It was around 2:30 pm when I stopped at the Moraine Lake road trailhead to find excellent conditions with 4 beautiful tracks(2 outbound and 2 inbound), and firmly packed cold snow that had just been groomed this morning(see photos below).
It was tempting, but I heard that the trail crew was working on the Great Divide and I wanted to erase the memory of last weekend when I was skiing on pure ice.
Luckily for me, one side of the trail was already groomed and trackset. Helen and Anne had just finished skiing, mostly in the ungroomed snow, so they were breaking trail for most of the afternoon. They told me the groomer was far down the trail. Sometimes it pays to be late.
The air temperature was -9°C at the Great Divide trailhead. The loud crunching under my feet told me the snow was very cold, so I didn’t even bother to take a temperature reading. I used Swix VR40 and didn’t have to think about wax again, as it worked perfectly.
The scenery along the Great Divide is spectacular, as you’ll see in the photos. The forecast is calling for mostly sunny skies this weekend, so the views should be wonderful. With a predicted high of -13°C, however, you should come well-prepared for cold weather. If the sun is shining it always seems warmer, though.
It was a blast coming down the hill to the divide, and as I screeched to a halt in British Columbia, I was greeted by the trail crew and their machinery which was parked under the famous arch. They had already been to the end at Lake O’Hara trailhead, and were doing the other side on the return trip. The snowmobiles were silent for now, as Jeff and Andrew were busy shoveling snow in and around the picnic shelter. If you stop here to eat lunch, better put on a warm sweater and have something hot to drink.
Andrew mentioned that he expected to trackset Tramline yet tonight. He said the last 200 metres near the train station was a bit thin, so it may not all be tracked.
If you’re skiing Moraine Lake road and the parking lot is full, you have the option of parking at the lake parking lot(aka Chateau parking lot) and skiing down Tramline. It will add 3.4K to your round trip.
From the divide to the Lake O’Hara parking lot, the trail was now groomed and trackset on both sides. The last 300 metres was very icy, thin, and windblown as it usually is. The best part of my trip was being greeted at the parking lot by someone who was very happy to see me.
I’ve included a photo of the Pipestone trails which have been packed, but already have new snow over top.
I was happy to see that we finally received a Trip Report from someone who was skiing in the city, thanks David.