I don’t know how many of you remember the 2015-16 ski season, but we had very late and sporadic grooming from Banff National Park(Lake Louise grooming is not included in this, they are a separate entity). In fact, grooming only occurred during the weekends.
The Visitor Experience Manger for Banff, Greg Danchuk had a meeting with me over the summer in 2016 where he assured me things would be different and much improved for the 2016-17 ski season, and I’m happy to say he was correct. Tracksetting was prompt when there was a snowfall, and the new grooming configuration on Goat Creek worked incredibly well.
That was continued into this ski season and it has raised expectations among skiers. This recent interruption to the grooming had me and many others concerned. Greg sent me an email tonight saying,
“Had team member out a day and trying to catch up with all that snow put the grooming behind.”
Yesterday, as I was emailing Greg asking about the grooming, Cascade Valley was being trackset. Today, although it doesn’t mention it on the trail report yet, Goat Creek and Spray River were trackset.
In my reply to Greg, I mentioned that we are appreciative of Tracksetter Don’s hard work and long hours to make the trails nice for us. Working long hours on an open snowmobile, sometimes in extreme cold can’t be that much fun.
Prompt updates to the trail report will be the next thing on our agenda. 🙂
Let’s count our blessings. We have been enjoying a winter with good snow and great trail conditions. Every little blip, like yesterday’s wind and warm temperatures, has been immediately followed by snow and cold.
Usually by the middle of February we’ve had a number of meltdowns, rain, wind, needle-mania, icy conditions, and the dreaded snow fleas. Last winter, for long periods of time, we were restricted to skiing in PLPP or Lake Louise, the only two places where the snow was skiable.
Snowfall update: Today I received about 5 cm of new snow at my place in Canmore.
Best story yet from the winter Olympics…
Tough Job: Norways’s Olympic Ski Wax chief is only noticed when he fails
“If we screw up we’re on the front page of every newspaper in Norway,” he said. “We become idiots, overnight.”
The proof is in the pudding or …in track-setting quality. Alberta Parks does much better job with a far smaller budget. Their annual budget is just 89 million versus Parks Canada’s 1.158 billion dollars. Even WBC does better grooming job with little money they get from donations. Here is the story in Global News how Parks Canada squandered 5.7 million.
For that kind of money you could have Pistenbully 100 sitting on each trail at both ends with the groomer in it.
I meant – skitrails.info website
And thanks to all Banff NP groomers and Greg for organizing/overseeing the process.
Do you know if there is a reason why Banff NP and Lake Louise (both Chateau and Park) don’t use skitrails.com website for grooming updates?
It would save so much time and frustration in waiting for/creating manually typed in web-page or e-mail updates.
My guess would be $ budget constraints.