-Members of the Norseman Ski Club on Aspen trail in Kananaskis-
Tomorrow(Saturday) may offer the most choices for skiing ever. Trails in the following locations have been groomed and/or trackset:
- Calgary (Numerous locations)
- West Bragg Creek
- Sandy McNabb
- Ribbon Creek (incl Kananaskis Village, Bill Milne, Skogan Pass)
- Peter Lougheed Provincial Park(PLPP)
- Mount Shark
- Banff (Redearth Creek, Cascade Valley, Upper Bankhead, Spray River, Goat Creek)
- Canmore Nordic Centre
- Bow Valley Parkway (Castle Junction, Castle Lookout to Baker Creek)
- Lake Louise (too many to mention)
- Yoho and Emerald Lake
- Nipika Mountain Resort (100% groomed with spectacular conditions)
There will be at least 400K of trails to choose from. Good snow and trail conditions, combined with nice weather, should bring out hundreds, maybe thousands, of cross-country skiers to enjoy the great conditions. Hopefully everyone will not go to the same place!
Today, I skied the freshly groomed and trackset Ribbon Creek trail for the first time this season. I also did Link, Kovach, Terrace, Aspen, Coal Mine, and Hidden. Kovach and Terrace south of Kananaskis Village have been trackset, so you can do a complete “Village” loop.
The Ribbon Creek and Kananaskis Village trails have thin snow cover but I can’t complain about any of the skiing. You’ll see some occasional dirt mixed into the snow but as I’ve been repeatedly saying this year, “beggars can’t be choosers.”
I should remind everyone that Ribbon Creek is no longer an easy trail. The new trail has some incredibly steep downhills. It’s best to ski the loop clockwise and climb the steepest parts. You can enjoy a more moderate downhill run combined with Coal Mine and Hidden back to the parking lot.
I ran into Tracksetter Jeff at the Ribbon Creek parking lot as he was heading out to groom Skogan Pass. He reminded me that last year, when we got off to such a great start for the first two months of the season, then everything crashed, the last time he groomed the trails was on Jan 8. This year, we’re just getting started.
Jeff said he saw a Lynx yesterday while grooming on Aspen. The first skiers I talked to in the parking lot who had just finished skiing, said they saw a family of Lynx sunning themselves near the Aspen/Kovach junction.
The Live Grooming Report shows that Jeff has just finished Skogan Pass, Skogan Loop, Sunburst and High Level. We know the conditions above Marmot junction will be terrific, but I wonder how the conditions are on Lower Skogan and the Screamer.
It was -13°C on the Swix thermometer at Ribbon Creek which measures air temperature. The snow temp was -15, so for one more day I used green grip wax. I saw my car’s thermometer register single digits for the first time in ages on the drive home while passing by Stoney-Nakoda Resort and Casino. It got as high as -3. Forecast highs for tomorrow in Kananaskis and Banff are in the vicinity of -6 to -8.
Tomorrow is your last chance to send in a Trip Report if you want to attend the Trip Reporter’s Appreciation Party on Sunday. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone and meeting all of the new people who have submitted reports in the past year.
An important update has been posted today regarding the Lake Louise to Banff Loppet. As required by Parks Canada, the race will end at Sawback, so it will only be 50K, but still will have six legs for those on the relay teams.
At Canmore Nordic Centre, Juniors and Children ski for FREE this Sunday January 15th (17 yrs & under). It’s FIS World Snow Day!