An excellent beginner’s trail

Groomer’s Report from Parks Canada tracksetter Jeff at Lake Louise:

Hi Bob,

Great Divide trackset to O’Hara and back. Skate lane as well.
The Dog Sled operation started today on the 1A.


Dogsled on Great Divide

Dogsled on the Great Divide trail. File photo

With the abundant snow and nice weather which is on the way, the Great Divide at Lake Louise should be a good choice for novice skiers this weekend. The Weather Network is calling for a high of -6°C on both Saturday and Sunday which is perfect blue wax skiing weather.

An added benefit is seeing the dogsleds going back and forth on one side of the trail.

Reaching the AB/BC border on the Great Divide trail

Reaching the AB/BC border on the Great Divide trail. File photo

If you aren’t confident on downhills, you can ski 7k before you reach a significant hill. The trail is relatively flat with a few small rises and dips. From the Lake Louise end, it’s about 7.5k to the Divide and it loses about 50m net elevation. You can go another 3k into B.C., where it will end at the junction with the Lake O’Hara fire road which is not maintained but is well-used by back country skiers.

The first 2.6K of Moraine Lake road at Lake Louise is also a popular choice for beginner skiers. It was trackset on Saturday and should still be in excellent condition.

My first criteria for beginners to have an enjoyable ski is good snow conditions, and that should be the situation this weekend. For more ideas on beginner trails, check this post which I made last year Beginner skiers – where to ski. Bear in mind not all of these locations are trackset yet.

If you’re planning an overnighter to Lake Louise this weekend, the Mountaineer Lodge is offering 20% discount to this blog’s readers.

The choices continue to grow: At the Canmore Nordic Centre there’s some serious grooming happening right now. Check the Live Grooming Report.

We have some wonderful news from the Banff trail report:

Goat creek

Goat creek

“Katelyn bailed at the top of the hill when she saw what lay before her.”

I want to point out to all the novice/beginner skiers that Goat creek is for seasoned intermediate skiers so don’t tackle this one until you know your abilities and fitness level. There are some terrifying downhills with sharp turns at the bottom. Here’s one of the scary parts illustrated in a photo from last year Your last chance to bail and the photo doesn’t do justice to how steep the drop of doom really is. From Feb 2013 I posted this, “Katelyn bailed at the top of the hill when she saw what lay before her.”

It’s one of my favourite trails.

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