West Bragg Creek received 5-7 cm from that brief but powerful storm which whipped through last night. Most of the trails at WBC were groomed and trackset before noon today. The conditions are incredible right now.
As I started out from the parking lot, I met a skier on the bridge, (perhaps by the name of Ernie?), who had just finished skiing, who said to me, “Yer gonna love it, Bob!” He was right.
I discovered a delightful trail in the south end of the West Bragg Creek trail system that I had never before skied. Iron Creek. It’s a spur branching off Iron Springs.
I don’t imagine too many skiers take it because it’s a dead end. I wasn’t planning on going very far, just a couple hundred metres to take a picture, but I kept going for two reasons: It was stunningly beautiful, and it was downhill and very enjoyable.
The trail conditions on Iron Creek were Pisten-Bully quality and amazing. The trail loses 50 metres of elevation over a distance of 1.6K which makes for a pleasant downhill as it winds through the Aspen and Spruce.
Iron Creek trail is not indicated on the trail markers but you can find it on this map. It shows that it’s 1.9K but my GPS indicated 1.6K.
I also explored Elbow trail south along with the south end of Iron Springs. Elbow trail north, as it leaves the Sundog junction, is groomed and trackset by GBCTA and is in great shape. When you reach the first Iron Springs junction at 2.5K, there’s about 12-15 cm of fresh snow on top of the last grooming. There was a decent enough skier-set track which I followed to the extreme south Iron Springs junction.
I didn’t go all the way to Allen Bill Pond, but headed back on Iron Springs which also had plenty of fresh snow. It was nice to get back on the groomed trail.
West Bragg Creek is skier heaven right now. Cheryl and Tessa came along but skied some of the easier trails close to the Trails Centre. Tessa used to come with us for long, high-elevation ski trips but is getting on in years, just like me.
I was surprised to learn that most of the trails at Sandy McNabb were groomed and trackset yesterday. Check the Sandy McNabb Live Grooming Report for details.
Iron Creek really is a “Great Trail”, since it is part of the Trans-Canada Trail. It is a multi-user trail, so it is groomed with a single lane of XC track setting and a corduroy lane for all other users. The groomed distance is 1.6km and there is a 300m single-track portion that connects to the the Bragg Creek Hamlet portion of the TCT.
I’ve seen the live grooming pages, but what’s this about actually following the actual machine?? Is that true? How?
On the Ribbon Creek and Canmore Live Grooming Reports, it will show in real time as the snowcat moves along the trails because they have a constant connection to the internet. This doesn’t happen for PLPP or Mt Shark.