The secret to skiing fast

A hard day on the ski trails

Cascade River. This is the view when you reach the first bridge along the Cascade Fire Road. Nov 26, 2010

Well, hard to stop skiing, that is. Seriously, folks, it was one of the best days ever.

Bob and Laurie at the Cascade River bridge. Nov 26,2010

I started out on the Cascade Fire Road around 12:30. The air temp was -8 and it seemed like summer. The snow was still cold enough to use blue wax but it was a lot faster than on those -18 days. The tracks were in great shape despite there being about 6 cm of new snow since it was groomed. Skaters might not be too thrilled with it though.

I want to thank Laurie’s husband Cam for taking that terrific photo above. Cam and Laurie are fervent readers. Cam, I’ve got a nice photo of you and Laurie but it will have to be viewed on the Facebook page.

Hubert and Jackie on Cascade Fire Road. Nov 26, 2010

A little further down, I ran into Hubert and Jackie who are big fans of They had ventured a little further, past the campground, onto the part of the trail which was only snowmobile-packed but said it was in nice shape. I went about half a K to take some pictures which you’ll be able to see on the Facebook page.

Access to Cascade Fire Road is along the Lake Minnewanka paved road. Nov 26, 2010

As I was enjoying the long downhill on the way back, I saw a pine marten on the trail. I was going too fast to get my camera out in time.

The meadow, between the Lake Minnewanka road and the actual trail, had great snow cover. I might have seen two blades of grass.

Spray River west side

9K along the Spray River west side. Nov 26, 2010

Not being satisfied with 15K, I made the short drive over to the Banff Springs Hotel and skied to the end of the tracksetting on the Spray River west side which is about 9.9K one way. The tracks on the first 5.3K to the junction with the east side are getting a little washed out, but beyond that, they’re in much better condition. I could see skiers had been on the Goat Creek portion of the trail. I’ve been waiting to get a report from someone who’s done this. I’m reluctant to ski it until I hear how many rocks they’ve hit.

Deer on Spray River trail. Nov 26, 2010

I found myself at the end of the tracksetting at 4:17 pm, tired and worn out but hoping to get back to the Banff Springs trailhead before dark(9.9K). So I pulled out my secret to skiing fast, Chocolate covered pomegranate, and made it back  just as it got dark. If you click on their website, read the “Our Fans” page for a laugh. The testimonials are saying that eating these things can even make you lose weight.  I should get thin real soon, then, because I ate a whole bag one night in the short time it took me to do the ski update. I have to admit, they are deee-licious.

You can see 8 more photos on Facebook

West Bragg Creek

“Finally the deep freeze broke, and the GBCTA ski trails volunteers were able to groom the West Bragg Creek ski trails on Friday morning, Nov 26.  The snow pack is just deep enough to allow tracksetting, although there are a few thin spots.  Overall, the trails are good to very good.  Strong winds Friday afternoon, though, may sift in the tracks in a few open areas, and may blow pine needles and debris onto the trails.  We’ll have to wait for more snow to cover the debris up.

 Trails groomed and double trackset include Iron Springs/Elbow Loop, Crystal east and west, Sundog and Mountain Road. Moose Loop had one track set on it (the warming temperatures excluded a second trackset) and is best skied counterclockwise.”

If you ski at West Bragg Creek, please consider making a tax-receipted donation to support the Capital campaign or the Operating expenses. Or become a member.  Trail condition updates will be emailed directly to you.

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