Win 2 free nights at Mountaineer Lodge in Lake Louise(entries closed)

Enter to win two free nights in Lake Louise at the Mountaineer Lodge

Enter to win two free nights in Lake Louise at the Mountaineer Lodge

 The winner will enjoy 2 nights at Mountaineer Lodge in Lake Louise(subject to availability), breakfast included. You’ll be able to choose from many delightful ski trails including Moraine Lake road, the Great Divide, Tramline and many more.

After a few hours on the trails, complete your day with a relaxing soak in the hot tub. Hit the trails again next day without the long trip back to Calgary!

Read more about Mountaineer Lodge

To enter, leave a comment below.

Some suggestions on what you can talk about:

  • What was one of your favourite ski trips last season?
  • Describe something interesting that’s happened to you on the ski trail.
  • Complete the sentence: “What would happen if…”
  • What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?
  • What would your friends be surprised to discover about you?
  • How did you discover this blog?
  • Any other topic of your choice

Early-season rates 2014Entry deadline is Fri Nov 21, 2014 at 11:59 pm.

All  entries will be put in a hat and the winner will be drawn within one week after the entry deadline.

The fine print:

  • one entry per person.
  • First names are okay if you don’t want to leave your full name, but make sure you leave your email address with your comment. I’m the only one who sees it, and that’s how I will contact you if you win.
  • Entrant must be 18 or over.
  • You must be a cross-country skier.
  •  The winner must respond to my contact email within three days of the draw. If no response, a new winner will be chosen.
  • Valid for 2 nights stay for 2 adults in Standard King Room or Two Queens, breakfast included.
    Valid for use Nov 22 – Dec 25, 2014, January 03-June 15, 2015
    Expires: June 15, 2015

Good luck and I look forward to reading some interesting comments.

Entries to this contest are closed.

169 Comments:

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  1. Entries to this contest are closed.

  2. After reading the adventures of Jan and the fox I thought I would add some foxy adventures of my own. I started cross country skiing in Thunder Bay while attending University and there was a golf course beside the school residence that included some groomed ski trails and many fun ungroomed runs as well. I spent many moonlight nights skiing in this area and there was a pair of foxes that would often join in the fun. They would chase me down the hills or often run in front of me and veer off at the last minute. 11:59, I had better submit.

  3. What would happen if you imagined yourself an Olympian racing down the steepest hill ever, cool as a breeze, confident as can be and realized, in the midst of your fantasy, that it was indeed a fantasy and you were in fact a mere 50 something mortal, intoxicated with the freshness of winter and snow with skis on the end of your feet and heading straight over the edge of a cliff that you failed to notice, while madly racing down at least 100 miles an hour. Out of control and unable to slow down, I threw myself down on the slope in the hopes of coming to a stop, only to realize that my body landed squarely on my skis pointed in the direction of the cliff’s edge which propelled me there even faster. I was traveling the speed of a cannon ball in the direction of the cliff’s edge. “This is how my life ends” I said to myself calmly and resolutely. “This is how my life ends”. I tried to dig and grip with all I had to no avail. Strangely, fear evaporates when there is nothing more to fear, no choices left. Faster and faster I went. And suddenly there was quiet. No motion. I had stopped. There was snow, blue sky, and tree tops and I was perched at an odd angle. I moved my right arm, then my left. Nothing broken. I wiggled my left leg, then my right. Still attached. My head was still attached too. Wonder of wonders. On my decent over the cliff’s edge, I did a somersault or two and my long cross-country skis somehow landed like a stake in the snow on the side of the cliff and I was dangling on the mountainside with my ski wedged into the snow. Next to me was a tree top whose base was about 50 feet below. I clutched the treetop for dear life and perched there in wait for my partner to find me on his decent. I was eventually rescued, dusted myself off and finished the rest of my ski day, happy to be alive to live another day. Both my poles were broken but amazingly, I did not break my skis or my spirit or my love of skiing.

  4. The best ski trip of the year is always the first ski of the year! Even though we are always reminded we’re not getting any younger and we’re not as fit as we would like to think we are (my husband and I are skate skiers) the exhilaration of the first ski of the year can’t be beat.

  5. I found your site last spring while planning a wonderful spring break cross country skiing holiday with my husband. We loved skiing Revelstoke, Golden, Emerald Lake, The Great Divide, and Lake Louise Trails. We’re looking forward to discovering new locations this coming spring.
    My most memorable experience was while I was skiing alone on the Stake Lake Trails near my home in Kamloops. I’d only been on the trail for about 10 minutes when out of the corner of my eye I noticed a giant moving form. Instinctively, I stopped on the trail and watched a very large cow moose walked right across the trail about 15 to 20 feet in front of me. She obviously didn’t view me as much of a threat. As I watched her cross into the trees on the other side of the trail, I noticed another set of legs where she’d stopped. I discovered that she was crossing the trail to join her youngster. In the last 13 years of skiing at Stake Lake, I’ve come across moose on the trail three times; however, this was the closest encounter so far.

  6. This is the best web site of ski conditions! Can’t wait to put the skis on this year.

  7. My favorite ski trip last season was to Elk Lakes hut with a group of about 10 friends. We each brought a bunch of cheese and wine.. I’ve never eaten so much cheese in one sitting in my life. Looking forward to more fun ski trips this year.

  8. Found this website while searching for xc trail reports a few years back and probably visited it weekly ever since. Outstanding resource. Many thanks!
    JMD

  9. I have to brag about our xcountry ski club. It’s the Evergreen Srs Outdoor Club. We ski every Thursday – never miss. Great company. Lots of fun. Good workout. Stupendous scenery. Good for body and soul. Heard about you through Skiir Bob.

  10. Fairly new to x-c-skiing last season starting off on easy trails, but with lots of instruction and patience from my personal trainer (thanks AC) progressed with confidence to ski more difficult and fun trails. Looking forward to more of the same this winter.
    A safe and fun ski season to you all, Peter

  11. My best ski experience wasn’t really a single day, but rather the twelve years our family spent with Bow Waters Jackrabbits. We enjoyed many great ski days and trips, but most of all, met so many good outdoors people who we continue to ski with, as well as hike, cycle, and paddle!

    Love the Skierbob website . Last year, a friend and I ran into Bob on Tyrwhitt trail; he asked our names and took our photo, and so we were looking forward to seeing ourselves the next day on the website. However, when we got back to the car park, we talked with four young ladies from Quebec who also had their photos taken by Bob, so we figured they’d get tomorrow’s cover page, rather than two old guys. But Bob, bless him, included both the photo of the four ladies and the older guys! Thank you, Bob!

  12. Many thanks to Skier Bob for the very informative information on ski conditions in the mountains. This is an amazing community service.

  13. Bob, thanks for the blog, we meet you a few years ago at the Nordic Center. We start and end our ski season in Canmore, and follow your website for updates. Happy trails,
    Gwen

  14. Just found out about this web site from an avid XC and backcountry skier. Thank you for the wonderful resource.

  15. As a beginner skier, I came across your blog and love it! I get to read about the trails that I am dreaming of skiing. Thanks.

  16. One of our favourite ski trips last season was skiing to Skoki Lodge.
    I travelled with my classic cross country ski on one of snowy day on Mar. to Skoki Lodge. It was not easy at all.
    I had tried to ski to Deception Pass couple of times years ago but couldn’t make due to weather but finally I did last year.
    It was fantastic trip and beautiful night time in lodge though actual trip was very hard to ski with classic ski.
    We(me and my wife) were the only couple who used classic cross country ski that night.
    (Other guests – all back country skies)
    I want to recommend strongly to everyone to try this trip and stay at the lodge.

  17. After years of amazing back country skiing and Mbiking my favorite day happened last year when I took my son to Confederation Park for his first try on skis.
    He loved it. Couldn’t stop talking about it to his Mom and friends and asked me every night when we could go again.
    Sharing the love of the outdoors and seeing the raw enthusiasm of a little guy finding his next favorite thing was so exciting.
    Here’s hoping everyone has an awesome year.
    See you out there!

  18. Thank you Bob and the mountaineer Lodge for arranging this contest. Really appreciate all of your updates and the work you do giving us info on snow conditions. I thought I would speculate on the What would happen if question and toss out the following. With all of the great skiing we have access to here, what would happen if a loppet was set up on the Polar ice cap on Mars. If technology made it feasible, would people take 6 months to travel to the race and 6 months to return to Earth afterwards? While interstellar travel and a chance to see earth from Space would be amazing, I am not sure I would want to take a year away from here.

    You said write about anything …

  19. What would happen if I won the lottery tonight?

    I ski a heck of a lot more this winter. I wouldn’t waste the travel time from the city. I could stay in hotels near the trails, and start fresh without the stress of a drive. I’d escape the drive home, when already tired. I’d travel farther afield an try new trails I’ve never skied before. I suspect I’d enter a few loppets too, just for that sense of accomplishment. I like to imagine that I’d get thin, trim, and toned. I can dream, can’t I?

  20. My favourite ski trips were to Lake O’Hara, Emerald Lake, and Mount Assiniboine. Can’t wait to visit them again!

  21. Best trip of last year was leading an ACC trip up to Bow Hut, where we stopped for tea and snacks. We then headed up the headwall onto the Wapta Icefield, and to the summit of Mt. Gordon. Instead of retracing our steps, we skied down a feature called “Gordon’s Tongue”, a long continuous line dropping down onto the Wapta, well to the West of our ascent line. It was a bluebird April day, very warm, and the views were amazing. The smiles on my partners’ faces said it all. We had a fun and fast descent back down to Bow Lake, and home to a cold beer.

  22. Hi Fellow Skiers
    Great web site. Found out about it through another skier. Looking forward to the magical winter season.

    Can’t Change the Weather Just out Attitude and …
    our Clothes.
    So Get Dressed and Let’s Go Play!!!

    Cheers Have a Great Day Happy Trails

  23. When I was learning to xc ski, my hubby thought it would be ok to do black runs since I was a downhill skier. I made it down in one piece but scared a group of skiers at the bottom because I screamed the whole way “Can’t stop! Mooove! I will kill you!!” Definitely got my thrill on Blueberry Hill. Needless to say, I still ski, but we stuck with blue runs after that. ; )

  24. After breaking trail all the way into the Elizabeth Parker hut while towing a pulk a few years back, I was very pleasantly surprised to find Lake O’hara Road freshly groomed last year. This made for a much more pleasant trip in (even thought I was still carrying my kids’ stuff). I was envious of the fellow who had skied Great Divide then Lake O’hara with only a water belt. A goal for this year !

  25. My mom gave me money for my birthday and she was astonished when I told her I’d purchased an iron with it. To her knowledge I had never ironed a thing in my life. I had to clarify that yes indeed I did a lot of ironing, but it was used for waxing skis. Try to explain that to a 90 year old!

  26. My husband claims that to make the most enjoyable ski outing is to wax his wife’s skis to perfection, preferably faster than his own! I think that’s wise.

  27. One of my favourite trips last year was the family day long weekend at Delta Kananaskis, and all the trails that surround it! So lucky to have them close by.

  28. I’m looking forward to a great cross-country ski season! Thank you for sharing all the important ski information!

  29. Favourite Ski Trails: any trail at Lake Louise. Well worth the drive and has a longer season than many other ski area.

  30. The last few years I’ve had to ski mostly by myself due to my wife being prego and or us having to young of a child to ride in the chariot. We are finally back in it as a family after three long years. I have been looking forward to this for quite some time. Being a snowboarder for many years, I am finding myself to be less attracted to the resort “experience” and finding myself craving to go out xc skiing. Looking forward to going back to MLR, CNC and even the trails here in Calgary for a quick ski. Let it snow!!!

  31. I remember going up Blueberry Hill about 6 years ago with my wife. We had first tracks up after about a 10″ snowfall of powder, so it was fairly slow. We stopped for a snack at the top and enjoyed the view. What I remember most is a Whiskeyjack that decided he didn’t want to be left out, so he landed on my hand and helped himself to some nuts. The ride down was like floating on cream!

  32. My favourite place to ski is the Canmore Nordic Centre. It has everything a person could want, beautiful scenery and a variety of trails with Lake Louise only a short drive away. My only regret is that I run out of energy before I run out of trails to ski!

  33. Used to live in Lake Louise ages ago when wooden skiis and leather bindings were the norm. Would be nice to spend some time there and relive my childhood skiing adventures.

  34. I first learned to cross country ski in the Lake Louise area. It is quite the happy place in my books

  35. Love skiing in Waterton up to Cameron lake or if feeling ambitious the trip to Wall Lake is epic. Still have great memories from winter camping there as a scout almost 30 years ago.

  36. Looking forward to 2 nights at the Mountaineer Lodge to indulge in a leisurely ski to Lake O’Hara & back, dinner out, the following day a ski to Moraine Lake or up the Pipestone, & after another fine meal, a star-filled night ski along the Great Divide trail.

  37. The only thing about these contests, is that the really important stuff (like Trip Reports) get buried!
    But maybe more will write, now that they know how!

  38. One of the funniest ski trip memories we have is coming back to the Pocaterra parking lot and meeting the car-licking moose. Someone must have driven home that day wondering how their car got so clean and why it smelled funny.

  39. One night about 7 yrs ago I was skiing across Lake Louise under a full moon. There was no one else out on the Lake that night and the silence was wonderful. About half way across the lake I could sense a presence behind me and when I glanced over my shoulder I was surprised to see a small fox running behind me in my tracks. I stopped to make its acquaintance, then after a short while carried on towards the end of the lake. Now the fox was running ahead of me trying to nip the tips of my skis that were just breaking the surface of the snow cover. We carried on like that for several minutes, until it tired of the game and veered off towards the woods at the near edge of the lake. The memory of the two of us gliding/scampering across Lake Louise that night always brings a sense of peace.

  40. This site has given me the information I really needed to get into xc skiing by myself. It’s inviting and up to date trail reviews make me feel like getting out there. Thank you for building it and maintaining such a current and inspiring online presence.

  41. My favourite XC trail last year was also the first mountain trail I’ve ever skiied…..Skogan Pass. I honed my XC “skills” in Saskatchewan as a kid and before the spring of 2014, had not been on XC skiis in approximately 26 years. My friend thought that Skogan Pass would be a nice trail for me to begin with. It was a fabulous late-March day on the trail. Icy on the way down. I’m taking a lesson this year on some hill techniques before heading out again 🙂

  42. The case of the disappearing shoe on April Fool`s Day …

    I just moved here from Montreal a couple of months ago and discovered this website when I was researching grooming status for a number of places – its so chock full of up to date information that who needs a live webcam !

    But I wanted to share a true story – the case of the disappearing shoe on April Fool`s Day … and it’s no joke. I was living in St-Bruno on the south shore of Montreal next to a provincial park with some interesting (albeit limited) cross country ski trails. It was late in the season and the snow had pretty much all melted so my buddy and I decided to go trail running along the ridge of the park (which is actually out of bounds, but it must be said that there is still an old trail that exists). Anyways, since it was pretty technical and the trail was sketchy in certain areas, I eventually had to stop as something was lodged inside my shoe. So I took it off, shook the shoe, the rock fell out … and then I dropped the shoe. No problem I thought – I`ll just catch it. But unbeknownst to me, it started going downhill, gathered speed, and suddenly disappeared. I approached the area where I last saw the shoe, only to discover that it had gone over a small cliff. My buddy circled down to the bottom of the steep face, but couldn`t find the shoe. We were 8km out from the nearest entrance, in the middle of the forest. So guess what – I ran back – with only one shoe. Even called my wife to pick me up at the park`s entrance (and she also thought I was kidding !). I was pretty miffed and since I rarely give up, had lunch, then grabbed my climbing gear and headed back out. I rappelled down the cliff face and eventually found the shoe which had lodged itself on a small tree that was impossible to see from the bottom. So I attached it to my harness and climbed back up. But I had been lazy – once back up, the knot became undone and … thump … thump … thump … the shoe fell down the cliff face one more time !! It was like some evil spirit had possessed my New Balance running shoe ! So down again I went, this time tying the shoe with a triple knot on my harness, and headed back home. And no joke – this is a true story … and it happened on April Fool`s Day. Needless to say, my training buddies had a heck of a laugh for a few weeks following that event …

  43. On a cold wintry day, several years ago, I was skiing alone along the trails at Peter Lougheed Provincial Park. It was getting late in the afternoon and the sun shadows were growing long. Then, out from the bushes several metres before me, a lynx hopped across the trail and scurried off to the woods. I’ll never forget that experience.

  44. Twilight skiing at the Nordic Centre. You turn the corner halfway out on Meadowview and see the eyes in the forest looking back at you. You stop, and out walks a big buck, under the otherworldly purple-black sky. Heaven.

  45. Am leaving tomorrow for 15 days of Running, Biking and Swimming, and Pinting (Hops based Carb Loading) in the tropics, but will be doing my snow dance every night, hoping for a good dump while I am away and a snowy return. Will be in Canmore for a wedding the weekend I get back and am hoping to sneek out for a couple of great days on the trails as well!

  46. Wildlife seen on the trails in the Rockies:
    – moose (narrowed missed skiing right into his bum as he stood on the trail having a snack!!)
    – deer (nearly took the poor guy/gal’s head off as they too stood on the trail having a snack!!)
    – many different kinds of birds – luckily, they are smart enough to get out of the way when they see a novice skier gunning for them
    – coyote
    – squirrel

    Lesson learned: always expect the unexpected going around a corner… And carry your camera with you on the trails!!

  47. One of my memorable times xc skiing was when I was living in Milwaukee about 18 years ago. There was a huge, traffic-snarling snowstorm during the day that left snow deep enough that my car high-centered in my driveway as I tried to plow through the snow to the garage. I lived in the city but there was a nice park-like campus at the medical college a few blocks away. About 9:00 pm I clicked my skis on and skied from my apartment, down the unshoveled sidewalks to the medical college in the still lightly falling snow, my way lit by not only the moon but the city lights. It was a true urban adventure.

  48. What was one of my favourite ski trips last season. This was an early season trip that we did to Silver Star near Vernon last November. After a white knuckle drive that started at dawn in Canmore in a snowstorm eventually ended safely in the dark at the Silver Star village. Despite a slow start to the ski season in the Rockies, they had a ton of cold beautiful snow. We had several days of perfect green and blue wax conditions on trails that were freshly groomed every night. Definitely worth going back to do it again soon.

  49. So looking forward to getting back into the mountains and on the trails! It has been a couple of years since I’ve been out so I’m sure to eat snow a few times but it is so worth it. Thanks for such a great site!

  50. Another great thing about this site for me is that being relatively new to area, it has all kinds of information about great trails, places to see, things to do… I love all the ideas it generates for us! Thanks!

  51. Heading out for a moonlight ski in PLPP some years ago, conditions looked doubtful: blowing and drifting snow turned into heavy snow and poor driving on Hwy 40. Obviously no sign of moon. We started debating what organizer Sue owed us for not delivering promised moonlight. Arriving at Pocaterra Lodge, snow stopped, and skies magically cleared. We started on the trail, and short while later, the moon appeared over top of the ridge! At a rest stop on return leg, Hubert produced a flask containing a very warming liquid. Our spirits soared… a wonderful night on skis.

  52. One of my favourite memories skiing was at the Telemark Ski Club in Kelowna, where it had just snowed two inches and I was the first on the trails before they were groomed. There was one long slight downhill where I got to skate ski from side to side of the trail for kilometers only seeing the tips of my skis poking out of the snow infront of me.

  53. First time ever I can remember cycling one day in the Fall and then right away XC skiing the next day – no transition running, gym, crosstraining at all! I went for a memorable to say the least Mtn Bike yesterday in Golden on the Mountain Shadows trails – I was talked into a bike ride by a cycling buddy and it turned out to be THE most insane extreme activity I have EVER done. Straight down narrow switchbacking forest trails, on icy snowy ice-covered roots and rocks, right through these tiny handlebar+2″ gaps between giant boulders and shoulder width trees, crossing over 1 foot wide icy snowy woodplank bridges etc etc. whoop whoop! In -5 degrees – and I was not cold holla! So today was the first ski of the year on Moraine Lake Rd with our son Luca, who is now 20 and hasn’t xc skied in a few years but he sure can tear up the trails still, my old bones had fun trying to keep up with him – big smile.

  54. Two years ago after a Christmas family ski my kids wondered who the camera dude trying to take their picture was. After reading Bobs blog the next day we learned he had been on the same trail and the kids had skied away from the fame and fortune that a blog photo brings. They promise to stop and pose next time Skier Bob.

  55. Growing up in Vancouver, I spent many days on our local mountains as both a skier and snowboarding but lost touch with the sport once I had to foot the bill for my own passes/equipment. Upon moving to Calgary and becoming a student again, I decided to switch to a more accessible winter sports, in terms of time, cost, and convenience. XC skiing has been perfect. I can go out to Canmore early Saturday morning, get a great workout and some fresh air, then be back in town to study by 1PM. This past weekend, I went to Shaganappi both mornings and didn’t have to “sacrifice” a whole study day. 🙂 This site has been a great resource…thank you!

  56. Holy snowballs, Batman! I’d better get in my entry before you hit the deadline.

    I’ve got to say that my best ski last year was a back-country trip to Black Prince. It was a Monday in January, after a good snow fall Sunday night. Along with a friend, we trudged up to the Cirque and then continued north through the “canyon” to some ESE slopes that were simply amazing. Fresh tracks all morning and the “pow” was so consistent I felt like I was floating on air. Even the tree skiing was amazing for the eastern slopes.

    We went back the next day, but others had thrashed the best slopes. Still, if we can get conditions like that with some regularity, I may actually learn to ski!

    Chip

  57. Love the blog and thanks to my good friend and ski buddy Barb for getting me on to it! Look forward to a great winter…..

  58. I’m looking forward to getting out at least once this winter, with a newborn arriving in the next couple of weeks things are really up in the air. Next year however, I look forward to taking the little one along with me.

  59. skierbob.ca is the ultimate resource for XC skiing in the Calgary/Banff area!

  60. I am looking forward to taking my one year old son skiing this winter. I can’t wait to show him how much fun winter can be. Pulling him in the Chariot will be a great workout!

  61. Last year, we skied in Glacier National Park for the first time. We skied part of the Going to the Sun Road from the west side (starting at Lake MacDonald) on a blue bird day. The magnificent, white peaks rose around us and the snow formed beautiful crystals on every branch. Our 7 month old even enjoyed herself!

  62. It’s been 9 years since my hip replacement and instead of downhill skiing I started x-country skiing and snowshoeing. It’s a great workout and my favorite place to ski is Elk Pass. We are so lucky to have this amazing playground in our backyard.

  63. One thing I love about cross country skiing is that it truly is a sport for life. Last year while at Canmore Nordic Centre, I met a man who told me that he was 90 years old! He had just finished up a 5km ski. If I can still be skiing when I’m 90, I will be a happy gal!

  64. Bob,
    One of the best XC ski trips we did last season was a weekend trip into Elk Cabin in early April. The conditions were very good, the days were long and sunny and the temperatures hovered around zero all weekend. The ice in the creeks was just beginning to melt so spring was just around the corner. One day we skied the length of Upper Elk Lake then climbed a small scree slope above the lake for some turns. When we departed on the Sunday we made a new trail through the trees to the west of the hydroline and came out right where the summer hiking trail intersects with the Elk Pass trail. An altogether stimulating trip from start to finish.

  65. I had lots of great skis, but my most memorable and impacting ski was completing my first 24 hour race solo at Canmore Ski Fest. I started out the event not feeling well and got an 11hr ‘I want to spoon my eye out’ headache. I went into the event just to see how much I could push myself. Things didn’t go as I planned, hoped or expected but still I managed to pull myself up and finish. The other competitors were great (I was the weak link! ) as were the race organizers. I’m not sure if I’ll ever do another 24 hr solo, but I’m glad I did it once in my life!

  66. What’s the best place to eat after a long day of xc sking in Canmore?

  67. I grew up racing in cross country skiing and for my entire young adult years I was focused and determined. Unfortunately university took priority but I still haven’t lost the love for the sport and the competition. Now I have two girls and my oldest was just starting to get on skis last year. I love that there is still a great community surrounding cross country skiing and this wonderful blog to get more people excited with every season. I hope that my family can grow to love skiing as much as I do!

  68. Last year my favourite ski was Pipestone Loop. It was perfect! Followed by beer and a burger at the Lake Louise Hostel.

  69. Its so great to see enthusiasm and anticipation in all the posts. Yes, XC skiing gets you out in our amazing neighbourhood, from K-Country to LL to Bow Lake. Ahhh can hardly wait!

  70. I’m happy to look on this site and discover there is already peoples who left message and comments about the trail. See you on the trail!

  71. Hi Bob! I just discovered your site, wonderful resource!! Thank you!
    Looking forward to getting out there this weekend!

  72. Last year I was very happy to ski the Whiskey Jack-Pocaterra-Packers loop again. After the June 2013 flood, I hiked up Whiskey Jack to see the big gouge for myself. Considering all the repairs the province had to address elsewhere, I never thought that Whiskey Jack would be fixed in time for last year’s ski season. Now looking forward to skiing Goat Creek over the restored bridge. For me, these repairs are a good use of tax dollars!

  73. Love coming up from edmonton to ski in the mountains! Reading your posts had quickly become a regular part of our trip planing!!

  74. Skierbob.ca is my goto site every morning. I can’t wait to read the trip reports and conditions so I can plan my next outing. Keep up the awesome work and the comments coming!

  75. This website makes it all the more easier to make that “all important decision” in the morning: “where should I ski today!”
    Thank you to all the contributors. Love the photos.

  76. found this website late last year and am really grateful i did …happy skiing

  77. Saw a Tweet on Twitter that lead me to your website and contest.

  78. Haven’t been to Lake Louise yet but have heard good things! First time at this website too. Fingers crossed on the contest!

  79. My eyes are hazel.

    • I went for a ski in the park down the block from my house in Calgary yesterday. Who woulda thunk the first ski of the year would be a green wax day? I still managed to get the Zen-like rhythm going, and I look forward to getting that feeling many more times again this year.

  80. My best day skiing last year was Smuts’ Mountain in Kananaskis, We left in the dark about 5 am in a snow storm. When we reached Spray Lakes road the snow was so deep it was almost up to my hood of my car. It took all my nerve to keep the car on the road. Once we were going downhill, I knew we would be okay. Once I got the skis on and by the time we reached the base of the mountain, the morning was breaking and the sun broke through the clouds. The powder was so deep ,like floating on air.I felt like I was in a ski movie.

  81. Getting ready to make some pine-tar cookies to start off the season

  82. 5 short years ago, I swore up and down to my father in law (an avid backcountry hiker and XC skier for many years), that Cross Country skiing was absolutely not for me. My parents had taken me a couple of times when I was a kid, and I’d hated every minute of it – too much effort, not enough reward (and waxless skis out here in the Rockies sure do not help you learn to love it). After months of stubborn refusals, I finally agreed to give it another try. I rented equipment, and my husband chose Goat Creek (from Canmore to Banff) as a nice easy first trip for us all to do together – not knowing about the big scary hills or that it was 20 km long, I went along unquestioning. We arrived at the trailhead way too late at around 3pm, I fell hard on my behind the second I put my skis on, received very inadequate instruction on the technique, then struggled over the next couple of kms (getting lots of practice getting up after falling and exhausting myself) until I finally seemed to figure it out, and managed to stay on my feet. Before I knew it, I had a good stride going, even had an easy time with the steep hills thanks to my downhill skiing, and realized that this was actually really fun.We reached the bridge as the sun was starting to go down, where I learned that we were only halfway…. (my husband sure got an earful from both myself and his Dad’s girlfriend who was also a beginner and unaware of the length he’d chosen). We came out several hours later, in the pitch dark, cold, wet, hungry sore and exhausted, but all I could think about was finding some equipment and getting out again – now I’m hooked and out skiing every weekend that I can get out. I never thought I’d see a time that I look forward to winter, but XC skiing is my salvation and makes our long, long winters bearable. Never say never!!

  83. We love skiing with our young kids, but it’s nice to leave the Chariot behind occasionally. So, my favourite ski trip last year was 2 days in Lake Louise with my husband, while Grandma babysat; Pipestone trail is one of my favorites. I would love to get back to Lake Louise again this year for a ski weekend without kids!

  84. Just back from my first ski of the new season, a backyard adventure right here on Calgary NW, it’s almost a tradition for us to get skiable snow just before the trails are set. My tracks won’t last long just a few says before warm weather makes them just a memory and such a shame to set fresh tracks no one else will ski, good time to head out to lake Louise.

  85. XC skiing in the rockies is magical. We now anticipate the arrival of the white stuff with smiles on our faces, while family and friends scowl and curse.
    Had a fantastic day yesterday at the MLR after arriving on Friday to the icy dreggs of what was once snow covered. How things can change in just a few days, however I must say the highlight was; after following this blog faithfully for four years to finally run into the man himself Mr. skierbob.
    Once again thanks Bob for this blog that keeps us all tuned into the ever changing mountains and surroundings.

  86. After suffering through multiple injuries last year I simply can’t wait to get back on my skies this winter!!! One of my fave trails is the cascade fire road at Minnewanka. Such a great climb and meander and super fun return to the parking lot! None of the bridges had been repaired post flood when I was last out so am looking forward to seeing the new additions! Happy Trails Everyone!!

  87. Pinetar or HF6, 3-Pin or Pilot, Bamboo or Carbon Fiber, Wool or Wool, Old School or New School
    See you on MLR

  88. One of my more interesting but unnerving ski trips happened in North Eastern, New Brunswick about 25 years ago when I first go the xcountry ski bug.
    I was skiing solo, midafternoon near the Miramichi area with beautiful conditions and a blue sky. The track was skier-set so I followed those for a while and then made a few of my own. Several hours later it was dark and I was lost. I started thinking about what I would do if I had to hunker down for the night but I was hopeful that I’d figure out how to get out of there. Luckily I finally saw some lights shining upward coming from a near by community. I skied towards them with relief and when I arrived in the field behind some houses there were 4 men on snowmobiles who asked me if my name was Rhonda. My Mother had called a search party and they were set to go looking for me. Luckily they didn’t have to.

  89. I couldn’t take advantage of the prize, even if I won, but we have kindred spirits here!

    In a roughly similar situation to ChuckM, but much closer to civilization, Kim B. and I skied to Healy Pass on a super cold January day that must have gotten to a high of 25C below. Our faces were covered in hoar frost all day, and Kim looked like Santa, but it was joyous to be out there! When you are flying down a trail on skis, who needs Red Bull to “have wings”!
    For whatever reason, other than the both of us being photographers, by the time we got back to the Sunshine parking lot, it was already quite dark, and quite empty. Then Kim has trouble getting the car started. I was about to freak when he assured me that it happened all the time. He proceeded to short the starter with a screw driver and voila, we had a running engine. I was never so relieved.

    Have a great ski season Calgarians, and Skier Bob followers !

  90. I just found this blog and now I am jazzed-up about the upcoming ski season. For some reason this fall seems to be dragging on and I am now ready for the SNOW. I cant wait to race my teenage kids to the end of Morain Lake Road!!

  91. My first year xc skiing and I am excited to embrace this sport and explore our beautiful province!
    This blog is golden as I begin my addiction, thank you…..

  92. Bob, first off – thanks for your efforts in putting together this amazing resource. I first heard about this site from my good friend & coworker Steve. I am relatively new to the Rockies, and coming in to my third winter here, I’ve been thinking about great ski days at CNC, Pocaterra, Mt. Shark, and anticipating magic moments this winter too.

    One of the things I appreciate about this contest requirement is reading a number of the comments left by fellow skiers. XC skiing is interesting because while there is a social element to it, it tends to be a very personal experience. So it’s fun to read about other skiers’ experiences and hear their perspectives on this great sport that we share (in such beautiful places.)

    I really enjoyed Marion’s comment about witnessing a marriage proposal (awesome!) and the one from Sabrina about feeling like a klutz on her first date – and it not really mattering.

    Hope everyone has a great season and wishing Barbara a speedy recovery!

  93. LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW !!!!!!!! Will be there beginning of Dec. I can’t wait.

  94. I was inspired by Alf’s trip report about Sunshine in late Oct and went with a buddy to Sunshine on Nov 1 to get some exercise and test some new splitboard gear. We hiked up to just past Goats Eye and then were able to skin up Banff Ave to the top of Wolverine. We did a couple of runs from there. The snow was kind of lame but we got the exercise and had a lot of fun. My resolution for year 61 on earth: learn to skate ski at CNC.

  95. Hi Bob! Thanks so much for this blog. As much as I love summer, I can’t wait for the first snowfall each year. Last season my 16 year old daughter became my xc ski buddy. She’s just as excited as I am about getting out this week!

  96. My favourite ski last year was the Pipestone Trails with the Norseman Ski Club. The sky was oh so blue, the air was breathtakingly fresh, the snow was sparkling like diamonds and to top it off the hill runs were exhilarating!

  97. Hiked the Red/Red-Purple trails at Mount Shark on Saturday. Was a beautiful day for hiking. Took a side trip down to the lake and watched the snow slowly coming in. Had me excited. Can’t wait to get on the skinny sticks and hit the trails.

    Side Note:
    There are some pretty big trees across the trails on those lower loops on the downhill sections. I don’t recomend skiing those trails until a crew gets out there and moves them.

    Have fun out there.

  98. Jut this weekend, we bought XC packages and are looking to get into the sport. As rookies we are mindful of the terrain and distance. Perhaps winning the 2 nights would give us the chance to get some lessons and tips.

  99. I’ve skied MLR only once… and the snow was so sticky that I was practically snowshoeing. I’d be happy to check out Mountaineer Lodge and take in a few ski sessions. Tomorrow, I think I’ll take the day off work to go to a Remembrance Day ceremony followed by a day trip for a MLR ski. Keep up the great work.

  100. I love to be out xcountry skiing! I have been checking out the conditions on this site for a good many years. Great site, love the stories, the pictures and the passion for snow and skinny skis. I introduced my daughter to skiing the day we bundle her into a pulk. Now 9years old with some new poles this year ,we are ready for another XC season, in this beautiful white wonderland of snow. We are truly Grateful to be living here in Alberta.

  101. My most memorable day of x-country was very likely my first. I was asked by a friend of a friend if I would chaperon a Jr. High XC trip. I agreed, even though I had never done it before! When I arrived, I realized I was meant to help teach the students. We all learned a lot and it was a fun day at Pocaterra. I’ve never looked back. I went out that night and bought myself my first pair of xc skis and have been skiing ever since. If I win, my husband and I will enjoy a nice weekend together.

  102. The Birkie 2014 has to be the most memorable ski outing of the last season: a “balmy” -24C (give or take) along the stunning scenery of the Elk Island National Park… But it’s the race-day pictures of me (quite unrecognizable, may I add) that haunt me still: a “beard” of white crystals and a Michelin-man look of many layers of clothing we still “laugh” at! Hope the 2015 event will be a bit warmer! Love the blog, Bob – keep it coming!

  103. Hanging up in Canmore still snowing like crazy. We missed the post about Nordic Center being down for Ice making. Heading to Louise thought got word that some teams will be training up there so trails may be in place. We will keep you all posted. Hope we will win the ski trip

  104. Ready – Set – Ski: thanks for keeping the posts coming. I am looking forward to getting out at Lake Louise this weekend. Hopefully this dump is enough to get the groomers out. If so, I expect a BUSY day on MLR!

  105. Xc skiing brought my husband and I together, we got to know each other through many hours of winter driving to and from loppets in Sask and Alberta. Now our kids are Budding jackrabbits and we would love to celebrate our 15th anniversary with a Lake Louise getaway! Thanks Skier Bob!

  106. I use to live in Whitehorse Yukon many years ago and I was really missing it so I decided to go back and spend Christmas there.
    So I packed my skis and flew up for ten days. I was excited to see the old ski trails I use to ski after work and this was before lit trails.
    Well they have come along way with adding in lit trails instead of skiing by brail.
    It seams I like skiing in the dark! It was December 21 I packed up my gear at the backpackers
    Walked to the bus stop and headed up to trails just out side of town great set up.
    After meeting some of the locals and getting what I thought was clear instructions I
    headed out gliding on some pretty amazing trails. Came across the first intersection and
    decided it was still early and kept on going to stretch out the muscles that had
    been die ing to get out on this magical winter day. So when I got to the end of the trail it looped around
    … or look there is a trail that continues on to the right. So off I went thinking the one
    to the right was the right one!!! After awhile the track followed a skidoo trail then a snow covered road.
    The light was disappearing pretty quickly when I came across a young man stuck with his truck.
    After a quick discussion of where we were and if I turned around to ski back to the lodge it would be way past dark and maybe not a wise idea to ski back on my own. So I bartered for a ride. I would help him get out by adding my weight to his light half ton for a ride back to Whitehorse which I was eleven klicks away as the crow flys. The young man was in the back country with light clothes and a light weighted truck looking for a Christmas tree. Well it turned out the road was too arrow to turn around with shear drop offs on either side. So he jumped in the back for weight and I backed up the truck to a gravel pit where we turned around. We were both great full to meet up and get one another out of a jam. He not only gave me a ride back to the club house we picked up my gear and he dropped me off at the back packers. The next day I was telling the bus driver the story as I was heading up to ski again. I guess you were his angel for his Christmas tree was his comment. I think he was my Christmas gift in disguise. So if you are reading this thanks for a gift I will never forget. Happy Trails be safe out there.

  107. One of the best and most interesting trips last year was in December. It was a Friday afternoon family ski, on a perfect but slightly chilly day. As we reached what we thought was the end of a fairly long ski at West Bragg Creek my wife and I realized that we’d had a total brain cramp, had turned around in the failing light, and were looking at the Elbow River rather than the trailhead. Still don’t know how we managed that on a familiar trail.

    Our kids (10 and 13) were a little alarmed and asked what we were going to do. The choices were to head to the road and hitch a ride to Bragg Creek, or head back into the woods to ski out. Fortinately, we always over prepare. I pulled out the thermos, and said what we would do is relax, have a cup of tea and a snack, then put on the headlamps I had packed (afternoon ski in December, after all). We then set off into what soon became a magical, calm, starlight winter wonderland, someone started singing campfire songs, and we had one of our best skis ever. My son was flagging a bit towards the end, then we hit the last big downhill runs before the parking lot and all was good. We ended up in Bragg Creek for some of the best pizza anywhere.

    The lesson – we were stupid not to have taken 10 seconds to stop and think at a trail intersection. We were smart to always, always carry supplies and an emergency kit tailored to the trip and season. Preparation is the difference between a fun adventure and an emergency.

  108. I am grateful for a lot of things about cross country skiing, but especially for introducing me to my wonderful wife of 18 years. If we win, we’ll go skiing together (with the kids) in Lake Louise. I can’t think of anything nicer.

  109. I feel so alive when I’m cross country skiing. Last winter while undergoing chemo, I skied when I could. Honestly it helped me through a difficult time. I am so looking forward to this season, the snow, the outdoors.

  110. So many wonderful trails, so many great memories on them…one of the things I so love about xc-skiing. It is very hard to beat a blue sky/blue wax day!! Soon…the new season starts…yay!!

  111. 1972.
    I was twelve years old when my Dad first took me x-country skiing . . . at Ribbon Creek (of course).
    God Bless You for that Dad.
    This summer, I took my Dad’s ashes to Paradise Valley, one of his very favorite trails.
    Mt. Temple, in all her majesty, will stand watch over him.
    Ski In Peace Pops. Blue-bird days everyday for you now.

  112. My passion is cross-country skiing. I love it. When I put on my skis and take those first few strides, I am free, I am in heaven and I instantly get a smile on my face.

    I love everything about it, that I am outside in the great outdoors, that the air smells so good, that the sun makes the snow sparkle. I love the feeling of accomplishment and fulfillment after a hard work out or fun ski with friends. I love that my body just knows what to do.

    It reminds me of my childhood and my family which are very important to me. Since both are far away, it provides me with a feeling of connectedness to them and that time.

    I remember my parents dragging me away from Saturday morning cartoons to go skiing and now there is nothing I’d rather do.

  113. Skiing in the Elizabeth Parker Hut at Lake O’Hara last spring was by far our best ski of the year. My favorite part was when our friends pulled out a bottle of tequila at the hut and proceeded to make some well deserved margarita’s.

  114. Looking fwd to some good XC skiing this season with my teens!

  115. Some favourite memories of skiing are from our local ski loppett where you see young skiers of all levels and experience, even those who are on skis for the first time. There is one good downhill section that always raises the anxiety of novice skiers and their novice teachers who didn’t have the foresight to check out the course before entering their protégés. The anxiety is always replaced by smiles of pride when they successfully negotiate their first arduous skiing hurdle.

  116. Can’t wait to snap on the skis again. Loved waking up to a new layer of snow this morning. Hubby thinks I’m crazy.

  117. Hi, I don’t have a specific favorite memory from skiing last season but I really enjoyed learning how to cross country ski with my husband and heading to the mountains almost every weekend!
    And thanks to skierbob’s website we were able to decide on which trails to go on so thanks!!
    Really looking forward to skiing again this winter!

  118. I am really excited about the up coming XC ski season. I really like this site and blog. Thank you to everybody who post comments. The trip posts and trail comments are very helpful. All the involvement of this site gives me a XC community that I would otherwise not have. The site and the sport keeps me enthused throughout the winter. It makes the winter go by fast. Keep up the good work on the site and I wish everybody a awesome ski season. Let it SNOW.

  119. Great blog and source of info. I found this as I was searching for trail conditions and suggestions on good places to ski outside of calgary,

  120. Like a previous postet, I have fond memories of Ribbon Creek, having gone their many times by myself and having taken many of my friends and family there to teach them how to ski. It was saddening to see it get damaged in last year’s flood. Thank goodness we have so many other great trails in Southern AB! Here’s to a great 14/15 ski season!

  121. Whoa, I can’t wait to get back onto the snow this year.

  122. Assiniboine park is one of my favorite location. But I would never go back with a $20 pair of XC ski! On our way up to assiniboine pass one year, about 10km after the Mt Shark tracks end, my binding broke. We try everything to go up that hill. I can’t tell you how much tape I went through! We managed to reach Naiset hut one hour after dark. The guys at the lodge managed to fix my bindings so I can go back… The funny thing is… I still use that pair of ski!

  123. so many places to ski, so little time, no time for websites, must go ski. see you out there.

  124. The most interesting that happened to me on the ski trail is running into a lynx/bobcat. It was the very first time I’ve seen a lynx in real life. It was scary but also very exciting at the same time.

  125. Strangely, my favourite ski outings are ones that are quite uncomfortable. We have a cottage at Gull Lake, and this area gets a lot of snow, especially compared to Calgary, so on cold winter nites, I put on my old, wide Kazamas and head into the provincial park that abuts our place. The snow is deep, often crusty, and in many places, it is dark enough that what little light that exists is flat. There is no such thing as kick-and-glide; it’s much more like wade-and-flounder. That said, the silence is wonderful and I return to the cabin feeling both blessed and renewed.

  126. I showed my partner a shot I took from Lookout last year, commenting that the shot was pretty nice. Maybe I should post it on skierbob.ca…. Oh, no, said he. Skier Bob is all about the trail…. You need to take a picture that shows the trail conditions. Touché.

  127. We went up Blueberry Hill late April last year. There were grizzly tracks at the bottom of the trail near the creek. They only paralleled the trail for a few meters before heading towards the creek – we were happy to see them and happy to leave them behind.

  128. Even though I am keener than keen to get skiing, I always hope for a big old cold snap before the snow so we can have some magical skating days on the lakes around Banff. Third Vermillion, Two Jack, and maybe even the Backswamp on the Bow. Crazy fun skating with fish swimming under the crystal clear ice, dodging in and out of the reeds and bushes. Backcountry skating at it’s best! Just a few weeks worth, and then let it snow!! Happy trails, Bob.

  129. My favourite x-country ski has always been the Whiskey/Tyrwhitt/Elk Pass/Fox Creek/Moraine in K-Country; (even when I was a x-country ski patrol in the early 1990’s). But, it was even better this year when my ski buddy Diane and I actually met Skier Bob!!!! Unbelieveable!! There he was at the picnic table at the bottom of Blueberry Hill, adding even more brilliance to that startling blue Alberta sky. He happily took a picture of us and there we were, almost as famous as him, in all our glory, on his website!

  130. My wife and I were exploring new trails in Kananskis last year and took a wrong turn when we were just 2km from the Pocaterra parking lot. That unfortunately put us 4km from the car at about the time we were expecting to arrive, and it was getting dark. We had come prepared with headlamps, handwarmers, and an emergency bivy if things got really bad, but luckily we crossed a trail we knew and were able to turn for home. It still freaked us out, though: just the two of us in the gathering dark, breaking trail through deep fresh snow, and with the howls of wolves sounding disturbingly near. But we made it, and I have never been so glad to see my car!

    Afterwards we drove to Canmore and pigged out at Gaucho’s. It makes for a fun story now!

  131. I am so glad you will be posting info about Nipika this year.
    I was at the ski week there this past winter. It was, hands down, best time I have had on skis ever!
    It has such a great trail system, and the coaching was so helpful and patient! I may have finally got the weight shift on classic thanks to Lyle and Wendy!

  132. Hi, Bob
    Luv your website and all the info. Last year was my first winter in Calgary and got out to many trails in Banff NP and K Country with my daughter & son-in-law, including two nights at Bryant Creek shelter. I hope to connect with other skiers this winter as my daughter/son-in-law have Sunshine passes this year.

  133. One of my very favorite things to do every winter is to run a three day cross country ski program with the grade nine students at West Island Collage. When we get the group of forty students on day one they can’t get there skis on, they keep falling down and are hard to keep focused. By day 3 we have them skiing almost 20kms! The learning curve is steep and we push em to ski. The shouts of joy and excitement as we speed down Whisky Jack in Peter Lougheed always makes my winter seem all the warmer. I can’t wait for this winters kids!
    Finlay MacNeill
    Cross Country Ski Program Coordinator
    The University of Calgary
    Outdoor Centre

  134. I gotta say that our most special/funny trip (now it’s funny), was when we took non regular skier friends to Elisabeth Parker Hut 2 years ago… As they didn’t own skis, we brought out our xc skis for them to use as we would used our bc skis. They took a long time over that first day to make it to Elisabeth Parker Hut and so they tought on the 3rd day they would start without us and really early (altought it goes down all the way). When we woke up around 7am they were already gone?! BUT my friend left with the wrong pair of ski which had different binding than the one she came with!!! I have no idea how she managed to fit her NNN boots on the SNS skis?! However, the other friend on the SNS was not able to get the skis in, so she had to walk back down to the parking lot on deep snow…SOO Painful. After that trip we thought next time they should be renting… the same gears!

  135. moved to Okotoks last year and discovered the cross country at Crystal Ridge golf course. Wonderful course, close to home and great seafood chowder in the restaurant after.

  136. After being on hiatus from xc skiing, a friend of mine took me out to PLPP for my first ski last season. Not really knowing where we were going, she took me on a 16km loop! Also in -20 degree celsius weather! I was quite tired after that. Went back a few weeks later and did 9km. That was a bit better and enjoyable. I can’t wait for this season to start. Looking forward to getting out there again!

  137. First winter 2014 outing on skiis… don’t know when that will be but sure looking forward to some Ski Roulette: new waxables? old “rock-ski” waxables? waxless? skate? hmmmmmm. Where will I get to go skiing that first time out? again so many choices in Calgary when it snows, not to mention CNC, or even just 35mins drive for down in West Bragg where last winter I did the majority of my classic outings – and couldn’t believe how many people have never skiid out there. If weekends don’t work for you… night ski options are also quite plausable too – at CNC, or during the full moon at Shag or along 14th St, or heck get a lightweight headlight. It’s great to have choices isn’t it!!?

  138. One of my favourite ski trip last year was going down to Waterton Lakes to ski for a couple of days while staying in the hotel down there.

  139. Have you ever considered flannel sheets? We’re sure the Mountaineer will be warm and comfortable after a day skiing! Hope we win.

  140. Last year I coached and taught cross country skiing at Nelson Nordic Ski Club but the other awesome thing about my first winter in BC was skiing on the slopes of Whitewater where I had three superb lessons and took my skiing to a new place. I’m ready to try just about any form of skiing now…..making my own back country routes locally this year…and back to the west too.

  141. This year I hope to be skijoring my two four years up the hills so they can enjoy the downhills.

  142. We’ve been skiing around here for 30 years. Until a few years ago we’d never been past the last junction of Skogan Pass (under the powerline). I don’t think it was ever groomed until a few years ago, which we found out through this blog. This trail has become a favorite one, especially for the fast descent!

  143. Soon there will be thousands of great stories here!!
    Hard to choose a favourite ski from last year, but there was one rather special occasion:
    In February, we went to visit friends in Kimberley who are very active in the Nordic Club there. We were lucky to be there when they had their “Gourmet Ski” event, a Saturday evening skiing around the main loop, stopping every couple of kilometres for a delicious bite. Every station featured a different cuisine, we carried our own bowls and spoons. Next time we will take some wine!! 🙂
    As it got very dark, we were grateful to be with people who knew their way around!

  144. “What would happen if”……we had not introduced our daughters to x-country skiing? From those first glides on an old pair of tiny telemark style skis 10 years ago (we were so proud they could glide an inch!) to watching them ski a heck of a lot faster than us, to the many great trips we’ve had with like minded friends. Memories that will stay with us always.

  145. I have picked up XC skiing in 1990 freshly after I came to Canada. I remain faithful to my original waxless skis and still have a ton of fun every winter on them. I wonder who’s going to expire first – my archaic equipment or me… My skis are obviously not that fast, but they are sufficient for me to get around and still be somewhat above average in terms of speed on trails. And they are definitely not impeding me on the downhill parts – and who doesn’t love thrilling rides like Lookout in PLPP or Skogan Pass. I’m just salivating now thinking of that. Let it snow some more!

  146. For the last 31 years we have headed out to PLPP for a moonlight ski (from experience, it would seem that actual moonlight is optional) and typically our route starts at Pocaterra and we head up to Lookout for a moonlit valley vista, and then a quick run back to Pocaterra. In 30+ years you learn lots of lessons, but one of the most useful lessons resulted from when one fellow arrived in Pocaterra parking lot at 8PM and realized that he had forgot to bring his x-country ski boots. OOPPSS! (Our manta now when we get in the vehicles in Calgary is “-SKIS?-BOOTS?-POLES?-CHECK!” )

    All was not lost. The snow was very hard packed and the fellow doggedly jogged along with us to Packers where we took pity on him and called the night early. The route back is predominantly downhill and the fellow stood on the back of someone else’s x-country skis, grabbed him by the hips and off they flew down the hills. Amazingly enough, they quickly got proficient enough at this “team-skiing” technique that we were back at the parking lot in no time flat with many a laugh at the scene.

  147. We did an overnight ski into Elizabeth Parker hut in January of last year. The temps got down to -30 that night but the hut was so warm with a great fire going in the stove. Peppermint Schnapps and hot chocolate helped too 🙂 There were so many stars that night and so clear!!! The road out was track set and it was a great ski back to the car the next day.

    Can’t wait to go again!

  148. This is the go to site for the best updates on snow conditions in banff and lake louise. My favorite ski memory from last year is skiing up Moraine lake road in the spring after the snow in most other places had melted. I ran into a lovely older couple in their 70’s who were on a day ski trip I stopped to say hi (and catch my breath, there was 10cm new wet snow and i was skating) while they were setting up their picnic. It just made real that this sport/activity is something that could and should be enjoyed for life. I look forward to having skied for decades:)

    Phil

  149. One of my favourite trips last year was at West Bragg on November 9. My wife and I kept pinching ourselves – We’re skiing on Nov 9?! Wow! Doesn’t look like that will happen this year, although I would have loved to join Alf back in September.

  150. Now that I’m finally through grad school I’m looking forward to living a much healthier winter in the Rockies! Hours and hours of desk time had me hallucinating visions of fresh track set. I could almost smell the crisp, clear mountain air from my PowerPoints and Gantt charts, but it all had to wait. I bought my equipment and am all ready to go!!!

  151. Getting ready to pull two kids in the chariot this year. Let it snow.

  152. ? Get the skis tuned up
    Grab a stick of Klister goo
    The stick is gon’na move ya! ?

  153. Anyone else giddy about the ski season opening up? I’m excited about getting out there and working on my skiing so I’m upright more often than I was last year.

  154. While skiing last year, I watched a weasel play with a mouse it had killed for about five minutes. I’m sure he thought I was competition because he moved that mouse from hiding place to hiding place until he finally disappeared under a snow bank to, I’m sure, enjoy a well deserved lunch.

  155. I found Skier Bob on Facebook. It is delightful to check online & see the many great options for trails in the winter. Thanks for getting us all excited for one of the best ways to enjoy nature in the winter!

    Kim

  156. My favourite ski trip last year was the trip out to Emerald Lake Lodge my wife and I did last March. first day skied at Lake Louise, so cold we had the trails to ourselves! Even busted out the Polar wax. Stopped in at the Truffle Pig for beers and wings on the way to Emerald Lake, Best wings I’ve ever had! Then on to the Lake where it puked snow for two days, which made the skiing slow, but who can possibly complain about that, in a place so beautiful. Worth the drive, worth the effort, worth the money, I hope we get to do it again his winter!

  157. This winter we will be skiing with our two little boys! A baby and a toddler make for big days and a short ski, but we are really looking forward to our toddler perhaps toddling on some skis this year before jumping in the chariot. 🙂

  158. About 10 yrs ago, my daughter and I skied to the top of Blueberry Hill and stopped for a snack. We shared the spot with a young couple. He then asked if we could take their photo. As I raised their camera, he dropped to one knee and proposed to her, and produced a ring! My daughter (in her early teens) thought this was so romantic! K Country is absolutely the best place to ski – though the Lake Louise area is definitely a close second 🙂

  159. So many fond memories of weekends spent at Peter Lougheed visitor centre, my husband and I taking turns going for a long ski while our 3 kids spent hours going up and down the big hill or building jumps off of another hill, just enjoying the winter wonderland.

  160. I love cross country skiing for the peace and beauty of the mountains. I have started taking my grandchildren and love to see other families out skiing.

  161. i love cross country skiing and have been skiing since the late 1970’s, but I think that skier bob’s blog is so great! I can figure out where the best trail conditions are and ski vicariously through all of the trips that he and his readers post!! keep up the good work, this is a real asset to the Xc ski community. I’m looking forward to another exciting ski season.

  162. Like one of the previous comments above, I too went cross-country skiing on one of the first dates with my partner. Then new to the Rockies and to Alberta, I was still timid on my sticks and he had to coax me out. We went out on Pyramid Lake in Jasper on a stunning crisp, clear and sunny January day. Needless to say that, without a groomed trail, I was more preoccupied with moving along at slightly faster than a snail’s pace that I was then with the scenery. I kept falling in the fresh snow and kept muttering worriedly about the recent wolf warning along the lake. My feet hurt and I was an absolute klutz on my long xc ski rentals. He just kept quiet and smiled. I thought the outing was a borderline disaster, he was apparently enchanted. Though now I’ve come to love skiing and though we regularly make day trips to PLPP from Calgary in winter, we always make sure to take a few days and go xc skiing in Jasper every year.

    I love your blog, Bob – it’s one of my favourite things to read on winter mornings 🙂

  163. “What would happen if…”

    Hours before having foot surgery, I wonder about a lot of ‘what ifs’. What would happen if I had decided to leave things alone; would I still be able to enjoy outdoor activities come next summer, or next winter? It’s disappointing to see this snow, the first reports from West Bragg, photos of nice white gold at PLPP (Elk Pass – my favourite XC ski trail), and now Moraine Lake Road, and not be able to head out there to enjoy. I just got my XC waxed – just in case. So, my current big ‘what if’ is: What would happen if recovery were at a record speed and I could walk normally and ski normally again this season? Surely I’d be determined enough to head out there every day, not take a step, a stride, even a poor conditions day for granted. I absolutely cannot wait to set my foot on one of those pristine tracks again. Hopefully it’ll be sooner rather than later.

  164. I have to reiterate and agree with so many readers/commentators of this blog; what a valuable and fun place to visit on daily/weekly basis…even in the summer. Hoping for some good snow that will last until May. 🙂

  165. Fondly remembering the 90’s when we would take my daughter on the Ribbon Creek trail: her joy was to ski down the little hill over the 3rd bridge, and she made it upright, every time!

  166. This website is amazing! Discovered it last year when taking up cross-country skiing again after about a 30 year break from the sport. Was looking for information on ski trails and conditions and came across this site. Inspiring to see how many people have been out already this season.

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