Trip Reports Nov 2019

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


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  1. Started out by checking Yoho Valley Road and turned around after 2 kms. It was like skiing in perfect “snowman making tracks”. Temp was zero at 10:20. Noticed a lot of construction activity at O’Hara entrance so decided to park at conventional lot to ski Great Divide. It was +2 by the time I started and there was evidence of tree debris and lots of leaves and needles in sections of the trail after last nights huge winds, but otherwise it was in very good condition. Doubt they will groom it until new snow buries that tree beard stuff-maybe the trees are celebrating MOVember. Skied to the top of the big hill trying out my new waxless Rossignols and was very happy with them today. Parking lot was reasonably full but maybe only 4-5 cars by the time I was done at 1:30. Am praying for a BIG DUMP to land in PLPP. I guess I should not have voted for the groomers to work during Grey Cup this Sunday, the 24th.

  2. A belated update on Divide. Got to the Lake Ohara end about 1:30 yesterday in a hard wet snow squall. Blue wax was clumping horribly but a switch to scales worked fine. Skin skis reported to be working well too.Very nice if you didn’t mind a bit of rain , pellets, and wet snow with a few big wind gusts. Overnight snow and snow predicted for tomorrow should make it good this week.

  3. Boom Lake, Nov 17
    An early season tour to Boom Lake today included a range of weather. It was just below 0C starting out, we skied through a cloud layer and into sunshine for a while, then had lunch at the lake in a snow storm. After that, it warmed up enough to make the snow soft and sticky. Snow coverage was good, right from the parking lot and the only rocks sticking out were in the last 50 metres to the lake shore. Nice to see that some work had been done to improve the drainage and the tread!

  4. Lake Louise Tramline Trail, Great Divide:
    We started at the train station around 10:30am in -1C. 2-3 cm fresh snow, skier tracked trail up the Tramline on wax skis and purple Multigrade. Grip was somewhat challenging. Met 2 Parks groomers on their skidoos when we crossed the road. Continued on Tramline to the lake following a skier track above the second parking lot that lead to the trail junction that heads to Fairview Lookout. From the lake, we headed back down to the Tramline to connect to the Divide Trail. The parking lot was very full. Great tracks, and fun double poling. A strong wind came from the Lake O’Hara end. We turned around at the Divide as we knew that going back up would be quite some work. Wet snow started to come down heavily. My wax wasn’t working as well as my husband’s anymore, so I reverted to skate skiing for the last gentle uphills. Skiing down the Tramline Trail back to the village was good, however slower in the wet snow. We didn’t hit any rocks. A fun day in springlike conditions.

  5. Lake Louise Great Divide Trail:
    Wow! What a beautiful warm day! We skated from the Lake Louise end to Lake O’Hara lot then back this morning. Starting at 830am we were the 2nd car in the lot and -1 degree, light snow. There was a couple fresh centimetres of snow on the trail making for a bit of a slower skate ski but amazing nonetheless. About 1/2 way to Lake O’Hara the groomers came by packing down the fresh snow some more. Made it to Lake O’Hara before the rest of the skiers appeared and boy did they appear! Many out enjoying the beautiful weather and the fantastic trail conditions. Not sure how the weather was for classic but did see a number of skiers stopping and waxing mid ski…incredible groomed trail condition right now!

  6. I am a skier and mtn biker, but I have to agree with the horse riders in this instance. The long-established cut off-date for equestrian use is December 1st. Why should it change at the whim of the skier group at the expense of the equestrian group? The owner of this facility is the Government of Alberta, managed by Alberta Environment and Parks. It is not a private club. I suggest people go to the Canmore Nordic Centre if they want pristine horse free facilities.

    I cannot help but notice there seems to be a focused effort by the West Bragg association staff to discredit, and I believe deliberately chase the equestrians out. It is a propaganda program trying to discredit the less organized equestrian users, and it is wrong. Groomer Bill’s comment is a classic example whereby the grooming staff, with a user group bias, are using a public platform to discredit and smear equestrians who are entirely within their government sanctioned rights to be on West Crystal before December 1st, and all the multi-use trails year round for that matter. They change the dates (on whose authority I might ask?), have poor communication about the change to users, and then blame and smear the horse riders who are being set up for conflict with other users. The unfortunate thing is that other non-equestrian users become emboldened to attack the equestrian users, which I have been witness to on a few occasions unfortunately. Each time the horse riders were been in the right, but the skiers and mountain bikers somehow got it in their head that horses were not allowed on the multi-use trails at all.

    Another thing, most equestrians are women and their attackers, men… 100% of the time in my personal experience. The women have been bullied and intimidated both verbally and physically for exercising and defending their right to ride horses in West Bragg. The sad thing is, the WBC association and operations staff seem to be involved in a couple these extreme incidents frequently. A couple of incidents recounted to me are truly unfortunate, wherein a couple young women were berated so aggressively by a skier in one instance and a groomer in another – to the to the point of real tears; and I can imagine physical fear of these men; all for riding where they are 100% entitled to be. Poor communication and poor signage is an issue in West Bragg.

    I feel sympathetic towards the equestrians, and sad because it is a part of our western heritage and needs to be preserved as a native recreation for Albertans. West Bragg Creek is intended for all users and it is the job of the association to carry out that mandate, issued by the government; rather than trying to effectively privatize West Bragg for their own user group and subsidized by taxpayers.

    • My response would be that horses do a disproportionate amount of damage to trails , Summer and Winter , compared to other trail users. I rode the Three Point Mountain trail on my mountain bike this summer, I had planned to do the whole Forgetmenot rounder (exiting via Wildhorse trail) this fall but I note that , on Trailforks at least, the Three Point Mountain trail is now designated as equestrian only – no mountain bikes allowed. I call BS on this one.

    • The fact that we have as skiers, exclusive use of a network of trails on public land for a period of time is totally unique and something to be thankful for. Discouraging other users from using these public lands during times in which they are permitted will only lead to further conflict. We should be appreciative of our privilege to be in these spaces, as it may be removed in the future.

    • First of all if you had read my comments you would have read that I said they had the right to be on the trails. Common decency should have prevailed and they could have gone to ride the other trails that I had suggested to them. There were better, less intrusive trails to be ridden that day. Just because you have the right to be on a particular trail does not mean you should be on that trail. As bikers, skiers and equestrian riders we all have avoided trails when conditions were not suitable. That is common decency. I spent 2.5 hours on Saturday assessing the damage to the trail and talking and listening to the ladies and I spent 2.5 hours of my Sunday cleaning up that trail.

      The maintenance facility was built by and is owned by AEP, however the GBCTA has a 10 year agreement to manage, maintain, provide quality trails to ALL WBC users. You are right this is not a private club and the GBCTA has gone to and continues to go to great lengths to work with ALL users groups especially the Equestrian community. The Equestrian community is well represented and very active on the board of the GBCTA. I personally have spent many many hours defending equestrian use and working with our equestrian members. We have worked extensively with their concerns and issues, trying our best to make their riding experience the best it can be. And we continue to work with the Equestrian community – we have a meeting on Tuesday to work on further plans. We have discussed these issues with passion, respectfulness and empathy.

      I have never attacked a woman on a horse or otherwise. I find it very offensive that you would assume that because I am a male I would use that to bully or otherwise intimidate a woman or for that matter anyone. As a matter of fact in this case I was the one bullied but I cannot discuss this case.

      WBC is a multi use area for Equestrians, Bikers, Skiers, Walkers, Snowshoers etc. We must all be respectful of the users, the trails, and the volunteer efforts to make this trail system great. Many Many Many volunteer hours go into building, maintaining and grooming these trails, summer and winter. We must all be respectful of our actions to keep these trails safe and in good condition for the best user experience.

      The volunteer Board, volunteer groomers (fat bike and ski), the volunteer trail builders and maintainers put in unbelievable number of hours of blood sweat and tears to keep these trails so amazing. We would like it if our trail users felt the same passion we do for our trails.

      With all due respect

      Groomer Bill


        Trail etiquette is a (normative) society customary code of polite behavior on trails.

        Education of trail etiquette is needed on signs and in schools. This will reduce conflicts and save volunteer work as well as tax dollars.

        Keep on Groomin’ Bill. Thanks for your volunteer time.

      • Thank you Bill for everything you do!! It is greatly appreciated! I think you said it best with “just because you have the right to do something, doesn’t mean you should.” Respect goes a long way and I’m sorry for how this went down. Please know how many of us value your hard work.

      • very well said Bill. I think tolerance is necessary until this anachronistic activity disappears.

        • Equestrian riding hopefully will not disappear. We need to make trails for them and understand their needs and hopefully supply their needs. They must also understand that we build and maintain trails for all users and all users must work hard to keep our trails in good condition. This includes ski grooming. Grooming ski trails is time consuming hard work and as we all know ephemeral. Lets try to preserve them when they are there.

    • Hey Darcy, your comment is a classic example of trash-talk. I understand you haven’t contributed to WBC besides proclaiming yourself as a taxpayer. And apparently you don’t have a trip report either.

      • I think Darcy like many other equestrian riders are frustrated with their dwindling range to practice their sport. They are being pushed out of many areas. WBC is one of the very few places in Alberta where all these outdoor activities are welcome and encouraged. We are trying to make WBC a showcase area to show people how we can all co-exist. This exercise is invariably going to have conflicts and growing pains. The idea is to talk about our issues in a fair and reasonable manor and solve them as best we can. Everyone need to show tolerance and respect for their fellow users and the trails. Show people we can work together to make WBC an amazing facility for outdoor enthusiasts.

    • Darcy, I was interested in your comment until I reached the third paragraph.
      Attackers? Are you defining the word the same as most others? Being questioned about personal decisions and judgement and its cumulative effect on others is not attacking. Period. Its doubtful this constitutes as an ‘extreme’ incident. This is not an instance of the Oppression if the Male Patriarchy, try as you might to frame it as such. This is NOT a platform for Identity Politics, if you feel the need to disperse social justice, take it to Twitter.

  7. +1c and lots of good parking at 130pm at MLR today. -3C after our ski at 415pm. Overcast as we drove away. Red/silver on the way up. Violet on the way down. Fast tracks on the descent.

  8. Four horse woman decided to ride up East Crystalline today. I tried to dissuade them from doing so, but sadly, to no avail. They insisted on their right to use the trail system until the Dec 1 cutoff. I could not persuade them of the common decency and all the hard work that goes into the making of these trails. The tried to stay on the side of the trails but after a while they ended up walking down the middle of Sundog and up Elbow. returning the same way. Naturally there is the usual clean up that myself and the crew will have to do to repair the damage and the manure left on the trails.

    with a tear in my eye,
    Groomer Bill

    • Skiing at Bragg Creek this afternoon (Nov. 16) I encountered two horse riders who were making a mess of the outbound Mountain Road trail. I was non-confrontational but pretty nervous as the horses were definitely not thrilled to be on the same trail as me. What a coincidence! The situation got out of control when both horses spooked and I was looking to bail but its hard to run up a steep embankment on skis.

      The fact is the two activities do NOT mix. The second fact is, the dates on the signs need to be changed when we are blessed with good early ski conditions. Get the horses off of the ski trails or there is going to be an incident.

  9. Great Divide (from OHara end)

    As Bob’s blog mentioned, this was a great day for this ski. We started at the O’Hara end about 10:30am, temp -3C. Mix of waxless and waxable skis for our group of 6. The new trackset was a delight to find. Not much to add to Bob’s report, other than there was little or no change to conditions by the time we finished at 2:30pm, temp 0C.
    It started snowing lightly as we were putting our skis away. Should still be pretty good tomorrow.

  10. Sat nov 16: lake Louise
    -4 right now at the lower tramline parking lot. Just a light dusting of new snow. Active construction on Hwy 1 just east of Louise, down to one lane and 60 k for a short section.

    • +2 back at the car at 1230. Tracks were well loved today by many. The only grooming activity I saw was roll packing the skate lane on MLR first thing in the morning.

  11. Like Bob, we skied Moraine Lake Road today. Excellent early season conditions, although my skis iced up a bit with purple wax. It got better as the temperature went down and the new snow covered icy patches . Very dramatic views of Mt Temple and the Ten Peaks shrouded in mist.

  12. Skied around Frozen Thunder for an hour this afternoon at Canmore Nordic Centre. It opens tomorrow for the regular season but there is no snow! Other than Frozen Thunder there wasn’t enough snow to open anything else. I believe they are doing snow making and are trying to get the green loop open, but I don’t believe it’ll be open for tomorrow.
    The stadium is open, with double tracks, (contrary to what the website says) so you can ski from the day lodge to Frozen Thunder.

    Snow at the CNC was fast today but not icy. I felt safe on the hills. We just used waxless skis.

  13. WBC: Crystalines/SunDog & links, mtn road.

    Mid morning classic dbl pole only was on order. A bit slick in track but firm & not terribly icy actually in skate lane with a bit of slight surface frost & noon softening. No sun so good. Walkers we’re coming out in force so expect lots of potentially hazardous post holes this w/e on your downhills. Klister (does anyone still use that!?) or skin skis would be recommended over scales for classic. Saw only handful of easily recognized poo & earthen hazards.



    The skiing from Mount Shark parking lot to Watridge Lake is generally good early season skiing. The first 1/2 kilometer has a couple of thin spots in the tight trees. There is only about a 10 cm base at the parking lot but thankfully the bottom 7 cm is very dense snow which has coated rocks quite well. This is some of best 10 cm base skiing I have ever had. The groomer only groomed about the first 1/2 kilometer or so before turning off. Beyond that point is well slier tracked trail conditions. Skate skiing is not too bad on soft snow. Another 10 cm of new snow and the trail to Watridge Lake could be trackset. Look out for thin spots under the tight trees within 1/2 km of the parking lot and the odd rock after that. Expect the ski poles to hit ground in some areas.

    From Watridge Lake to the Spray River bridge its is fairly well skier tracked. Expect a few rocks going down the hill but overall the conditions are fairly good early season conditions.

    From the Spray River Bridge to the lower warden cabin on Bryant creek the conditions worsen in the trees and on sunny slopes. Only fairly poor to fair ski conditions on this trail section.

    From the lower Bryant Creek Warden Cabin trail to the Owl Lake turn-off conditions improve as the snow deepens. Generally good skiing on this section of the trail. Expect thin sections under some trees.

    The Bryant Creek trail from the Owl Lake turn-off to the hill top near BR 14 is fairly poor to fair good. Beyond the hill to Warden Cabin #25, the conditions are generally good with the exception of a couple of hundred meters.

    Temperatures were about -4c at dusk at warden cabin #25. Calm winds and great Yodelling echos into the dark. About 20 cm of base at the warden cabin.

    I did do a little ski stint into the Upper Spray River area – for at most 1 km. The Upper Spray trail could use about 25 cm of snow of new dense snow to make things better. I rate the trail as fair with significant debris under the snow in some areas.

  15. Yup, Lake Louise is pretty nice. Went up MLR today. The tracks are as good as you can expect – firm and well defined. There were just two very small dirty patches at the top of the “steep hill”. We were on VR40, VR45 and skin skis. All were working great. The downhill track was deeper and straighter than usual. All in all, good conditions on MLR.

  16. LAKE O’HARA – Nov 14

    The snow is amazing here… well worth the drive!
    Details available in the captions here:!Avuc6aIvjGUAilLrcvP9sgYiroXV?e=0mkZOZ
    Some trees have been removed from around the Relais shelter, but that does not affect skier access.

    • Great early season digression from the bow valley Chuck … i wonder what Liz Parker would say of the spirit of that affixed sign.

  17. Thursday morning: I skied the Great Divide Trail from Lake Louise to the Lake O’Hara parking lot (on skin skis), 10 km each way and the snow is great the whole stretch! Perfect conditions and not many people at all.

  18. As of 4 pm Wednesday, Moraine Lake is freshly track-set and in great condition.

    • Thank you CA, for your Moraine Lake condition report! Nice to know that it was groomed late in the day! Appreciated and timely. Excellent skiing Moraine today!

  19. GREAT DIVIDE – Nov 13

    Nice to be able to use warmer waxes again today.
    Details available in the captions here:!Avuc6aIvjGUAikJ3Og0qd-p6mm-x?e=AUCYQD
    Interesting that I got a greeting from every skier out today… must be a mid-week thing!

  20. Moraine Lake Road
    A very good early season ski today. Started at 10am to -6C. For the first 3km or so the tracks were well used and quite wobbly, but after that they generally got better. Cloudy early, but mostly sunny at the turn-around point. Felt nice and warm there. The return ski was quite fast. Finished a bit after 1pm to -2C. We added a bit of VR45 to our base VR40 early on – worked quite well. The groomers were rolling the skating lane as we returned. Lots of people enjoying the good skiing.

  21. W Bragg Creek – beautiful day but difficult skating conditions
    Skate skied 20km this am between 11-13h on Mountain View, Crystal, Moose… hard packed snow to icy conditions on some of the biggest hills. Very, very fast downhills – had to snow plot and even remove my skis a couple of times. Warmer weather to soften the snow and some grooming would do marvel. Might be better later in the day and/or on classic skis (w klister or skins skis).

  22. Drove out to check conditions at Mt Shark – didn’t ski. It looks like it has been rolled/packed but is still looking a bit thin. My guess would be pleasant rock ski conditions.


      Thanks for driving out and checking conditions at Shark. That is very helpful for old rock skiing hounds like me and this is what makes Skier Bob’s website such a great thing. Your report made my evening.

      I will see what the rocks will do to my 1994 metal edged skis and head on Thursday Afternoon.

      Hope to “C” you out there sometime.

  23. Lake Louise-Great Divide Trail: weather forecast was right on -7C to -4C with light snow all day. VR40 wax was perfect for the day. To the border arch the snow and tracks were very good. From the border to the O’Hara road the snow was thin in some stretches and was wind affected. It was a perfect first day of this season.

  24. Fairview – Moraine Lake Road (MLR)- Tramline & Peyto
    Fairview has been skier tracked from the Chateau to MLR. Trail depth is fairly deep. There was a group of snowshoers behind me so parts of the trail may have been levelled positively. There is open water towards the MLR side but the trail skirts around these hazards. The first long hill and where the trail forks has been broken by me so it needs further traffic to make it a smooth path. There is lots of snow so grooming cannot be too far off. It looks as though two trees have fallen at different points along the trail. I tried to do Peyto but almost no one has been down there. It needs either a snowmobile or a group of snowshoers to make it skiable. At this writing, Lake Louise is a Winter Wonderland.

  25. Drizzle by Bragg earlier this morning, has turned to light rain 15 km to the SE 🙁

  26. My first ski of the season was fabulous yesterday on the 1A/Great Divide in Lake Louise. Arrived around 11:30am and classic skied to the Great Divide sign at Yoho and back on excellent conditions with wax skis. The groomers re-trackset the outbound trail while we were skiing so it took some time to settle but was excellent once it did.
    Lots of happy skiers on the Great Divide yesterday.

  27. West Bragg Creek-Nov 11
    We did a similar loop as SkierBob, following East Crystal, Iron Springs, Elbow, Loggers, etc. Great temperatures, easy waxing and good conditions, as noted by many others. There was not much melting of the snowpack, even at the end of the day, so I think conditions should still be quite good tomorrow.
    The place was mid-winter busy, with all sorts of people. Young, old, XC skiers, fat-bikers, snowshoers, hikers, dog sledders. Wonderful to see all that activity!

  28. Took the opportunity to ski Lionell, Pocaterra,Tyrwitt up to Hydroline with Jip before the grooming prohibits dogs, lots of snow, great touring conditions, thanks to those who broke trail before me 🙂

  29. MORAINE LAKE ROAD – Nov 11

    Unbelievable snow conditions on the MLR today.
    Details available in the captions here:!Avuc6aIvjGUAijg-6skwxlpSTg4Y?e=7cu5V0
    Glad we were on wax skis!

  30. Kananaskis Village : Needs more snow

  31. Spent the afternoon at West Bragg Creek. It was busy as expected with the holiday . I found the trails to be better than expected. Hats off to all the volunteers who worked so hard.

    • I’ll second that! …and remind all the folks that enjoyed these early (and winter) ski conditions to pony-up and support the GBCTA grooming efforts on their website. Good to see you on sundog this aft Bob.


    Has anyone been out to the Watridge Lake/ Mount Shark area?

    I am wondering how much snow is at the Mount Shark Parking Lot. Please let me know.

    • Only 27 cm at mud lake right now and about double that up at burstall pass according to the Kananaskis remote snow stations.


        The snow is sweetening up.

        I am told by my Bro the old Burstall Pass road trail is in good condition but when one gets to the trees before the glacier outwash plain the skiing is thin and rocky. The Outwash plain is also somewhat thin. Robertson Glacier apparently looks very icy and rocky. Needs a lot more snow up there to pump up the glacier skiing quality.

        I would imagine Burstall Pass trail would be rough in the trees after the glacier outwash plain as well. The pass would likely be fairly sweet skiing.

  33. Mon nov 11: west Bragg creek
    Finally, a day on the skis, thanks to cheeky and simona. Excellent early season conditions along moose loop and mountain view with sunny skies and mild weather. The only moist snow we encountered was along mountain view beside the big dirt embankment about 1 pm. The odd ice patch, rock and tiny bits of dirt, all avoidable. Snow stayed cold mostly. Managed to spot the Riggs family, who seemed to be doing the same loop. Lots of people out enjoying the day before the next warm blast.

  34. West Bragg Creek, Nov 10
    After a strong Chinook on Friday and freezing rain on Saturday, the West Bragg Creek trails were back to good winter conditions. A 10 cm snowfall and grooming by GBCTA volunteers made for lovely ski conditions again. Todays tour on Moose Loop included side trips on the new single-track all-season trail that roughly parallels the ski trail, and a short tour up Tom Snow trail.
    Some all-season trails were also being groomed for fat-biking, so there are plenty of options for everyone.

  35. It seems like I arrived later than most of the previous reporters at WBC this afternoon, finding the trailhead area moderately busy at 2:30, and a bunch of fresh tracksetting. I skied a route that took in most of the “core” trails: West Sundog-East Crystal-East Sundog-Loggers-Mountainview-Mountain Road-Moose Connector-Lower West Crystal-Middle West Crystal-and finally Upper West Crystal. All great with very few hazards- I was regretting being on my slow rock skis, as I would have had no worries about using my much faster “best” skis. East Sundog, Loggers and Middle Crystal were skier tracked (but skied very well), the remainder were groomed and trackset. As I was on Loggers- I had to take yet another “Winter Wonderland” picture:

  36. An Android cell phone was found at the MLR trailhead around 3pm Sunday. The gentleman who found it said he would leave it at the LL visitor centre.
    MLR was trackset late afternoon so should be excellent for Monday.

  37. Arrived at the Great Divide around 12:30pm. Skate lane rolling finished shortly after. Both classic tracks set _all the way_ to the Lake O’Hara turn off. Great snow for skiing. Drive from Calgary was slow/exciting, but the roads crew were great and it was cleared for the return home. I figure the drive kept a number of people away – lots of room for parking both at the Divide & MLR.

  38. Hi everyone, heading out tomorrow for the first time in a number of years and first time in Canada. I was planning on going to West Bragg Creek. What trails are the best for some nice views and sunshine? Sorry if this is the wrong place to post

    • Moose loop has great views and a pretty meadow if you’re an intermediate skier. Lots of hills.

    • West Bragg Creek got 10 cm fresh snow and a number of ski trails were groomed on Sunday. The Crystal Line trails have the best snow conditions right now. Mountain Road and Moose Loop has the best views and sunshine.

  39. Moraine lake road was freshly trackset at 3 pm on Sunday.

  40. Just returned from a beautiful ski at Bragg Creek. Winter driving conditions at 10:00 a.m. but certainly no nail biting. Snow was falling softly and conditions were wonderful. My only surprise was n how few people were out. Parking lot had lots of space spots even when we returned at 1:30. So glad I brought the dogs as I tend to leave them at home if I think the trails are going to be very busy. Perfect ski, perfect day!

    • What trails did you ski or do you prefer to “nurse” secrets?

      • You saw me wipe out, didn’t you? I was “nursing” more than a secret, let me tell you! For the first time in 20 years I actually got lost and so turned around that I had to ask for directions. Dark moment in my life. Happily, I am now reunited with my husband and two dogs and have learned my lesson to either keep up or leave a trail of cookie crumbs

        • I have rescued 2 lost Germans and 1 guy from Chicago while backpacking in the backcountry over the years. If I was married, they may have turned out to be bones in the bush as I likely would not have come across them.

          I would like to recommend carrying a GPS with you for piece of mind. Either that or put something in your husbands breakfast to slow him down. If I saw your trail of cookie crumbs in the bush I might eat them, particularly if they were Digestive cookies. I sure would hate to ski into your frozen body while I am out night skiing. That might harsh my skiing buzz.

          Keep your skiing tips up.

  41. Moose Loop was lovely today.Snow is deep enough. Good temp no melting. Double rolled this AM and looked like track setter was heading out at 1PM

    • Good to hear! How were the road conditions on West Bragg heading to trails?

      • Winter conditions, snow covered and partly covered but completely drivable. Worth it for some great skiing close to town. I skied most of the core trails and didn’t encounter anything more hazardous than a stick likely left by a four legged trail user. Get out while it’s good folks!

      • Just back from West Bragg too. Agree with previous posters, it was strangely quiet and very beautiful there today, conditions are great, no sign of the chinook meltdown. The West Bragg Creek road conditions were fine, just partly snow covered.

  42. Just arrived at great divide at 8 am. 15+ cm of snow. Groomers are just about to start down trail. Parking lot not plowed.

    Thank you for the timely report. -Bob

  43. Great Divide.
    Freshly groomed today but the tracks are very icy. Better for skate than classic skiing right now.
    Still great to ski so early in the season.

  44. West Bragg Creek-Saturday Am
    Heads up skiers! Black ice on West Bragg Creek Rd. Bad accident already. Be careful out there

  45. November 8th, 2019
    East Great Divide:
    Steve and I skied the Lake Louise side of the Great Divide Trail. The bad news is, it was an appropriate day for Gore-Tex and waxless skis (of which we had neither).

    The good news is, on our way back to the trailhead around 11:30 am, we were met by the grooming/track setting crew. They put down a lovely track which improved our grip and our mood. Thank you Parks Canada for putting a little joy into an otherwise soggy day.



    Very good early season groomed non trackset skiing. My poles only hit the road maybe a dozen times or so. There is a soft packed groomed base that has skier tracks to wiz down. Close to 30 cm of snow at the Lake O’Hara road end with some wind drifting. A little less on the Alberta side at the trail head. Moderate snow speed with -3c to -10c blue Swix old snow wax.

    The lower layer of the snowpack has some moisture density which enables travel off the groomed trail without sinking to the bottom of the snow pack. Ankle deep ski penetration on 60mm skis. Hard cores can skate ski with wider skis or low weight. No classic rocks skis are required to ski the Divide trail. Bring out the fast skis. Expect to hit the odd twig. Bring your rock poles for the odd hit.

    With 10cm of new snow the trail will be nicely tracksetable.

    Lake O’Hara trail would likely be do-able. I would think there could be some thin sections in wind exposed areas. Give it a try with rock skis.

    It felt sweet once again to prance across the winter snow on the X-C skis, particularly at night to a very bright moon lighting up the ski tracks and mountain scenery.

    South end of PLPP are snowmobile packed. Went to Elk Pass, At 10:00 hrs temp -6, on return to hwy 40 via Thirwitt/Pocaterra/Lionell,temperature +2. Hydro line, Lookout, Moraine, Elk pass… all are packed, with 3 passes.

    • Rock Skis ?

    • Manage to stick a pole in off trail near the pass or at lookout turnoff and guess depth? Lots of willows sticking tbrough still? Probably no more that 40-50 cm I would assume. And probably not enough to go off trail in the west elk pass environs yet. But hopeful to start the couch building process. Thanks in advance.

    • We didn’t! First ski of the season, we went in from hwy 40, up Pocaterra to Whiskey Jack, all great condition though a little warm. Snow temp at Whiskey Jack measured +1 C. Half of trail chewed up by snowshoers and hikers, but other side fine, and they all headed up to Lookout.
      We proceeded a short distance up Tyrwhitt, still good but the trees were raining on the trail, and our heads!

  48. Skied Moose Loop at West Bragg.
    Counterclockwise worked well and the hills were doable without obstacles. The hill with the creek crossing/ice flow in the far corner had not been groomed so I walked that one (can’t risk falling with a recovering shoulder injury.)
    If you’re getting out tomorrow get an early start. It was getting very warm and sticky today. We all had waxless skis.

  49. GREAT DIVIDE – Nov 7

    A huge social event on the Great Divide today.
    Details available in the captions here:!Avuc6aIvjGUAii6MkC_xH-N8SR-B?e=m0maYR
    Thanks Helen for the Heads-Up!

  50. Was fully expecting lots of people to enjoy Moraine Lake Road today; perfectly skier tracked yesterday by Chuck and Jeannette. Perhaps the caution on road construction concerned some? There was no evidence of this construction today. Started at 8:45 (-15) and finished at 12:20 (-7) seeing NOT a single soul until Rick showed up in the totally empty parking lot. Loved your comment Jeremy on Chuck’s picture of the vehicle in the ditch! I was tempted to ski to the Lake but NOT by myself.

  51. Escaped work a bit earlier today, in time for some late day sun and, after talking to Groomer Bill and learning that it had been trackset- a ski around the Moose Loop. Roughly 90% was in very good early season shape with excellent coverage and well defined tracks. In my recommended CCW direction- all the downhills were fast, fun and free of obstacles. There were a few short spots of lesser coverage, and short water/ice flows that were easily avoided. The far northwest corner is ungroomed for a short distance on either side of the creek crossing, but is easy to navigate and bypass.


    First time to have the MLR to ourselves… never saw another skier all day!
    Details available in the captions here:!Avuc6aIvjGUAiiGIXnG7Z0djK_U4?e=RieseF
    Get there before the hikers!

  53. Sandy McNabb steeplechase ski -backcountry wander about south meadows and loggers loops for a couple hrs. Slow trodding through 6-8” of untracked dry powder on -need I remind, very unmaintained trails. Lots and lots of downed trees so more hop, skip & jumping than sliding on my 65mm 3/4 Karhu edge skis (VR40 weather).

  54. A blue skies and blue wax day at West Bragg Creek ! Similar to Ray, we found excellent conditions. Skied Mountain Road, Moose Connector, West Crystal, Loggers, Elbow, Iron Springs and Sundog loop. All trails that we encountered were roller packed level with the exception of Dead End and Middle Crystal. No rocks, twigs or pine needles were to be found and the groomers were setting track on West Crystal, Moose Connector and Moose Loop in the afternoon. I’m not sure how well these conditions will hold up but they were mighty fine today. Get out there while you can.

  55. I was at the West Bragg Creek parking lot at 0800 this morning for my first ski of the year. The snow was -18 deg. in the parking lot, but there wasn’t a breath of wind. Conditions were spectacular. I took the Lower West Crystal Line to the Moose Connector, to the end of Mountain View, and then up to the top of the first hill of Mountain View West. That took me 2 hrs because I was breaking trail pretty well all the way. The snow was so deep and soft that most of the time I couldn’t see the tips of my skis. On my way back down Mountain Road I ran into the first of the groomers. He was rolling Mountain Road and then on to Mountain View West. They’d finished Mountain View, so I took that to Lower West Crystal Line, and then up to Upper Crystal Line, and then back to the parking lot. Along the way I ran into another groomer. By the end of the day they’ll most likely have rolled the whole network. These guys are amazing!

    There’s over 40cm of soft snow – I really hope it all survives the coming chinook!

    By the time I finished at 1130, the temperature was -8 and there were a couple of dozen cars in the parking lot. Get out there if you can. The trails may not be track set, but they’re spectacular nonetheless.

    • Wow! Great pics! A winter Wonderland indeed! I would have loved to be able to get out today. However I have one of those darn job things that prevented me.

  56. Very enjoyable ski conditions at WBC this evening! Loads of new dry snow had fallen over the previously packed snow, with continued roller packing underway on many of the core trails. I swung by on my way home from work, thus had only enough time before dark to squeeze in Sundog-Loggers-West Crystal-part of Moose Connector and a bit of Mountain Road before returning on Lower West Crystal. All great- easy going on the consistently smooth base, with good grip and glide using Swix VR 40. As usual for early season- I was on my light touring rock skis, but hit nothing, other than a couple of times where my poles bottomed out. I’m betting that tomorrow will be superb, once the snow sets up and further grooming occurs. Maybe even some track setting! Winter Wonderland? A bit of a cliche, but you can be the judge:

  57. Went to check out the conditions at Great Divide today and happened to arrive just as Parks staff were unloading the grooming machine. They said they “might start grooming after the next big snowfall”. They also left a machine at Moraine Lake Rd.
    The trail itself had a couple wobbly, shallow ski tracks on it but is still really thin.
    Boom Lake trail looked fairly well-covered and hard-packed from hikers with a lone ski track in the thin layer of fresh snow on top. I just went to look and didn’t actually ski so hopefully whoever that was will let the rest of us know what it was like!

  58. I got impatient and checked out Moraine Lake road today. Parks is still hauling stuff out from Moraine Lake, so the centre of the road is super solidly packed and pretty icy. The sides of the road have enough snow to ski on but my poles were hitting pavement the entire time. There was a pretty good skier-set track the whole way, but with the snow in the forcast(yay!) this will probably get buried. My skis hit pavement in the fairview/paradise area, so I would definitely recommend rock skis!


    The snow forecast looks good for Banff this week. The skiing should take off this week from valley bottoms for those with rock skis.

    Lets hope that x-c ski trails will get regularly groomed this year in the Alberta Parks with the advent of recent budget cuts. As the Premier has likely never enjoyed a day in the winter woods, I don’t expect the same level of service from this government.

    Keep your rock ski tips up.

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