Trip Reports – Mar, Apr, May 2017

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 month, the Trip Reports were viewed over 23,000 times.


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  1. Michael & Annalee

    Annalee and I and others rode the first part of High Rockies for the first time and it was awesome. The trail head is currently unmarked but its the trail on the opposite side of the road just before the turn off for Pocaterra. The first part is a climb that is very doable. Eventually you end up paralleling the Smith-Dorrien going in and out of the trees.
    The suspension bridge was just completed when we arrived. The builder was just needed to add the side barriers. We got almost to Sawmill before turning back.
    About 30ish km ?
    The ride was absolutely awesome!
    Michael and Annelee

  2. The final day of grooming at the Canmore Nordic Centre was Thursday May 4. It’s over.

    • Well CNC provided me with some great outings this year despite the slow start. Outings included early and frigid mornings all the way to several awesome night skis off the lit paths (thanks to headlights).

      Gotta hope we move forward with an Olympic bid and win and subsequent upgrade to so many of our fine facilities.

      With my last ski in early March (thanks to a vacation and after that a broken leg) I am already aiming for (and forecasting) great early November ski conditions for my bionic leg.

      Also a huge thanks to Bob and all the other trip reporters for the comments, reports, generally well behaved banter, and absolutely a huge kudos to the ski facilities and groomers and volunteers and supporters! (Including my sometimes “ski-widow-wife” for putting up with my early morning ski habit. )

  3. LAKE O’HARA – May 2

    Well, with this winter that keeps on giving, we had to check out that avalanche that crossed the Lake O’Hara road:!AhVZXBE7vMV7hxvv9GVU0O8grhSx
    As you can see, this is still a busy place.
    The ones that we had redirected from the Great Divide yesterday, had seen Bear #122 “The Boss” just after leaving us, and were glad to get to Elizabeth Parker Hut, their intended destination.
    With another forecasted low of minus 3 tonight, hope to see you out tomorrow!

    • Great shot of the Pine Marten Chuck! Was he by chance after your sandwich? A friend of mine was cornered by the resident pine marten in the old halfway cabin going into Skoki once. Seemed he had a taste for sandwiches!

  4. PLPP- West of Elk Pass
    There was a solid freeze last night and clear skies this morning… perfect conditions for ski touring! The Elk Pass ski trail was covered with frozen footprints and snowshoe prints, so we skied up the Elk Pass snowshoe trail, under the power-line. There was just enough grip on the sun-softened surface, but the skis barely left a mark on the snow. Once past the first big hill, the tracks from the snowshoers and hikers had mostly settled into one track, leaving enough space along the sides of the Elk Pass trail for skiing. The shaded parts of the trail were frozen hard, so we would often ski on the sunny side of the Fox Creek drainage for softer snow. There had been nobody up the Blueberry Hill trail since the last snowfall, so the trail was smooth and easy.
    We eventually left the Blueberry Hill and followed Fox Creek to it’s headwaters below Mount Fox. The highlight was a view across the BC boundary into Frozen Lake.
    The snow had softened significantly by afternoon and the ski down the hiker/snowshoer packed track on the Elk Pass trail was smooth, if not particularly fast. The surface was soft enough on the big hill down to the parking lot that it was possible to make turns all the way down.
    There were plenty of signs that bears are out… from the tracks on the Elk Pass trail to the big bruin wandering along beside Highway #40.

    • OMG. Frozen Lake from above. Spectacular. It looks like wonderful touring. I think immediately of the photo that I took of Kim Biel who was taking a photo of you, as you were taking a photo of Frozen Lake!

    • That looks like a nice tour Alf! Would it be a good tour to do in the winter also? Any avalanche terrain to cross to get to the frozen lake viewpoint?

      • It is possible to get onto that knob/viewpoint north of frozen lake and largely avoid most avalanche terrain by climbing a north trending ridge. Multiple routes/options to gain the ridge crest with the least exposed route being the NW end of the ridge. A couple of chutes back there worthy of turns (avalanche hazard). Or return the same way. I often tour back there solo when no ski partners available or when Avi hazard is high. This year would have been more suspect with the deep facet issues as a big east slope off fox could slide and trigger the whole north bowl, and has in the past given the lack of trees on the NW end of ridge. I didn’t get in there at all this year as the snow was bottomless for the first several months of the season. Was going to put a track in there early February after the first big storm dump but busted my ankle the day before. You can just see the top of that knob from the blueberry picnic table and possibly spot your own turns (binoculars).

        • The short answer is that it is possible to get to the viewpoint in the winter via the north end of the ridge, while largely avoiding avalanche terrain.
          The upper part of the knob is a lovely larch forest. The chutes are potential avalanche terrain, and the creek bottom is a run-out zone.

          • Thanks for the info! I’ll give it a try sometime.

          • Is it possible as a summer trip?

            • Anythings possible in the the summer Henry! It all depends on how much bushwhacking you’re willing to put up with. I’m game to try if you are!

            • Thanks for the offer Pete! It certainly caters to the wonderful sense of adventure that I learned in hiking with Alf!

            • I’ve done trail work with Alf but never been out exploring with him. I’m sure you can survive anything after you’ve been out with him a few times!

  5. Skied CNC last 3 days. A LOT has melted since yesterday, but weirdly, it was less slushy and firmer today. Not bad for a 7pm start. Lots of bare spots today, whereas yesterday there was only one really. Season total sits at 987km

  6. GREAT DIVIDE – May 1

    Another night below freezing in Lake Louise heralded more good ski conditions into May!
    Our first ski of the season had been on October 15 at the Great Divide, so it was time to return, even though it is not necessarily the end of the season.
    We have never skied it so fast. We got to the Divide and back within 2 hours and without making a dint in the snow!
    Check it out (including 2 video clips) at:!AhVZXBE7vMV7hxDMki1waJkMCPEC
    So different than October… Birds singing and chirping, and long sunny days.

  7. Smith-Dorrien/Sawmill Trails
    I had an enjoyable ski on the Smith-Dorrien/Sawmill trails today. There was a dusting of new snow over a melt-freeze base. There is still lots of snow and it does not appear to be in any hurry to start melting.
    Right out of the parking lot, we got a reminder to carry bear spray at this time of year. A big bruin left a set of very large footprints, on his way through the trail network.

  8. What amazing trips and photos by Alf, Chuck and Jeannette. While their probably waxing for another wonderful day in the back country, I awoke to find a horrible earworm for punny stuff. I couldn’t stop thinking of silly ski/outdoor related book titles and punny authors. Aaaaaaaah! Help me. I suspect that Mary P. can think of some good ones!

    “Uphill Struggles” by Herring B. Awlways
    “Moonlit Tracks” by D. Poal Knightly
    “Italian Waxing Techniques” by Flora Nated Carboni
    “Indian Climbing Stories” by Sumit Push
    “Windbound in Russia” by D. Vurst Sastrugi
    “Skiing in a Whiteout” by Graupel U. Ganger

  9. Chester Lake
    Conditions are pretty amazing for ski touring right now. At Chester Lake today, there was about 10cm of new snow, on top of a 185cm base… and a nearly empty parking lot. The whole area looked like a Christmas card, with snow on the trees, smooth white meadows and remarkably snow plastered peaks.

  10. FAIRVIEW, MLR – April 28

    These are the conditions we have been waiting for: another couple of centimetres of new snow with freezing temperatures overnight on sun crust. Starting at the east end of the Chateau Lake Louise parking lot, we enjoyed the spectacular higher elevation Fairview trail over to the Moraine Lake Road.!AhVZXBE7vMV7hnY3a6iWGdyIG4HV
    The Moraine Lake Road has been ploughed as far as the bridge over Paradise Creek, but the base was still skiable. The remaining 7 km to the viewpoint was a special treat.

  11. April 27 CNC

    Last ski of the year today at CNC. Banff trail and Olympic trail are soft, but still skiable, and they are still being groomed.
    A great ski season, thanks Skier Bob, and to all who posted a trip report. Some highlights for me; Skogan pass, Nipika, Emerald Lake. Only about 6 months until the next ski season!

  12. West Bragg Creek
    I was at West Bragg Creek today, to check on the progress of the parking lot expansion. The area had been closed from April 25-28, but that closure was lifted because it there was too much snow for some of the construction work. Instead, the parking lot will now be closed from May 1-5.
    Too much snow! Luckily, I had my skis in my vehicle. I did a quick tour of Sundog, Loggers, West Crystal, Middle Crystal and some of the Crystal Links. In most places, there was still a good, firm base from the last grooming in March. There was enough new snow for skiing on any of these trails. The new snow was wet and slow… but still, I was skiing at WBC in the last week of April!

    • It looks like you drove a tractor trailer along the trail. Do they really makes skis that wide ? -)

      The weather forecast has moved the big dump of snow to TONIGHT!

    • That looks amazing…. and sloooow. Probably no worse than my Great Divide ski though. Might have to check it out.

  13. CASCADE VALLEY – April 26

    With more snow last night, and yesterday’s 30 cms of snow nicely consolidated and frozen on top of a solid base, Cascade Valley turned out to be a good choice today:!AhVZXBE7vMV7hmPBuw_6Ui1Cktdr
    Where is everyone? Hiking and biking season is too far off to miss this. Once you are half way up that first hill, the snow is amazing, with no risk of going to ground.

  14. There was so much snow on my acreage yesterday morning and the morning before that I got out my telemark skis and skied around a bit. The snow was actually quite nice with good support and glide. Seeing as I haven’t been able to make it out skiing since the season ended at West Bragg in mid-March, it made for a nice post-season bonus.

  15. Mt. Norquay
    With reports of snow everywhere between Bragg Creek and Lake Louise, I knew I would be skiing somewhere today. I put my XC and backcountry skis in the car and headed west from Calgary. By the time we passed Highway #22, we had a rough plan of touring to Healy Pass. But as we neared Banff, it was obvious that there was a lot of new snow and the thought occurred to check out the ski runs on Mt. Norquay. Conditions were amazing, with 31cm of new snow on the groomed ski runs… and nobody else around! It snowed off and on all day.

  16. SPRAY WEST – April 25

    Chuck was so excited with the 32 cms of snow that we got last night in Banff.
    He headed off on Spray West:!AhVZXBE7vMV7hlwGRLtUmsKjD9tf
    And I don’t know if I’ll see him again!

      • Hiked up Yates Mountain to the Barrier lookout today. We found a helipad with 36 cm of snow on it. Did some shoveling for the attendant but couldn’t stay long enough to finish. A fun day with deep snow trail breaking from the reflector up. Cloudy on top sadly.

  17. Having not x-c skied for over a month, I was itching to get out for some “other” exercise, so decided to hike up Redearth to check out the avalanches for myself. Chuck’s pictures of the avalanches are amazing but it is almost like trying to explain traffic congestion in the Old Quarter of Hanoi-one needs to experience it firsthand to really grasp it. I used in-step crampons which worked well until they started seriously clumping like rocker boots around 1pm. I hiked to the campground (think they have removed the sign post there). A few trees had been cut down so that one can more easily shirt around the first avalanche at km. 5 (where the first nice westerly viewpoint is) but there is no easy way to get around the 2nd much larger avalanche, where the isothermic snow had me sinking in some places to just below my knees. Not sure how the mountain bikers are going to get up there now, much less the guests of Shadow Lake Lodge, which supposedly opens June 22nd. My last ski into SLL was on March 2nd. It could be a very long time before I/we ski up there again. Those volunteer groomers, I believe were last in there around March 10th. How incredible that no one got hurt in these impressive slides.

    • My son must know what you mean about Ho Chi Min City. His girlfriend was teaching there for a few weeks this past winter, and he got to scooter her to school. He said it was crazy, but there is actually a traffic etiquette that people follow that seems to make sense once you are there. But as you say, a photo probably couldn’t do it justice.

  18. I Skied the Nordic Centre on Saturday night. Lots of snow on Olympic and Centennial. Most of the Banff loop is well covered, but there is a spot near the sawdust pile that’s down to pavement. The stadium has large bare patches as well. Very slushy, but skiable.

    I Skied great divide on Sunday. Lots of bear activity by the big sign and I didn’t venture any further. Bear activity starts at about 3-4km from trailhaead and gets progressively more noticeable. Skiing is epic slow. Lots of fresh wet snow on top of a soft base. I could easily push my poles two feet in. Hard workout pushing wet cement with skate skis. The decent down to the sign required double poling just to keep moving at a reasonable speed. 15km felt like 30.

    I Also skied on Lake Louise on Sunday. Went straight up the middle and came back along the side. Up the middle is way faster as it is tracked in by a bunch of alpine backcountry skiers. Again, lots of wet snow on top of a slushy base. Hard work just to keep any semblance of Skate technique going.

    Still haven’t hit 1000k for the season, or for any season for that matter. At 943km, but I got almost no skiing done in November or March due to (mostly) illness, so not bad for only 4 months 🙂 I’ve never skied past April 24th yet. Maybe this will be the season?

  19. PLPP-Blueberry Hill
    After 10 days of powder skiing on the 450cm thick snow pack at Sol Mountain Lodge, in the Monashee Mountains, I headed to PLPP for a tour up to Blueberry Hill.
    There was several more centimetres of new snow on top of yesterday’s ski tracks and the final grooming of the season. At the Elk Pass parking lot, there were 4 other vehicles…all snowshoers, headed to Elk Lakes cabin. They walked up the Elk Pass ski trail and continued up Hydro-line from the junction.
    The new snow was already soft and sticky, even for no-wax skis, so travel was much slower than usual. On the way down, the snow was even wetter, so the skis literally sucked onto the wet snow. Probably the slowest I’ve ever come down Blueberry Hill and Elk Pass trails.
    Still, it was a nice day to be out. Clean, white snow, no debris or snow fleas, and a firm packed base.

  20. Elk Pass continues to delliver. Spotted huge bear tracks at the bottom of Patterson and upper Elk Pass.

  21. For some reason the first part of my E-mail did not transmit. It should have started as follows:
    PLPP: From Elk Lake P/L skied Fox Creek, Elk Pass, up Blueberry Hill, then up
    to Elk Pass then returned Elk Pass/Fox creek. Above trails rec’d 2-3 inches of snow overnite which covered all of the tree debris, collembola and ice…………..

  22. covered the tree debris, collembola, and any ice excepting parts of the Fox Creek Trail. +4C at 12:30 and +7C at end. Used Swix hard klister which gave good grip on the new, moist,wet snow with very little icing or clumping. The glide a little slow but I didn’t want to go fast on some of the steeper downhills anyways. Snow coverage is still very good and the base has not yet starting to deteriorate- should be skiable for a while longer. Just love spring skiing when the wax is working and with the warm sun shining down on you. Today not very busy only 3 other people on the trails.
    Anyways I would like to take this opportunity to thank you ,Bob for all the hard work you put in to provide all us skiers with such an interesting and informative blog.. Tom

  23. YES!!! Managed to eke out one more day on the trails before we leave for our backpacks. Glorious day in the mountains, just a gift to be out there in the sunshine with the snow glistening on the mountains – DESPITE feeling like we were skiing in wet cement ? a lot of the time. First out on Elk Pass, hope the only two skiers we encountered that headed out after us appreciated us breaking trail for them. A fair bit of snow fell on the recently groomed trails.
    Can I just shout out a final thank you to Bob and to the groomers who provided us with such a fantastic season, see y’all next year!

  24. Couldn’t resist!
    Left work in the city and departed Elk Pass parking lot at 6 pm in a tshirt .Continued along Tywhit on yesterday’s grooming covered with 2cm of pelleted powder,excellent grip with Skintec’s. Turned up to the lookout also groomed yesterday in perfect shape made for easy climbing up to the fire lookout.I watched the sunset over the mountains then started down the back side only to face a couple of heavy snow squalls.Great fun in soft snow on the steeps made for easy turns .No ice so trip down hydro line was a bit slow however temperature was falling making a quick trip back to Elk Pass parking lot.
    No lack of snow anywhere so get out tomorrow and enjoy the good tracks!

  25. Mt Skark trails & Watridge Lake: arrived 10:30 to 1.5″ of fresh ‘heavy cream’ over weekends perfect track setting; temps hovering 2-3 degrees, lightly snowing most of the day. Family was all waxless old-school scales with no complaints gliding or sticking save for minor ‘pull’ on descents. No complaints whatsoever! A quiet ski indeed, seeing only a couple other thoroughbreads skating loops. Good eats at karst springs and played a bit off piste that was surprisingly firm under (narrow!) foot. Late tea at Engaldine to cap off a stellar ski season.

  26. CNC
    If one wants a quick, fast workout go to the Nordic center by 9 am – or earlier.
    Tracks are fine for skintecs, and skating is great! Only man made snow is groomed now.
    Take your favorite music and fly along for an hour. Wilderness it’s not but 45 kph on some downhills is hoot.

  27. Got a late start out today, as hubbie had an appointment in the city in the morning. Started skiing at 1:10 pm. The sun was out at that point and quite intense. Left the mitts in the car and stripped down to sleeveless top. Went up Packers to Pocaterra to Lookout. Returned via Whiskey Jack. Thanks so much, guys, for the grooming!! Has to have been the most controlled, easy descent I’ve ever done on Lookout. Skiing was slow at times, but can’t complain about being able to get out there yet again. Keeping our fingers crossed that it doesn’t rain tonight, as we have a couple more days before we head off to backpack the Grand Canyon. Kudos to those incredible groomers and to this website!!
    There’s nothing like being able to go for a run in the city in the morning and head out on the xc trails in the afternoon!!

    • Really late start to the day, started at Boulton Upper Parking Lot at 4:15pm. It was lightly snowing up at Lookout around 5:45 this evening, and there was slight drizzle heading north from the Boulton Parking Lot, so not sure if there will be some ice tomorrow if there is heavier rain and cold temperatures tonight.

      The snow was definitely soft on Whisky Jack and Lookout, but had decent speeds for spring skiing. It didn’t clump or stick to my waxless skis which was good. One of my easiest ascent up to Lookout since I didn’t have to herringbone up at all on the soft snow. Slower decent but well controlled, but if it freezes over tonight, not sure how well the ruts from everyone snowplowing will affect the downhill.

      I’m usually never out this late in the season, so it was a great way to end the year. Thanks Jody for the grooming last night as it made it much more enjoyable.

  28. After reading that yesterday was to be the last track-setting at PLPP and looking at the grooming report, I couldn’t resist the temptation for, perhaps, one last time on the skinny sticks this season. So, I headed to Elk Pass, arriving at 9:30 and finding that it was 2 degrees. Not wanting to futz with wax all day, I used the Peltonen fish-scales that I bought for the outlandish price of $80 11 years ago.

    Starting out, the track was icy and hard, so climbing the big hill was slow. Conditions improved with elevation and by the time I got to Elk Pass, the track was in wonderful shape. Unfortunately, it hadn’t hardened up over night so it was slow going. Still, there were only a few clouds in the sky, little wind and I was the only person in the tracks, it seemed. So, the trip over to Whiskey Jack and back was really quite…splendiferous. There was only one problem and that was sticky snow, particularly where the sun had warmed things up. Coming down from Elk Pass, I felt like a spastic marionette being yanked about by a sadistic puppeteer. But…I made it down and was very happy to have gone.

    FYI, I think if it does get cold tonight, the track will be magnificent. Both Whiskey Jack and Lookout looked fantastic, but weren’t in the plans today.
    Tyrwhitt close-up

  29. Skied at Canmore Nordic Centre today. Meadowview and rundle were groomed for skating. The downhill at the far end of meadowview has some rocks on it. There are a few spots will dirt patches on rundle.
    Man made snow is all fine, just soft in the afternoon. Skating on the natural snow trails had the firmest conditions after 11 am.

  30. PLPP Blueberry Hill and Elk Pass. 10 out of 10 today.
    What a great weekend of skiing in PLPP, and what a day to end the season – the kind of day that you wish would never end. It was a bit hard at the trailhead this morning but still very good grip and glide, which persisted even after it started softening at noon. Pristine tracks, calm warm sunny bluebird day and SUCH a relief – no sticking. The softening trails were getting roughed up from herring-bone and snow plow – when these irregularities freeze, it will be tricky.
    Cheers to the tracksetters for their wonderful work on this long weekend.
    Hey Bob, congrats on that 1 million milestone, and sincere thanks for all your work in giving us SkiHere, which is such an indispensable resource to so many.

  31. Stephen Vermeulen

    147 day ski season!

    Today I parked at Elkwood (PLPP) and skied Wheeler, Whiskey Jack, Pocaterra, Lynx and Amos. That makes it 147 days from when I did my first ski of the season at Moraine Lake. Very nice!

    As for today’s trail conditions, still really good if you can handle the ice (klister or HGW time). Wheeler had some icy sections but generally just glazed tracks. Whiskey Jack was ice-free but very hard. I could see boot prints from where someone had walked down sections. The tight corner on the very steep hill would be very tricky, there were some gouge marks from some poor soul yesterday – and this morning they were frozen hard…

    I skied north on Pocaterra and the first section from Whiskey to the bridge was (thankfully) a little slow, I had no need to brake for the bridge. The next section was delightful double polling. Super clean snow and perfect tracks. The hills were ok for ploughing, hard but still safe. The final hill down to the Packers junction was hard and scraped pretty well, but enough left for a fast plough – very fast when I eased up towards the end.

    Once past the Packers junction Pocaterra started to ice up rapily, by the time I got to the top of the long hill the tracks were a smooth icy glaze. I had to brake with one ski most of the way down to maintain 30km/hr…

    I bet even Bob would have been screaming on that ride today!

    The glide was so good, I was still gliding and had to brake when I approached the turn to cross the creek before the Lynx junction.

    The Lynx trail was good, somewhat glazed, back to Amos. Amos was also still in very good shape, here I finally hit the dreaded sticky patches (probably about 11:15 now).

    One other car arived as I was leaving, didn’t see anoyone else on the trails today.

  32. Great spring skiing conditions at Elk Pass today. Started at Boulton and had a tough climb up Whiskey Jack with great tracks up on Tyrwitt. Fox creek was icy with lots of debris/dirt. Red/silver wax worked well for most of our group but most of it wore off with all of the snowploughing! But overall it was a great day!

  33. Mt Shark final grooming of the season – lots of happy humans and waggy doggies out today. My humans said the skating was excellent. It should still be good tomorrow with some new snow while we were there but it didn’t get too warm. Thanks Jody for the great grooming today and all season long, and sorry we missed you and Koda – have a great summer!

  34. PLPP
    Today 11am-1pm, air temperature ~0C, clouded sky.
    Pocaterra from Hut to Lynx junction: “skiable”, poor conditions: bumpy and icy.
    Pocaterra from Lynx to Tyrwhitt glades: very “skiable” and much enjoyable. Fresh tracksetting, solid clean tracks, somewhat icy. The median’s surface provided much faster skiing than the tracks.

  35. Skied from Elkwood, with skintecs- along Wheeler, Packers, Pocaterra, Tyrett,, Elk pass, Fox, moraine etc. Started 9:45.
    Great fast conditions on Wheeler, Packers.
    Had an earlier so a skied in track on Tyrett, still okay glide. Started down from pass -was crazy- Skis totally iced up, ice crust was deadly.couldnt go straight or even snowplow. Backtracked and tried Hydroline, with snow filled tracks. But downhill on Patterson was the same crust. Scraped skis and walked a bit. Main trail was also rutted and icy, but improved with descent. Fox was fun with new grooming. Wheeler still good at 12:30, a bit slower but good grip and decent glide..Encept for the pass, it was best skintec ski of year!

  36. Lake O’Hara Road & Linda Lake
    We skied the road as far as the junction and then over to Linda Lake. 10 cm of fresh snow over hard pack on the road. Good travel for mid April with some sticking on the road. Easy trail breaking to Linda Lake with no sticking. Best to have light backcountry skis with “kicker” skins. Light snowfall most of the day.

  37. Skied from Boulton up Whiskey jack on amazing track setting starting out at 11 with the temperature of +3. From whiskey jack turned south onto Tyrwhitt where the uphill tracks were skier set by a few skiers ahead of us. Downward tracks were visible with 2-3 cm of snow partially filling them in. Good glide through the Tyrwhitt meadows on our skins. The Elk pass trail was a little challenging with some frozen crusts from yesterday’s snow plows underneath the fresh snow from last night. Fox creek and meadow were softening up and fun but a number of brown snowy/slushy/icy patches were under trees where snow had melted and dripped onto the trails. For mid April though a great day. Thanks to the gromers and Alberta parks for extending the season.

  38. Stephen Vermeulen

    PLPP Friday 14-Apr

    I skied the Wheeler and Amos loop this morning. About -2C at 0930, there had been a scattering of snow since the tracks were set on Wheeler, but nothing to slow the glide.

    Wheeler is hard and fast, a bit of ice showing though and there are a few patches near the picnic tables that are pure ice for a few meters. Klister would be good on this. I used LF8 for glide and HGW for push.

    The section of Amos from Wheeler to Lynx has not been groomed and there is about 2-3cm of hard, crusty snow over top of the last grooming. A few people had skied the north bound tracks, so they were not too bad – until I hit the hill before the lynx juntction… Very hard to snow plow in this stuff! Wipe out…

    From Lynx back to Wheeler the tracks are freshly set and very nice.

    No one has skied the Wooley trail since the snow fall, so while you can still see the outline of the tracks you’re going to be crunching through the 2-3 cm of iced snow frosting. It would not be fun going north on that down the hill with the fast left then right bends… Going south on Wooley would probably be ok.

    At 1030 the tracks had not softened or slowed much, so probably quite good skiing all morning.

    Saw three other people on the trail this morning, but there were quite a few cars heading south on #40 as I was leaving.

  39. looks like lots ov tracksetting at plpp last night.
    wondered if anyone tried it out?
    txs. Might try it tomorrow. ….

  40. Long weekend plans: Golden Nordic will be grooming through Easter weekend, so both Kicking Horse downhillers and nordic alike will enjoy the best year ever. The whole trail system at Dawn Mountain Nordic Centre has great coverage, looking at the latest season ever.
    Golden Nordic has $5 per person for the weekend deal going, a great value weekend! Many thanks to Golden Nordic volunteers to deliver a great season of quality skiing!

  41. CNC 11:00 AM
    Fresh snow on top of grooming +2C
    We skied the man made freshly groomed stuff on Skintecs. Looking past the groomed trails the snow looke decent. Probably better for skating than classic
    Glide was good and grip was ok depending on how glazed the track was.
    This time of year the trail runners are out, we saw evidence of their footprints. on some of the Biathlon trials.

  42. PLPP South – When we saw that there had been track-setting last night on Elk Pass, Blueberry and Patterson, that’s exactly where we headed this morning. Temperature was -1C at the start and there was a skiff of fresh snow over the tracks, so my waxless and Ray’s waxable (VR45) skis worked very well until noon. Blueberry was wonderful as we were the first ones up and down, and the downhill, although slower than in January, was still fun and fast enough. After lunch at the BlueElk table, Ray had some trouble with grip, but I got up to Elk Pass on my lovely waxless skis with little difficulty. Then we attempted to ski Hydroline to Patterson. This section of Hydroline was blown in with snow. We alternated going from soft drifted snow to patches of crusty, slick icy snow, and in flat light, it was an experience for sure! (Horrible or interesting depending on the point of view!) But Patterson itself was great with a fast descent on new track set. It was mostly overcast all day, with light flurries. The weak sun did not damage the tracks too much. All in all, a super day for early April. In fact, it was so good, we are planning to go again tomorrow!

    • Mary! We must have met briefly at the “Blue-Elk” picnic table! We saw you two shooting down from Blueberry, looked like great fun, and we headed up there shortly after. It was great fun, slow enough not to be too challenging, but not too slow either 🙂

  43. I almost wasn’t going to go skiing today until I saw there was new grooming at Peter Lougheed so I decided to go and was very glad I did. I got a bit of a late start, not arriving at Elkwood until after 2 and was pleasantly surprised to find the trackset on Meadow and Woolley still quite firm and really fast. I then went around a fairly decent skier-set track in the new snow on Amos and Wheeler, back down Woolley the other way, along Meadow, around Sinclair and back. The skin skis worked really well on the sometimes slushy, sometimes icy snow and seeing as it was a mostly overcast day, I didn’t have any of those gut-wrenching, “everything’s coming to a grinding halt in the sunny patches” face-plants that are so much a part of Spring skiing. Judging from the forecast, there should be a few more days like this one still to come.

  44. PLPP Elk Pass – nice shot of winter.
    -2C, 10 cm fresh up high, snowed all day and quite wintry. Thank you to the Elk Lakes campers for breaking such a straight trail on the older snow-filled tracksetting.
    Miserable sticking and snow fleas started at noon. Lesson re-learned: either go very early or else don’t even bother.

  45. PLPP
    Pocaterra from Hut to Packers junction – brand new tracksetting, cold hard icy snow at 9am, fast. 0C on the hut’s thermometer.
    Pocaterra to Tyrwhitt – thin layer of fresh snow over solid grooming, still cold at 10am and fast.
    Tyrwhitt – more fresh snow, very cold, amazing gliding.
    Elk Pass to Blueberry junction – same as as Tyrwhitt, though the downhill wasn’t fast at all.
    Blueberry Hill – lots (10-15cm) of fresh snow. Still nice at 11am.
    Elk Pass to Fox Creek – skiers’ tracks, still cold enough snow.
    Fox Creek, Moraine – thin hard layer of clean snow, worn out tracks.
    Wheeler, Amos, Lynx – thin fresh snow over recent tracksetting, softened by noon. The downhill on Lynx was my fastest stretch today recorded 34 km/h.
    Come Along – very soft and somewhat wet at 12:30.
    This has totaled to a marathon distance; completed it within 4 hours.
    Waxing: CH8 -4/+4C gliding wax.

    Met the Space Dogs Ski Club folks, the stunningly looking Pros, on Blueberry Hill.

    Unless I’m mistaking, I also had caught the sight of Skier Bob, while he’d been enjoying his lunch and the warmth of spring air at a picnic table on Pocaterra this afternoon 😉

    Nik, Thanks for the detailed report. It must have been my look-alike brother that you saw; I didn’t get out today. -Bob

  46. Snowing in K-Country?!
    Well, it was this morning south of PLPP visitor centre. We parked at Elkwood, and at 11 am there was a cm or so of accumulation. We skied around the “tame” loop of Wheeler-Amos-Woolley-Meadow at a rather sedate pace in the sticky new snow. It kept coming down, sometimes lots, sometimes almost nothing, and by the time we returned it was up to maybe 3cm. Lovely to be out in fresh snow, even if slow, and I hope it continued.
    Driving back, it was more like light drizzle as we passed Pocaterra 🙁

    • The Sunshine Village snow webcam shows a huge amount of new snow. On the view from the Rock Isle Lake cam, where for days there was trampled snow, it shows just one huge snow drift!

  47. Boom Lake – the Sequel, or A Tale of Two Trails…….

    I should have known better, as sequels are often disappointing. Since Monday, it seems there have been a strong melt/freeze cycle, many hikers (with dogs), and tree debris on the trail, resulting in a serious depreciation of skiing enjoyment. Conditions seem pretty good for hiking, though there is still a very deep snowpack in the area.
    We did see a blue jay at the lake! It was very camera shy, though.

  48. Wow, a million hits on SkierBob – that’s terrific. Thank you to Bob and all the contributors, as well as the track setters who contribute to the site, and also make our day with your reports. Because of what we read on the website this morning, we had a great ski to Elk Pass on fresh tracks this morning. We were on R-skins and they worked well, I especially enjoyed the ‘corduroy’ coming down the hills, dreamy. It was 3 degrees when we started around 10 am, about 7 degrees when done. Also saw fresh wolverine tracks by trail, it must have sensed it would be a quiet day as well. Lovely time.

  49. Kananaskis Lakes
    This was a two part ski day. First was the Elk Pass-Blueberry Hill trails to that fabulous viewpoint, overlooking the Kananaskis Lakes. Conditions were mostly good, with skied-in new snow over top of last weeks grooming. Some transitions from sunny-moist snow, to shaded-cold snow resulted in a bit of icing up, but not too bad. The view of Upper Kananaskis Lake inspired me to check out the sking on the lake itself. I took the Upper Lake Connector and skied part way across the Upper Lake. Conditions on the lake are currently ideal for skate skiing… smooth, fast and firm with just a skiff of fresh, cold snow.

  50. A non-ski question: anyone know if the Hwy 66 road is dry west of the road closure gate by elbow falls?

  51. PLPP; Pocaterra Hut thermometer read -7C at 9:30 am. Using waxless skis (fish scales) we skied Pocaterra trail to top of Whiskey Jack. Initially the trail was rock solid and tricky snow plowing down the icy hill of new Pocaterra. Better tracks from Lynx junction heading south although still icy. Excellent tracks after passing Packers junction up to the culvert crossing and then a somewaht icy track to WJ. Returning to Lynx junctin provided the fastest skiing of the winter! On new grooming and track set we made good time on Lynx, Woolley and south Meadow to Elkwood parking. By 12:30 pm the snow was stating to soften but still we had great kick and glide. Older tracks on Lodgepole but still great kick and glide. Now the sun was seriously affecting open south facing aspects. Continued straight to top of Suicide Hill which was true to its name today. Still had time so finished the day skiing from Pocaterra Hut south and returned on Rolly Road. Okay for the distance but the snow was getting too soft to be fun.
    Forecast temperatures of -7C overnight and a high of +4 tomorrow should provide a day similar to this one.

  52. Skintec worked great. New tracks from Elkwood parking. Headed S on Wheeler to Packers. Back to Amos. Lynx out and back. Amos. Wooley. Meadow to VIC which was least enjoyable section due to temperature kick was getting difficult. Back to Wheeler to Packers junction. Back by Amos. Lynx out and back. Amos. Wheeler to Packer again. Home via Amos short way. A little icy at first. Softened quickly so less glide. personal best distance and speed. 4p km. 4 hour 40 min.

  53. BOOM LAKE – March 3

    The fresh snow from the weekend is still cold and powdery at this elevation.
    In fact, we have never seen conditions so good at the lake, and decided to ski down the lake to enjoy the spectacular views:

  54. Evan-Thomas mini-exploration

    The early bird gets the powder! Not very much here, but a few cm fresh did cover up the bumpy, icy crud on the fire road. I sort of did a mini-Alf, skied up fireroad a few km, then bush-whacked over to a burned/cleared area, enjoyed a brief run down the meadow, then headed back to be in the city by noon. The return was getting slushy glue-like on lower fire road where the sun got in.

    I’m not ready to give up yet, but then I am nowhere near 1000 km, nor will I ever be!

  55. Lake Louise: lured by a 7am check of the Lake Louise ski hill website that showed an early morning temperature of -12C and 3-4cm of new snow, we decided to try our luck with Great Divide. It was -7C and totally sunny when we arrived at 9:30am, but no fresh snow on that side of the valley… Ignoring the two “bear in area” signs (had bear-spray),we skied west about 4km in sometimes icy, often wobbly tracks, mostly skiing in the return track which seemed a bit better. At that point a groomer caught and passed us, grooming only and totally eradicating the return track. So we turned around, heading back on the remaining track, thinking that it might disappear on the groomer’s return. A noisy ski, both from the skis and pole plants.
    The we tried Moraine Lk Road. It was even a bit worse – very noisy at least. Quite icy in the hard tracks, less grip here (one on waxless; one using V50). The skating lane was in good shape with a bit of loose snow. A short day, 0C when we finished. Maybe the last ski of the winter ……?

  56. I really enjoyed the new tracksetting at Peter Lougheed today. Started from the Elkwood parking lot at about 2 and did a loop of Amos, Packers, Pocaterra and Lynx, finishing off with Woolley and Meadow. The run from Packers down to Lynx was just a bit icy so super fast and fun. The trackset on Lynx was in perfect condition, looking like only one or two other people had skied on it today. Other places were getting a bit soft and slow on the skin skis but overall, pretty good. As an added bonus, all the snow is gone from the trees so no snow bombs!

  57. Sunny sticky day in PLPP. We started from Elk Pass with a temp of 0C and a few cm of new snow. Our attempt at Blueberry hill was cut short due to the sticky snow conditions. We had a long lunch and made a snowman, since with the snow was suboptimal for skiing it was perfect for snowman building! On the way back, the fresh snow had been nicely packed down, making coming down Elk Pass very speedy!

  58. Redearth Creek Avalanche

    Waking up in Banff to another snowfall, we decided to check out the avalanches that had crossed the Redearth Creek trail back in mid-March. We would normally ski at higher elevations now, but curiosity got the best of us. This was well worth seeing:

  59. Went up to Elk Pass with Gail today. We both had early versions of no-wax skis, and we both had minor to moderate snow sticking problems. The speed transition from shady to sunny was significant, but no spills! It was better toward mid-afternoon when the temps dipped a bit. Best idea would be to get up early, but…. you know.

    Ice was starting to form a little bit in a few track sections as we were skiing out, but the downhill skiing down the parking lot didn’t melt.

    A good day in all. Gail’s ‘glass half full’ comment about snow sticking was ‘at least it’s a better workout’. As my friend Chip posted yesterday, it was better than going to the mall!

  60. Great morning on the newly trackset trails in PLPP. Went up Whisky Jack onto Pocaterra and down Packers. Was fast for the most part except for the top kilometer or so of Whisky Jack before the junction where is was very sticky. Snow was softening significantly by the time we were back at the car, so it might be icy tomorrow if it freezes tonight. Only saw one other group on the trail but there were about 10 cars back in the parking lot.

  61. Canmore Nordic Centre – good skating this am (9-11) including on the natural snow trails, many of which were in fact groomed (I skied parts of Banff/Bow/Meadowview). This doesn’t show as groomed on the Live Grooming Report which only tracks the GPS for where the big Cat has groomed/track set whereas they often groom for skating on the natural snow with a smaller machine (called a Ginzu) which doesn’t have GPS and this shows as “Groomed” on the CNC Trail Report: There were a couple of icy patches and standing water pools but easily negotiated. The classic tracks on the natural were melted out, wonky and icy (and fast this am!)

  62. Stephen Vermeulen

    PLPP Wheeler, Amos, Wooley, Meadow

    Skied this loop starting a 0930 1-Apr, a little icy at first but softening and getting slower by about 1030. Temperature about 0C and just a little hint of snow falling. Tracks were in good shape, only 1-2cm new snow since the last grooming and it was skied in to the tracks.

    • Stephen Vermeulen

      there were some trees that had been dripping water onto the trail, not much but the first signs of melting. I used LF8 for pretty good glide and HGW. Saw two other skiers and the tracks from a group of about 3. Quite a few cars heading south on highway 40 as I was leaving.

  63. Here is a Canmore Nordic Centre collaborative enterprise that will initiate year round skiing! This video link explains the project.

    • It’s about time that pipelines were built to carry something useful.
      Peter you are a man after my own heart, but I’m sorry that you left out some important credits to the people from your Okotoks office:

      Airline traffic controller – Ulanda U. Lucky
      Animal control officer – Turner Luce
      Art critic – Phyllis Steen
      Asphalt contractor – Luciano Pavearoadi

      …with all due credit to NPR’s Car Talk radio credits:

    • Peter, as in Peter Mackenzie who used to attend IHS when I taught there ?
      Awesome video – can you email it to me please ?

  64. Mt Shark; Yes, excellent grooming on all the trails at Shark this morning! The road up from Canmore was in pretty good shape early – passed the grader on the way. The snow depth decreased as we drove south towards Buller. Several cars in the parking lot. The trails were in excellent condition. We used Toko pink and Toko yellow depending on one’s technique for kick. Temp was -4C but warming. We drove back to Canmore via the south in slushy conditions but far fewer pot holes. Big thanks to the groomer who did such a terrific job.

  65. SKOKI – March 31

    Lake Louise… Come for the Cold Snow… Stay for the Cold Beer!
    More snow overnight and cold temperatures made the choice clear:
    VR-60 worked perfectly… but a Kite is obviously better !

    • Ooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
      Chuck you are killing me!

      • Thanks Diana for your help in bringing attention to this area.
        Unfortunately, unless Bob skis into Skoki (or at least reports on it), it is more difficult for people to learn of skiing opportunities in the area. Only Home Page reports are included in the Search field!

        • Chuck, I didn’t have to press ‘i’ ! I hope that Flickr works out for you.
          You make a day ski into Skoko seem like a walk in the park (pun intended).

  66. Beautiful day in PLPP!! (Elk Pass trail)

    Fresh snow on the trail
    Under warm sun, skies of blue,
    Turned the snow to glue…..


  67. Martin Jones & Jip!

    Not a ski report. Took a morning hike up Prairie View Trail trail yesterday, if you’re like me and thinking a cold snap is required to strap skis on again, the trail is good but very icy, take crampons and walking poles. Unfortunate I did but lots didn’t and I cannot imagine it was any fun at all, np with the right gear

  68. Lake Louise: Skied on waxless (fish scales) from Deer Lodge to the Great Divide. The upper Telemark and Peyto were a disaster in the morning when the snow was solid. Having survived that, we skied out on GD to the O’Hara access road. The out-tracks had been set by a fore-runner skiing through approx. 1 cm new wet snow. For the heavy lifting today – many thanks. Glide was great and we experienced no sticking or clumping. The wind was in our backs on the return ski which seemed effortless. Today ranks up there in “the best days” category. Definitely the sun affects glide length in the early afternoon. Finished the day down Tramline to the Village. Tramline and Bow River trail stay fair with the warm conditions. Started at 0C and temp was +6c in the village at 3:00 pm. Saw a mix of sun and cloud – but was able to ski in a sweater all day.

  69. Just had to get out today, even thought the conditions were not perfect! We started at Boulton Campground, me on waxless and Ray on waxables with VR45. The area had about 4 cms. of new snow which was OK for about 45 mins before Ray began to stick and clump up. We were headed up Whiskey Jack when Ray turned back, but I continued to the top of the steep downhills. The descent was good but not fast with all the new snow. Ray had scraped off all his wax and then managed to get some glide (but no grip). Skied out to the bench on Moraine to have an early lunch, and then up along Wheeler for a couple of kms. but sunny areas of tracks were quite sticky. Nice to see Skier Bob setting out for a loop. Hope he had better luck than we did! Temp 0C to start and +4 at end (noon).

    Photo of Mary at 1000K

    • And any special milestones reached with the extra bit of distance, end march and maybe the season on a high note?

    • So you reached your 1000 km milestone today! Congratulations – quite an achievement.

      • Yes, Martin, and thanks, Keith. We putzed along today just so I could get my 1000. If the snow hadn’t been so sticky, I would have kept going all day, it was that lovely out.

        • Woot woot! Every mile is a good mile, some are just better than others. (-: In light of these arbitrary goals, did anyone do 1000 “miles” on our trails? Maybe Nikolai, chuck or bob? Id be lucky if I did 400 k this season. Regardless, some great days were had overall. I think my favourite day was a sunny day on the couch when some hut goers passed by and supplied some hilarity, as like minded strangers in the backcountry only can.

          • Congratulations, Mary! Truly a remarkable accomplishment. You are an inspiration and provided I don’t require an extended hiatus next season, I may actually attempt this goal myself. What better way to enjoy the winter.

  70. PLPP
    Skied with my girls at PLPP today from near the start of Whiskeyjack to the discovery centre and back. Temp was 0c around noon when we started so V60 wax worked well. Went along Wheeler, Amos (where the sun came out and warmed things up), Woolley, then Meadow to the discovery centre where we had lunch and hung out for a while. The trails were in good shape but getting pretty soft. We went back on Meadow, and Wheeler which were also wet and soft. Good glide but no grip. Everyone had fun despite the lack of traction. The trails will definitely be icy tomorrow morning though if it goes below freezing tonight.

  71. Very good skiing today to Blueberry Hill and Elk Pass on excellent brand-new set tracks! It was just cool and cloudy enough with a touch of new snow for wax to work fairly well, altho ‘skintec’ waxless skis worked even better!
    Many thanks to Bob’s positive reports about PLPP for getting me out there, and to the great track-setting crew for making a great day of skiing possible.

  72. Pipestone-moraine
    tried Pipestone at 10:45 temp -1. with skintecs.
    noisy ICE. and cloudy, no sight of softening.
    went to moraine, plus 1. good tracks, skis fast enough.
    real snow! likely could have used wax, but thought it’d warm up
    so didn’t bother. a cm new in tracks.
    surprisingly great.

  73. March 28 – Lake Louise
    Three of us skied up Fairview over to Moraine Lake Road. Weather was overcast and temp about +1 when we started. Waxless skis worked pretty well for two of us, while my husband applied VR45 and had good grip. Fairview appeared not to have been groomed recently as tracks were skier-made and there was a fair bit of snow on the trail between the tracks in each direction. Thankfully the downhills were less heavy and we could negotiate those with no trouble.
    Moraine Lake Road snow was clumpier and all of us had some glide and clumping issues on the way up. After a very quick bite to eat at the top, we headed back down the road to discover that there was no free ride today! Sticky snow prevailed and we “armstronged” our way to the bottom of MLR. Thankfully the trip back up to the parking lot via Tramline yielded slightly improved glide for those with waxless skis, although hubby had a tougher time with no grip left at all. 23.3km total – excellent day!

    • We had a waxless (fish-scales) ski day similar to Pam. (I’m curious as to what time Pam’s group skied) WE skied down upper Tramline to MLR and up arriving at the top approx. 12:25 pm. Experienced good kick and glide up to where the road turns the corner of Temple. For the final kms we experienced clumping. Returning the glide was great in the right hand up-track – other tracks were soft and slow. The ski down the hills had good glide, but wasn’t fast. Encountered sticky snow again at the MLR trail head. Lower Tramline had good glide to the Lake Louise road crossing and then fair glide to the Bow River. Margarita slush along the Bow River trail got me to thinking about finding a drink – none materialized.

  74. Stephen Vermeulen

    PLPP Wheeler, Amos, Wooley loop

    I did a loop of this on Monday morning (27-Mar), there had been about 0.5cm to 1.0cm of new snow over the last grooming and it was about -1C, so things were quite slow but very good track conditions as all debris were covered again. The trails have not seen much use recenly so the tracks are still well defined.

    I also gave a quick test of the William Watson Lodge Access (near the visitor centre) as that was groomed last night. No new snow on it, so was nice and fast.

  75. Skoki Trail

    Fantastic conditions yesterday on the Skoki Trail. Total bluebird day, snow temp -1, used VR50 with a skiff of blue extra on top. Waxing worked perfectly on light bc skis all day. Conditions great on and off trail. Did a little detour at the Halfway Hut towards Hidden Lake and then back to Boulder Pass and Ptarmigan Lake. Instead of climbing Deception Pass Pass we opted to descend the headwall down to Baker Lake. Crossed Baker Lake and skied into the woods just for a little bit until it was time for our turnaround time. Very fast ski out. Exceptional day – everyone we met had their happy spring skiing smiles on. Love the long Spring days.

  76. PLPP
    Excellent trail conditions. Amazing morning ski.
    Fresh tracksetting on Pocaterra (up to Packers), Come Alone, and Lynx; fast ski.
    Some fresh powder on Tyrwhitt and Elk Pass; straight tracks, smooth gliding.
    It was -3C at Pocaterra Hut at 9am.
    Gliding wax: CH8 +4/-4C; kick wax: V45 0/-3C. Worked great.

    Dear fellow skiers 🙂 There’s nothing wrong in peeing in the woods, for this act of unity with the nature is one of the greatest pleasures a man can enjoy. When doing so, however, please make a step or two off the trail, and when finished, please cover your yellow snow with some white snow as if nothing has happened there. Thanks 🙂

  77. Despite warming trends, the Dawn Mt Nordic Centre trails in Golden are holding up incredibly well. Yesterday we skied Raven which dips to the lowest elevation and it was consistent even in the south facing aspects with 1/2 cm penetration on the skate track. That “Magic Hour” usually extends from 11AM to 3PM around here where we get the “melt to delicious” zone for spring skating and good classic skiing.
    The expected season extends to about April 20 this year we think.

  78. Great Divide/Ross Lake
    On my way to Monashee Mountains ski week, I stopped at the Lake O’Hara trailhead and did a quick ski on the Great Divide trail to the AB/BC border and added the short side trip to Ross Lake.
    There were several centimetres of new snow on the previous Great Divide grooming, but grip and glide was mostly pretty good with my no-wax skis, except for a couple of sunny spots where there was some sticking.
    The tour to Ross Lake was quite good. The crust under the new snow was slightly breakable in a few spots. An enjoyable little tour.
    If you check the forecast for Sol Mountain Lodge (1920m), you’ll see that about 100cm of new snow is expected in the first half of next week…on top of the 28cm that fell yesterday and the 420m snow pack. Wow!

  79. PLPP MARCH 25
    Similar to other reports. Started12:30 boulton for Bobs loop. RSkins. Worked great – with some glide! Up packers and past Lookout. Got slower. At Pass at least 6 cm over trackset, few people. Slow -very- some icing, scraping. Came and went on Fox and Moraine.

    But way at better than 23rd ski AND FOR FIRST TIME THIS YEAR FRESH WOLVERINE TRACKS ON PACKERS ! Near pocatera junction. On and across trail several times.
    Hope picture shows

  80. Skied into O’Hara today on yesterday’s freshly trackset trail – with a skiff of snow overtop. Very few people on trail so it stayed nice and smooth for the run out. Even where the avalanche hit the road is nicely groomed. We started at 10:15 am when it was hovering around 0 degrees. Somewhat slow going in our R-Skin skis – wax would have been fine going up. Not sure what would work best coming down, did clump up a bit on the downhill, but still lovely. As was lunch – only 5 of us in total had lunch at lodge – tomorrow is your last chance before they close for the season! Given the forecast, might have similar travel conditions tomorrow.

  81. Challenging conditions in PLPP today.
    Skied up Whiskey Jack with great success around 11am, no sticking or clumping.
    Got on to Pocaterra to head towards Packers and things started to go south. It also started puking snow. By Packers, it was very slow going with constant stops to de-ice the skis and heavy snow falling down around us.
    Fresh snow had covered up all recent grooming and track setting so everything was skier tracked over the recent tracks.
    No ice flows on packers which was nice and all hills today were soft. No ice.
    Conditions would have been fantastic if it would have been 5 degrees colder.

  82. PLPP
    It is winter there. There is a bit of fresh snow over recent grooming and tracksetting in northern part (Pocattera, Amos), and much more snow, 5-8cm, at the southern end (Tyrwitt, Elk Pass). The day is cloudy and air temperature was steady around 0C; and it was snowing lightly in the afternoon.

    My waxing today was a failure and it turned into the slowest ski of the season. However, it was pleasant and much enjoyable, just from a different perspective than the one I’m used to.

    • PLPP and a very similar ski adventure to Tanya’s and Nicolai’s. We started from Boulton parking using waxless fish-scale skis which were great up Whiskey Jack and out on Tyrwhitt until south of the meadows where the snow deepened and the skis started icing. Scraped at Tyrwhitt table and carried on to Elk Pass! Scraped again for a slow decent to Blueberry junction and scraped again! At Patterson junction we encountered a large group of fat tire bikers (approx. twelve who rode respectfully between the tracks). Now the snow changed for the better and we were sliding again. Fox and Moraine were fast, fun and beautiful in a winter wonderland of heavy snowfall by times. A good elf (not Alf) moved the car to Elkwood allowing two of us to easily ski Wheeler finishing the day in style.

  83. CNC natural snow trails this aft: great spring skiing.

    Good gription from waxless skis, no stiction from LF glider.

    I finally experimented with LF6 vs. LF7, one on each ski, and yes, it actually does make a difference (albeit small) in glide if you follow the temperature guide (doh).

    All the debris from last Sunday windstorm has been pulverized and mixed into the snow on those outer trails which were groomed in the last couple days. Tracks were quite clean with just some trivial needles and spruce cones remaining. What a difference from a couple days ago.

    Today, the magic hour between ice and slush was from 1200-1300.

  84. PEAK BAGGING – March 24!AhVZXBE7vMV7hkz1hz-xO5yB2bMs
    Can anybody place it?
    How did you figure it out?
    ps 3 cms new snow and minus 6 to start…and safe!

    • Skoki trail before Half-way hut, with a view of Ptarmigan Peak.
      And Boulder Pass, with Richardson Ridge partly blocking the view of Skiing Louise backside.

      • Whilst Alf seems to have figured it out from pure memory, I think I have learned what I wanted to know… readers may not be noticing the Information Icon (“I” in a circle, at the top right corner of the album or its photos)!
        BOULDER PASS… actually, after Half Way Hut.
        Thanks for encouraging the challenge Bob.

        • And given the title, as well as photo evidence, must have been heading up to heather ridge? As a lazy web surfer, I generally won’t click on further links to get additional info that is best available straight off. Software programs that support captions visible with the photo are better in my view.

          • Now that I realize Alf was actually identifying the exact location of each of the 2 photos, I have to admit that I was just having a little fun having only gone as far as Boulder Pass due to other commitments.
            I wish I could find a more suitable software program, that automatically shows photo captions. I still miss Picasa, and really miss Everytrail that showed an interactive map.

        • You fill in your photo album TAGS -)

  85. Mt Shark – no fresh grooming or track setting today (maybe tonight???) but 1-2 cms of new cold snow over the old tracks made for very pleasant skiing on VR45/VR50. Overcast and very windy all day, temps -2 to -1. A heads-up on the Smith Dorrien road – it was dry at 9.30 am but by 1.30 pm, it was very muddy and potholed with some huge puddles. Also lots of film crew traffic about, especially around Engadine Meadows (not sure if they’ll be there tomorrow) – we were briefly delayed when we left. PS Kazzy had a great time as usual even though we didn’t see any other doggies, just lots of seniors from Calgary skiing and snowshoeing (all staying out of the tracks).

  86. Skied Great Divide, entire length, on R-Skins which worked fine. Track setter went by around 11:30 am – much appreciated as trail was getting old and icy in places which I hope the tracker magically transformed back into solid snow. Met some friendly Floridians on the trail enjoying the above zero temps.

  87. Stephen Vermeulen

    PLPP 24-Mar

    Parked at Elkwood at 0900 and skied the Wheeler, Amos, Wooley and Meadow loop (about 7.7k per lap). These were all trackset on the 23rd and there hasn’t been any new snow since. It looked like I was the only skier on most of this since the track setting happened and a wolf or coyote had been along a section of Wooley (at one point there was some scat in the tracks…).

    Really good, fast (hard and a bit icy) conditions with little tree debris (just a bit on Amos where you have a bit of a view from a ridge), nothing to bother about though. Of course if you are using Hairy Gorilla Wax ™ there’s never any cause for concern!

    By 1100 the tracks had not softened much (and I was still the only one in the parking lot), perhaps just a bit in the more sunny areas.

  88. Spring in Elk Pass is perfect for evening skis even if the fresh snow has covered a bit of the great grooming. I skied up to Blueberry Hill ,then on to Ma sids couch through the woods up to Elk Pass ,down power line to Patterson back to the parking lot. No speed records were broken but I stopped many times to enjoy the quiet beauty of this amazing place we get to ski .
    I met Jody grooming the night before. I thanked him for another fantastic season of skiing then skate skied the entire way back on beautiful corduroy.His first pass.A rare opportunity! Sweet!
    My mohair skis were the ticket in today’s variety of snow conditions.
    I saw the groomer leaving the parking lot tonight maybe Mt Shark will get freshened up.
    Happy spring skiing.

    • I’m guessing the couch was nothing more than a lump in the snow these days and you may have been the last visitor of the season. Can’t beat the meadows back there on a spring day, unless it’s too warm.

  89. One of the best parts about trying out my ‘new to me’ waxless skis at CNC yesterday was my hands didn’t get stuck to the steering wheel on the drive home from the klister. And there wasn’t klister on everything else like my gloves, toque, poles, and sunglasses.
    Slushy trails but cool to see all the speedsters racing at Nationals.

    Happy Spring Skiing.

  90. Emerald Lake March 21st

    Taking advantage of the great midweek rate at the Emerald Lake Lodge. Waxless skis worked well today. Around 5c, with moderate winds on the lake. Spring like conditions, with crusty snow, still okay on the lake, not too much slush! Thanks to the Kicking Horse ski club for the recent grooming. Had my photo taken with several Japanese tourists!

  91. Moraine Lake Road – we figured this might be a decent ski today, and we were partly right. Cloudy skies and -2C when we started at 10:30am, with a couple of cm of new snow skied into the trackset. We made it to the high point quite well, 4 on waxless skis and 1 on VR45, even though the sun appeared sporadically and created some sticky areas. The return ski was quite slow, and grabby in places. Double-poled down all the hills. About +2C when we finished. Quite a few people skiing MLR today – the skaters seemed to be doing well.

  92. Lake Louise today: -4 C at 10:30 am skied on VR 40 wax that worked until 2:00 pm. 0 C at the LL Visitors Centre at 3:00 pm. Started at the Lake O’Hara end of the Great Divide (1A) on day-old very good track set and perfect snow. Dropped into the Lower Telemarks where the snow was softer and trackset was chopped up on the corners. Walked to the Upper Tramline and skied new trackset on Tramline to MLR. Now my VR40 was not working perfectly but I didn’t want to add a softer wax for the anticipated downhills. Skied MLR to Paradise Creek – tracks were solid giving good glide. Returned to ski the Lower Tramline which had the fastest glide of the winter on solid tracks – so solid the track setter had difficulty penetrating on pieces of trail below the road crossing. Bow trail was newly groomed and easy to double pole – wax being done for the snow temperature. It was overcast for 90 percent of the day so the snow stayed cold.

  93. CNC natural snow trails this aft:

    Waxless skis gave good gription and fluoro glider eliminated all stiction even with the warm temps.

    Arrived at noon and parking was not a problem despite the Nationals. Skied the natural snow trails beyond the meadow, and there was OK skiing on Banff, Bow and Meadowview. All had short stretches of ice and moderate needlemania, maybe 20% of their length and generally worse out at the far reaches. Much but not all the small debris has absorbed solar heat and melted right down into and actually through the tracks, so skis pass over without issue. However there are still LOTS of spruce cones to trip the unwary skier. Fallen trees have been removed.

    I would only ski these far trails later in the day after they have softened up. I would not ride wax skis right now as they simply collect too much debris. It is not great but certainly skiable if a person is desperate.

    Here’s a thought: how about a new attachment for the Pisten Bully – a wide powerful vacuum cleaner preceded by a scarifier rake, somehow positioned just in front of the tracksetting apparatus.

  94. Skied Pipestone today, still lovely with lots of fresh animal tracks, including moose! We skied on fish scales and fur (R-Skins) which worked well. Best part was on east side from river to Pipestone Pond. Very glazed trail towards barn, but still lovely to be out. Except for a friendly, but off-leash, dog to contend with, it was otherwise a great day.

  95. This report is a little late, but I just wanted to say that on Sunday, Mt. Shark had about an inch of fresh snow, which made for a bit of a slow skate ski, but I didn’t venture very far. I just did 1 or 2 km loops close to the practice grid on mostly flat terrain. There was surprisingly little debris and no ice.

    The major recommendation I would have is to arrive via PLPP. It is only a few km longer drive rom Calgary and the road is in waaaaaaay better shape than the one from Canmore

  96. CNC – Banff trail to the meadow was okay for classic, although there were soft spots and icy spots in the tracks. Continued west beyond the meadow on Meadowview for about 200 meters. It was bullet proof and littered with debris. Decided to turn around to avoid a spill on the concrete. Sadly this might have been my last ski (I only classic) at CNC this year. Time to bring on the warm temps and sun so we can start biking again!

    • So you are a biker!
      I am always looking to find someone to go riding with maybe later in the season, when have more mileage.
      Just to let you know, I am 60 and prefer long rides even over 250 Km but usually 160-180 Km; If you are interested send me a note at
      Happy biking

  97. PLPP Mar 20, a tale of 4 waxes
    Arrived Elkwood 11am, air temp -8, snow temp -13! Skied a figure of 8 around Wheeler, Amos, Meadow, Woolley on VR40 before heading over Lynx. Stepped up to VR45 for the climb up Pocaterra which lasted till Whiskey, checking out the Lynx tracks on the way, Re-waxed with VR50 to continue up to the Tyrwhitt meadows and lunch at the picnic table, VR50 had had its day on the return but I didn’t apply my final wax VR55 till at the bottom of Pocaterra for the climb back over Lynx. As others have said a magical day in the mountains, crystal clear, great tracks and almost deserted. Fresh wolf tracks across the Amos meadow just after Lynx, to interest in the tracks when I should have been looking for the wolf, an awesome day!

  98. Stephen Vermeulen

    PLPP Pocaterra 20-Mar

    I did an 11K out and back (22K total) on Pocaterra this morning. First and only car in the parking lot at 0900. The hut thermometer was reading -10C when I set off. Tracks from the hut to lynx junction are in good shape, a few needles and some icyness, but easy snow ploughing and herringbone conditions still. There has been a small amount of snow (maybe 2-3cm) since the trail was last groomed, but it is well skied in.

    From Lynx to Packers the same conditions are present, though fewer debris except for the short part along the ridge at the end of the climb.

    The new grooming starts at packers and heads up past the whiskey jack junction. Wonderful conditions on this section and there’s been no new snow on this section since the grooming.

    The grooming continues up tyrwhitt past the lookout junction, but the lookout trail has not been groomed recently, looked like about 5-10 cm of snow cover there with some skier set tracks heading up it. This was one of the few days in recent years where I’ve found good grooming on the section from the lookout junction up to the meadows (for some reason this section never seems to get much snow), wonderful fun! Must be more snow that normal up there.

    I had to call it a day just before getting to the meadows, pity!

    Had an excellent run back down. Met a few people heading out and there were 4 cars in the lot at 1115.

    The mountains along the west side of highway 40 are really plastered with snow at the moment. I can’t recall having seen the steep rock faces so white in a long time. Guess there’s going to be a lot of avalanche activity once things warm up a bit.

    • Well, we were the second car in the parking lot and saw Stephen returning after his ski. Pretty much the same conditions, although by the time we came down, the snow was getting quite soft in places and a bit slushy in two spots on lower Pocaterra. The temperature was 0 at the hut at 2:30 pm. Today we skied all the way to the Tyrwhitt picnic table for lunch, and yes, the meadows were wonderful! A perfect, cloudless day, but definitely spring skiing! (V45 mostly, but green wax for the downhill.)

  99. lake louise visitor centre

    We’ve had word from the Chateau Lake Louise that their grooming snowmobile is down. It is being taken to Golden today (March 20) for repairs, and won’t be back until Thursday or Friday (March 23 or 24) at the earliest. Until it’s back in business, the trails that the Chateau grooms (Upper Telemark, Fairview, Lake Louise) will probably not be trackset.

  100. Sun Mar 19th, CNC

    Fun to have so many people at the Nordic Centre! And easy enough to get away from the crowded stadium to the more remote areas.

    However, there was terrible debris. A recent wind storm had blown down several trees (now cut up and moved off the trails) and loads of debris. Quite a few falls as it was impossible to avoid all of the pine cones.

    Hopefully the overnight grooming will have cleaned up the trails

    • I also spent the morning at the nordic centre. Took in some of the national races (which was awesome to see) and did some skate skiing. The trails between the lodge and the meadow were in great condition and very fast.

      Past the Meadow was in rough shape due the winds on Saturday night. There was a LOT of debris on the trails including branches, twigs, needles and cones. The trails also hadn’t been groomed recently and were icy. Coming up from Banff trail onto Meadowview saw the same debris and 3 downed trees completely crossing the trails.

  101. Pipestone Marathon

    Was planning to ski in the Mt Shark area, heading up from Canmore. Got to the gate past CNC at 9:40 am and its was already close for blasting the gulleys below EEOR. Not too keen on waxless skis and preferring to wax, I decided to ski the Pipestone Trails for the first time since the mid-90’s for me. Great, no, excellent as the previous posting, conditions and easy to wax (-1 to -8C work fine for most of the time I was there). The fresh snow over the crusty stuff with recent tracksetting made for a great outing. Skied 42 to 45 km, depending what map one reads the distances.

  102. March 19th
    Excellent conditions at Pipestone today. It was groomed this morning on top of lots of fresh snow. A few people, but not overly busy. No line ups at Laggins!

  103. PLPP: Got a fairly early start and skied the Whiskey Jack/ Packers loop with our 6 year-old. We were all on waxless thinking that there might be tough conditions with the rain yesterday but we were amazed at how good it was with the recent grooming and a skiff of snow on top.We saw lynx tracks that came up Pocaterra and wandered around the Whiskey Jack junction following hares through the trees.
    Ice flows on Packers are still easy to avoid. Still plenty of snow for at least a few more weeks of skiing.

    • I was there today too, also on waxless, but over on the Come Along/Pocaterra loop, and had a lot of snow sticking to my skis today. Had to apply some fluoro wax to keep them from being essentially heavy snowshoes.

      Some people had sticking problems, some didn’t. But I agree, the skiff of snow on top made the conditions surprisingly good. 🙂

  104. Woke up to some sad news which was our Emerald Lake trip had to be postponed due to avalanche conditions. Wiping the tears from my beloved’s eyes I said soothingly “get over it, we are going to PLPP.” It was the right decision as the skiing was not only amazing but we ran into the one and only Skier Bob! I was rendered speechless and stared in awe but quickly remembered my manners and, of course, genuflected accordingly. After a memorable discussion, Sir Bob headed off but we caught up again as he had taken off his skies to give them some attention. We were now actually ahead of Mr. Truman and I began to entertain the idea that we might beat him to the top of Whisky Jack. It would be a good story anyway. Well, after Bob had finished waxing his skies, sold two houses, helped a woman give birth and prepared and ate a steak dinner, he indeed caught up to us in an embarrassingly short period of time. So much for that item on my bucket list. Depressing morning turned into a great afternoon of beautiful weather, great company and celebrity sightings. Oh, and the skiing was wonderful too!

    • Sheila, when I read you were headed for ELL this w/e, I dreaded the abysmal conditions you would have experienced. All those trails are incredible but in the right conditions, so save this special experience for next winter! BUT instead you got to meet Bob Truman himself in PLPP and on his favorite trail Whiskey Jack. His birthday is on March 20th so know that the first day of Spring brings Bob another year to celebrate with all his readers on this amazing blog of x-c skiing friendship bonds. We are indebted to him for bringing this precious community together. So Happy Birthday Bob!!! If I felt like staying up until MN to wish you officially on March 20th, I would, but alas we oldies must hit the news and the bed long before MN. Have a wonderful b-d tomorrow; I am guessing you will be up at CNC watching the races.

  105. Beautiful ski on the Great DivideTrail at Lake Louise. We followed fresh track set for our entire ski. -5 C at the start and -4C at the finish. VR 45 worked very well for the entire ski.

  106. PLPP Mar 19: Meadow – Wheeler – Packers – Pocaterra – Tyrwhitt – Pocaterra – Whiskey Jack – Wheeler – Meadow
    Great day today at PLPP on the fresh trackset! Temperature at the Visitor Centre was -4C at 11am and -2C at 3pm. Very few people around for a Sunday. Fearing that the temperature would soon go above freezing, I decided to use my waxless skis. We started off on Meadow with about 2cm of fresh snow over yesterday’s trackset. But we soon picked up this morning’s fresh trackset at Elkwood. The trackset looked a bit glossy, probably from a lot of moisture in the snow when it was packed, but there was no problem with grip on my waxless skis. Conditions continued to be great all the way to Elk Pass where this morning’s trackset ended. At that point I had a choice of returning via Elk Pass, Fox Creek, etc. but I decided to make the most of the fresh trackset and returned more or less the way I had come, except for an exciting descent on Whiskey Jack. At the Packers junction I ran into some guy named Bob who said his VR50 was working well on his waxable skis. Apparently he has a XC ski website. 😉

  107. I arrived at Canmore Nordic yesterday around 8:30 am. I was hoping to get there before the parking lots filled up, and to get some skiing in before the trails got softer and slower. I was successful on both counts. Conditions were good for skate skiing and my skis were gliding very well for my first lap. By mid day the conditions were still good – just warmer and slower.)

    I enjoyed watching the ski cross races. Two person relay teams doing skate skiing on a course with obstacles such as bumps and slalom. Right out of the gate the skiers were going up some steep hills and there was some very powerful skiing on display.

  108. High Rockies Trail-Sawmill
    A drizzly day seemed like a good opportunity to check out the Sawmill to Blackshale Creek segment of the High Rockies Trail. It was 0 C and there was a mix of snow and drizzle falling, as I started out. Perfect waxless ski conditions!
    The start of this section of the High Rockies Trail is well hidden from the public. It starts where the access road first enters the parking lot… or the exact opposite end of the parking lot from the toilets and information kiosk. The initial section is a convoluted mountain bike trail, so it is better for skiers to just use the old “Red” loop of the historical Smith-Dorrien XC trail system. Follow this until you get to a Y-junction and continue up-hill on the old “Red Connector”. At a large clearing, head for the north-east corner and look for the trail. No signage anywhere. From this point on, the trail makes quite a nice ski. Sort of like Fox Creek, but on a side-slope. It is is gentle and wide enough for XC skiing and gradually climbs to a pair of bridges across little canyons. The trail then gradually descends to the cut-bank above the Smith-Dorrien Road, before gently climbing uphill again to Blackshale Creek. Next summer a huge suspension bridge will be constructed across this chasm… but for now, this marks the turn around point.

  109. It was drizzly in Elk Pass Parking lot when we set out with our raincoats on around 10:30. We followed skier tracks the entire way. Rain changed to snow by Blueberry junction and was heavy at times as we skied along Tyrwitt. Waxless skis were the ticket, with good glide, no herringboning (is that a word??) required and no sticking. It was raining pretty good by the time we got to the parking lot.
    Other than being a bit wet – it was a great ski!

  110. Went to Mt. Shark to avoid the crowds at CNC. With rain on ice, the road to the reservoir was super slick. The rain did not transition to snow as I had hoped so that meant rain on fresh snow – Rossi skin skis no questions asked. Glide was ok, grip was unwavering and made the “Watridge Wall” fairly easy! The recent tracks should hold up ok for both classic and skate. Things on the Smith-Dorrien had thawed considerably on the drive back which meant mud and more potholes, meh.

    • I needed to stay close to town and so ended up at CNC. Cars parked out to the main road by 9:45 but (shhh!) there’s space in the overflow lot! I had a great skate with good conditions on all the main trails (Banff etc.) and fair but “creaky” isothermal snow on the natural snow trails. The base seems to be holding up well everywhere and, once you’ve left the stadium area, it’s not too crowded. Banff Avenue was busy but not crazy – didn’t see a soul Coyote, Silvertip, or Bruin.

  111. PPLP
    Sat, 18 Mar
    Not yet there, but having combined data from the last report (thanks Adam!), forecast (+5C, light rain probable), and live grooming (just trackset), Im heading there hoping for a great day in nature 🙂

    Gliding wax: CH8 -4/+4C; Kick wax: V45 0/-3C (V60 in my pocket)

    • Pocaterra, Tyrwitt
      It turned out surprisingly well! Rain+snow was so light, as it hardly bothered me on the trail. It was 0C at 9:30am and 12pm at Pocaterra Hut. Tracks were clean, fresh, a bit wet. Gliding and grip (V60) were good enough.

      Merciless adults (from Calgary Ski Club?) brought herds of poor children to the woods in rain today, and they all were skiing and playing near Pocaterra Hut, and laughing there, and seemed to have lots of fun.

  112. Mt Shark supreme!
    Saw several happy dogs, not sure if any of the “famous” ones!
    We did not do any of the racing loops, but went straight to the Spray River on Watridge Lake trail. Very good conditions, but the descent to the Spray was getting icy in patches. Lower down, more icy, and also the trees had dripping icicles rather than pretty snow on them.
    We hung a left after the bridge, and ventured a few km up the Spray valley for the first time, following some interesting tracks (pictures tomorrow?? I’m tired!). Backcountry travel conditions superb, and we turned around at a big meadow with lovely views – magic 🙂
    Yes, the roads were getting quite wet and pot-holed late in the day……..

    • Could they be leprechaun tracks?? I heard a tale of a famous one in that vicinity recently. All kidding aside that’s such a beautiful valley (the spray). It always reminds me of a scene in the Robert Redford movie Jeremiah Johnson where he’s standing in a river (similar to the spray) trying to catch a fish with his bare hands, while a native person on a horse nearby watches his antics. It’s always so quiet and peaceful there. Hard to believe but in 1841 James Sinclair (fur trader and explorer) led a group of Red River colonists and their livestock up the spray to the tributary of Whitemans creek, over Whitemans pass where they continued to the Cross river, Kootenay river, Sinclair pass (near Radium hot springs) eventually ending up in the Oregon territory. British spies Henry Warre and Nigel Vavasour, and geologist explorer George M. Dawson also traveled the spray. It’s a beautiful valley with an interesting history also!

      • Thank you, Pete, that is delightful!

        I tried to upload my photos, but it is not working, so I am unable to show you my “leprechaun” tracks 🙁

  113. Just got home from Kimberley where conditions still remain pretty darn good. Skied Tuesday and enjoyed a most wonderful day. Lots of snow, then beautiful sunshine, then more snow. Wednesday proved to be a little wet but Kimberley weather redeemed itself on Thursday with lots more snow although a little sticky by afternoon. Sadly, as I have waxless skies, I am not able to get much more technical than this. Time to confess. My name is Sheila and I have never in my life taken the temperature of the snow. Suffice to say we had fun. Friday was return home day but tears dried up as we prepared for our wonderful 3 day, two night stay at Emerald Lake Lodge beginning Sunday. Our report will have you green with envy (if the food coloring in your beer has not beaten us to it) and fingers crossed that conditions will be all that we dreamed of (and Skier Bob promised, albeit two weeks ago). Whether we are able to ski or not, looking forward to a great getaway!

  114. Ribbon Creek, March 17, 2017
    Looks like I lucked out by heading out to Ribbon Creek today. I arrived to find absolutely pristine grooming of yesterdays 20cm snowfall. Beautiful! The temperature was around +3C, so the snow was wet in sunny areas but still dry in the shade. This led to a small amount of icing-up on waxless skis, but nothing that couldn’t be kicked off in a stride or two. My only mistake today was not charging the camera battery, as the camera didn’t work past “old” Ribbon Creek.
    The village side trails could be fast on Saturday morning, if it freezes, as forecast overnight. And if the forecast holds, true… they will be wet by afternoon.

  115. Got some exercise today at PLPP. No trails have been done overnight, so conditions were OK, but not great. A bit icy in the morning and in shade throughout the day. Quite a bit of ski grabbing in the sun on new snow. Lots of people were complaining about it. I managed on my trusty old waxless skis from Pocaterra Hut via Pocaterra, Tyrwhitt, Elk Pass to Blueberry Hill and back. I figured it was enough for one day.

  116. Mt. Shark – Yes, a leprechaun had the ski trails in prime shape. Hard wax worked great for my first classic loop (-5c) and because the conditions were sooo good a skate loop followed. Saw Kazzy – good looking and well behaved dog. Oh, her owners seemed to be very nice people also.

  117. Mt Shark – great skiing with my humans on freshly groomed trails today! We all classic skied the Watridge Lake trail to the far end at the top of the big hill down to the creek. Apparently VR45 was the ticket today. I just had a great time running as fast as I could on all the downhills – I only tripped Mom once when I crossed over from her left to her right without warning and she ran into my leash (oops!) I prefer not to run in the tracks so I did really well today staying in the middle. After I was worn out after 10 kms, my humans took turns to skate ski and they said it was great too. Before skiing we met Koda with her human, Jody the groomer, and she had already done 16 kms – maybe one day, I’ll be as good as her! (-1C when we left at 2 pm so hopefully it holds up for everyone tomorrow, and thanks Jody!)

    • Can you ask your humans, how were the conditions on the Smith-Dorrien road?

      • They said the Smith-Dorrien road was good winter driving this am, with ice just below the snow surface, and the Mt Shark access road was a little more slippery. By this pm, the road was melting and quite muddy (had to go to the car wash afterwards), with some potholes developing (but not as bad as sometimes later in the season!)

  118. Stephen Vermeulen

    CNC Banff Trail Friday 0830-1030

    Tracks were hard and fast with the overnight freezing. Clowdy conditions so the tracks hadn’t softened much by 1030. Tracks had been freshly set to the end of the natural snow trail, though there are a couple of spots where the tracks are very shallow due to an ice sub-layer.

  119. West Bragg Creek. -13 at 8am. Snow held up perfectly from yesterday. Contrary to the “live” grooming report, it looks like there has been some grooming on portions of East Crystal Line, and Iron Springs, but very little on my standard Crystal Line, Sundog loop. The ice flows were more frozen and more scraped off today, which made it a little more sketchy, but no wet feet at least 😀 Overall, better and faster than yesterday, if you can handle the few icy patches. I could not imagine Classic skiing being any good in these conditions, but skating was fast and fun.

    • We hit the trail just a bit behind you. Mix of classic and skate. Classic was tougher on the more frozen groomed portions of east crystal line and sun dog but when we hit the powder again, had no difficulty. Like you said, if you don’t mind mixed conditions it was a great time! So glad I got up early and went out. Can’t believe we are still skiing this deep into March!!!

    • That wasn’t grooming. That was just me shuttling our grooming equipment from the parking lot back to our staging area. Devastation to the trails was so significant that we decided to take the Kei truck home and give up on grooming unless a big dump comes along. There were some areas on the ride home that were fantastic, but other areas like the meadow on Iron Springs where there was nothing but grass. Numerous areas had large puddles and some areas had streams running adjacent to the trail.

  120. HALF WAY – March 16

    Starting at 8 am helped get the best snow… and it was mid-calf deep, on top of a snowmobile track, approaching Half Way. This “Half Way Lodge” is where Erling Strom built his Half Way cabin between Banff and Assiniboine (a lot longer than the new route from Mount Shark).
    My smile widened from the snowy start, as I realized that I had picked the right wax… VR60… for a long travel day (the video clip above Turtle Tom’s should show it):!AhVZXBE7vMV7hjjtv7CyEIcO2VzM
    6 hours in and 5 hours out accounts for my long day… but not to be missed!
    Note that this is basically an extension to my Sundance Warden Cabin trip on January 21.

    • Chuck you are the man! How much further is it to halfway from the wardens cabin? Maybe someday we can ski there together.

    • Just wonderful Chuck! I love your sense of adventure. Assiniboine is a magical destination, and a apparently magnet to a good group of the blog’s followers. I’d love to get there some day. (Came close one spring via Citadel Pass).

      You’re setting the bar high for Bob’s next video, what with pointing the camera down at your feet as you push off! Also, was the surface under the new snow as hard as it sounds in the audio?

      • By the way, this is NOT a winter access to Assiniboine!
        But in summer, it is a spectacular route.
        In winter, I would definitely go via Assinibine Pass. The Citadel Pass route has notoriously bottomless snow. Half Way Lodge, on the north side Allenby Pass is is a high alpine route and constantly avalanching.
        The sounds on the video is actually from my poles (which I had tucked horizontally behind my back, so that I could operate my hand held camera) hitting the bushes as I passed by! I don’t think any sound from the hard packed base could have been heard due to the muffling effect of the fresh snow.
        Thanks for your interest, and Happy St. Patrick’s Day to All.

        • I was staying at naisets (at Assiniboine) years ago and we were sharing the cabin with a solo skier who had skied from Banff the day before up Brewster creek and over Allenby and Assiniboine passes (in a day!) and miraculously he survived. He must have had “the luck of the Irish”!

        • Thanks Chuck for nipping in the bud any confusion that my comment on your trip. Thank you for clarifying that this route is not meant for safe winter travel. And reading of these recent avalanches and the current horrendous conditions only drives the point home. Please everyone be safe.

  121. Started at Elk Pass parking at 10:00 am; 0C; on waxless skis. There was 4 cm new snow over last nights grooming and except where grooming was wind blown this was the case for the south trails. Started under an overcast sky on the Upper Lake connector to cross that off my tick list of PLPP trails. Skied over the Elk Pass hill and up to Patterson on skier set tracks making easy going. Broke trail up Patterson (just to tick off my final trail) in boot-top deep snow where it was drifted in on the lower reaches. Toward the upper reaches the snow depth was back to 4 cm. Upper Hydroline was much easier as the new grooming had crusted new snow providing good support and easy skiing to Elk Pass. Back to skier track setting – down Tyrwhitt for half the distance to the meadows where we met a couple who had set a lovely track across the meadow section. Skiing the Tyrwhitt meadows was a joy in the sunshine – Bob would have approved! At the top of Whiskey Jack we abandoned the plan to ski Pocaterra which was skier tracked. Instead we ripped down the hills of Whiskey Jack in the new snow. The S-bend was a bit icy where the snow was scraped off and tricky now because the snow was getting heavy. We returned to WWLodge on Wheeler which was randomly sun affected with slow tracks and intervening slick sections.
    What a shame the wet snow blanketed the high south trails so soon after grooming – but it was beautiful!

  122. Martin Jones & Jip2

    Took a chance on Nakiska this am or maybe seized an opportunity to take my new Husky pup (Jip2) for her first ski. Expecting less than great conditions I was surprised, first by how much new snow had fallen and continued for much of the morning and how well my waxless skis performed, no chumping and good glide. Hung around the terrace trails making my own tracks and following the snowshoes. On one of the small downhills the snow wedge in front of my boots exceeded my ski tips! Jip2 had a great adventure, her first BIG day out, at just 4 months her journeys have to be short and not too strenuous, but it can never be too soon to familiarize her with our sport, more adventures to come!

  123. Canmore Nordic Center

    Lots of competitors getting tuned up for the National Championship this weekend. As Bob noted we got snow and so out we went on Waxless and Swix Purple. Arguably a draw on Banff, Banff Loop, Meadowview and Bow. Also skied a few sections of ungroomed powder – through the Meadow and lowest part of Banff Loop. No clumping but arm strong skied a few sections, notably the natural area of Banff Trail between Bow junction and the meadow. Beautiful and fun.

  124. west Bragg this morning. 2 inches of fresh powder. Icy underneath, but totally skiable, at least on crystal line and sun dog. Track is pretty snowed in, but I skated so it didn’t matter. Caution, glass ice under snow in parking lot

  125. West Bragg Creek, March 14, 2017
    The Chinook hit West Bragg Creek with full force today. The snow melting was not too bad in the morning under cloud cover, but it really speeded up in the afternoon, once the skies cleared. I recorded a mid-afternoon high of 14C!
    The core trails like the Crystal Lines and Sundog have the best conditions and are holding up well. Trails that are exposed to a lot of sun and wind, or at the base of grassy, south-facing slopes are the first to deteriorate during a Chinook. Trails like the portion of Mountain Road between the parking lot and Moose Connector, the east side of Moose Loop, along Moose Meadow and the west facing parts of Mountain View are not recommended for skiing. These photos tell that story.

    • Beat me to it. Only other thing to add is that universal klister and 2mm linear structure worked well for me on Crystal line and sundog loop. There was lots of moisture in the snow. The tracks were probably the wettest place to be, so It was faster to be out of the track quite often. Coverage is really good still. I Didn’t need rock skis at all. it’s a bit slow out there, but still pretty good

      • I guess when it gets wet enough that a 2mm linear structure on the base begins to fail, the only backup plan is a kayak or canoe -)

        • Mountain road is pretty much already canoe traversable in the afternoon.

          You could always devise a way to inject propane under the skis 😀

          I’ve had pretty good success with structure. High fluor would probably help too in this weather.

          • Cool video and music! Great closeups. They tempt us with the physics (lots of CA numbers) but we aren’t presented any experimental results. Not being a racer, I’ve wondered how many rillings a base can take before it is toast. I suspect that sponsored racers just pick the rilled ski out of their quiver.
            re., canoe/kayak, I was actually thinking more along the lines of:

  126. PLPP: -1C at William Watson Lodge used my waxless skis today to great advantage. Others used their waxable and manged to have a great day. Skied Meadow, Woolley, Amos and Wheeler to reach the new grooming of Moraine and Fox Creek. First trails were icy and fast in reasonable track set. Wheeler was softer but still fast in good track set. Both presented challenges on the hills where the snow was roughed up. Moraine and Fox were as good as they could be – soft, clean, silky snow. Back tracked to Lodgepole on Fox, Moraine and Wheeler just flying on the warming snow. Skied Lodgepole, Sinclair, back up Lodgepole to ski down lower Meadow and finished at Pocaterra Hut where the temp was +4C. The north end trails were covered with deeper snow that made for rougher tracks, scary snow plowing and slow descents in untracked snow.

  127. West Bragg Creek Tuesday March 14
    Skate-skied Crystal East / Loggers / Moose Connector / Mountain / Mountain View / Crystal West. +6C at 1pm when I arrived +10C at 2:30pm when I left. Crystal East (and West) was in great condition and appeared to have been groomed last night or this morning. It was overcast when I started, but the sun came out in full force about 15 minutes later. By the time I reached Loggers, the snow in and out of the tracks was softening creating substantial “suctioning”. It was particularly challenging on downhill sections where the snow was fast in the shade and very grabby in the sun. Overall, the skate skiing was slower than usual but still good. But it would have been better if I had arrived a couple of hours earlier!

  128. West Bragg Creek, March 13, 2017
    With an overnight temperature of -15C and the forecast of a big Chinook blowing in, it seemed prudent to get to WBC early for the best snow conditions. Apparently lot’s of other people had the same idea, as the parking lot was already filling up by 9am. I started with a quick loop on the lovely double-track grooming on Hostel Loop. Next, I headed out Mountain Road and around Moose Loop. Then farther up Mountain Road for an ungroomed “backcountry” loop that included the Tom Snow trail. I returned via Mountain View to West Crystal, Loggers, Sundog, East Crystal, Middle Crystal and back via Crystal Link #4 and lower West Crystal Line. Conditions ranged from good to excellent, especially on the freshly groomed core trails. By the time I left, the snow was starting to get moist and the air temperature had reached +7C.
    Hopefully, this Chinook is short-lived!

  129. PLPP – Elk Pass parking lot
    We arrived @ 10:30, it was -1. We used special violet (V45) and it worked great for most of the day. We skied Elk Pass-Fox Creek-Elk Pass-Tyrwhitt-Whiskey Jack-Moraine. All tracks were skier set and not icy. It wasn’t sunny, so there will be a bit less glaze on the tracks tomorrow. We had good grip and glide until we reached Whiskey Jack, then it started to clump. As we descended, the clumping was quickly replaced with absolutely no kick a the temp got warmer. On Moraine we used the “Armstrong” method! Tired arms by the time we got back to the parking lot! +4 when we left. Trails may be a bit more icy tomorrow.

  130. BREWSTER CREEK to TURTLE TOM’S – March 13

    Banff’s Live Grooming Report – Healy Creek had just been trackset as we arrived at the Trailhead!
    Brewster Creek is Skier Set with a Skidoo packed trail on the side. Waxing is a bit of a challenge in these temperatures, but VR45 worked well for me. The Skidoo track continued past Sundance Lodge to at least Turtle Tom’s Cabin. In fact, I found travel to be really fast, and I enjoyed the width of the Skidoo track which facilitated any required Herringbones or Snowplows.!AhVZXBE7vMV7hhuOQ9TVrGUxUDB2
    By the way, staff at the Lodge are very friendly, and told me that they actually have more Skiers than Fat Bikers staying overnight. We have stayed there and really enjoyed it. With all this snow, they plan on staying open longer this year.

    • Any signs of bear 122 back there Chuck?

      • No… “The Boss” may have made it down to the railway by now!

        • That’s good! Ever since my run in with him near Sundance lodge a few springs ago I’ve been a bit apprehensive about skiing in there on my own!

          • Hey Pete… any details (to encourage me to carry my bear spray)?

            • I was sure I told you the story.Well…that was the day I skied up to the wardens cabin way up Brewster creek. End of March sometime a number of years ago. On my way back I stopped at Sundance lodge to finish my sandwich. I was sitting on a seat at the old cabin there and heard a sound to my right. To my horror across the creek was the largest bear I’d ever seen looking right at me. I thought “oh #&! What do I do now?” No one around, no bearspray, and no way to get inside if he decided to charge me. That never happened though as he took off into the forest heading downstream. Problem was is that was the way I had to go to get back to my car (12 km away). After waiting a while (by now I only had an hour and a half of daylight left) I decided to start skiing. Almost immediately I found a huge hole in the snow he had excavated right to the ground. As I passed his tracks I also noticed where he had climbed a slope nearby and had used it as a toboggan run (bears like to have fun too!). My wax had stopped working as it was so warm so I was cursing and slipping up every hill waiting for him to pop out of the bushes at any moment. At some point along the way he had obviously come back on the trail. His tracks were heading the same way I was so when I arrived at the junction with the shortcut trail I decided to take it (his tracks went down the main trail). I thought at least now he’s heading away from me . About half way down the shortcut trail I ran into more of his tracks (oh $&!). I made it to Healy creek trail and eventually I made it to the car just before dark without seeing him again. Exhausted from the stress and after such a long day I was glad to be back in one piece. I realized though to my horror (from the tracks beside my car) he had followed me that morning from near my vehicle all the way to Sundance lodge (must have been my lumberjack sandwich!) and must of been distracted there by some other scent which would explain all the digging he had done. That’s the story and that’s why I haven’t been back there in the spring on my own ever since!

            • WOW… What a story!
              Thanks for sharing it.
              I don’t think anyone has found a reason to use that shortcut since.
              With stories like that, no wonder your daughters ski so fast!

            • Griz tracking skier

              Were you by chance packing fish sandwiches?

  131. Moraine Lake Road was lovely this morning. We were hoping that Lake O’Hara Road would be the ticket today, but after 1.5 kms. up and not finding any trackset and it was snowing with gusto, we decided to try MLR instead. I used my waxless skis which always work great, and Handsome Husband had waxables (some problems with sticking and not enough glide). We broke trail both up and down in about 2 cms. of new snow, and it snowed lightly to moderately all day until almost the end of our day. -2 C to start and +1C to finish. Handsome went the extra 3 kms. down Tramline to the river where I picked him up. He said this trail was just OK and getting quite soft. The whole village area was running with melt water with big puddles on the bridge and on road under the train bridge! Thanks, Bob, for the video of Edelweiss! It made my day even better!

  132. West Bragg
    Good conditions at West Bragg today. I skied Loggers Loop, some of Elbow, West Sundog, West Crystal, Moose Connector and Mountain Road. The snow and tracks held up surprisingly well considering the forecasted warm temperatures. On Mountain Road there was some ice but that trail too was mostly really good. I used blue wax at first and then switched to VR45 purple, which worked until about noon when regular purple (0) wax was required. This provided good grip for the rest of day.

    • I skied the same trails late yesterday, 45 worked well for me, surprising how the snow remained cold, not for long I suspect, thought I should get in another rotation before its too late 🙁

  133. Was planning to hit WBC today, but changed my mind enroute and went to Mt. Shark. That was a mistake unfortunately. It hasn’t been groomed in a week or so and it skied like it. Luge tracks with soft edges meant for fast wipe outs. 8 inches of deep snow on either side of the track made the climbs quite tricky and downhills downright dangerous on the yellow loop. I bailed out as soon as I ran into the Watridge Lake Road. Plenty of frozen snowshoe tracks on the skier-tracks, definitely can’t recommend heading out there.

    Where I found some recent skier tracks it was okay, but not worth it given the drive out from Calgary. It was snowing lightly as I left, but my car was giving temperatures around 0 so not sure if the snow will help, or make it worse.

  134. Just back from a quick ski at the Shaganappi Golf Course. For skiing within the city in March, the conditions were okay. There is a trackset throughout most of the park (except the NE loop below the driving range) and there is okay coverage for the most part. There are some rocks and sticks poking out, especially on the NW part near the condos. Snow is reasonably fast if you stay in the tracks, very slow and sticky if you go out of them. Probably can get one night ski before it melts with the +10 degree temperature outside right now.!AvrgL7dMjpYemg2s0uG73gufWAWb

  135. WBC -if you thinking it’s too warm here for classic, it wasn’t! I even forgot my poles! so, I strapped on my my daughters 187cm waxless still in the back of the truck & did the ol’ arm swing for 10km or so around loggers and the core trail loops. Forgot how good a technical workout that is. Shady & cooler this morning so despite arriving back to a FULL parking lot at noon, core trails should still be fine for the evening shift. Lots of smiles, pleasantries & happy pets but please owners, LEASH your dog in the PARKING LOT, as I witnessed a few skirmishes & hey, your not the only one out here!

  136. Canmore Park March 13th

    By the time I was ready to head to WBC, the mercury had already reached 4C and I wasn’t keen on skating, so I took in Canmore Park for the first time. The track was getting quite thin in spots and even a bit rocky over the sidewalks, b ut it was still a pleasant morning exercise. At -7, VR40 worked reasonably well but, as I said, the track was pretty thin so something warmer might have helped.

    Chip Scialfa

  137. Great powder weekend in Kananaskis. Saturday skied PLPP and my report would be the same as all of the others. (not much groomed, heavy sticky snow, waxless skis recommended.) Temperature +4 at trailhead.

    Sunday we skied Ribbon Creek. We skied up Hidden, down Ribbon Creek (down the steep hill section that was soft with fresh powder and in perfect condition) and then we skied out the creek for something a bit different. What an amazing experience that was! The creek had been snowshoe tracked so we just followed the well beaten path down the creek, skied under the bridges, and had a lovely intro to ski touring. This is now our favourite little ski loop and the creek is well frozen (for now) for skiing on. The snowshoe track is also the perfect width for skis and was quite easy going.
    Temperature was around -4 I believe and snow was perfect. Not sticky in the slightest.

    • Agreed! Nice little jem to keep in mind for a quick race out to in the morning, get a rush and Indy 500 it back before the skiers hit the highway.

  138. My daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed what is likely the last ski at Sandy McNabb this season for us. We skied Pine Ridge Loop counter clockwise starting at the Ranger station. It was -12 to -14 and never did warm up sufficiently to shed layers. This is a grinder of a climb to reach the viewpoint looking NW towards three point Creek. Sections of the descent were too thinly covered and honestly too steep in these narrow horse trails to ski safely, but there was enough decent snow and occasionally great tracksetting to cruise back speedily with confidence. I hope next season this area gets at least one good dump.

  139. Shadow lake- Had a very nice ski to Shadow lake with my wife today. -13c at the start so I used a cold -10/-20 wax. We followed a skier set track in about 10cm of fresh snow as far as the campground. After that the trail had been trackset probably earlier this morning. Passed a number of people along the way including groups heading out from the lodge. At the steep climb to the lake the temperature went up and the sun appeared so the wax stopped working. It made for a difficult climb up! My wife chose to walk up that bit. We continued on to the lake with a fabulous view of Mount ball where we were entertained by an avalanche pouring down its steep flanks. We skied back to the lodge for a snack and some hot chocolate on the porch where the staff were busy closing up for the season. By this point the snow was getting pretty warm and sticky so we put on some warm blue. Heading back we had excellent glide (but no kick) and walked down the steep climb. We took a quick side trip over to the warden’s cabin. By this point the sun had disappeared and the temperature had fallen enough to give us a bit of grip. The return to the start was quick despite being tree bombed along the way and having to avoid the occasional patches of needles in the tracks. Things might be a bit glazed tomorrow though due to the warm temperatures and strong sun we had today.

  140. Does anyone know if the Bill Milne Trail will be groomed tomorrow morning? Sounds like there was lots of fresh snow not groomed.


  141. So…leaving the house today, the hope was for Blueberry, as we hadn’t skied PLPP for a long while. Checking in at Barrier info seemed to confirm our plan with “only a few cm of new over Wednesday’s grooming, and -15 at PLPP this morning”. Wrong on both counts! At Elk Pass trailhead we found close to 20 cm that had fallen overnight, and a temperature of -1. Trying to make the best of it, we started up a skier set track in snow that was reasonably dry, until we hit the power line at the same time as the sun peeked out, which resulted in a quick change to the dreaded warm new snow condition of alternately clumping up and slipping. Not wanting to wage a wax war, and too wimpy to slog along like this for the rest of the way- we pulled the plug, and eventually salvaged the afternoon with some fine skiing on the Ribbon Creek trails, in dry snow, and fast, easy waxing conditions.

  142. Ribbon Creek-Skogan, March 12, 2017
    After a week of perfect Monashee powder skiing (with 105cm of new snow) at Sol Mountain Lodge, it was time for an XC ski day at Ribbon Creek. On the drive out, I heard all kinds of stories about the past weeks cold weather on the east side of the Rockies, so it was a pleasure to start out at about -10C at the Stoney Trailhead. It seems as if this trailhead has been abandoned for XC skiing, as it was filled with people heading off on snowshoes and on foot. Although there was lots of snow, there was no evidence of recent grooming… just lots of boot prints. We “backcountry” toured around Hay Meadow trail and up Ruthie’s, before getting to the grooming on Skogan Pass trail. With about 3cm of new snow and blue-wax temperatures, waxing was easy. Near the former Marmot Creek trail junction, the temperatures had warmed up enough to warrant an upgrade to VR45. The air temperature steadily warmed, as we climbed. The snow varied from moist/slippery on sun exposed slopes, to dry/grippy on the shady sections. My favourite part was High-Level trail, which only seen a couple of skiers on the new snow, since the last grooming. Smooth and silky! After a quick stop at the view-less Hummingbird Plume Lookout, we descended via Sunburst. The air temperature dropped noticeably below Marmot Junction and seemed quite chilly below Ruthie’s intersection.
    By Monday, I expect that the warm Chinook winds will drastically alter these great ski conditions.

  143. I was heading to Goat Creek today but ended up in CNC, the first time this season. No regrets, conditions were great, excellent grooming on trails. Hordes of skiers and kids were having fun. Biathlon competition was going on and CNC provided funky music for the spectators. My grip wax was Skigo violet and it was OK but the sun is getting stronger. So.. to prevent wax frustration I will switch to skate gear from now on. It was excellent winter day and the money well spent.

    • I got skate gear a couple of seasons ago for exactly that reason. No klister for this boy. The wisdom of this decision was brought home to me a couple of weeks ago at Nipika with warm conditions and glazed tracks. My wife managed okay with purple special but after getting sticky wax everywhere doing her skis I skated on my classic gear in awesome conditions.

  144. RibbonCr Area: Family ski in the sunshine ALL day replete with POWDER! Started 10:30am, -15 at BILL MILNE trail head so VR40’ed up the 4 set & pushed 4+ inches! of fresh snow to Mt Kidd camp, then it warmed up considerably to plus temperatures for fun downhill return scrape & glide. Very few ppl out -probably b/c so MUCH snow & no fresh groom, so gotta love that backcountry-in-the-frontcountry feel! PS. Great to see Lindsey Thurber High School (Red Deer) embarking from hostel upon our return with ear to ear grins – a superb day for new skiers in the making indeed.

  145. No skiing for us today as time didn’t permit a trip, but we went for a skate and campfire hot dogs at Bowness. We were pleased to see quite a few people skiing there. Tracks appear to be skier set but they are in good condition. There is a loop that starts at the SE corner of the playground, then another on the river side of the cleared pathway – most folks were crossing the picnic area to get onto this tracks. I wish I’d know it was that good as my feet wouldn’t have frozen in my ski boots the way they did in my skates!

  146. Kananaskis Fire Lookout, 11 March 2017

    Temperature inversions are a b#tch………. also high expectations are bound to lead to disappointment.
    I haven’t skied down the south side of the lookout for more than 30 years, and had been dreaming of this day. It was going to be so perfect, with lots of fresh fluffy powder over recent grooming, and a ski date with the kids!
    We parked at Boulton Bridge, and started up Whiskey Jack in almost perfect conditions, but the warm sun at 10:30 am was already affecting the snow. Soon the wind came up and started blowing snow bombs out of the trees. Everyone was having challenges with the snow and waxing, with lots of icing and clumping, and plenty of herringbones up the hills. The view at the top was worth the effort, and we sure had worked up an appetite!
    My dreams of descending the very challenging south side through champagne powder were not realised, as the powder was rather warm and heavy, but the steepest sections were the best for powder and three of us had a blast. Bart actually had the worst time, as his beloved waxless skis were the most iced up and he ended up walking down most of it, on his skis. As we waited for him at one particularly steep and challenging turn, Matthew skied back up and down several times, trying to perfect his turning skills. Oh to be young, energetic, and a little crazy!
    Finally emerged at Hydroline, where three young guys had broken trail for us, giving a pleasant run down, and in fact that last steep hill down had some of the best powder, with a few solid snow bombs to be avoided.
    The short section of Elk Pass, then Fox Creek and Boulton Creek, were quite lovely (skier-tracked) except for that grabby-slippy snow. Driving back, it looked far more wintery around Ribbon Creek, and of course it is still quite cold in Calgary.

    Photos (include more than usual for family purposes):

  147. Goat creek at 9:30 this am was freshly groomed/track set (followed the ski-doo out)..Unbelievable snow. A bit soft but cold and great traction. No rocks at all!
    Temp was about -16 to start then warmed to -10 by about 11:30.. On the return trip it was starting to get pretty busy and there were lots of multi-users. Everyone was respecting the “share the trail rules”.
    Really couldn’t get any better!

    • Goat Creek – Banff and back
      Cannot add much to Kurt’s precise report.
      I started at 1:30 and by that time it looked like many people already left the area.
      Tracks were fresh-set all the way down to Banff, and overall conditions were very good. It was steadily warm in the afternoon. Grip was strong with V45 (0/-3C), gliding was okay with LF7 (-2/-8). Another great day of ski. My weekend wasn’t wasted 🙂

  148. Chickaloo Lakes!?

    I ended up in Edmonton this weekend and had some time to kill so looked at options for a couple hours of skiing. I was on the west end and so I didn’t want to drive all the way to Strathcona Wilderness Centre or Cooking Lake. I checked out options for west of Edmonton and found this place near Spruce Grove. What a delight! Approximately 12 kilometers of groomed trails meandering through aspen and birch forest on very large hummocky moraines. I have never seen such large hills near Edmonton. I did the whole network of trails twice and had a great time. The topography makes for some challenging climbs on the red loop but the other loops are not too steep certainly not flat either. Hopefully Edmontonians won’t put a price on my head for publishing this secret. In fact I’m not sure that Edmonton even knows about this place. There were only 7 cars in the car park.

    Here are a the details on Strava:

  149. Confederation Golf Course

    Lovely morning on cold, fast snow. Good base but no real track setting to speak of. With the warm temperatures I’m not sure the snow at Confed will last the week, so get out and enjoy it today.

  150. -12 and warming up fast from -17 about 90 min ago at Ribbon.

    Terrace from parking lot quite trashed from snowshoes.

    Counter clockwise hidden back to Terrace was perfect.

  151. Great ski on Healy Creek to Brewster Creek to Sundance Lodge on Sat. Broke trail in a few cm of snow along Healy, Brewster had the snowmobile track and we met the groomer coming down as we were part way up. Wonderful ski down in the freshly set tracks and great snow cover for the steep down hill. Some sunny breaks but cool temps -15C to -10C at the end. Saw only 3 skiers all day!

  152. Canmore Nordic couldn’t have been any better. There was lots of snow – we saw some deer on the hill in front of the lodge and it looked like they really had to work hard to bound through the snow. The temperature was good for skiing (around -10 C I think) and the trails were recently groomed and in great shape. V30 wax worked quite well.

  153. Goat Creek – Spray River West – Banff and back
    Fresh fluffy snow, so white! Silky tracks, fast enough. No hazards, though the downhill to Goat Creek Bridge is like a narrow gutter. Snow and weather conditions were stable all the way today around noon. It’s been a pleasure to see many amateur fast skiers today and met one very beautiful too 🙂

  154. Skogan Pass – a very interesting day here. We started at Ribbon Creek parking at 10:30am to a cool, breezy -17C. Up Hidden Trail and across Nakiska base area to the Skogan/Ruthie’s junction. Then we headed up the Skogan Pass trail, most of us using VR30. Just beyond the High Level junction, we were in the warmer air of the temperature inversion, upped our wax to VR40, and still had poor grip on sun exposed trail sections. The last section to the pass was good – mostly shaded, and the temperature at Skogan Pass was +3C. The trip down was very good, though some high sections were getting a bit icy. Below the lower Skogan Loop junction, the snow stayed cold enough to be unaffected by the sun. Made a side trip to Hummingbird Plume lookout on the way back – great conditions. The big iceflow on Lower Skogan is alive and well (and barely negotiable). -12C and snowing lightly back in the parking lot.

    • Ray- that sounds a lot like MY day :o)
      I enjoyed the break with you, Keith and Mary at the pass. As I thought I might, I threw in Skogan Loop on the way down- caution advised on the steep curving south facing descent at the top, as it was getting a bit icy. Other than that it was the usual fantastic descent- especially so on the relatively untracked soft cold snow of Sunburst trail below the lookout junction. As I had parked at Nakiska and was on my metal edged light touring skis- at the top of “the screamer” I veered right, onto the ski area cat track, then to a short side trail accessing the Homesteader run just above the Bronze chair. Which made for a quick fun finish- carving easy turns in surprisingly edgeable ski area snow, all the while keeping an eye out for traversing knuckledraggers.

  155. Had a great ski today at Lake Louise Bow River Loop and Campground with my newly adopted humans. Just loved trotting and sometimes flat out running alongside Mom on my leash (though I have to remember not to stop suddenly in front of her in the tracks or she runs into me). My humans said blue wax worked well for kick and glide (at least till the end when it was getting warm) – don’t really know what they mean since they didn’t give me any wax, and I would probably have tried to eat it if they had. Can’t wait to go skiing again, Mom says I’m a natural (and I even remembered not to run in the track, well, most of the time).

  156. Ribbon Creek – Terrace-Aspen-Kovach-Ribbon

    Ribbon Creek skier set tracks were surprisingly good this afternoon. The approx. 5 cm of new snow since the last track setting made the big downhill relatively easy (is it ever really ‘easy’?!) Beautiful snow-covered landscape and colder than it appears to have been in PLPP. – 10 at 2 pm.

    The best snow of the year! Unfortunately, it won’t last as we ‘spring forward’ in more ways than one.

  157. Bill Milne trail.

    Had a great ski with about 2 cm of new snow in the tracks and very few people around. Snow temp -9 and air temp -11 at about 11:30. Used Rode Multigrade and V30 with good grip and fast snow.

    Started and finished at Ribbon Creek and skied wedge connector over the bridge and kept skis on for the narrow trail to Evan Thomas. There is a bridge over a flooded creek with beautiful blue ice. At Evan Thomas, crossed the highway and picked up Bill Milne trail for the return ski to Ribbon.

  158. What a difference a week of snow made to the WBC trails. I went there last Saturday and again today. This morning, I skied East Crystal, down to Iron Creek (I enjoy that new trail), looped down the southern section of Iron Springs (icy and in very poor shape last week); easily skiable today :), back up on Elbow and Loggers Loop. The conditions are quite good on the trackset trails. I had an enjoyable ski outing. (again!) The temperature rose from -20C at 9 a.m. to -14C at noon. The sun shone on us!

  159. Michael and Annalee

    Annalee, Tim, Marshall and I skied Cascade Fire road and I need to apologize.

    Now for the smarter than me people out there I know now that skate skiing on Cascade seems to be a thing of the past – unless your four feet tall!

    The report said it was groomed for classic and skate and we even passed the groomer once we got up to the top but the centre lane was very soft and quite narrow in places. Tim who was on classic said the classic tracks were soft as well.
    I tried my best – I even double poled a fair amount of the trail but I still cut across the tracks when it got too narrow. I believe that unless the trail is significantly wider I will skate at WBR or Nordic Centre (or Confed when it is good!)

    The good news is there’s lots of snow so I would expect Cascade Fire road to be in good shape for a couple more weeks.
    Again apologies for cutting across the classic track – practically a hanging offence but I honestly had no where to go.
    Contrite Michael

    • Michael and Annalee

      Video Log of Trip–the good parts 😉

      • I know what you mean. I had never skied the Banff trails but decided this morning that I should give them a try since the weather was supposed to be warmer than around bragg creek. I was sort of disappointed with the skate skiing for the same reasons: narrow skate lane and very soft snow. I actually only made it about a km up Cascade before I turned back. My plan was to try West Spray River instead since I had heard it was recently groomed. Got to the trailhead excited to give it a try but was also a bit disappointed to see several cm of new snow on top of the groomed skate lane. Made for a good workout at least! Really nice area and I’ll probably be back, but again the skate lane was quite narrow in quite a few spots. Tried my best not to glide over the tracks but difficult to do so I usually just double poled instead. Went out to the first bridge and back a couple of times, so wasn’t too bad. So glad we have the nordic center and WBC, otherwise it’d be pretty tough to find decent skating.

  160. Stephen Vermeulen

    I agree with Sam’s assessment of the Pocaterra conditions, though I was on the trail about 2 hours earlier. The first hint of strange temperatures was about 5 minutes before the end of highway 40 when the road started getting wet. Even then I wasn’t prepared for the warm air at the parking lot, perhaps only -2C, sunny, no wind (though there was the occasional snow shower from the tree tops).

    Great grooming from the hut to the Lynx junction and then it stopped, like the groomer had just vanished! After that about three of us were packing the 2-4cm of fresh snow on the Pocaterra climb to the Lynx junction. Made for somewhat slow going, but wonderful conditions. No hats needed!

    If this keeps up we’ll be back to the spring pattern where the 0900-1100 time frame is the best and then things get too soft and tricky to wax for.

    • Stephen Vermeulen

      I meant to write “Pocaterra climb to the Whiskey junction” not “Lynx junction”

      • Like Stephen and Sam we too saw the crazy temperature inversion With the temperature at Nakiska turnoff at -12, at Fortress -8 and then a steady rise in Temperature to 0 when we arrived for the afternoon shift ski at 11 am. Decided to go with wax less skins at that time as the snow was cold in places and warm in others where the sun had time to shine. As mentioned Pocaterra to Lynx was a dream and then we turned onto Lynx and followed Amos, Wooley, Meadow, Wheeler and Whiskey jack up to Pocaterra. After the Lynx Junction everything was skier trackset but in great shape with the 10cm of snow hiding any needles. Under trees that were overhanging the trail ther were some slush spots that may get icy depending on what the temperature does tonight. But overall a fabulous day that we could ski in shirt sleeves until we dressed up for the run down Pocaterra.

        • Like others I was surprised by the car temp of -1C when I pulled into Boulton just after 12:30 today. Decided the Skintecs would be a prudent choice for the soft, heavy, sometimes glazed conditions on Moraine and Fox, although it was lovely to ski them with so much snow! Up Elk Pass I noticed that the 15 cm of pristine snow on Hydroline and Patterson had not been breached by human or machine since last grooming. Tyrwhitt was good and Whiskey Jack just fine. Most folks seem to have skied Blueberry, Lookout from the north side or the route I took since the last major snow. It was snowing from Trywhitt on and a bit of a blizzard on the drive to the Nakiska turnoff at which time the temp was back to -12C.

        • I too experienced the wonder of of the Pocaterra weather. I was wishing I had used my skintecs. With the VR45 I had to stop and scrape off my high heels a few times. That trip back down Pocaterra trail was still as wonderful as ever! Hopefully, the new snow will stay around for a while.

  161. Warm Magic at Pocaterra

    Who could have imagined – from Fortress Junction to PLPP, the temperature rose from -20 to -1.5 C! Richard, Jeff and I arrived at Pocaterra Hut where it was -3 C – with lots of warm clothing (which we didn’t need) and quickly took off in brilliant sunshine towards Tyrwhitt Meadows.

    The ski was magnificent, albeit grooming to Lynx only and skier tracks after that. No matter – simply gorgeous winter wonderland – but the uphill effort and sunshine made it incredibly warm. At times, we had to move into the shade to cool down!

    The return swoosh down from Tyrwhitt back to the hut was relatively effortless, although the warm sun darting in and out of the clouds made the tracks quite funky. At 2 PM in the Pocaterra parking lot – temp was +3 C – crazy warm. By he time we were at Barrier Lake – back to -12 C.

    Given how few folks were on the trails – I reckon the cold everywhere else was a deterrent. So glad we were prepared to brave it – and were rewarded by the Mountains with a simply spectacular day!

    • Thanks to Will R for the great report yesterday, I too went to Pocaterra Parking Lot and enjoyed a superb ski.
      Thanks also to Will and others yeasterday for setting the trail on Wheeler.
      I arrived Pocaterra 9:30 AM and skied Lodgepole, Springer, Braille (all beautifully groomed) to Elkwood Parking Lot and then skier set (with 3cm new on top) Wheeler to Packers and back Pocaterra Trail and Rolly Road. A fantastic loop. I used Asiago super blue wax (new snow -3 to 0). It worked really well except in direct sunlit areas!

  162. At Moraine Lake Road it was -14C when I arrived at 1pm with only 2 cars in the parking lot. It was lightly snowing with no wind. Excellent snow conditions. The tracks were dual lane skier set but very soft which was a bit challenging. At the end of the day it was -8C. Another great day in the mountains!

  163. WBC is in great shape. I’ve managed to ski after work for couple hours today. It was snowing lightly when I’ve got there and temperature was -10C. Moose Loop has nice skier set tracks and icy east side section of the trail but is covered with snow. It’s a very enjoyable loop going clockwise. Hostel Loop is groomed and trackset, some minor hazards. Live grooming doesn’t show but Moose Connector is groomed and trackset. Loggers Loop and Crystal lines are in excellent shape. I’ve finished skiing in the dark and it was cold, temperature dropped to -16C. Rode green worked well in grip zone.

  164. Was fortunate enough to be able to flee the office for a client meeting in Banff this afternoon, so I took the ski gear along and hit the Spray River loop afterwards. Started out at 4:30pm with light fluffy snow falling. On Spray West, there is lots of fresh snow over fairly fresh grooming and track setting and it was an amazing winter wonderland with whipped cream like snow – what an awesome way to end the work week and start the weekend! The tracks were still really good, and blue wax worked great (I was in too much of a hurry to use the snow thermometer, so I took the advice of a couple coming out and went with their choice of Blue as well). Spray River East started out pretty good from the bridge, but after a bit a fat biker with very little skill and even less consideration made a mess of the single track, completely obliterating it in many places – they seemed to think that the track was there for fat bikes to follow, but couldn’t stay in it, or even on their bike and made deep footprints periodically too that made it a bit of a bumpy ride. The snow was still falling when I left, so perhaps that will erase it and skier set tracks will salvage the destroyed parts. Still well worth skiing while we still have snow – I even made it out before dark for once, so YAY for longer daylight hours :).

  165. Bowness Park — late afternoon tour

    Chilly! I don’t know when it was last groomed, but it can’t have been very long ago, as the grooming was easy to find underneath about 3 or 4 cm fresh powder. The place was almost deserted on this chilly afternoon, though I was not the first to ski there. The skiing was surprisingly good today, and should last the weekend given the forecast here, but not much beyond.

    Several loops are groomed, giving more options and distance than one might think, and there is still the old random skiing through the trees option. Bowness Park is more sheltered than the golf courses, it stays colder and keeps the snow longer, but is also more popular with people walking and running dogs, etc.

  166. Yet another great day of classic skiing. So blessed with all of this snow.
    Skied Banff loop and Meadowview at the Canmore Nordic Centre. Snow was still falling mid morning which maybe explains why Meadowview wasn’t groomed since the snow fall.

    Enjoy this wonderful Winter and the trails.

  167. PLPP report

    Arrived at Pocaterra reasonably early today to discover the exact opposite of the usual weather pattern. Pocaterra and everything at the north end (more or less north of Elkwood) got a good dump of snow last night and this morning. Enough to totally wipe out the tracks – pushing 20cm in places. South end of the park got maybe 5 cm.

    Resulted in a wonderful long, slow ski, starting out by breaking trail along Pocaterra, Come Along and Lynx, winding back to the visitor centre via Woolley and Meadow (someone else had the honour of trail breaking that stretch), across the road to Braille and Lodgepole (trail breaking), then Wheeler to Whiskey Jack. If everything to the south is like Whiskey Jack, then the whole south end is spectacular. Enough fresh snow to make for perfect clean tracks but not enough to slow things down.

    Returned via Pocaterra – made we wonder why I don’t do the whole length of Pocaterra more often. What a fun trail.

    Didn’t manage to go the distance I was aiming for today because the first 2/3 of the day was dead slow, but it was awesome. There’s something quietly contemplative about breaking trail (12km of it in this case).

    Piston Bully was unloading at Pocaterra as I left, so all the north end trails should be freshly set and utter perfection tomorrow. Looked like more snow building to the south.

    • I’m curious as to how common it is to have less snow fall in the south end of the park? The weather network was commenting on the duel between the two competing high pressure systems that was causing the upslope conditions.

    • Ditto on conditions, we skied some of the same trails and also Packers. Once it gets groomed the trails should be in stellar shape.

  168. After hearing so much about Ribbon Creek and what great condition it is in right now, it was the place to go today. Nobody in our party of 5 had been before, but we all agreed it was excellent, especially considering the cold temps and southeast wind we had to contend with in the parking lot. We went clockwise along the outer and longest route we could and everybody’s “blueish” wax worked well. The downhills were especially lovely and the uphills warmed us up. Really recommend this before the chinook arrives!

  169. Sandy McNabb – Likely your last chance to ski this gorgeous area this w/e. Thanks to Kyle? (parks) for work on North of Ranger Stn trails – mostly machine set & all nicely groomed base. Macabee & Pine Ridge loops great to up to lookout, than nice gradual downhill west to Balsam & even MORE FUN zipping through the trees (fox/boulton has nothing on this!) DO be careful, as these trails are all VERY narrow (1-2m) so you must have your wits about you on the DH. Long Prairie hill best walk down (50m) due to exposed rocks) through rest of trail back to Ranger Stn clean, though thin. Sunny & -16 this morning with fresh 2″last night.

  170. Cold but great conditions at West Bragg Creek this afternoon. I skied the west and east crystal line without seeing another person the whole way. Checked out the warming hut after, very nice ! On the downside, I changed my footwear in the warming hut and forgot my ski boots in the hut : ( If anyone finds them, I would really like them back ! Thanks. Gerry 403 467 7078

    • There is a pair of Alpina XC ski boots inside the TC. They are likely safe there but I can put them aside if you like.

  171. After reading all the glowing Nakiska reports thought I’d better ski it before the next chinook hits, arrived @ Ribbon Creek around 1pm and -13, snow was -9.6 so I added a thin layer of VR40 over the 30 I’d prepped with. Skied all of the trails above Terrace, a cm of new snow over recent grooming made for a delightful ski. Returned on the new Ribbon Creek trail which is in great shape although I do mourn the loss of its much gentler predecessor.
    Thought I was done till I noticed Hidden was very freshly groomed and soon found myself wondering around the ski area base trying to remember how to join the Slogan Pass trail. After a minor detour I spotted the x-ski sign, it was too late in my day for that epic climb, the cool temps and biting wind also help with my decision. I did have time for a side trip to Troll Falls, been years since my last visit, there was no ski tracks apart from my own, just lots of foot traffic but no feet! The snow cover is very good to Troll and the boot pack trail made for an easy ski, it’s a good time to take in the falls

  172. LAKE O’HARA – March 9

    A good day to check out the Lake itself:!AhVZXBE7vMV7hhEdY4jQK26Lfpid
    Easy travelling on skinny skis… tracks abound, and no slush.
    Excellent tracks right up to the frozen waterfall.

  173. Lake Louise -18C at 10:00 am. waxed with special green over VR40. The special green was a waxing mistake that caused clumping. Skied Upper Telemark / Peyto on skier tracks in 20 cm new snow. Great Divide was recently groomed and covered with 1+ cm new snow. We set the outward skier track to the Lake O’Hara road. Returned on GD to the parking lot and climbed from to Tramline to ski on new trackset to the Village. -11C at 3:00 pm

  174. West Bragg Afterwork. Excellent conditions on a winding route taking in the “core” trails- Sundog W, Crystal E, Sundog E, Loggers, and Crystal W.
    Minus 16 made for easy waxing and pleasant skiing, except on the long descent of east Crystal into a headwind, which felt a bit too frosty.
    After a brief warm up in the trail centre, I topped off an already great ski with a loop around Hostel. The grooming is a little older here, and more icy underneath in spots, but the recent snow more than made up for that. Delightful!
    Echoing someone else’s comments- such fine skiing at WBC in March is a bonus. We are living on borrowed time here- get it while you can!

  175. Lake Louise – Moraine, Fairview & “Lakeshore” (hilly trail in the trees). Late morning, -15C and sunny, not too much wind. Fairview, groomed recently with 3-4cm fresh snow on top, skier set. Moraine, the two “up tracks” freshly set and skate lane packed, soft. Lakeshore, trackset a few days ago, 10cm fresh on top, skier set and walked on. -10C and snowing lightly mid-afternoon.

  176. Enjoyed a great day skiing in Banff National Park today. Healy Creek to Sundance Canyon and then on to the Cave and Basin. Skier trackset with no bare spots. On the way back we noticed that Brewster Creek had just been groomed and single trackset. Beautiful conditions that won’t last long.

  177. Goat Creek – It was sunny and cold when we started from the Canmore end (-17 with a frosty wind) but as soon as we got a couple of kms down the trail, in the shelter of trees, we took off our jackets, we were that warm. There were a couple cms of fresh snow in the tracks which made for a slow descent, although it made the steep hill to the bridge at Goat Creek a piece of cake! We saw no one until we got to about the 13 km mark, where our trip got colder again as we headed into the nippy north wind. From the junction of Spray River east and west, enough people had skied in the tracks to make them much faster with our green wax. -12C at the end.

    Visons of Loveliness (with apologies to Clement Moore)

    The sun on the breast of the new-fallen snow
    Gave a glitter of diamonds to meadows below.
    The branches were laden with sugar and cream
    and the trees were festooned as if in a dream.
    Sapphire above and sparkles below
    a vision of loveliness did on us bestow,
    as we skied past the creek with its hummocks of white
    it brought such a joy and a frosty delight.
    Ahhh winter!

  178. PLPP – March 8
    We enjoyed a cool but terrific day of skiing in the north section of PLPP. We started at Elkwoods Parking at 11:00 am (the only car in the lot) and travelled on Amos, Woolley and Meadow. After lunch in the VIC, we extended the loop going further on Meadow then back to the car via Pocaterra/Come Along, Lynx, Amos and Wheeler. All the trails were in great shape with a fair bit of snow since the last grooming. Some of them were showing signs of wear but it was still easy to keep my skis in the straight if not so narrow.

  179. UPPER SPRAY – March 8

    This is the time to explore the south end of Banff National Park.
    Travel conditions are excellent (you won’t sink), and there is a broken trail:!AhVZXBE7vMV7hgZStlDwzjcD2E9_
    Thanks to Park staff who have been working recently in the area!

  180. WBC

    Currently on the core trails WBC is as good as it gets for classic and skate technique – great snow and grooming!!
    On the outer trails skiing as also amazing just keep in mind there will be short exposed sections that may be thin…but seriously get it while you can .

  181. CASCADE RIVER- near Wigwam Creek

    Yesterdays wine.
    Excellent skiing starting at 1 pm. Mid winter ski conditions. About 4 to 7 cm of new snow on top of trackset. Temperature -4 at Stoney Creek. “woddoon” cabin -7 to 13 green wax allowed me to grove over the snow covered sacred earth at moderately fast speed. The unbridged creeks are all crossable with skis on thanks to the great guerilla underground volunteer trail workers fixing things up. This speeds up travel as a result- no skis have to come off. The trail beyond Stoney Creek is skier tracked into Flints Park. Deep ski penetration off trails for the most part. A cat with a stride of over 3 feet is making use of the ski trails. Meow.

  182. Ribbon Creek & Kananaskis Village: after reading Bob’s blog of yesterday, we decided that this was the place to ski. -16C and a couple of cm of fresh snow covering all trails when we started out from Ribbon Creek parking. Up Hidden Trail, and then up Ribbon Creek – great conditions for control on the triple “S” bend and the steep hills. Then Link, up steep Kovach, and the long way down on Kovach to the Village where we had lunch. After lunch, we skied most of the village trails, including coming down the steep Kovach hill – quite manageable. Then lots of fun down the Terrace Link back to Ribbon Creek parking. V30 worked well, though a bit sticky in spots. A bit slow today, but quiet, clean, and silky smooth. -10C when we finished.

    • Note – as we neared the end of our ski, we noticed fresh tracks coming from the KV snow monster’s lair. We followed its spoor back to Ribbon parking, and noticed the tracks continued north on Lower Skogan. We suspect that it was heading to Skogan Pass!! (later verified on the live grooming report).

  183. WBC – fresh 1.5″ over night (less than in S. Calf). Lots of grooming starting in centre trails when I finished up at noon. Moose Loop & Connector good new groom & single classic track but best was Hostel Loop (ungroomed) -so did that twice to enjoy freshies on still deep double track. Mtn view Road very thin and marginal – best to just hop down to crystal then west. I think I took 1/8″ off my pole tips on that road base :-/.

    • I followed Jeremy on the early afternoon shift, warming up on Hostel Loop, then following the tracksetting on West Crystal, Logger’s to Sundog to an exhilarating run down East Crystal. Green wax worked and temps stayed cool. Very few people on the trails, conditions were great and grooming is current.

  184. Any beta on Confed conditions? The Foothills report is for mixed conditions on the loops and recent grooming only on the driving range. Anyone been out the last couple of days?

    • Skied Confed this afternoon. The driving range is track set, and has good corduroy for skating. The track has a couple thin spots on the west side, but otherwise should hold up well with the cold weather. The rest of the course consists of man made tracks only, which are not too bad. I suggest using rock skis as it is getting thin in spots.
      On another note, I went around the course three times and did not loose one golf ball!

    • I skied during my kids’ lessons on Tuesday evening – all skier set outside of the driving range with many thin spots and grass. Not sure how much today’s snow has improved matters. Unfortunately, someone had driven from the clubhouse to the south access gate with their plough down. One assumes this was a city employee who didn’t know any better on some maintenance errand. Overall, good for a workout ski but not enjoyable in any recreational sense.

  185. Tom didn’t want to do Cascade fire road so he, Bruce and I did Skogan Pass instead! And it was an excellent choice with sunny weather, light to no wind and 30 cm of snow on the trackset. We were glad that we decided to take our light metal-edged skis which enabled us to break trail the last 2 km to the pass. Another newish retiree took advantage of our broken trail and joined us for lunch and the view. A great run back down. -14 at 9:30 and -10 by the end. Swix green worked well for the first third of the uphill and then Swix blue.

  186. WBC – skiing orgy today. The snow was cold, dry, clean and fast. Parking lot was only half full. Some trails were better than others. Mountain road was icy with thin layer of snow but Loggers loop, Sundog and Crystal lines were much better. Hostel loop was also perfectly ski able. My VR40 was slipping on sun exposed spots, after sunset worked fine. It’s time to play a hooky and join the fun, this will not last much longer.

  187. Bill Milne Trail starting at Golf Course and skiing up to the Kananaskis Lodge; such Jeff-errific Grooming and those skate skier tracks from last evening were a beautiful sight to behold. I am guessing they belonged to John McI-my girlfriend and I who have 3 prosthetic joints combined, joked that we might try skate skiing in our next life. I was tempted to take out my ruler and measure that amazing glide length!! The 2.2. kms. trail up to the Lodge gets so rarely skied but it is quite delightful, dog friendly, and made for a warm lunch in the ski shop building. Missed you again Diana P.

  188. Had a great ski on Cascade fire road with a friend today. Started out at 10:30 (-15c) with cold -10/-20 wax which gave good kick till temps warmed up later. No fresh track setting but the existing tracks were fine. Skied a few km’s past the first bridge then turned back. Saw a spectacular and very large avalanche come off Cascade mtn on the way back. Managed to get a video of it on my phone. Saw maybe 10-15 other skiers along the way.

  189. Ribbon Creek!!!!!

    Coal Mine was dreamy
    powder so creamy
    the run down delicious (woot!)

    And to top it off, ran into “the man” himself in the parking lot 🙂
    Bart used his new waxless skis, which he adores. I tried my kicker skins for the ascent, and they were ace. Then I had a glorious run down on blue wax, under blue skies in the warm sunshine.
    Photos later if I have time…….

  190. A special thanks to track setter Jeff for one of the best evening skis on Bill Miline trail in Kananaskis this evening. I’m very lucky to have the chance on freshly groomed skate and classic trails under stars and moonlight ,no need for my headlight.Best of luck to those who get to k kanaka skis tomorrow.
    Enjoy John.

  191. 3-4 cm more snow Sunday night at Lake Louise covered all tracks which had been groomed for the loppet. Broke trail on Peyto, Lower Telemark, and part of 1A. Slow but smooth and peaceful. Untouched race wax from day before (VR40 covered with VR30) still worked great. Waxed “too much” grip Sunday, so could have gone faster, Bob. 🙂

  192. CNC is in awesome shape. Went to check out some different natural trails today.

    Silvertip was fun!
    First time on Flying Squirrel. Fun going down, quite the grunt going up!
    Banff trail up through the minescar (aka Meadow) was soft and not trackset, but the sun was shining and there was nobody to be seen.
    King of Sweden down, super fun!

    So happy to see good snow on the natural trails in March, wow!

  193. Sunday: Goat Creek Canmore to Banff. Fabulous snow , skier tracked only as the previous track set grooming was buried under THE BIG Dump of fluffy white! Skied down the first hill from the parking lot without any scary moments. 10:30 am depart. Thankfully a few others broke trail ahead of our group. The entire trail over the bridges and tracks to Banff junction were fluffy powdery snow. Skied East side of Spray to golf course, walked up road to start of path along river for another ski jaunt to new pedestrian/skier bridge. All snow covered! A short quick walk to Roam bus stop at high school and caught the 2:00 bus ! Wax worked well: SkiGo HF -2-20 and Blue Ski GO. Trails on east side of Spray were only skier tracked with minimum walker footprints. GRand Day! We only saw a couple other skiers at Banff end junction. Several skiers at bridge Banff tournaround. Highly recommend this snowy fluffy trail this week.

  194. Skied the Redearth Creek trail to Shadow Lake Lodge today (March 6).
    The trail was trackset this afternoon, so should be perfect tomorrow unless it snows tonight.

  195. Canmore Nordic Center

    Brilliant – blue extra wax and -5oC

    Lots of fluffy snow on the lesser used tracks. Loop ski: Banff – Olympic – King of Sweden (up) – Meadowview – Banff – Grey Wolf – Meadowview – King od Sweden (down) awesome – Olympic – Banff (home). Hope it doesn’t get the corduroy treatment. Definitely be back tomorrow.

  196. WBC
    Gorgeous day out at WBC. Sun blazing and did not feel cold at all and the snow was silky and smooth. Waxed blue which was perfect. Helped out a fellow skier who got stuck on the side of the road. Other skiers stopped to help out too. We are part of a very fine community. Thank you Bob for helping to create and grow that community. . Did a shortish loop with my pooch – Sundog to loggers loop to west crystalline. Just the best playground close to Calgary I can think of.
    Grateful to live in Canada!

  197. Boulder Pass from Fish Creek Parking lot c 6 Meanderthals. Perfect conditions with 8 cms new snow and temps staying cool around -9. Clear blue skies and clouds kept sun off the trail. Big group of 14 skiing out as we were heading up Skoki Trail but we had the trail to ourselves skiing out. Combination of Fischer waxless with metal edges and a few of us had waxable with blue and had a bit of sticking on and off. One friend secured a one night reservation and has not been there since 1981 so he was pumped. Even the ski out down was not too intimidating with the new snow.

  198. West Bragg Creek: Sunday 4:15 pm. A late start in thick snowflakes. The middle Crystal Line was in good shape with skier set track. I continued through the Moose Connector and completed Moose Loop in a counter clockwise direction. Again, mainly skier set on new snow. There were a few spots by the meadow where my pole tips struck hard ice through a thin layer of fresh snow. A couple more centimetres should fix that.

    The scenery was worthy of a Christmas card, and my black dog looked more like a skunk with the snow stripe down his back.

    • We started our ski at WBC around 2 – Loggers, Elbow to 1st junction, Iron Springs, East Crystal. Conditions were generally good with shallow tracks. One section on Iron Springs was basically ice with debris and a shallow skiff of snow on top but it was short and manageable. .

  199. Michael and Annalee

    Annalee and I decided to ski Pipestone today on our metal edged touring skis because we assumed that Pipestone would not be groomed. Well we were wrong. Most of Pipestone trail was groomed – only the last bit was skier set and the skiing was great. Apparently Pipestone did not get the same amount of snow as did Moraine Lake road.

  200. Fabulous Skiing at Ribbon Creek today. Everyone I saw out skiing had a huge smile on their face.

  201. The Ribbon Creek trails were in great shape today. Conditions were soft packed and smooooooth, with a few cm of new snow over the much appreciated late night grooming.

    • I agree! I was out there on Sunday too & couldn’t resist the powder, so after a few quick downhill runs at Nakiska, I switched the gear and skied Hidden to Riboon creek to Kovach to Aspen and out Terrace. So much snow – the new Ribbon Creek trail’s windy steep downhill was soooo much fun (I really LOVE the new trail when there’s snow cover!!). I did encounter some walkers & their dogs destroying the tracks on the lower Ribbon creek trail, but politely asked them to stay off them since there’s a lot of work that goes into them. They said nothing, but stepped to the side when I passed them – hopefully they didn’t wreck the rest of it out of spite, but it was fantastic yesterday afternoon everywhere I saw 🙂 What a great day – got to do BOTH of my favorite winter activities in one day. Hope the snow stays!

  202. A “Truman” Start @ 1:15 Healy Creek/Sunshine Parking lot -9. Met a large group of snow-shoers on groomed Healy Creek who were on their way out from Sundance Lodge. Tracks continued all the way to the lodge and met several groupings all out enjoying this Brewster Trail with abundant snow. The snowmobile had recently gone out hiding the snow-shoers tracks. The Lodge was closed when we got there but a quick gulp of tea and chocolate and we were hitting that first lovely downhill. Looked like we might see a glimpse of sun, but basically it snowed all day. We heard lots of big bangs happening over towards Sunshine for avalanche prevention.

    CASCADE VALLEY – March 5

    Arrived at the trailhead to find tracksetting in progress:!AhVZXBE7vMV7hXdz_eglMA9do9hR
    At first, it was only trackset to the first bridge, but by the time we climbed back up onto the from the Stoney Creek Cabin, that section had also been trackset.
    Easy waxing in cooler temperatures and it is still snowing!

  204. Canmore Nordic Centre (CNC) lots of fresh grooming on the 10 cm new snow in past 24 hours. Some just rolled which suits me. In track conditions are highly variable with some areas fresh snow and others slightly icy. Green wax was perfect this morning at -12C. There is more groomed than shows on the live grooming – e.g. Meadowview is completely groomed and track set.

    • Had a marvelous ski at CNC this morning after helping to set up the course for the Alberta Cups. Used some old V20 and it worked fine. Bow, Banff and Meadowview were groomed and trackset and marvelous, although a bit slow. Silvertip and Rundle west were groomed only. Rundle east above the competition trails had not been touched. Should be some good skiing here and everywhere once the trackseting is done as cooler temps are in the forecast for the next couple of weeks.

      • I too was volunteering at the Alberta Cup at CNC, but managed to get in a ski at around 3:00. It was snowing lightly but steadily by then. I used my skintecs, and they were perfect! The skiing should be great there this week!

  205. Michael and Annalee

    Lake Louise March 4
    We started at Lower Tramline and it was just freshly groomed and upper Tramline as in process. With lots of fresh snow was skier set. Upper Telemark was just groomer packed with no track. Peyto was skier set with lots of fresh snow as well. Crossed the road at Deer Lodge and Fairview down. Again groomer packed but no tracks. Moraine lake road track set but with fresh snow.
    Skin tech skies worked quite well today.

  206. After Pipestone I skied the 10km race route for the loppet tomorrow. I started from moraine lake parking and continued on skier set track to fairview turnoff. Fairview was only packed with no track but still nice as I had the whole trail to myself. Continued to the lake and followed the 10 km start on the lake back to tramline. Tramline had tracks with a dusting of snow. Once the tracks are set tonight conditions should be great for the race tomorrow!

  207. Had a nice family ski at Pipestone today. Did the #20 Pipestone loop and the short trail to mud lake. Stopped for lunch at the top of the loop near the Pipestone river. Noticed a track heading further perhaps from Chuck and Jeannette? The groomer had started out just before us but about half of the loop was on skier set track. Lots of fresh snow and quiet made for a nice afternoon.

  208. Well first off, the highway was terrifying this morning from Scott Lake Hill to Elk Pass, but the skiing was good (but slow). There must’ve been an inversion as it was -7 around Nakiska but only 0 at Elk Pass Parking lot. Headed up to Elk Pass, then did Patterson, part of Hydroline, Lookout, Whiskeyjack, and Moraine. Skier set tracks all the way.

    My VR 40 was NOT a good choice – I high heeled it all the way up to Lookout. Scraped it off so I could enjoy a wonderful ski down in the 20+ cm powder!! So fun except a group of snowshoers had come up the way I was heading down and walked all over the trail (instead of sticking to one side as would be proper etiquette, but Lookout is a ski only trail). Not a big deal today as I was the only person on the trail and not moving as fast as usual, but on a day when skiers are descending at 50+ km/hr, a collision with a snowshoer could be bad. I’ll mention it to AB Parks; perhaps they can put signage up saying it’s a ski only trail? People seem to be pretty good on Blueberry Hill about using the correct ski vs snowshoe trail which keeps it safer for everyone. 🙂 Super fun, but take your waxless skis if you have em! Or skintech!

    • I’m not sure even explicit signage would help – I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, but it seems the last two winters like more and more people are just treating the trail markers as suggestions that don’t apply to them.Thinking we might need to start running some education tents to try and get people’s attention!

    • We approached Lookout from the other side and changed plans when we saw the trail was obliterated by snowshoe tracks! It would have been miserable to climb up through that. Glad we were not the only ones annoyed.

  209. PLPP – Starter at Boulton at 1030. Parking lot had 5-10 cm of snow. Air and snow temperature was -2. Skied skier set trails up whiskey jack and tyrwhitt to elk pass where there would have been 20 cm or more. Powder ski down to blueberry as only a couple skiers seemed to be ahead of us. Fox creek and Moraine were skier set but amazing, almost effortless. Used VR45 up whiskey jack and had some serious icing. Switched to Rode Weiss and had no more problems the rest of the day. It was -1 and sunny when we got back to the car.

  210. Spray River Loop in Banff was enjoyable today. We skied up the east side, breaking trail in about 8cm of light, fluffy snow with lots of icing/clumping. Air temp was around -3 all day. We scraped ice from our skis half way along the east side and again at the junction. By now it had almost stopped snowing and blue sky was showing through. As we snacked and scraped, the park’s snow mobile came through, tracksetting up towards Goat Creek, so we added a few more kms. by skiing to the point where the track goes down to the Spray River Bridge. The tracks were so much nicer than breaking trail in sticky snow! Thanks Park’s trail setter! We had lunch in the sunshine at the high point and then skied back to the junction and returned up the west side of Spray River. It had started to snow again at the junction. Lots of people out enjoying the new snow and fresh track setting. By the time we got back onto the highway to Canmore, the weather had closed in again with plenty of snow coming down and roads were icy. We had intended to ski Red Earth Creek today, but bailed at Banff due to road conditions. Hope someone posts a report to tell us what we missed!

  211. Goat Creek
    Started out around 10:30 am & skied to the top before the downhill to the creek bridge in lots of fluffy light snow… It had snowed so much that I could hardly see my ski tips, was trying to ski the tracks as best I could… what a great problem to have! Used vr40 but was clumping a bit when I stopped. On the other hand, I had good traction going back uphill to the parking lot.
    Hope all the snowshoers, walkers, and fat bikers also had a good outing. Multi-users seemed very considerate and friendly today.

  212. Cascade Fire Road 15cm of new snow by 2PM Saturday. Bless the single skier who skied to the bridge returning to the parking lot about 10AM – Thank you, your breaking trail made our trip much more pleasant. I broke trail for about 30 minutes past the bridge before turning around.
    Thanks also for others who followed and broke a fresh second track – the volume of the skiers in the afternoon certainly make it necessary so that downhill skiers can enjoy the return ride.
    Slow ski in continuous snowfall- heavy at times- Blue wax worked best but did ice up. Recommendation to others is to check your skis and scrape off ice before the long downhill on the return trip.
    Beautiful snow!

  213. Ribbon Creek report

    After an absolutely white knuckle drive from Calgary, we were rewarded with shin deep powder on all the Ribbon Creek trails (Terrace/Kovach/Ribbon Creek). Skier set track, obviously, since the trackset has been utterly obliterated by this spectacular dump of snow. Amazingly good grip and glide (when not stopped dead by snow piling up almost to the knees). Wow. Just wow.

    We had planned to go all the way to PLPP but bailed to Ribbon Creek as the visibility hit pretty much zero. No idea how much snow the south end received, but Ribbon Creek is set until spring.

    Roads were hugely improved on the drive back.

    • We must have crossed paths on the trail in the snowstorm. Truly amazing amount of snow in the range of 40 cm at the Kovack picnic table since the grooming overnight. The skiing here will be amazing after the next grooming and tracksetting is done.

    • Once past fortress the roads were fine. Mr Plow was in his glory.

  214. Quick ski at WBC this morning on East Crystal Line to Sundog Loop. -6 when we started ad -3 when we finished. Trails were really glazed over and corduroy was very icy. We had a longer loop planned, but cut it short.

    • What a difference a few hours makes then! We finished up about 130pm at -5 and had light snow falling most of the time during our 90min outing. There was just enough snow to make it pretty good. My wife had VR40 and I used my skintec waxless and we were both fine. Not great glide but decent enough grip. I was quite pleased with our outing as conditions exceeded expectations. Again a huge thanks to the trail crews.

      • Glad to hear! I’m going back out again tomorrow!

      • We Started at 2:00 PM. It was still snowing lightly. Skied Mountain road, Mountain view , West Cristal, Sundog and East Crystal. On Mountain Road my old blue was a bit to sticky on the track with a bit of fresh snow on it, but on tracks where a few skiers skied over it blue was good.

  215. Dawn Mt. in Golden has been soooo consistent this winter, and with grooming continuing smoothly, we expect March to be much the same.
    8 AM today we have -4C, fresh snow, more predicted all week. Goldilocks in Golden!

  216. A light snow and a good track as we left the Upper Lake Parking heading for Elk Pass at 1:30 pm. At the Hydroline junction the tracks were erased by blowing snow. A slow but silky ride down in the fresh. 12 cm had fallen on our return to the parking lot. A few kilometers down the road much less accumulation. A great start to March. Celebrate snow and winter wherever you find it.

  217. My. Shark trails. Wonderful day on fresh tracks covered with the ‘silky’ powder which fell all day. Toko pink kick wax worked great (vr45 for swixers). Temperature stayed just below zero all day. The climb back up from the Spray river was magic as was the exploring of Red black and Blue. If it keeps snowing overnight track breaking will be necessary.

  218. Peter Lougheed Provincial Park (PLPP) Friday
    Fresh snow falling all day- air temperature -1C at 2PM at Boulton Parking Lot.
    Fox Creek and Boulton Creek Trails in best shape this year.
    Skied Whiskey Jack- Tyrrwhitt – Elk Pass – Fox Creek – Boulton Creek- over three hours due to slow glide in freshly covered track. Used VR45 and then a touch of VR50.
    Beautiful snow – never complain about beautiful snow!

  219. Stephen Vermeulen

    CNC Friday 3-Mar

    I did a couple of runs out and back along Banff Trail between 0900 and 1100, the first hour the tracks were hard and fast with a bit of an icy feel. The second hour the tracks softened a bit and slowed down quite a bit.

    The man made section had pristine snow, but on the natural snow section there was a small amount of debris, most annoying were the occasional pine cones. Still very good in the natural snow section, just pay attention.

  220. Skied CNC this morning around 11am. No Klister but almost needed it. Skied Banff loop, trail and Meadowview. Lots of pine needles stuck to my kick zone now. Great skiing.
    Let it snow!!!!

  221. West Bragg Creek, Mar 2, 2017
    I did a loop on the south-side trails at WBC today. East Crystal Line-Sundog-Iron Springs-Shortcut-Elbow-Loggers-West Crystal Line-Crystal Link #4-Middle Crystal Line. Very good conditions, using VR45. The air temperature got just above 0C as I was finishing, but the snow was still cold enough. I’m guessing it warmed up another few degrees later in the afternoon.

    • Air temp of plus 3 as I pulled into the lot at 4:30 for the late shift. The snow had warmed up by then, and tracks in some spots were a bit glazed. Start purple wax worked great, though. I skied Mid and West Crystal, Moose Connector, Mountain Road, Mountain View, Loggers, East Crystal and Sundog loop. Conditions were nice and fast, and very good throughout with the exception of two bony spots on Mountain View- I would recommend skiing it in the west to east direction only.

  222. Drove from Kimberley today on way to big wedding on top of Sulphur Mountain on Sat. and stopped and skied Pipestone. We were going counter clockwise trails still good no needles and some soft snow on sides on top of the crunch. As I was ascending the hill just before the trail to the first lake a male skier rounded a corner and came straight at me. As he passed I shouted you need to call out. He turned his head back to me and replied you need to shut up. What happened to the good old days when skiers were going around blind corners they shouted out “TRACK.” Kimberley Nordic Center trails in fantastic condition it’s snowed all week and we have courteous skiers.

  223. Michael & Annalee

    I was helping out with FNSC this evening at Confed and believe it or not the skating around the driving range is still holding up. I didn’t get a chance to ski the main loop but who knows with some snow it may last couple more weeks!

    • I skated the main loops Wednesday afternoon and except for two patches – one by the northeast fence line and one on the south side of the clubhouse hill – coverage was good to adequate. The chinook today will do some damage and the bare patches will grow but if the forecast snow arrives tomorrow I think Confed will stay skiable until the next warm spell.

  224. PLPP -2 @ Bolton 12 noon, skied Amos, Lynx, Poccatera, Tyrwhitt, Elk, Fox, Moraine, a mix of a little fresh snow over existing track and new grooming, excellent skiing, the best track I’ve seem on Fox for a long time. Snow temp @ Bolton was -6 starting out on my spanking new skis, (having delaminated the tip of a much lesser pair, Lifesport’s red dot sale came at a good time and a sweet deal), so I stayed with VR40, which was okay, added a couple of VR45, which was still only okay, before starting Poccatera the climb. think the snow wouild come to me, it never really did. Snow temp top of Elk was also -6, for me a waxing conundrum, which did not spoil a great day!

    Our current mini Chinook has not touched PLPP so far, if it continues to stay away for the next 24hrs we’re in for a treat this weekend

  225. WBC – 8am ski before crowds with puppy again so ventured to Mountain view/road & mtn west trails. Fresh grooming on mtn view and view west but some perilouly thin gravelly sports from this mornings grooming too thin -albeit unavoidable. Do exercise care if zipping downhills of rocks & gravel wash (as I’m oft to do) on mtn view …also got surprised by blind ice flow at junction of west crystal & mtn view. Other thing: perplexed by in-progress fat (motor) bike trail rolling on already thin hard pack – joy ride or work?

    • I suggest skiing Mountain View West in the counter-clockwise direction, from Moose Loop to Mountain Road. That way you are going slowly UP the hill that has thin snow/gravel… rather than going fast downhill.

      The fat-tire motor bike is used by GBCTA volunteers to pack & “tread-set” trails for fat-bikes. The closer trails have already been tread-set, but packing is still needed on the more distant fat-bike trails. So the answer is that this is being done as work.

    • Those of us that both ski and ride the appropriate trails truly appreciate the packing done by the volunteer(s?) on the fat tire motor bike. The all use trails a little further from the parking lot don’t see as much use by snow-shoe’rs. Boot hikers and animals chew up the surface allowing thermal melt. The bike makes a great job of grooming/packing to drive in frost, preserve the snow cover and improve traction for bikes and hikers.

  226. I could only get out for a quickie today, so was pleased with the Spray Loop around lunchtime. Temps ranged between -3 and 0, thin snow and tracks on the west side,it was actually better on the east side on the return- single track for skiers and packed for bikes and hikers working well. Heard VR45 worked okay – on the cheaters.

  227. Shadow Lake Lodge: only a x-c skier can say they had the entire trail/area to themselves. 11am and -5 noticed only a snowmobile had gone before me YEAH! Met up with three volunteers at SLL junction on big snowmobiles who were packing down the main track. Climbed up/down first 500 metres and glad to have poles as it feels steeper coming down. Enjoyed brisk lunch on balcony of Red Earth cabin and not a soul anywhere. Unfortunately no lynx either but one grouse on side of trail. -2 at Lodge and light snow falling/blowing. Lovely ski out, especially to the tricky downhills. Ski tracks holding up fairly well until they suffered some snow plow destruction by us on way down. Am sure the lodge guests will appreciate the work done by the volunteer groomers today. +1 back at the car.

  228. Skied Moose Loop at West Bragg today. A bit thin in a few spots and one ice flow (that we managed to get around by sticking to the side) but overall, very good. It had been freshly groomed with perfect corduroy. Tracks were quite lovely and fresh too. All hills were easy to get up and to ski down. No real hazards. Pretty awesome for March skiing at West Bragg actually! And my first time on this loop!

  229. Tuesday February 28: Banff to Goat Creek parking and back, the ski was great and snow just fine though more would be good. It is so good to do the ski this way round as we did not have to drive up Spray Lake road from Canmore.
    To avoid a hairy descend to the bridges the metal edge skis were terrific and allow some total fast runs on the downhill portions. Love these skis.
    Wednesday March 1: Did the Brewster Creek to Sundance Lodge from Healy. Totally agree about the snowmobile negative effect on the trail. It was a bit icy and well packed – probably more snow needed hopefully this weekend! We used our faithful metal edges and they were particularly fantastic for the steep downhill back. I should have used skins up and would have probably enjoyed this trip much more. Amazing how long it took up to the lodge and how little time back though the trail is longer than we expected (and as shown on maps) probably due to the diversion on the start of the trail from Healy since the flood. Wished we had taken a sandwich for lunch.

    • Looking for a little more security on steep downhills. What metal edge skis were you using? Do you use a standard cross country or a backcountry boot.

      • I’m totally ignorant about this, compared to your colleagues here who actually ski. But I’ve always been fascinated by the ski choices out there.

        I see that Rossignol makes a BC 59 ski that has a tip width of 59mm, thus allowing it to fit (barely?) in a track. This seems ideal in my mind for many of the situations you Rockies skiers would encounter – ie. tracks set for most of the way, but with sections of steep trail where one might like the wider ski’s stability, the advantage of the ski profile, and the metal edges!

        Good luck. I look forward to hearing about what ski Sybilla used on Goat Creek too.

        • My wife skis on the 59’s and she says they have improved her confidence and stability on everything we ski now. Just don’t get them at the suggested length make sure you go to a good place where they can fit you with them. Rossignol tends to recommend skis too long for the intended use. MEC is the best place I’ve seen to get them. You have a choice of waxable or waxless.

          • Thank you to those who have joined the conversation. I presently ski a skinny waxless Fischer ski without metal edges with a minimal under the ankle boot. My husband and I cover a lot of territory…but I am turning 70 next week and would like more control going into the future. A 59 mm ski with metal edges seems to be a good option for some steeper terrain and/or icy conditions. My question is what is the best boot type for trail skiing versus backcountry. Helen, if you read this, I live down the street and would value your input.

            • I would love to meet you Ellen. I turn 70 in September and YES, you deserve a new pair of skis!!!!! About a decade ago I bought a terrific pair of Rossignols 65 with metal edges, length 185 cms. They were fitted well for me by Doug Godfrey who owned Mountain Magic in Banff. I paid around $200 for them and they are the best skis for marginal to perfect conditions, for the camber and perfect wax pocket and now a friend fitted a full pr of skins for them. These skis owe me nothing because I ski bet 800-1200 kms. a season. But my new love affair on skis is with my metal edge ASNES shaped 76-56-66 tip to tail. I think every decade of life, one should go 10 cms shorter, so these are 180 cms. and have mini half skins. The bindings I prefer are NNN BC MANUAL bindings because I often cannot get up without releasing my bindings when I take a big tumble. Unfortunately these bindings appear to have a wider footplate nowadays (not mine) and these can grab in a narrow or newly set track. The only store in the city selling ASNES are the Norsemen and they offer a senior’s discount, if you ask for it. They are getting new stock in the Fall and I am thinking of buying another pr also for my B-D. I should get a commission for selling Asnes, because many of my friends now own them. Re. boots- I only own BC NNN large pin boots and bought two pr exact same Madshus Glitterand Touring for $111. CAD each on line at . I am last duplex on Krizan. Today I skied Banff to Goat Creek on the Rossies-time to clean them!!!

            • Thanks for the detailed info. We met at a summer block party. I will knock on your door to discuss more.

  230. Great short ski yesterday on lodgepole and Braille …it was like a Disney ride. Blue wax worked perfect.

  231. West Bragg Creek, March 1, 2017
    I noticed snowmobile tracks heading up the East Telephone/Hostel Loop access trail today, so I thought I would check it out. I started off by following the fresh “grooming” up East Telephone. Alberta Parks crews groom Telephone Loop and it’s pretty obvious from todays effort that they are not XC skiers. For the first two kilometres, the trail was groomed only… but not track-set. The grooming was rough because the snowmobile was obviously going too fast to properly pack and smooth the tread. At the north Hostel Loop junction, I turned left and onto the Hostel Loop, which was impeccably groomed by the Greater Bragg Creek Trails Association volunteers. It was a joy to zip around Hostel Loop, all the way back to the north junction with East Telephone.
    We then continued up East Telephone. The track-setting finally started just past the Snowshoe Hare junction. We followed it to the Disconnect trail junction and then returned the same way. Next, we followed the west Snowshoe Hare Winter Multi-User trail to Demi-Tel and then down to the junction with Hostel Loop. Skiing the snowshoe/fat-bike trail was quite good… sort of like the Chester or Burstall Lakes trails.
    Very nice conditions, especially on Hostel Loop!

    • Given the sporadic grooming by AB Parks, why not have the GBCTA groom Telephone, and the south ends of Iron Springs and Elbow?
      Stretching the hard working volunteer resources too thin?
      Or bureaucratic reasons such as jurisdiction, or protection of union jobs?

      • Totally agree with Steve. Also could Parks Canada and K-Country cooperate more with grooming. For example PC could groom Goat Creek to the parking lot on the spray lakes road. Perhaps in exchange, K- country could groom MT shark trails to the Bryant Creek trail.

    • Sunday pm, I only had an hour or so for skiing and decided on the Hostel Loop for the very 1st time ever in nearly 30 years. Never bother skiing that trail, always bypassing it on the way to the entire Telephone Loop and other trails. Wow! What did I miss over the years. It is such a nice trail to ski with rolling hills, short steep climbs and great downhills on beautiful trackset conditions by the staff of the GBTCA. Great job those guys are doing on the other trails too. I enjoyed that trail so much, that I did 3 times, changing sense each time. Counterclockwise is the best as you get a great descent when coming back to the Telephone Loop trail. I highly recommend the Hostel Loop trail, going as far to say it is one of the best and most rewarding 3.3 km loop of any other places to ski west of Calgary, especially if you don’t want to tackle a longer drive. Donate

  232. West Bragg Creek – Mar. 1
    The trails were good and not too busy, especially once you got a few km from the parking lot. We went south on Sundog and Elbow as far as the junction and then retuned via Iron Springs, Sundog and East Crystal. The snow and tracks were good on most of the trails but it’s getting a little thin on the southern sections of Iron Springs. I’m glad we were going uphill at that point so we didn’t scrape against the rocks that are starting to show through. All in all it was a great ski.

  233. Fairview Loop Joyriding

    Had a meeting in Lake Louise, so decided to head around Fairview Loop clockwise from Moraine Lake Trailhead late afternoon. Nice tracksetting as far as the Paradise Valley junction, where, about 3:30, I met a friendly Scot from the Calgary Ski Club who was riding a double track sled. He told me he was checking the trail out (as he was not towing any grooming tools) in preparation for the Loppet. (The Calgary Ski Club volunteers for grooming in advance of the Loppet each year, and Parks Canada gives them a permit for this). He related that he sometimes engages in pruning trees if they are considered to present a low hanging or treewell hazard (another activity that is illegal in the National Parks, so presumably the Calgary Ski Club obtained a specific RAP (restricted activty permit) that includes this activity as well as grooming). We parted ways with him heading off toward Moraine Lake road, and I took a quick side trip up Paradise Valley, then came back and continued around the loop. I could see that he must have doubled back, a fact that became more apparent when it appeared as though he was in the habit of clipping the curves and corners, which resulted in one half of my track missing each time. Unfortunately, it did not matter if I tried to travel in the north or the south track, they both suffered the same fate of being denuded by the wide berth of the double track. It was also disappointing to observe, that on many of these over runs, there had been enough room in the middle between the two tracks to avoid running over either of the track lanes in the first place.

    Presumably this route is going to be reset for weekend use and will be fine. I’m just perplexed at why an experienced tracksetter would run over an existing track when a little more effort could have avoided that.

    BTW, pursuant to a trip report, other than part of the track missing for about 20% of the trail’s length, the snow conditions are in top notch shape with about 1cm of new snow in the track.

    • Good reporting job! FYI. This has been going on for years. I’ve witnessed the same skidoo behaviour over many years. Enough that I don’t bother skiing Fairview prior to race, because odds are at least some of the track will be gone. The same applies for the lower upper telemark trail .

      Just because a club member can drive a skidoo doesn’t mean they’re a diehard skier. Is seems the only thing that matters is preparing for THEIR RACE!
      Great to hear other observations!

      • Well, I had another very interesting trail observation yesterday, something I had not quite seem before either. My trail inconveniences paled in comparison it would seem. Many of you are aware that the snowshoe trails in the Lake Louise area are getting good use, so much so that local runners are jogging to the Lake Agnes Tea House every day. Another popular trail is the “Highline” Trail to Paradise Creek. When I got to the junction of that trail near the first bridge over Paradise Creek where that trail comes in, I encoutered fresh footprints. Opting to take the creekbed route up Paradise, I was amused to find the interpid hiker had elected to explore the same route. Judging from the growing number of deep postholes I was encountering, I was not surprised when “Jimmy” seemed to have aborted his adventure about 500 meters up the valley, and turned back. But not before illustrating his umbrage at the poor conditions by drawing of series of “NivationGliphs” in the snow. How did I know the name? Under each “gliph” which was some sort of phallic symbol, he signed his work. While it would appear that Jimmy and I were the only kindred spirits to have enjoyed the peaceful solitude or Paradise Valley yesterday, I’m kind of disappointed I did not get a chance to break the Zen of my trip and share in contemplating some of this artist’s angst of the less than ideal trail conditions he encountered.

      • Well, the race does matter to almost 300 skiers & volunteers. On the date mentioned the Fairview ‘groomer’ was interrupted by a call from the lake (Louise) to help get another snowmobile unstuck. Further, the fellow doing the tree pruning – yes, he has a permit – has some personal mobility issues. Perhaps a solution to some of the disappointment is to provide online notice of upcoming races using the trails, including pre-race preparation.
        BTW: The ‘friendly Scot’ has been an advocate for Nordic skiers for years now.

        • Perhaps I should explain why I mentioned ‘mobility issues’: he may have used the snowmobile to aid in positioning to do the tree pruning where person without the issue might have walked & avoided the tracks.

  234. CNC: Started mid aft heading west on M/V, back on Silver Tip, then back on M/V to King of Sweden. Early on had to rewax and when I stopped to add VR45, I somehow lost my Vena Silk scarf. Not sure if it was barbBanff who picked it up but I greatly appreciate the Scarf Fairy picking it up and returning it to the Lost n Found. It is our very own local silk scarf artist, Dana Roman who first told me how gentle silk is on the nose, when out in the cold. So ever since, I carry a silk scarf on the outside of my pack to pamper my aging nose. Your random act of kindness this afternoon was much appreciated.

  235. Just seconding the CNC reports- great skiing today. Olympic- meadowview- Bow Rundle all quick and well trackset throughout!
    Best day this winter !,

  236. PLPP – Pocaterra, Tywhit, Elk Pass, Boulton, Wheeler, Braille/Lodgpole. All the trails had a fresh skiff of snow over the machine tracks, which were all in excellent condition (less snow in the trees on Boulton). Should be a great ski tomorrow on any fresh grooming.

  237. Skied Mt. Shark – Watridge Trail to the bridge and back. Met group Second Sixties from Calgary – having lunch at the bridge. Trail not been tracked since light snowfall – but enjoyable. Great weather so no complaints. Used skin skis – snow a little snow.

  238. Great day at the Canmore Nordic Centre. Took advantage of the excellent conditions to try some new trails (for us) and had a blast. Did a loop of Banff/Bow/Wooded Bliss/Bow/Cold Shoulder/Banff/Flying Squirrel/Bruin/Coyote/Meadowview/Rundle/Chipmunk/Olympic/Centennial
    Most trails were in excellent shape with great recent grooming on Flying Squirrel, Bruin and Olympic. We are so lucky to have that facility.

  239. Perfect blue wax day at CNC! I skied Banff Loop, Meadowview from the meadow to the end, then back on Banff, and it could not have been better, even with my son in a chariot behind me!

  240. Forgot to post this earlier – skied classic at Confederation on Monday. Pretty decent conditions all things considered, getting thin in a few spots (especially in the very middle of the course around pathways/near the bridges. Skate paths looked to be in good shape too.

  241. Goat Creek was beautiful and quiet today. Snow was soft and smooth the whole way till the small bridge where we turned back.The first hill down from the parking lot was also clean and smooth . I agree with Bob, why go far when Goat Creek is sooo good!

    • Did you by chance do the Goat Creek Trail from Canmore? I am curious of the conditions on the Canmore trailhead side towards Banff.

      • From the sounds of Christine’s trip report, she must have skied the first 5.6K from the Goat Creek trailhead above Canmore. I think the conditions would be very good with the cold weather and skiffs of snow which we’ve had.

  242. Excellent day through the north end of PLPP, -6 C, no wind, old Swix green wax (-5 to -10 C) worked perfectly.
    Up Pocaterra, down Packers, back along Wheeler, Lodgepole, Sinclair.
    Seems like it’s been years since the snow and tracks have been that good in that area for the beginning of March.
    As long as ” Mr. Schnook” stays away, it should remain in great shape.

  243. Canmore Nordic Center

    Banff Trails were well groomed and quite quick. Looks like the powder that was present between the Nordic tracks in the Meadowview natural area west of the meadow has been groomed. All and all a nice Meanderthal afternoon tour with Geoff on Blue Extra (-5 to -6oC).

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