LL to Banff
Conditions weren’t looking so good a couple days ago, but there’s now some positive news.
The Lake Louise to Banff Loppet has posted an Update. The jury’s still out on whether we can do the entire 71K. It depends on how much snow we get by Wednesday. Everyone who is scheduled to race Leg 4 will be happy to hear “The Hillsdale split (leg 4) was skier and machine packed and it is in better shape than previous years.”
If the loppet ends at Sawback, it still is divided into six legs. The best feature of the 50K is that it doesn’t start until 9 a.m.(an hour later). At least that’s been the practice in previous years.
Environment Canada is predicting a high of -6 in Banff for race day, after a low of -13 on Sat night.
After reading Clive’s trip report, “There was about 45 cms of fresh snowfall over the weekend – the groomers were working non-stop,” I think it’s safe to say that Nipika’s loppet will be going ahead this weekend as well . You can still register for the Nipika races on Zone 4. The weather forecast for the Radium area looks downright balmy with a high of +1 on Saturday, after a low of -15 on Friday night.
As I surmised yesterday, the south end trails were trackset in PLPP overnight. Elk Pass, Blueberry, Hydroline and Patterson(but not Tyrwhitt). Did anyone brave the cold and ski there? I don’t imagine it was too difficult finding a parking spot today.
Canmore Nordic Centre
The CNC received 6 – 8 cm of snow. The natural snow trails were trackset today.
I skied Healy Creek – leg 6 of the upcoming LL to Banff relay race – on Sunday for practice. There was anywhere from 1cm to about 7cm of new snow on the trail. By the time I was on my way back, snowshoers had packed down the first couple of kilometers pretty well.
However, a few spots, especially under heavy tree cover, had almost no snow, with a very slippery sheet of ice underneath. Elsewhere, “foot traffic” had put quite a few large dips into old cruddy snow in the middle of the trail. Also, there was a spot on the Sundance Canyon trail where heaps of snow had frozen into snow large dunes, which could prove tricky as well. Nothing that can’t be fixed with some snowshoes and a foot of snow though.
I saw two other skiers on the trail, so that should have helped pack down the trail as well. I also tried to pick up as much debris from the trail as possible, so hopefully we get more snow, the race goes through to the end, and my efforts weren’t in vain 😀
I didn’t ski leg 4 last year, but from what I heard, it was in worse shape than leg 6 is this year. It is definitely skiable, but as of yesterday it was not really track settable by any means all the way through, and the icy patches could prove very unsafe if there’s no new snow and lots of racers scrape the last bits off.
Luckily the forecast calls for at least some snow from now until Sunday
Since you were there on Sunday, we’ve received 8 – 10 cm of snow(in Canmore), most of that Monday night. Snow is in the forecast for today and tomorrow. -Bob