Did you get your money’s worth?

When Ruth Ramonas posted her comment on Oct 19, little did she know how prophetic her prediction would turn out to be. 

The “explosion” in xc skiing caught everyone by surprise. 

Only four months ago, we were still in fear of losing the grooming in Kananaskis.  Nordiq Alberta put together a feasible proposal which involved a $50 season pass or a $10 day pass(completely voluntary. You didn’t have to pay if you didn’t want to). The announcement came on Oct 30 that grooming would continue.

Previous to the decision, as encouragement to the government, I posted the question What do you like about skiing in Kananaskis? and received 101 replies, a few of which I’ve displayed on this page. 

The efficiency of Nordiq Alberta to put together the infrastructure to collect the fees, and the hours of work by Ken Hewitt and his gang of parking lot volunteers has been amazing. 

The excellent grooming at Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, Ribbon Creek, Mt Shark and Sandy McNabb has continued. 

There remains a lot of good skiing in the month ahead, but I wanted to post the question while we still have a lot of people reading. Did you get your money’s worth?  


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  1. I feel the track setting and trail grooming was very much “my monies worth”. Thank you to all the folks who organized the “pass” system and to all the volunteers that manned the parking lots etc.
    Our seniors group/club did not get out as we normally would if our bus trips were still running. However, many of us have been driving out in our own cars and have enjoyed a wonderful season that is still going on as I write this on April 2.
    Also thank you to Bob Truman “Skier Bob” for all his time over the years! Your website has been invaluable and I am sure that all the skiers thank you very much.
    It has been a good year and hopefully we will have many more as x-country skiing has expanded at an exponential rate.

  2. I probably did, to be honest the $50 felt more like a donation, so it is quite difficult to answer the specific question. I’m very appreciative of all the efforts that Ken and all the volunteers put in to make this work.

    I hope that we might be able to build on the success of the program next year and perhaps increase the amount of grooming. The PLPP crew seem to be challenged to keep up with new snowfalls (I have no doubt that they are doing their best with the staff and equipment available) and wonder if more money (higher fee or more sales) might be able to help. Perhaps a survey will be done at the end of the season to get everyone’s view.

    The fact that we have to pay for K-Country grooming while Cypress Hills PP is done for free does slightly irk me.

  3. I felt like I got my moneys worth. I am a COVID cross country skier. I have spent the last many years spending weekends at the ski hill and chose nordic skiing this year to avoid the crowds at the hill. I am undecided whether or not I will purchase a pass next year. I wonder how many more there are like me and if passes will cover the cost of grooming next winter.

    I am extremely appreciative of the grooming. I was extremely disappointed in the government’s decision to cut funding to ski grooming. When I moved to Alberta in the 90’s it was something I was really impressed about Alberta, and as a student at the time, I appreciated the free skiing. While $50 for a year of skiing is no big deal to me now, I regret that it needs to be paid. I felt it was something that made Alberta special.

    My final consideration when I reflect on the program to groom is how many volunteer hours is needed to collect funds, administer the website and patrol parking lots. I would argue that we were better off before. Having said all of this, I would take this over no grooming at all.

    Kudos to all the volunteers that made this possible this year. I have thoroughly enjoyed my winter!

  4. I would pay more for groomed trails – love the variety. Done a ton of skiing at PLPP this season – some at Kananaskis and WBC too as well at CNC and local YYC trails, however PLPP is my fav hands down. $50 per car is a BARGAIN!!!!

  5. Haven’t got my money’s worth, but I don’t care. BC residents pay pretty much everywhere to ski AND have a PST. So those that complain (Martin & Jip), you need to realize what you have. Kinda like the GST, before it came, there was a hidden tax on a lot of things, especially imports. Out of sight out of mind….

  6. $50 is good value. I have used my Pass over 30 times. Hoping to hit 40. In the fall, I thought I’d have to take up snowshoeing. Instead I’ve skied more than ever. Thank you to all who saved the season.

  7. A resounding YES!!! PLPP is one of our favourite places to ski and the grooming and track-setting were stellar, as always. We even got in a few more skis than usual on Bill Milne. A big thanks to the groomers, and to Ken Hewitt for all his time and effort. Even volunteering was fun!

  8. Definitely worth the $50/season/car. We are so far at 12 visits (mostly PLPP) this season – not bad for weekend warriors. We ski elsewhere (CNC, WBC, LL) but Kananaskis is a bit special – scenery is beautiful and it always feels so quiet once on the trails.
    Thanks to the awesome groomers and parking volunteers for making this possible.

  9. Yes absolutely worth it. Thanks to the hard work of Nordiq Alberta and the many volunteers we were able to keep these pristine, beautiful areas groomed and trackset for fantastic skiing. Worth every penny.

  10. Hi:
    Although I didn’t get out to PLPP as much as I would have liked to (does one ever?), I consider it money well spent, having skied there for the last ~25 years.
    With kind regards,
    P.S. I had a fantastic trip yesterday, Fairview/Lac Annette/Moraine Lake Road/Tramline. I took the trail back to the road from the first bridge along the creek. Who woulda knew!

  11. I’ll be the voice of dissent, no I haven’t purchased a pass and have not skied PLPP, Kananaskis or Mt Shark this season, I do commend Nordic for their efforts but I’m in total disagreement with the arrangement which is grossly unfair and ridiculous turning citizens into tax collectors. Thank goodness for WBC who will continue to receive my support

  12. The pass is very inexpensive and I am very grateful that Nordiq Alberta stepped up to make the grooming happen, especially this year of fewer options for travel and indoor recreation! I would pay even more for more consistent and frequent grooming but yes the pass was definitely worth it.

  13. I’ll say. The pass is peanuts for skiing on some of the best trails in North America. I have a hard time imagining more interesting and scenic trails than those at PLPP and Ribbon Creek.

  14. Elizabeth Snowball Beggs

    Absolutely ! Thank you !

  15. With probably 6 weeks still left in the Kananaskis grooming season- we are already at under $6 per skier day- and that’s with buying a pass for each of our 2 vehicles. That’s quite the bargain!

  16. Definitely worth my money. In December and January when conditions in WBC were marginal at best, I did most of my skiing in Kananaskis Village / Skogan pass (10+ times) and PLPP (15+ times) and without grooming I would have been miserable and « forced » to go farther. This month I skied mostly in WBC and next week will return to Kananaskis / PLPP.

  17. Yes, partner & I out there 3 wknds in Jan and 3 in Feb.
    And yes PLPP busier than yrs past, more youngsters.

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