I realize this report will be irrelevant by tomorrow if the big snowfall materializes. It’s a good thing the snow is coming because the first 2K of Cascade Valley is extremely thin. All in all, however, it was still a fun ski trip especially considering I didn’t hit any rocks on the way back down the hill.
Many of our popular ski trails start with a strenuous climb and Cascade Valley is one of them. If you make it over the hill, you are rewarded with a beautiful trail consisting of gentle, rolling terrain and numerous interesting features.
The first 750 metres of the trail is on the paved Lake Minnewanka road and the snow coverage is paper thin. With every pole plant I hit pavement, and I felt my skis scrape pavement once as well.
The snow in the meadow is also thin but at least it’s in grass. The first kilometre on the big hill is also very thin. The tracksetting was very shallow and non-existent in a few places.
I was pleasantly surprised when descending at the end of the day that I didn’t hit anything, but a couple big rocks were visible.
As I neared the top of the hill(110 metre net elevation gain) the snow coverage was much better, and on the other side it was fine and the tracks were good. There were a few places under tree canopies where the tracks were thin.
The remainder of the distance to the Cascade river bridge at 6K was pretty nice. Beyond the bridge it is not trackset, despite what the Banff trail report indicates. It is deep snow with skier-set track. Chuck made it all the way to the Stoney Creek Cabin in the ungroomed snow.