I was debating whether to ski Cascade Valley or the new grooming in PLPP. After reading Sylvia’s trip report, I knew I made the right choice. Crazy weather today. Keith’s trip report mentioned it was zero at Mt Shark and -12 in Canmore.
Not only because of the weather, but I also met a lot of interesting people along the trail. It took me a long time to reach the Cascade River at 6K with all the socializing along the way.
With 2 cm of new snow on the trail, I was glad to see there were a few trailbreakers ahead of me. I gradually caught up to the first two and was excited to finally meet Chris and Karl. You may recognize the names as two of our regulars on the Trip Reports page.
Further ahead were Chelsea and Jane. When I reached Brenda, she said there was only one more skier ahead of me.
I crossed the Cascade bridge at 6k, and removed my skis at 7k for the rock pile on the re-routed section of the trail. I only had to walk about 50 metres to get past the rocks on the small hill.
At 7.8K I saw a skier approaching very quickly. I was thrilled to see Sam Hendry of the Canadian Junior Ski Team, probably the fastest skier in the Bow Valley. Sam has just returned from Finland where he competed against the fastest junior skiers in the world at the World Junior Championships.
Sam said he was glad to be home and skiing the wilderness trails in the area, as opposed to all the stadiums he’s been racing in. He had already been to the Stoney cabin and was on the way back. What a pleasant young man. As he sped off, I felt very slow.
The destination at 13.3K. This was home to Ed and Dorothy Carleton for four years on the banks of the Cascade River. I had the place to myself for the next 5.5K to the Stoney warden’s cabin. The temperature on the thermometer at the cabin was -6°C. When I started out the temperature was -9. When I finished skiing at 3 pm, it was -10 and the snow was coming down harder. It snowed 2-3 cm during the four hours I was on the trail. VR40(-4/-12) worked exceptionally well throughout the whole trip.
There wasn’t much of an ice flow in the usual spot, about 10K along and was easy to skirt. I spotted the green bird who never seems to go south for the winter. It reminded me of my friend Chip who is an avid birder and should be back from Cambodia soon to resume skiing and give us interesting trip reports.
The turn off to the cabin is at 13.1K but you can ski a further 1.3K to the end of the trail. From the turn-off, it’s a further 200 metres down a steep, narrow trail to the cabin.
End of an era
The lady pictured in the plaque at the Stoney cabin, Dorothy Carleton, passed away at the age of 98 last summer. I’m sure glad that Banff National Park preserved this bit of history on the banks of the Cascade river.