Healy creek, Brewster creek, Sundance canyon
It’s important to note a few things here: Healy creek is not Healy pass. Healy pass is a backcountry trail that starts at Sunshine parking lot. Healy creek starts at the Sunshine overpass along the highway, a few km west of Banff townsite. There is no longer any access to Sundance canyon trail at the Cave and Basin because of construction.
I was finally able to sit up and take nourishment yesterday, and go for an easy ski. Cheryl dropped off Tessa and me at the Healy creek trailhead and we skied to Banff. These are the best conditions I’ve seen in years on Healy creek after the first tracksetting of the year. That doesn’t mean it was perfect, but I didn’t see a rock on the trail for the first 3.5k. As you approach the Sundance canyon, there were a couple thin spots and a few rocks. Sundance had excellent snow cover and I didn’t encounter any thin spots.
We saw two skiers along the way, but at least 10 walkers. These trails see a lot of foot traffic, so they tend to get beat up.
I skied a few metres up Brewster creek and noted good snow cover but no grooming yet.
We couldn’t complete the Sundance canyon trail all the way to the Cave and Basin because it’s closed. I had to remove my skis and walk about 500 metres along the horse trail to find my ride.
The terrain on Healy creek and Sundance canyon is easy, with a few small hills, but the snow conditions are usually pretty sketchy and as mentioned, these trails see a lot of foot traffic. Every group of people had dogs, which thrilled me, as I enjoy meeting every pooch I see and stop to pet it. If dogs on the trail upset you, however, I’d suggest avoiding this trail.
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Just because I hate the hour and a half long car ride to PLPP (I have “are we there yet” mentality) and Sandy McNabb is only a hop, skip and a wipeout away from our home, I was bound and determined to conquer the trails. Sadly, snow beats determination and conditions are still sketchy at best. The smallest of hills turned into death defying acts of courage as my husband, Bob the Dog and I did our darndest to glide over rocks and twiggs not to mention sidestepping a few trees. An attempt has been made with a snowmoble to pack down the three or four existing snowflakes however, we are at least one good dump away from good conditions. Happy to announce hunting season is now over (you would be glad too if you had blonde hair and were shaped somewhat like an elk) so there is no longer a need to dodge any bullets. My beloved and Bob the Dog are headed back out there today (suckers for punishment) so if conditions have improved, I will send in an update.
Good to hear you are feeling better and back out on your skis! Thanks for posting my email about light touring skis and thanks also to everyone who was willing to take the time and share their knowledge and experience, it was very helpful.