Great snow, wonderful weather, and lots of happy dogs

-Everyone and their dog were having fun today at Ribbon creek 

It was the perfect dayfor cross-country skiing at the Ribbon Creek and Kananaskis Village trails. Tracksetter Jeff made a lot of people happy by going out on Sunday night and grooming 20K of trails for the Family Day crowds to ski on today.

Addison, Natalie, Kendra and Sherri were aiming for the picnic table on Ribbon creek as their destination

Addison, Natalie, Kendra and Cherie were aiming for the picnic table on Ribbon creek as their destination

I knew it would be busy because my blog had over 1000 views already by 8:30 a.m. this morning, and I think everyone showed up at Ribbon Creek!

When I arrived around 1 pm, parking spots were at a premium. The main lot was full, but I managed to create a space in the secondary lot. Jeff must have had a premonition of today’s activity because he trackset 150 metres of the Bill Milne trail as an access to the secondary parking lot.

Lucy and Brent on Ribbon creek

Lucy and Brent on Ribbon creek

The air temperature was -3°C but the snow was a lot colder. The grip wax which was still on my skis from Friday, Toko blue(-2/-6) was gripping very well.

Lots of blog readers were saying hi. On Ribbon creek, I met Kendra, Cherie and the kids; Brent and his dog Lucy; Adrienne and Marnie at the bike rack, and regular commenter Steve Riggs, wife Jo, and faithful companion Tika. As I was talking with Steve and Jo, a skier fell down right in front of us and Tika ran over and gave him a kiss, which made the skier feel better.

Enjoying the sun at the end of the tracksetting on Ribbon creek

Enjoying the sun at the end of the tracksetting on Ribbon creek

Kendra, Cherie and the kids were headed for the picnic table on Ribbon creek. I remarked to them that as I was learning to ski, maybe it was my third time ever on skis, I felt that reaching the picnic table was quite an accomplishment.

Ribbon Creek is trackset all the way to the bike rack and when I arrived, lots of skiers were sitting in the sun having lunch.

We had no pine needles or debris to contend with today. Even the tree bombs were a pleasant experience; periodically a gust of wind would send a mist of snow onto the trail, resulting in a refreshing misting on your face.

Steve Riggs, Jo, and Tika on Ribbon creek

Steve Riggs, Jo, and Tika on Ribbon creek

The snow was perfect. Good glide, yet lots of grip when climbing hills. I barely had to herring-bone while ascending the Kovach lookout trail. Coming down any steep hills was fast but controlled.

When I reached the Kovach-Aspen junction, I saw the sign which was posted, indicating there was no access to the village. The trail was not trackset any further, but I saw lots of skier tracks and am wondering if people were still able to get around the construction area.

Lea and Rick with their dog at the Link/Kovach junction

Lea and Rick with their dog at the Link/Kovach junction

Upon returning to the parking lot, I headed up the Skogan pass trail, detoured onto Troll Falls, onto Ruthie’s where I had to dodge the toboggans coming down the hill, then onto the Skogan screamer. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to enjoy the fast downhill on the return on such wonderful conditions. It was groomed up to the junction with Marmot.

Suzannah, Thorsten, and Helen on Skogan pass

Suzannah, Thorsten, and Helen on Skogan pass

Just as I was nearing the end of the screamer, I ran into blog commenter Thorsten. He and Suzannah had been up the Marmot Basin trail even though it was not groomed. Close behind came Helen Read, still looking energetic after breaking trail all the way up Marmot.

The fast run down the screamer has never been more enjoyable.

It was wonderful to see so many cross-county skiers and dogs enjoying the fine conditions and weather. We saw some folks with the best cameras for pets to wear, I’m really interested in what that footage looks like. As has been mentioned on this blog previously, for having so many vehicles in the parking lot, the trails did not seem crowded. So that footage would be amazing

Goat creek and Spray river in Banff National Park were trackset today. See photos from Chuck here Goat creek.

Thank you to everyone who has sent in trip reports. They’re the life-blood of this blog. Thanks to the Trip Reports, I now know where I’ll be skiing tomorrow.

5 Comments:

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  1. Anna-Lisa and Adrian

    We couldn’t resist the lure of the fresh snow in K-Country yesterday and headed up to Skogan Pass. Beyond the Marmot Juntion, the trails had definitely not been groomed. But, by the time we arrived mid afternoon, several skiers had plowed through the 15 cm + of accumulation. Skogan Pass Loop had not been touched … yet! Seemed like the higher we travelled, the more snow had fallen. Even the faintest signs of previous days’ tracks on the Loop could not be seen. It was a carpet of snow. Breaking trail took some time, but being in this much fresh, fluffy snow was exhilarating – and views were amazing! Unfortunately, we forgot our camera. The High Level and Sunburst tails had also been skier tracked. Upper trails were very quiet, overall – we saw only about a dozen skiers. Lots of fun, particularly the downhill! Light touring gear was perfect for these conditions.

  2. Seems I just missed you again Bob! Skied with Brent and Lucy until noonish then called it a day. First car in the parking lot at 8:30am, skied on freshly groomed tracks with a slight skiff of snow. The trail from the Kovach-Aspen to the village was skiable, they’ve plowed the snow off about 600m of the trail at the bottom, but the new snow covered the gravel. Great conditions!

  3. What great weather and mountain scenery.
    Bob, you also captured the human element very nicely in your photos.

  4. Kendra, Natalie, Addison and I did make it to the picnic table where we had a picnic lunch and our two amazing little skiers reaped the reward of their hard work by enjoying the downhill back to the parking lot. We were thrilled to meet you and Addison gleefully told her Dad she met Skier Bob! I gleefully told her Dad how many kms you have skied and how we might be inspired to get out more often! What a great day all around!

  5. There were very nice conditions on Cascade on Family Day, with sunshine and air temp around -2. It was trackset on Sunday and got some snow after but, since the Banff area did not get as much snow as Kananaskis, conditions were very good. We had energy to ski to the Stoney Creek Bridge (and back:) so gliding and climbing conditions were great. The parking lot was less than half full when we arrived at noon, though it may have picked up later on. We saw fewer than ten people on the section past the Cascade River Bridge. Beautiful day!

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