Trip Reports – Nov 2017

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

{ 229 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Stephen Vermeulen November 21, 2017 at 6:04 am

Skied Banff Trail at CNC pm Monday afternoon. Recent snow has improved conditions enough that they were able to trackset the south side of the trail (for the downhill return trip). Near the meadow lodge there’s tracks on both sides. Under the bridges are still thin.

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2 Darrell November 20, 2017 at 11:38 pm

The Great Divide was trackset again today.
I decided to try it from the Lake O’Hara end. When I got to the trailhead at around 2, there was only one other set of ski tracks which turned around after a few hundred feet so I was skiing on the undisturbed snow from last night for about ten minutes. That’s when the skidoo pulling the roller passed me. By the time I got to the divide, he had made 3 or 4 passes and roller packed the whole thing. No sooner had I gotten back to my car when 2 more machines showed up! One pulling the tracksetter and the other grooming the skating lane. Too bad I had to be back in Banff for a meeting, otherwise I’d have gone back out to enjoy the fresh trail. Should be great for any early birds tomorrow morning!

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3 Chuck November 21, 2017 at 7:39 am

Great report Darrell.
And I don’t have any meetings today!

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4 Alf Skrastins November 20, 2017 at 11:12 pm

West Bragg Creek, Nov 20
Apparently a powerful, warm Chinook was blowing at West Bragg Creek on Sunday, while it was snowing elsewhere to the west. It cooled overnight and by morning 3 cm of fresh snow blanketed the trails. I got out for a loop on the Crystal Lines, Loggers and Sundog. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the base on those trails survived the Chinook and were nicely refreshed with the new snow. There may be another few centimetres of snow overnight, so Tuesday should be good. Then, we’ll be dealing with another warm blast of Chinook for several days.

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5 Sibylla November 20, 2017 at 9:12 pm

Hi, My husband and I met Helen on Moraine. The conditions were ace. We only had trackset going up but the crew had downhill trackset by the time we came down. Just perfect. We also went down to the Lodge so have set a trail for others. The wax – purple – worked perfectly too. Lovely day.

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6 Ron & Larissa November 20, 2017 at 8:11 pm

Peter Lougheed Provincial Park – Nov 20, 2017
Started from Boulton Bridge parking lot which had 20 cm of new snow. Broke trail up Boulton Creek and then met 4 skiers coming down Fox Creek which made the going much easier. Then went up Elk Pass and broke trail part way up Blueberry Hill. There was 25 cm of snow on the picnic table at the Elk Pass Blueberry Hill junction! At the top of Elk Pass there were skier tracks on Hydroline but none on Tyrwhitt. We returned the same way. A great day to be out with all the new snow. Hopefully most of the trails on the South end of the park can be packed and trackset now.

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7 Chuck November 20, 2017 at 6:32 pm

SPRAY WEST – Nov 20

Knowing that Banff’s tracksetter Don had just been out grooming the new snow for the first time this season, I had to at least go for a little shuffle.
Any hazards were easily visible with the rolled snow, and by the time I met Louise she had already thrown about 50 rocks aside.
When Graham caught up with me, I had to step up my shuffle. Glad he was not on his skate skis!
I must admit that I also heard that Skier Bob was also coming up from behind… I couldn’t risk any photographic evidence that I was not following Doctor’s Orders!
The only Fat Biker I saw, was not having fun.
Read the captions in this Album for the details:
https://1drv.ms/a/s!AhVZXBE7vMV7iDixd9lkZdRG_nqL
The trail is groomed with a roller to the Spray River Junction (9.9 km) and snowmobile packed to the National Park Boundary.

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8 Pete November 20, 2017 at 6:49 pm

See Bob I told you Chuck would be back at it in no time! How’s the back feeling Chuck?

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9 Bob Truman November 20, 2017 at 7:06 pm

We can obviously quit feeling sorry for Chuck. He can still out ski me despite being injured and crippled.

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10 Chuck November 20, 2017 at 9:26 pm

Pain has to be blocked, when there is so much to enjoy.

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11 Henry L November 21, 2017 at 8:07 am

Chuck, when will the doctors allow you to throw away the crutch and strap on the second ski?

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12 Bob Truman November 20, 2017 at 5:55 pm

Update: Banff trail report indicates Goat Creek is groomed. Update: Chuck, who was there, says it is only snowmobile packed.
The Kananaskis Village trails were trackset today. Tracksetter Jeff sent me a photo which I’ll post later. 10-15 cm of new snow. Check the Live Grooming Report for Kananaskis.

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13 Bob Truman November 20, 2017 at 5:49 pm

Spray River West
As already mentioned, freshly roller packed this morning as far as Spray bridge at 9.9k. Not sure if Goat Creek was rolled as I only went for 7k. VR50 worked well. Enjoyable early-season conditions with a few rocks. I encountered something very interesting on the trail which I’ll tell you about later. Great to hear about the tracksetting at CNC.

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14 DianneC November 20, 2017 at 5:08 pm

Skied CNC – skied frozen thunder then Banff – then Bow n up to hut n to the end of Banff.
Great conditions for this time of year. From hut to end of Banff trackset so great!?
Basically had trails to ourselves – very few skiers on trails. One spot to watch for – under the bridge on Banff – gravel exposed.

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15 heatherd November 20, 2017 at 4:21 pm

Went up Cascade today with all the new snow. Ski-tracked past the Cascade River bridge. Lovely snow, we were on R-skins but those with wax seemed to do okay. Apparently the snow was slightly warmer/ sticky after the bridge on loop around campground. Parks’ track setter was at west side of Spray River today, but dropped off roller at Cascade trailhead at end of day. Very thin on road, expect poles to hit pavement – a lot! May be one more good day here tomorrow before the really warm weather returns?

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16 Paul and Nancy November 20, 2017 at 4:55 pm

Cascade Fire Road

Martine was absolutely correct about conditions yesterday. Skied in the afternoon at -3oC with a blue/purple mix (ski wax leftovers worked well). Maybe 10+ cm new snow overnight. Nancy loved the final downhill hitting a blazing 15.9 km/hr,

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17 Karen November 20, 2017 at 1:18 pm

Nordic Centre this morning had fresh snow and grooming. It gets even better after the Meadow with the natural snow…groomed and trackset. Goomers were working on Bow and Meadowview. Super conditions for anytime of the season.

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18 John Calvert November 20, 2017 at 10:32 am

Nov. 19
Skied up Whiskey Jack, over fire lookout and down the back to hydroline. The steep bits down to hydroline were a bit tricky on skinny skis as there was about 8″ of fresh snow with ruts from previous skiers. Everything else was groomed and skier tracked. At about 3:00 snow began to fall quite heavily.

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19 oldtroll November 20, 2017 at 3:23 pm

OMG !!! A legend from the past.

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20 Normand November 19, 2017 at 11:15 pm

Elk Lakes return day trip: Nov 19

Left the Elk Pass trailhead parking lot at 11 am, waxing with 0 to -1 C. Worked pretty well to climb up to Elk Pass. Taking advantage of a well packed trail to Elk Lakes ACC hut, by outgoing overnight visitors on fat boards and even sleds, my skinny skis were good as long as I stayed in the trail. My tooth pick poles were easily hitting the ground through 20-25 cm of snow. By the time I got to the hut, skis had been icing up quite a bit. Scraped the ice and rewaxed. Not a soul around and pretty peaceful. Climbing back the 200 m or so to the pass worked great on wax, followed by the welcoming downhill glide to the car, arriving at 2:30 pm. Heavy snowing made the glide slower than usual, but a great day for a first ever visit to Elk Lakes.

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21 Peter N November 19, 2017 at 9:11 pm

More new snow than forecast at Lake Louise today, 5-10 cm as Pete wrote earlier. Moraine Lake parking lot full and cars parked for 50 m up and down both sides of road, so we continued straight up to main Chateau parking lot. Half dozen cars on Tramline trailhead side at 10:15 am. -3-4 degrees, so put on bit of VR45 equivalent. That worked for while, but started icing about 3 km up MLR. Scraped it off to uncover leftover colder wax from last Wednesday, and had no further trouble. Soft tracks with new snow produced a slow but angst-free descent from the top. It was easy to stay in the track all the way down.

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22 Trial Breaker Jim November 19, 2017 at 9:07 pm

UPPER SPRAY RIVER

Mount Shark to Spray River. Generally good to very good skiing. As at 6 PM snowing moderately. At least 7 cm of new snow in the afternoon. Expect much more over night. Skier tracked. A few places ski poles will hit road.
It would be a good idea for parks to pack the trail so all the new snow does not blow away and to establish a good base. Extremely slow snow coming out.

Spray River to second Spray River Bridge skier tracked. Nice straight trail cut by a straight skier. Fair to Good skiing to Whiteman Creek turn-off. Will be generally very good with anther15 to 20 cm of new snow.

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23 Alf Skrastins November 19, 2017 at 8:21 pm

Elk Pass-Blueberry Hill – Nov 19
We opted for a later start than Helen and Carole for todays tour to Elk Pass. It was -2C at the Elk Pass parking lot at either end of the trip, and -4C at the pass. VR-45 worked well (for those who were waxing) until about the pass, when it was a bit too grippy in the new snow. I was testing out my new Skin-Tec’s and was quite impressed how well they worked. We did Elk Pass, Blueberry Hill, Hydroline, Patterson and Fox Creek. Most of it was great skiing, except for that rough bit at the last 200m to the top of Blueberry Hill. It was snowing at a rate of about 1 cm per hour after about 1 pm, so there will be a good amount of fresh snow to start the new week.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/6XcT2z5hCeX06OGl1

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24 Helen Read November 19, 2017 at 7:09 pm

Elk Pass parking lot 9am -3. Used vintage blue (zero to -4) and was able to walk up most hills all day. Elk Pass to Patterson to Hydroline (windy up there) down Pass (nice new sign as photographed by Bob and slightly better location for picnic table) then took run up Blueberry. Looked like the groomer had some problems and could not make it up the last 100 M. so we turned around shy of top. Nice ski out but some rocks starting to show on the big hill ascent after Fox junction. My hips killed on the snow-plow descents so might have to up the pain meds. We did not encounter buckets of snow falling.

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25 JeremyN November 19, 2017 at 6:52 pm

PLPP -Pocaterra : via Rolly Road access at back of parking lot their were only 2 other skier set tracks till ComeAlong junctn. Short 12k ski up toward Packers & back after picnic lunch with snow squalls all afternoon. Nice conditions in trees at -1 & no clumping on VR45. Lots of animal sign aside track. Various walkers -not as kind as JeanJ encountered as they tramped skier tracks -no harm I guess as trail will get machine groomed early this week I suppose anyway (more a matter of etiquette as amply signed).
Overall, an interesting drive up Highwood from Longview and a pleasant daughter-dad day in a winter wonderland woods!

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26 David November 19, 2017 at 5:46 pm

West Bragg Creek was still workable today (19th). Skied Mtn Road, Mtn View, West Crystal, Loggers, Elbow, Iron Springs, East Crystal on classic skintecs – very windy, +5 at noon. Only Iron Springs was really unpleasant with rocks and dirt south of the gate, and many, many hoof prints north of the gate. Skating would be fine everywhere else, classic too if you don’t mind the lack of track. Pretty great for Nov 19th and the puppy had lots of fun. Nevertheless, more snow would be helpful, likely necessary in some areas by the time the temperature drops back down.

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27 Carole November 19, 2017 at 4:56 pm

Better than expected at WBC on November 18
We had a great early morning ski around Moose Loop plus Loggers Loop yesterday. The 2 cm of new snow on Thursday made the trails quite reasonable.
Track-set heaven to Elk Pass on November 19
We enjoyed a fun ski up to Elk Pass on the new track set trail. The grooming almost all the way up to Blueberry Hill was appreciated even though the view was minimal. The snowy scenery was pretty and comforting. The high winds did not affect us much as we finished skiing by 1:15 p.m. but it had potential to get excited in the afternoon. The snow was falling at the junction to Blueberry Hill around noon.

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28 Greg November 19, 2017 at 4:38 pm

Tramline in very good shape. Fairview was skier set, bumpy, 4-5 trees down and rather sporty. Good to be back on the skis again!

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29 Martine November 19, 2017 at 4:00 pm

Cascade Road – Banff
Cascade had fantastic conditions today. Lots of snow and protection from the high winds. Temperature just below zero. What a great outing!

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30 Paul and Nancy November 19, 2017 at 1:23 pm

Canmore Nordic Center

Hopefully the snowfall warning extends to the CNC. First explore of the trails (Paul) and I would only ski on Frozen Thunder as the snow was thin on Banff. Frozen thunder is in good condition but the fairly steep hills might intimidate new skiers. Temperature was 3 to 4oC and Swix Purple worked well on the man-made snow.

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31 Pete November 19, 2017 at 1:19 pm

Dumping snow at Lake Louise today. Skied up tramline from the hostel to moraine lake road about 5-10cm fresh snow on old tracks. Continued to Fairview junction and up Fairview to upper tramline (skier set with a number of trees across the trail). Popped in at Lake Louise then back down tramline to moraine lake parking. After today there will be plenty of fresh snow to play in!

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32 Doug Connery November 18, 2017 at 10:06 pm

Great conditions on the great divide trail today. Track setting is holding up well although it was a busy place with parking on the road. V40 wax worked well.

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33 chuckley November 19, 2017 at 6:50 pm

Even more snow today on Great Divide Trail. Glorious -4C used V40 with great success.Easily 10cm in Lake Ohara end parking lot when we arrived and continued snowing throughout our trip.

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34 Keith Bagnall November 18, 2017 at 9:23 pm

Took a recon tour of a favorite loop at PLPP – from Bolton Parking up Whiskeyjack, Pocaterra to Lookout junction, up and over Lookout down Hydroline and finished up and over the Big Hill to Elk Pass parking.
We found a large pile of chips and heavy construction equipent at Bolton parking and what appears to be new trail construction. The area around Bolton is very disturbed. Whiskeyjack was snow sled packed – a very rough first pass of 15 to 20 cm base. The tail of Pocaterra to Lookout junction was skier track set on 25 cm of ungroomed snow. Lookout (going up) appeared to have been packed before the last large snowfall, but no recent work was evident. We found about 30 cm of snow at the Kananaskis Lookout and a temperature of minus 1 C at 12:30 pm. Down the south side there appeared to be the same early packing for part of the way. The section between Bolton Creek and Hydroline was 25 cm of untouched snow. Hydroline was groomed (corduroy) to Elk Pass trail and there we found the groomed and trackset trail Bob skied today. Fox Creek had been snow sled packed. A fine day was had by all. Oh yes, I should mention we were on snowshoes but this report is really for the skiers.

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35 Martin &Jip November 18, 2017 at 7:27 pm

Chester Lake, tons of cold snow, felt left out on skinny skis, everyone else was on AT or split boards rippin the powder, I want that !

Also plenty of snowshoes, all sticking to the designated trails

A great day in the mountains , Jip made lots of new human friends, not that any
had a choice!

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36 Jean J November 18, 2017 at 7:22 pm

Pocaterra to Trywhitt from Hwy 40

Took our waxless skis on our first trip of the season. The conditions were better than we thought. Plenty of snow, the hikers and snowshoers stayed to the sides of the trail for the most part and someone had set a nice trail for us up to the Whiskeyjack junction and beyond. The snow was thinner along Tyrwhitt and we turned around just past the Lookout junction. Still snowing lightly in the area when we left at 4pm.

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37 Wendy November 18, 2017 at 9:23 pm

Thanks for the report, we are headed there tomorrow!

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38 Don C November 19, 2017 at 4:33 pm

Wendy. Would love to hear your trip report as we plan to ski the same section Tuesday.

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39 Stephen Vermeulen November 18, 2017 at 6:41 pm

I skied the Banff Trail at CNC Saturday morning. Mainly just packed, there’s only track setting part way up the first hill from the lodge. There are a few thin spots, the most important are under the two bridges, so watch yourself as you’re going down that hill towards the lodge. The new warming hut wasn’t open yet. The snow on the second half (west of the meadow) is generally better than the first half, which was nice.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/9C9OgpAwm0XafuI42

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40 Steve G November 18, 2017 at 6:14 pm

Boom Lake

Went to Boom Lake and was surprised to find a nice packed trail with some fresh snow on top. Purple wax worked wonders with great glid. About a dozen rocks striking out along the trail but all easy to see and avoid on the way back down. Overall better than average mid season conditions.

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41 Ken Hewitt November 18, 2017 at 5:25 pm

Chester Lake today (Saturday) — excellent conditions for early season. About -6ºC at 10:15 AM at parking lot. About 45cm of base with maybe 10cm of fresh snow in the past 24 hours. Some afternoon sunny periods added to the winter wonderland of it all. Found some great turns on the lower treed slopes up above Elephant Rocks. Just a couple of rocks showing through on the trail. -4ºC at 3:00 PM – maybe 15 cars in the parking lot.

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42 Steve Riggs November 18, 2017 at 4:41 pm

More West Bragg: Decent skiing overall, especially on the more protected trails such as Sundog, West Crystal, Loggers and Elbow. Exposed trails to the west, particularly parts of Mountain Views E and W, which suffered from melt-freeze earlier in the week, have now had much of the new snow blown off, making for some rugged skiing in spots. While still enjoyable to ski- the sheltered “core” trails could really benefit from a round of grooming….
Anyone at AB Parks listening?

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43 Nikolai November 18, 2017 at 3:59 pm

West Bragg Creek
Crystal-Iron Springs-Elbow-Loggers Loop-Moose Loop
Started today at noon. Many girls are out there skiing!: girls with dogs, girls with children, and girls with just girls. However, the ski pathways were too fast to start a conversation. Ski tracks barely exist. Two places require extreme attention: the downhill one the far end of Iron Springs where the Slow and Right Turn sign is, and creek crossing on the far end of Moose Loop. Take care! Otherwise the conditions are pretty much the same everywhere there. Mild weather, V45 (-2, -6C) gave good grip.

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44 Rhonda w November 18, 2017 at 3:41 pm

Skied the 1A in Lake Louise today to just past the RossLake sign and back. About 16k. Beautiful day, easy to wax for the snow. We arrived around 11:00 and it was very busy. Foothills Nordic and a few other clubs there. The conditions were still good despite all of the skiers who’d gone before us in the morning. It was cool to see a few sit skiers training too.

It looked like a few fat bikes had taken a ride down the Skate lane.

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45 bernardk November 18, 2017 at 8:11 pm

I can echo Rhonda’s comments we started out at Lake O’Hara and skied up hill starting with a temperature of -6 and finishing with a temp of -4 around 1pm. We used VR 40 and had excellent grip both ways. The track setting from yesterday held up really well with the large number of skiers. Further west from where Rhonda turned around the tracks were generally very good with only a few sections filled in by blowing wind.

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46 ElaineB November 18, 2017 at 3:29 pm

Confederation Park
With recent snow and a Chinook emerging in Calgary, Confederation Golf Course ( and Canmore Park across the street) was an appealing option for those not wanting the drive out of town. Many of the bare spots from last week nicely covered. Still skier set and in places a bit crusty underneath, and a few grassy areas but all in all a great place to get in a good ski and get ready for xc skiing season. Blue VR 30 wax worked well early in the day.

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47 RichieRich November 18, 2017 at 4:14 pm

I can echo what ElaineB says… The new snow made a huge difference at Confed. I was actually pleasantly surprised that there’s at least 98% maybe even 98.32% coverage (roughly). ha ha. The skier-set “tracks” are pretty loose and wiggle-wobbly (as I call it) however I was still SUPER happy to have a ski. By 1pm the snow had warmed up and my Special Blue was quite hit and miss, so I mixed some light skate skiing in some areas which is what I’d suggest as the preferred choice of skiing there right now. No evidence of melting anywhere at 2pm.
There is some work on the SE corner w.r.t. Christmas lights going up plus the sledding area. Easy enough to ski around or avoid. The Driving Range was pleasant for sure.
Despite this short warming period there shouldn’t be much damage and now that there’s a great base it’ll be easy to successfully build upon it. I think they just need another 15-20cm and great tracksetting will be possible.

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48 Diana Piggott November 17, 2017 at 9:47 pm

Pocaterra – Tyrwhitt from Highway 40

Lots of beautiful fresh snow, but too darned hot! We were sticking like crazy, and between that and time pressure, did not get all the way around. There was one set of tracks ahead of us……. now who could that be? Probably not Sheila’s hubby as there was no sign of Bob the dog…….

*fanfare and drum roll*
We finally met the fabled Helen on the trail!! A great moment in skiing history, and a delightful encounter 🙂

Other notes: a snowmobile had been up the Whiskey Jack trail, turned around and gone back down. On our way back, we saw snowshoe tracks heading up to the lookout, and then other ski tracks on the lower part of Pocaterra.
Finally, we were greeted at the Whiskey Jack junction by………… a pair of whiskey jacks 😛

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49 Henry L November 18, 2017 at 8:48 am

Sounds like an excellent day indeed!

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50 ChrisUK November 17, 2017 at 4:58 pm

Lake Louise area – other folks beat me to it on MLR and 1A reporting today so I won’t repeat but for those looking for dog-friendly trails at LL (Kazzy is getting itchy feet!), one of the groomers today told me that they hope to work on the Campground Loop in the next few days, possibly only packing, but possibly track-setting too – fingers crossed!

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51 Paul and Nancy November 17, 2017 at 4:25 pm

Moraine Lake Road

Great trackset conditions on the road (as everyone seems to note). Nice amount of snow in the skate ski lane so the decent was wonderful and controllable. -3oC all afternoon and Blue Extra gave good grip and super glide.

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52 George November 17, 2017 at 3:52 pm

Skied West Bragg Creek Moose Loop counter clockwise today. Saw no-one west of the mountain road and had the place to myself at -12C under a clear blue sky. There was maybe evidence of a dozen skiers that had gone through but not more since we got a few centimetres yesterday. I assume one was Alf. One set of “big kitty” tracks at the far end near where the Tom Snow North trail heads off toward Dawson. As a point of note, that is the third time in a week that cougars or sign have been seen in the two weeks between Sibbald and Elk Valley – if you are skiing on your own, a can of bear-spray might be a precaution. Blue-extra was the wax of choice and it worked really well. The north side of moose loop is getting thin and icy under the sun and I only found one rock the whole trip out.

The West Bragg Trails are starting to need re-corduroyed on the hills but the province still seems to have the GBCTA groomers shutdown. It might be time to start calling on the province to either groom it or let it be groomed by others.

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53 Mary-Ann November 17, 2017 at 8:51 pm

Always have that (spray)100%. As the saying goes better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it…

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54 Kate November 17, 2017 at 10:51 pm

Thanks for noting the cougar tracks. The trick with bear spray is hitting a very agile, fast-moving animal if it decides to attack. And, cougars are stealth hunters, so you might not even know it’s there until it’s too late. A better deterrent for cougars is to travel in groups – they rarely attack groups.

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55 MaSid November 19, 2017 at 6:45 pm

As I do a lot of solo stuff, I might just sew some eyes on the back of my toque for this season. At my speed, perhaps hard for skiers to tell what direction I’m going in.

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56 JeremyN November 17, 2017 at 11:08 pm

WBC -Iron Springs/Elbow…
As per George, I only encountered a few other skiers this afternoon and only a few others before me on the fresh 1″ made for grippy uphills and ‘snow plowable’ steeps coming back to Elbow -it more rutted than iron springs however. Crystals was thin and heavy use (no skier set track) but well packed so I hope base holds up to all the walkers this Chinook weekend.

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57 Karen November 17, 2017 at 2:04 pm

Great ski on The Great Divide this morning. Tracksetters were just starting when we arrived at 10:30 am….now groomed for skating and classic. They did the MLR earlier so everyone at Lake Louise had fresh grooming today.

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58 Helen Read November 17, 2017 at 10:28 am

Chuck, you were totally on my mind yesterday when I was all alone skiing Cascade. I kept stopping to look behind me to see if you and Jeanette were also skiing there. I wondered if you might be on Spray West or Goat Creek? Hearing of your bad fall brings much sadness because I know how passionate you are about x-c skiing. Maybe you will be allowed to use mini snowshoes or crampons to walk into the back country while you are waiting to get the OK from your doctor re. resuming the skiing. A Big Begbie comes to mind! My season will not be the same without you out there. I pray it will be not too long before you can be back out there with us all.

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59 Chuck November 17, 2017 at 8:30 am

SPRAY WEST – Nov 16
Was really enjoying the 5 cms of new snow which had fallen on a well trodden icy base, until a lurking rock on a thin downhill brought me to a crashing halt. The X-Ray suggests a compressed disc.
Nice to see Bob is back skiing up here, and taking pictures.
Don’t get wrecked!

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60 Ray Perrott November 17, 2017 at 8:39 am

Chuck. That’s a tough one. I hope that you’re back on your skis soon. Bob’s website needs your reports and pictures!

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61 Bob Truman November 17, 2017 at 10:14 am

Sad to hear about your accident, Chuck. Here’s wishing you a speedy recovery.

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62 Henry L November 17, 2017 at 11:11 am

Okay, snow. Now listen.
Hold off a bit until Chuck gets back up on his boards!

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63 MaSid November 17, 2017 at 2:43 pm

My back is prone to the same lower back disk issues. Oddly enough, I find the best thing for it is cross country skiing, puts everything back into place.

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64 Pete November 17, 2017 at 5:06 pm

Sorry to hear you’re injured Chuck. I think you and I were talking about my bad back when I saw you last weekend. We all wish you a speedy recovery!

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65 Chuck November 17, 2017 at 9:19 pm

Thanks to All for your concern.
As the Home remedy seems to be not to mix alcohol with prescription drugs, I am trying to stay off the meds!
All kidding aside, I agree with MaSid… the best thing for lower back pain may be Cross Country Skiing (on groomed tracks).

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66 Diana Piggott November 17, 2017 at 9:40 pm

Oh, Chuck, I’m so sorry to hear about this. It was such a treat to meet you on the trail the other day, I do hope you will be back soon!

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67 Jackrabbit Scott November 17, 2017 at 4:48 am

Anyone check out Pipestone this week?

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68 Chuck November 17, 2017 at 8:30 am

Unfortunately, the Pipestone Loop is “Closed for Maintenance”.

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69 Jackrabbit Scott November 17, 2017 at 4:57 pm

Thanks Chuck!

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70 Chuck November 17, 2017 at 5:17 pm

Actually, Parks Canada has just changed their Trail Report status for the Pipestone Loop to “Snow Covered” but “not yet trackset”.
Go for it, and report back to us!

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71 bernardk November 18, 2017 at 8:13 pm

Stopped in at the visitor center where they indicated no tracksetting yet on Pipestone but they were hopeful that it could happen soon if the forecast holds with a significant snowfall expected Sunday night.

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72 Alf Skrastins November 16, 2017 at 11:07 pm

West Bragg Creek, Nov 16
It would have been nice to have enough time for the 4 hour round trip drive to Lake Louise, to enjoy the great looking snow… but I only had the afternoon available.
West Bragg Creek got about 2 cm of new snow this morning. More would have been nice, but this was enough to refresh the skiing and make waxing easy.
A light layer of V45 was all I needed for a quick lap around Mountain View West and Moose Loop. After the first 1 km to Moose Connector, Mountain Road was in good condition (photo). Mountain View West was in great shape. Smooth, fast and no hazards anywhere.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/fEOVABmDnd1MmvAS2
It was also good to see some construction progress on the new maintenance compound at the parking lot!

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73 Skier Mike November 16, 2017 at 7:40 pm

Did a night ski at west bragg with headlamps. Loggers loop and Crystal Line in darkness. Crust was well covered by few inches of new snow. One group of awesome young racers training with headlamps having a great time in the dark. Didn’t hit one rock. Could use a groomer and it would be perfect! Beautiful night! Some amazing fat biking conditions .

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74 Doug Connery November 16, 2017 at 7:35 pm

I saw a tweet earlier today from Kananskis Public Safety stating 20 cm of new snow on the Smith Dorian road overnight with 10 more predicted for today.

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75 MaSid November 16, 2017 at 7:04 pm

Any reports from WBC today? Wondering how much new snow fell that way today.

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76 Helen Read November 16, 2017 at 3:19 pm

Was headed east into white out driving conditions for WWL in PLPP, when decided to do a U-turn @ Lac Des Arcs, back to Banff. Squeaked one lovely ski out on the road to Cascade (8-9 cms had fallen on the road) and all by myself doing turnaround at Campground. Skied in my own single track in and back, temp went from -7 to zero at campground within 2 hrs. Blue worked fine. Road will need more snow before w/e. Also, thank you to the photographer (Quick Draw McGraw) to capture that wolverine sighting on camera!! And thanks to Barb and the original poster and Bob for sharing this exciting sighting. It is closest I will likely ever get to seeing a wolverine.

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77 Confused November 16, 2017 at 7:43 pm

Acronyms really suck as they are bad for communication. Imagine what people who have never seen this website before must wonder when they see all sorts of acronyms like PLPP, WMP, KMP, CRFR or WWL. Let’s be more user friendly and less lazy with the typing fingers out there and dump the acronyms

What the heck is WWL?

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78 Doug Connery November 16, 2017 at 8:18 pm

Good point as the acronyms are confusing for new readers. Perhaps Bob could post an acronyms page. WWL is William Watson Lodge in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park (PLPP).

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79 Frank Howard November 18, 2017 at 4:53 pm

The correct acronym protocol is as Helen has done it below, the whole name written once with the acronym following. Then you can use the acronym only for the rest of the piece

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80 Helen Read November 16, 2017 at 9:10 pm

My apologies but have William Watson Lodge (WWL) on the brain as trying to get a booking in there for 2 months from now. It is a unique extraordinary facility in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park (PLPP) opened in 1981 by Jeanne and Peter Lougheed with the idea of creating a facility for persons with disabilities within Alberta Parks. Alberta Seniors (65yrs)are given 3rd priority to book, i.e. 2 months in advance. First priority Albertans with severe disabilities are allowed to book 4 months in advance and less severe disabilities 3 months in advance. Some of the x-c ski trails start right at the facility and link to the entire PLPP trail system.

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81 Phil Nash November 16, 2017 at 10:15 pm

William Watson Lodge, in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park in Kananaskis Country. They have a website too. Cheers!

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82 Gord F November 15, 2017 at 9:14 pm

Peter Lougheed Park Nov 15. Cool cloudy day, around -5º
We parked at Boulton Bridge and skied Boulton Creek, Elk Pass, Tyrwhitt and Whiskey Jack. The snowpack is pretty thin generally and we’ll have to wait for a couple of large snowfalls before there’s enough to groom. We found 8-10cm of fresh dry snow on top of a packed base so the skiing was pleasant but a bit slow. It is mostly skier-tracked with some bumpy creek crossings and sporty downhill sections. The steep downhill curve on Whiskey Jack was particularly brutal with deep snow, ruts and snowbanks, (we used metal-edged xc skis so it was manageable). Tyrwhitt is quite thin with plenty of bushes sticking through but no rocks. There’s a nice new sign at the top of Elk Pass, (see photo). Looks like a BC Parks production.
There’s some serious construction going on around the Boulton Parking lot. It appears they’re expanding the campground.

https://photos.google.com/album/AF1QipN8TEBbOjL4Gvoa3Tbm6CzJPbAEAqMGEzJ917CG

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83 Helen Read November 15, 2017 at 6:07 pm

As Chuck had warned me, there is NOT enough snow to ski anywhere around Baker Creek. We did a re-con of Protection Mtn Campground loops but might need some base repair after it. Also thought we might be able to ski a portion of the 1-A that is closed beyond Baker Creek x 6 months but no such luck, as it has been scraped down to the pavement. Then we stopped in to talk to the gentleman who has worked at Castle Junction Hostel and was an excellent source of information for its “future usage”. Sadly it is closing Dec 31st. Carried on to MLR where we had a later respectful afternoon start. Lightly snowing and -1 at turn around. Slower descent down that 240 M.

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84 JeremyN November 16, 2017 at 9:34 am

Always nice to read of areas that others haven’t reported on. Sad news on permanent(?) closure of castle mtn hostel -wonder why?

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85 Tanya November 16, 2017 at 2:52 pm

The hostel is closing permanently from what I understand. Native land issue with property and land going back to the band.

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86 MaSid November 16, 2017 at 7:01 pm

It’s a siksika nation land claim issue (based an old timber rights area). The claim was settled earlier this year with a $124 million payment from federal government to the band in lieu of giving the land back to the band, but with the option of the band taking over existing commercial leases and they have exercised that option for the hostel site (to be some kind of future native education hostel I believe). The land claim area may also include storm mountain lodge. Not sure it includes castle mountain chalets and the little gas statio/store.

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87 Chip Scialfa November 15, 2017 at 6:06 pm

Moraine Lake Road – Great tracks today with morning temps around -7 and -3 at day’s end. VR40 was great the whole way. Peter and I went to the Lake, shrouded in fog but beautiful nonetheless. It was snowing lightly as we left.

Hubert and Peter on MLR

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88 Peter N November 15, 2017 at 9:38 pm

Rode “Green” (-4 -10) non-fluoro worked great. Found in Lifesport’s bargain bin. Green tin, but blue temperature range. Leave it to the Italians to mess with the colors. Years ago, Rode “fast blue special fluor” (-3-7) also in bargain bin. Works great. Color of wax? Pink.

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89 Doug Connery November 16, 2017 at 12:54 pm

Peter, perhaps the Italians have the colours right and it is the Norwegians who messed them up :). It all depends on your perspective, I have been a fan of Rode wax for nearly 20 years now.

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90 Chuck November 15, 2017 at 4:01 pm

GREAT DIVIDE – Nov 15

Trackset again early this morning! I think that is six days in a row that Parks Canada staff have been out track setting… Amazing.
Today was the first day that they trackset the portion from the Lake O’Hara end to the actual Great Divide (previously it had just been packed and skier tracked).
Lots of Skier Bob enthusiasts out. Check the details at:
https://1drv.ms/a/s!AhVZXBE7vMV7iC35N3rINgCYWWmm
Only 45 days left of free skiing in Banff National Park, so enjoy it!
Happy Canada 150

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91 Mary Perrott November 15, 2017 at 3:33 pm

Great Divide Trail – Very good condition for early season! We started at the Lake O’Hara end in cloudy, calm conditions and -7C. There was fresh tracksetting over 3-4 cms. snow that fell yesterday. Lots of twigs poking through at the west end of the trail but better coverage east of the Divide. Returning from the Louise-side parking lot, the outbound track (north side)was quite ‘twiggy’ and soft, having less snow than the south-side track. Lots of folks out (nice to chat with Chuck and Jeanette). It was -3C back at the O’Hara end at 1:30 pm. Snow was getting a bit sticky by then and snow had started to fall.

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92 Hugh November 15, 2017 at 3:30 pm

Great Divide Trail. Fresh grooming today. VR 45 worked well and we could have gone up to VR 50 on our return. Great glide Ran into Chuck and a lot of Banff folk. Racers from La range were out skating as well.
The groomers widened the trail by about 1m skating lane was soft but looked good. My only complaint would be the groomers could slow their machines down a bit. The track that they leave behind tends to be shallow and the side walls are not solid due to the higher speed. I’ve spent a fair bit of time on a snowmachine grooming in MB, AB.,YT and B.C. Going slower makes for firmer tracks. I know some would say we should be happy with what we have but an extra 10minutes a pass would make for much firmer tracks.

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93 Peter T November 15, 2017 at 2:57 pm

LAKE O’HARA FIREROAD Nov 15
Chuck requested a report…..Ski-ed up to the picnic table at the 5 km mark. Good coverage for the first 3 km uphill section to past the Ross Lake junction. After that the snow seemed a bit thinner but no issues until an ice-flow with rocks below it at about 4 km in. I walked this section both ways. Also a bit rocky towards the top of the hill by the picnic table. Skiers coming out from Elizabeth Parker reported good coverage beyond where I got to. Skier set tracks mainly of the wide AT variety. -4C at 1:00pm. Swix VR45 worked fine.

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94 Helen Read November 14, 2017 at 8:27 pm

Was hoping Keith Bagnall would write today’s report on Great Divide since he did the full length of it and we 3 turned around at the hut. Met several skiers from CSOC enjoying the new 2-3 cms of light powder, shortly after 10am and -2. At the hut it was zero (noonish) so we put on some VR 50 and returned, gliding well with it. We did not see any wolverine sightings but an adorable brown mole was burrowing under the snow beside my ski. I thought it was a leaf until it started moving. Check out the fancy bathrooms at the LL Info Centre. Fancy Dyson taps to figure out and beautiful photo murals inside all the stalls.

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95 Keith Bagnall November 14, 2017 at 9:24 pm

I got waylaid by my other life but did plan to submit a report. Here it goes:
Started Great Divide on VR40 but quickly changed to VR50. It was minus 3 at the trail head and there was fresh snow on the track set. The skis were gliding on the skier set track better than I can remember from all of last year – however I am a senior so… Caught up to Helen and had a nice chat as we skied toward Lake O’Hara. Skis started icing at the top of the Divide hill and the tracks got progressively warmer as we approached the O’Hara turn around. Once back in Alberta the snow was cooler and we were gliding well again. Pole strikes on pavement at the trail head parking and the last 10 metres of track at Lake O’Hara. All other sections between have very good snow and skier set track. Highly recommended ski!

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96 carlo November 14, 2017 at 4:08 pm

Belated MLR report
went out yesterday, arriving around noon i think, or just when the snow started to really come down. as mentioned by others, waxing was impossible (and to make it worse i put on way too much was, typical 1st ski of the season mistake). trail was okay, not much if you were doing classic and looking for a great ski, but good enough to get the first few kms of the year under the belt and reacquaint oneself with skis and snow. skaters seemed to be doing, much, much, much better.
Had no trouble finding parking, in the lot by the road. 2 spots when i showed up and seemed to be constant in and out. saw couple of cars come in to the lot and pull out 10 secs before someone came off the trail and went to their car.
bare patches around paradise curve were easy to avoid, but i definitely would not hit the curve at the bottom with any speed.
and you know what would be really cool? if the park service could toss a bench in to the pull out for….forget which trail, but there’s a parking lot with a trail head sign that’s covered and big enough for a small bench. i probably wouldn’t use it, though it would have been nice as i stopped there to do my 3rd rewaxing attempt, but for beginners and other folks who aren’t out to pound miles.
anyway, just a thought…

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97 Kate Easton November 14, 2017 at 11:12 am

West Bragg Creek – November 13 late afternoon. Wait for significant new snowfall before skiing here!
I set out along the Mountain Road in the late afternoon. The sun was obscured by a grey cloud which I thought looked like it might bring snow. Skier set tracks were icy to the first bridge with boot holes. I was using my rock skis which have fish scales so I had no kick on the ice. After the bridge, it was less icy and I had decent kick. I turned onto Moose Loop at the cattle gate. Conditions were okay in the trees. I chatted with two other skiers, one of whom had opted to take here skis off on the downhills. They advised me that it was icy with bare patches, but conditions were better if I went left at the first junction. I did that. Then I took a wrong turn onto the summer Moose Loop connection to Tom Snow. It wasn’t roller packed, which made for better skiing until I came out of the trees to the top of the downhill. The sun had melted a fair bit of snow here and there were too many rocks so I turned and went back to the winter trail. I skied cautiously down the hill, not sure if the dark patches were rocks or grass (grass). Once I came out of the trees, the trail was ice on top of packed snow, with boot holes. Not pleasant. Across the bridge, the uphill looked quite bare of snow so I turned left to connect to Tom Snow, skiing across the narrow bit of the creek quickly and relieved to stay dry. One other skier had been through before me and this was not roller packed. It was quite pleasant until I reached the next creek crossing. It looked like a recipe for wet skis and I have a memory of the trail along Tom Snow back to Mountain Road being much longer than I would like. Not wanting to risk being out by myself at sunset, I turned and went back the way I came. (I couldn’t remember the words to enough songs to sing the bears a warning). Happily, it began to snow – almost imperceptibly at first and then increasing to a blinding shower of big flakes. It was unfortunately a short snow shower and seemed to fall only on Moose Loop. I’ll be waiting for a significant snowfall before heading out to WBC again.

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98 Bob Truman November 14, 2017 at 10:50 am

I received this email from Maureen:

November 13/2017 West Bragg Creek

I was grateful to get out for a rare weekday ski, and to be skiing so early at WBC. This means my trail report is decidedly from the ‘cup half full’ perspective. Overall I’d say good conditions. I used my wax skis for a couple of hours starting at mid-day. My violet wax was okay for shady sections – but not a good fit for the warmer, exposed sections. I met some folks who used VR 60 and they were faring better. Best skiing was on Elbow as it has more coverage. I knew coming back along the really exposed section of Iron Springs would be a gamble – and it was indeed soft….really soft. The way I see it was that I got more time to enjoy the beauty out there!

I swapped for my Rossi skin techs mid-afternoon and (imaging choirs of angels singing now) they performed beautifully!!! The chunked-up sections of loggers, west crystal line and sundog (mainly foot traffic from what I could see, some horse tracks) were no match for the mighty skin-techs!!! Not only did I get great traction, I was able to cruise and even do some kick double pole 🙂
Note for cup not so full folks: fair conditions. Not poor though, because despite shrubbery poking up, the few rocks were easy to avoid.

Happy Skiing!!
Maureen

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99 Mary-Ann November 14, 2017 at 1:35 pm

What are Rossi skin techs?

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100 Bob Truman November 14, 2017 at 1:50 pm

Rossignol skin skis. These are a waxless ski that uses a “skin” for grip and a number of brands sell them including Rossignol, Fischer, and Atomic. I have a pair of Fischer Twinskins and here’s a photo which shows the skins. Fischer twinskin skis
When I apply glide wax to the bases, which I’m doing today, it’s necessary to put tape over the skins. Taped for waxing

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101 Mary-Ann November 15, 2017 at 8:50 am

Many thanks Bob for this clarification- pictures and all! Much appreciated.

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102 Mary-Ann November 16, 2017 at 8:19 am

So are these “better” than the fishscale waxless skis or different ie you would use them under different conditions? I am mostly looking for a waxless option for when I skijor with my dog(s) Control is helpful.

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103 Henry L November 16, 2017 at 9:02 am

Unfortunately, that is the $64000 question. Bob has used all the different types, as far as I know.
One of your local ski teachers Kim McKenny has a nice short guide. Go way down the web page to find ‘Second Question: Which Kind of Waxless Skis Do You Want?’ to see the different kinds. Kim doesn’t recommend fishscales -)

http://crosscountryskitechnique.com/all-about-classic-skis/

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104 Mary-Ann November 16, 2017 at 1:39 pm

Many thanks Henry! I think life was easier when the choice was just classic and skate skis….

105 Alf Skrastins November 13, 2017 at 11:46 pm

West Bragg Creek – Nov 13
Timing was everything at West Bragg Creek today. We got a mid-morning start and found pretty good conditions on Mountain Road, Moose Connector and the north-east half of Moose Loop. V45 worked quite well. Warm blasts of Chinook air greeted us as we went past the Moose wetlands and the snow was starting to get wet on the uphill beyond there. Conditions were good again for the rest of the way to the picnic table at the north end of the loop. After lunch, the snow had noticeably softened with the sun and wind. The hill down to the creek required some caution, because the creek has not frozen over yet and the narrow bridge off to the side requires some manoeuvring to cross. From the bridge to the Mountain View West junction, it was slippery, as the snow temperature warmed beyond the range of the wax. We had intended of skiing Mountain View West, but opted to return via the shadier south half of Moose Loop. The shaded snow was still cold and the wax started working properly again.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/3Tcd1rDKVZ5tAE3g1
Lots of people out again today, enjoying the snow and spring-like weather.
Was the snow as light and fluffy as when it fell 10 days ago? No… but the coverage is good and if it cools on Tuesday, it will make a great base for the next snowfall.

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106 Tawny November 14, 2017 at 8:44 am

The creek very nearly got us, too! Haha

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107 fallsalot November 13, 2017 at 9:53 pm

WBC today was tough. Spring like conditions. Melt and freeze cycles make the snow hard. Ski control is difficult. It is hard to get the edge of skis to bite. I saw people sliding on their butts on the Moose Loop – the place damaged by horses. WBC is best to avoid until new snow falls. Many other hazards, rocks, dirt starts to show up. If you go, take the rock skis with metal edge.

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108 Adam K November 13, 2017 at 8:11 pm

Boom Lake
First ski of the year at Boom Lake. Snow coverage improved as we skied into the forest. The snow fell ever so softly on the climb – it was beautiful!!
A few rocks to ski around yet very good coverage. My children with waxless skis did better then me on a waxable base. We met a couple on alpine/skins who decided to leave the skins on to protect their skis. Some boot traffic too.
Lost: I left one ski in the parking lot. My son’s 140 cm waxless rossignal ski, grey in color. If found, please call at 403-202-5615 for reward.
Thanks, Adam

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109 Steve Riggs November 13, 2017 at 5:30 pm

Variable would be the best descriptor of the skiing this afternoon at West Bragg.
Waxing was a bit of a challenge at times, with the warm winds and a mix of sun and cloud. After a couple of rounds of we settled on Swix VR 60 which actually worked quite consistently on snow conditions that ranged from being still dry and powdery- to springlike wet and glazed. Trails closer to the core area are heavily pockmarked from walkers, and there is a bit of debris here and there, but coverage remains very good with a firm base. Overall- the skiing remained fair to good, but in need of a refresh. Fingers crossed!

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110 Michael & Annalee November 13, 2017 at 5:07 pm

I skate skied Confederation Park today
I started to ski around the park and it was not bad considering. I encountered a few bald spots and the trail was sometimes rough but the snow was soft. I ended up at the practice grid where the circuit was in good shape – a few brown areas but otherwise well covered.
I don’t know for how much longer though.
cheers,
michael

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111 Diana Piggott November 13, 2017 at 7:33 pm

We skied at Confederation this morning, when the groomed trails were hard and crunchy! Still lots of powder off-piste though, and hopefully will get refreshed soon 😉

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112 Mary-Ann November 13, 2017 at 7:47 pm

Thanks for the updates – nice to hear about the close to home options!!

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113 Helen Read November 13, 2017 at 4:59 pm

If you arrived after 10 am at MLR, you were unlikely to get a parking spot. -2 and lots of people there since schools out. Skaters had the advantage today, while many of us “trads” tried on our fashion high heels for the first time. Snowing abundantly and ski to the lake (-1 at lake) was lovely with lots going the distance, but clumping an issue even on my waxless Fishers. It was snowing lightly and +1 leaving LL at 3pm, but started raining about half way back to Canmore. Should be awesome tomorrow at both MLR or GD.

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114 Chuck November 13, 2017 at 4:20 pm

GREAT DIVIDE – Nov 13

It’s Snowing!
You can still feel the frost heaves, but the track setting is marvelous… Thanks for the timely update Miles.
Four photos with captions provide the details:
https://1drv.ms/a/s!AhVZXBE7vMV7iB9CKCf9uUgsLXXp

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115 Jonathan November 13, 2017 at 4:15 pm

First ski of the year for me today! Did a loop of Mountain Road, Mountain View West, Moose Loop, back on Mountain Road, at West Bragg Creek. Conditions were great for skating, and the weather was awesome. Lots of happy bikers and hikers out there, and we stopped for a chat with some horse riders who kindly moved aside to let us pass.

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116 Stephen Vermeulen November 13, 2017 at 12:14 pm

Skied the Bill Milne trail on Monday morning. Still good but a bit thin. A bit more pavement exposed than on Saturday, but still easy to avoid. As I was leaving at about 1030 it started to rain. Hoping that turns to snow.

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117 Ron November 13, 2017 at 11:07 am

Skied Pocattera 10Nov from Hwy 40 (9Km from winter barrier) on 10Nov, then tyrwrtt over to Elk Pass. Very nice snow, only half to one foot deep but fine. Park skidoo had run through but no track set yet. Saw one martin, very odd but nice.

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118 Tanya November 13, 2017 at 1:59 pm

Thanks for your report. I’ve been waiting for a report on this one. I want to get up there before the road closes.

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119 Hugh November 12, 2017 at 10:13 pm

High Rockies trail Goat Creek south.
Parked down first road past Goat Creek parking lot. Skied down the road to the bridge over Goat Creek . Snow was thin and we picked up a few new directionless grooves. We only skied the upper trail to the figure 8 junction return. Initially, lots of foot and snow shoe traffic. Ran into two fat bikers. After about 2km an actual skied in track emerges out of the foot traffic. At the junction only ski traffic and a few snow shoe tracks. Close to 0C purple mulitgrade with a mix of purple worked well. No one has skied /walked the lower trail.

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120 Rock Hound November 12, 2017 at 10:02 pm

BREWSTER CREEK – Nov. 12

Trail breaking rock skiing mission. Via Sunshine Road. Trial in the Bow Valley to Sundance Lodge turnoff is in fair shape. Silky sweet fast snow. Would be a good idea for a snowmobile packing mission by Parks to establish a better base. Rocks exist so use rock skis.

Took the short cut trail up towards Sundance Lodge. Poor shape. Needs 30 cm of snow.

Brewster Creek trail to the 3rd Brewster Creek bridge (somewhat near Sundance Lodge) is in poor to fair shape. 8 to 12 cm of snow. Wet snow in sun exposed areas and lower down. Drier snow on some sunless aspects higher up. The big hills coming down are mainly in poor shape to fair shape lower in valley. Wet snow on the big hills for the most part. Many rocks. Would be a good idea for a beater snowmobile to pack the trail to establish a base . This section of trail will be in fair to good shape with 15 cm of new wet snow now that ski tracks have been established.

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121 Scott B November 12, 2017 at 9:47 pm

Showed up prepared with several options to ascend the Rummel Lake Trail. I chose to carry snow shoes to the Lake and then I used them to access Rummel Pass. Not a good place for skis right now. Some ski tracks in the upper Valley but little activity otherwise, past the Lake.

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122 Mike Reece November 12, 2017 at 9:11 pm

Chester Lake
11-12-17
Fantastic conditions today at Chester Lake. Note to trail crew, please indicate one way only on ski out track as many lost hikers walking up the down track. Fair to decent conditions, some rocks but they were very obvious. Mixed bag of skiers, many hikers and lots more on snow shoes. No moose to be seen. Very warm day and lake NOT fully frozen. Lots of punters on avalanche slopes with no idea or proper gear. Photos:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ecmd7raq2p6mc0m/AAAlao69ycbijmS3I1GL718ua?dl=0

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123 Pete November 12, 2017 at 10:37 pm

Correct me if I’m wrong but I’m pretty sure the one way descent trail for skiers on Chester lake trail doesn’t exist anymore. The reason is because it’s now part of new High Rockies trail and therefore it’s open to all users. That’s probably why the one way signage was removed.

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124 Mike Reece November 13, 2017 at 12:59 pm

Pete, I had never thought of that, but that is right, the high Rockies does branch off on the previously signed “one way only” . Its a real shame to see hikers walking up the downhill for skiers, hopefully nobody will get hurt. I wonder if another signage could indicate “preferred uphill traffic please go right”

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125 Pete November 13, 2017 at 1:17 pm

Unfortunately I think it’s inevitable there will be accidents along there, especially with how popular Chester Lake is with everyone lately. I usually ski up late in the day when most people are heading out. By the time I head down there’s usually no one around so there’s less chance of a collision.

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126 darcy November 12, 2017 at 7:11 pm

0c at the Moraine Lake Road trail head at 1100am. Sky stayed overcast so the sun wasn’t able to heat up the snow at all. V60 Red/Silver provided adequate, if a bit delicate, kick

We skied up Tramline, which was single trackset, Then up Fairview which was a blast despite being skier trackset only. There was just enough snow to accommodate travel and cross the creeks. Probably not a good choice for beginners. A few blown down trees were easily crossed. We regained the MLR and found it a bit thin in spots, rock skis recommended.

The Foothills Nordic posse was present in droves, many smiles all day long

Red V40 provided

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127 Pete November 12, 2017 at 6:59 pm

Skied Great divide with my wife from the Lake O’Hara end today. Not much of a track from the start but it soon improved. Noticed only one small patch of bare pavement the whole way. Good glide on warm blue wax (V40). Not that busy so it made for a quiet peaceful ski. No fresh bear tracks (although my daughter was fortunate enough to see two wolverines near the LL end in the afternoon). When we arrived at the Lake Louise end we crossed the road and herringboned up the steep trail that joins tramway. We skied to Lake Louise for a quick pic then back down tramway (one decent track) to the Moraine lake road. Then back up tramway to walk back down the trail to the Great divide parking lot. Another wonderful day of skiing!

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128 barb banff November 14, 2017 at 8:40 pm

Pete
So I wondered what your daughter noticed about the wolverines?
Were they the same size? Or different? Lopping across the trail ? Or traveling down the road? I am asking because I’d like to add it to the parks database.
That is a very rare sighting , lucky girl!

Thanks

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129 Pete November 14, 2017 at 11:44 pm

Hi Barb! I’ll ask my daughter the details of what she saw on Wednesday and get back to you. So far I know she saw two of them cross the road not far from the Lake Louise end of Great Divide Trail. I also have pictures of one or both of them our friend took.

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130 Colin November 15, 2017 at 2:11 pm

Hi Barb,

I was part of the wolverine viewing party. To Answer your questions:

They were different sizes, the second one was definitely a little bigger than first.
Both were sniffing excitedly up, down, left and right on the freshly groomed trail. We watched them for a few minutes continue with this behavior. As we skied by, first one, then the other wandered into the trees, but both re-emerged onto the groomed trail once we had skied by.

I’d be happy to answer other questions… Bob – can feel free to share my email address with Barb.

Colin

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131 TC November 12, 2017 at 6:23 pm

Skied Terrace, Kovach, up Ribbon Creek to Terrace, and Bill Milne today to Wedge Pond. Skijored with the pups for about 70 minutes on the Bill Milne trail. Trail got pretty beat up from the chinook winds. Coverage is very thin but skiable; I only skate so gliding on top of it wasn’t too bad, snow was wet and sticky though. There some spots where the asphalt was poking through but it was easy enough to avoid. I’ll probably hold off on waxing anything until conditions improve. Lots of snow at Kananaskis village, hopefully we get another dump soon because this continued warm weather will probably make the Bill Milne trail not skiable in the next few days.

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132 Chip Scialfa November 12, 2017 at 6:07 pm

Cascade Fire Road – November 12, 2017

On JR’s report, we decided to venture out to the Cascade Fire Road for an early season ski. Our first surprise was to meet JR’s daughter and friend in the parking lot. She quickly said that if the conditions were cruddy, we could blame her dad.

Hmmm…. I think that JR skis with rose-coloured glasses. Our first surprise was the fact that the road from the parking lot to the start of the trail is bare of white stuff. Those wanting to ski have a 20-minute walk before they begin the climb. There were a few hearty souls heading up with us. Linn, with skis strapped to his pack, was walking up, all smiles.

The air temperature on arrival was -1 C. I put on VR45 with a thin layer of VR50 for the big hill. This combination worked perfectly all day and with little temperature change until dropping back down to the parking lot at 3:30.

The track was pretty good but quite thin and rocks are poking through quite often beyond the first bridge. We continued another 4 km before deciding to lunch and turn around.

There were some large cat tracks, just about as big as my fist and presumably cougar. No sightings though.

Even though the snow conditions were VERY marginal, there was hardly a breeze, the temperature was quite pleasant and the views, as always, jaw-dropping.

Linn, all smiles, tramping up the first hill

Cascade river from first bridge

The paved road which one must walk on

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133 Tawny November 12, 2017 at 4:56 pm

Lots already from WBC today so I’ll just say thay Moose Loop offered great gliding today. Not track set but if you have the bonus of owning skis with edges, you’ll find it quite pleasant. Good coverage. Only 1 or 2 rocks which are easily avoided.

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134 Mary-Ann November 12, 2017 at 3:19 pm

Headed out to West Bragg Creek – very pleased at the conditions. Left at 11 am and there were crowds enjoying the sunshine and enjoying the trails in different modes. No horses 🙂

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135 Miles Tindal November 12, 2017 at 1:34 pm

Happy to be the second car in the parking lot at the Great Divide trail this morning. Fresh grooming and tracksetting this morning all the way to the Lake O’Hara Trailhead and back.

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136 Tanya November 12, 2017 at 9:37 am

Figured we’d get Skier Bob a trip report for the Spray Valley. We skied to Watridge Lake on a 2cm base. Only one reason to ski this trail right now and that’s if you happen to be staying at Mount Engadine Lodge (or visiting for brunch/tea) and you want a trailhead nearby. Otherwise there are much better trails right now. If you do decide to ski to Watridge Lake you will want your rock skis. Too many to pick off the trail.

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137 Cindy November 11, 2017 at 8:25 pm

Had a wonderful day on the Great Divide Trail near Lake Louise. Only 2 cars in the parking lot when we pulled up around 11 am. Skier set tracks on fairly fresh snow (that covered previous grooming). Conditions were wonderful! My husband managed to find a pair of used boots that are working for him…now he wants waxable skis (he was using my waxless today)…so if anyone is selling a set of classic skis around 200 cm (he is 75 kg) with NNN bindings for reasonable price let me know. We are also hoping to our friends who are Syrian refugees out cross country skiing as well…if they like it I’ll be looking for more recreational gear :)….who doesn’t love cross country skiing??? Would post a pic but can’t see how to do that 🙂

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138 Steve Riggs November 12, 2017 at 7:40 am

As SkierBob’s blog does not have provision for people posting comments to upload photos onto it’s server, so that they can embed an image into their post, as you might see done on other on-line forums, you will need to have your photos hosted elsewhere on the web, and include a link to that location so that others may view them there. You can set up an account at and use a number of “free” services for hosting your pix on “the cloud”- Google Photos being one. Chuck uses Microsoft One Drive which has both free and paid options, and I use Smugmug which requires a paid subscription. Once you have something like that setup, and your photos hosted there, it is simple to just copy the link (web “address”) for your photo or gallery of photos for a particular day, and paste it into your comment before you submit it.

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139 Bob Truman November 12, 2017 at 8:01 am

Thanks, Steve. Here are Instructions for the one which Chuck uses, Microsoft One Drive:
https://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/how-to-share-files-and-folders-on-microsoft-onedrive/

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140 Pete November 11, 2017 at 8:05 pm

Had a nice first ski of the season on mlr to Moraine lake today with my wife, daughter, and her friend. The parking lot was full when we arrived so we had to park on the road. A short way from the start we met Chuck skiing in and chatted with him for a bit then a short time later met Ray Perrot waxing on the trail side. The snow was thin at the bends near paradise creek with bare patches of pavement showing. Parks was there doing snow farming to cover up the worst bits. Had lunch at the end of grooming then down to Moraine lake. We met a few hikers and fat bikers on the ski out. It was awesome to be out on the skis again!

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141 Keith Bagnall November 11, 2017 at 7:49 pm

Skied Moraine Lake Road today with hundreds of young folks, trainers and parents from Foothills Nordic Ski Club and Canmore Nordic Ski Club. A training camp is on at Lake Louise so lots of young people will be on MLR again Sunday.
A skiff of new snow freshened the road but wasn’t enough to add depth. Tracks are still shallow from the bottom up to Fairview junction. Caution is required at curve below Paradise Creek where pavement was showing. Parks groomers were mining snow for the skating lane below the bridge. The best conditions are above Paradise Creek and skiing was great for my first ski day.
Tracks were freshened on MLR during the day but didn’t hold up long due to the warm snow and number of skiers. Upper Tramline was groomed and a single track was set in the afternoon.
Started at minus 4 C with VR45 but quickly added VR50 which worked well all day.

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142 TC November 11, 2017 at 7:05 pm

Skied a good chunk of the Crystal Lines and up Mountain Road to Mountain View West down to Moose Loop by the Telephone Connector. In pretty good condition that far back with no ruts from horses, it could use another groom but I was skating it’s all relative. Was skijoring today on that spot and wasn’t too concerned with the conditions.

Fresh hiking boots on Crystal Line today however, add that to the horse tracks and Crystal Line is sort of a mess at the moment; particularly if you are attempting to skate.

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143 Martin & Jip November 11, 2017 at 6:58 pm

Bill Milne from mnt Kid to the Nakiska bridge and back, snow is holding up well, as others have said a few bare spots easily avoided, he says after having been caught out by one right out of the gate! VR55 worked great on all but the sunny spots, fortunately is was cloudy most of the day.

Took a side trip up Wedge connector, Better coverage as Bob said and nice not to have asphalt click on ever pole plant. More than few rocks showing close to the bridge, easily avoided this time even by me. Meet several happy skies all enjoying a rare chance to ski Bill Milne

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144 JR November 11, 2017 at 5:22 pm

CASCADE VALLEY
Just went to the bridge and back and the snow is holding up very nicely. Zero degrees at departure, used VR45 wax and had no problem with grip. The trail is skier set and well established. Coverage is excellent for Nov. 11. Remember our Vets today.

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145 Steve Riggs November 11, 2017 at 5:14 pm

Conditions were really quite good for November, and the weather was glorious at West Bragg today. The snow quality and coverage is holding up very well considering the warm sun, and waxing was simple, with Start Purple working flawlessly except on one short sun exposed hill that was getting a bit too springlike. We ended up skiing out the end of Mountain Road and back as the best skiing was found there with good smooth tracks giving great kick and glide. It reminded me of the Moraine Lake road in a way- only with way less people and more sun! Mountainview in great shape as well, and we found the hoof prints on Moose Connector to be only a minor annoyance. We ran into Bob, Cheryl and Tessa on the return- I’m sure he’ll have a full report later.
A few pix here:
https://steveriggs.smugmug.com/WestBraggNovember11

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146 Stephen Vermeulen November 11, 2017 at 10:30 am

Bill Milne trail Saturday morning, -5c no tracks and thin but nice for glide. Some elk droppings to dodge. There are two thin spots to watch out for. Good ski.

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147 Stephen Vermeulen November 11, 2017 at 1:02 pm

Here’s a photo of the worst of the bare spots. Pretty easy to avoid at the moment.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/sbmtNYlRsQF0ymEF2

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148 Frank Howard November 11, 2017 at 8:06 am

Kananaskis Village -November 10.
We skied Terrace, Kovach and Aspen Trails on Friday . Track setting on Terrace and grooming everywhere else. It was not necessarily pretty everywhere and more snow is required for better coverage but the snow quality itself was great and a good time was had by myself, fellow skiers and those we met along the way. The temperature probably went above zero so although the snow was able to keep its good characteristics while we were skiing there will probably be slightly icy conditions tomorrow should it not snow over night

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149 Cheeky November 10, 2017 at 10:36 pm

West Bragg Creek – Fri Nov 10
West Crystal (creek side), Moose Connector and most of Moose Loop were stomped up by two folk on horseback this afternoon, dropping huge dumps at every intersection along w.xtl. Looked like they went up west side of Telephone too. Expressed dismay at their choice of trail when we met them. We been doin it like this for years was their incredulous reply. We took a close look at the signage and yes indeedy-doo, they’re free to stomp and poo wherever they’d like ’till Dec 1. Hummph. Saw a huge group of snowshoers being led over the ski trail bridge and down w.xtl ski trail as we got back. Gotta laugh, to keep from cryin’.

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150 Diana Piggott November 11, 2017 at 9:42 am

I wonder if we could agitate to have the dates changed? We often have the best snow at Bragg Creek in November.
Of course, I have seen horses on trails clearly marked “no horses”, but that is another story……….

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151 TC November 10, 2017 at 9:14 pm

Skied West Bragg tonight, in good shape for this early in the season. Someone rode a horse on most of the groomed ski trails however; big hoof divots left in the corduroy with some major spots with lots of horse crap. Keep an eye for it when skiing.

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152 Chuck November 10, 2017 at 4:38 pm

MORAINE LAKE ROAD – Nov 10

Perfect timing today as the track setters arrived just as I headed out. See (and read) how nicely they have prepared it for you:
https://1drv.ms/a/s!AhVZXBE7vMV7iBcDoAbV-4ZsK4Fw
There were 2 cms of fresh snow last night and temperatures stayed below zero all day, so there were lots of happy faces.
Suggest those Skier Bob Rock Pickers head west… only need to watch out for the thin area on the curve near that first bridge.

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153 Marlene Augsten November 10, 2017 at 9:04 am

Skate skied the Bill Milne trail on Nov 9th….it was outstanding for early conditions! Get out and do it before the thaw.

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154 Alf Skrastins November 9, 2017 at 8:46 pm

West Bragg Creek Nov 9
Pretty well all of the West Bragg Crrek trails have now been packed and groomed. No tracksetting yet because the snowpack is not quite deep enough. Coverage is generally good, except on steeper hills or under large trees. Thanks to the Parks crew for getting this done!
The live grooming report has been updated. Just note that Loggers Loop, Moose Loop and Telephone Loop have actually been groomed, although the live grooming report does not say that.
I skied a loop that included most of the Crystal Lines, Mountain View, Mountain Road and Hostel Loop. It’s nice to be able to combine all those, without crossing the parking lot.

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155 Don C November 9, 2017 at 5:50 pm

What a great day skiing up Skogan Pass today. It’s a long grind up to the lookout but what a ride down ! Almost took out Skier Bob as he was working away removing rocks from the trail just above the intersection with Ruthies. Thanks Bob 🙂 The trail is in pretty good shape still and the further up you go the better the snow becomes. At the first intersection with Skogan Loop it looked like a pack of wolves had ripped apart some poor creature as all that was left was blood and fur ( unless of course it was a fallen skier ).

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156 NanSki November 9, 2017 at 5:45 pm

Skied Skogan Pass today – There were a few rocks that we tried to remove on the way up – but pretty good coverage overall and the ride down was very manageable. VR40 worked well for the climb. On our way down we ran into Bob (almost literally) – he was picking more rocks out on his way up. It was a very enjoyable day – perfect temperature and no wind at the top.

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157 JeremyN November 9, 2017 at 4:08 pm

Sandy McNabb: scenery, solitude, serenity, skihappiness!
Loggers & Meadow Loops skier tracks holding up by 3pm but prob not after tomorrow. Expect less snow than WBC with hazards -plenty of dead fall making for occasional bush detours (not always unwelcome!) but also less skiers & more wildlife.

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158 Barb G November 9, 2017 at 1:43 pm

Hi! Can anyone tell me about the conditions in PLPP? Have the trails been groomed there?

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159 Tanya November 10, 2017 at 7:40 am

My friend was out there last weekend and said there wasn’t enough snow to ski on, even higher up off Pocaterra from Highway 40 – she said I’d have to wait. They went hiking instead.

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160 Barb G November 10, 2017 at 9:02 am

Thank you Tanya!

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161 ElaineB November 8, 2017 at 5:29 pm

Confederation Park
Skiing still pretty good at Confederation today. Get out and try it before the thaw on Friday!
Faith in Xc skiers fulfilled. In response to a note left today on the gate about lost keys, Mark T. called this afternoon to tell me he had the keys I lost yesterday! Very very grateful.

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162 Gord F November 8, 2017 at 4:37 pm

West Bragg / Moose Loop. Nov. 8.
As others have said, I can confirm the trails at West Bragg are in fantastic early-season condition. Even though it’s all skier tracked, the skiing is really very good. We skied Crystal Line to Moose Loop. Didn’t touch a rock, nice and cool, good waxing conditions.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/lN3DdyRegKbwFsh63

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163 Ray Perrott November 8, 2017 at 4:08 pm

MLR – we had a very good early season ski on Moraine Lake road. Overall conditions were quite nice. A skiff (that’s about 1/2 cm) of overnight snow had covered the trail. The first 2km (to the Fairview Jct) are showing the wear and wobbles of heavy use, but there was no exposed pavement. Some sections of the next km (until past the Paradise Creek bridge) were a bit icy, or pavement was showing through the tracks – but these hazards were easily avoidable. After that, the tracks were great all the way to the turnaround point at the 9km mark (ok, maybe a bit wobbly, but still well defined). The return tracks were fairly fast. -10C to start, -6C at the end. No wind. Just a nice day for getting the ski legs back.

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164 Tanya November 8, 2017 at 3:32 pm

I skied the Moose Loop at West Bragg Creek today. Thank you for not laughing to the group of skiers who saw my spectacular wipe out on the steep hill down to the small bridge by the ice flow sign. To future skiers, this hill is in rough shape. Most of the hills were quite challenging today with a mess of frozen tracks all over them from weekend use. The trail will definitely improve with some grooming. Right now it’s good practice for backcountry ski touring.

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165 Diana Piggott November 8, 2017 at 10:40 pm

I was there later, mostly after grooming, and I went anti-clockwise. It looked like some hills would have been much worse going clockwise, so glad I went the way I did.

Also, this was my first visit to West Bragg Creek since last winter, and holey moley what a change!!!

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166 Tanya November 9, 2017 at 8:58 am

Yes, big changes! Hardly recognized the place. Glad you got the grooming on Moose. Normally I like natural conditions but the hills were a mess in the morning. We also went counter clockwise. Always do on this loop.

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167 fallsalot November 8, 2017 at 3:27 pm

West Bragg Creek today was very good. Blue sky, sunshine, mild temperature and absent wind made an enjoyable day. The snow was cold, dry and fast. I have used VR40. Generally expect skier set tracks and some grooming on Iron Springs and Elbow trails. Unfortunately some type of track vehicle ( K-car?) went over the groomed Iron Springs trail creating ruts and ridges which makes going downhill tricky. Snow coverage is good for the November and very few rocks, much better than in Kananaskis village last Saturday.

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168 ElaineB November 7, 2017 at 9:46 pm

Confederation Park
Confederation Park holding up reasonably well with some thin spots over grass and asphalt paths. Delightful to be out on the trails in Calgary so early in the season.
Lost my car key/house key out on the trail. Although I’m sort of resigned to it being found next spring when it melts, if you happen to find it please contact Bob and he will contact me. Thanks

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169 Steve Riggs November 7, 2017 at 9:16 pm

I set a track that wound about for nearly 2 km through the Birthplace Forest in Silver Springs last Friday. After 3 laps that day, and again on Saturday, the track had firmed up and it was skiing very nicely. I returned there this afternoon and while it was still OK- as I had expected much of the track had been obliterated by dogs and their humans.
Still- I can’t complain as we also take our pooch there, and it is especially enjoyable being able to step into the skis at my back gate, and slide down the lane into the park.

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170 Lauren November 7, 2017 at 7:07 pm

Cascade Fire Road Nov 7, 2017

No grooming, however there are two sets of ski tracks almost all the way to the campground. Conditions are good (no stones) up to the campground. Gets a little trickier after that and only one set of tracks after the bridge. Snow was dry and fluffy! Fantastic trip. – 10 and sunny.

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171 Helen Read November 7, 2017 at 6:49 pm

Thanks to Barb asking about MLR and to Bill’s response, three of us decided to opt for the easier place to ski (instead of Skogan Pass) and found good conditions exactly as described in Bill’s report. It is not good for skate skiers because of previous truck indents making centre lane very uneven and lots of people walking. Met a big group from Shell there around noon. Was sorely tempted to ski to the Lake but will the next time I am there. A little chilly coming down and get out of the tracks before km. 3 to avoid sanding your bases with pavement.

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172 Diana Piggott November 7, 2017 at 4:48 pm

Calgary – Bowness Park

I went this afternoon to check out conditions at Bowness Park. No grooming yet, but good random skiing in more open areas. Under big trees, especially at the west end, the coverage is too thin yet.

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173 JeremyN November 7, 2017 at 3:24 pm

West Bragg Cr.
Mid-day classic ski through (mostly) fluffy skier set tracks thoughout south network (sundog-eastcrystal-loggers-mtnview/road-westcrystal). Snow on these trails is fast & light making for good early season workout for ones balance and uphill grip technique. Note that corduroy was just laid down on Iron Springs/Elbow at noon but obviously not ski-able as loft knocked out of snow, and base has yet to sinter . Used rock skis but didnt see not hit any earth or roots so was elated. Surprising not very many ppl had tracked said trails since snowstorm. GET OUT THERE! people.

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174 KV November 7, 2017 at 6:31 pm

It was my understanding there was no grooming going on for the foreseeable future…
Has there been an update?

Check the update on “Groomer’s Reports” from GBCTA Groomer Jeff. -Bob

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175 JeremyN November 10, 2017 at 7:23 am

oops, misconstrued. what I MEANT TO SAY was: not many people had skid said trails so don’t wait for tracksetting, just go ski (not criticizing work crews).

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176 Tony November 7, 2017 at 1:50 pm

Just did a lunchtime lap at Maple Ridge golf course in Calgary. Its skier set tracks, but holding up much better than I expected. A few places where the grass is showing through on the trail, but easy to go around if necessary. I just skied all the way around and didn’t get stopped in my tracks anywhere. Running faster than at the weekend now as well. Can’t beat these conditions in early November.

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177 Tony November 9, 2017 at 3:17 pm

Did another lap at Maple Ridge today and still enjoyed it, but its seen heavy foot traffic in places now and there are more bare patches, had to switch tracks a few times. unlikely to be worthwhile for me after today with the forecast until the next snowfall. Still, it was great to get a few days in early in November.

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178 barb banff November 6, 2017 at 10:25 pm

Does anyone know how Moraine is holding up?
thanks!

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179 Bill November 7, 2017 at 6:42 am

Skied MLR yesterday and found it very good. Some isolated spots of pavement showing thru the tracks btwm km 1 to 3, after that it was like winter. Tracks were getting a liitle loose but overall it was good enough that I’m considering going back today.

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180 Chuck November 6, 2017 at 6:57 pm

GREAT DIVIDE – Nov 6

Now I know why Helen skis this return trip from the Lake O’Hara end (starting uphill and ending downhill). I started at the Lake Louise end (easily enticed downhill) forgetting how long the return journey uphill would take! Furthermore, I was on light touring skis (with metal edges), which was overkill. Conditions are fast on a hard packed base. No need for rock skis… No lurking dangers!
Parks Canada groomers have not track set the Great Divide yet, but the base is now solid. Even the frost heaves in the pavement at the Lake Louise end are no longer a hazard and simply mild humps.
The only danger is the continuing bear activity. Once you have checked out these photos (with captions), I know you will remember to bring your Bear Spray:
https://1drv.ms/a/s!AhVZXBE7vMV7iAvDhfvde_yOH1gO

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181 Alf Skrastins November 5, 2017 at 11:35 pm

Skogan Pass – Nov 5
The ski conditions on the Skogan Pass trail in the Ribbon Creek area were absolutely amazing for early November. Starting from the Nakiska ski area, we joined the Skogan Pass Trail at the Ruthie’s Trail junction. With the exception of a few rocks on the steepest hills, there was good snow coverage right from the start. Past the old Marmot Creek junction, it got even better, with beautiful track setting, wherever the trail was gentle enough to allow for that. The 670m descent back to the parking lot was fast, smooth and free of any surprises.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/6lOgMVjMO9nIbvxI2

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182 Steve Riggs November 6, 2017 at 7:03 am

I am certain that yesterday was the earliest that I have ever skied set tracks to Skogan Pass. Kudos to Jeff! I noticed that some of the hills on upper Skogan that are usually double trackset were only single trackset- I actually prefer that on some of those long fast hills, especially when still getting the ski skills back in form. Upper Skogan also featured a lot of wolf tracks as did High Level- I hope Alf’s bunny gets it’s winter coat soon. We did the side loop of High Level and Sunburst on the return which were groomed only for the most part with good coverage, but with some encroaching willows waiting to snag a ski tip if one is not careful. Ooops!

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183 Sarah November 8, 2017 at 6:05 pm

Hi Alf, How many km of trail have they groomed in total here?

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184 Doug Connery November 5, 2017 at 9:52 pm

It was great to get out for a first ski before remembrance day and at Kananaskis Village rather than enduring the long drive to Moraine Lake Road. Started at the Ribbon Creek parking lot and skied up Kovach to Terrace to the Village and back onto Kovach to Aspen, then down Kovach back to the parking lot. Conditions were decent with well rolled trails, and only a few spots of gravel.

I then decided to explore the 2.4 km upper Bill Milne trail from the Ribbon Creek bridge to the Village. This rolled trail was thin in a few spots but a great alternative route back up to the village. It parallels the road to the village on the south side as it climbs its way up at a good grade similar to the tramline trail at Lake Louise. To start, one needs to walk about 100 metres up the village road (from the turn off to the Ribbon Creek parking lot) crossing the Ribbon Creek bridge. The trail then starts on the left. It ends in the maze of parking lots not far from the village visitors centre. Finding the trail from the village centre is a bit of a challenge, however if you spot the faded green bike route sign then that is the beginning. The run back down was fun as it twisted and turned down the hill to the Ribbon Creek bridge.

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185 CHARLES CURTIS November 5, 2017 at 8:05 pm

I skied at Confederation Golf Course today. The purple/yellow trails have been rolled but not track set. The stadium (driving range) has also been groomed for skating.

There is a reasonable good skier set track on most of the trails. The parking lot was also cleared today and most/all of the grooming equipment has arrived.

Photos
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1I6UAUhIyZwfJrxYdGXO7IOo_KaNrOr0T0w/view?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-HoCF_i_SsWK3bKEWu3du0sAHaxL6xcCKg/view?usp=sharing

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186 C November 6, 2017 at 12:21 pm

I went out to confederation today and wasn’t able to find any of these groomed trails… I must be at the wrong park of golf course. Where exactly do you park to access these trails?

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187 Bob Truman November 6, 2017 at 6:42 pm

I’m not the right one to be answering this question, but until someone with more knowledge chimes in, access is from 19 St NW at Collingwood Dr. The city provides this google map https://www.google.ca/maps/@51.0796456,-114.1067123,17z

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188 Jamie Grant November 6, 2017 at 9:58 pm

The south side of the golf course was not rolled/packed. Only the north side over towards 14th St NW. Bob’s description of the access is correct.

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189 Helen Read November 5, 2017 at 6:46 pm

Great Divide: started at noon from O’Hara end. Saw many bear paw prints (20 cms long) soon after I started. Enough snow to set a shallow but decent track, poles hitting pavement but just at both ends of The Divide. It has only been machine groomed (no corduroy) and not suitable for skate skiers. Enough snow to do my usual snowplow back down the curvy hill. Only one set of “twiglets” sticking up in my tracks the entire 22 kms. It was almost spooky having the Divide all to myself this afternoon and appreciated the added hour of daylight. Chuck found terrific looking snow on Cascade!

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190 barb banff November 6, 2017 at 6:17 pm

apologies – for incorrect reporting on great divide!
i saw the roller at trailhead & jumped to wrong conclusion.

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191 Bob Truman November 5, 2017 at 5:53 pm

Lake O’Hara
Steve and Nina sent in this report:

Hi Bob,

Thought you might like a trail report for the Lake O’Hara access road as of Saturday 4th Nov. There is no discernable set track yet but there is a sled compacted section, albeit thin, all the way to the lake. Caution is required between about the 4 and 6 km mark, where the gravel road below makes it’s presence known just enough that Nina and I have a couple of new scratches in our ski bases.

Still, we had a beautiful day and a pretty amazing beginning to the season!
Lake O’Hara fire road

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192 Tanya November 5, 2017 at 5:40 pm

Did a short ski at the Village after doing a few runs down Nakiska. Snow is definitely better in West Bragg. Terrace was so full of foot prints it was hard to find ski tracks to follow. Skier tracked skiing is better in the fluffy snow at Bragg Creek.

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193 Chuck November 5, 2017 at 4:57 pm

CASCADE VALLEY – November 5

Surprised to find so much snow on that first hill up the Cascade! And lots of people out enjoying it. Usually there is more snow once you get to the top, but today we found the reverse. In fact, there were rocks appearing at the higher elevations, and it seemed to get worse after the first bridge.
Check out the details (captions) here:
https://1drv.ms/a/s!AhVZXBE7vMV7h33e_0F1P2XzvZoR

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194 Martin & Jip November 5, 2017 at 4:50 pm

Jip and I skied Moose loop this afternoon, it was great , skier set and lots of fresh tracks still to be had, maybe that is one of the few advantages of having one dog power to track the softer stuff, offset by the endless sniffing and side excursions following critter tracks!
I’ve not been to WBC since last ski season, wow the new parking lot and facilities are fantastic, what a transformation.

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195 gh November 5, 2017 at 4:14 pm

I skied West Crystal / northern portion of Moose / Mountain Road / Loggers / East Crystal. The conditions are pretty decent, particularly considering how early it is in November. I only heard scrapping sounds 5 times in the entire journey and my skis sustained no visible signs of damage. I think that I was only the 3rd person to ski the west side of Mountain Road. It is fine. There is still open water in the creek at the northwest corner of Moose (just west of the junction with Tom Snow heading towards Dawson). The temperature at the start of the day (0900) was around -12. It had warmed to -8 upon my return (1330).

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196 gh November 5, 2017 at 4:18 pm

my rant for the day… I did not want to put this into my main trip report. There were several instances today of people stopping to urinate right on the ski trail (I saw the results, not the actual urinating). I wonder why some people find it so difficult to ski over to the edge of the ski trail away from the track when nature calls.

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197 Manfred Kintop November 5, 2017 at 5:15 pm

I noticed that as well and did a double take after not seeing any dog tracks.

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198 Hugh November 5, 2017 at 3:50 pm

Moraine Lake Road: -12C 10:30 AM VR 30 was OK. Tracks are getting used alot and are showing the usage. A bit rattly up to Paradise Creek. As mentioned pavement shows through in spots. But great skiing non the less.
Trail was really quite quiet. Parking was barely out onto the highway.
Of course the walkers were out…….
Ran into Robin McKeever and Mark Arendz from the Para Nordic team. They skied further out on the road up top and found skiing was even better the further out one went. Poles not even hitting pavement..

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199 Manfred Kintop November 5, 2017 at 3:37 pm

I’m still reveling in the fact that it’s November 5th and I was skiing at WBC. Crystal line, Loggers, Sundog. Great early season conditions on skier set track. A few walkers post-holing trails close to the parking lot, but otherwise splendid conditions (so early!). Busy in the parking lot at 11:30 this morning but I didn’t run into anyone else 10 minutes into my trip. -12c with lovely cold snow. https://photos.app.goo.gl/4HQ6CgXcYRfGe1I32

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200 Bob Truman November 5, 2017 at 9:14 am

The Parks Canada website is back up. It indicates that Great Divide and Upper Tramline have been “packed and graded.” I am inferring from “graded” that the snow has been smoothed, or groomed and the snowmobile tracks and ridges are gone. Barb Banff who was out later in the afternoon mentioned on her report that Great Divide was rolled, which leaves a corduroy surface.

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201 Rhonda W November 4, 2017 at 10:30 pm

First ski of the year from Ribbon creek up Hidden trail, part of Coal mine etc. Then over to Bill milne. Bring old poles, hit the pavement each time. Nice coverage and someone set my trail on Bill Milne before I got there this morning. Started around 10:30am in -20c which was fine. It warmed up a bit after a few hours. Just nice to be out.

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202 Martin & Jip November 4, 2017 at 6:46 pm

Took Jip skijoring around Nakiska, great coverage, lots of good skiing to be had on all trails, could not go wrong, new ribbon creek I’m sure being the exception!
Only a few skiers around early afternoon all very happy to chat and share, one miserable, how come there always seems to one?
Highlight of the day was for Jip to meet a fellow husky pup ‘Solo’ on,y 3mths old and so cute!

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203 Tanya November 4, 2017 at 5:37 pm

Earliest ski day we’ve ever had. We went to West Bragg today and skied a short loop on West Crystal Line, Moose Link, and the Mountain Road. Conditions were phenomenal! Very good ski tracks to follow, no rocks, and plenty of soft fluffy snow for when your child wipes out. Great day. Warming hut was even open which was an unexpected bonus.

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204 Jenn November 4, 2017 at 5:25 pm

West Bragg Creek-skied West Crystal Line to Loggers Loop, Sundog Loop, connected to East Crystal Line and back to parking lot. Amazing! So much snow for early Nov.! Our dog was in powder heaven! Faint ski tracks in the snow but enough that we didn’t have to break trail. Only saw 1 other skier from a distance-on a Saturday afternoon!
Thanks for this wonderful website and everyone’s comments on ski conditions. Just moved back to Calgary after 9 years away and was so happy to find this awesome resource.

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205 Valerie Bell November 4, 2017 at 4:09 pm

Maple Ridge golf course.
First, you have to pass the agility test by getting through the gates, which are chained close together. (Chain is waist high) . The course is skier track set, with grass showing through in a few places, but adequate snow except in one or two places, under the trees. Great to be able to get out in the city, so early in the season.

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206 JR November 4, 2017 at 4:00 pm

Mount Shark
Skied as far as Watridge Lake turnoff on Saturday afternoon. Conditions were OK along the flat sections but plenty of rocks just below the surface on all of the downhill sections. Caution or ski removal advised. Overall, it was a very enjoyable outing and remarkable to be on skis as early as November 4, but was somewhat disappointed that this area didn’t receive the snowfall that other areas received. Will wait for another storm cycle to hit Mount Shark before returning.

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207 Mary Perrott November 4, 2017 at 3:58 pm

Kananaskis Village for our first ski of the season! The temperature at the start was a nippy -18C. that warmed up to -12C at 1:30 pm. We skied on Terrace and Aspen trails in the morning (thanks to Bob and others who set tracks yesterday), and saw no one else. After an indoor lunch at the Village Centre, we tried Lower Skogan from Ribbon Parking. We were the first ones up on fresh grooming once past the Nakiska Road. The snow coverage was good, with only a bit of needles/dirt/twigs poking through and easily avoided. We only went to the bottom of the Screamer and called it a day. More skiers on this section and 20 cars in the parking lot by the time we headed for home.

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208 Eric R November 4, 2017 at 3:54 pm

Amazing snow on cascade valley trail.
Hard to believe only me and one other skier is enjoying this early season gift.
Only went as far as the new gate but got a good ski in before work today.
-15 under a full moon and sunny morning.
have it skier track set in a few days ?

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209 sheila November 4, 2017 at 2:38 pm

Better sit down for this one. We skied today. So did many others, I am sure. But we skied SANDY MCNABB!!! Now aren’t you glad I told you to sit down. It was beautiful! Must have received an easy 30 cm that managed to cover rocks, twigs, downed trees, and all the other culprits one has come to expect in this area. There had been others before us (left hand side up to Lookout, nothing on right where Loggers Loop is) so we did not have to break trail. There has been no grooming of any kind but it truly was a worthwhile trip. Sure hope the trails will be at least packed as what we now have will make a wonderful base for future snowfalls.

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210 Diana Piggott November 4, 2017 at 9:07 pm

:O

Thank you!!

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211 Manfred Kintop November 5, 2017 at 3:51 pm

I can’t get enough of Sandy McNabb. Good thing my headlamp is charged up! Thanks for the report Sheila : )

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212 Karla November 6, 2017 at 7:14 am

Sandy is a gem when there is snow 🙂

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213 Mike Rossier November 6, 2017 at 8:26 pm

We (members of the Sheep River Ramblers) have been snow-shoeing the west end of the park Bluerock trail, West Sheep River Trail and WhiskeyJack Lake loop since the dump last week. Im happy that \Loggers got enough snow! Will try to get there tommorow with skis, after our snowshoe along the Gorge Creek trail. Thanks for letting us know and yes! when there is enough snow, those ski trails are perfection – provided snowshoers and dog walkers stay off of them!!!!

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214 Bob Truman November 4, 2017 at 2:00 pm

Moraine Lake road at Lake Louise is track set. Still a few thin spots on the first 2.6k up to Paradise Creek. Gets better the further you go. I’ll have an update with photos tonight.

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215 barb banff November 4, 2017 at 5:14 pm

bob
we must have passed each other. classic
surprisingly good. not very busy and didn’t need rock skis!
talked to tracksetter, said they won’t likely be able to
fix the truck ruts until we get another 20cms.

checked out 1A – rolled only.

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216 Jim Baerg November 4, 2017 at 10:27 am

FWIW I skied in Canmore Park & Confederations golf course on the afternoon of Nov 3. There were only skier set tracks. The amount of snow was adequate, though in some place the grass was visible at the bottom of the ski tracks.

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217 John G November 4, 2017 at 6:49 am

Skogan Pass was in great shape yesterday. I skinned up from the Nakiska base area to where the skidoo trail meets the Skogan Pass trail and suddenly was greeted by a wide carpet of corduroy! Off with the skins and on with blue wax which was perfect up to Skogan Loop. Its easy to see and miss any areas with a few small rocks or stones. Tracks were set in places, which I had to avoid with my fat skis, but the run down was great fun. Jeff must have still been out grooming as my upticks were gone and it was beautifully soft on the way down.

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218 Alf Skrastins November 3, 2017 at 11:16 pm

Ribbon Creek-Nov 3
Yesterday’s report of grooming at the Ribbon Creek trails brought me out to one of my favourites in the area. The Coal Mine trail is an “out and back” that is largely a steady climb from the junction with Hidden trail. It’s a great side trip, if you are doing a loop that includes the post-flood Ribbon Creek XC ski trail. I had so much fun on the way down from the the old coal mine, that I went back up and did it again. Then I did a few powder runs on the reclaimed surface mine. The second run down the groomed trail was as much fun as the first.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/Gvwe7DaV41o8rWjs1
I have my doubts about Nakiska’s claim of 45cm of new snow… I measured between 20 and 26 cm using an actual ruler. Still, that’s pretty good for November 3!

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219 Keith November 4, 2017 at 8:12 pm

Walking in the dark in South Glenmore Park Thursday morning I saw three great horned owls and heard another one in the dark ahead. There must be something in the air!

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220 Alaric November 3, 2017 at 9:44 pm

Canmore Nordic Centre
Len has been out grooming (still too thin for tracks) on the Bow Loop (aka Lower Banff Trail) out to the far end. A little thin in places so best to be on rock skis, but surprisingly great. I classic skied even without tracks as it would be a little thin for skating. Quick reminder that you need a day pass or an early season pass if you are skiing as the regular season pass doesn’t start until November 18th.

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221 Ray November 3, 2017 at 7:27 pm

West Bragg Trip Report
Friday, 03Nov17, 1900 – Just got back from skiing West Bragg. Nothing has been groomed yet, so any tracks that exist are skier made. There’s anywhere from 30-40 cm of fresh snow (depending on tree cover). The Mountain road didn’t have tracks on it yet. We followed existing tracks through Chickadee Meadow and over the bridge to West Crystal Line. Followed that along to the Moose Connector junction. At that point the tracks cut south to continue on the southern West Crystal Line. We broke the trail along the Moose Connector to the Mountain Road, and then continued breaking the trail west along Mountain Road to just after the gully. At that point we turned around and retraced our steps. The snow was light but deep and you can see lots of deer and moose tracks. Temperature was -15 and we saw only one person the whole time. It was a great way to end the day!

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222 Mike Reece November 3, 2017 at 6:37 pm

I followed the track of this recent snowstorm and headed to west Bragg Creek trails. I skied West Crystal Line to Loggers Loop and down Sundog back to parking lot. There was at least 40cm and I didn’t hit one rock! It’s was skier set, I did some of the first tracks but the snow was cold and light. A very good early season ski. I stopped at the incredible “Heart of Bragg Creek” coffee shop where I was met with incredibly hospitality and organic baked goods, coffee and chai and hot soups! The cafe is right across from the Bragg Creek Mall. Well worth the stop.
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/shk86sk96j7ak2s/AABU9ZNZiXAQ7WY3aB6cbzk-a?dl=0

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223 Helen Read November 3, 2017 at 6:16 pm

Ended last season with Bill Milne Trail in a March full moon, so decided to ski it both directions, starting at Golf Course. Snow seemed over 10 cms. on bridge banisters; more plentiful at Ribbon end. Minus 13 so had lunch in car then drove to Wedge Pond. Great snow on Wedge Connector to bridge- ski tips disappeared breaking trail and skies turned a beautiful blue. Thought I might run into Jeff but he is a busy man packing everything down. Besides hearing poles hitting pavement, the only other sounds were birds squaking heading south. Always good to get first ski done, as forgot many items in pack and erred on wrong wax.

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224 Roy November 3, 2017 at 4:32 pm

In Kimberley visiting family and lucky I brought my skis!!!! Winter wonderland here! Nice early season classic track on good skis. Skating lane will freeze in tonight. Full size groomer was heading out at 4PM.

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225 Eric R November 2, 2017 at 9:40 pm

personal ,I try to start the season when the snow is fantastic !!
today was another one of those days this season.:
started early afternoon today MLR .solid coverage ,machine groomed till 2/3 way up ,then machine tracked till turn-a-round.
dusting of snow all day and -10 snow.
checked on cascade.
parks still has road open and they plowed it !!more than enough for skiing but did not ski up as there was only one nice set of skier track set heading up.
instead skied Nordic centre for some of the best skier track set night skiing I have ever done on Banff trail !
the lights where even on for the loop !
I see a full moon goat creek ski fun run coming soon…..

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226 Frank Howard November 3, 2017 at 5:29 pm

Great report! Thanks!

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227 Frank Howard November 2, 2017 at 3:36 pm

It always amazes me on how many people will get out chronologically (i.e., by a certain date) rather than objectively ( is there enough snow?), not that I have been out yet! It must be nice being close to the action, Chuck. Yes, I am jealous!

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228 Chuck November 1, 2017 at 5:50 pm

MORAINE LAKE ROAD – November 1

Oh Ye of Little Faith… where was everyone today?
Bob advised us that snow was on the way… so we headed back to the MLR.
Temperatures stayed steady at minus 3 all day. With about 4 cms of snow overnight (on top of the previous base), these four photos describe the day:
https://1drv.ms/a/s!AhVZXBE7vMV7h3KbhXEy_enXDK6l
Coverage is thin until the first bridge at 2.6 km, but after that there is plenty of snow. Just be careful in the regular sun affected spots.
Martin Jones thought that I would be leading the charge… but obviously Jeannette enjoyed taking that role from me!

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229 Henry L November 1, 2017 at 7:56 pm

Thanks from all or us for dragging old Chuck up there Jeannette. I have a feeling that this will be a banner winter for everyone. I’m stocking up on extra popcorn.

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