The last time I skied Yoho Valley road was in 2005, so I’ve never written an update about it until now. It was nice to re-familiarize myself with this beautiful trail, and I was happy to meet tracksetter Joe for the first time.
After two weeks of heavy multi-use, the trail was pretty chopped up so Joe smoothed it out and laid down two new tracks. Air temperature was -3°C at 2:45 pm and the snow was -5, so I had to dust off the VR45(-2/-8) for waxing, and it worked perfectly.
With tracks less than 10 minutes old, I skied mostly in the centre of the trail where it was much firmer. This trail reminds me a bit of Moraine Lake road, except with dazzling scenery and something new and eye-catching around every curve in the road.
It’s 5K to the end of the tracksetting with a net elevation gain of 95 metres. You could continue beyond the tracksetting on snowmobile packing and skier-set tracks, up the switchbacks and further on to Takkakaw Falls. This trail is often referred to as the “Takkakaw Falls road.” If you go beyond the tracksetting, be aware there’s avalanche risk.
The trailhead is about 2K this side of Field and the area at the trailhead is known as the Monarch campground. A couple hundred metres down the trail you’ll pass by the Cathedral Mountain Chalets(closed during the winter).
There’s even a packed trail which runs from the Monarch campground to Field. The Kicking Horse Ski Club reported its condition as follows on Dec 23 after Joe packed it: “Last week he packed the Monarch trail which leads from Yoho Trading Post in Field to the Tak. Falls road. Bruce and Boomer followed along to do the pruning of so many twigs that have overgrown in the last 3 years. We now have a “ROUGH” TRAIL(NOT tracked yet) which is DOG FRIENDLY from town –all the way to just before the switchbacks on the Tak. Falls road.”
Grooming in Yoho and Emerald Lake is done by the Kicking Horse Ski Club with the help of volunteers. If you enjoy skiing there, consider making a donation to the club. If you want to stay at Emerald Lake Lodge (Sun – Thurs) for the low price of $119 per night, buy a membership in the KHSC for $40.
The weather forecast is predicting a couple cm of snow tonight for just about everywhere in the mountains.
I just received this email from Shawn:
“I thought there may be skiers that use your website who could be interested in a ski-joring race in Didsbury next weekend.
Part of a sled dog racing weekend – ski-joring races are 2 mile with one dog and 4 mile with 2. Looks like a lot of fun!” Didsbury dogsled derby
Great to find a snow conditions report for this magnificent route. Last Feb it was very icy with little snow. Global warming is making skiing Yoho a tricky proposition below 2,000 meters. Sounds better this year–long way from Virginia but who knows?
Sweet. Thanks. I need to spend more time in Yoho. I haven’t skied there much.
Great report. My wife and I skiied it on Winter Soltice, Dec 21, 2015. Beautiful! Thanks for the tip about Emerald Lake Lodge and getting a xc ski membership to Kicking Horse Club. #BucketList