Sunday morning update

I’ve received 3 cm of overnight snow in Canmore and it is still snowing. The forecast is calling for light snow throughout the day. The temperature is -3°C so the snow is powdery rather than wet. 

Update(this one caught me by surprise!): Some of the Mt Shark trails were groomed last night:

“There was 30 to 40cm’s of fresh snow on the trails that was groomed and track set on Saturday night, and as of 6:30 AM, no new snow had fallen on any of the fresh grooming. Watridge Lake trail was not groomed on Saturday night and has deep snow with skier set tracks, that will likely be icy until temperatures rise above freezing. The 5km’s that is normally ungroomed on the Green 15k loop was groomed and track set on Mar 18th but it will not be added to the regular grooming schedule.”

Fox Creek, Moraine, and Boulton Creek were groomed last night in PLPP. You could complete the 18K Tyrwhitt loop on recently groomed trails although you would be required to use Hydroline rather than Elk Pass. As you are probably aware, Elk Pass is closed between north Hydroline and Patterson due to avalanche danger.

Moraine Lake Road at Lake Louise was groomed and trackset yesterday. 

I hope I’m wrong, but it appears we won’t get any more grooming in Banff National Park this winter despite all the new snow on the trails. 

Further to our discussion on waxless skis in yesterday’s post, if you want to mitigate the quicksand effect of wet, slushy snow, go to Grinders Ski Service and ask for a Tofu-1 grind. It will put small grooves in the glide section of your skis. I’ve had this done on my fish-scale waxless and it does help somewhat. 

If you want sophisticated ski preparation for wet snow, follow these instructions which I received from Darryl McCullough on Twitter:

“Fischer RCS Classic Zero: +2C soft trail. Grip; Sand base 80-100, Spray Swix Zero Anti Icy. Glide: Brush Fine Steel, Clean base Swix Glide Wax Cleaner, Wax Swix CH8, Scrape, Brush Coarse Steel, Brush Fine Steel, Brush Soft Nylon, Finish with Toko Red Structure Roller. Go!”

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe the Toko Red Structure Roller would put grooves in the skis similar to the Tofu1 grind in the picture. 

We often complain about issues but don’t act. Well, here’s one skier who has written to Banff National Park about his concerns and has given me permission to post it(click for a larger image):

Update: Chip’s letter is eliciting feedback on my Facebook page from fat bikers who think these incidents should be hidden from the public.

Click for a larger image


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  1. I totally agree with you Chip and will write a letter to Parks Canada as well making similar points. The two activities of cross country skiing and fat biking are not compatible on groomed cross country trails. Somehow PLPP has banned them from the groomed cross country trails so it can and should be the same in the National Park system.

  2. The money spent grooming for skiing is a waist if its being ruined and made unsafe by other users.

  3. I think that it bears mentioning that the incident that Chip describes is an example of poor etiquette in general, and shouldn’t be specifically pointed out as typical fatbike behaviour- it would have been in equally bad form if the offending party were skiers. Although separate trails as found WBC are probably best, my thoughts as a winter skier, summer mountainbiker are- that we skiers are going to have to learn to accommodate this new, and growing, winter user group on some of “our” trails where no other options for fatbiking exist, when appropriate. This seems to be working OK on trails such as Telephone, Mountain Road, and Goat Creek.
    Along with that though- some fatbiker education might be needed so that they understand the potential for damage to the groomed skiing surface when conditions are too soft, and the differences in etiquette between skiers and bikers ( “officially”- uphill has right of way in the MTB world, for example). An example would be from today, where we met a couple of fatbikers who were leaving ruts on the Mountain Road. Allowable, as it IS multi-use, but poor form in my, and most bikers opinion as well. FWIW I have seen comparable damage done to soft tracksetting by skate skiers.
    In the end though we are all out there trying to enjoy the great outdoors, and there is no way such a minor thing was going to ruin my day.


    I agree with Chip. What is the point of having such ski trails if fat bikers rut them up. This harms ski tourism. The bikers are few but the skiers are many. A few bikers should not be causing so much damage and putting skiers at risk of injury from ruts or collisions. Also, there are bikers riding where it is illegal to do so. You give some people an inch and they take a bloody mile.

    Obviously the Minister of Environment (who is in charge of Parks Canada) and the Banff Superintendent have never suffered a severe injury from the steel bars of a bike slamming into them like I have. These highly tax subsidized government people do not have the required intelligence or standard duty of care to make appropriate decisions to protect people from injury and therefore they should not be in their positions. Their lack of appropriate leadership is a legally liability.

  5. Bob- have u heard any reports on condition of Cascade ?
    Don’t want to drive—tempted to brave it.
    It does appear Parke Canada has quit for the season.

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