-Drew and Inna on Fairview trail-
When we get these strong winds in Canmore and Kananaskis, I can usually find calmer seas at Lake Louise. There was no lack of wind and blowing snow around Castle junction but it got nicer as I approached Lake Louise.
I didn’t feel a breath of wind while skiing on Faiview and Moraine Lake road this afternoon(except when I was flying down the big hill on MLR). Air temperature was -7°C and the snow was -6.
Further to Nancy’s trip report, where she estimates 20 cm of new snow over the past three days in Lake Louise, I visited a few trailheads and can vouch for no grooming except on Moraine Lake road which appears to have been groomed and trackset yesterday. It only had about 3 cm of new snow.
I had my sights set on Pipestone but no grooming. Next, I thought it would be fun to start on Peyto(behind Deer Lodge) and ski Upper Telemark, down to the lake and back to the Tramline trailhead. Lots of snow at the Peyto trailhead but no grooming and not even a skier track.
Fairview has at least 10 cm of new snow (probably more, but it has consolidated) but the tracks are still reasonably good. The trail is still a bit bumpy, but the bumps are at the stage where they’re fun on the downhills rather than frightening or dangerous.
Am I dreaming, or did someone leave a trip report a while back about the Chateau snowmobile being out of commission? Chateau Lake Louise is responsible for grooming all the “Upper Lake Louise” trails.
After reaching the end of Fairview at 4.3K, I skied a further 4K of Moraine Lake road on really nice conditions albeit a little slow with the new snow. It was slow enough that I was able to stay in the tracks all the way down the big hill.
I drove the Bow Valley Parkway from Castle junction to Lake Louise, and stopped at Castle jct and took a picture of the ski trail. Again, lots of new snow but no recent grooming.
If you can only afford one pair of skis, but want to do some off-track touring as well as track skiing, take a look at the skis which Wendy is using. 65 mm wide is the maximum width that will fit in the tracks yet they’re wide enough to go off-track, too.
I don’t know my owls very well, but a huge greyish-coloured owl landed on top of a 20-foot tall spruce tree. The branches were laden with snow, but when the owl landed, all the snow completely fell off the tree. It was neat to see. More impressive, however, was watching the owl fly off into thick forest. I’m only guessing, but its wingspan must have been at least 6 feet, yet they can fly through the trees, and completely silent.
I just posted a Groomer’s Report regarding Yoho and Emerald Lake.
We skied the Great Divide Trail yesterday and it wasn’t groomed either. The snowmobile was sitting at the trailhead though and was covered in snow.
From your description, the owl was likely a Great Gray Owl.
I think you’ve identified it. -Bob