Win Fischer Skis (2018 contest page)

Entries to this contest are closed.

How about a new pair of Fischer Twin Skin Sport skis for the coming winter?

“My favourite ski day is a blue wax, blue sky day with fresh tracksetting. Soft blankets of snow and the sun glistening off the snow transform the trees into a magical winter wonderland. An occasional breeze may blow some of the snow off the trees like fairy dust..” -Grace Brouwer

The above quote from Grace was an entry in a previous Fischer skis contest.

It’s become a tradition to start off the season with this contest where you have a good chance to win a brand new pair of FischerTwin Skin Sport skis and bindings. 

You’ll be fitted for the proper size at Lifesport when you claim your prize.

How to enter the contest:

To enter, you need to leave a comment on this page. You can comment about anything, but here are some suggestions:

  • What is your criteria for an enjoyable ski trail? Easy terrain? Fast downhills? Scenic? Or…
  • Tell us about an especially interesting/enjoyable day you’ve had on skis
  • Important things you carry in your backpack
  • What could be done to make cross-country skiing more popular?
  •  Any topic of your choice

Entries will be closed when we reach 150 entries or Nov 30, 2018, which ever comes first

All names will be put in a hat and we’ll draw a winner within one week of entries closing.

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.

The fine print:

  • One entry per person.
  • You must be a cross-country skier, or an aspiring one.
  • The winner must respond to my contact email within three days of the draw. If no response, a new winner will be chosen.
  • Prize to be picked up at Lifesport

Good luck and I look forward to reading some interesting comments. Leave your comment below. Sometimes comments don’t show up right away because they need to be approved. I usually get to them within hours, and they will then appear.

Entries to this contest are closed.


  1. I still remember when I got my first pair of skiis–my dad hid them in my grandma’s closet for me to find Christmas morning! That was over a decade ago; I think I’m due for a new pair 😉

  2. I saw my first pair of Bonna Browns in a friends basement in wpg Manitoba 45 years ago and was hooked the second I saw them. My friend told me stories of his parents skiing in the mtns near lake Louise. How fantastic would that be I thought. Lol.

  3. I’m particularly impressed by the people I meet on the way to Elk Pass. Recent Canadians, large Canadians wearing cheap and totally unsuitable parkas… for such a long uphill trip it is inspiring and gives hope for the future.

  4. Bob, thanks for bringing our ski community together year after year. One of my best memories of skiing in the Corridor is the year
    I skied with some friends in a rare Cookie Loppet (last Saturday in February) and Lake Louise Loppet (first Sunday in March) double header weekend! The snow and sun were perfect both days. The volunteers at the Cookie Race were amazing and the next morning Alastair was in fine form welcoming skiers at the Chateau. The descent on Upper Telemark was a little wild but made memories. The glow from sun and fun at the finish on the Lake made me
    so grateful to be able to enjoy such beautiful XC skiing in our province.

  5. I wish there were more XC (or light touring) accessible huts nearby. The ones that come to mind immediately are Elk Lakes or Elizabeth Parker. You could also count Bryant Creek shelter, but I think new XC accessible huts would be so popular!!!

  6. One of my best ski days was when I got an early start from Boulton, intending to go up Elk Pass. But there was so much fresh, deep, beautiful untracked snow that I ended up skiing back and forth along Moraine and Fox Creek. After breaking trail on my first pass, it seemed a shame to not take advantage of it – twice more!

  7. The moment I leave the City limits headed for a K-Country ski is almost as nice as clicking in and gliding the groomed ribbons. A thermos of Hot Chocolate and a little beef jerky power the return trip to the car! Although a shorter trail, I must say the Fox Creek trail is one of my favorites.

  8. Thanks to the tracksetting at Confederation Park, I enjoy the luxury of walking to the end of the block, putting on my skis, and getting a good workout, without ever having to get in a car. (I do still enjoy a “real” trip out to the mountains, though.)

  9. Nothing beats the descent from Blueberry Hill on a perfect blue wax day. Nothing is worse than the descent from Blueberry Hill when the sun has heated some areas into slow slush while the shady areas are cold and fast.

  10. PLPP through the winter is amazing! Our quick loop is up WhiskeyJack, zoom down Pocaterra to Lynx/Amos/Wheeler which gets us back to Boulton Creek. All in all, under 15km with some good climbs, fun descents and usually excellent conditions.

  11. Headed out to Canmore on my honeymoon, some new gear would make it even sweeter! We are going to check out the Nordic Center and as many new trails as we can. Thank you to Skier Bob on keeping us updated leading up amazing trip!

  12. I must say that I enjoy cross country skiing for the solace it brings. The views of the wilderness. the stillness, the sighing of a breeze in the trees, even the gusty days with snow bombs crashing down. Plus the camaraderie, I always see smiles on the faces of other skiers and I always seem to run into old friends on the trails. Wow, and I haven’t even got going on the fitness aspect of my favorite winter pastime.

  13. Shae-Lynn Eastgaard

    So excited for the cross country ski season as I’m new to the sport and have lots to learn and gear to get. Shae

  14. Some of my best days have happened out on the trails with friends! It is all to easy to sit at home in an easy chair. But for those that know what experiences are to be had on the trails….it keeps us coming back for more, beit the warming sun on a West Bragg creek trail, or a fantastic cold weather blue sky view for Lookout trail in PLPP.

  15. My favorite day on XC skis is going up Blueberry Hill then over to Lookout and staying for sunset.

  16. I have a love/hate relationship with my little backpack. I love it because when I grab it, I know I will be going skiing and everything I might need is in one place. Especially as a coach for youth, I need to be prepared for everything. My kids nick-name the backpack the “Hermione bag” (Harry Potter character that has a bottomless bag). What I don’t like about skiing with a backpack- it makes you weigh more, so you need to adjust (shorten) the wax pocket. I also don’t like to ski with it because it’s harder to have proper technique (tougher to have deep ankle flexion/hips forward, a straight back, can throw balance off). But when a skier needs a band-aid, or a spare headlamp, or a piece of chocolate, it’s quite satisfying to be able to provide.

  17. Nothing beats a winter day in PLPP, moving around on different trails, always meeting friends!

  18. my favorite trail is the skogan pass, i enjoy to climb up, such a good workout, and the quick decent, with a side trip to hummingbird plume lookout. the best time is after a good snowfall and -10c weather.

  19. I just learned that waxless skis should be renamed “wax less often.” So for 3 years I never waxed my waxless skis. Last year I waxed a little. This year I was actually taught how to wax, my wax less often skis. Now to see how much of a difference this will make. Excited to start skiing!

  20. Peter Lougheed Provincial Park trails are the top of my list for cross country skiing. Superb snow, a great mix of terrain, and superb grooming that is second to none. At PLPP Fox Creek is the pinnacle ride once enough snow has fallen to penetrate the trees. Here’s hoping for another great season like last year!

  21. I always look forward to see how excited my 7 and 9 year old kids become when cross country season gets closer and looking forward they are to the winter … from Bragg Creek to Moraine Lake road and anything in between, some our best family memories have been outside on cross country skis.

  22. One of my favourite places to ski with my dogs was at Bulkley Valley Nordic Centre on the designated dog trail Pooch Paradise. It appears they have added a new trail since then called Hound Heaven. I loved being able to take my pups there most days of the week to get in my and their exercise. The grooming was great, and the trail was fun. It was so nice to have a designated trail where dogs were allowed off-leash.

  23. Living in Nova Scotia we only get out to Calgary twice a year to ski with grandchildren in the mtns. Its a magical time esp this fall we got in 14km on Thanksgiving weekend. One of our most memorable trips was an overnight at Elizabeth Parker Hut in Yoho. Pure heaven back there in the mtns. Compare it to walking a beach on the Atlantic coast. Always check Skier Bob’s website several weeks before we come out. Thanks Bob for all your efforts.

    Bob Murray Amherst NS

  24. I absolutely love the Nordic centre! West Bragg is great and close, honestly love it, but I live to treat myself to the amazing grooming of the Nordic centre a few times a year!

  25. I absolutely love this time of year when I’m about to go out for my first ski of the season. Just thinking of that feeling when you are out there in nature surrounded by snow, in some of the most beautiful places on earth. Breathing in the crisp air, gliding along with a huge grin on your face. Loving life and feeling a whole lot of gratitude!

  26. One of most interesting skiing days for me was skiing at PLPP in April, it was a gorgeous day out, sunny on the drive out there. Then as we were skiing along, a blizzard started and my hands have never felt so cold before as we were not dressed for that weather!

  27. At first I skied by myself, then with my wife. Now this year will be with our two young kids. Life progresses but skiing has always been a constant part of it.

  28. Ursula Bohn-Sharples

    Cross country skiing is truly an inclusive sport. I volunteered at a Loppet last winter and it was wonderful to see the range of cross country skiers that attended, from tiny 4 year olds to skiers that were well over 80.

  29. I love getting out to set first tracks after a dump of snow. Even better if there are lots of snow ghosts and snow bombs lurking closeby in the trees.

  30. Hi Bob,

    I have always enjoyed adding a dose of adrenaline to my ski, and usually choose trails that have some good ups and downs. And this time of year, I appreciate the low snowpack opportunities, with all the bumps and uneven surfaces, to get in some air time that is not available when snow conditions are good. That being said, I am looking forward to a good dump of snow to cover up the brush and set sail in some set tracks. Happy Trails…

  31. XC Skiing by headlamp is my favourite! It’s always a pleasure to ski uphill when you can’t see the uphill in daylight HA! But seriously though, the trails are usually empty & on a clear night it’s awesome to switch off your headlamp and just look up at the stars 🙂 My kind of happy place!

  32. A good ski for me is fresh air and the exercise and skiing
    with my grandpa?

  33. A trail with a good partner, sunshine, and snow makes for a great ski day.

  34. Thanks to you Bob for this blog, and to our ski community for sharing their reports.

  35. Thank you Ma Sid for the hard work you have gone to making a huge Snow Couch in West Elk Meadows. This short ski to The Snow Couch from Elk Pass/Blueberry junction, holds so many special memories. When we three Couch Chicks visited and soaked up the late afternoon sun, sipping brandy chocolates, and making snow angels is one such terrific memory. And last year, Ma Sid and I took turns breaking trail through West Elk Meadows after a big snowfall. He knows the route blindfolded, while I am only secure hanging or following fluorescent flagging. Thanks JR for your comments.

  36. I love exploring single track trails, especially after fresh snow. Its so amazing to be outside blazing your own trail.

  37. I love that I can spend an afternoon in mountains, enjoying the silence and the scenery, and getting exercise while not noticing that I am getting exercise.

  38. Going to Pocaterra, and actually meeting Skier Bob on the trails, and later in the day reading his report on the trail conditions is awesome!

  39. Pushing yourself uphill for a couple of hours just to turn around and ski down in 30 minutes! Is the best! 🙂

  40. I’ve only been skiing for a few years, but it’s quickly become my favorite winter activity. Nothing is better than ending a day totally fatigued from pushing yourself a little too hard in the mountains.

  41. A day boiling my Kelly kettle is the ultimate outing on my skis.

  42. Regarding essentials in your day pack, I always carry a fresh set of body/hand/toe warmers. Should an emergency occur on the trail, distant from the trailhead and/or out of cell phone coverage, these along with some extra clothing can help you survive an overnight wait for help.

  43. Freedom in the Beyond… even more so with some new skis, particularly as I’m aiming for the safety fast backpack approach this year! Bivvy sack, spare socks and warm attire, food for a night, hot drink and fire starter. I’m with Ken on the extra workout, and carrying this may help someone else out too!

  44. A warming sun, a sharpness of breath, ice cold snow to aid the flow

    In stillness to behold a never ending winter scenery unfolds

    The gentle pull of an eager friend in anticipation of rewarding end

    Rhythmic pads leave telltale track, skier aback, sign of a pack

    Solitude broken, a friendly encounter, a chance for lighthearted banter

    A tranquil spot, a time to rest, skiing really is the best!

    Sharing tasty treat snacks in the company of whiskey jack

    Journeys end, a perfect day, finish the job with a post on skier Bob

    • Now that’s pure poetry,, good thing contest isn’t based on literature, you’d win 1st prize!!!!!!!!

  45. We who live in Canmore are so lucky to have so many fantastic skiing options within a short drive. For me, the Nordic Centre tops them all due to convenience and top notch grooming. Morraine Lake road is a close second as it almost always has perfect snow.

  46. Living in Saskatoon, where our diligent groomers have to frequently eek out miracles from drought-levels of snow, the few times a year I can make it out to Canmore are always highlights. I didn’t know how perfect grooming could be until my first trip. These days that’s all I need for a perfect ski: lots of snow and miles of corduroy. We’re still waiting here in the prairies, but all these trip reports are starting to make me itch…

  47. One of my favourite things about cross-country skiing is that it is a sport that I can share with my boyfriend. He didn’t grow up cross-country skiing, and it has been so nice teaching him something new! Normally I am the one learning new sports from him.

  48. Hip-pack essentials – water, knife, waterproof matches, tin of Lubriderm, extra wax/cork and a snack.

  49. Whenever we’re skiing with Kazzy, we never leave home without lots of doggie treats!

  50. An enjoyable day, the cookie race up in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park last year. Went by someone a tad younger than moi and was feeling pretty smug, ( yes yes I know it’s not a race) , but felt like I was clicking on all cylinders, I’m relatively new to the sport, then someone went by me ( much, much, much, older than moi) and basicly left me in their wake. Very humbling the speed they were moving at.

    Roughly at that moment, realized in XC skiing there will always be someone passing you and you shouldn’t care. I realized it not about the stride/glide/poling etc etc ( though all important ), but rather it’s about taking the time to look around and take in the fantastic scenery and terrain that we are able to enjoy year round and it’s all within our backyard.


  51. The best XC ski days are on fresh trackeset under clear blue skies. Looking forward to going down Lookout, Skogan Pass or Whiskey Jack again this year in those conditions.

  52. Pulling a sled loaded with 6 weeks of food over the arctic sea ice.

  53. I love fast downhills, especially with good tracks that you can ride like rails. Such a thrill, riding the edge of control. It helps that I grew up on skiis!

  54. To ski, or not to ski that is the question. Check Skier Bob and go ski!!

  55. The sky is blue, the air cool and crisp, alive with a million crystals dancing in the sunshine. A potential surprise awaits around each corner, a grouse, a wolf, a grey jay, a lynx or an old friend not seen in a while. The magic of the trail is alive and waiting to greet us whenever we can get there.

  56. The best days are when we ski long enough to justify hauling my little stove to make fresh tea.

  57. I love those days when the air is so deliciously cool it feels as though you could live on the air and keep flying through the woods.

  58. I really enjoy checking weather reports, snow reports, trail and trip reports, and then trying to figure out where the best skiing will be. It’s great to have the options that we have around here.

  59. On Nov 10 this year on MLR I had a memorable experience. I was coming down the big hill around a corner and noticed some skiers stopped in a odd spot. I put on the brakes hard and realized why they stopped—there were three moose right beside the track I was in. I was only about 10 m from them and a serious adrenaline problem was affecting my vision but it looked like a big cow and two calves.

  60. Just wanted to say how much we appreciate the skierbob website. It is so informative and motivating.
    If you want to bookmark just one website to find out everything you need to know about cross country skiing in Southern Alberta, Skierbob is the place to go.
    Trip reports from Bob himself or regulars Chuck, Helen, Alf, Masid, Banff Barb and Chip are all so motivating. They all seem to put in 1,000 km of skiing per winter so they definitely “talk the talk” and “ski the ski”.
    My wife and I usually get out 30 times a year and average 15 km per time, so our 450 km pales in comparison but reading everyone’s trip reports makes us hungry to do more.
    We are so blessed to have so many excellent places to cross country ski in Southern Alberta that it is sometimes tough to pick a spot. The skierbob website makes the final decision that much easier.
    Thanks for putting together such a great website. We use it every day. Keep the trip reports coming. Three cheers to all of you!

  61. I always carry an extra pair of socks in my backpack.

  62. After only skiing in the Canadian Rockies, one of my favourite ski day memories was getting out in Collingwood, ON. I was in Ontario for university and did not have as many opportunities to get outdoors as I do here, where I live close to the mountains! My sister and I rented skis for the day and did a couple great loops of their trails – they had such a fun environment at their ski club (Highlands Nordic)
    However, I do have many a good day out here and enjoy the higher/longer hills out on some of the trails around here. Skiing down Hydroline at PLPP is one of my favourites!!

  63. I love skate skiing but there’s not enough great trails in the bow valley so I really want to start classic skiing, it opens up so many more opportunities. Any day outside in freshly groomed trails under a bluebird day is a slice of heaven to me.

  64. Best ever day cross country skiing: fresh cold snow, sunshine, no wind and good friends. And maybe a couple of martens chittering on a tree along the Fairview trail.

  65. Some of the more interesting items I carry in my backpack when skiing with younger kids are – in order of priority: gummies bears!, Oreos, hand warmers, fire starters, a lighter, band aids and blister pads. Other times, just to surprise the kids, I’ll put a couple of stuffed animals in there just to see their reaction when I pull them out on the trails!

  66. Can’t wait for the light fluffy stuff! My favorite spot after a nice day of x-skiing is returning on the Elk trail (steep hill). Nothing better when the snow is right.

  67. Nothing beats gliding on fresh tracks under the cobalt blue Alberta skies. My favs include PLPP, Bragg Creek and Lake Louise area. We have long winters so we should get out there and embrace them.

  68. I must admit, I was rather concerned by to whole notion of waxless skis. See, waxing skis in my garage, it is my little oasis from the chaos. Hours on end, perfecting my kick zone, but mostly just listening to tunes and drinking beer. I guess these new skis still have a glide zone I can work on, so I should be all good.

  69. West Bragg Creek trails are my favorite due to the close proximity to Calgary and the resulting easy drive.

  70. I like skiing everywhere, but West Bragg Creek feels special. A mixture of the short drive from Calgary, rolling terrain, excellent tracksetting and beautiful forest make it my favorite xc ski venue.

  71. I could really use a new pair of waxless skis! My husband got a new pair last year and I am rather envious. Looks like I need to enter quickly to have a chance, though!
    I am starting to carry those hot packs (hand warmers) with me most of the time, and wish I had had them forever! My terrible circulation only gets worse with time………

  72. I enjoy when there is new-ish snow that has been trackset. I like the challenge of going uphill, and the opportunity to work on technique, and push myself physically. If I am skiing with my dad, I enjoy an easy trail with not too many steep hills since he is a beginner, and a place for him to take a break. I have many interesting days on skis, I started to learn how to ski in December 2016 and since have made appearances at the Lake Louise Loppet in 2017 and 2018 and the Cookie Race in 2018. Some of my favorite days were learning to ski at confederation park under the Christmas lights because, it felt like a Hallmark Christmas Movie, seeing a wolverine at the Great Divide Trailhead, and skiing up to Elizabeth Parker Hut. Every cross country ski day is interesting to me, because there are so many trails in PLPP that I have yet to memorize, which is exciting. The most important thing I carry in my backpack is a snack, and I guess the cork and wax are also important. Bring cross country skiing to school groups, and have more places in the city where cross country ski programs are offered. I don’t know of any programs offered in the very Southend of the city.

    Hope to see you on the trails.

  73. Some of my favorite trails are the narrowish ones with gentle rolling hills, especially after a recent snowfall with a nice soft trail base and all the surrounding trees draped in the white stuff. Like Fox Creek trail in Peter Lougheed or the Horse Trail at Emerald Lake.

  74. Wow! You’ve got a winner here, Bob. No, I don’t mean me, or winning the skis (but I’d love to); I mean this page.

    I’ve been tuned in to SkierBob (and SkiHere) pretty much since Day 1; I’ve seen lots of great info and great comments; but every comment on this page resonates with me. So many magical moments. “Yes!” I kept saying to myself as I read up from the bottom of the page to the top. And “Hear, Hear!” or “Oh yeah, you’ve got the bug.” The whole page screams out our love of the sport, the sheer joy, the beauty, the exhilaration, the fun!, the rapture we find in snow and two skinny skis.

    [OK, taking a long slow breath … OK … back on Earth now …]

    Oh yes, my criterion for an enjoyable ski: a trail with some snow on it. What more does one need?

    See you out there, brothers and sisters.

  75. What really sets the stage for an exquisite day of xc skiing is to arrive at the trailhead to see the masterful work of all grooming and tracksetting crews who spend countless hours so skiers have such a good experience on the trails. Thank you so, so much on behalf of all skiers for your efforts. You truly enhance the overall skiing experience. Keep up the outstanding work !

  76. Years ago, our family was skiing the Fairview trail with me pulling my 2 year old son in the pulk. My wife and daughter skied on ahead and were to wait for us at Moraine Lake Rd. As my son and I reached the bottom of that last steep hill (steeper and not as straight in those days), the pulk rolled onto its side dragging my son’s face through the soft snow for a short distance. I stopped to check on him and he said he was OK and it was fun. However, when we caught up to his Mom a minute or so later, he burst into tears! Apparently it was more traumatic than we’d realized although he was none the worse for wear. By the way, he wasn’t my first child to be rolled in that pulk!

  77. I love the long run back north on Pocaterra, makes the effort worth it. Guess that makes me a North Going Zax!

  78. In response to Donald Trump’s claim that Finns prevent forest fires by “raking their forests” a Finn posted this on Twitter with the caption, “Here in Finland we rake the forests even in winter, just in case”.

  79. Making skiing easier…
    A few years back …(quite a few0 ..I was looking at a ski map of a popular US Nordic center. They had recommended ski routes for people new to that ski area. These routes recognized that people of different ability levels would travel at different paces and duration. Now most of us who ski the Bow Corridor know the trails at PLPP, Canmore and Lake Louise like the back of our hands…What is it like to look at a trail map of those Nordic centers slightly further afield say at Dawn Mountain, Becky Scott or Nipika…most often it looks like a bunch of spaghetti thrown on a map. You have invested a good deal of money and time to arrive at the destination, but as a first timer its hard to determine what will make for an enjoyable outing. To me it would make sense for trail maps should have recommended routes for first time skiers which showcase the trail system.

  80. All ski trails are good, it’s the time I spend out in the wilderness among friends that I cherish the most!

  81. Without snow
    where would you go?

  82. According to the “Recent Comments”, people are more interested in the contest than current trip conditions… me too!

  83. My favourite ski trail is from Lake Louis to Skoki. It is most enjoyable on the bluebird days in March.

  84. Not interested in going any place warm during the winter, as X-country skiing is so incredibly invigorating.

  85. One of my best cross country ski days was skiing the Fairview loop at Lake Louise with my two grand kids. It was Christmas Holidays and the snow on the trees and the fresh set tracks were terrific. One tree looked like a witch on a broom had crashed into it. The snow was built up in such a way that it seemed that this white witch was still stuck there. Now each time we ski the trail alone or again with the grand kids we are reminded of the witch in the tree and the great ski conditions that Christmas.

  86. I always carry fire starter and duct tape in my backpack.
    I am tempted to add a tin cup so I can always make tea.

  87. We decided to enter the Family category in what was then called the Red Deer Advocate loppet. Pre-race our boys ages 5 and 6 were side stepping up a huge pile of snow which had been ploughed from the parking lot and, of course, skiing straight down. Needless to say one broke his ski so had to cheer us on rather than ski the race himself!

  88. Luckily I didn’t inherit Bob’s twin skin skis last year. He made it through his surgery, so no skis for me 😉
    So, maybe I can win them another way!

  89. Another set of skis would be awesome. I have been coveting the Twin Skins for those warm spring skiing days.

    Bring them on!

  90. I started skiing two years ago. Winter finally has a purpose.

  91. After my son was born I bought a used Kindershuttle on kijiji. He wanted nothing to do with our fancy lightweight chariot. Almost everyday I would bundle him up in two sheepkins and take him to Canmore Park and ski while he napped in our little sled. It was absolutely the most joyful feeling in the sunshine in a city park. I love reading these posts, thank you.

  92. Really looking forward to getting back into XC skiing this season. I have had gear hanging in the garage for 20+ years (early generation waxless…) but life has continually gotten in the way of my good intentions. This year is going to be different – my boots are sitting by the garage door and I can’t wait to get out for the first time since I was a kid slogging it out in the forests and on the lakes of north-central Saskatchewan!

  93. Skiing silently past wonderful, magical snow sculptures along Elk Pass trail… priceless.

  94. While Jackrabbit Johannsen officially passed away at the age on 112 in Norway, he resided in Montreal for a number of years before his passing. My mother was a nurse at the senior’s lodge were Jackrabbit lived. She admired this man a great deal and loved to tell the story that even at 100 plus years, Jackrabbit loved to be out on his skies. Breaking trail was a bit difficult for him (especially in Eastern Canada’s heavy wet snow) so, to help out, the staff would go out and walk on the snow creating a trail for him to ski on. I so wish my mother had taken pics or videos of this. Whenever I am tired and wanting to see the parking lot I think of this man, over 100 years of age, skiing on a walked on trail, and I quit my bitching. Since we may have a number of younger people on this site, I will mention that Jackrabbit Johannsen introduced x-country skiing to Canada and is the reason we are all out enjoying our beautiful winters today. Thanks, Mom, and so glad you were lucky enough to have met him.

  95. Every winter when I get back on my cross-country skis, I start to believe in magic again. The sense of wonder I experience when I’m gliding through a frozen landscape filled with snow and ice sculptures is perpetually renewed.

  96. I first tried cross country skiing when I was in cadets in Saskatchewan and our leaders decided to enter our shooting team into a biathalon being held at CFB Dundurn. The closest ski trails around were near White Track Ski “Resort” in the Qu’Appelle Valley. I assumed I wouldn’t like it but the trails in the valley snaked around the ravines and there were lots of turns and hills. I was hooked! Year later I borrowed some skis from the U of S Education Outdoor Program and skied along the Saskatchewan River Valley beside the university….

  97. The cure for hating winter – take up skiing; it could turn into a love affair.
    The mountains are their most beautiful when snow covered, and glistening in the sun under a blue sky – under these conditions, the drive from Banff to Jasper is one of the most incredible in the world.

  98. I love the motion of skiing, gliding on the snow, the steam of your breath as you breath out in the cold air, the fresh cold air as it fills your lungs and the silence of winter.

  99. My father introduced me to xc skiing in the early ’70’s & it was one of our great joys together as I grew up. I lost him this year but will always take a quiet moment on trail to reflect on the comprehensive scope of his influence. The memories are remarkably tangible. He loved trails like PLPP (my absolute favourites, too) & it’s easy to hear his voice in the breeze.

  100. On a beautiful blue bird day in 2017 I wanted to head out to WBC as the conditions were great but I had no friends who could go that day.
    I went anyway and as I skied in the sunshine I stopped to marvel at a view and noticed my new XC buddy. The sun was behind me and there directly in front of me was Shadow. From that day on whenever I can ski with Shad, as he became known within our group of friends, it becomes one of my favorite days.

  101. Oops I hear a poem coming!!

    I love to ski I feel so free
    The mountains are beckoning and we come reckoning
    On our skis we stride and glide
    Our hearts are pumping , the snow is dumping
    Beautiful tranquil surroundings are estounding
    Many happy faces to meet and greet
    Learn your animal facts and look for tracks
    So many great trails for us to avail
    Climb up the hill till you get your fill
    Reward is the trip down, upside down frown?
    Rosy healthy cheeks out of our hats peek
    Looking forward to skiing in the full moon soon
    Afterwards enjoy cookies and tea with me.

    • That’s no poem, That’s a rap!

      C’mon “Janice” — who are you, really? Is your stage name Classified? Drake? k-os? Whatever — if you are doing open mike night somewhere around here, Please let me know! I want to hear you layin’ this one down!!!

  102. As the Japanese say, shinrin-yoku. Translates loosely as forest bathing or forest therapy.
    When you are on the trail and time stands still. You take in nature through all your senses. The crisp air in your nostrils, the sound of your skis gliding on the snow. The morning sun causing the snow crystals to sparkle. You seem to be floating along the trail with the sensation of not feeling your body but at the same time experiencing everything through all your senses. You seem to exist outside of yourself.
    That is what brings me back every year.

  103. I love the silence & beauty of a cold, crisp, sunny day on the x-country trails anywhere in Peter Lougheed Park…I am totally energized after a great ski and ready to take on anything else the day holds after such a great work out!

  104. What can beat checking ”Ski Here” Tuesday morning to find sunshine in the forecast and Elk Pass/Tyrwhitt/Bluebird having just been trackset ? Not much.

  105. My fondest memory is skiing across Emerald Lake on a full moon night….so peaceful….

  106. One of the things I love most about XC skiing in the mountains is that you can usually find trails where most of your effort is going up, then you can relax and enjoy a nice fun downhill on the way back. I love a long gradual downhill in firm tracks where I can put a headphone in with some great tunes and dance my way down while I just let the tracks guide my skis along (Also another reason why I head out later in the day – fewer people to see my ridiculous moves when you ski out at dusk).

  107. I love rolling terrain. It’s just great to have that mix of short downhills, and short uphills. My favorite trails for getting this kind of terrain are in no particular order are: 1) the middle trails of PLPP (Meadow, Wolley, Amos, …); 2) The Canadian Birkebeiner trails at the Blackfoot reserve east of Edmonton; 3) The American Birkebeiner trails near Haywood, Wisconsin. All of these trails are just plain fun!

  108. I started xc skiing in Yellowknife 40 years ago. Some nights even when the temps went down below -30 the ice crystals on the trails would give you great glide. Didn’t need much other than polar in your wax kit back then.

  109. My best ski days are skiing w great friends n carrying a delicious lunch (some good sweet treat).

  110. My favourite skiing is morning, just after sunrise, freshly groomed trail with no tracks yet, mountains in the background and fast snow, so it shouldn’t be too cold, warmer than -10C. Usually happens in March.

  111. Best ski day: mostly flat trail with some soft rolling hills. Snow packed down with just a couple cms of fresh powder-just perfect enough to feel as though I’m flying along on my skate skis, big expansive mountain views, blue sky, husband beside me and my dog leading the way.

  112. I enjoy long trails on moderate terrain with great scenery. Add sunshine and temperatures around -10 to make a perfect day.

  113. As an immigrant, X-C ski was the first amazing winter sports for me. I have been spending almost of all Saturdays of seasons to enjoy X-C ski from 2005 winter till now. PLPP trails are my favorite place from the first time when I learned X-C ski, but I have tried to go out non-groomed trails such as Paradise Valley, Healy Pass, Skogan Pass from Dead Man’s Flats etc. several times per year.
    When I and some of my friends went to Bryant Creek shelter with classic X-C ski and spent a night in a wild, snow winter wonderland, I’ve just shocked about snow, scenery and coldness. This was my one of memorable moment in my X-C ski experiences.

  114. I love the quiet and solitude of the trails early in the morning before they get busy. Later in the day it’s nice to see families out enjoying themselves, especially the little ones on their skis. Hats off to all the moms and dads pulling even smaller ones along behind in chariots, what a great workout!

  115. A good pair of mitts in the backpack. I was really really grateful for them coming down Moraine Lake Road on Saturday. My fingers froze within 5 mins of leaving the far end, put the mitts on and hands were warm and toasty all the way down.

  116. Once again, at this time of the year, anxiously awaiting the thrill of nicely groomed tails and first tracks. As a child December meant Santa Claus and Christmas but as a senior it is all about lovely days on mountain tracks. Each season the first day of skiing is like opening a newly wrapped gift. The Best of the X – C ski season to everybody.

  117. One thing in my backpack I haven’t seen listed yet amongst the many useful suggestions is having a headlamp. Sometimes the day can get away from you and you need to make your way back to the trailhead in the dark. Having a headlamp makes things a bit easier all around.

  118. I was just able to go skiing for the first time. Due to time constraints, I went to Canmore where the trails were in fantastic condition. My motto is that the best trail is the one you are able to get to to ski. I’m hoping for a trip to Lake Louise this weekend as well.

  119. I am going to (well I am attempting to) fulfill one of my dreams this winter: I am going to do the Vasaloppet 90 km race back in Sweden. It’s a challenge to find the time to train with three kids and full time work, but this has been on my bucket list for a long time and so I’ll give it my best. These new skis sure would be nice for the race!

  120. I read that the modern waxeless skis are exceptionally good as never before, but I’m old, inflexible, and I love my waxable skis. If my comment wins the prize, I’ll ask it to be transferred, if possible, to Gabriela Nef Ojeda, Program & Communications Coordinator at Cross Country Alberta, who does amazing job for the org and the big community of Nordic skiers of Alberta. I believe in luck and want my comment to win.

  121. First Aid Items for light day pack:
    Transparent Tough Duct Tape 4.8cmx144cm 1.5
    Gorilla Duct Tape 5cmx72cm 0.75
    Fabric Adhesive Fingertip Bandages 4.4cm X 5 cm 2
    Fabric Adhesive Strip Bandages, 7/8″ x 3″ 2.2×7.5 2
    Sterile Gauze Pads, 2″ 5×5 1
    Sterile Gauze Pads, 3″ 7.5×7.5cm 1
    Sterile Gauze Pads 4″ 10X10 cm 1
    Butterfly Closures Size M 1 34/” x3/8″ 2
    Single Use Super Glue 1ml 1
    Nitrile Gloves L 1
    Purell® Sanitizing Hand Wipes 1
    Povidone-Iodine Prep Pad 1
    Tenacious Tape Patch (pre-blister prevention, placed onto known hot spots) 7.6cm 1
    Elastoplast SOS Blister Bandage (post blister development) Size L 1
    Self Fusing Silicon Tape 2.5x25cm (friction reduction) 0.25
    Nasalcease small clot dressing, or Celox granules
    Transpore Plastic Surgical Tape
    Coban Self-Adherent Wrap 7.5cm X 5m

  122. As a child I owned a teenage mutant ninja turtles fannypack, briefly. Fanny packs were pretty cool at the time, but it was a passing coolness that I never expected to return. But then I took up cross country skiing and there is no better way to pack your water, snacks, wax, and all the wonderful items others have suggested in the comments above.

  123. We could all do something for cross-country skiing when as skaters and diaganol striders we acknowledge and enjoy each other’s company on the trails.

  124. The best ski days involve beautiful snow, big hills, and nothing broken in the face plants.

  125. After some past experiences, my backpack will now always contain an emergency blanket, satellite communication device, and fire starter. You are always warm until something goes wrong – then you really learn how cold winter can be.

  126. The hardest thing about cross country skiing is having to wait another 75 days until we return to Canada to enjoy the beautiful trails, blue skies and sunshine.

  127. I think they should make cross country skiing more popular by adding a ski track to the bike paths so I can ski to work in the winter….

  128. Skied up to Kananaskis Lookout yesterday (Nov.18) and it was the best condition I have every seen this time of year.

  129. I love it when we get a get big snow dump in Calgary and I don’t have to venture far for a great outing. Shaganappi golf course, the East slopes, West Bragg can all be superb adventures without a lot of driving.

  130. My criteria for a fun / enjoyable ski trail is uni-directional, twisty, narrow single classic track trail snaking through thick woods. The joy of striding through the trees, on perfect classic tracks makes me feel like a big kid. My only wish is that the trail would never end!

  131. My Favorite trails to ski are ones with a variety of types of terrain. I love to climb and I love the downs but rolling hills that carry your speed up and down are the best….. and views it must have nice views.


  132. Skiing in fresh set tracks feels like gliding like a bird through the air.

  133. Going downhill and doing a face-plant into a snow bank after hitting a rut is always a refreshing experience. Especially when nothing is broken.

  134. It took me until mid Feb. ’14 to get back skiing after breaking my right hip falling off my bike in July ’13. After falling off my bike and breaking my left hip in July ’18, I am looking forward to beating my time and being back on the snow before the end of the year.

  135. We in the rockies are blessed with some of the most incredible and well maintained cross country ski trails in the world and they are all great to ski on any given day. However, my favorites are the ones where the climbs are not so steep that I can actually stay close to my wife as she is beautifully and, it seems, effortlessly gliding away from me into the sunset!

  136. I really enjoy ski days that are quite cold and only by skiing hard at your sustainable limit can you keep your hands and toes warm.

    • I agree. It’s amazing how little you have to wear when you’re givin’ ‘er.

      It gets a little scary thinking about what you’re fingers are going to be saying to you on the return trip down MLR though, right? Especially the downhill to the bridge. BRRR!

  137. Without a doubt, PLPP in brilliant sunshine, blue skies and perfect tracks – especially the day before or after the KSM aka the Great Cookie Race. Especially mid-week. Then back to Pocaterra Hut for tea and snacks 🙂

  138. I love the beatifully maintained tracks in the Nordic Centre on a bluebird sky day. Fast and fun.

  139. I started classic skiing this calendar year and I am hooked! It is a great activity that counteracts all that time most people spend on a computer working! It is accessible when compared to downhill both financially and when one considers how long it takes to get out.
    – no downtime on a chairlift
    – you can’t beat the quiet time spent in the forest
    – great for and easy on the joints

    Its a win, win, win, win, win! (I feel a bit like bambi at times yet but I am sure I will get through it!)

  140. Best day is one with easy terrain where I can pull my kid along with a sled.

  141. One of my most memorable days on skis took place several years ago at Peter Lougheed Provincial Park. It was my first time ever skiing at the park. As dusk was settling in and I made my way back to the parking lot, a lynx bounded out of the bush and across my path. Within seconds he was back in the forest, and all I could see was the silhouette of his bouncing tail end as he disappeared into the shadows – but I’ll still never forget that encounter!

  142. I love having a scenic view, nice rolling terrain with a few fast downhills for a great cross country ski.

  143. I usually say the trail I’ve been on most recently is my favourite, but what makes a great trail for me is one with variety. I go for the whole deal – lovely scenery, good conditions are nice, sunshine is appreciated as is great company (even if it is just myself) and neat surprises, such as wolverine tracks don’t hurt either.

  144. I might get some flack, but I think that there should be some trails at PLPP that are available for skate skiing. Usually I go with the intention of classic skiing but occasionally conditions warm up and would be nice for skate skiing rather than messing with nasty klister wax. If I win the Twin Skins, I would be able to ski at PLPP in warm conditions, thus rendering my initial comment irrelevant.

  145. Who doesn’t love Alberta bluebird days, no wind and perfectly groomed tracks…..that’s my perfect ski day!

  146. My most memorable day was my first day out at Bragg Creek with my dog Rowdy on my brand new skis. It was my first time skijoring with him. It was also my first time on waxed skis, and I unknowingly put far to little on – it wore off halfway through my loop. My poor dog ended up being my anchor as I slowly flailed my way back up the hills. He let me know how he felt about the situation by frequently turning to stare at me with a look that clearly said “You are not pulling your weight”.

    In spite of this, it was a wonderfully fun day and I’m very excited to get out more this year.

  147. I look forward to getting out to Peter Lougheed or Ribbon Creek areas after camping at Mt Kidd RV Park. It is what makes winter a special time of year : )

  148. I also almost always ski with a full pack, first aid kit, multitool, ductape, waxes, down layer, heavy mitts, raincoat.

  149. Hi: I feel good about this one, as I’m such a good candidate for these skis! The wooden skis I’m using right now, purchased by my father 40 (?) years ago, are pretty much “rocker style” now, which makes the glide tough.

    • lol. Have to laugh as I imagine just how tough that glide is! Thanks for that image, Herbert!

      Maybe you should just turn the skis over and remount your bindings! 😉

  150. Even if I’m only at Confed, I ski with a full pack. Stuff happens. Having the right stuff in your pack can make the difference between things going sideways quickly and things getting fixed and moving forward quickly. The heavier your pack, the better workout you get, too.

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