Ideas for next season

I’m glad to see that Trip Reports are still coming in, and it appears there’s been some pretty decent skiing this week. Sad to say, I haven’t skied for two weeks. Anyone else experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms?

If you have any ideas for next year on how we could improve this blog, let me know. After five years of fine-tuning, we seem to have achieved absolute perfection 🙂 except for those occasional spam comments that still sneak through.

Janet left a comment that may be worth exploring: “I didn’t get out as much as I would have liked to this year, but I certainly have enjoyed reading your blog! I’d really like to ski some of the other areas that you talk about, but not alone. Perhaps part of your site could include a section for people with similar skill levels to meet up with each other, so we are able to ski with a group/partner?”

Any thoughts? Would you like to see a “Meet-up” page? I actually had such a page on here a few years ago, but it wasn’t utilized much, but then again this blog was not as well-read back then either.


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  1. It would also be nice to have a website similar to Ski Here! for hiking, particularly during the early season. I haven’t been able to find any comparable websites so maybe this would be an easy transition? I know that Bob posted about hiking trails last season but I’d like to see more involvement with the community (more trip reports, etc.).

    That’s a great opportunity for someone. -Bob

  2. I think that there are enough trip reports that it often takes too much time to find the information that you’re looking for. Can you allow people to search trip reports by area/trail (like or all of the trip reports like the website is currently set up to do?

    This is an issue I thought about before setting up my blog, and I must admit I dreamed of getting a comment like yours. When I started the blog, I didn’t know if I’d ever get any trip reports. Having too many is a good problem. To address your concern, under the present configuration, there is no ability to search the trip reports by area/trail. On a xc ski blog, the last 10 trip reports are usually all you need to see because the conditions can change so fast. A trip report which is 3 days old is usually no longer relevant. The current conditions of a bike trail are not as important a factor as they are for xc skiing. With the “catalog” of trails approach, you can spend a lot of time searching for the topic(trail) you’re looking for. I have to weigh the “convenience” factor vs the “organized” factor. As it is right now, readers only have to click once to find the current trip reports. If I was setting up a hiking blog, I’d model it after the BikePirate site.

    By the way, BikePirate has just released his guide book for the trails in Kananaskis Country -Bob

    • I also was wishing for a way of zeroing in on an area/trail I was interested in. How about asking trip report contributors simply to start their report with an all-caps “title” saying which area or trail they are reporting on? e.g.. “CASCADE VALLEY. …” or “LAKE LOUISE. …” or “PIPESTONE. …” or “GOAT CREEK, SPRAY RIVER. …”

      Good idea. I’ll ask everyone to do that for next season. -Bob

  3. Yes, I could see using a meet-up page occasionally. Good idea.

  4. The meet-up page might be interesting. Most of the time my wife and I go out together but there are a number of times that I go out and she doesn’t; being able to carpool and go out to different destinations is something I’d do once in a while and that might make it convenient.

    I’m not quite in withdrawl yet but I am missing being able to ski locally – in city parks and golf courses just after work. The trek out to K-country or CNC is ok but when we had snow in the city I could go before and after work and ski twice a day! I’ve been going out even when the conditions aren’t wonderful and still having lots of fun so I’m still doing ok. I’m just trying to decide what sport to pick up in the summertime so I’ll be in reasonable shape for next ski season and maybe I won’t miss it so much. I used to cycle a lot but that hurts me now. Thanks for the great blog, Bob!

  5. Regarding Helen’s comment about having a link to the weather forecast, I had considered it when I originally started the blog but decided against it because there are so many of them. First, there are five different areas we’d need to cover: Kananaskis, Banff, Lake Louise, Yoho, Kootenay, and maybe even Calgary. Complicating matters further, there are different forecasts for each area including Environment Canada and the Weather Network. To really add more to the mix, you could get the forecast for each individual mountain(at different elevations, too): For Mt Shark, you could check or

    For Elk Pass:

    Be aware of the elevation if using the mountain forecast. It’s amazing how much the weather can change from 1500 metres to 2000 metres. The top of Elk Pass is almost 2000 metres, but the parking lot is only about 1700 metres.

    I decided it would be best to let everyone decide for themselves which weather forecast they want to believe.

    • Actually, that is amazing! I had no idea there were individual mountain forecasts, though I would certainly take them all with a very large pinch of salt. Forecasting around Calgary is pretty dicey already, for a particular mountain seems quite foolhardy!

    • Mountain Forecast and it’s companion site for ski resorts and backcountry ski lodges ( are excellent weather forecast sites. Their weather models tend to be quite accurate for snowfall predictions, but the tend to estimate temperatures about 3-5 degrees colder than they should be.
      Another great site, used by many XC and Biathlon racers is the Norwegian Weather Service “YR.NO”. It will provide detailed weather forecasts for many parks and ski locations, such as this example from Spray Lakes Reservoir.
      It makes you wonder why Environment Canada can’t provide the same level of weather forecast for our own country, when British and Norwegian weather forecasters are quite able to do so.

      • There are a couple of things to note about the YR.NO site.
        Precipitation is given in millimeters of water equivalence, rather than centimeters of snowfall. You can usually estimate 1cm of snow per 1mm of water.
        Wind speed is given in meters per second, which is fairly meaningless to me. Obviously, a larger number means higher wind speed. They also use British terminology such as “fresh winds”, which I assume means “light wind”.
        The time frames are given for Norway, so we need to add 8 hours… so 8am in Norway is really midnight in Calgary.

    • I like the graphical indication provided for the freezing level.

  6. On two occasions this spring (Mar. 24, Apr.7), Jody, our intrepid PLPP tracksetter, posted incredibly early morning (6am!!) updates on his latest tracksetting efforts. This kind of information is very useful, as the standard Kananaskis Country trail reports generally don’t get posted until later in the day – too late to help before we leave Calgary. If a section of this blog could be set up for tracksetter reports, and if it could be made easy for the tracksetters to post their information, it would be great. Its often a bit frustrating to come home after a day of skiing on older trackset somewhere only to find out that some other area had been newly trackset, but we didn’t know.

  7. Thanks Bob!
    I think a “Meet-Up” page would be fantastic! Perhaps it’s a little too late for this season, I don’t know?
    A reply to Wendy and Graeme, I too am able to ski during the week M,W,F but am not an early riser, sorry Graeme, 10:00 am is about my earliest,
    9:00 am would be pushing it.
    Maybe we need a “Meet-Up” page for summer hiking?
    Wonderful replies. Thanks.

  8. Before I decide where to go x-c skiing any particular day, I go through a morning routine of first checking all downhill sites: skilouise, skibanff, and skinakiska to see where the most snow fell, if any. Then I go to to check reports for Field, LL, Banff, Canmore, and Kananaskis. Since I’ve already reviewed all the Trail Reports on your “we cannot live without skierbob” site the night before, I already know where conditions might be the best, but always nice to check weather forecast and overnight snowfalls as they are so unbiasedly reported on the ski hill sites. I love your link to road cams, but if you added the downhill resorts and weather, it would truly be “one stop shopping” for me.
    I’d love to know how others guess at the temperature up at Mt. Shark. eg. Someone told me Sparwood weather often is similar to Elk Lakes and south portion of PLPP. Mt Shark is always a big guess for me; sometimes colder, sometimes an inversion. A temp camera up at Engadine would be sweet.

    There is a site which gives weather for Mt Assiniboine which is quite near Mt Shark: -Bob

  9. How about a front-page permalink to a post or outline of where a beginner skier should go? This could include specific trails too.

  10. Great idea! I’d be very interested in a meet-up page. I have the flexibility to ski mid-week and would love to find other skiers of the same ability to ski with. I know they are out there, just gotta meet ’em.

  11. Does anyone out there (certainly not me) know how to set-up a “donation” type of web-site similar to what we often hear about (the bullied bus-grandma for instance) in the news? We all know that there are certain costs involved in our wonderful tracksetting (that we ALL enjoy), and that there are already “whispers” about somehow charging skiers in the future. My guess is that they will do it through parking fees at ALL the lots, because it’s relatively easy to enforce.
    I think that a lot of us (especially those who get out quite often) would “donate”.
    I certainly would. Would you?
    I don’t know what is possible in such a website, but I picture a large ($5000??) “tip” to the tracksetters, with the rest helping to offset costs.
    First $150 is mine.
    What say you all??????????

    • Wow. The idea of a ‘meet up’ floods me with memories of what Alf started in the basement of the Macewan Hall those many years ago!

      First order of business would be to get skiing buddies for Janet and Graeme P !

      • 2-4 cm fresh snow tonight, and snow tomorrow.
        I’ll be at Elk Pass parking at Zero Dark (8) Thirty.
        Orange touque.
        Ruggedly handsome.
        Advil rattling in my pocket.

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