Trip Reports – March 2020

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

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  1. Not so fast. With our vehicles parked in the garage we did something we have never done before. Grabbing our skis, we headed out back behind our house to the undisclosed river that always looks so innocent while frozen at this time of year. Never mind the 6 ft. social distancing in effect, after a week of total incarceration, (self inflicted), my beloved kept at least a half kilometer ahead of me, such was his joy in being outdoors. Not a sole around, cold, crisp, new fallen snow, and beautiful sunshine, I can honestly say that this was my best ski this year. May just have been that I thought it was all over but today’s gift of skiing was wonderful.

  2. Thanks to Alf and Chuck for concluding a fun season of sharing your great trips and landscapes with the rest of the world. It’s great to see Cheryl have the last laugh, though she could catch a cold in that outfit.

    I look forward to all of your reports next year which will keep at least one easterner partly sane.

    So, here’s to more of:
    – Chuck and Jeannette’s adventures
    – Martin’s couches
    – Helen’s cookies
    – Normand seeking Shadow Lake at least one more time
    – Steve’s great photos
    – tree snow monsters
    – Alf being Alf

    • It is unfortunate that I never got a chance to reach the famous Red Chairs this winter on that tiny peninsula of Shadow Lake; it was my intended destination on March 8 with a 5th trip in the area this year, but trail breaking in 30+cm on Red Earth Creek was a lot slower than slick trackset trails. More importantly, warm thanks to those who share the account of their trips with stunning photos (Chuck, Steve and Alf), inspiring me to carry on those ski tours on either machine trackset or self-powered trails. Meeting Helen and Alf on the trails over the last few winters is a privilege. Never got to any of Martin’s great couches, but “ce n’est que partie remise”. If any of our outings can light up an interest in people’s mind and legs to go out there and enjoy nature, while staying healthy, well “mission accomplie”. Thanks Bob for the opportunity given to us for sharing our trips and sometimes provide more accurate and updated trail conditions as posted on the parks’ websites, for anyone wanting to venture out there on blades of any width. I am going to miss the late spring skiing on glaciers. More importantly, do everything to stay healthy in these though times.

  3. Somewhere in non-park Kananaskis
    Before anyone gets too preachy… this report is from last week, before Alberta Parks were closed down. I just wanted to add the report before March ends and we move into April. All skiers arrived in separate vehicles and practiced social distancing throughout the day.
    This remarkable snow season provided a rare opportunity to explore some areas in the foothills that are not normally considered as ski terrain. Starting from an undisclosed point in the Elbow Valley, we connected a few summer trails, a power line and a bunch of logging cut blocks for a nice day of touring and powder skiing. https://photos.app.goo.gl/8wFDzdkBrN6huS8T7
    Who knows when we will see another ski season like this one?

    • Alf: that you got a few social distancing responsible pow turns in an unlikely place that would often be bare ground at this time of year cheers us all up.

  4. SOMEWHERE in BNP – March 31

    Swore I wouldn’t post any more trip reports, but today was too remarkable!
    No captions necessary for this link:
    https://1drv.ms/u/s!AgXbvmC40zK_hlnhDkmS2Y6ftArR?e=0hOtkp
    Apologies to all skiers who thought they were going to be featured on SkierBob today.

    • BILL VOTING RIGHTS FOR YOU

      May I suggest a trip to Panther River, where the Bison roam, via the Forestry Trunk Road or Scalp Creek in the YaHa Tinda? You may be able to ski to the Clearwater River from there if the snow and legs are good. Then there is Siffleur River off the David Thompson Highway. Don’t give up. Keep prancing through the snow on your rock skis if necessary in the non parked eastern slopes.

  5. Skied the Nordic Centre today. Considering there’s no grooming the “skier set” tracks-what with the recent 3-4cm snowfall -were all in pretty good shape.

  6. First I want to say that I’m old guy from a very communist country.
    And I’m amazed how something like a virus can make people so nasty to each other. Chuck you are my hero. You did nothing wrong. And to rest of you I say don’t be afraid.

  7. Not a trip report, but I thought I would post a copy of the form letter response that I received this past week, to a constructively worded email sent to Jason Nixon’s office on March 3 regarding the grooming changes. Clearly the government has many things to be preoccupied with these days, but I was disappointed (but not really surprised) that the reply did not address any of my specific concerns and was a boilerplate simply drafted by a Comms/PR person, and sent out to everyone who bothered to write in about concerns with Parks changes.

    Dear Kerry:

    Thank you for your email about the recent announcement on restructuring the Alberta Parks system.

    Our government is committed to a common sense conservation plan that will balance environmental concerns, recreation and economic opportunities in our province. As part of this commitment, it is important for Alberta Parks to find efficient ways to manage its system to meet this balance and help get our province’s spending under control.

    This announcement impacts 0.3 per cent of the total Alberta Provincial Parks area. Environment and Parks used a number of metrics in selecting locations where we are currently seeking partnerships or making closures, including overall recreation, tourism and conservation value, and, utilization.

    Our intention is to modernize our approach for how parks are managed and to challenge a long-held assumption that all parks must be managed by government employees. As noted in our platform, tens of thousands of volunteers across Alberta work every day to protect our natural environment.

    Beginning fall 2020, government staff will no longer groom cross-country tracks in the Peter Lougheed, Mt. Shark and Kananaskis Village area of Kananaskis Region. Grooming will continue to occur at the Canmore Nordic Centre. Track-setting will also continue to occur in the West Bragg Creek area, done by the West Bragg Creek Trails Association.

    My department will commence a process to explore management partnerships so that our parks can continue to provide important economic and recreational benefits to local communities. This will include expanding our partnerships for services like track setting. Government is committed to building a process that takes into account capacity support for partners.

    Environmental stewardship and economic development go hand in hand. We’ve seen this exemplified in the province’s strong history of partnerships between government and volunteer, non-profit, municipal and First Nations groups in the management of our shared natural spaces. Our government is not in the practice of pitting groups against each other using lands planning as a political wedge – we want to create productive partnerships that will benefit our air, land, water and biodiversity and strengthen our economy and create opportunity for Albertans.

    We are looking at these changes because we want our parks system to work for the largest number of Albertans possible, but we are also responsible to Alberta taxpayers. Albertans are doing more with less – we need to follow their lead.

    For the most up-to-date information regarding changes to Alberta Parks, and to sign up to receive updates on the partnership process, please visit https://albertaparks.ca/news-events.

    Sincerely,

    Jason Nixon

    Minister of Environment and Parks

    • Thanks for sharing. I received the same letter.

    • BILL VOTING RIGHTS FOR YOU

      Here is my suggestion to Jason Nixon. Return the Kananaskis back to Banff National Park, as it was once a part of, and let the Feds run the area being that the Useless Conservative Party (UCP) can’t seem to run or democratically manage things well.

      Returning the Kananaskis back to the Federal Park system would reduce park administration needs and save tax dollars.

      If we lived in a real democracy rather than an oligarchy, the people would determine how our parks are run not Jason Kenney who is anti park and anti xc skiing.

      Demand real democracy.

    • I also received the exact same letter. It’s as if he has forgotten that he works for us, the people.

  8. Well it looks like our ski season has officially closed for most of us and what a great season it was. Thanks to Bob for his wonderful site that keeps us all informed and connected and of course our amazing groomers both volunteer and paid. We did venture for one more ski at CNC early this morning. The parking entrance was indeed closed with big concrete blocks. ( done by the Province I suppose).We parked in Quarry Lake parking lot and walked toting our skis and boots. We enjoyed a lovely classic ski although a bit icy. We encountered many people arriving with skis in tow looking like this was the norm. True skiers at heart ( even saw a biker with skis strapped on his bike.) Wishing good health to all. Now time to write my letters re tracksetting in K country next year.

    • So now everyone congregates at Quarry lake. This is becoming more absurd by the day. Did closing the cnc parking lot really make any difference, except to make people walk the road up to the nordic centre?

  9. Yes thanks to Bob for this wonderful resource, to the groomers for their unequivocal efforts and to all the people who posted reports and pictures. It was a great season which unfortunately ended on a sad note. Let’s wish for a positive outcome to all the obstacles in our way and that rational thought and action prevails in the new world order.

  10. Thanks Bob for all your work in keeping this ski community connected. It was a great year!

    And a word of special thanks to all the track setters. They did a remarkable job with all the snow this year. I sincerely hope we will see them back on the job next winter.

  11. Everthing in Banff and all other National Parks are closed. As Stated by parks:
    All parking lots, vehicle services, trails, washrooms, day use facilities, showers, visitor centres, and all camping facilities, including oTENTiks, yurts and backcountry camping, are closed until further notice.

    See Link
    https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ab/banff/visit/covid-19-info#visi

  12. Chuck has shared so much with all of us this entire season! He is a fine person and the opposite of selfish. The entrance to Boom Lake was not in the list of prohibited areas if you read the details. Please apologize to Chuck so he continues to post next season.

    • Thank you Donna for your support.
      The Boom Lake parking lot is NOT CLOSED. In fact the washroom was being cleaned while we were there.
      Even, as of this moment, it is still not closed… as per this link:
      https://www.pc.gc.ca/apps/parksnow?lat=51.183981&lng=-115.6130647&z=9&lang=en&siteId=100092
      We take great care to be responsible these days, and in fact we never even saw anybody all day!

      • The only reason the lot is open is to provide use of the washroom because Hwy 93 is a transportation corridor. Not intended for people to use for skiing access, as all trails in the park are closed…… including Boom Lake.

        • Indeed PJ, that is the case for these lots and washrooms that service transportation corridors. Where trailheads exists in these parking lots is an obvious opportunity to take advantage of what is essentially a loophole. Arguably, legalities notwithstanding, broadcasting the existence of these loopholes to a larger audience will only serve to bring it to the attention of the managers in those field units with the result of those specific trails being closed sooner, rather than later. This dynamic may speak to the thought of using some discretion before posting certain trip reports.

    • I second that! Chuck is a delightful and sensitive soul, and one of the heroes of this community.

    • What bothers me the most is a lack of upfrontness when it comes to public bodies managing public/crown land. One shouldn’t have to read between the lines (before throwing shade on others). (-;

  13. Fri mar 27: elk pass
    -5 at 730, +1 on return at 2. Fast travel on AT gear (wax) given the fresh corduroy this morning. After some safe backcountry skinning in dry snow on north aspect, zipped over to west elk pass and the couch for one last sit. Reasonably light winds at treeline and west elk pass, plus a bit of sun, made for a nice day, not realizing at the time it may be the last of the season. On return a couple of ladies were contemplating to go up blueberry. conditions were good and might not get to again for a while. Turned out to be the right choice.

    Still not sure if things are really closed (although I haven’t dug through official material yet), cars only, or just not recommended. No real clarity. Sounds like it’s open to people who live there and are already there, but no external visitors.

    Was a good season, but sure wish I could do more as it’s very easy to be safe and completely isolate without leaving a trace other than tracks in the snow. Should have gone and camped for a couple weeks solo in the middle of nowhere if I could be certain the car would still be there. Oh well.

    No sign of any road or parking lot closure on return up highway 40 at 3pm

    • I’m glad you had one last trip up there, Martin. Hard to believe they could close it immediately after grooming, and pretty heart-breaking too. So glad I got out a bit this week at least, but my word what a blow!

      Sorry I never got to any of your couches this year 🙁

      • In retrospect yes. couch HQ was looking a little sad and threadbare at the end. Thought about adapting it to meet social distance standards (two single seats), but couldn’t justify the effort……

  14. Just returned from skiing in PLPP. It was lovely but we have just learned that they literally closed the gates behind us. K-country now closed. You cannot drive into the area. We saw lots of vehicles leaving Mt. Kidd as the signage now says “Closed until May”.

  15. Take only pictures, leave only footprints (or ski tracks).

    Now is not the time to be posting trip reports, or on social media, about areas with questionable legal access for 99.99% of us.

    Lets all be responsible and adhere to the requests.The more we do now, the sooner we can get back to doing what we love.

  16. Deleted. -Bob

  17. Lots of rumors about the Canmore Nordic Centre closing at midnight March 27.
    However, after skiing there all week, including today, there is no notification of this closure anywhere – not on the reader board as you enter the area, not on the website nor any physical notices at the trail head.

    I think it would be a serious mistake to close without notice as there will be hundreds of skiers going to CNC on the weekend expecting to ski. Everyone on the trails this week have been social distancing and very respectful. I drive out alone, park, ski and drive home and do not go into the town at all. the trails care in excellent condition and the grooming has been great.

    Can this rumor be confirmed??

    • Jason Kenny announced at 3:30 this afternoon during his speech that all provincial parks are closed to any vehicular access or parking along the road, parking lots or staging areas, as of tonight. No notice at all and not fair to the majority of us who adhere to all the guidelines.

    • Closed as of 1:00 pm:

      Vehicle restrictions applied to parks and recreation areas
      March 27, 2020 Media inquiries
      Automobile access is temporarily suspended at access points to all provincial parks as well as provincial recreation areas.
      The restrictions, which came into effect March 27 at 1 p.m. through two ministerial orders, are in place to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus and are the same restrictions currently in place at national parks. Last weekend revealed a disturbing trend of people not exercising physical distancing and leaving behind garbage and human waste in some provincial parks.
      Alberta’s chief medical officer of health has advised that Parks facilities, like washrooms, can only remain open if Parks staff have access to personal protective gear for cleaning. Government recognizes that these scarce resources are needed in Alberta’s health-care and social services front lines, which is why facilities will remain closed and access restricted to help reduce the spread of the virus.
      Albertans who choose to access the province’s parks and recreation areas should follow the advice of government health experts on physical distancing and public gatherings.
      “We understand the need to get outdoors, but now is not the time to visit our provincial parks and recreation areas without abiding by common-sense public health and safety measures. We are asking all Albertans to assist us by complying with the public access restriction and to stay home during this critical time. If you have plans to travel to a provincial park or provincial recreation area, please rethink your plans. We all need to do our part to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 among vulnerable Albertans, including ensuring protective gear is available for the service providers that need it most. If you decide to access parks and recreation areas at this time, please leave the area better than how you found it.”
      Jason Nixon, Minister of Environment and Parks
      The suspension applies to motor vehicle access to parking lots and staging areas. Albertans should choose recreation opportunities close to home, like going for a walk in their neighbourhood, but if they do travel to provincial parks or recreation sites, access is by non-motorized means only.
      The restrictions do not apply to forestry or oil and gas operations.
      Access for First Nations and identified Metis Harvesters is still permitted. Physical distancing and mass gathering restrictions still apply.
      Enforcement officers will be doing routine checks in provincial parks and on public land to support education and awareness on the temporary closure. Officers can issue fines for non-compliance, if required.
      We are asking Albertans to exercise good judgment. Vehicles should not be left on the side of the road or on private property. If a car is required to be left behind while using a park or public land, do not go. Horseback and off-highway vehicle use are still permitted where legal, and users are reminded to practise physical distancing.
      Alberta Parks facilities, including toilets and picnic and warm-up shelters, have been closed for more than a week to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. No Parks staff are currently supporting facility operations so visitor safety cannot be ensured.
      Improperly disposed of garbage and waste also has the potential to draw wildlife, like bears coming out of hibernation, close to facilities and amenities, which creates an issue for when provincial parks resume normal operations. Fines of up to $250 for littering will be issued to users who dispose of garbage improperly. Albertans are asked to take out whatever they take in with them when they visit parks and public lands.
      Related information
      • COVID-19 Impact on Provincial Parks
      • Recreation on Public Land

      Media inquiries
      Jess Sinclair
      587-873-5564
      Press Secretary, Environment and Parks

  18. Evan-Thomas – Wedge – Bill Milne Loop

    The grooming was still in very good shape this morning and we had a delightful ski around this loop! There is a bit of tree debris but nothing too serious. That might change if the winds come up this afternoon.
    The worst bit was walking down to the bridge over Evan-Thomas Creek, as the trail was rather icy and tricky in ski boots.
    I’m so glad they got in one last grooming pass here, pity about the rest of Ribbon Creek system.

    • P.S. I was quite surprised to see that people are still camping at Mt Kidd?!!

    • We must have just missed you, Diane, as that is where we were today, too. Mt. Kid now closed. We saw an exodus of cars and did not realize what was happening until we got home

      • Sheila, is it possible we passed each other without knowing? We did pass another couple on the Bill Milne portion of the loop, and the two men had a brief chat. Wouldn’t it be ironic if that were you and your husband? No dogs, though……

        Would be delighted to meet you someday 🙂

  19. We skied yesterday (March 26) from Bolton Campground. Whiskey jack to Thyrwitt then Hydro-line, Fox creekm Moraine and back to Bolton. Fox Creek was outstanding!! I had never seen the snow so fluffy!! We passed a guy who was grinning ear to ear and he said it was only his 2nd time on skies. He stated, “This is magical!” I thought to myself, he’ll be back!! The grooming was perfect, snow was excellent. The sun was shining and the wind only howled on the hydro-line. I truly believe that someone will take over the grooming of these exceptional trails next year!!! Go out and enjoy it friends!!!! Lisa

  20. PLPP: Started at Boulton Bridge at noon and did a very fun loop that ended with the sweet downhill of Whiskey Jack all the way to the parking lot. Snow was great with our waxless skis and while most of the trails we hit weren’t recently track-set, there were lots of skier tracks and we felt so happy and grateful to be moving and enjoying such a special place. I hope this wasn’t the last time we get to ski in our favourite park (my late father taught me to ski in PLPP when I was just a toddler 30 years ago!).

  21. Yesterday I attempted to complete the Nordic Centre trail system. Came up a little short finished with 55km. Will be planning to try again next week. Finished the day yesterday with Olympic and Centennial next time will definitely do them first to get that climbing done. Cougar is a new favourite trail. Conditions were nice a little sticky in the afternoon sun then a couple of small icy sections later in the day.

  22. Seeing Alf’s recent pictures of the “big south meadow” off Mountain Road at WBC, and then looking at satellite images, had me plotting an on and off trail loop between the two Mountainviews. It worked out very well, with mostly easy travel off-trail with not a lot of wallowing, on 60 waisted mm metal edged light touring skis, combined with NNN-BC boots. Starting a bit after 11:00 with an air temp of around plus 1, the xc trails were still in fine shape. Swix VR 50 worked decently for the whole loop, other than at a couple of really sunny spots along MV West. There was still dry snow to be found on the more sheltered core trails on my return at 2:00, but also some wetter snow that will be icy in the morning. The only glitch in the plan was in the section between the end of the big south meadow, and the logging road connector to Mountain Road. On the satellite image, it looks pretty open and straightforward, and is- from a routefinding standpoint. But- there is a few hundred metre stretch mid-way along that featured a fair bit of meandering around though willows and bush, some wallowing, and a couple of thankfully still frozen creek crossings. Other than that- very enjoyable skiing for the whole loop. The northern connecting route between MV West and Mountain Road via a cutblock, an old road and the “north meadow” was simple to follow, with easy skiing and increasing amounts of ski tracking the closer I got to Mountain Road. The route, below:
    https://steveriggs.smugmug.com/SkiPix19-20/i-ZvzV52x/A

    • An excellent reference image. Topo lines and satellite!

      • Trailforks!
        Search for West Bragg Creek (or wherever), expand map for larger image, From “Basemap”at top, select “Satellite” (not Google Satellite) and “Contours”
        Screengrab to save image (command-shift-4 on Mac)

  23. BOOM LAKE – March 26

    Having not skied to the end of the lake this year, thought we better squeeze in a trip!
    Details available in the captions here:
    https://1drv.ms/u/s!AgXbvmC40zK_hi-BNK8CxxdHnXGi?e=eExgk8
    Eerily quiet in BNP.

    • Chuck..I thought they had closed the park now. No?

    • Word on the street was that BNP was “closed”, as in no vehicle access to anything other than townsite. A closer look at the notice online seems to possibly indicate otherwise, but does state that all parking lots are closed. What’s the real deal?

    • Just curious how this works chuck, as I thought there was no stopping anywhere within (and of course no info covering the anomalies such as people living in the park). Do you have a “resident” specific pass that stops the car getting towed, ticketed or whatever?

    • Skins required?

      • I did not use skins as the climb is gentle, but do bring them along in case you prefer more grip.
        As indicated in my album comment, I used VR 45 wax, and it worked well for me.

  24. WBC – a chilly -13C at 8:45am, skied Mountain road / view west, Moose loop (CCW), back on Mountain View west / road and back to the parking lot on West Crystal.
    Excellent glide and good conditions for the seasons. Used a mix of Swix V40 and V45.
    Have a good spring / summer and many thanks to Bob for maintaining this website of his empire!

  25. PLPP – Elk Pass

    It sounds like everyone else had a better time yesterday! I expected colder snow and used blue wax, but experienced extreme stickiness and stopped every 100 yards to scrape off huge clumps. It was very slow and tiring! Lots of fresh snow on the trails, maybe 10 to 15 cm?

    Still a lovely sunny day, and having been deprived much of the winter it was good, even necessary, for my physical and especially mental health to get out there! I saw around 20 other skiers, mostly practising good distancing, and the others, well maybe they are roommates?

  26. WBC: Still very good conditions on skier set tracks. Sundog/Elbow to Allen Bill, return via Iron Springs loop. Rode Green -4/-10 gave good grip on outbound leg, Holmenkol -6/-1 adequate grip with “armstrong” on return. You’ll need warmer wax tomorrow, or waxless/skin skis. Saw one skater , but it’s hard work pushing fairly deep, churned up snow. Parking lots half full at 11 am, 1/4 by 3 pm, almost all cars nicely spaced apart.

  27. I skied a loop with my son around PLPP today on Amos, Moraine, Boulton, And Wheeler, and the snow was fabulous! We had warm sun but cold snow. We broke trail on Moraine through 10cm of fresh snow and still weren’t clumping! Yay for waxless skis!

    Everything we skied had been skier tracked with no recent grooming since the last snow

    It was easy to practice social distancing today and 90% of the other trail users were also being responsible. We saw several people skiing alone, a few couples out, and a few groups skiing with at least a 1-minute gap between each person.

    Reminder that carpooling is not social distancing, nor is skiing side by side with friends you don’t live with. If you are not comfortable driving out alone or skiing alone, you might want to wait till next winter to get out skiing again. Many of us are scared we’ll lose access to Alberta’s parks soon so we all need to work together. ?

  28. PLPP Whiskey Jack, Pocaterra and Wheeler
    Wonderful sunny blue wax day. Both Boulton and Elkwood parking were about half full and there was plenty of room for social distancing. We had skier set tracks except for Whiskey Jack where we put down tracks on 20 cm of new snow. When we got to Lookout junction we started to clump up so we returned down Whiskey Jack on powder. You have to see the pictures to appreciate how great it was. We also met a famous local on the trail who gave us permission to post her picture.
    https://1drv.ms/u/s!AqCMMdfYEozbgyx5w6NUVf7X_NTX?e=5TNxOh

    Thanks for the remarkable photos! -Bob

  29. Put the skis and ski rack away today, looking forward to a great season next year. Thanks to Skierbob for all the information and comments that helped us have a wonderful time skiing this year. These senior ladies are great examples of what healthy exercise skiing can be. Can’t wait for next winter.

  30. CANMORE NORDIC CENTRE – March 25

    Thanks Canmorites for the warm welcome to your amazing trail system today, while maintaining a responsible social distance.
    Details available in the captions here:
    https://1drv.ms/u/s!AgXbvmC40zK_hiRzBNd__jgqQa_9?e=QSKuHU
    Glad to still be able to get some fresh air and exercise, for my mental health.

  31. Sandy McNabb

    A skiff of new snow overnight made for a great ski day, as it covered the icy tracks. We normally ski the north side, but opted to ski only on the south side as it is less hilly. Conditions were fast, and we sailed along on minor downhill slopes. Did not meet any skiers on the trails, met two skiers back at the parking lot, had a chat while maintaining physical distance. Due to the intensity of the sun, the snow got soft around noon, so we packed it in, after having tea and lunch while sitting on a log in the trees. Had a marvellous day in the beautiful Sheep River Valley.

  32. I know that next season is a ways off and most of us are staying indoors… but maybe this is the ideal time to start thinking about how we can set up a volunteer organization to keep cross country skiing going in Kananaskis next winter?

    We have access to some world class cross-country space in the mountains here. And there is no reason we need to rely on the government for providing this service for us when they will have soooo many other more important things to take care of.

    Is anyone collecting the names of people interested in volunteering?? Please add me to the list if you are. Here is my email: barbara_lauer@hotmail.com

    thank you!

    • Hi Barb ,
      Attached is a link to grooming Skogan Pass. These trails and the trails in Lougheed are unique with huge climbs and incredibly deep snow. They require equipment and skill that the average volunteer just doesn’t possess. This is a 7 day a week full time job as snow just doesn’t sleep. WBC has already come out saying this is just too much . Volunteers can help with fall brushing and even signage changeover but even that is a huge commitment . Leave the grooming to the pros.

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-iupagWVq_g

      • Why are you shitting on Barb? Glad someone is interested in taking on the initiative to make something happen so we can start operating some cross country ski trails outside of the provincial government. Seems like every other province and state does it outside government operations and provides a higher level of grooming service than Alberta. Membership and user fees pay for most other xc ski centres and facilities so why not in Alberta too. Gotta start the discussion so kudos to Barb for posting the topic so we can start planning sooner than later since xc ski season is only 6 months away! Gov’t funding and operations is not returning so let’s get moving and hire some non-government groomers for the 2020/21 season. I’ll forward you my contact details Barb.

        • I don’t think anyone is s** on Barb. West Bragg Creek Trail Association posted just a few weeks ago about how difficult the volunteer situation can be.

          Alberta and BC are uniquely situated next to several National Parks that already charge higher fees than people in other provinces pay to access their National Parks. How many Albertans are going to pay fees for *both* park systems? I suspect that is why a provincial park fee hasn’t been charged before.

  33. How to travel for XC skiing in Complete Safety.

    My work can involve disease control in plants, poisons, disinfectants, pesticides and extreme corrosives. A trace mishandling of some of this stuff causes instant damage.

    -sick coughing infectious people won’t be in the car going skiing.
    -to refuel, dedicate a hand to touching your credit card, touching nothing else with it. Take your gloves off right before you enter the car.
    -while your otherwise staying at home; Time at temperature are automatic thorough viral disinfectants. Sunlight through the glass won’t reliably kill viruses but it will heat your car.

  34. Re-West Bragg Creek stopped Grooming.
    The safest place to be is romping in the woods and in our cars getting there. Same for the groomers.
    Thanks to a reckless and long over due federal boarder policy, we have a million a week returning of high infection rate people going home to infect their house holds, making the scary new case numbers.
    “Canadians aren’t getting the message to stay at home” is to imply it’s domestic spread causing much of the frightening amount of new cases, and that it’s our fault not theirs. These things aren’t true.

    • It,s time to put the hyperbole aside and use Bob’s great web site for it’s intended purpose

    • Douglas, the open borders policy has been the single greatest cause of the virus infecting people. Planes were landing daily from foreign countries and there was little to no screening of the passengers. There’s been no enforcement of the 14-day isolation. Those of us going for a ski in a nearly deserted park, and observing social distancing, are not the problem. Too little, too late, the Qaurantine Act goes into effect tomorrow. In late January, while the U.S. was cancelling flights from China, Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, said “The risk of an outbreak in Canada remains low.”

  35. WBC – Very pleasant ski from East Crystal, Iron Springs / Creek , Elbow, Sundog and West Crystal. Swix 45 worked well although the air temperature was -10C at 9:30am
    Saw a max of 10 skiers today and social distancing was not an issue.

  36. It’s time to shut it down for the season.
    Storage wax is going on a month early. It’s been a great year, but too many people are not getting the message. Congregating in parks, on trails, in parking areas. Passing around drinks and snacks.

    Calgary region (which includes the Bow Valley and Kananaskis) is on track to become the hardest hit in the country, per capita. People aren’t taking the recommendations seriously. And our elected officials are reluctant to legislate what the medical community clearly advises: shelter in place. People seem hopeful that we won’t be another Italy, but there’s little hope in the slope of our infection rate. There is the very real possibility that our medical system will soon be unable to give care to victims of a car crash or other health emergency.

    Canmore doesn’t want visitors. Nor does Banff. Nor even the wonderful volunteers at WBC. Bob, you suggest the unintended consequence of shuttering skiing is crowds in other places. We need to tell people to avoid ALL places where people can congregate. Today. Do sit ups or yoga in your home. Walk around your block for a bit of air and sun. Yes it sucks, but by continuing to broadcast that the trails are perfect and everyone is wonderfully socially distant, we are gently nudging more people to get out there. When more people congregate, density increases, mistakes are made. This would be fine at any other time. Not now.

    For years now, this has been a wonderful webpage and resource for skiers. The work you’ve done on it, Bob, has enriched the lives of countless Albertans and visitors.

    In life, we are occasionally faced with important moments. What we do at these moments can have broad impacts. And sometimes the right choice may not be popular at the time.

    But the right message for today is: Stay Home. Ski You In October.

    • Thank you for your post Jeremy: You are absolutely right, this is difficult for everyone but we must do our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19 so we can all enjoy many future winters of recreation.

    • I’m going to agree to pack away the skis
      It has been a great season
      Thanks Bob for your great work

    • Nobody should be congregating anywhere, whether that’s on the sidewalk out front the house or at the trailhead. I skied today and came across maybe 10 other people between wedge pond and ribbon parking lot. When I got home I walked the dog and struggled to avoid other people out enjoying the weather. I saw people stopping to chat and unfortunately let their dogs greet one another. I believe there are far riskier activities than skiing right now, as long as you practice common sense and avoid people. I didn’t find it that hard at all today, until I got home and had to actually deal with people. Then again, I’m used to trying to avoid people as a general rule

  37. A very rewarding day on Bill Milne Trail: Skied from Wedge Pond to Nakiska access road and returned via Evan Thomas and Wedge Connector. Minus 5C at 10:30 am +1C at 3:00 pm. All three used waxless with good results. There was approx 2 cm fluffy snow over recent icy grooming. We didn’t need to plow tracks on Bill Milne thanks to the lone skier who started earlier. It snowed lightly most of the day. Returning the warming snow in open areas started sticking (near the Golf Course access road). Evan Thomas and Wedge connector had less ski traffic and sticking was a major issue after crossing Hwy 40. Daily more closures are announced and soon we will have to stay home despite adhering to proper social distancing.

  38. WBC Moose Loop south / both Mountain Views / Hostel. Conditions were really good with between 10 and 15 cm of fresh snow on the last grooming. There were not a lot of people out. I have been getting out a fair bit (mostly to Bragg) in the past couple of weeks. It really is pretty easy to practise social distancing when one is out in the mountains. It is a shame that that seems to be coming to an end.

  39. TUNNEL MOUNTAIN CAMPGROUND LOOPS – March 24

    Lovely conditions today at this local location.
    Details available in the captions here:
    https://1drv.ms/u/s!AgXbvmC40zK_hhqp8FH186-5rWwI?e=tAa6Pn
    Looking forward to welcoming visitors to Banff National Park soon!

    • Hi Chuck: Unfortunately with the latest Parks Canada news update Parks is shutting us track, trail and backcountry skiers down! So much for practising social distancing while skiing in solitude!

  40. Very good skiing on the East Crystal-Iron-Elbow-Loggers etc loop this afternoon. 12 cm of light new snow, skier tracked, easy waxing with VR 45 other than a brief moment when the sun shone, and the snow turned sticky for a short stretch. Get it while you can!- for both the snow quality, and my feeling that cutting off access to provincial lands will not be far behind the national parks closure.
    Winter Wonderland on Iron Creek:
    https://steveriggs.smugmug.com/SkiPix19-20/i-nbxQK8D/A

  41. Guess I squeaked this National Parks ski in, arriving at MLR to an empty parking lot at 9:15, 6 cms of fresh light snow and -7. Skied to top of avalanche slope and while tempted to ski to Moraine Lake, decided to come back down, as one never knows how the rising temps will alter the kick n glide to “high heels”. When I got to Fairview they had just groomed it, so I took it and Upper Tramline back to car. Saw one person in 4.5 hours. I was hoping to buy a lot of baking (Hazelnut Meringues) at Laggin’s, but alas it was closed. If this turns out to be my last ski of the season, I cannot complain and hope a new hip this Spring, brings me back, raring to go in early November. Keep safe and healthy.

  42. WBC – Moose loop (CCW), Mountain View, Loggers, East Crystal. It was -5C at 10:00am and maybe 20 cars total in the parking lot that had been plowed.
    As the grooming stopped, all the trails were skier tracked and even if it was a slow ski, it nice indeed to be able to exercise outdoors.
    Just met maybe 15 skiers and a couple a snowshoers.

  43. Well, not often Bob is wrong, but he is right again!! In my quest to ensure I was not breaking any rules at Sandy McNabb regarding off-leash dogs, we headed out there again today, dogs in tow, map in pocket and hopes of finding conservation officer at info center. Lucky me, he was just coming out of building (it is closed), but I was able to ask him from 6 ft. away the validity of the map and why such confusion. I first asked if there was any off-leash in Sandy and he said no which is when I pulled out map. Technically, we are talking about Crown Land which is all off leash and encompasses most of Logger’s, all of Macabee, and the majority of Pine Ridge. Wherever you see a Wild and Park Boundary, then you are entering an on-leash area. I have skied there for many years and knew this but the anger of the person I met yesterday made me think the map was, perhaps, outdated or maybe just for spring, summer, fall months. Thankfully, it is not. And to turn this into a trail report, between Thursday and Friday trails were groomed and tracked. Absolutely beautiful. Saturday brought everyone and their dog (sorry) with lots of walkers. Trails not so great today with many boot prints down middle of trail although a lot to the side as well so progress is being made.

  44. Skied Moraine Lake Road Mar. 22 with air temp +2 and sunny. V45 Violet wax worked well in the shade, but not so well in the sun baked tracks. There was an icy glaze in sun-exposed areas later in the day.

  45. Decided to check out Boom Lake today for some social distancing. The terrain resembled a luge run with its icy narrow chute but at least it made for a fun descent. Met a handful of hikers and a pair on AT skis but no cross country skiers. Washroom at the parking lot was unlocked.

  46. I went for a lovely, final skate ski at Confederation Golf Course today, the last day of operations. I’m sad to see it come to an end, but I am so grateful for having had this in-the-city, close-to-home ski oasis all season long. A huge thank you to the Calgary Nordic Alliance, and many volunteers for an amazing job, and keeping it skiable even during Chinooks. I know from seeing the many people of all ages and abilities using the trails that you have provided a valuable service to thousands of Calgarians!

  47. We were the first tracks(10am) on Goat Creek to Banff Springs today. Excellent conditions 4-5cm of new………….until it got warmER. Then it got sticky but 7.5/10 day. My crystal ball tells me with a good freeze Tues night then ski Wed should be equally good, or better. Enjoy!

  48. Tom Snow-South
    In an effort to find a bit more space for social distancing, I decided to start from Station Flats, along Highway #66 today. Only 6 vehicles in the lot to start… perhaps a dozen later in the day. We headed up Diamond T to Ridgeback – Tom Snow for a while, and then set off across country, connecting north-east facing powder runs connected by easy tours… all thanks to the Spray Lakes Sawmills cut blocks. Lots of space out there to enjoy the outdoors! https://photos.app.goo.gl/U4KyZyDo6JbaSWD7A

  49. Slushy skiing at Sandy McNabb. May as well ski on slurpees. Red wax did nothing except in fresh snow or under dark trees, but still a good time exploring the trails (many of which have been chewed up by walkers – but I don’t blame them, it’s too warm to ski). Fun off-trail explorations in the meadows around Long Prairie Ridge!
    A LOT of people in the Sheep today! Amazing how they all dissipate once you get into the woods – they are great for social distancing.

  50. West Bragg today 1-3pm. Definitely spring skiing with variable conditions ranging from soft/slow to icy.

    We did Moose out & back through the trees. Only a few folks on the trail so social distancing was easy.

    #protectskiingparksalberta
    #protectourparksalberta

    I was grateful to get out for some fresh air & exercise…I hope there is still more skiing this season & authorities don’t prevent folks from a healthy outlet.??

  51. Posted a question in the “Ask a question, leave a comment” section. Would really appreciate a clear and concise response as today was rather unsettling, yet, would like to know if I am in the wrong, Will abide by anyone who knows the rules Thanks!!

    Sheila, the area in white on the map is off-leash. I was given that information by a conservation officer at the Sandy McNabb info centre. -Bob

    • Sheila – kudos to you for asking and seeking to understand, for your sake and others. Also in your note you indicated keeping a map with you too which is an excellent idea. Hopefully it is current. It’s too bad some people feel like cussing you out in order to make their point? Not the best way to get a coherent thought or shared lesson across eh? Always back to respect and responsibility regardless.

      • Thanks, RichieRich. We will be back to Sandy McNabb today. Going to see if there is anyone at the info centre that can verify map is current and then why info is confusing. If I learn anything, I will be sure to post later in day. I also do not want a $115.00 dollar fine.

    • Thanks, Bob.

  52. CASCADE VALLEY – March 22

    Yeah… winter is back in Banff!
    Details available in the captions here:
    https://1drv.ms/u/s!AgXbvmC40zK_hgZM5diWnpUZz1iV?e=6WSPNk
    Unfortunately, just as busy as mid summer.

  53. Great skiing at Mt. Shark today. -8C at 10:15 am, pristine tracks in the stadium, blue sky. We skate skied the 15km loop, some sections were not groomed and had 3-4cm fresh, light snow on a solid, fast base. Fun cruising down the steep hills. We only met a couple of other skiers on classic skis on the loop. Lots of walkers/skiers on the Wartridge Lake trail. The parking lot was 3/4 full when we returned. We had no problem keeping distant from other skiers. A beautiful spring ski day!

    • Also great classic skiing. Skied Watridge Lake trail and Green/Yellow for return, including Biathlon. Only saw one other couple till we were almost back into the stadium so no problem with isolation either. -10C at 10 am., green wax, added some blue wax at far end of Wat Lake trail (would have needed something warmer if we had continued past 1 pm, +2C). Washrooms closed, Smith Dorrien road pretty bad, especially Canmore Hill. Tonnes of cars parked at Rummel Lake trailhead. Lovely sunny day.

  54. Kananaskis Village – Only 3 cars at 9:00am and -11C in Ribbon Creek parking lot. As mentioned by MaSid and Normand, 15cm of fresh snow. Skied Coal Mine, Ribbon Creek where the S turns downhill were very safe, went up to Kovach and skied Terrace Link, Terrace North and Aspen. Swix V40 worked well but for the last 1/2 hour the snow was becoming sticky.
    I only saw 5 kiers during my 3 hours ski and a couple of walkers / snowshoers and indeed I was surprised when I came back at noon to see a full parking lot and I guess most of them are walkers / snowshoers…..on my way back to Calgary, there were many cars going south on Highway 40..

  55. Skogan Pass, March 21

    Starting at Ribbon Creek parking lot around 10:45 am. Up through Hidden and Sunburst Loop. Crusty and hard pack, challenging to get any grip. (VR 60). Far better and pleasant conditions after the junction to Skogan loop. Things soften enough to snow plow in steep section lower down toward the Nakiska; metal edges would have been good to have. Net elevation gain to the pass: 630 m; total elevation gain including Sunburst loop: 789 m. 24.6 km return
    A beautiful day!

  56. Ribbon creek parking lot: 3 inches of fresh and -12 this morning at 8AM. (-:

    • Conservation officer came through the ribbon parking lot and proclaimed that it was closed due to a lack of social distancing. Skiing options may be shutting down in Kananaskis…….despite lots of options to keep to oneself. )-: hopefully back country or less popular lots stay open.

      • Same at Stoney pkg and barrier damn (but not wasooch or barrier info). And yes, continuous streams of vehicles entering Kananaskis today and yesterday later in the day. People just trying to get out of the house presumably with the warm sunny weather. The conservation office at ribbon was taking video, but wasn’t asking if people standing too close were living in the same household. I didn’t speak directly to her nor did she say anything to me sitting off to the side drinking tea away from everyone else. Hopefully they won’t pull into WBC and do the same.

      • That seems very strange. There is nothing about parking areas being closed on the Alberta Parks website. This is all that I have seen:
        “Alberta Parks remain accessible, but facilities, including toilets, picnic shelters, warm-up huts, and winter camping are closed.”
        I don’t know how these things work, but I wonder who made the decision to close the parking lot?

  57. Excellent day in PLPP. Did Wheeler, Moraine, Boulton and back on on excellent track set. Amazing day; beautiful, busy but quiet.

    We lost a black torque. Please let me know if you picked it up. Text Laurence at 403-700-1389, please and thanks.

  58. West Bragg Creek
    The West Bragg Creek trails were busy today and it was great to see the vast majority of skiers, snowshoers, hikers, trail runners and fat-bikers practicing their social distancing. Part of the reason that the parking lot was full is that many people drove separately, rather than car pooling. Once on the trails people kept a safe distance, even when stopping to chat.
    I took my social distancing even further, by going beyond the groomed trails to find some powder skiing on the east facing slopes below Ridgeback trail. https://photos.app.goo.gl/5ygnzR5yfERAjFSb7
    After 2pm the wind shifted, heavy clouds rolled in and it began to snow. Another refresh for Sunday, perhaps?

  59. L’IL PIPESTONE CABIN – March 21

    Another worthwhile destination, making use of the final tracksetting on the Pipestone Loops.
    Details available in the captions here:
    https://1drv.ms/u/s!AgXbvmC40zK_hXw9DZUGac3AqO8n?e=pfZggy
    Could have used my track skis, but metal edges were nice to have descending the Pipestone Loops at the end of the day.

  60. West Bragg: Mountain Views – Moose clockwise / East Crystal – Elbow/Iron Springs figure 8. Conditions were really good in the morning, softening in the early afternoon. The clouds rolled in around 1400 and that put an end to the melting. I ran into Nancy (from Skogan Pass in January) and had a nice chat. Some of the really sunny parts are icy. Most of the south facing down hill sections are a little icy but the north facing ones are in really good shape. The southern part of the figure 8 has been badly damaged by walkers coming up from Alan Bill.

    • We took our 4 year old granddaughter to WBC after lunch for her first time on real skis (not the strap onto snowboot kind). Good fun, she had a great time! We didn’t get far, but found that our waxless fishscales and skin skis worked pretty well. REALLY busy out there- just like before the new parking lot was built, with cars lined up along the road. After circling the main lot fruitlessly for a while, we ended up squeezing into the equestrian parking. So, if grooming really is done for in the Kananaskis Valley- maybe Alberta Parks will have to look at further expanding the parking at WBC. So much for saving money.
      A skier is born:
      https://steveriggs.smugmug.com/SkiPix19-20/i-wWrWPgq/A

  61. Red Earth Creek

    The grooming on the 17th was not evident this morning at 0900, -6c. A platoon of hikers and snowshoeing enthusiasts had done their best to obscure any trace of skier set track.

    Our enthusiasm undiminished, we enjoyed decent travel on a supportive base. There are some needles for the first kilometre and most of the hikers surrendered at the campground.

    After the campground only one set of snowshoe tracks diminished the skier set track.

    One of the first days I have enjoyed skiing using 4 waxes, from green special to blue to violet to red silver. (The snow was cold as the overnight low was -11 and I suspect the sky was clear)

    It was absolutely blue bird and we saw a grouse. He startled the lead skier of our group when he dropped out of a branch to the trail.

    The outhouse at the trailhead was not locked. FYI.

  62. Bragg Creek South side

    Our intention of skiing Elbow, Sundog, Iron Springs was short-lived due to icy sections and spring conditions at 10:00 a.m; so back to Fullerton parking lot to exchange skis for hiking boots. Back up to Sugar Mumma, Bobcat and Fullerton, with a lovely, sunny, appropriately self-distancing patch of kinnickinick to enjoy our lunch. Back at Fullerton parking lot by 2:30 to an explosion of familes/cars filling Allen Bill parking as well as alongside the road. Please be mindful of families trying to cross the road
    here as it was very busy.

  63. Went to Bearberry Nordic Central to ski today. What a beautiful place with the nicest people. Track setting was a older and in several places blown in but tracks were in fairly good shape if somewhat icy in the morning and sticky later in the day. Saw some bear tracks, luckily not too fresh and had some challenges on some steeper hills with the icy track but there was no one else there until after noon. Great place to go on the weekend to avoid the crowds. This place will be on our list for next year.

  64. So, I’ve been briefly abandoned (rest of the family is on a “get me back from university now” rescue mission), so headed out for a solo ski. Terrace, Ribbon Creek, Coal Mine, then Terrace back to the parking lot. Trails are in good shape, but sun and temp were tricky for wax. The big hills on Ribbon Creek were a mix of nice snow, sun baked, and re-frozen. Annoying climbing, but I would not try going down – go clockwise. Coal Mine was partly OK, partly really tough. Nice going down. Return from Ribbon Creek trailhead to Village would have been nicer if I hadn’t dropped my VR50 somewhere up Coal Mine since the descent scrubbed off all my wax. Anyway, someone will score an almost new tube of wax.

    • Forgot to mention – spent a few minutes picking rocks off the second (westernmost) big hill on Ribbon Creek. With the sun, the slope above the trail is thawing and loose, rocks are rolling down. Be really, really careful if skiing Ribbon counter-clockwise. Or don’t – go clockwise.

      • Yeah, I tried to stop to pick those up enroute counter-clockwise but it was so icy I felt safer not to.

        Thank you!

        Early morning (before the avalanche of people) -8 and very crusty icy tracks.

        Kinda tough day ice in the morning and soft sticky afternoons.

  65. PLPP – Middle Trails
    Our group started from Elkwood just after 10am to -8C. We skied Wheeler, a bit of Moraine, Amos, Woolley and south Meadow. During the morning hours, the tracks were mostly very good, with some glazed sections. The corduroy between the tracks was often very hard. Glide was excellent. After the lunch break, things were softening a bit, but generally peasant except for south facing aspects which were getting grippy. About +3C at 2pm. All the parking lots in PLPP were very busy, as was Hwy 40. Good to see so many people practicing their social distancing on the ski trails.

    • I’ll echo Ray’s comments on PLPP except we started late when it was about +3C. Glide suffered a bit in the warmer patches where the tracks were getting damp, but on the whole it was a lot better than we expected. The recent grooming of Wheeler / Elkwood / Lodgepole was superb. Waxed with VR55 base VR60 cap and we had good grip and decent glide throughout the afternoon. Now, of course, the skis deserve a decent cleaning of a lot of the bits and bobs we picked up en route. Oh yeah, to Ray’s point, the corduroy was hard between the tracks in the shade, in the sun it was softening up reasonably well. Still, one had to be careful of the difference in the track between the sun and the shade.

  66. Confed Golf Course still very good.

    The tracks are faster due to some icing and glazing from the overnight freeze, so grip waxing might be a bit tricky. There are a few bare spots showing, these are at the usual places on the green and the creek side of the blue – easy to avoid. The skating lanes were groomed again. Probably about 30 people out around 10:00 this morning.

  67. CNC – Banff Loop to Banff Boundary

    Skied Banff Loop to Banff Boundary on March 20, 2020. Great groomed trail, great snow conditions, and great weather.

  68. WBC-Telephone Loop
    Conditions were very good today for a quick tour around Telephone Loop. We started the loop by taking the east half of Hostel Loop for better track setting and snow conditions. The snow had nice grip and glide with Blue-Extra on East Telephone. The uphills had just a hint of sun effect and the downhills were still soft enough to control your speed. The north half of West Telephone was superb. After a sunny lunch, the south half of West Telephone was starting to get softened by the sun and above 0C temps, but the skiing was still good all the way back to the very busy parking lot. More snow on the way by Saturday afternoon!
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/egHbqZdAC4wHyJMZA

  69. Success! My 11 year old just reached his goal today of skiing 200 kilometres this winter!

    We skied a big loop from Ribbon Creek on perfect corduroy with fresh tracksetting. Trails included Ribbon Creek, Coal Mine, Link, Kovach, Aspen, Kovach to the lookout (going down the steep side,) and down Terrace at the end. We did a LOT of climbing and got four steep long descents in.

    Coal Mine was in the best shape I’ve seen it all winter so we finally made the climb up from the Ribbon Creek Trail. I’m always impressed with the view at the top.

    And BATHROOMS: We drove up to the village and parked beside Mt Kidd Manor in the back parking lot. There are bathrooms inside that first building past the pub and they are open. We stopped there at the beginning and end of our ski.

    • Tanya, thanks for the intel on the bathrooms. I think that building is known as the Village Centre. The Stoney Nakoda Resort is still open, too. And congratulations to your son!

      • I think the village centre has the outfitters and post office in it. We went into Mt Kidd Manor beside the pub out back where there is just a lobby and then elevators to take you to hotel rooms.

  70. PLPP

    Started at Boulton Parking and took Whiskey Jack, Tyrwhitt, Elk Pass, Fox and Moraine. The steep hill on Whiskey Jack was icy in the morning, but everything else was fine. Upper section of Elk Pass has not been groomed lately, but has great skier tracks and was a blast on the descent. Watch out for snow bombs here and there on the tracks on Tyrwhitt. Had a fantastic day, stunning scenery with a vivid blue sky and a comfortable temperature, snow stayed really good. We skied Tyrwhitt at around 11:00 and saw the tracks but no bear.

  71. It was a beautiful Blue Bird day in PLPP on SkierBob loop.
    Started 11:30 ( late) -7 C on Fischer skintechs up Whiskey Jack to Trywhitt . Only Saw 3 other people up to Trywhitt then we saw the interesting animaltracks crisscrossing The groomed ski tracks on Trywhitt. Large cat or ? Another skier couple met us at Elk Pass and they informed us a previous skier couple had seen THE ? Bear!
    Next time we’ll bring Bear Spray for spring skiing.
    Return to car +5 @2:00. Excellent machine grooming on Moraine . BIG Thanks to PLPP trail groomers. FYI: Respectfully we Do Not carpool and we wear gloves fuelling gas car and any public place .
    Thanks to all who are also self isolating.

  72. West Bragg Creek Moose Loop – Mountain View West

    A beautiful day with excellent track setting and snow. The temperature reached 5 degrees in bright sunshine so the trails will likely be icy in sun affected areas tomorrow. We met trail reporters Steve Riggs and Alf Skrastins but had packed up the camera by the time we met Alf heading out to the powder on his AT skis. Pictures are at:
    https://1drv.ms/u/s!AqCMMdfYEozbgmanu8QRUXGBLMwd?e=qD8KoS

  73. Still excellent conditions on the Ribbon Creek/Bill Milne/Wedge Pond/Evan-Thomas circuit. Lots more people out than on Monday, also lots more boot prints. But they’re shallow and did not hinder skating, which was superb. Cloudy forecast tomorrow, so conditions should stay good for days to come.

  74. Confed Golf Course – what a delight to get out of the house, see other humans and expend some energy! I have been there every day this week and every day has been refreshing and lovely! And the fresh tracks today were absolutely wonderful! What a nice surprise and thank you for the resilience of the track-setters. Sounds like the golfers will be moving in after Sunday, so I highly recommend a whip-around before then if you have time. I saw the gal with the dog mentioned in previous posts and skipped a mid-track obstruction on the same day, although I don’t know if it was the same dog. Probably not, as her dog was on a leash. Who knows? I love dogs, snow-shoers, fat-bikers, skiers, etc, equally and hope we can all figure out how to work around and with each other…

    • At Confed, there are coyotes running around, especially after dark, so they could possibly leave mid-track obstructions. Just a possibility.

  75. Great conditions at WBC, blue sky and -14C at 9:30am, skied Mountain, Mt View West, Moose Loop (CCW), Mt View West, Loggers, Elbow, Iron Springs, East Crystal.
    With the exception of some parts of Iron Springs that are wearing thin, all the trails were in excellent conditions with beautiful soft snow.

  76. Best conditions of the year at Confed Golf Course!

    Fresh set tracks on almost all of the trails, fresh grooming of all the skating lanes, all the ice and thin spots are covered again. About 20-30 people out there this morning.

    Current plan is that this is the last weekend for skiing there and the golf course will start doing their spring preparations next week.

    So if you’re not going to the mountains, give Confed a try!

  77. Just want to post a big thank you to the unknown individual who put aside the skis and poles I had left at West Bragg. Had them cleaned up against the truck and drove away. Felt so dumb but then so relieved when I drove back to see them propped up in the snow bank. Awesome!

  78. West Bragg Creek
    Another 3 cm of new snow by early morning was a bonus refresher at West Bragg Creek. Pleasantly cool temperatures were perfect for fast skiing and preserving the snow quality.
    My day included a mixture of groomed trail skiing, off-trail touring and some brushing-pruning work on Tom Snow trail. Lots of people were out enjoying the great conditions. https://photos.app.goo.gl/AYZLBn6mxd7XcLhJA

  79. Do not bother skiing Shaganappi Golf Course. Put 2 long gouges into my new ski bases. Lots of pavement and some gravel hiding under a skiff of new snow.

  80. Great “Deserted” Divide from the O’Hara end. This time, there seemed to be slightly more snow on east side of the Divide and skate skiers would love the grooming! Skied west to east on Lower Telemark and would rate it as fair (maybe good considering first day of Spring skiing!) Ran into Heather D and Heather who used to work at Wilson’s. Wilson’s was closed but managed to buy two hazelnut macaroons from Laggin’s. They have implemented asking all who enter to use their sani-gel right by the front door. Drove down to O’Hara parking lot-it still looked in good shape with a skiff of new snow and those washrooms are still unlocked. I believe Lodge is closed today or tomorrow.

  81. I’m with RitchieRich. Would you consider changing the plan? The snow is still so nice, and there’s no shortage of people out using the trails. With recreational facilities closed, it’s a place for people to go exercise. They won’t be opening the golf course any time soon.

    • I went for a nice 13km jaunt at Confed late this aft on all the classic trails. It much better shape than last week. Still a little wobbly or blown out in places but still very nice. Quite a few people there doing both skate and classic.

      Upon arrival a friendly lady came up and asked if dogs were allowed? I hesitated then suggested that as a city golf course it’s unlikely. She said she’d mentioned this to the dog owner (woman) who promptly got mad and yelled at her. Perhaps some swear words. Rather than get into it she said she skiid off. I did not see this dog myself but certainly looked. If this is true then perhaps more obvious signage is needed. Plus this could risk the whole ski experience for all. Just like CoVID19, please be aware and courteous of others and keep some things apart. Sigh… common sense ain’t so common.

      • Hi Rich,
        There is a sign at the main entrance that says no dogs. Our main trail map sign also says no dogs. I agree that we could put more obvious signs…next year. In general you will also get people who don’t care and will do it any way. We don’t have a huge problem with dogs at Confed. When I see some people I just remind them that no dogs and some are polite and some react like this guy. Either way I don’t get into it with them and let them go on their way. We have same problem with people using the trails as running and walking paths.

  82. Wonderful day at WBC. Arrived around 10:30 to see only a few cars in the parking lot. Headed out on Mountain Road. The light dusting of new snow in the tracks made them just grippy enough as the tracks were icy underneath in places due to sun exposure earlier in the week. Headed up Mountain View and conditions were lovely. We saw just a few people as we headed back towards the parking lot. All in all a great day. Thanks to the groomers for such fantastic upkeep this year.

    • I should add to my post that due to COVID-19, all the washrooms were locked. Guess we all need to go right before we leave home.

  83. Just returned from Sandy McNabb. Imagine, skiing Sandy McNabb in the middle of March?? Virus free trails, Loggers Loop and Pine Ridge. Watch out for bodies on Camper’s 🙂 Oh, and trails were snowmobile packed and skier tracked.

  84. Confederation Park.
    The cold weather and a skiff of new snow made for a very enjoyable powdery ski this morning. The set tracks are holding up well, just washing out a little on side hills. Seems lots of folk had the same idea – the parking lot was the busiest I’ve ever seen it.

  85. West Bragg Creek
    Got to be the first guy in the trails at 7:10 this morning in the light snow. Boomer Groomer Jeff was out redoing the skate lanes and the trackset was still good from yesterday. Brilliant conditions. Skied Mountain Road, Mountainview, Loggers, East crystal line for 14k. Saw only six people and two dogs by 9:20. Sun was out when i was leaving and traffic was on its way in with maybe a total of 2″ of fresh powder fallen. More snow in the forecast – should be great for days.

  86. CNC -6C VR 40 +VR 45
    Parking lots were 1/4 full .
    Not much action in stadium but more skiers out on the trails.
    We followed where the groomers had been. Worked our way up onto Rundle via Bow and Snowshoehare. Tracks were in great shape excepting on S aspects. Ran into mostly racers and some of the usual local Canmore/Banff skiers. Skied out to junction 65 and dropped onto Meadow view returned via Banff loop. Easy to SI on the trails

  87. Confed: anyone know if the gates will remain open for trail usage? … or if there’s a way to still get into there to enjoy this lovely snow?

  88. West Bragg Creek
    The groomed trails at West Bragg Creek were perfect today. Sparking new snow, beautifully groomed and lots of happy skiers. But there is more to West Bragg Creek than groomed trails, so I took advantage of this years exceptional snow pack to do the WBC equivalent of a “Chuck tour”. We started out on West Crystal, then continued on Snowy Shortcut and Snowy Owl… and just kept heading southwest across an absolutely huge meadow. We followed Ranger Creek to Snakes & Ladders and then to Bobcat and the Ridgeback/Tom Snow junction. Then up Tom Snow to the Ridgeback #3 north junction, and along Ridgeback to the west end of Snakes & Ladders. From there it was a powder descent to the Big Meadow, followed by a tour over a double hill to Mountain View. Then finally, back on the regular XC trails like West Crystal and back to the parking lot. Who knows when we’ll see conditions like this again?
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/V1d28GPz4ztXY3ys8

    • A few pow turns at WBC! Thanks for cheering us up.

    • Alf, your adventures are always inspiring. Thanks for sharing!

    • WBC -12C at 9:30 am waxed with VR30 -5C at 2:00 pm
      Hi Alf – I was looking for you today while skiing the trails. Your photos show lots of untracked hills so thought you might be out to remedy that situation.
      We started just as George finished his early morning ski. The new snow covered ice crusty tracks of Tuesday making for a quiet but slower glide. By noon most tracks traveled were skied and the day warmer, so glide was perfect with the VR30 holding on climbs. Skied the south trails.
      Warmer days ahead but more snow in the forecast.

    • Followed Alf”s tracks down to Tom Snow / Bobcat junction then bailed to Station Flats returning to WBC via Fullerton trail head, epic day, thanks for the tracks Alf!

  89. Had a great last day of winter, skied up and back Pocaterra. Blue skies and calm winds. Air temperature was -2c with -5c snow temperature at noon at the start. Hut was closed due to Covid 19 but found one of the outhouses open. VR40 wax worked great until the end of the day when temperatures rose to +2c (air) and 0C (snow). Trail was well groomed and fast. Very quiet and peaceful. Only met 8 skiers all day. Didn’t hear a single jet flying over…A sign of the times in the Covid 19 era.

  90. Huge thanks to all the groomers who are doing a fantastic job grooming the trails at the Canmore Nordic Centre. Fabulous seeing all the skiers, young and old, out enjoying the many trails, their faces lit up with smiles. Surely, being out on the trails and in the fresh air will help to keep us healthy during these anxious days. Keep up the good work! I, only one of many, really appreciate the groomed trails.

  91. West Bragg Ck. outhouses closed!

    Between the time we started skiing and finishing around 2 pm, the outhouses had been taped off and COVID-19 signs posted.

    Doesn’t sound like a idea to me. Or maybe somebody has taken all the toilet paper for their hoard!

    • This was courtesy of Alberta Health.

      Closure of the toilets had the negative effect of causing at least two individuals to relieve themselves in our maintenance compound. They were both caught red handed, holding the evidence (albeit small) on our surveillance cameras.

      I guess they missed all the signage not only prohibiting entry but indicating that they should smile for the cameras.

      • The evidence was small – hahaha! So, I guess, bring your own TP, and get friendly with some out of the way bushes! Things could get messy!

      • Unclear if you are referencing scofflaw pooches.
        That said it’s fairly common to see evidence out on all user-trails of someone having to “let off some steam” or “water a dry bush”. I’ve even see it in the parking lots between vehicles.

        Understandably, the outhouse handles, locks, and seats are high-contact points that are rarely sanitized (I assume). In the case of flu or virus or other nastiness these little germies are easily transferred to all users. So other than a zero-door option (like some places have with open-air zig-zag entrance/exits) there aren’t any options left for WBC.

  92. STONEY CREEK – March 18

    Another cm of snow last night made conditions at this elevation EXCELLENT.
    Details available in the captions here:
    https://1drv.ms/u/s!AgXbvmC40zK_hUzGlPd09wG_DJIV?e=hL5scT
    And the outhouses are open!

  93. Goat Creek: Canmore to 2nd Spray river bridge (AKA the bus shelter) and back. Around -10C to start with “crusty” glazed tracks thankfully covered by a couple cm of fresh snow. The descent to Goat Creek bridge was safe with the new snow and the tracks are still in good shape. Going back was a bit of a struggle with virtually no grip even with Swix V55 / Red wax….

  94. PLPP March 18th
    Beautiful blue sky day with V 30 or 40. From the Boulton bridge parking lot at 11:30am (only one other car when we arrived) we made our way through beautifully track set trails on Moraine and Fox creek. Elk Pass Trail was yet to be track set but the grooves were quite acceptable going up and coming back. On the way home we encountered fantastic grooming on the Boulton Creek trail all the way back to the parking lot. I think we ran into a total of 10 people the whole time.
    After enjoying such beautiful conditions, I have a hard time accepting that we may lose experienced track setters who understand the terrain, the users and the machinery. Most skiers I talk to in the Canmore area are fine with a reasonable user fee. Time to write a letter to Mr. Nixon and Ms. Rosin methinks.

    • You’re not helping the case for taxpayer funded grooming, when you say that you only saw 10 other skiers all day.

      • It’s the “West Bragg Effect”, due to the consistently great season there. I know that we have skied PLPP far less this season than in any other.

      • One reason for relatively few people in Ribbon Creek and PLPP yesterday is fact that Nordic Centre is now free of charge. Parking lots were almost completely full by mid-afternoon. Lack of washrooms could become an issue …

        • Another reason is the fact that it’s the middle of the week and all facilities are closed.
          I think any claim that Kananaskis ski trails are “under-used” is a bit ridiculous, given how popular these ski trails have been over the years. A quick scroll through SkierBob should defeat that notion.
          Besides, most people are more than happy to pay user fees.

  95. West Bragg

    11:45am start was perfect to get “first tracks” on Telephone Loop (freshsly rolled and trackset). Things have definitely improved since the March 16 reports. With a temp of -8 tracks were firm and downhills completely enjoyable. Hostel, Sundog, Loggers & East Crystal were also in great shape. Finished up by 2:30 and temp had only gone up by a degree or two. The sun was starting to peak through so things may have softened up as the afternoon went on.

    • Silky 1.5″ new snow at WBC for the mid afternoon sunny shift of hostel and core trails. Cooler in the shade but spring warmth to the sun so was a VR45 day though still had challenges with up hill traction (no sun stickiness either). Lots of families and happy teens out enjoying the fresh air great to see. Washrooms closed. Donation boxes OPEN.

  96. Boulton parking: first car in at 9:30 and -10. To note, both outhouses are fully LOCKED. To use a word we’ve heard a lot recently, the track-setting on Whiskey Jack and Tyrwhitt was “unprecedented” perfection. I played around in the meadows there x an hour all by myself until a couple skied by at noon. Self-isolating at its best! Chose Patterson over Elk Pass but neither were groomed-tricky snowplowing in sun-affected crusty powder. Moraine was better than Fox as more in the shade and less wood pecker land mines. Suggest starting earlier in day to minimize social contact.

    • Was wondering about bathrooms staying open. Now we know, so thanks for that helen. Hopefully parking lots will remain open for some occasional isolated exercise.

  97. West Bragg. Iron springs and Elbow.

    Fresh flakes falling at 6pm, -3c. Good travel made possible by said flakes over the icy tracks. By the time we got back to the car, 5cm had fallen. Big fat clumps of flakes were still falling as we drove home. -5c.

  98. CASTLE LOOKOUT – March 17

    Get here before tourists realize this magnificent choice to self isolate from Covid-19!
    Details available in the captions here:
    https://1drv.ms/u/s!AgXbvmC40zK_hUTVVomlc3erK5wG?e=dstisr
    Don’t tell anyone!

  99. WBC afternoon shift.
    1 p.m. launch worked out well – Iron Springs-Elbow inner loop was 95% softened up and fishscale skis gave good grip. Tracks are excellent. Beauty day. Lots of skiers out.

  100. WBC – Skied Mountain / Mt View W, Moose Loop (CCW), Loggers, East Crystal, Sundog, West Crystal.
    At 9:00am it was -3C and Swix V45 / Violet worked well for the 1st 2 hours but with the warm sun until I had to add a layer of V55 / Red.
    Some tracks were very icy in the morning but overall the trails are in good shape, the skiing pleasant and the descents safe.
    I had the pleasure to meet Don C and his fellow skiers from Shell / Imperial old timers.

  101. Confed Park, did the green, yellow, blue and purple this morning. Quite a strong wind which has mostly filled in the tracks, but the skating lane is fine. With the new snow the coverage is very good, only noticed two spots with a bit of grass. There’s plenty of base left (especially on the purple) so hopefully we’ll see the tracks reset before the weekend (once this wind calms down). Must have been about 20 people out this morning.

  102. WBC – Telephone Loop

    Finally got out skiing with Bart!! But not the greatest choice – not much to add to Steve’s report, but we found the hot sun really did a number on the snow (and our heads!), so to our surprise found the hills on the east side easier to negotiate than the ones on the west, where conditions had become the spring-like herky-jerky icy to slushy, and of course the softer snow was more chewed up by a multitude of different trail users.

    Met a few other skiers on Moose who all agreed that they had expected better conditions today – how quickly things change! Lovely to get out, of course, but more tiring than fun.

  103. WBC-March 16. Afternoon loop tour across Telephone Ridge using both xc and all season trails- Hostel W-DemiTel-Long Distance N-Telephone E- Hostel E. A great tour for more adventuresome skiers on light metal edged skis and supportive NNN-BC boots, when conditions allow. It would have been better from a wax perspective to have started earlier, but then I wouldn’t have met the fat bike grooming team just as they finished with Long Distance North, which made for very enjoyable groomed “nordic singletrack” skiing, mostly gently downhill, north to the junction with Telephone with no trail breaking. There were a few short barely covered spots along the way, and some sharp downhill corners where the trail was more like a trough, which provided some excitement, but there was always plenty of soft snow off to the side to keep things under control. If contemplating skiing Long Distance- I would recommend having ridden or hiked it first- just so you know what you are getting into.
    East Telephone was mostly very enjoyable, featuring tracksetting that was still in good shape for the most part, with a couple of downhills already a bit chewed up and getting icy. That wasn’t helped by the dogsledder I met coming the other way, who had stopped the middle of the trail at a blind corner on one of the steeper descents- I barely avoided a collision! With the gouges that he had created in numerous spots on many of the steep hills, (uphills for me) along with the melt-freeze conditions on exposed sections- I would not highly recommend Telephone until a refresh of new snow.
    As usual- Telephone became more chewed up by hiker/shoer traffic after the Snowshoe Hare junction- it was a relief to hang a left onto East Hostel trail to finish, where conditions remained very good, with some melting in a few exposed spots.
    Nordic singletrack on Long Distance North:
    https://steveriggs.smugmug.com/SkiPix19-20/i-TxQNCPf/A

    • I have to agree. I skied telephone the same afternoon as you in the other direction. I was passed early on by the dogsledder. All of the steep downhills were made treacherous by the deep gouges from the sled runners. I was on rather skinny skis which tended to roll sideways into the gouges. I managed not to fall or twist an ankle by snowplowing with one ski perpendicular to the gouges. Lesson learned – even if telephone was recently trackset, use wider skis and don’t go when the dogsledder is there/has been through. I still really enjoyed the less treacherous sections and telephone was a lot quieter than the rest of the trails. It was Saturday morning level busy on a Monday afternoon!

  104. BILL MILNE – was superb today! All of a sudden the days are much longer!!

  105. WBC. Moose Loop, counter-clockwise. Lovely afternoon to take out the kids for a ski. This was late in the day, so some exposed areas were alternating between sticky slush and slippery ice. Some hills were getting icy, but in the woods, the conditions were still very good. Let’s consider that this is mid-March already! At this time of year, I’m grateful for any snow that we can get. It was so reassuring, what with all the alarming news out there, that fresh air and sunshine are still open and available for us to enjoy and de-stress.

  106. Edmonton: March 12 – March 16
    I’ve been in Edmonton for the past week, and thought I would report on some really terrific cross country skiing opportunities if any of you head up north here. Since all rec centres are closed, and I’ve been working remotely, I’ve been trying to practice social distancing by getting out on my cross country skis for an hour or two most days. In case you find yourself in Edmonton when there is good (and lots of!) snow, I can heartily recommend the following places:

    1) Strathcona Wilderness Centre: this is a beautiful skiing area with about 15 km or so of gorgeously trackset trails. I’m told there is a Norwegian fellow who does the grooming – and it is superb. Quiet, beautiful scenery, lakes, woods and hills. The east side is mostly greens, the west side is mostly blues.
    2) Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area – the grooming is difficult to predict, but when groomed, this area is amazing, and might be one of my favourites in the province. This is Birkieland – and during the week, during a pandemic, its a gorgeous sunny place of solitude. I can’t understate how beautiful this place is. Lots of kms of trails, you don’t have to do the same route twice. If you’re unsure about grooming, bring some metal edged skis.
    3) Mayfair Golf Course – A fellow named Neal tracksets about 5-6 km of trails at this golf course right in Edmonton next to the U of A. I went for a lunch hour ski and did all of the trails and some extra loops today! It’s a really fun system, with little hills and dips, and great views of the city. Highly recommended if you just want to get out for an hour.
    4) Goldbar Park – trackset by the Edmonton Nordic Ski Club. I haven’t had a chance to ski at Goldbar yet, but I’m told the conditions are always the best in the city.
    5) SkiLocal trails – the Southwest Association of Community Leagues supports a volunteer organization that tracksets trails in local neighbourhoods and parks south of the Whitemud in Edmonton. The trails are mostly flat, but it is amazing to be able to easily access so many trails. There is actually quite an extensive trail setting network all over SW Edmonton – super impressive. The other day, I was literally able to go out the front door of where I’m staying, and ski a 10 km loop in this neighbourhood and the adjacent one. It’s pretty awesome, and you can follow the grooming on the SkiLocal facebook page.

    Anyway, I’ve learned that Edmonton has lots of great xc skiing opportunities, and a really dedicated xc skiing community! It’s been lots of fun to be here! Later this week: I’ll be back in Kananaskis!

  107. Absolutely lovely! What an amazing day in Lake Louise. We skied Moraine Lake Road today. Freshly track set this afternoon. We past the groomers on their way back around 230pm, and skied most of the way on fresh tracks! Double track set on the way out, single track set back and a skate ski Lane in the middle.

  108. Ribbon Creek – Hummingbird Blume

    Given the surreal events happening in the world, it was wonderful to get out into nature, while practising social distancing, which is easily accomplished with cross country skiing. We started out at Ribbon Creek parking and took Hidden to Nakiska, which was easy to cross as the ski hill is closed. We took Sunburst up to Hummingbird Blume, where we had our lunch in the beautiful sunshine, the views from the viewpoint are sensational. What was even more sensational was the descent on High Level and the Screamer, as the snow conditions are super. After getting back to the parking lot, we wanted to continue skiing as it was such a gorgeous day. We skied up to the lookout on Kovach, the descent was rather anti-climactic after coming down from Hummingbird Blume, but the conditions were excellent.

  109. Banff update.

    Tunnel Mountain campground. Skier set.

    Spray Loop West and East. 80%-90% excellent, 10%-20% icy. So nice to be out in the sun. Thanks Parks Canada for the ongoing grooming!

  110. To quote Charles Dickens, this was one of those days when it was “spring in the sun and winter in the shade” on the south trails at West Bragg. Good cold snow on very fresh tracks (not set up yet) in the shade, translucent slush in the sun, and ice on south-facing downhills that were shaded by late afternoon. Such nice weather though: bluebird skies and glowing mountains.
    South Elbow is groomed now, by the way, although it’s already completely trampled by walkers up to Fullerton junction. Because of the sun and soft tracksetting, most downhills have been churned up by snowplowing.

  111. Shaganappi Golf Course-Skate skied a few loops of the entire course. Some bare areas in the usual spots but otherwise fantastic and fast. Getting a bit soft though as I was finishing up so not sure how long it will last. Driving range and NE loop also very good. Thank you Linda and grooming crew for a great job this season-so appreciated!

  112. Goat Creek: Canmore to Banff (thanks to my husband who just returned home at MN from BC). Likely -14 to start and -3 to finish, skiing from 9am-12:20. Saw no one until we were close to the invitingly sunny wooden shelter at West/East Spray junction. Maybe saw 8-10 skiers all day. Had been watching the Banff Trail Report for grooming on Goat Creek and almost jumped out of my chair, seeing 15-03 reported yesterday. Not sure if Don had problems with one of the machines, but we were surprised to see the tracker machine parked right at our favorite hill at the corner of that curve before the first Goat Creek bridge. VR 40 worked great until we got closer to Banff and in the sunnier tracks, but it did the trick overall. Thank you Don, for the VERY good grooming! I definitely owe you some cookies.

    • Goat creek today
      Maybe saw you Today Helen?
      We skied Banff to boundary -back to Banff today. Only Saw four people and the tracks were pretty good for goat Creek.
      It looked like only a couple of people had been on it after it was groomed and no Bikes! Best conditions I’ve had there in years and a beautiful day!
      The sun was having a real affect in any open areas so I suspect there might be some icy areas tomorrow.

  113. Mount Shark Trails

    We skied the 15 km trail of Mount Shark on Sunday. We had never skied that particular loop and were quite happy with some of the challenging uphills and downhills, with tight curves. The recent track setting was helpful. There was some drifted snow across the trails, which made some spots a bit tricky. We then went to Watridge Lake and had lunch in the hot sun under a perfectly blue sky. We then skied as far as the end of the track setting to the bridge, into Banff National Park. The big hill going down to that bridge was in excellent condition (best we’ve ever seen), fast, fun, with a totally controllable descent. What a day!

  114. West Bragg Creek-South
    I waited until afternoon for the weather to warm up and the conditions were perfect for an exploration of the south end of the West Bragg Creek trail. Not being one to limit myself to groomed trails, my loop included a bit of everything. Starting from the Fullerton trailhead, any previous grooming of the Elbow trail was covered by a deep layer of new snow and lots of snowshoe and footprints. The result was sort of like grooming. From Elbow, I followed Snagmore to Sugar Daddy and then back onto Elbow and Iron Springs. Then down Iron Creek and the mystery trail on the east side of Snagmore hill. Shortly after the end of the roller-packing ended, I contoured across country through an amazing old aspen forest and over a low shoulder to connect back onto Snagmore trail. From there it was a simple matter of following Snagmore back to Elbow and the parking lot. Conditions like this don’t happen often at West Bragg Creek, so it’s great to be able to enjoy it while we can! https://photos.app.goo.gl/jtxGL9bwpsvyBT3u6

  115. Skogan Loop and Hummingbird Plume
    Perfect grooming, snow and weather. We met a lot of folks including Helen Read. The pictures are at the link below.
    https://1drv.ms/u/s!AqCMMdfYEozbgWNWYdhoio4M2RZf?e=HEJAmx

  116. Stunningly beautiful sunny day at WBC today. Arrived at 2:30 pm as the temperature had risen to a balmy – 10 without wind. We heard Telephone loop was trackset so that was the obvious choice for a non crowded trail. The parking lot was very full when we arrived with lots of happy smiling faces ( on the dogs too). With the fresh snow the Telephone trail was in pristine condition and the downhills fun and safe . We continued on to do Moose loop followed by Mountain View and Mountain Road. A great day to forget for a moment the effect of the coronavirus on all of us and practice social distancing in the best way.

  117. It’s been a season of superlatives at WBC, but today may have been the best yet!
    https://steveriggs.smugmug.com/WestBraggCreek-March15/

  118. Great skiing at Canmore Nordic Centre today. We found out that the Rundle Trail was groomed, Silvertip as well. Cold, clean tracks and wonderful sunshine through the meadow! 1-2 cm dry snow in the tracks on the ungroomed trails.

  119. Nice ski on the south WBC trails starting from Allen Bill today. South Elbow and the southernmost bit of Iron Springs haven’t been groomed yet, but the snow was of excellent quality (although a mess of foot tracks). The rest of Iron Springs and Iron Creek have only been single trackset so far, but the track was really nice and the snow was great. I also made a side exploration down the side trail of Iron Springs that Steve Riggs mentioned – it hasn’t been groomed since the snowfall, but it sure is scenic!
    Don’t think I’ve ever seen this much snow at West Bragg!

  120. Skogan Loop Junction starting on Hidden Trail from Ribbon Creek. Forgot how much of a climb it was up Sunburst, but the picnic table at Hummingbird Plume to bask in the sun was a nice lunch break payoff. Lots of people came this route today and no wonder, think these were the best conditions, as Groomer Jeff told us, for descending the Screamer that I have ever experienced….even better than last Monday when we went to the Pass. Totally a perfect cloudless skies. Ran into Ian and Darlene and look forward to their pictures later, and Ray closer to the parking lot. Sure glad we went today as it will get stickier tomorrow. As previously noted by Jim Bruce, a lot of smiling faces trying to escape the serious news happening all around us.

  121. PLPP: Visitor Centre to Whiskey Jack / Poccaterra / Lynx loop. The most recent grooming (Poccaterra, Lynx) has only of dusting of fresh snow on it. The rest of this route had about 2 cm of snow on the grooming so conditions were excellent. -17 to start at 1200 and 0 to finish at 1630. There was even a bit of sticking on my bases just before the end of the route. The sun warms thing up pretty quickly at this time of year.

  122. We skied Bill Milne, Wedge Connector, Evan Thomas loop. Mostly great conditions but heavy foot traffic on Evan Thomas. Fortunately they avoided the track set! Even saw the man himself, Skier Bob, on our return to the car. A nice few hours to forget about the news…

  123. WBC – fabulous conditions (a bit chilly with -19C at 11am) along Iron Springs / Creek – Elbow – Loggers – Moose Connector – Mountain road / view and back on Moose.

  124. Confed

    Beautiful snow, beautiful grooming & perfect tracks, made for lots of happy skiers this afternoon when it finally warmed up to -10. Thanks to the groomers! A nice change to ski in the city under that blue Alberta sky.

  125. Good morning,

    It is -28 and clear in Peter Lougheed.

    The lounge + discovery centre are closed to minimize large groups.
    The info centre is still opened for emergencies, washrooms, and information.

    MK

  126. Pocaterra Hut starting on Rolly Road then onto Come Along with snow falling, wind blowing and -23 C. Vintage green (-10 to -15) worked stellar all day. Weather and snow improved heading up Pocaterra to Packers Junction, then I continued breaking trail to WJ junction, where temp was -11 !!! Blue skies cleared and did not need to even cover my face on the faster ride down. Not sure if I met Jean Francois as I was descending but heard a nice French accent. Due to the overnight wind, some needles are mixed into the new grooming but hardly any pine cones. Turned into a much nicer 20 kms. ski than initially thought at onset. Saw only (?) JF all day.

  127. West Bragg Creek
    As of this afternoon, West Bragg Creek had received 17-20+ cm of snow… and more is still expected.
    GBCTA groomers were already out roller-packing the XC ski trails and packing the single-track trails for Fat-Biking, despite bitterly cold temperatures.
    For me, all the new snow and a much deeper than normal snowpack provided an opportunity to ski tour on a combination of single-track trails, meadows and cut-blocks. We started on Snowshoe Hare and then toured off-trail up to the Long Distance Trail on Telephone Ridge, before powder skiing back down to Snowshoe Hare. Powder skiing at West Bragg Creek in March! Who would have guessed?
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/r9iVg4BXLDmmcWec8

  128. March 13th – From the Canmore Nordic Centre Website

    CANMORE NORDIC CENTRE – COVID-19 UPDATE
    The Canmore Nordic Centre is still open for Nordic skiing, fat biking, snowshoeing and public use however the daylodge facility will be restricted to ticket purchasing, information provision, washrooms and locker use. The Cafe is currently closed.
    We are following the recommendations from Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, approved by the Emergency Management Cabinet Committee released on March 12 as below:
    All large gatherings of more than 250 people, or international events in the province are to be cancelled.
    Any event that has less than 250 attendees and expects to have international participants, or involves critical infrastructure staff, seniors, or other high-risk populations should also be cancelled.
    Our daylodge facility is frequented by seniors and international visitors therefore during this time we are unable to permit gatherings in this space.
    We will continue to follow the advice of the public health office and provide updates to our customers.
    We apologize for this inconvenience.

    Thanks, JR. I’ve added this to my update. -Bob

  129. Pete (the 13th Troll)

    The Urban Ski Tour!
    Want to go for a ski – but don’t want to face the treacherous winter roads? Consider an urban ski tour. Put on your skis (probably your “rock skis”) at the front door and just start skiing – sidewalks, alleyways, green spaces, parks & little used side streets (this is probably illegal… but if you obey all the rules – you’ll miss all the fun). Skis were originally designed as a practical solution for winter travel; but no one really uses them in this way anymore. However, we still enjoy skis for recreation & competition. Skis are an amazingly elegant solution for travel on snow… capable of working with just a couple of centimeters up to many, many meters of snow. I am constantly amazed that such a simple device can provide such advantageous motion in snow.

  130. Only 1cm of fresh at castle junction this morning.

  131. Lake Louise -12C VR40 10:30 am Peyto, Telemark Loops skier tracked in 20 cm recent snow. GD was being groomed as we returned to the Lake on Peyto / Upper Telemark. Used the short cut to Fairview – not highly recommended. Fairview was newly track set so a bit soft but a nice slide down the hills. MLR (fresh track set) to Tramlines and down to the river. We met the groomers half way down. Skied Bow River trail and campground loop on new’ish track set dusted with the start of the forecast snow. It will be a new white world for Friday and the weekend. Travel safely!

  132. West Bragg Creek
    It was another day of sunshine and great travel conditions at West Bragg Creek. In addition to skiing Moose Loop, we also toured up northbound Tom Snow trail and explored the cut-blocks and old logging roads on the west side of the creek. https://photos.app.goo.gl/29L8HDeqFc4djtAH7
    I expect any tracks will be gone after the snow that is forecast to fall over the next few days.

  133. Mount Shark – Watridge Lake to Spray River
    Incredible day of skiing at Mt Shark!!
    Arrived at ~11:00 to see groomers hard at work.
    First ones on fresh track set to Spray River.
    Thank you ‘Alberta Parks’ – you guys do great work!!
    Lots of fresh snow (6-10 inches) in last week.
    And more in forecast.
    Groomers have done a fantastic job.
    Most snow I’ve seen in recent memory – snow on bridges almost up to top railing. (wish I could share some pictures to make you more envious)
    Skied from Bryant Creek to Big Springs – skier set but pristine!
    Great day at Mt Shark! Best ever!?!
    Doing our best to ‘self isolate’ and ‘socially distance’
    (Comments totally inappropriate but meant to be humorous and taken lightly)
    Mount Shark is in great shape for spring skiing.

  134. WBC- Under blue skies and no wind, I skied Telephone (CCW), Moose, Mountain View West and Mountain. Overall good conditions with the help of a few cm of fresh snow.
    As usual on Telephone the eastern part is not as good as the western part, but for sure that will change with all the snow coming this weekend.

  135. PLPP Hydroline/Patterson/Elk Pass/Blueberry Hill plus loop to MaSid’s couch and hydroline in BC. There was fresh grooming in the park on these trails last night so they were in excellent condition with temperatures a few degrees below zero and mainly sunny conditions. A large skier group had reset the back country trail by the couch and on to the hydroline. They did not actually stop at the couch, perhaps because they knew that I had a reservation for 1300. Thanks for the trail breaking though. It turns out that someone has built another couch where that backcountry trail meets up with the hydroline about half way down to Elk Lakes PP. On the return I skied back up the hydroline to the top of Elk Pass. Only a couple of snow shoe users have come down there since the last snow so the trail is broken but really bumpy. The route by MaSid’s couch is a much better alternative to access Elk Lakes right now although the coming storm may change all of that.

    • GH: we were the 6 Meanderthals skiing to Elk Lakes ACC Cabin as a day trip today. I had checked out the West Elk Meadows yesterday to check on the condition of this “much better alternative to access Elk Lakes” and after I broke trail all the way to Blueberry junction, I came across a very large group of snow-shoers and a couple of skiers who actually deserve the credit for re-establishing the trail since the last big snow. You can check out Ian and Darlene’s recent trip report pictures which showed the rough shape Elk Lakes was in yesterday, prior to its overnight sweet grooming. Really enjoyed your pictures Ian and Darlene! Towards the bottom of the trail to the hut, they have closed off an easier descent as they are actively logging and a big sign blocks this off DO NOT ENTER. So we had to ski straight down the last part which was more challenging but also a much more direct route!! We noticed your tracks back up to the top of Elk Pass from Cheeky and Simona’s awesome Loveseat adjacent to the Hydroline. A glorious day although the climb back up to the Loveseat was a workout for those without skins. Fox Creek’s new track-setting was the icing on the cake to finish our day.

      • Too bad I was not out earlier. I could have joined you…

        • Cheeky and Simona’s couch at the south end of the west elk pass at hydroline may be the reason for more regular travel through that route, plus the new flagging. With an early afternoon couch reservation, plenty of time to run down to the hut and back eh (if your day wasn’t long enough already!) (-:

  136. Canmore Nordic Center – perfect conditions the last 2 days, yesterday with 3 or 4 cms of fresh snow and today with pristine grooming and tracksetting. Skiied out Banff Trail and then back via Meadowview and Bow Trail, each day respectively. Very sad to hear the FIS event was cancelled, the CNC was in perfect condition to showcase Alberta and the Rockies in all their winter splendor.

    • I know! I was also there today, absolutely fantastic and what a feeling to see all those kids being involved in this wonderful sport; I asked some of them what they think of it and unanimously replied positively that it is a lot of fun and they love to come to CNC; many of these kids happened to be native and from different ethnic groups; whoever took this initiative, should take a trip to Edmonton with the kids and hammer the government over the closure of the Kananaskis trails, that would put them to shame!

  137. Beautiful day on Bill Milne from Ribbon Creek. Tracks were a bit hit and miss but it didn’t matter as the new snow was light and fluffy. Minus 14 at 10:30 and again at 2 pm. Storm warning must have scared everyone away . Just two other skiers enjoyed a blue sky with little wind. Storm was coming as we left.

  138. Good Morning,
    It’s -15, and clear skies in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park.
    No snow overnight.

    MK

  139. West Bragg Creek
    Some new snow at West Bragg Creek, over recent grooming made for enjoyable skiing on Wednesday. Travel conditions are very good for off-trail exploration as well.

    • I spent yesterday afternoon wandering around the maze of skier (Alf?) tracked routes, meadows, creekbeds, and cutblocks old and new, in the undulating terrain of the”Bermuda Triangle” bounded by Mountain Road, Mountainview West, and the Moose Loop. Using my ancient telemark setup from the mid 90’s in an effort to find a compromise between support off-trail, and at least some glide on trail- I found the off trail travel generally good as Alf says, but short stretches of wallowing while trail breaking had me longing for my fat skis. On the other hand- coming and going via the groomed trails was still painfully slow on the “narrow” telemark skis. Finished up with a wet foot as the ice gave way whilst crossing a creek just before hitting Moose Loop for the return 🙂 , but that’s another story…

  140. PLPP Lookout
    A lovely sunny warm day to the Lookout via Fox Creek and Hydroline and back via Tyrwhitt and Elk Pass. We met a group of school kids from Cochrane on Fox Creek and a few other skiers. Travel was slower on the new snow and quite interesting and enjoyable. Photos are at https://1drv.ms/u/s!AjkPTdV4IGHve9–McWqhcXmy-E?e=Tv9ff6

  141. Skied north on a portion of Bill Milne today starting from Mount Kidd RV Park access road. Wind drifts and new snowfall covered the tracks in open areas (and totally covered grooming at Evan Thomas) and partially filled the tracks on the 5km of trail skied. It was a beautiful afternoon and the meadows surrounded by snowy trees were spectacular in the sun. Good thing this trail is fairly flat because I forgot my poles and practiced basic xc-skiing all the way.

  142. Recon to check out West Elk Meadows. -5 late morning. Lunch at Cheeky and Simona’s Loveseat 2 hrs later when snow temp measured zero. Keith suggested bigger baskets and he was right-bigger baskets all way up Elk Pass Trail where I broke trail basically from parking lot to Blueberry junction. Snow shoers and a few skiers coming out from hut had broken trail through meadows. Snow-shoers do not like going snow shoe route to Elk Pass so they snow shoe’d down to parking lot on Elk Pass Trail. One could barely make out the track setting of March 5th. At least 20-25 cms of snow adjacent to skier tracks, also noted on Fox Creek. A nice ski although prefer the lighter powder. Hope to get to ACC hut tomorrow. As noted on trip report from Ribbon trails, hope cooler temps make ski easier a demain!

  143. PLPP – Lookout Trail
    Great day and conditions!
    Started at Boulton, snow -4 C, up Whiskey Jack, then along Tyrwhitt to ski up the north side of Lookout. The sky opened up to a warming sun and great views at the top. Fun run down the south side with about 12 cm of fresh snow over an evenly groomed firm base.

  144. Ribbon Creek
    We skied Ribbon Creek and the snow was fresh and wet. Not only our group of 4; 2 waxlless skies and 2 wax skies were used by our group. All clumped in the snow with the conditions today. We met several other parties who had experienced the same. It was a challenge to wax. We started off with Blue for the waxed skies and we either clumped or it was too slippery.

  145. Confederation Park

    I skate skied this morning on yellow, green, purple and blue trails. Although there are some bare spots you can still get a workout. Some ice but the majority is a hard corduroy. The hills are not too icy and snowplowing is possible if needed. There are still set tracks but they appear to be quite icy in sun exposed spots.

    I expect the trails will groomed again if we get the snow as forecast. Still worth a visit if you only have an hour or so.

    My understanding is that the trails will cease to be maintained in the next 10-14 days.

    • Yup – official report for Confed is that last day for grooming is the 18th and takedown of flags, etc. is the weekend of 21-22nd. I imagine the course will probably be closed for ski traffic at that point.

  146. Goat Creek and Spray River West this afternoon were pleasant and fast. Good though slightly wobbly tracks on Goat Creek that were free of debris. The big hill before the bridge as mentioned wasn’t groomed well and does have weird ridges and isn’t level, so I would go slow down that. Spray River West was not in as good of shape due to the amount of use. Tracks were really shallow (but there for the most part) and had skate ski marks through them which is expected for how narrow that trail is. The snow is soft enough that it doesn’t affect it much.

  147. 10 March, 2020 Elk Pass Parking -8C at 10:30am -2C at 3:30 pm on VR40 wax: Followed last nights grooming (with a detour through Fox Creek where snow was so deep poling was awkward) up Elk Pass trail to Hydroline junction, then Hydroline to Lookout junction. The top of Lookout was breezy but not uncomfortable in either temperature or velocity. The groomed snow was firm but not icy which made for comfortable climbing and a controlled decent to Tyrwhitt. Skiing Tyrwhitt today was my easiest of the winter. Elk Pass trail was skier tracked in very deep snow, so we opted to slide down Hydroline to Elk Pass. Flew over Elk Pass hill and landed safely at the parking lot. Ray offered to drive us to Elkwood and we finished the day skiing Lodgepole and Sinclair to Pocaterra Hut on excellent March 9 grooming and trackset topped with a cm of new/or wind blown snow. Trails groomed before the big snow event are deep in snow and difficult on skinny skis.

  148. Ribbon trails (all of them on the Hotels side) plus Ribbon and Hidden on the Nakiska side. Snow conditions were quite good today, fairly soft on the recent grooming. There were no icy sections. Hills are mostly in good shape except for some damage due to walkers. Kovach down to Ribbon Creek is pretty beat up and I decided not to do the coal mine as the groomer has made one pass there but a walker (up and down) has made quite a mess of that trail. I have not skied on the trails at Ribbon for a couple of months now. I saw quite a few “skier only” clap board signs today that were not there when I last skied here. That is encouraging. Unfortunately, a few of them are at one end of a route but not at the other end. Even where they are at both ends (for example, trail to the Hotels leaving the Ribbon parking), walkers ignore them anyway. I suppose that with the coming Kenny cuts it is not going to matter next season.

  149. Frank, March 10th
    First tracks on Fairview Loop;
    we started the trail at 10:40 a.m. and -14 degrees Celsius. Once we got to the Fairview Loop cut off we noticed there were no indentations from ski poles in the snow. First Tracks! Perfect conditions there and back. No debris. Two hours later it was -1, the wind was rising and the snow started.

  150. WBC – Skied Mountain, Mt View, Moose Loop CCW, Mt View, Loggers, East Crystal.
    Most of the tracks are still in reasonably good shape and the skiing quite pleasant with a -1C when I started around 10:45am.
    The North downhill of Mountain View West towards Moose is a bumpy and hard packed . The only areas where ice is visible and the trail deteriorating are the Mountain View west where there are many wooden posts / red plastic fence / net and the northern side of Moose.

  151. LOST MITT! MEC black and grey, size XS, in or around the parking lot at PLPP Discovery Centre on Sunday. I called but there is nothing in their Lost and Found. If you find/found it please let me know :). Seems a bit silly to be posting about this but they were brand new- first time out and I didn’t get to use them!
    Thanks!

  152. Hummingbird Plume Lookout – fantastic! I might have seen a few of the Skogan Pass skiers today too?

    Lovely snow, lovely weather, beautiful scenery……… who could ask for anything more??

    Oh, and I stopped in at the Barrier Info Centre, and the nice young man behind the desk informed me that they are slated to close on April 1st. April 1st?? That’s only three weeks away!!

    • I just heard Jason Nixon on the radio, saying he has heard overwhelming support for his plans to “optimise”. Sounds like we need to seriously intensify our writing, etc!

      • I received this info from the NDP Official Opposition’s Critic for Environment, MLA Marlin Schmidt.

        Protect our Parks Flash Camp Protests happening in Edmonton and Calgary. The protest in Calgary is running from 11am to 3pm on March 15th at the McDougall Centre in Calgary (455 6 Street SW). The protest in Edmonton is running from 11 am to 2pm on March 29 at the Legislature Building.

        We need the EMPIRE advocacy on this issue.

  153. Haven’t left a trip report for a long time, but I still follow religiously folks!
    Happy trails.
    I waited for the Super Moon to rise over Grotto (mostly because my legs were tired from a bazillion turns (yes . . . they were all pure) at Nakiska today, and just returned from an absolutely incredible evening at C.N.C.
    Skied Bow and Banff waxed with I don’t care and watched my moon shadow (MooooonshadowMoonshadow) follow me. Well, I guess I chased it at first, but that didn’t matter. I sang the song anyways.
    Tracks were fast and wobbly (well, the wobbly was maybe me, I had a lovely flask of Malbec with me) and I almost took a Forever Nap twice while I admired Mr. Moon at inopportune moments. Gotta love the Bow Valley and Kananaskis. Even still folks. Even still.

  154. Skogan Pass

    We met Helen and the Canmore group on Skogan today, what a wonderful group of skiers! Started out at Ribbon Creek and skied the Skogan Loop on the way up, lovely views, and it was really snowy, the descent of the loop was a bit challenging in all the snow. Skogan Pass is such an exceptional ski trail and the conditions were superb. Coming down was extreme fun, and we absolutely loved it. The mountain views were beautiful against the gorgeous Alberta blue sky.

  155. Beautiful conditions on all the Kananaskis village trails. Lots of snow, fresh grooming, and not many souls around. -16 to start, -5 at 1 p.m.

  156. Cascade Fireroad

    Good skier set tracks. Powder snow between the tracks made the last decent easy to control speed. Wondeffull sunny afternnon, -3oC. We skied 3km beyond the bridge – best tracks there.

  157. Skogan Pass: just too many awesome reports to resist (thanks Ulrike and Alf and many others) and finally enough snow to not have to let out the “screamer” warnings. -16 starting at 10 am from Nakiska and thought we would be the first up there until one gentleman’s rapid pace put us all to shame. We had a lovely group of Canmore ladies who took it easy in both directions but there were many who started later in the day; Gwen and James from WWL who I sadly missed chatting to. The snow got appreciably heavier as we descended and we were grateful for the earlier start and cooler snow temp. A bit of wind picked up on our descent so might be a bit more snow from the trees tomorrow. It was absolutely majestic and I could not help but wonder if “this will be the last time” for such a memorable ski up there. Thank you Groomers for your skill in track-setting that massive route! 18.5 kms. and 600 M elevation

  158. Spray River East/West
    A quick afternoon ski. Headed out on Spray East – beat up by the golf course, but good trackset after the first 750m. Pleasant ski to the east/west junction and beyond. Returned on Spray West – decent if occasionally wobbly tracks, with the usual general deterioration as you near the hotel. -4C at 1:30pm; -2C at 4pm. Wonderful to ski under blue skies with no wind.

  159. I had Goat Creek all to myself and she’s a beauty. If you’re coming from the Canmore side once the road opens, caution on the corner/downhill to Goat Creek bridge. The grooming is poor and ridges make it tricky to snowplow. The snow was soft so more traffic might flatten it out.

  160. Heading out for a ski at West Bragg under the light of the super moon? You might not be the only one howling out there!
    https://steveriggs.smugmug.com/SkiPix19-20/i-2sLVZsT/A
    We spotted those, along with the smaller tracks of at least one other, paralleling the Moose Loop for a km this morning. Conditions on Moose, both Mountainviews, Mountain Road, Sundog and the Crystal Lines remain very good with dry snow over a hardpacked base. Hills and tracks were fast, but not icy, other than a couple of isolated short stretches of track on the usual exposed portions of Moose N and Mountain View West.

  161. Ian and Darlene

    Skogan Pass Photos – March 8
    We agree 100 percent with the previous reports saying it was a great day. Here are yet some more pictures to prove it.
    https://1drv.ms/u/s!AqCMMdfYEozbapvShw0-vs8Qid4?e=SAq0Kg

  162. BILL VOTING RIGHTS 4U

    SUPER MOON TONIGHT FOR SKIERS

    You can search the rise/ set/ angle / direction on the internet for your area. I am unable to post the website here.

    The rise will be about 7:32 in Calgary with a low 80 degree angle. It sounds like the moonlit skiing will be better later in the evening. Super moons are brighter moons to ski to. You just need the right angle.

  163. We skied the Alluvial Fan Trail at Emerald Lake yesterday. Skier tracked when we started but we saw the snowmobile grooming and track setting later. Gorgeous place to ski!!! Very beginner-friendly, great snow, super beautiful, and we loved all the snow bridges. It was very warm too (close to zero when we finished.)
    Waxless skis worked well.
    We had lunch at the lodge and then skied down the connector trail to the Natural Bridge where we left a second car.

  164. CASTLE LOOKOUT TO BAKER- Broke trail all the way past the campground, when we met a party of 4 coming from Baker. Great snow everywhere, even under the trees! Had coffee and cookies at Baker Creek Chalets before returning back. A winter wonderland day, where was everyone?

  165. Congratulations!

  166. PLPP – Pocaterra

    Busy day at Pocaterra (ok, that’s relative. The parking lot was full at 1400 when we arrived, but by contrast, I usually go during the week when there are maybe two other cars…), but the trails were perfect. Snow was around 2 deg in the parking lot, tracksetting was deep and firm. It will still be nice on Monday, as the tracks were still in great condition when we left at 1800.

    It was a lazy day, so only made it to the Packers turn off, but the trails really couldn’t be any nicer all the way through. Grooming is soft enough for easy control on the hills.

  167. RED EARTH CREEK – March 8

    My intention was to ski to at least Shadow Lake Lodge, given the great sunny sky in the forecast. I figured there would be at least some broken trail on the fresh, so track skis seem good enough. There was indeed a broken trail from the parking lot, in at least 15 cm of fresh snow. Met the skier on his way back, who had decided to turn around about km 4.3 between the two avalanche paths. By then, it was anywhere between 25 to 35 cm of ski penetration, with not much of a firm base. I had to settle back on a less ambitious destination. Progress was very slow, with no hint at all for an old ski or skidoo trail. Good workout breaking trail. Reached the lodge turnoff (km 10.7) after 3 hr 45 min of hard work playing in the soft stuff; touring skis may have been a bit quicker. Knowing that heading back would be slow on a very soft self-made trail, it was a good call. Was glad to pick up some speed (5 km/hr!) about 2 km after RE6 on the way back. A good workout, in a winter wonderland. Unless it is trackset by the Parks until at least RE6, Red Earth Creek will become a ski touring-only destination from the road for the rest of the season.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/S1EUXft4dQoc5Dwf7

  168. Ribbon-Skogan
    Like many others, we took advantage of recent grooming and lots of new snow to enjoy the Skogan side of the Ribbon Creek trails. We parked at the Troll Falls trailhead and started out on Hay Meadow, the up Troll Falls/Ruthies to the Skogan Pass trail. We did the Skogan Loop. On the way back, we cut across to the Hummingbird Plume Lookout via High Level. And finally, we finished off by descending SunBurst and Skogan Pass Trails. It was a nice combination of a firm base, soft new snow, mild temps and sunny skies.
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/xtRmw1BKU7B8zLUz8

  169. I was lured into skiing Skogan pass Sunday after reading the groomers report from Saturday morning . Unfortunately 15cm of fresh snow fell after the grooming, making the last bit of uphill difficult and the downhill a dangerous mess of snaking tracks. Snow plowing to control speed was next to impossible at the top. Probably felt differently for the first skiers down in untracked snow.

  170. We followed the recommendation from this website to head to Skogan Pass today! What a stunning day! Started from Nakiska in -13C, warming up very quickly in the sun; 15cm cold, fresh snow on top of the previous tracks. We had a skier ahead of us breaking trail until we met up with her at the powerline. Then it was our turn breaking trail for the last 4.5 km. The view from the top was fantastic with all surrounding peaks plastered in snow!
    We skied down via the Skogan Loop, snow was already tracked by an earlier skier, tracks were moderately fast with the wet snow from Friday as a solid base; very enjoyable run down, as lots of skiers were climbing up. Here a few photos from an awesome day:
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/zir3NXGbrws6f9TK9

  171. 1000 km accomplished!

    Jamie and I had a happy ski day at Skogan Pass, where I reached 1000 km of skiing in one ski season (first time for me).

    The trails to Skogan Pass were snow covered but with various people on the trails, we shared the trail breaking. The blue sky and comfortable weather made it a pleasant ski, with a fun, controlled downhill.

    We truly enjoy skiing at Ribbon Creek, PLPP, WBC, Lake Louise, Pipestone, Cascade Fire Road, and Sandy McNabb. We skied in Golden and at Kicking Horse this season. We even got to spend a couple of nights at Skoki Lodge a few weeks ago. What a splendid season!

  172. CASCADE VALLEY to STONEY CREEK CABIN – March 8

    Trackset yesterday for the full 14 km to the Cabin, with another 5 cms since.
    Details available in the captions here:
    https://1drv.ms/u/s!AgXbvmC40zK_hSWhrpuOmWBIjjlz?e=yeMNbL
    Needs more grooming!

  173. Bill Milne from Ribbon Creek Parking Lot. Wonderful afternoon and wonderful snow. Temperature at about -5°C to start and -3°C to finish. Followed the track-setter along brand-new pristine tracks. Couldn’t be better.

    Big thanks to the groomer. We need to fight to keep XC going in Kananaskis because this is worth preserving.

    • Similar reports on the trails above Kananaskis Village. Excellent snow, beautiful grooming, and temps ~ -4C this afternoon. Terrace, Kovach, Aspen – all were a great destination for a quick couple of laps this afternoon. The only odd bit was the north end of Aspen which was collapsing under foot – not enough time to set up perhaps, but it almost felt hollow underneath – odd. Don’t delay – sign all of the petitions today!

  174. West Bragg Creek

    Great conditions today at WBC! Skied West Crystal, Mountain View, Mountain road, Tom Snow to the big meadow (where it appears a wolf pack bedded down over night), then back on Mountain road, Moose Connector, and West Crystal Line. The tracks were in nice shape and we didn’t encounter any ice along the way. Big thanks to the groomers for a doing such a great job! Photos

  175. WBC – Skied East Crystal, Iron Springs and Creek, Elbow South to Highway 66 and back, Loggers, Moose Connector and back to the parking lot.
    It was -15 C when I started and V20 / green worked very wells. With the exception of Elbow South, all the trails were perfectly groomed / trackset and it was a very pleasant ski.

  176. EEOR Avy Control

    Hi All,
    Just an FYI that the avy control on EEOR this afternoon was very positive. The road will be closed for at least 24hrs. Current estimated reopening is tomorrow at 5pm with low confidence.
    This would impact Goat Creek Trail access from Canmore.
    Check the Alberta Parks website for updates, Kananaskis Public Safety does a great job of communicating on their Facebook and Twitter accounts too.

    Happy skiing!
    CNC

  177. Strathmore golf club is skiable but not groomed or set.

  178. One inch of snow made a world of difference at Confed Park.

    They were able to groom and even trackset last night. The green and yellow have shallow tracks and only a couple of thin spots to avoid. The blue and purple were better, with purple even having reasonably deep tracks most of the way around it.

    So should be reasonable skiing for a few more days.

  179. West Bragg Creek
    The West Bragg Creek trails got a nice snow refresh of between 5 and 10 cm. Because the Alberta Youth Championship XC ski races are taking place at WBC this weekend, the West Crystal Line and Crystal Link trails got most of the grooming attention. Hundreds of young XC ski racers were enjoying the great conditions on those trails today.
    My tour today included some un-groomed skiing on the “West Meadow” between Mountain Road and Tom Snow trail and then looping back via Tom Snow. We also skied Mountain Road, Mountain View, West Crystal, Loggers, Sundog and East Crystal Line. Conditions ranged from wobbly worn tracks on Mountain Road to nice, new track setting. We ran into Groomer Bill as he was laying down some nice new track setting on East Crystal Line. Expect to see new grooming on some of the more outlying trails on Sunday.
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/CQ6aWfHofS1arCjJ8

    • I wonder if there is anyway to find out how many young skiers were out to include them as being impacted by the elimination of grooming? I arrived to ski as they were just wrapping up; I wish I had thought to ask someone or get a contact.

  180. FYI, Cascade Trail was trackset this morning – to the campground at bridge. Lovely winter conditions.

  181. Confed… anyone know if it’ll be trackset after this snowfall?
    Anyone know when they stop grooming?
    Anyone know when ski access is cut off?
    I seem to recall approx early/mid-March last year… and then we had another couple weeks of great ski weather/snow.

  182. Pocaterra, Come Along and Rolly Road. Fun times on about 10cm over track set. Saw a moose hanging out having lunch in a meadow too.

  183. SPRAY RIVER & GOAT CREEK – March 7

    Glad so many people decided to ski while it is still snowing!
    Details available in the captions here:
    https://1drv.ms/u/s!AgXbvmC40zK_hRghzKNVzdquEvHj?e=QyMOJQ
    Surprised that Kris recognized me from just the pictures I have posted of my skis!

    • FYI:
      The Banff Track Setter has just started tracksetting the Spray River trails this morning.
      Perfect timing after all this snow. And now you have an extra hour to enjoy it!

    • Those skis will probably end up in the “SkierBob” Hall of Fame! Nice chatting in all that beautiful snow yesterday, Chuck.

  184. Anne and Eric Lemee

    Peter Lougheed Provincial Park: As mentioned, lots of fresh snow and still snowing. We skier-trackset (aka ski-snowplowed) our way up from Boulton Bridge – Fox Creek – Elk Pass to the turnoff to Blueberry Hill. 20 – 40 cm fresh snow all the way, possibly some tracksetting somewhere below all the white fluff. No other skiers in sight. -10C felt nice, wax was VR30, but not much grip or glide in the deep snow.
    Great, scenic ski, I just wish I had brought my gaiters.

  185. Oslo 30kms women’s classical race. CBC has this event on their web sports page under video – skiing.
    https://www.cbc.ca/sports/fis-cross-country-skiing-world-cup-oslo-women-s-30k-mass-start-1.5489847

    • Awesome. Thanks. (too bad about the stadium spectator ban). I had watched a russian highlight feed but now can see the whole race -especially the super exiting last 10km!

  186. West Bragg Creek – Iron springs, all of it and back on Elbow.

    A nice 5cm dusting over the chinook crust. -9c at 1230. Good travel on blue special. Still a trace of snow coming down when I got back to the car park. -9c at 1515. Hopefully it keeps dusting all night. Ski it early Sunday before it gets scraped clean down to the old crust.

    • Canmore Nordic Centre was excellent Saturday. Soft snow and excellent grooming. It is currently snowing heavily In Canmore but forecast to stop overnight. Note the live grooming report is not always accurate.

      • CNC also: -12C at 9:30 am; used VR30 with great results. North wind blowing snow into track set and skier tracks in exposed areas. Hills were great but not scary today. Coming back to the Lodge on the exposed trails was cold! -10C at 2:00 pm #1 TCH was good returning to Calgary.

  187. Skogan Pass perfection

    Whatever you are planning, think about changing plans and go ski Skogan. Powder over fresh trackset. Perfect climbing, enough powder on the downhills for wonderful control and almost no snowplough. You will never see it better than this.

    • Yeah, it’s nice up there: -10C all morning and snowing lightly. I had good grip with Rode Super Blue, it was just right to go uphill on fresh snow.

  188. Mt Shark: Good day for “roly-poly” in the snow for doggies, and good powder skating for my humans. Arrived at 10 am to find approx. 3 cms new over last nights grooming (must have started snowing right after the groomers left), temp -2C. Continued skiing/ski-joring till around noon by which time there was 6+ cms snow covering all the grooming, also getting a bit heavy/moist – getting a bit trickier for my humans skating but not a problem for me with my Canine 4 Paws Extra! Still around -2C and snowing hard when we left. Very happy to get to play in this dog-friendly area before Kenney implements his cut backs next season – woof!!

  189. Bowness Park: sketchy but skiable 😛

    Looking forward to the weekend refresher!

  190. It’s currently 1 and snowing in peter lougheed!
    -MK

  191. Sovereign Lake/Silver Star (SS): great Neuchatel Reunion last week; staying at The “funky” Bulldog. Skied back and forth across the two x-c ski areas every day. Seniors rates between $17-21 for just SS or combined resorts. Impeccable grooming but winds one night brought down a few tree bombs and tree beard. I believe there is an app for Sovereign Lake, which would be advantageous to trying to read the signage, which seems to appear around every corner. Snowed small amounts every night and temps stayed around -5 to -1, making VR 50 a perfect wax daily. One can get spoiled riding the gondola to start each day. Alder Point is a lovely lookout and the various cabins scattered throughout, with wood stoves and boxes of kindling and massive firewood, make for very civilized lunch stops. Stussi’s Ski Shop at base of Silver Star Road well worth a stop (08:30 to 5). Enjoyed the 4 kms.Night Loop this year for first time. SS Resort now owned by an American Company but locals are optimistic if/when they might make some positive changes in coming seasons. Now that I am home, I can focus on letter-writing re. proposed changes to PLPP, Barrier Info closure (ridiculous) and Ribbon trail maintenance. While people know I love fresh snow and breaking trail, I do not carry a chain saw for downed trees. One only has to look at Sawmill on Smith Dorrien to visualize the adverse affects of stopping grooming. Thank you Bob (and Cheryl) for keeping us aware of daily updates in this distressing matter and wish you both a safe and speedy return. This could not have come at a worse time for you.

  192. I first posted this in the ‘Questions’ section but figured not many would see it.

    My wife and I are staying a couple of nights in Field next week and we had planned to ski into Lake Ohara for lunch on Tuesday. I found out today that the lodge doesn’t offer lunch on weekdays so now I’m rethinking which trails we’ll ski. What are your favourite trails in the Field area? We’re up for a 20km ski or thereabouts. Little Yoho? Emerald Lake? Maybe Lake Ohara without lunch?
    Any recommendations are appreciated. (We ave all sorts of skis, skins, etc.)
    cheers,
    Gord

    • On Tuesday We skied into Emerald lake lodge from Natural bridge (trail adjacent to road). It was fun and in good shape with man-made tracks. Kicking Horse trail was also in great shape. Recently groomed and track set

    • Connector trail to Emerald L Lodge is nice and I think freshly groomed along with more new snow today. That plus the alluvial fan trail from the lodge will get you close to 20km, then ski back to Field the other direction on Connector. We usually do alluvial fan trail both directions. Lake Ohara Lodge road up is nice (11km) and with a tour around the lake and some nice lunch spots, even a shelter at the top of the road, you should have another good 20km day. There are also trails at the natural bridge on the ELLodge road but I am not familiar with them. Pipestone at L Louise is only a short drive east – always a fun place to ski. Hope you have fun!

  193. West Bragg Creek
    Superb conditions on Hostel Loop on Thursday morning… and on all of the other wind-sheltered trails too.
    Snow got warm and sticky in the afternoon, but should set up overnight.
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/6yKXXFQXF1h2SV5X7

  194. Skogan Pass powder day.
    We climbed the 600 metres up to the pass starting from Nakiska using waxless light touring skis with metal edges.
    We skied through 10+ cm of heavy wet snow and huge thanks to the amazing Dave who got an earlier start than us and broke trail all the way to the bottom of the Skogan Loop.
    We met Paul and Joy on the trail and took turns breaking trail with them the rest of the way to the pass.

    Our tracks are well set now so skiers tomorrow will have a much easier trip. The Skogan Screamer wasn’t much fun on descent. My friend named it the “herringbone cheese grater.”

    The snow was getting very sticky on descent so waxless skis are a good choice.

  195. Great day skiing in PLPP. Started on Lodgepole and Braille on skier set tracks. Braille had one lone track only part way along. The rest looked like Arctic wilderness. Moved to Amos and Wheeler. Great conditions on skier set trails but got soft and sticky by later afternoon. We met lots of skiers enjoying the day.

  196. Ian and Darlene

    PLPP – Elk Pass and Lookout
    A wonderful day with temperatures just right for V40, fresh tracksetting, sun and a few manageable challenges.
    Elk Pass – Perfect on new tracksetting. We did have a little excitement going up the steep section before the pass. A skier returning from the hut had a dog on a leash and as she was coming down at a fair clip the dog decided to run towards us to visit. She had trouble maintaining control with her heavy pack and the dog pulling her over to us but disaster was averted when we skooted over to the side and she made an impressive recovery on the other side of the trail.
    Tyrwhitt – Very good skier trackset on about 10 to 15 cm of new snow over the old trackset.
    Lookout – 15 to 20 cm of new snow on top of the previous grooming. We were the first skiers up but unfortunately two walkers were there before us. This was not an issue going up the north side but on the south side it did present a challenge because they had walked down the center of the trail The boot marks were quite deep and starting to harden. We had to snowplow a bit harder than usual to keep our speed down on the rough trail. With all the marks in the warm snow freezing tonight it’s going to be quite a mess tomorrow on the south side of Lookout. To the walkers credit, they did stay off the trackset so we had no issues between the creek and hydroline.
    Hydroline – A very strong warm wind was filling in the tracks on the lower half.
    Elk Pass return – Fast and fun. We will sure miss these types of conditions if somehow we don’t find a way to revive the tracksetting next year.
    We met lots of folks enjoying the new tracksetting. The parking lot was almost full and a busload of students were on the trail. We enjoyed the opportunity to show some of them how to use their edges to herringbone more effectively up the first steep hill on Elk Pass.

  197. Does anyone know the conditions on Cascade? Or if by some miracle there is tracksetting planned tomorrow morning?

    • skier track set to the end and back down to the cabin. beautiful white clean snow .detour hill still snow covered. no animal track damage as of 10 pm last night.

  198. SKOKI – March 5

    While I have done this day trip on track skis, I enjoyed having the metal edges on my light touring skis today… better control!
    Details available in the captions here: https://1drv.ms/u/s!AgXbvmC40zK_hQuFsplPxHIlZObh?e=qV0iCj
    Despite the wind, the snow was the best I have ever enjoyed over these passes.

    • Great pictures Chuck. Looks like an Arctic locale – not unusual above the trees.

    • Gretchen Zinkan

      Thanks for posting the Skoki report and including pics of me and my family.

      Gretchen (Kimberley mom)

      • My pleasure Gretchen… glad you found it.
        Hope your daughter’s blisters are healing well.
        Congrats on your expedition skills (and computer knowledge).
        Happy trails!

  199. PLPP Middle Trails: -5C 10:30 am start at William Watson Lodge with VR50 wax. Skied Wheeler to bottom of Whiskey Jack then back on Amos to WWL for lunch. Out again to ski Wooley south to north then south Meadow back to Elkwood parking and WWL. Two loops of spruce road completed a very satisfying 20 km ski of the mid-Park trails. All trails were skier tracked in recent snow. Glide was excellent and wax performed well. Only a few other skiers enjoying these beautiful trails on a warm sunny day. +1C at 3:00 pm at WWL.

  200. Ribbon Creek

    Started at Ribbon Creek parking at 9:30 am, skied some of Kovach and Ribbon Creek. Lots of wind and a snow bank across the trail. It was a super easy climb up, due to lots of snow, but slow going down. Attempted to ski Hay Meadows, but it was all boot tracks and then blow-in and getting soft, so we made a loop back from the meadow. By the time we got back to the parking lot, the snow was very sticky. Not wanting to go home, we had lunch and then walked to Troll Falls, as we had never been there. Walkers built various snowmen in the middle of the trail.

  201. Had a great ski at West Bragg Creek today! Excellent, clean snow and track setting! We did Mountain Road, Moose Connector, West Crystal, Loggers, East Crystal. We were on skins and fish scales, and all was well! Thanks groomers, for the fantastic work!

  202. EvanT/Wedge/Milne/Kan Village
    Started at 9:15am and 0C at Evan Thomas parking. High cloud and very windy in the Kananaskis Valley. I skied up the Evan T trail – rough early, but decent skier trackset after a couple of minutes, and mostly protected from the winds. After nearly 2km, I crossed Evan Thomas creek onto the Wedge Connector – good skier trackset in the shelter of the trees, all the way to Wedge Pond. I returned to my starting point by the same trails, then crossed Hwy 40 onto Bill Milne and skied to the golf course entrance – quite windy here and the tracks were often obliterated. I then drove up to Kananaskis Village. Now about Noon, +5C, and the clouds thinning, so the snow was getting quite sticky in places. I skied sections of Terrace and Kovach. Less wind in this area. +7C at 1pm when I finished. A slow but satisfying day.

  203. Good morning,
    It’s 10:15, -7 degrees with broken clouds in PLPP.
    No new snow.
    MK

  204. Montana XC Ski Trails
    Checking out some great xc skiing in Montana this week before the West Yellowstone Rendezvous 50k on Saturday. Homestake Lodge outside Butte is a hidden gem – PLPP width trails with Nipika-like facilities – groomed daily and only $18US. $25US today to ski pristine corduroy at Lone Mountain Ranch at Big Sky (south of Bozeman). Isaak Walton XC trails west of East Glacier, Montana (4hr south of Calgary) are rustic and charming. Gov’t of AB proposed user pay in 1999 and buckled to the pressure. I remember having to buy an annual prov. park pass in Ontario 30 over years ago to xc ski. Bring on user pay.

  205. So much lovely snow out Lake Louise way….
    Mar 2 skied in Field from the Visitor Center to Emerald Lake. Fresh tracks up to the Connector then skier tracked but snow was very good. It was +4C at end of the day and skin skis worked great.
    Mar. 3 skied from the Lake Louise Hostel up Tramline, Morraine and Fairview to the Lake, down Peyto to Great Divide and Lower Telemark trails. Lots of needles but snow was great. There were some tracked trails and some skier tracked – skin skis worked well all day.
    Mar. 4 Broke trail through 6” of lovely fresh powder on Pipestone to the couch – which we dusted off and then ate lunch. Blue wax worked well all day.

  206. Great ski at the Nordic Centre today. We skied Silvertip all the way around and then Olympic and Lynx. All had been groomed and were in great shape. The overnight snow was still covering a lot of the other trails but conditions on these will be great as soon as they have had a chance to groom them.

  207. Wed mar 4: elk/west elk.
    Waited at pocaterra for the snowplow to deal with the remainder of Kananaskis lakes trail before heading to elk pass parking lot. Got to see a pine marten as a result checking out the hut environs. One person breaking trail in front of me from the elk pass lot. Slow going even in the track with snow that was a bit more dense and moist than normal. Caught up to the trail breaker and took my turn as far as the blueberry junction. The lone trail breaker was a “distinguished” gentleman staying at William watson. We chatted at blueberry junction and with no broken trail To blueberry, he remarked that if He didn’t do it now, he may never get to again, and so off he went, determined to get to the top! 6 inches of fresh snow on the blueberry junction picnic table. Easy ankle deep trail breaking off trail into the meadows and on to couch HQ. Another party came through and broke trail the rest of the way to the hydroline couch (thanks!). Additional wind protection was needed at the couch, some howling north wind barreling through the meadows around the lunch hour, old mans beard tumbleweeding by amongst the entertaining snow Devils. Cheeky and Simona showed up and brought sun, in time for more meadow trail packing to the hydroline and back. A good day out in snowy blowy conditions.

  208. Bill Milne / Wedge Pond and connector / Evan Thomas. There was from 2 to about 8 cm of fresh snow on last night’s (perhaps the last time ever for this trail) grooming. Conditions were quite good with the temperature staying just below freezing. There were a few sticky places in areas with lots of sun. You were there awfully early MaSid. Sorry I missed you.

  209. WBC, Wednesday afternoon.
    What a great refresh, it’s always a bonus when you get such fine conditions here in March! I skied Middle Crystal Line, Moose Connector, Mountain Road and View, Loggers, Elbow, Iron Springs, Iron Creek, and Sundog. Plus some off the groomed trail excursions from Mountain Road and Iron Creek. As expected- the sheltered core trails were exceptional, winds had drifted in or scoured a few short spots on the more exposed Mountain Road and View, and Iron Springs had a bit of thinner coverage with some minor crunchy bits, but it was all good- easygoing skiing on a soft surface. Constant winds helped keep the snow cool and dry, although I noticed a few sticky spots in the sunniest places that will be glazed tomorrow. Conditions should remain very good overall, at least for the morning.
    https://steveriggs.smugmug.com/WBCMarch42020/

  210. We skied Meadow, Wooley, Amos. Wheeler, Lynx, Pocaterra (from Lynx). There was 3 to 5 cm of overnight snow covering tracks when we arrived at 10:30 on Wednesday morning. By 2:30 it had all been nicely skied-in.

  211. TELEMARK, PEYTO and GREAT DIVIDE – March 4

    20 cms of snow overnight, obliterated yesterday’s tracksetting, but…
    Details available in the captions here:
    https://1drv.ms/u/s!AgXbvmC40zK_hHvy6px-Mnq3QbMg?e=YxRcpV
    Just as we got back to the parking lot, the tracksetter headed out!

  212. Very good conditions this morning at West Bragg!
    We had a great half day of skiing on Mountain Road & Moose Loop. About 10 cm of nice new snow had fallen on Tuesday night, and the wonderful volunteer trail crew were laying down excellent tracks. Most of the icy patches were covered. There was a strong westerly wind which should help to keep the tracks fresh with wind blown snow.

  213. Hi!

    It’s -6 in PLPP.
    The peter lougheed discovery centre will be closed at 12:30 pm today due to a Fortis Power Outage.

    E comment for Alberta Parks Below.

    https://www.albertaparks.ca/albertaparksca/about-us/contact-us/contact-us-form/?id=&rg=albertaparks

  214. I am shocked that the xc ski community is not more engaged in voicing their opinions on the government’s decision to stop grooming in K Country.
    As a large group we need to voice our feelings to local MLAs and other officials. With Bob away does any one know how collective action should be taken ? We need to have some contact emails, numbers etc. Let’s not take this lying down people ! Once it’s gone, it’s gone.

  215. 4 inches of fresh snow this morning at wedge pond and -5c.

  216. Canmore to Banff backcountry trail. Has anyone skied this trail lately. Are rock skis required. Thanks.

  217. Goat Creek/Spray Lakes shows last groomed on Feb.12. Does anyone know the present condition of these trails?

  218. WBC to Hwy #68
    I figured it was about time to try a “Chuck-style” tour in the foothills. After setting up a car shuttle, we started off from West Bragg Creek, with the objective of skiing to Highway #68 in the Jumpingpound Valley.
    At the WBC end, we toured along Snowy Owl, Old Shell Road and Moose Single-track. Then we followed Tom Snow trail all the way up to the Spruce Woods day use area on the Jumpingpound Demonstration Loop Drive… which is just off of Highway #68.
    The snow pack is about twice as deep at West Bragg Creek than it is at the Jumpingpound end, even though there is little difference in elevation. In fact, we ran into a number of bare patches near the north end. The Tom Snow trail north of Moose Loop could use a lot of brush and branch pruning. The new (2017) part of Tom Snow trail is great, but has about 25 blown down trees across it.
    It’s not every year that we have enough snow to actually do this tour.
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/Y3wG57ZDE4EhdQmD8

  219. Cascade Fire Road had pretty well defined tracks to the Cascade River Bridge. Beyond that we broke trail through maybe 2 inches of snow to the Stoney Creek Warden’s Cabin leaving behind a good set of tracks.

  220. Blueberry Hill – PLPP
    Snow temp -2 C, air temp around 0 C
    Starting from Boulton Bridge Parking, lots of wind debris on Moraine & Fox Ck. Good tracks up Elk Creek. If you want to experience what next year will be like skiing on ungroomed skier-set tracks in PLPP, take the trail up to Blueberry Hill. Returned via Boulton Creek, also liberally littered with debris.

    • That was not much like the trail would be if it had not been groomed at all this year. There would have been 25 to 30cm’s of new snow on top of the last grooming, which is a little below the weekly Blueberry average when considering snowfalls like Friday and Saturday, or the 150cm’s that accumulated in 3 days in December. The snow has been packed, and the trail levelled, filling up the many tree wells, and eliminating the countless large snow bombs, once a week since sometime in December. There have also been over 30 downed trees removed this winter, which is well above the winter average for Blueberry Hill, but far less than have been removed from any other single trail this winter, except for a few short trails, or ones without trees, such as Hydroline or Braille. The terrain and snow accumulation on Blueberry Hill (and this is true for much of PLPP) are also just some of the factors that would make snowmobile grooming this area an unrealistic option to get any kind reasonable finished product.

  221. Skied Baker Creek to Castle Lookout and back on our R-skins. Dry snow, temperature hovered around zero from 10:30 – 1:30. Much of the tracks were blown in, some predictable breezy sections but still a lovely ski.

  222. WBC March 3rd.

    Sundog and Loggers loop were in surprisingly good shape. Mountain view, and Mountain road had some icy/thin spots. Did not have to ski lower Mountain road, the wind took me back!

  223. Managed to ski Confed Park at lunch today, conditions are probably poor to ok for skaters. The best part were the blue and purple loops, except the tracks are pretty much gone.

    The green loop has a couple of areas that are getting pools of water (or ice depending on the time of day). The east part of the yellow loop is also getting water damage and thin in spots.

    If we do get some snow and cold on the weekend we might get another week out of this site.

  224. MORAINE LAKE ROAD – March 3

    Time for a Trip Report in this section!
    Details available in the captions here:
    https://1drv.ms/u/s!AgXbvmC40zK_hGrLqq4bHGwdw9tl?e=JtnC66
    Great to chat with Keith & Ray today

    • Fairview / MLR
      Skied Fairview starting around 10:30am and -1C. Bit of new snow and some windblown snow in the tracks, but they still skied well. Lots of needles / debris though, and a few snow bombs. Amazingly, nothing stuck to my VR45 wax. Then onto the new tracksetting on MLR, as you see in Chuck’s pictures. A bit soft and slow, and some needles on the lower half of the trail, but pleasant skiing under mostly cloudy skies. -2C at the turnaround, and 0C back at the car.

    • The time passed quickly chatting with you all the way to the turn around. Nice to get to know you better.
      Tramline was the jewel of today’s tracks. The groomer just ahead was setting crisp hard tracks that gave the best glide of the day. The snow sled had suffered some mechanical distress 100 m from the Village.

    • Thank you Ray and Keith for some much needed written details, and hats off to 87 year old Mary who was a power house all the way.

  225. Not a trip report
    There is a bigger issue than the grooming of Kannaskis trails which I agree is very important. The government is attempting to sell or transfer to third parties 164 provincial parks, day use and recreational areas. The government is removing the legal designation from 164 areas. Here I quote from the government website “Sites removed from the parks system would have their legal designations removed and could be open for alternative management practices. This includes potential Park Partnerships through sale or transfer” When you click on Park partnerships this states that ” Sites removed from the parks system allow a greater range of uses that were not possible under government regulations. Successful sale or transfer to a third party will enable these sites to continue to be part of the community while generating new economic opportunities” So in other words lots of really nice public land will available for private development.

    • I was wondering where the “divestment” component of the strategy was. Cancelling grooming funding is probably just one small strategic part of it, putting us in a position to support a privatization solution (when there may be other options and alternatives).

  226. Not a trip report but THE PROVINCE IS GOING TO STOP GROOMING PETER LOUGHEED PARK NEXT YEAR!!! Just saw this announcement in a Facebook group -https://albertaparks.ca/news-events/?fbclid=IwAR3rniLqX6g1OzetdwUSXe4gMCS8Bs9fArbnsvipSLxHUZWRDM66ErHKEsM

    This is exactly why the network that Skier Bob has created us needed – it’s time for some collective action. We need to save what is arguably the most beautiful trail network in the world. Start writing you MLA, get you ski clubs and ski buddies on board, don’t stop!!!!

    • Wow! No more grooming at PLPP, Mt. Shark, and K Village?!!! I can understand a reduction or eliminating one, but all three?!

      Here’s an extract from the document:

      Beginning fall 2020, there will be no groomed cross-country track setting in the three main areas traditionally groomed by government staff in the Kananaskis Region. These areas are: Peter Lougheed, Mt. Shark and Kananaskis Village area. Grooming will continue to occur at the Canmore Nordic Centre. Track-setting will continue to occur in the West Bragg Creek area, done by the West Bragg Creek Trails Association.

      • Just to follow up – I just saw Skier Bob post on the home page about this so maybe move your comments there to avoid breaking the thread – sorry I thought i checked that page first.

  227. Mt Shark March 1

    Good conditions, fresh snow, mostly defined tracks but drifted in places, no debris. We did all the loops of the 15km green loop north of the main watridge lake trail, then went back to the parking lot on that main trail.

  228. Redearth Creek

    I hadn’t done Redearth yet this season, so I decided to give it a shot. Temp. was about -2 at the trailhead at 0900, rising to just over 0 later in the day. It’s a needle-fest for the first 2 or 3 km, so waxless or skin skis would be a good idea. The snow is soft – as I got higher up, I started to encounter a few cm of fresh snow.

    There is no tracksetting, other than a bit of skier-made tracks here and there, say for max. 20% of the trail. That being said, the trail has been packed thanks to a skidoo pulling a heavily loaded sled to the Shadow Lake Lodge and back. At it’s narrowest it’s about 1m wide, and at its widest, maybe 2m on the hills.

    There was a really strong wind blowing at the lodge, so that plus the occasional snowfall was quickly obliterating the tracks I’d made to the bridge and back.

    The snow is soft all the way from the parking lot to the lake, and the return was slower than normal, but at least I didn’t have my traditional wipe out!

  229. PLPP – Skied Whiskey Jack – Tyrwhitt – Elk Pass – Fox Creek and Moraine.
    We started with a very mild -1C at 10:00am and Swix V45 worked well. The snow cover improves with elevation and the trails are in very good shape. It was very windy and Elk Pass / Fox Creek were littered with debris but overall a good ski.
    We just saw a big group of skier (20+) from Winnipeg the whole day.

    • Jean-Francois:
      There were 18 of us. Our Winnipeg club travels to Canmore during the first week of March every year for 6 days of skiing in Skier Bob’s Empire.
      It was nice talking to you and others.
      My opinion of the trail conditions matches yours. Some us skied Boulton Creek rather than Moraine; it had as much tree debris as Fox Creek.

      • Please Kevin, write to address below indicating how important Kananaskis and grooming is for Alberta tourism, that your group depends on it:
        TO
        Jason Nixon
        Minister of Environment and Parks, Alberta
        Email: aep.minister@gov.ab.ca
        Phone: 780-427-2391

  230. Mon mar 2: cascade to Stoney jctn
    -1 this morning at 9. +3 on return at 3. +2 on the thermometer at the warden cabin at 1230. Some back slipping on the fish scales at the start but fine after getting past the first hill. Some stickage off trail at the end where fresh (wind blown) snow in the old skier set track, which put a dent in any notion of “chucking” myself further down the trail for a longer day. Stickage on the lower side trail back to the cabin, but fine on the main trail all the way back. cloud and winds seemed to be keeping the compacted snow cool enough, even with the sun poking out for brief periods. Strong winds in open areas filling in the skier set track. Groomed tracks still in decent shape, although a bit wobbly and glazed for the final hill down to Bankhead.

  231. FORTY MILE CREEK – March 2

    Lovely soft quiet snow at this elevation.
    Details available in the captions here:
    https://1drv.ms/u/s!AgXbvmC40zK_hGT39ptUATKycn21?e=E3f6nc
    More trail breakers needed!

    • Looked like a good choice for the mild temps. Any idea why it’s closed to skiing?

      • Yes MaSid… good idea to ski high at these temperatures!
        The trail is not actually closed to skiing… just an old sign that Parks Canada does not have time to remove!!

        • Thanks for the info. Maybe I’ll head that way soon if things stay mild and windy (keeping me away from turns). Kananaskis public safety was predicting 100k ridge top winds today! Yikes.

  232. BILL VOTING RIGHTS 4U

    UPPER SPRAY RIVER- PALLISER WARDEN CABIN

    Sunday

    The trackset from Mount Shark parking lot to Watridge Lake is getting a fair bit of wind drift. Fairly windy conditions Sunday night.

    The trail from Spray River bridge up to Palliser Warden is generally excellent skiing. I rebroke the trail. Excellent off trail skiing travel conditions. Ankle deep to boot top ski penetration. Spectacular scenery at the cabin and -5C in the late afternoon. There must be at least 5 feet of snow up there. The meadows and river bed have been well wind sifted and snow filled beyond the cabin. No willows. This will make for great ski skating conditions towards Palliser Pass once the snow hardens later in the season.

    Get it while the trail is cut.

  233. CNC (me too!). I arrived in bright sunshine and 0°C. I skied a counter-clockwise loop with Banff Trail/Bow Trail/Meadowview/Coyote, and then decided to do it all over again except returning on Banff Trail instead of Meadowview.

    It was a skate skier’s paradise today and it sure was busy. I felt like a slowpoke doing my classic stride, while all these highly athletic people zipped on by me. (I’ve made a mental note to take up skate skiing lessons next season).

    Tracks had a solid base, were well-defined, and fast (except compared to those skate skiers who seemed to be flying, relatively-speaking). During my second time around, a stiff wind picked up and some of the more exposed areas became windswept and a icy. For the last stretch it felt like skiing in a wind-tunnel and I was grateful that the wind was at my back. I even saw a few snow devils swirling around here and there. The temperature was +1 °C when I finished, but it felt colder.

    In all, it was my first visit to CNC in many years, and I appreciated getting re-acquainted with the place. 24 km.

  234. Very enjoyable skiing on Tyrwhitt today- soft and smooth but still reasonably quick. Whiskeyjack had a dusting of new on top of overnight grooming. After about 7 cm of new snow late Saturday, Friday night’s tracksetting on the remainder of the loop was still in good shape, with well defined grooves. A bit of scattered tree debris on Fox Creek did not detract from the skiing.
    https://steveriggs.smugmug.com/SkiPix19-20/i-fZN3JqL/A

  235. Pipestone (all trails). There was about 1 cm of fresh snow on yesterday’s grooming. Conditions are really good. The couch was seeing a lot of visitors. I am glad that I had made a reservation.

    Wow Helen… 72 days of skiing this season (so far). Is that a personal record? I thought I was doing reasonably well at 49 so far.

  236. Bob, you wanted comments from Cookie-ers. I did the 42k event. First time. LOVED IT. But yes, the snow was slow and grip was an issue for many, be it waaaay toooooo much, or not a lot. I skied pants, but had a total blast. Hats off to Foothills Nordic Ski Club and all the vols. Will definitely sign up for next year (along with the LL/Banff loppet and the Birkebeiner). I heard Brian M double polled the entire route, again….. 🙂

  237. Lake Louise Loppet: -9C when we arrived, temperature warmed up fast in the sun; the 20km course was shortened to 19km, there was at least 5cm new snow from overnight; we raced 2 laps on the Telemark Loop on soft tracks, then into a strong headwind on the Divide Trail; the climb back up to the Chateau was tough as always, with a quick descent to the finish line on the lake. I prefer the old course, but it was still a fun event!

  238. CNC new snow and great grooming What a fantastic day! Best ski of the season. -3c Classsic skintecs. We skied out out Banff Loop past the warming hut onto Banff Trail, hooked up onto Silvertip out to the end. We skied up onto Cold Shoulder and sat at the picnic Bench for a bit then returned via Bow trail and hooked back onto Banff trail at junction 14 . Lot of skiers further out. Tracks were getting a bit glazed by the time we finished on southern aspects. Skate lane was packed but soft. Not sure what is happening but almost ever trail we passed had been groomed and track set. Far cry from the last time we skied here. Thanks CNC groomers!

  239. WBC Telephone trail loop counter clockwise, a bit icy from Hostel to Long Distance, nicer conditions then to Reconnect with softer snow and a lot less traffic. Had first skier tracks starting out around 11:30, till I meet the only other skier on the loop. Still a nice ski on light touring gear, although some of the sunnier sections are getting thin now.

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