Trip Reports – Oct, Nov 2013

 

Last winter, the trip reports were viewed over 54,000 times. Skiers are anxious to know what you found on your early-season skiing adventure.

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 Picasa, and leave a link with your comment.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed.

Scroll to the bottom to leave your report.

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  1. I know it’s outside the usual area that is covered by this website, but I’m doing the mid week XC Super camp at SilverStar Mountain Resort near Vernon BC and it is phenomenal! There’s a ton of fresh snow here, great grooming, beautiful scenery and very knowledgeable instructors. If you ever get the chance to come here jump on it.

    Temperatures are cold (-15 C) but with the lots of layers and steady skiing I’m surprised at how comfortable I have felt.

    This site is a great resource for skiers. Keep up the good work.
    Don

  2. Skied the Kananaskis village trails (Terrace, Kovach, Aspen, and Terrace link IIRC) yesterday. What a difference the last week has made. The weather has done a number on the trails. Lots of pine needles, very glazed tracks (klister day) I ended up double poling the majority of it, except for the big climb up Kovach , which had better grip, probably because of the elevaton. It was still fun, but it was difficult on the downhills because of the icy trails.

  3. Skied watridge lake trail today packed snow but skier trackset one big hazard is at the creek that was still visible and running you could only get over it by being very careful to go to one short side to the right ..yellow wax worked well i

  4. Skied Moraine Lake road today. The trackset is in very good condition, and the skate skiers seemed to be doing just fine. -5C at 10:30am when we started, with a few flurries around, warming up to -3C a few hours later. Lots of people there.

  5. Skied at PLPP today. We started at the Elkwood parking lot and did Amos, Wheeler, Meadow, and Lodgepole. A lot of it was freshly trackset or at least groomed. Good early season conditions but a lot of branches sticking out of the snow in places. Temperature was right around 0 degrees the whole time we were there.

  6. Great site-Thanks. Is there any information about West Bragg Creek area. \Hoping to get a ski in before the storm tomorrow.

    • West Bragg? I haven’t been there since Wednesday, and that was on a bike. (see previous page)
      Best guess with the warm weather would be- that it might be OK if you like skating on rippled glazed hardpack, and descending fast icy downhills.
      I would give it a miss and head to PLPP where we enjoyed excellent skiing today on Bkueberry-Elk Pass etc.

  7. Check this link for an update on Yoho and Emerald Lake. There’s been a lot of grooming and tracksetting which doesn’t show on the Yoho trail report. http://www.khsc.ca/updates/

    I see we’ve broken the old record(165) for trip reports in a month. Thanks, everyone! -Bob

  8. TAKAKKAW FALLS ROAD

    Magnificent… where else can you get a 27 km classic ski these days?
    Today was amazing… Poles will never hit pavement… packed solid and tons of snow.
    Double trackset to the switchbacks, and then we followed an excellent skidoo track all the way to the parking lot at Takakkaw Falls.
    Check it out at:
    https://picasaweb.google.com/accesschuck/TakakkawFallsRoadNov292013?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCPmu0JitivvKNA&feat=directlink
    Or better by far… DO IT

  9. Skied Great Divide today and it was fantastic. Figured it would be a safer bet given the warmer temperatures everywhere else, and it was great and worth the drive.

  10. PLPP – From Boulton, skied Wheeler – Amos – Lynx – Pocaterra – Whiskey Jack; all freshly rolled and trackset. Temperature was between -2C & 0C. No sign of glazing in the tracks. Light flurries at the S end in the afternoon. Track conditions went from fair (pine needles, grass, and some sticks poking through) on Wheeler & Amos, to excellent S of the Pocaterra-Packers junction. Most of our group skied down Whiskey Jack back to Boulton. I turned around at the top of Whiskey Jack and skied Pocaterra all the way back to Pocattera Hut where I was picked up (after waiting 10 minutes for the others to arrive)! The section between Lynx and the Hut was packed but not trackset, with grass and some sticks poking through, but no problem avoiding them. This new routing of Pocaterra is more hilly and windy compared to before. From the old Pocattera-Lynx junction (picnic table) you now have to go along Lynx for about 30m to get to the new Pocattera-Lynx junction. Overall, a great day!

  11. Golden’s cross country ski trails are in fantastic shape! Dawn Mountain Nordic Centre has 33km of groomed ski trails for classic and skate. See you on the trails! http://www.goldennordicclub.ca for more info on trail conditions, lessons, rentals, events, and news.

  12. Received this email from Tom Steenaerts:

    Hello Bob, Your web site is my best source of information regarding trails conditions etc. I have XC skied for 40 years and only yesterday did Skogan Pass for the first time, thanks to you. It was magnificent the trails grooming tops, temperature around zero. Wax, Vauhti SL -1-6 worked well, blue Toko klister as a base would not hurt next time if temperatures and snow stay as they are.
    TopSkoganPass

    Thanks again
    Tom Steenaerts  

    • Just back from Ribbon Creek. The weather over the last few days must have taken its toll on the Skogan Pass trail. I would rate the lower 2-3 kms as not recommended to poor, gradually transitioning to fair near the top. Lots of ice, rocks, bare ground, debris etc. I even saw a patch of green grass in the tracks! Rock skis and caution going down and a lot more snow is recommended.

  13. PIPESTONE LOOP

  14. Thursday, Nov. 28
    Went to Kananskis today and skied Pocaterra. The first 4 kms. of the trail have been rerouted because of the flood damage. Those first 4 kms. are skier tracked and snow cover is adequate—enough to get us to the good part. There are some twigs showing through and it is a bit bumpy in places. At the Amos junction keep left for Pocaterra. I say this because it does not look familiar because of the new trail construction. There is a short section over a bridge that is groomed and the snow cover is quite thin. Once past that you are on the groomed and machine tracked section. We went to the Whiskey Jack junction. The conditions were pretty fantastic–the best I have seen this year so far (have skied in West Bragg Creek a couple times). Whiskey Jack is groomed and machine tracked, but we were not sure of the condition of Wheeler and the rest of the trails that would bring us back to the hut, so just returned the same way. It was -11 when we started 10:30ish and by the time we were back about 2:30, it was up to 0. It was a fabulous day and I plan to go back on Saturday before the cold weather.

    Congratulations, Annie, you are the first person to ski and report on the “new” section of Pocaterra. Did you mean “at the Lynx junction?” “Amos” doesn’t connect to Pocaterra anywhere(or did those floods do more damage than I thought?) -Bob

  15. Ribbon Creek-South Trail System
    Skied Nov. 28
    Today I skied some of the Ribbon Creek trails which where generally very good. (Terrace, Kovach, Aspen and Lower part of Skogan Pass). At the Kananaskis Village trailhead it was windy and +1c at 11:30 rising to +5c at 3pm. Waxing with ‘Start-Purple’ worked well on my toothpick racing skis. The tracks had a few pine needles and a couple glazed spots on south aspects, but not bad for this time of year. The lower part of Skogan had a couple rocks poking through, but where easily avoided. I talked with Tracksetter Jeff, who was surveying the partially completed bridge over Ribbon Creek. He is planning on doing some more tracksetting on the Village side on Friday evening, which would freshen it up a little. It is possible now to connect the south trail system to the Ribbon Creek Parking Lot and the Skogan Pass Trail, but you have to walk across the frozen creek(the new bridge is not finished), and there is some dirt involved due to the new bridge construction.
    Saw a Great Grey Owl up close, which was pretty cool

  16. Mt Shark trails were all groomed yesterday. Snowmobile rolled only, no tracksetting.

    The PLPP trail report indicates a number of trails have now been trackset. It sounds like you could do a nice loop on Whiskey jack, Pocaterra, Lynx, Woolley, Meadow, Wheeler and Amos.

  17. PIPESTONE RIVER TO HUGE SCENIC MEADOWS
    Skied Nov.26/13
    The track set trail was in excellent shape with great grip ‘n glide. Expect some damage due to wolf tracks.

    Beyond the track set I broke trail up to the huge scenic meadows about 7 km up the valley from the track set trail (see Google Earth for a view of the area). Snow depth is about 45 cm with good early skiing conditions. The snow penetration for the most part was just below boot top with some areas up to calf depth- using 65mm skis. The base density is average to above average for this time of year. Trail breaking is of moderate difficulty in the trees and much easier in sun exposed areas. Expect to hit a couple of rocks or stumps along the route. All creeks were frozen. The river is frozen at the beginning of the meadows. The meadows are a great spot to watch the sun go down on the peaks and view stars. Lots of fresh interesting animal tracks along the trail. This trail is a must for “hard cores”.

  18. We skied Ribbon Creek last night and conditions were generally good. The most noticable change since Sunday was that the tracks are a little glazed and faster. There were more pine needles and leaves that ended up getting stuck to the bottom of the skis but that was just a minor inconvenience.

  19. West Bragg conditions-
    No skis this afternoon, instead I was on studded tires, biking the Ranger Summit-Strange Brew loop, part of the all season network.
    My observations from the route that I rode, and crossings of the ski trails, would indicate that sheltered trails ( Sundog, a good part of Elbow, Crystal Line for example) would still have some fairly good skiing on firm packed snow. Downhills would be fast, with a bit of glazing in the tracks quite possible. More sun exposed areas are probably really icy.

  20. Skied Moraine Lake Rd. up to Fairview/returned via Fairview, Tramline. sunny morning -15C. MLR tracks are getting rattlely. Pole tracks on outside are soft. Fairview conditions are marginal at times. Look out for rocks, roots, branches, hummocks and post holing foot traffic. Top part of Tramline from upper parking lot has had a lot of foot traffic. Only a single track for 200 ish m. Snow coverage was good back down to MLR. Reread this post sounds negative but the ski was great!

  21. More snowmobile packing occurred on Monday in PLPP, but exercise caution. Lots of “rough and uneven surfaces.” The PLPP trail report was updated yesterday. http://www.albertaparks.ca/peter-lougheed/advisories-public-safety/trail-report.aspx

  22. Blueberry, elk pass and hydroline nov 26. No track setting yet. Rough snowmobile packing up blueberry. A staffer was trying to even out trail on blueberry to allow the grooming machine some access. 2 feet of snow just off trail. Mostly everything else rolled and marginally skier set. Not that windy for a chinook day and no moist snow.

  23. Skied Cascade Valley today. Trackset is decent though a bit wobbly as the trail has seen lots of use since the last snowfall. Snow is pretty good – no heat damage. Though expected, it was disappointing to get to the Cascade River and look at the unreachable other side. At 12.5 Km for the return trip, its a short ski, but was a good early season outing none-the-less. Quite a few people there today – about 20 cars in the parking lot.

  24. There is some unreported roller packing/grooming at Canmore Nordic Centre. Here are just a couple trail reports: Osprey is a little thin at the bottom, but is an alternate to going up the old access road to Meadow. Chipmunk is accessed off south Rundle and had only two other skate skiers on it before we skied it this afternoon. Silky soft groomed snow, a nice change from the well-used lower trails.

    There are plenty of other seldom used trails that have been packed, like Flying Squirrel. I’m not saying they have enough snow, but they do have a taste of adventure.

  25. PLPP and Kananaskis Village- 25 November
    I did get out skiing. I think that’s good, but it was a strange day… or else I was a really strange guy. I go with both.

    After talking to the attractive young lady in the info centre, I decided to try Elk Pass because she said all of it was groomed and she thought some might be trackset. There were several problems there- starting with this: she lied. I’m finding that more and more: when attractive women talk to me, they lie. The horrors of aging!

    Anyway, I decided to do the old standard- Elk Pass. It begins with the never-ending hill we call “Cardiac Arrest. (Note to self: Perhaps guys on the downhill side of 70 should not start the year’s skiing with Elk Pass) I did make the hill okay, altho three times I fell over just standing as the slope was polished. The trail had been groomed but not track set so my skis seemed to have minds of their own when it came to deciding which direction they wanted to go. Anyway, I trudged on, fighting the skis as my wax was a bit off. Finally, after about two kms, I decided to rewax. The problem was that my kit is not set up yet and I had left the waxes back in the truck. (Note to self: Before setting out on any ski outings, make sure the brain is operating) There was nothing for it but to turn around and head back. I was not happy.

    Arriving back at the truck, I decided I did not want to face Cardiac again, so I decided to go lower to where the Info Lady had said the tracks were set- Kananaskis Village. (She told me the truth this time!) This would also give me a chance to use the ‘new’ waxless skis that I had such a battle with last year- a battle both with the skis and with the ski shop. The skis work better than their predecessors, but they still are not good. I shall replace them sometime this year. That said, the skiing, when the skis were gripping, was a lot better and I had a good run. The final result was about 9 kms under the skis. Not bad for a first real outing.

    I ended the day with a dose of Ibuprofen.

    • Pat, did you blog about your challenges with waxless skis? This caught my attention as my husband and I are contemplating buying waxless Fischer SuperLite skis. If you have any words of caution, I’d appreciate them.

      • Hi, Dana. Yes, I have had some problems and learned a bit

        Anyway, yes, I have had a few challenges. You might contact me directly at evilunk@yahoo.ca (That handle is a long story) I think I can give some advice and some cautions

  26. Re: Goat creek. This email came in from Frank:

    Hi Bob,

    Thank you for gathering information about ski trails and publishing reviews on your Ski Here website!

    I’d like to share with you the following information about a part of the Goat Creek trail.

    I skied from Fairmont Banff Springs Resort toward Goat Creek last Saturday, November 23.

    The first 5.8 km from Banff to Spray River West junction is just a road (though the snow was clean): no ski track, it’s also uncomfortable for skating due to deep and soft middle part, and wax goes off quickly.

    After the junction, a faint track goes all the way to Spray River – it seemed that two skiers just broke the trail before me, but I missed them.

    The Spray River bridge is now short for the river, but it’s possible to cross on ice. Here are the pictures that can explain it better than words (if you want to publish some on your website, please feel free to do so):
    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/1nciq0chcep52tq/lAIaqAOGmB

    Scrambling the high river bank can be avoided by going 10 meters down the river by the shore and then walking 10 meters back to the trail through the woods. This way around is quite obvious when you look from Banff’s (left) bank of the river, but not from the other side…

    Same single track goes on from Spray River to Goat Creek. The Goat Creek bridge stays intact after the flood. Apparently, more skiers reached it from the Goat Creek parking lot near Canmore on that day. I turned back to Banff at this point.

    Overall, the trail is in good condition and I’m going to try it the other way next week – from the Goat Creek parking lot to the Spray River West junction.

    Regards,
    Frank

  27. Daily update from Tracksetter John at Lake Louise:

    “I found 6 k of classic on #20 of the Pipestone, and looked at Fairview again and the Moraine end is rough on the hills, caution!”

  28. LAKE O’HARA
    Great snow and trail conditions today when we skied up to Lake O’Hara. We were surprised to find 50 cm of settled snow at lower elevations and less at higher elevations… but still lots.
    We were also amazed to find that weekend skiers and snowshoers had made clearly defined seperate trails… very impressive!
    We also saw two moose, and enjoyed skiing on the frozen lake.
    See it all at:
    https://picasaweb.google.com/accesschuck/LakeOHaraNov252013?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCMOhw_CkwZL0kQE&feat=directlink

  29. We skied Healy Creek on Saturday and Ribbon Creek on Sunday. Healy seemed worn out at times due to the heavy traffic since the last snowfall. It was packed and trackset (although it didn’t appear to be trackset at times) to the Brewster Creek turnoff. The remainder of Healy and Brewster Creek trails were skier set. It was very windy at times on Saturday and pine needles and debris were making an appearance but weren’t a major inconvenience.

    Ribbon Creek was good aside from the top 2 km of Bill Milne which were packed but not trackset and had the bike path showing occasionally (easily avoidable though). There was also dirt showing at turn at the bottom of Kovach Lookout for all of those adrenaline junkies.

    • I skied the same trails this weekend, just in reverse order. Bill Milne on Saturday, and Healy Creek on Sunday. I also did Cascade Fire Road on Sunday.

      I agree that Healy creek is super beat up, but there is still more snow there now than I have seen in some Januaries. I did like the other two trails better though.

      I didn’t mind the non track-set stretch of Bill Milne. Another thing worth mentioning is the need to take your skis off and to walk across a some highway bridges to pick up the trail on the other side.

      After about 8km from the village, you get to a bridge that leads to the middle of a river, because the riverbank on the other side is gone. There is a highway bridge maybe 50 meters over to the left, but I didn’t feel adventurous enough to try to use it to cross.

      How far did you make it?

      Looking forward to doing some of the other trails in the Ribbon Creek area next weekend. 🙂

  30. Update from Tracksetter John at Lake Louise:

    Fairview is trackset!! A great accomplishment for this amount of snow, I found the Chateau end to be good with a few mossy humps peaking thru. Heather says the Moraine end is rougher, with some brush, rocks and stumps, so caution… I worked on the Telemark and Peyto again today but they need more snow. Heather skied Emerald yesterday, she says it was awesome.

  31. Kananaskis Village Trails are Trackset!!!
    We almost stayed home, did chores, and felt sorry for ourselves.
    Instead, we skied most of the trails at the Kananaskis Village in near-prefect conditions.
    They are the only ones that have been trackset in the area, and other than a few spots worn thin by vigorous snowplowing on steep corners, the trails are in excellent condition.
    Thanks to the fellows at the Barrier Lake Visitor Centre for the suggestion.
    Back to work…..

  32. What a stellar day in south PLPP! At noon at Boulton Creek, air temp was -5C with no wind; softest Blue worked great all the way. Broke trail on Moraine over to Fox then thankfully (!) hit skier tracks on Fox up to Elk Pass. Thanks to K-Country staff and volunteers for the new bridges; I couldn’t detect any other major changes in that trail. Where changes are noticeable is on the Elk Pass trail, however some of these may disappear once its groomed and tracked. The upper half before Patterson is single skier tracked with some nice dips where one could catch some air if it was fast coming down. Fresh grooming appeared at Patterson junction so turned there up to Hydroline and floated down that with a tailwind! Wonderful sunny views all ’round. And to top off a great day, Moraine had a very nice track from multiple skiers all the way back to Boulton Creek.

  33. Perfect weather on Cascade Fire Road this morning (Sunday), and the track setting held up despite lots of users out! Blue with purple stripe worked well on most of the trail except where the sun had really hit the snow. Worth watching your speed as you descend down to what was the bridge – there isn’t any tape across or warning signs that the bridge is gone and the water looked pretty cold if you didn’t stop in time!

    • You’d have to pull off quite a ski jump to reach water from there 😀
      More than likely you’d just break your legs and skis on the lumber below.

      The picture is a bit blurry, but you get the idea. http://imgur.com/CI7Uy0V

      So, yes, please watch your speed down the hill.

  34. Chester Lake! I almost forgot to mention that we had a great ski up to the lake yesterday Saturday the 24. The entire valley seems to have benefited from a huge early season storm and considerable base – more than Kananaskis Valley. Although we were on AT skis this trail is in good condition and we saw (and were outrun by) a number of XC skiers. No grooming but lots of traffic in the area to pack the base. The aged cross country signs nailed to the odd tree here and there make me think that this area was once groomed for cross country although it doesn’t seem to be kept up that way anymore. Anyone know the history?

    • I know we used to ski there once in awhile in the past, I’m gonna say it was about 20 years? I know somewhere there is a VHS tape that my Dad and I made while out that way one year. We weren’t back country skiers at all so I’m thinking it had to have been at least skier set.

    • I can’t tell you exactly when it stopped, but yes, the entire Chester-Sawmill trail used to be an active, groomed, XC network. Probably at least 10 years ago, they stopped grooming it, having a lot less funding for grooming, and deciding one network had to go.
      It was left for XCT skiers for a long time, and people used it regularly, simply skier-tracked.
      Two and a half years ago or so, they went in and pulled out all of the trail signs. They decided that since there was no longer the money to do any maintenance at all in the summer (cutting down trees and such), it was not safe to have it open for skiing.
      A group of volunteers banded together to seek at least the signs being put back up, as the trails are actively used both summer and winter, and routefinding is much more challenging without signs. Parks was determined that it could not be promoted for skiing, but agreed to officially designate it as a snowshoe network, with trail signs at each junction. A couple of the former trails have not be re-marked for snowshoeing, as they were determined to be insufficient even for snowshoes (snowshoes needing a lot less grooming than skis, due to low speed and narrow, windable trail), so have not been added to the new signs. It was volunteer work that got the new signs up and has kept it as necessary, and possibly may be able to get the other links in time. In the meantime, anyone with an old map can easily piece together the missing parts and ski or snowshoe them if they don’t mind trailbreaking.

      So yes, it was once all groomed XC. None of it is anymore, and just the Chester Lake trail is still officially designated for skiing (with an alternate snowshoe trail).

  35. Ribbon Creek on the morning of Sunday Nov 24 had some fantastic snow albeit a bit foot tracked with the local tourist traffic. Skiing up to the lookout seemed easier than last year probably due to the new required starting point at the higher elevation village. My wife Mallory and I ran into Bob at the Ribbon Creek parking lot afterwards where there was nothing but great new groomed trails, sun and smiles.

  36. REDEARTH CREEK- SHADOW LAKE TRAIL

    Skied Redearth late afternoon Sat. Nov. 23
    It is time for Parks to pack the trail. The trail is well skier packed up to the RE-6 campground and generally in good shape. Expect to hit a couple of rocks with the skis particularly where a new trail has been cut around an area of flood damage.
    Beyond RE-6 I broke the trail to a point a couple of hundred meters up the Shadow Lake Trail. Snow depth is about 45 cm. Expect your poles to hit some rocks when skiing up Redearth.

    • Hey James,
      Thanks for removing the rest of that tree across the trail before Lost Horse Creek. We only removed half of it while breaking trail up to RE6.
      Chuck
      PS Sorry for not reporting, Bob… thought we’d save you from overload!

      Chuck, the Trip Reports will hold 1000 comments so go crazy 🙂 -Bob

  37. I heard a rumour there’s a groomed skiable trail at Emerald Lake. I hope someone who’s been there can verify this.

  38. Skiied Cascade Valley yesterday Nov. 23. Beautiful Blue day! Stellar weather and great trackset skiing. Did some classic and experienced a fine rhythm! Those skating also said it was great! Temperature a nice -5. Witnessed some elk with beautiful racks on the way out! Wonderful, wonderful ski!

  39. Skied a couple of loops around Nakiska village trails yesterday, excellent track set and plenty of skiers enjoying the early winter conditions. Good grip on special blue, but the snow was softening when I left@ 2pm

  40. Nordic Centre is in Great Shape!

    Skied at Nordic Centre yesterday (Saturday). We Took Banff Trail to Bow, and then followed Bow all the way to the west end of the trails. We returned along Banff Trail. Even though the GPS grooming does not show these trails as groomed, they are groomed and in great shape. The tracks are solid throughout. Skating was also great. There were a few small spots of twigs coming through but not enough to hurt your good skis. Our poles planted through to the pavement in a couple of places, but again, no big deal. There is a small portion of the Meadow that is not complete on Banff Trail. There is a new groomed track about half way up the Meadow to circumvent the section of Banff Trail that is not yet open. Enjoy the ski.

  41. West Bragg on Saturday- Busy at the trailhead and on the closer in trails, but pretty quiet out on the Moose loop, etc. The skiing was great and the weather gorgeous, almost springlike which was a bit too much of a good thing as our Start violet wax job was losing it’s grip on the more sun exposed uphill tracks. Overall, conditions remain very good.

  42. Skied Mount Shark Friday Nov 22nd…..FABULOUS. Not trackset as of yet since the large snow fall but was unbelievable. Minimal skiers out there, most taking the skier tracks to watridge lake but the area is amazing for snow.

  43. Skied the Great Divide trail at Lake Louise today. The trackset was very good, with an occasional soft spot. West of the Divide (in BC), the tracks were softer and somewhat windblown, but still quite skiable. A cool day: -14C at 10am, warming up to -9C at 1pm when we finished. A good ski day!

  44. Skogan Pass
    All I can say is WEEEeeeeeEEEE.

    Conditions were pretty good for this early in the season, lower section from ribbon creek to Nakiska was a mixed bag with a lot of needles and occasional dirt patches. Conditions improved greatly as you get higher, but there were a couple rocks poking out on the corners near the upper ski area, so you might want to bring your rock skis. Or do what I did and make yourself a pair of rock skis, and give yourself a reason to add some new ones to your kit.

    The upper portion, skogan loop etc was in fantastic shape, fresh set tracks, blue skies, not much wind and stunning stunning views. The tracksetters did a great job, and there is plenty of snow.

    • David, I’m wondering if the warm weather and wind had any impact on the snow? Or did it stay nice and cold? What wax did you use?

      • There was no wind until I got to the skogan loop, and even then it wasn’t much.

        I was using v40 blue, worked great, even got some I am using too warm a wax grabbing at the top in a few shady spots. Air temp was +3 at the bottom at the end of the day.

  45. Really enjoyed my first ski of the season from 1:30 to 3:00 this afternoon. 13 km in Stanley Park! Yup, set a 1.6 km loop and skied it 8 times. Didn’t mind the repetition a bit. Not a bad track if I do say so myself. Thin snow in the treed bits. I expect it will still be good tomorrow morning after freezing tonight. It’s not Cascade Valley or Spray River, but it sure is handy. It was beautiful and great exercise.

  46. Confederation Park was marginal this morning with temperatures hovering around 4 deg. The driving range was really quite nice for skating, however. For the price, it sure beats COP!

  47. A number of trails in PLPP have been roller packed. Check the PLPP trail report for details on individual trails.

  48. Tracksetter John reports they’ve started packing trails at Emerald Lake.

  49. Skied West Bragg Creek on this gorgeous Friday afternoon, sunny and no wind.Temp. -4C at start, 0C mid-afternoon and -5C at end. Swix Red Special worked just fine for me. Went up Sundog, Elbow Trail to the Elbow River and back along Iron Springs, Loggers and Crystal West. Shocked to see how much the Elbow River had changed its course at the south end of the trail. It now meanders just about up to the gate that exists at the north end of the now non-existant meadow.Anyways all of the above trails except the south end of the Elbow and North end of the Iron Springs trails (which have good skier tracksets) are groomed and were trackset in the morning.The tracks were so fresh I stayed off of them so they would set up properly overnite.These trails are in very,vey good condition other than a few bare spots at the south end of the Iron Springs trail. Skiing should be ideal tomorrow. Kudos to the groomers.

  50. Excellent mid-winter ski conditions on the village side of the Ribbon Creek trails today. Pleasant temperatures, blue skies and perfect track setting. Thanks Jeff for doing an awesome job on those trails!

  51. Confederation Park at Night
    I have skied Shaganappi Golf Course many times at night, so I thought I knew what to expect for my first go at Confed. Patk. Wrong! Shag is brightly lit by either Bow Trail or the lights from downtown; Confed Park, in contrast, is quite dark with just enough light to prevent one from getting good night vision. As a consequence, I spent a lot of time fumbling for the trail and fumbling to keep my skis in the tracks. These were good in places, but in other areas they had been skied into a rutted mess.

    I think one could get a half decent ski in at CF during the day, but I would not recommend a nite ski at this time… and if you go anyway, take a headlamp
    FWIW
    Pat

  52. Healy Pass, Friday Nov 22.
    Skied up to Healy Pass today in excellent conditions. Trail is in great shape, no rocks or hazards. It stayed cool all day, -11º at the trailhead and a high of -5º around 2 pm. In the meadows near treeline just east of the pass, the snowpack was about 70-80cm with a supportive base on low angled slopes. We didn’t attempt anything steep as the wind loads on lee slopes are significant.
    All the exposed ridges above treeline were heavily wind scoured and we spotted numerous releases from cornices and windslabs on exposed rocky terrain.
    On the descent,we had to bundle up as we descended into the trees. It was a fast exit, but cold.

  53. It looks like trail grooming has started at Peter Lougheed Provincial Park. I just spoke with K-country information, and they indicated that there had been some trail packing last night (no tracksetting yet). It sounds like most of the work so far has been at the north end of the park (Pocaterra, Lodgepole, Lynx, etc) though Whiskeyjack was also mentioned. There doesn’t appear to be any information on grooming on the website yet.

  54. Skied West Bragg yesterday (Thurs., Nov. 21), just a short loop because we were pressed for time (unfortunately because my daughter fell asleep in the Chariot and it was so beautiful I coulda skied for another hour at least!!!). Beauty conditions and the groomers were at work while we were there! The multi-use road has some truck tracks on it, but it was otherwise skier set (and may well be groomed by now?).

  55. Brian Johnson has an update on trail conditions in Red Deer:

    Hi Bob. We have an active trail conditions website that we are now updating regularly for our 2 ski areas in Red Deer. http://reddeernordic.ca/?page_id=372

    Great Chief Park/Heritage Ranch offers 10 km of trails as does Riverbend Recreation Area.

    We have had 2 feet of snow in the last 2 weeks (5-10 cm more expected in the next day!) and have remarkable skiing condtions in both locations. Everything is groomed and track set for skate and classic skiing. All trails are free to access.

  56. CASCADE UNLEASHED

    With the great news that the Cascade Valley had been trackset, we had to investigate immediately.

    It is beautifully groomed to the site of the original 6 km bridge, but the newly announced Bankhead portion has not completed yet. But we have a preview!

    Check out the map with pictures and captions to see what we can enjoy this winter:
    https://picasaweb.google.com/accesschuck/CascadeUnleashedNov212013?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCISTqMSt1PaCLQ&feat=directlink

    • Thank you for that! We went today and had a brilliant blue sky, blue wax day. The snow was perfect, who could ask for anything more??
      (although the wind chill on the way down was unexpectedly bitter and my hands froze – should have been better prepared)

  57. Bow Trail at the Canmore Nordic Center was freshly machine groomed today, at least to the Grey Wolf junction, even though the live grooming graphic doesn’t show this. Natural snow only, so some twigs in the track, but overall very nice indeed for November. Lots of PistenBullys out working when I left the Nordic Center at dark!

    Does anybody have any information about a planned start to grooming at Peter Lougheed?

  58. Skied at Canmore Nordic today. Groomed trails near the day lodge are in very good shape. Further west, groomed trails (Bow, Banff) have decent skating lanes, while the tracks are fair with lots of little branches poking through. Good skiing for mid-November….

  59. Update from Tracksetter John at Lake Louise:

    I got the lower telemark graded and I think its fairly skiable but no track till the next snow. Jeff is going to start working on the Fairview tomorrow but it will take a week or so.

  60. Cascade Valley has been track set. They closed the Lake Minnewanka road just in time to get the snow.

    The Kananaskis Village/Ribbon Creek trails were groomed today.

    • Not only groomed but all the Village Trails were track set tonight and are in excellent condition for this time a year.

    • Anyone else having problems getting the live update screens for KCountry and CNC to come up properly?

      • I just tried the K-country map and it seems to work. It’s a big ‘sluggish’ to respond to the mouse-over and click, but it does work.
        I’m using FF 25.0.1 and also tried it on IE 10 on Win 7. Are you perhaps using Safari? I haven’t tried that.

  61. Skied Confederation this afternoon. Quite a bit of tracksetting has been done – perhaps 4 or 5 Km if you put it all together. The driving range has been trackset with an oval (about 600m) of triple tracks, plus a skating lane. Grass shows through in several places, but a good ski can still be had.

    • What’s the best place to park and best direction to go?

      • Right at the main gates, as if you were going there to golf. You just can’t get in the gate with your car in the winter so park on Collingwood Dr NW (just off 19th Street NW) and the gates are locked with a chain long enough for you to still walk through.

        As Ray says, you can have quite a nice ski there! Kudos to Dave for the track setting.

        • Thursday early evening I parked where Mark suggested. It was about 445pm so I knew I was on borrowed time… grabbed the waxless skiis and headed for the nearest tracks. With the stiff afternoon wind quite a few of the tracks were filled in by blowing snow but I still managed 9km out there (according to my GPS) which included repeating a few smaller loops. I took my little 70 lumen headlight which helped from 530pm onwards but there were a few surprises as the lights weren’t great. The trail/tracks vary considerably across Confed – ranging from perfect to hard pack, to snow-filled, to 50/50 grass/snow. Very thankful we can do some inner-city XC’ing, makes me envious of all the trails Edmonton has (and the Chinooks they DON’T have).

          • Anyone else feel like throwing something at the TV when there’s a foot of beautiful snow on the ground and the weather guys are all excited that it’s going up to 10 degrees?

            • Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
              For me it is the radio, which sometimes I want to turn off for the whole winter! This is the same CBC that features the “Real Ski Report” too 🙁
              Sometimes I think Calgarians’ favourite colour must be brown 😛

  62. Shaganappi Golf Course
    Skied Shag this afternoon. Snow is sparse and trails are skier set only. It was much like kissing an ugly step sister. That said, if one hasn’t had a kiss for eight months, ugly stepsister kissing is rather enjoyable.

  63. Has anyone heard when the Mt Shark trails will be groomed? I’m thinking soon since the dump they got yesterday.

    • Rhonda, my husband and I skiied there Friday….FABULOUS. No tracksetting visible, it apparently had been skido tracked Nov 13 that was before the snow. We did the 10km loop and ski track set the entire way. The snow is amazing. There are many tracks to Watridge lake but faulous

  64. I decided to check out Baker Creek today and got there just as Mike (owner of the Baker Creek Chalets) came out of the woods on his old double-track ski-doo! He had just finished packing the trail and the campground loops. Depending on how much snow they get tonight, he might pack it again or even trackset it in the next couple days. Despite the lack of a trackset and little twigs still sticking up all over the place, it was a really nice ski. Thanks Mike!

  65. Update from Tracksetter John at Lake Louise:

    2 feet of snow at the top of MLR. I got it packed [sort of] and some classic, and a track on the whole tram line, and back at it again tomorrow

  66. SPRAY RIVER WEST

    I measured 30 cm fresh snow as I skied directly from my home in Banff to the new Warming Hut at the 6 km picnic table site on the Spray!
    The new bridge (to the east side) is being built, but there is a temporary crossing for anyone daring enough to make use of it. I did not!
    It appears that we will have the new replacement in time for Christmas.
    These photos, including a short video clip, will fill you in:
    https://picasaweb.google.com/accesschuck/SprayRiverWestNov192013?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCPCjloyDwNLoKA&feat=directlink

  67. It looked like 10-15 cm of new snow at the Canmore Nordic Center by this afternoon since they groomed at 6 am this morning. Lots of snow making along Banff Trail in the -15 degree temperatures, so we’ll hopefully see the network of groomed trails expanding in the next few days!

  68. Shaganappi Golf course has been groomed. It still has some thin snow and bare spots according to Alasdair Fergusson. Average packed snow depth is 2 cm, so you know there will be grass poking through. It’s a much earlier start than usual.

    You can read the entire report from Alasdair https://calgaryskiclub.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/snowtrailreport_2013_Nov_18.pdf

  69. Update from Tracksetter John at Lake Louise:

    “I did Moraine Lake Road and Great Divide again today and probably will do them again tomorrow too. Dave was on the Pipestone and it might be getting skiable.?”

    • Where ‘up there’ can one access the Great Divide trail? I have never skied it, and while I know where lake Louise is, the parking and locations are a mystery to me… and yes, I did try to find it on the Banff web site.

      It’s on Lake Louise Drive, the road that goes from the village up to the world-renowned lake. You’ll first come to Moraine Lake Road, but keep going and you’ll see the Great Divide trailhead about 500 metres further on your right side. -Bob

  70. GREAT DIVIDE / 1A

    With more snow last night, John was back working on the Great Divide again today, resetting the classic track and packing the skating lane… Thanks!
    3 photos say it all at:
    https://picasaweb.google.com/accesschuck/GreatDivideNov182013?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCKzOtrLb0a_RVQ&feat=directlink

    • Hey Chuck,
      Great photos. You didn’t happen to find a snow thermometer, did you? I was there on Sunday and re-waxed between the “Great Divide” arch and the Ross Lake Trail. I think I left it there so it’s probably well buried by now!

  71. Quick trip at the Kananaskis Village area. The new centre looks great! Trails were a little wild with tracks hither an yon, temp about -5. Lot’s of walkers (as expected so close to the hotel) can’t tell if they avoided tracks because there was no definite track anyway. Lightly snowed all afternoon. Big Rock and Nachos ended a perfect first ski day!

  72. Lake Louise update from Barb with the Norseman Ski Club:

    — The Tramline-Lake Moraine Road trip on Sunday, November 17 was a pleasant experience from all aspects. The 11 Norseman Ski Club members who took part, skied in either snow-filled beauty (The Tramline) or track set perfection (MLR). The drive there was certainly not white knuckled (snowplowed), and the weather went from -18C in Calgary to -8C at the trailhead. The day was overcast with a very gentle snow falling and no wind.
    We had originally wanted to do the Tramline, MLR and back on Fairview but we were told Fairview was in rough shape for two reasons: 1.it is not a summer trail so needs lots of snow to cover the shrubs and fallen logs before it can be packed and 2. The Lake Louise people are responsible for the trail and their groomer (machine not man) is broken down. One of our members explored it for some distance and confirmed this.

    As we left the Tramline park lot after a perfect day of skiing, it was still snowing lightly but steadily so should be even better today.

    Barb Davis

  73. Skied Elk Pass and Blueberrt Sunday, Nov 17. Lots of new snow, and the temp went from -16C in Canmore, to -6C at the Elk Pass parking lot. Probably 8cm new down low, with much more at the top of Blueberry and the Pass – perhaps 15cm?. Very few hazards apart from the one or two narrow drainages crossing the Elk Pass trail. We returned via the Hydoline/Patterson link to Elk Pass trail. Nice snow falling much of the day. More coming!

    I’m rather perplexed that Elk Pass/Blueberry/Hydroline have not been groomed. Has the budget been expended on flood repairs? Perhaps someone can enlighten me. There was no sign of any repair work ongoing anywhere we skied. The new bridges and road cuts are all in place.

  74. West Bragg Creek (17th Nov) – Skied Moose Loop / Connector. What a gorgeous day, min 20 to start, blue skies and no wind. The snow was in great condition, very forgiving for early season legs, and no need for rock skis anywhere on the way round. Wasn’t track set, but hey, who cares, we are sking in perfect conditions in mid November.

  75. Tracksetter John from Lake Louise sent this update:

    I groomed The Great Divide today, lots of happy skiers, lots of snow in the forecast…

  76. West Bragg Creek – Skied Iron Springs and Elbow this afternoon. No wind and brilliant sunshine. Most of the route was in fair to good condition with a couple of centimetres of packed fresh snow over crust on skier trackset. The snow cover got thinner the further south we went, with bare spots showing through on the southernmost loop. I wouldn’t recommend skiing that part unless you have rock skis!

    • I wonder if those trails are still accessible from the south end, along Elbow Falls Trail?

      • Allen Bill Pond, part of the parking lot and the first 900m of the south part of the Elbow trail washed away in the June flood. A reroute has been flagged and is supposed to be getting built during this month, possibly from a new parking lot across Hwy #66 from the Allen Bill (no Pond) parking lot.
        I haven’t checked in the past 10 days, so it may be under construction at this time. In the meantime, it is possible to follow a flagged route on foot or on snowshoes, but it is not at all recommended for skiing yet from the south end. Best to start from the West Bragg Creek parking lot for now.

        • Thank you, Alf, that is very useful information. I used to enjoy skiing the Iron Springs – Elbow loop from the quieter side, though it did suffer more from warm sunny weather.

  77. Snow shoeing in the Sawmill area this weekend. Had never been on that trail system before. Much of the trails were over grown, lots of wind fall. Fun on snow shoes but was glad I wasn’t on my skis.

    Back in the day I bet those trails were awesome…seems pretty much abandoned now.

    • It is very sad. Those trails were fantastic back in the 1990s, lots of choice, challenging and great fun. I do miss those days……….

      • As a skier and a taxpayer I don’t know if that area is worth rehabbing.

        That said it is sad as you could see the flow in the rolling hills and corners.

  78. Skied the Great Divide trail in Lake Louise. Good snow coverage and it looks like the snow that started falling will continue through Tuesday.

    The lower telemark trail (#8) wasn’t groomed or trackset but I skied it anyways. Snow was thin in places but definitely doable. The Fairview trail had some tracks as well so I’m thinking they’ll both be tracked by next weekend.

  79. Fantastic conditions at Dawn Mountain in Golden. 15 km of groomed trails for classic and skate.

  80. Confederation park has been groomed. I just read it on Twitter. “Very deep snow in some parts and shallow in others. Should be a fun ski experience. ENJOY!”

    • I was there today, there is quite a bit of grass there still, should be good next weekend if the forecast holds true.

      • Thanks for the tracksetting – much appreciated. It was a glorious afternoon there today with mostly great tracks – just had to be careful in a few spots. Fingers crossed for more snow.

    • Shaganappi Golf Course also fairly skiable. Not yet track set. Like Confederation there are some grassy/thin snow over asphalt parts.

  81. West Bragg Creek update: Only about 5cm of new dry snow which isn’t enough to repack. The chinook during the week made the trails very icy so expect mixed conditions (thin in sun-exposed spots, ‘dust on crust’ elsewhere).
    Hoping for more snow so we can get out and pack it. Base will need to grow before track setting can begin.

  82. Moraine Lake Road had 3-5 cms of fresh snow this morning (-4C at 8:30 am), very pleasant skating and classic conditions. The wonderful and hardworking track setting crew were arriving as we left – thanks guys! We spoke to track setter Jeff, who indicated that, in addition to all the work on MLR, Great Divide and environs, some packing had also been done on the Pipestone trails, they were still a bit thin for enjoyable skinny skiing, but if this weekend’s forecast snow materializes, that might be enough to get things going there.

  83. The first 400m of the Chester Lake Trail was heavily damaged by the June flood. The new re-route alignment of this portion of Chester Lake Trail was finished today and the result is even better than the original.
    Instead of the going straight uphill at the information kiosk (with no information on it), you go to the left (north) on a level trail for about 10 meters to a brand new, wide bridge across Chester Creek. From here, the trail climbs gently uphill in a series of sweeping curves, before re-joining the original trail at the point where the snowshoe trail branches off to the right.
    There is no signage at the moment, but the ski route is obvious once you are on it. It may be more confusing for snowshoers, since there is no directional signage to direct them onto their narrow trail.
    Snow and trail conditions are very good with two exceptions:
    -There is about a ski-length of dirt showing at the newly completed bridge by the parking lot. This should get covered with the next snowfall.
    -Many of the maliciously placed rock and log hazards that were placed along the upper portion of the trail by the Parks trail crew are still poking out, ready to catch and trip skiers.
    Snow depth at the lake is 45cm.

  84. There was 6-7 cm of new snow on Wednesday night at LL over the recent packing/tracking. However, by 1:30 PM on Thursday there was new packing/tracking on MLR and the tracksetter was headed over to the 1A. So, expect nice conditions on both MLR and the 1A!

    • We headed out to the 1A this morning and found 2-3 cms of silky new snow on yesterdays track setting so thanks for letting us know that it was being groomed yesterday. Reports like this on recent or planned grooming are really helpful in this era of limited updates from Parks Canada so thanks again!

  85. Great day on November 11th at Boom Lake. Two other ski parties on the trail, one party of ill prepared Europeans in basketball shoes, and a hungry black lab looking for snacks, he had competition with the whiskey jacks. No sun at all at the lake, just at the far end on the glacier. Beautiful ski conditions, a few rocks and culverts exposed, but otherwise very good. One more dump of snow the trail will be perfect!
    Enjoy

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/teleskiers/sets/72157637633645885/

  86. Update from Tracksetter John at Lake Louise:

    “Groomed and trackset the 1A, its good”

    1A is also known as the Great Divide.

  87. Elk pass Blueberry hill ski had fantastic conditions on Mon Nov.11. Deep powdery snow, approx 30+ cm base. Only a Few skiers had broke trail, so slow going up and easy, smooth downhill back to picnic table on Elk pass. Not track set, just skiers trails. Fluffy snow made my one oops fall a soft landing enroute down from blueberry. Hydroline was skier tracked nicely for very easy return to parking lot. NOTE start @ ELK pass parking lot, NOT BOLTEN BRIDGE lot.

  88. We skied Moraine road today – the right classic track had been freshened up as far as the Paradise turnaround and the skate lane improved in texture as one climbed. 1A/Great divide had a skier made classic track and the packing from yesterday looked pretty good.

  89. WATRIDGE LAKE AND SPRAY RIVER
    11/11/13
    Very good snow cover (30 cm) from Kananaskis Watridge Lake/ Bryant Creek parking lot to the bridge across the Spray River (+-40 cm). No rocks! The trail is nicely skier tracked. Nice fast snow. Expect to hit some ground with your poles. It is time for Parks to groom the snow on the trail and build the base.

    I broke the Spray River trail from the bridge upstream of Spray Lake to Whiteman Creek in Banff Park. The trail is in fair condition. A “shaky” ski bridge has been built over the newly diverted Whiteman Creek. I did not break trail beyond this point. I am not sure if the bridge over the Spray River upstream of Whiteman Creek still exists. I have my doubts as I saw a big wide bridge in the Spray River further down from Whiteman Creek.
    Ski ya later.

  90. CNC, this morning large artificial snow mounds going out towards the mine scar (hopefully this will be spread by the weekend) thin across the gully on the Banff Trail at the mine scar and up to Meadow View. Meadow View was fair early season condition until the downhill and so was Bow Trail but joined Banff halfway back on Bow and should not have done that. Banff is “bony”, crossed over to Meadow (fair) to the top of Olympic and down Olympic (bad and likely to get worse with is weather)

  91. More grooming activity at Lake Louise. Tracksetter John sent this report:
    “I groomed the skate lane on Moraine, and re-tracked the classic up to the Paradise trail head, and re-tracked the upper tele. Andrew skidoo packed the lower tramline and rolled the Great Divide, but the snow is still to thin to trackset them yet.”

  92. The West Bragg Creek parking lot was full at mid-day Monday, with cars parked down the road. I’m guessing that about 400 people enjoyed skiing, hiking, running, snowshoeing and mountain biking on the 98km trail network today. It was an awesome day, with ideal temperatures and a clear sky.
    I did a loop that included Crystal Line, a new logging haul road west of Crystal Line, Mountain Road, Tom Snow Trail and Moose Loop. Good snow conditions all around, with just a few wet spots. The snow on the trail has generally compressed over the past week to be ready for another round of roller packing and some track setting. These trails are off to a great start this season!
    https://picasaweb.google.com/112757355578245802406/WBCSkiNov112013?authkey=Gv1sRgCNTy6ojgrZqJ8AE&gsessionid=9rF9e7KEqVFYmr3ORVvLkw#

    • The snow conditions at West Bragg Creek are excellent, however I would suggest some education is needed for walkers and snowshoers. Almost all of the trails we skied had been badly mutilated by walkers and ‘snowshoers’ who mindlessly walk down the middle of the ski trails. I would recommend that some signage be put up at the trailheads to help educate these users as to proper trail etiquette – i.e. Please do not walk or snowshoe on ski trails. Most of the walkers and snowshoers are most likely casual users who really do not understand that what is proper and I’m sure that some simple signs would at least help.

      • Walkers, and now snowshoers, have been a problem on the Bragg ski trails for decades now.
        You would think that they would know better, but…
        It is even more annoying now that there is an excellent network of all season trails spreading out from the same parking lot that are actually better for hiking than the ski trails.
        Alf has an article up on the Kananaskis Blog right now detailing some options for the ‘shoers.
        As I understand it though, the ski trails are only designated as such after December 1.

        Here’s the link to Alf’s snowshoe article: http://kananaskisblog.com/west-bragg-snowshoe/2013/ -Bob

        • I am one of the volunteer groomers for the West Bragg Creek ski trails. It is hugely frustrating that we lay beautiful tracks and corduroy only to predictably have our work destroyed in short order by walkers/snowshoers/bikers/oblivious individuals.
          We have always been told that K country’s multi-use designation meant that all user groups should be allowed access to all trails. My view is that officially designating ( with signage) specific uses for specific trails is urgently needed in WBC and would not represent a breach of multi – use for the greater area. This would in fact address significant safety issues that arise currently as well as enhancing the experience for all user groups. Attempts at educating people to “know better” have proven ineffective.

  93. At first we tried skiing up Boulton/Fox Ck from Boulton Bridge, and that is NOT RECOMMENDED! Fallen trees, and snow that is too thin. A friend broke his ski in a nasty dip – and he skis KLakes in his sleep.

    Thus we retreated, and drove to Elk Pass parking lot. Much better! Generally good ski pack with elk and moose tracks punched through. Many AT skiers went to Elk Lakes and back over the weekend, which helped pack the Elk Pass trail down. Hopefully the trail will be groomed soon – perhaps after the next snows. There are still one or two hazards where the little springs pop out of the base of the hillside a ways up the trail. We took the hydroline back, and it was fine.

    Think Snow!

  94. Hi,
    Just wondering if anyone knows if any of the golf courses in calgary have been groomed?

    • We have been skiing on Confederation for past 3 days on reasonably skiable skier set trails. Some cautions where there are thin bits over asphalt/gravel. All turning to mush with warmer temperatures later yesterday.

  95. Chester Lake
    Good trail skiing on Sunday, actually better than average for early November.
    Leaving the trailhead, there is a nearly completed new trail to bypass the first 300m that was washed out in the June floods. Head left (northish?) from near the upper corner of the parking instead of straight ahead. There is a new bridge that still needs the approaches completed, making for some awkward moves on skis (or just walk the bridge), but it is better than following the old start. Beyond that there is no discernable flood effect.
    The full width of the trail to the lake has been well packed by skiers and ‘shoers, beyond to the Elephant rocks and 3 Lakes Valley there is a good skier set single track . Snow depth is in the 40 cm range off trail, with a bit of an icier old layer keeping the skis off the ground in most places. Still not enough for confident downhill turns away from the packed trail though. The few obstacles poking through the trail were easily avoided on the fast, fun ski out. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  96. Ribbon Creek/Kananaskis village trails.

    There is a bit of needles and dirt on the hill up terrace, but kovach was in good shape except for a couple rocks poking up at the hairpin corners. There was also fresh snow on top of the grooming which got kinda sticky in a few spots. All in all there was just enough snow to make it work for a first ski of the season. Had a great time.

    One note, link connector and the trail from the Ribbon Creek parking lot to terrace are closed due to flood damage. So to hit the trails you have to drive up to the village.

  97. Bragg Creek trails survived the week well and are still in good condition (considering it’s early November you could argue that they are actually in great condition). There are a few thin spots and rocks around the U-turn at the western end of West Crystal, but in most places coverage is very good. There is no track setting yet, and the skier-set tracks are fairly worn out, so don’t bring your race skis.

  98. Ribbon Creek trails are rolled, not track set. A bit of fresh over top.

    Reasonable early season conditions (but not comparable to MLR or CNC) – watch for natural hazards.

  99. Here’s an update on the Dawn Mountain trails at Golden, BC:

    Golden, BC – The Dawn Mountain Nordic Centre in Golden, BC was a hub of activity on Saturday, Nov. 9th, on the earliest opening the Golden Nordic Ski Club has ever seen. With twelve kilometres of groomed trails for classic and skate, skiers can ski half price for the next two weeks when we hope to be fully open with all thirty-three kilometres groomed.

    Skiers didn’t have to wait long to try out the newly built 2 km Coyote trail which was only completed a few days beforehand. Designed to add more beginner trails, the classic ski trail Coyote saw lots of traffic over the past couple of days and has already been claimed a favourite by many skiers because of its flow.

    The club’s stadium was a busy place with Callaghan Valley Training Centre’s coach and wax technician and Golden resident Graham Maclean helping a dozen club coaches brush up on their classic and skating techniques on Saturday, Nov 9th. The club’s new youth coordinator Troy Hudson is building up the Jackrabbits and Track Attack program after Joan Dolinsky has held the helm for a record setting 25 years. Hudson hopes to see lots of new children join to learn the sport of cross country skiing and has some fun and unique ski events planned for this season.

    For updates on the trails, visit http://www.goldennordicclub.ca.

  100. I had a great afternoon at West Bragg today. I skied Moose Loop and back on Loggers – coverage was good – a nice solid base with a couple of cms fresh. Blue wax was working well but the sun was warm – very pretty with the snow on the trees. There were very few people out although there seems to have been lots of foot traffic close to the parking lot. I cut over to take a look at Iron Springs trail – it’s quite a mess with the logging trucks still using it – Elbow looked good though.

  101. I went up to CNC today… went up Frozen Thunder, Bow to the end, back on the far leg of Banff to the clearing, and up Meadowview to Olympic Loop. I thought that Bow was in pretty condition for being this early. It was rolled but not trackset. Classic style was still easy and there were some skier-set tracks. Downhills were very easy to navigate but not quite as quick as with the tracks. Banff was pretty thin and I got a bit of a scrape on the bottom of my skis when I wasn’t quite careful enough to spot the rock by one of the post-flood repair areas. At the clearing Banff appeared to be in pretty rough shape going back to the lodge so I went up to Meadowview. Great choice, it was in great shape, I could have stayed there for much longer though my wax didn’t work well on the first uphill on the left. Olympic Loop was also in good shape and fortunately I was the only one on it because a few of the hills by the stadium are a bit too fast for my liking. I managed it without catastrophe (skis pointed forward and my head pointed up) . I only stayed on Frozen Thunder long enough to get to Bow – it was in great shape but I was thinking of solitude and I did get that on Bow – I met five deer along the way and that was a great sight!

  102. Out early this morning to MLR glad we were great first ski of season bottom third of trail on return jammed with other eager skiers. Planned to go to lake but only went about 300 meter past avalanche sign turned back the coverage was quite thin and slushy. Quit a bit warmer at turn around point.

    Thanks to Parks Canada team for the track set.

  103. About a foot or 2 at highwood pass parking lot on Friday. No real base to the snow off established tracks. Much less snow at lower elevations in k country. Didn’t check out the trailheads in PLP. Any reports from ventures up elk pass?

  104. I went out to moraine lake road on Friday afternoon. Good number of people but not so much it felt crowded. Single track but everyone was doing a good job of hopping out well ahead of anyone coming opposite direction. Tram line was a nice place to start with no people and only a few pine needles. Poles felt solid ground once or twice but there weren’t any spots thin enough to have to worry about skis.

  105. Took a spin out on Banff Trail at the Canmore Nordic Center this afternoon, and was pleasantly surprised to find it had been freshly rolled (no track) after this morning’s snow and was enjoyable skating right to the end with just a couple of thin spots.

  106. The nordic trails at Golden, BC are open! The earliest ever. I received this report from Jeff Dolinsky:

    Hi everyone,
    As you will hear and see, Erwin plans to set track to open at least 7km for tomorrow (Friday) noon.
    Joan skied the new Coyote trail and was very happy with the snow coverage.
    More trails (up to 12k) will be set for Saturday and we hope to see visitors coming up. Expect very good conditions!
    The lower trails will ned more time to open and we want to concentrate on the upper trails to ensure we have very good quality rather than quantity at this time.
    Temperatures are expected to be between -1 and -5C.
    As usual for early season, classic will be better than skating. th
    This is the earliest opening ever for Golden!
    If the good conditions persist, look for tracksetting next Wednesday and net weekend also.
    See you up there!!!
    Jeff

  107. Elisabeth and I skied at the Canmore Nordic Centre today in very enjoyable conditions. Little wind, pleasant temperature, no crowd and very good skating conditions on the lower half of Bow Trail. Banff Trail is in very marginal shape, with gravel paths producing some abrupt stops. Toward day’s end, we had a coyote loping along ahead of us for about 10 minutes. What a wonderful way to spend an early winter day.

    • Chip and Elisabeth.
      Approx how many km are skiable at CNC. Thinking of going out tomorrow.
      Thanks,Rhonda

      • Hey Rhonda,
        We skied Bow Trail to the end and back. My guess is that it’s about 8 km one-way. Frozen Thunder is also open after noon. I believe the CNC has a grooming map, so you can see what else they’ve done overnight.
        Have fun!
        Chip

        • Thanks Chip. So glad to hear that there’s that many groomed km…
          I’ll check it out for sure and we can only hope that it will snow more tonight.
          Rhonda

  108. West Bragg Creek –
    Skied a loop consisting of Iron Springs, Elbow, Logger’s and Crystal Line. The snow conditions were good (skier set) on Elbow and Crystal Line. There has been recent vehicle traffic on Iron Springs, perhaps some construction traffic on the north end and an ATV all the way to the junction with Elbow (the ATV tracks kept going south). This made the skiing difficult. Logger’s was also very rough on the downhills, we walked down some of them. We were on Nordic skies – I would only recommend skiing on Elbow at the present time.

    • This is posted on the Greater Bragg Creek Trail Association Website:

      “Nov 5 2013: Hauling from south of the parking lot will start once the ground freezes up in fall 2013, and will last approximately three weeks. Hopefully, this will be completed by Christmas. This timber will be hauled out using the south part of Iron Springs, east Sundog and Crystal Line east and the Mountain Road. All-Season Trails will remain unaffected this summer and fall, with the exception of a few road crossing. Please observe all caution signs. “

  109. MORAINE LAKE ROAD

    Awesome to be back on real snow… but, if more snow doesn’t come soon, you better get out there before the national teams find out!

    Check out these photos and captions to see what it was like today:
    https://picasaweb.google.com/accesschuck/MLRNov62013?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCOeOubvx-r7gwgE&feat=directlink

    Don’t forget to thank the Parks Superintendant in Lake Louise for making this the go to destination, especially with all the flood damage further east. They are lucky to have such a dedicated tracksetter in John… he even skiis!

    • Great account Chuck.

      I love your broody images of the mountains, where the dark clouds are promising more snow and the sun struggles to peek through.

      You and Bob are getting good at those track photos taken from about snow flea height !

  110. ELK PASS – I skied up to Elk Pass via Fox Creek today – a very enjoyable sunny ski. Enough snow all the way. Will be better once more snow overlays the tire tracks which go about half way up the Elk Pass trail. That first half of the ski is on hardpacked snowmobile trail – the rest is 40cm of powder which has a snowshoe track overlaid with 1 skier track. Used rock track skis, but could have used newer gear, only a few scrapes and they could have been avoided. (Note that there is enough snow that the tire tracks don’t go down to ground – so its not like there’s dirt on the trail).

    From Parking Lot to Fox Creek trail: A truck has gone up the Elk Pass trail as well as a snowmobile. I think some skiers went up before the vehicles. So the trail is snowmobile and truck packed. Thought it might be awkward coming back down (ruts etc) but snow was soft enough that it was fine. So decent skiing except for the aesthetics of the tire tracks.

    Fox Creek trail: Took this because I really like Fox Creek and wanted to see if it was skiable, and to get away from the tire tracks. Snowmobile packed. A few 2 meter sections where it might get wet when warmer. Some shallower snow for brief sections with some roots partly exposed, but decent skiing overall. All bridges are in. The turnoff to Boulton Creek had yellow tape across it. The turnoff to Moraine was open, not snowmobiled or skied.

    Back on Elk Pass Trail: Tire tracks again, but easy going following snowmobile track. Hydroline had snowmobile tracks on it, but don’t know how far they went because didn’t see them at Patterson or the Pass. Approx 1 km S of Hydroline junction came to a section where they have had to reroute the trail. Took skis off to walk across 20 metres of bare dirt, and cross the creek. The creek crossing was just a moderate step. After this crossing – the trail was virgin snow except for a snowshoe track! Beautiful!
    Lots of snow – maybe tending towards 40 cm by this point. A few dips with some rock under snow to cross rivulets just before Patterson junction, did not need to take skis off, might be more of an issue on way down if conditions were faster. Turned around at pass.
    There are cut logs and dimensional lumber at the creek crossing – perhaps there are plans to put in a bridge there shortly, or maybe next summer? If you are thinking about going in, might want to ask K country if they are working on the bridge, because it might be awkward finding a way across if they are.

    • Really interested in your thoughts on the “new” Fox Creek trail if you have skied the old trail in the past. The old trail was severely damaged by the floods, and the bridges removed. The Friends of Kananaskis helped Parks re-build the trail, re-route it in spots building some sections of brand new trail, re-build the bridges, and get it ready for ski season.

      • I found it very similar to the old trail. Still has the nice lumpy twisty section through the trees. The main difference I noticed is the absence of a hill by one of the bridges. I think the bridge is higher than before so you don’t build up as much speed before hitting it.

  111. With over a foot of snow in Red Deer and outstanding work from our volunteer groomers we have 5 km of groomed trails (skate and track) at Riverbend Golf Course/Recreation area. The snow is deep so the classic tracks are exceptional and the skiing is free!

  112. I did a 20km loop at West Bragg Creek on Monday, using backcountry skis for better flotation on the ungroomed parts of the adventure. I started up Sundog and Iron Springs east, then took the Strange Brew and Boundary Ridge all-season trails to the top of the new cut block on the ridge. We followed the east edge of the cut block (doing powder turns) to Iron Springs. Then over to Elbow, Loggers Loop and Crystal Line West. At the west end of Crystal Line, we cut over to a new logging road that looped around some low hills, past the Ranger Creek marsh all the way back around to Mountain Road. We followed Mountain Road back, past Moose Connector to the new Telephone Ridge logging haul road. We then followed this new road to the east side of Telephone Ridge to the intersection with the Demi-Tel trail. From there, it was a schuss down Demi-Tel, and the roller packed Hostel Loop back to the parking lot. Whew!

  113. West Bragg this afternoon, on the skinny skis this time, Henry 😉 .
    Definitely early season conditions, soft packed, skier tracked, and bumpy in spots. Nonetheless it was enjoyable skiing.
    Coverage is mostly pretty good with a great base to start the season.
    I skied Sundog-Elbow south to Iron Springs and back-Loggers and Crystal Line west. Loggers and Crystal Line west loop had the best skiing of the lot.

    • Thanks for the update on your ski equipment Steve -).
      I had just assumed that you used some sort of Latvian regimen to get in shape for the season -)

  114. Bragg Creek got about 30cm of snow from the storm. Obviously no track-setting, yet, but wonderful conditions nonetheless. Good workout today in the deep powder. Temp just below freezing. Should be great tomorrow if you can find a reason not to go tho the office.

  115. Anyone know when Confederation Park golf course opens for XC? I went down there at lunchtime today and was disappointed to find the place locked up and deserted.

    • It is always locked up and deserted. You have to park your car on the street and squeeze yourself through the gate, which is chained is loose enough for a person to get through.

      It looks like some brave souls have already skied on the fairly thin coverage, but it looked like there is nowhere enough snow to set a track yet.

  116. Seeing as though Calgary received more snow than Canmore does anyone know when the Cross country trails at COP will be track set?

    Thanks,Rhonda

  117. Frozen Thunder benefited from the new snow today, although it didn’t get as much as Calgary. Mostly team skiers training; classic on zero skis or red klister. Waxless worked great, and skates as always.
    As we were leaving in the afternoon, they fired up the snow guns, one after the other. Frozen Thunder grows!
    https://picasaweb.google.com/108095386782121923923/FrozenThunderII

    Thanks for our first trip report of the winter! -Bob

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