Canmore Nordic Centre

Beginner skiers 

Canmore Nordic Centre. Dec 7, 2010

The trails on man-made snow at CNC are in excellent condition and there’s lots of them ready.

9-lane practice grid at Canmore Nordic Centre. Dec 7, 2010

Located next to the daylodge is a 9-lane practice grid which would be a good place for beginner skiers to “find their ski legs.” It’s fairly level, so you won’t need to worry about stopping. If you get cold or have had enough, you can keep warm in the lodge. It even has a fireplace. When you’re skiing in an easterly direction, you’ll have a great view of the Three sisters; Can you spot Little Sister and Middle Sister in the above photo?

It costs $10 for adults to ski at the Nordic Centre(I incorrectly had said previously on the blog that it was $7.50 – that’s the old price.)

This would not be a good trail for beginners. Dec 7, 2010

 I wanted to get a taste of what the racers from last weekend were experiencing, so I skied the Olympic trail above the daylodge.  It still has a sign for bikers “Buried Alive.” Those hills are steep. I didn’t see any bodies laying around, so I guess indeed they must all be…buried.

Skate-skier climbing the Olympic trail at Canmore Nordic Centre. Dec 7, 2010

You can now access the beginning of Meadowview trail if you take the steep trails above the daylodge. Conversely, you can now take these trails down to the daylodge of you ski back on Meadowview. Be prepared for break-neck speeds, but at least the wax will be cleaned off your skis(from all the snowplowing).

The Banff Trail loop on man-made snow is now gromed and trackset on both sides. Dec 7, 2010

Last week at this time, there were big mounds of snow covering the lower side of the Banff Trail loop. That snow has now been groomed and trackset, so the entire Superhighway is open. It has two lanes in each direction as well as a nice, wide skating lane. There’s a number of other man-made snow trails in the vicinity of the biathlon range.

If you ski out from the daylodge and do nothing else except the Banff Trail Loop on man-made snow, it’s 5.1K. You can easily extend your ski by doing some of the trails in the vicinity of the biathlon range(includes Lynx, Salt Lake, Nagano, Albertville). The snow and conditions on all these trails is exceptionally good.

The natural snow trails are all skiable; the lower ones such as Bow Trail and Banff Trail still have quite a few exposed twigs and grass. Meadowview is much better, and if you want good snow and a more difficult trail, I heard that Rundle is in great shape.

Cascade Fire Road

I skied to the end of Cascade Fire Road yesterday. Snow and tracks are still in good shape up to the 7K point at the Cascade River bridge and campground. Beyond that, you’ll be dodging a lot of rocks. Going up isn’t bad, but coming down and trying to lift your skis to avoid rocks is like playing Whack-a-mole. Another one always pops up too fast.

Can anyone help beginner skier Sheri?

“I was wondering if you could post something for me or point me in the right direction. I am looking for someone to go on a guided beginners ski run with me and my family. We have bought our equipment but haven’t waxed our skis or gone out yet. I looking for someone to do a hands on beginner demo with us and get us out on our first “short” trip. Local would be great, such as in the city at Shag or Confederation. We did take a lesson last year but I’m kind of fearful to go out solo without any wax experience and tips and tricks are always so helpful. It would be great to get a beginner’s group together.”

Send me an email with your contact info(email and phone) and I’ll forward it to Sheri.

It would be enlightening to get some feedback on Sheri’s suggestion about a Beginner’s Group. If you are a new skier, or relatively new, do you know of any opportunities or clubs in Calgary where you could go out with a group of similar ability? I believe I recall seeing occasional beginner-friendly trips through the Calgary Outdoor Club. Anyone been on one of these? How were they, and could you recommend them?

I used to co-ordinate trips for the Calgary Ski Club which were beginner-friendly. Now, with me being in Canmore, I am organizing a similar program for the Canmore Nordic Ski Club where we will have some beginner-friendly trips in the mountains. It’s important  to make the atmosphere non-intimidating for the new skier, where they know they don’t have to keep up with faster skiers. Where they will have waxing assistance available, and someone to keep them from getting lost.

Anyone can join the Canmore Nordic Ski Club for a paltry $20.  and join me on the recreational trips. We’ll be posting a schedule of trips within the next day or two. The first one, which will be beginner-friendly is to Moraine Lake Road on Dec 18.

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  1. I had a response from John to Sheri’s request for assistance, and he brought up a good point that all beginners should note:
    “Conditions would probably be better in the mountains, as it is much easier to start out with good tracks and easy terrain, one or both of which are missing here in town.”

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