Update Mar 24 from Parks Canada:
“The Agency is temporarily suspending all motor vehicle access by visitors at all national parks, national historic sites, and national marine conservation areas effective 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, until further notice. All visitor services remain suspended and all visitor facilities remain closed.
This means that all parking lots, vehicle services, trails, washrooms, day use facilities, showers, visitor centres, and all camping facilities, including oTENTiks, yurts and backcountry camping, are closed until further notice.
Highways and roadways which pass through Parks Canada places will remain open.”
West Bragg Creek
Grooming has been suspended in West Bragg Creek. The statement from Boomer Groomer…
“In the interest of the health and safety of trail users and our local population, the GBCTA has elected to cease grooming operations as of yesterday. We have followed the lead of other ski and bike areas and are recommending that people recreate without travelling out of their own neighbourhoods, maintain social distancing, and stay home if they are symptomatic. A formal statement should be available from the GBCTA shortly, Thanks for a wonderful season and stay well.”
Lots of grooming has occurred in PLPP in the past 48 hours. Tyrwhitt, Whiskey Jack, Upper Pocaterra, Packers were the last ones groomed last night. The latest report…
“During the first of 2 grooming shifts, ending at midnight, heavy snow began falling just before dark, lasting for about 2 hours, and depositing about 5cm’s of new snow in the Boulton parking lot, less further north, and more at higher elevations. Much of the new Monday night grooming will have at least a few cm’s of new snow on top the trackset. Grooming shifts /schedules will be altered in the coming days as PLPP is using a borrowed snowcat until Tuesday morning (as long as everything goes according to plan), while the PLPP cat awaits parts and repair. Use extra caution on all tracksetting from Friday night on as the borrowed snowcat has some hydraulic idiosyncrasies, causing the tiller to stick, both up and down, or side to side; there are occasionally places where the track disappears for a few feet, as well as some sharp spots on turns.”
“No new grooming due to our snow cat working at Peter Lougheed. Conditions continue to be spring like icy in the morning softening up in sun exposed areas in the afternoon.”
Wow. Cascading effect now……probably guess the result.
Yes- it’s easy to see what’s coming next- no access to provincial lands. If not right away- once the NP closure inevitably causes overcrowding elsewhere. A poor decision in my opinion.
Alberta Parks are consulting with Alberta Health Services and the Cheif Medical Officer on the status of provincial parks remaining accessible. Might take a few days.
Dr. Hinshaw told Albertans yesterday that it’s not a good idea to go the provincial parks right now. As much as I love skiing, I think I will put my skis away for the season, stay close to home, and do other individual outdoor fitness activities. It’s been an outstanding ski season – I’ve had loads of great outings! This virus is serious stuff, and the health of everyone is more important than my personal mountain playtime. The mountains will still be there when this is all over. Take care of yourselves everyone!
I agree Carol. As much as we all love skiing and being out in nature, now is the time to put aside personal desires and act for the greater good. The sooner we all stay home and flatten the curve the sooner we will all be able to return to normal. Whatever normal will be after this. Stay safe, stay healthy and stay home.
Hopefully the Canmore Nordic Centre keeps vehicle access open for locals with no car-pooling except for people who share accommodation. There is plenty of space on the trails for safe spacing. Its a long way to walk across town carrying gear, and I certainly don’t want to ride a bus anywhere. This is an outdoor exercise town with more than enough safe open space for resident population. I applaud the Mayor for telling drivers to stay on the highway and keep going.
West Bragg Creek, the GBCTA
lack of grooming won’t stop people from coming
Agreed. In the grand scheme of things, if demand does not decrease (and may even be increasing with spring and the pent up need to get out of the isolation box, especially families), spot closures or partial shutdowns may concentrate people in fewer areas. That already happens at Bragg regardless, so probably a good move. Over the entire system of skiing in the area, things may spread out and demand decrease overall with no grooming, maybe. But will also concentrate people (not going as far or following skier set tracks) if demand doesn’t drop off (enough) as is the assumption with any reduction in services or access. If parking lots are plowed and things “accessible” for the entire system at least, more likely that the demand will be able to spread out. It’s easy to be responsible, best practices and all that, and keep the lungs and mind healthy, if things stay accessible. Especially when the high snowpack season doesn’t appear to be coming to an abrupt cataclysmic weather ending. Just thinking…..
Until we get the order to shelter in place, no leaving home except for food, medical care or workers in essential services. See Italy.
Unfortunate about WBC. Must have been a busy parking lot over the weekend, if it was anything like Hwy 40 areas. Will the parking lot still get plowed?