By my count, I cleared the trail of 52 rocks, mostly on the first kilometre. Al and Bernadette who were ahead of me, also did their share.
Childhood experiences never go to waste. As a kid on the farm, every spring held a ritual I’ll never forget. Picking rock. Dad on the tractor, pulling the stoneboat, my brother and me walking along in the dusty summerfallow, picking rocks, some of which I could barely lift. Little did I know that it was preparing me for skiing 50 years later on Redearth Creek.
The good news is the trail was snowmobile packed early today, and the first kilometre was marginally better than skiing on a gravel road.
As I got further and higher, the snow conditions improved considerably. By 2.7K and 160 metres elevation it was almost clear sailing. I only went to the high point at 5.3K.
At one point, about 4K where there’s a short, steep hill, I wanted to remove a few imbedded rocks which were going to impede my fun on the return trip. Most were frozen into the ground, but I found a short log to use as a battering ram. I also spent a lot of time filling in some bare spots under tree canopies.
The snow was borderline wet, so I used my Fischer Twin Skins and they worked very well with excellent grip. On the return, they were slow enough to enable me to dodge the rocks, all except one. I removed my skis and walked the final kilometre back to the trailhead.
Al and Bernadette were using wax and they said the snow was sticking.
I would not recommend skiing this trail until there’s more snow unless you use rock skis and are truly desperate for a change of scenery from Lake Louise.
I’m looking forward to reading the trip reports from today. With this new snow, did you find any new skiable trails?
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A reminder: The Canmore Nordic Centre’s Frozen Thunder is closed to the public from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. on Sunday due to Alberta Cup races. Read more CNC update.