Trip Reports Oct, Nov 2014

Last year, the trip reports were viewed over 75,636 times. Skiers are anxious to know what you found on your 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.

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  1. Headed out to Cascade Fire Road (minus 22) on well cleared Minnewanka Road including the two parking lots. As we were heading out, ran into Howie on his ASNES back country skis and started up a conversation. He warned us the snow was mid shin and would need trail breaking. We invited him to join the two of us and we were extremely grateful he said yes, since he broke trail likely half or more of the way to the new bridge. It might have warmed up to minus 18 but we kept moving and were working hard breaking trail. So get out there and enjoy our hard labour to the new bridge. Can’t believe I beat Chuck to it. At the Y intersection at the bottom of the hill, choose the left option since that is where the new bridge is currently, although it looks like they have BIG plans for repairing the original bridge as you will see. Saw only 3 people all day but we were the only ones on this trail as of 3:45. Sorry, still resisting the purchase of a cell phone so no pics.

    • There’s a new bridge?? Since when???
      Great news, though 🙂
      Also, since when was a cell phone required for taking pictures?? I use a strange device called a camera 😉

      • Diana, the temporary bridge was placed there in the summer. Parks Canada management tells me that final adjustments to facilitate use by skiers this winter have been delayed by the snowfall, but they will be finished this week.

    • Well Done.
      I thought Sunday was a day of rest?
      Thanks for breaking trail!

  2. Skied West Bragg Creek this afternoon, Loggers , Elbow, Iron Springs, East Crystal, all track set one way & great conditions, THANKS, but for some reason very few vehicles in the parking lot, it was only -23C when I pulled up and V40 worked for me

  3. SPRAY WEST and SPRAY EAST Loop
    With 55 cm of fresh snow in our backyard this morning, and a temperature of -23C, I decided to ski from home and head to the Spray through the back woods.
    With all the new snow, it was a good opportunity to do the loop of Spray West and Spray East, and take in a little photography on such a beautiful day.
    Many nice folks had the same idea!
    Enjoy it from home at:
    https://picasaweb.google.com/110857225306442901854/SprayWestSprayEast?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCLajsZDhhejIpgE&feat=directlink

  4. Was just at Confederation, track is set for those who can’t get out of the city. It felt a bit slow, maybe I had the wrong wax, or maybe it was so fresh and dry the track kept giving under my skiis. Their is a little grass exposed by the track in a few places, but I didn’t hit any pavement or gravel.

  5. Yesterday mid afternoon, I hit the upper Banff Trail at Canmore Nordic Centre and once I got out to the meadow it was like skiing in the back country and I went out to the end of Banff Trail and back on the lower loop. Skied by myself and saw one elk. It was the best back country experience I have had at CNC; so if you like breaking trail, head there in the am, before it gets machine packed. While it was quite windy yesterday, I did not feel it until nearing the stadium and the snow machines.

  6. SUNDANCE CANYON
    Skier trackset on a machine groomed base, but it’s probably no longer visible.
    40 cm here, and still snowing!
    https://picasaweb.google.com/110857225306442901854/Sundance?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCP_W8ePhibyg_AE&feat=directlink
    The Lethbridge couple also wants to thank Parks Canada for the machine groomed base. They noticed it when it ran out on Brewster Creek!

  7. Took a chance and ski’d West Bragg Creek trails Thursday (Nov. 27)
    West Crystal Line, Logger’s Loop and Sundog all in good early season condition. A couple of ice flows on Crystal Line, but otherwise pretty good with 5-10cm of snow cover.

  8. SPRAY RIVER TO GOAT CREEK
    First tracks of the season, as far as Goat Creek.
    Snowmobile packed all the way.
    Not trackset yet, but with 30 cm of fresh cold snow, travel was delightful.
    With this:
    https://picasaweb.google.com/110857225306442901854/SprayRiver02?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCJ7rtpTu0ejwMg&feat=directlink
    why get on the highway?

  9. Lake Louise — Fairview Trail

    Not ready for prime time yet, aka I didn’t know this trail was a creek??!!

    It will probably be terrific by the weekend, but today it was not. There is already lots of snow up there, but Fairview trail needs even more. It seemed to be mainly snowshoe track set today, with the occasional hint of a skier or two. The trail is very lumpy, undulating at rather short wavelengths, and with lots of branches poking out. That includes some seriously solid bits of wood with nasty sharp ends, and the occasional rock.
    Another hazard to watch out for is water. There is quite a lot of open water underneath and around the trail, and although we managed to keep our skis dry, it looked like snowshoers had sunk right down into the creek in spots.
    Fortunately, the forecast looks set to fix a lot of these problems in the very near future 🙂

  10. MLR was groomed over the new snow.
    Tracks and skate lane were excellent up to Paradise Creek (as far as we skied)
    Occasional pavement strikes with skinny pole baskets,especially when double poling. Gravel and bare spots are gone. Rode Super Blue worked as did VR45. -6C Parking lot was full.

    • Four of us enjoyed MLR as well. Two of us got to the end of the tracked road and the other two almost made it. Everybody on the trail were enjoying themselves and the snow itself was superb. There is no reason NOT to get out to this area and enjoy a great day of skiing. The Weather Channel has been promising snow and then taking it away making the decision to get out difficult. The Channel is promising a big dump tomorrow and a slightly smaller one on Thursday. There were signs of activity towards Fairmont and the Tramway towards the Village.If this snow arrives it will make these trails more viable than they are now although this is said without actually sking them today.

    • James the Grizzly Tracking Skier

      It would be of great service to the public if people did not use acronyms such as MLR or PLPP. It took me a while to figure this one out and those who do not know the ski trails would have no idea what is being talked about. Please spell the names of the areas you ski for the benefit of all and to support the tourism industry.

      Thanks and sweet skiing to all.

      • sometimes reporting from a phone short hand is easier…… PLPP is a mouthfull to type .Perhaps Bob could insert a legend on the Page.?

  11. Burstall Creek

    After I skied Chester Lake I went up Burstall. Skiing conditions are fair to excellent. The road is generally in excellent shape with the rare odd rock near the bottom in wind exposed areas. The trees at the end of the road before the Flats do not have much snow due to wind blown effects and you will scratch your skis here. Burstall Flats are generally very good with just the odd rock in wind blow areas. The trail going up to Burstall Pass is in poor to fair shape for the first several hundred meters but then it becomes excellent up higher. Deluxe deep powder up the pass with significant avalanche hazards. Snowing moderately at 10:30 pm with about 5cm new in a few hours. The skiing will greatly improve in the trees with 30 cm of snow and should be very good by then.

    • That narrow, poorly routed trail up from Burstall Flats to the meadows below Mt. Birdwood is an absolute embarrassment. What idiot in Alberta Parks built a trail that is awful to ski and merely unpleasant to hike, in a place that gets 7 months of skier traffic and only 3 months of hiking? (There are 2 months of shoulder season when neither skiing nor hiking are recommended. And why has this trail never been fixed up in 35 years?

      • Many trails in Alberta and the National Parks are in poor eroded shape due to Conservative federal and provincial budget cutbacks. The Burstall Creek trail was last fixed up roughly about 15 to 20 years ago with the addition of foot bridges and other work. If the trail is expanded without smart planning in this sensitive area, a flood event may wipe part of it out as what has occurred to the trail further beyond out on the flats. The forest in the area could end up in the lakes below with a creek running down the trail. As this is an extremely windy section of the trail, rocks will often be exposed. Smoothing out the trail with sand chosen carefully from the flats may help the skiing in some sections. What I did is ski pack the snow the best I could to give a little better base. With only a few inches to work with, I did the best I could- at night.There is an old alternative route around this section that involves getting out onto the flats before the trail narrows. Look for the old road that goes off to the left (as you ski up) and drops down to the flats. It makes for more work coming out but you get real nice scenery.

        We can not expect our current government to do much therefore citizens need to take volunteer actions. An Adopt A Trail Program similar to the highway program would be a great start for the government to get going on. I have personally maintained hundreds of kilometers of trails over the years before I got into something that has prevented me from summer backpacking. I would spend weeks each year maintaining and putting in cross bars on trails to drain water off the routes. If everyone did this, the trails would be in superior shape and our tourism sector would benefit.

        If you care about the trails, maintain them when you can. Do your part rather than leaving it to erosion or someone else to fix. Do ski or snow shoe packing early in the season to make for better ski trails also. Just like those good snowshoers did on the Chester Lake trail. Thanks folks for the better skiing! Ya made my day eh!

        • What a refreshing perspective!
          Those snowshoers are a mixed blessing, though, as they often create unskiable deep canyons in deep, soft snow.
          Let’s all get out there and pack some trails!!

  12. Chester Lake

    Skied yesterday. Fair to good skiing. Needs about 10 cm to hide the remaining rocks on the steeper pitches. Still enjoyable. Should be real good later this week.

  13. Mount Shark Area

    Drove up yesterday and only saw about 5 cm of snow. Lots of rock sticking out. Once there is about 10 cm of new snow it should be suitable for rock skis.
    Drove to Chesterlake to ski.

  14. Woke up to a favorable Louise snow report (4-5 cms overnight and high of -4) so followed the plan to FINALLY get out on MLR. Saw only 3 people until we ret’d from Moraine Lake and wondered if we skied in Chuck’s tracks from Sunday all the way to the lake?. Once back on the groomed trail we enjoyed a very social downhill. SkierBob gave me the exciting task of picking the winner in the contest (which I did not enter) and he will announce it later-hint: name has 6 letters and he took a pic of the winning ticket. Then we ran into Dave from Norseman. It was clear until about 1pm then it started snowing. Wilson’s staff say they are expecting lots of snow in the coming days.

  15. Moraine Lk Rd. Skied to the end of the groomed section on Thursday. Very questionable quality. Skiing on about 2 cm of compressed snow. Some icy spots, pebbles, very thin areas and some pavement starting to show through in small patches. First couple of km to Paradise Ck seems to be the worst. Bit better as you gain some elevation. Wouldn’t rush back. 1A side didn’t seem to be trackset.

  16. West Bragg ski conditions looking grim this afternoon with lots of rocks, at least at crossings with the all-season trail network. On a positive note-the snow is still dry, and the base is there for the next snowfall.
    The excellent biking conditions on the packed snow of the all-season trails, more than made up for the lack of good skiing. 🙂

  17. MLR today Am temp -10C ish 10:30
    Out bound Tracks hard with a few icy spots.
    Track in good early season shape up to Paradise turnout. Pole strikes on pavement occansionally.
    Return track watch for pavement and pebbles in track . Tracks are getting rattlely. Main parking was full by noon.

  18. The Weather network has a 40% chance of 10 – 15 cm of snow for next Monday, November 24 for Lake Louise. 40% is not much, however but it bears watching. Typically, the forecast changes over 7 days.

  19. Confederation Park
    Skied there this morning in sunny weather and decent conditions. Lots of other folks out enjoying their Sunday! Snow is thin in many places but no major issues. Let it snow… let it snow…

  20. Great weekend skiing Maple Ridge golf course in Calgary. Beautiful crystalline snow yesterday and almost spring like conditions today. Only a few hazards to watch out for. Several others out enjoying the snow in the city too, including a few on snowshoes, one on a snowboard and a few kids being pulled on sleds.

  21. Shaganappi Golf Course

    Hello fellow skiers (and fellow is not gender-specific in this context)

    A quick report on Shaganappi. I skated today (Sunday) at 2 p.m. under sunny skies and a temperature floating around the zero mark. If the “track” got any thinner in spots, particularly on the south side, it would be called asphalt. That being said, conditions were pretty nice for skating and there is still a fair amount of untouched snow for those who want to make their own tracks.

    Thanks to Alisdair and the CSC volunteers for making this inner-city enjoyment possible.

    Chip Scialfa

  22. MORAINE LAKE ROAD
    Nicely trackset to the viewpoint, which allowed me to get to the lake today.
    Lots to see:
    https://picasaweb.google.com/110857225306442901854/MoraineLakeRoad?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCOuk4qPoz7rdngE&feat=directlink
    The two sunny curves were obviously too thin to trackset.

  23. Moraine Lake Road
    I saw Skier Bob’s request for confirmation on new tracks at Moraine Lake Road, given the thin snow pack. Claire and I skied to the 7 kilometre turn yesterday afternoon. The conditions were reasonably good on all sections where there was slope, but as soon as the trail flattened, the cover became extremely thin. It did not appear to have been trackset in the last day or two. The temperature was around minus ten to twelve the whole time, and waxing was simple. It was so much fun, but we need more snow, and soon! Hope this helps.

  24. CHESTER LAKE
    I up the Spray/Smith-Dorrien road today to check on snow conditions and ended up skiing in to Chester Lake area.
    There was 20cm of snow at the parking lot elevation and 37-40cm at Chester Lake and the Elephant Rocks. The base is quite supportive and ski penetration was about 15cm anywhere off trail. That’s pretty good for November!
    The main ski trail was very firmly packed by many snowshoe tracks. The Parks signage for the official snowshoe trail is quite poor and confusing at the start. As a result, 100% of the snowshoers are going up and down the ski trail. Out of curiosity, I skied across to the actual snowshoe trail and found it to be unused.
    The skiing across the meadows and up to Elephant Rocks was good and the snow on a couple of short slopes was supportive enough to allow for nice powder turns, even though there were grass seed-heads sticking out above the snow.
    The way down was pretty fast on the packed trail. A few rocks had been kicked out of the snow by snowshoe traffic on the steeper curves, but for the most part the skiing was quite good. I’m guessing that the trail into the Burstall Flats area should be in generally good shape too.
    https://picasaweb.google.com/112757355578245802406/ChesterNov152014?authkey=Gv1sRgCOP95NnevJOEaA

    • I found that to be the case last year as well as I had a “conversation” with two snowshoers who had walked right by the sigange and up the one way down trail mid week. I met them on the steepest ,narrowest part of the upper trail and stopped for a chat. No effect on them………

  25. LAKE O’HARA ROAD
    With Bob’s encouragement, we had to follow up by checking out early season conditions on the Lake O’Hara Road. We decided to turn back after only 3 Km!
    See why at:
    https://picasaweb.google.com/110857225306442901854/LakeOHaraRoad?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCN3lp-jqgLiJdg&feat=directlink

  26. Confederation Park was still in good shape this afternoon. There were more people out than I can ever remember seeing on skis here – great to see so many people out enjoying themselves!
    It was about -3 at 3pm and the blue wax that was at the top of my wax kit worked just fine

  27. Confederation Park
    I skied at Confed Park this afternoon and, while the track is a bit thin in spots, there are no real hazards and it was a wonderful welcome to winter in the city (after 5 weeks in Brazil!). Sunny and -12 with a chilly NW wind, a bit of snow in the track in spots. I used my old Swix Blue and could have used a bit more grip, but double-poling worked for about 40% of the track.

    There were about 10 other skiers enjoying the day.

    I don’t think that this will last long, as I suspect that many people will be out tomorrow. Skaters may be able to count on a few more days but we need snow desperately.

    Chip

  28. I got tired of sitting in the city feeling sorry for myself, so I loaded up and headed to CNC. Observations: first, the snow is good for sure and it was wonderful to be out; second, I did not know where Frozen Thunder was so I floundered around until some kind soul directed me (Hint: head to the area of the biathlon targets) Third, do not judge the wax based on sitting in the parking lot; the snow in the trees is way, way colder. Fourth, if you are an ancient ski-flounderer like me, be prepared to have all the fit, young racer types flying past so deal with being bitter and twisted.
    All in all, it was fantastic!

    • We too went for there for the first time, and a kind pistonbully operator pointed the way for us, and I too felt a little intimidated!

  29. Tried to ski West Bragg Creek today (Nov. 14). Way too many hazards poking through the snow. They need at least another 6 inches to cover these. Not recommended.

  30. GREAT DIVIDE
    Well worth heading west!
    Today, we went all the way to the Lake O’Hara end, and were very glad we did.
    The first bit at the Lake Louise end is thin with frost heaves, but it soon improves dramatically. While it is not track set yet, the skier set classic track is very good.
    See for yourself at:
    https://picasaweb.google.com/110857225306442901854/GreatDivide?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCNbcsoKx-IH6sAE&feat=directlink
    I even checked out the Lake O’Hara Road for you!

  31. Skied MLR today in brillant sunshine and relatively warm temperatures ( it was -3 C in the sun at the turnaround point ). The road is skier track set with a thin base but is 100% covered. Your poles will hit pavement in spots, but as long as the cold temperatures persist you can get some great sking in on this trail while we wait for more snow.

  32. Much thanks to the groomers for getting ot there despite the little snow. Not much snow is predicted for anywhere in the mountains but there can be hoar frost. If it occurs every night it can add to the accumulation.

  33. WEST BRAGG CREEK, Nov 11
    Steve Riggs and I did a 14 km tour around a variety of the West Bragg Creek trails, south of the parking lot. We headed out via Lower West Crystal Line, then up via the new Crystal Link #2 to Middle Crystal Line and Upper West Crystal Line. We crossed the new bridge to the Moose Connector Junction and turned west to follow the new Mountain View Trail to Mountain Road. We then took Moose Connector back to Lower West Crystal and then up the new Crystal Link #4 to Loggers Loop west junction. We followed Loggers Loop around to Sundog. After going up and back on Iron Springs, we went down the Sundog trail and returned to the parking lot via East Crystal Line.
    Snow depth ranged from 15cm to 18cm. Some of the trails were roller-packed on Sunday, and a few of those had already been roller packed a week earlier as well. Ski quality was best on the trails that had been roller packed twice, not as good on the trails that were only roller packed once and more marginal on those trails that have not yet been packed. Trails in shaded, sheltered areas that kept much of the snow from two weeks ago were good, while areas that melted out last week were thinner. I expect to see more trails getting roller packed this week.
    Another 15cm of snow would really help!
    https://picasaweb.google.com/112757355578245802406/WBCXCNov112014?authkey=Gv1sRgCMTkt-GsoP-DKw#
    It was great to see a mix of people out today. There were plenty of XC skiers, as well as snowshoers on the snowshoe trails and mountain bikers and hikers on the all-season trails.

  34. My friend Chip was at Moraine Lake road today and it doesn’t sound good:
    “MLR is pretty trashed. We skied to the typical turnaround on skier tracks and were hitting bottom for the upper section. If we don’t get more snow soon, we’ll be hard-pressed to find good XC trails. We didn’t look at the Great Divide Trail.“

  35. Had a good ski at Confederation Golf Course today. It was being snowmobile packed while a few of us made our way around the course. Thanks in advance to everyone grooming and tracksetting the Golf Courses this winter. You’re volunteer efforts are greatly appreciated.

  36. Had myself a backyard adventure from my own backdoor in NW Calgary fresh tracks over 6 inch of new snow, extra blue worked good. Its become a bit of a tradition to have my first ski of the year locally, shame it never lasts long, guess that’s what the mountains are for!

  37. Bragg Creek
    Early season conditions on Mountain Rd with thin coverage and the occasional stone poking through. Take your rock skis. Getting a little better further up the road.

  38. Moraine Lake Road, November 9
    We arrived about 11am and skied up about 3 km for the first ski of the year. Approximately 10cm of snow when we were there and lots more fell after. Slow going and poles were hitting the pavement. We met the parks truck taking down bear signs so two big ruts all the way up. You could ski in the ruts for distances but hit the occasional bare spot. With the freeze expected overnight that should not be a problem. One brave soul broke trail on the side and more were going up after us. There is enough snow to roll but track setting would be iffy. You could still make a good ski out of it. Met some folks who went up Tramline and said it was ok.

  39. Toured up to Rae Glacier today. There was very thin coverage the entire way but it improved with snow falling all afternoon. I’d guess there was 10 – 15cms of new snow this afternoon in Highwood. The glacier itself has about 75cms of snow but it was very rocky getting there. I’d wait a few weeks before going back.

  40. James the Grizzly Tracking Skier

    BURSTALL PASS

    I went to Mount Shark parking lot and there was no snow so I turned back and headed to Burstall Pass.

    The trail is in poor to very good condition. You will have to walk the first 250 meters before putting the “rock XC’s” on. Then the trail is in fair to fairly good condition up to where it narrows before coming out onto Burstall Flats. Then the skis have to come off to walk through the trees on the narrow trail, across the Flats and then about another 250 meters up towards Burstall Pass. Once you hit the meadows below the avalanche slopes the trail is generally in very good condition. On Burstall Pass there is about 45 cm of heavy base snow. Ski penetration is about ankle deep. Great base up and over the pass. Stunning scenery!

    With about 10 cm of new snow, things will really improve except in the sections where I walked. Those sections will need more snow. The ground was not even frozen! I had never seen such warm wet conditions at this time of year up there with so little snow down low. The mood altering sub-alpine fir smelt gorgeous- just like after a summer rain- as it was wet from the previous night rain. It felt good to cut turns up Burstall Pass and watch the sun go down and have the moon light shine.

    Only saw 1 set of bear tracks that where likely 2 or 3 days old at the meadows.

  41. MORAINE LAKE ROAD
    How come we had the place to ourselves?
    Thanks to Bob for the heads-up.
    If you are waiting for a trail report, here it is: https://picasaweb.google.com/110857225306442901854/MoraineLakeRoadNovember52014?authkey=Gv1sRgCMK7-5TZx_PtYw&feat=directlink
    Conditions were not bad for the first possible day of the season. Extra Blue wax worked perfectly. There was 5 to 10 cm of fresh cold snow to enjoy upon arrival. Thanks to Ian (Lifesport Coach) for breaking trail before we got there. It might be busy on the weekend as several teams plan to train here. It might help pack the road as Parks may not groom it until there is more snow. Ian had even skated a part of it, and was pleased to find that he was not breaking through. Ski pole tips do hit the pavement. By the end of the day, with temperarures of +3, our skis did start to expose pavement.

  42. WEST BRAGG CREEK, November 4.
    A couple of us managed to get another day of skiing at West Bragg Creek today. We were taking advantage of Sunday’s roller-packing to remove any hazards like rocks, tree stumps or trees that were broken during the recent storms.
    The temperature was near +12C most of the day, so the snow got soft and sticky and it is melting away rapidly. The sunny spots will have bare sections by tomorrow, but the packing helped preserve the snow in those areas that are more shaded.
    https://picasaweb.google.com/112757355578245802406/WBCXCNov42014?authkey=Gv1sRgCIjn3MSfg9jBLw

  43. As Diana already posted, the handful of skiers who showed up at West Bragg Creek today were pleasantly surprised to find nice, packed trails. Volunteer groomers Jeff and Rob went out Sunday night and roller packed a good number of the West Bragg ski trails as a test run over some of the new and upgrades ski trails. The snow set up perfectly overnight and the result was very good skiing for those who showed up. The packing did an amazing job of preserving the snow quality and I was able to ski quite happily all day on yesterdays Swix V45.
    The trails that got roller packed include: East and West Crystal Line, Crystal Links #2 and #4, Sundog Loop, Loggers Loop and part of Iron Springs.
    https://picasaweb.google.com/112757355578245802406/WBCXCSkiNov32014?authkey=Gv1sRgCNHmuJXYxsb6Lw#
    The snow should still be in good shape tomorrow morning, but who knows how long it will last… with warmer temperatures and rain showers in the forecast.

    • Goodness, I had no idea you were taking my picture!! At least I wasn’t falling down…..
      Close behind is my hubby and very good sport, Bart Hicks 😉

  44. West Bragg Creek, November 3rd

    Holy freshly groomed trails, Batman — someone got the bat-ski-mobile out this morning!
    Hubby and I headed out to Bragg Creek this morning, and when we saw the mess in the parking lot we had very low expectations for snow on the trails. So we were very pleasantly surprised to find some trails had just been groomed. We skied around most of the Crystal Line trails, enjoying mostly very good conditions, with the odd hazard and a few dirty spots, and admired several new bridges along the way.
    We also had the great pleasure of meeting Alf Skrastins along the trail, who will probably provide a much more informative report later 🙂

  45. WEST BRAGG CREEK SNOW REPORT
    The snow storm this weekend left 21cm at the West Bragg Creek Parking lot and a bit more at the higher elevation trails. The snow came in wet and dense to begin with and the stuff that fell overnight was lighter and drier.
    On Sunday, a group of folks from the Greater Bragg Creek Trails Association did a tour of some of the new trails and XC trail upgrades that were built over the summer and fall. Flora Geisbrecht and I did the tour on skis, while others walked.
    Although we were making our own tracks in the new snow, the skiing was pretty good. I used SWIX V45 with good success and didn’t encounter any rocks.
    It was nice to see how the new and improved trails looked with a blanket of snow and how they felt with skis on. The new bridges in these photos were all new this fall, thanks to the efforts of many volunteers.
    While this snowfall may not stick around much longer, the next storm will probably mark the start of the 2014/15 ski season!
    https://picasaweb.google.com/112757355578245802406/WBCNov22014?authkey=Gv1sRgCI2_uofsuOroZw

    • I’m curious as to the ski/boot combination you used in those conditions?

      • Henry,
        I used old telemark skis (for better flotation) and my lightest old telemark boots. That way, I was set for any trail breaking and I didn’t care if there were any rocks.

  46. The Weather Network is predicting 10 – 15 cm of snow each day for the 4th, 5th and 6th of November for Lake Louise. Possibility of precipitation was 70% for Tuesday and Wednesday and 90% for Thursday. Much can happen within the week.

  47. SUNSHINE SNOW REPORT
    I took my skis for a hike up the Sunshine Ski-Out, in the hopes of doing a bit of a ski tour. There was no snow in the parking lot, but at the Goats Eye gondola station, there was just enough snow to put the skis on. We toured up the Wolverine hill and through the Wawa area. The snow depth was around 30cm, with 10-15cm of new snow on top of about 15-17cm of firmer (melt/freeze) base. The snow was supportive enough that we didn’t hit any rocks and even got some nice turns on the downhills. Not bad, for October!
    https://picasaweb.google.com/112757355578245802406/SunshineOct282014?authkey=Gv1sRgCMHI35jHi_LKJg

    • Wonderful news; I may head out there this weekend. Would you happen to know if there are any issues with heading up Sunshine on AT gear? Is there access being how it’s a privately-operated area? Or can they fine you if they see you heading through their area?

      • They are not open at the moment and there is no problem skiing on or across their leased terrain at this time. Sunshine is in a National Park (which you own) and they cannot stop you from safely crossing the ski area terrain at any time of the year. However, you obviously can’t do anything that would cause a safety concern while they are open for lift-serviced business and you can’t use lift facilities without paying for them.
        In terms of conditions, I expect that the snow will have melted back a bit with the warmer weather since Tuesday.

        • Great, thank you for the clarification. I was thinking just along the lines of skiing up the side of their ski out and whether they could ask one to leave. Obviously one would practice proper etiquette, stay off their runs, lifts, etc. – common sense stuff.

          • Barbara, you’ll have to hike on the road or the Canyon SkiOut until at least Goats Eye station. Skiing up and down the Wolverine runs from there was not bad, but it is definitely better as you get closer to the top Gondola Station. Wawa and Strawberry runs are good for skiing and as access to the meadows beyond the ski area. Check the Sunshine webcams to see if there is new snow or if it is melting backs bit.

    • I’m not counting this as Alf’s 14th October in a row of skiing until he pays for his lift ticket . -)

  48. I did a little bit of checking regarding Moraine Lake Road. On this site there is access to the Banff Trail Reports. Previously, Parks Canada has stated that the road would close to traffic by October 13. While the Parks Canada site is not mentioning much if any snow for the area, the Weather Network is predicting significant amounts for the upcoming week. All we need now is for a couple of the locals to check it out and report back….

  49. Kudos to Alf for jump starting the season! While many hem and haw about when to get out, Alf just gets out there and does it! Is anyone looking at Moraine Lake Road? We are approaching that ski “bellwether’s ” time.

  50. I was planning to go to West Bragg Creek today anyhow, but since the mountains looked pretty white from Calgary, I threw my ski gear into the van. I arrived at the parking lot to find several other vehicles in the parking lot. Some were heading off on mountain bikes, others were walking their dogs and another group was unloading horses for a ride, despite the fresh blanket of snow on the ground.
    I measured the snow on a picnic table…12cm! It was light and fluffy for the top 5cm and dense below that. I waxed up my skis with Swix V45 and headed off. I figured that conditions were no better for hiking, biking or horseback riding than for skiing… so I might as well ski.
    I did a loop on Lower West Crystal, up one of the new trails to Middle West Crystal and Upper West Crystal, then back down another new trail down to Lower West Crystal and its newly constructed bridge. Then I looped back via Moose Connector to Mountain Road and the new snowshoe trail. The snow had shrunk by about 1/3 by the time I completed the loop and it will likely all be gone by tomorrow.
    Still, it was about 5 times as much ski distance as there will be on Frozen Thunder, when it opens on October 18!
    https://picasaweb.google.com/112757355578245802406/WBCSkiOct22014?authkey=Gv1sRgCObl8ICWlYndFw

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