Trip Reports – March 2018

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  1. After-ski cookies with Bob at Pocaterra were mighty tempting, but….with new snow and fresh grooming (thanks, Bill!), plus being dog friendly- WBC won out for the day’s plans. As others have mentioned- great skiing on a mix of trackset and recent snow over old grooming. The far south of Iron Springs hadn’t seen any grooming for a long while but featured good skier tracks… Amazing conditions for the end of March! Hopefully the non-skiers will continue to respect the ski trails and not take the dates shown on the sign in the first photo in the gallery below too literally:

  2. PLPP South Trails
    With fresh grooming and the best snow-weather conditions of the entire season and the goal of getting to SkierBob’s season wrap-up event, it seemed like the perfect time to do a loop of the south PLPP trails. Starting from Pocaterra Hut, Rolly Road, Come Along and Pocaterra were in superb condition with beautiful new grooming of the new snow. I even caught a quick photo of SkierBob, racing back to Pocaterra for his end of season Meet & Greet.
    The grooming ended at the Packers junction, but enough people had skier-packed tracks in 10-15cm of fluffy new snow to make for very pleasant skiing. All of the downhills were soft and easy. Wheeler was a delight, with nice skier set tracks and abundant views. There was less ski traffic on Lodgepole and Braille, but great conditions on those trails too.
    This has been a remarkable ski season… and today was the icing on the top!

  3. Allison-Chinook ski trails near Crowsnest Pass
    On Friday, Jamie and I skied the Allison-Chinook ski trails. These are located just off Hwy 3, 10 km East of the BC/AB border and 10 km west of Blairmore. This is a really pretty ski area, leading to Chinook Lake. Look it up if you are in this area some winter. We like it. Some of the trails had been recently track set. It was warm at +4C but we managed with reasonable snow conditions.

  4. WBC, Moose loop,loggers, sundog, Crystal, great conditions for January… easy to forget its practicality April! and it should stay good for several days yet. VR40 wax provided phenomenal grip.

    Sorry to miss cookies n hot choc, catch you next time Bob, have a great off season.

  5. Sat mar 31: boulton/fox/elk/west elk.
    -18 to start at 9, and -5 on return at 2. Another gorgeous snow day. Broke trail all the way from boulton bridge, about 2 inches to start and about 4 near blueberry. Ankle to shin deep trail breaking through west elk meadows. Just barely able to see GH and crews track from the other day. But thanks again GH for the trail. Type II Fun builds character, and earns another beer! Had some for you at pocaterra meet and greet. Still another chance next weekend (-; The couch has been reapolsterrd. Only went about half way through the meadows today. Snowchewer heading to the hut came through so should be broken all the way now, although he didn’t inspire confidence that he knew where he was going. Also ruined the lovely skier set track I put in, but only for my return. Walked in the machine set track too but didn’t take long for that to get set by skiers. Early departure to meet up with bob so broke trail again on the descent side all the way back to fox junction. First time Ive skied Bolton post flood. A nice addition. I bit wider than fox, a bit higher out of the creek bottom and thinner trees, so more sun exposure than fox. Very nice trail option given it’s less travelled on busy weekends when elk pass lot is jammed. No wet snow or stickage at all. Strange sighting at the couch. Got buzzed by a lone duck, checking me out. Probably heading to open water on Kananaskis or bow river. They don’t get skier bob snow reports.


    • Sorry, that was David P who broke trail through the meadows, not GH. Thanks David!

      • Yes… I did Powderface

        • Good on ya. I thought about it, but other commitments. Been thinking about moose packers and up onto moose mountain as a similar objective, via WBC and mountain Rd. More sun exposed so needs even better timing. Maybe with the next cold snowfall.

  6. Ribbon, Coalmine & Kovach were skier-set with flour powder snow. Lots of it to snowplow down the coalmine, bit lumpy but still full control. No debris either. Was a little crisp, started out at -13 and -8 at 2 pm

    Green on the heel, glide on the tips&tail smattering of blue to top it off worked just perfect.

  7. WBC is excellent. Started at 10:30am, -14, used VR30, which was a little slow early on but had more glide later. Track setting was in progress on the inner trails, Mountain Road, Mountain View, Loggers, both Crystal lines and Sundog. Elbow and Iron Springs are skier set and easily skied. -9 when we were done, no wind so with snow still on the trees the scenery is enchanting. Thank you track setters.

  8. Anyone know what shape goat creek is in?

    • as of last night ,skied moonlight to big hill then back,skier track set,nice back country ski experience (skier tracksetting only for about a month now).should be skiable for another week.

  9. So sad Confed is closed. What’s the status with Shag? Open/closed? Groomed and track set? The “ski report” online is from March 6th.

    Some of us can’t always make the big commitment to driving out of town.


    • Last I skied there, earlier in the week, it was soft, slow, and slushy with lots of pavement showing in places. If you time it right, so it’s not too icy or too soft, and are careful, it might still be skiable. The tracks have pretty much melted and there’s not enough traffic to get skier setting.

      • Thanks Risto. Doesn’t sound too promising… don’t think I want to chance harming my good skate or classic skiis… also hard to judge if the new snow was enough to bring it back to life.

  10. Cascade Banff
    Absolutely beautiful powder ski -but where was it not yesterday! Pushed 20+cm of snow mid morning on 62mm 3/4 edge with VR40 12km to stony …yet by my return, almost couldnt see my tracks save for a couple other hardy soles whence I met turning around at ~km 8 north of bridge -good to meet! Stopped for tea and a buscuit but not dressed for WINTER so gladly followed their tracks out to go meander in the sun in & around Bankhead meadow.
    Sorry will miss all today as family duties beckon far and away.

  11. Lake Louise

    Skied the Bow River Loop for a short outing from the hostel. Great snow!! The ice is all gone (covered up) and the trail returned to prime winter conditions. It’s been snowing non-stop here all night, all day, and still coming down. Hard to believe it’s late March and not early February. Snow was good too for skiing. Not sticky. Expect to break trail if you come out. Tracks are all covered and even if somebody has gone ahead of you, they are covered again within an hour.

  12. WBC on Good Friday
    The conditions were very good out there today. I skied East and West Crystal line, south side of Moose Loop, West and East Mountain View, Loggers and Hostel Loop. By the afternoon, nearly all of that terrain had been groomed with the exception of West Mountain View. That trail could now be considered “back country” skiing. It has not been groomed in a while. There was about a 10 cm layer of fresh snow on a sun crust from the warm days early last week. I was the third person out that far today and I was occasionally breaking through that crust. Fortunately that did not happen on the big down hill to Mountain Road. All in all, fine “winter” conditions on the second last day of March.

    • WBC, Mar 30
      It looked like mid-winter conditions at West Bragg Creek today. -10C, with 10cm of fresh snow… and light snow falling. Volunteer groomers Bill and Dan were out roller-packing and grooming the new snow on on the trails mentioned by GH. New snow was covering the fresh corduroy as they went around the trail network. The packed snow needs to firm up overnight, before it can be effectively track-set.
      Please note that the volunteer groomers and equipment are running on fumes after 4 months of ski grooming. If you’ve enjoyed the skiing this winter, please remember to donate, or top-up your donation.

  13. South PLPP

    We skied into Elk Lakes Hut on Wednesday, out today (Friday the 30th). Totally different conditions on all three days. Today was definitely ‘Type II Fun’ for the kids in the group, setting track across West Elk Meadows into a fierce blizzard. Already ~3-4″ of accumulation on the Blueberry Hill junction picnic table at 11am. It’s great to hear that grooming will continue for some time as there is certainly lots of snow to work with. This is the winter that keeps on giving!

  14. Hi All,
    So sorry to think the season and SkierBob are calling an end to the skiing.
    Also we will miss the wind up at Pocaterra. Easter and then babysitting interruptus. Would have loved to see Bob before close.

    I know this is website is local but we went to Tonquin for three days! somewhat a learning experience – we have been in before but many years ago.

    The snow was so deep no tracks, howling wind in our faces, no visibility, and blizzard. We gave up the first day trying to get in after four hours and eleven kilometers of bushwacking up to the pass and not finding the way gave up and returned back to Jasper. Seven hours in all and 22 kms tough going.

    The next day still same conditions but started early and eventually crossed the pass – not in the right spot – too high – and over a massive drift on a ridge. Had to crouch down often to let a particularly awful blast of wind pass until we could move forward. Finally after nearly ten hours reached the Tonquin Valley Lodge. 20.73 kms of brutal skiing through deep snow. Tough too as my lense folded over in one eye and the other got blurred, related to McKeever skiing. Lovely to have dinner waiting and thank goodness the girls called out to us as Bryan was sure these were not the cabins and wanted us to go on. Thank goodness I was too tired and hungry to make this an issue. Never saw the Ramparts.

    Next morning a break in the weather, we had the wind at our backs, got directions to head more to the left heading back as we moved towards the pass, and some sunshine!! It was brilliant, the snow was wonderful going down from the pass. No issues with wax, just followed our own tracks at Portal but had of course to make our own again the rest of the way as snowed in and windblown over. Actually skiied Portal with no skins – great fun. Made it in a reasonable 6 and half hours!

    We are still in recovery and maybe Fitapp was not sufficent for directions… A GPS maybe another time. Then we were lucky coming back as we drove home Wednesday – wonderful scenery on the Icefields Parkway. The road closed for avalanches Thursday – today.

    Maybe we will survive for another season?

    Have a great summer if I do not see you on the trails or hiking – and thanks Bob and the crew

    Sibylla – and Bryan

  15. Mt. SHARK to the UPPER SPRAY – March 29

    So well traveled, you could do it on track skis, but you will need poles with backcountry baskets.
    Check this out:!ApWd3WZ3ra9NhU68s0A47Is5wqB1
    So beautiful… I will be back for more!

    • Great photos, Chuck. Looks like you had a fabulous day. What is the condition of the Smith-Dorien/Spray Lakes Road?

    • You have to wonder what idiot at Parks Canada came up with that useless bridge design. There is enough material for a decent bridge, but it is assembled in such a way that it requires caution for day hikers, is awkward for backpackers and is impossible for skiers and snowshoers.
      There are plenty of good bridge designs out there that could be copied, when these stupid bridges become due for replacement.

    • Chuck, you could have gained 50 meters by floating downstream on the iceberg.
      What amazing country!
      Thanks for the photos.

    • Very enticing! Those ice bridges look a little sketchy, though :O

  16. How better to wrap up my x-c ski season with a last Skier Bob Special and visit to the couch. W-J and Tyrwhitt were terrific/Elk Pass ungroomed so one had to pay attention on descending the far bits, and Fox/Moraine was as good as it gets without 5-10 cms on new snow. Snow-shoe tracks only to the trailhead of Elk Lakes, but we turned them into skier tracks. Introduced two visitors from Edmonton to the couch but was pressed for time so no further exploration into the meadows. Nostalgia thinking about season’s end.

    • We will miss you on Saturday! Hopefully you weren’t searching for the treats. I removed the container on my last visit (seeing as we emptied it). What kind of shape was the couch and meadow trail in?

  17. Jean-Francois Richy

    Mt Shark – It was -3C at 10:30am and the recently groomed trails (thanks a lot groomers) were in pristine conditions. I met two large groups of walkers (5th dimension club), one at Watridge lake and another one at the Spray river bridge, they were very considerate and walking on the side of the trails. I skied some of the 5k and 10k loop that were in superb conditions and did break trail on the 15k loop, but it was quite pleasant. V45 violet wax worked well. Another day in paradise….

  18. WBC morning ski on all south side trails -only a few others out & with Wednesday’s fresh & light 3” in place, classic style on VR45 just fine! -no sticking -well, maybe a tiny bit on Iron Springs Deep south steep aspects. Only crappy section to avoid is steep bottom end of said trail toward elbow junction due to (many) walkers churning up full width & as refrose, could be treacherous for some. Clouded over now & with more snow to coming it’s still winter out there people so stop complaining & go enjoy it! Where to tomorrow?

    • Jeff or Alf, … or any one else know if budget allows tracksetting operations here into early April. I heard/read that Kananaskis valley & PLPP, the answer is no (I do realize it’s a different operation). Thx.

      • I don’t have any info on WBC, but my sources tell me that PLPP will be groomed until April 15.

        • It has started to snow here this morning in West Bragg, I am looking forward to 5-10cm. and cooler temps this week. We should be grooming this snowfall sometime today and tomorrow. I plan to keep grooming as long as the snow is viable. Get out there and enjoy!!
          Groomer Bill

  19. Lake Louise seemed like the choice today after yesterday’s brutal chinook, and it did not disappoint.
    There were fresh tracks on Moraine Lake Road, Upper Tramline was a little “old” with a few needles and hiker bootprints, Fairview was being groomed as we skied and was absolutely lovely! The sun did get a little intense at times.
    Lower Tramline had minor skier tracks in deep snow, and varied from very nice to very sticky. From Louise Creek down there were a few other tracks. The descent of lower tramline took me longer today than the much longer descent from Kananaskis Lookout to Boulton Creek on Monday!

    • We also skied Moraine Lake Road and Fairview on March 28th. Our return on Fairview to the parking lot was slower than hoped since it was hard packed with no track. We heard that the 28th was the last day of grooming in the park.

  20. LAKE O’HARA – March 28

    With news that the fire road had just been trackset, this was a great choice today:!ApWd3WZ3ra9NhTmupXlAcb6ebOJv
    Temperatures stayed below zero all day, so the cold powder snow will be around for a while… only saw a few skiers all day!

  21. Jean-Francois Richy

    PLPP (Whiskey Jack / Lookout / Hydroline / Tyrwhitt / Packers)
    The temperature was +1C at 9:30am in Boulton Creek parking lot, there was a group a 8 snowshoers going to the lookout and respectfully walking on a side in order not to damage the tracks. We use V45 / Violet special and we had good grip and a good glide. The south side of the lookout was heavily snow plowed by skiers, but the north side was covered with a good 10 to 15cm of fresh snow and the descent was safe and fun. Hydroline was covered with snow and when we reached Elk pass, a lady from Edmonton and her son confirmed there was no more closure due to avalanches. Another great day!



    Yesterday Afternoon

    The Cascade River trail is track set for the first 6 km to the bridge. It is variable moderate to fast speed snow. Shaded areas are somewhat winter like and sunny areas are spring like. In some areas climbing up the trail I had to go into the skate lane or left track set to get good grip and my mojo moving. The snow was better after about the first 2 km and the grip up hill was excellent. Excellent slide as well. If temperatures continue slightly below normal, the road section of the trail should be skiable until around the 3 week of April.

    From the Cascade River bridge to Stoney Creek, the track set has significant snow in it and resembles more like a skier tracked trail. Past the re-route around the flooded area for about 1.5 km the trail is skier tracked as someone did not follow the track set. The trail in this section is more wimbly wombly. Eventually the tail moves back into the track set and improves. A significant amount of people have used the trail. Shortly before the Stoney Warden Cabin I came across a group of European ski tourists who were not to happy that the tail was not track set as it should have been. Parks Canada lacks a good understanding about ski operations and ski tourism. Providing a consistent track set product is necessary for marketing efforts to attract tourists- even in the spring season. Now this group will go back home and spread the word about poor Banff Park track setting efforts which will turn off other tourists from coming here. This is not what good tourism looks like. The Banff Park Superintendent really could use some training in ski tourism marketing.

    The skier tracked trail from Stoney Creek to Cuthead Creek Warden Cabin is well used and in winter like condition for the most part. Glide and grip is excellent and fairly fast. One small avalanche hit the old road in one section. I was able to ski across all creeks without taking my skis off although one creek was slightly challenging to do so. There was a young couple at the cabin on their way to go to where the bison roam. The trail to the Panther River is also well traveled and ski cut. The trail towards Flints Park cabin was well established with roughly 10 cm of mid winter like snow in it which was easy to cut and made me feel like I was floating on a cloud. Coming back out, the moon was mainly obscured by clouds but provided for good night scenery and fast mojo navigating out on my 59mm “edge of metal” skis. It took roughly 2.5 hours to come out from the Panther River junction including a break at Stoney Cabin. Love the spring snow night speed.

  23. WestBraggCr -enjoyed yesterday am in fast controlled track & with some off track ski-wandering. Icy in expected & obvious tracks ‘where the sun shines’, but with blustery wind sifting in many tract it made for nice grip. Jeff had core trails & road skate lane groomed by 11am! so GREAT for safe decents. Also, did a bit of wandering on hard crust through a couple sections of Tom Snow and far west blocks & trails as bush skiing IS fun this time of year when one stays ‘a float’. Hummed along on skinny fish scales for a good sweat! Ski safe.

  24. Lake Louise great skiing yesterday on Fairview looking out the window this morning from Deer Lodge watching the snow come down . Anyone skiing today can expect a few Cm of new over yesterdays grooming.

  25. BIG THANKS to Chuck and Jeannette for all the trails they track-set for the rest of us this Winter/Spring, most recently enjoying their and Tanya’s (and likely others) tracks up Paradise Valley today. No wind to report there and no skins needed. We did not go as far as the skier tracks but stopped about 1/2 kms. beyond the Sheol junction sign; Gaia marked it as 6.5 from the car at MLR. It was a new and exciting thrill coming right down the creek to MLR on Chuck’s roller coaster tracks. It still felt like winter in there today.

    • Never ventured in here in winter (sounds like lots have THIS year) and may have to soon b4 the summer crowds keep me out!

  26. PLPP kept its cool today 🙂

    Whiskey Jack – Lookout, return same way
    Snow stayed cool as the sun never got really intense, so it was a great day out. My only complaint would be the wind!! Bad for driving, and one did not want to linger at the lookout. Other people were ahead of me on both trails, so by the time I was descending the snowplow lane was getting a bit plowed out, but it was still superb skiing!

  27. Lake Louise

    Afternoon ski (-1 to 2 oC). Skied Moraine Lake Rd onto Fairview and then down the Tramline to the walking path to the 1A. Out on the Great Divide and onto Lower Telemark. Back on Great Divide, Peyto and Tramline ending at the MLR Trailhead. Snow was good with no ice/glaze. Trackset several days ago but still good. V50 Swix purple. Tracksetting by the Park ends on the 28th so chances to ski trackset trails is ending soon.

  28. PLPP – South and North ends. Today was perhaps not as superlative as yesterday’s reports indicated, but it was still mostly darn good. Started 10am at Boulton to -5C and overcast conditions. Skied up Moraine and Fox – quite nice skier trackset in 5-7cm of snow. Moraine pretty clean; Fox minor debris. Then started south on Elk Pass, expecting to move to Hydroline where the trail closure was. Surprisingly, the yellow tape was gone, so we continued south on the Elk Pass trail – rather rough as it had not been trackset for a few weeks, though some backcountry folks had flattened a decent track. These conditions held true to Elk Pass itself. Then onto Tyrwhitt – fast conditions with a dusting of new snow over the recent track setting. Some needling near the south end. By the time we reached the top of Whiskey Jack, the new snow was 1cm+, so the cruise down WJ was delightful with control on the curves.
    We finished the day with an hour of skiing on last nights track setting at the north end of PLPP – Meadow, Lodgepole, Sinclair. Great on the downhills, but difficult to get grip (with V50) going up anything a bit steep. -2C at 2:30pm, and still cloudy when we left. Lots of strong winds on the roads today, but, with a few exceptions, PLPP was surprisingly calm.

    • Good to hear the elk pass trail is fully open again. And unfortunately I missed out on Sunday’s gorgeous day. Couch day Saturday maybe. Hopefully not the last.

  29. Skied Ribbon Creek area yesterday under beautiful conditions! Sunshine and blue skies with temperatures hovering around zero all afternoon, tracks holding up so well and almost all to myself. Ribbon Creek-Kovach-Terrace-Link-Aspen-Kovach-Aspen-Link-Bill Milne out and back to about Hwy 40, over 27 km total. Grip and glide were great, especially in the trees, which I enjoyed so much I did two loop variations to try to ski them all. Surprising how good the conditions; the overnight temperature, a dusting of new snow and a cool breeze coming off the mountains must have kept the snow cold. Swix V60 wax worked well. Bill Milne, which is quite exposed to sun and wind, presented some headwind and a bit of glazing on the out (southbound) leg, which a bit of snowdrift helped counteract. Heading back, the glazing seemed a non-issue, helped by the sun going behind clouds and the slight downhill of the return leg. Such wonderful conditions, for any time of the season.

  30. We skied a loop in Kananaskis today on amazing snow. Up Packers to Poccatera on great groomed trails, then continued on up to the Whiskey Jack corner so we could enjoy the run back down. The lower part of Poccatera, Lynx and Wheeler were skier packed through about 4 cms of lovely cold snow. Cold enough for vr45 to work well. Everyone seemed to be smiling and grateful for such a great ski day in late March!

  31. March Goodness (or Phi Slamma Jamma)

    Boulton Creek vs Tyrwhitt. Old school vs New. Very (!) hard to decide which was “The Dream” …with all due respect to (& previously aka as : Hakeem Olajuwon) “Houston we had no problems”. That is all.

  32. Lake Louise – Beautiful day on Fairview and Tramline.
    Unbelievable conditions for this time of year. Skied at my seven year old son’s pace all day and saw about 10 people in three hours. It was like having private trails. Amazing. Snow was great throughout and waxless worked like a dream both down and on quicker trip back up to grab car. Late March skiing just shouldn’t be this good.

    • Lake Louise – I concur, hardly a soul on the trails and we couldn’t stop exclaiming how great the conditions were and how lucky we were!! Fairview then the Lake completed a perfectly beautiful and relaxing day!


    Cascade River was groomed earlier in the week Does anyone know if much snow fell in the tracks up to Stoney Creek?

    • You mean Cascade Valley? It is skier set up to the warden’s cabin. Quite soft and wobbly, but skiable. Didn’t venture beyond

  34. Great conditions in the Lake Louise area. Fresh tracks on the Great Divide & Lower Telemark & Pipestone Loops made for a couple of ideal skiing days.
    Early Spring conditions with temps still cold enough to maintain the integrity of the few centimetres of fresh snowfall. We used our skin skis over the weekend; but wax skis would have worked fine too. It’s wonderful out there! Better enjoy it while you can, all you XC skiers!

  35. Bolton Campground, Sunday 25 March, 2018

    -13c at 0900, 6cm of fresh powder at the trailhead.

    Great kick up Whisky Jack on blue swix. Thanks to the early risers for ski setting a track all the way up to lookout.

    It stayed cold all the way to the top. That fresh snow made coming down North Lookout a blast.

    Came down more skier set track on Hydroline. Found Elk Pass trail taped off. The sign said closed due to “Avalanche Concerns.” I’ve always been suprised that portion of Elk Pass hasn’t hosted warning signs before. Good to know Ranger Rick is looking out for us.

    Skier set track on Fox and Moraine brought me back to the car. Still -13c at 1135. Bluebird skies.

    Excellent kick and glide, Bluebird day. Packers and Lookout are in the shade until 1030 or so. Early birds are thus advised.

  36. Peter Lougheed Provincial Park
    The Whiskey Jack, Pocaterra, Packers loop was just gorgeous today. The trails had been beautifully groomed and track set this morning (thank you Alberta Parks; you rock). There was no ice, no glazing and it was blissfully sunny, with a steady temperature of minus 3. What a winter! We are so lucky to live in this part of the world!

  37. Evan-Thomas Fire Road trail. Su Mar 25, 2018
    We did this un-trackset trail that leads to Evan-Thomas Pass (14-15 km one way from Evan-Thomas parking lot) a few times years ago with the dog. The trail splits off from the high point of the trackset part of the Evan-Thomas trail. Today (sunny, -5 C at 10:00), there was deep snow and just a narrow combined snowshoe-backcountry ski trail to start off, then the snowshow tracks ended after about a kilometre, then the skier track ended after another 1.5 km, leaving just cougar and moose tracks in deep snow…. being on skinny skis, I was sinking in pretty deeply and only went as far as the first creek crossing. Too bad; I remember this as a nice trail, but there was less snow the last time I was there and I guess I took for granted the efforts of those who had made a nice track ahead of me! This year certainly has been an anomaly.

    • David, I’m curious about this. Do you have a gps track or more details?

    • This was one of the annual trips we used to do many moons ago to try to make it to Evan Thomas pass and back in a day or Cloudburst pass for a shorter trip. Unfortunately I don’t think the trip is feasible to either destination anymore due to the flood in 2013 which pretty much destroyed the old fire road where it ran near the creek or crossed any side creeks. It’s a shame as it was one of my favorites.

  38. Currently-10 Ribbon Creek TH.

  39. Kananaskis Village/ Bill Milne
    Fresh snow over latest grooming, about two inches at the top of the Kovach and 1 to 2cm on the Bill Milne trail. It was cloudy day, plus the northerly wind kept the snow cool, no signs of snow melting. The conditions should be excellent for tomorrow. If you are tired of WBC and can deal with numerous road and bridge crossing, then you will have good time.

  40. Castle Junction.
    From the junction to Castle lookout was not track set. Some of the hills were a little icy, and snowploughing was difficult! Traveling west, beyond Castle Lookout, it was recently track set, making for a pleasant ski. All in all, a great day!

  41. Wool ‘n woods wanderlust to Sheep River country. Spent better part of day as intrepid wanderer in my favorite QUIET woods -except it was anything but, as the following album will reveal! How many different tracks can you ID?
    BTW, absolutely NO other skiers out today though still a good base pack in very nice skier set tracks and hard crust over 40cm snowpack in meadows. Took my time over the 16km but did see lots. Granted no rocky crags but a natural splendor reminiscent of nordic skiing in a different era -always grounding.

  42. Magical conditions in Paradise Valley today. Soft fluffy snow, not too sticky, and the were able to follow tracks up the creek from the first bridge. Definitely best to stay left of the creek to avoid some interesting snow bridges over the creek. We skied as far as the second bridge. Other trails skied: We skied the Fairview Trail from the lake to reach the entrance to the Paradise Valley Trail, and skied our via Fairview, MLR, and Lower Tramlime, ending at the Village. All trails looked freshly trackset and were in great condition. (Bow River trail aside which is thin and icy.)

  43. Skogon Pass, started out from the Stoney parking lot around 11:30, snow temp -3, loaded up with vr45 on light touring waxless and enjoyed good grip all the way up except for the very thin new snow sections, A couple of inches of snow has fallen since the recent grooming, good thing, the base beneath is firm! Took in the sunburst and loop on the ascent, new snow depth was thinner on lower loop.Overall great conditions and some curious signage lower down for skogon , apparently directing traffic away from the ski base area and towards a ‘ dangerous ice flow’!

  44. West Bragg Creek – Great day out but quite icy here and there on Elbow Iron Springs. Ski with caution.

  45. Lake O’Hara Road – Yes! We finally made it up this season! And what a lovely day for it! -7C at the parking lot and 0C at the end of the day. Whatever tracksetting had been done a couple days ago was covered by fresh snow (about 5 cm near the bottom and 10 cm at the Lake). There was a pretty good skier track set, although the tracks tended to weave around a bit. Coming down on the steep sections was a bit tricky due to uneven ground, but was quite fast, and the snow had the consistency of icing sugar – smooth and soft. Despite the forecast, the sun shone most of the time, with high haze keeping it from softening the snow too much; we didn’t have any problems with sticking. V40/45 wax worked well today.

    • Had a good ski up to Lake O’Hara as well. Whatever was trackset on Thursday was definitely covered, but there is skier track for the most part. It does goes left and right and there are sections of the uphills that are obliterated from the people coming down. Was a bit slow going up this morning because only one other group was ahead of us, but took less than an hour on the way down. Lovely weather with blue skies to start out, cloudy by the afternoon though which should preserve the snow.

  46. Great ski in the sunshine yesterday on Mountain Road-Mountain View-Loggers-Sun-dog – East Crystal. Only complaint is the outside classic track on East Crystal from the bottom of the hill to the parking lot is now so far over to accommodate the skate lane that pole planting on the outside is risky as there is little to no compaction. Tried Telephone Loop today and with the cooler temperatures and fresh grooming and track setting I would have to say that the Loop is in better shape than I have ever seen it. That is from the Disconnect/Telephone junction onward! Unfortunately some very inconsiderate people chose to walk straight down the fresh track set while others in what I would assume to be the same group chose to obliterate/post hole the compaction in the two sets of Fat Bike tracks making it very difficult for others to enjoy. Thankfully the group of walkers chose to continue up Disconnect so conditions were pristine on Telephone from that point on (gosh knows what they did to Disconnect/ Long Distance – please get some snow shoes or skis or stay off the trails completely if you are making 7 cm divots with every step. Once again a great big thank you to the volunteers for their dedication to grooming and don’t forget to donate to support their efforts which make it possible for everyone to enjoy such incredible trails. If there are any snow shoe persons on here looking for a trail to make fresh tracks on – Disconnect to Long Distance to Telephone would love you! (and so would the Fat Bikers!)

  47. Parked at Hwy 40 winter gate and skied up to 9 kms mark where the little parking lot leads into Pocaterra just above Packers. 3-4 cms of new snow on top of crust that wanted to ruin my nice tracks. Temps -3 at 11 am and -4 at Gas station at 3:30. Skied down Pocaterra making an extra loop on Come Along (yes, even I get confused by those 4 way intersections) and a lovely couple who had been snowshoeing up to Burstall gave me a ride back to my car. Unfortunately I forgot my black mitts in their vehicle so good thing the skis are soon getting hung up, or I might have left them beside the winter gate. Total trip was 19 kms.

  48. Amazing conditions skiing PLPP Lookout
    Jamie and I started skiing at 9:30 a.m. with blue V40 wax from the Boulton Creek Campground under a mostly cloudy sky and a temperature of -5C. We were immediately entranced with the snowy, wintery conditions. We skied along Moraine, enjoyed the beauty of the open water along Fox Creek, up the Hydroline to the Lookout. Seven other people seemed to be heading towards Elk Pass. We saw nobody else on the Lookout trail. We enjoyed lunch with a raven at the Lookout. The bit of blue sky to the north disappeared as the snow started falling lightly at noon. Whiskey Jack was fun and faster than last weekend (under control fast). Jamie let me ski to the Elkwood parking lot where he picked me up. There was a bit of light glazing near the end but nothing serious. Our skis glided nicely today, with minimal clumping. I encountered a total of 40 people along the various trails; mostly along Wheeler.

  49. Stephen Vermeulen

    CNC Banff Trail to the end 0930-1100. Snow temp was -8C at the start, softened up a bit towards the end but nothing sticky. Excellent new tracks and grooming from Friday night. Lots of snow still with very little glaze.

    • Stephen Vermeulen

      Forgot to mention, must be a special day for traffic tickets. Passed 5 officers at various places on the #1 in the process of writing tickets, plus the usual multi nova on the way out of Calgary.

      • I spotted more than 10 officers today on the drive between Calgary and the Lake O’Hara turnoff and back. Have never seen that much in all my years of driving that highway.

  50. WBC March 24th.
    After seeing SkierBob’s birthday pic posted and reading the live grooming report for West Bragg, I decided to cancel my Saturday morning chores and head out early. Arriving at 9:15, the temp was a pleasant -4 C with no wind. I was amazed at the great track-setting on most trails. Of course, as others have reported, sun is having a big effect now but the skating lanes are in prime shape and the tracks, while glazed in many spots, are stable. I used VR45 and probably spent as much time in as out of the track. I wouldn’t recommend your best skis and watch out for the ice flows!

    Oh, I ran into a young lady in the parking lot who had been skating for about 2 hrs. Her glide was gone, gone, gone; the bases looks like chalk. She had some Swix F4 rub-on glide wax that was recommended to her and she claims it works very well for short periods. I’ve never tried it, but I can certainly see a place for it in abrasive conditions such as we have now.

  51. Shark Mtn Trails. Blue-bird day today, above zero in the sun all day, in the shade a bit nippy. Does not look like has been track set in a few days but not an issue. 2-5 cm new stuff on the trails is a nice cushion overtop of some hard/icy under layer. By early aft those areas in the sun are wet but in the shade things are still wintery, meaning your waxing prowess will be required. Skaters will get big thighs pushing through several cms of loose stuff on top. For Sat morn will be icy at first but by 10 things should be softening up nicely, assuming similar weather holds. Began to lightly snow at 3 on Friday so there may be a bit more new stuff for Sat morn.

  52. West Bragg Creek – Fri aft. A VERY quiet ski along s. trails & iron springs/elbow loops. Surprisingly well covered despite hot sun even on springs and surface melt. A little bit of new grooming after last nights snow I think, but with STILL DEEP atypical base, this weekend should be a sure thing. Skied on 40yo ‘white’ 220cm waxLESS near-pristine Järvinen boards ($5 deal) re-bound and they were a dream on the warm mixed and potentially clumpy (as others said) conditions. Stay off the road probably unless early in am or skate all day for a workout. Here are a few pictures to entice the yyc crowd to enjoy one last weekend skiing locally …oh ya, and a must see on the last slide!

    • I’m wondering how much affect the warm sun had on the trails this afternoon? Other than at those sunny spots on Iron where melting is pretty much a given? I like that last pic in your gallery- while luck with the weather has certainly played a role in this most excellent of WBC seasons, the hard work of the volunteers has played a huge part as well- they deserve our support! With the great base, I wouldn’t write off the season after this weekend though- I’m sure that we still have a spring storm or two to come.

    • As for the last photo, I’ve probably done two season’s worth of skiing at West Bragg this winter, so I made a double donation. I encourage everyone to do that as well!

  53. PARADISE VALLEY – March 23

    Don’t put away your waxable skis yet… excellent conditions persist in Lake Louise!
    With 12 cms of new snow overnight the quiet kick and glide was just lovely today, and we didn’t see a soul.
    Andrew had just finished tracksetting the Moraine Lake Road when we arrived, and of course we had to break trail as soon as we headed up Paradise Valley, but the base is solid all the way. It is best to stay on the south side of Paradise Creek to minimize creek crossings. We only went 4.6km up the valley to the Sheol Junction, which means there is absolutely no avalanche exposure.
    Check out the details here:!ApWd3WZ3ra9NhSufLCqwNuCkoGI3
    We’ll be back!

  54. Just back from West Bragg. I have never skied these trails this late in the season before but conditions were amazing this morning. My wife and I skied Sundog – Loggers – Mountain View – Mountain Road then Moose Connector and West Crystal Line back to the car. All the trails were freshly rolled and trackset , V50 gave excellent grip and the downhills were silky smooth. Must have just missed you Steve!

  55. Telephone loop on Friday morning: good-excellent skiing with 4-6 cm of untracked cold snow over a refrozen snowmobile packed base. Starting out CCW at 8:30 with an easy waxing temp of minus 8, I took the west leg of Hostel to avoid the worst of the walker trampling on lower Tele. The foot holes along with a few fatbike ruts persisted until Disconnect junction but did not present much of an issue- it was just bumpier underneath than the ideal. Beyond Disconnect it was mostly close to perfect, especially on the north end, with smooth quick carefree skiing, however a couple of the faster downhills on the east leg caught me by surprise with some roughness left by the sno mo- with that and the crunchy base in general- I was glad to be on my NNN-BC setup with light metal edge skis. The final short drop to Moose Loop was a bit challenging with a lot of iced up bike and walker tracks partially hidden under the new snow, but with the good runout at the bottom onto Moose it was pretty much a schuss down. All in all though- the best of my 3 Telephone outings this season! Moose was still not groomed- so I continued south on the connector, hitting superb fresh new track setting on Mountain Road, Mountain View and Middle West Crystal for the final leg. It looked like all the core trails had been done this morning. Plus 1 at 11 as I pulled out of the parking lot- get it while you can!

    • WBC
      We are so lucky to live here, where else could I have spent so many days this winter on such good snow, either Confed golf course or Bragg Creek?
      Today, 10am to 12:30pm, I took Mountain Road to the Mountain View West junction then back to Mountain View, West Crystal Lina, Loggers, Elbow, Iron Springs, Sundog and East Crystal Line. All had excellent packing fresh today except the far part of Mtn Road (although that might have been done later), all was also track set with the exception of the lower end of Elbow/Iron Springs. I used -7 to -1 wax which worked perfectly everywhere except at noon on the southfacing hills on Iron Springs, note to self: go the other way round next time. If tonight’s forecast snow flurries happen tomorrow morning should be just as good.

  56. Pipestone Trails
    I broke up my drive out to the Monashee Mountains today, with an XC ski at the Pipestone Trails. I did the Pipestone Loop counter clockwise to Pipestone Pond, then completed the loop on Hector Trail. It was +3C, under an overcast sky, with 2-3 cm of fresh snow over the previous grooming. It would likely have been a waxing challenge… but no problem for my Twin-Skins with a fresh coating of
    “Skin wax” to prevent icing up. I measured a snow depth of 120cm at the pond, so there is plenty of snow to continue skiing into April.

  57. Emerald Lake.
    Spent a night at the Emerald lake Lodge, taking advantage of the skier mid week rate. ( Note: they are getting fussier about which club memberships they accept, they wouldn’t accept the Calgary Outdoor Club, but eventually accepted Slow and Steady, Meet up)
    Skied around Emerald Lake and the alluvial fan, (3 times). Conditions are fairly good, especially this morning, after a bit of fresh snow. The only concern was a dip in the trail, from a caved in tree well, about half way around the part of the trail that is in the trees. This can’t be spotted until you are on top of it, but I didn’t have any problem going through it. I did part of the trail to the Natural bridge. This was a bit icy in places, but still doable. Thank you Kicking Horse ski club for the grooming!

  58. Moraine Lake Road and Fairview
    noticed Moraine was set last night so headed out.
    At noon there was 1-2 cm on track.
    Vr45 worked fine although not very fast. R skins
    Probably would’ve been as fast.
    Saw only four people skiing and one fat bike.
    No ice , A bit crunchy on a few places in down track. And fairview about as good as it gets !

  59. PLPP-Meadow/Wooley/Amos/Wheeler loop with 3-4 cms of “snow globe” powder on top of new tracksetting. -3 to start at noon and 0 at Elkwood parking lot at 3pm. Saw my first black bear running across hwy 40 en route home so add the bear spray to the pack. SkiGo Red (zero to minus 3) worth the investment and worked well until the very end of my ski, finishing on Wheeler.

  60. Fairview in Lake Louise
    We skied yesterday afternoon (Mar. 21) on our waxless skis and were amazed at the great condition of the trails: soft, not slushy, with no ice. There were very few people out on the loop from Fairview to Moraine Lake Road and back up the Tramline. Lovely!

  61. West Bragg. Wonderful skiing in great tracks on waxless skis.

    I skied all of the tracks set on the 19th and they remain very well defined (not much skier traffic). Hills were easy – not a single one has been scraped bare. Some minor rough spots on Iron Springs and Mountain Rd and that little hill from parking lot up to Hostel. My magic time today was from 11 a.m. when things started softening up enough to not be icy-treacherous and to give waxless (fishscale) skis a bit of grip, until 2 p.m. when the sunny stretches became wet and slow (which extended to many shaded areas by 3 p.m.). A few snow fleas out. It’s amazing not to see needles or rocks in late March; actually it is amazing to be skiing at all, let alone on such nice tracks in late March –everything was totally melted down by this time last year. Thank you thank you thank you, grooming crew volunteers!

    • West Bragg Creek
      Just following up on Barry and Steve’s trip reports…
      I did a Hostel-Telephone-Mountain Road loop, with an afternoon start. The snow was generally soft on sun exposed aspects, less so in shaded areas. Perfect conditions for skin-tech skis, actually. Telephone Loop is groomed, though not track-set, but that was just fine. The snowshoe/fat-bike/hiker traffic mostly ended at Snowshoe Hare north junction, with a few continuing on to Disconnect junction. Then just a few skier tracks all the way around to Braggin Rights crossing.
      The only place where there were obvious signs of melting was the 1 km stretch of Mountain Road, just west of the parking lot. Basically, all the snow on the adjacent south-facing hillside is melting and is collecting on the trail, thereby creating slushy areas. Those spots will be ice in the morning. Best to use West Crystal Line, to access the trails to the west.
      So, it looks as if the WBC trails have survived the past few days of warm weather. Colder weather and a bit of snow is forecast for Thursday, so there should still be skiing for this weekend.

  62. Burstall Flats towards toe of Robertson Glacier (or as far as I felt comfortable skiing). -4 at 10 am, zero at 1pm. SkiGo worked great (0 to -3). Decided to shortcut down to the lake first then climb back up the trickier part through the forest, on my return. Fresh powder snow to break trail in and no high heel effect. As Normand previously remarked, on his epic ski into and out from Assiniboine Lodge yesterday, the Smith Dorrien today was the absolute worst I have ever seen it. The cheque is in the mail Bob and I don’t mean your OAP one.

  63. Wednesday morning ride and slide at WBC 🙂
    Cloudy and minus 1 at my 10 am start- I went out on the bike first while things were still frozen. Looped around West Crystal, Snowy Shortcut and Snowy Owl Winter Multi-use trails, then back via Strange Brew and Boundary. Very good riding, mostly on firm packed snow. Some ice, making studs a good idea. But enough of all this bike talk:
    Back at the trailhead for elevenses, I switched to the skating skis for a couple of laps on East and West Crystal. Snow quality for the most part was surprisingly good, as the skating loops had been very recently “reprocessed” by breaking up the crust, leaving a nice soft surface. There were still a few short areas that were glazed over and icy, however most of the hills were soft enough to be easily managed. Tracks in good shape also- frequently glazed, but it looked to me like skin skis or klister would have worked well. Kudos to the dedicated grooming crew for keeping things going! As I wrapped up a bit after noon, the sun was out and the frozen areas were beginning to soften. Driving though Bragg Creek on the way home at 12:15- my truck thermometer showed plus 4.

  64. TURTLE TOM’S CABIN – March 20

    In the Banff area, this is one place to get High!
    Once I got above the valley floor, heading up Brewster Creek, the snow conditions were excellent. Unfortunately, despite the most snow in years, Sundance Lodge is closing for the season due to a lack of bookings.
    Today, I carried on past Sundance Lodge and the Fatigue Pass turnoff, to check out Turtle Tom’s Cabin.
    The snow was cold and plentiful. Travel conditions are wonderful (on a snowmobile packed base, thanks to Mitch) beyond the trackset trail to Sundance Lodge.
    Check it out the details here:!ApWd3WZ3ra9NhR8X8b0wFI-6V-sf


      Chuck, were you high enough to see if the snowmobile packed the trail on the other side of Brewster Creek towards the warden cabin, upstream of Turtle Tom’s old cabin? I know that would require getting just a little higher peek.

      Why was the cabin called Turtle Tom’s? Was he slow at building it?

      • I did cross Brewster Creek and skied up the west side, but the snowmobile did not cross the river ice this year. There are significant avalanche slopes beyond.
        Legend has it that Turtle Tom worked in the kitchen at the Banff Springs Hotel, where he made Turtle Soup!

  65. Skied Whiskey Jack and Tyrwhitt to Elk Pass and down Hydroline to Fox Creek and Moraine today. Started about 10:20 am with a group of Norseman. Some had waxable skis and some were using waxless (I used my waxless). Snow conditions were actually good going up Whiskey Jack and along most of Tyrwhitt. The flat and downhill sections of Tyrwhitt were fast, with a bit of glazing in some places. Then we got to Elk Pass where the only choice was to turn around and ski back the same way, or go down Hydroline. We chose the latter. Hydroline tracks were glazed, which made for a fast downhill ski to the north end, BUT the steep portion of Hydroline where you turn to rejoin the Elk Pass trail was treacherous! Some of us side-stepped our way down because of the hard-packed and icy conditions. However, once on the Fox Creek and Moraine trails conditions improved and we had a lovely ski back to the cars. Word of advice, ski the trails where there is shade. The sun-baked slopes are not great.

  66. Moraine Lake Road – When we set out, it was -2C and the tracks were fairly icy/crusty for the first few kms. (below Paradise Creek). After that, the snow conditions improved, and we did fairly well going up (three on waxless skis, and one person on V50). Temp was 0C at the turnaround and +2c back at the parking lot. The return trip was fast and a bit tense in the tracks, but we all made it down in one piece. When we started out, it was winter, but somewhere on the way up to the turnaround, it miraculously turned to SPRING! Happy Vernal Equinox to all you skiers out there!

  67. Confederation Golf course now has a sign saying no skiing and all the gates are locked. Looks like they are snow plowing all the pathways.

    Does anyone know if there is still skiing at shaganappi?

    • Maybe they think Confed is its own oasis that will miraculously melt and sprout forth green grass and tweety birds in the next week in time to open Easter weekend?
      Truthfully given all the snow and reasonable apres-work ski conditions it seems more reasonable to keep it open until the weekend. I’m quite certain there is enough demand.
      Unless there is some risk to the greens and fairways?? In which case shouldn’t all golf courses be the same?

    • I think this is a very delicate time for the grass. Easily damaged I suspect.

      • If the grass is so delicate, then it seems strange that the golf course staff has also plowed snow off the grass in various places I could see on my last visit.

        I believe there has been a long history with the golf course managers wringing their hands about fairway damage or delays in opening and not much evidence that either is a problem. Given how quickly bare patches can appear on the packed and groomed areas during a chinook, I am skeptical that it makes much difference. And I don’t see much harm in letting people continue to ski after grooming is finished. Once grass starts appearing, people will naturally stop going. Who wants to ski over big grass patches?

        • My family own a small golf course. Built it from scratch. They have allowed x-country skiing on it for years… but skiers have often torn down the barriers around the greens and tee boxes. I have seen the track marks left in the spring. Golfers are not happy seeing their greens damaged.

          Sometimes golf courses take snow off in the spring to try to manage the melt and snow mold. Turf management is not easy – chat with someone trained in it and you’ll learn it isn’t as easy as you might think.

          It makes me sad seeing skiers continue to rip down the temporary fencing around greens at city golf courses. They are put there for a reason and aren’t that hard to go around. They are golf courses first, cross country ski trails second. I want to be able to ski on them when I can but if skiers can’t follow some simple guidelines, we could lose the privilege.

          • Skiers ripping down fences? Where does this happen? If you are referring to the vandalism at Shag then I doubt that was skiers! There wasn’t a problem as far as I know with skiers going past the ropes at Confed this year.

          • Whether they are golf courses first and ski trails second is a matter of perspective. To a lot of people, they are ski trails that happen to have golf played on it for part of the year. I skied 2-4x week on Confed this year and I play golf on the course maybe 2x per year. Nobody is talking about the golfers losing their golfing privilege, if they keep plowing perfectly skiable trails. It’s all a matter of perspective

    • Interestingly enough there is a public facility that is in our community that is undergoing a rebuild with some dispute from the community. The issue is that the city has had a new policy for the past few years that all public facilities must now serve more that one purpose, essentially be multiuse. Perhaps the public golf courses should be renamed multiuse facilities and that cross country skiing and golf should have equal right and time at the public facility. Might be an avenue for the ski clubs to pursue. Golf is a short time use sport and the use of the facility could be better used with all year activity.

      • Golf courses bring in revenue – XC skiing does not. Would be quite a shift in policy to start charging trail fees for winter activities on golf courses. The amount of snow this winter is anomalous and shouldn’t be expected year over year. More aggressive snowmaking and grooming activities would cause a quite a bit of residual damage on the golf course infrastructure. So rather than having good golfing in the summer and marginal skiing in the winter, users would have marginal conditions for both. A COP Eastlands development is the most logical choice for a permanent facility (or out in the Rocky Ridge area to take advantage of the higher elevation).

        • Hi YYC. There is no reason XC skiing can’t bring in some revenue, even without charging for trail fees. Club houses, which rent golf clubs and provide golf lessons in the summer, could rent skis and provide lessons and sell food and hot beverages, etc. In the summer, our beloved ski trails, which happen to double as golf courses (wink), are not (should not be) a profit centre for the city. The green fees cover staff, “grooming” (cutting grass), etc. So, XC ski trail fees would only be acceptable to pay for staff, snow making and a pisten bully that grooms the trails every single day to Canmore nordic centre quality. 😉

          • Golf courses aren’t going to risk the $20MM+ investment in turf against the risk damage of large footprint tracked equipment (e.g. Piston Bully) or extensive snowmaking – there’s a good reason the trails at CNC are gravel/dirt/scrub underneath. Neither will the golf courses be pulled up to trench in the water distribution and power/air lines required to make usable volumes of snow (i.e. the ongoing attempts to make meaningful volumes of snow have been an utter failure. Beyond making it, there is no mechanism to efficiently distribute and condition it for skiing). Food and beverage is a non-starter … the contract at CNC has changed hands 3x in the last few years – and that’s a captive audience. Rentals are a lost cause in the city – COP proved that many times over and none of the nordic clubs are going to pick up the tab for the utilities and staffing of opening the club houses over the winter. Golfers outnumber skiers by a large margin and we both know skiers aren’t going to pay $50/day to support what you’re describing.

    • Yes, Shaganappi parking lot is open. There’s a giant welcoming sign. Lot’s of happy skiers. I believe you can also still ski on Maple Ridge. I don’t think there has been any recent grooming. So double poling it is.




    I ski cut the Redearth Creek track set ski trail which had a few inches of snow on it. This was a little slow and gave me time to think why all political donations should be banned because of the 2- tiered election system that is created. This allows those who politically donate to politically “out gun” those who don’t donate- at the expense of tax payers with tax credits. The classic skiing conditions are excellent spring like right up to the warden cabin. Expect some variable snow speeds from moderate to fast. There has been significant skier traffic since the last snow fall on the trail. Yesterday there was at least a 1/2 dozen people out skiing surprisingly.

    The trail up to Shadow Lake Lodge is snowmobile packed with a couple of inches of newer snow on it along with a lot of shallow foot prints from people hiking up and down. It is reasonably wide for skiing down with 59mm metal edge skis. Temperature late afternoon was -1 at the Lodge. Temperature at night was -3 under cloudy skies with very light snow.

    The trail to Shadow Lake is skier tracked and nice and fast with winter like snow. Beyond Shadow Lake towards Ball Pass there is a skier tracked trail for about 2km then it turns into a trail with snow on it which is easy to ski cut.
    Ski penetration off of the trail was about ankle deep or so on average and makes for excellent off piste trail breaking.

    Skiing on Redearth Creek trail should be good until mid April judging by all the snow. This is the time to ski to Ball Pass and beyond.

  69. After a week of backcountry touring at Amiskwi Lodge, I was pleasantly surprised to find fantastic conditions at West Bragg Creek. It had snowed about 30cm over the weekend and the volunteer groomers had groomed most of the core and south-side trails. The longer north and west trails, like Telephone Loop, Moose Loop and Mountain View West had not yet been groomed, but were in the process of getting snowmobile packed. I expect they will get groomed in the next day or two.
    Our route included some skier-set touring on Tom Snow trail, and a sampling of the great track setting on Mountain View, West Crystal Line, Loggers, Sundog, East Crystal Line and Hostel Loop.
    The temperatures warmed to +6C by late afternoon, so I was glad to be on my “Twin-Skin” skis. Although the weather forecast is predicting warm afternoon temperatures, the overnight temperatures will have a good freeze. This should preserve the skiing into the weekend, when cooler temperatures return.

  70. Canmore Nordic center: the new snow from Sunday groomed into the solid base made for pretty near perfect conditions. The tracks were solid, though we’re a little glazed in spots. And, with not to many skiers today, the corduroy was still nice at 7pm for skating.

  71. Lake Louise was indeed a good choice today. All three of us had waxless R-Skin skis, but you could have used wax until about noon or so. We did the Fairview Loop, from Moraine Lake to Paradise junction and back to lake, etc – mostly to catch the sun on MLR first. All of it was lovely, hard snow, decent tracks on loop as well as across Lake Louise for lunch in the sun.

    • Ditto to heather d’s recommendation of MLR. We 3 used wax and all did great on the cold beautiful snow, ending our ski just after 1pm. Only 2 cars in lot on our arrival @ 9:40. We just skied to the turnaround area (9 kms mark) and enjoyed our first lay down on the snow for lunch. Temp in snow at top was -5. Are the rumours indeed verified that grooming is over up there?

      • We hadn’t seen any grooming activity in Banff for 10 days but the trail report just posted that Cascade Valley was trackset today. Bonus!

        Lake Louise should continue grooming for a while yet.

  72. Anyone have any intel about skate conditions at the Nordic Centre? Thinking of driving out after work tonight to get a night ski in. Any info is appreciated because if conditions are not good, it would save me the drive. Thanks!

    • Skied classic there yesterday afternoon. Grooming & tracksetting hadn’t been done since most recent snowfall but most of skiers seemed to be skate skiers.

  73. Stephen Vermeulen

    Confederation Golf course, Monday 19-Mar, 0730-0830.

    Snow temperature was -10C, there had been a trace of snow overnight following the 20mm or so that fell on Saturday night and Sunday. The tracks had actually improved since Sunday morning with the new snow freshening them up a bit. For the most part they are still well defined, with a few exceptions on the blue loop near the creek. Yellow loop is quite good. Still no exposed dirt, grass or debris anywhere. Also, very little ice, just a couple of spots that must have got a lot of sun, and these have largely been fixed by the new snow.

  74. Delta/Kananaskis 18 March

    40mm of fresh snow and clouds saved the skiing at the Delta yesterday.

    Trackset was icy beneath the new snow.

    Good skiing should still be had if the sun doesn’t shine.

  75. PLPP -central trails
    Well, after an almost 7 week hiatus from the trails due to an owie, I couldn’t ignore the recent powder & went for another single-arm-ski through some silky skier tracks near the visitor centre and southward to elkpass & return. Bolton, Fox and Moraine were sublime with 4” of fresh over weekend’s track-setting. Minus 4ish on VR55 in afternoon worked fine. Surprised so few skiers out as most parking lots only had 2-3 vehicles. Managed a slow but pain free 22km but just glad to be back on the boards!

  76. Cascade Fireroad Sunday 18th
    Well the trail report was correct- no sign of track setting last 10 days.
    Trail had been skied in to some degree. Wobbly, shallow, not fast.
    I was on skintecs which worked OK . My partner used VR 50 somewhat successfully and we were about the same speed. Under the most recent snow track was ice. The centre was frozen ruts. Would have taken quite a while to get to stony especially when we passed the skier who was breaking trail .
    Turned around at top of hill. There were several skiers heading out so trail could get better..
    Went to CNC where there definitely was at least 3 cm over the grooming.
    Did meadow view and Bow with skintecs. OK with some slipping and grabbing, and record slow!
    I think Lake Louise was likely the best choice today!

  77. Maple Ridge Golf Course.
    Fair late season conditions on, what looks like, skier track set over old grooming. Very few thin patches. Waxless skis worked quite well. Nice to be able to still ski in town. Happy to see the snow still falling, while everyone else is complaining about it!

  78. Another for WBC. Best conditions I’ve ever had on Sundog/Iron Springs/Elbow Loop. No sticking, no crusty snow. Pure beautiful powder with soft track setting. We used waxless skis.

  79. WBC today…west crystal, moutain view, loggers, sundog and east crystal…fresh snow coming down and -3 made for perfect conditions on waxless. Good glide and able to easily walk up hills. Get out while its still good. Oh , we met a dad and his 2 sons (on skis for the 2nd time) who were having such a wonderful time and sporting big smiles.

  80. West Bragg got a timely refreshing today, with good-very good conditions on Sundog, Iron Springs, Elbow, Loggers, Mountainview, Mountain Road, Crystal West etc. A mix of grooming and track setting from yesterday and earlier this morning was covered over with about 5 cm of dry snow, making for fast fun skiing, with ice noticed underneath the new snow only on the most previously sun hammered sections of Iron and Mountain Road. Uncertain about conditions- we had left home with a full arsenal of skis including metal edged and waxless, but in the end they were not needed, as the trails stayed soft and dry throughout the day- VR 45 worked very well. The great 2018 WBC ski season lives on!

  81. Mar 18 WBC
    7 of us broke trail in foot-deep crust and powder on Mountain View West.

    • I noticed it wasn’t even groomed or rolled yesterday morning as enjoyed excellent core trails trackset but thought for sure it would have been done by today with equipment out and about.

      Sure hope Jeff & crew haven’t given up on the ‘big circuit’ as still lots of season left despite thin spots, flows & hazards that (if need be) one can walk around to avoid.

  82. Sun mar 18: WBC telephone loop (CCW)
    -5 to start at 9. -3 back at the car at 130. No stickage! But crusty was the adjective of the day. Skier set track. Decent enough for the first bit as there was a gentleman in front of me for the first third. Challenging downhills on the east side due to the crust and recent skier set. Snow plowing not an option and difficult to make turns on the corners at the bottom of the hills, but slow enough not to be too dangerous. Once past buddies tracks after he turned around, it was a day or two old boot top deep skier set track from a party of two. No glide in this section due to the crust on the sides of the deep track rubbing my boots, so very slow going. Herringboning also tiresome with the crust. It was awkward skiing getting thrown around with no real consistent rhythm or balance. So a good workout for the core and all the stabilizer muscles. The ice flows were all covered, for now. No issues with the barb wire fence at all as no speed. Things should improve with a bit more skier travel. So if you have light touring gear and want a quiet challenging day with a solid workout, give it a go. Mountain road felt lightning fast after that. Some wet spots starting to show up in the low areas of mountain road.

  83. Stephen Vermeulen

    Confederation Golf Course, Sunday 18-Mar 0900-1000.

    As the AMA road report was showing an exciting mix of yellow and red roads for the trip to Canmore I chickened out and went back to the golf course (for the 21st time…).

    Temp was about -1C, snowing, there was already about 1cm new in the the tracks which made for slow glide. The tracks are still well defined, so if you still need to ski and don’t want to drive out of town this is still a good option.

    There were 7 cars in the lot when I finished.

  84. West Bragg Creek just now
    Crystal, Sundog, Mountain Road View and West
    Fresh snow, fresh grooming and tracksetting in real time, mild subzero conditions. It’s going to be a great day for slow recreational skiing at WBC. I certainly enjoyed mine.

  85. March 17 West Bragg Creek

    We decided to give Moose loop a try even though it hasn’t been groomed. It was an adventure though deep skier tracks. The sections in the trees were very sticky and the hills felt like you were risking your life since there was no way to snow plow. We considered including a loop on mountain view but no one had been that way and no one was up for breaking trail in those conditions. Overall a fun (but slow) day!

  86. Kimberley! Still glorious at Kimberley today, brilliant blue skies, but the hot sun is doing its dastardly deeds. Trails were quite icy to begin with, then this afternoon getting soft in hot sun, so very herky-jerky going from sun to shade and back. Lots of snow, grooming continues, and waxless skis definitely the best choice.

  87. Just finished a skate ski at Confed at 8pm and skate loops are in great shape. With it getting cold overnight it will be uneven and hard in the morning but will be great once it softens up. Tracks are in decent shape especially on the north facing slopes. Tomorrow is the last day as there will be no more grooming after this weekend so get out there if you are in the city!

  88. Whisky Jack / Packers loop PLPP. We left at 10 am and thermometer read 0C , the freshly groomed trails were perfect. No signs of ice flows on either Whiskey Jack or Packers and the big turn seemed in great shape. We were all on waxless skis which provided good grip and glide until the sun peaked through clouds near the end of our trip. Still a lot of snow to enjoy.

  89. WBC
    Lots of white dense snow on the trails. Hostel Loop, Loggers, Crystal lines were groomed. You will experience soft tracks and difficult waxing conditions. My Skigo yellow had almost no grip. Afternoon snow showers made klister ice up. I’ve ended up applying Terva red over klister and this worked very well for the rest of the day. Many happy dogs behaving well except one small scrappy poodle tried to bite my ankle.

  90. Bill Milne – the Luck ‘O The Irish was with us today. Started from the Ribbon Creek area at 10am to -1C; four of us on waxless skis. Some tracks got us near the Kananaskis River, but once we crossed the bridge and headed south, there was only grooming, though this was pleasant. After a couple of Km we debated turning around and going back to the Village to ski trackset, but decided to go a bit further first. Lucky! In 5 minutes we encountered Alex the Leprechaun in his tracksetting machine, so we had tracks for the rest of the day. Skied up to Wedge Pond, then the Wedge connector to the Evan Thomas bridge. Returned the way we came. Tracks were slow but generally good, though the Connector had several sticky sections. Toward the end of our ski, back near the Ribbon Ck area, tracks were definitely getting a bit wet in places. +3C at the end. A somewhat slow but pleasant day.

    • Ah the luck’o’the Irish, those Leprechaun caps are a dead give away, I spotted them twice, skate skied two laps from Mt Kidd to Kananaskis river bridge on perfected groomed corduroy between 12 and 3pm with a side trip to the Terrace which was not as skate friendly. Fantastic conditions even though it did get a little soft in the last hour, should be just as good tomorrow except for my tracks 🙂

  91. Stephen Vermeulen

    Confederation Golf course, Saturday 17-Mar, 0845-1000, temp -3C to -1C, snowing lightly. The tracks (yellow and blue loops) were set Friday night, so still pretty good conditions, just a few short spots where there is some ice – but nothing hazardous and still no exposed dirt or grass. With the new snow and the soft freezing last night there wasn’t much in the way of glazing and the tracks were about medium speed. Not sure what grip wax would work, I was just double polling.

    There were 11 cars in the parking lot when I left, so the fresh snow is getting skier packed right away.

    • Arrived at Confederation GC at 7:30 AM, and was pleasantly surprised by the great conditions – especially considering it is March 17th!

      V50 0C to -3C worked well.

      THANK YOU to the groomer(s).

  92. March 16 – PLPP – WWL – Wheeler – Moraine and Return. Imagine my surprise this morning to read that Skier Bob had skied on track set trails via the Hrdroline and Elk Pass. Where was the tracksetting on Wheeler and Moraine? A previous conversation with a WWL employee gave some idea as she had reported that she had shovelled the WWL area twice in a relatively small time period. So, in other works, any tracksetting, early may have had to be done again. Anyway, despite the suuny day, slogging was the order of the day. There was a lot of snow, so much snow that big fat skis would have been nice and usually I make a point of bringing them. However, I had recently purchased a pair of Salomon skin skis and I was determined to try them in these kind of conditions and they did work very well. However, my companions were not so fortunate ( a mixture of wax and fishscales) and they suffered a bit mostly from lack of grip which is the better choice than clumping. After our slog halfway along Moraine we decided to turn back and sample our handy work back to the Lodge (WWL). By this time there had been a mixture of our ski tracks and snowshoe tracks. What with the huge amount of snow, our skinny skis and the snowshoes, acerbated by the warm weather, the trails looked like a war zone. The usual unevenness of a skier track was there and so you had to stay over your skis to maintain balance while striding. The gist of all this is that until some tracksetting is made on these trails, things will be a mess.


    40 km north of Banff, and today we did it:!ApWd3WZ3ra9NhHPAiqkuxs-xCSuZ
    Consider this as an extension to my January 24 report, north of Cuthead.
    Battling 30 cms of snow falling all day (obliterating our return tracks), seeing the Bison was only half the excitement! The highlight was my first ever sighting of a Bat in full glide. We also enjoyed seeing numerous Ptarmigan, flushed out by our passing.

    • An 80 km day, out and back, in fresh moist snow, returning in the dark? Wow chuck! But thanks for answering the question of whether the bison were free roaming or fenced in. Looks like a relatively small pen so I’m guessing parks is supplying feed.

    • Awesome, how much time did the trip take? 10 hours?

    • Wow. What tremendous fitness, endurance, and love of nature.
      And most guys Chuck’s age just struggle to replace the batteries their golf carts.

      • And I forgot the wonderful photography. Lord knows how he takes those gorgeous photos when I would be panting to catch my breath -)


      This is something I have always wanted to do. Just wish I had access to the Warden Cabins.

      I have being considering going in the short way- via the Panther River to see where the bison roam. I use to go up there backpacking yearly via the Panther River from outside of the Banff Park. I have not been up there since the big flood in 2013 though. There are a number of river crossing going up the Panther River that likely have changed. Distance is less than 20 km this way but potentially dangerous and cold with multiple river crossings.

  94. Today Friday we got the luck of the Irish skiing to just shy of Boulder Pass in light and plentiful powder. Met several coming out from Skoki on AT skis, no snow-shoers. One couple stated it had been a luge track skiing in on Friday but no icy bits at all today. Ski Out was a little bit faster than we would have liked on our return but was sweet first thing this morning. Trans Canada was totally clear and Skoki parking lot also had been plowed.

  95. Mt Assiniboine Lodge 11th to 14th: all three were bluebird days with nights dropping to -17 and days maybe rising to +2 to 3. First time there in winter and I sure hope to return.

  96. Canmore Nordic – morning conditions were incredible!!! Maybe the best ski is ever had. They had groomed more than the live report showed. Plenty available. But it was slow going once it started to warm up. I had some icing on my fish scales but not too bad. Get out early.

    It was an awesome three days! Would’ve loved to explore other areas but weather and conditions not in the cards. But CNC was amazing 🙂 .

  97. West Bragg, noonish. Roller packed only, soft conditions on the trails that I skied.
    One of the Kei groomers has broken down on West Crystal. Zero degrees but full on spring weather with intense sun when I started out on Hostel loop at 11:30, where I found highly variable snow conditions ranging from cold and dry, to damp snowball snow, to fully saturated and soggy under the dripping trees. Despite the slow glide of my Fischer crown base waxless skis, Hostel was enjoyable enough and I was happy not to be fighting with wax which would have been a nightmare. After Hostel I skied Sundog, East, Middle and West and Crystal, Loggers etc, finding the same wide variety of conditions but generally better skiing as those trails are often more protected from the sun. It felt like t-shirt weather back at the trailhead at 1, with a temp. of 4 degrees.

  98. Anybody at Bragg Creek, has it been trackset?? They only mention grooming.

    • Only groomed and skier tracked which we considered pretty good as snow just came down yesterday. Oh, and one walker. When I passed him my beloved was waaaaay ahead of me. I mention this cuz I am much less opinionated when he is not around to protect me. The walker looked at me and was surprised I had made it that far with the present conditions. I had skies on??? He then told me how tough the walking was. I was so close to saying that was because he was not on a walking trail but figured it would fly over his head. Never mind. The sun was shining, the sky was the bluest blue, the temperature was tropical and the conditions pretty good all considered. After skiing in BC for the last 3 months, it was wonderful to be back and enjoying WBC in all its glory!!

  99. At Kananaskis village right now. -2 Bypassed ribbon creek parking (unplowed). What a difference a couple of days make. Full on spring melt days ago, now back to a christmass post card scene. Hwy 40 is compact ice, for now. Shouldnclear up with the sun, temps and some travel by end of day I would guess. Off to ski!

    • Live reporting: sticky! Went up kovack and terrace and sitting at the lookout right now. Single layer, no gloves or hat on the way up. Stickage in every sunny spot and wet tree bomb area all the way with about an inch of fresh in the groomed track. Heading back the way I came and going south to higher ground, if the parking lots are plowed.

      • Well, after my first significant face plant impact on descent going from shade to sun and having more stickage issues with the fish scales, I opted to walk the rest of the way as the rest was mostly sunny. Very drippy with the intense sun. At least today’s snow bombs didn’t hurt. Still a nice day to take the skis for a walk.

        • Looks like the only way to enjoy all this new snow is by headlamp.

          • Perhaps. Earlier starts for sure, and getting up high. Looks like more wet snow on the way. I didn’t bother checking PLPP, figuring it was more of same in the afternoon sun.

  100. Back from an exhausting day of classic at CNC. Beautiful but not surprising a trudgefest. I used my waxless skis. They clumped a bit, but I found I got more glide and less clumping when I broke my own track than those of others.

    If the roads clear enough tomorrow, I want to head to Lake Louise. If not, I’ll just go back to CNC. Should be a great day tomorrow regardless 🙂

    • Thought it might be good to try and ski as well. Unfortunately my purple waxed skis produced no grip. No grip, no ski. Nancy’s waxless were ok. Try again tomorrow.

      • It was a tricky day for waxing; the snow was quite wet. I find winters so variable where I live that I’ve given up waxing. They get used maybe a couple times a year.

  101. Does anyone know if there are any classic ski trails in the Rocky Mountain house area? My son has a hockey tournament in Rocky Mountain house this weekend.
    Looks like the golf course might but aside from that it’d be fun to find some other trails if possible.

    Thanks, Rhonda

    • Hello Rhonda.
      Check here for contact info:
      It appears there is a club and they track set on the golf course. Also check out Drayton Valley. I hear the track set there is really good although I haven’t skied there.

      • Thanks Scott. I saw that site. I think I’ll email the director of the nordic club.

        • Years ago I used to sometimes ski at Terratima lodge, maybe a 25 minute drive from there. Maybe ask around in RMH and also check out their web-site first?

      • Up in DV for business so went a skiid 21km this eve – did the 3 big loops on my waxless classic Skintecs and 2 loops skate. Look up PEMBINA Nordic for info however I believe their website may still be down so reference Facebook. They do respond quickly to FB messages.

        It was about 0’ish at 6pm and so waxless was perfect choice. Tacks has seen some sun and light melt and were slightly ice glazed in places but not slushy. A bit shallow too but still plenty robust enough to hold the skiis although it was pretty fast on the downhills. They could do with just a cm or 5 for an awesome reset.

        Skate was super fast too and there are some fast downhills with corners which a skilled rider can navigate no problem. By 730 skate was getting g more crispy as snow firmed up however excellent coverage in general although there is the odd leave twig or wildlife land mine.

        Certainly an excelllent and highly recommended venue. One can park at the chalet or along the road. There is a gate however which is closed and locked sometime early evening so don’t get stuck there.

        Anyways I had a great rip about. Too bad I didn’t have a repeat sunset glory like several weeks back.


      If you have time, go west to Abraham Lake and beyond to the Siffleur River area where it enters the North Saskatchewan River. There is a nice suspension bridge over the North Saskatchewan to the Siffleur River Wilderness area and if you are motivated and conditions are good, you can check out the falls. Primo country up there. You will likely have to cut your own ski trails but along the river there are generally level areas to be skied. Some areas may have snowmobile cut trails. I have no idea what the ski penetration would be. Don’t forget the camera.

  102. I started my day in Toronto and by 1130am I was on the trails at the Canmore Nordic Centre! Amazing day. Warm, blue skies and surprisingly awesome trail conditions. My fears were unfounded.

    I did about 20k of skate on all sorts of different trails. Typical spring skiing – fast and a bit icy early on (the tracks looked worse than the skate trail) and then it softened as the day went on.

    Looking forward to switching to classic tomorrow once the snow hits.

  103. Stephen Vermeulen

    Confederation Golf Course, Wednesday 0730-0815, yesterday’s thaw got refrozen overnight, about -8C when I was out this morning. This produced tracks that were hard, substantially glazed to icy (except for a stretch of the blue loop along the south which still had a nice snowy feel). Tracks are getting worn in places, but still fair to good. No bare spots or ground showing through yet, though there are a few places the golf grounds crew has crossed the tracks and left some churn behind (but easy to ski around) – worst part was on the yellow loop near the NE fence. Probably time for waxless skis or klister.


    Yesterday afternoon start.

    The track set trail to Spray River is in excellent condition. The first 1/2 km was racy fast requiring poling only. The snow got colder and slowed a bit to moderate speed in shaded areas. -3 to -10 wax worked well while it lasted which was not long. High sun exposed areas where generally spring like racy fast while shaded areas were cold winter snow.

    The trail up Bryant Creek to Assiniboine Pass was well established. Hikers had messed up the trail somewhat however to BR14. It was only a bit of a problem coming out a night when the tracks froze up on sun exposed slopes. Thank God for my 59 mm metal edge skis The Bryant Creek Warden Cabin #25 was an awesome sunny stop for lunch. The temperature was +15. The door of the cabin was so hot it could not be touch for more than a 1/2 second, The shirt came off for some hot sun tanning which gave me time to think about why the big political parties generally hold preferential ballots when electing their leaders, yet refuse to allow such voting by the people to elect politicians at general elections. It felt like summer on a beach on the cabin deck. After returning from the base of Assiniboine Pass, the temperature at the cabin was -3 after sunset.

  105. Bill Milne Best Spring Afternoon Ski ever! T-shirts and sun glasses 15C ,lots of Dry powder snow in all the shaded Parts of the trail. I was pleasantly surprised.The lineman crews only crossed the trail in two places so very easy to cross their tracks.Very worthwhile ski as I have had the privilege to meet Groomer Jeff at night on this trail with -20C so today was one of those Best Day Ever skis .Thanks for the fantastic work of grooming all those trails..

  106. Shell Oiltimers had a wonderful day in PLPP. It was -12 C at the trailhead to start the ascent up Whiskey Jack. Tyrwhitt was warming up nicely but ice bombs on the trail to Elk Pass made any downhill runs hazardous. Elk Pass from Hydroline Junction to Blueberry was closed this morning so we descended back down Hydroline. The run down was fast and icy but the real challenge was the final hill down to the Elk Pass trail junction. Fox Creek has a good base but lots of debris on the trail. Morraine was in good shape as was Amos and Wheeler despite +10 c temperatures. A bit of fresh snow is all that’s needed to extend the ski season this year in PLPP.

  107. Tue mar 13: baldy pass +
    Traded my skis in for hiking boots today instead of heading to Louise. +14 when back at the car at 4! Lots of snow fleas higher up. Kananaskis village is a puddle at +11. Bill Milne connection above the bridge is ripped up with construction work. Not that it matters now. Didn’t stop at ribbon for a look but suspect more puddles and slush. Saw one Avalanche on the SE aspect of west baldy in the afternoon, heard many more. Lots of heat. Access trail mostly in the shade so the compact snow stayed cool, proving there might still be decent snow on forested ski trails. ??

  108. Lake Louise, March 13th

    Not quite knowing what to expect anywhere for conditions, after some deliberation Elisabeth and I decided to head to Lake Louise today. It really couldn’t have been a much better choice. The temperature at a leisurely 11 a.m. start was -7 at Moraine Lake Rd, with blue skies, no wind, 3 other cars and pretty darned good track. The trip up to the end of track-setting was delightful and the trip down even more so. We also skied Fairview and Tramline and, while conditions were a bit worse, and there were a few snow bombs in the track, it wasn’t at all problematic. What a blessing!

    Now I’m going to rant a bit. I hope that I’m not offending anyone’s sport sensibilities, but this is about fat bikes on ski trails. In its infinite wisdom, Parks Canada allows fat bikes on Moraine Lake Road, Pipestone and the 1A. I witnessed the…er…problems associated with this policy today. I was coming down Moraine Lake Rd at a brisk pace when a group of four had dropped their bikes for a rest, two in the track and two in the skating lane. I didn’t mince words as I scurried to avoid a collision. The skating lane was getting quite rutted with their efforts and I can’t imagine that this is easy or cheap to fix. Essentially, this activity seriously compromised the ability to skate. Then, to make matters worse, there were tracks on Fairview, where (I was informed by Parks staff), such activity is prohibited.

    On voicing my concerns with Parks, I was told that it’s difficult to deny access for some activities while allowing it for others. Clearly, this is not true, and one can find many examples (e.g., Cascade Fire Rd) where some activities are restricted.

    Just sayin’ that segregated trails are the way to go and that not all activities need be allowed if, in doing so, the primary activities become hazardous or difficult.

    • Yikes – I am glad you didn’t get hurt today!
      I wonder if better signage would curtail some of this behavior – since the group simply clueless not practicing any trail etiquette (?) If it had been in the summer – these people wouldn’t have been taking a rest in the middle of the road!
      After talking with a Parks ranger on Great Divide regarding people who walk smack dab in the middle of the skating lane, I was met with a similar response about equal access.
      I wonder how we can appeal to Parks for increased and VISIBLE signage of proper usage. Any ideas? Thanks! Jennifer

  109. skied to Shadow Lake Lodge and the lake yesterday. Fast conditions and iced over to begin with. On the descent a mixture of sticky snow, some ice still(in the shade) and some cream. Not bad for plus8

  110. Stephen Vermeulen

    If you’ve lost something in PLPP this winter, there a collection of items in the Pocaterra hut now, see photo:

  111. Stephen Vermeulen

    PLPP 24k Cookie Race loop, Monday 1000-1200. First car in the Pocaterra parking lot at 1000, temperature was -11C, by the time I got back the tempeature was about -2C. Very nice tracks on Pocaterra and Lynx, there were sections that were a bit glazed, more so under the trees, perhaps due to snow melting and dripping onto the tracks.

    The tracks in the meadows section on Woolley were very fast, though somewhat skier set, but still very good. This section and Wheeler have not been machine groomed since the last snowfall.

    The Meadow Trail section from the Woolley junction to Elkwood was the worst, quite a few tree bombs to watch out for. The tracks are still reasonable though. Might be a bit worse for people going north as the combination of downhill and tree bomb can be exciting…

    Wheeler was very nice, some extensive glazing along here, but little in the way of debris or snow bombs, so good fast double polling here.

    Packers was nicely groomed, since I was climbing it I wasn’t too worried about the hard packed downhill sections. Someone had to walk down them yesterday, they would have been pretty hard to snow plow depending on the time of day. The meadows at the top of Packers are in fantastic shape.

    The run down Pocaterra from the Packers junction to Lynx was wonderful. Excellent tracks all the way and only one bit of debris to step over and one snow bomb – the snow bomb was at the top of one of the little rises, so you don’t hit it fast.

    I took the Come Along route on the way back, this was good with the exception of the turn out onto the meadow after passing the south most junction with Pocaterra. This section was still quite hard and glazed (even approaching noon) so was a lot faster than I expected.

    By the time I got back there were maybe a dozen cars in the parking lot.

    Super day!

  112. Beautiful day at PLPP!
    I skied the whiskey jack-tyrwhitt-elk pass-fox creek-moraine loop under blue and sunny skies. Whiskey Jack had the best tracks by far, and because I started out quite early in the day (around 9:45), most of the tracks were somewhat icy. There was quite a bit of debris and bombed snow on parts of Tyrwhitt and Elk Pass, but my waxless skis got me through. After some more grooming, it will be amazing again.

  113. Canmore Nordic Center

    Skied out and back on Banff Trail. -2oC at 11am and 4oC at 1230pm today. Start purple worked very well. Man made snow was excellent and track set last night. Natural snow past the meadow was glazed in places with some dirt showing in the snow. Quite fast on the natural snow and I think the track setting was older. Bluebird skies!!

  114. Sunday was an absolutely stunning day to ski Blueberry Hill-West Elk Pass. Overall, ski conditions were very good with fast tracks and easy waxing with VR 45, upgrading to 50 as things warmed up later. Tree bombs littered the trails here and there but were not a big issue. Downhills were quick and fun, except for the initial drop in the morning from the power line going south down to the Fox Creek trail junction, which spiked the heartrate with a barely in control, lighting fast descent on bumpy refrozen snow. (it was much softer heading back in the afternoon). After a relaxed lunch in light winds at the top of Blueberry, and a fast, very enjoyable descent back to Elk Pass trail, we decided to visit “the couch” at West Elk Pass. This was a highlight of the day with a great skier set track leading through the meadows, and fabulous views that called for another break at the couch for afternoon tea. Despite the afternoon heat, the skiing remained very good on the return trip, with great glide and no spring stickiness.
    A photo tour of our amazing ski day, here:

    • You timed it right! It can be magical back there on a sunny windless day in March. Here’s hoping for more, and maybe I’ll see you guys there soon.

      • Thanks for your hard work. We have skied those meadows in the past, but had forgotten how spectacular they were. Having such a well packed track makes a huge difference when on skinny skis. We’ll be back!

  115. I (and 4 others, one first time ever skier) skied from Baker Creek towards Castle Lookout. We made it 18 km (return), so nearly to the Lookout road crossing. The conditions were mostly icy glaze in the morning softening in the afternoon. In the areas with total shade the conditions were better. Only one of us was on wax skis. He used purple which worked okay but not great. Even though the temperature was well above zero (around 5) in the afternoon, snow sticking to our skis was not an issue. As the trail is pretty much totally flat, the icy conditions were not a problem in the morning. This is not a particularly well known route so even on a Sunday with cloudless sky and pleasant temperatures we encountered a total of only 8 other skiers.

  116. Skied the Telephone Loop at West Bragg this afternoon. Temperature was 7 degrees when we finished at 5:30. Snow on the loop was surprisingly good. Very little ice and the hills were generally soft. Hitting Moose on the way back was a different story. The one steep hill we had to go up past the meadow was sheer ice and was scary coming down the other side towards the bridge before Mountain Road. Mountain Road was very icy with slush starting to show in the tracks. Telephone was a great choice for the day.
    My only complaint on Telephone was with whoever rode the far part on a fat bike (in soft conditions.) They left huge ruts down the trail. They were treacherous on the downhill sections as I tried to keep my skis out of them while snow plowing.

  117. Great ski on Mountain Road to West Mountain view and back on Moose loop. Waxless skis got better as the temp rose. It was -11 to start and hovered around zero to finish. Excellent coverage on all trails and the tracks were very well defined.
    Great Day.

  118. WBC moose & mountain view west, lots of T shirts and glove less skiers enjoying glorious spring like conditions, took waxless skis with mixed results on mixed conditions, still a great ski on a gorgeous day.

  119. Thanks Carole for the urging to go to O’Hara. Was -12 at 10 am this morning and in the shade for good part of the way in. Once we were in the sun past KM9 it was lovely spring temperatures (0º in shade at lodge, 2:30 pm) I was on waxless R-Skins which worked well in all conditions and my companion did well (mostly!) with yesterday’s purple wax. The snow was mostly still wintery except for 2 shady stretches that were a bit icy. Yes, GO!

  120. Jean-Francois Richy

    Shadow lake – We started at 10:00am with a temperature of -5C, blue skies and no wind the whole trip. The beginning of the rail was a bit icy and with some debris, but overall the snow cover was good and the tracks decent (last tracksetting was on March 1). We met very few people (a family who camped overnight at the first campground at 7km) and had the pleasure to meet with Normand and David near the lodge, they both were heading to Haiduk lake but with skinny skis, Shadow lake was our final destination. The way back was fast and exhilarating.

  121. PLPP,
    It was colder than I expected it in the morning: -13 @ 8am. A lonely ski loop from Pocaterra to Tyrwitt to Fox Creek, Moraine, Amos, and Lynx. First souls appeared at 10:20, met them on Lynx. The newly-set tracks are exceptionally good. One-day-aged tracks were a bit icy and noisy. Tyrwitt is heavily snow-bombed, where the tracks are under the woods. It’s sunny today, and the conditions may be very different in the afternoon.

  122. Skied Maple Ridge golf course yesterday. Stayed up on the higher trails. It’s fairly well skier set. Good thing I like double poling, as I was on skate gear and there is no groomed skating lane.

  123. Lake O’Hara,
    Most awesome blue sky day without a single cloud. We started skiing at 10 a.m. We were a bit tentative due to the trip reports but the trail (trackset back on February 26) was in excellent condition, fairly fast, with no icy sections at all. Some of us went across to the end of the lake and appreciated the beauty of this fantastic place. If you are wondering whether or not to go on Sunday, GO now while the conditions are terrific! We met a group of very friendly Korean skiers. We took our time and returned to the vehicle at 4 p.m. The temperature varied from -10C to 0C. My blue wax worked for me all day. It was a perfect ski day!

  124. Dawn Mountain Mar 9
    -10C in Golden this am, -6C by the time we started ~1030. The tracks stayed frosty and fast even into the afternoon, despite a lot of solar radiation under cloudless blue skies. VR50 did the trick until we switched to the skate skis mid-afternoon. They have a great trail system here, well groomed, with beautiful views over the western Rockies – kudos to the volunteers and the Golden Nordic Club.

  125. Pocaterra – Lynx – Amos – Wheeler – Packers – Pocaterra back down to the hut. Best ski day this year! Fresh tracks on Pocaterra and Lynx were fast and fun. Fresh snow over old tracks for the other trails was fast and silky. We had mostly good grip and glide on V45/50. Some snow bombs on Packers; when we got to the Packers-Pocaterra Jct. we went about a km further uphill to the top of the hilly section. What a blast coming down! Blue, sunny skies, warm temps….couldn’t have been better!

  126. West Bragg Creek

    Started at 8:30 am from the parking lot where it was surprisingly at least -10C. We did Logger’s loop to Elbow and back up Iron Springs. South facing slopes on Elbow were icier than I would like, but nice cold snow on the dead end section off of Iron Springs, and trails overall in pretty good condition. Started to see more people after 10:30 am and returned to parking lot to many happy faces starting off.

  127. Cam and I ended up skiing up the Takkakaw Falls road today as far as the Whiskey Jack hostel parking lot. Trail is well broken especially as far as the Mt. Field turnoff. No recent grooming just skier set. Happy trails.

  128. Sat mar 10: elk/west elk pass/blueberry.
    An excellent day out in south PLPP. -12 at 8. Zero on return at 5. Some fresh in the track. Got to the blueberry turn off and still cloudy in bc, so headed up the hill and north into the sun. Some icy snow bomb debri for the first bit. Cleaner from the flat bit on. Good descent back down, avoiding a few chunks. On to the couch in brilliant sun for some maintenance and a sit. Pressed the old track through the meadows And saw a helicopter flying along the power line. Skied up the power line only to see it parked with two ski tracks leading away, heading to the pass. Heli Nordic? Chatted with the couple and suggested they try west elk pass. Having no excuse not to, off they went for an adventure. I went back down the hydroline toward elk lks and back through the meadow for some more Couch time. Only to find the heli-Nordic folk and some more committed couch surfers. I’m pretty sure everyone had an excellent day basking in the sun and skiing the meadows. It was a little sticky in spots through the meadow my second time through, excellent fast travel otherwise. After getting sufficiently Burnt, I returned to elk pass via fox creek. Some icy short bits that late along the upper section in sun exposed areas. Better in the trees of fox. A perfectly unpredictable day.

  129. Just skied a large loop around the Kananaskis Village and Ribbon Creek Trails.
    – icy. Couldn’t ski up the smallest hills in the tracks
    – Ribbon Creek is dangerous right now. Avoid! I love steep hills but the descent down to the creek was pure ice. Even metal edges didn’t help. I was actually scared (and I’ve dond this trail many times before.)
    – Kovach is a mess of ridges, snowmobile tracks, boot prints, and crusty hard snow.

  130. Stephen Vermeulen

    Confederation Golf Course, Saturday 0900-1030, temp started at -8 warmed to about -4C. Yesterday’s winds had partially filled the tracks, but that didn’t matter as the groomer started working just ahead of me. Nice new tracks. Lots of snow still, enjoy it while you can! Parking lot was about 70% full when I left.

  131. Cascade Valley.
    +7C and lots of solar effect, becoming saturated in many spots by mid-afternoon, but was cooling off and already getting hard-almost-icy by late afternoon so there will be lots of glazing tomorrow a.m.
    Tracks still clean and generally sharp.
    With the Parks Canada website down last night and this morning, it was a frustrating experience trying to locate the freshest grooming in Banff NP. What a colossal waste of time having to drive into Banff to the visitor centre.

    If a volunteer group like GBCTA can join Live Grooming, it is puzzling why our National Parks can’t do the same!!!!! Wait a second … hey Bob … you have some influence with Parks!

  132. Sandy McNabb trails were great on Wed. (Mar. 7), at least the trails that were groomed & trackset. What a treat to ski some new local terrain!

  133. Peter Lougheed Provincial Park received 4 to 6cm new snow after the March 9 grooming in the South end of the Park. Great morning ski today out of Elk Pass Parking lot. May the snow continue…

  134. West Bragg Creek

    Did Moose Loop to Mountain View West to Loggers Loop starting at 10:30 am this morning. Car thermometer just above freezing at the start. Excellent tracked snow conditions overall. The only glazed spot was on Mountain View West where the dirt bank facing south creates a hotspot. Met the two groomers coming the opposite direction and the great snow cover allowed them to create nice soft tracks for the weekend.

    Turning south and climbing Loggers Loop the snow warmed up noticeably. I would expect the snow to cook a bit where there’s no tree cover this afternoon, but there is still a lot of it, so Saturday should be okay.

    On returning to the parking lot the SWIX thermometer said +16 Celsius which seems a bit hard to believe.

  135. Mt. Shark 15km outer loop!
    Arrived early and broke trail through light powder (2-3cms) on excellent track setting–thanks Jody. Temperature -3C sun shining after a brief snow fall. We had read the note regarding grooming and tracks on the 15km loop, so we headed out and found this great historic addition to the system. We skied classic but skating it would be great also. Lots of folks heading out to Watridge and missing this fantastic trail. Please keep maintaining it!
    Robin & Bev

    • Thank you Robin and Bev for sharing this terrific information about the 15 kms loop being groomed. Often I am by myself out there and hesitate to do that circuit alone. Adding this big loop to the grooming would greatly enhance the opportunities for skiing at Shark. Might try it after we heli out from Assiniboine this coming Wednesday. Really appreciate Jody’s efforts and hope it gets one or two more passes with the grooming.

      • Not that please, we love the unpacked extra loop.
        It is fun having a different type of real backcountry experience.

        • You did not appear to like the ungroomed aspect of Lookout that much? I referred to how tough it was in my post of March 4th when Elaine and I climbed up the longer side from Hydroline in a foot of sometimes sun weighted powder. I best get out there to enjoy it while it is groomed. HA!


    Still great conditions here:!ApWd3WZ3ra9NhFgHtBv-HKLjZGL1
    James and staff at Baker Creek have done an amazing job filling in that dip that used to collect water, and we enjoy the little side loops created for a little diversion… Thanks

  137. Calgary — Confederation

    The golf course skiing was great this morning! Until the wind came up, boy did it ever come up!! Pity……….

  138. Jean-Francois Richy

    WBC – Telephone and Moose loop.
    It was -4C at 9:30am when I started, I skied the loop counterclockwise, the tracks on telephone loop where still quite good and the downhill were fast!. On Moose loop the tracks were sometimes very icy, fortunately the groomers appeared and I had new track set for me. No need to say the snow was very soft on the new tracks. I started with V45 / violet wax but soon ended up using V60 / red wax to get some grip.

  139. Skied WBC yesterday. Decided to try Telephone Loop after reading one of the posts. The east portion was ok, A little icy at times but fast and fun, after the point where xc siers only branch off was very good. Chinook arch present, warm but skis did well with V 40. (10 am start) Certainly better than january 12 which was treacherous.

  140. West Bragg afterwork today. West Crystal-Loggers-Elbow-Iron Springs-East Crystal. Air temp of 3 on the plus side as I started out a bit after 5 pm, but waxing was easy- Start purple worked pretty much flawlessly in snow that ranged from cool and dry to a bit glazed in the tracks in some areas. Ski conditions were excellent for the most part- smooth and fast with well defined tracks. A couple of the most sun-exposed areas on Iron Springs were verging on being “icy” but were short in length and no big deal.
    Other than the skiing- a highlight was getting back at dusk to find a fox hanging around the south parking. After stepping out of the boards to get the camera from my truck, it co-operated by strolling over to check out my skis.
    Too bad the light wasn’t better!

  141. GIBBON PASS – March 8

    This trip is a short extension to the Redearth Creek trail, above Shadow Lake Lodge. Lodge guests go there regularly as a day trip, but it also makes a reasonable day trip all the way from the highway. No avalanche danger above the Lodge, and hopefully you pick a clearer day than I did:!ApWd3WZ3ra9NhFIhYl7eWuxjnaZD
    Travel conditions are excellent at the moment, with only ankle deep ski penetration in untouched snow. And if you don’t make it all the way, the chance of seeing a Lynx is high… there were lots of tracks!

  142. It was very warm and melting along the Ribbon Creek/Bill Milne trails by K Village…another day like today, and there won’t be much of a trail on that lower section of Ribbon at all. It was a bit windy, beautiful and sunny, and a light polar fleece was all that was required. The golf course was not so warm, and it seemed to become cooler the further south one skied. Evan Thomas was cool enough that I put my thinnest wool gloves back on.

  143. Great Divide – we planned to ski to lake OHara today, but the hoped-for new tracksetting wasn’t there, though we skied 1.5km up the road to make sure. In fact, there were no tracks at all. So, the backup plan was Great Divide. There we found great tracks with a skiff of new snow on top, which grew to about 1cm with the light flurries during the day. On the return trip (we started at the OHara end), we skied Lower Telemark which was OK but had many snow bombs and lots of needles in some places. -10C to start, -1C at the end (2pm). Trail conditions at Lake Louise should remain good for a few days yet.

    • You gotta both be past your 1000 kilometre goals by now…..? Hearing there are almost no tracks at all on O’Hara rather entices me….but alas am headed to Assiniboine to go sun-tanning for 3 days. MaSid might need help at The Couch Saturday.

  144. West Bragg Creek, March 8
    It was -7C in Calgary, with an east wind this afternoon, but at Bragg Creek it was +2C under a Chinook Arch and a light west wind. Snow was still cold enough for wax, with effortless glide. Very good conditions. Hopefully the great skiing will last through the weekend.

  145. This week we enjoyed some of the best skiing of the winter in PLPP finishing up with Goat Creek today. There is a solid base on the trails which will hopefully extend our season a bit. If anyone happened to see a pair of black Auclair XC ski gloves with straps attached at Bolton or William Watson I’d love to get them back !

  146. This isn’t a trail report, but I do have a question. Forgive me for the bad posting etiquette!!

    I live in Ontario, but originally from Alberta. Winter decided to disappear here, and so I thought, “good time for a trip home to visit the family and ski in Canmore.” The long range forecast looked promising. But I know exactly what can happen. So I took the risk…

    So evidently temps are going to spike next week, just in time for me to come out. How does Canmore Nordic usually fare in these situations? I assume they have great grooming and can stretch things out…? I’m cool with spring skiing (although this would really be spring skiing). At this point, I’ll ski in slush if I have to. Would complement the ice I’m skiing on here at the moment.

    Sigh. This winter just will not stop being a jerk.

    Thanks for any insight!

    • Stephen Vermeulen

      You should have no problems at CNC, especially if you can ski in the mornings. Conditions down at PLPP are likely to remain good for a while yet, with a bit of melting in the afternoons and refreezing each night. We probably have more snow on the ground in Calgary now than any winter I can remember back to the early 70’s

  147. Sandy McNabb yesterday.
    Very good conditions at Sandy McNabb. Most of the trails have been freshly groomed on remarkably deep snow (for Sandy McNabb). The south leg of Long Prairie Loop and also Death Valley trail were not freshly groomed. We skied the north leg of Long Prairie, then Balsam Link, Pine Ridge, Macabee Loop and Meadow Loop trails. Some south facing aspects were icy and/or slushy and Balsam Link would have been somewhat hazardous to descend, at least at the top. Overall though, these are some of the best conditions I’ve ever seen at Sandy McNabb. I don’t think it’ll last long, though…

    • Almost my loop in reverse!
      Balsam Link was tricky!! But south leg of Long Prairie at the top was worse due to being completely churned up by hikers 🙁

  148. West Bragg Creek

    Decided to head out to West Bragg for a night ski tonight before the heatwave hits. Skied around 10km under a clear starry sky. Didn’t meet a soul on the trails. Very fast hard packed conditions made for excellent glide but it was a chilly -15c so had to keep moving. Trails are standing up well with only a few glazed sections. Better get out and enjoy it before it melts!

  149. Sandy McNabb

    Counter-clockwise Macabee – Pine Ridge – Balsam Link – Long Prairie/Death Valley excursion……..
    There is lots of snow! No rocks to be seen at all, and grooming holding up pretty well, but darn that warm March sun! Snow in deep shade still very good, but in sunnier areas there are challenges – glazing, wet, slippery, etc.
    Balsam Link is new to me, a very tricky little descent today, and I encountered several crash craters on the way down, trying to smooth things out with my wide snowplow! Outer Long Prairie had been quite trashed near the top by hikers, to the point that I could not negotiate it on my skinny skis, so had a brief cross-country excursion over a viewpoint (view!!) to find the Death Valley trail, which was much more ski-friendly. On the way I wallowed through deep snow over my knees…….
    Re-joined Long Prairie for a pleasant cruise back to the info centre.
    Yes, these trails are rather narrow and challenging at times! A slightly wider grooming would help, and for my taste, fewer tracks rather than more.


    Scored 3 amazing days with old friends based out of William Watson Lodge:!ApWd3WZ3ra9NhEPD_kRGuUi8pSi3
    and great to find Helen & Sibylla also!

  151. Still lovely on the Spray. Skied from Banff Springs almost to second bridge to meet friend coming other way who had a quick, little icy on the hills run. VR40 worked for most of it – then a dab of purple to get home; better for us on Rundle/ east side on return to vehicle. Later heard there were footsteps in the ski track for half the way to bridge after we passed.

  152. WBC – Telephone Loop was superb with the fresh grooming today.
    Live Grooming incorrectly shows only a partial loop was trackset, clockwise from Moose and ending at a big ice flow. However, the entire loop has been groomed and is in wonderful condition.
    Snow remains very cold and there was not a lot of traffic so the near-perfection will persist tomorrow. Sorely tempted to return and ski it in the opposite direction.

  153. Cascade Fire Road: beautiful weather conditions today, March 7. Trail conditions were good uphill save for footprints of dog [!] on ski track, contrary to sign-posted notices Not for Dogs; downhill was fair, a bit ragged at times; likely has not been groomed in past four days.

  154. Stephen Vermeulen

    Confederation Golf course, Wednesday 0700-0800, about -15C, skied the yellow, blue and stadium. All tracks are in very good shape. The parks people have started some work with a tractor, they cross the blue loop at one point on the south part, but no real issue to the ski tracks.

    • 2pm I really enjoyed skating purple and green loops, both in excellent condition. Parks were finishing ploughing out the hard top path down the hill on the south side. They have replaced snow onto the green track so that is still OK to ski on. I assume they also replaced the snow on the blue loop.

      • The work on the trails at Confederation is actually done by volunteers with the Calgary Nordic Alliance (Foothills Nordic, Space Dogs, etc.).

  155. Brilliant at plpp. Finally met chuck. Met us and passed us, the adventurer. Great day though would not have done lookout if had known it was such a climb in deep snow! So much fun but a long day. Used blue and grèen glad we had skinny skis but probably needed heavier skis for downhill on lookout. But who cares taking a fall in such lovely snow.

  156. Bowness Park:
    Skiied Bowness Park in Calgary yesterday, March 5 for the first time. I was shocked to see that it is trackset, and was in great shape!. Will definitely be going again!

  157. A total relaxing enjoyable ski on new grooming from Castle Lookout to Baker Creek. Got a ride back to L/O parking lot from a contract worker at Baker Creek who was just heading back to Golden. -4 at start and they are burning trees/debris just 2 kms east of Baker Creek and it actually smelled kind on nice. Did not see a soul.

  158. Sandy McNabb

    I was excited to try trails I haven’t skiied before – Sandy McNabb. I found the snow was great, although to my surprise, on one stretch I briefly experienced the dreaded clumping on my waxless skis where the trail had a sunny SW exposure. But soon I was back in the trees so the snow was great again. Based on the Calgary forecast I expected colder temperatures. I didn’t see a thermometer at the trailhead, but it seemed warm to me, maybe around 0.

    The live grooming report said trails had been groomed yesterday and on the 3rd. I found a mixture of pristine tracks, pretty good tracks, and one rough loose section that I was glad I was slogging up, not trying to snowplow down because it was rather narrow. That was one thing that struck me – the trails are narrower than those in Peter Lougheed and West Bragg Creek. There is never 2 sets of tracks, just one. Because I only saw 3 other skiers all afternoon, it was not a problem. From the Ranger/Visitor center I skiied the north trails: (clockwise) Long Prairie Loop to Balsam Link to Pine Ridge Loop back to the beginning.

    • thanks for the report. plan to ski there tomorrow

    • Yes going down some of the steeper trails can be challenging. Obviously as almost all the trails are narrow there is no room for double tracking and with the few people that frequent the trails there is little need IMHO. The conditions there this year are probably the best ever but makes you appreciate the effort put in on the trails at WBC by volunteers. If the same effort or a small percentage thereof was put into grooming at Sandy McNabb the snow would last much longer when we are fortunate enough to get it. Unfortunately Parks sees fit to only do a bare minimum. The south side trails were track set some time on the 3rd but it snowed on top of that and some of the trails on the north were groomed on the morning of the 5th but again with only a minimum of effort. One pass with the snow machine pulling the track setter on a bed of much new snow doesn’t do sufficient compacting to provide a lasting surface and tracks! I guess that justifies the comment on the Live Grooming Report – “get it while it lasts”. End of rant!

  159. Confed. Afternoon of Mar 6. Had a really enjoyable ski. The tracksetting is in very good shape. Special blue (0 to -7) worked well for grip.

  160. Another great day in West Bragg Creek. The sun was shining and the trails, while not freshly groomed, were still in good shape. We started out on Moose Loop and branched off onto the Mountain View Trail, finishing up on Logger’s Loop and Sundog. The hills were easy to navigate up and down, especially for someone who likes to snowplough. The temperature at the start was -9°C but it warmed up a little throughout the day. We started with V30 but soon switched to V40 which gave much better grip. Since the temperatures are forecast to be much warmer by the weekend, get out and enjoy this fantastic cross-country ski facility while the conditions are still great.

    • Got a “bob start” at 1pm today at WBC. About -4 at that time. While it got warmer, snow stayed cold on moose loop. Just enough cloud in the early aft to keep the sun damage to a minimum. Maybe some glazing on SW oriented aspects, but I didn’t encounter anything significant. So yes, get it while the gettins good! While lounging at the picnic table at moose/moose connector working on a spring ski tan, spotted a solo individual up high off trail (could it be Alf?), then came the the big powder turn down the slope (surely it must be Alf). 5 minutes later heading down the trail, out of the bush came Alf. (-: After that I kept my eyes open for bob! Ice flow is back at the far end of moose loop. Ventured onto the Tom Snow link between moose and mountain view thanks to Alf’s suggestion. Had to break some trail since Alf’s last visit. Wet ice flow under the snow at the turn off from moose. Only made it to the start of the initial steep section (no skins for my LT set up) and turned around, not having Helen’s fortitude for steep herringbone in a foot of powder. Above zero in the parking lot sun at 4 so enjoyed it with a folding chair. Topped the day off with some delicous crab cakes at creekers. A good day out. Despite the sudden discovery of WBC and all it wonders, can feel a couch visit weekend coming on.

      • Not all of the skiing at West Bragg Creek is on groomed trails. There are also opportunities for “Chuck-style” tours, when there is a snowfall like we got last week. I did a full day of skiing on snowshoe trails, winter multi-user trails, all-season single-track trails, and some off-trail connections. Conditions ranged from firmly snowshoe/fat-bike packed, to lightly snowshoe packed to 25cm of fresh powder on previously packed trails, to completely untracked snow. The route took in parts of Whitetail, Snowshoe Hare, Demi-Tel, Long Distance, Reconnect, Braggin Rights, Telephone Loop, Merlin View, Moose Loop, Old Shell Road and Tom Snow Trail. One of the few times I crossed an actual XC ski trail, I ran into MaSid, on his way around Moose Loop.



    Excellent skiing. Soft snow. Goat Creek was track set on the Banff Park side. The first kilometer of the trail had some etiquette lacking person walking on the skier tracked trail in Banff Park. Snow speed was kind of slow to moderate. I watched a crash on the Goat Creek bridge, even though it was well signed. Some people just don’t pay attention to signs.

    The trail up the mid Spray River is now re-broken beyond the Sundance turn off. All creeks can be stepped across with skis on. The trail breaking was boot top and moderately difficult due to various layers in the snow pack. Snow speed was moderate coming out.

  162. Rolly Road/Come Along/old Pocaterra up to Packers and back to the hut, all on Pocaterra in -8 and most using some form of blue wax. While these trails had been groomed March 3rd, they had a generous amount of powder skier tracked in them. Rolly Road is a delightful trail and the north end of the park system was in great shape. The figure of eight we did was exactly 15 kms. and 354 m. ascent. Great running into Chuck and Jeannette who are staying with friends at WWL for a few days. They will capture all the great snow and grooming before the +8’s arrive later this week. AARRGGHHH!

  163. Mon mar 5: WBC (southern trails).
    Another excellent day on the WBC trails. Started from the Fullerton lot in -15 at 10. -5 on return at 130. Squeeky styrofoam snow to start gave excellent grip up hill (waxless) and things seemed to warm up rapidly as the sun rose along the sunny south trails, but didn’t make snow wet. Went up elbow-iron springs-east crystal to west and back on loggers loop and elbow at a casual pace as I tried to loosen my aching back. )-: What a wonderful set of trails for a reasonable and relatively quiet loop when away from the central area. Really enjoyed the landscape, grade and solar exposure of iron spring, loggers and elbow. First time on the south trails. So far my favourite at WBC. Think I’ve done most of the bigger loops now. On the way back elbow south of iron springs had been roller packed, eliminating the majority of lumpy foot traffic issues. So good time to do this section of trails before walkers do damage to the start in the next day or so, or before some major heat and sun hits them.

    • My watch indicated this loop to be about 1000 ft of ascent.

      • I did a quick jaunt along the valley bottom to Moose Connector to West Crystal then to lot. Temp in parking lot at 2:30 read -8. Blue (-2 to -12) worked perfectly. Trails had not been set recently so were well loved. Such a treasure to have this area so accessible to the Big Bad City.

    • Today we had a late start at the south end. Very enjoyable loop: elbow to sundog and then down iron springs. The snow was rapidly changing as the temperatures headed up to +1C. Grooming was barely touched on iron springs heading towards elbow. March skiing at it’s best!

  164. BREWSTER CREEK March 4th
    rare conditions on Brewster. Trackset the 3rd,
    skiers ahead of us packing down the 5+ cm of new snow.
    So a decent skied-in track with Beautiful soft snow.
    2 fat bikes – staying off tracks. no skidoo ruts.
    Descent was fun ! never scary.
    With the soft snow and the pack of five more fat bikers
    heading up I suspect the track will disappear shortly.
    It was amazing seeing all the snow on Healy Creek and Brewster !
    haven’t seen it like that for decades!

  165. PLPP

    On Sunday, started at the discovery centre and went over Elk Pass via Whiskey Jack and back via Fox Creek and Wheeler. A fabulous day after a -16 degree start. There is a LOT of new snow up there as at times the old tracks could not be seen. Once the grooming and track setting is done it will be even better.

  166. The once a year (perhaps my last) climb up to PLPP’s Fire Lookout happened this afternoon in stunning skies and a foot of powder as we headed up the southside of Lookout (3+ kms), off Hydroline. In many places, as the sun was beating down on the snow, it got somewhat heavy and on the steepest hills we actually had to side step up. Meeting Jeff and his friend coming down towards us became an instant mutual admiration society because we could at least each use the others’ tracks, since they ascended the northside from Tyrwhitt. We saw only 5 skiers in 5 hours; in fact we saw 6 snow-shoers, unusual for such a splendid day in PLPP. 570 m ascent. Toughest climb I’ve done all year. Made even Skogan look easier, but used skins there.

  167. Nipika Weekend
    Three days at Nipika. 25cm of light dry snow from Friday night to Sunday morning.
    Friday: A late afternoon ski on the North trails at zero degrees under heavily overcast skies featured newly groomed and tracksuit trials over a few cm from Thursday night.
    Saturday: Heavy snow all day. We took our snowshoes for a long hike along the edge of the Kootenany and Cross rivers. The return trip was along the ridge line. Meanwhile the groomers were working all day to keep up with the snow. A late afternoon ski in several cm of fresh snow over the recent tracks was delightful.
    Sunday: The sun was out for most of the day. It was -5C in late morning when we started to ski and -1C in the late afternoon. All the new snow deterred the locals from the 14 km drive down the unplowed Settlers Road. There were only a handful of people on the trails. We were the only skiers on the freshly trackset South Trails all day. Conditions were initially a little slow when we were behind the groomer. Once he got ahead and the tracks set up, the skiing improved. A little Easy Glide on Ellen’s waxless Fischer skis made striding easier. My skintecs required nothing special. It was the third day without any wind. We saw only one fat bike rider all day. There are many km of separate groomed fat bike trials. No bikers on the ski trails.
    Hats off to Lyle, June and the groomers for a special weekend. If the rest of the month is anything like the beginning, there will be many happy skiers at Nipika all March.

  168. Cascade Valley to the bridge: 5+ cm of new snow over tracksetting, but fairly well skier tracked. Not fast, but it was beautiful out there!

  169. Redearth Creek was busy today with skiers, snowshoers, hikers, fat bikers and even a small convoy of skidoos! Despite the many types of users, there was a pretty good skier-set track in all but the narrowest of spots. The thermometer on the warden’s cabin read -5. Swix blue worked well. With all the nice, soft snow, the trip back down was a lot of fun without all the usual white-knuckled snow plowing.

  170. Mount Shark & Bryant Creek – Looks like the area just received 15cm+ Not groomed. Trail to Watridge Lake & beyond was nicely skier trackset in the morning. Slow but beautiful. Returning in the afternoon, tracks from Watridge back to the trailhead were getting messy but skiable. Will be spectacular once groomed.

  171. Lake Louise Loppet

    Beautiful day for a ski race! (It was chilly before it though!) I did the 10km with my daughter and our friends and had a great time! Conditions were excellent and the scenery outstanding as always. Thanks to all the Calgary Ski Club volunteers for their hard work to make it happen!

  172. Bowness Skiing…although we live only 5 min drive from Bowness, I have never skied there. Went today and the snow was outstanding! Only maybe 15 skiers….not trackset yet today, but didn’t matter. We started at the West parking lot (near the giant kid playground), and kept going West – when we reached the bridge where you can cross over to the West end of Baker Park, we just kept going West along the river. Not a soul in site and fantastic snow. So, wanted to share! Enjoy!

  173. WBC without the crowds started out from Alan Bill and skied the iron springs elbow loop, skier set till the short connector then fresh set tracks another great day. WBC’s epic ski season has saved me a lot of travel this year, I’ll be donating the gas money saved and keeping the time, thanks 🙂

  174. Skogan Pass. With a 9 year old. In fresh pow. Only took 6 hours return, lol! Thank you to the three ski angels who broke trail ahead of us. It definitely helped and we made it all the way to the pass.

  175. WBC -“Universe Class”

    …because “world class” wouldn’t do it justice. Skiing on butter. 10 am start -14 oC, so easy waxing. -8 at 1:15 finish. Great grip but slowish snow (especially southeast Telephone where I met the groomers ‘roller-packing’. Did I say SOFT?). Lite grey skies, …some would prefer ‘bluebird’ but then we wouldn’t receive the bounty that Ullr releases on us!

    Mtn road- Mtn View (west)- Moose Loop- Telephone CW. Hardly saw anyone once away from the race hub. The sort of day that make Scandinavians jealous. It’s the reason we all do this activity.

    If you need to ‘get your head right’, get out there!!!


    Now I realize why Bob likes a late start…
    We know he loves Goat Creek, and that the Banff Park Tracksetter always starts at the Banff end, so by midday tracksetting is complete at the Canmore end!
    Nice to meet one other couple doing the ‘there and back’ trip, and also the three Birkebeiner ladies who started from the Canmore end before the tracksetter got there. And it gets even better… see here:!ApWd3WZ3ra9NhDfk8u-tRFN8dcVn

  177. Kananaskis Village

    Great weather and great snow, Terrace-Ribbon Creek-Link-Aspen, V20 green grip wax worked decent for the morning. Lovely day for a ski! We also took a look at the new Nordic Spa at the Lodge.

  178. West Bragg Creek
    That area is enchanted! Sunny morning, blue skies in Calgary. Not in Bragg Creek! Snowing lightly, not as much as yesterday, but still 🙂
    East Crystal – Iron Springs – Elbow – Logger’s – Mountain View – Moose Loop – West Crystal.
    Tracks are deep and soft everywhere, newly trackset on Mountain* and Moose. Even the ice-flow is almost buried under fresh snow on Moose Loop’s far end! I had good grip today, though at the cost of fast gliding… And btw, it was hard to find a parking spot at 12pm.

  179. Sandy McNabb was spectacular this afternoon. -11 at 11:30, -8 at 1:30 PM. Skied trails on the south side of the highway. A skiff of new snow in the tracks made for a little slower going, but I was taking my time anyhow. A group of skiers from High River told me that in the 20 years they’ve been skiing here they have never seen it this good.

  180. Sun mar 4: shaganappi golf course.
    Quick lunch time cruise teaching a friend to ski. Soft and wobbly skier set but perfectly fine for an in town jaunt to loosen a sore back with some forgiving landings for the few obligatory wipeouts. Busy parking lot with lots of people out.

  181. Stephen Vermeulen

    Confederation Golf course, Sunday morning 0900-1030. The yellow loop was trackset last night and the skating lane beside it was packed. The tracks were the deepest and best formed I have seen all season, very nice! Glide is a bit on the slow side, typical for new snow. The blue loop is just skier set, though surprisingly well formed. The stadium area is just roller packed. Parking lot was about 80% full when I left, but there’s plenty of space on the trails.

  182. Skied PLPP yesterday with my husband. Elk pass , down hydroline, fox creek and moraine. Snowed the whole day. Although always great to be outside skiing it was a slog at times, especially coming down hydroline. Rob had to break trail for most of it. His comment was that it took longer to go down than up the pass. Fox creek and moraine were great. Only saw 2 folks on the trail.
    Once trackset it will be awesome.

  183. Hi all. Just returned from the trails at Sandy McNabb and found that most of them had been groomed and machine tracked. A good 8 to 10 inches of snow fell there since Thursday and the dry leaves and pine needles are a thing of the past. I did the Logger’s loop and also did some off trail skiing following an abandoned trail at the southeasternmost end of the loop in the pine forest for about 300 meters which puts you in the meadows along the north bank of the Sheep River and followed this wide open scenic area in at times, knee deep snow, east for about 1 km before doubling back and hoping back on the manicured trails for a quick return to the car. Beautiful ski conditions!

  184. Pipestone

    Awesome day at Pipestone today. No fresh tracksetting just fresh snow! Did the #20, 21 trails (loop) counterclockwise with my daughter and our friends who joined us later. Stopped for lunch near the top of #20 beside the Pipestone river. Chilly with light snow falling all day but excellent kick and glide. Off to the loppet tomorrow!

  185. Skied Shaganappi golf course today. Best snow I’ve ever had there. Thanks to everybody who set tracks today. It is wonderfully skier-tracked. I have a photo up on Instagram – @MountainMomYYC

  186. Glorious day on Goat Creek from Canmore to Banff. 5cm fresh and -8 C. Lightly travelled. Glide wax worked fine. Should be in great shape for days to come. The solitude is thundering.

  187. Something a bit different this time: Fernie Alpine Resort Nordic trail system. After a harrowing drive down on snowy roads yesterday, we awoke to a ton of fresh snow (half a metre over 24 hrs.) By the time we got to the Nordic trails, most had been groomed and trackset. Conditions were soft and slow due to sheer volume of snow but so nice. The Silk Trail was positively silky. Scandia Loop was still buried deep in snow so we skied Mancuria/Silk Loop twice and saw only one other skier all morning. Today was snow heaven!

  188. West Bragg Creek
    Youth races were going on well after 2pm today. To not cross the paths with young skiers, I headed west: Mountain Road, Mountain View West and Moose Loop. New snow is everywhere. The trails are packed and have decent tracks. Soft winter conditions, very pleasant afternoon skiing. Air temperature around -10C, snowing all the way.

  189. Question: Anyone have any intel/411 on what wax will be good for tomorrow at Louise?

    • VR 40 would be my choice (temps at Louise will be anywhere from -12 to -7.) In these great x-c ski temps, it is hard to go wrong with any wax: a vintage green -5 to -10 would work too.


    While the Parks Canada Trail Condition Report says that this was trackset today, I believe it was actually trackset on March 2.
    Lots of snow and nice to be able to stay off the highway.
    Check out the new loops, here or there:!ApWd3WZ3ra9NhC-jEKR1_EXy3pjw

  191. We skied Redearth Creek up to the warden’s cabin Friday afternoon and back on waxless skin skis. First section was pretty heavy with needles up to the first avalanche run out and then it got considerably better. Overall trail is in good condition and pretty speedy on the way down. Saw a few people going up to stay at Shadow Lake, both skiers and snowshoers.
    Has anyone kept going to Egypt Lake? just wondering if it’s still in class 1 terrain.

  192. Peter Lougheed Provincial Park got about 8 cm of new snow by 2 PM today- still snowing lightly when we left. At -12C to -10C green wax worked well on the fresh snow over early morning fresh track set. I skied (broke trail) out to Elk Pass and along Tyrrwhitt, before returning down Hydroline and Patterson (a gentle glide as the first skier down on the soft snow) to Elk Pass with a side trip along Fox Creek. Fox Creek (on of my favourites) was in the best shape ever. A thoroughly enjoyable very quiet day!

    • You must have been the one in front of me, I left the Elk Pass parking lot at 4:30pm yesterday, the track was better than I thought it would be up to the pass, there was a bit of a track down Tyrrwhitt and then broke trail in 20cm up and over Look Out, what a Slog!! the high light of the evening was seeing a Lynx on Tyrrwhitt. Got back to the car at 6:40pm, didnt see another human, an awesome evening!

  193. Tramline trail Lake Louise

    Had a nice relaxing ski with my daughter up Tramline today starting from the hostel and Bow river trail. No fresh tracksetting on Bow river trail or lower Tramline but the old tracks were fine with about an inch of fresh snow on top. Upper tramline was only skier set and also chewed up by snowshoers higher up. Skied across the lake to watch the ice climbers on Louise falls. On our return had a quick snack and hot chocolate break at the chateau then headed back down Tramline. Was a somewhat blustery snowy descent. Wandered around the old train station at the bottom. For anyone interested the restaurant there is open. Off to ski Pipestone tomorrow then the loppet on Sunday!

  194. CASCADE VALLEY – March 2

    Light snow falling on tracks that are holding up well at minus 9c.
    A lovely quiet day out there. One photo says it all:!ApWd3WZ3ra9NhCiuhqOgHg-fn4-z

  195. Loop-the-Park : Started at Pocaterra Hut and skied Pocaterra, Tyrwhitt, Elk Pass, Fox, Moraine, Wheeler, and Lodgepole back to Pocaterra Hut for 33 kms. Suicide Hill was so good, a couple of us went up for a second go ’round! -8C to start and -3 at the finish, with some wind once we got beyond Packers Jct. All trails were good but all were also snow-bombed and some were covered with wind-blown debris. The only trail with relatively fresh tracksetting was Lodgepole. Light snow fell part of the day and a weak sun poked through for awhile. An enjoyable day, and we’re feeling good about our accomplishment.

    • Suicide hill? Somebody needs to tell me which hill this is cause I’m always looking for good ones for my crazy 9-year old. He barely snow plowed down Blueberry Hill last weekend. Just went for it. And loves the Ribbon Creek descent.

  196. SHADOW LAKE & REDEARTH – March 1

    Excellent conditions on today’s fresh tracksetting.
    If you are intimidated by that steep hill near Redearth Cabin, you can always try my route out the Canyon!!ApWd3WZ3ra9NhCVyHMVG8mlfXQNm
    Lots of choices around the Lodge.
    Nice to be back on warmer waxes… VR40 was just right.

    • How would you assess the difficultly of the canyon route?

      • Depends how comfortable you are on your skis GH!
        Obviously, it is more challenging to stay in control going down than up, but I had no problem even on track skis. The existing path is a solid snow shoe path with lots of pole plants, so the track is wide and solid. Going up is easy, but it is still a bit steep in places, so herring bone skills are appropriate, or climbing skins. It is no worse than going up the regular hill, except that you are close to open water occasionally (very similar to Paradise Creek). Going down, you may need to side step occasionally, unless you have control with metal edges.
        In short, stay in control… or go back!

  197. Does anyone have any suggestions of where to get really great skiing tomorrow (Friday) morning, given the snow we’re about to get? I have a day off from work and my kids are going to their dayhome, so I have a free day to have a great kid-free stress-free ski!

    The only problem is that I don’t want to waste my free ski day on poor tracks (that happened to me a few weeks ago and it was SO disappointing). Is there somewhere I could find out if West Bragg, PLPP, or anywhere around Banff will be track set early-ish tomorrow morning? I’m guessing I’ll just have to head out there and see what it’s like, but I thought I’d ask just in case anyone has any insider info…

    Thanks! 🙂

    • Hi Erin,
      The best thing to do is to check the live grooming reports above for the areas that have them. Banff usually only t sets in the morning so they may be the best option for fresh tracks. Kananaskis Country usually sets at night so depending on the time and amount of snow they may already be snow covered. The Kananaskis Village trails will be groomed starting around 6am tomorrow or WBC may get out during the snowfall.

      • Hi Erin,
        The only venue where one can be reasonably sure of good overnight grooming is the Canmore Nordic Centre. Otherwise follow Jeff’s recommendations.

        • Yep, that’s always my fallback. But CNC is such a great place to go with my kids, and so I was hoping to switch it up a bit. I might end up there anyways!

      • Thanks! I’ll check out all the reports tomorrow morning.

        • Hi Erin,
          The groomers in WBC will be out in full force at 7:45 tomorrow morning. The conditions will be awesome. The snow is starting to come down now.
          Get out and ski!!
          groomer bill

          • Groomer Bill, you are a godsend! That is exactly what I wanted to hear… Thanks for the heads up and thanks for the grooming! 🙂



    Yesterday. Starting from Sunshine Road parking lot.

    The Healy Creek trail has plenty of snow with low to moderate levels of pine needles on the tracks. A few spots the skis were slowed down from fallen twigs. There is the usual debris on the trail adjacent to the Sunshine Road. With 1cm of new snow the trail will be excellent. Snow speed was moderate to fast.

    I took the short cut trail up towards Sundance Lodge. The trail is well skier packed now. Good to very good shape with just a few rocks to watch for. With 10 to 15 cm of new snow the trail should be generally in very good to excellent shape for climbing up. While climbing up, I was thinking about how our lack of democracy can be upgraded with proportional representation voting, although online voting of bills by the people is needed to create a real democracy.

    The trail to Sundance Lodge has low amounts of pine needles, nothing of real concern. Snow speed is moderate to fast. The trail is really growing over in places with a lot of spots of high erosion which creates a concave trail shape in many areas. The trails is much more narrow compared to past years due to the overgrowth. As a result the snowmobiles run over the track set in some places. Skating is also difficult because of the narrow trail that is concave in places.

    Beyond Sundance Lodge to the creek/bridge crossing upstream, there is an excellent skier and snowshoer tracked trail. I skied just beyond the creek crossing which is suitable for snowmobile travel. Beyond the creek there was no cut ski trail. Ski penetration with my 60mm metal edge skis was as deep as 1/2 up the knees.

    From the creek crossing I slapped on my headlamp and boogied back. Sundance Lodge was nicely lit up with Christmas lights and diffused moon light. It looked like a moon dance lodge rather than a Sun Dance Lodge. Heading down the Brewster Creek trail was a blast. The big hills were a night time rush with the “edges of metal”.

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