I hate chinooks

A ski trail covered with tree debris after a windy day

A ski trail covered with tree debris after a windy day

Update 10:10 pm: There’s a glimmer of hope on the horizon. It’s snowing in Canmore and the forecast now predicts 2 – 4 cm. Unfortunately there’s more wind in the forecast, too. Thanks for all the informative Trip Reports.  I agree with Meghan “awesome possum!”

When I went for a walk in the forest behind my house, I was concerned and worried about the ski trails. Lots of pine needles on the snow, and some new deadfall. Today’s Trip Reports have confirmed my worst fears.  After these powerful winds, I imagine every trail in Kananaskis and Banff is a carpet of pine needles.

Wendy had the right idea by using waxless skis. This seems to be the new reality we have to deal with every year now. Waxless skis would be a nice thing to have on your wish list for Christmas if you don’t already own a pair.

Thanks to the Trip Reports, I know that I’ll have to look further afield to find a decent ski trail. I’m speculating that Lake Louise and Yoho may have escaped the worst of the winds, and it seems to have stayed a little colder, too. If anyone knows for sure, please leave us a trip report or comment.

All trip reports are appreciated, even if it’s bad news. At least we can make an informed decision about whether it’s worth going to a particular trail.

Thanks to Ray Perrott for the title of this post!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. West Bragg is a mess too. Skied a short loop there yesterday and there are pine needles, twigs, and pine cones all over the trails. Very hard skiing. Snow was also crusty with drifts in places where the wild wind had been rough.

    Waxless skis saved the day for me and we also used wider touring skis.

  2. Lake Louise trails got some wind too , needles etc. I’ll be working on the Telemark and Peyto this morning ,Dave might clean up MLR . NO WIND IN YOHO yet , but it got warm .

  3. I skied the “Village” trails at Ribbon Creek today. As noted by everyone else, there was a lot of wind and lots of needles, twigs and cones on the trails. The impact was worst on the lower trails near the village, where there are more pine trees, while the higher elevation Kovach trail was in the cleanest condition. Waxing was difficult, because the snow was moist enough to need Swix V55 (Special Red), but the needles and debris stuck to that like glue. Waxless skis would have been the best option today.
    I was at West Bragg Creek yesterday and the trails were holding up very well to the warm weather… I wonder how they survived the winds today?

  4. Things were not looking all that encouraging at Elk Pass TH this morning at +5 with gusty winds, and needles and branches strewn across the lower trail.
    My initial try at waxing did not go well, thus my two companions opted for waxless, and kicker skins respectively. A couple of thick layers of Start Purple got me up the big hill OK, and from there things improved dramatically. My wife shed the skins for the drop to Fox Creek, waxed with Rode Violet Multigrade, I scraped off some of my purple, and we all continued on easily in steadily improving conditions to Blueberry Hill, which had surprisingly good snow and far less debris than Elk Pass trail. We also skied up to Elk Pass- still in good form, and checked out Fox Creek on the return which was quite needly in spots but fast and fun with the track setting in great shape. All in all a very fine day out. It was interesting to note that today, it was pretty much a wash between us on our wax, and Bob on his waxless.

  5. Lots of needles in PLPP, I think they were the only thing offering me grip on fox/boulton with VR50, better on Tyrwhitt which was mostly clear of debris and by far the best ski of the day

  6. Bad news. Lake Louise is a mess of pine needles. We skied the Bow and Campground Loops (low elevation by the river). High winds and a big mess on the trails. Soft warm snow today. Waxless was highly recommended!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *