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Pipestone grooming was sketchy as the hard pack prevented the tracks to be formed to depth. The downhill areas were almost solid ice with some rocks coming through. The trails overall were still 70 % avg
30% below. More snow needed 6-12” to rehabilitate the trail. Safety will become an issue bc soon.
Dear Skier Bob,
Although our paths probably have crossed when the Regina ski club made it’s annual 4 day trip to Canmore area I don’t think we’ve actually met. We would often pick your brain/blog for the best skiing options for us flatlanders and your prompt replies always sent us in the right direction. I believe one year you told us not to do Goat Creek unless we we’re planning on doing it with a luge. It’s another “end of an era” but it’s totally understandable. On behalf of the Regina Ski Club thank you so much for countless hours you’ve spent to make this a better world. ?
Lake Windermere WHITEWAY (Advertised as The World’s Longest Skating Rink): Friday Feb 12th Started at Kinsmen Beach in temps around -20 and warmed to -15 (blasting bright sun: where were the Eskimo Slit Goggles?) After skiing all loops and to far end of lake, we reached our desired goal of 31 kms. Supper at FUZE was wonderful, especially to sit down warm and cosy inside. Almost needed “extracting” out of the car at 9pm, but Mission Accomplished for our Virtual Birkie on two opposing teams.
I have a friend in Norway, in Sandvika near Oslo, who ski often, here is their map of ski trails and info on grooming/tracking near Oslo.
On their web site of the ski association https://www.skiforeningen.no/magasinetmarka/aret-som-gikk/
I am reading:
“A total of 16,265 kilometers of ski trails were prepared in 2020. Compared to 43,585 kilometers the year before(2019), it is understood that it was a demanding winter. In some terrain trails, there was not enough snow to prepare at all.”
Info might be of interest to our groomers and others,
anyway, thanks for your contribution over the last 13 years,
I like how the map shows how old the grooming is in hours, rather than days!
the “end “
So many great comments from all your followers , friends and admirers!
You deserve them all and more- You covered the basics 10 times over, Always relevant ,interesting ,helpful and sometimes funny!
I don’t know how you had time to ski!
And all work on getting PeterLPP Back And successful
It won’t be the same.
Sad to hear, but you must need a rest
hope we will Cross paths in the future
I’m sad to hear that you’re intending to end your website this season. It’s an amazing site. I wish I had known it in 2008. I’ve recommended it to many skiers.
I understand that it’s a lot of work to keep it up.
I’m sure you will be out on your skis on the trails you love.
Take care and keep skiing!
Thank you gentlemen very much for speedy responses.
Good to know they are not altering the glide performance of the more popular and common type binding. I really like my 3 pin setup but I guess I will have to tolerate the lack of glide efficiency. It did seem to bother hubby more than me. Thank you to Track setter Jeff ,,,I am also curious if a different machine was used on the Bill Maline vs the Wedge pond to the Evan Thomas stretch. I just didnt feel nearly as much drag on the binding on the Wedge trail!
Also Bob, I was trying to find a link you previously provided by a lady speaking on waxing techniques. Looks like my old skis are a hickory base. Just used a liquid glide rub on wax and was pleasantly surprised they had any glide at all lol Guess I need a kick wax on the center areas now.
Bob…love the last name,,, my Father and Brother are both Truman’s!!! Cheers to 2021
To Lots of snow !!
Hi Skier Bob!
Thank you so much for your amazing web site and wealth of information. Truly a wonderful resource and I love your spirit of enthusiasm.
Hubby and I are not seasoned xc skiers, to say the least, but are enjoying these wonderful conditions and workout, usually after a 1/2 day on the down hill at NAKISKA.
We have bought, second hand, ole school 3 pin bindings skies and have very comfy, warm 3 pin boots which were bought new.
Our issue… yesterday, on the Bill Malign, we were experiencing quite a bit of drag with the wider binding but noticed a nice difference coming back, as drag was less due to them already broken through the side walls and do they damage the track for the more common style binding?
Can groomer machines not accommodate these style bindings !??
Margaret, I’ve passed your question along to Tracksetter Jeff. -Bob
Margaret, here’s your answer from Tracksetter Jeff:
“Great question and yes those old style bindings still exist.
The scraping of the top of the sidewall doesn’t really affect the track for other skiers. The old 3 pin bindings were about 10 cm wide at the widest point. A modern track pad for tracksetting is roughly 8-10 cm at the top. As this is an industry standard we would have to make our own pads to fully accommodate a wider binding. I skied on the wider bindings for years and still have them, the little bit of drag is more of an annoyance than any issue to the track.”
there seems to be a new temp reading at Wunderground.com
it’s located about ~200 m south of William Watson Lodge, and ~200 m west of Kananaskis Lakes Trail at a private home on Lake Shore Dr.
however, the coordinates shown on the above link are wrong by 18km, there is only one house over there and it should be 50.6603, -115.1252, elev. 1674 m is likely OK
Andrew, thanks for finding the new weather station! However Weather Underground (WU) creates confusion between a weather station and a weather forecast. The weather station is part of WU’s “Personal Weather Station Network”, which as you say appears to be located at someone’s house. If you go to the station page at https://www.wunderground.com/dashboard/pws/IKANAN3?cm_ven=localwx_pwsdash (different from the link you provided), you’ll see that it’s showing the correct elevation and Lat/Long just above the title “Lower Kananaskis Lake – IKANAN3”. You can get a few more details if you click on the circled “i” just to the right of the title, including a slightly more precise Lat/Long. I presume the Station Name, Lat/Long, Elevation, and Hardware are provided by the station owner. But if you then click on the “FORECAST…” link under the title, it appears you are NOT getting a forecast for that specific location. Instead, you are getting a regional forecast for Kananaskis Improvement District, whose region is centred on a different Lat/Long 50.7 °N 114.88 °W located on the Big Elbow River SE of Banded Peak (which is the link you provided in your post). WU displays the same 1674m elevation as for the weather station, but the actual elevation at that point on the Big Elbow is more like 1800m.
Interestingly, if you go to the “West Bragg Trail Head – IKANAN1” station at https://www.wunderground.com/dashboard/pws/IKANAN1?cm_ven=localwx_pwsdash and then click on the “FORECAST…” link under the title, you’ll end up on the identical forecast page with the identical Lat/Long, except that WU reuses the West Bragg 1430m elevation, and it displays the West Bragg station current conditions instead of the Lower Kananaskis Lake station conditions. But the hourly, 10-day, etc. forecasts are identical.
So in short, WU is a great resource for current conditions at a station location, but its forecasting is regional rather than specific to the station location.
Hello Mike, you are correct, later on I checked under the “I”, they show I think approximately correct coordinates, 50.66 N, 115.125 W, this is within 50 m from the house where this weather station likely is located, as you said their coordinates show location that’s 18km away, now someone needs to correct this as we might be getting weather forecast for that remote location, or regional as you are saying, farther east near Big Elbow/Banded Peak, instead of Lower Lake location, so what might be correct is a temperature, forget the forecast
Environment Canada has a similar issue. There are separate pages for Banff, Canmore, and Kananaskis (Nakiska Ridgetop). Banff and Canmore report the same current conditions (observed at Banff) but have separate forecasts. Kananaskis (Nakiska Ridgetop) reports its own current conditions, but displays the same forecast as Canmore!
Skied at Nipika Mountain Resort on Christmas Day, amazing conditions for classic or skate skiing. Beautiful trails and views made it for a lovely ski. Fantastic place for anyone looking for a dog friendly place to ski with a furry friend! Just Fantastic
My wife tore her ACL downhill skiing last winter. We want to start cross country skiing. Could you suggest a flat area that would be good for her to start on
Dana, the following two trails are the easiest/flattest: The Wedge Connector in Kananaskis. The Great Divide at Lake Louise.
New Environment Canada iPhone App!
The new EnvCanada weather app for the iphone is excellent. V1.5 is much improved. Saved locations, radar, highway alerts and more
Hey there, I’m trying to find a up to date trail report for Calgary so I know where I can ski & can’t seem to find anything. Your help is greatly appreciated.
Ryan, on the main menu, under Trail Reports there are three tabs which give trail conditions in Calgary. For now, I can save you some time: nothing’s ready.
Do you know if Cascade valley is trackset yet?
Alex, not yet. Not enough snow.
Please add me to your email list. Thanks!
Mailing list? News to me. I don’t have any such list. -Bob
Snowshoeing with a dog off-leash – where is that available, and do you report those kind of updates in your website (which is a very useful site; kudos!)
Murray, snowshoeing isn’t the focus of this blog, but the answer to your question would be West Bragg Creek.
Tickets are being handed out if you park on the road at the Back door. Over 40 cars were ticketed on Sunday November 15 from the CO people. Not a pleasant thing to come back to.
Trip report Fire look out/pocaterra/tywhitt
Not sure how you submit these. Been planning on a back door trip for a couple of weeks, knowing it can be good early season. Don’t think about checking site this early in season. We were third vehicle to arrive at fire look out parking lot. Arrived to a fresh dusting of 10cm of light and fluffy snow. Only 1 set of touring tracks heading up to Elk Pass was before us. Temperatures and wind were perfect for the 7.5km climb. We saw no one on the way up to the Elk Pass arch. Skier track was solid and the glide up was fantastic with the new BC skin skis picked up this summer.
Way back was significantly different. Lots of people out enjoying the fresh snow, and everyone happy to be out of the city. 51 cars parked in the lot and on the road when we left. Busy for Nov! But nice to see so many people out enjoying the trails we almost lost. Hopefully they all purchased a pass for what promises to be an amazing season in PLPP!
According to the Parks Canada trail report today, the Great Divide Trail is multipurpose, including fat bikes, so where is Charles coming from?
Graham, in Banff National Park I believe fat bikes are allowed on the same trails in winter that allow them in the summer. Charles is simply expresing an opinion. I can’t speak for Charles, but he is probably concerned about things like this: fat bike destruction on soft snow (photo from Nov 2019). In recent years, fat bikers have become a lot more aware of how they affect the enjoyment of the trails and are making efforts to avoid soft trails and/or creating dangerous conditions for skiers.
Piggy backing a little on “Friends” post. What trails work best for pulling a chariot ski pulk? My wife and I are intermediate skiers, our daughter is 10 months and our son who is 3 has already been skiing since he was a year and a half, but when the little man needs a break we are hauling about 60lbs plus the sled. Thoughts? Just wondering what you and the community think.
Darren, I won’t be able to help you with this question. Hopefully someone who has experience pulling a pulk will chime in with their suggestions.
Hi Darren ,
We have a nice 2.5 km loop at the Kananaskis Village we affectionately call the Terrace Toddler. It very easy double track with a few little hills and lots of room to pull off with the pulk if need be. Of all the trails I groom this is the one I see the most chariots on.
Thanks so much for taking the time to reach out. I definitely look forward to giving it a go with family. Also, I’ve never had the chance to thank a groomer personally before, so I want to take a moment to to say thank you for the hours of time to make each winter special for people like my wife and I and our kids. It truly is a blessing!
My wife is pregnant and is a beginner skier who just learned to snow plow. We are planning a day to ski in early December. Do you have any flat ski area you would suggest? We live in Calgary. It would be nice if the dog could come too. Thanks for all your services with the ski community.
Trails that would check all the boxes for you would be:
Terrace trail at Kananaskis Village.
Wedge Connector starting from Wedge pond in Kananaskis.
Mountain road at West Bragg Creek.
Strathmore golf course.
All are dog-friendly, and the latter two are off-leash.
Let’s hope for snow and grooming.
LOST: a pair of men’s black ski gloves (eau claire?) at Little Elbow on Monday. Last seen on top of car parked just before the closed gate.
Have you been to Mt. Shark? Do you know what the conditions are like today (October 27/20)?
Denise, I haven’t been to Mt Shark but the nearby weather station at Mud Lake reports 18 cm of snow depth. It’s been at 18 cm for a few days, so it should be consolidated. I imagine people have been out there skiing, hiking and snowshoeing.
Found on MLR today – gloves and thermos in one location and vest in another. Gloves and vest are at the LL Visitor Centre but I had no room for the thermos it’s still up there.
Pair of Rossignol Skis found this morning at Mount Shark trailhead.
Call or text 4068991568
My Nordic comrades…
Fantastic day at the Spring Creek Trails in Cypress Hills Provincial Park.
-12 and sunny. Skier packed. Great to see so many friends out so early!
I’m looking to hire an instructor to teach my friend and I how to skate ski. We’re hoping for a few lessons in Calgary. Any suggestions on who to reach out to?
Stacey, Ski Lessons is listed under “Resources” on the main menu. It gives 11 places which provide lessons.
Was wondering if cross country ski conditions at Cascade Valley in Banff are posted anywhere?
Annie, the conditions will eventually be listed on the Banff Trail Report. There’s a link to the report on the main menu under “Trail Reports.”
Spray Lakes Sawmills recently released their 10 year logging plan for public input. It includes cutblocks that would cover almost all of Ranger Hill including every trail on the hill as well as large parts of Elbow and Snagmore, and another block that would cover most of the east slope of Moose Mountain. The input period ends July 21.
Here’s the GBCTA post about it:https://www.braggcreektrails.org/sls-public-input-2021-forest-management-plan/
and the ArcGis link showing the logging area.: https://www.arcgis.com/apps/View/index.html?appid=a8a918bd3f564cf795c681d1aac49735
Try to make the logging roads (skintracks) not too obvious (to keep out the riff raff).
When cutting down trees… consider fall line/aspect/photogenic potential, etc.
Don’t worry about the mtb weenies 😉
Thanks in advance.
Does anybody know if people are associating to, privately, groom on PLPP? It could be in form of a concession or similar (similar to West Bragg Creek)? Thanks
Thanks for the reply. There may be a few options to explore the continuation of grooming in PLPP. I am surprised that there is no Cross Country Ski Clubs concerned about these changes or I can’t find them.
Who can I contact or group who is advocating ski trail grooming in PLPP.
Found – Adult skating poles found at Canmore Nordic Centre parking lot on March 18. We left them at Trail Sports which is closed, but you can call them.
There are 2 organizations who are taking on the provincial government over the parks privatization issue; if you go on their home page you’ll find a petition to address this very delicate matter and that involves you area MLA, not that these individuals are going to give any consideration to our concerns but is the squeaky wheel that gets the oil.
There is something else about the decision procedure of this government, first they drop the bomb and then everyone has to adapt, a responsible leadership would have found an alternative first and then announce that it would be privatized, this is what is occurring in Europe, the tracksetting is no longer a responsibility of the local government but rather a consortium of local businesses who want tourism to flow efficiently.
So, the 2 organizations are:
CPAWS and LEADNOW ( Jolan Bailey)
I apologize for the lack of computer skill.
Take care: Paolo
It’s Jason Proche here. Further to Rhonda’s post. I was also out was also at PLPP today enjoying the amazing new snow, blue sky, and fresh tracks—that is until I came across the skate skier Rhonda mentioned. I came up on him from behind on Pocaterra as he was destroying the newly set tracks. I was friendly and simply mentioned that there are no skate lanes at PLPP, but told him areas where he could go. He played ignorant. After our friendly exchange I thought he’d turn around but kept climbing. I turned around and told him on behalf of the few hundred classic skiers that he should g9 and get his classic skis. He told me to call the RCMP. I WAS NOT IMPRESSED. So in jerk fashion, he continued his ski making divots in the fresh tracks. I’ll send you an email with his picture.
Ps I was thinking a letter from all your sponsors to the Minister of Parks would be a good way to get attention—UCP May actually listen to the business operators.
Re: Fundraising for continued grooming in our parks. If only we could get a few days of the money allotted to the UCP War Room. 3 million / 365 = $82,191. Seriously. I don’t want to get political but just a small fraction would keep Albertan families active in the winter months.
Very briefly; I honestly think that it is time to send a letter to the federal government asking them to declare Kananaskis and Canmore, part of the Banff National park system, bypassing all the junk that this province is experiencing, this would address not only the tracksetting of PLPP , Mt.Shark and Ribbon Creek but also issues like poaching, ATV ‘s and ensuring a vital corridor to wildlife for migratory purposes.
To be honest with you folks, it doesn’t surprise me, I have been suspicious about this government ability to manage the future and the present of this province; my strong believe is that they are so skilled and obviously opportunistic, that it was quite obvious that they could count on a substantial amount of Albertans to believe indiscriminately to all the B.S. that was fed to the public about bringing back the fate of this province to the once claimed bonanza of the golden days.
The reality is that we are getting deeper and deeper into debt by diverting every penny subtracted from all the programs being cut, to support and subsidize an industry that is all about waste and massive devastation but many nostalgic of that philosophical line of thoughts, are not aware that more and more private funds have been invested towards the real future of this province and employment has been steadily increasing.
Perhaps the people of this province needs to experience real grief to determine that it is time to turn the page for good and have responsible people to take responsible decisions for everyone; the chance will come in 3 years so prepare for more ugly news because this is not the end , there is more to come and it is going to be even more outrageous than the end of tracksetting in Kananaskis, it will make you wish that the coronavirus will land to every UCP politician and do the job quietly, so we can finally think about enjoying this land with all the treasures, all the creatures, all the fun and make a living in compliance with Mother nature.
This is an interesting read.. check the third bullet. Cross country skiing as we know it is going to change. Mike S
Say it isn’t so ?
“Beginning fall 2020, there will be no groomed cross-country track setting in the three main areas traditionally groomed by government staff in the Kananaskis Region. These areas are: Peter Lougheed, Mt. Shark and Kananaskis Village area. Grooming will continue to occur at the Canmore Nordic Centre. Track-setting will continue to occur in the West Bragg Creek area, done by the West Bragg Creek Trails Association.”
Hi Skier Bob!
Thank you for all that you do, We all appreciate the time and effort you put into this fantastic website! It was nice to chat with you the other day, you’re right that Mountain View had great snow! I found some of your pictures with Tessa on the website too… What a pretty girl she was, she looks like she loved to ski and be with you and your family!
Odd question (and I understand you may not have time) but could you forward me that photo of Luna and I? I don’t have many action shots of her and I together.
Thanks again for all that you do!
Hi Bob and everyone. Carless vancouverites returning to Banff. We are going to be there for 7 days and last year we did Moraine Lake, Great Divide, Tramline, Fairview, Bow River Loop and other trails around Lake Louise and Yoho Park.
This time we will stay in Banff and were wondering what are the most relevant trails from a perspective of fun, beauty, physical challenge and uniqueness in your oppinion and the one of your readers for visitors.
I am a instructor of cross country skiing and we love day trips and all kind of difficult levels and thought about doing, in this order of priority, based on fun, beauty, physical challenge and uniqueness:
1- Spray River West Trail
2- Brewster Creek
3- Castle Junction
4- Cascade Valley
5- Goat Creek to Banff Springs
6- Redearth Creek
7- Healy Creek
Would you agree these are the top 7 trails? What would you add, subtract, change the order?
And, if I may, just 2 last questions:
a) What is the difference between the Goat Creek and Spray River trail, the Spray River West Trail and the Goat Creek to Banff Springs trail? Is one more interesting than the other based on beauty, challenge and uniqueness?
b) Is the Pipestone Loop worth a check out? We were also in doubt about Boom Lake, which we heard is beautiful but could not find any info on trail conditions. We are going to to Tunnel Mountain and to the Canmore Nordic Centre on two nights.
Thank you so kindly,
Rodrigo, on Goat Creek to Banff Springs, the final 9.9K is Spray River West. I’d move Goat Creek to Banff to the #1 position.
Fun, beauty, and uniqueness are all subjective criteria and everyone will have a different opinion.
Brewster Creek is not fun descending when conditions are sketchy(but others may like the challenge!).
As for physical challenge, some of these trails are listed on Risto’s Hill Pain Score.
Since you’re “carless”, you may have difficulty getting transport to some of the trailheads such as Redearth Creek, Boom Lake, and Pipestone. But because I have a car, I’m not familiar with the public transport options. The Pipestone trails are a favourite of mine in the Lake Louise area in terms of fun and beauty. Somewhat similar to Fairview in terms of your 4 criteria, but longer. Review the recent SkierBob trip reports for details.
Boom Lake is certainly scenic once you reach the lake, but be aware you are travelling in “Challenging – Class 2” avalanche terrain (https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/mtn/securiteenmontagne-mountainsafety/avalanche/echelle-ratings). I would rate the route as being at the low end of the Class 2 rating compared to the other Class 2 routes listed. I suspect many people ski it without having taken any avalanche safety training or carrying any avalanche safety gear, but I wouldn’t consider that evidence that the route is “safe”. I wouldn’t ski the route without the proper training and equipment, but that’s easy for me to say because I have both! At the very least you should discuss it further with someone at a Parks Info Centre. The trail is only skier trackset, and the first 2 km are steep. Although under good conditions you can negotiate the steep part with XC skis, the most appropriate skis would be light touring skis with metal edges, and skins for going uphill. If you do it with XC skis, it will certainly be high on your “physical challenge” scale!
Thank you very much Mike!
Thank you Bob!
On top of you list if you enjoy a challenging day, I would suggest Skoki lodge, you can shorten the day by just going to Deception pass or even shorter to Boulder pass / Ptarmigan lake. As the ski starts close to the Lake Louise ski resort you could take a shuttle from Banff. Once you skied the ski out to Temple lodge you will be greated by a wonderful scenery mostly in the alpine zone, hence no trees to block the views.
A note to say I like the new banner header, especially including Tessa this year. A suitable tribute.
Thanks, Bryce. I miss her tremendously. Life isn’t the same without her big smile and wagging tail to greet me every morning. -Bob
Entries to the Elk Pass contest closed on Nov 17. We’re just waiting to see who the winners will be. http://skierbob.ca/contest-page-guess-the-date-of-first-tracksetting-on-elk-pass-2019/
Hi everyone! I have a friend coming to visit and we’d like to get out skiing. One challenge is she’s got troubles with her knees and can’t do much for hills.
Can anyone give me suggestions for some trails that are flat or minimally hilly near Canmore, Banff or Lake Louise for this weekend?
Thanks for the help!
The Great Divide at Lake Louise would be perfect for your friend. -Bob
Here is one guys suggestion (others will know doubt also have good advise).
Canmore: other than the nordic centre, Kananaskis Village Trails (terrace) or Hay Meadow Trail on other side -stop in at Barrier Lake visitors centre enroute for parking & trail conditions.
Banff: Castle Mtn – Baker Creek section(s)
Lake Louise: Bow Valley / Campground trail -stop in a visitors centre at Samson Mall in LL first for parking & route advice to start near Post Hotel.
Hello Mr. Bob,
I’ve just recently taken up skate skiing and really enjoy it. We were at Boulton Creek trail today near the Upper Kananaskis lake. We found the trail quite narrow and a sign directing skate skiers to go to Shark mountain, which we did.
My questions are:
Are there any skate skiing trails in PLPP? If so, which ones would you recommend?
What other areas in Southern Alberta support Skate skiing?
Thanks and Merry Christmas,
Check out Resources / Skate Ski Trails
Thanks very much Mike!
I imagine there’s enough good-quality snow to make it skiable but there won’t be much in the way of ski tracks. Goat Creek hasn’t had any grooming for quite a while, and the initial 7K to the Goat Creek bridge sees a lot of multi-use traffic. No thaw-freeze cycles, and some fresh snow has probably prevented the trail from becoming icy.
He’s probably gone out skiing! lol
Tanya, we may have your glasses – we found a pair yesterday afternoon on the Hydroline side of Lookout, below the crazy S-turns. Send a note to email@example.com and we’ll take it from there.
Thank you, Mike! I am sending you an email.
Does anyone know if you can use skate skis on the trails at Pocaterra? I have gone to the Nordic Centre and Mount Shark but just wondering where else I can try with my skate skis.
Thanks so much!
None of the trails at Pocaterra or in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park are suitable or designated for skate skiing. On the main menu, under “Resources,” there is a tab which you can click on to see the list of Skate Ski Trails. http://skierbob.ca/skate-ski-trails/
A number of the West Bragg Creek trails are groomed for skate skiing. East and West Crystal Line, Sundog Loop, Mountain Road, Mountain View West and Hostel Meadow are suitable for skate skiing. The skate lanes get renovated and groomed more frequently than the classic XC track setting.
Here’s a link to the Greater Bragg Creek Trails Association Trail Conditions Report: http://www.braggcreektrails.org/report/
As we were driving out from Ribbon Creek parking lot today, I remarked how amazing the Bill Milne trail would be for skate skiing. Here is Jeff’s update: Feb 05 Bill Milne and Wedge connecter track set with a skate skiing lane. Ice flows on Bill Milne not a concern anymore. Upwards of 20 cm new snow towards Wedge Mountain with less heading north
I was there later in the day while it was being groomed and indeed it would be great for skate skiing. I’ve just posted my update.
There is a good section of the Bill Milne trail that can be used for skating, it implicate removing the skies about 5 times to cross the roads that intersect with it but it is well worth it, considering that part of it is the wedge connector and the Evan Thomas trail, it is about 15 km. return and I usually do it 3 times, it’s easy and now is in fabulous conditions.
P.S. last year, I happened to hear and see a pack of wolves while skiing on the Bill Milne, they are very shy but quite vocals, one more reason to head out there
Just have to tell you how amazing this website is – you have done a fantastic job with all the links and of course getting so many trip reports is crucial but I just wanted to add that I also really appreciate your incredibly detailed daily blogs. Doing all of this must be very time consuming but you have truly enhanced our XC ski world in southern Alberta by giving us so much information. Thank you Bob!!!
Bob: Has the PLPP webcam been decommissioned? I have tried the link several times over the last several weeks and no success. I also did a search on the parks website and with no results.
Update from Duane at Kananaskis: “It appears unlikely that the PLPP Webcam will be installed this winter season. I met with a contractor this week and made the decision that conditions are unsafe for the work that is required. Please know that ensuring the proper (and improved) function of the webcam and temperature sensor remain a priority for me and I will do everything I can to ensure this system is up and running later in 2017.”
Hi, I am going to Elizabeth Parker Hut in late February with a my kids age 6 and 9. I am wondering how far the groomed trail goes and if you need touring skis. Thanks!
Hey – we went into Elizabeth Parker the week before Christmas with our kids age 6 and 9! They were on regular skinny skis, even though there is no grooming at that time of year. I took a fatter ski (80mm) because it was available, I was pulling a pulk, and some of the adults in our group went up to McArthur Pass on the middle day. The majority of the group members were on track width skis, most with metal edges. A wider ski, boot, and binding combination (NNN-BC) is certainly more comfortable and stable with a pack but not critical in my opinion. The 6 yr old didn’t make it all the way – she sat on the pulk for the big hill (last 2-3km) but she probably would have made it if we hadn’t been using the pulk as a carrot to that point! The road goes almost all the way to the hut – just the last few hundred meters is single track trail – a very short steepish section and not groomed. Many in our group walked this part as they did not have skins but it really isn’t far at all. Let me know if you have any further questions.
Thank you David, that is wonderful information! We will be travelling with 2 other families so there will probably be a mix of gear here too!
To anyone who has interest to use the Bill Milne trail, there is an error about the grooming and track-setting description for the upcoming ski season; If you select MAP and RIBBON CREEK TRAIL DISTANCES it will appear a document that illustrates how the trails will be managed, well there is an error concerning the Bill Milne trail stating that it will be groomed but not track-set, I called the info centre in Kananaskis and was reassured that such trail will be groomed and track-set as usual most likely starting mid December .
To all of you have a great ski season.
It seems like winter is a long ways away, but here is some information regarding the Nordic trails at COP. Skiers in Calgary may find this interesting.
Trip report made. Thought I was supposed to make it under “trail reports.” I now remember that’s where you have links to the webpages for the various trails.
If you want to add the Fernie trails the link is:
Found. West Bragg Creek on the road leaving the parking lot. One pair of sunglasses. Sebago’s. will reserve the colour for the owner to reveal. I hate losing things, so I hope the owner sees this. My guess is they were on the roof of a car and they made it about 100m down the road before falling off.
587-438 0029 text me
Thanks for the video of the new ribbon creek downhill run. Love how you share your ski and hike adventures.
Rumor has it….the Spray is set to Goat Creek. Parks Canada website is not updated.
Greetings Skier Bob! Hubby and I think you should start up a hiking blog and then we would have a place to let people know we found a brand new pair of hiking poles on Saturday May 23 on the Moose Meadows trail. If the owner can discribe them we would love to return them!
Hi there, I was told to put an inquiry out to you as you have many connections in the cross country ski world. I was at the Lake Louise Ice Festival on January 25 with my family. I did a quick ski loop on the lake early in the day. At the end of the day, we packed up all our gear and did one last stop at the public washroom in the main parking lot by the Chateau Lake Louise. I stuck my skis and poles in the snow bank out front. When I came out, I grabbed a pile of our gear (kids and dog require lots of gear!) and was completely oblivious to the fact that my poor skis were left behind in the snow bank! I have called Lost and Found and the chateau and Parks Canada who has also passed the info on to local RCMP. Still no sign of them. However, a colleague said to contact you in case someone out there sees this and has an idea where my skis may have ended up. They weren’t fancy, but they were functional and comfortable. They were cross country skate skis, royal blue color and the poles were white with neon colored pattern near the handles. Just passing it on to as many people as I can in case they turn up! Thanks for passing this along!
Hi Bob, wondering if you can help with a CNC question. I’m trying to make sure I go to ski on quieter weekends as I’m now skiing mostly with a chariot/small passenger. Is there a definitive list anywhere of what events are on at CNC? Many thanks, Liz
Their upcoming events are always listed on this page a week or two in advance: http://www.albertaparks.ca/canmore-nordic-centre/advisories-public-safety/trail-report.aspx
You could try contacting the CNC directly and ask if they have a more comprehensive list of upcoming events.
Elk Lake parking lot at 11 am on May 3 to top of Hydroline and back was pure heaven made of dry powder and temperatures just above freezing. Snow continually falling gently making a fantasy ski through pristine white virgin snow of 4-6″ depth. Beautiful.
Had a good ski up Skogan Pass Sunday April 20 but lost my Volvo key about 30 meters from the pass. Would appreciate hearing from anyone who finds it. Cell: +1 403 604 8537.
Hey Bob, did you catch that amazing 1k sprint final by Brian McKeever and Graham Nishikawa?
Snow conditions looked tough to wax for, but the Canadian techs got it spot on.
Yes, I PVR’d it and watched it last night. Brian is sure giving us xc fans something to cheer about.
Being the cynic, do you think the Russian stepped on his pole on purpose to help his teamate? -Bob
Hi Bob, do you have any insights you can share with your readers about how best to catch up with the cross country action from the Olympics? We have been watching lots of events using CBC On demand, but bizarrely there is no cross country or biathlon listed – every other sport but! Have we missed a trick here?
Here are a couple links which might help:
You can get a full replay of all the events here: http://olympics.cbc.ca/cross-country/index.html (Scroll down; under each event there’s a link “Full replay”)
This is a replay of the men’s relay: http://olympics.cbc.ca/videos/live/video/cross-country-skiing-men-4×10-classic-relay-finals-webcast.html -Bob
There’s no info about West Brag Creek on this site. There’s just stuff that I can get anytime. If I new if West Brag Creek got some snow to day I would make the drive from out here near Strathmore and ski it all night. I won’t know anything unless the groomers report to Barier lake.
Is there anyone that I could call out there for info?
There’s information on the Trip Reports about West Bragg Creek that you can’t get anywhere else. Perhaps you should politely ask if any readers have been out there. While you’re at it, lose the attitude.
If you make a donation to the Greater Bragg Creek Trails Association Ski Committee they will E-mail you up-to-date ski grooming reports within 12 hours of any grooming that they do. For further info go to http://www.braggcreekski.org .
Just wondering if anyone saw a young wolf on November 11th on the 1A coming out of Banff? A few people were stopped and we werent entirely sure if it was a dog or a wolf.
Bob, I’ve finished my compilation of screen snapshots from the PLPP Visitors Centre webcam. This shows how the water drained out of the meadow over the course of four months. I can’t believe that it took that long !
Perhaps your blog readers may find it interesting or entertaining.
I wish you and your followers a great ski season.
That is super cool. Thanks for your efforts with such a intriguing project. Not sure if you have shared it with the PLPP Visitor Center staff, but I am sure they would find it amazing! Great work!
Thanks Georgina. I’m glad that you liked it.
Anyone know anything about Bearberry XC ski trails NW of Sundre?
Canmore’s Rolling Thunder… not so far away:
And I need to further commend you further Bob for your most recent photos of the CNC. I had a chance to see it from the parking lot in September, and your photos really bring it to life. I love how it is all set along the side of Mt. Rundle.
Calgary area xc skiers are lucky indeed !
I see someone already beat me to it! I really like the top banner photo. Good job!
And I missed the part where Bob used the Swedish blue and yellow for his name. Well done.
That’s a superb photo you’ve got up as the banner today – Hydroline trail I assume. It makes me want to be there !
Please “sticky” your favorite PLPP route. I can never find it when I want to!
I am planning to come to Calgary 2 weeks from now and I’d like to do some X-contry skiing. It seems I can’t find a link with
a) map of trail locations (except for Canmore)
b) places where I can rent X-country skies for couple days (except the same Canmore)
I would very appreciate if you can point where I can find this information.
Thank you in advance,
I don’t know of any listing of rental shops, but here are are a few:
Kananaskis Village: Kananaskis Outfitters
Lake Louise: Wilson’s
For maps and trail locations, look on the Main menu under “Resources-Maps” which gives links to various maps and trail locations. -Bob
In the city of Calgary, I know XC gear can be rented at Norseman and at the university’s Outdoor Centre, probably at Mountain Equipment Coop (MEC) as well.
Great outing on the Brewster trail yesterday (28th) – conditions were excellent, well groomed track, and we see from Bob’s blog that we just missed some excitement with a Cougar in the area. Thinking back, we did notice Cougar tracks on the Healy Creek trail when we first set out but they quickly trailed off into the woods. It was a pleasure meeting Bob on the trail – some good advice on other trails to explore.
The Cascade Fire Road was track set this morning and it is fantastic. Thank you to Don Gorrie from Parks Canada for a great start to the season!
Nov. 21, 2012 – 4pm – The Moraine Lake Road has received at least 25 cm. One uphill track is set. Sticky snow coming downhill. As temperatures cool it should be fabulous. Parks was working on alternative tracks, keeping them packed and ready for more snow! Unless it gets really warm, we are set for the season.
Hi Bob, regarding charging for xc in Peter Loughheed pp, I often ski on Saturday and last season PLPP was not groomed on Saturdays I broke trail on many days through significant new snow. I would not be happy paying to ski on such days.
Are trip reports from last winter available anywhere on your site?
Thanks for your continued great x-c ski resource!
They’re here: http://skierbob.ca/trip-reports-archive/ -Bob
The link above or from the Trips Reports takes us to a ‘Page not found’ webpage with the heading ‘You 404’d it. Gnarly, dude’.
Hey Bob,We met you last year in bragg creek. We were thinking of going to chester lake this weekend, We will be pulling a double chariot, could you recommend anywhere besides lake louise that would be good to go this weekend with little ones. Really want to get out in the snow.
The Chester Lake trail has a very steep hill which would be a challenge if you’re pulling a chariot. It sounds like the snow coverage is pretty good there. I haven’t seen Elk Pass since the recent grooming but it probably still has a few hazards. Lake Louise is probably still the best bet unless we get a big snowfall in the next two days. -Bob
I went to Chester Lake yesterday. It was my first bc ski trip. The trip was fine but the descent was narrow and icy. Do you know of a better – wider trailed gentle trail for someone that wants > exercise but < scare?
Check the suggestions on the backcountry page http://skierbob.ca/backcountry-2012-2013/ -Bob
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