It was even easy getting a convenient parking spot, especially now that Parks has opened up the second lot at Lake Minnewanka. Temperature was -9°C, and the snow was -12°C.
My grip wax from yesterday, Swix VR30, worked fine. I’ve had the cold Swix CH4 glide wax on this pair of skis through the cold spell, and have been rather pleased with the glide on the cold snow. There are a few inexpensive glide waxes which work well including the Start Green which Peter N was referring to in the trip reports.
I’ve enjoyed reading all the trip reports today. Great news about Redearth creek and hats off to the Banff tracksetter for getting back at it so quickly. They’ve even updated it on the Banff trail report. It’s interesting to hear what the temperatures were at the various locales. Starting tomorrow, it won’t be of so much concern, now that seasonal temps are returning.
The grooming and tracksetting on Cascade valley is only two days old, and still in great shape. No fresh snow, so the tracks are well-defined, firm and slow. The slowness should be corrected starting with the warmer temperatures tomorrow.
As I was climbing the big hill, I met Rebecca and Steve on their way back. Rebecca is a beginner skier and a smart and prudent person. She was carrying her skis because she wasn’t confident that she would be able to stop if required to do so.
The Cascade valley trail goes for 14.5K to the Stoney creek bridge. You can also ski down to the warden’s cabin which is in a picturesque location on the banks of the river. I only went about 10K today and turned around. The trail is single trackset beyond the campground, and the entire distance is suitable for skating.
Cascade valley was formerly called Cascade fire road.
Beginners and novice skiers
It would be a reasonably manageable trail for novice skiers if you did like Rebecca and walked where it was difficult. Starting at Lake Minnewanka, you’ll ski a gradual downhill for 700 metres, then 200 metres through a meadow, finally arriving at the actual Cascade valley trail.
There’s a long and quite laborious hill at the beginning where you’ll cover a distance of 1.5K and gain about 100 metres of elevation. It doesn’t sound like much, but you’ll be amazed at how fast you descend it on the way back. After conquring Kilimanjaro, the trail is pleasantly undulating , with small hills. At 6.1K you’ll reach the bridge over the Cascade river, ski past(or through) the campground, where the trail becomes narrower and only has one track, all the way to the Stoney river where the tracksetting ends.