Recommendations for Greg?

Hi Bob,

My daughters are just getting into x-country skiing, and they don’t last too long after we get to the trails.  I have a few questions for you:

1)      Where would you recommend going to minimize travel time and still have decent snow/trails?  Closest options I know of are West Bragg Creek and Sandy McNabb.

2)      I am relatively new to the scene.  I love the reports, but I have difficulty figuring out where all of the trail heads are.  Do you know where there is a good map that identifies trail head locations for people like me?  Alternatively, do you happen to have a list of coordinates that I could put into a GPS? 

3)      My brother is a skiing fanatic and a GIS/mapping whiz during the day.  If you can provide info for #2 above, and if something doesn’t already exist, I’m sure he’d be happy to whip something up, and you could put it on your site.

Please leave a comment if you have any advice for Greg and his daughters. It would be helpful to have a page that gives directions to all the trailheads. Does anyone want to work on that? There are a lot of maps available. Gem-Trek has excellent, detailed maps. The Visitor Centres have maps of all the areas we talk about on here. I have a few maps on the menu under the “Resources” heading. Kananaskis Country has good online descriptions of trails. There’s a guide book you can buy entitled Ski Trails in the Canadian Rockies by Chic Scott which covers the national parks. I have too much on my plate to tackle the GPS suggestion, but if anyone has this info, please contact me.

More trails are ready

As we approach the weekend, don’t forget to check the Trail Reports for updates on the latest grooming. Lots of new grooming and tracksetting has occurred in the Ribbon creek/Wedge pond areas. Pocaterra is now packed at the hut. Everything at Mt Shark has been trackset. The PLPP Visitor Centre will be re-opening on Saturday.

Of course, the Trip Reports on this blog may be more current, so check them before you head out. There will be additional trails ready at the Canmore Nordic Centre for recreational skiers. Check the CNC page for the latest info. 

I’ll be looking forward to seeing a lot of Trip Reports!


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  1. We have been taking our kids out to Peter Lougheed since my son was about 5. When they were little, we’d ski from Pocaterra hut as far as the kids wanted to go on Pocaterra, then return, which is lovely and gently down hill back to the lodge. We’d then go up to the Visitor Info Centre and have snack/lunch and explore the displays. One parent would stick with the kids and the other would go for a ski on one of the trails there.

    Another location we’d go to is to ski to the Boulton parking lot and go up Wheeler and towards Packers, then back again. When we went there we always took a bundle of small fire wood, a thermos of hot chocolate and a package of hot dogs. There are firepits at the Boulton Bridge and we’d go roast hot dogs.

    Neither of these are a really short drive (1.5 hours from our home in the south) but make a great day trip.

  2. Hi Greg, I lead some trips with the Calgary Ski Club, and put together the following Google Maps for some trailheads: I’ve a few more to add, and expand on as I find out about them. Hopefully its helpful, especially as your girls become more adventurous on the trails.

    • Hi Greg: As a former nordic director of the Calgary Ski Club I introduced well over 100 new skiers to the sport of cross country skiing. In additon to knowing where the trails are one of the key things is “good quality snow'” which is a challenge in the Calgary area. We all want to drive short distances, but quality snow is inconsistent due to chinooks and its influence on the snowpack. To me the best place to introduce people to the sport would be the Canmore Nordic Centre as it consitantly has good quality snow aided by snowmaking equipment. The daylodge and availablity of lessons, and rental equipmpent are another key feature both aiding in rapid progression from a novice level. Once one has the basics under ones belt expand your activity to Peter Lougheed (either the information centre, or Pocattera) or head out to Lake Louise and use the upper trailhead for the Fairview loop. Both destinations are near the continental divide and offer good quality natural snow. Beyond that the secret to great nordic skiing is to “go for the best snow” by monitoring the trail reports, hitting the closer trails to Calgary(West Bragg Creek Sandy Mcnabb) when they get blanketed with fresh snow….or heading further to the mountains hitting Ribbon Creek, Goat Creek, etc for an edless variety. Should Calgary get hit by a cold snap, it also pays to monitor the weather report, as it is often warmer in the mountains (nothing like basking in warm conditions at the picnic table on Elk Pass when Calgary is in a deep freeze). Sometimes it is warmer across the divide at Nippika, or the Becky Scott Nordic Centre (Panorama).

  3. Thanks Bob and Rich! I appreciate your help.

  4. Greg can ski with us down in Okotoks. Our course is ideal for beginners and we’re only 15 minutes south of Calgary. We’ve already packed our 7km of trail and after the next good snowfall we’ll set track and open to the public. All our information can be found here:


    Thanks, Rich, for bringing that to everyone’s attention. I’ve added your link to the “Trail Reports” menu. I hope you get a ton of snow this winter!-Bob

    • You lost me and other people no doubt, at the “Image Consent” clause: “By completing the Crystal Ridge Nordic Ski Club (“CRNSC”) Membership Registration Form, I/we hereby authorize CRNSC to use and reproduce all images taken of all individuals named in the CRNSC Registration, in whole or in part, in all forms and media, for distribution to the general public for the purposes of publicity and promotion of CRNSC, in accordance with applicable law. CRNSC will retain this information as long as is reasonably necessary to fulfill these purposes.”

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