Sun and moon are aligning…

The start of the race on Lake Louise

Jan 16, 2020

Lake Louise to Banff Loppet Update

Update from the Loppet website: “The sun and moon are aligning with warmer temps for the end of the week! Current forecasts suggest a Lake Louise low Saturday night of -17C and a Sunday morning high of -12C. The downhill start will be nippy – dress accordingly. Sunday’s high in Banff is -5C.”

Crossing the finish line at Sawback

Tracksetting of the loppet trails resumes today throughout Banff National Park. This is an opportunity for non-racers to ski trails which are trackset only once per winter. 

The end is in sight

This cold snap is starting to break at higher elevations today. By Sunday, we’ll be back to perfect skiing temperatures in the neighbourhood of minus single digits for the mountains. 

The Mud Lake temperature has increased by eight degrees in the past 12 hours and at 10 am was at -11.8°C. The temperature at the PLPP maintenance compound was -12.8°C at 11 am according to the Rivers.Alberta website. 

I should point out that’s Mud Lake in Kananaskis, not Mud Lake near the Pipestone trails. 

Today(Thursday) is predicting highs of…

PLPP: -12 cloudy and 1 cm of snow

Kananaskis Village: -15 partly sunny

Banff: -15 and cloudy

West  Bragg Creek: -20 and partly sunny

Lake Louise: -16 and 2 cm of snow

Tracksetting Update

The south end trails in PLPP were trackset last night including Elk Pass, Blueberry Hill, Hydroline, Patterson, Upper Lake, Moraine, and Fox Creek. 

Pipestone Update

I received this update today from Parks Canada’s Jeff Hearnden, Backcountry Maintenance Co-ordinator for Lake Louise, Yoho, Kootenay Field Unit:

“I haven’t received the opening date confirmation from the Parks Project Manager responsible for the new  LL Water Reservoir construction at Pipestone. It remains closed. As soon as I get word I’ll let you know.”


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  1. Thanks for checking in on the pipestone situation bob. I sent an email to a general parks address (rather than a specific person/position) and have yet to hear anything back. I wouldn’t be surprised if this cold weather has caused some delay to finishing things off, in addition to the normal unforeseen delays. Hopefully after the loopet is done grooming staff will be available to start on pipestone trail preparations. I’m guessing it will need some “flat packing” first, having not seen mechanical compaction at all this season.

  2. You can quickly access some weather station data on and the parks avalanche bulletins. For the former, zoom in on the map and weather station icons appear for K-country including Mud Lake, Aster, etc. Strangely, none for the national parks, but the avi bulletins have a weather station tab that gives you all the stations in the parks. Cheers

  3. Sunshine is currently recording -8C at the lodge and -13C on top of Great Divide

  4. More on weather stations. I find the site linked to below to be cumbersome to navigate through, but by selecting the “Environmental Data” layer and then scrolling and zooming in on the map, you will find a clickable icon for a weather station labelled as “Peter Lougheed Park- Fires” at the PLPP headquarters just north of Pocaterra. Select “Table Data” for most recent weather data upload ( which happens at intervals of a few hours, so not always real time). I can’t find a way to link directly to that station-it seems you have to go through the whole process each time.
    Latest temp at 8 am shows -21 after a low of close to -30.

    • Great find, Steve. True, it takes a while to get to where you want to go, but that’s a good one for the weather toolbox. It’s now up to -18.

  5. Data from this site shows -30 at Hay Meadow near Ribbon, and -17 at Vista View on the Skogan Loop.
    From the menu at top left, select Marmot Creek to access individual stations.

    • Steve, thanks for reminding me about that one. I have a link for it on the Weather tab under “Centre for Hydrology.” It shows the high yesterday at Hay Meadow being about -26, and that’s exactly what my car registered when I drove past the village around 2 pm.

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