Trip Reports – Nov 2018

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{ 87 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ken Hewitt November 14, 2018 at 4:55 pm

Moraine Lake Road – Nov. 14

Excellent! A few cm of fresh snow overnight, light snow all day, and PC groomed (both classic tracks and free technique packing) mid-morning. Temps near zero today. Maybe 3-5 cm of new snow at parking lot and 10-15cm on upper portions of the road.

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2 Ray Perrott November 14, 2018 at 4:00 pm

Great Divide – started at the O’Hara end at 10am to lightly falling snow and gusty breezes. -4C. Tracks initially had been totally obliterated by snow/winds, so we set track to the Divide, occasionally following the vague outline of previous tracksetting. The Lake Louise end was a different story – decent (though often wobbly) tracks set by skiers in a few cm of fresh snow. Lots of twigs poking through the tracks in some places. It was snowing heavily at 1pm when we finished (-2C), but that only lasted 20 min. or so. With a few more cm of snow in the forecast for the next couple of days, the tracksetters should have lots to work with to make great skiing conditions for the coming weekend.

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3 Diana Piggott November 13, 2018 at 8:05 pm

Moraine Lake Road

After an extremely windy drive into the mountains, we found lovely cold and calm conditions at Lake Louise. The skiing on MLR was delightful, as was meeting the incomparable Chuck as he ran laps up and down the road! It was quite a fun run down to Paradise Creek, slightly interrupted by having to stop for a downed skier. Fortunately all was well, and we all resumed the descent.
Near the bottom, late afternoon, we were quite surprised by no less than three large hordes of skiers starting to skate up the road! Obviously a training run for some groups, finishing with the small fry 🙂

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4 Chuck November 13, 2018 at 5:02 pm

MORAINE LAKE ROAD – Nov 13

Conditions were so good today… that I did two laps to the end of tracksetting and back!
As usual, check the captions here for details:
https://1drv.ms/a/s!AgTx5EOCG7eSgyZIePaERmYaJvs9
The weekend crowds were gone… delightful.

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5 Peter N November 12, 2018 at 8:39 pm

Frozen Thunder update: Nagano Loop has been added, meaning you no longer have to make the steep right angle turn in front of trees of the original loop … now you just have to negotiate a less sharp right turn across the bridge :-). Excellent conditions, classic skiers were using klister covered with hard wax. About two dozen skiers from U of A Camrose showed up, as well as two guys from Sjusjøen, Norway, who showed them how it’s done.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/152288647@N08/albums/72157702020656651

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6 Paul and Nancy November 12, 2018 at 4:48 pm

Great Divide from Lake Ohara End

Advice from the LL Visitor Center suggested starting from the Lake Ohara end as the tracks were better. First time we ever started there. Skied 15 km return and best snow over the first 4 km out. Sunny, -5oC, great on Swix purple. Few sticks poking through on westbound track, eastbound set over the 1A so fewer sticks.

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7 Neil and Nora Hagen November 12, 2018 at 1:00 pm

Elk Pass Sunday November 11: It was a brisk -9C when we started out from the Elk Pass parking lot. The only other cars there had spent the night, presumably belonging to hikers who went into Elk Lakes. The snow was usually sufficient for the first 1.5 km, although on the steep hill just before the intersection with the far end of the Fox Creek trail, I was glad I did not have my new skis — there were a few rocks. There were lots of footprints from hikers on the trail but we saw no other cross country ski tracks. As per usual, the snow quickly became deeper the closer one got toward Elk Pass. We did not go all the way to the top however. On the way back, we went via Fox Creek which was just gorgeous but again, the snow was scant toward the bottom. So: at Elk Pass it was early season skiing but oh so lovely.

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8 MaSid November 12, 2018 at 5:09 pm

Any guess as to snow depth off trail near the blueberry junction? Meadows looking plenty twiggy?

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9 Helen Read November 13, 2018 at 6:26 am

Timely post as many of us are wondering who is going to win the track-setting of Elk Pass Contest. We all await the next big dump…. I see Ma Sid is anxious to check out “The Couch” site and I can hardly wait to get back into those West Elk meadows myself. Great to have you on the forum Neil and Nora!

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10 Nick November 11, 2018 at 10:30 pm

Moraine Lake Road
Excellent conditions today: solid base, well groomed and trackset. Despite the note in Bob’s post, I haven’t seen any signs of the overnight snowfall on MLR.

Alberta Ski Team was there for a 3 hour training. It’s been a pleasure to chat briefly with the Team’s renowned coach.

-10C at 9am warmed to -6C by noon in calm air.
I skate skied and can’t comment on waxing. Hopefully someone else can share on that.

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11 Karla November 12, 2018 at 9:47 am

I was on VR 45 and it worked great

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12 Alf Skrastins November 11, 2018 at 9:15 pm

WBC – Nov 11
West Bragg Creek picked up 5-8cm of new snow on Sunday. That’s more than was forecast, but still not enough to encourage anything but rock-ski skiing.
I did a loop of Mountain Road, Mountain View and West Crystal. There was some roller-packing on parts of the loop. Sun/wind exposed areas that typically have thin snow cover had plenty of rocks and gravel. Some of the shady, level parts of West Crystal OK, but anything with a hill was still too thin.
So, unless you want to get out just to toss rocks off the trail… it’s not ready for skiing yet.
Fat-biking looked pretty good, however.

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13 JeremyN November 12, 2018 at 8:36 pm

Spot on Alf. After a spectacular Italian Farmhouse lunch, wife and I enjoyed a few km of rock skiing on west Crystalines & links where -for the most part, we’ve happily floated on fine snow on our 30yo boards but did get passed by a chap running (the whole circuit) with skis in hand! Now a moot point with warming :.-(

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14 Chris and Karl November 11, 2018 at 6:56 pm

We broke trail on the Ross lake Circuit, the snow is quite good with the exception of occasional rocks. The snow gets better as you go east to west (to the Lake O’Hara Fire Road). A nice easy to access backcountry experience.

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15 Chuck November 11, 2018 at 2:54 pm

GREAT DIVIDE – Nov 11

Wow, another day with fresh tracksetting!
Check out the captions here for details:
https://1drv.ms/a/s!AgTx5EOCG7eSgxt_sZ0FeHLZ5olq
Lots of happy folk.

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16 Ulrike November 10, 2018 at 7:34 pm

Skied to Boom Lake today. Early season ski trip on dry snow, broken trail with hikers, rocky sections and stepping across small streams. Beautiful sunlight backdrop at the lake. The downhill part was fun and quite manageable with controlled speed on light touring gear.

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17 Deirdre November 10, 2018 at 5:53 pm

Great Divide Trail: Wonderful day, weather-wise and conditions-wise for our first ski of the season, but we weren’t the only ones out enjoying the day. Several ski teams were out training, but they seemed to keep to the east end of the trail, making for somewhat better conditions at the Lake O’Hara end. It might be a good idea, if you want a less crowded trail, to start at the Lake O’Hara end. We used V30 wax and it lasted almost the whole day with the grip starting to wear out only in the last few kilometres.

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18 Chris S November 10, 2018 at 4:51 pm

Ventured out to Great Divide today to avoid the chaos of MLR. Conditions were decent but not spectacular. A couple cm of fresh snow over the narrow skate lane. The trackset was a tad shallow and wobbly with intermittent branches and leaves. Lots of fresh snow past the divide (on the O’Hara side). Felt great to get out for a classic ski but missing those deep tracks – fingers crossed for more snow. I used a blend of V40&45 for grip and CH10 for glide left over from last week which still seemed to work.

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19 Chuck November 10, 2018 at 2:33 pm

MORAINE LAKE – Nov 10

A machine set track is a beautiful thing, and well worth an early start today.
See the photo captions here for details:
https://1drv.ms/a/s!AgTx5EOCG7eSgxCZazbhv20hJY6S
A safe day to go down to the lake.

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20 Karla November 10, 2018 at 2:57 pm

beautiful, heading out for Sunday

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21 Stephen Wright November 10, 2018 at 11:41 am

I was wondering if anyone has been in PLPP, specifically around Elk Pass-what are the snow conditions like?

Steve

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22 Martin & Jip November 10, 2018 at 5:40 pm

We hiked Galatea yesterday, not much snow lower down and the only accumulations at the lower lake were wind blown, spikes and gators recommended.

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23 JeremN November 10, 2018 at 7:04 am

Lake O’Hara – Nov 9. Following Chucks lead from the day b4 I pushed 3” of fresh snow from thurs night over treaded base on 62mm 3/4 metal edge skies w VR40 to the Elizabeth Parker Hut. Here I said hi to a chipper few and enjoyed the warmth of an already stoked fire -thanks!. Dried and reenergized, i revelled in the winter wonderland views around the lake and headed back down floating fluff and not meeting a sole nor seeing my tracks the whole way. Another 3 inches by the time I reached trailhead. Go!

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24 Chuck November 10, 2018 at 7:15 am

Nice report!

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25 Alf Skrastins November 9, 2018 at 10:15 pm

Chester-Sawmill -Nov 9
I was curious about how much of the early October snow remained in the Smith-Dorrien valley, after a month of warm weather. A quick check at the Chester parking lot showed a total snow depth of 20cm, including 5 cm of recent snow. Based on that, I opted to do tour over to the Sawmill trailhead and back to check on conditions in that area. Snow depths generally ranged from 15 cm on sun exposed south aspects to 28 cm in sheltered-shaded areas. If there was this much snow at West Bragg Creek, it would have been groomed and track set… but it’s not.
Our tour included Frostheave, Graupel, High Rockies, Snowdrift and Mt. Murray Lookout trails; 19 km total. It was mostly easy travel with 4-8cm of new snow on a firm base. The exceptions were some snow-less sections on the High Rockies Mountain Bike trail and a very sketchy crossing of James Walker Creek on Snowdrift trail.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/ihvUH7JHHG5ra3BM6

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26 JeremyN November 10, 2018 at 10:00 am

I haven’t been there in MANY years Alf (whence it was trackset!) & assumed snowshoers & ballon tire bikers had taken over the area. May have to try early season ski once I look up the trail names!

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27 ChrisCanmore November 9, 2018 at 6:50 pm

Lake Louise Highway 1A – track setting has begun! We classic skied out to the top of the Divide hill this am on reasonable skier set tracks, then met the groomers about half way back setting track! No bare pavement, just a few twiggy bits, and obviously a little soft since there was no time for the tracks to set up. No sure if the groomers were going over to Moraine Lake Road afterwards. Temp -6C, Extra blue wax -1 to -7 worked well till around lunchtime when the temp rose. Also of note was a strong cold wind at the top of the Divide hill. Great to be back on the skis and in tracks! Thanks groomers!

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28 Chuck November 8, 2018 at 5:04 pm

LAKE O’HARA – Nov 8

Blue skies deserve a beautiful location. Read the captions for details:
https://1drv.ms/a/s!AgTx5EOCG7eSgwbWQKa_vTIz8v7O
Sorry, I was so amazed to see Sarah and Alana skiing in, that I forgot to ask them if I could take a picture. They must have left the parking lot at about 2 pm, and were lamenting the shorter days. I assured them that in fact they have more light with which to get to the hut. I had to explain that there is more light after 5 pm this week than there was after 5 pm last week. They were delighted to look at it this way!

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29 JeremyN November 9, 2018 at 8:50 am

U must be referring to the “long sunset” and (new) snow glow Chuck ! ‘cause our dusk moved earlier with MST not to mention where we are in the lunar cycle -there’s my glass half empty for the day;-)

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30 Alf Skrastins November 7, 2018 at 11:41 pm

West Bragg Creek, Nov 7
A few centimetres of snow has fallen at WBC and the volunteer groomers have roller-packed several of the trails. But before you rush out there… I really did mean just a few cm of snow! I did a quick tour of West Crystal, a bit Middle Crystal, Moose Connector and Mountain Road. The objective was really just to find and remove rocks from the trail, so I was on rock skis.
The purpose of the roller-packing is to keep the meagre snowfall in place and allow the frost to penetrate into the ground. In shady areas, there were still remnants of the snow or ice from the early October snowfall, but in sunny areas there is only dirt and rock under the snow.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/hoXWMJ2f1s32mgy39

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31 Diana Piggott November 8, 2018 at 7:45 am

Thank you, Alf, I was wondering if I should head out!
I took a quick tour of Bowness Park yesterday, in 2 – 4 cm fresh powder. Conditions somewhat marginal, stay on soft grassy terrain! But it was mostly fun 🙂

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32 Jenn November 8, 2018 at 5:23 pm

Thanks for the WBC update. I also was wondering about heading out there. I’ll wait for more snow!

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33 Mary J. Perrott November 7, 2018 at 4:15 pm

Moraine Lake Road for our first of the season ski was great. There were about 3 cms of fresh snow over yesterday’s grooming. We were the first classic skiers out on the trail and after 1 km. switched sides to break trail on the outbound, left-hand side of the road so as to have a nice, somewhat packed trail for the ski back to parking. The temp. at start was a chilly -10C. and -7C at the end. The sun warmed us up going out, and we stopped for a lovely chat with a couple from Vancouver who were walking in to Moraine Lake, one of whom was a friendly young man from Ireland, which made him a fellow countryman to Ray. I think we may have convinced them to take up xc skiing! The trip down was less thrilling than we had hoped as several skate skiers came up behind and skated all over our freshly set uphill track! We did get some good glide on the steepest part of the road. A 19 km. day is a super way to start the season!

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34 Chuck November 7, 2018 at 3:08 pm

GREAT DIVIDE – Nov 7

With 14 cars over at the MLR, it was a good day to check out the grooming over on the old 1A. It was rolled and packed on Nov 4 and is a nice easy going route in the sun.
For details, check the captions here:
https://1drv.ms/a/s!AgTx5EOCG7eSgn4bzkv6lXUiL0em

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35 Helen Read November 6, 2018 at 5:47 pm

6 Canmore Meanderthals skied The Great Divide starting at the O’Hara end where Chuck advised me the snow would be better, and it was. We had our bear spray but no bear tracks seen. Fresh powder snow atop the grooming/packing that was done on 4th. Our poles never hit through to the pavement and we skied to where Peyto joins the Divide, for us at kms 8. No fierce westerly to contend with and variable blue/cloudy skies. Great “to get the bugs out” and remember what we each might have forgotten in our packs. Bill McKeever forgot his toe-socks! I forgot my ruler to measure the snow!
We kept thinking we might see skiers at the Lk Louise end but never saw a soul.

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36 Chuck November 6, 2018 at 4:12 pm

MORAINE LAKE ROAD – Nov 6

Encouraged by yesterday’s Groomer’s report, and the new snow in our Banff backyard, we had to check out the MLR today. While it is not machine trackset yet, the rolling and packing has set up nicely.
Surprised to find that we were the first ones in the parking lot at 10 am, and that we did not see anyone until our return.
The only thin area was at the sunny viewpoint, but when we met Ray Potvin on our return, he told me that his pole tips had punched through to pavement at the 2.5 km bridge (okay, I concede… he is a powerhouse).
See it all at:
https://1drv.ms/a/s!AgTx5EOCG7eSgnSvzMeFgRv6kp1Q
Rode Blue (-2 to -6) worked well for us, and we look forward to the imminent tracksetting.

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37 Ray November 7, 2018 at 8:43 am

Nice to see you Chuck! I think my extra weight might have something to do with the poles bottoming out. Great start to the season.

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38 Chris S November 5, 2018 at 10:42 pm

Just returned from a late night lap up MLR. Snow depth is excellent – no exposed patches anywhere. Poles hit through to the road most of the time. Conditions were pretty soft for skating but we made it work. As stated in the grooming report, no trackset yet. Overall still worth the effort! The season has begun.

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39 MaSid November 5, 2018 at 5:51 pm

Just read the Banff park trail report page (updated today), indicating morrain lake Rd and great divide were packed and groomed (only) for skiing. (-:
Sunshine also reporting what looks like a 70 cm snow pack at their snow plot (a deposition area). Similar at aster lake. Still only 20 cm at mud lake.

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40 MaSid November 5, 2018 at 5:52 pm

And then I read bob’s post. Oops

No harm in spreading good news around! Thanks for the heads-up on the Banff/Lake Louise trail report being updated. -Bob

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41 MaSid November 6, 2018 at 7:00 am

Also noted that the Peyto parking lot is closed For Construction, and access to the bow summit backcountry ski area may be difficult. The notice didn’t say for how long.

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42 CHAMPION FOR REAL DEMOCRACY November 5, 2018 at 2:42 pm

LAKE O’HARA PARKING LOT

I rolled down the Trans Canada Highway on the morning of Nov. 4 at about 1:00 am and it was snowing like “craziness” at the Lake O’Hara parking lot. With such hard snow coming down, I would assume it is skiable to the spectacular views of the Lake O’Hara region. Does anyone know for sure?

Ski ya later.

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43 Bob Truman November 3, 2018 at 9:36 pm

Additional snow has fallen on Moraine Lake road. No machine packing has occurred yet. You can see from the tracks that skiing has been attempted. Photo courtesy of Malcolm Roberts. Moraine Lake road on Nov 3.

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44 RichieRich October 30, 2018 at 9:52 pm

CNC season pass prices go up Nov 1st…. get yours!

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45 Don October 27, 2018 at 7:59 pm

I skate skied Frozen Thunder at Canmore Nordic today. It’s great to have a place to ski so early in the season. It’s a pretty hilly course so I find it hard work but conditions were fast. I imagine that it got soft later in the day but it was nice and firm first thing in the morning. I also did some mountain biking. There can’t be many other places where you can go mountain biking and skiing on the same day!
Don

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46 MaSid October 17, 2018 at 9:39 pm

Oct 17: the wonders of snowy travel (BNP).
I was reminded today of the other pleasures of snow on the ground: animal tracks! Followed some fresh wolverine tracks in the early morning frozen snow on a trail that I wouldn’t expect it to occur given its normal popularity and proximity to the road. Then came across his breakfast bird kill site. Nothing left but feathers. Not even blood. Looked like he even licked that up. It’s a wonderful thing to know that it’s still wild and productive out there and an exciting foreshadow of the season that shows the evidence more readily.

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47 MaSid October 16, 2018 at 12:14 am

Oct 15: heally/Simpson passes/eohippus lk
Larches in this area are still holding majority of needles, so made for a lovely stroll (on foot) with sunny skies. Probably was doable on skis for the brave, flexible and strong. Packed snow on the main trail with rocks showing in all the regular places, but no real icy spots. Didn’t have to put the spikes on but that should change in the next day or two. Thin at the start, but a foot or more above the first Simpson junction. Wished I had skis for the ccw loop in the upper meadows to Simpson pass. Other than that bit, bony everywhere else. Anywhere frOm 6-18″ of snow depending on aspect. One skier, two walkers and a pack of coyotes ahead of me once turning left from heally towards Simpson pass. Might still be doable on skis tomorrow, but probably crusty in places and general marginal conditions. Not much base on the downhill section from Simpson back to heally. Sketchy if on skis. The walk to eohippus was fine for skiing. Anything below that was suspect. Broke fresh trail to eohippus but didn’t go past outflow, which was still open. Might be one more marginal ski day option there tomorrow but it will be icy and crusty travel with the low single digit temps and sun up there today. 10 degrees back at the parking lot at 3:30pm butvthe main trail didn’t get too slushy.

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48 Ray Potvin October 14, 2018 at 10:17 am

west bragg -10 C. Two inches new snow covering all overnight. Crystal line skier set. Get it while you can.

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49 Skier Mike October 13, 2018 at 5:21 pm

Skied to Boom Lake today. Marginal at the base and thin most of the way. A novel, great time skiing in October. Unless more snow comes it will probably become unskiable . The lake was gorgeous and unfrozen.
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/majvvac9zcrxilo/AABRWIeEXtq3-uFyFj-AlFFHa?dl=0

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50 Tanya October 12, 2018 at 9:06 pm

I skied a figure eight loop around west to east Crystal at West Bragg this afternoon with my son. What I can confirm is that yes, it was groomed (not track set,) but that you don’t want to ski West Bragg anymore until we get another dump of snow. The trails were a mess of pine needles, leaves, hard packed icy snow, and dirt starting to show through in spots. Not ideal.
Still good to get out though and pretty awesome to be skiing in a t-shirt in October.

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51 Mike W October 13, 2018 at 12:34 pm

What a difference a day makes! It was in great shape when I skied it on Thursday. Mind you, I was only on the West Crystal Line section between Moose Connector and the parking lot, and I don’t know what conditions were Thursday on the rest of the loop. And I imagine yesterday’s windstorm ate away at the snow and put a lot of debris on the trails.

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52 Tanya October 13, 2018 at 7:54 pm

Yeah, Crystal to Moose connector was skiable but the wind and warm sun really wrecked the trail.

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53 Willski October 12, 2018 at 4:58 pm

Get out now to Ribbon Creek before it goes. Not great conditions but it is packed by cat. Think crappy spring skiing without the sticking and clumping
http://willski.ca/ribbon-creek-cross-country-ski-october/

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54 Mike W October 11, 2018 at 8:51 pm

West Bragg Oct 11
I did Telephone Trail Loop this afternoon on light touring fish-scale skis. Looks like no one did the entire loop since my Oct 5 trip. Less trail-breaking and more gliding this time, but the bare spots are getting bigger and the snowpack thinner on the south-facing slopes. Returned via Crystal Line West which looked like it had been groomed earlier today and was in excellent condition!

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55 Eric Leavitt October 9, 2018 at 4:24 pm

Snowshoe at West Bragg Creek

Three of us, me on snowshoes and the others in boots snowshoed a 10 km loop at West Bragg today. There was about 5 cm of fresh snow on the trails. We did Snowshoe Hare to Demi-Tel to Long Distance and finished up on Braggin’ Rights. Didn’t really need the snowshoes although they were handy in a few places. The snow was fairly consistent. However the track on the south facing slopes on Long Distance had lost much of their snow so there were rocks exposed under the new snow. With the forecast highs for the next week or more, the snow will become fairly thin, especially on exposed slopes.

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56 Emma October 7, 2018 at 9:54 am

Cat tracks made for some excellent skiing up to Skogan Pass from Ribbon Creek. I had skinny racing skis but most people might appreciate heavier gear for the descent. Thanks to the tracksetters who drove up there!

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57 Alf Skrastins October 6, 2018 at 10:38 pm

Chester Lake, Oct 6
Today was an interesting combination of early December snow depth, late September larch colours and mid-March temperatures. We skied to Chester Lake, although on this day skiers were vastly outnumbered by hikers and snowshoers pounding a hard packed trench into the 35cm snow pack. Skiing was actually pretty good, as long as you could get out of that trench and break your own trail.
The snow in shaded areas was cold and powdery. In sun exposed areas, there was a thin sun crust earlier in the day and wet, sticky snow in the afternoon.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/28hHeFNN458QrgNb7

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58 JeremyN October 6, 2018 at 10:52 pm

Wow Alf, the juxtaposition of varied season elements is something to behold indeed. Nicely captured!

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59 GMJ October 9, 2018 at 4:17 pm

Wow! I love the larches in the snow.

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60 Martin & Jip October 6, 2018 at 9:10 am

WBC Friday snow was surprisingly good, skier set tracks on west Crystal, best ski we found, broke trail beyond the gate to mountain view, cattle and abundant cow patties, not recommended, some packing happening on trails close to the parking lot. Some fat bikers tried the soft deep snow without success.

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61 Mike W October 5, 2018 at 7:21 pm

West Bragg Oct 5
I did the Telephone Trail Loop this afternoon on light touring fish-scale skis. The trail was already broken by a couple of snowshoers, but it looked like I was the first skier of the season. No bare spots, but there were a couple of small wet spots on the west side that were easy to get around. Ski penetration was 10-15cm until I bottomed out on the snowshoe footprints. Great to be out so early in the season, although I was hoping still be able to do road biking this time of year!

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62 GMJ October 5, 2018 at 6:52 pm

So we didn’t go skiing today, but where we hiked there would have been enough snow to ski. We climbed Green Mountain in the Sheep, and all along Sheep, Junction Lookout and Green Mountain trails there was a foot of powder this morning! It’s a bit reduced by now and was slushy this afternoon, but may still be a good option for early season skiing tomorrow morning.

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63 Gord October 5, 2018 at 8:33 am

Burstall Pass Oct 4-18.
I usually make Burstall Pass my first ski of the season but usually I encounter numerous rocks and some hiking. Not this year; conditions were stellar, probably the best ever for early season skiing. 45 cm at the trailhead, (Burstall Pass parking lot was not plowed so we parked at Chester), and 58 cm in the meadow below Burstall Pass. No need to remove skis when going through the trees or up the headwall. There’s no identifiable base layer but the snow was so deep and dense that we never touched a rock. We skied some of the low angled slopes off the top and I was thinking if I could ski this quality of powder all season I’d be a happy man. Temperatures rose to +4º or so in the afternoon and some of the trail between Burstall Lakes and the trailhead was getting glazed.
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1zwOJqI5-WA2qkPGn1Uj8aS7JwL77X_hy?usp=sharing

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64 Alf Skrastins October 4, 2018 at 11:21 pm

West Bragg Creek, Oct 4
Another unusual tour at West Bragg Creek today. A couple of us took advantage of the remarkable snow conditions to ski a number of trails normally used for hiking, mountain biking/fat-biking or snowshoeing. We packed pruning saws and loppers to do a bit of trail work along the way.
Our route took us up Whitetail to Long Distance, then down Demi-Tel, Snowshoe Hare and Hostel Loop. Snow conditions were generally good. Late afternoon we ran into softer-stickier snow on south facing sections and that last hill down to the parking lot was getting pretty wet. Didn’t see anyone else all day, but there were plenty of snowshoe tracks and some ski tracks as we got closer to the trailhead.
The parking lot was being plowed, as were leaving.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/eztW5JhTEo7otMrz7

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65 Hugh October 4, 2018 at 4:07 pm

Moraine lake Road and Yoho Valley roads are now closed for season!
https://www.pc.gc.ca/apps/tcond/cond_e.asp?oPark=100092
Wohoo!

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66 Tanya October 4, 2018 at 3:33 pm

My first time skiing in October! And the snow was incredible!! We went to West Bragg Creek and did a short loop through 40cm of fresh powder. Thank God my girlfriend wanted to break trail. Prime ski touring conditions. We were pleased by the quality of the snow too. Not sticky or icy. We used waxless light touring skis and they performed well.
Photos: https://twitter.com/mountainmomyyc/status/1047957928056053762?s=21

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67 Alf Skrastins October 3, 2018 at 8:41 pm

West Bragg Creek, Oct 3
West Bragg Creek was one of the areas that got a large amount of snow out of yesterdays early season storm. Driving conditions were good as far as the Kananaskis Country boundary. After that, it was a matter of following the tracks that were made by other vehicles on Tuesday. A portion of the parking lot had been cleared of some of the snow by volunteers.
I measured 47cm cm of snow depth at the trail centre picnic table and as much as 58cm out on the trails. That would be a lot of snow at any point in the winter. It’s simply amazing for early October!
We did a varied tour today, sampling a selection of XC ski trails, snowshoe/Winter Multi-User trails and all-season single track trails.
We started at Chickadee Meadow and followed the West Crystal, Moose Connector and Moose Loop ski trails. Then we tried the new single-track winter multi-user trail, which parallels Moose Loop to west Telephone Loop. Then, back onto Moose Loop and up the Merlin View and Reconnect trail to the Long Distance trail junction. We completed the route by descending Demi-Tel, Snowshoe Hare and Hostel Loop to east Telephone.
The snow was generally cold and dry, except on the most sun exposed slopes where the surface was getting soft and sticky. As soon as we got back into shaded areas, the skis would ice up… a good reminder to bring a ski scraper!
It’s a wonderful winter tour, particularly when we are less that 2 weeks past the fall equinox. https://photos.app.goo.gl/Q2tMnS8es6qVTKRm9

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68 Alf Skrastins October 3, 2018 at 9:32 pm

Oops! Here is the correct photo link for today…
https://photos.app.goo.gl/3Efg9DqKZ2rCj6YC9

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69 Diana Piggott October 4, 2018 at 8:15 pm

Funtastic!!
Wonderful pictures, wish I was there……

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70 Pete October 3, 2018 at 9:39 pm

Thanks for the great day out at WBC! I decided not to post a trip report as I new yours would probably be a lot more detailed then mine!

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71 JeremyN October 4, 2018 at 12:42 pm

Pretty uncharted on east Crystal & SunDog so I plowed through with joy and did encounter a few others doing the same. West Crystal has good (enough) skier set and I’m sure more will smooth it out unless the others ( snowshoers, fatbikers & cows) overtrack -but it IS early “open season” so just get out there and awaken those sleepy ski muscles!
https://photos.app.goo.gl/PQA5gUcwAQNJGkHe6

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72 Pattie R October 4, 2018 at 1:59 pm

Jeremy, are they doing any packing or tracksetting there yet?

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73 JeremyN October 4, 2018 at 2:25 pm

Short answer, no. Many good reasons, least of which I believe is related to user agreement with Parks b/c multi-use nature of area (equestrian & grazing season still open) as well as with soft ground underfoot, it’d be unsafe and unwise to operate machinery …I believe Dec1 onward but Alf & others with GBCTA could varify.

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74 Chuck October 3, 2018 at 6:14 pm

GREAT DIVIDE – Oct 3

Clear weather after that big dump of snow enticed us out again today.
Where was everybody? We had the place to ourselves except for one black little ball which kindly stayed off our track.
Check out these photos (with captions) for details:
https://1drv.ms/a/s!AgTx5EOCG7eSgkwZo3_qZDYX-Gap
Last year, our first trip on the Great Divide was on November 6, and the bears were very active.

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75 Pattie R October 4, 2018 at 2:00 pm

Hi Chuck, what was the snow depth there yesterday? Do you think it might still be skiable tomorrow?

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76 Chuck October 4, 2018 at 6:24 pm

Hi Pattie,
No, I’m sure the snow melted fast with today’s warm sun.
The porcupine is probably happy!

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77 Diana Piggott October 4, 2018 at 8:11 pm

Beautiful pictures, especially of that sweet looking porcupine!

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78 Adam October 3, 2018 at 6:08 pm

According to Live Grooming some trails have been groomed and trackset at Kananaskis Village. That’s where I’m headed tomorrow…

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79 Jeff October 3, 2018 at 8:58 pm

Hi Adam,
There was a glitch in the tracker we had turned it off but it recorded the area being groomed and trackset. The trails were not groomed or trackset just driven on by our cat. Skiing is possible but don’t expect tracks.

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80 Adam October 4, 2018 at 1:17 am

Thank you Jeff. I guess, I’ll postpone my visit to when more agreeable conditions exist.

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81 Pattie R. October 3, 2018 at 4:34 pm

The Burstall Pass trail is skier tracked from the trailhead to Burstall flats. Thanks to Naomi for breaking trail in 40 cm. of new snow and to Katja and Yves for helping to set the track. Get to it before the tourers, snowshoers and fat bikers do!!

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82 Calgary Nordic Alliance October 3, 2018 at 1:25 pm

What a treat! Great skiing at Calgary parks – golf courses are not ready for skiers just yet so get out and enjoy those parks while it lasts!

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83 Chuck October 2, 2018 at 6:08 pm

SPRAY WEST – Oct 2

Last year it was November 7 when I first skied Spray West. This year, with 20 cms of fresh snow, we had to get out and enjoy it. Here are a few photos:
https://1drv.ms/a/s!AgTx5EOCG7eSgj8DKyIc1L076mBh
There was an ice layer close to the ground, which even made poling pleasant.
Looking forward to tomorrow… it is still snowing here in Banff!

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84 Deirdre and Bill Richardson October 2, 2018 at 4:07 pm

Maple Ridge Golf Course

We had planned a bike ride for today but 25 cm of snow in the back yard changed our plans. We arrived at Maple Ridge at about 11:00 and found city golf course staff there, the flags still in the holes and acres of untracked “powder”. The snow was wet and sticky and our waxless skis and the binding were soon iced up and the going became more and more difficult. After an hour we were both bagged so it was home for a warm lunch and dreams of fresh tracked trails, but hopefully not until November. Biking season hasn’t ended yet.

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85 Doug Connery September 29, 2018 at 10:11 am

Snow Report
Just back from fours days at Stanley Mitchel hut in the Little Yoho Valley. There is a lot of snow up there above 2000 metres – 50 cm in places. We hiked out over the Iceline trail on Friday. Fortunately the -9 C Thursday overnight temperature froze the snow solid. It was a breeze walking over the frozen snow pack instead of walking in the icy snow trench set over the week by previous hikers. We also hiked the Whaleback to Twin Falls through mid calf snow before the snow pack froze up. We reached the bridge above Twin Falls 1 hour after Parks took it out for the winter. It was an easy rock hop over stream above the bridge crossing. Also had a failed attempt to reach Kwetnok Pass due to knee deep slogging. The log hut built in 1939 is in great shape and is a real treat to stay in a beautiful location.

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86 MaSid September 30, 2018 at 9:39 am

Might be a year for an October ski start if this keeps up. (-:

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87 MaSid September 27, 2018 at 9:43 am

Larch report: just back from a few days camping in Kananaskis. snow was at tree line basically before last night. Larches were just about prime with mostly yellow and a few tinges of green, but not fully golden yet. Apparently albertas oldest tree is a larch in pocaterra cirque (1900 years old?). Searched around but not sure I found it. Definately seen much larger girth larches near mount rose in Kananaskis.

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