Canmore Nordic Centre

-Fiona and Charlotte had already skied 2.5K on Banff trail-

Significant temperature drops were occurring  this afternoon. Martin J reports a drop from -1 to -10 at Ribbon creek. The storm blew in while I was skiing at the nordic centre this afternoon. It was a pleasant day, calm, and -2°C, at 2 pm. 90 minutes later, the temperature had dropped to -8 and gale force winds were howling straight into my face as I tried to race back to the warmth of the daylodge.

Canmore Nordic Centre

Canmore Nordic Centre

Conditions on the man-made snow are terrific. The Banff trail loop is in nice shape, and you can ski on this great snow to the Mine meadow, about 3K. Lots of skiers were enjoying the excellent conditions.

The conditions on the natural snow on Banff trail were much better than I expected. There are a few thin spots and it would benefit from 5 cm more snow, which is coming in the next 24 hours according to the weather forecast.


Click on photo for a larger image

It was nice to see Peter as I was returning on the lower part of the Banff trail loop. He was the first skier ever pictured on this blog. The link to his picture disappeared when I revamped the blog three years ago, but I’ve re-posted it on the second-ever blog post which I made on Nov 13, 2008. That was 1203 posts ago.

We have a winner

Quinn picks the winner in the Emerald Lake Lodge contest

Quinn picks the winner in the Emerald Lake Lodge contest

Yesterday while I was at the PLPP Visitor Centre, I managed to find a person who hadn’t entered the Emerald Lake Lodge contest to make the draw. Quinn was there with his parents, Jim and Jacinta, who are avid blog readers.

Congratulations to Althea Shaw, the lucky winner of two free nights at Emerald Lake Lodge. When notified of the big win, Althea replied “I won!? Wow, that is shocking – I never win anything!! Till now.”

Emerald Lake LodgeThank you to everyone who entered. I probably speak for most readers when I say that it’s wonderful to see the fabulous photos which are submitted, and to read all the thoughtful and interesting comments.

Don’t forget, Emerald Lake Lodge offers a special midweek rate for all ski club members. If you’re not a ski club member, get on board for $40 with the Kicking Horse Ski Club. The KHSC is responsible for grooming and tracksetting at Emerald Lake and Yoho.

More photos from today’s skiing at Canmore Nordic Centre…


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  1. Skied the Nordic Center on Tuesday and again on Thursday. As reported, the trails covered by snow making are in excellent condition. The only spot not properly covered and groomed is the downhill to the end of the snow making on the Bow trail but there appears to be enough snow made to groom this out. I don’t want to sound like Scrooge but there seems to have been allot of time and equipment dedicated to getting the toboggan hill prepared before the cross country trails that are serviced by snow making such as Bow were completed. Otherwise, the rest of Bow to the west end of the trail system, Banff Trail and Silvertip are pretty poor with marginal snow cover and needles. The upper trails have better coverage.

    In contrast, we skied the Bragg Creek trails today and they were excellent with great snow cover and recently groomed for both skate and classic. We’ll be out there again tomorrow!!

    • Unfortunately I have to agree about this being 2 1/2 months since the CNC has opened. There are a number of unfortunate delays, questionable outcomes that almost a 1/2 season into the CNC ski season and the night loop STILL is not finished. Consider the following observations:
      1. mid -November cold spell and snow storm compare what happened in two sites: CNC night loop completed 1 kilometre. Lots of snow piles that were mdd but left unattended (abandoned). Red Deer Country Golf Club ski area, on a Saturday, Sunday in -25 degree weather 14 kilometres packed, track set for great ski conditions. Difference between the two sites. one lonely volunteer and one ski-doo in Red Deer versus CNC a paid hierarchy with 6 “trail workers” and three heated snow cats (the big big red machines). Small note: it took weeks to get to those abandoned hills.

      2. The lower arm of the distant part of the Banff night loop has so little manmade snow that the pavement is almost come through. This has been plainly evident for two weeks now reaching havoc with skis and still no one of the 6 plus paid employees has found it necessary to be responsible and attend to this issue.

      3. It is almost 3 months into the season and the CNC still is NOT FULLY OPERATIONAL. The night loop is far from completed.

      The issues with all this are the following:
      1. the main renumeration of the CNC is from season passes in early season. These generate revenues. These pay salaries. These users at least need the respect to have adequate facilities comparatively to one man operations. Please!
      2. Comparatively to years previous, CNC has never had such a bad late start in history. Not even close.
      3. The local recreational user has limited area to ski compared to years previous. The issue is this is on the man-made snow. The areas finished on the Banff night loop are embarrassingly finished off with pavement and stones showing through for weeks now. No one has addressed this
      4. There is a directional changes with PCN’s (Primary Care Networks) major focus on establishing an exercise population. In supporting this endeavour with Alberta tax dollars impacts have been significant. Relatively to other volunteer areas where exercise is possible in the winter conditions the CNC has been a poor investment when one compares dollars spent to useable trails by recreational and semi-competitive Albertan’s.

      CNC action points would be that there has to be a call to responsibly serve Albertans on two fronts. From just a pride of the dollars are being spent please produce a reasonable outcome. Second from the NEW directions of Government you have not pull your load. Please be responsible. it is our tax dollars that are being poorly misused.

      Does there have to be a management shake-up? I do not know. But staunch advocates of this great centre (myself included) are now looking at it with a jaundiced eye and wondering how can one little skidoo with one volunteer can do such a remarkable job mid November two months ago in 48 hours and a facility with three large heated snow cats ends 6 full-time paid employees with administration above that end up with this. As Albertans it may be time to redistribute funds and maybe ask for volunteers and a skidoo. At least we would have been skiing on excellent trails for 2 months now. Regards. Summer is coming and at least then we do not have to depend on this kind of performance. Hopefully someone will stat to care about the general Albertan in Snowcat heavy CNC

        I had not seen Michael’s earlier explanation of the work at the Nordic Centre, the constrains and demands of major early season races competing with the desire to prepare the banff night loop along with as explained to me (thanks John Gallagher) a season that has had the warmest conditions early season creating more challenging dilemmas at the CNC. It is funny how enlightenment and a willingness to understand are instructive. Thank you John for stopping on the trails in -20 and chatting for 20 minutes.

        By the way the trails are remarkable in the back area. Thanks Len!! 27 places I counted he shovelled to create great natural snow skiing in suboptimal conditions.

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