Skogan Pass, Sunburst, High Level

Freshly groomed today with F-a-n-t-a-s-t-i-c conditions

Update Feb 19: All the trails in this report were trackset on Fri Feb 18.

If you’ve always wanted to do Skogan Pass on near-perfect conditions, now is the time.

High level trail. Feb 18, 2011

The new corduroy I spotted exerted a powerful pull. There was lots of excellent tracksetting all around the Ribbon Creek area, but I hadn’t been up to Skogan Pass-Sunburst-High Level yet this winter. When I saw the fresh corduroy on the Lower Skogan pass trail, I assumed the groomer must be working higher up. I guessed he’d be setting track on the way back down.

Telemark skiers Collin and Brad on Lower Skogan Pass. Feb 18, 2011

Soon after I started, I met two Telemarkers who had been skiing at Nakiska. They ventured off the beaten path and went up Marmot, and said that Skogan wasn’t groomed when they went up, but on their return they had the new corduroy upon arriving at the Skogan junction. More evidence that Jeff was up there.

New corduroy on Skogan Pass. Feb 18, 2011

The snow was nice and cold, so grip was no problem. The air temp when I started at 4 pm was -17, so definitely a toe-warmer day. With the relentless climbing on this trail, you don’t feel much cold. Coming to the Sunburst and High Level junctions, I could see new tracksetting on both those trails, but  continued up Skogan.

Arriving at the Skogan Loop junction, there was fresh corduroy going left, but deep snow on the right. The groomer must have been on that section of trail. It was getting late, so I turned back, but took a left when I reached High Level and headed up to Hummingbird Plume.

Hummingbird Plume. Feb 18, 2011

At Humminbird Plume, I wanted to get a photo of the Kananaskis Valley at sunset, but the snow was so deep I didn’t venture over to the edge of the hill. I settled for a shot of Mt Kidd which I could see above the trees.

Sunset from Hummingbird Plume. I think that's Mt Kidd. Feb 18, 2011

Before heading back, I put on an extra layer, a buff, a 2nd toque, and mitts. The trip down is a blur. 20 minutes to get back to the Stoney trailhead. The sharp turns were a breeze on the good snow. I’ve never enjoyed the trip down as much as this one.


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  1. I skied Skogan Pass today (Feb 20) and it was awesome, especially if you like it faaaast! I understand they had 30-50cm of snow in the last few days, but you certainly wouldn’t know it from the trail. Recently groomed and trackset as Bob mentioned, and the groomers are serious here – there was literally no snow left to snow plow. So hard packed it almost felt like it was paved! The amazing blue sky and sunshine was the best part.

  2. Nice, very nice. All the reports and photos here are inspiring. I’ve been wanting to do that trip this winter, but have yet to make it happen. Color me green with envy, although I did manage a few km at the Nordic Centre this AM on wax of that same color. It was cold, it was squeaky and it was slow – but I’m still gonna rate my day as awesome due to all the sunshine, blue sky and fresh air.

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