Snowmageddon aftermath

Tracksetter Jeff on Hidden trail around 6 pm

Dec 23, 2019

I just finished reading all the excellent trip reports, thanks for submitting them. Lots of activity is occurring in the universe.

Let’s start with the Bill Milne and Wedge Connector trails. As I was driving to PLPP this morning, I stopped at Wedge Pond and took a photo of Tracksetter Jeff’s snowcat tracks. There’s so much snow he had to do an initial pass with packing only. 

Bill Milne trail at Wedge pond after tracksetting

When I returned late this afternoon I took another photo at Wedge Pond and another of the Bill Milne trail after tracksetting. Nobody has skied the trail, but as you can see in the photo, someone already walked on it. 

After a long day, Jeff is heading up Hidden and presumably Ribbon Creek. You can follow his progress in real time on the Live Grooming Report. When it appears that he’s not making much progress, I’ll bet it’s because he’s clearing trees. 

Bill Milne trail near Ribbon Creek

There is no more snow in the forecast, so the Bill Milne and Wedge Connector should be in prime condition tomorrow. These are the remarks from the trail report…

“Bill Milne and Wedge Connector groomed today after the storm left 50 to 65 cm snow. Many trees bent over trails or broken due to the wet, sticky nature of the snow. These have been removed as best as possible for now to make for safe skiing, but expect some trees still reaching into trails.

Expect some tree debris on trails and snow bombs in the coming days, as well as the possibility of more trees breaking as they are still loaded with very heavy snow.

West Bragg Creek. Photo by GeeBee

One classic ski track set and one skate ski lane in most places with the skate ski still being a bit narrow. Otherwise it’s as white winter wonderland as it gets!”

For the record, the trail at Wedge pond is officially the Bill Milne trail. After 400 metres, the Bill Milne branches off to the left, and straight ahead it’s the Wedge Connector. 

It sounds like conditions at West Bragg Creek are fantastic. At the side is a photo from GeeBee to go along with her trip report from WBC. I guess this ski season will go into the history books as the year of Winter Wonderland. 

Woolley trail in PLPP

Peter Lougheed Provincial Park

I skied the trails in PLPP which were trackset last night. There was already 5 cm of new snow but I was late enough that other skiers had polished the tracks for me. Luckily I ran into Mary Perrott and her crew before I started and got some good waxing advice: “Don’t use wax!”

Brady and Kim on Wheeler

I set out from the PLPP Discovery Centre around noon on my Fischer Twin Skins and had a lovely clump-free ski. I spent a lot of time clearing tree branches from the trail. Most of them were the size of a Christmas tree which you’d put in your living room. There are a few big ones, however, which will require a saw.

Skiers at the Meadow-Woolley junction

As I was clearing one big branch from the top of the hill on Meadow, I heard a thunderous cracking sound near me. Another tree had fallen about 50 metres from where I was. It didn’t present any danger because it fell into the forest and not on the trail, but it’s quite unnerving to experience. 

On my return on Meadow, there were two trees down which weren’t there when I started out. 

Ray Perrott suggested that a helmet could be added to our gear for the next little while. 

Fallen trees on Meadow

As we’ve already heard on the trip reports, the temperature in PLPP was hovering near zero with fresh snow falling. Most skiers who I ran into that were using wax were icing and clumping. Brady and Kim on Wheeler were using blue wax with a modicum of success. The tracks had been skied in a lot by this time, and the snow had stopped falling, so wax was working better. 

Elk Pass was groomed today after lots of tree clearing and avalanche control. Read the details on the PLPP Live Grooming Report.

I was sent a nice photo by Dasha Atkins of herself, Xavier and the one-and-only Chuck. I see Chuck has already posted it with his incredible photos from Spray River and Goat Creek. Nice to know that when the Banff trail report says “flat-packed,” it is the same as snowmobile packed. 

The Sandy McNabb trails were groomed today.

Cascade Valley was being groomed today according to HeatherD’s trip report.

At Lake Louise, the Bow River and Campground loops were groomed today.

The Bow Valley Parkway trail report indicates “Baker Creek towards Lake Louise track set for 4.5 km.” As well, Baker Creek to Protection Mountain campground is trackset. They’re unable to go any further towards Castle Lookout because of construction. MaSid’s trip report mentioned the parking lots on the Bow Valley Parkway haven’t been plowed.


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