We made the right choice

Conditions were just about perfect

Florence and Abraham on the Great Divide at Lake Louise. Nov 28, 2009

If you stayed home to mail out your Christmas cards instead of joining us for a fabulous XC ski trip to Lake Louise, well, you’ve got your priorities all messed up. LOL (Glenna are you listening?)

We couldn’t have asked for better weather or snow conditions. Andrew had just finished grooming and tracksetting the trail earlier this morning. While the trail was still a bit soft, and no speed records were broken, if you happened to fall, it would be a gentle landing.

Members of the Calgary Ski Club enjoying a fabulous day of XC skiing on the Great Divide. Nov 28, 2009

The snow temperature was -6, so no problems waxing today.  As for other trails in the area, the lower Telemark was trackset today. I skied down about 500m and it was pretty good, with the odd twig poking out. The Telemark trail is an intermediate trail. It’s single track, narrow and winding and you could find yourself wearing a tree if you’re not careful. I’ll post a photo of it later.

Moraine Lake road was groomed and trackset, and Tramline was trackset.

The “just about perfect” disclaimer refers to the trail past the Great Divide. It seems that as soon as you cross the divide into BC, you enter a different climactic zone. The wind was blowing and there was lots of drifting snow on the trail for the last 3K.

The Great Divide is a good trail for a family ski trip. Nov 28, 2009

The Grey Cup is on tomorrow, and being a stubble-jumper myself, I’m interested in seeing the game but it doesn’t start until 4:30, leaving plenty of time to get out for a ski. Does anyone have information on K-Country or Redearth Creek?

Baker Creek

Also near Lake Louise, there is a pleasant and easy trail which starts at the Baker Creek Chalets. I talked to Jay today, and he reports that it is now trackset but still has some thin snow in places. If memory serves me, I believe it is about 5K one way and ends at the Protection Mtn campground. This trail makes up part of the famous Lake Louise to Banff loppet. When joined with all the other trails(some only trackset for this event), you have a 71k race.

I’ve stayed at Baker Creek a few times and have to say it is wonderful. Located along the Bow Valley Parkway, it’s a peaceful hide-away if you want to spend a couple days in a winter wonderland. In addition to excellent accomodation, the Bistro is an epicurean delight.


We had 493 views of this blog yesterday. While not a record day, it shows me that we had a lot of skiers checking my Friday night update. I hope it was helpful in selecting your destination for today. I see from the comment on the previous thread that Rob found it useful.


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  1. As one of the skiiers on the Great Divide trip, I can’t thank Bob enough – for checking out and finding the best options for us to ski, for guiding and coaching us (especially on the all-important wax), and for making special efforts to allow us to ski into British Columbia without having to worry about the return uphill.

  2. My wife and I skied Tram Line ,Morraine Lake Road and back on the Fairview loop on Sunday. You were right the snow conditions were great. The lack of people because of the Grey Cup was an added bonus. If the weather pattern continues should be great skiing in Louise until Christmas.

  3. Had a nice morning ski on the Elk Pass trail today. On the way up it was a bit crusty underneath with sticky fresh snow on top. However, by the time I came down there was enough snow to cover the crust and I got to make some nice turns 🙂 Should be great tomorrow if the temp. doesn’t rise too high…

  4. 3 of us skied the Bow River Loop & Tramline trails by L. Louise on Sun. A few thin spots on the Loop but the Tramline, with its 4.5 km of continuous downhill, was great. Lots of photo opportunities with the sun peaking through cloud cover, especially along the river.

  5. We skied Pipestone on Sunday Nov 29th. P1 Trail groomed (corduroy) but not track set. Summer trail in very good condition with 2nd half in good condition. Only 3 other groups were on the trail so made for an (almost) private ski. Good to have a trail in BNP that is dog friendly and all but one of the groups had a “kanine kid”. All seemed respectful of the rules, but since so few people were on the trail there were no issues…

  6. Here’s an email I received from Gillean re: Redearth Creek

    “I skied Redearth Creek today and it was okay. The snow is pretty crusty and icy but it was still fun. I had never skied it before and liked the trail and scenery. It could use some snow.”

  7. Skied Red Earth to the Wardens cabin, track set beginning ~1.5km from the parking lot, but the tracks were glazed almost all the way to the cabin. Klister would have been a better choice with a hard wax top coat to prevent the loose facets from sticking. The way down was fast <40min. The trail had been skidoo packed & track set likely on Friday to the Red Earth creek bridge, beyond that there was a good skier track to the cabin.

  8. Bob, the information on your site is a great deal more current, useful and interesting than the out-of-date trail reports on the Kananaskis Country website. Keep up the great work!
    By the way, there were lots of backcountry skiers in the Highwood Pass area on Saturday, taking advantage of the last few days before the road is closed for the winter.

  9. Nov. 28th ski at PLPP.
    Did a short ski from 3 – 4 pm with the baby in the chariot behind me. Started at Boulton and went up Whiskey Jack, then return. Very icey, hard pack for most of the way with lots of debris. Got better higher we got. Another fella took Boulton to Elk Pass and said it was quite treacherous. Another small group did Elk Pass, Blueberry Hill and said it was icey at first but pretty good once they gained elevation. Regardless of the ice, was beautiful to be out!

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