West Bragg Creek improvements

It’s been a while! First, let’s do a shoulder check. The day after I wrote my last update(April 10), I had “total shoulder replacement” surgery on my left shoulder. I now have “new and improved” body parts made of metal and plastic. The recovery process is slow, but all has been going well, and I should be ready to ski when the snow flies in early November. 

Thanks to Alf Skrastins for the photos and information regarding the new bridge on Sundog trail at West Bragg Creek.

Problem: Sundog culvert regularly froze up and caused an ice flow across the trail. A steep hill on either side led to a sharp corner at the narrowest point at the bottom of the dip.

Here’s the report from Alf:

Starting to add the deck boards to the new Sundog Bridge.

The Greater Bragg Creek Trails Association volunteers are thinking about winter and are busy improving the trails for the upcoming ski season.  Over the past few days, they have been working on solving a couple of problem ice-flow areas by replacing culverts with bridges.  Here is an example of the work that was done on the west Sundog trail.

An easier grade leading to the wide bridge. And a gentle curve before the final straight-line approach to the bridge.

This was one of the most challenging spots for XC skiers. It had a steep hill from both directions, leading to a tight turn and a narrow culvert crossing. Most years the culvert would freeze solid and an ice-flow would form across the trail. 

The GBCTA did the following to deal with these problems. The culvert was removed and a high bridge was constructed over the small stream. This allows the stream to flow naturally and even if it does freeze up, there is plenty of room for an ice flow underneath the bridge. The higher bridge reduces the total descent from either side, which allowed the grade of the slope to be reduced. The approaches were widened and the corners were moved up to the top of the hills. This means that skiers can make their turn at low speed, then glide straight across the bridge. 
And the bridge is also an aesthetic feature in it’s own right.
See all 18 photos at this link:
… so that’s an example of how your donations get used to benefit your skiing!


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  1. We’re heading to Banff Sept 12…so is the snow. Will anyone being cross country skiing….or just hiking carefully?

    • No skiing usually until November for groomed x-country trails. Might be some higher elevation opportunities for those willing to carry their rock skis for a while, usually on accessible glaciers (back country skiing in avalanche terrain) with lots of hidden hazards lurking under the snow. But prime larch season hiking latter half of September. Micro spikes, trecking poles and winter clothing would be beneficial.

  2. This is so awesome! I love skiing at WBC, but was always a little scared of that stupid ice flow 🙂 Thanks to the folks out there for taking care of it. What an amazing bunch!

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