The phrase “thin but skiable” is one we’ll remember from this low-snow winter. I was losing hope that we’d ever see any tracksetting on these trails, but the tracksetting crew has worked wonders with very little snow.
Temperatures showed wild swings over short distances today. This morning at the Stoney-Nakoda Resort and Casino it was -15°C. A few minutes later at Kananaskis Village it was -6. After a couple hours of skiing, it was +2. Returning, it dropped to -12 at the casino.
Make sure you read the Live Grooming Report for the Ribbon Creek trails. If you’re skiing Upper Kovach, it says to not go south of the Aspen junction. I spoke to tracksetter Alex and he said the S-turns are mostly dirt in some instances.
Heading north from the village, Terrace trail is in nice shape. It is mostly trackset with a skating lane. There is thin snow under a few of the tree canopies where tracks couldn’t be set.
At the north end of Terrace, Lower Kovach is a bit thin and starts out with corduroy but tracks appear after 400 metres of climbing.
Link is sort of a dead end but I’m glad I skied it to the Ribbon Creek junction. It was in good shape and the snow on the trees was very pretty. My real reason for taking it was to see the massive ice flow at the Ribbon Creek junction. The trail report warns…
There is a big ice flow at Link / Ribbon jct that extends half way down the hill making travel difficult.
They weren’t exaggerating. Check the photos.
The snow coverage was progressively better as I climbed to the Kovach Lookout. Upper Kovach is in good shape, but as the trail report admonishes, don’t go further than the south Aspen junction unless you’re willing to walk a portion of it.
Aspen is a mixed bag of good snow and tracks interspersed with dirt and grass. I’d be hard-pressed to ski it again. Weekend traffic should put it out of its misery.
Did you know there is now a four-lane training grid at Kananaskis Village?
With a dusting of fresh snow on the trails, I saw gazillions of animal tracks today. I’ve posted one photo that shows the snowshoe hares must have had a party on Kovach trail last night.
Nice to hear that West Bragg Creek is coming back to life although it sounds more like life-support. Read Mike W’s and JeremyN’s trip reports for the latest news. Groomer Jeff has also submitted an update on the Groomer’s Reports. Mike W’s photos look enticing.
It was encouraging to read Helen Read’s report of 2-3 cm of new snow on this weekend’s loppet trails.
I noticed that Sunday’s Avalanche Awareness has a session for Animal Track ID (and lots more).
Cascade Valley was trackset today. Chuck was there and took the beautiful close-up photo of a male grouse. Check his trip report for more.