Shaganappi: “No, you can’t ski anywhere!”

Mother Nature brought early snow to the city and the trails at Shaganappi Golf Course were packed Sunday and Monday Nov 5 & 6 (but not enough snow to trackset). There’s a problem with unruly skiers which is addressed below by Alasdair Fergusson of the Calgary Ski Club(CSC):

Skier at Shaganappi golf course following the groomed trail (file photo)

“A great disappointment this past weekend when CSC volunteers  were setting up stakes, ropes, signs was in the number of skiers who were trespassing on the golf course despite the locked gates and the closed golf course.

They were using holes in the perimeter fence to gain access. And they skied anywhere as CSC volunteers had not completed the necessary fencing and signage.

Calgary Ski Club keeps the gate locked until  we have completed our work setting out stakes, ropes and signage for skiers.

No, you cannot ski anywhere!

–      Both CSC and Golf Course Operations want skiers and snowshoers to stay on the marked trails and to NOT cross the ropes onto closed areas, to avoid damage to Golf greens and Tee boxes.

  • This is a legal obligation by Golf Course Operations.
  • Hence CSC must not open the gates to skiers until we set out our signs and rope fencing.

There are also safety issues and insurance liability issues that CSC must address:

  • There are 2 dangerous bunkers that are located at the bottom of hills and are difficult to see – white on white does not provide a visual contrast to be easily seen by skiers speeding at the bottom of a hill.
  • CSC provides colour trail maps with a black arrow to show “You are Here” at every trail junction to reassure newcomers and beginners
  • Also direction and other signage based on standard XC ski industry signage.
  • This is an obligation to our insurance obtained through Cross Country Alberta, the sport governing body.
  • Also Risk Management as set out by Cross Country Ski Areas Assoc. in their manual.
  • Calgary Ski Club has been a member of CCSAA since 1993.
  • Alasdair has been an active member and obtained an invaluable education in XC ski area design. Construction, Operations, Marketing and Management by attending annual symposia since 1992 and skiing 89 XC ski areas in Western USA and BC and talking to managers, staff and volunteers and also skiers and taking photos of interesting features, facilities and signs.

Skate skiing on the groomed trail at Shaganappi golf course (file photo from 2012)

CSC is very frustrated every week or so by vandals, not skiers, cutting both CSC ropes and Golf course ropes which CSC volunteers have to repair or replace. After the vandals have cut the ropes, the skiers then feel free to ski where they shouldn’t.

Ropes cut into metre lengths is a frequent problem.

The most valuable part of the golf course is the golf greens. I have been told for a number of years that the cost to repair a golf green is approx. $50,000.

That is why golf course ropes these off and leaves the CSC to rope and signpost other areas.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Thank you to those who make Shaganappi accessible to those who want to ski and don’t want to go far to do so. What are conditions like now for skiing? Hoping to get out Sunday morning at Shaganappi? Observerations? #xcskishaganappioolfcourse

  2. Looking forward to opening .

  3. The public knowledge of the golf course being used as a skiing area is out there and Calgarians have yet to get used to how a small site can be also popular…also is info found on the City of Calgary website. I noticed that CSC and Nordic Foothills clubs were mentioned but no links to the websites. The City can also do a good job of adding the warnings on the website so people will be aware. And I know this can be difficult but given the influx of skiiers after fresh snowfall, users can be made aware at the site by having all signage and the presence of Volunteers and City staff be on site doing crowd control or some Security presence that can do the job of keeping users properly using the site.

    The City, CSC and NF can learn from the City of Edmonton where I have used and seen first hand how skiiers and the community are respectfully using the golf course and other public outdoor skiing facilities.

    • Why not use Twitter (with appropriate hashtag like #xcskiShaganappiGolfCourse) to send this and other messages? Users can also tweet their observations.

  4. Do heed Alasdair’s warning & tell others. Similar access challenges & wandering skier behaviour lead to end of Okotoks/Crystalridge Nordic’s privalage at it’s home golf course -permenantly!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *