What a great way to start out the year. This blog set a record on New Year’s day with 2382 views.

I’ve received a few emails…Can anyone help out?

First from Rick…

“Hi Bob,

Found out about your excellent web site from Norm at Lifesport. I’m planning to enter the Nikipa Loppet and/or the Toby Creek Loppet and would like to share driving and accommodations expenses with some one.

Would appreciate it if you could help me with that.”

If you’re interested, contact Rick at soleus25@yahoo.com

Is West Bragg skiable? Larissa asks…

“Have you heard what the conditions at West Bragg Creek are like? I was away over the holidays and haven’t been to West Bragg since maybe Dec 19th.”

Do we have any skiable terrain that would compare to the Birkie’s trails? Kellen is wondering…

“Hi Bob,

I will be in Calgary on the weekend and am looking to do a 30k ski with similar terrain to Blackfooot (Birkie) up here in Edmonton. What would you recommend? Also, is there enough snow to use good skis?

We’re still on rock skis up here.

Thank you!

Sign at a trailhead in PLPP regarding skate-skiing

Skate-skiing in PLPP

A comment came in yesterday from Greg regarding a post from Feb 2011 entitled Skating on classic trails. Hopefully, this photo will clear up any confusion. Click on the photo to see a larger version which is easily readable.

Dog-owners beware

For dog owners, this comment from Connie should be noted…

Ben was killed by a hunter's snare in K-Country

“Regardless of the regulations, do a bit of research on the area before letting your dog off-leash. Legal ‘trap lines’ still exist in Kananaskis Country. A year ago a Malamute went missing just adjacent to a trail near Elbow Falls, he was later found dead in a snare. Your dog buddy deserves an educated guardian.”

To me, it is almost unbelievable that we allow snares and traplines anywhere in Alberta. The practice of trapping our wild animals is reprehensible and barbaric. Trappers who inflict this cruelty on these innocent animals are insensitive low-life barbarians with no regard for the suffering they cause. As I’ve said before on here, trapping is a crime against nature.  

Here’s an excerpt from the article which Connie’s comment refers to: “He  was strangled in a steel cable and my husband couldn’t even cut it,”  says Lorna. “It took the ranger three quarters of an hour to get that cable off him.” Read more Calgary couple’s dog killed in hunter’s trap in Kananaskis Country.

Contact your MLA and voice your concern over this horrible law which we allow to stay on the books. I’ve had an exchange of letters with my MLA on this, and I will make them public once I receive her next reply. The wild animals of Alberta belong to all of us, and we should all have a say in the stewardship of them. Why do we let a few trappers decide the fate of so many of these precious creatures? Find your MLA


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  1. 2382 blog views on New Year’s day! Wow! That’s a lot of traffic. Congratulations on the new blog views record, Bob. Your site has been a big help since its early days of a few hits a day (less than three years ago! if I recall). What growth! It is without a doubt the go-to site for xc skiers in the region. I rely more on skierbob now than I do on the various parks’ trail conditions sites. And I just noticed this morning that the official parks trail conditions reports are referring readers to your site (Kananaskis/PLPP, Ribbon Creek, and Mt. Shark Trail Conditions).

    Thanks, Dennis. You can revise that number because yesterday we hit 2590 views. -Bob

  2. Hi Bob,
    Just wanted to put out a big thanks to the guys who turned in my GPS watch to the PLPP Visitor Centre on Jan. 2 . I left it sitting on top of my car and headed out skiing. According to the lady at the Centre a group of exchange students turned it in. It’s nice to know there are great people out there looking out for fellow skiers.

  3. More about West Bragg-
    Planned logging in 2012 will drastically affect the West Bragg ski trails, and also much of the new 40 km network of summer biking/hiking trails that were partially constructed last summer. Basically, this will deal a serious blow to the goal of having a year round recreation area within a 30 minute drive from Calgary.
    What can you do about it?
    Start here-

  4. Birkie Training –

    For my legs the best Birkie training is probably in PLPP on Meadow, Wheeler, Amos, & Wooley. There are no long hills like the Birkie, but plenty of rollers. The views aren’t half bad either. Start at the Visitor Centre, then head out and do a couple of loops or a figure-8. You can also head across the road to Lodgepole to add a little variety.

    If there were more snow, the Banff Trail – Bow Trail combo at Canmore provides similar terrain to the Birkie.

  5. That picture just makes things more confusing all it has on that sign relating to skate skiing are ‘suggestions’. Of course skating on a narrow trail where you can’t avoid destroying the classical track setting is still a stupid idea.

    The wording on that sign is accurate. You can’t stop people from skating on the classic trails. There is no law which forbids it. All that Parks can do is suggest alternatives, and hope that skiers will be considerate. Everyone has a right to be a jerk. -Bob

  6. Hi Bob,
    To respond to Larissa’s question about West Bragg…alas, no new snow…was just out there for a snow-shoe day and it was pretty bare even for that. Still, there is a wee bit of snow further up beyond the Hare trail and over the mount towards views of Prairie and Moose Mnt. Amazing.
    See you all a little further out for skiing!

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