Parking information signs were distributed throughout Peter Lougheed Provincial Park(PLPP) lots yesterday, including the Upper Lake parking lot.
Self-pay station in Pocaterra will be operational this Sunday, and the one at Elk Pass parking will be working next week once contractor work is completed. We are investigating whether self-pay can be implemented at the soon-to-be-reopened Visitor Centre. Sales at retail shops should be underway by Saturday, Nov. 21.
You can still buy your parking pass online.
More grooming In PLPP
- Kananaskis Fire Lookout groomed north side from Lookout to Pocaterra.
- Pocaterra groomed from Lookout Trail to Packers Trail.
Take note the above trails have been groomed only, not trackset. Grooming leaves a corduroy surface.
Steve Riggs brought up a good point. It’s possible the Back Door was roped off due to the necessity of parking the truck and trailer which hauls the snowcat. Considering the trails which were groomed yesterday, this is a very likely scenario.
Back to reading the Kananaskis trail reports
There’s been lots of concern about there being no Live Grooming Reports. Nobody seems to know anything except for the fact that it’s not functioning. I’ve added links on the main menu to the individual reports in Kananaskis(PLPP, Ribbon Creek, and Mt Shark). Main Menu>Trail Reports>PLPP etc.
Some good news: PLPP Discovery Centre reopens on Nov 28.
Shaganappi Golf Course
November 19th, 2020 Shaganappi Point nordic skiing update:
The gates to Shaganappi were opened for the winter as of November 10th.
Skiing is not recommended until there is a compacted base, although some skiers have been enjoying Shaganappi by carefully choosing where they ski.
- Skis on snow with no compacted base likely will go right through the snow down to the ground hitting grass, asphalt, and the shale cart paths, which can permanently damage your skis.
Feel free to go for a walk or snowshoe. After grooming and track setting has begun, please do not walk, bike, or snowshoe on ski trails.
- Sunken footprints/bike tracks act as a heat sink and also get frozen in place and are then a fall hazard to skiers traveling at speed.
Grooming and track setting for cross country skiing at Shaganappi will begin in December.
- Shaganappi Point golf course and Confederation Park golf courses have two different microclimates. Shaganappi has significantly more year-round sun and wind exposure compared to the Confederation golf course. (Confederation has longer frost delays during the golf season due to receiving less sun exposure than Shaganappi) If the snow above the turf at Shaganappi is machine compacted for skiing in November, freeze/thaw cycles of November Chinooks create an ice layer that remains in place all winter preventing air exchange within the snowpack, which kills the turf underneath. Turf death in the spring directly equates to lower visitor numbers and revenue loss at golf courses, as golfers in general prefer to play at golf courses that are in pristine condition.
Please stay off tee boxes and greens (at all golf courses), as the fragile turf is easily killed by compacted snow.
- All greens are roped off at Shaganappi. Tee boxes and greens in general are flat areas with a hill around them. Some tee boxes are roped off, but not all. (roping off greens at Shaganappi are the Golf course’s responsibility, roping off tee boxes near ski trails are SNO’s responsibility. There are 80+ tee boxes, and 27 greens at Shaganappi).
Bob, you mention “There’s been lots of concern about there being no Live Grooming Reports. Nobody seems to know anything except for the fact that it’s not functioning.” Does anyone presently know any further? As a retired IT professional, is there anything that I can help with in that regard to investigate?
Mike, the owner of https://www.skitrails.info/ had an amazing system set up for the reporting of grooming information. He won’t even answer emails, that is, if he’s still alive. It looks like a good busines opportunity for someone to start anew.
Thanks Bob – yes, it looks like it’s widespread because Methow Valley is reporting the same issues we see. https://skitrails.info/report/methowtrails. I’ve sent them an email through their contact form as well – sounds like from your comment that I shouldn’t expect to hear anything.
If, only if, a new site was created, do you know who I should contact at PLPP and CNC about how they do their local tracking in the snowcats? E.g. the GPS feed from the snowcats into the site.
Mike, I’ve sent your email address to the person who can answer your question.
Much obliged, Bob! Just thinking that it’s such a good resource for all of us, particularly with long drives to get to the hills, it can save us all time and fuel and CO2 emissions knowing more about the grooming in real-time – it would be a shame to not have it around for the season.
Thanks for information Mike W and Masid.
I share most of the sentiments you’ve expressed and am surprised more details are not available.
As for the Cooperating Agreement itself, it isn’t available to the public, including on Alberta’s “Open Government” website. This was confirmed with a phone call to the Alberta Environment and Parks FOIP Office. I looked into making a FOIP request. It costs $25 just to file the request, at which point a FOIP representative will give you an estimate on the fee to process the request. The government should have released the Agreement to the public to begin with. If I’m going to donate money to the government, whether or not it’s through an intermediate organization, I want to know exactly what’s going to happen to my money. Withholding this information is counter-productive to public trust and buy-in.
(My comment above was meant to be a reply to MaSid’s Nov 19 3:54pm comment below.)
Exactly. I can’t see how they could turn down a FOIP request. It’s not a private entity collecting funds and doing the work themselves. It’s a charitable entity collecting funds on a volunteer basis to augment what was previously tax funded but also still work being done using government employees (presumably) and equipment (hence the “cooperation” agreement). Essentially another means to collect tax at this point, but without public disclosure, scrutiny, accountability (so far). Doesn’t quite meet the test as they say. I’m sure the public auditor will be looking very closely at it. Best to get out front with some info to achieve success (that being continued grooming, in my view). And perhaps more importantly, not get enthralled in an audit scenario as a charitable org involved with a political entity. I’m not against it, dont get me wrong, but needs to be done right in the long term, without harming the charitable entity trying to fill a gap, but perhaps not taking the right steps to protect themselves in the process. The details will be revealed eventually one way or another.
I bought my pass this morning and am good to go, but its still a bit unclear to me how the funding is going to work? I presume my payment will go to Nordiq Alberta, but will they then transfer all or some of the payments they receive to Parks or general revenue or even some other account? If the amount of funds raised exceeds or falls short of the cost of grooming what then.
Maybe this has been explained in detail somewhere and I’ve missed it, so if there is a link to that information I’d appreciate it.
None of the information you’re asking for is currently available to the public To your list of questions you can add:
(1) Did the government decide to resume grooming for this winter solely because of the agreement with Nordiq Alberta, or was it planning to do so in any case because of the additional COVID-generated demand for outdoor recreation? In the latter case, the government is reaping an undeserved revenue windfall through the hard effort of Nordiq Alberta, its volunteers, and the paying public.
(2) What commitment has the government made to continue grooming in future winters, and is this tied in any way to how much money Nordiq Alberta collects this winter? Or has the government decided for ideological reasons to terminate grooming after this winter no matter what?
Two weeks ago I asked Nordiq Alberta for a copy of their Cooperating Agreement with the government, which may answer some of your questions. My request was forwarded to the Nordiq Board and Alberta Parks. I received an email this morning from Nordiq’s Communications & Program Coordinator saying he’ll be bringing up my request with the Board later this afternoon. I’ll periodically post info on SkierBob as to how things proceed.
I was tempted to make a FOIP request. The one response we got on skier bob forum may have made reference to legal and disclosure issues? Somewhat concerning if there is an NDA at play (none disclosure agreement). If they can’t fully share the actual document, lots of other options to inform the potential paying customers of how it is anticipated to work in detail, how they might deal with some of the unknowns etc. Saying nothing hinders the desired outcome. Volunteers need to be able to answer the tough questions from anyone being asked to donate.