Early season conditions on Moraine Lake road

Jacob and Ulli on Moraine Lake road.

Before I get started, a word of caution: all the parking lots at Lake Louise are very icy. Exercise extreme care when walking in your ski boots. 

Moraine Lake road at 2.5K. Nearing Paradise creek.

Thanks to Chuck’s report yesterday, lots of skiers headed to Moraine Lake road today. I arrived early at the trailhead to a temperature of -12°C with light snow falling. I was lucky to get one of the last spots in the parking lot.

Moraine Lake road

The trail has been roller-packed but the snow is still very soft. Skaters were sinking about 5 cm into the snow. When I ran into Henry, exhausted as he was skating up the big hill, he asked me if I was sure that it had been packed. 

Yesterday’s corduroy had just about disappeared due to how busy the trail is, along with a skiff of new snow on top. The snow stopped falling when I reached Paradise Creek at 2.6K and the sun made an appearance. It was a beautiful day with not a breath of wind. 

Moraine Lake road

At the first high point, 6.3K and 210 metres elevation, I decided that was enough for the first time out. As I was having a drink, Jacob and Ulli came along to have a chat and let me take the nice photo at the top of this post. 

The trip back down was vey controllable in the soft snow. Many skiers who arrived later were coming up the trail by this time. 

It was nice to see Risto working hard with skate skis.

I waxed with VR40(-4/-12) and it worked perfectly for the climb up the big hill. I had a semblance of a skier-set track to follow which got better the further I went.

On my way back, I encountered a number of hikers who were on their way to the lake. One group was spread across the trail, five-wide, oblivious to what they were doing to the trail and the tracks. I encouraged them to go single file in the track which most hikers and fat bikers were using. They complied and thanked me for explaining the protocol to them. I’m wondering how long they stayed single file. 

After lunch, I tested out the new grooming on the Great Divide. It was great to see Chuck and Jeanette coming my way. Chuck has submitted a report with photos on the Trip Reports, as has Tanya, so check them out. 

Kananaskis Grooming

I’ve sure enjoyed reading all the comments (80 of them to date!) on the Kananaskis Grooming post. Well, I’ve received some significant good news which I hope is a precursor to the Kananaskis situation: “Grooming in Cypress Hills will be completed by Alberta Parks staff when snow conditions are sufficient.” I skied for four days on the Cypress Hills trails last winter and am looking forward to going back this season. 


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  1. Any idea as to expected grooming frequency at Morraine Lake Road or Great Divide? Do you think there will be further grooming this week before the weekend?

    • Patrick, I expect grooming will occur anytime there is enough fresh snow to refresh the trail. There is snow in the forecast for Lake Louise, so I expect it will at least be rolled before the weekend, and if enough new snow falls, possibly trackset.

  2. We at have missed each other again!

    Sounds about the same time as I was there too

  3. Met that group of hikers later at higher elevation. They were working their way to the lake single file keeping right on the shoulder.

    Good to hear. – Bob

  4. That’s fabulous, but Cypress Hills is not in Kananaskis.

    Let me explain it to you. The fact that Alberta Parks has made the decision to continue grooming in one of their jurisdictions, bodes well for the Kananaskis situation. -Bob

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