Chester-Sawmill(aka Smith Dorrien): Marvelous!

Chester Lake

Driving from Canmore to Mt Engadine it was raining, so we were happy to see the snow falling when we arrived at Chester Lake parking lot.

There was about 1-2 cm of fresh snow over the groomed trails and a few branches were still poking through the snow, but the skiing was good. The air temperature was 0, and it was one of those days with fresh wet snow which makes it difficult to wax, so this was a waxless ski day, and they performed well in these conditions. The grip was good, and the glide was fast considering the fresh snow. There’s a stretch of almost 2K quick downhill when you come down the yellow and connect with the lower Blue. You could go full tilt without much danger. There was one big rock which reared it’s head just in time to make a last-second evasive manoeuvre.

The entire Blue loop was groomed, and you could go a further 3.2K on the Yellow. Where the grooming stopped, there were snowmobile tracks which were rough.

We also skied the Chester Lake loop and I thought it was fabulous. It’s well-packed because of all the hikers and snowshoers. It’s a slog going up(about 200M elevation gain) but a blast coming down the other side.

It’s snowing pretty good tonight in Canmore, so I am hoping all of K-country is getting some much-needed snow. It snowed heavily in Lake Louise, so I expect we might see some more trails getting groomed and trackset there.

Ray made a comment pertaining to these trails on the post titled “Word is Spreading.”  Here it is in case you missed it: “Saturday, three of us skied and snowshoed from Sawmill to Chester lake trails. No grooming until reaching the high point between the two. Barely enough snow, but rather nice to be out and about, minus the LL crowds.”

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