A beautiful day in Banff National Park

Trackset this morning and stunningly beautiful

Aspen, pine and spruce were shrouded in snow on Redearth Creek. Jan 12, 20111

I trusted my instincts and they were right; Redearth Creek was trackset this morning. I’m guessing that I arrived about an hour after the tracksetter finished. It was snowing and already there was about 1-2 cm of fresh snow in the tracks. I couldn’t see any traces of the new corduroy except for a few sheltered places along the trail.

Redearth Creek. Jan 12, 2011

Okay, so it’s slower going in the fresh snow but I’ll never complain about more snow on this trail. Not a rock in sight anymore. The tracks started about 200M from the trailhead. If it was still early season conditions, the tracks wouldn’t start until you were about 2K along.

Redearth Creek. Jan 12, 2011

It was -12 at the trailhead, but you’re climbing right out of the gate(and it is actually a gate here), so I warmed up rather quickly. Not a breath of wind. The snow stopped falling  just as I reached the high point on the first leg of the trail, about 5.5K.

The highpoint on the first leg of Redearth Creek. Jan 12, 2011

A few patches of blue sky appeared as I continued downhill towards the campground. Approx 1.5K further, or 7K in total, you come upon the bridge over Lost Horse creek:

The bridge over Lost Horse creek. Jan 12, 2011

Something went amiss here for the tracksetter. Beyond this point, the trail was only snowmobile packed, as if he couldn’t get the tracksetter across the bridge.

Redearth Creek was snowmobile packed for the last 4K. Jan 12, 2011

I only continued up the trail for about another 1/2K and turned around. Have you ever noticed that it’s always a lot colder around the campground? I mean a LOT colder. It’s not the place to stop for lunch on a cold day.

After climbing back up to the high point, I’ve never had such a pleasant return trip. The new snow slowed me down on the steeper parts so I could cruise along the entire way in the tracks. That last twisting steep section was actually fun today, and no rocks to worry about.

The Banff trail report was just updated and it indicates that Redearth Creek was trackset today. It doesn’t say anything about the last 4k being snowmobile packed only.

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