Trip Reports – Jan 2018

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

{ 408 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jean-Francois Richy February 1, 2018 at 7:05 pm

PLPP – Whiskey Jack – Lookout – Elk Pass – Tyrwhitt
It was -8C at 10:30 am in Boulton Creek parking lot, Whiskey Jack had a good 10cm of fresh snow and was not groomed, as per groomers’ report, the lookout, Elk Pass and Tyrwhitt were perfectly groomed and the snow conditions were excellent (just needed a bit more sun), the descent from the Lookout to Hydroline was fast and fun and the corduroy makes you feel safe!
I meet Bob on my way back on Whiskey Jack, there is so much snow that stopping to say hello was an easy task.

Reply

2 Eric R February 1, 2018 at 1:10 am

Lake Louise-Jan31
started 11am at -6 finished late -14 ,overnight light dusting .
great divide and lower telemark – soft
moraine lake road – soft as well few more cm’s at the end of track setting
pipestone track set in the am and getting fast by dusk ,should be a firm ,semi fast ski in the morning.
little beehive boot packed to top under a shy full moon
ice sculptures amazing again this year Wish somebody would blow the snow off them though ;-0

Reply

3 Chuck January 31, 2018 at 9:11 pm

STONEY CREEK TRAIL RIDER CAMP – Jan 30

While Banff only got 2 cms of snow last night, the Cascade Valley got 12 to 15 cms. And Don was there tracksetting it as we started:
https://1drv.ms/a/s!ApWd3WZ3ra9NgzFn5N74RSyOeZo8
This exploration also allowed me research Rainer’s desire to ski the Elk Lake Summit Loop.
Do we have a Team?

Reply

4 MaSid January 31, 2018 at 11:09 pm

Haven’t been up the pass in winter, but sketchy avi terrain in my view accessing the pass. I would imagine the true zero risk windows are rare (even if sheep present), especially with wind loading, the big solar exposed slope and the current layers. But if every day is available, easier to select the best one.

Reply

5 John A January 31, 2018 at 4:13 pm

PLPP – Jan 31 – As Eric R predicted, it was a spectacular day in PLPP. My favorite middle trails (Meadow, Wooley, Amos, Wheeler) were freshly tracked, temperatures were in the -7 to -5 range, there was some sun, and Rode Multi Blue was kicking and gliding quite nicely, thank you. So, don’t be discouraged by the dreary sky and cold temperatures in town; PLPP should be very nice again tomorrow, though heavy snow is predicted for later in the week/weekend. All the other trails that we saw (Lynx, Wheeler/Boulton connector, and Rolly Road were skier set with a pretty good cover of new snow. Wish I could be out there again tomorrow for one more day of nice skiing before the deep freeze / snow dump hits out there.

Reply

6 Jeff Dolinsky January 31, 2018 at 3:18 pm

The Golden Huckleberry Loppet this weekend will have superb conditions, we are guesstimating the temps to be -5C both days with light snow.
Our grooming team is ready, we have beautiful Raku medallions for the podium finishers, and our caterer is primed with a delicious post event meal.
Please register by Friday on Zone4 (race notice is posted there). See ya here!

Reply

7 Arie January 31, 2018 at 9:22 am

Jan 30th – Skied Goat Creek / Spray River to Banff and back. Temp was just below zero most of the day. There was about 3-4 inches of new snow up top. The old trackset tracks were still discernible for the most part, so I tried to follow those. Near Banff there was about 1 inch of new snow on top a suncrust which probably formed on Monday. Some snowfleas were on the snow surface near Banff. A nice day of skiing.

Reply

8 Chuck January 30, 2018 at 6:49 pm

CHESTER LAKE – Jan 30

Beautiful powder snow today:
https://1drv.ms/a/s!ApWd3WZ3ra9NgyCb54Ahz9Wu3Flo
Great to see Diana & Bart out enjoying it too!

Reply

9 Diana Piggott February 1, 2018 at 6:16 pm

Fun to see you again too!
And O, what sweet powdery transport of delight that was ?

Reply

10 Eric R January 30, 2018 at 6:35 pm

PLPP Jan 30
another overnight big dump of snow on the trails.
started 10am at -6 ,finish -3 at 5pm.
still lightly snowing that tapered off with afternoon sun glimpses .most easier trails have been skier trackset and any grooming done tonight will be awesome tomorrow!

Reply

11 Jean-Francois Richy January 30, 2018 at 5:10 pm

Brewster Creek / Sundance Lodge.
Temperature was a mild -3C at the start in the morning and we had to break trail most the way as there was 5 to 10cm of fresh powder. V45 wax worked well, although the snow quality was way better once we reached higher elevations. We cross path with the Shell Retirees Group and this helped a lot to get good tracks on the way back (Thanks folks). A lovely day.

Reply

12 Don C January 30, 2018 at 5:30 pm

Thanks for the honourable mention. I was just going to post an identical trip report but you beat me to it ! Nice meeting you on the trail.
Don

Reply

13 Jean-Francois Richy January 31, 2018 at 8:14 am

Thanks Don, it was quite a coincidence to meet again! Even though I ski most of time by myself or just with one friend and not very found of large groups, your group is indeed a friendly bunch!

Reply

14 Tanya January 30, 2018 at 3:46 pm

Coal Mine and Ribbon Creek, Kan. Village
FANTASTIC!
At least 5 cm of fresh snow all the way up Coal Mine, more the higher we went. Super sweet descent in all the powder.
Then the Ribbon Creek Trail was surprisingly good. No ice. Just fresh snow.
Ski touring at its finest with no tracks or grooming today.

At the end we skied back down the Ribbon Creek snowshoe/hiking trail, very enjoyable.

Reply

15 Paul and Nancy January 30, 2018 at 2:35 pm

Canmore Nordic Center

Surprise, snow overnight that was not groomed on the natural trails at CNC. Maybe 10 cm in the West area and 5 cm near the lodge. Purple worked well on Banff, Grey Wolf, Bow, Meadowview and at long last King of Sweden without snowplowing. Should be a good addition to the base once groomed in.

Reply

16 Jane January 29, 2018 at 9:17 pm

PLPP
What a difference a day makes. Sunday 28th was cool, I used VR30 from the Elk Pass parking all day, up Elk Pass, along Tyrwhitt down Whiskey Jack and back along Moraine. Beautiful skiing all the way, mostly on very recent track setting with a little new snow.
Today, Monday 29th, it was +3 at Boulton parking when we arrived at 11:30am, selecting an acceptable wax was a challenge, one used Purple and one used VR55N. The grip improved as we climbed up Whiskey Jack with brand new track setting (thank you) and we settled into a very pleasant tour. The grooming turned north at the top but we went south onto Pocaterra/Tyrwhitt the compensation was that we started to follow large animal tracks which continued much of the way to the creek crossing before Elk Pass, these were mostly on the ski trail but sometimes wandered off into the open meadows. Some prints resembled a cat print, no claws showing, (two sets, one bigger than the other), some a dog, with claws, so possibly they were made by 2 lynx and a wolf??? The trail conditions remained good but the glimpses of sunshine were helping to melt snow bombs from the trees. The trail down from Elk Pass held a surprise or two with the variable glide of warmer wetter snow and the lumps from the trees. We took in the side trip to Blueberry Hill, on the earlier section of trail snow bombs had made a major impact, the run back down was exhilarating until we reached this point where good control was essential. The warm day had now taken it’s toll on the snow conditions, thank goodness it was almost all downhill back to the car. The run down to Fox Creek was a fun obstacle course with snow lumps, ice and small branches/lichen in the tracks, Fox Creek was quite icy with debris and Moraine warm and wet with snow fleas, much double poling was used. A most enjoyable day.

Reply

17 Chuck January 29, 2018 at 9:04 pm

FLINTS PARK – Jan 29

Normally we do this trip later in the season for longer hours, but Masten and Carl beat me to it this time… however, they failed to show why it is so wonderful! See the pictures and details here:
https://1drv.ms/a/s!ApWd3WZ3ra9NgxVg6ujCmsrMUis1
But as they said, it is 64 km return, and it took me 9 hours.

Reply

18 Tyson January 30, 2018 at 2:17 pm

Nice seeing you out there Chuck. Thanks for the photos.
For anyone that is curious about the route:
https://www.strava.com/activities/1382174889

Reply

19 Chuck January 31, 2018 at 8:28 am

And thanks Tyson for the amazing interactive Strava map. Now if I had known there was beer back at the parking lot, I might have picked up my pace!

Reply

20 Jeff G January 29, 2018 at 7:29 pm

Great Divide.

We intended to ski Cascade Fire Road but the warm temperature prompted us to head west to Lake Louise, which is always colder. The strategy worked well. It was minus three to four Celsius by the time we pulled into the village, and it was snowing heavily. There were seven to ten cm of fresh snow covering Friday’s track-setting, but the skier-set tracks on the outbound side were surprisingly good. It snowed the entire time. Claire’s waxless skis worked flawlessly, and I only experienced minor icing on VR45 (violet). There were very few skiers to enjoy the amazing conditions, scary snow monsters, happy sled dogs and trees laden with snow to the max. Did I say there was a lot of snow?!

Reply

21 Helen Read January 29, 2018 at 5:34 pm

Chester Lake using VR 50 wax in -3 and temp was zero at lake. Met Roy and his friend at lake. Gaia measured 347 M ascent and 8.5 kms. Very few cars in parking lot and only a total of 5 skiers, which was a good thing because my descending that trail is becoming more challenging each year. Not sure I could do it any easier in AT gear but know one thing: I will NEVER do that ski on a weekend.

Reply

22 Pete January 29, 2018 at 6:21 pm

If I have to do it on a weekend I usually start skiing up after 2pm. By that time most people are heading back and I’ll usually have the lake to myself. Last Saturday my friend and I skied up and down the less travelled trail (right turn at the junction). I was surprised to only pass five people on our return trip from the lake.

Reply

23 Jim January 29, 2018 at 10:38 am

Just to chime in on PLPP. Got there late yesterday (Jan 28) but managed a Wheeler, Whiskey Jack, Packers loop from Elkwood.. Temp -6 , some brand new tracksetting and everything near perfect.

Reply

24 Stephen Vermeulen January 29, 2018 at 9:39 am

Monday Confederation Park: the trails have been groomed and tracks reset since the snow on the weekend, so conditions are quite good (glide speed has improved a lot). Only a couple of short spots with exposed grass on the blue loop, but easy to avoid.

Reply

25 Pete January 28, 2018 at 11:41 pm

West Bragg Creek (Jan 28)

Had a pleasant but chilly family ski at West Bragg today. Three of us did classic while my older daughter did skate. Tracks were hard and fast! Did West Chrystal line, Sundog, Logger’s loop, Mountain view, Mountain road, Moose connector and back to the start on West Chrystal line. The only icy bits seemed to be on Mountain view but they weren’t bad and could be skied around. I think we all forgot how much fun the West Bragg trails can be!

Reply

26 Kelli Payne January 28, 2018 at 9:31 pm

Had a fantastic day skiing at Shark today. Not groomed but the snow was fast and easy to corner into in the fast downhills. Did the loops for 10km and then did another 5km red/black. Snow temp was -9 degrees, snow was lightly falling, we waxed with VR 30. It was perfect!

Reply

27 Karla January 30, 2018 at 8:16 am

Agreed, I was there as well on Sunday, did the full Green loop. Hills were wonderful with the fast fresh snow.

Reply

28 Masten Brolsma January 28, 2018 at 6:48 pm

Yesterday, Carl Pryce and I continued up the Cascade River Trail past the Cuthead Warden Cabin to the Flint’s Park Warden Cabin. The extra 8 km was rewarded by finally getting a good view of the Cascade River and valley. Thanks to the Parks crew for initially breaking trail. Looks like folks have continued on towards Block Junction and south toward 40 Mile summit. For those wanting a really full day it is 64 km return to the Lake Minnewanka trailhead. Was really nice to get back on the groomed section at Stoney Creek….

Reply

29 Pete January 29, 2018 at 6:24 pm

Well done! Years back I did that trip on tele skis….never again!

Reply

30 Rainer January 31, 2018 at 8:29 am

Ambitious! I wonder what the loop from Cuthead cabin west over Elk Summit and south Elk Creek to Norquay would be like? Has anybody done it?

Reply

31 Chuck January 31, 2018 at 8:37 am

Wrong route Rainer!
No need to go as far as Cuthead for that. You need to head west from Stoney Cabin!
We have done it several times, but always starting at Norquay (less uphill). However, you would want to be confident that you can cross the Cascade River at Stoney knowing that the bridge was never replaced after the 2013 floods.

Reply

32 Audrey January 28, 2018 at 6:36 pm

PLPP. Jan 28th. Skied a Wheeler and Amos loop from Elkwood parking lot with my neice who hasn’t skied in years. There was maybe 1-2cm of new snow from overnight. Tracks and snow conditions were very good. -14C at start but it warmed up fairly quickly. It was about -5C when we left after lounging in the visitor centre. We also saw the tracks on Amos that the previous commentor had mentioned were on Wooley.

Reply

33 Anne January 28, 2018 at 6:08 pm

Shark to Watridge Lake on Jan 27, Saturday.
We had a lovely day, so did a fair bit of other skiers (and their friendly dogs).
The new grooming has been hidden by quite some fresh snow over a firm base. It was snowing heavily on Saturday which made for slow going; and no, I would not try skate-skiing. Contrary to K-Country website, no hazards, ice or thin base to be seen.
The back end, non-groomed trail of the 15 km loop is skier-track set. The foot height of snow beside the track makes pole-use a bit difficult, but likely a lot of fun.

Reply

34 Jean-Francois Richy January 28, 2018 at 6:01 pm

Cascade Valley – Stoney Creek.
The temperature at the start was -17C but we warmed quickly on the hill. The track were in good conditions throughout the trip and V20 wax worked beautifully. At the Stoney creek cabin we met two rangers that were skiing to the Cuthead cabin for a one night stay and then continuing their journey the day after to the bisons enclosure where they would stay 9 days. We skied a bit beyond the groomed part and indeed this is a very lovely area. There was not a lots of sun but we had a nice outing and the return to the car was fast.

Reply

35 Kazzy January 28, 2018 at 4:51 pm

Castle Lookout to Baker Creek – a great trot/run for me today on what was a new trail for me (was it dog-friendly last year or is that new this year?) My humans had good tracks holding up well from recent grooming with 2 cms of new snow, -13C at start, Swix green wax (-7 to -15ish), snowing very lightly.

Reply

36 Martine January 28, 2018 at 4:45 pm

PLPP – Pocaterra/Lynx/Packers/Pocaterra Loop
Conditions were perfect today, much warmer than in Calgary. Tracks were freshly set and all in great shape. We thought the cat footprints on Wooley were from a cougar but could have been a Lynx I guess.

Reply

37 Alf Skrastins January 28, 2018 at 10:49 pm

I did a similar loop today, but starting from the “Discovery Centre”. That was a nice set of lynx tracks between down the middle of Woolley between Amos and Meadow. Great conditions!

Reply

38 Heatherd January 28, 2018 at 3:43 pm

We had a lovely ski to Sundance Lodge today. Freshly groomed tracks on Healy Creek trail from Sunshine Road to the turn-off up to lodge, then recent grooming after that. Cold start of -14, ended with -7. Beautiful snow conditions all the way. Too bad I just read yesterday’s entries or I would have asked to hear Helen Read’s yodel when we crossed paths today!

Reply

39 Adam January 28, 2018 at 2:17 pm

PLPP (Moraine – Fox Creek – Boulton Creek – Meadow – Amos – Wooley) – 28 January

Looks like I get to be the first to say that PLPP is/was PERFECT today. That pretty much sums it up.

More importantly, what is the verdict on the cat tracks along Wooley? Lynx or cougar, the jury seems to be divided.

Reply

40 Bill January 28, 2018 at 10:17 pm

I saw those tracks too, and kept thinking I should stop and grab a photo… which I regrettably did not. Skiing solo, the noises in the woods seemed more ominous than normal…

Reply

41 Stephen Vermeulen January 28, 2018 at 11:36 am

Sunday 0900 Confederation Park, this got up to 1cm of new snow, so things are somewhat refreshed. I just did laps on the purple loop, so there’s one set of tracks that’s packed there. One of the grooming team was working on the driving range area, packing the new snow so it doesn’t get blown away.

Reply

42 Michael & Annalee January 28, 2018 at 7:13 am

We spent two days skiing at the Kinberley Nordic Ski Centre. The area is not large but there is a good variety of trails. The temperature was -1 on Friday when we skated and starting at -7 on Saturday morning when we started with classic.
The main trails Centennial and Spruce are flat but there are some great climbs and descents. Recommend Lower and Upper Cardiac Arrest, Roller Coaster over to K1, down K1 and then pick up the climb to K2.
There is also a new yet unnamed trail off of Landsem that climbs to the top of the ridge (switch-backs and steep pitches) followed by an amazing descent!
Kimberley is about 4.5 hours from Calgary and is definitely worth checking out. Just confirm the weather first as it gets both rain and snow.
m & a

Reply

43 Nikolai January 27, 2018 at 8:10 pm

PLPP
Afternoon ski from Pocaterra Hut up – Tyrwitt – Elk Pass – Fox Creek – Moraine – Amos – Lynx – back to the hut.
-9C, fresh tracksetting in the area from Pocaterra Hut up to Packers; fresh snow and decent tracks on the south end trails. It’s been enjoyable soft gliding on the plains and downhills. Recommended for those thinking of where to ski on Sunday.

Reply

44 Helen Read January 27, 2018 at 7:15 pm

After a glorious 3 days at William Watson Lodge (WWL), trail-breaking for Jean-Francois up Blueberry, I, like many of my ski friends on this blog, took a quieter day and skied what Diana did yesterday in the freshly tracked Baker Creek Chalet westbound trail towards Morant’s Curve. I did not venture any further than the groomer and GPS recorded 6.6 kms. one way so one could call it “Route 6.6”. Flat as a pancake so perfect for new skiers to practise kick and glide. -12 at noon and -9 at 2:30 with VR 40 working well. Returned to Chalets with firepits burning and chairs all cleared off of snow, complimenting the staff/groomer for a great job.

Reply

45 Jean-Francois Richy January 27, 2018 at 7:22 pm

Hi Helen,
Thanks for the trail breaking! I remember the group of 3 and then a last skier with a beautiful, crystal clear yodel (way nicer than just the classic “incoming skier” holler). Nice meeting you (even briefly)

Reply

46 Helen Read January 27, 2018 at 7:44 pm

I confess to my one year in Switzerland made me love to try my voice at yodelling.

Reply

47 Elisabeth January 27, 2018 at 6:38 pm

Skied with my good friend Meredith from Saskatoon cascade to end of trail. Excellent conditions, use green special with great success.

Reply

48 Joe January 27, 2018 at 5:38 pm

Quick Saturday trip out to WBC. Not busy in early afternoon with the colder weather so plenty of available parking. Skied classic in the tracks — Moose Loop counter clockwise. Hard, icy, and fast. No grip with VR-whatever but double poled in the tracks whenever possible and herringboned up the steeper hills. Reminiscent of the old COP days. Saw online later that Swix has a blue ice klister. That may have worked.

Reply

49 Mary Perrott January 27, 2018 at 5:34 pm

Moraine Lake Road was a lovely, quiet ski today in a cm. of fresh snow over yesterday’s track set. -14C to start and -10 at 2 pm. We started at the upper parking lot and skied tramline to MLR, then to the end of track set on MLR. At the end of the day, I skied lower Tramline to the Bow River, where my better half picked me up, saving me the uphill on Upper Tramline. Not many skiers out today, but the parking lot was full and Lake Louise was swarming with visitors to Ice Magic.

Reply

50 chuckley January 27, 2018 at 4:57 pm

Pipestone loop at Lake Louise was excellent today in -13 to -11C weather. Track was set yesterday and was perfect! Fresh snow falling as we were leaving.

Reply

51 Diana Piggott January 27, 2018 at 3:21 pm

Baker Creek, Friday Jan. 26th

We started breaking trail heading west from Baker Creek. After a couple of km the groomer passed us, so we had fresh tracks almost all the way to Morant’s Curve. Where the groomer turned around, we had nice skiing on the road for a few hundred metres, then ran into a serious construction site, at which point skiing was really not on. I hiked down to the curve and took a few photos, but alas no trains. Fortunately no one there to chew me out either! The construction project is quite extensive.

Reply

52 Jenn January 27, 2018 at 3:04 pm

West Bragg-excellent skate skiing conditions!-Crystaline, Loggers, Sundog loop. -20 when we started early this morning but the quick conditions kept us moving and we barely noticed the cold (except for our toes!). Much quieter on the trails today. Thanks to all the amazing work the groomers have done!! One of our best skates of the season.

Reply

53 Marty McFly January 29, 2018 at 11:33 am

Loggers is not a skate trail. Thanks for helping to ruin the tracks.

Reply

54 Jenn February 1, 2018 at 12:38 pm

Wow Marty that is a bit of an aggressive comment-simply reminding us that Loggers was a classic trail would have sufficed. My husband and I have skied for years classic and skate and would never “ruin” set tracks. Loggers was plenty wide enough for us to skate on without touching the classic tracks. Now that we know Loggers is for classic we’ll stick to that.

Reply

55 Chuck January 27, 2018 at 2:58 pm

TUNNEL MOUNTAIN WINTER TRAILS – Jan 27

This expanded option is surprisingly enjoyable. Far from just a grid, the campground ski trail now continues past many old Douglas Firs which also enhances the experience.
Check it out, here or there:
https://1drv.ms/a/s!ApWd3WZ3ra9NgnQ8gQuMhCtS-NAi

Reply

56 Stephen Vermeulen January 27, 2018 at 10:43 am

Saturday 27 Jan Confederation Park golf course – conditions are still good, with some small (typically only a few feet long) sections of exposed grass in the tracks which are easily avoided. At about 0900 there were 6 cars in the parking lot already. The tracks are generally quite hard, though I wouldn’t call them icy yet, so it might be time for a soft grip wax covered by a cold grip wax. I used LF8 for glide, which worked quite well despite the temperature being about -16C.

Reply

57 barb banff January 26, 2018 at 8:29 pm

CNC 12-1:00
wonderful! classic ski, Bow – meadowview.
both just groomed- overnight. Vr 45 great. only 1 or 2 twigs on Bow
maybe.. amazing for so little new snow.

Reply

58 Barry G January 26, 2018 at 7:38 pm

West Bragg Cr – hard and fast.

Wonderful day on some really nice tracks on the recent grooming – thank you thank you gents!
There are some very hard if not icy sections where it will hurt if you fall and where novice skiers descending or waxless skiers ascending will not be happy.

Reply

59 chuckley January 26, 2018 at 5:58 pm

Peter Lougheed Provincial Park = PLPP was great today. Warmer than expected- about -5C at 12:30PM. V40 wax worked well on the freshly groomed tracks just south of the Visitor’s Centre (Meadow, Amos, Wheeler). Trackset has occasional needles but never impeded superb glide. I went as far south as Moraine and Boulton Creek which are both in superb shape- skier re-set track with about 8 cm light fluffy new snow adjacent.

Reply

60 Russell January 26, 2018 at 5:37 pm

26 Jan Was guided to Wheeler/Amos by Judy and Marjorie. Freshly packed and track set. Lovely day. Perfect for a hill-averse duffer. Lunch at William Watson Lodge, then a few more strides near there on packed with skier tracks in the new snow.

Reply

61 Chuck January 26, 2018 at 5:25 pm

SUNDANCE & HEALY CREEK – Jan 26

Trackset early this morning, which was just what we wanted before this afternoon’s Mountain Madness Relay Race in Banff. The details are in the photo captions:
https://1drv.ms/a/s!ApWd3WZ3ra9Nglmc84PwB51GgeoM

Reply

62 Hugh January 26, 2018 at 5:18 pm

Cascade Fireroad. Groomed and Trackset today! We set off at -10C 10:00 AM VR 30 covering whatever we had from before (VR 45)
Tracksetting was in progress. We were passed 3-4X by the machine. He probably did 4 passes up to the Cascade bridge leaving double track and a great soft skating lane. Past the bridge single track with skating lane till past the Warden Cabin. We hit the cabin too early for the sun to be on the deck. 2.25 h out and 1:40 back with outstanding glide. Warmed up to -3C at the car but felt cooler than than all day. Beware, on the return hill the tracks are squirrelly. What a great day! My only wish that someone from Banff Parks reads this and gets their groomers to slow down. Due to too high a speed while doing their grooming passes, the tracks end up too shallow the sidewalls never get a chance to setup and don’t come out smooth. As stated on the first hill the downhill tracks are really shallow and squirrelly. It only takes a few more minutes to do a slower pass with better results that will last longer.

Reply

63 Crox January 26, 2018 at 4:36 pm

Just another day in paradise on Spray river trail west and east. Sunny blue skies, temperature about minus 5 and lovely snow. Great conditions that make the uphills easy and the downhills controllable. The double track set on the wesr trail is a little shallow now, maybe not been groomed in a bit. Love the nice skating lane up the middle without any ruts from multi use traffic. The east trail has nice track set from the bridge to about a kilometre from the golf course. Although there appears to be plenty of traffic in the multi use lane, there was zero interference with the ski tracks. The descent to the golf course was fine as without tracks, the snow was still very soft and no ice.

Reply

64 Ray Perrott January 26, 2018 at 6:41 pm

I too had a great ski on Spray River West trail. I continued past the east/west junction, and skied to the Goat Creek / Sundance junction. As Crox mentioned, the uphills were easy and I could go full out on the downhills. Glide was wonderful this afternoon. Some sections of the track are thin/wobbly, but for the most part its in good shape. Started 1pm at -3C, temperature didn’t change much. Nice to get in one more ski before the cold weekend weather arrives.

Reply

65 Paul and Nancy January 26, 2018 at 4:28 pm

Pipestone Loop

More than 10 cm new snow on tracks. Call it skier tracked. As we left the groomer arrived, about 2pm. Might be perfect tomorrow. That said the snow was great, -9oC to start and -4oC when done (VR40).

Reply

66 Just sayin January 26, 2018 at 8:06 am

South PLPP – Elk Pass, Lookout, Tyrwhitt, etc
Despite the recent grooming Wednesday, there was at least 10cm over the tracks on Thursday and a couple of intense snow-squalls during the day that added some 5cm more. Unless it gets groomed again for the weekend, one should expect clapped-out and wobbly skier-set tracks.

Reply

67 Liz D January 26, 2018 at 7:51 pm

Happily, I learned a new word today ‘clapped out’ to add to my well worn ‘wobbly’ reference to ski tracks. This I gained from ironically ‘Just sayin’!

Reply

68 DEMOCRACY ADVANCER January 25, 2018 at 11:54 pm

BREWSTER CREEK- BEYOND SUNDANCE LODGE

Via Healy Creek trail from Sunshine Road. I lucked out and got behind the track setter today setting me a couple of sweet lines. That was groovy with -3 to -10 degree Blue Swix wax.

Healy Creek trail is in excellent condition and track set, (I think from Sunshine Road to Banff judging by the tracks). Moderate to fast speed snow.

I took the short cut to Sundance Lodge from the Healy Creek trail. It is well skier tracked but only in fair condition. Some rocks exist so don’t take new skis up the route. When 15 cm more snow arrives it should be in good to very good shape.

The Brewster Creek trail is in excellent condition with no rocks. Soft packed snow with a good base underneath right up to the lodge, Fresh track set. I skied the hill at night but I did not see a single rock. Moderate speed snow. A nice trail to try to write a song in my head about the movement to upgrade our democracy with the freedom of choice to vote on all bills before the House by the people. If anyone can help me out with that one, let me know.

Beyond Sundance Lodge I broke trail for about 5 km – kind of close to the Brewster Creek crossing or old cabin site. On average there is a good snow base with about boot top ski penetration. About 50+ cm of settled snow. A few rocks under some trees. Overall good to excellent skiing. Skied out at night to a half moon.

Reply

69 Chuck January 25, 2018 at 6:02 pm

BANFF to GOAT CREEK TRAILHEAD (& back) – Jan 25

Tracksetting was in progress!
Can’t believe I only encountered 6 skiers. Okay, there was Mark, Beate & Monica, and Rachel and her two friends. But there were plenty non skiers.
Check out the excellent conditions:
https://1drv.ms/a/s!ApWd3WZ3ra9NgkhuPrV6a-i7ktHm
VR 45 worked well all day as temperature hovered around minus 1.

Reply

70 Alf Skrastins January 25, 2018 at 9:12 pm

I like the “No Llamas” sign at Goat Creek. It’s almost as good as the “No riding your bike backwards” sign elsewhere in Banff Park.

Reply

71 Jean-Francois Richy January 25, 2018 at 5:19 pm

PLPP – Whiskey Jack, Tyrwhitt, Elk Pass, Blueberry, Fox creek and Boulton Creek. We broke trail from Boulton parking lot to Elk pass, the trail were covered with approximately 5cm of new snow. A group of skiers we meet at Elk Pass had broken the Elk Pass trail as well a group of ladies had broken the Blueberry trail (nice job as there was around 10 to 15cm of fluffy snow). We use a veneer of V30 blue wax and it worked perfectly (no clumping and good glide).

Reply

72 Marlene A January 25, 2018 at 5:02 pm

Cascade fire road..
What a difference a day makes, or an hour. Started skiing around noon in sunshine and nice skier set tracks over grooming and a bit of fresh snow. 6k in it started snowing…heavily… and covered all the tracks within minutes. We ended up breaking trail in about 10 cm of fresh snow. Luckily, I had my skintecs on. R used swix 45 and only had to scrape twice. Lets hope for some more grooming soon!

Reply

73 Erin P January 25, 2018 at 2:54 pm

Pocaterra, Jan. 25

I hope the others I saw on the trail had waxless skis, because I really struggled with icing up. That’s the last time I’ll drive anywhere without putting all my ski options in my car!! I was longing for my fishscales… Although in today’s new snow, they might have iced up as well.

I arrived at the parking lot at around 9:45, and immediately saw that there had been 5-10cm of fresh, fluffy snow overnight. It was -3 according to my car, so I knew waxing would be tricky. Understatement! As I stopped to de-ice about 20 times over the 10km that I managed to ski (THANK YOU to whoever must have skied in the track just before me!), I tried every waxing configuration. The most successful was scraping literally all the wax away and herring-boning up every hill on the way back. Phew! Despite the icing and then slipping, it was still a beautiful morning in the mountains, so I can’t complain.

Check the grooming reports and bring the right skis if you’re thinking of pocaterra in the next few days!

Reply

74 Hugh January 25, 2018 at 9:06 am

Mt Shark yesterday 24th
Website showed grooming 23 and 24th Bang on! Best skiing we’ve had at Shark in many years. Great tracks and skating lanes. VR 45 was near perfect and maybe a tad warm. Skied out past Watrdige L to where the trail drops off to the Spray R.

Reply

75 Chuck January 24, 2018 at 9:20 pm

FLINTS PARK JCT. & CUTHEAD – Jan 24

8 hour ski and 50 kms has it rewards:
https://1drv.ms/a/s!ApWd3WZ3ra9NgjVBcIqvG4eqxQ1W
Striking similarities to our Redearth trip last year!
This is the year to explore here – skier set tracked by Parks Canada and no roaming Bison!
Thanks Ray Perrott for the great beta.

Reply

76 Steve Riggs January 24, 2018 at 10:09 pm

Nice! Some less travelled wild country back there. Parks patrolling on skis responsible for the broken track?

Reply

77 Chuck January 25, 2018 at 7:53 am

Steve,
Parks staff use this route occasionally, en route for shift changes at the Bison Paddock on the Panther River.

Reply

78 barb banff January 24, 2018 at 10:13 pm

ok Chuck- now you finally made me envious !!
guess i will have to get of the groomed trails when my energy
returns. good to know the critters they are still around.

Reply

79 Greg January 24, 2018 at 11:32 pm

That is one impressive ski Chuck! How lucky to see the lynx. Thanks for sharing your photos.

Reply

80 Henry L January 25, 2018 at 8:24 am

Wow, what a wonderful (long) day and sighting! I see that Jeannette carried all of the supplies in the huge pack!

Reply

81 Paul and Nancy January 24, 2018 at 7:47 pm

Cascade Fire Road

As posted yesterday the trendsetting was just done. Good tracks and glide now. Skied 8 km up during the afternoon at -1oC. Swiss V50 purple worked great. Best ski on this trail in 2017/18. Last downhill is controllable.lifestyle

Reply

82 Diana Piggott January 24, 2018 at 7:39 pm

Redearth Creek still excellent today, with just a light skiff of fresh fluffy powder over yesterday’s tracks. We only saw 3 people on the trail all day!

Reply

83 Mary Perrott January 24, 2018 at 5:05 pm

First time on Pocaterra this season. -4C to start and -1C at end. We skied to the Lookout Junction, back on Pocaterra for the hills and thrills, with a small detour (500m.) to the closed Hwy 40 because we had never skied it before. We used V45 for most of the day and had good luck with it. Unfortunately, the tracks from Pocaterra to Lynx junction are filled with brown needles, larger twigs and clumps of green needles. It made for slow going and scraping once we got to Whiskey Jack for the downhill. Tracks were good, but not as fast as we had hoped. Not many skiers out today, although we met Helen Read and friend Catherine, and skied with them for a while. There was a skiff of snow overnight, but the area could use a good dump to cover the debris.

Reply

84 Bev January 24, 2018 at 4:22 pm

Cascade fire road deserves another post. For ski trail conditions, see Ray’s information from yesterday. In addition to that, however, there were a huge number of critter tracks today: all the regulars like deer, hare, mouse, pine martin, then there were the exotic–moose, lynx and wolf!! The lynx & wolf tracks were about 3/4 of the way in to Stony creek plus additional wolf tracks at Stony.

Reply

85 ElaineB January 24, 2018 at 3:25 pm

Pipestone
Excellent conditions at Pipestone both yesterday and today. Temperature about -5C and Blue (-5 to -10) wax worked well. A little clumping when you stopped but just fine after you scraped it off. About 1 cm of snow overnight but still fine glide as our group was the first to head clockwise on Hector (21) the Pipestone(20). About half the group did Merlin(23) past the iconic log structures (believed to be used by Jimmy Simpson’s guests and pack horses on their way up to Jasper); then across Drummond(22) to Pipestone20) to the parking lot. The other group did the full Pipestone Loop. Lots of happy skiers today!

Reply

86 Old Pete January 24, 2018 at 8:32 am

Great day at PLP. Whiskey Jack to Lookout – excellent. Steep parts of south Lookout cruddy. Fox just beautiful, prettiest trail in park.

Reply

87 Arie January 24, 2018 at 8:03 am

Skied PLPP yesterday: Blueberry Hill, Elk Pass, Tyrwhitt, Whiskeyjack, Moraine. Conditions were excellent.
Blueberry Hill is snowmobile packed with user-set tracks. Going downhill was a little tricky because of ruts.
There is a track in the meadows at Elk Pass. The snow is supportive, which does not happen every year. The trail starts near Blueberry Hill Junction, following the creek for a while, and then going across the meadows. The views here are far superior to anything on the track system. This trail is almost completely level. The trail ends up meeting the powerline about 2 km into Elk Lakes Park. From here you can backtrack or ski up the powerline, which I did (user trackset).

Reply

88 Don Workman January 24, 2018 at 7:59 am

Confederation Golf Course, Jan 23
Conditions were pretty good last night at Confed Golf Course with surprisingly good snow cover and decent tracks. The snow was kind of hard and icy but V45 wax worked well. Kudos to the volunteers that are keeping skiing alive in Calgary with minimal snow and lots of freeze-thaw cycles.

Confed is being well used – the parking lot was full around 7 pm with lots of lessons and training.
Don

Reply

89 Stephen Vermeulen January 26, 2018 at 6:46 am

Wednesday nights are when we do most of the snow harvesting, then the groomer does a spin over everything later in the evening.

Reply

90 TC January 23, 2018 at 11:28 pm

The Nordic Center is immaculate at the moment. Great workout tonight under the lights.

Reply

91 John A January 23, 2018 at 8:48 pm

PLPP – Another nice day in PLPP starting and ending at the Pocaterra Hut with temperatures around -6C. We did Pocaterra and Lynx over to the Figure-8 loops of Amos, Meadow, Wooley & Wheeler. The trails were all in good shape with a skim of new snow to smooth things out. The only problem all day were the pine needles in the Pocaterra section. From Lynx over to the middle trails there were hardly any pine needles. Go figure. One note. VR45 was kicking well, but it picked up pine needles rather easily. SkiGo HF Violet picked up only about 1/10 of what the VR45 did! I have had much better success with the SkiGo HF waxes when pine needles become an issue.

Reply

92 Ernie, LG, (Shad P/T) January 23, 2018 at 7:04 pm

PLPP – Arrived Boulton Bridge Parking 11:00 a m maybe 6 cars. Minus a bit but we are wax less so didn’t care it was comfortable. All tails had good skier track set with nice glide no ice no down trees no problems at all. Up Whiskey Jack the sun was waiting at the picnic table as was Shad. Tyrwhitt to the Elk Pass Table sun shine delight with snow diamonds sparkling. Then Zoom Zoom down Elk Pass almost starting singing BIRD BIRD BIRD – BIRD IS WORD . Fox Creek Bolton Creek single skier track set no ice 7 needles and again zoom zoom. Saw maybe 18-20 other people so just point-em and push. What a fun day.

Reply

93 Nancy R January 23, 2018 at 5:58 pm

Fabulous ski on Redearth Creek – A few cm of fresh snow with tracking beneath. No ice on the hills, very pleasant downhill return.

Reply

94 Steve Riggs January 23, 2018 at 5:54 pm

Something for everyone at West Bragg this afternoon! I did a dual sport excursion, starting by biking West Crystal winter multi-use trail, then Snowy Owl to Strange Brew etc. back to the trailhead. Riding conditions were great, mostly on hard packed snow, but with some glazed and icy areas that made studs pretty much mandatory.
After switching to skis- I skated East and West Crystal line, finding surprisingly good skiing thanks to all the hard work of the volunteers :). Conditions were fast and fun, and the downhills were edge-able, smooth, and easy. Tracks in good shape, but waxing for the tracks which were often glazed might have been a challenge. Out of the track the snow was soft and granular- I think wax would have been OK there. Or skin skis? I suspect that any of the other trails that have not received the attention that has been given to the more sheltered “core” trails, will be considerably more challenging.

Reply

95 Don C January 23, 2018 at 5:52 pm

Red Earth Creek – The Shell Oiltimers had a stellar ski today. The temperature started out at -9 but warmed up to -2 by the afternoon and Blue wax worked nicely all day long. The snow was soft and the track setting superb. None of the usual snowmobile ruts you sometimes encounter. I’m sure Bob will agree since we met him climbing up the trail as we were enjoying the long descent back to the car park.

Reply

96 Chuck January 23, 2018 at 5:14 pm

GREAT DIVIDE – Jan 23

A day after tracksetting is worth checking!
https://1drv.ms/a/s!ApWd3WZ3ra9NgiGwX-rJFlchOylv

Reply

97 Ray Perrott January 23, 2018 at 4:49 pm

Cascade Valley – lucky today! As I drove by the trailhead to park, I saw the snowmobile trailer. The road down to the meadow was only groomed, but fresh tracks started in the meadow and went up from there. Until about 1/2 way up the hill, the new tracks were quite shallow, but after that they were more reasonable . When I reached the top of the hill, the track setter passed me while setting the return track. When I crossed the bridge, I realized the tracksetter had looped back through the campground, as the single track beyond had not been done. I continued anyway, on old, beat-up tracks, wanting a somewhat longer ski. Maybe 15 minutes later, the snowmobile passed me again, grooming only. Some 45 minutes later, he returned, laying down the single track for that section. So later my return ski was on all new tracksetting. The new tracks were soft and not fast, but the day was very pleasant. Thanks tracksetter!

Reply

98 Bev January 23, 2018 at 7:50 pm

Very informative, Ray, thank you.

Reply

99 Helen Read January 23, 2018 at 3:27 pm

Boom Lake: -7 to start. A short but glorious ski in fresh powder. My vintage blue( 0 to -7) did not do the trick initially but certainly no problem climbing the elevation, or skiing out. We followed a couple of skiers in and was grateful for their tracks. They were just heading out onto the lake to ski. Met a couple of dog walkers when skiing out. Not sure if that is a dog friendly trail? I must confess to becoming a little frightened/undecided to ski this trail today; it falls into the “challenging” class 2 definition on ATES scale. Having just attended a 3 hr course on Avalanche Awareness, my radar was also heightened to “moderate” related to avalanche risk. I consulted a friend (who I met via skier bob) and he helped me make my decision. Txs!!

Reply

100 Andreas R January 22, 2018 at 7:57 pm

Had a wonderful ski at Peter Lougheed. Up Elk Pass, then Tyrwhitt, descending Packers to Moraine, finishing with upper Fox Creek. A new skiff of snow made the going somewhat slow, but the weather was beautiful and I only came across a dozen or so other skiers all day. I found a pair of sunglasses on Elk Pass Trail, message me at panopticondo@gmail.com with a description if you think they are yours.

Reply

101 Paul and Nancy January 22, 2018 at 6:10 pm

Ice scuptures are amazing.

Reply

102 Paul and Nancy January 22, 2018 at 6:08 pm

Pipestone trails

Pipestone, Merlin, Drummond and Hector loop, 13 km, this afternoon at -3oC. Nicely track set and Merlin and Hector were great, enjoyable decents. V50 swix purple did the trick. Dusting of new snow and a bit falling as we left. Should great tomorrow as well.

Reply

103 judy January 22, 2018 at 6:03 pm

Out to view the ice sculptures today at Lake Louise via the moraine lake road, fairview and tramline trails. Temp -5 at 11:30ish.
Lots of stop and go with clumping and sticking due in part to new fresh wet snow. Blue wax just didn’t work! However the trail was all ours and it was so beautiful in amongst the trees. Saw the back end of a wolverine briefly, first wildlife sighting in a long time.
A little cooler return heading down the tramline which was good in that at least we could glide back to the parking lot.
Monday in the mountains what could be better.

Reply

104 Jane January 22, 2018 at 5:26 pm

PLPP
Parked at Elkwood, our circuit took us along Wheeler up Whiskey Jack, Pocaterra to Lynx then Amos back to the car.
The temperature hovered around -2 all day, we had a little light snowfall and plenty of sunshine. The purple wax that was already on the skis worked fine all day, a little clumping occurred with the small amount of fresh snow when walking up the hills, but that meant we did not have to herringbone, it kicked off quite easily at the top. Plenty of glide in the tracks but the loose (snowploughed) snow on one of the Pocaterra hills was an interesting surprise that was similar to hitting warm wet snow patches in the spring time. This was a good day out.

Reply

105 Jean-Francois Richy January 22, 2018 at 5:19 pm

PLPP Full Loop (Pocaterra/Tyrwhitt/ Elk pass/Fox creek/Moraine/ Wheeler/Amos/Wooley/Meadow) – Good conditions throughout, it was -3C at the parking lot and waxed with V40 blue extra but the new snow would make clumps and I had to remove the wax to get a good glide, maybe I should have tried V20.

Reply

106 Normand January 22, 2018 at 4:53 pm

Goat Creek to Banff & back (January 22) & safety suggestion

Left the Goat Creek trailhead parking lot at 10:30 am with V45 wax. Until reaching the famous Goat Creek hill before the bridge, little to mostly no ski tracks on fairly hard packed and bumpy snow, but still manageable to snowplow when required. A decent skier track picked up after the bridge and conditions improved quite a bit from the Spray River Bridge. First saw people about 7 km from Banff. Fast glide, but needed to rewax 3 times as the snow was quite abrasive on downhills. Quite a few skiers on Spray River West leg. The return was a lot easier to keep the grip wax on, given the uphills; only had to re-wax at the Goat Creek bridge.

Safety suggestion, as I pick up on MaSid’s comment on his descent of the Goat Creek famous downhill section to the bridge. The descent (on skinny skis) to the Goat Creek bridge was pretty shaky for me, as it is always when the trail is hard packed with little fluffy stuff to control the plowing technique. If you don’t know that at the bottom of the hill, you need to take an unexpected sharp 90° right turn to get on the bridge, otherwise you either go for a swim or smashes yourself in the rock face. For first timers on that trail, as I met an older couple mid afternoon 4 km from the parking lot and told them about the hill, all you see 100 meters before the top of the hill heading down is a sign for a narrow bridge. I could not care less about a bridge sign, unless there is a “Steep Hill” red sign to warn skiers and bikers of the challenge ahead. In PLPP, there are many “Steep Hill” signs posted on trails that are not so hairy to go down, as the Goat Creek hill, such as Blueberry Hill and Whiskey Jack. My recollection of first skiing the Goat Creek trail in the early 90’s, there used to be a sign with a skier pointing down about where the narrow bridge sign is posted.

Reply

107 Alpine Responsibility Code January 22, 2018 at 7:29 pm

An EDGE OF METAL reduces skiing mayhem.

One must ski under control at all times, whether there are signs for a bridge or not. It is part of the official snow sports (alpine/ skiers) responsibility code. One must be responsibly prepared for every surprize on the trails, including bridges, rocks, fallen trees, people and grizzly bears at all times.

If the government starts putting up signs, then every hazard will be expected to be advertised by a sign. This sort of government “babying” would increase costs and potentially liability. If that occurred, the government would likely get out of the business of operating free skiing services to the public due to the increased costs. It is best to be mum on the issue and just ski responsibly smart for the benefit of all so the free trails “go on and on”.

Alpine Responsibility Code

There are elements of risk that common sense and personal awareness can help reduce. Regardless of how you decide to use the ski trails, always show courtesy to others. Please adhere to the code listed below and share with others the responsibility for a safe outdoor experience.
1. Always stay in control. You must be able to stop, or avoid other people or objects.
2. People ahead of you have the right-of-way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.
3. Do not stop where you obstruct a trail, or are not visible from above.
4. Before starting downhill or merging onto a trail, look uphill and yield to others.
5. If you are involved in or witness a collision/accident you must remain at the scene and identify yourself if requested. Only leave the scene of the accident if no one else is available to contact help for rescue purposes.
6. Always use proper devices to help prevent runaway dogs or equipment such as toboggans or skis.
7. Observe and obey all posted signs and warnings, including but not limited to predators, dogs and activity bans.
8. Keep off closed trails and obey area closures. On some trails there is avalanche blasting control work that presents risks or other activities.

Reply

108 MaSid January 22, 2018 at 7:58 pm

It was my first time on the goat creek trail in winter. Thanks to this site and bobs many reports and photos, plus the previous days post, I knew what to expect. Every other hill with a blind curve i expected the worst and adjusted accordingly. All went well. What I did take away from the experience though was the need to sharpen my metal edges.

Reply

109 Dennis January 23, 2018 at 1:16 am

Normand has a good point. Although on the whole I would rather see signage reduced than increased, that hill/turn/bridge combo is one of the most eye-popping, adrenalin-boosting (correlates well with “hazardous”) on the recreational ski trails in our neck of the woods. The “Narrow bridge” sign is arguably worse than nothing: it gives the impression that you are being warned of hazards, but it sure understates the “surprise” of the steep hill/sharp turn/narrow bridge combo.

P.S. The Nordic Responsibility Code is more relevant than the Alpine Responsibility Code: https://www.skipatrol.ca/safety-injury-prevention/responsibility-codes/. (Glad to see it respects the “track!” rule. 😉 )

Reply

110 MaSid January 23, 2018 at 7:20 am

I didn’t even see a sign. Too focused on what was right in front of me, but I did know it was coming (researched the terrain and current conditions). So not sure how effective a minor change to signage would be, but agreed narrow bridge does seem to understate the issue. Also think that more “warning labels” in general are not a solution to taking responsibility for your actions in the mountains. But it is also not a backcountry trail being part of a groomed system. I would not want to go down that hill on regular cross country gear.

Reply

111 Karla Handy January 23, 2018 at 8:00 am

If there is an area that’s been identified as a major hazard area, it should be signed. If a sign can stop one person from hurting themselves, it just paid for itself in health care costs alone.

Reply

112 Steve Riggs January 23, 2018 at 9:05 am

Modifying the trail as it approaches the bridge would be far better than simply posting up more signage. A novice friend of ours narrowly escaped injury there after being unable to control his speed on the approach and sliding to a stop by wrapping his arms around the rail, after running into it. We all laughed about it later but it could have been serious.

Reply

113 Dennis January 23, 2018 at 10:34 am

Two thumbs up! Modifying would be FAR better. As skierbob said in his post today, it really is an accident waiting to happen. I wonder if it’s on Parks’ radar.

Reply

114 Dennis January 23, 2018 at 10:36 am

On the other hand, selfishly speaking, i’d miss that Adrenalin shot! 🙂

Reply

115 Sylvia A. January 22, 2018 at 4:52 pm

Ribbon Creek: Today decided to try Ribbon Creek. We parked right by the hotel and checked the xski trails before gearing up. The ski tracks looked nicely trackset. Man oh man, the trails that we went on ended up being covered with so much debris, small pine cones, needles and so so many twigs(must have recently been very windy in the area). The snow was chrystally like and icey. Today only saw 2 other skiers and 2 people with fat bikes and there dog. I love being in the mounrains however I think that I’ll head back to this area once it snows again. Much needed snow will certainly add to the full enjoyment of this nice xski area.

Reply

116 Adam January 22, 2018 at 2:57 pm

PLPP (Braille/Lodgepole/Meadow/Sinclair/Lynx/Pocaterra/Come Along/Wooley) – 22 January

Beautiful new tracksetting and conditions on the west side of the Kananaskis Lakes Trail Road, with those on the east sides holding up perfectly after a busy weekend. We received a skiff of snow (~1 cm) in the north part of the park, covering all tracksetting. Currently light flurries falling at the Visitor Centre.

Reply

117 Jonathan January 22, 2018 at 11:01 am

Confederation Golf Course 22nd Jan – Took our scout group out for learn to ski session yesterday afternoon and the conditions were surprisingly good even for classic. Waxless skis had no problems and my combination of VR60 and LF6 seemed to work as well. Great weather and a good time was had by all.

Reply

118 Helen Read January 21, 2018 at 11:02 pm

Burstall Parking Lot: bustling with activities for everyone to enjoy for their Avalanche awareness Day. Staffed largely by dedicated Bow Valley Stewards who served hot dogs, hot beverages, directed traffic, took surveys, and kept two big fires going in -5 temps with a very cold wind chill. Many exhibits set up showing the latest in avalanche equipment, fat bikes and snow-shoes available to try out on the snowmobile packed circuit trail, an avalanche rescue dog nd his handler, many Conservation Officers and staff of Kananaskis Parks. A great day was had by all. I skied up to Burstall Flats and managed to escape the bitter wind heading towards Robertson Glacier on silky snow in windblown skier tracks. A lot of interest in the quinzee shelters and Snow Couch also.

Reply

119 Christine Pham January 21, 2018 at 10:35 pm

Wonderful wintry conditions and track set on Watridge Lake trail today . Snow falling lightly at midday.

Reply

120 DEMOCRACY ADVANCER January 21, 2018 at 9:41 pm

CASCADE RIVER- STONEY CREEK

Excellent snow with up to 13 cm of recent snow on top of the snowmobile track set trail. Basically skier tracked and the trail is a little wimbly wombly. Parks should track set the trail with all the new recent snow.

Beyond the Cascade River bridge a skater had skated over the tracks making the trail to Stoney Creek even more wimbly womby but not bad. Skiing speed was moderate with -3 to -10 Swix wax. Temperature -4 at the Warden Cabin around sun set.

No one has skied beyond Stoney Creek since the last snow fall. The trail is skier tracked with about 13 cm of silky new snow on top.

Reply

121 RichieRich January 21, 2018 at 8:36 pm

Like Hugh says below CNC was very good but holy moly abrasive. Kudos to CNC groomers for keep the tracks in crisp conditions although one could tell it was mostly turned-over crispy snow. I’m assuming the fishscale waxless had difficulty… I went with VR55 which was decent enough but by end Banff trail had to rewax. Came back to stadium via Meadowview and ended up on a narrow “luge-like” track down across Olympic. White knuckling for sure. Followed up with a skate loop and for sure Skate was the best conditions today. Am sure hoping for some fresh snow before next weekend… otherwise I think PLPP will be our destination. Was surprised at how crazy full the parking lot was when we pulled out close to 1pm, considering it was maybe 10% full at 930am.

Reply

122 Vic Urban January 21, 2018 at 8:36 pm

Spent the weekend in Field and had two great days, First on Kickinghorse trail, we started and it had about two inches of fresh snow on top of the old grooming. Which was okay until we hit the picnic table beside the river, where it hadn’t been groomed for a while. But low and behold the groomer showed up as if beckoned and we had fresh track setting for the remainder of the day. Second day we skied the Great Divide trail from O’Hara. The trail hadn’t been groomed since the last snowfall, but it was still great. Colder day and the snow was much more grabby(is that a word?) Still wonderful conditions and we all had a super weekend.

Reply

123 Manfred Kintop January 21, 2018 at 7:48 pm

Amazing day at Pipestone. It was my first time skiing those trails, it won’t be my last! https://photos.app.goo.gl/x5NRyMIAtGoVW9J03

Reply

124 MaSid January 21, 2018 at 6:51 pm

Sun jan 21: goat creek/rinks camp/Banff and back.
-4 at goat end at 830. -2 on return at 430. Unintentionally skied the whole goat creek out and back. Tried to get to rinks and beyond in chuck and partners track, or that was the intent for the day. Stimied by an open water crossing just before the wardens cabin (strict no backcountry jumping over or off anything policy right now). One can only ski to Banff and back in such circumstances. The descent to spray bridge from goat was scary for me. Some perpetual slalom fat bike ruts made it a bit sketchy and the side piles kept me from maximum pizza slice to check the speed but somehow managed to pull it together for the turn onto the bridge. Phew! Most of the fat bike ruts were filled in on return, but still a couple of lurkers. And also a few human divits but well off to the side. Chucks route up the spray had thin snow cover. Only about 8-10 inches but the tracks were fine. One snow plow attempt discovered some rocks. Also a 1cm crust. The tracks along the flats in the middle of the groomed route after crossing the spray were nice and silky. And the long gradual descent to the loop junction was super fast. Probably hit 50k! The spray west side of the loop had plenty of needles in the tracks. The rest did not. Thanks to the kind woman near Banff who offered me a shuttle lift back to the car. All was good. Humbling and inspiring to play a late day game of leap frog with a 70 year old couple as my tank was running empty. Felt like I was finally skiing well! Yippee. Great day out.

Reply

125 Shulamit January 21, 2018 at 6:46 pm

Peter Lougheed Provincial Park. Very nice afternoon. Pocaterra and area. Forest was nicely sheltered from the wind. Some pine needles, but not too many. Trail was looking a bit glazed in some areas, but still in pretty good shape.

Reply

126 Steve Riggs January 21, 2018 at 4:58 pm

Kananaskis Village trails, training Piper the retriever on the ski-joring harness at mid-day. Thin coverage over an icy base on the first km of Terrace up from Ribbon Creek, which was very fast with not a lot of edge grip on the way back down, maybe not recommended right now for beginners. The remainder of the trails on the village side were in good shape- firm, smooth and fast 🙂 but not icy, other than a few glazed spots in the well defined tracks, which also had the odd bit of debris here and there from the winds. Swix VR 50 worked fine throughout.

Reply

127 JeremyN January 21, 2018 at 7:33 pm

Good to meet Piper today at Kovach picnic table Steve. We (son & dog) too enjoyed our ski on said trails clockwise for a change with a few overlaping on mostly frozen granular on lower reaches (terrace’s to Ribbon lot) & hard packed Aspen & Kovach -would say with very minimal debris too conditions were overall quite “Good” today 😉 https://photos.app.goo.gl/VafcnUpFJ3qxWv1I2

Reply

128 heatherd January 21, 2018 at 4:57 pm

Had a fairly early start in Yoho today. Skied Kickinghorse River from Natural Bridge to west end on R-Skins. First skier we saw had a great ski on “good old blue” wax. Track excellent as was the Talley-Ho trail to Field we did after that. Sounds like the Connector is in pretty good shape too. Went up Yoho Road yesterday in very snowy conditions. Many thanks to the Kickinghorse Ski Club for all their work.

Reply

129 Jer Dog January 21, 2018 at 3:44 pm

Goat Creek from Canmore end
Skied from the parking lot to a couple kms past the Spray Friver bridge. First hill in good shape just watch for that one rock in the middle. Snow was in good condition all the way along, but completely trampled out. No track to speak of until we crossed the Spray river, then somewhat decent looking towards Banff. We expected changeable conditions, so skied with grip tape, which was fine.
It would be nice to have more than just that one sandwich board at the Park boundary reminding people to respect the tracks. In this case it may not have helped as no grooming since the last bit of fresh snow.

Reply

130 Chuck January 21, 2018 at 3:41 pm

FAIRVIEW – Jan 21

Seemed like I had the trails to myself… while everyone else was taking in the Ice Magic Festival at Lake Louise… check the captions for details:
https://1drv.ms/a/s!ApWd3WZ3ra9NghKz12q3gDztEUkO

Reply

131 Nikolai January 21, 2018 at 2:36 pm

Ribbon Creek area
Starting at 8am from Nakiska North 4 parking lot, I skied Skogan Pass – Skogan Loop – High Level – Sunburst. Last Friday grooming/tracksetting is buried under 10cm of fresh snow. Decent tracks begin at 1.5km and continue throughout the trail system except for some steep hills. It was a beautiful morning! And I haven’t met a single soul out there, can you believe it?
There is a fallen tree across the Sunburst trail that is visible and easy to negotiate on your way down. Photo of Skogan Pass

Reply

132 Hugh January 21, 2018 at 11:42 am

CNC. 10:00 AM 0C
Tracks were hard . We skied Skintecs but opined that Klister covered would work as well. Probably a purple wax on top of blue or purple K.
Pretty abrasive conditions
Skied Banff loop to end of Meadow and the out a bit further to Bruin which has old tracks. The groomers are doing a couple of small connectors which we call the old 10K race course. Hooked up to Meadow and returned to Mine scar. Skied across the Meadow on the middle trail and down Banff Tr.

Reply

133 TC January 20, 2018 at 9:32 pm

WBC in the afternoon. Good conditions for fast skating. A bit slick in a few areas but I was able to do intervals pretty easily. Mountain Road, Loggers, Sundog, Crystal Lines. Skated in shorts today, what a bonus!

Definitely could use a refresh however.

Reply

134 Alf Skrastins January 20, 2018 at 9:13 pm

PLPP Centre Trails
The centre trails of the PLPP network were in great shape today. We continued past the busy Pocaterra trailhead and joined the handful of vehicles at Elkwood.
-3C to start, with about 15 cm new snow over the Jan 16 grooming. The tracks were well skied in, so skiing was very enjoyable. Lynx and Pocaterra had been groomed (as far as the Packers junction) and were in superb condition. We did a side trip up to the Kananaskis Fire Lookout. The mixture of new snow over relatively recent grooming and light skier traffic, made for easy climbing and a fast, fun descent. Whiskey Jack was nice, except for the two steepest hills, which were getting pretty fast in the snowplow lane. Wheeler was most enjoyable today.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/UkgaqdQ67U8PqP1J2
It snowed lightly later in the day, so conditions should be great again for Sunday.

Reply

135 Carol January 20, 2018 at 9:00 pm

PLPP. We left a quiet Pocaterra hut at 10:00 on perfectly groomed tracks. At the end of Pocaterra, we headed down Lynx to Amos where the grooming abruptly ended. We continued on skier set tracks through the lovely new snow to Elkwood parking lot and crossed the road to Braille. It looked like maybe a skier or two had gone down it, so we were pretty much setting track for a good part of the way until it met up with the other end of Lodgepole. All the new snow helped to slow things down a bit on that last crazy hill down the cut line. By the time we returned, things were hopping at the hut – lots of families out enjoying the fine weather. It was minus four when we started out, and seemed to warm up a bit as we went. I forgot to look at the thermometer before we left. The purple wax most of us were using worked well for most of the morning, but was not working so well by early afternoon as we were finishing up. Overall, it was a very enjoyable day!

Reply

136 Pete January 20, 2018 at 8:31 pm

PLPP (Jan 20)

Had a pleasant family ski at Peter Lougheed today. We started at Pocaterra (very busy!) and continued on to Whiskey jack. From Lynx junction to Whiskey jack the trail wasn’t as crowded. The steep sections of Whiskey jack were a bit icy and treacherous to descend. From the bottom of Whiskey jack we continued along Wheeler to Braille, Lodgepole and back to Pocaterra hut. The steep hill at the north end of Lodgepole was also a bit icy and fast. Pocaterra trail was the only trail recently track set but only as far as Packers junction. Light snow flurries all afternoon and cloudy so it didn’t go much above 0c. Purple wax (0c) worked well.

Reply

137 Carol January 20, 2018 at 9:05 pm

Well Pete, I guess our big group must have scraped all the fresh snow off the big hill before you got there! Sorry!

Reply

138 Pete January 20, 2018 at 9:10 pm

No problem! Just went down it a bit quicker then usual!

Reply

139 Carole January 20, 2018 at 8:30 pm

Fantastic ski at Pipestone today!

Reply

140 MtnGirl January 20, 2018 at 6:48 pm

We were pleasantly surprised with the non-icy conditions on Goat Creek today.
Skier tracks to the first bridge from Canmore and trackset on the Banff side. Lovely conditions considering the rain that hit lower elevations a few days ago. Violet wax was the ticket today.

Reply

141 Helen Read January 20, 2018 at 6:43 pm

Lake O’Hara Fire Road to campground shelter. Weather predictions right on: -6 to -3 with some of our day gentle snow-falling. I think I ironed in VR 45 but added some SkiGo -3 to +1 to get up the steeper never ending hills between km. 8 and km. 9. We decided to join a group of half a dozen snow-shoers who had not only chosen the campground food shelter as their lunch spot, but had started a fire with a squirt of Fire Starter! My hip was happy descending the big hills today (as happy likely as Bob was to enjoy his post Cortisone bliss!). Our ascent measured to 431 metres of elevation. No record times like Stephen at CNC, but I always enjoy at least 1-2 ascents in fresh powder before Bruce comes out with his big grooming machine likely next week sometime, before they open the Lodge and Le Relais on Feb 1st.

Reply

142 Jean-Francois Richy January 20, 2018 at 6:42 pm

Bryant Creek Shelter / Ranger cabin.
The temperature was around -6C when we left Mt Shark, the recent trackset is fantastic and the glide perfect, the single track along Bryan Creek was lovely and thanks to many skiers no trail breaking was necessary. We had the good surprise to meet with Bob on our way back on the spray river bridge.

Reply

143 Stephen Vermeulen January 20, 2018 at 6:05 pm

Skied CNC today, Banff Trail was in very good shape, the tracks are somewhat icy or glazed and run quite fast. The natural snow portion is still in good shape, though the tracks are getting a bit worn in places, but still had my fastest times of the season on them. I got back to the lodge just before noon and the parking lot was full, looks like some were parked in the overflow – my spot was claimed before I got the car started.

Reply

144 Chuck January 20, 2018 at 5:09 pm

CASTLE MOUNTAIN LOOKOUT to BAKER CREEK – Jan 20

Great way to commemorate the Lake Louise to Banff Loppet wich would have been held this weekend, had it not been for the current construction near Morant’s Curve.
Lots of people enjoying yesterday’s new tracksetting done by Baker Creek staff. I found myself with my left ski in the right track for much of the day, to share the narrow trail with oncoming skiers!
https://1drv.ms/a/s!ApWd3WZ3ra9NggnMfCDxT6GiMDBO
Minus 10 air temp to start at 10 am, and Rode Blue (-2 to -6) provided perfect grip all day.

Reply

145 Scott Truswell January 20, 2018 at 4:10 pm

Jan 19
Kananaskis – Ribbon Creek area, Kovach trail – supreme conditions, must have had an inch or two of snow the night before!

Reply

146 Brad Fowler January 20, 2018 at 3:47 pm

Skied from Pocaterra in PLPP today. Up Pocaterra which was groomed until its intersection with Packers. Continued on the ungroomed, but user set, Pocaterra and down Whiskey Jack which was also ungroomed but sort of user set. Headed back by Wheeler / Amos / Lodgepole which were all track set. Beautiful day in the mountains.

Reply

147 chuckley January 20, 2018 at 4:46 pm

Agree whole heartedly.And a light fresh snow falling as we were leaving the park!

Reply

148 Robin M. January 20, 2018 at 3:26 pm

Castle Mt. Lookout to Baker Creek – Thanks Parks/Baker for the fresh track setting. Clear and -10C at 10am VR40 worked great. Lots of familiar faces on the tracks not to mention lots of animal tracks. A moose was seen crossing the road just past Baker creek. Temp was -3C after 1pm wax was still great.
Robin

Reply

149 Will R January 20, 2018 at 3:13 pm

Baker Creek

Spending a long weekend at Baker Creek. Trails both east and west of Baker Creek were set yesterday and are perfect. Not sure I have ever skied on better tracks and snow. Heading west the track ends just before the Morant’s Curve construction area. From there you can ski up the road, then just before the barricade slide down the steep bank to get classic rail/river/mountain views. We had a perfectly timed train.

Real shame that the Lake Louise to Banff loppett was cancelled due to the construction, as the route would have been amazing this year. Then again, it means we will be out skiing instead of shoveling the Baker Creek road crossing.

Reply

150 CT, AT, GK January 20, 2018 at 2:21 pm

Pipestone Loop

Awesome ski here today. VR40 worked really well. -9 to start and approximately -4 at end. There had been new snow in last couple of days with skier set. Could not ask for better day.
Looked like Lake Louise crazy busy with Ice Festival

Reply

151 Jenn January 20, 2018 at 1:12 pm

West Bragg Creek-had an early morning ski today-West Crystal/Loggers/Elbow/Iron Springs/East Crystal. Beautiful weather and views but trails are getting icy! We were on classic skis but quickly ditched the effort to kick/grip and just skated or double poled most of the way. Downhills around Elbow and Iron Springs are very icy. Fingers crossed for a big dump of snow soon!

Reply

152 Alan January 20, 2018 at 3:30 pm

We skied WBC in the afternoon. It was better than expected, with adequate grip using red wax. Novices were having trouble controlling speed on doewnhills, but we had an enjoyable 15 km ski. Great work by groomers in keeping the area skiable in trying conditions.

Reply

153 Nikolai January 20, 2018 at 4:21 pm

WBC
Following the advice from ‘Sunday morning update’ I went skate skiing: Crystal East – Sundog – Logger’s – Crystal West. The trail is okay, the base is very hard and solid with a thin layer of sand- like ice/snow on top. Not fast skiing and it was also hard to control trajectory. Overall it was okay 🙂

Reply

154 JeremyN January 19, 2018 at 7:26 pm

Skipped presumably busy MtShark today & headed for a big PLPP tour. Enjoyed early fresh tracks VR 42.5 ironed in was good for 30+km starting at Boulton parking -4. Didn’t see more than a half dzn soles through untracked Moraine, then only a few to leapfrog on Tyrwhitt. Enjoyed silky tracks all the way down Pocaterra, double back to Lynx, down to Wholley-Meadow to visitors centre then Meadow-Wheeler back to Boulton parking. Still, maybe saw 15 people all day. 3” fresh at south end, thin on Pocaterra with a few needles and more snow on the way back. Expect tracksetting & maintenance tonight (?). A couple trees down (one MaSid mentioned); other tree midslope just up from Packers picnic table -both I reported to staff. Here are a few pictures for the uninitiated -should be a GREAT weekend there. https://photos.app.goo.gl/PxNUh41l8kYajRkB2

Reply

155 Chuck January 19, 2018 at 5:17 pm

BOOM LAKE – Jan 19

Here is another illumination for your quiver Jeremy!
Busy day for skiers today, but you had to be there early. At least a dozen skiers, before we finally met a pair of very kind snowshoers who were just starting up, beside our up-track.
The details are in the captions:
https://1drv.ms/a/s!ApWd3WZ3ra9NggCzCaiIOb5HwThF

Reply

156 JeremyN January 19, 2018 at 7:29 pm

Nice! Used to ski that geogous trail but haven’t since the 90’s …for reasons implicit with the times.

Reply

157 Ray Perrott January 19, 2018 at 7:47 pm

Chuck, that makes 8 consecutive days skiing, covering about 200 km, with nearly half of that on ungroomed trails. From that I conclude that you’re really just 30 years old, and eat some magic diet that you need to share with those of us who are mere mortals. Or are you some bionic version of the energizer bunny?

Reply

158 Chuck January 20, 2018 at 8:49 am

Thanks for noticing, Ray.
It is becoming a bit of a challenge!
Great to be able to share all the wonderful options we have.

Reply

159 MaSid January 19, 2018 at 3:53 pm

Fri jan 19: elk/west elk.
-8 to start at 9, -2 on return at 3. Nice mild temps and mild winds. Couple inches over last grooming, obscuring the snowmobile ruts a bit. Big tree down across the elk pass trail 100 feet north of Patterson junction. Easy to get around and on a flat section. Not so much for a piston bully though as it’s rIght up against the creek. Needs a chainsaw and maybe a winch or come along. Probably a 14 inch diameter tree. Bob, I’ll send you a photo if you want to pass it on to the Kananaskis grooming crew so they know what they are dealing with. Couch is ready for weekend guests. Re-established the trail all the way through the meadows to ththe hydroline and back. Only ankle trail breaking in the meadows even off the old track given the dense snow and wind press. Travels pretty good so shouldn’t be an issue going through there on the skinniest of skis. A good time to do the loop through the meadow and back up hydroline to elk pass proper. Nobody had been down hydroline to the hut this aft, but that should change tomorrow.

Reply

160 MaSid January 19, 2018 at 5:29 pm

And some significant whoompfing in the more southerly wind protected meadows, presumably on the last burried surface hoar layer. Hence the “high” avi risk rating today in Kananaskis. Didn’t feel bad about my decision not to try for some turns in the area.

Reply

161 Aaron January 19, 2018 at 2:13 pm

Castle Lookout?Baker Creek

Fresh tracks at 10am.
-9 at the trail head, -3 upon return @12. VR45 over VR50 was a treat the whole way there and back.
The groomer did not continue on to Castle Junction.

Reply

162 Don Workman January 19, 2018 at 12:16 pm

Confederation Park Golf Course, Friday morning (classic ski)
The tracks are in good shape at Confederation. There are a few spots where a bit of grass is coming through but not enough to be a problem.
I think the temp was around -6 C when I started, and after the warm temps we’ve had in Calgary the tracks were icy. V45 worked reasonably well but it was scraped off of my skis very quickly and I needed to re-wax a couple of times. This course is pretty flat so I normally do a lot of double poling, but I did more than usual today because the glide was good and the grip was challenging. The skate lanes would benefit from some grooming but they still looked quite ski-worthy.
Don

Reply

163 Sibylla January 18, 2018 at 11:07 pm

Week at Nordic centre
We have looked forward to the trails here being good so this week was all about CNC
Monday great and fast so much so wiped out on the first of the last three long downhills on meadowview heading west, tried to stay in the track but the bend got me – and others. So I blame them. Tuesday was a rest then Wednesday was lovely and fast still but lots of needles and cones after the windstorm. Just love the cold shoulder – super fast and fun also thanks for bringing wooded to my attention. Love that too. Short and sweet. That brings me to today. Needles covered by snow so that is good but it was slow. I had decided to skate ski, hard work. The upper trails were best covered, Bow less so and as I got nearer the stadium on Banff it was thin snow on ice, harder but faster for skating. Pros for traditional skiing as when someone goes first they prep the track, skaters do not and with the soft conditions created some treacherous ruts. Note: Please can the track setters make tracks from the stadium up the first hill and to meadowview east end. Over this season we have continually met skiers reaching the point by the beckie scott sign and having no idea where to go: snow mounds, ice, rocks, machine ruts and tracks. Just terrible. Meadowview going east as far as the race trails is so good but where do we go then?? There is nothing except one packed trail which ends in the above described mess and nowhere to go. The trailsetting is so good except there.
All in all love having these trails here. Enjoy. Ps we used v50 alias purple.

Reply

164 Helen Read January 18, 2018 at 9:12 pm

Packers/Pocaterra/Lynx/Wooley/Meadow/WWL/Amos loop from Boulton with Canmore Seniors. Think everyone who has already posted (Adam, Hugh, Crox) experienced the humbling features of skiing in -1, zero, +1 conditions and lots of new snow. We had Bill McKeever, the “Wizard of Wax” to help us get from one signpost to the next. Those with skin tech type skis fared the best, but each trail and hour of the day presented challenging variety. I have never seen WWL (William Watson Lodge) so crowded and a crazy blizzard started just as we were hurrying to leave. Drive home was slow and weather sure kept changing all day. I was afraid of getting knocked out by a falling tree or serious tree bomb when the wind really picked up. Should be incredible when temps return to minus numbers, and this new snow gets groomed. Thanks Ma Sid for the head’s up on EEOR avalanche control work being done.

Reply

165 Aaron January 18, 2018 at 8:50 pm

Panorama Nordic trails! Outstanding conditions today and the past week. Their groomers seem to be on the ball WHENEVER new snow appears. I skied Nippika a few days ago and these trails are as good or, dare I say, better in some cases. If you find yourself on that side of the range, you could do worse. These seem to be a true hidden gem as I had first and sometimes only tracks the days I skied up here.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/Bnqiw9RGIvHWtUoW2

Reply

166 Chuck January 18, 2018 at 7:28 pm

BRYANT CREEK CABIN – Jan 18

If you want snow… go to Mt. Shark. 8 cms of snow last night was challenging on the road but delightful on the trail.
Always a lovely destination:
https://1drv.ms/a/s!ApWd3WZ3ra9NgXWQV-PqlDaF-I2Q
Huge tracksetting equipment arrived as I was leaving the trailhead… so the Mt. Shark trails should be amazing tomorrow.

Reply

167 JeremyN January 18, 2018 at 10:29 pm

Always appreciate your illuminating a diversity of routes in your chronicles, Chuck. I’m sure if there was a ‘contributor of the year’ award, you’d be … I guess, a shoe-in as runner-up to Bob.

Reply

168 Pete January 19, 2018 at 1:45 am

Hey Chuck! Was there a trail broken beyond the warden cabin towards Assiniboine pass? Curious as I might be heading into Assiniboine early February.

Reply

169 Chuck January 19, 2018 at 7:06 am

Yes, there is an old track Pete, but I don’t know how far it went!

Reply

170 Pete January 19, 2018 at 8:05 am

That’s all I need! Thanks Chuck!

Reply

171 Tim January 21, 2018 at 8:20 am

Three of us heading out to Assiniboine Feb 19th. Will be enjoying your tracks.

Reply

172 Henry L January 19, 2018 at 9:15 am

And you had the honour of skiing behind Les and Paul, the famous Gibson brothers. They must be getting on in age -)

Reply

173 Jim January 18, 2018 at 7:09 pm

WBC — went later in the afternoon today Jan 18. Great coverage where I went but icy. A small refresh would probably work wonders

Reply

174 Crox January 18, 2018 at 5:02 pm

Skied Pipestone this afternoon. Lots of snow, tracksetters arrived as we were leaving at 3:30 p.m. For the first leg up Pipestone we fought a bit of clumping, but it got better and at least it keeps you moving to mitigate the build up. After that it was great and we saw very few people so the tracks were barely skier trackset. Absolutely gorgeous and very peaceful. With tracks renewed it will be amazing and a little faster.

Reply

175 MaSid January 18, 2018 at 4:45 pm

Just read that avalanche control planned for east end of rundle 1100-1500 hrs Friday so that end of smith dorrien road closed at that time, affecting quick access to goat creek and points south from Canmore.

Reply

176 Hugh January 18, 2018 at 1:34 pm

Cascade Fire Road.
+1C at 10:00 AM Light snow falling but it was really threatening up the valley.
Skintecs and crowns worked really well…….until 1/2 way up first hill.
Snow on trail was 2x in the parking lot and accumulations were ongoing. We started to clump up 1/2 way up the hill. Even application of paraffin from a candle didn’t seem to help. Up along the flats looked to be 15cm and still falling. If you skied in the tracks you could only see a shadow where your tips were. We ran into one skater and a few others who were returning. Tried hopping into their tracks and we faired no better. Finally turned back after the frustration of glide stop, kick, drag the skis over each other and repeat. If the groomers get on this conditions will be fantastic! 2h of hard skiing and my legs feel like the first ski of the season.

Reply

177 Adam January 18, 2018 at 1:05 pm

PLPP (Elk Pass/Hydroline/Lookout) – 18 January

Up to the top of Lookout and back down this morning. Freshly groomed in the night, but it looks like the bulk of the snow fell after grooming. Approximately 5 cm in parking lot/on trail up to Hydroline junction, and 3-4 cm on Lookout trail. Started with V45 (iced up), switched to V40 (iced up), finished on V30 (iced up).

Keeping in mind that the lower portion of Elk exists as an access road for the hydro-line, most of the underlying tracksetting from 17/18 January from Elk Pass parking lot has been damaged by snowmobile crews despite apparent best efforts to avoid the tracks (between Lookout/Hydroline junction and Elk Pass parking). I would advise extreme caution when descending the big hill in either direction, or Hydroline (particularly the descent into Elk Pass juction); there are a number of dense snowballs that have been deposited along the trail, and I found myself getting caught in the divets from the snowmobile ski.

All that said there’s lots of fresh snow in the park to freshen up the trails and we don’t seem to have been affected by the rain and warm temperatures in the way that other places have.

Reply

178 MaSid January 18, 2018 at 1:37 pm

Good to know. Thanks Adam. Unfortunate timing with grooming and hydroline or lookout maintenance crew that could easily benefit from some coordination.

Reply

179 MaSid January 18, 2018 at 12:30 pm

It’s looking like a couch maintenance visit day tomorrow, maybe even break the trail all the way through the meadows to the hydroline, fueled by Helens treats.

Reply

180 Adam January 18, 2018 at 1:07 am

I had Redearth Creek trail all to myself on Wednesday. My car was the only one there all day long. Conditions on the main trail were still pretty decent, although in some areas the snow plowed to the side of the narrow trail and then frozen a bit limited the breaking power on the way down, leading to a bit hairier descent than one would expect. Shadow Lake trail was a s#!tshow, wasn’t fun at all being unable to steer the skis or control the speed. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart.

Reply

181 DEMOCRACY ADVANCER January 20, 2018 at 11:49 am

It is best to ski the Shadow Lake Trail with 50mm metal edge skis and to have significant skiing experience. You get a superior edge with metal. Even the Red Earth Creek Trail is best enjoyed with metal edge skis for most of the season. The ridges formed by skiers or snowmobiles are not so much of a problem with the edge of metal. Get your metal on and enjoy.

Reply

182 Alf Skrastins January 17, 2018 at 11:11 pm

But that is not my dog!
About 2pm I was chatting with a woman who lost her dog, while hiking at West Bragg Creek. It’s a husky and it ran after something in the woods at noon.
At around 5pm, I returned to the parking lot to find one of the GBCTA volunteers standing near the Braggin Rights trailhead, holding onto a dog. That seemed odd to me, since he is not a dog owner. His Pink Panther explanation was “But that is not my dog”. Apparently the missing husky had made his way back to the parking lot after what he probably thought of as his “best day ever!”. The volunteer had leashed the dog and had been looking after it since it showed up at the parking lot. The woman’s husband had apparently gone out to search the trails before the dog got back, so now we were just waiting for him to return.
Eventually, at about 6pm, dog and owner were re-united. Happy ending.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/VM1CDHPrmppbi9AH2

It was another very warm day at WBC and the usual sun and wind exposed trails are starting to show the effects. Thin spots are appearing on places like the sunny side of Moose Loop. Steeper south and west facing hills will have a melt-freeze crust by morning. Conditions are still good on shaded and north or east-facing trails. Waxing was no problem with my Fischer Twin-Skins.

Reply

183 Mary-Ann January 18, 2018 at 9:26 pm

So glad this one made it home safely. Coyotes and cougars would have loved a smaller dog. Guess the parking lot was a smart move!

Reply

184 Andrew Osinski January 17, 2018 at 9:36 pm

Nipika
This week has been awesome. Great fast snow, temps hovering around -5. Few (10%) trails could use a bit more snow, but luckily that’s coming. Grooming is excellent across the whole trail system. Looking forward, forecasts of intermittent light snow flurries will make it incredible.
Best skiing I’ve done in a few years, both skate and classic.

Reply

185 Robin M January 17, 2018 at 8:22 pm

Mt. Shark trails. Lonely except for a bus from Calgary and one other car. Temperature -5C at 11:00am some snow blowing into the tracks. VR40 or VR45 was the wax. Once the tracks were skied on it was much better – a fast ski down to the bridges past Watridge. Needles coming off the trees added some challenge in the tracks. Temperature at 1:00 -2C Fresh grooming will improve the skiing as will the predicted snow fall.
Robin

Reply

186 fallsalot January 17, 2018 at 8:16 pm

PLPP
Very good conditions in the park. Yellow spots and tree debris have been covered by thin layer of fresh snow, about 1 cm. Temperatures were hovering about 0C according to my car. Amos, Wheeler, Meadow are groomed but the map does not show that for some reason. Although some needles were on the west trails facing chinook winds, they did not stick to wax.

Reply

187 Diana Piggott January 17, 2018 at 7:56 pm

I guess everyone was on the Pipestone trails today. Peter Lougheed was rather quiet!
We did the Packers – Pocaterra – Whiskey Jack loop. The snow was still fairly smooth from recent grooming, and would have been excellent if the darned chinook had not deposited many needles, twigs, and snow bombs on the trails.
It was still very good, if a little bumpy in places, and the descent of Whiskey Jack was exhilarating, not scary 🙂
Temperatures seemed to stay just below zero.

Reply

188 Chuck January 17, 2018 at 6:10 pm

PIPESTONE LOOPS – Jan 17

A very social day with numerous Skier Bob Reporters enjoying excellent conditions on ALL the Pipestone Loops. Jeannette took a day off today and I was skiing with HeatherD. I had to say “this is Not Jeannette” to many as HeatherD may look a little similar! We met Helen Read, Ray & Mary Perrott, Chip Scialfa, Peter Neumann and many others.
As Mary seemed to have more km on her gps than us at lunch, Heather and I decided to try every possible trail on the map. You can see our gps track in the attached photos, and compare it to the map:
https://1drv.ms/a/s!ApWd3WZ3ra9NgWdf-gqF1CwEcVrG

Reply

189 Mary Perrott January 17, 2018 at 4:57 pm

Pipestone Loops – a wonderful day on good track set. There was a skiff of snow overnight, and with a starting sunny temp. of -10C., we were content with blue wax. I added some V45 later in the morning. We covered all the trails in the area except for the 2 km. section of Pipestone from junction that is .4 km from parking lot to Drummond Jct. The Pipestone section from Drummond Jct. along the Pipestone River had quite a few needles, but it didn’t affect us very much. After that the tracks were fast and only washed out in a few places on steep curves. (Don’t trust the tracks to hold you in at speed!) Lovely, luscious snowscapes everywhere. Happily, we ran into quite a few Trip Reporters today (Chuck, Chip, Helen Read and a few others). It was like a family reunion! It was -4C and snowing lightly when we finished skiing. Coffee at Laggan’s hit the spot, as always.

Reply

190 Anna January 17, 2018 at 12:45 pm

Maple Ridge golf course was newly track set this morning. Bring your good skis. Track coverage is excellent, save the one usual bare spot.

Reply

191 Manfred Kintop January 17, 2018 at 2:04 pm

Great to hear! The spot you are referring to is likely where the trail passes under the conifers next to Acadia drive. It was even sketchy last Saturday before the chinook.

Reply

192 Alf Skrastins January 16, 2018 at 11:17 pm

West Bragg Creek
It was -9C at the West Bragg Creek parking lot at 9am and the sun/wind shaded trails south of Mountain Road stayed fairly cool and protected for most of the day. I did Telephone Loop in the afternoon and experienced an amazing range of temperature and snow conditions. On some of the steep, sunny, south-facing up-hills on East Telephone there were waves of very warm air… about +12 C. The snow there was wet and softening. In the bottom of some of the dips along creek drainages, the temperature cool and the snow was dry and powdery. Around the north end of Telephone Ridge, the snow was cold and winter-like. On the descent to Moose Loop junction, the snow was positively spring-like. With an overnight freeze, there will definitely be some icy sections!
Mountain Road was still holding up quite well, despite the warm temperatures, the sun exposure and the many, many skiers and other users who have travelled on it in recent days.
Not all ski days work out well for everyone. We got to the parking lot just as the GBCTA grooming truck pulled up, carrying an injured skier in a rescue litter on the truck bed. She was lucky that a highly qualified GBCTA volunteer groomer happened to be at the Trail Centre, because there is no cell coverage in the area and no emergency telephone at the parking lot. The rescue was quick and efficient in this case, but it could have been a long, cold wait on the snow!
https://photos.app.goo.gl/jsLqZKtlEIDc53Zr1

Reply

193 George January 18, 2018 at 1:54 pm

I would like to thank the GBCTA volunteer and everyone else who helped rescue my mom. She is very fortunate and I am internally grateful to everyone that helped in the rescue. As a quick update on her condition, my mom underwent surgery yesterday for a broken hip and is doing much better today. She has a long recovery ahead of her and hopefully will be back to hike and ski West Bragg again.

Without the amazing work of the GBCTA volunteers, WBC would not be what it is today. Keep up the great work and I ask everyone who enjoys the West Bragg Creek trails to please donate and thank them for the great work they do.

Reply

194 Zuzana Spakowski January 18, 2018 at 6:54 pm

Hi Alf,
I was the unfortunate/fortunate skier who had that accident, ended up with broken hip so skiing sezon for me is over. If there are any more pictures,would you be able to send them to me on my email address? Tank you.
Zuzana

Reply

195 Keith Bagnall January 16, 2018 at 8:45 pm

Peter Lougheed PP:
9:30 am and -8C at William Watson Lodge. Forecast was for warmer temperatures but VR50 worked well for the day. Started at Boulton parking and proceeded to Elk Pass via Boulton Creek, Fox Creek and Elk Pass trail. Tracks were good through the creek trails, wax worked on the hills and the glide was great. Elk Pass tracks were even better and soon we were at the pass, in the Elk Valley generated cloud and a cool south wind. Tyrwhitt tracks were very good and safely carried us through the curves at speed to the picnic table. In the sun, Tyrwhitt meadows were sparkling with new crystals from the over-night cloud cover. Pocaterra, from Whiskeyjack to Packers, was newly groomed and the run was fast. Packers was newly groomed also but had a good scattering of pine needles. Wheeler has good skier tracks in the deepest snow. Amos, Wooley and south Meadow also had good skier tracks, but in shallower snow. Skied a short loop on south Lodgepole and Braille and rounded the day off with two loops of Spruce Road.
Except for Wheeler. Amos, Wooley and south Meadow, all trails skied today were in very good to excellent condition. At 2:30 pm William Watson Lodge’s thermometer showed -5C.
I think I saw MaSid’s fresh tracks going to the couch was he there today?

Reply

196 MaSid January 16, 2018 at 10:48 pm

Unfortunately not. Haven’t been to the couch since the last round of snow, so it probably needs a little shovel maintenance. But glad to hear the track Has been packed. Tried to go on Sunday but cloudy skies near the pass and being tired and sore had me turn tail at the tyrwitt table back to pocaterra the way I came. Sounds like everything is still in good shape back there.

Reply

197 Chuck January 16, 2018 at 8:13 pm

ELK LAKE SUMMIT – Jan 16

With such great snow conditions this week, it was time to check out an old favourite.
Temperatures started at – 7 and ended at +1.
Now you know how to check the captions for details at:
https://1drv.ms/a/s!ApWd3WZ3ra9NgVk_K4TdKbqVIK-5

Reply

198 Ray Perrott January 16, 2018 at 6:40 pm

Cascade Valley – a quick afternoon ski today to the Cascade River bridge and back. Tracks, though shallow or wobbly in spots, are holding up reasonably well, and the ski was very enjoyable. Glide was very good. -3C at 1pm; -2C at 3pm.

Reply

199 Helen Read January 16, 2018 at 5:11 pm

Mt Shark was very quiet up there (3 cars all day) and temp -5. Warmed to +2 en route home. Mud Lake temp was very accurate. Thanks for that link Bob! Those loops do not get any easier and still a fair number of twigs sticking up. The track setting holding up extremely well from Jan 10/11th. Would have wanted Sybilla’s company to complete the untracked recreational 5 kms. loop but am holding out for more snow coverage. I thought of Bob skiing down some of those hills with only one pole and shuddered! and then how does one herringbone with only one pole? Give it a miss, Bob unless you are just going to Watridge Lake.

Reply

200 Megan B January 16, 2018 at 10:39 am

January 15 – Syncline Castle Trails (and Canada Games trail from Castle Mountain Resort)

Traveled south to north from CMR to the SCaT trails on the old “Canada Games trail.” A nice scenic and easy, but unmaintained, trail with good snow, little wayfinding and good tree cover. The SCaT trails were groomed (from what we saw on the Lake Loop, River Loop, Mine Prop and Meadow Trail) but not trackset and some were walked/snowshoed on. Snow was nice, not icy, but I expect that to change with the warming this week. High was about 2 degrees and bluebird at 4pm from our start of -10 and overcast at 11am.

Reply

201 Herb January 16, 2018 at 9:23 am

Hi:
We would like to ski at Maple Ridge this evening, but are concerned about the forecast of warm weather today, or if it’s already bare. If anyone goes there today, it would be great if you would reply to this post with conditions and whether or not the “Tuesday grooming” occurred.
Thanks,
Herb

Reply

202 Paul January 16, 2018 at 9:01 am

Canmore Nordic Center

Skied Banff trails, Meadowview trail yesterday under blue skies and temperatures of about -2oC (swix purple). The sun is best between about 10:30 and 1:30 so try to hit this window. Snow is very good (best of the season?) and the groomers are doing a great job. Bow trail, the lowest main trail is not quite as good. Also been up to Rundle and the snow is similar to Meadowview. The trail through the middle of the meadow is panoramic and fun.

Reply

203 Diana Piggott January 15, 2018 at 9:40 pm

Sandy McNabb

Following Sheila’s advice we had a lovely ski around the south side of Sandy today. Temps stayed below zero and the snow was mostly very good. Lots of traffic on the weekend, though, especially snowshoes, on most of the ski trails. Not a problem except on the very SE corner of Sandy McNabb loop which has a short sketchy section. The rest of it was most enjoyable, and we only saw one other couple on the trails.

Reply

204 Sheila January 17, 2018 at 7:58 am

Glad you had an opportunity to ski Sandy, Diana. When conditions are good it is quite a little gem. Problem is a day can make a difference and you have to jump on the chance when you can. BTW, Kimberley is a amazing!

Reply

205 Alf Skrastins January 15, 2018 at 9:25 pm

West Bragg Creek
Following up on last weeks reports from Elisabeth, Keith and Normand, I joined Groomer Jeff on a mission to fix the issues on East Telephone Loop. We shovelled snow onto thin areas, removed branches and rocks from the trail and renovated the tread. There is now nice, fresh corduroy all the way up East Telephone and a good track-set on the west side. We didn’t get to the ice-flow just south of the Reconnect junction, so watch out for that.
If you have never skied Telephone Loop, keep in mind that it was designed to be the most technically challenging XC ski trail in Kananaskis Country. It is NOT a beginner trail or even a comfortable intermediate trail. It is narrow, hilly and twisting, particularly between the north end of Hostel Loop and Long Distance junction.
Later, I skied a Figure 8 circuit, combining Hostel Meadow, Hostel Loop and the bit of Telephone Loop that bisects Hostel Loop. Excellent conditions!

Reply

206 Normand January 15, 2018 at 10:13 pm

Thanks Alf and Jeff for such great and hard work.

Only one thing to add, as Ursula said: DONATE!

I would have spent $30 or more in gas money yesterday, and 3-4 hours return trip driving time from Calgary, to seek a place to ski 10’s of km on distinct trails (PLPP, LL, BF). But instead, I spent only half a day doing that, on a great circuit of outstanding trails, only 40 min drive from Calgary. That $ is going (again and again for me) to GBCTA.

Reply

207 Vic Urban January 15, 2018 at 7:37 pm

Had an awesome day at Allison/Chinook. Started at around -2 at 10:30 and it stayed around there with Alberta Blue sky and soft snow. Hardly anyone there to start and had about 20 cars in the lot when we left in the afternoon. Lots of smiles on the trails.

Reply

208 Ursula Wohlfarth January 15, 2018 at 6:40 pm

West Bragg Creek saw a record number of visitors this past weekend. The ‘too large’ parking lot was full both days and visitors were parking down the road. But how many of you have donated cash to support the maintenance of the trails? And how many appreciate the awesome job that our trail groomers are doing?

Almost all grooming is done by volunteers, and the Greater Bragg Creek Trails Association relies on donations to keep operations going. One donation box is close by the Trails Centre, two others are located nearby the north and south side trailheads. Drop in your contribution, or donate on-line: Go to http://www.braggcreektrails.org/about/donate-now/
for information on how to do it. Please support your trails!!

Reply

209 Chuck January 15, 2018 at 6:08 pm

BREWSTER CREEK to SUNDANCE LODGE

Bob’s January 12 report encouraged us to explore a little further up Brewster Creek, and we are glad we did. Hosts Skye and Mitch were very welcoming at the Lodge, and we look forward to exploring further up the valley as the days get longer.
Check out the details at:
https://1drv.ms/a/s!ApWd3WZ3ra9NgUssDOrZVj2eaQ0n

Reply

210 Chip Scialfa January 15, 2018 at 4:35 pm

West Bragg Creek

SkierBob was off by a week. I’ll be in Mexico then and seeing some birdies that don’t make it up this way. The little birdie featured in his post yesterday was a puzzler. I think that it’s a Green shrike-warbler but I’d need to hear the song to be sure. Ha!

Peter, Katrin and I skied WBC today under brilliant skies and near perfect conditions. We did the Mountain View West to Moose Loop and had good, though sometimes shallow tracks the who way. A starting temp of -10 meant VR40, which worked for me all day. Back at the warming trailer at 2:15 and their thermometer was not really distinguishable from 0C in the shade. The car thermometer read -3.5 C. Enjoy it while you can!

Reply

211 Vic Urban January 15, 2018 at 7:45 pm

Green shrike, amazing they would be on that trail. Kind of far from it’s usual habitat. Ha!

Reply

212 Henry L January 16, 2018 at 8:15 am

Gentlemen, as birders you know that where on the tree is important! My guide shows that the Green Shrike-Warbler stays low on the tree, on the trunk, near the ground, and spirals round and round backwards until it gets sick and falls off.
The little specimen in Bob’s photo is out near the edge of tree crown, perched directly over the ski trail. My vote is for the Green-Winged Stiff-Necked Turd-Dropper!
Reference: – page 372 of the guide book “Peedersen’s Guide to Western Alpine Christmas Ornaments”.

Reply

213 Vic Urban January 16, 2018 at 5:09 pm

I heartily concur

Reply

214 Audrey January 15, 2018 at 2:25 pm

Jan 15. Confederation Golf Course. Got out at 1:00pm. Tracks have a solid base. Washed out in a few places and I saw a few leaves but overall very good coverage and the tracks are holding up well. I saw several people on the skate lane and it looked like they were gliding along nicely. -4C when I started. Used some special blue (0 to -7C), uncorked, because I forgot the thing at home but it still had reasonable grip.

Reply

215 Russell January 15, 2018 at 12:51 pm

Cascade Valley (Jan 14)
I got an early start so had time and energy to extend passed Chuck’s tracks for a couple km’s beyond the elk trap. The lynx and rabbit tracks continued. On my return I caught a glimpse of the lynx and a cub – very cool.

Reply

216 Carole January 15, 2018 at 8:06 am

Fantastic ski along the Spray River, Sunday January 14

Six of us started off at 10:15 a.m. and split up while skiing along the Spray River. I skied to the second bridge. On the way back, some of us stopped for lunch at the shelter at the first bridge. We met two fat bikers from Montreal who stated that their cross-country ski outing of the previous day was more enjoyable than their fat bike expedition (as they had to focus on looking down ahead of them on their fat bikes). Three of us returned on the northeast side of the Spray River. The trail there is in terrific shape as it is track set but not heavily used. We encountered two new skiers from Arkansas. We headed down the walking trail and crossed the bridge south of the skating area. That was a good option. Someone forgot a backpack at the shelter so I did an extra (fast) 11 km to go and fetch it. My unexpected total tally for the day was 31 km. It was a great day for a long ski!

Reply

217 DEMOCRACY ADVANCER January 14, 2018 at 9:41 pm

ELK LAKES PROVINCIAL PARK- ACA HUT/ BLUEBERRY HILL

Got out for an afternoon ski. Parking lot was only 1/3 full amazingly.
Sweet skiing on the track set trails. Great tracks with a skiff of new snow since the track setter was last out. Moderate speed skiing and very good grip up hills with -3 to -10 Swix blue wax.

Off piste skiing to the ACA hut was sweet as well. The skier cut trail follows old snowmobile tracks for the most part. I straightened it in some places. Generally good off trail skiing with 60 mm metal edge skis. Normally about ankle deep ski penetration with some places sinking to 1/2 way up the knees.

Climbed up Blueberry Hill at the end of the day. At the top after sunset it was perfectly calm and about -3 degrees. Stunning scenery as the mountains went dark and the clouds along with the fog lifted. Skied down at night while enjoying the stars.- and I don’t mean the Hollywood types.

Reply

218 Normand January 14, 2018 at 9:23 pm

Loops of a day at WBC

Starting at 11 am with V45 wax, I skied Hostel Loop, Téléphone L, part of Moose L, MVW, Mountain Rd, Loggers L and Sundog L. Great day, with the best snow conditions on the west leg of Telephone Loop, after a pretty challenging 4 km section on the east leg of Tel. Loop. That section had a few big rocks starting to show, but relatively easy to avoid as long as you were not flying by around the sharp corner on skinny skis. A major ice flow is present on Telephone Loop west, about 1.5 km before the junction with Moose Loop.

Reply

219 A January 14, 2018 at 9:02 pm

Ribbon Creek

I skied in Ribbon Creek both Sat and Sun. Great conditions and great temps, especially welcome after the cold snap. Got by with VR45 (-2/-8) topped with VR40 (-4/-12). Kananaskis was breathtakingly majestic.

Reply

220 TC January 14, 2018 at 7:59 pm

Skijored WBC with the boys Saturday and Sunday. Moose Loop, Mountain View West, Logger’s Loop, Sundog Loop, East Crystal. Few loops. Conditions are fantastic, best I have ever seen them. Went late to miss the crowd.

Reply

221 Chuck January 14, 2018 at 6:48 pm

SPRAY RIVER to RINKS CAMP

Thought I’d bust some trail for Andrew in case he followed through with his weekend plan to come up from the Spray Lake near Mount Shark. No sign of him! Well, if he does turn up he will have a broken trail from Rinks Camp.
Check out the album captions for details:
https://1drv.ms/a/s!ApWd3WZ3ra9NgTt5ah0TRPhpFoZB

Wonderful scenery! How many Ks one-way from Banff?(not that I’m going to ski it, but I’ll bet your photos will entice some skiers to go) -Bob

Reply

222 Chuck January 14, 2018 at 7:39 pm

Bob… of all people… don’t you read the album captions?
“Only 6 km south of the junction at the triangle 10 km east of Banff”
That adds up to 16 km one way.
Probably shorter from your end at the Goat Creek trailhead!

Reply

223 Henry L January 15, 2018 at 7:45 am

Great trail breaking Chuck! What a beautiful valley too!
I hope that Andrew can now try to join the dots from the other end.

Reply

224 MaSid January 16, 2018 at 3:13 pm

That sun warmed shelter looks really nice. Pretty fancy for a back country campground. No need for couches there.

Reply

225 Paul January 14, 2018 at 5:35 pm

X-country in the badlands! Took the Red Deer River for a spin from 19th Street East in Drumheller heading west to the Midland Bridge the boundary of Midland Provincial Park (7km) and back. Snow was great at -3 C so Kuu pink worked like a charm (sorry Swixers… the Kuu has been strong with such a great range 0 to -8 it’s my go to these days).

Drumheller has kept a bit cooler than in Cowtown so there hasn’t been any melt since the pre-Christmas era. We’ve had a nice shot of the fresh-stuff (6cm over the past week including 2cm overnight). The track setting is a bit “wild west” style while I know that there were others out skiing today, there are also some pretty oblivious ATV and ski doo operators that don’t know about the beauty of a nice set of skier set tracks. That being said – the cheat of the day was one ski in the ski doo ski and one ski on the ski doo track – making for a pretty perfect pack on the ice.

If you are familiar with Lake Windermere, (which I skied for the first time over the New Year’s weekend) you can make some good positive comparables to what’s shaking on the Red Deer River around Drumheller. Only difference is a lot more solitude. I definitely recommend giving it a spin as an eastern alternative to all that mountain traffic.

While I didn’t see a dinosaur, I enjoyed the badlands as I glided through my playlist in beautiful ski conditions.

Reply

226 James Kohut January 14, 2018 at 9:26 pm

There is lots of good skiing out on the prairies in good snow years. Great place to see sunsets. Cypress hills offer some great skiing some years as well.

Reply

227 Doug Connery January 14, 2018 at 5:21 pm

Redearth Creek is in great shape. The tracks have a bit of silky fast snow with no ice. Snow temp at -6 so easy waxing. We stopped and pushed a fallen tree to the side on the climb between the parking lot and the top of the hill above lost horse creek. This is a cold valley so it was cooler around the campground before climbing above the creek into the sun. Had lunch in a sunny spot near the Warden cabin.

Parks has done a great job with sandwich board signage right out of the parking lot in terms of what is permitted on the trail (skis, fat bikes, no dogs, etc.) and how to respect the track setting.

Reply

228 Helen Read January 14, 2018 at 3:36 pm

Ditto to Sam on his excellence adjective reporting Cascade on Saturday. Chuck I absolutely adored your pictures and fell asleep counting the eighth sheep on the hillside photo. Today re-conned a new (to me) circuit at Boulton: brand new tracks up Packers, down Pocaterra, up Lynx, Wooley and back on Wheeler/Amos. -4 to -2 sunny blue sky perfection!

Reply

229 Jim January 14, 2018 at 12:09 pm

Also had a wonderful time at WBC yesterday(Jan 13) on the late shift. Air was warm +5 or 6 but snow stayed pretty cold. Purple klister worked very well but buddy said blue was also working!? E Crystal, Ironsprings, Elbow, Loggers,W Crystal all in very nice shape. Fun faded a little a the end of the day when I realized I managed to lose a pair of brown prescription glasses- maybe in the parking lot. If you happened to find them. . . .

Reply

230 DNA January 16, 2018 at 7:39 am

Found some brown glasses with orange temples – perhaps yours??
Groomer David

Reply

231 Nikolai January 14, 2018 at 11:07 am

West Bragg Creek

I started at 8am, today morning. I skied Crystal – Iron Springs – Elbow – Moose Loop.

Grooming and tracksetting was refreshed overnight on Crystal, Logger’s and other trail systems. Very good conditions and gliding was better today, the grip was good with Red 0+3C wax.

Angry dogs that haven’t yet learned to obey their masters must stay at home 🙂

Reply

232 Brenda Kasianiuk January 14, 2018 at 10:28 am

Mount Shark

Excellent ski conditions at Mount Shark on January 13, 2018. Trails looked like they were recently track set and groomed. We did a combo of the 15 km and 10 km loop and skied back on the road from Watridge Lake which provided a quick return to the parking lot. Excellent dog friendly trail. The one way trails were refreshing and we really enjoyed being able to complete a loop and return a different route.

Reply

233 DaveM January 14, 2018 at 9:36 am

Short skate ski at Confederation yesterday. Conditions were stellar with the recent grooming (thank you FHN volunteers) with tracksetting for classic also looking good. Lots of people enjoying the sunshine and warm temperatures.

Reply

234 Michael & Annalee January 14, 2018 at 8:58 am

Skate skied at Nordic Centre yesterday and the conditions were great until I returned on Meadow to Olympic. There is a sign that says marginal conditions so of course I ignored it. Don’t! The trails are badly cut up with ridges of snow and gravel. Really these area should be shut.
michael

Reply

235 barb banff January 14, 2018 at 7:20 pm

Interesting- I had the same experience last Sunday. I thought there would be a skiable exit trail. But not, wiped out some rough ice and injured a already injured shoulder.
Should have gone to office and report the lack of signs, but didn’t. I’m surprised it’s still in the same condition.

Reply

236 Sam (w. Jeff G) January 14, 2018 at 7:40 am

Cascade Valley on Saturday

With all due respect to MaSid – the Cascade experience on Saturday was EXCELLENT. Although we wouldn’t quibble with the matter of the tracks not being as deep as one would like – the snow conditions were outstanding.

We started around 10 AM – darted up the hill and to the first bridge – and cruised another five kilometres or so before turning around (family obligations!). The kick and glide – with snow texture that was dream-like – was simply effortless. Given the beautiful day and temps – the relative paucity of humanity was surprising. No complaints, of course.

Jeff G (best friend for 40 yrs) and I commented, on the slow (on purpose) return, that our ski was another one we will remember for a long time. A quote from a fellow skier, when we stopped near the campsite on the way back and I commented “Nice day, eh?”: He replied with one word: “Excellent!”.

Reply

237 MaSid January 15, 2018 at 5:28 pm

I try to be factual and objective with my reports. I did expect better given it was new grooming, but not enough snow fell for full depth tracks I suspect, hence the fair comment. It was also a colder day Friday with cloud obscured sun. But I am not good at reporting on snow conditions as I use waxless skis, but it did feel slow. Probably some subjective creep into my report given the sore back that day and my ongoing ankle strengthening post injury (which makes me prefer better tracks currently). The photos from Saturday and Sunday sure made it look a lot nicer.

Reply

238 Lisa Young January 13, 2018 at 9:42 pm

Pipestone was perfect today. Snow was awesome. -8c at the parking lot at around 12:30 pm. It warmed up a bit as we skied. Met a warden at the beginning who thanked us for having our dog leashed. They are really checking for this and he said 0 tolerance for unleashed dogs. You will get a fine. Please keep your dog leashed. My dog loves coming here and it would be a shame if they changed the rules because of unleashed dogs. It wasn’t busy and we had a great afternoon. Met the groomer at the end of our ski and he said they might groom tomorrow.

Reply

239 Kinga January 13, 2018 at 9:12 pm

West Bragg Creek. Hostel loop-mountain road-mountain view west-south moose loop-moose connector-crystals. Started out in central station but found stretches of quietness on Hostel and MVW. Second time of late to encounter such an abrupt temperature gradient at WBC (other time was Jan 1 moon ski). Was -10 in the parking lot at 10 a.m. but much warmer on hostel loop (and other higher elevations), requiring a return to the car to shed a layer. Another reminder that cooler starting temps at WBC may be a feature of the the creek valley, especially at the onset of a chinook (which both Jan 1 and today were).

Reply

240 Pete January 13, 2018 at 8:28 pm

PLPP-Jan 13

Had a nice family ski at Peter Lougheed today. Started at the discovery centre and followed Meadow, Wheeler, and Packers (all skier set) to Pocaterra. Pocaterra was groomed and track set to Lynx junction and beyond. We then followed Lynx (track set) back to Woolley (skier set), Meadow and the discovery centre. I used ski go +3,-2c, my kids on purple 0c. Busy day on the trails, with everyone enjoying the warm temperatures.

Reply

241 Martin & Jip January 13, 2018 at 7:22 pm

Just to add to these reports finally skied mountain view west & moose in a clockwise direction, fabulous conditions, super busy around the parking lot but quiet once a few clicks out. Sun is getting stronger by the day, best ski MVW now whilst its good

Reply

242 Joe January 13, 2018 at 9:07 pm

I was also out on Mountain view west today. I made it into a loop along with mountain road and moose. Great option for skate skiing other than the usual crystal lines/sundog loop. Wasn’t busy until I got into moose loop, and even then it wasn’t too bad. Gotta do it while it lasts!

Reply

243 Chuck January 13, 2018 at 6:58 pm

CASCADE VALLEY to the ELK TRAP – Jan 13

For MaSid’s sake, I had to ensure that no ‘trail busting’ was necessary beyond Stoney Creek. Now that Parks Canada staff are regularly skiing this route back and forth to the Bison, anyone can easily ski here on track skis.
Check it out, or see it here:
https://1drv.ms/a/s!ApWd3WZ3ra9NgSewfTAJOAXWRZjS
Extra Blue wax provided great glide on soft quiet snow, starting at minus 4 and ending at zero .
It was a pleasure to meet Ivan who was lugging a huge pack as he trains for upcoming backcountry trips.

Reply

244 Greg January 13, 2018 at 7:46 pm

Hi Chuck. Thanks for the report and photos. How far past Stoney Cabin is the “Elk Trap”? Can it be done on regular xc skis or is it best done on light touring gear?

Reply

245 Chuck January 13, 2018 at 8:32 pm

Hi Greg,
As per usual, I try to encourage people to read the captions in the photo album (which is full of details, by clicking on the circled “I” for Info), but for you… the Elk Trap is 5 km past Stoney Creek and easily accessible on track skis (nor need for wider pole baskets) because of all the regular travel by Parks Canada staff checking on the Bison!
Enjoy

Reply

246 GordN January 14, 2018 at 1:27 pm

Good reminder of the “I”? When I use Flickr, go full screen, that info click is not visible.

Reply

247 ElaineB January 13, 2018 at 6:26 pm

Fairview/Moraine/Tramline Lake Louise
New snow , exquisitely snow covered trees, a sun/cloud mix and temperatures of -8 to -10 C made for a lovely day of skiing, V30Blue wax working well. Seemed like skiers had polished the previously trackset trails with no new tracksetting, but snow was feathery and forgiving. Later in the day a bit of wind resulting in tree bombs. With a 1 pm start my friend JO’C and I saw only 3 other skiers until Moraine and the lower Tramline.when we met fewer than ten.

Reply

248 Keith Bagnall January 13, 2018 at 4:18 pm

West Bragg Creek:
9:30 am and -12C at the parking lot. VR50 wax. What a difference a day makes! Perfect snow, grooming and track setting! Skied Mountain Road and Moose Connector to do a ccw loop on Moose Loop. Cold snow and wax weren’t compatible and glide was slow initially but, as the sun rose over the eastern ridges, all that changed. Moose Loop to Mountain View West (MVW) was great on new track set. On the advice of WBC groomer David, we continued up MVW for a first ever visit. Easy to see why it can get sun and wind affected, but today it was perfect. A long and fast run down Mountain Road on cold snow with great conditions was the high-light of the day. Lunched in the sun, at the warming hut picnic table, before skiing out and back on East Crystal Line. +2C at 1:30 pm when we left. The snow was holding up well despite warm temperatures, sunshine and lots of traffic, so conditions should be great on Sunday also.
Lots of folks (and their dogs) out enjoying WBC trails in all modes – skiers, fat bikers, snowshoers, runners and walkers. Great to see all the young skiers learning and practicing.

Reply

249 Nikolai January 13, 2018 at 5:38 pm

Just to add my 2 cents to Keith’s already comprehensive report…

I started at 2pm and skied Crystal Loop – Iron Springs – Elbow Trail – Logger’s – Moose Loop – Crystal West.

The trail conditions were very good, excellent grip with red wax (0+3C).
Looks like hundreds of people came to WBC today, and all the recent grooming and tracksetting was well enjoyed, I can tell 🙂

There are several very thin areas on the slopes of Elbow Trail and Moose Connector, likely the result of many skiers’ snow plowing.

Reply

250 Adam January 13, 2018 at 4:18 pm

PLPP (Lodgepole/Braille/Spruce Road/Sinclair/Meadow/Pocaterra/Come Along/Rolly Road) – 13 January

As anticipated the conditions on the recent grooming in the north end of PLPP were stellar following the recent snow and tracksetting. Everything now groomed and trackset with negligible hazards other than the occasional stick or bit of dirt, nothing that couldn’t be skied over. Great grip and glide with V30/40, and a breathtaking sunrise coming up over the Opal Range.

Reply

251 Mary Perrott January 13, 2018 at 7:01 pm

We had a fabulous day at PLPP, skiing some of the same trails as Adam. We also skied Wheeler, Amos, and Wooley, which were nicely skier-set and fast. Beautiful snow and views, lovely warm temps (-5C to start, ending at 0C.) Lots of people out enjoying the weather and trails.

Reply

252 sheila January 13, 2018 at 4:07 pm

I think, without doubt, WBC was the busiest I have every seen it in all the years we have been enjoying this area. Who would have thought the brand new parking lot could be filled to capacity and then some. So many adults, children, experts, novices, and dogs enjoying so many different activities. Beautiful sunshine, warm temps, and great conditions brought everyone and their grandparents out to enjoy the trails. Great day and honestly, even with record numbers, there was room for everyone. And their dogs!

Reply

253 Diana Piggott January 13, 2018 at 5:12 pm

Sheila! Could you check out Sandy McNabb tomorrow for us please??
(we’re too busy to ski this weekend)

Reply

254 sheila January 14, 2018 at 7:11 am

Hi Diana: We are actually heading back to Kimberley this morning returning at the end of the week so will only be able to report on the Nordic and golf course trails in BC for a few days. However, my daughter and a friend intend to ski Sandy today so I will receive a full report from her as to the conditions. Will post tonight!

Reply

255 Diana Piggott January 14, 2018 at 8:21 am

Thank you!
Also, lucky you 🙂

Reply

256 Sheila January 15, 2018 at 7:23 am

Sounds like Sandy is worth the trip, Diana! Spoke with my daughter yesterday and, while they stuck to the north side, found conditions to be “great”. The friend who joined her was skiing for the first time so they did not climb too far up. Reports from other skiers coming down were generally positive with a few thin spots to be careful of. If the conditions are such for north side I would imagine even better for south side. As there were other skiers out there, hopefully someone will post something a little more in depth than my second hand news. Hope this helps.

Reply

257 lex tincteur January 13, 2018 at 3:17 pm

Jan. 13
Castle Junction to Castle Mountain Lookout. -5 at the Junction and -8 at the lookout just after noon. VR 30 worked well on the variable skied in track. At present this will be a proprioception building adventure.
Watch for the thin snow cover on the ice flow approx.. 1-2 kms north of the Junction.

Reply

258 Britton January 13, 2018 at 3:15 pm

Skied at Maple Ridge golf course this morning. Conditions were quite good. There was a layer of snow over the tracksetting but otherwise the grooming is holding up nicely.

Reply

259 Brenda Kasianiuk January 14, 2018 at 10:22 am

Hi Britton, I am just curious about the trail at Maple Ridge golf course? Length/how long it takes to do? We would like to enjoy the trails in Calgary today and want to get a good long ski in. Thanks

Reply

260 Laurence January 14, 2018 at 11:06 am

Hi Brenda,

The entire loop, with the down and up hills along Deerfoot about 6km+, depending if you do any detours. When the trails are good, I will frequently ski for an hour and a half without feeling like I have done endless laps. Hope that helps.
Laurence

Reply

261 Alf Skrastins January 12, 2018 at 10:18 pm

West Bragg Creek, Jan 12, 2017
As noted in Groomer Jeff’s report, all West Bragg Creek Trails (except the south end of Elbow-Iron Springs and East Telephone) have been renovated, freshly groomed and are in excellent shape. My ski today included Mountain Road, Moose Loop, Mountain View West, Mountain View, West Crystal Line and Middle Crystal Line. Great conditions on all of those.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/Q3q9jOMwu24ULo1n2
It was fun to get back to the West Bragg Creek parking lot near sunset and see dozens of young Jackrabbit skiers from the XCBC club.

Reply

262 Sibylla January 12, 2018 at 9:51 pm

Nordic centre is ace. Two days and shared the beautiful groomed trails with so few. Thank-you track setters. Perfect tracks. Even cold shoulder double track set. We r so blessed to have this facility.
Warming up today so my blue today did not grip as well as green yesterday. These guys r still building snow so some places must explore ways around snow blowing and piles but that is fun too!
So glad not to have to drive to ski now and get shorter ski times to ski though now exploring a Tonquin trip, any others interested??

Reply

263 Audrey January 12, 2018 at 9:11 pm

Jan 12. PLPP. Parked at Elkwood. -14C when we started at about noon. Used old school green (-5 to -10C) for grip. Did Wheeler and Amos loop. Skier tracked on top of old tracksetting with about 8-10cm of new snow. It was a very enjoyable ski. Then we headed over to Elk Pass parking lot and did a short in and out of Fox Creek which was a wonderful jaunt thru the trees on skier tracked fluffy snow. It was about -8C when we were done. The wax worked pretty good but was slipping a little by the end of the day.

Reply

264 Elisabeth January 12, 2018 at 6:34 pm

First time posting, thank-you for this great website.
Headed to West Bragg Creek today with my husband and good friend Katie. We had planned on doing the Telephone Loop thinking it had been groomed. Started off with hostel loop then continued on with our plan. I can definitely agree with Keith’s post. We all love downhills and we each fell at some point or another. I was using green regular wax and the other two had skin skis. They struggled more than I with uphill. Would avoid Telephone Loop for now. When we were leaving we did me ay. This all being said it was still awesome to get outside!

Reply

265 Groomer Jeff January 12, 2018 at 9:14 pm

Telephone Loop has seen very little love with respect to grooming and as such is not recommended for most users at this time. We do not possess equipment necessary to provide the quality of trail grooming on Telephone that is seen elsewhere in our system. Please keep this in mind when you are planning your ski and check our conditions report regularly. All the other trails in our system are in very good condition.
http://www.braggcreektrails.org/report/

Reply

266 chuckley January 12, 2018 at 6:18 pm

Peter Lougheed Provincial Park – Wonderful 10-15cm new snow in past few days. Skied from Boulton Bridge Parking Lot. Skied Boulton Creek, Fox Creek, Elk Pass, Tyrwhitt, Whiskey Jack. There were very few skiers in this part of the park. Temperature at noon was -15C in the shade, -10C in the shade at 3PM. Green wax was a charm. I followed trail breakers (Thanks) on Boulton Creek, skied in fresh skier set track on Fox Creek,Elk Pass was all beautifully groomed the night before. Tyrwhitt was a dream- groomed to Lookout junction. Broke trail to the top of Whiskey Jack and a third of the way down Whiskey Jack – then skier set track. There was a stiff breeze near the end of my ski causing drifting to fill tracks in open areas. Conditions Saturday should be magnificent!

Reply

267 MaSid January 12, 2018 at 5:14 pm

Fri Jan 12: cascade valley.
-20 in the lot at 10am, -10 at the cabin mid day, -8 back at the car at 3. Despite the fresh grooming, shallow tracks throughout, with no definitive clean sidewalls (mt shark it is not). I’d call it “fair”. Not much traffic on it today but should likley get worn out very quick tomorrow if not today already. If your preference is for perfect pristine tracks for your long haul ski day, give it a miss and hit redearth. Be wary of the bridge, thin snow cover over metal grate surface. Easy to bust a pole tip. Sorry chuck, didn’t bust any trail past the end of grooming. The heart wanted to, but the body did not (sore back this morning). Nonetheless, a good day of iPlodding.

Reply

268 Keith Bagnall January 12, 2018 at 5:13 pm

West Bragg Creek and Telephone Loop:
-22C at the parking lot. VR30 wax and skis ready to go and my thumbs are feet are already getting cold. The plan was to ski Telephone Loop thinking it was recently groomed and trackset with new snow cover. This should be easy, but seemed committing with the low temperature, so skied Hostel Loop to see if all will be okay. Half way around we were warming ,so off we went counter clock wise. Big Mistake! I have never skied with such difficult conditions – rough, lumpy, bumpy verges, shallow inconsistent tracks and everything icey rock hard. Hills required extreme caution! I fall, on average, once each winter but on the east side I fell four times – and that’s hard on the ego among other things. At the north end, the snow and track conditions improved and the temperature had risen. Rewaxed with VR40 with good results. South of the Merlin View junction there is a large ice flow across the trail, that is not easily bypassed. Moose Loop, Old Shell Road and Mountain Road were newly groomed and track set making for the first relaxing skiing of the day. 3:00 pm; temperature at the parking lot a was a nice -14C.

Reply

269 Chuck January 12, 2018 at 5:06 pm

REDEARTH – Jan 12

I guessed Don might come here today, but it was still a great choice:
https://1drv.ms/a/s!ApWd3WZ3ra9NgQ_t8UPCzi39UvEB

Reply

270 pat davis January 12, 2018 at 5:00 pm

West Bragg Creek.
Left Calgary at -21; arrived WBC at -13. Lovely surprise. The trails were good, very good, and I only saw a couple of areas where the trackset machine had reached dirt. Additionally, the place was empty: I passed one other skier all day.
I relearned, however, that after a severe cold snap, the snow will be a lot colder than the truck thermometer registers. Oh well, I had great grip going uphill.

Reply

271 Jean-Francois Richy January 12, 2018 at 4:03 pm

Banff / Spray River (West) to Goat Creek bridge (12k one way). It was -20C at the trailhead and only -8C when I had finished skiing. The tracks (trackset to Goat Creek bridge) were covered with a fine layer of fresh snow and the glide was perfect.

Reply

272 Val B January 11, 2018 at 8:21 pm

Shaganappi Golf Course.
Not the best conditions, but an enjoyable ski none the less. Some of the recent track setting was still there, and only a few thin patches. Not enough snow on the bridge. Some uneven ground. Not many people out today due to the windchill, but the sun was nice!

Reply

273 Helen Read January 11, 2018 at 7:46 pm

CNC Night Lit 6 kms. loop very lovely tonight at 6pm. -18 and NO wind. All the flags were standing like tin soldiers….no clanging metal lanyards. Pristine grooming everywhere so should be an amazing great w/e there.

Reply

274 sheila January 11, 2018 at 6:32 pm

Not sure if anyone is heading out to Kimberley, but we just arrived home tonight after 5 days of amazing skiing!! Did a lot of downhill where the powder was so good they did not even groom most of the trails on the first day after the dump. Today was corduroy everywhere. X-country skiing was equally amazing on both Nordic tracks and golf courses. Drive home was a bit trickier with very icy roads from Elko to almost the Alberta border. What should have been a 4 hour drive turned into a 5 l/2 hour nail biter. Glad to read all the wonderful trail reports knowing we have lots of options of where to go skiing before heading back to Kimberley.

Reply

275 Diana Piggott January 10, 2018 at 6:00 pm

Pipestone trails were all groomed this morning and the skiing was lovely!
Also very quiet. Still a few needles and twigs here and there, and as I stooped to remove some, we pondered the origin of the expression “to spruce up”. Weird.

Reply

276 Henry L January 11, 2018 at 11:04 am

Diana, I believe that being in the outdoors provides the mind with peace and clarity, and hence the result of your pondering. Love it!

Reply

277 Martine January 10, 2018 at 3:51 pm

PLPP
Great new snow at PLPP! Started at Visitor Center at -20C and had a wonderful ski in about 15 cms of new snow.

Reply

278 Helen Read January 10, 2018 at 3:18 pm

Goat Creek to Banff Springs in the new snow and track-setting! Glad Dana and I were scheduled for today to do it in the new snow. Started at Goat Creek in -19 at 9am and finished at the Springs at just before 1pm in -17. Did not warm up a lot, and ran into Second Sixty groups out of Calgary enjoying snow-shoeing the East Spray and skiers heading down to the Spray Bridge around 11 am. Don had tracked and groomed down to the Spray Bridge on the Banff side, but perhaps he continued on and did entire distance as we did not see him again. We could ski straight down all the hills without nary a snow-plow turn, so not being the speed demon, I was thrilled. 19 kms on my GAIA app. Sherpa Chris met us at 1pm and we dropped off the belated “goodie bag” at Chuck’s before heading home. Also checked out the Moose Hotel with a Heritage House inside its courtyard. Stunning décor and heard good things about their Pacini’s Restaurant.

Reply

279 Alf Skrastins January 9, 2018 at 8:28 pm

After a week of backcountry skiing on a 240cm snowpack in the Monashee Mountains, the first skiing back in Alberta is often a bit of an adjustment.
I had enough time for a quick ski on some of the West Bragg Creek core trails. Most of the Crystal Line trails, Mountain View, Mountain View West had been renovated in the past couple of days and were in good shape. Mountain Road had a nice double-set of classic tracks and a nicely groomed skate lane. The temperature was dropping throughout the day and the firmly packed snow was quite fast. Everything should be refreshed with the new snow that is forecast for the next couple of days.
It’s definitely not the Monashees, but still very good skiing.

Reply

280 Keith Bagnall January 9, 2018 at 8:22 pm

Peter Lougheed PP: -3C at WWL Started at Boulton Parking with VR40 in light snow fall but applied VR45 at the bottom of Whiskey Jack. Took Moraine and Fox Creek to access Elk Pass trail. Tracks on both were holding well and had minimal new snow cover. Snowfall heavier on Elk Pass trail in the still good track set with 3 cm accumulated by top of Elk Pass. Icing was an issue up to Elk Pass. Tyrwhitt tracks were slow due to the warm new snow. Followed Pocaterra trail down (still slow) with snow accumulation lessening past Packers junction. Come Along still has willow showing as previously reported. Rolly Road in the new snow was very comfortable. Zero degrees at Pocaterra Hut where I collapsed – must get fitter! Nice warm day overall.

Reply

281 Ray Perrott January 9, 2018 at 8:41 pm

Four of us followed several of Keith’s SOCC group from Boulton parking, where there was about 1cm new snow. Moraine was in really good shape -clean and great tracks. The new snow also covered a lot of the debris on Fox. Like Keith, we also had some icing problems getting to Elk Pass. Tyrwhitt, while slow, was visually wonderful, with lots of snow hanging from the trees. We ended our loop (the “Skier Bob Special” in reverse) by heading down Whiskey Jack – somewhat slow but definitely pleasant. Good tracks here – will be fast when the new snow cools down. -1C when we finished, flurries still coming down.

Reply

282 Charles January 9, 2018 at 11:21 am

Confederation Golf Course

All trails still have about an one inch base. There is still great snow coverage on all parts of the golf course. Classic tracks are in great shape. Trails are icy and in need of a few cm of new snow to make conditions great again.

Golf Course workers (contractors) have been driving on about 600 m of the trail to get to a building they are working on.

Reply

283 Sibylla January 8, 2018 at 10:42 pm

Our first ski at plpp, not good. Started a bit late as others leaving or eating lunch! Skied from Elkwood parking lot along wheeler and Amos then up whiskeyjack, back along tyrwhit, fox creek, and moraine then wheeler. The tracks r starting to show some wear but still good. The lower trails such as wheeler have plenty of needles but higher trails r ace. Loved them. Weather warm but purple worked though a fair amount of stomping to get a grip and arm strength needed. Still great though to get some speed after the cold slow snow. If anyone sees my AMI bracelet on the ground at the car park I would be thrilled to get it back.

Reply

284 She January 8, 2018 at 9:40 pm

Skied from Pocaterra hut up Pocaterra, down Packers, Amos, Woolley, Meadow. A lovely day but lots of pine needles on the tracks, especially at lower elevations. Still it was great fun and didn’t detract much from a wonderful day out of the city. Packers could use more snow especially the middle part. It was a little icy but not too bad. Amos was fast and slick and a blast. Waxed with VR 50 which was just the ticket. Track setting was very good everywhere.

Reply

285 Don C January 8, 2018 at 8:42 pm

January 8th – Kovach / Terrace
Skied the Kananaskis trails this morning on waxless skis. +2C at the start warming to +5. While there is a good base on most of the trails, the snow has consolidated to a hard icy pack with a fair amount of needles and debris. Terrace has a good track. Other trails have been broken up by bikes, boots and snowshoes. Skiable, but watch out for the steep downhill on Kovach. A few more centimeters of new snow is needed.

Reply

286 Normand January 8, 2018 at 3:39 pm

Shadow Lake- January 7, 2018

Excellent conditions to go up and down (fast) on the Red Earth Creek trackset trail. Slower progress heading up to the lodge, from the 10.5 km turnoff; light touring ski territory. Except for a track left by at most 2-3 skiers since the last storm, looks like the area around the lodge has been deserted for quite a while. I followed a skier track to the bridge at the mouth of Shadow Lake, with very poor visibility. End up carrying on for another 1.5 km past the bridge, onto Russell’s made track. Have to agree with him, it must have been hard work to break trail, as my skis (55 mm wide) were sinking about 30 cm into the unskied snow; 30-40 cm of snow on top of the lake ice. No views of Mount Ball (included a photo I took during my April 9 trip to the area). Didn’t see anyone going in, from my 10:15 am departure in the morning until 2:45 pm, when I met a solo skier getting up to the lodge, from the 10.5 km turnoff. V45 Swix all day was fine for me.

On the first photo of the link: 2 trees still standing in the middle of the uppermost avalanche path, from the parking lot. Brave soles.

https://photos.google.com/album/AF1QipM3Ry3nH-BrUi9V2egcn5yHoBRDkXCiCss8Q8pQ

Reply

287 Normand January 9, 2018 at 9:54 am

Photos can be seen now with this updated link.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/EhTU47bZYKVW2uf63

Reply

288 Helen Read January 8, 2018 at 3:34 pm

Redearth Creek to Warden’s Cabin-21 kms according to new Gaia app. Track holding up pretty good but a lot of snowboot footprints and dog bootie prints in the adjacent path which perhaps got somewhat groomed smoother on our snowplow descent. Minus 3 and I used Ski*Go +1 to -3 which worked fairly well. No skidoo tracks visible up to the Lodge-did not look enticing for us to walk, even partway. Great job clearing this trail following those two avalanches last Spring.

Reply

289 kent kinaschuk January 8, 2018 at 2:51 pm

Jan 7: pocatera
Great conditions out there yesterday. I was dragging a chariot with 2 kids weighing +50lbs so we didn’t get out as deep as we hoped.
I was hoping someone found my left items in the pocatera lodge yesterday
afternoon.
1 pair of blue childrens kombi mitts
1 pair of worn adult grey/orange mec gloves
V40 (blue) & V45 (purple) wax and a new cork.
If so please contact me via call/text or email
kent.kinaschuk@gmail.com 4034565882
I may head out there tomorrow to ski and check the lodge myself.
I’ll post a trip report if I do go.
Many cheers.
Kent

Reply

290 Sheila January 8, 2018 at 9:27 pm

I was there today around 3:00 and all those items are on the counter. There was also a pair of pink children’s boots in the foyer and also a black hat.

Reply

291 Kinga January 8, 2018 at 9:45 am

PLPP, yesterday afternoon.
Skied most of the new tracks from the previous two days (Pocaterra, Whiskeyjack, the entire grid west of Kananaskis Lakes Trail road) and others in between (Wheeler, Amos, Meadow). Used Swix blue wax and fared well all afternoon, though arms had to compensate up Pocaterra (temp seemed to be at zero all afternoon). Encountered some pine needles in the older tracks, but only brought a few home. Interestingly, Meadow (from VIC to Lodgepole) and the top (north) half of Sinclair were groomed but not track-set. The entire grid west of the road was in great shape and very quiet. The older tracks were in really good shape, too. A nice long day under stable wax conditions and a temperature that made it easy to just keep going…

Reply

292 Michael and Annalee January 7, 2018 at 9:40 pm

We skied Cascade Fire Road today right to the end and back (29 km return) and the conditions were fabulous and the temperature was anywhere from -1 to -4.

Annalee and I used our Solomon skin skies (I usually say skintecs but that is actually trademarked by Atomic!) and both grip and glide were excellent. The track was hard and smooth and the temperature was close to zero which is perfect for skins. Our colleague was using waxable skis with VR50 and and a VR45 cover and that seemed to work fine.

I contrast this to a day in Kelowna at the Nordic Centre last week. The temperature was close to -11 and the track was soft with just consolidated fresh snow. I was double-polling downhill and still was not going anywhere.

Michael and Annalee

Reply

293 She January 7, 2018 at 9:21 pm

We started from Boulton Creek and skied Whiskey Jack, Trywhitt, Elk Pass, Fox Creek and back to Boulton. In the many years I have been skiing I don’t think we have ever had better conditions. There was lovely tracksetting going up Whiskey Jack which was a treat and made the climb easy. Trywhitt was freshly trackset – gliding and double poling was fast and dreamy. The snow was so perfect – no interference with ice or twigs or clumps – light and fluffy and easy gliding all the way. We noticed the potential for some hefty ski bombs but were spared. The hill down Elk Pass was sensational with just the right amount of snow on the track to provide comfort and ease for the ride down. The snow temperature was -2 when we set out from Boulton Creek and we waxed with VR50 which was perfect for the whole day. Hardly needed to herringbone the whole way. It started to gently snow as we reached Elk Pass which just added to the beauty of the day. We are setting out again tomorrow morning. 🙂 🙂 🙂

Reply

294 Irene January 7, 2018 at 7:07 pm

A short afternoon ski on Wheeler, Meadowview and Lodgepole/Braille today. Braille and Lodgepole were freshly groomed late yesterday afternoon, and a dream to ski on today. The trails were not worn down at all.

Reply

295 A January 7, 2018 at 6:06 pm

I was inspired by Martine’s tip on Cascade yesterday and skied 18km there today. Beautiful afternoon, great conditions, around 0C. V30 worked ok for me.

Reply

296 A January 8, 2018 at 7:14 pm

oops, I meant V40 wax 😀

Reply

297 Nikolai January 7, 2018 at 6:06 pm

West Bragg Creek
Crystal Loop – Iron Springs – Elbow Trail – Logger’s Loop – Crystal
The trail conditions were consistent throughout:
old snow, packed base, fast worn out tracks. Mild weather provided fresh wet enjoyable air. Grip could be better if I’d chosen 0+3 red wax… Looks like the same conditions are going to hold for a couple days at least.

Reply

298 Martin & Jip January 7, 2018 at 5:19 pm

WBC is holding up well under this warm spell, skied the southern trails Logger’s,
Elbow, Iron Springs, Sundog, East Crystal, only a few icy patches, VR45 was not a great choice but offered just enough grip to dissuaded me from a warmer wax fingers crossed for more snow and cooler temps this week. Finished of with a nice but short skate ski along mountain road.

Reply

299 Stephen Vermeulen January 7, 2018 at 4:24 pm

PLPP Elkwood parking lot 7-Jan, I did the Amos+Wheeler loop (clockwise) a number of times today. There were only 4 cars in the parking lot when I arrived at about 1000, but by the time I left the lot was about 70% full.

Snow temp at noon was -3C, so nothing is melting yet. HGW wax worked well. There were some needles in the tracks, but only in limited sections, so the tracks are still pretty good, though a little snow would certainly help.

I’d just like to say hi to the couple with the little kid who were going the other way and counting my laps. Good work getting as far as you did!

Reply

300 Wes January 7, 2018 at 1:54 pm

I thought I’d leave a quick report on conditions at Shaganappi. Icy and uneven are the words I’d use. It hasn’t been groomed in a while and skiers have been breaking trail. Where the official trails had been trackset, the tracks are shallow and icy. I had good results with my Atomic Skintecs using the full mohair insert and while I had a fun time, I don’t think some of the beginner skiers were thinking the same thing. Shaganappi is a great place to go when you are starting out and the snow is fresh, but current conditions aren’t ideal for novices.

Reply

301 JeremyN January 6, 2018 at 11:14 pm

Nipika (& Cross River) – Jan 1-5th -Ski family vacation at renowned ‘utopian’ Nordic mountain playground. For those uninitiated, can’t say much more than WOW …again! this year. How can you beat skiing from the cabin door every day. Conditions were PERFECT & the scenery, gorgeous. Skied all trails & some (Henri’s et. al) a few times over so kinda lost count of km’s but with fresh snow everyday -how could one not!
Thank you so much to Lyle and Dianne Wilson & family for your vision, tenacity & hospitality.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/4zNqKou89phNGeG02

Reply

302 Helen Read January 7, 2018 at 8:12 am

Thanks Jeremy for these tempting, luring photos- a great advertisement for Nipika too. And not that much further a trip than driving all the way to say eg. Emerald Lake. I bet Kazzy would have good opportunity to work on improving her slower uphill technique there! And doesn’t look like she’d need her booties there either. Tons of snow right around the corner!

Reply

303 Russell January 6, 2018 at 11:00 pm

Redearth Cr / Shadow Lk
The track was in great shape. I skinned up at the big hill. It had seen very limited traffic, some of which was on foot. I found tracks (one person out and back) to the bridge at the lake. I extended these along the northwest side of the lake. That was some tough slogging. On my return I noticed that there had been other folks on the trail including someone on a fat-tire bike.

Reply

304 Neighbors & Friends January 6, 2018 at 8:29 pm

Castle Lookout to Baker Creek & back. Arrived to temps of -2 and cloud cover but no wind. This quickly changed to the sun breaking through and lots of blue sky, and still no wind. Perfect conditions on a beautiful trail – probably groomed a few days ago but was holding up nicely. Only one area of a moderate ice flow which was easily navigated around. A few of us ventured off to have lunch at the Protection Mountain picnic shelter, kindly trail-broken by members from the Calgary Norseman Ski Club who were also on the trail today. Only 7 cars in the parking lot — 3 of them being ours. Thanks as always to the CN train conductors who are always happy to give us a toot & a wave as they pass by.

Reply

305 ElaineB January 7, 2018 at 11:20 pm

Baker Creek/Protection/Morants Curve vicinity
Jan 6 trail west from Baker Creek approximately 6km to construction area near Morants Curve in very good condition; a little rough near the start at the cabins due to thin snow cover. Believe we saw a wolf too!
Jan 7.very good trackset trail eastward to Protection Mountain, then crossing the road to a beautiful trackset trail toward the Lookout.

Best condition we have seen these trails in for a long time. Temperatures at about -2 or -3 but snow and glide lovely with Blue or Blue/Purple wax.

Reply

306 K January 6, 2018 at 8:14 pm

Had a great day overall out on Moraine Lake Road this afternoon. Temperature was around -2 when we started at the parking lot. They trackset and groomed the entire trail this morning, so the tracks were in good condition. They were a bit soft however, but should probably harden up a bit overnight. A bit slow without much glide in the middle section on the uphill and a bit slower on the descent than I would have liked. Wasn’t super busy and saw less than 20 people in total today on the trail which is a bit unusual for Moraine.

Picture of newly trackset tracks here:
https://1drv.ms/i/s!AvrgL7dMjpYeoEWxX7hrc8GIsM0N

Reply

307 TC January 6, 2018 at 7:51 pm

WBC this afternoon. Skijored Moose Loop to Mountain View West counterclockwise, to Logger’s Loop, Sundog, East Crystal back to the parking lot. Moose and Mountain View West are really washed out and icy; definitely need more snow and cold weather; tough to skate. South side of WBC is still in good shape for the most part; hopefully the forecast is true when it says it is calling for snow later in the week.

Reply

308 Martine January 6, 2018 at 4:42 pm

Cascade
Cascade Road was in great shape today. Temperature around zero. Beautiful ski day!

Reply

309 Kazzy January 6, 2018 at 4:37 pm

Pipestone Trails – another fun day with my humans, this time on the Pipestone Trails at LL (only saw a few other dogs but several humans). Temperatures around -1, they used VR50, which of course I didn’t need (nor did I need those darned booties that I had to wear when it was so cold!). Tracks still in good shape with about 1 cm new this am but firm enough once skied in so that you couldn’t tell when I went into them by mistake. The big issue on the day is that apparently I need to slow down on the down hills – I love to run as fast as I can which it seems is more than a bit unnerving for my owners who are attached to me. Then (they figure) I rest up on the up hills just wandering slowly along instead of pulling! I guess I need to work on my technique!

Reply

310 MaSid January 6, 2018 at 4:31 pm

Sat jan 6: south PLPP.
Nice mild day for a good sweat. -2 at elk pass lot at 830, +2 on return at 230. Hydroline tracks were a bit shallow due to some wind sifted snow in the tracks. South side of lookout was good for ascent and got a good herringbone workout. Surprisingly not much wind at the top. low cloud at elk lakes that moved into the pass around lunch. A little rough for me descending the north trail from lookout given the lack of snow plow conditioning. Wasn’t quite the pristine grooming I was expecting. But not bad if youve been working those muscles. Tyrwitt tracks still in good shape. Down from elk pass to blueberry was a bit more worn out but good snow for a controlled descent without snow plowing. Over to the couch for a quick visit. Access trail has much better pole plants after Helens group visit yesterday. And thanks for the treats! They are hidden now to keep the animals away. Misty and moist back there so didn’t linger long. Back via elk trail, tracks getting a bit sloppy. Fox creek to finish. Still in decent enough shape but could use some fresh snow and a groom. A good little jaunt that will make the ankle stronger.

Reply

311 Jenn January 6, 2018 at 3:49 pm

West Bragg Creek-wow! what a beauty of a day…and certainly the crowds to show for it. Happy to see so many people out enjoying a great sunny day.
Classic skied Middle Crystal, Loggers, Elbow, Iron Springs, East Crystal loop early this morning. Great groomed conditions, certainly some icy spots but expected as much due to the recent warm temps. Used V45 (Violet Special) worked pretty well but had to rewax halfway as we probably left some of it on the steeper downhill snowplows! Enjoy the trails and the great warm weather while it lasts!

Reply

312 Heatherd January 6, 2018 at 3:40 pm

Lots of people enjoying the lovely conditions on Redearth Creek trail today. It was hovering around 0ºC when we started around 11 am; + 3º on return. Soft centre for snowplowing down the hills and still firm tracks for going up, but assume that will change if it gets warmer. Got by on VR50 wax.

Reply

313 Don January 6, 2018 at 12:24 pm

Confederation Park, Jan 6.
I skate skied starting around 9 am. I figured that if I went much later the warm temps would make the trails too soft. The skate lanes were hard and glazed and uneven is spots. So glide was great but balance was tricky. It was great for double poling – Confed isn’t too hilly and the tracks were in great shape. There was a very good classic skier on the trails and it looked like he was flying. It seems like he must have found wax that worked. (I should have asked what he was using.)

I talked to someone that helps with grooming and he said that grooming puts air in the snow which accelerates melting in warm weather so there might not be much grooming in the next few days.
Don

Reply

314 Adam January 6, 2018 at 9:03 am

Ribbon Creek (Hidden/Skogan Pass/Sunburst/High Level/Skogan Pass Loop) – 5 January

Wanted to take advantage of new grooming in Kananaskis Village, so I slogged up Skogan Pass by headlight starting from Ribbon Creek Parking Lot. Hidden and Skogan groomed only below Marmot Creek; the trail is still a bit thin in places particularly along the sides, but hazards consist mostly of needles and dirt on the sides. Found a few rocks here and there but nothing major. Everything above Marmot Creek is in perfect shape with double tracksetting including Hummingbird Plume Lookout. Very cool to look down on the lights of Canmore from the pass, top marks.

Reply

315 DEMOCRACY ADVANCER January 5, 2018 at 11:04 pm

BRYANT CREEK- Beyond Allenby Pass Turnoff

The trail from Mount Shark parking lot to the Spray River is in excellent shape. Excellent track set skiing with no rocks, no sticks, or no seeds that you don’t need.

From Spray River beyond the Allenby Pass turnoff there is excellent snow. It is a skier tracked trail that has had toboggans flatting it out. The skier tracked trail goes to Mt. Assiniboine. The snow got faster the further up I went. It was -2C at the BR 14 warden cabin in the late afternoon. Some people were staying in the warden cabin overnight, but they were not wardens. Skied out from BR 17 at night.

Reply

316 Foggy goggles January 5, 2018 at 10:41 pm

Sandy McNabb
Is going to be fairly glazed in the morning as things were warm in the afternoon and then got key-ray-zee fast and slick after sundown. An arch opened up in the sky and we experienced the same hot gusts mentioned in today’s WBC reports. Snow is pretty thin on the death valley end of things and if the scenic Long Prairie Ridge beckons you, take your rock-skis lest you make a pair.

Reply

317 Karla Handy January 5, 2018 at 9:42 pm

Jan 5. 2018 – Wonderful afternoon at PPLP. Started at Boulton did Moraine/Fox/Elk/Tyrwhitt/Whisky Jack.
Morain and Fox were skier track set with some debris and warmer snow, but the VR40 gave decent grip and it was more than enough coverage and no ice. Started to slip on Elk with the used tracks and put on some VR45 for better grip. Noticeably chillier at the top of Elk but absolutely beautiful fresh groomed tracks on Trywhitt and Whiskey. Confidence inspiring snow made for a worry free solo day. Its a winter wonderland out there, get it while the gettings good.

Reply

318 GMJ January 5, 2018 at 9:12 pm

West Bragg this afternoon
We skied Elbow and Iron Springs clockwise from the Allen Bill parking lot. Conditions were a mixed bag! In some places, the snow was very warm and soft, but in others it was cold and in good shape. Overall I would say Iron Springs had better conditions than Elbow, but that could be because we skied it later in the day, and the last southwest-facing downhill was very crusty. By the time we got back to the car (4:00 ish) the soft bits had become icy. Except for near Allen Bill where Elbow trail is multi-use, the tracks were quite good. I used 0 – +2 wax, which worked some of the time.
Overall it was a beautiful day and lots of fun even with the odd conditions.

Reply

319 David P. January 5, 2018 at 8:39 pm

Canmore Nordic Centre, Jan 5 am: a strange mix of conditions in different places. Skied out along the main Banff trail (excellent) and dropped down to Bow. Bow is excellent on the night ski loop (Jct 4-25), then fair for the next 1-2km (Jct 25-27) with some vegetation poking through in the tracks, then good to the very end (Jct 15). I took Rundle back from the north end of the trail system to where it rejoins Meadowview at the top of Coyote (Jct 43) – Rundle is in good condition throughout (and I only saw two other skiers all the way back). Dropped back down King of Sweden which was like a rewind of the day’s conditions – good at the top; bumpy, icy, and shrubby at the bottom. And it pops out onto Olympic which isn’t even groomed. Lots of great skiing though, and so nice to have glide again!

Reply

320 TC January 5, 2018 at 7:19 pm

Cascade Valley, skated out an hour (just shy of the warden’s cabin, didn’t want to run out of daylight double digit kilometers away from Minnewanka) and back in a very quick negative split. Added on a bit when I got back to the parking lot. Went up the hill twice. Conditions are mostly good but the left hand side of the trail is slumped a bit when skating on the way out. Didn’t notice it as much on the way back; probably because it is mostly downhill. Good glide, relatively easy to one skate where conditions allowed. It’s always a beautiful ski route to ski.

Reply

321 Pete January 5, 2018 at 6:53 pm

Peter Lougheed Provincial Park (January 5)

Had a nice ski today with my daughter and friends at PLPP. Started at the discovery center around 10 am. Temp was -5c so we used V40. Skied Meadow and Woolley (good tracks) to Lynx . Lynx was skier set to the junction with Pocaterra. From there we continued on excellent tracks to Packers junction where we stopped for lunch. Packers was also in excellent shape and made for a quick descent (no sign of any ice flows). At the bottom of packers we bumped into Skier Bob and had a nice chat (and photos with Bob of course!). We continued along on Wheeler (great shape), past Elkwood parking onto Meadow trail and back to the discovery center. We all had a great day out! The kids had fun, we met Bob along the way and conditions were awesome!

Reply

322 chuckley January 5, 2018 at 8:45 pm

Continuing further south on Moraine and then back on Boulton Creek I was impressed by the amount of snow (no rocks showing). Yes there are a few spruce needles and we could use a little fresh snow to clean it up to perfection. I love straight blue V40 days!

Reply

323 Helen Read January 5, 2018 at 6:27 pm

Super fun day heading up Elk Pass Trail to Blueberry Hill with 7 Canmore lively seniors. (-5 at top). The Cortisone shot in the hip hasn’t helped as much as I’d hoped, but conditions were good for descending. I need better brakes. We then packed MaSid’s trail to The Snow Couch and replenished his chocolate liquor supply. This distance (0.9 km one way) we measured with a fancy Garmin watch. A unanimous vote for Fox Creek and Boulton to avoid the final climb and steepest of hills. Nice to run into Frank Howard (one of our posters) and sailor friend, Greg who preceded us up Blueberry. It was +5 turning off Hwy 40 onto T-C.

Reply

324 MaSid January 5, 2018 at 7:40 pm

I’ll try to save some for guests (-:

Reply

325 Karla Handy January 5, 2018 at 9:40 pm

I wonder if you were in the group I saw today on Elk and at Blueberry Junction? I was in a bit of hurry so I didn’t hang around to chat.

Reply

326 Frank Howard January 6, 2018 at 6:50 pm

I enjoyed visiting with you, Bill and the rest of the Meanderthals, Helen!We continued along Tyrwhit and Pocaterra to the Hut and had a great day.

Reply

327 Ray Perrott January 5, 2018 at 3:52 pm

Cascade Valley – we had a very pleasant ski today. Started at -9C. The tracks to Cascade River bridge are mostly good with a few washed out sections; beyond the bridge they are even better. Good glide at these temperatures. A minor note of caution: about 4km from the start, a 5m section of the outward track has slumped, and could require some fancy footwork if you’re not paying attention. Finished at -3C.

Reply

328 Steve Riggs January 5, 2018 at 3:39 pm

Telephone Loop, Friday morning: Trackset yesterday so I had to seize the opportunity! Heading out CCW, I noticed that Hostel loop also featured fresh grooming, so first I skied a circuit there. Conditions were very nice on Hostel, and it would be my recommended route to/from Telephone, as lower East Telephone, being a multi-use trail- can get a bit chewed up, although the single tracksetting was mostly intact as of this morning. As for the loop itself- it was mixed bag of conditions ranging from fair to excellent, with wax performance (Violet Special) swinging from great to frustrating and back again, due to pockets of warm air wafting in from the treetop breezes. Most of the downhills were fast and fun- easily schussed with a bit of caution due to a few thin spots and isolated small ice patches. The best skiing was along the north leg where the snow was still cold and soft, and the grooming nearly perfect. Watch for the ice flow, on the lower west side just south of the junction with Re-Connect. I looped back to the trailhead via Moose Connector-Mountain Road-MountainView and Middle Crystal Line and found snow conditions there to be little changed from Thursday’s skiing- cool dry snow getting a little glazed in the tracks, and fast smooth solidly packed downhills.
Wheeee! 🙂

Reply

329 Jean-Francois Richy January 5, 2018 at 7:17 pm

Hi Steve,
I was skiing the same loop clockwise and I am pretty sure we cross path halfway, I was alone and you were alone.
I concur with all your comments and observations re Telephone loop.
Cheers

Reply

330 Tom January 6, 2018 at 12:31 am

Skied the loop CCW in the afternoon. Started at +1C but quickly got very warm, +9C , causing the snow to become soft and moist. Started with Red Special,then Red, then Red Extra which was still borderline.(didn’t have any klister with me) The North leg as you noted was colder and dry resulting in some icing. The lower trails were also colder and dry resulting in better condition. It appears that the higher you went the warmer it got.

Reply

331 Will R January 5, 2018 at 2:37 pm

West Bragg Creek

Beautiful conditions, at first, becoming difficult with what felt like at least 10 degree temperature swings between low and high spots. Never felt the variation quite so extreme before. No wind and the snow will hold up just fine for a while but by the time we left around 12:30 today waxing would have been pretty much hopeless. Would be perfect on skins.

Reply

332 Audrey January 5, 2018 at 11:51 am

Jan 5. Confederation Golf Course. Although there are worn tracks here and there, the tracksetting is holding up quite well. The coverage is still quite good with only the odd bit of grass or debris. I am not a skate skier but there were several people skate skiing and they seemed to be cruising along nicely. Parking lot was about 2/3rd full when I left so lots of folks taking advantage of the good conditions.

Reply

333 Greg January 5, 2018 at 10:07 am

Jan 4 – Finally got around to skiing Redearth Creek. The Parks Canada reports lists this as “excellent”. I would have to agree. Once you get up the initial slog the trail is in “excellent” shape. Get out there while the getting is good!

Reply

334 DB January 5, 2018 at 9:20 am

Great week in Calgary, nice to see so many local options; especially awesome for kids: http://www.ourhundredacrewood.net/2018/01/04/cross-country-skiing-in-calgary-the-triple-crown/.

There’s a fair amount of skier set track in Stanley Park and Fish Creek. Any reports on South Glenmore Park?

Reply

335 Sibylla January 4, 2018 at 10:46 pm

Well finally we did the Nordic centre. Just great. The car park was full but only saw six people until I got back onto the Banff trail by the meadow. Cold shoulder is now packed but not track set and the snow is still soft so digging in around the corner may cause problems . It is a nice little extra run but beware too on the loop at the end where the snow is thin. The rest of the trails were great. No more snow moguls on Banff but I went up from the stadium over the bridge and down at full speed to find bumps on the corner at the bottom. Took a bit of care (?) to come over them! Then checked out wedded bliss but only found wooded bliss, what was on Peters mind? Silvertip has thin patches on it so may grind skis if coming down it. Just lovely skiing at the centre. We skated so no feedback on grip wax. Lovely to ski and be warm. Happy skiing.

Reply

336 Peter N January 5, 2018 at 7:53 pm

Probably a Freudian slip … if you don’t have wedded bliss, you can still find Wooded Bliss 🙂 Picnic table at top great place for lunch with a bottle of bubbly. Did once get a first kiss there.

Reply

337 Carol January 5, 2018 at 10:38 pm

The one and only time I tried to go to Wooded Bliss, we were attacked by an aggressive spruce grouse! We gave up and skied away. Haven’t attempted it since. So much for bliss!

Reply

338 Charles January 4, 2018 at 8:59 pm

Confederation Golf Course is groomed and in great shape. The tracks are all in great conditions and the skating is much better than earlier in the week. I was skating and the trail was much firmer than on Tuesday. Snow was not wet or slow today (Thursday).

Reply

339 Greg January 5, 2018 at 10:05 am

I skied there Jan 2 & 3. Great fun to be had in the city!

Reply

340 Steve Riggs January 4, 2018 at 8:47 pm

West Bragg, Thursday afternoon: Conditions in general were very good, with the New Years grooming and track setting holding up well, and giving fast fun skiing. Plus- new grooming on the south ends of Elbow and Iron Springs! Other than the most sun exposed corners, and some scattered icy spots caused by dripping trees- the snow remained cool and dry. V40 aka Blue Extra worked perfectly.

Reply

341 Don Workman January 4, 2018 at 7:50 pm

Redearth Creek. My original idea for today was to take a day off of work and ski at CNC, but when I saw in the trail reports that Redearth Creek was track set yesterday I decided that I’d better seize the opportunity. I was not disappointed – snow coverage was good and the track was in great shape. The trek up from the trailhead was a bit of a slog but the trip back down was a joy. My skis were working well – V40 provided good grip and I was also getting nice glide. It’s hard to beat this trail for scenery.

Reply

342 David P January 4, 2018 at 6:59 pm

Skied into Lake O’Hara on the 2nd, back out on the 4th. Excellent skier track set conditions throughout with a good layer of fresh snow from about the 6km marker down.

Reply

343 Paul and Nancy January 4, 2018 at 6:16 pm

Castle Lookout to Baker Creek

About 19 km return. Blue sky day, lots of sun exposure, -10oC, blue extra. Perfect day out. Snow is good, no glazing, the fair on the parks trail report must be for occassional twigs in the trail. Didn’t realize until today the return to Castle was a downhill grade (2% maybe). Nice bonus.

Reply

344 Don C January 4, 2018 at 5:51 pm

Skied Spray River West to Goat Creek and back via Spray River East today. Very good conditions and the track is holding up well as temperatures were in the -12 C range. Only one spot to watch out for. Descending at the end of Spray River East there are numerous rocks poking through.

Reply

345 Jane January 4, 2018 at 5:26 pm

Priddis Greens Golf Course X-Country trails
I was in Millarville today when I heard about the track setting at Priddis Greens, so instead of driving home via WBC I stopped here to discover what was in place.
The golf club is happy for the public to use the set trails, there is also a skating pond, note: you use their facility at your own risk. Check their web site where there is a link to a map:
http://www.priddisgreens.com/
The trails were in pretty good shape, (do not expect CNC grooming), I tried almost everything but I particularly enjoyed the blue loop. It was sunny and warm today so I used a -2/+2 wax, a few wet tree bombs have come down and the snow beneath these trees is a little icy. I spotted white tailed deer and snow fleas too.

Reply

346 Stephen Vermeulen January 4, 2018 at 5:07 pm

PLPP Amos+Wheeler loop, Thursday 4-Jan. Excellent conditions, nice clean tracks, no debris (except for an occasional snow bomb). Snow temp was -12C around 10:00. Any cold wax would have worked, though I was using HGW.

Reply

347 Adam January 4, 2018 at 4:16 pm

Mt Shark (Yellow 10 km Loop/Watridge Lake/Spray River) – 4 January

Phenomenal day along the Smith-Dorrien; heaps of people out at Chester, Shark, Burstall and everywhere in between. Brand new ribbon and tracksetting at Mt Shark; the Live Grooming report mentions the early season hazards that exist, but I did not find them as bad as anticipated. The first third of the Yellow loop has a fair number of sticks poking out; other than that I would consider conditions excellent, especially the Watridge Lake trail. Tracks are set the whole way to the bridge crossing over the Spray River and they ski superbly.

Bootpacked up the snowshoe trail at Chester Lake with skinny skis on my back and rode down the ski trail. Exhilarating descent down the luge track; only significant holes are the ones that my face left when I biffed it.

Reply

348 Dylan January 4, 2018 at 9:28 am

Shaganappi Golf Course – skied this last night in the dark on crown skis and I had a nice, relatively quick ski. Some parts are better than others, in particular the south half of the trails are in better shape than the rest. Never mind that, it was dark and I couldn’t see anything because the moon wasn’t out yet. I just put my skis in what I thought were the tracks and started sliding. Sometimes I would end up in a bush or a sand trap and other times I’d be on a nice trail for a while.

Reply

349 Rhonda W January 4, 2018 at 9:25 am

Maple Ridge Golf course.
Does anyone know if Maple Ridge golf course is groomed and track set?

Thx

Reply

350 Herb January 4, 2018 at 12:31 pm

It is, and it’s the bomb. We went there last night, and there was only one other person there (???). Perfect tracks, violet wax, and the moon was out. It won’t last, so GET OUT THERE!!!

Reply

351 Rhonda w January 5, 2018 at 5:36 pm

Thanks Will, Val and Herb.
I only have a few hours to ski tomorrow morning while my teenager sleeps so I’ll head there.

Reply

352 Val B January 4, 2018 at 12:43 pm

Happy to report that Maple Ridge golf course is beautifuly double track set, with a skating lane in the middle. Thank you very much, groomers.

Reply

353 Will R January 4, 2018 at 4:31 pm

One single thin spot, under the usual tree. As good as you will ever get in Calgary. Only downside is that if you are skating, someone went out a bit too soon after the grooming so there are divots. For classic, it’s great. And for a night ski you don’t really need a headlamp for most of it.

Reply

354 heatherd January 4, 2018 at 9:02 am

We skied Castle Lookout trailhead west to Protection Mtn Campground and back. Tracks were still in reasonable shape and the warmth and sun was greatly appreciated. I truly appreciate the work that Baker Creek staff is doing on the trail, but was concerned to see some skidoo “off trail” tracks in the clearings. Hope it wasn’t them, but perhaps related to the power line work or some visitor with a skidoo taking a chance illegal ride. I would hate to see this activity affect the wildlife or our ability to enjoy this area in winter.

Reply

355 Chip Scialfa January 4, 2018 at 8:42 am

Nipika January 3, 2018

On the drive back from skiing at Kootenay Pass (phenomenal!), we decided to take a detour and stop in at Nipika, a first for all of us. What a pleasure it was! It was -9 C when we arrived to a parking lot that had about 6 cars. VR40 worked pretty well for the two-hour tour on excellent track-set trails with a nice skating lane. We skied all the way to the “natural” bridge before realizing that we were losing our daylight and needed to turn back. For $12, this is certainly a wonderful place to spend the day and the fun isn’t limited to XC. A person could snow-shoe or rent a fat bike or toboggan or just sit and enjoy the views. Bob, our hosts said that you hadn’t visited yet this season. What?!

Reply

356 Elana January 4, 2018 at 7:55 pm

Definitely a hidden gem!! Lucky enough to be up here for 5 days, skied freshly groomed trails all day on the south side, then switched things up for a fat bike in the afternoon. Temperature was -8 when we started, warmed up to -3 in the afternoon. Looking forward to exploring the north trails tomorrow…

Reply

357 Peter N January 3, 2018 at 7:55 pm

Excellent conditions at Nordic centre today. Snow temp -6, so blue wax. Started with Rode green can but blue range (-4/-10), later touched up under boot with Holmenkoll blue spezial (-1/-6) for grip up steeps. Parking lot full, but light traffic on Bow and Meadowview. Bow accessible only from NW end … unless you braved huge “moguls” of man-made snow waiting to be spread out. No one at all on Wedded Bliss and Cold Shoulder … OK, the snow blanket there was a bit thin … https://www.flickr.com/photos/152288647@N08/albums/72157691078645874

Reply

358 Kris January 4, 2018 at 10:13 am

I skied the Nordic Centre last night on their lighted trails. Amazing conditions for both skate and classic. Snow was fast, lighting was good and the temperature was perfect.
Still some trails to be groomed out but the snow making is in full gear.
Kris

Reply

359 Chuck January 3, 2018 at 6:01 pm

LARCH HILLS at SALMON ARM – Jan 3

Just in case you want to try something different, we love skiing here:
https://1drv.ms/a/s!ApWd3WZ3ra9NgQW-1dqndduu1rnT
The community is so welcoming, and the conditions today were particularly delightful.

Reply

360 Lori Beattie January 3, 2018 at 5:37 pm

Perfection is the word of the day! We skied from the Peter Lougheed Visitor on fresh track set along Meadow and Wheeler, then connected to Boultan Creek (no tracks on the narrow Boultan Creek trail due to the two groups of snowshoers, about 30 in all, that we met on Boultan), followed by a brief hill climb on Elk Pass to get to the favourite Fox Creek trail. It was still in great shape despite not having fresh track set. Continued on Morraine (great shape) and had lunch in the sun before skiing back along Wheeler, Amos, Wooley, then Meadow (all fresh tracks). An excellent day and I highly recommend skipping work tomorrow and heading to PLPP!

Reply

361 Jane January 3, 2018 at 5:31 pm

Redearth Creek was a pleasure today. Tracksetter just arrived back as I left at about 11:40am so wonderful conditions for a 3 hour ski up to the cabin and back. Not sure what the temperature was when I started, it was probably -10 as I arrived back at the bottom after a swift ride down. There was some good sunshine to bask in with a quick bite to eat at the cabin.

Reply

362 Mary Perrott January 3, 2018 at 5:20 pm

Blue skies at Blueberry Hill in PLPP.

The sun on the breast of the clean, driven snow
gave a glitter of diamonds to objects below.
The trees were festooned with ribbons and bows,
their branches bent down with whipping cream snow.

Finally, a warmer day to enjoy the hills! We started at Elk Pass parking at -9 and finished in -4C. Some of us travelled Fox Creek (a bit of debris) one way or the other. Lots of people out enjoying Blueberry Hill where the tracks were good and quite fast. A few snow bombed areas required some caution on the downhill, but it was hard to take your eyes off the bountiful and luxurious snow that bedecked every tree, stump and bump in the forest. We finished with a trek to the couch, breaking trail in wind-driven spots. Thanks to Martin for the lovely snow couch where we could enjoy the sunshine, as well as the bit of adventure in getting there!

Reply

363 MaSid January 3, 2018 at 6:17 pm

Glad you made it. Thanks for packing down the approach trail again! Track south of the couch get blown in again too?

Reply

364 sheila January 3, 2018 at 4:57 pm

Saw that Jim skied and reported on the North side of Sandy so I can safely post on the South side without being repetitious. We were headed to the North side but one look at the chaos of the parking lot (7 cars :)) convinced us to head south. Lovely to see grooming and single track setting on a number of main trails. Little sticky on exposed areas, little icy under the trees, and always a heart stopper trying to slow down on the narrow steeper hills (especially with an excited Golden thinking he should take up a career in skijoring) but none of the above was any match for the beautiful sunshine, decent conditions and a hop, skip and a glide from our home. Great day made even more memorable by the mere fact that my beloved remembered his pants. A plus for everyone.

Reply

365 Jim January 3, 2018 at 5:37 pm

Yes, traffic on the trails was hard to take! Saw one other skier as we sat on the hillside and enjoyed lunch and two others just heading out when we were almost back to the parking lot. First tracks on 90% of what we skied!

Reply

366 Sibylla January 3, 2018 at 4:09 pm

We did Pipestone on New Years eve, it was so slow as the weather was so cold. The views were great though as the snow on the trees is thick and the snow on the ground great. We got continually snowbombed. Then had to report we stayed at Emerald Lake Lodge. I would highly recommend this way to bring in the New Year – great food, dancing, log fires, and skiing from the door. We must thank the Field skiers for such a perfect ski trail above the lake and around the alluvial fan. We are very tempted to do another trip and take advantage of the membership deal for the lodge when the trails are cleared and it is a bit warmer. The riverside trail is apparently not set as it has many trees down. Then on the way home did MLR to the Lodge and Fairview. Trails were just ace except for some heavy footed person walking in places on the perfect tracks~! Now we are looking forward to a bit more glide and using blue (!) as the weather warms. Such glorious scenery with the snow and frost.

Reply

367 Martine January 3, 2018 at 2:46 pm

West Bragg
Fantastic conditions at WB today. Did West Crystal, Mountain View all the way to Moose Loop, Connector, and back on West Crystal. All trackset and all in great shape. Temperature was -10C at 10:30 at parking lot, and got really warm ~0C up on Mountain View.

Reply

368 Jim January 3, 2018 at 2:18 pm

Sandy McNabb
Just got back from another great ski day at Sandy. Stayed on the north side today as figured with the grooming on the south yesterday Parks might have done some grooming on the North and was correct. Almost all but Death Valley and Balsam have seen the snow machine and single track grooming where possible. Get it now as it may not last and hills could get pretty fast with the compacted base and freeze/thaw ( hill from Balsam cut off on Pine Ridge was scary fast!).

Reply

369 Paul and Nancy January 3, 2018 at 2:03 pm

Can more Nordic Center

Skied today and past two days on the main trails of CNC – Banff trails, Bow past the lollipop, Meadowview. Also used a few connector trails – Sitski to get back instead of Banff and some untracked trails to get from the stadium to Meadowview. Blue skies, blue wax and a balmy -8oC today between 11 am and 1 pm. Good time to maximize the sun before it goes behind the mountain. Get out while the snow is great.

Reply

370 GMJ January 3, 2018 at 10:22 am

Great conditions at West Bragg yesterday afternoon. I skied Hostel, Sundog and portions of the Crystal Lines. Tracks are mostly very good, although they’re quite chewed up on Hostel. I used an old can of 0 – +2 wax which worked perfectly until it wore off.

Reply

371 Sid January 3, 2018 at 10:10 am

Full moon(99.2%) ski last night on Cascade Fire Road. Conditions couldn’t have been more perfecter(sp?) Where was everybody as we had the whole place to ourselves.

Reply

372 Steve Riggs January 3, 2018 at 7:50 am

With all the glowing WBC reports- I’ll just throw in some photos of one of the most perfect ski days, ever:
https://steveriggs.smugmug.com/MooseLoopJanuary2/
Despite the glorious weather- the snow stayed cold, with V40 working great. Hopefully things hold up through the next few warm sunny days.

Reply

373 sheila January 3, 2018 at 4:42 pm

Wow, you must have been skiing hard to keep ahead of a Golden! Beautiful picture and beautiful dog.

Reply

374 DEMOCRACY ADVANCER January 2, 2018 at 11:30 pm

UPPER SPRAY RIVER – BEYOND WHITEMAN CREEK

They must have been filming for Canada’s Worst Drivers on the highways today because there were a lot of bad drivers out there. The Trans Canada was jammed with stop and go traffic jams as people took pictures of a few cars in the ditch. Highway 40 had some people driving 30 km/hr and the roads were in good winter driving conditions. Go figure! I got out skiing about an 11/2 later than normal because of some bad drivers with cameras! Started skiing at 2;00 pm.

I was very impressed by the excellent base and excellent snow conditions at Mount Shark to Spray River. Parks should get on track setting the Wateridge Lake Trail before the wind blows the fresh snow away. There is an average of 45 cm of great settled snow. No rocks or willows to be found. The snow is excellent but the skiing was only fair to good because of the whimbly wombly ski trail with hiker and dog prints on much of it to Watridge Lake.

Up the Upper Spray River to beyond Whiteman Pass I had to bust trail. There is up to 75 cm of snow up there. The trail breaking was boot top to just below the knees in many locations on my 60mm skis. Somewhat difficult trail breaking with a dense layer about 15 cm below the surface which added significant drag. In the trees it was easier breaking than the meadows. Big snow bombs fell out of the trees in some places. Snow bomb danger will increase later this week with warmer temperatures and wind. The late afternoon sun and moon after dark were obscured by Military jet or Airline exhaust emission trails that grew into clouds. I hate it when they take my sun and moon away from me. -25 white polar wax worked pretty good.

Reply

375 Stephen Vermeulen January 3, 2018 at 1:34 pm

As I was returning to Calgary from CNC yesterday a bit after noon, I saw that long traffic jam on the west bound side of the road. It was about 4 to 5km long and there was no problem at the head of it that I could see. Just several miles of cars and trucks moving very slowly. Quite strange.

Reply

376 Diana Piggott January 3, 2018 at 3:59 pm

I heard there was a bad accident westbound that took a long time to clear, so there would have been several km of traffic just starting to move around that time.

Reply

377 Stephen Vermeulen January 4, 2018 at 5:05 pm

Curiously enough as I was going to CNC in the morning (about 0920) an accident had happened on the east bound side at just about the same spot, emergency vehicles were still arriving at the time and there was a short traffic jam on the east bound side. I wonder if the accident on the west bound side was caused by people looking at what was happening on the other side…

Reply

378 TC January 2, 2018 at 10:06 pm

West Bragg Creek – Mountain Road, Mountain View West Moose Loop, Crystal Lines, Moose Connector. Skijored today, lots of snow and fresh grooming. Good ski. Skied Bill Milne to Wedge Connector from Ribbon Creek yesterday, a bit thin but in good shape. Trails closer to Wedge Pond are in great shape.

Reply

379 Paolo Bressanin January 2, 2018 at 8:33 pm

Today there was a lengthy delay on the transcanada, too many cars in the ditch; started at Ribbon Creek and headed for Bill Milne; the first section is scary thin, I didn’t crucify my skies but it was awfully close to the asphalt in spots.
If you go there it is worth it but start at the golf course, after that there is no problem with thin thin areas, only one under a tree and it is also track set.
Wedge connector is great and carry a baseball bat to fend off hikers and snow shoers, please.

Reply

380 Helen Read January 2, 2018 at 8:09 pm

Skied starting in -15 at 10am to Stony Bridge, stopping back at Stony Warden Cabin on way back. Sun beaming on the cabin steps at 12:30-13:15 where a couple working for Parks were soaking up the minus 10 temps by then. They were backpacking to Cuthead Warden’s Cabin, another 10 kms further of trail-breaking. Don, the Banff tracksetter did a superb job of the trail-it was magnificent. Happy to be greeted by my massage therapist on route back; he kindly got out of the track when he saw me coming! The snow shimmering off the trees almost in slow motion looked amazing.
The term, Tree-Valances came to mind. I couldn’t get enough of the beautiful powder snow, so skied maybe 2.5 kms. up the road to Lower Bankhead from where Minnewanka Road is barricaded lower down.

Reply

381 Diana Piggott January 2, 2018 at 4:30 pm

West Bragg Creek – glorious skiing on a beautiful day!
Did Mountain Road – Moose Loop – Mountainview West – Mountain Road:
all in very good condition 🙂
The only problem with going that direction today was the long uphill climb directly into the blinding sunshine, which fried my brain! Stayed nice and cool in the shade, especially down in the valley, so there might be more days of good skiing there yet.

Reply

382 sheila January 2, 2018 at 6:03 pm

Ahhh, Diana, we were at WBC today also. May not have passed you on the trail as we did Crystal, Iron Springs etc., but who knows, we could have been parked beside you and not even known it! Bragg Creek was beautiful today! Sunshine, great conditions (except under a few trees on the downhill where patches of ice kept you focused) and the fact that I am sure the route we took was 99% uphill and 1% down. Hopefully, the little gal we met who started her ski around 3:30 on unfamiliar trails, has found her way back to parking lot. The mother in me has me concerned. And to the walkers who were on our groomed trails but had no idea where they were going or how to get back to parking lot. I feel your pain. I could not read a map if my life depended on it. Fingers crossed we were of some help. Three hours ski (don’t laugh MaSid), hot tub and dinner. I am blessed. Even if my beloved realized he was not wearing his ski pants halfway through the drive to Bragg Creek which, if he did not want to be arrested, forced us to turn back. Who forgets to put their pants on before leaving the house?? Question is rhetorical. At least in our household. Happy skiing!!

Reply

383 MaSid January 2, 2018 at 7:59 pm

Hilarious! Thanks for the laugh. Perhaps the post ski hot tub was more on your beloved’s mind during preparation. Short skis are good too, especially with tubbing options to follow, or a quick lap around the tub in shorts.

Reply

384 Diana Piggott January 2, 2018 at 8:03 pm

😀
😛
Thank you!

Reply

385 Kellen January 2, 2018 at 3:10 pm

Skied PLPP this morning and conditions were excellent. Bolton Bridge, Elk Pass, Hydroline, Fox Creek, Boulton. -15 up to -10C. No new tracks, but still in good condition. Some drifts on Hydroline.

Just about time to break out that VR40 again, rejoice! Still enough softness on the Bolton and Fox for fun controlled descents on those narrow trails, highly recommended!

Here are some photos from Elk Pass: https://photos.app.goo.gl/ZBKSneA6tFmHFnOP2

Reply

386 Stephen Vermeulen January 2, 2018 at 1:34 pm

Tuesday 2-Jan ski at CNC on Banff Trail, went all the way to the end, temp in the -16C to -12C range (1000-1100) no wind. The glide on the man made snow was a bit slow, but the natural snow past the meadow was wonderful. Tracks on the natural snow section are holding up well, only slight issue was there are a few twigs poking up in some spots (but hardly worth worrying about). Looks like a few people have skied out to Banff from the end of the trail.

Reply

387 Paolo Bressanin January 2, 2018 at 8:26 pm

Thank you Steven:
CNC is my next ski out but I wasn’t sure if it was worth it and now you have convinced me.
Take care

Reply

388 Audrey January 2, 2018 at 1:10 pm

Jan 2. Confed golf course. Got out about 11am. Ambient temp at -3C. Tracksetting and grooming for skating lane has been done. Looks like it might have been groomed earlier this morning. Good coverage, only a wee bit of grass in a couple spots. A few spots where tracks were a bit soft perhaps due to inadequate compression underneath.. Overall very good conditions. There were quite a lot of folks out on the trails.

Reply

389 Jim January 2, 2018 at 11:42 am

Had a very quick workout at Shaganappi this morning. Large parts are windblown and many areas have footprints, pee etc. Machine packed but not track set so a bit iffy in places.

Reply

390 Joe January 2, 2018 at 11:23 am

Jan 1 skied PLPP from Boulton Creek to Elk Pass via Fox Creek, Tyrwitt, down Whisky Jack — counter clockwise loop. Trails per live grooming: upper and/or south good and solid if slow b/c snow and temp. Tyrwitt, skier set, soft. and sloppy (in comparison). Whisky Jack, okay for down, meaning soft, but would have been tough slog up imo. Too bad not more groomed, like Pocaterra for example. Of note, snow shoe folks descending Elk Pass, off the ski tracks, but question: is allowed? Thanks — a great day out of doors. J.F.

Reply

391 MaSid January 2, 2018 at 1:59 pm

It was a group returning from elk lakes hut, 1 on skis, the rest on shoes. It was a breezy day so probably opted to avoid the shadowy cold snowshoe track along hydroline, which was likely filled in too. Not the best placed route. Then went back onto the official snowshoe track just past hydroline junction.

Reply

392 Kellen January 2, 2018 at 3:06 pm

1 on skis, the rest on snowshoes? That poor skier, I hope he brought a chair to wait for the shoers at the bottom of all of the hills!

Reply

393 Scott S January 2, 2018 at 8:37 am

Maple Ridge Golf Course – January 1st

I had a very peaceful ski at Maple Ridge Golf Course yesterday afternoon. The full loop is 6 km, with a couple of good optional hills if you drop down towards Deerfoot in the northeast and southeast corners. There were lots of skiers and snowshoers out enjoying the warmer weather. It hasn’t been groomed yet, but the snow is very nice. Last winter it was well groomed, so hopefully the city gets the groomers out today before the temperatures rise above zero. Some pictures: https://photos.app.goo.gl/KIAqIfFoLEEvBALl2

Reply

394 Chuck January 1, 2018 at 10:09 pm

FULL MOON SKI at BANKHEAD – Jan 1, 2018

The New Year greeted us with warmer temperatures and a great opportunity to get together with friends for a ski, and an apres ski!
Check the photo captions for details:
https://1drv.ms/a/s!ApWd3WZ3ra9NfHyCx5lIE6cg24M
Happy New Year

Reply

395 Diana Piggott January 2, 2018 at 4:25 pm

Beautiful pictures, Chuck!!

Reply

396 Audrey January 1, 2018 at 10:01 pm

Jan 1. Lake Louise. Cold day but an enjoyable outing none the less! Starting out around lunchtime from lake parking lot, skied Fairview, then down Moraine Road, lower Tramline and along part of Bow River trail to townsite. Conditions were very good with nice tracks and good coverage on the downhill parts. Looks like most has been trackset fairly recently and Moraine was trackset just before we were on it as I was the first to ski in the freshly laid track. Occasional bit of debris and snow bombs. Beautiful scenery with snow clinging to the trees.

Also skied Emerald Lake alluvial fan on Dec 31 under a brilliant cold blue sky. They have had some recent snow and there was fairly fresh trackset. Forest trail was nice. The only issue is that people walk on some parts of the tracking on the lake and there was one small section where we encountered some glazed slush (easy to go around). The fan loop was beautiful as always.

Reply

397 Kate January 1, 2018 at 8:45 pm

Beautiful ski at CNC: great snow, warmer temp and the moon, super. Super moon! We found our way up to Meadowview on partially groomed trails and were rewarded with perfect fast tracks.

Reply

398 Don Workman January 1, 2018 at 7:28 pm

I skied PLPP today. It was around -20 C at the Boulton Parking at 11 am. V20 wax worked very well. I skied Whiskey Jack, Tyrwhitt, Elk Pass, Fox Creek, Moraine. It was (of course) beautiful! Tracks got progressively better as I made my way around the loop.
Whiskey Jack had hadn’t been groomed for a while and had wobbly skier-made tracks in pretty deep snow. Grooming on Tyrwhitt was much more recent and the tracks were in pretty good shape with a couple cm of new snow. Elk Pass was in great shape with nice new, firm tracks. With some grooming these trails should all be great. I think I need a vacation day later in the week to take advantage of the warmer weather.

Reply

399 Steve Riggs January 1, 2018 at 6:06 pm

Yes, it was stunning at WBC this afternoon with brilliant skies, superb conditions and warmer weather! We started at noon in -18, but by the time we hit Mountainview a half hour later- it was -8, and layers were being shed. We planned on skiing the closer in trails as those were the only ones that were trackset- as far as we knew. The GBCTA elves must have been busy in the early morning though- as it turned out that Elbow and Iron Springs also had fresh grooves, and it looked like Moose had been done also 🙂
All that pent up demand meant a nearly full parking lot at 3 when we left, but with the constant changeover of people coming and going, finding a spot would have been easy.
Waxing was simple- a thin layer of VR30 worked perfectly in the cold snow.

Reply

400 Michelle January 1, 2018 at 7:36 pm

To add to this: Logger’s Loop and Sundog loop were all freshly groomed and we had great glide. Very busy today at WBC but it didn’t feel like it on the trails. Thank goodness for the new parking lot! It was full when we left around 2pm today.

Reply

401 Manfred Kintop January 2, 2018 at 9:09 am

Temperature fluctuations we’re kind of neat at WBC yesterday. At 2 PM, it was -15 in the parking lot, -18- on lower trails (all that lovely snow has an insulating effect), and -10 to -8 on top of Logger’s and at a high point in Elbow. Still -15 in the parking lot at 3:30. Busiest day I’ve ever witnessed at WBC, with lots of families, dogs, fat bikes, snow shoers, and walkers. Whoever designed the new parking lot was brilliant. https://photos.app.goo.gl/3pt85KL4LtlK21vH3

Reply

402 MaSid January 1, 2018 at 5:23 pm

Mon jan 1: elk/west elk.
-18 to start at 11, -14 on return at 4. Positively balmy compared to yesterday. Breezy again though. Fox creek was nice and smooth, decent enough tracks. Some minor debri. Elk pass tracks still in good shape even with today’s traffic, if not a bit tree bombed in spots. Reestablished the track through the west elk meadows about half way to hydroline. Shin deep wind blown trail breaking on the old track. Probably easier further south in the smaller meadows. Trail to the couch is good and firm and travelled well on light touring gear.

Reply

403 Ray Perrott January 1, 2018 at 5:23 pm

PLPP – the warm temperatures didn’t quite arrive today. We skied out of Wm Watson Lodge, so we would have a warm place for lunch. Started 11am at -22C. Did a loop of Wheeler and Amos. After lunch it was a bit warmer at -17C, and we did a loop of Meadow South, Woolley, and Amos. All these trails were skier trackset in 6-8 cm of snow. A bit slow. but pleasant anyway. Quiet before lunch, but we saw quite a few people in the afternoon. An interesting contrast: it was fairly calm at PLPP, but near the junction of the TCH and Hwy40, it was so windy that at times you couldn’t see the road for all the blowing snow. Scary driving for a bit…
Happy New Year to all, especially to the tracksetters and highway maintenance people.

Reply

404 MaSid January 1, 2018 at 5:26 pm

A number of cars in the ditch this morning in that location.

Reply

405 MaSid January 1, 2018 at 7:42 pm

It was still howling there on the way home in the dark. A difficult bit of driving for a few minutes. Issues ascending Scott lake hill too.

Reply

406 Mary Perrott January 1, 2018 at 6:35 pm

Snow – even the sound of the world is magical! Whether you see it flurry or fly, wet or dry, sifting or drifting, or in a mighty blizzard, it still conjures up excitement and wonder! So we embrace winter snow in so many ways: we ski and sled, skate and tramp and cycle. Let’s go make tracks!
Happy trails in this New Year!

Reply

407 David P January 1, 2018 at 4:19 pm

Just returned from a lovely ski on Cascade and Bankhead in warming temps: -12 leaving the parking lot at ~3:30. Generally, all in good condition. Many people out enjoying the trails so the tracks a little worn and squirrely coming back down the first climb on Cascade. Beyond the bridge, the grooming was excellent due to much-reduced traffic but I turned around after about 3km since I was not equipped for solo late-afternoon wanderings. Overall, great conditions and reasonable temperatures are a winning combination!

Reply

408 Vic Urban January 1, 2018 at 4:12 pm

WBC had everyone and their dog out today. Conditions were excellent and they trackset some of the trails. With the warm weather shaking off the cabin fever was the order of the day.

Reply

Leave a Comment