When conditions are as superb as they were today, Redearth creek in Banff National Park offers up an outstanding day of skiing with stunning scenery and a trail with lots of variety.
Back on Dec 27 I did a post about Redearth creek, reporting good conditions after 2.6K. Today, there were still a few stray pine needles on the first kilometre, but of no consequence. How I really judge that first K is my fear factor on the way back. No fear today, just fun. I might have even taken some air on that last little bridge which has a tendency to launch me flat onto my face when conditions aren’t so good.
Chip and I started out at 11:50 a.m. with an air temperature of -7°C and it did not warm up any further. Chip has a thermometer on his backpack which I checked occasionally, and for most of the day it was around -8. We waxed with VR45(-2/-8) and forgot about it. There’s a good chance this trail is far enough west that it won’t suffer any deterioration from the coming warm spell.
Chip hadn’t skied this trail since the floods of 2013. The raging flood waters of Lost Horse creek washed away the old bridge and took out about 400 metres of trail. The trail has been reconfigured and a small replacement bridge was constructed soon after the flood. In fact, I was the first one to cross the new bridge back in July 2013 when I rode my bike to inspect the damage.This past summer, a new, wider bridge with railings was installed but I still prefer the small one. You can read the post I wrote in July 2013 about the flooded trail. It’s interesting to compare photos from the summer, too Redearth creek is open with some new features.
It was a great day if you like solitude. We encountered only six other skiers on the trail, two of whom were coming from the Egypt Lake shelter. Sid and Donna, on some very wide skis, said the ski out today was wonderful. They started out two days ago at Sunshine and skied to Egypt Lake via Healy pass. I’ll be posting a photo of the trail to Egypt Lake. For those curious about the trail to Shadow Lake, I’ll also be posting a photo.
The distance to the warden’s cabin is 10.6K. My GPS today said 10.76 but I wandered around a lot on the way up taking photos. The trip back registered 10.55K. The net elevation gain is 330 metres with a total ascent of 410 metres. There’s a lot of strenuous climbing in the first kilometre, and the snow on this portion of the trail is often hardpacked from all the snowplowers when returning.
Chip is the guy who coined the phrase “soul-mending rhythm of typical skiing” and that’s a description which would have applied to this terrific ski trip.
Don’t forget about the NorAm race at the Canmore Nordic Centre this weekend. Check my CNC page for details.
Check Ken Hewitt’s Groomer’s Report for details on trail closures at Lake Louise due to the race occurring on Thursday.
This morning, before heading out, I gave my skis a fresh coat of glide wax for today’s conditions and had blazing fast skis. Would you like to have your own glide-waxing set-up? Skiers can enter to win a “Home glide-waxing set-up” from Lifesport. Enter in person at the store, and tell Norm that you saw it on this website. No purchase necessary.
Nipika Mountain Resort posted this wolf video on Facebook:
More photos from today’s skiing…