop with my wife; Spruce, Landem, Biathlon, Snowbird, Centennial, Lowrider and finished at the stadium. Was a great day and way to spend Valentine’s with the family!

  114. Feb 17 – WBC
    Skied a shortened version of the WBC perimeter today: East Crystal Line, Sundog East, Iron Springs + Iron Creek deadend, Elbow, Loggers, West Crystal, Mountain View, Mountain Road, Mountain View West, Moose Loop, and the last bit on Mountain Road again. I was planning on doing the full perimeter, but a pounding headache that started on Moose Loop made me skip Telephone and Hostel. Conditions were fantastic! Every trail I skied was freshly groomed except for Mountain View West, which had some fresh powder on top but still had very fast tracks.

  115. Did Moose Loop in WBC today..as per website it says that was groomed today but wasnt..tracks were in pretty good condition anyway..

    • I’m guessing you did Mountain View West as I was finished Moose Loop as the sun was rising and hadn’t seen a soul. Mountain View West and Elbow South ( at its southern extremity) were the only trails that didn’t see grooming today.

      • Hi Boomer Groomer,
        Just for my sake, is Elbow South / Iron Springs South (south of the shortcut between Elbow and Iron Springs) groomed by BCT or Alberta Park? What is / was the rational to split the grooming (if not done entirely by BCT).
        Many Thanks

        • Due to the overwhelming volume of trail in the area we have historically had a division of labor between Parks (AEP) and BCT. AEP takes care of Elbow S and Iron Springs S and BCT takes care of everything North of that. The two crews have a good relationship and we help each other out on occasion, as seen today with one of our groomers venturing down Iron Springs South to refresh the tracks.

  116. Checked out the new Stoney Trail grooming yesterday for about a km. Wondering if a classic track will be put in? Classic skiing on corduroy gets a little tiring.

  117. Maple Ridge Golf Course, 16 Feb 21
    We made the best of some disappointing skier track set conditions as the sun was setting. The tracks are wobbly through out the usual course. ( The track setting snob inside of me kept thinking a herd of cats could make better parallel tracks.) There is plenty of snow coverage so hopefully the city does some track setting soon.

  118. Shaganappi Golf Course, 16 Feb 21
    SOME groomed classic trails but mostly designed for skate skiers, and beautifully so, with very wide paths. Some of the classic tracks have been tramped down a bit but all in all, it was a good run. Plenty of snow and very little debris.

  119. WBC: Telephone CCW / South half of Moose Loop / Mountain Views / Loggers / Sundog west

    Conditions were still pretty good after a 3 day long weekend. Some of the track setting is a bit worn but that was good for me on my wide 3 pin bindings. The 3 km on the east side and the last km on the west side are fairly rough due to walkers and fat bikers. One person made it all the way around on foot so there are divots all the way around although for the most part the track is okay. There is a enough snow and the grooming is recent enough that the down hills are reasonable. Metal edges made it pretty simple. There is an ice flow immediately north of the intersection with Moose Loop that can be avoided by keeping left (if you are going down).

    The other trails were in pretty good shape. I was surprised at the lack of walker damage after a 3 day weekend.

  120. Yoho Virtual Challenge: 22 Kms return from Field to Emerald Lake today. -12 at 11 and -6 when we got back. I had forgotten how strenuous the trail up is! It was lovely to stop for lunch at Emerald Lake Lodge and even lovelier to realize the trail back down would be much easier and faster. A great day, topped off with hot drinks at Truffle Pigs lodge. Khsc.ca to register….

  121. Skogan

    Sensational day on Skogan, the lower trail, along with Sunburst to Hummingbird Plume, was much travelled by hikers over the weekend. We timed it perfectly to have tea and lunch at Hummingbird Plume, in full sun, prior to cloud moving in. High Level was really great with no boot divots. We skied up Skogan Loop in a cw direction, the downhill side after the big hill was a bit rough, skiing over herringbone tracks that are quite firm. The divots posed no problem on the descent at speed, as the snow made for super control. The tracks were nice and fast. Only encountered four other skiers, met more hikers than skiers. If we didn’t muck this up, some pics:

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/ypqHamwodT1cNL2s5

    Thanks for adding the photos, beautiful! -Bob

    • M&J
      Thanks for pictures and trail report. We were on Skogan at the same time as you but managed to never cross paths! We went straight up towards Skogan pass and turned back 1 km before the pass at 12:20. Because we were the first skiers down after all the weekend boot traffic we found that smoothing the divots was quite challenging at 20 – 30 km per hour and were glad that we had chosen to use our steel edged LT skis. We checked out the first part of Coal mine and found it to be much better. It was a sensational day!
      Ian and Darlene

      • Thank you for smoothing the divots! We ski on ancient, packed out, trashed out, metal edge skis, but they seem to do okay for us going downhill.

  122. PLPP Skierbob special. Great ski and conditions. Whiskey Jack was in good shape and Tyrwhitt was freshly groomed. Elk Pass trail was in decent condition too. Raced my wife from top of Elk Pass. She took Hydroline on fresh grooming and I took Elk Pass on slightly older grooming. Apparently the older grooming was faster than the fresh grooming. Returned to Boulton Parking through Fox and Moraine. Skiing was too much fun, so my wife drove the car to Pocaterra to wait for me. Wheeler was in great fast condition, as was Meadow and Woolley. Lynx had some snow on the grooming and Pocaterra had great grooming. Skiing was so good that I “got lost” on the way to Pocaterra. Snow was -20 at start, with air of -10. Air warmed to -5 by end of day. My VR 30 was getting slippy, but trail was mostly downhill…and fast glide.

    • Lyle, great report. Where did you make the wrong turn, and how far did you go before you realized you were “lost?”

      • Ha Ha, not lost….skiing and grooming was so good that I had to keep skiing. Would be a good excuse to tell my wife, but she knows that I am aware of where all the trails go in PLPP after skiing there for over 40 years.

  123. Smith Dorrien Highway-Burstall Pass Trail-Parking Lot-Meadow below the headwall-Approach to Robertson Glacier
    Before the introduction of track setting to the area trails, the Burstall Pass trail was a popular route for tourers It was one of the first trails one could ski in the fall. Today, it is a popular route for backcountry, telemarkers, snow boarders and skiers on AT equipment. Snow shoers and trekkers are also on the trail. To my mind, it is a trail that should be done once a year particularly on a sunny day as the views are spectacular once you get to the meadow. An awareness of avalanche conditions are important as you proceed to either Robertson Glacier or above the headwall towards Burstall Pass. It is not necessary to achieve either goal but rather favour time constraints. The assessment of the Robertson route can be done visually and a center left route should be chosen Avalanche conditions for the path above the headwall towards Burstall Pass should be known before hand and conditions become worse for avalanches the further you get away from the headwall.
    The route from the parking lot to the meadow consists of a gentle slightly rolling climb to the meadows. The return is a rewarding steady descent. An option on return at the meadow is to take the lake and avoid the tight trail through the trees.The route rejoins the trail further down The trip has been done by many types of skis but if you have a pair of steel edges, take them to give you a little more bite on the skier tracked trail

  124. West Bragg Creek. The Bragg Creek trails are holding up well, despite all the skiers that come out every day. This morning at 11:00, the parking lot was quite full despite it being mid-week. We headed up Moose Loop at around 11:00, in glorious sunshine, and temperatures hovering around -7. We had on V45 wax, which seemed to work well. The tracks are a bit skied out on this loop, but still quite skiable, and the hills had a nice covering of snow, which made them ideal for someone like me who likes to snowplough. After lunch we went the other direction, and did the West Crystaline Loop, which was in much better condition. All in all, it was a great ski, albeit short. Bragg Creek is a wonderful facility thanks to the groomers and the West Bragg Creek Trail Association who keep it in great shape. Let’s hope for more snow so we can enjoy it for the rest of the season.

  125. BREWSTER CREEK to SUNDANCE LODGE – Feb 16

    Adding to CMS’s excellent report from yesterday, it is nice to have another trackset trail to choose from.
    Details available in the photo descriptions here:
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/TNm2oAcc6Uwequfb8
    Glad we chose to go the day after the long weekend, but all guests seem to have been skiers, so no fat tire tracks.

    • MAKE ALBERTA A DEMOCRACY

      Howdy Chuck,

      Did you happen to notice how much new snow was on the skier track after the lodge and on the horse trail short cut?

      I am considering finishing the busting of the ski trail to the warden cabin but I don’t want too much of a work out. I have a calf knee ankle back hip problem that is slowing me down.

      I think there is only around 4km of trail to break to the warden cabin. An amount Sara could probably do in less than the time it takes me to get out of my car in the parking lot!!!!!

      • If you seriously want me to do this, I will! No plans for tomorrow other than “go skiing somewhere”…

        • MAKE ALBERTA A DEMOCRACY

          Serious! But seriously watch for avalanche danger as there are a couple of slide paths beyond the old trappers cabin. I don’t think there was enough earthquake settling of the snowpack to reduce the avalanche hazard in a major way. Also there may be snow bomb hazards if the wind picks up and temperatures get up there. Keep your head up and the ole ski tips.

          Enjoy the scenery up there from the cabin. Shoot some pics if possible for the Ski Nation. If you feel really killer pumped up, there is always the second Brewster Cabin below Allenby Pass! Bring a jug of Red Bull! Wings will help you stay aloft on the snowpack.

          • Go for it Sara M. Glad I already have plans to go up the Pipestone!
            Seems like I’m no longer the one breaking trail this year… must be my version of retirement. I know MAAD personally, and he would be good interesting company, if you can agree on a departure / return time!

  126. Blueberry-Elk Pass. Super day at the South end of PLPP today. Only -13 to start , and -5 at 2:30 pm. We encountered new tracksetting on the Elk Pass Trail to Hydroline. Fox Creek has not been groomed in a while and was a bit needley. The tracks on Elk Pass Trail and Blueberry were in great shape, except for the countless snow bombs. We did lots of trail maintenance on Blueberry to try to remove some of the bombs, to make our descent safer. Luckily, we survived the downhill with a bit of snazzy slalom, but this is a trail that requires caution! Nice to talk to a couple of women at the top of Blueberry, a group from the West Winds Ski Club at the BlueElk Table, and some friends we encountered at the end of the day. After skiing down Blueberry, we skied up to Elk Pass and then down Hydroline. The tracks were absolutely perfect: fresh grooming and tracks strobed by sunlight, and NO SNOW BOMBS! We made a quick descent back to Elk Pass Trail and up and over the big hill, which was firm, fresh and fast. It was great to end on such a high note!

  127. Skiied up Brewster Creek to Sundance Lodge yesterday. Packed all the way. Trackset in varying conditions: skiied out along Healy Creek portion of trail, pretty good in most places to the double bridge before the Lodge, then no track after that as they can’t get the tracksetter across those bridges and the creek is still open. Narrow snowplowing on most of the downhill and getting pretty hard-packed in places. Could do with more snow and a refresh on the grooming. Maybe a dozen people seen throughout.

  128. MAKE ALBERTA A DEMOCRACY

    WATRIDGE LAKE- BRYANT CREEK- BR17

    Monday afternoon/ night ski.

    Nice straight tracksetting in excellent shape all the way to Spray River. Moderate speed snow on polar wax at night.

    From the Spray River to beyond BR17 Allenby Junction campground there is a well used skier tracked trail in excellent snow condition.. The trail was painfully narrow so I did my best to widen it. Some people were staying in the warden cabin at BR14. Beautiful golden lighting on the top of the mountains as the sun went down up at Allenby Junction campground. Skies were mainly clear with a breeze at night. Temperatures hit about -5c in the afternoon and dipped likely to about -15c after dark.

    The trail to Marvel lake is skier tracked.

    The trail to Assiniboine is said to be skier tracked all the way to the lodge. Much of the trail beyond BR14 is cut in the meadow which makes for great mountain viewing.

  129. Cascade Fire Road
    Monday 1:30 – 4pm, turned around about 1km after the bridge. Loads of happy skiers today in the -8 temps so the tracks are getting a little sloppy, but the snow is soft and thus very forgiving on that beautiful trail. I have to put in a plug for my new Rossi skin (sport, low end) skis with adjustable bindings – they have been good to great on everything from glazed tracks at CNC when it rained to falling spring-like snow, and in temps from -12 to +4 – I’m shocked at how versatile they are. Happy trails everyone- thanks to this awesome community for all the information and encouragement!

  130. Skier Bob Special in PLPP.
    We also wanted to take a detour to East Elk Pass but nobody had visited the area recently and we were hoping for tracks to follow (never been there before.)
    We did make it to West Elk Pass and thankfully we had tracks to follow (though I’m quite familiar with this trail.)
    We stopped by the site of Ma Sid’s snow couch but it had been heavily snowed under and you could barely make out the furniture. It just looked like lumps of snow.
    We had also thought about taking the upper meadow route out towards Blueberry but the trail was buried under enough snow to warrant backcountry skis so we returned the way we came.
    We did break trail to visit the big sign though.

    I guess this is all a big plea for some backcountry skiers with fat skis to go break trail in the East/West Elk Pass areas. 🙂

    • I’ll likely be into east elk soon(ish). At west elk there is always the fork ‘n meadow log about a half km past the couch HQ site. Its usually in good shape and doesn’t require as much upkeep for comfortable seating. Couch HQ is not an easy fix anymore. Needs a full rebuild from scratch, just not sure I’ll get around to it with the new one at east elk and the perfectly good log at west elk.

      • Fair enough! I can’t imagine the work that goes into maintaining tbd snow couches. I’ve been lucky enough to have visited both couches at West Elk Pass. Now just have to visit East.

        • Save it for a sunny day for a best first visit if you can. The topography is more pass like and higher than west elk (which is flat), so the sense of arrival and reveal is fantastic and hard to resist a joyous scream on a clear day. Otherwise it’s just a snowy meadow with a couch that you had to travel further to get to. Larger pole baskets are helpful.

  131. Lake O’hara Fire road.

    There is a skin track up to lake O’hara, It is approximately the width of a city sidewalk. It is well packed but not trackset.

    Decent climbing on green swix. We dabbed some blue on near the lake where the trail steepens. The cold snow helped moderate our decent. The track wasn’t quite wide enough to snow plow. There is lots of soft snow on either side of the skin track if you needed to scrub some speed.

    It warmed up from -17 to -10 by the time we got back to the vehicle.

  132. WBC: north Iron Spring / Elbow loop via Sundog West and Loggers (plus Mountain Views / Moose reported on below). Snow conditions were quite good. I started out at 1315 (-6 in the parking lot). It warmed up to -2 by the time I got to Mountain View west but then cooled off back to -6 for the Iron Springs / Elbow loop. It was nice to get out somewhere and not have to worry about freezing my face off.

  133. Sandy McNabb-superb. Skied around the north side trails on excellent fast tracks with a bit of tree debris here and there (worst on Macabee). Much warmer than Calgary (-5 when I left at 4) and sunny south facing slopes were starting to get a tiny bit sun affected. For some reason the north leg of Long Prairie hasn’t been groomed. Amazing to watch the dashboard thermometer drop on the way home.

  134. Mt Shark

    -11 and sunny at the Mt Shark Trailhead at 1330 this afternoon. Beautiful weather with only a little bit of wind, noticeable here and there. Did the Watridge Lake trail to the end of Spray and back. Trail is in great condition. Single trackset pretty well the whole way. No one’s walked on it! Yet. Which was great. Tracks are hard and holding up really well. Side trails looked to be in excellent condition. The snow on the hill down to Spray was soft enough that I was relatively in control the whole way down (anytime I make it down that hill without wiping out is a good day…).

    Lots of people out with their families, which was nice to see.

  135. Feb 15 – Pipestone and beyond
    I was the first one at the Pipestone parking lot at 9:30 this morning. I skied out along the Pipestone trail counterclockwise, with a little detour to Mud Lake which looked lovely in the sun. The tracks on Pipestone were already a bit washed out in places, but still pretty good. At the far end of the trail, I hopped on the skier-set trail on the river. The track was well-skied for the first 1km, then snow-covered and less solid for the next 3km. After the end of the old, covered track, I pushed the trail out another 3km to the big meadow/swamp visible on the satellite map, which was my objective for the day. Other than one short section on the actual trail, I skied beside/on the river the whole time. The sun was HOT on the way back, and I don’t think my SPF60 sunscreen was strong enough! Once I got back to the groomed trail, I completed the Pipestone loop in the counterclockwise direction. I passed a few groups on the way out, and the parking lot was full! Looks like people are happy to be out in the warm(er) weather.

    • Hey Sara,
      What a ‘clean’ report… excellent description.
      All you need is a camera, and you could take over the blog!
      Actually, you beat us to our finale. We broke trail for that 4 km up the river beyond the tracksetting 10 days ago, and planned to complete that last section to Point Camp Meadows this week… but you have beaten us! Well, now all the hard work is done. I’ll bring a camera next time, so that I have something to contribute.
      Bring on this new generation….

  136. Quick ski at CNC this PM 2:00 pm parking lots were FULL!.
    Classic day -8C Wax VR 40 sunny
    We skied up the old service road, up Beckies on Olympic out Meadowview up onto Rundle to the high point and return via Rundle, Wapiti,Bruin, Meadowview and deked onto Osprey which has just been groomed & TS in the last week. Great little ridge trail! Al these trails were groomed and TS.
    We’re starting to see trail runners tracks on the groomed ski and fat tiretrails. The footprints left behind, depending on snow conditions, can be dangerous especially on the hills.

    • CNC parking lot and main Banff trail not full at all when I classic skied to the end and back from 4:30 to 6:00. -6c at 4:30; and -9c at 6:00 pm. VR 40 perfect at that time as well.

  137. Bill Milne

    Jeff and I zipped up from Ribbon to the Wedge – beautiful conditions, scenery and WARMTH! Ate our lunch in brilliant sunshine at the Wedge parking lot. And it was a bluebird day to boot! The return was a smooth glide. Life is good.

  138. WBC , parking 1/4 full at 9:30am (-20C). We skied Moose loop (CCW), Moose Connector, Loggers, Elbow (until the Snagmore junction), Iron Springs & Creek, Sundog, East Crystal, West Crystal and back on Middle Crystal.
    Overall good conditions and good glide, Swix V20 green was perfect for today.

    Before we had the pleasure to meet MaSid, we were really surprised and concerned while skiing Moose (half way between Telephone junction and Mountain View West junction at 10:30 am ish and -20C at that time) to encounter a little boy who looked to be 7 -10 years old on the trail by himself eating a snack. We checked on him and he told us his parents were « over there ». We checked with all the adults we encountered if they knew the boy and it was just at the junction with Mountain View West that two gentlemen told us the father was somewhere ahead of them …Anyway we did not catch up the father who presumably skis ahead and then turns back. The boy had to be by himself for at minimum 30 -45 minutes (? Guess), a weird family day…..

    Back at around 2:00pm, the temperature was a mild -6C and the parking lot full!

    • To add J-F’s WBC report, did similar. Also saw boy and dad, linked back up by the time I saw them on mountainview west. All good. Grooming in fine shape. One short icy bit in the tracks on mountainview west. Loggers and crystal lines all superb. Also threw in Tom Snow central to horse trail and west meadow. The south start on tom snow was not easy with the thin snow and the bushy twigs encroaching over the trail. The rest was fine. You could feel the ice with poles in the meadow. Very nice sun and temps in the meadows when out of the wind. Also wandered off mountain view, south into the cut block and meadows on an AT track for an out and back. Thin but doable, with some slash and scrubby veg. One upslope dump should make all the off trail routes great.

  139. Great conditions West Bragg this morning. Was warmer then Calgary with no wind and great sun.

  140. PLPP: **LOST CELL PHONE** my friend lost her cell phone on our beautiful morning out around Pocaterra/Come Along etc.! If you found it, can you please call 403-815-6547. Thanks so much!!!

    So grateful for a lovely community of skiers, gorgeous trail maintenance and relatively balmy weather today!

  141. WBC Arrived ~3:45pm. Lots of cars heading out but still a fair number of cars in the lots. -18C and pretty much NO wind so quite pleasant. Skied Mountian Rd-Mountian View-West Crystal (what a blast coming down the tracks) -East Crystal. Classic tracks were in great shape. Saw relatively few people. A great end to Valentine’s day! 🙂

  142. Evan-Thomas Recreation Area – Bill Milne Trail:
    Parked under the power lines north of the Kananaskis Golf Course access road. (-17C at 11:00 am; -10C at 12:30 pm; -15C at 3:30 pm) VR30 kick wax worked well all day. Grooming and tracks on Bill Milne are in very good condition outside the detour. Skied north to inspect the ice flow and take the detour through to the north end. Cautionary signs on the Bill Milne trail are in place at both ends. The detour was groomed with the Piston Bully and is not track set at this time. Then skied south on Bill Milne to do Evan-Thomas and Wedge Connector loop clockwise. Evan Thomas trail is in good shape with walkers respecting the ski tracks. Snow is covering the boulders under the skier set track across Evan-Thomas creek bed. The Wedge Connector tracks were in excellent shape, all be it slow in the shade. A beautiful sunny day with moderate south winds. This is, in my opinion, the most scenic ski trail in K-Country.

  143. Yoho Park
    Went out to Emerald to do my Virtual Yoho Challenge. Parked at the Natural Bridge. It was -18C at the parking lot at 10:30. Which was better than temps around Lake Louise. Easy wax choices VR 30 and some Cera. LF3 powder for glide. Worked well till later in the afternoon when waxed with VR40. Skied up the Connector to Emerald Lake. Connector is skier set-hasn’t been groomed for a while. Still good to ski with caution. The lake and the alluvial fan trail were track set and in good shape once you got away from the hotel and it’s walkers. Back down the Connector to Tally ho which was trackset to Field. Back to the Natural Bridge and on to the Kicking horse trail out to just past the Otterhead bridge. The kicking horse trail was in great shape and freshly track set. Then back to the truck which was at -12C. Great day out and thanks Kicking Horse Ski Club for maintaining the trails and setting up the Virtual Challenge

  144. Banff Springs to Goat Creek Parking lot & back

    Jamie and I skied from Banff Springs up to Goat Creek and back today. The conditions were quite good; track set a few days ago, with some minor trail damage. We didn’t see anyone until we got to Goat Creek itself. We started at 10 a.m. with the temperature of -20C under a bright sun and a perfectly blue sky. The trees are still laden with snow which made for beautiful vistas. The Goat Creek Parking area did not have much wind. We met some walkers and more skiers at that end of the trail. No fat bikes have been on the trail lately. Some people walked from the Goat Creek parking lot to 1 km or so from Goat Creek. They damaged the trail, but not the tracks. Upon our return, we met many skiers on the last 5 km stretch. The sun hid after lunch and it became cloudy. We finished with a temperature of -8C, which felt warm.

    Yesterday, we skied most of the north trails at Sandy McNabb. They are track set, with a few sections of thin snow and a few hazards. The hills were fast but mostly controllable. The south side Loggers Loop was track set only for a short section. The temperature stayed at -19C throughout our ski yesterday.

  145. CASTLE Lookout: arrived about noon, minus 15 degrees, there were about 8 cars parked. Skied to Baker Creek and back, only saw 10 skiers until 4 pm. Tracks in great shape.

  146. Catherine McClelland

    Believe the weather reports! It really was 10 degrees warmer in Kananaskis. Skied Evan Thomas, Wedge Connector, Bill Milne and the tracks were excellent.

  147. Cascade Fire Road was still there and still in very good shape after the earthquake. :). -14 when we arrived at noon to find 2 perfect parking spots in what otherwise looked like a very full lot. Not that many folks on the trail though so where is everyone going? Skating, walking around the lake maybe…. the tracks are in great shape and the Sunshine made it feel like much warmer than it was!

  148. Sun feb 14: WBC (sunny moose loop/great trail)
    Good times, even with a light wind. Almost spring like after the last week. Broke trail along sections of the great trail paralleling moose loop north. Thin in places, especially where it dodges into the trees. I’ll wait for more snow. Moose tracks in fine shape and not that busy. RCMP cruised through the lot at the end of my day and later was ticketing on the 80k redwood meadows section of highway.

  149. Kananaskis Village

    TEMP: @8ish -24 degrees C @ 11ish -13 degrees C (used Polar wax)

    PARKED: Ribbon Creek Parking Lot.
    Skied UP Coal Mine. Saw some animal tracks. Skied DOWN Coal Mine, turned right onto Ribbon Creek > Link > Kovach > Terrace. Ended at the Ribbon Creek Parking lot.
    9km.

    CONDITIONS: great ! fresh track setting. Steep downhill corners a touch slick and just minor debris mixed in with grooming on Coal Mine.

  150. After volunteering for Ski Nordique on February 13th I decided to ski up Pocaterra to the Whiskeyjack trail junction. It was a frosty day but clear and sunny with not a whisper of a breeze. Trail conditions were soft since there had been maybe a few cm of snow overnight. Very few people out and on the return trip I did not see a soul. I opted to use SWIX Polar (-15 to -30 deg C) which covered the temperature range nicely and had some good glide on the way back.

  151. WBC – Telephone Loop et al – Feb 13

    Start skiing at 10:30 am, likely in the ski strides of Jean-Francois. About same path, without West Hostel but adding Loggers, Sundog and East Crystal Line. Except for the first 3-4 km on Telephone East, great conditions throughout. The best track set conditions ever seen on Telephone Loop in years. Not that many people, but will sure be the place to ski over the next week. LF4 as glider work decently, along VR 20 (green) wax. Not the fastest conditions, but better than I expected.

    Will donate tonight online to the trail maintenance; those guys do such a great job. All that gas money saved and more in a donation, for being so close to YYC. Bravo.

  152. MAKE ALBERTA A DEMOCRACY

    BANFF EARTHQUAKE ABOUT 6:40 pm

    There was a 4.4 magnitude earthquake in Banff roughly at 6:40 pm today.

    If any night skiers felt that please let the ski nation know. Such an earthquake could trigger avalanches and landslides potentially.

    Skiers wanting more information can search Earth Quake Tracker and look under “recent.”

  153. High Rockies Trail from Goat creek to Goat pond return. 1:00-4:00 12km -18 C
    Light Touring skis with Vauhti Blue/Rex Mantaranta and some Rex green. Glide was slow.
    Dog sledders have kept the whole route open and well groomed. Evidence of hikers,PITA. Admire their tenacity but post holes are annoying. Didn’t see anyone else all afternoon!

  154. Bill Milne “double”
    My humans finally (!) decreed it warm enough to ski – after several days of shorter than usual trips to the dog parks, I was ready to go skiing! We parked (initially) at Kovach and skied south to the ice flow – it must have grown since the groomer’s report as there was no way around it without getting wet feet/boots/skis so we back-tracked. Then we drove to the Golf Course and did another section heading back north to the iceflow. Immaculate grooming everywhere (not that it matters to me!), “balmy” temps of -15C between around 1.30 – 3.30 pm (I didn’t even get cold feet!). Apparantly polar wax or green provided good grip and surprisingly decent glide. Very quiet – seemed almost spooky for a long weekend (did we miss something?) – very few humans and no other doggies for me to say hello to but I had a great outing.

  155. Confederation Park: Sunshine and minimal wind at 10:30 am, parking lot half full. As Bob wrote yesterday about Strathmore golf course, two light layers of polar wax gave excellent grip. Cold glide wax yielded surprisingly good glide in the well used, well groomed tracks. Parking lot starting to fill when we left at 12. If lot is full, plenty of room along Constable Rd/31 Ave NW, with gaps in the fence. Beautiful day.

  156. WBC (-22C at 10:15am and no wind, -16C when we returned to the parking lot)
    We skied West Hostel – Telephone – Moose – Mountain View West – Mountain View – West & Middle Crystal.
    All the trails are in great shape, as usual for Telephone, the West part has the best snow / tracks although the East part was quite good (except for a « humility check » as my friend Vanita put it, as I was not paying attention to a deep bike rut…).
    The glide was excellent (compared to earlier in the week) and Swix V05 Polar provided good grip.

  157. Ribbon Creek
    We headed out for a leisurely arrival of 11am and the parking lot was only half full. Nobody in the second lot. Quite amazing and the first good thing I’ve found about the polar vortex!
    It was -26 with wind chill, never warmed up, but we were never cold. We had dressed warm and you just had to fully cover your face coming down hills.
    Loop skied: Coal Mine to the lookout (hadn’t been groomed since the last big snow fall. Felt more like ski touring than Nordic skiing.)
    We continued on Ribbon Creek which also hadn’t been freshly groomed in a while and had a lot of fresh snow. It was a bit challenging skiing down the steep descent to the creek because it was a mess of frozen herringbone and snowplow tracks, along with numerous boot holes.
    I’d wait till this trail has been groomed again before attempting it.
    We took the short cut retreat back down the snowshoe trail because the bridges are fun to ski over. It was skiable. Better with fresh powder though.

  158. Sandy McNabb – Feb. 12
    I did a late afternoon ski on the south side of Sandy McNabb. Conditions were quite good, though a few spots in the track setting are thin or down to some ice. Also, most of the connector trails are groomed but not track set. Loggers Loop and Sandy McNabb Loop are groomed and track set.

    There were already some footprints on some of the trails close to the campground road so I’m guessing that will only increase this weekend.

  159. It is -32 degrees at the discovery centre in peter Lougheed Provincial Park, Kananaskis.
    Blue skies, sunshine, and only a trace of clouds (and a trace of snow on the ground).

    Happy Trails,

    MK

  160. Beautiful conditions at WBC this afternoon! Hubby and I started out just before 2pm at -16…balmy compared to every other day this week. We were pleased to find Mountain Road, Moose Loop (and Connector), and Mountain View West very freshly groomed and trackset with silky snow. My green wax was perfect, and hubby’s skins were slightly slower but gave great grip. With the warmer weather coming, it’s sure to be a busy place this weekend!

    As an aside, my HUGE thanks to Skier Bob for everything he has done to support skiing and skiers over the years!! This blog has become my go-to on my days off work during the ski season, and it’s hard to imagine not having this community and resource to turn to for life’s most important questions (i.e., where are the freshest tracks? Which skis to use today? Where is the best snow? How to avoid the crowds?). Enjoy your recreational retirement skiing Bob!

    • I second that! Was going to use many of the same words, in fact I started about the same time, did the Moose Loop which was in excellent condition, but did not have time to do Mountain View West, alas. I dressed very warmly and actually got too hot! I think it warmed up enough to really hit the “sweet spot” of my Polar Wax, as I had super grip and glide all afternoon.
      So many trails groomed today, so little time!

  161. CNC. The Nordic Centre was in great shape this afternoon. The natural snow tracks may have been a touch slower than the artificial snow tracks, but they were all pretty good. The temperature ranged between -17 C at the start and -13 C at the finish. I only sampled Lower and Upper Banff Loop, Meadowview, Bow and Banff, and conditions were excellent everywhere. All the skiers were really happy!

  162. Emerald Lake / Alluvial Fan – It’s hard to complain when the sun is shining and you almost have the place to yourself! Tricky trail conditions, along the lake, wide tracks from ski touring folks going up the fan, nice going down, them pretty wind blown and crusty coming out of the fan. Benches are cleared off and a great place to take in the beauty of this place. Set your expectations if you go before it gets track set again.

  163. Good Morning,

    It is -30 degrees C at the Peter Lougheed Discovery Centre in Kananaskis.

    Skier Bob – Wishing you all the best with your retirement. Come visit us today – it’s cold and slow.

    MK

  164. No problem keeping comfortable this afternoon at Confederation, if you were properly dressed. In fact, once I warmed up I had to start opening zippers and peeling back face coverings. That heat was partly thanks to working harder on some slow sections of track, due to a bit of windblown snow, but otherwise conditions were decently quick and enjoyable in the afternoon sun.

    • Hey Steve, what are you using for glide? I rewaxed with Swix CH4 but had poor results (like skiing on sandpaper) which makes me think I got the wax too hot. It was my first time working with such hard wax. Or were my expectations too high for -27?

      • I’ve been using Swix “Polar Extreme” for glide, labeled as -10 to -30, that had been languishing unused in my wax box. I don’t think that exact wax is made anymore. I ironed in a thin layer, extending a bit further than usual into the wax pocket at either end to maximize glide. Scraped lightly while warm, ironed lightly again, then brushed when cool. Then a very thin layer of V05 Polar for grip. The tracks were generally a bit slower at Confed yesterday than on Tuesday, because of some windblown snow.

        • Thanks! I’ll keep those tips in mind. I did note the wax was really brittle when I scraped. Caught a youtube vid where the tech used a micro-planer to turn the wax into powder before ironing to make it easier to work.

  165. Not a trip report, apart from just checking the webcam at WBC. Not much busier than posted this morning at 10 am, with only 3 cars seen in the main parking lot. Should fill up a bit starting tomorrow, with a projected balmy high of -17 C and hard dedicated work on the track setting.

    https://braggcreektrails.org/web-cam/

  166. East Village (Calgary)
    This 1k loop is mostly open to the elements so while I could KIND OF see where the groomed tracks were, I broke trail on every loop. It’s worth it, but bundle up…

  167. Confederation Park Golf Course – 10 Feb
    Like Alf, once the temperature warmed up to -24, I ventured out, and it wasn’t that bad! I think I’m getting used to the blistering cold… There weren’t many people out, but the tracks were still in quite good shape and I was grateful for the sunshine.

  168. West Bragg Creek
    From the weather forecast on Tuesday, it didn’t look as if today would be a viable ski day. But, by mid-day the thermometer at WBC had shot all the way up to -24C, so it seemed like it might be worth a try.
    Finding a parking spot was no problem. And we decided to do one of those “Alf” tours that doesn’t actually involve skiing on a ski trail. We started on the Interpretive Trail at the east end of the parking lot and then went around Snowshoe Hare and up DemiTel. From there, it turned into an off-trail tour, following the powder-slope cut-blocks parallel to the Long Distance Trail. And then we returned on Whitetail.
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/ffNgJj6CnS8NU17c9
    There were no frozen toes, fingers or noses… so it was a pretty good ski day!

  169. Spray East, West and Connector
    Frosty and pretty out there today. Tracks on WS in great shape. ES had only a little foot damage – most walkers doing a good job of staying to the side. Only non tracked portion being the Connector.
    The nice thing about this weather is you don’t need to go very far to get a good workout!

  170. South Glenmore Park is trackset.
    Cloud veil is thin, sun rays still working.

    • Thanks for posting this – it’s awesome to see that South Glenmore is finally groomed and trackset! The City also put up several new trail etiquette signs.

  171. East Village (Calgary) 9 Feb 21
    Very cold and tracks were slightly visible but blown over so I created my own. Again, great little 1k loop if you don’t have much time and live close by.

  172. Hey there, thanks for the Trip Report, glad you liked it at Shag. We don’t have enough trained volunteer groomers who have the capacity/ability to mobilize according to the weather and track setting needs at Shaganappi.

    We’re working to increase the track setting capacity…fingers crossed!

    Latest grooming update:

    https://www.shaganappinordic.ca/post/february-9-update-excellent-skiing-on-all-trails-thanks-to-the-new-snow-grooming-done-saturday

  173. Confederation- February 9
    Plenty of skiers out in minus 24 enjoying the excellent conditions and brilliant afternoon sun. Highly recommended if you are beginning to suffer from cabin fever!
    Firmly defined tracks with polar glider giving fast glide. I scraped off almost all of the V05 polar grip wax from Sunday, and still had plenty of kick.
    https://steveriggs.smugmug.com/SkiPix2021/i-R7ZGhBr/A

  174. WBC – Afternoon ski, -23C at 1:30pm and no wind.
    Skied Moose, Mountain View West, Mountain. Plenty of cold snow, excellent grip with V05 Swix polar and poor glide…

    • I was going to post but no need to repeat your description…I did exactly the same ski at almost the same time! You must have been ahead of me because if you were behind you would have surely passed me – it was slow going for me today. Faster conditions than I found at CNC on Monday, but that’s not saying much since I was basically skiing backwards there. The sun and very light breeze made it seem warmer than I expected today. A beautiful ski!

      • “Skiing backwards” is a good description for how CNC felt yesterday! You weren’t alone.

      • Erin P, between skiing backwards as you put it or skiing on sand, there are no fast skiers. On the way out on Mountain road I was barely going faster than walkers …..

        • I hear you! 🙂 I felt pretty lucky to be in that beautiful, quiet moment, but I’m looking forward to some actual great glide (and fewer clothing layers) hopefully next week.

    • I echo the comments of JF, Sara and Erin. WBC was beautiful on Tuesday. At 11:00 the parking lot had only a handful of cars and the Swix thermometer at the trailhead read -28. Trails are slow but very nicely groomed – thanks to the crew. No problems with grip!

  175. Confederation Golf Course – 8 Feb
    REAALY cold and few brave souls out there but wow!!! on gorgeous fresh track-setting! Thank you groomers! Just gorgeous!

  176. Nipika Resort today (saw it was -13 in Invermere cemented the decision) Besides the terror of meeting three massive mining and logging trucks driving FAST on the 14 kms road in, we enjoyed the easier South trails first, temperature -13. Their numbering system had its challenges but trails were groomed and tracked in perfect condition with a couple of cms. fresh snow. We stopped for lunch upstairs in the barn (maybe 6-10 cars in total in parking lot) at 1:30 and temp was -9. Skied some of the North trails, but as we passed the toboggan hill, took a toboggan ride down there. I know how much this is one of Skier Bob’s favorite places, so ironic that I can write a report on it today for him. An incredible resort for families, especially those with dogs. If any skate skiers in particular are looking for a skate skiing paradise, it was a 2 hr drive from Canmore and great to get out of the deep freeze for even a day. $12. fee/cash or Visa.

  177. CNC 12:00 12:00 -23C Parking lots pretty empty. Slight east wind.
    Lots of new grooming and TS all over the Nordic Centre.
    Wax was Rex Mantaranta and Vauhti Blue. Both extreme cold waxes, tough and fast. ( I had to root around in my wax boxes to find them )

    Due to the prevailing east wind we skied out Banff Tr dropped down onto Bruin Cub and returned Bow Trail. We hoped to miss the wind but did find it cooler on the way back. Just wear more layers.
    We found some sunny patches with no wind which was a treat.

    Manmade snow tracks were like sandpaper due to fine snow drifting into them. We skied the corduroy which was quite fast.
    Natural snow had normal cold weather speed. Tracks were fast especially compared to man made.

  178. Healy Creek was great today! A little slow on my waxless skis, but winter wonderland!

  179. Volunteer parking shift at Ribbon creek this am & the masses missed a beauty! Hardly any traffic & though it was -31 for a small part of the westbound drive on the trans-Canada this morning, by early aft ‘ski time’, the car thermometer registered -15.

    The Village trails had all been freshly trackset and were world class; the ‘setter’ deserves some kind of reward!!! At those temps, a cocktail of Swix Polar & Toko green grip waxes made traction easy-peasy. No breeze in the trees, so downhills on Kovach, etc. were an absolute joy! Go get some!!!

    • Give a shout out to Tracksetter Alex. Also we have a heated cab with a heated seat no suffering but great skill of Alex behind the controls.

  180. Sun feb 7: hummingbird plume/skogan pass (from ribbon).
    Yep, cold start, but bluebird and almost calm, making for manageable conditions and a nice day out. A dusting of snow on the grooming made for good grip and smooth descending, albeit slow cold snow, which kept the wind chill down at least. Enjoyed the odd pleasure of wearing a face mask on descent for non-covid reasons. An insulated codpiece might have been beneficial too. Only saw two other skiers all day and less than a handful of cars in the lot on return. Descended the north side of the pass a bit on an AT track for some wind free sun and views away from the power line. Returned via hay meadow, perhaps my first time on that trail? Some Walker traffic on that section.

  181. Answering Bob’s query about why the Bragg Creek Trails Snow Rabbit is called Erica:

    The ‘Erica‘ decal on the front windscreen recognizes our primary benefactor, Erica Frischkorn, who is a keen XC skier and who loves the fact that she can take her pooches along when she and her husband are out enjoying the trails. The Frischkorn Family Foundation stepped up as the anchor donor for the $172,000 Snow Rabbit. Following along with substantial donations were Pieridae Energy and the Shell Legacy Fund.
    To make up the bulk of the remaining money needed, our trail users responded to an appeal and collectively contributed an amazing $68,000. The final $9,000 came from Bragg Creek Trails’ general funds. From the Board and the leadership team, thank you to all of our awesome supporters. The Snow Rabbit has been a game changer this winter, providing a huge boost to the efficiency of Bragg Creek Trails’ grooming operations.

  182. WBC
    New personal best starting temp…maybe best isn’t the right word.
    -28 is what the Subie thermometer said. Brrr

    But what a beautiful bluebird day.

    Handful of vehicles to start. Not much more after that.

    A light dusting of snow covered the setting from yesterday, making everything a bit slower. I think this what they call working snow…definitely no issue with grip.

    Started on East Crystal, Iron Springs, Elbow, Packers, home on West Crystal.

    Kept a nice pace, trying to keep sweat down to prevent chilling down. Stops were at a minimum, but sunny spots were definitely the place to do it.

    Overall a nice morning of earning super bowl snacks.

    • I took the afternoon wimp shift at around -20 and skied the same basic loop as you, throwing in an out and back on Iron Creek along the way, and tacking on Mountainview-Mountain Road-Moose Connector before finishing on lower West Crystal. It was quite pleasant out actually, thanks to the calm air and regular shots of warmth inducing sun (whether real or psychological). My skis were decently fast thanks to the old bar of Swix “Polar Extreme” glide wax that I had dragged out of the wax bin, and just a smudge of V05 Polar gave plenty of grip. As expected- trail conditions were great!
      https://steveriggs.smugmug.com/WestBragg-February7/

  183. Shaganappi Golf Course
    Continuing our golf course forays we checked out Shaganappi for the first time this afternoon in the cold temps (-21C @ 1pm) but brilliant sunshine. Although only skier tracked it was pretty good for the most part on the recent grooming. Did a loop of the upper trail, then the expert track and then a smaller inside loop of the upper trails followed by one scoot around the learning area. No trouble staying warm as the wind was minimal. We will definitely have to come back following some tracksetting. Parking lot perhaps a quarter full.

  184. Saturday Feb 6 3pm at Maple Ridge Golf Course
    – skier set, will be awesome if the city could trackset. There is excellent snow cover
    – not busy, maybe 15 cars in the lot and I only encountered 7 people on the trails
    – dang cold and I forgot to wear contacts so my glasses kept icing up!

  185. ALSO – A Mat & Nat Purse was left in the washrooms at the Discovery Centre (Information Centre in Peter Lougheed PP in Kananaskis). If this belongs to you please reply in this thread.

  186. Brrr Morning!

    It is -28 at the Peter Lougheed Discovery Centre.
    The roads were cleared but both had hard packed snow on them.
    Kananaskis Cross Country Parking Passes are now being sold at the discovery centre with cash or cheque.

    Stay Warm Everyone!

  187. West Bragg Creek
    As Bob said in his report, snow and grooming conditions were good at West Bragg Creek. I didn’t update my glide wax, so my glide was slower than it should have been. My afternoon of skiing included Hostel Loop and Moose Loop. It was cold, but comfortable enough, with the right clothing. No photos… camera froze up.

  188. Spray River / Goat Creek was excellent today. Superb tracksetting after the recent storm snow and lots of loose and minimally skied snow on the hills made it easy to manage the downhill approaches to the bridges and left me smiling. 🙂

    If you’re going out, be careful with clothing and food; at -20C, a day outside is draining. The wind within 1 km of the Goat Creek parking lot was savage.

  189. Lake Louise, starting from Great Divide: -17 around 10:30 warming to -15. We skier tracked down Upper Tramline. MLR had a couple of passes of packing down with skier tracks, and arrived at Fairview to soft but beautiful new grooming and track-setting. Took shortcut to Lk. Louise and skied on new tracks there to check out ice climbers. Our fingers were frozen just looking at them. A few other walkers climbed all the way up, but our thumbs were too cold to watch them sliding back down that very steep slope. Took Peyto (could see yesterday’s track under 7 cms of fresh snow) back to the car and drive to our very favorite “LAGGAN’s trail” for the last two of their Hazelnut Macaroons and a Latte. NO wind all day until nearing Banff on Trans Canada coming home.

  190. Cold but rewarding,

    We were inspired by MAKE ALBERTA A DEMOCRACY’s post and skied to Sundance Lodge today. We were lucky to encounter two martens up in a tree by the trail, nearing the viewpoint. One of the martens was carrying a squirrel while the other barked at me trying to distract me. Eventually, the marten with the squirrel jumped to another tree and had its lunch. When we arrived at Sundance Lodge, the thermometer showed -16C. We had lunch, then ventured past the lodge for 15 minutes or so on the beautiful trail. It was getting blustery when we got back to the vehicle. We only met one other skier all day, nearing the parking lot. The temperature stayed pretty consistent all day.

    We stayed warm skiing. It’s definitely more of an effort to ski without track setting but it was so pretty with snow all over the trees. The highway was in good shape with one clear lane, and sometimes two.

  191. Peter Lougheed Provincial Park-Elkwood Parking Lot – Wheeler -Amos -Wheeler counterclockwise
    Skier tracked, good snow.

    • Maple Ridge golf course.
      Good snow cover on skier track set trail. It’s nice to have the parking lot open. Around 20 cars there this afternoon. If it gets groomed soon it will be perfect!

  192. Confederation Golf Course
    3pm -21C and no wind. A surprising number of brave souls. Parking lot close to full. No problem keeping warm enough for an hour on the trails. Did all of the classic trails except orange. All in reasonable shape for the most part.

  193. Shaganappi
    A chilly -21 start. Weird…no other cars or skiers seen today 😉

    Lots of new snow, followed the skier set on green loop for a couple spins, then a loop on the expert track.

    First time there. Very enjoyable ski. Glide was pretty good considering the temps.

    Good gear and you will stay warm. Have fun.

  194. Good Morning,

    Kananaskis, Peter Lougheed
    It’s -19 at the Peter Lougheed Discovery Centre with about 5 cm -10cm of snow accumulation at the centre. There may be more snow in the southern areas of the Park. Both lanes of Highway 40 were ploughed, however there are still snow patches. The lane going Southbound is more clear.

    Happy Trails.

  195. MAKE ALBERTA A DEMOCRACY

    BREWSTER CREEK – BEYOND SUNDANCE LODGE

    The Healy Creek trail was trackset today. It is in excellent condition to the Brewster Creek junction.

    The Brewster Creek trail to Sundance Lodge is only snowmobile packed for some reason. There is an excellent snow base with a couple of centimeters of snow on top as of about 9:30 pm. The hills are in great shape.

    Beyond Sundance Lodge I rebroke and broke trial to about 1 km past the bridge after Sundance Lodge or beyond the old trappers cabin location. Skiing is generally very good . Trail breaking gets easier beyond the bridge. Skied out at night.

    The temperature at Sundance was -13c with 1 to 2 mm of light snow coming down per hour.

    On the way up to Sundance I took the old horse trail/ short cut. It is generally good skiing going up hill with a few rocks in the usual sections. With 7 cm of wet snow it should be in generally very good to excellent shape for climbing up.

  196. Spray West

    A short ski from the Spray West parking lot to the Spray West/East junction, a bit beyond, and back. As Ulrike said, the trail is soft (very soft!), and I’m sure the weekend traffic (well, those willing to brave the cold) will do a good number on the tracksetting. The storm was moving in as we were leaving around 1500, and quite a bit of snow (small flakes) were being blown onto the trail. Whoever’s first out tomorrow should have fun breaking the trail!

  197. Great ski in Yoho NP today. Started at Natural Bridge and went up the Emerald Connector to Emerald Lake, then across the lake and around the alluvial fan, and back to Natural Bridge (26 km). Track great throughout. Only walked on for a few hundred metres on the fan, and just downstream of the lodge. Mostly overcast but the monochrome scene of snow and cool trees on the fan was wonderful. Squall blew through when we were crossing the lake on our return, otherwise warm, a high of -2C. Trail back down was sporty in places. Blowing snow and occasional whiteout conditions didn’t hit us until east of Castle Junction.

  198. Chris and Karl and Chuckley

    BOULTON, FOX CREEK, ELK PASS, TYRWHITT, WHISKEY LOOP: minus 12 when we left the parking lot, mega snow on the whole loop now. Tyrwhitt and Whiskey were groomed, the rest skier tracked. Some falling snow stuck to my skies after lunch. Easy skiing down Whiskey today.
    The blizzard hit us on the way home, a bit scary at times. Great ski day!

  199. Ribbon Creek: -9 to start: Warmed up on Hidden then Coal Mine (beautiful grooming Jeff!), across to Kovach Loop with fun downhill out/back on Aspen, stopping in Pomeroy Lodge for huge serving of fries and large Lattes, then back down to car via trail that starts right at Lodge parking lot entrance. Super job Lodge has done creating separate snowshoe and biker trails. Drive home quite challenging when people insist on passing at too high a speed. Lots of whiteout conditions. We were sure glad we had not chosen to ski Skogan Pass this morning, but got in 665 M likely most of which was on Coal Mine.

  200. This is literally the moment the cold front blew over me at 1130am almost at the peak of the road on Mountain View West at WBC. In a few moments it went from about -7’ish beautiful and sunny to windy, dark, and plunging temps. My truck said -16C at the parking lot about 35 mins later. Prior to the storm it was much warmer there than in Calgary. On the fresh snow there was great glide and it was grand to be out. Post arrival however tracks were being filled in, wind gusts stirring up squalls and blinding snow, and folks were quickly adding layers to their heads and body. Storm arrival

  201. CNC. I started a bit after 10:00 am in very pleasant weather, -6 C. Got to Silvertip via Olympic and Coyote, which were ungroomed but wonderful. I then skied Silvertip and Rundle, which were both in excellent shape. The east end of Rundle was not groomed, but again perfectly manageable. The weather abruptly changed up there, and was blizzarding by the time I descended into the stadium. Overall a really fun ski.

  202. Goat Creek to Canmore: Started in mild temperature from the Banff Springs end and only saw a couple of skiers. Enjoyed skiing in good tracks and soft snow, sheltered from the wind. The downhills were packed but easy to control. A very peaceful trip. The storm hit me when I reached the Goat Creek trailhead and temperature started to go down.

  203. Bragg Creek-Feb 4=Great job groomers-thank you, we had a fun day.
    Only issue were the Dogs. Love Dogs, though ppl seem to forget that Having unleashed Dogs on xski trails is a privilege, and when we are going down a steep hill you need to get your Unleashed Dog off the trail – it is not up to me to tell your Dog to move(like it happened yesterday). Some Dog owner’s’ were just looking at ppl going down the steep hills and not taking action to move their dog out of ones path. If your dog does not listen to you, perhaps kindly pls leave your dog at home Or leash your Dog., do not leave it unleashed. A lot of “serious accidents- near misses “that could have happened. Dogs are great but pls if you unleash your dog at xski trails pls take responsibility that your dogs do not block the trails. Happy xskiing

  204. WBC – Moose Loop and Mountain View West
    Three words: FAB-U-LOUS! I started at 9am at -11, and found my green wax with new blue roll-on for glide to be just perfect throughout my ski. No new snow despite a good amount in Calgary, so the tracks were still good. I didn’t run in to many other skiers for most of the ski, until heading down the big hill on the way back (so happy to run into my friend Wendy and her husband Jose just starting their ski). Back at the car just before 11am it was -7… much warmer than the -16 with blowing snow on the highway. If anyone wants to escape the cold and wind for the afternoon, I bet it’s still lovely at WBC!

    • WBC
      At approx 11:26 the temperature on west crystal line plummeted, the wind hit and the blue sky and sunshine disappeared. The drive home was in winter blizzard conditions. Take care out there.

    • Was so great to run into you too Erin!! ? The weather changed soon into Moose Loop, and it became dark, cold and started to snow. It was still a gorgeous ski and the fresh snow helped us beginners get down the hills easier. I didn’t have to snow plow all the way! ? Now home and enjoying a delicious dinner, some wine, and embracing hygge. ?

  205. Yesterday we skied a loop in PLPP. Conditions depended on which order trails were groomed during the snow. Poccatera was lovely with about 3 cms on top of the grooming. Lynx was a bit softer and then Amos and Wheeler were deep and skier set. – About 20cms of soft new snow. Packers had obviously been done last and it had pristine corduroy and tracks. The ice patch is back. Then we came back on Poccatera on 2 cms of new. (Fresh grooming on Pocaterra if we had headed uphill at the junction.) We were both on skin skis which climbed well but overall it was slower than usual. A lovely day!

  206. Avalanche control to occur on spray lakes road/east end of rundle Friday by Kananaskis public safety crew. Road will be closed in the morning starting between 9 and 11 am. If wanting to do goat creek Friday, go early and you may have to return the long way round, depending on outcome.

  207. GOAT CREEK – SPRAY RIVER WEST & RETURN – February 4

    Great snow and track conditions throughout. The steep descent to the Goat Creek bridge was a charm with the recent snow. Also skied about 750 m along the Spray River trail heading south just enough to get a nice vintage point of the valley; 15 cm fresh snow over a sun crust and an old ski track continuing further, about the river. VR40 works fine until the return at the Goat bridge, where I topped up with some VR45.

  208. FEB 4 TOUR DE WEST BRAGG CREEK
    East Crystal, Iron Springs, Iron Creek, Iron Springs South, Elbow South to Snagmore, Elbow, Loggers, West Crystal, Mountain View, Mountain Road, Mountain View West, Moose Loop South, Moose Connector, West Crystal, Hostel Loop East & West, Telephone Loop, Moose Connector, Mountain Road

    Lots of reports from West Bragg today, so I’ll just add what hasn’t been reported on yet: Was on skin skis. Elbow South was trackset with loose powder next to the trackset. The ground was peeking through the trackset in several places on Elbow South, Mountain View, Mountain View West, and Hostel Loop. Telephone Loop was packed snow, with recent roller packing on the west side. Most of the loop was 5-10cm of packed snow over ice, crust, and dirt. Nevertheless what little fresh snow there was, was sufficient to keep the skis away from the nasty stuff below. There were a few very shallow ski tracks, but not really any skier trackset.

    • Normand,
      Can’t let the Vintage/Vantage wording pass!
      How many years have you enjoyed this Vintage, of wine?
      What exactly is the adVantage of this Vantage point?
      Okay, you alone may correct my English any time you like!

      • Oops, mistype on my part Chuck. The wine was missing today for the vintage (should have brought some), but the view was sure there for that vantage point!

    • West Bragg Creek
      Lots of reports and lots of skiers, fat-bikers, snowshoers and hikers at WBC today. The 10 cm of snow and grooming on all of the trails brought everything back to winter conditions. The additional snow forecast for the coming days will certainly be welcomed. Here are some photos to go with all of the reports.
      https://photos.app.goo.gl/C92fWuHHtcjNf1mK9

    • Impressive.
      Gotta ask… how many KM was that!?!
      Approx moving time out there?
      You certainly picked a nice day for it, although later this aft wasn’t as good as the morning sunshine.

      • 48km. Can’t really say what the moving time was, as I was continually experimenting with shifting my bindings fore and aft on my skis to see how it affected grip and glide on different terrain. Also chatted with lots of people on the way.

  209. Sandy McNabb was groomed today. Long Prairie Loop is fair but the dogs, hikers, and horses are already chewing up the thin snow on the west side of the loop. The south side trails were very good and the place to be. Smooth corduroy mostly skier track set made for enjoyable skiing. So, with even more snow on the way, I’d say Sandy is back in the game.

  210. Bill Milne today from Ribbon Creek. The parking lot wasn’t plowed and there were no other cars but the new track setting was fabulous. The weather co-operated, it was quite warm but little wind and no snow until we were leaving.
    We met several skiers along the trail in the afternoon, everyone was smiling and having a good time, being very polite on the single track trail except for one lone skier who felt he owned the right of way and wasn’t willing to yield to the three of us coming from the other direction on the flats. Too bad he hadn’t carefully read the skierbob info on trail manners (he told us skierbob had said that he had the right of way because he was on the right hand side). Might be worth another discussion especially for all the new (and not so new) skiers out there.
    The folks with us who had never skied this trail before were really impressed. The snow plow was just coming into the parking lot as we left about 2:30.

    • HI Gina, I get a kick out of these people who invoke my name to make excuses for their behavior. He lied.

      Good to hear about the snowplow at the parking lot.

  211. Ribbon Creek – K-Village
    Skied many of the trails in the area (Kovach, Terrace Link, Aspen, Bill Milne) and all were were track set relatively recently and were in great shape.

  212. Feb 4 – Goat Creek
    A good amount of people out today! Yesterday’s grooming was excellent. A bit soft outside of the tracks. There were a couple runners on the trail, which was a bit frustrating but at least they stayed out of the track.

  213. WBC: -8 C at 9:00 am / -2 C at 2:00 pm
    Started with VR40 and added one application of VR 45 after 12:30 pm for Hostel Loop. Kick and glide were very good.
    East Crystal Line: tracks improved further away from parking lot and skating lane soft,
    Iron Springs: grooming and tracks very good to the fence line, then turned back to Iron Springs/Elbow connector,
    Loggers Loop to West Crystal Line: good grooming and tracks for a quick decent
    Moose Connector: Steep hills scrapped to old snow/ice with some small rocks exposed.
    Moose Loop: West bound tracks skier damaged to the Tom Snow junction and bridge. Uphill and East bound tracks and grooming in very good condition to Moose Connector.
    Mountain Road: Solid tracks and great glide to the parking lot.
    Hostel Loop: Most of the track and grooming through the loop are in very good condition.
    Certain trails popular with dog’s companions are covered with paw dents – wall to wall over certain sections. Dents didn’t affect skiing in the soft snow though. Dogs can have fun too!

  214. WBC (-3C at 10:30am and lot 2/3 full)
    We skied East Crystal, Iron Spring / Creek & South (the part groomed by Alberta Parks), Elbow, Loggers, Mt View / Mt View West, Moose (south side) and back n Mt Road.
    The snow / tracks were quite soft, glide was excellent and Swix V45 Violet provided excellent grip.

  215. Bragg Creek East Side: we felt very fortunate snagging one of the last 2 or 3 parking spots today at 1115! The car did not have a thermometer but it seemed pretty warm heading out on East Crystal. Not a lot of folks out on Iron Springs and Elbow, surprising given the lots were packed. Thanks to the grooming crew for getting out there so fast! Conditions were decent, not fast snow and mushy trails in spots, likely from the crowds of the last 2 days, but so fun to finally be back at Bragg. I will now proceed to the Ski Bragg donation page….

    • I second this comment, though the lot was relatively empty at 10, I was parked about 5 cars from the trailhead by the hut. When we finished there was plenty of spots open farther away and the usual turnover in spots all over, in fact I saw one guy drive up and park right beside the entrance on the west side. The forecast snow should help the base get even better. Good day today.

  216. CNC 9:30-11:30 -6C parking lots were quite empty in the AM, 1/2 full by noon.
    Skied with VR 45 with a cover of VR 40.
    Trail Report showed grooming and TS on main manmade trails and on Banff Trail past meadow. A lot of the natural snow trails were grooming only. Two days after a snowfall I expected more track setting on the natural snow.
    Turns out Classic skiing was really good on the groomed only trails and non groomed as well. The snowfall wasn’t enough to cover the tracks and they have been tracked in by skiers.
    We skied out Bow loop onto Bow, up Greywolf,onto Silvertip. Returned via Banff trail. Banff trail’s tracks are a bit dirty and the bottom of the tracks are a bit margarita in makeup. Great morning of skiing!

  217. Spray River at Banff – We were the second car in the lot behind the Banff Springs Hotel this morning. Temp was -9C. and calm. New tracks were lovely and soft in the fresh snow. We skied all the way to the shelter at the Jct. with Spray East and half way to the Spray Bridge before we met anyone at all. It felt as though we were the only two on the face of the earth! Then we met Helen Read, Bill McKeever, and Dana Roman who were skiing down from Goat Creek. Nice to have a short visit with them. The track set along this section was much softer than the east-west loop tracks, but still great. We turned around at the loop before the bridge and skied back to the jct. for lunch. A short exploratory trip took us onto the east track (nicely set) and then back the way we came and up to the hotel parking lot for an early exit (-2C.)

  218. Confederation Golf Course
    Wow! That was one busy place for a weekday! Snow was great, groomers were slaving away, and the parking lot was jammed when I left just before noon. I was glad I had parked on the street. As an aside, a fellow skier drove up close behind me as I was parking, obviously assuming I was pulling into the parking lot, and was furiously waving at me when he realized I was parking on the street, immediately below the 2h parking sign. I pointed to the sign, but that wasn’t enough – he had to share his grievance with me, so wound down his window as he pulled up alongside. His complaint was that I had ‘parked too far from the curb’. I was only saved from hearing more by the other skiers who drove up behind him and honked so that he would move along. He was right – I took a photo and there was indeed a third of a foot (yup, 4 inchs) between my car and the two-foot drift of snow that sits 3 feet deep from the curb, so I really could have squeezed my car those 4 inches closer to the edge for him, in spite of all the other parked cars that were aligned with mine when I left. Gentle reminder that when you follow someone around the corner from 19th St, s/he may not be pulling into the parking lot like you, so make sure you follow at a reasonable distance so you can move around street parkers. That street has not been properly cleared, so the SNOW prevents us from parking right beside the curb, much like the majority of side streets in Calgary. And for heavens sake, don’t reprimand someone when you’re in the wrong. That’s just poor form.

    • Hi, we actually ask people not to park on that side street as it become quite congested as you have discovered. The overflow lot at the church has easy access or along 31ave. In saying it doesn’t mean he gets to yell at you for parking on the street! Geez!

      • Hi, Jamie. Fair enough, and thanks for letting me know. I avoid the parking lot because it always looks like a zoo, but will be more conscientious for the locals. And I think he was yelling at me because he was driving too close behind me. 😉

  219. Yesterday we skied the Montaine Trail and Silvertip Golf Course, above our house. We started at Cougar creek parking lot, there is a bit of the steep slope at the beginning of Montaine Trail, but after that, the views and powder were incredible. There are usually a few dog walkers on the golf course early in the morning, but we went at eleven when the sun came out and we did not meet a person. Wondered around the golf course, which is designed for the great views. Our initial plan was the Goat Creek, which we love to ski when the conditions are OK (not too often) but we forgot, that it is still closed. The golf course was an excellent option.

  220. PLPP. Fantastic night ski starting at Pocaterra lot. Temp was -7 in parking lot at 5:30pm. We stayed on Pocaterra all the way to Whiskey Jack junction and back to the lot. We enjoyed some fresh corduroy between Packers and WJ. Whiskey Jack was freshly groomed as well. Snow was fast and tracks were decent on our route, most connectors had a lot of snow on them but the groomer was out so I bet tomorrow will be fabulous.

  221. Ribbon Ck-Skogan: Back to the Future
    The skiing on the Skogan side of the Ribbon Creek trails today was like a time travel experience back to the 1970’s and 80’s. Before COVID19, before crowds on every trail, before trail apps, before the 1988 Olympics… even before Kananaskis Country.
    We were the only vehicle to push our way through 15cm of fresh powder into the un-plowed Troll Falls Parking lot. With a smooth blanket of fresh snow, we had to guess a bit to find the start of the Hay Meadow trail. There were no tracks at all, just smooth untouched snow. And there was no hint that anyone had ever been to Troll Falls, except for the sign post. So we broke trail to visit the falls. Except for the recent barrier fencing and signs telling people to read the signs that they had just ignored, it could have been the 1970’s.
    Breaking trail up Ruthies, we joined onto the track of a single skier who was headed up Skogan Pass trail ahead of us. We met her at Sunburst junction on her way down. While my friends had lunch, I skied a short way down the power line corridor from Sunburst. A nice bit of powder skiing!
    We continued up Sunburst and over to the view-less Hummingbird Plume Lookout. In the 1970’s there was a view from this spot, but now it’s just a cleared spot in the forest. A short bit of off-trail skiing does provide the reward of the original view.
    We then toured along High Level to the power line and did a powder descent to Sunburst. And then continued on down along the power line to the valley bottom. It seemed vaguely familiar, but it was only once we got back and checked the old Kananaskis Country Ski Trails book that we remembered that this was once an actual ski trail called “Balam”. XC skiing was definitely different in those days! It was great to re-live that again today!
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/LZSZxPRZVJfQUy5v5

    • I have a memory of coming down some VERY narrow steep trail, probably early ’90’s, it was either Elk Pass lookout or somewhere near Skogan.

      So different from today as you mention.

    • Wow, Alf! You must be really old!! ?

      • Haha! That question mark is supposed to be a heart. I guess emojis don’t work on here!

        • No denying it. If you can remember the ’70’s, you ARE old.
          Growing old is inevitable. Growing up is optional.

          • So true! I love reading your trip reports! I have a memory of going on an xc ski trip in Kananaskis with you as the leader when I was in university in the early eighties. I also remember you leading a Red Deer River white water rafting trip I was on in those years. Even though it was pouring rain, and our raft flipped over, it’s a very fond memory! I’m so glad you’re still out there, having adventures! 🙂

  222. Goat Creek was PHENOMENAL today!! We started out from Canmore in a good 10 – 15 cm of fresh snow and broke trail for about 45 minutes until we heard the glorious snowmobile coming towards us!

    It took the groomer 6 passes to get the full trail trackset so we saw him a few times as we graduated from fresh powder to packed snow, corduroy, and eventually happy fresh tracks.

    Best of all, we beat all the dang hikers!!! It was my first time skiing it end to end without a single footprint! We saw nobody but beautiful skiers all day!

    And, I finally met the incredible Skier Chuck!! I’ve been wanting to meet Chuck forever! We all had a lovely long chat.

    Link to my photos. (Thanks Chuck for the group photo!)
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/xmGKQCb2anNfHG1L8

  223. GOAT CREEK (Including SPRAY WEST and SPRAY EAST) – Feb 3

    Trackset today with a good 15 cms of new snow at higher elevations.
    Details available in the photo descriptions here:
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/nQsT5FtYLEbBisGS6
    Surprisingly few people out today.

  224. WBC – AMAZING groomers. We were fortunate to follow the groomers today at WBC at noon today! -12 at the parking lot. West Crystal Line to Ironsprings then returning Sundog – all track set with amazing tracks!!! It was a blue bird day and glorious ski.
    A shout out to the groomers who have kept the trails in such great shape allowing us to have access to Mother Nature!!!

    • Agreed. I wrapped up my tour of West (north) Crystal, Mountain view (groomed, not tracked), Mountain Road, Mtn view west (freakin’ fantasico! especially the new reroute)), north side Moose Loop (even more fantastic), moose connector (meh), Loggers (always good), and the always fun never-ending downhill of East Crystal to Chickadee. 20km, 1300m vertical according to my Garmin, 1hr45min moving. I earned the right to be sore tomorrow!! Lots of room in the parking lot, saw an equal number of doggo’s/humans, all happy.

  225. I had never thought of skiing on the High Rockies Trail, but after seeing Chris S’ report it seemed like the perfect thing to do after it stopped snowing in Canmore this morning. There was 15cm of fresh, surprisingly fast powder on the trail. I didn’t have a lot of time so only skied halfway to the campground and back. I saw a snowshoe hare, a pine marten, and a moose… and the off-leash dog that was chasing the moose. It’s a provincial park, folks. Leash your dogs.

    • Sara; Did you start at Goat Creek Trail head? Curious what 1/2 way is? Goat Pond? There is a figure 8 trail from Goat Creek PL to Goat pond and return . Essentially an upper and lower trail. 13KM total
      Chris S or Sara if you read this are the dog teams running all the way north to the bridge over Goat Creek ?

      • Yes, I started at the Goat Creek trailhead and the trail was packed all the way from where the High Rockies branches off the Goat Creek trail (north beyond the bridge over the creek). I didn’t go all the way to Goat Pond. I went 5.5km from the parking lot along the upper trail, then cut down on an unpacked section of old logging road to the lower trail and took that back. Chris said his ski to the campground and back was 22.5km, so I guess I went a little less than halfway. Looking at my GPS watch data, I think I was ~1.5km short of Goat Pond when I turned around.

      • The dog sleds we’re running from the Spray Lakes West campground to the northwest corner of Goat Pond and then back to the campground.
        But that could change according to their weekly tour schedule. You could probably check with Snowy Owl Dog Sled Tours in Canmore.

    • One additional piece of advice.
      After a significant snowfall, it’s always a good idea to check with 511 Alberta whether Highway 742, from the Canmore Nordic Centre to Goat Creek parking, is scheduled to be closed for avalanche control. If they close the road while you are spending the day up there, you would be forced to drive the entire Smith Dorrien Road to PLPP and then back along Highway 40 to Highway 1. A looong detour if you have to get back to Canmore or head east to Calgary.

      • yes, I had that thought as I was driving up and double-checked that I had enough gas to make it the long way ’round if necessary!

  226. Confederation Golf Course
    Feb 3 – noon
    Purple and Yellow groomed and trackset, great conditions
    Self-made tracks through fresh snow on Blue and Green. Powder on skate lanes

  227. Bragg Creek Hamlet got about 10cm of snow overnight with temps around -10C. Can’t wait until the BCT groomers work their magic and rejuvenate the trails after the freeze/thaw we recently had!

  228. Its -10 degrees at the Peter Lougheed Discovery Centre this morning. I measured 30cm of fresh snow at the PLDC. Highway 40 has been plowed in both directions but the trailheads may not have been.

  229. High Rockies Trail
    Snow temp -3 C (until the cold front blew in)
    Decided on a change in scenery today.
    The trail is not trackset but a good base is packed down by the sled dog tours. Makes for easy skiing. A beautiful scenic route past Goat Pond and further on to the Spray Lakes West Campground which happens to be the base for the sled dog tours. Just beware and look out for those sleds as they come down the trail rather fast. I’m amazed by the energy exerted by those dogs (if only I had half as much). I saw 8 teams of dog sleds! That’s over 50 dogs, quite the noisy ruckus before they set off.
    Useful Tip: I met up with the tour photographer, Boris, and he said the best day to ski the route is on Wednesdays. The tour groups don’t run their tours on that day so there’s no interference between sleds and trail users.
    Skied back against heavy snow and ended the trip caked in fresh snow. Reminded me of my backcountry ski trips.

    • Curious where you started from Chris? Yesterday, we snowshoe’d the section from Goat Creek and did the loop of the sled dogs 4 kms eastward for a total of 8 kms. It was incredible how the sky changed from 9 til noon. Snow temp at Goat Creek Banff signage was around -1/0 at noon. Good to know about Wednesday being the quietest day, although we saw no one yesterday. Found one beige UGG-looking snow boot in Goat Creek parking lot.

      • Hi Helen,
        I started from the Goat Ck parking lot and headed south from the Banff NP boundary sign along the Goat Ck trail, total 22.5 km to the Spray Lakes West Campground and return.
        I did see one other skier track on my return trip.
        And numerous moose tracks en route.
        I also saw that boot and placed it under the outhouse roof eave as I thought it either be covered by snow overnight or the plow would take it out when it eventually clears the parking lot.

  230. Tuesday, February 2, 2021 PLPP: -3C at 10:00 am -1C at 3:00 pm
    All skiers on waxless skis (one twin skins three fish scales) with mixed results re sticking and clumping.
    No Monday night grooming updates were found on SkierBob or at the Discovery Centre, so we decided to start our day from Elkwood. There we discovered new grooming covered with 1 cm of new snow and graupel. Following the grooming we skied first tracks on Lodgepole and Sinclair to Pocaterra Hut. Only other tracks we saw were on Sinclair made by the two moose we found lounging off track at the top of the bigger Sinclair hill. Suicide Hill was a piece of cake with the soft new corduroy. The new grooming continued over Rolly Road and still no sticking or clumping. Come Along, Pocaterra and Lynx all had skier tracks in the snow-over-grooming (SOG) and we experienced increasing problems with soggy snow. Amos South and more SOG caused considerable problems sticking and clumping. Maybe Wheeler’s exposure to west winds cooled the snow because less sticking and clumping was experienced back to Elkwood. Not happy with all this soggy snow the author set off again to loop around on South Meadow, Woolley, Amos (through the campground) and Wheeler. Arrived back at Elkwood in time to see the Piston Bully set of south on Wheeler.

  231. Bill Milne, Wedge Pond, Evan Thomas. Started at 9:30 AM OC and light snow which made the tracks great! Clouds gave way to sun. A great loop with lots of double polling. I must have gone for more than a km on the way back with nothing but double polling. Parking at Kovach Pond was convenient. +4C when we finished. Super day!

    • Even good for a bit of skate skiing before I got too tired using my classic skis. Skate skiing is the best! Go skaters!

  232. CNC. I went out around 10:45 this morning to get a ski in before the snowfall and temperature drop. Bow was groomed and track-set on the 1st, but conditions were variable. It was messy in spots, wet and slippery in others, and excellent in others. I tried out Wooded Bliss and Cold Shoulder for the first time and quite enjoyed them. These are the two dead-end options off of Bow. Wooded Bliss had some very dirty sections, but Cold Shoulder was clean and fast. There is a picnic table at the apex of Cold Shoulder in a very pretty location. My return on Banff Trail was clean and fast. It is in great shape. I used my skins and they were excellent except for a few of the steeper and slicker uphill pulls. It’s now 2:40 pm and the snowfall has begun.

  233. Today was grinning from ear to ear in powder on Lookout in PLPP!
    We started at noon from Elk Pass parking lot, temperature of zero degrees with forecast calling for above zero temperature in the afternoon. We both had skin skis so didn’t worry about anything. We did a loop that included Elk Pass, Tyrwhitt, Lookout, Hydroline, Patterson, back on Elk Pass and Fox to finish. Most trails were skier trackset except for Lookout on the South side. Coming down in ankle deep powder was an absolute blast! The stillness throughout the day was therapeutic. Driving back, we saw a large coyote on top of the snowbank between the two parking lane of Pocaterra parking lot. The temperature was still overing around zero at 4:30 when we left.
    He is a link to picture /video of pow time!
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/sY2uWMUcXr5ZwtCs7

  234. WBC: Upper and Lower West Crystals / West Sundog / Loggers / Moose Connector / Mountain Road / Elbow N out and back / Iron Springs over the big hill out and back

    Conditions were actually quite decent today, especially when I read about all of the clumping issues at other venues. I set an all time personal best for average speed today even though I was using my waxless skis.

    Grooming had been done on the Crystal Lines so they were in the best shape. Sundog, Loggers and Mountain Road were pretty good too. Elbow N and Iron Springs N were okay. Surprisingly, the big hills on the all the routes were good, with the exception of the south bound hill downward on Iron Springs which had softened a bit around noon when the sun really hits it. The other hills are largely shaded.

  235. PLPP – Hello all, skied Elk Pass, Tyrwitt, Whiskey Jack, Moraine as a loop today. Lots of fresh snow at the Elk Pass end all the way up and into the Tyrwitt meadows. A beautiful day with trail breaking all morning (peaceful but not my fave). My VR 40 was awesome until Whiskey Jack where like others the intense clumping began. Moraine was a mix of icy slush and later deep stuff near Fox creek. I nearly wept while on moraine in The campground ?. In all, a tough day for this intermediate skier with lots of nice people coming in from Pocaterra. Love it there and looking forward to some track setting next time.

  236. STONEY CREEK CABIN – nice cm of new snow this morning made the ski into Stoney Creek very easy, temps approached 0 at noon making the snow near the cabin a bit wet. However, aside from scraping our skies once, we had minimal problems with sticking snow. Tbe ski back was quite fast, the tracks will be icy after they freeze again. A great ski day, once we get past the Cascade bridge it feels like real backcountry skiing. Used warm blue swix wax all day. Saw a pine martin at about km 5.

  237. PLPP
    Feb. 1, 2021

    Not to take anything away from Ray’s glowing report of the peacefulness here (I’m envious of the lynx sightings), today’s ski conditions were the WORST I’ve experienced in 32 yrs. The snow was sticking to the bottoms of waxed skis AND fish-scales AND EVEN skin skis! I did more scraping than skiing. I even had snow building up on the tips and tails! I’m sure that things will improve with the cold, but don’t be surprised if you’ve got no glide and enough grip to climb walls.

  238. Quick ski at CNC early this afternoon. I skied up through the competition trails to Meadow, then took Rundle all the way out. I don’t think that trail was groomed yesterday, and there was a thin (~1cm) layer of SLOW fresh snow on top. I skied back on Bow which had been groomed, and the snow was much faster. Warm out there today. The snow wasn’t slushy at all, but it definitely had a high water content. I was glad to be skating because I’m not sure what I would have tried to wax with… Felt like spring.

  239. Redearth almost to Shadow Lk Lodge turnoff before high heel phenomena commenced around 11:30. Beautiful powder 4-6 cms in parking lot -2 on arrival at 9:15. An alpine touring skier preceded us (maybe Normand?) and we appreciated his/her track to ski up. Before we arrived at Campground the snowmobile came by (perhaps staff getting time off) but no track-setting. Was a toss-up to apply HF Ski Go +1 to -3 OR VR50 1/0 C. Made it down with alot of snowplowing on lower hills. Walker boot prints got smoothed over thankfully! Amazing how fast that perfect powder can transition within 2 hrs. Am guessing even my waxless would have iced up.

    • Not me today, Helen. Glad you enjoyed the fresh snow. Too bad they did not track set.

    • Redearth Creek. Erin and I also skied up this morning. It was great bumping into Helen and Mary in the campground. Erin skied on wax and also had some icing-up episodes on the ascent, but none on the way down. I used my fish scales today with a de-icer product applied in the kick zone. I had no icing issues at all, but the the skis were really slow in the very humid snow. But the trail was gorgeous. We turned around 1 km past the campground. Very light and steady snow falling most of the time.

  240. PLPP – Pocaterra – Lynx – Amos – Wheeler – Whiskey Jack – Pocaterra

    Arrived at the Pocaterra Hut at around 0800 this morning, with about 8 cm of fresh snow on the ground. Skiing the loop, the new snow depths varied from about 3 cm to 8 cm. I was breaking the trail pretty well the whole way, only encountering previously skied tail briefly on Wheeler, and on Pocaterra from about half-way between Packers and Whiskey. By the time you read this, I’m guessing all trails will have been skied on. Temperature was -1 when I stared, and about 3 when I finished at 1230. Snow was slow, even where it had been skied on before me, and icing was a bit of an issue here and there, primarily in the sunny areas as the temperature warmed up. All the debris on Amos and Wheeler has been nicely covered over.

    I love being out on the trails early – there’s a peacefulness that I just don’t get when I start later in the day. After a fresh snowfall, though, it’s magical. You can see all the animal tracks from the night before, and I always smile when I see them following the tracksetting. Today I saw deer, moose, lynx (several), and rabbit (many) tracks, primarily on Wheeler, Amos, and Whiskey. I always wonder if they’re watching me go by… https://photos.app.goo.gl/wnNU3gMsAaqCeZCz7

  241. Confederation Golf Course
    Beautiful freshly groomed track and gorgeous sunlight! What a great way to begin February!

  242. At the PLDC this morning its -3 degrees and we’ve got 9cm of fresh snow. Highway 40 is plowed both directions. Kananaskis Lakes Trail is plowed Southbound only.

  243. MAKE ALBERTA A DEMOCRACY

    CASCADE RIVER – CUTHEAD CABIN

    Sunday afternoon/ night ski.

    The Cascade River trail was trackset 3 days back. It is in well used good condition with a couple of cms of new snow. There is some minor damage from ski skaters. There were a lot of groups on the trail and a tad too many that were not giving proper COVID social distancing.

    The trail from Stoney Creek to the Cuthead Warden Cabin has a well used ski tracked trail. There was roughly up to 4 cm of new snow in it since it was last skied. The elk skeleton has been ripped apart more with legs all over the place. Skied out from the cabin at night. 1 to 2 mm per hour of light snow was falling. Temperature at Stoney around 9 pm was -3c. Very mild with only a slight breeze. The light snow that was falling was a touch sticky and of moderate speed skiing out.

    • MAKE ALBERTA A DEMOCRACY

      One thing I forgot to report about on my trip.

      The amount of bad air I came across between Stoney Creek and Cuthead Cabin nearly blew my lungs away on my ski back. The air was fairly mixed heavy smoky air with heavy particulate which I assume was “fall out” from Banff or elsewhere. It was really hard breathing on my lungs as the particulate hurt as it jammed into my bronchiole. This occurred for a number of kilometers.

      I do recall having this happen in the same area once before.

      Also at Stoney Warden Cabin, I noticed the air being “stale.” Winds were calm. It was like the air had excessive carbon dioxide in it with a lack of oxygen. It made me extremely tired to the point I nearly fell asleep or passed out. I had to fight to stay awake and guzzling water seemed to help me stay awake. I have had this affect at Stoney Warden Cabin several times over the years in similar calm night conditions, but I never felt this tired before. Once I climb up the hill a few meters in elevation, within seconds the tiredness effect goes away and I get back to my energetic self. This is a strange phenomenon that I have only experienced at Stoney Warden Cabin. It makes me wonder if there is some sort of natural carbon dioxide seep in the area.

      • It has been smoky in the Bow Valley for the last week-ish because of pine beetle burning. Perhaps that was the source of the smoke, although usually winds would blow it in the other direction… No idea about the possible CO2, though. Seems like something that the cabin’s former residents would have noticed.

Leave a Reply to DaveM Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *