Kevin & Kirstie thought Cascade Fire Road was great
Lots to talk about tonight. Firstly, I met this wonderful couple on Cascade Fire Road today. It was only their third time ever on cross country skis. Kevin had no trouble keeping up with me(I’m old, he’s young). Turns out he is from Missouri, and he is thrilled to be living in Banff. It was truly a delight to have met and talked with them. Kevin & Kirstie, I hope you were able to find the blog and see this photo. If you want the original, send me an email. There is another photo here .
The trail is double trackset with a skating lane up to the Cascade River bridge which is about 6.5K depending on which map or guide book you’re looking at. It took all the courage I could muster to get out of the car. As you’ll see from the photos, the wind was howling and the snow was blowing. The air temp was -1 and the snow temp was -3. The wind was brutal. The first 700 metres of the trail is on the pavement of the Lake Minnewanka road and it was miserably cold and windy. Sort of like skiing at the Canmore Nordic Centre or COP when the snow guns are blowing in your face, but worse. I then crossed the meadow, about 200M, and I was on the Cascade Fire Road. Another half kilometre up the hill it was like I entered a magical kingdom of snow. The wind completely disappeared and the beauty of my surroundings took my breath away. See photos. The wind was concentrating its fury on the lake and the sheep(again, see photos).
There was no grooming beyond the campground(not to be repetitive, but view my photos to see how deep the snow was). Normally, you can ski a further 8.5K to the Stoney River, but I don’t know what the plans are for grooming this. Maybe it will be done by the weekend.
Kananaskis Country which includes PLPP and Ribbon Creek has a very detailed trail report out today. No tracksetting but lots of grooming has been done. Pocaterra hut is now open and the Pocaterra trail has been rolled all the way to the Whiskey Jack junction. Whoo hoo! The weather forecast is calling for more snow on Thursday, lots on Friday(5-10 cm), so this might be enough to allow some tracksetting in K-Country. The crews don’t trackset on the weekend, so you might be skiing in some fresh snow.
Lots of new tracksetting has occurred at Lake Louise. Moraine Lake Road and the Great Divide were just done. The shoreline trail is double trackset, and Baker Creek’s trail has been trackset.
Chandra Crawford is our Olympic gold medalist cross country skier. I stole the title of this post from her website. I believe it was a quote from Andre Agassi. I would have really regretted it if I had chosen to work today instead of skiing.
Tony Daffern is an advocate for Kananaskis Country. Send me a comment, Tony, if you wish to give us a little more insight into your new blog and what you are attempting to accomplish.
This blog is definitely where it’s happenin’ and I am amazed at the number of views we are getting . www.xcOttawa.com has come out of nowhere and I see lots of people from there clicking on to this blog. Welcome! How are conditions in your area?
To date, the most popular link I have posted was this item about When the polar bear met the sled dogs.
evite.com has given me a flattering plug on their website and I’m getting lots of clicks from them. Welcome to you all, too.
Here’s an update from Steve regarding conditions at West Bragg Creek:
“Fine skiing on the Moose Loop at West Bragg on Tuesday late afternoon. Most trails are soft packed with good coverage, minor hazards, and some bumpy bits. No tracksetting. I’d rate conditions as “fair to good”. On the West Bragg scale, of course. Hopefully the warm winds raking my house in the city tonight won’t wreck things too much. Likely I’ll check out the trails again afterwork Wednesday or Thursday, as I work in the area.”
If anyone wants to ski at a really dog-friendly place, go to Nipika Lodge. If you stay overnight, your dog can stay with you in the cabins and best of all, can ski off-leash with you. Lyle has two resident dogs at the Lodge, Rufus and Murphy, who might guide you around his fantastic trails. I’m not sure what the snow conditions are like at Nipika. If you ever go there, ask Lyle to tell you the story of how he found Rufus.