Trip Reports – March 2019

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{ 216 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Darrell March 19, 2019 at 6:44 pm

Upper Tramline/Fairview – Parked at Moraine Lake Road and did this loop counter-clockwise. Started later in the day (just after 3), hoping more of the trail would be in the shade. For the most part, it was, except for the sections through those beautiful, open meadows. The couch is still sittable, albeit quite soft. The trackset was, for the most part, in surprisingly good shape, despite a few spots where the trail was a littered with needles and twigs, not to mention the odd, inconveniently placed, tree-bomb bump. Those things can take you down quite unexpectedly, especially if you’re admiring the view instead of watching the trail. Slow and soft in the sun, hard and fast in the shade. Walked down the last steep hill before the road, just to be safe.

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2 Chris March 19, 2019 at 4:57 pm

West Bragg March 18th – Moose Loop

Definitely getting a bit icy out there

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3 Scott March 19, 2019 at 2:14 pm

Found an airpod on Mountain Road at WBC. Posted it in a baggie yo the bulletin board in the warming hut

Conditions were okay – climb up the slush and cruise down the harder stuff in the shade

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4 Helen Read March 19, 2019 at 1:48 pm

TOMORROW, MARCH 20TH IS NOT ONLY THE FIRST DAY OF SPRING BUT IT IS SKIER BOB’S DOUBLE DIGIT BIRTHDAY This is an opportunity for everyone of us who love this blog and all the hours of work he puts into it to DONATE a B-D gift to support this blog. The DONATE tab offers many choices of how best to support the fruits of his labour, which have given us an incredible X-C season. Might I suggest $66.66 to mark this unique birthday or any benevolent support you wish. Happy Birthday Bob. Hope you and Cheryl and Tessa celebrate this special birthday. We, Seniors, can never assume we will have many more double-digit birthdays.

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5 Alf Skrastins March 18, 2019 at 9:28 pm

West Bragg Creek
There was about 4 hours of freezing (down to -2C) last night at West Bragg Creek, but it got up to +15 C for a good part of the afternoon. Thanks to the magic of skin-skis, conditions were still quite reasonable for XC skiing.
Todays skiing included Hostel Meadow, Hostel Loop , East Telephone, East Crystal, Sundog, West Crystal, Mountain View and Mountain Road… plus bits of other all-season and winter multi-user trails. As expected, the shaded areas were fast, with glazed tracks, but generally not icy. The sun exposed areas ranged from moist and firm, to soft, to slushy.
In a number of areas, there were areas of black tracks, the tell-tale sign of snow fleas (Colembola) emerging from the snow-pack.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/rJuS9yLjX5qD324z6
The skiing at WBC may hold on for a few more days, but it seems the end is near.

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6 Chuck March 18, 2019 at 7:14 pm

BOOM LAKE – March 18

Another great destination in the Alpine (without going Backcountry)!
While the freeze thaw cycles have now begun, powder may be harder to find, but travel conditions are improving.
Check the captions here for details on this bucket list ski:
https://1drv.ms/a/s!AgTx5EOCG7eSihUV_yzr6hFjrwpR
With all the recent appreciation, days off are not an option!

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7 Frank Howard March 18, 2019 at 6:54 pm

March 18 -a.m.: Kananaskis Village-Terrace – Ribbon Creek Parking-Hidden Trail-Ribbon Creek Trail-Kovach-Terrace-Kananaskis Village.
March 18 – p.m.- Kananaskis Village-Terrace-Aspen-Kovach-Kananaskis Village.
Like everywhere else conditions were hard and fast in the morning but got better as the sun warmed up and made skiing more manangeable. Skin skis worked well as did universal klister. The winding downhill slopes of Ribbon Creek were completed either by side-slipping or simply taking the skis off and walking Some exposure to vegetatation and rocks on Ribbon Creek.. When the sun came out, it was glorious in the warm weather. Good conditions for t-shirts!

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8 Helen Read March 18, 2019 at 6:01 pm

What would we do without Chuck and Jeannette as our private SkierBob Trail Guides??? Yes, Ulrike enjoyed Paradise Valley yesterday and we went half as far today, turning around at km 7, a bit before Lake Annette Trail cut off. We skinned up the Creek from MLR but I made an instant and early decision not to ski back down (did not want to be mistaken for a “white haired” Ptarmigan buried in crusty snow. Snow reminded me of “frosted flakes” (sometimes crunchy/sometimes soggy) and towards 3pm the left ski wanted to sink down deeper than the right. Met one gent who was starting his sun tanning early and it was stunningly beautiful and so peaceful and warm. Could have sat on bridge #1 for an hour. Loved your ptarmigan photo Chuck and your report offered all the incentive we needed. Thank you both.

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9 Ulrike March 18, 2019 at 4:49 pm

Thanks to Chuck’s great photos of Paradise Valley on March 16 we ventured up the valley yesterday before the melt down. Tracks were still in great shape, saw only 5 skiers total, hot sun mixed with cool in the shade, small avalanches rumbled down from the steep cliffs. We welcomed the track leading to the Giant Steps. Bottomless snow necessitated skins to reach the top of the boulders.
Amazing views to Sentinel Pass, Temple and surrounding peaks! A great spring ski day!

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10 Carole March 18, 2019 at 8:24 pm

Jamie and I were two of the five people you met on Paradise Valley yesterday. I looked for Chuck’s ptarmigan but did not see it. We did enjoy the valley with its splendid scenery!

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11 Ian and Darlene March 18, 2019 at 4:47 pm

PLPP
Whiskey Jack – Tyrwhitt – Elk Pass – Fox Creek – Moraine

Generally good trail conditions with superb weather.
Started at noon with a temperature of plus one degree and finished at ten degrees. Used waxless skis but did meet one skier on wax that had changed wax three times but was doing well.
Whiskey Jack in good condition but glazed in sunny spots. Tyrwhitt was wonderful on waxless. Elk Pass was fast and controllable but was grabbing in sunny spots so we kept our speed lower. Fox Creek has tracks but is full of debris in many spots. Moraine in good condition. Trails will be hard and fast (icy??) in the morning but are great in the afternoon.

We also did bit of “backcountry-lite” on Elk Pass East. An earlier trail supported our skinny skis.

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12 Charles Curtis March 17, 2019 at 11:29 pm

Confederation Golf Course was still in excellent shape on Sunday. I skated on my good skis. There are a couple of bare spots starting to form (one on the yellow trail and one on the blue trail by 19th st). Most trails have 2 to 4 inches of base.
Enjoy city skiing before it is gone.
Many thanks to those who shoveled and moved snow at confederation this winter. Your work allowed all trails to be in excellent shape even after several days of warm weather.

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13 Kerrie March 17, 2019 at 11:16 pm

I skied Goat Creek today from the Canmore end to Banff. With a 10:30 start, the snow was still cold and some of the tracks were glazed. It was only as I neared Banff that the snow started to warm up. The start of the trail was thoroughly walked – no tracks visible at all until the first steep dip to cross a creek. After that, the tracks were fine – not new, but still good skiing. Overall, the trail was very fast, making this one of my fastest trips ever. And my twin skin skis were a delight. Great grip and great glide in these warm conditions!

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14 JeremyN March 17, 2019 at 8:40 pm

Mt Shark Classic tour yesterday morning. Bit late on the update but suffice to say early morning cool made for fast n fun track, though, a fluff of Friday night fresh snow on trail to Watridge L and Bryant Cr. (past grooming) made for superb ski. Hope mild mid-day temps at elevation preserve what little base there is.

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15 gh March 17, 2019 at 7:02 pm

I skied the south side of Ribbon Creek network (Terrace / Aspen / Kovach trails) with Amy today. The conditions were a bit icy in the morning but softening up in the afternoon. Coverage is still quite good but waxing will be very challenging over the next few days. I think that it is time to get my road bike out…

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16 Bill and Deirdre Richardson March 17, 2019 at 5:39 pm

The reports for PLPP from yesterday were good so we decided to give it a try. It was a tale of two skis. We arrived at Bolton parking lot just before 10:00 to -9° temperatures and a fresh, unskied track up Whisky Jack. We put on V45 wax and it was perfect. The climb up was terrific. Tyrwhitt to Elk Pass wasn’t freshly groomed but it was still in good shape, although we picked up pine needles and there were numerous snow bombs, mostly in shaded spots where you couldn’t see them. The Elk Pass table was full of happy skiers so we headed back down Tyrwhitt to the lower table for lunch. The wax was still working so we topped up with more V45 and headed back down, planning to ski down Pocaterra, also freshly track set, and return to Bolton via Lynx and Amos. All was good until just before the junction with Lynx when the second trip began. We came to a sunny spot on the trail and my skis almost stopped dead. From there it was soft or even softer snow and a sucky track, so little glide. The temperature at Bolton when we arrived back was 9°. In spite of the last few km’s, it was a beautiful day but it might be time to retire the waxable skis for the season.

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17 Chris and Karl March 17, 2019 at 2:51 pm

CANMORE NORDIC CENTRE, BANFF LOOP- we both made it into the “Mille” club today, a race against the big melt that is coming!! Banff loop at CNC was quite good this morning before the sun came out. We used red wax on our classic skiis, worked very well for us. Little to no debris on the trail as of yet, and the new groomer machine does a superior job! Maybe there is another day or two of good skiing if you go early in the morning before the sun melts things into ice.

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18 Helen Read March 17, 2019 at 4:56 pm

YEAH!!! And think you both deserve a large pint of your favorite Irish (or local) brew. Am guessing Chuck would be in the “Deux Milles” category but his GPS might stop at 50 or 60 kms in a day and many others in the skierbob community are maybe being more silent on the matter. I am hoping to complete a few more routes on my “To Do” list but skiing in these temps does not excite me too much, because I hate my fish-scale Fisher BC99 “water” skis.

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19 Chris and Karl March 18, 2019 at 11:01 am

Thanks Helen! Also thank yous to all the trip reporters on this blog, your contributions sure helped us to enjoy so many wonderful ski days this past winter!!

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20 Sibylla March 17, 2019 at 9:38 am

Sorry not fogs but dogs- though fogs could apply to owners!

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21 Sibylla March 17, 2019 at 9:36 am

Congratulations to your son Trevor. We did the ski Banff to goat creek parking lot and back. Wish we had started earlier! The snow was ace on the way but got icy on the way bsck in places but one of our better trips on this trail.
Two wishes:
Picnic benches at the goat creek parking lot would be lovely… a snow bench would not be possible I think.
Dog people could read – I had to check and yes –NO DOGS–. A group of about four with three or four big fogs have walked jumped and generally really messed up the trail at the goat creek end of the trail.
Anyway it was a very good day so wish for another dump of snow and below zero temperatures for a little longer maybe a third wish actually.
This trail may last longer as it is in the shade and the debris on the trail is negligible at the moment.

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22 Alf Skrastins March 16, 2019 at 10:21 pm

West Bragg Creek
Many of the WBC creek trails were groomed and track set Saturday morning, including Telephone Loop, Mountain View, Moose Connector and parts of Mountain Road. I did a loop on the south half of the trail network, including West Crystal, Loggers, Elbow, Iron Springs, Iron Creek and Sundog. All of those trails had been groomed this morning or yesterday. Ski conditions were great, with good grip and glide, except at the usual sunny spots such as on Iron Springs. The best classic track setting was on Elbow, and Iron Creek was absolutely pristine! There are a few ice flows… on Loggers, Iron Springs and Iron Creek to watch out for.
It should still be in great shape on Sunday, especially in the morning.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/SV23HPAeN6SXdxbd7

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23 Carole March 16, 2019 at 8:40 pm

Big PLPP loop today
I concur with the great conditions. Jamie and I spent some hours skiing from the Pocaterra Hut early this morning via Rolly Road (beautiful fresh tracks), along Pocaterra, up to Elk Pass and down to the couch for an early lunch (thanks Ma Sid; the sun is melting its backside, but it’s still worthy of lunch company). We only saw two people until then. We met many people on the Elk Pass trail, including George and Enda on the mid section. The big hill was in fine and fun shape (no ice at all). We skied Boulton Creek, Amos, Meadow, Sinclair, and down the big hill back to the Pocaterra Hut. We finished at 2 p.m. as the snow was softening and the temperature showed 4C at the car. We put on blue wax in the morning and did not adjust it all day. We had no stickiness or slipping issues. We appreciated that most of the trails had been recently track set. Chuck, we saw a ptarmigan with GH in Paradise Valley years ago.

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24 MaSid March 16, 2019 at 9:33 pm

I had heard about the back collapse, apparently the result of some added “human pressure”. I doubt the rest will last the week and will be relegated to bench status. Pipestone ones probably surviving fine still. Too bad about the untimely access. )-:

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25 Ian and Darlene March 16, 2019 at 8:26 pm

Pocaterra Hut to Elk Pass and Return
Excellent ski conditions all day on V45. Temperature range was -7 deg C to +3 deg C. We started just before noon on new tracksetting on Pocaterra from the hut to Packers. Then good skier set track on 10 cm to 15 cm new snow from Packers junction to Lookout junction. Back to tracksetting on Tyrwhitt from Packers to Elk Pass. Grip was good with V45 the whole way up. On the return, the loose snow on Pocaterra from Lookout to Packers made for a fast controllable descent. However, the temperatures were above freezing so the steeper snowplowed portions of this section might be rough tomorrow after the snow sets tonight. Or maybe it will be trackset and be perfect. Back on the tracksetting we were pleasantly surprised to see how well the lower Pocaterra tracksetting stood up. It was fast and the corduroy was still soft enough to provide good control. We would expect that this lower section will be quite fast tomorrow.

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26 Keith Bagnall March 16, 2019 at 8:21 pm

Bill Milne Trail: -7C at 10:00 am; Started at the Wedge DUA. Most skiing on waxless skis but wax-able also worked. Skied the Wedge Connector to Evan Thomas and crossed Hwy 40 to access Bill Milne. Tracks to Hwy 40 were icy and fast and in excellent condition. Bill Milne tracks were variable ranging from excellent to washed out. The section with washed out tracks was under the power lines where they are exposed to the wind. Skied to the “ice lake” and ate lunch in the warm air and brilliant sunshine. Returned to the Wedge DUA on the Bill Milne trail for a mini-circuit. After 12:30 lunch break the tracks were notably slower as the snow softened in the sun. Air temperature back at Wedge DUA was +7C at mid afternoon. Tree debris was noticeable on the Evan Thomas Fireroad and short sections of Bill Milne trail close to the trees all as Bob reported. Bill Milne should still be in great condition for Sunday skiers.

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27 Marilyn Ross March 16, 2019 at 7:53 pm

Watridge/Spray Lakes excellent this morning.

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28 Skier D March 16, 2019 at 6:30 pm

Lake O’hara
Great conditions into Lake O’hara today. The tracks are in great shape, only glazed a bit lower down. Used Rode Weiss: -1 to -4 for a fast ski up in less than 2 hours. Had a great lunch at the lodge then blasted down in less than an hour. The tracks were getting soft and slow for the last 500 m. There were lots of people going in and out on track skis, back country skies and by foot and everyone was where they should be sharing the trail so no conflicts.

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29 Chuck March 16, 2019 at 6:18 pm

PARADISE VALLEY – March 16

No need for Klister, Fishscales or skin skis up here! This is such a beautiful valley to explore at this time of year, but you be the judge. Details available by reading the captions:
https://1drv.ms/a/s!AgTx5EOCG7eSiXW1NDMI3pDGaEWf

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30 Ray Perrott March 16, 2019 at 7:01 pm

Fabulous ptarmigan picture!

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31 Ulrike March 16, 2019 at 8:28 pm

Great photos of Paradise Valley, very enticing!
Skate skiing at Mt. Shark today was very good, excellent grooming, pleasant temperature! Not many skiers on the 15km loop.

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32 gh March 16, 2019 at 5:59 pm

Enda and I skied Elk Pass trail to the couch for lunch and then on the back country track to the hydro line. We then headed back up to the main Elk Pass and down Hydroline/Patterson/Elk Pass. The conditions were surprisingly good. I thought that it might be too warm. Waxless skis worked quite well except for the last big uphill on the way out.

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33 Martin & Jip March 16, 2019 at 5:51 pm

Park @ Mnt Kid around noon and skate skied Bill Milne to Ribbon and back taking in Wedge, there is a monster ice flow about 1km before the bridge over the river to Nakiska, I tried the detour but it was horrible, turned round and skied the ice flow. I noticed a nice snow block wind break at Wedge, now I wonder who could have build that whilst the smokies were cooking , MaSid? Conditions are still very good throughout and should stay that way tomorrow, shame it will likely be gone by next weekend.

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34 MaSid March 16, 2019 at 7:00 pm

Good eye. A necessity for quality grilling on a breezy day.

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35 Tanya March 16, 2019 at 5:38 pm

West Bragg Creek this afternoon. Snow was getting very sticky on the climbs. Had to scrape my skis at the top of each big hill. Best get out early tomorrow before it’s too warm. Great day though and so nice to be able to ski without a jacket after the cold month we just had.

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36 Eva March 16, 2019 at 4:54 pm

WBC – I found sports sunglasses with prescription lenses this morning (ca. 11 AM) they were on the track of Iron Springs trail. If you lost yours, let me know how to get in contact with you.

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37 Gary Blechinger March 16, 2019 at 3:32 pm

West Bragg Creek
We left the parking lot around 9:30 in morning and trails were in good shape with a bit of glazing in tracks. The steep descents had a bit of icing but in general were manageable owing to the snow from midweek. Finished by 12:30 the tracks were starting to soften but overall the trails at WBC are in very good condition and should hold up well for the next few days.

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38 Me Eric March 16, 2019 at 1:42 pm

Cascade to Stoney
-7 at 7am , -4 back at car 10am
Fast Fast !! Got it done before sun and weekenders finished off the tracks .
Skate skiers and dog owners trampled the trail after campground,making for crappy slower tracks ,and me going fast fast (twice) lower down turned the tracks to ice .At least six spots on trail with ground showing .Otherwise a Fantastic finish for my ski season .

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39 Bob Truman March 16, 2019 at 1:55 pm

Wise to get out early, thanks for the report. I’m puzzled, however, as to why there would be dogs beyond the campground and not on the first 6K? Dogs aren’t allowed on Cascade Valley at all.

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40 Chuck March 16, 2019 at 3:42 pm

Those are WOLF tracks… not Dogs!

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41 Me Eric March 16, 2019 at 4:43 pm

Ahh .makes more sense now ,paw prints were Huge !!

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42 Mike W March 15, 2019 at 11:41 pm

March 15 Skogan Pass from Nakiska Day Lodge with Sunburst, Hummingbird Lookout, and High Level on the way up, and Skogan Pass Loop on the way down
Third report in a row for Skogan Pass! It was a late 3pm start for me. 3C at the start and 3C at the end at about 6pm. Took my “waxless” skis. Not much too add to the previous reports other than to emphasize how much of a difference solar radiation makes. Tracks and corduroy were in great condition on the way up, not at all slushy like Hilary reported a couple of hours earlier. The trip down was an entirely different story though. Despite the temperature still being above freezing, the trail was pretty much all in the shade and the corduroy had changed to cordurICE. The ridges and grooves were rock hard, making speed control challenging. But the worst part was that the skis would continually get trapped in the grooves which were so hard that the only way to release the skis was to hop out of the groove and hope you wouldn’t immediately get trapped in a different one.

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43 Mike W March 17, 2019 at 6:56 pm

Just in case anyone thinks I was exaggerating about how hard the cordurICE was, I just noticed I now have bevelled ski edges from snowplowing on it! Luckily it wasn’t my good skis.

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44 Eric R March 15, 2019 at 10:18 pm

skogan pass March15
8 am -2 at ribbon trail head, ,hard tracks ,blue wax and much churned in debris till Sunburst intersection ,then… fantastic white tracks with little debris and snow dust from the trees. conditions are best of season ! ! the upper section should be excellent again tomorrow ,with snow on trees dusting the tracks and skogan loop will be exhilarating till the sun hits it.
lower section debris carpeting will continue and any tracks shaded from the sun will be super quick from today’s noon hour glazing .+3 at 2:30 pm finish
ski season is ending fast !

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45 Hilary March 15, 2019 at 9:56 pm

Skogan Pass. Definitely transformed, slushy conditions nearly to the top. The last 2k or so were slightly less transformed but not as dry as I’d expect given the elevation. The sun was really baking out there.

Tracks were in excellent shape! The groomer did a fantastic job, pulling tracks in all the necessary places. I was quite impressed as you often ski trails like this and it’s track set bottom to top with no care for turns, steep downhills, etc.

Started around 1pm and made the poor choice of forgoing fishscales for my waxable classic skis. I definitely needed klister or a klister/hardwax mix given the slushy tracks. My sticky yellow hardwax worked only in shaded areas. Waxless will definitely be the way go moving forward. I would highly reccomenf timing your decent to coincide with the warmest part of the day to take advantage of the slower conditions. I began my decent at 3pm and it was already getting crusty in the shade making for some rather dangerous lurches when I went from shade to sun at high speed! Be careful as the speed difference between sun and shade is significant enough to cause a face plant to those not ready.

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46 raymond yong March 15, 2019 at 9:15 pm

Lake O’Hara

Got to the Lake O’Hara trailhead at about 0900. There was about 6 to 8 cm of fresh snow in the valley that generally thinned as you climbed, so that by the time I got to the 3 km marker it was only 1 to 2 cm thick, and stayed that way all the way to the lake. Sky was cloudy, but temperature was just below 0.
Still, it was perfect, as the underlying snow is pretty crusty. Since I was breaking the trail, it was slow-ish, but the grip using V40 was great. Temperature was 0 deg. at the lake a couple of hours later. I actually took the time to climb to the waterfall at the end of the lake – spectacular!

Coming back was slow. The sun came out and really started warming things up, so that by the time I got back to the picnic table at the 5.5 km mark I was really gathering snow on the bottom of my skis. I stripped as much wax as I could, so that helped, but overall the return was a lot slower than I’m used to. Oh well, it was till a great way to spend some time.

The trail had been freshly trackset the day before, and the tracks are solid but a little crusty. When I left around 1500, miraculously, no one had stomped all over the tracks. I only saw 7 people all day. Watch out for the ice flow at the bottom of the hill to the south as you leave the picnic table. It’s on the east side of the trail, so if you stick to the west track you’ll be fine. Just remember about it on the way back.

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47 Trevor March 15, 2019 at 9:14 pm

Goat Creek

My eight year old son and I tackled by far the longest ski of his career today, and he conquered it to make for an all time great outing. Conditions varied along the way, with really sticky snow after the Spray river crossing, and soft tracks most of the way, but generally really good and really fun given the time of year. Last stretch before the Spray west parking lot was, not surprisingly, the most beaten up. Footprints on the tracks at the Goat Creek end we were warned of in a report yesterday weren’t really an issue. Great day – though it sure doesn’t feel like we are going to have many more of those in the area if the forecast holds. Worth skiing tomorrow, though.

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48 ChrisD March 15, 2019 at 9:01 pm

WBC Friday Afternoon Ski
I started out at 2:30 pm on waxless skis. Skied Middle/West Crystal – Mountain View – Mountain Road – Mountain View West – Moose Loop (south) – Moose Connector – Mountain Road.

Snow coverage is still really good. Some spots quite soft and some a bit icy but the hills were all pretty safe. One stretch on Mountain View West was getting thin so I think by Sunday there maybe be a bare spot or two. This was the first time I skied Mountain View and Mountain View West and they are maybe the most scenic and enjoyable trails in the WBC system.

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49 MaSid March 15, 2019 at 8:44 pm

Fri mar 15: bill Milne (from wedge)
-1 this morning at 1030. Noisy needle mixed tracks through the forested section heading north while it was still cool. Shallow tracks along the power line by the golf course from wind sift. Good tracks north of that to the ice flow. Didn’t bother with the detour and sampled the 1/2 inch of old snow over the ice for the smoothest skiing of the day, despite the pole banging. Less noisy on return and only slightly moist. Followed cheeky and simona’s diversion along the creek bank near the bridge/bench for another smooth glide. Fish scales icing up a bit returning on that fresh track. Beautiful afternoon in the sun at wedge around the camp fire while we cooked up some food post ski.

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50 Chuck March 15, 2019 at 8:09 pm

CUTHEAD – March 15

How delightful to start off at minus 2 with a dusting of fresh snow on top of yesterday’s tracksetting…. smooth and quiet.
Lots more snow at higher elevations!
To get the full details, you’ll have to read the captions here:
https://1drv.ms/a/s!AgTx5EOCG7eSiWal0RHEYjPePNi7
Some glazing at lower elevations on the return, which allowed a 3.5 hour return after a 4.5 hr outbound venture. Total 50K in 8 hours.

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51 Hilary March 15, 2019 at 9:42 pm

Can you describe where you started and the basics of the route? You always seem to find the coolest looking routes!! 🙂

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52 Chuck March 16, 2019 at 8:33 am

Oops, I should have been a bit more clear.
The route to Cuthead Cabin is straight up Cascade Valley. Just a little further than we usually go!
Starting at Lake Minnewanka, the route is trackset for the first 14 km to Stoney Creek. Continuing further up the valley, past a few minor creek crossings, you should notice the Elk Trap at 17.5 km off the trail on your right. Continuing north you will reach that sign that says you are 23.6 km from Minnewanka. Continue north for another 1.4 km towards the Panther River, and the Cabin is at the end of the skier set trail on your left (25 km from home).
If you prefer a little shorter trip, I would recommend a turning around at the Elk Trap, described here on my January 24th trip:
http://skierbob.ca/trip-reports-jan-2019/#comment-759015
Thanks for asking Hilary, and enjoy!

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53 Ray Perrott March 15, 2019 at 6:10 pm

Spray River West.
The usual story – the first 3 or 4 km had well used tracks, with pine needles, spruce cones, and other debris intermittently. After that, things got much better. Beyond the East/West junction, conditions were very good to the next Spray River bridge. Some icy spots in sun affected areas in those first few km, but almost none beyond that. -3C to start, +1C and still cloudy at a 1pm finish.

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54 Diana Piggott March 15, 2019 at 5:46 pm

PLPP from Discovery Centre:

Nice wintery conditions this morning on loop Meadow – Woolley – Amos – Wheeler – Meadow from Visitor Centre, temps below zero and snow in very good shape in spite of a few needles, etc. here and there. Might even still be good tomorrow?

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55 K March 15, 2019 at 5:44 pm

Went to Skogan Pass this morning before the big melt and it’s in great condition. Last night’s tracksetting was relatively firm and generally fast. It was cloudy for a good chunk of the ski, so it might hold up another day before the sun and warm temperatures really affect it. There were some footprints scattered along the downhill side of the trail from someone hiking up to Hummingbird Plume Lookout, but it shouldn’t really affect your way down. Good coverage overall, some needles mixed in along the Screamer but overall amazing shape for the middle of March.

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56 Chris and Karl March 15, 2019 at 5:14 pm

BOULDER PASS – was great to meet Helen Read and her group just below the pass today! A new skiff of snow last night made the ski up the ski out go well. Nice skiing up to the pass on very good snow but it was then very windy. Great views.

TRAMLINE – the upper portion seems to be holding up ok in the heat, but the lower half was quite wet in spots. Water running down the road , it was so warm today. Melting quickly! Morraine Lake road might be ok tomorrow morning before the day warms up…..

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57 Tyler March 15, 2019 at 5:01 pm

PLPP From Boulton Parking:
I skied up Whiskey Jack, no recent grooming but there were nice skier set tracks and the grip was good on skin skis. Then went up the North side of the fire lookout on the new grooming. The grip was good and did not require too much herringbone. I descended back down the North side. Conditions were great for a nice controlled downhill. Tyrwhitt was in great shape with a light dusting of snow over the recent grooming. The glide was pretty good on both Tyrwhitt and Elk Pass. Fox Creek and Moraine were in decent shape with a bit of needles and debris. It was great to get out before the warm temps sticks around.

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58 Sabrina March 15, 2019 at 4:56 pm

Skied Bill Milne from Kovach to Wedge Pond this early afternoon. The trail is already quite sun affected. Get out there while you can! Wedge Connector is still gorgeous, with just a few pine needles.

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59 Bev March 15, 2019 at 2:54 pm

Mt Shark: fresh grooming today. Great classic tracks out to Watridge and beyond. Great for skating in biathlon and on the racing trails including far 5km of the outer loop. Morning -2. VR-45 worked perfectly.

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60 GMJ March 15, 2019 at 1:45 pm

Just got back from a great ski at West Bragg. Conditions are really amazing, especially considering it’s the end of the season. We went up Mountain Road (superb tracks), Moose Connector to Moose Loop, and the first bit of West Telephone (the big hill down to Moose is pretty icy.) Then we followed Alf’s suggestion of skiing up Reconnect and down Demi-Tel. Other than the first sun-baked bit through the aspens, Reconnect was quite doable even on my very narrow skis. I wouldn’t want to ski down it, though; I took off my skis for even a short downhill on the extremely narrow bumpy track. TM skis would be better for this.
Demi-Tel was much better than Reconnect aside from the horse damage, fat-bike groomer tracks (they iced up) and walker tracks. It makes a really nice ski trail with good flow and good views.
Then we skied north along Hostel (excellent) and down the stretch of Telephone that bisects Hostel (not so good, but doable). Red wax and Swix universal glide worked well all morning.

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61 Alf Skrastins March 14, 2019 at 10:34 pm

West Bragg Creek-Telephone Loop
Telephone Loop was groomed late yesterday and had a nice cold night to set up, making for great conditions. I started up East Hostel Loop, then continued on around Telephone Loop. The ice-flow just north of Hostel Junction was snow covered and groomed, so it was skiable. The snow and grooming was very nice all the way around, especially at the far north end. I decided to complete the loop by following a couple of all-season trails that are groomed for fat-biking. I went up Reconnect, which was single-track groomed by a pair of tracked motorcycles. From the Long Distance intersection, I went down DemiTel and Snowshoe Hare, which was corduroy groomed full-width. And finally I finished off by descending the west half of Hostel Loop.
The temperature warmed to +3C, and there was a bit of surface melting on sunny aspects, but the snow remained cold in the shaded areas. Skiing should be good on Friday and Saturday.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/uhfmcwBHU84Goujd8

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62 Steve Riggs March 14, 2019 at 9:27 pm

Updating on Jane’s morning report of excellent skiing on Moose-Mountainview etc. at WBC- we headed out on a loop taking in many of the same trails in the early afternoon, starting with a trailhead temp. of minus 1, finishing up at 3:30 in plus 3. Conditions remained excellent throughout, with well defined tracks, and very good grip and glide using VR50 (purple). Downhills were easygoing in soft snow. The skiing should continue to be great tomorrow, with a few minor glazed areas after the springlike afternoon temperatures of today.
https://steveriggs.smugmug.com/MooseLoopMarch14/

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63 Chuck March 14, 2019 at 9:18 pm

STONEY CREEK HORSE CAMP – March 14

So many places to go, and so little time!
Only about 1 km north west of Stoney Creek Cabin, this untouched area provides all the exhilaration you crave… read the captions here for details:
https://1drv.ms/a/s!AgTx5EOCG7eSiVj-elGMi8e3xjEY
The only sun affected area was the short stretch along the Lake Minnewanka Road.

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64 Gina March 14, 2019 at 8:31 pm

Another beautiful day in Kananaskis. Skied Bill Milne from Evan-Thomas to the ice dam and return. Track was wonderful, very fast in the colder morning air a bit slower as the sun softened the snow. Several other skiers enjoyed the day along this beautiful track with us. Large canine of some sort left it’s tracks along part of the trail. Anyone see this creature or recognize the tracks? Hope the warmer weather won’t destroy the track for a while yet. The new skier with us says this has been her best winter for a long time. Hates to see the snow go, can’t wait until next winter.

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65 Ian and Darlene March 14, 2019 at 8:30 pm

Goat Creek – Excellent Condition
We did not have a car shuttle so we started at Banff Springs Hotel trailhead for a return trip. There was fresh snow and tracksetting waiting for us at 11:30! Temperature was -7 deg. C. V40 wax provided good grip and glide for the whole day. The trails were in EXCELLENT condition all the way up to the National Park Boundary 0.9km from the Goat Creek Parking lot. We turned around at the Park Boundary because we did not want to spoil 18 km of perfect trail condition skiing with the last 0.9 km of hard packed fair trail conditions outside the park. The temperature at the turnaround was 0 deg C but the trails should still be fine tomorrow because there was snow dust falling from the trees. On our return the Spray River West was well worn from heavy ski usage and warm weather but the V40 wax was still working well. The Goat Creek trail should be excellent tomorrow and Spray River West should still be in fair (and fast) condition tomorrow. Get it while you can!

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66 Keith Bagnall March 14, 2019 at 7:47 pm

Lake Louise and Moraine lake Road: -8C at 10:00 am and -2C at 2:30 pm: VR40 wax: Started from Chateau parking lot on Fairview. Fairview’s tracks were skier tracked over 1 cm new snow. Fairview’s hills to MLR were fast but controlled.
MLR was not much changed from Mary Perrott’s trip report except for 1 cm of new snow. Tracks and skating lane are still somewhat soft. Not much evidence the road has seen a lot of traffic above Paradise Creek. The turn-around-point was in full sun as were sections of the upper road and the glide improved as the day warmed. The ski down was fast but controlled. Uphill tracks were faster than the down track which was somewhat soft.
It was a beautiful day in sunshine and the pristine snow. Lake Louise will be good until the consecutive days of plus temperatures degrade what is now heavenly.
As Chuck admonishes us – “Get it while it is good!”

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67 gh March 14, 2019 at 7:00 pm

PLPP Bolton Bridge parking to Elk Pass / Hydroline / over the Lookout and finally down Whiskey Jack. There was fresh grooming on everything except Whiskey Jack which has about 10-15 cm of fresh snow on it. There was a decent skier set track up the hill there. Otherwise conditions were excellent. On a lost and found note… Someone did actually turn in my lost fanny pack with waxing stuff that I lost a couple of months ago. I picked it up today at the visitor centre. Thank you to whoever turned it in.

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68 Cheeky March 15, 2019 at 8:42 am

PLPP – Thursday – Elk Pass, Lookout S-N, Tywhitt, ChouchHQ, W.Elk Pass and Blueberry Meadows. -4 at noon-ish, -1 at 7pm, tracksetting is Skookum, expect only minor glazing, only dry tree bombs and no debris – OK a little in Fox Creek; meadow skipping is fast, fun and scenic on old tracks. A pair of kicker-sticker skins made climbing S.Lookout much easier.

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69 Eric R March 14, 2019 at 5:16 pm

uggghhh111
Goat creek RIP
walkers decimated the ski track 4 pm ,4 km in .
other than that pure white ,creamy ,skier hardened trackset ,with a light tree dusting for grip , waiting for a quick ,easy wax ,early morning , best of season ski .

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70 Jane March 14, 2019 at 4:32 pm

WBC
Excellent morning. Moose Loop – the ice flow at Telephone Loop was covered, as was the ice on the creek at the far end. -8 to start so I covered Monday’s purple with something a little harder. West Mtn Road had fresh grooming, but not so on Mtn View when I went along that stretch. West Crystal was groomed, I took the north side up to Loggers where yesterday’s grooming was fine. East Crystal line was not as fast as earlier this week but maybe the purple was coming through by then. There’s still lots of fun to be had at WBC, thanks to the groomers.

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71 Paul and Nancy March 14, 2019 at 4:30 pm

Canmore Nordic Center

Out over the lunch hours with a -5oC starting temperature on Swix purple. Near 0oC by 1:30pm. One of the season’s best days after our snowfall Tuesday night. Banff, Meadowview, Bow, Lower Banff, Lynx loop (13 km). Fresh powder, 10 cm or more, on many less travelled trails, Rundle, Wolverin, Silverip and others. A nice bit of powder on the skate lanes of all natural trails that were groomed. Easy to control the steeper hills that were previously covered with lodgpole needles and spruce cones. Take it in before the weather warms.

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72 RichieRich March 13, 2019 at 10:09 pm

Went for a pleasant 45min jaunt around Confed this eve right after work hoping that the near zero temps would have kept some of those fluffy cm’s of white stuff nice and soft. Sadly the tracksets were 80% pretty slick which means my Skintec waxless had marginal grip. Did find a few short sections with nice grip and glide. So with it being that slick it was a lot of double poling and kick-and-double-pole practice. Still managed about 8km covering just about every bit of trackset that I could find with minimal repeat routes. You might be able to scare up a few more days of classic there with the right grip wax/waxless/armwax.

As for skate lanes it was definitely a LOT better. I think first thing in the morning it’ll be a rather crusty but after a bit of sun it’ll be quite pleasant and I’d say you’d have a lovely ski on well groomed trails. If I didn’t already have other plans I’d do skate there tomorrow apres work.

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73 Ray Perrott March 13, 2019 at 7:55 pm

PLPP Central trails:

We headed out this morning shortly before Bob posted his Wednesday Morning update, so we missed the info on Spray/Goat tracksetting. Drove out to PLPP, as the grooming report showed tracksetting there (Wheeler, Amos, Woolley, Meadow, WWL). Alas, when we arrived at Elkwood parking, we discovered that much of the 10cm of snow that fell last night in PLPP had fallen after the tracksetter did his good work. But we skied in skier-set tracks over many of the middle trails of PLPP, mostly good if a bit slow at times. At least all the debris from the winds of two days ago was well covered up. Started at -8C, finished 25km later at -2C. Cloudy all day, so no sun damage. Lots of people out. Should be good for a few days, until the big warm-up

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74 Diana Piggott March 13, 2019 at 7:02 pm

West Bragg Creek – surely won the snow lottery today!
We started late, nearly noon, by which time much grooming had occurred. All of the groomed trails we skied were fantastic! We did Mountain Road – Moose Loop – Mountainview West – Mountain Road – Moose Connector – West Crystal.
The only trail not groomed was Mountainview West, and sadly by the time we got there, the hot sun had already turned the beautiful fresh powder into a warm sticky mush. A snowmobile made several passes while we were skiing there, so perhaps it will all be groomed by now. Pity about the weather forecast……..

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75 Alf Skrastins March 13, 2019 at 10:42 pm

West Bragg Creek
We started a bit later that Diana. The temperatures briefly warmed to +2C and the sun was definitely cooking the snow. I found that moist surface snow was sticking to my twin-skins and causing them to ice up in sunny areas. However, in shaded areas, the grip and glide were good. As the sun got lower on the horizon, it cooled just enough to improve the skiing. Moose Loop was in great condition. https://photos.app.goo.gl/oHnPWYgvnWeTrjo9A
With cold temperatures overnight, the grooming should be very nice tomorrow morning.

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76 Chris and Karl March 13, 2019 at 5:46 pm

CASCADE TO STONEY CREEK – a few cm new snow last night made for perfect skiing today with a bit of swix red wax. Cloud cover made the tracks and wax even better. Followed fresh wolf tracks between about km 8 and 10. Great conditions to Stoney Creek cabin and return. Another top 10 kind of day!!

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77 gh March 13, 2019 at 5:45 pm

West Bragg Creek this morning after 10-15cm of fresh snow. I did a tour of the southern trails: East Crystal / figure 8 Elbow and Iron Springs / Loggers and West Crystal upper and middle and a bit of Mountain View east. I started out just after 0900. The only place that I encountered that was not already groomed was the north end of Elbow but after about half a km I encountered the groomer heading north. It is amazing how well maintained this trail system is. The conditions were really good. Hopefully it stays a bit cool so we can enjoy it a few days longer.

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78 Chuck March 13, 2019 at 4:39 pm

BANFF to GOAT CREEK TRAILHEAD and Return – March 13

Only about 5 cms of new snow in Banff, but a lot more as one heads east. 15 to 20 cms at higher elevations!
Details available with the captions here:
https://1drv.ms/a/s!AgTx5EOCG7eSiUPnDFYGqKbyapgg
Snowing again now!

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79 Helen Read March 12, 2019 at 6:10 pm

Burstall Flats: -7 to start and took easier way down to the flats at my orange flagging, NO wind and skied across to the hiking trail and then picked up a windswept AT trail which greatly improved further towards the glacier. Kept close watch about us and it started to snow fairly heavily there on our return. Noticed a new (?) weather station on Flats, measuring wind, snow, rain? Saw no one all day until descending the last hill, we came upon the group of snow-shoers who we think were on a Yamnuska (? AST) Course along with a bigger group of AT skiers. -5 to finish and that new cm of snow sure helped bury some of the forest debris on the trail.

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80 Mary Perrott March 12, 2019 at 4:13 pm

MLR Sing-a-long-time! “Where have all the skiers gone, long time passing?
Where have all the skiers gone, long time ago?
Where have all the skiers gone, gone to Cuba, I suppose,
When will they ever learn
To love the wi–nter?”
I realize that you can love winter, and a tropical vacation at the same time, but Moraine Lake Road was a quiet, lonely place today. We arrived to find that the outbound trail had just been groomed and track set. While we skied up (-9C to start, -2 at end), the groomers came back down, finishing the job. The 5 or 6 cms. of fresh snow made the tracks and grooming up the middle fairly soft,, and consequently slower than we had anticipated. Still, we made good time, being first out; we didn’t see another skier until about 4 kms into our return run back down, and then only a half dozen skiers on the trail. Not that we are complaining…there was no wind, fresh trackset, very light 6-pointed snowflakes falling, fresh air, dreamy overcast…what could be finer?

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81 Gala March 12, 2019 at 3:05 pm

Maple Ridge Golf Course. Monday, March 11, evening. Vey icy and slippery, even with my waxless skis. I did the whole loop but it wasn’t fun, and going downhill on that ice was even dangerous. It looks like ski season is over for that golf course.

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82 JeremyN March 12, 2019 at 9:17 am

WBC …another report. Big outside loop: Telephone-Moose/West MtnViewWest/Loggers Elbow to Parkinglot/IronSprings/WestCrystal. Skin skied through all spring conditions and found very big and obvious ice flows interesting and worthy of stop to admire beauty, but also many other seepage patches lurking just underfoot to be somewhat hazardous in the morning. Be ESPECIALLY careful on east Telephone (as always in spring) …. AND going across bridge on West Mtn Rd just down/south from Moose junction as bridge deck appears “snow white” but once going over-top is SHEER ICE -no fall but could be injurious. (This should be harrowed/scarified by GBCTA crew). Elbow south aspects were surprisingly good and NOT plowed up or iced out …yet. Safe Skiing!

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83 JeremyN March 12, 2019 at 9:21 am

…sorry, hazardous bridge deck should read: far Mtn View WEST trail just south of Moose Loop junction.

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84 chuckley March 11, 2019 at 10:37 pm

Peter Lougheed Provincial Park really needs some snow to cover the pine needles. A few centimetres will make the excellent trackset great again!!
Started at -6C and ended 18.5 km ski at 2C. As the day went on and we used stickier wax- of course the needle problem increased. In the afternoon snow in direct sun was doing a hydraulic grab as it turned to water under the pressure of skis.
Skied from Visitor’s Centre – Meadow, Wheeler, Packers, Pocaterra, Lynx,Amos, Wooley, and Meadow back to Visitor’s Centre.
Ice Flow on Packers is just starting to form on the downhill right side of the trail – sign is now up at top of this hill.

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85 Chris and Karl March 11, 2019 at 9:14 pm

LAKE O’HARA FIRE ROAD – the trail to the lake is well groomed with two sets of tracks. Our waxless BC skiis were slipping so we skinned up to the lake. Classic waxable skiis may have been a better choice for today….had lunch on the bench in front of the Park’s cabin….lovely. Trip up took 2.5 hrs on slow skiis while trip down took 1.25 hrs. Lots of young people and families heading into EP Hut. Snowing lightly at 3 pm.

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86 Georgie Fear March 11, 2019 at 9:06 pm

March 10th (yesterday), Skiied Cougar Creek trail from Canmore to Banff and back. The track was much better on the “Banff side”. It was intermittently untracked (or scraped off?) On the half closer to Canmore. Coming down the hills from Canmore felt a bit treacherous given the narrowness of the trail and curves. Heading back up the hills necessitated taking off skis and walking in one section. Heck of a workout though!

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87 Mike W March 11, 2019 at 10:26 pm

Did you mean Goat Creek from Canmore to Banff? Was calling it Cougar Creek based on a feeling you were being stalked by one? 😉

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88 Georgie Fear March 12, 2019 at 3:24 pm

Yes! Oops I meant Goat Creek. I would much rather there be goats in the woods! I would not be as scared!

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89 Jane March 11, 2019 at 4:11 pm

WBC
Waking up to +4 in Calgary was a bit of a shock, fortunately we were not deterred and arrived at WBC at -2. Purple wax did the trick for the complete Moose Loop, the ice flow at the Telephone Loop junction is fine and the far ice flow is easy to avoid on the bridge. Grooming had been done on West Crystal but the snow elsewhere was also in great shape. It was quite sunny so some snow was warming, happily a lot of the trails are in the shade, we did notice a few spots were skiing from sun to shade and vice versa made a small impact on the glide, but just in a minor way for now. Back at the parking the air temp was +10 but the snow is holding up just fine.

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90 Alf Skrastins March 11, 2019 at 10:28 pm

West Bragg Creek
After a week of backcountry skiing in the Valkyr Range, in BC, I returned to discover that I had missed a great week of XC skiing on this side of the Rockies, by just one day.
It was 12C this afternoon at West Bragg Creek, and the snow was getting very soft in the sun. Thank goodness for my twin-skins, because I would not have wanted to figure out the wax today. I had great grip and glide with the twin-skins.
I did spin around Hostel Meadow and Hostel Loop, then up East Telephone. There is an impressive ice flow, just past the north Hostel Loop junction, with a nice little detour to get around the iciest part of the flow. I returned via Snowshoe Hare west, which has been packed smooth by snowshoers and finished with a quick descent of the west leg of Hostel Loop.
Coverage was good on all of the trails, but everything is likely to be icy tomorrow. If the cooler temperatures and some new snow arrives, as forecast, it could be pretty good on Tuesday/Wednesday.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/CiEsrNjJN7qRJMwM6

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91 Steve Riggs March 12, 2019 at 7:34 am

That first pic doesn’t look like West Bragg 🙂
Although, with the deeper snowpack last March, there were skiers enjoying decent powder skiing in the logging cuts along MountainView.

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92 Alpine Jimmy March 11, 2019 at 12:10 am

A Sunday Afternoon in the Park
Bill Milne-Evan Thomas-Wedge Connector
Georges Seurat would have been happy to see all the skiers having fun in Kananaskis today.
We thought we should run the course one more time in light of tomorrow’s forecast. The strong late afternoon tailwind from the south made for a quick trip from Wedge Pond to the ice flow. As we turned, a young woman described her crossing of the flow as “brutal.” On the return trip, I was surprised to see how much blown snow quickly accumulated in the tracks. The tracks in the open areas were fair, those in the woods remained very good. It felt good to ski without gloves in the open sunny areas.

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93 Normand March 10, 2019 at 11:36 pm

SHADOW LAKE, BALL’ISTIC and those RED CHairs

After seeing recent posting about the great ski conditions to get to Shadow Lake, I figured there would be a crowd on Sunday, lining up to lounge in those famous red Adirondack chairs under the sun and a perfect blue sky, halfway down the lake. Nope; did not see a sole today on skis over the lake, as I got all the way partly up the alluvial fan below majestic Mount Ball, following a blown-in older ski trail. Coming back from the fan, I finally reached those two lonely chairs; waiting to tell me how beautiful it is to relax in front of such Ball’istic cliff face of rocks, draped by icefalls, snow flutes and avalanche debris from cornices above. Heading up Red Earth Creek, I met one of the lodge owners coming down on skidoo with an empty large sled. The trail from the turnoff to the lodge is like a wide sidewalk of compacted snow by the skidoo traffic. Back at the lodge, after a good dose of sun in those chairs, chatted a bit with Brian and 2 mountain bikers. The ski out from the chairs to the parking lot was done under 2 hours; fast but safe conditions on the Red Earth Creek trail. Excellent day for a mix of about 36 km of trail skiing and touring, with awesome weather and great to have the lake and views to myself.

https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipO5eg9jRNBdOyiTgQofZefVSAOgM4RUtRvsGE-CXij1veKqN4Ce5AxDNDWgix8etQ?key=czl1bzl3OElaaEpYanNiZWVZQmZPdDVMTkZYUlRB

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94 Chuck March 11, 2019 at 8:47 am

Stunning photos on a blue sky day (and a cleverly written report). Thanks Normand… You MAY have saved me another trip!

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95 Normand March 11, 2019 at 10:08 am

Thanks Chuck. But it was your posting last week that got my legs itchy to get up there (again) and reach those chairs to lounge under the sun. I just didn’t want to leave.

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96 Helen Read March 11, 2019 at 1:37 pm

Red Chair ENVY reigns!!! Not sure I will get back into SLL this year but thank you one and all for breaking trail! Normand, I found what special photos I was looking for of Montmorency Falls (summer and winter) should you be interested. They are 7″x 9″ and my email is helenread@shaw.ca Would love to put them into your possession. Hope to ski Burstall Flats tomorrow and The Connector Wednesday.

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97 Carole March 13, 2019 at 9:06 am

Hello Chuck,
Sorry I did not post pictures for you, but Normand’s picture from the Park’s red chairs is very similar to mine! Amazing blue sky day!

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98 Scott March 10, 2019 at 10:48 pm

Maple Ridge Golf Course
Really good skiing in the early afternoon today. The snow was surprisingly fast with nice clean, firm tracks in most places. There’s enough snow that it might be good for a few more days. Here are some pictures if you’re interested. https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=12dj_1w4r0v2U2AnHStCue7eNaVT1EzUn

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99 Vittorio March 10, 2019 at 9:39 pm

Hit Allison Ck for probably the last time this year as grooming stops on Mar 31. It was stellar as usual. Saw very few skiers on the trails, it was a bluebird day and the trails were all in excellent shape. Kudos to the groomer and I put some cash in the jar. It’s a wonder that the trails are kept in as great of shape given the location of this area and the number of skiers I have encountered in all the years I have used this wonderful facility. Full credit must also be given to the Crowsnest Pass X-C Ski Association without which I am sure this trail system would not be in existence. Thanks to all.

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100 GMJ March 10, 2019 at 8:56 pm

Afternoon ski at West Bragg with good spring conditions. We started at the Allen Bill end and skied up Iron Springs, around Sundog and down Elbow. Tracks are still in good shape, even on south Elbow, although a little icy in places. Any south-facing hill was slushy when we started and dangerously icy when we finished (we walked down several), while conditions were excellent on most north-facing areas. Some downhills have snowplow grooves and ridges. Grooming seemed fresher near the core trails. There was some tree debris and wandering tracks on Elbow but overall it wasn’t bad. Red wax worked reasonably well most of the day (i.e. very well in cooler areas and not very well on sunny hillsides) although I often had to rewax after icy areas. Yellow glide wax was great and I had excellent glide.

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101 Nancy Lopez March 10, 2019 at 8:47 pm

LOST POLES AT PLPP – Hi all, I was skiing at Peter Lougheed today, Sunday March 10, and I arrived at the Pocaterra hut around 3:30pm. When I arrived I leaned my ski poles up against the fence right in front of the hut and adjacent to the stadium area (or possibly against the hut itself) and went inside to put my boots on. When I came back outside to go for a ski my poles were gone. They are black carbon fiber one way poles with fluorescent yellow writing on them. I am wondering if anybody picked them up by mistake? Please contact me if so. I’d like to believe this was an honest mistake, as it happened to me earlier this year and that’s exactly what it was. You contact me directly if you have any information nancy.lopez+lostpoles@gmail.com.
I did pole-less ski up Pocaterra, and what a beautiful afternoon. Rode violet kick wax worked like a charm.

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102 Carol March 11, 2019 at 10:39 pm

I’ve had someone take my poles by accident. I ended up getting them back because the lady that took them, and tried to use them realized they were way too long for her. She had left her shorter ones behind. They were identical otherwise. I make sure to write my name and phone number in sharpee on all my equipment. People laugh at me sometimes, but I’ve had things I’ve left behind returned to me as a result.

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103 Carol March 11, 2019 at 10:42 pm

I wasn’t quite finished…I do hope you get your poles back! 🙂

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104 Nancy March 13, 2019 at 10:47 am

Thanks Carol – I certainly write my name on my new pair!

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105 Chuck March 10, 2019 at 7:58 pm

PIPESTONE RIVER – March 10

With the Last Chance to ski the Pipestone this year, we had to take this opportunity to continue beyond MaSid’s couches up the Pipestone River to Point Camp Meadows.
Details available with the captions provided here:
https://1drv.ms/a/s!AgTx5EOCG7eSiTWwu8ObpDt5PJWt
It is a pity after all the work of our Skier Bob Community keeping this route broken, that access is closed as of tomorrow.

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106 MaSid March 10, 2019 at 9:27 pm

Looked like a great last day on the pipestone. Wish I could be multiple places in a single ski day, but always best exactly where you are. Thanks for sharing the couch photo. It seems to survive better than the one at west elk even though west elk is probably 500+ feet higher (more white, less ice, on the pipestone couch). Less sun hours at pipestone, smaller meadow. I’m surprised the turrets stayed up though. Only a bit of sag. And of course, it’s most worn in for full barka-lounging on the last day. Well done. Can’t wait go back and go longer.

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107 Chris and Karl March 10, 2019 at 5:48 pm

ELK PASS, TYRWHITT, WHISKEY AND BOULTON- snow was surprisingly good, got more slippery in sunny areas in the afternoon. Used blue wax and a bit of red wax for grip. Whiskey was reasonably fast but safe. Metal edge skis would be better if it gets icy after today. Beautiful day!

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108 JeremyN March 10, 2019 at 5:10 pm

Jasper – Caribou Loppet from Athabasca Falls along closed Hwy93A to Whirlpool Hub & Moab Lake … route details below. 35km route double trackset with double skating lane (like MLR). Inaugural event so quaint and low key but gorgeous vistas, relatively even grades and so definitely, beginner recreational friendly route in the sun. Nice to ski new trails despite the lengthy, but AMAZING drive through Jasper’s Icefield Parkway. https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ab/jasper/activ/activ-experience/hiver-winter/carteski-skimaps

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109 JeremyN March 10, 2019 at 5:16 pm

Pipestone: Saturday late afternoon …needed to stretch legs after Loppet so did outside loop with Hector trail in CCW direction … as I’m advised is recommended (?). Conditions very good albeit windsifted in track, but still safe on downhills and good grippy firm base up small knolls along east run.

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110 Ulrike March 10, 2019 at 10:15 pm

Hi Jeremy:
Great to hear of a new low key loppet in Jasper. Is it classic or skate, or your choice of technique? Which club organizes it? Is it a loop from start to finish?
Sounds interesting.
Thanks for the feedback.

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111 Kinga March 10, 2019 at 11:49 am

Very enjoyable conditions yesterday on spray river west to the goat creek bridge, considering it hasn’t been trackset for three weeks. Base is firm but not hardened/icy and still allows for good control on the descents. Spray river east had many hard/icy sections and I do not recommend it. Pine needles were not a nuisance while skiing, only after.

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112 K March 9, 2019 at 10:40 pm

Excellent conditions on the Lake O’Hara Fire Road today. There’s a good amount of snow over the tracksetting from Thursday, but the tracks were reasonably well defined, especially downhill, and the snow was fast.

I managed to somehow drop an Olympus digital camera out of my pocket as I was taking pictures on the lake this afternoon, so if anyone sees one in the next little bit, please reply to this message. Also posted a note on the sign at Le Relais. Spent an hour tracing my steps and digging out some deeper spots, so my best guess is that I’ll probably be at the bottom of the lake this summer. But I thought I would post in case anyone sees it sticking out of the snow the next time they are out there. Thanks.

Pictures (from my phone) here of the tracksetting, lake and sign:
https://1drv.ms/f/s!AvrgL7dMjpYeqz0hRXV2PybJiNm2

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113 Chuck March 10, 2019 at 7:57 am

Wow… someone else using One Drive… Congrats.
And that must be me climbing up to the frozen falls in your picture… Thanks!
Hope someone finds your camera… I was wondering what that person was doing in the one spot so long.

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114 Carole March 9, 2019 at 9:55 pm

Shadow Lake to the chairs
Thanks, Chuck for the nudge to go to Shadow Lake. We skied there today and it was a glorious one! We followed the tracks to the lake and beyond to the Parks Canada chairs that were installed last year. What a place for a peaceful lunch with the sun beaming down on us. We looped around as you did, Chuck but your trail on the south side was quite blown in with snow. We could barely make out the trail but I managed to follow it around to the bridge. We enjoyed our skis with metal edges. Bryan track set the trail very early this morning and we were thankful for it. We saw three other regular cross-country skiers; that’s all. Shadow Lake Lodge is closed for the season, as of last weekend. Bryan informed us that the trail might not be track set again this year, as not much snow is in the forecast. It was a memorable, fun day!

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115 Chuck March 10, 2019 at 7:50 am

So glad you followed up on the nudge Carole… and the informative report.
How about a picture? I think you picked a blue sky day, which I didn’t. I may have to go back soon!

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116 darcy March 9, 2019 at 9:04 pm

West Bragg Creek 9 March

-3c, Blue sky, calm, 11am
Very good travel on V45, great glide. Some choppy conditions within a few hundred metres of the parking lot. Decent trackset holding on Moose loop and the bit of Mountain View I skied today.

Maybe I missed the ice flow warning sign skiing clockwise on Moose, but be aware there is an ice flow at the bottom of a fast blind corner. Spicy.

Not a horse track in sight. Considering the number of cars in the parking lot the shared use trails were in very good shape. Most people are good.

Enjoy it before the chinook takes a bite out the just adequate base at West Bragg.

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117 Ray Perrott March 9, 2019 at 7:01 pm

PLPP – the “Skier Bob Special”

Started at 10am to -9C at Boulton Creek. Ascended Whiskey Jack – beautiful conditions with new tracksetting. Then Tyrwhitt – very good, though some debris on the north end. Elk Pass was also in very nice shape. Fox was a bit rough, with some debris; still quite manageable. Moraine was very good, mostly clean. -4C back at the parking lot. It will be very nice if the forecast of snow for Tuesday/Wednesday materializes.

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118 Mike H March 10, 2019 at 12:57 pm

I’ll echo Ray and John’s reports on PLPP from Saturday – Wheeler and Amos were in great shape, skiff of fresh snow since the grooming on the 6th. Temps between -3C and -6C while we were there in bright blue sunshine – how can one ask for more? Little sections of tree debris on Amos otherwise clean. I was surprised though that the trails weren’t busier – I thought that with our recent deliverance from the cold, a lot more people would have been out on the trails.

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119 John A March 9, 2019 at 6:59 pm

PLPP – Get it while it’s GREAT! – Did many of the PLPP trails today. Temps were between -6 and -2, so the snow is staying in great shape. The north end trails (Pocaterra/Lynx) are just fine, with a little bit of pine needle debris (warm waxes will pick this up!). The hills are still quite “firm” as they set up quite hard a few days ago. However, with 3-4 days of skiers on them, they are getting easier to deal with. The middle trails (Amos/Woolely/Meadow/Wheeler) have a skiff of snow that is well skied in and are otherwise excellent. Whiskey Jack and Packers were groomed/set last night and they are spectacular – they would be great for either up or down. The southern trails (Tyrwhitt/ElkPass) are just fine too. FoxCreek/Moraine are OK – never great but always fun.

My only negative comment on an otherwise glorious day was the presence of the good old Anti-social Skate Skiers who came up both Elk Pass and Pocaterra, crossing over the tracks on a routine basis! Come on, Anti-Social Skate Skiers, get with the drill and skate in places where you don’t degrade the skiing for everyone else!

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120 Gala March 9, 2019 at 6:47 pm

Went to Sandy McNabb today. Skied in all southern trails. Very good ski tracks on most trails, icy in the sun but excellent conditions in the woods. Weather was nice though very windy on open areas. I have waxless skis so can’t comment on the wax. But waxless skis worked very well and glide was good.

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121 Chuck March 9, 2019 at 6:44 pm

LAKE O’HARA – March 9

Time to treat ourselves to the Lunch at Lake O’Hara… and ended up with extra unexpected treats from the weather.
Details available with the captions here:
https://1drv.ms/a/s!AgTx5EOCG7eSiSrkF2SMuzt2nT1b
Thanks to Chef Chris & Lauren for the excellent service, and to Jess for the “to die for” dessert.

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122 Greg March 10, 2019 at 8:39 pm

Lake O’Hara didn’t disappoint today either. Thanks for posting the pics of the frozen waterfall. We skied across the lake and hiked up to check it out, stunning to say the least!!!

2 more weeks for lunch at LoL.

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123 Helen Read March 9, 2019 at 5:26 pm

Healy/Brewster Creek to Sundance Lodge c 7 Meanderthals. -7 to start and snow temp in shade outside lodge was -6. Many switched from VR 40 on our way up to VR 50 on way down. Getting up second bridge a bit tricky as narrow and not much snow to stick the pole into. Suggested walk mini detour as rocks starting to minimally show. Sun greeted us on the porch for lunch and staff very friendly and awaiting a BIG group who were coming in via skis and fat bikes. Should be pretty lively up there tonight. Descending lower Brewster was easy to control and tracks reasonably good considering last noted trackset was Feb 15th. Pine cones an issue on Healy and walked the last gravel-ly section adjacent to the hwy.

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124 Audrey March 9, 2019 at 4:11 pm

WBC Saturday aft. Lots of cars in the lot and lots of smiling faces.

Did East Crystal to Sundog (with a short in and back of part of Iron Springs) to Loggers and then long way around West Crystal to go back to parking lot. Snow and tracks were very good considering the traffic they have likely seen in the recent days. Tracks had good coverage with no thin spots and very little trail debris. The hills still had a decent covering of snow so as not to be icy for snowplow descents. Groomers have done an excellent job! I think it was around -3C and older Special Blue (0 to -7) worked well for grip..

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125 Barry G March 9, 2019 at 4:07 pm

West Bragg Cr – excellent conditions on Sat a.m.

Moose, Mtn View including West, Loggers, Crystal, Sundog…clean cold snow everywhere, zero debris. The LiveGrooming map is misleading – the tracksetting, although older, is still in pretty good condition. Parking lot prolly 90% full at 2 p.m. but the XC trails were not heavily trafficked. Air temp reached melting point early afternoon but snow remained cold and there was sufficient cloud to protect it from solar damage. Sooooo nice to have decent glide with these warmer temps! New picnic table at Loggers summit is a nice touch. The new bridge on Sundog must have taken a lot of work but is sure a great improvement.

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126 Steve Riggs March 9, 2019 at 5:36 pm

We skied a similar mix of trails and agree- the skiing was superb!
One thing- watch for the ice flow covering Moose Loop at the NW corner. The hill leading into it is surprisingly slick at the bottom. Ask me how I know ?

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127 MaSid March 9, 2019 at 6:30 pm

Forgot to mention, also an ice flow at the beginning of iron creek. No hill leading to it though, and it was dry and frozen mid day yesterday and you could get around it gingerly on the edge of the trail. Not recommended for cat skijoring.

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128 Nick March 9, 2019 at 8:59 pm

Steve made an important point: Beware of the ice flow at the far end of Moose Loop! Hit the brakes, cross by the narrow bridge. Works well in both directions.

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129 Frank Howard March 9, 2019 at 7:59 am

March 08 – PLPP – Elk Pass Parking – Bolton Creek – Fox Creek – Moraine -Wheeler – William Watson Lodge – Braille – Pocatera Hut

Keith’s visit to PLPP on Thursday March 07. of which I shared, was repeated yesterday, Friday – March 08 in almost the same conditions. The temperature at 10:30 was -7C and went up to -4C, not quite as cold as Thursday. A skiff of snow had fallen overnight, covering much of the tree debris from Thursday. Track setting was seen throughout the day except for Braille which was skier set and windblown. Conditions were excellent and reflected the work that the groomers have done throughout the season. Even Suicide Hill which looked ominously bald from the top proved to have ample texture for a controlled snow plow, The warm temperatures just above zero C and superlative track setting can make this time of the year the best time to get out on skis.

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130 Kerrie March 9, 2019 at 7:30 am

We skied the Ribbon Creek trails yesterday. Pristine grooming, good grip on skin tecs and VR 45 / 50 and great snow. It was a wonderful day of skiing! We did a loop including Hidden, Ribbon Creek, Terrace, and Aspen and all were in excellent condition. Little wind in the trees. There were surprisingly few people on the trails. I do hope that the lady with the cat on a leash managed to get safely up the hill.

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131 MaSid March 9, 2019 at 8:08 am

Ah….cat skiing. (-; couldn’t resist

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132 Steve Riggs March 9, 2019 at 5:40 pm

What I want to know is…
Are cats allowed off leash, and if I was a cat person- could I take it skiing on the PLPP trails? 🙂

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133 Bob Truman March 9, 2019 at 5:42 pm

Steve…as long as it’s a snowcat!

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134 Jennifer March 9, 2019 at 12:52 am

CNC today was great! Skating really nice up on Meadow especially Lower part to trail end. Rundle not bad with debris but I was loving the grooming.. Saw about 10 people. Thank you Bob for this great site!

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135 Chuck March 8, 2019 at 8:46 pm

NIPIKA – CROSS RIVER CANYON TRAILS – March 8

Fresh snow and fresh tracksetting made for a magnificent day exploring the mix of challenging and rolling terrain today at Nipika.
Details available by reading the captions found here:
https://1drv.ms/a/s!AgTx5EOCG7eSiR3nYeRt5TO9nH2n
June and Marnie, staff at the main lodge provided great advice and maps to suit our interests. Trail fee is $12. This is a well run resort, with separate trails for Fat Bikes, and inviting Cabin accommodation on site.
And so nice to hear all the bird song… Spring has arrived here.

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136 Diana Piggott March 8, 2019 at 8:04 pm

Sandy McNabb north update:

Maybe should have changed plans, but my son and I did check out the Macabee – Pine Ridge loop this afternoon, having seen that the Long Prairie Loop was groomed this morning. Macabee mostly good, but surprisingly lots of tree debris, especially after new grooming.
Pine Ridge loop was indeed groomed, and the equestrian damage quite well mitigated. However, I would not really recommend it, especially not counter-clockwise. We descended the west side, and found it very icy and challenging. Even my son was snowplowing most of the way down, and this senior citizen did side-step down a couple of steep sections, and snowplowed the rest, feeling that although it was good to have checked it out, we would probably have enjoyed another trail rather more……….
There is the occasional rock and tree root, as well as a few dirty patches and a fair amount of tree debris. More snow needed!!
Also, I would suggest that tracks not be set on so many corners, especially on hills, and this applies to the Sandy McNabb area in general.

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137 Larry March 9, 2019 at 10:27 am

Kyle did an outstanding job of restoring the north side trails. Thanks!

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138 MaSid March 8, 2019 at 6:48 pm

Fri mar 8: WBC south
Followed the groomers up elbow for a south loop with cheeky and Simona. No fresh snow from the night before. A bit of debri, mostly pine cones, on that section. The two initial hills were in good shape for snow coverage (for now), up and down. Walkers on the initial section on return, some in the new tracks, but manageable. Went down the iron creek out and back. Similar debri along it and some wobbly tracks in places. Went down to the creek at the end to have a look. Thin at the bridges. Continued up iron springs, across the loggers connector to sundog and west crystal and back to elbow via loggers. Combination of both fast and slow snow, depending on where you were. Thinly veiled sun in the afternoon and a light breeze seemed to keep the snow cold, despite being zero degrees back at the car at 4. Decent conditions throughout. A largely uneventful ski with the exception of seeing a deer and receiving my first cross country skiing scar.

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139 Alpine Jimmy March 8, 2019 at 6:31 pm

Canmore Nordic Center
First trip to CNC since the end of the deep freeze.
Overcast, -2C, and no wind at 3pm.
Skiied the Bow, Banff, and Lynx circuit.
The tracks onBow were littered with annoying pine cones.
The far end of Banff had more than a dozen nearly bare spots in the wide skating lane that were easy to avoid.
Lynx was pristine.
The staff continues to do a good job with the paucity of recent snow in Canmore.

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140 Chris and Karl March 8, 2019 at 5:00 pm

REDEARTH CREEK – a bit of fresh snow last night with Rode blue wax made the ski up to the turnoff one of the top 10 ski days of this year, with good glide and grip! Take care around the skidoo bulge near the ski track….gets a bit hazardous on the downhills near the avalanche paths. Also the hill near the parking lot is now quite narrow due to the skidoo tracks. Only saw one other person…..get out there before it melts!

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141 MaSid March 8, 2019 at 10:08 am

Friday morning at WBC south: groomers just started on the south trails.

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142 Lynn Bowers March 8, 2019 at 9:53 am

Good skiing at Shaganappi Point Golf Course. Tracks may be shallow but the recent grooming, tracksetting & snow farming all make the City venue a worthwhile option.

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143 Kevin Miller March 8, 2019 at 6:16 am

On Thursday, 17 members of the Charleswood Ski Club from Winnipeg skied Cascade Valley from the trailhead to the Warden’s Cabin. Glide was very good at -5C.
Classic: Perfect for the entire length, except for a couple of very minor ice flows a few metres long.
Skate: Very good to the Cascade River bridge. Beyond that, I realize the skate track can only be 2/3 to 3/4 of optimal width, but a soft ridge down the middle along much of it had a further negative effect on skate skiing.

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144 LEGALIZE REAL DEMOCRACY March 8, 2019 at 12:16 am

SOUTH GLENMORE PARK- COWTOWN

The ski skating lane and double track sets are in superb condition thanks to the City of Calgary. Nice firm snow for ski skating. The rest of the Park is also in superb condition on skier tracked trails. Lots of people have been skiing along the reservoir so expect plenty of skier tracks for your skiing pleasure. You can ski for miles and miles and miles out there.

Keep an eye out for the night cats. There some big ones out there.

Get it before the chinooks do!

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145 Keith Bagnall March 7, 2019 at 8:45 pm

PLPP: –6C at 10:00 am; Started from William Watson Lodge with VR40 on new tracks.. Skied south on Wheeler to Boulton Parking link. Trails around Boulton Parking were newly groomed and trackset also. Grooming didn’t extend to Lower Lake. Returned north to ski Amos and Woolley back to WWL for lunch. All these trails were newly groomed and trackset. Newly groomed trails were clear (almost) of pine needles and silky smooth with warming snow.
0C at 1:00 pm; skied Lodgepole (south), using VR45 now, on good tracks covered by 2 cm skied-in snow. Returned on Braille where tracks were wind eroded and drifting in. Best day yet in PLPP!

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146 Gina March 7, 2019 at 7:32 pm

Skied from the Ribbon Creek parking lot on Bill Milne for the first time. Beautiful trail in great shape. Signage and maps make it hard to find your way. We weren’t that only ones confused. After some exploring we found the trails we wanted. Now we know for next time.

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147 Larry March 7, 2019 at 6:54 pm

Snowshoers and hikers have been a problem at Sandy Mcnabb. NOW equestrians have joined the fun.! The north side trails are destroyed by these inconsiderate fools. Pictures of the people, vehicles and trails have been taken. A visit to the Conservation officer planned for tomorrow.

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148 Steve Riggs March 7, 2019 at 8:45 pm

What trails and when? We skied Long Prairie loop in the early afternoon, and encountered a section of maybe a half km near the west end that had been moderately horse-trampled. According to the map though- that short section is shared with the multi-user Death Valley loop, which the “cowboys” turned off onto. Hopefully they didn’t trash more ski trails later on- warm winds and blazing sunshine were creating springlike conditions on the most sun exposed south aspect hills on the north side trails, which will be icy now. If trampled- those hills will be treacherous. Overall, with the exception of a few short stretches of wet snow with no grip, and scattered patches of pinecones and small tree bombs on Macabee loop, our experience today was that the north side skiing conditions remained quite good.
https://steveriggs.smugmug.com/SkiPix2019/i-8zN7G9G/A
To finish up we crossed the road and skied Loggers and Meadow which were in excellent shape still- a few minor glazed bits were no problem.

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149 Larry March 7, 2019 at 9:45 pm

The Pine Ridge loop and up were trampled around 5

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150 Diana Piggott March 7, 2019 at 11:08 pm

That is bad news. I was planning to go out there tomorrow to ski around the north side trails, but it sounds like I am a day late. Should I change my plans?

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151 Larry March 8, 2019 at 7:16 am

I think the south side is still ok. Also parts of the Macabee loop.

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152 sheila March 8, 2019 at 8:20 am

This has certainly been a problem for a long time now. My beloved, just two days ago, again tried to explain the map to a man and woman walking in the tracks where they should not be. This comes only one week after the stompin’ Tom Connors incident described in a previous report. Being very mindful not to sound critical or confrontational and using words like “I realize the maps are a bit confusing, but can I just show you where the walking and multi use trails are so that the x-country ski tracks can be preserved” blah, blah, finger down throat, sugary sweetness, and the response for a second time in a week and a half was “I can do whatever I want”. Really? So, O.K., signage would help. Really large ones. Also, fines should be the penalty. I think it did help when, for a couple of seasons, a large neon sign “suggesting” a $250.00 fine being imposed on the owners of off leash dogs in a leashed area but for some reason the sign is no longer there. Maybe bring it back with the same suggestion for people ignoring the maps? It is funny how other areas like PLPP and even Kimberly, where we have been most of the winter, seem to be able to enforce this (I know, there have been a few incidents in PLPP but really, not many). You would not dare take your dog (or even mine, for that matter) on the Nordic trails in Kimberly. Even before they had paid and volunteer workers in the attendant’s shack. Larry, if there is any way I can support you with your planned trip to visit the Conservation officer, please let me know. Not sure I can help, but I am behind you all the way. On x-country skies, of course! Perhaps a little education and peer pressure not to mention a hit to the wallet would ease the problem. It must be so disheartening for the groomer to see all his/her work destroyed in such a thoughtless manner.

153 Steve Riggs March 8, 2019 at 8:55 am

More prominent signage such as at WBC would help:
https://steveriggs.smugmug.com/WinterSolsticeAtWestBragg/i-7s2ZtSc/A
But there will always be those who just don’t give a ….
To their credit, the horse people that had been on the short multi-use section of Long Prairie appeared to have made an effort to avoid the set tracks, with partial success due to the narrow trail, but the groomed surface on either side was badly trampled.

154 Larry March 8, 2019 at 6:16 pm

Kyle went out on the groomer right away this morning. I didn’t get a chance to get out today but I’m sure if it was possible to fix he did.

155 Chuck March 7, 2019 at 5:17 pm

SHADOW LAKE – March 7

Wow, this lake is huge. Skied a total of 32 Kms today including a tour of Shadow Lake itself, to take in the new furniture!
Details available by reading the captions here:
https://1drv.ms/a/s!AgTx5EOCG7eSiQIBs0wzvzblxxbR
Fresh snow makes the track smooth and fast… where is everyone?

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156 Ulrike March 7, 2019 at 9:06 pm

Hi Chuck:
nice photos of Shadow Lake. I’m curious if there was any fresh snow? How were the downhills, any rocks? Is it advisable to take metal edged skis?
thanks

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157 Chuck March 7, 2019 at 9:22 pm

Hi Ulrike,
Glad someone is interested!
Yes, it was snowing all day… but only about 1 cm before I got back down. Absolutely no rocks (not even thin on that lowest hill near the parking lot), rocks are ancient history here. I did walk up and down that steep section near the warden cabin to be for confident, but it was not icy at all. No need for light touring gear at all… I took track skis (no edges), which also helped accomplish a longer ski (I was out by 2 pm after a 32 km day).
Thanks for asking.

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158 Jean-Francois March 8, 2019 at 8:29 am

Thanks for the report Chuck, I am glad to hear I am not the only one walking up and down the steep section! I have never ventured on the lake itself and I will make good use of your tracks this coming Sunday

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159 Chuck March 8, 2019 at 6:27 pm

Looks like it’s up to you Jean-Francois, to keep those tracks around the lake open!

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160 Ulrike March 8, 2019 at 4:48 pm

Very enjoyable ski to Shadow Lake today in pleasant temperature, -5C at the start. About 1-2 cm new snow in the single track, fresh skidoo track to the lodge. Friendly lodge owners invited me in, the lodge was closed. Went to the bridge at the lakeshore, quite windy and low clouds, tracks along shore were all blown in, so I didn’t break trail to the red chairs. Ski out was fun, not icy. Wish Parks would make a longer run out zone at the bottom of the hill in the parking lot, as you pick up quite some speed.

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161 Hilary March 8, 2019 at 7:05 pm

Where do you start from to ski to shadow lake? And Am understanding you correctly that beyond the red chairs onto the lake is all skier track set?

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162 Chuck March 8, 2019 at 7:36 pm

Hi Hilary,
Start the trail to Shadow Lake by going up Redearth Creek, west of Banff. The Red Chairs are at the far end of my map, in the middle of the lake. The lake is very wind blown, and the skier set tracks on the lake may be difficult to follow.

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163 Liz D March 7, 2019 at 8:03 am

Yesterday skied to BC Border on Watridge Trail in the morning and did the Biathalon Trails and Hills in the afternoon. There was perfect track setting, exhilarating down on the hills and did I mention sun with bluebird skies. Nirvana!

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164 Chris and Karl March 7, 2019 at 7:36 am

BILL MILNE TRAIL – we skied from the small Kovach parking lot to the golf course and back. The views from the river flood plain were 360 degree amazing and clear!! Used Rode blue wax, green did not hold. Ice flow detour signs are clearly laid out. Be sure to do this lovely trail before it melts out.

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165 gh March 6, 2019 at 9:45 pm

Sunshine ski area ski out to the upper lodge then Quartz Hill (about 1/4 of the way up the actual hill). I decided to post here because nearly all of the route was groomed (but not track set). The route is on ski runs all the way to the provincial border just south west of the Great Divide chair lift. Even after that the groomer has groomed into BC around the to the back of the hill that Standish chair tops out on, presumably so that skiers who want to ski the powdered slopes on the south side of Standish have a decent way back to the main ski area. I was only off the groomed track for about a km or so on AT tracks. My wax which was fine on groomed terrain was not working in the back country tracks so I soon gave up. The ski down was sure fast… but cold

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166 MaSid March 18, 2019 at 9:20 am

Apparently the reason for the grooming beyond the resort boundary is to access rock isle lake as an alternative water source for the resort (water rights granted) in the event of on-site ponds running low, which may happen this year.

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167 Jim Hendry March 6, 2019 at 7:37 pm

Dear Track Setter Jeff
In regard to the experiment of placing the fat bike/ hiking track in the middle of the skate lane; this ruins the skate skiing. Your skis are sliding on two different surfaces with every stride. It is like a regular pile of pine needles every meter in the classic track. Why not put it on one side of the trail then everyone can have a nice time? Also if the the Bill Milne trail and wedge connector trail is noted to be for skate skiing why is it double track set in various places? Just a bit of feed back. The classic tracks looked perfect. Regards Jim

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168 Jeff March 6, 2019 at 8:03 pm

Hi Jim thanks for the feedback. As was mentioned in here the firmer pan in the middle was an experiment. Originally the trackless pan had combing on it so the texture would remain the same. If we were to continue this next year that would be the case. The edge of the trail is hard to make firm enough to support s bike without doing a different kind of grooming. In the conditions we have now the entire trail is firm enough not to use the flat pan anymore.
The double teacksetting on the narrow section of Wedge is a result of a few near misses when people were skiing up the down track in the narrow hilly section. We made a decision that for a short section is a minor inconvenience for the few skate skiers to ensure the safety of the classic skiers. Once again thanks for the feedback as we are trying to accommodate a wide variety of users with a limited trail resource.

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169 Vittorio March 6, 2019 at 7:35 pm

Skied the Allison Ck trails for the first time this year. It was pristine, soft snow and the temperature was about -5 with a soft breeze from the south. I just love this ski area.

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170 Mary Perrott March 6, 2019 at 6:51 pm

Great Divide : -14C. at the O’Hara end where we started. The tracks to the Divide were almost pristine. Beyond that, well-used, but still good. We used V40 wax until near the east parking lot, where I put on V45. This held up all the way back. On our return we took Lower Telemark, which is still in very good condition despite having been loppeted on last weekend. Always a pretty trail! Temp at 2 pm was -4C.

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171 Tom Malaher March 6, 2019 at 4:54 pm

Once again, recommendation from Bob was the winner! Sandy McNabb: -13 according to the car at Noon when we arrived. Snow temp -5, however, for some weird reason. On the trail the air temp seemed to be around -8. Occasional gusts of wind from the south-east made it feel colder. Counter-clockwise around Pine Ridge Loop was the right call. Quite a bit of herringbone getting up the last section to the top of the ridge; I’d rather not come down that, going down the other side was exciting enough. The snow and trackset were in excellent shape.

We’ve not been here before (in 30 years living in Calgary!) and we were surprised by how much elevation there is (at least on Pine Ridge), and how narrow the trail was. Good thing there were NO OTHER SKIERS (saw one other pair just starting out at 14:30 when we were leaving) because I wouldn’t want to try to pass someone coming up while I was going down (or vice-versa). Tried a few of the trails on the south side of the highway (Meadow &c) but the wind had kicked up and it was getting wickedly cold. -13 according to the car when we left.

We’ll have to come back and try Long Prairie. Can anyone tell us what kind of elevation gain there is on that loop?

https://photos.app.goo.gl/c84bYGiLKBfhWEf38

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172 Keith March 6, 2019 at 9:35 pm

Elevation gain is 130 metres. The gradients are mellow traveling east to west on the ridge. Steep drop to Long Prairie Loop (south section). Easy ski to Long Prairie Loop (north section).

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173 gh March 6, 2019 at 9:38 pm

Hi Tom,
It is much tamer than Pine Ridge, perhaps 100 m or so of elevation. There is one quite steep hill at the west end with a nasty curve at the bottom if you are going counter clockwise.

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174 Kevin Miller March 6, 2019 at 4:02 pm

On Wednesday, 25 members of the Charleswood Ski Club from Winnipeg skied Goat Creek and Spray River West from the Goat Creek trailhead to the Banff Springs Hotel. Despite not having been groomed since February 23, the tracks were excellent throughout. The snowplow sections were smooth and usually very hard packed — not icy, no footprints. The skate lane on Spray River West had ~5cm of loose snow on top of the old grooming.

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175 Keith Bagnall March 6, 2019 at 7:51 am

Lake O’Hara: Lots of people on the road today! -20C at 10:00 am; started on VR30 wax which worked well until KM 7 when the sun started to affect the grooming. VR40 got us to Lake O’Hara where it was -8C at 12:30pm. On the lake more VR40 was applied to get started down. No kick wax remained after the steep hill runs down to KM5 and we struggled up to the picnic table. The track set up to about 2KM is washed out but good after that up to Le Relais. Grooming on the road is very hard and a fall would not feel good. More snow would be helpful. -8C at the parking lot at 3:30 pm. One of the most beautiful places in the Rockies.

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176 Kevin Miller March 6, 2019 at 4:30 am

On Tuesday, Kevin, Jim, and Roland from Winnipeg skied Pocaterra and Tyrwhitt in PLPP out-and-back from the Pocaterra Hut. It was my 5th time skiing at PLPP, but I hadn’t previously skied through the Tyrwhitt meadows that Skier Bob often writes about. The March 2 grooming of Pocaterra to Packers was extremely firm and in excellent condition. Beyond that, the skier-set tracks were very good. We had a fantastic day.

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177 chuckley March 5, 2019 at 10:14 pm

Conditions are very good in North end of Peter Lougheed Provincial Park.
Conditions are better than suggested in the groomers reports. Although the track setting is a few days old, it has held up magnificently due to the cold when setting, and the lower usage due to colder weather. Skied from the Visitor’s Centre : Meadow, Wooley, Amos, Lynx, Pocaterra, Come Along, Rolly Road, Lodgepole, Sinclair, Lodgepole to Elkwood Parking, Meadow to return to Visitor’s Centre. No bare spots or natural hazards – fast downhills on a hard but not icy base. A great blue wax, blue sky day.

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178 Eric R March 5, 2019 at 11:00 pm

good to know ! as it seems our (taxpayers) snowcat is down

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179 Ray Perrott March 5, 2019 at 7:11 pm

Bill Milne
Started near Ribbon Creek and skied to Wedge Pond, then a short section (1km) of the Wedge Connector before returning. Track was very good going out (with the exception of the 1km ice-flow detour which is gnarly but workable). Wedge Connector was excellent. We passed the groomer there just after we turned around. He had groomed all the way from Ribbon Ck, but not trackset (which he does on the return trip). So our return trip was a mixture of grooming only in the narrower sections, with some track (often just a single ski track) in the wider sections. Tracks will be great everywhere now that he’s finished. More recent water on the ice flow section – the old route looks completely impassible. Beautiful day – total sun, no wind, -15C to start; -5C to end.

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180 Steve Riggs March 5, 2019 at 7:06 pm

Same old, same old at WBC this afternoon. Out and back on Iron Springs combined with most of the core trails. Great conditions, superb weather and easy waxing at -5. Fast glide! Not showing up on the live report is new grooming and tracks on: Sundog, the Crystals, Loggers. Well worth a side trip was the sunny Iron Creek trail, aka the “dead end”, which has an easily dodged ice flow.

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181 Chuck March 5, 2019 at 7:02 pm

LAKE WINDERMERE WHITEWAY – March 5

Having heard so many good reports about the Whiteway, and wanting another day in nothing but bright Sun, it was time to check this out.
Details available with the captions here:
https://1drv.ms/a/s!AgTx5EOCG7eSiHnM28tDyWaUxX6x
And don’t forget a well deserved sweet treat at the Invermere Bakery before the drive home!

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182 Helen Read March 5, 2019 at 6:04 pm

Silver Star Resort: dual Pass for seniors $21/day. Took new gondola to ski to Alder Point, lunch at Chaptik Cabin, skied down and skied Meadow and Sidewinder Trails (green runs). Stunning scenery at every turn-nice cold snow but should have brought my wax remover to get bases cleaned up.

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183 Georgie March 5, 2019 at 5:22 pm

Cascade Valley: It was my first time here and conditions were great! I skied until the grooming stopped at 14.3 km before turning around. Did the short loop near the parking lot, I believe it was marked Bankhead. 32 km in all, a great day! -19 C at the beginning (10 am), -4 at the end (1:45 pm).

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184 JeremyN March 5, 2019 at 1:43 pm

Yes, Sandy McNabb is sublime right NOW (-probably not after this weekend’s melt). They don’t renovate & pack the base down and high use and melt wreaks havoc so go while the gettin’s good. North side network ~20km if you do all; about same with south side (flatter) trails. Bring your BIG baskets, or longer poles & go thin of the wax as silky now. Stop in to Ranger Station and say hi (even if you don’t lock your keys in your car ?) and thank Kyle for his trail work.

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185 Chris and Karl March 4, 2019 at 8:32 pm

GREAT DIVIDE FROM YOHO SIDE – we had a late start today due to the cold but it paid off, we had a lovely afternoon of skiing the whole way from Yoho to the Lake Louise side parking lot and back. Snow conditions very good, if a bit slow. Lynx tracks everywhere, preying on the snowshoe hare we presume.

CASCADE TRAIL – We skied this trail on Sunday, the tracks are in very good condition to the bridge, and reasonably fast on the way back too. Ski these trails before they get icy from the bright spring sun!

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186 Eric R March 4, 2019 at 11:07 pm

as of monday night .tracks at Cascade are still in good shape, a bit wobbly but still well defined . fast after sun set ! super fast before sunrise (I hope)

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187 barbbanff March 5, 2019 at 9:14 am

Cascade march 4. stoney
Still Very good tracks!
and almost fast in places , A bit slower after the first bridge – looked like very few people have gone beyond.

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188 Judy Reside March 4, 2019 at 7:33 pm

Hey Bob, it was such a treat to run into you today at Sandy
McNab!! We ventured over to the south side and skied Loggers Loop after we encountered you on Maccabee Loop. The conditions on Loggers were sublime. Much different than on Thursday, when there were walker post hole tracks throughout, even up and down both sides of Pine Ridge.

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189 Chuck March 4, 2019 at 6:33 pm

OUR LAKE LOUISE LOPPET COURSE – March 4

Yesterday, the winners did the 20 km course in 1 hour and 11 minutes… Today we took over 4 hours!
Who had more fun??
Details available with the captions here:
https://1drv.ms/a/s!AgTx5EOCG7eSiGsu1iujyzuvay0d

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190 gh March 4, 2019 at 5:46 pm

West Bragg Creek. I skied West Crystal / Mountain View east / Mountain Road / Mountain View west / south side of Moose Loop / Moose connector / Loggers / Iron Springs – Elbow short loop and back on Sunburst. Conditions are really good. I did not encounter any icy bits or hazards.

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191 Kristin Page March 4, 2019 at 10:03 am

Looking for information on the Goat creek Trail, is it groomed these days?
Would like to ski From Canmore to Banff

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192 Bob Truman March 4, 2019 at 10:37 am

The last report we had was from Mike W on Feb 27. He said the tracks were still in good shape. It was trackset on Feb 23.

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193 NewbieJenn March 5, 2019 at 8:30 am

I skied Spray River West on Saturday and after west/east junction very few people had ventured and eventually (@1:30pm) I was the first in fresh snow over the trackset. It’s probably a bit more skier defined now but I think it’s time for another trackset!

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194 france March 5, 2019 at 10:47 pm

Hi Kristin,
I am xc skier from Montreal. I intend to go in the area in March. the Goat creek trail seems a nice trail to do. How long is it? And from where exactly do you start in Canmore and finish in Banff ? thanks France

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195 Kinga March 3, 2019 at 10:58 pm

Sandy Mcnabb. Beautiful conditions today, a winter playground. Felt like a roller coaster. Easy to enjoy the steep climbs and winding descents on some of the more challenging trails like Pine Ridge Loop. Thank you, track setter(s), for a near-complete set of groomed and track set trails; it was tempting to ski them all.

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196 Steve Riggs March 3, 2019 at 8:23 pm

WBC, Sunday afternoon: I skied Hostel loop for a warm up (immaculate conditions) and then around Telephone, which is groomed, single trackset and about as good as it gets- just watch for some minor choppiness on a few of the steeper downhills. There are a couple of ice flows but they are easily bypassed or skied over. Then the north leg of Moose Loop -Mountainview West (pristine!)-Mountain Road-Mountainview-Loggers-Sundog. Very good-excellent skiing throughout, although I found the speeds a bit slow at times despite using Polar glide wax.

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197 Darcy March 3, 2019 at 7:10 pm

-13c At Boulton parking lot today.
Blue skies. Calm.

Skied whisky jack, down Pocaterra and back on
Packers. Very good kick on green swix.
6cm of fresh on the last grooming.
The few people on the tracks today packed that fresh
nicely for an exhilarating decent. Crazy fun.

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198 Chuck March 3, 2019 at 6:48 pm

BOW RIVER UPSTREAM of BANFF – March 3

Another day in the Sun removes all fear of the cold!
Wildlife was another reward…
Details available with the captions here:
https://1drv.ms/a/s!AgTx5EOCG7eSiGIOqbLqEWfd1i6S
For the record, temperature hovered around minus 10

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199 Darrell March 4, 2019 at 8:53 pm

Thanks for the great tracks, Chuck! A beautiful day with blue wax under a perfect blue sky!

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200 Chuck March 6, 2019 at 9:20 am

Glad to see that you enjoyed the tracks going upstream of Banff, Darrell.
Did you get a chance to check out the Feb 27 trip heading downstream from Bow Falls to the Hoodoos?
http://skierbob.ca/trip-reports-feb-2019/#comment-760716
A new secret revealed!

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201 Pete March 3, 2019 at 6:41 pm

Lake Louise Loppet- March 3

The whole family skied the loppet this year (first time ever!) and everyone enjoyed themselves despite the cold temperatures. At least the sun was shining and the scenery was spectacular! Big thanks to the organizers and all the volunteers that made it happen!

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202 Martin & Jip March 3, 2019 at 6:15 pm

WBC, sunny skies, awesome conditions and ‘relatively’ warm, only -13 @ 2pm, looped around Moose, Mountain View, Loggers and East Crystal, great conditions on all. A bit sticky in the shady cooler spots with my warmer glide wax but good grip with a lick of VR40 over 30, really nice afternoon ski

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203 Helen Read March 3, 2019 at 5:19 pm

Hidden Trail to High Level and Hummingbird Plume picnic table in the sun and -10. Started around 11:30 in -18 but with that elevation (474 M. ascent)and bright sun, did not even wear face cover. Met Normand climbing up Skogan and again coming down High Level (that would have been quite the climb up Sunburst, Normand). Once again I need another “George” to help me find my reading (2.5 or 3.0) glasses. I bent over to help my girlfriend with her tight manual binding on her brand new Asnes, as we were leaving the picnic table, and realized it was likely there they slipped to the ground. I am back into baking cookies should anyone be heading up that way, but the glasses (unlike my cookies) are only dollar store quality!

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204 gh March 3, 2019 at 9:11 pm

I hope that you get those glasses back.

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205 Lawrence March 3, 2019 at 1:37 pm

Shaganappi Point Golf Course, Calgary
Sunday March 3 11am-1pm
Finally a bit of respite from the coldest temps. -21 when I started and -17 when I finished, but bright blue skies and no wind made it my warmest ski of the year so far!

Skied pretty much all of the official (7km) and unofficial trails. Recent packing and track setting only apparent on the Intermediate trails NE of the parking lot, this 900m loop was very fun and best enjoyed by adding on the walking / skier set tracks around the ravine and across the bridge.

Remainder of trails to west end varied from thin to acceptable. Skating not recommended but on classic well worth a hour or 2 of skiing if in Calgary.

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206 Pete March 2, 2019 at 8:51 pm

Pipestone- March 2

Skied with my family this afternoon at Pipestone. It was a chilly -15c when we started and the temperature continued to drop throughout our ski. Did the shorter loop this time around as we started skiing at 3:30 (and it was freezing!). The tracks were in great shape!

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207 Chuck March 2, 2019 at 9:39 pm

Hey Pete,
How did you convince the whole family to ski the 10 km loppet with you again tomorrow?
We’ll be cheering for you all… have fun!

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208 Pete March 3, 2019 at 6:11 pm

Thanks Chuck! I didn’t convince them! I forced them to do it! Megan got a medal, Caitlin won a nice prize, and Jackie and I got to enjoy the scenery and get some exercise. So all in all a nice day (even though it was freezing!).

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209 Jim March 2, 2019 at 4:11 pm

Cascade: skied to the first bridge on freshly groomed tracks in -22C but sunny weather with little wind on green wax. The tracks were a little soft and along with the cold snow, affected glide quite a bit. Double polling was a chore and skiing back down the hill wasn’t terrifying at all.

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210 Peter Rowlands March 2, 2019 at 11:38 am

West Bragg Creek – TELEPHONE LOOP
Did Telephone Loop yesterday (counterclockwise). A cold and frosty day; -15c at start (9:30am), down to -18c with a brisk wind at finish; major beard icicles in evidence. Broke trail the whole way through 5cm of fresh snow; the old tracksetting was just visible most of the way, some totally covered sections in open areas. A few ice flows across the trail but easily circumvented.
Lots of whitetail deer at the northern end of the circuit. Of special interest were the large cat tracks along the trail just north of the parking lot; 5″ pads with a 3 foot stride would seem to indicate a big cougar making the rounds.

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211 DNA March 2, 2019 at 5:07 pm

Telephone was track set on the afternoon of March 1. Sorry you missed the fresh tracks. With the cold they should have set up nicely . Groomer David

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212 MaSid March 2, 2019 at 8:34 pm

5 cm of fresh cold powder on top of recent grooming sounds like a great day for telephone loop, IMO. Fresh animal tracks and “first” ski tracks are a bonus. That’s what sets telephone apart from other trails and is a different kind of experience than other groomed trails, and isn’t an access point for other groomed trails. It stands alone. Feel free to delay grooming after cold snow over a good smooth base so there is more variety to choose from, if most feel the same. Fresh is also better than shallow or uneven grooming, as was seen a week ago with the traction rut down the middle on the hills at NE side. As indicated, just one opinion. Be good to hear from others.

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213 Alf Skrastins March 2, 2019 at 9:45 pm

West Bragg Creek is a low snowfall area, so the best way to preserve as much skiing as possible, is to nail down every flake as soon as possible. Telephone Loop is a particularly hilly trail, especially on the east side, so it only takes a few skiers to snowplow all of the loose snow to the edges. This leaves a U-shaped, icy trough, which becomes increasingly harder to groom.
A final consideration is that Telephone is a shared use trail with a classic XC track on one side and groomed space for snowshoers, hikers and Fat-bikers on the other side. If grooming is delayed too long after a snowfall, everyone just funnels onto the most packed track.
But, you do have a point about the more rustic character of Telephone Loop when there is fresh, soft powder on the packed base. It’s always worthwhile to watch the forecasts and to get on the Loop when there is new snow.
You might also want to try Snowshoe Hare, DemiTel, Reconnect and Tom Snow Trails when there is fresh powder on the packed base.

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214 MaSid March 3, 2019 at 6:21 am

Thanks for the info Alf. Still trying to earn my timing stripes for snowfall and grooming. I’ll check those other trails out.

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215 Alf Skrastins March 1, 2019 at 11:09 pm

West Bragg Creek
5-6 cm of new snow fell at West Bragg Creek overnight and by early morning, the groomers were already out roller-packing the new snow, then grooming it to perfection. I went around Hostel Meadow, Hostel Loop, up part of East Telephone and also up Snowshoe Hare and Demi-Tel (where it was roller-packed full-width). The track setting on Hostel was the best I’ve ever seen on that trail! It was very cold (-19C), so there were very few people out on the trails. This means that all the track setting will get a good chance to set up for the weekend crowds. https://photos.app.goo.gl/Eaki8rktBtBULLp16

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216 Chuck March 1, 2019 at 3:59 pm

EMERALD LAKE and the ALLUVIAL FAN – March 1

A great choice for today… was to cross the divide.
Details available here:
https://1drv.ms/a/s!AgTx5EOCG7eSiFB3XS13leRY1T9E
March came in like a lamb!

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