Images tagged "mike-was-out-for-his-first-laps-on-frozen-thunder"

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  1. You are infringing on copyright-protected illustrations belonging to our company (horvitzlevy Inc.). To obtain documentation of our authors’ rights, please read this document, which includes the hyperlinks to our images used at skierbob.ca as well as our prior publications.

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  3. I especially liked the photo of the mouse on skis.

  4. There seems to be MANY This That episodes, look for…(load more, again, then ctrl – f search)

    The Dark Side of Cross Country Skiing

  5. You really should write a book Bob —a treasure trove of stories here and a wealth of nordic knowledge of your empire in your head. A curated & artistic bound volume in this day of fleeting digital captures would be appreciated by many.

  6. Hi Bob,

    What a beautiful little Springer Tessa was, I have a
    Springer as well. Her name is Mollie Mayhem never
    Taken her skiing but she has been on lots of hikes.

    Thanks

    Darren

  7. MAKE ALBERTA A DEMOCRACY

    The anti-demcoratic UCP Kananaskis entrance fee tax was pushed by special interest groups that obtain funding from the government. For these groups to support the UCP Kananaskis entrance fee tax looks like a major conflict of interest to me. The tax is being used for lining Conservative Party supporters pockets while keeping the less wealthy out of the region. This is exactly what the Kananskis entrance tax supporters want as the population increases along with trail use. This is a typical economic barrier put up to keep the less wealthy out. It sure is not a part of the Alberta Advantage. The Kananaskis is no longer a region to be used universally by all people which is disgusting and a form of dicrimination.

    Lots of the money for the Kananaskis tax is being wasted on unnecessary new expensive signs, advertising on big bill boards, hiring more people to check for passes, wasting money on broad band internet service, wasting money on new snow cats and so much more. This is not what economic conservationism looks like. This is what elite government waste looks like.

    Extraction of resource revenues in the Kananaskis region should have been utilized to direct funds to keep the Kananaskis universally free for all to enjoy, not just the more wealthy. Revenues from Nakiska Ski Area, the golf course and other businesses should also have been directed to keep the Kananaskis universally free for all rather than have those revenues go into the Provincial government’s general revenues.

    The UCP Kananaskis entrance fee tax was poorly thought out and shoved down our throats in a highly undemocratic way. This is not what democracy looks like. It is what authoritarianism looks like- China dictatorship style.

  8. To those involved in the decisions on where to use last winter’s parking funds – well done!!! We will all benefit from these improvements.
    Question: will the UPC government seek input from Nordiq and other x-c ski clubs for their input as to where the 2021-22 K-country improvement funds will be spent. I certainly hope so…
    Again, thank you for your input, expertise and accountability.

  9. Hi Bob
    Thanks for the excellent update on this important topic. I was excited to see that you recently registered on the SkierRoger website where we’re all eager to read your trip reports.

    By the way, if you would like me to add a special category for any blog comments you may have, just let me know. We all really value your insight.

    Sincerely,
    Roger Sakatch

  10. Hopefully some of that is going back to pay for grooming in Bragg Creek. The blurb about the fee says that it is covering ski trail grooming, but Bragg Creek Trails sounded a bit doubtful last time I read anything.

  11. Happy ‘retirement’ Bob. Hope you regain some sense of solitude and serenity on the trails again and may your next chapter be refreshing and bring you contentment.
    —Yours in skiing, grooming and storytelling, JeremyN

  12. It’s unfortunate that trip reporting on the new blog requires registration, login, password, email. These are barriers to participation in a system of user based information sharing.

  13. Bob – not sure if this is the right forum but I’m sure I’m not the only one to wonder what set Roger apart from the other offers to continue your legacy?
    Btw – I’m looking forward to Rogers site and am happy to see it’s been a relatively smooth transition and so many shared resources. Clearly you had a solid combined effort over a few months to make this happen, for which we are all grateful.

  14. Many thanks for supplying skiers & snowshoers with great information on grooming in our park areas. I’ve used your site for many years as my ‘go to’ before heading out.. Very grateful for all the hours you’ve put into this site – will miss seeing it but glad to see SkierRoger will continue. You’ve set up a great legacy…again thank you.

  15. A correction: I think Helen’s “creative writing” comment was directed to MAAD, not myself. Wouldn’t want to steal anyone’s thunder.

  16. Bob,
    The best part of your site was your personality and the enthusiasm you injected(, plus the spirited debates on track setting, fat bikers, dogs and skate skiers). We are forever indebted to you for adding a whole new dimension to the best winter sport ever. Nothing beats a Skier Bob meeting on the trails. Thank you .!!

  17. Bob,
    Thank you for helping to promote the ski trails in Cypress Hills. Hope to see you out here next winter.
    Roger, thank you for continuing the great work that Bob has carried out.

    Darwyn

  18. Bob, thank you so much for your years of dedication to your blog! You have made such a huge difference for all of us who love to ski! I hope you continue to enjoy the trails, and will post on Roger’s blog.
    Welcome, Roger! Your new blog is looking wonderful! Thank you for taking up the reins. I’m sure it will be a great success!

  19. Bob, your comments and posts have been very welcome. We hate to see you go but welcome Rodger. Thanks for stepping up to the plate and taking over a huge job Roger.

  20. SEEMS TO WORK WELL!

    Thanks Roger for giving us an option.
    I like the fact that one has to register to either Post or Comment.
    THANK YOU BOB for all your work through the years, and managing my social media exposure!

  21. This is encouraging me to go out for one more ski trip this season, just so that I can post about it.

  22. Andrew Ostrowski

    And who is Roger, any introduction?

  23. MAKE ALBERTA A DEMOCRACY

    CTV Are Statistically Unscientific Junk Polls

    The CTV CFCN poll that was conducted is statistically unscientific and should not even be considered anywhere near scientifically accurate. As a person who spent too much time studying statistics, I understand that every poll on CTV is not scientific as the polls can be pushed by people with an agenda and it is not a random poll which is required for good statistical science.

    The polls may somewhat represent the views of the CFCN TV viewers only at best, but still not likely. The poll could have been pushed by UCP party members or supporters as far as we know.

    The best poll on such a political question would be to allow the legalization of the right of people to vote on government bills. If the people had the choice, they likely would reject park tax fees which are a regressive tax. Regressive taxes are taxes that harm the less wealthy more than the wealthy and are based on a proportion of income. If a poor person earns $7000 dollars per year and has to pay the same $90 park entrance fee as a millionaire, it is a higher proportion of the poor persons income going to the tax as compared to the millionaire.

    Here is the math:
    $7000 poor income divided by $90 park fee tax equals 1.3% of total income.
    $1,000,000 wealthy income divided by $90 park fee tax equals .009% of total income.

    As one can see the millionaire is not affected much by the park fee whereas the poor person pays a large proportion of income to access the park.

    The scientifically poor CTV CFCN poll results are also affected by income levels. Poor people can not afford a cable connection to watch CFCN CTV TV or even an internet connection so they would be unable to participate in the poll which skews the poll results even further in favor of wealthier people.

    Most polling these days is junk as pollers can not access people in a random manner as easily or economically as in the past by land line telephone. The only other method to get random statistical surveys is to directly randomly poll people which is time consuming and expensive. All other polling methods do not give a scientifically accurate picture, as we have seen during recent elections.

  24. Taking this opportunity to say thanks Bob for creating the blog and supporting this amazing community. My husband and I have visited the Rockies to ski every year or two for many years now, travelling from Ottawa. First few years, our visits were tacked on to an annual work trip to Calgary, and gradually extended over the years. I was one of the (probably now thousands of) smiling skiers that you have snapped a photo of, for me coming down Lake O’Hara Road on classic skis. Now we are retired and hoping to visit for longer. It is a fall tradition for us to start checking out your blog, especially in years we have planned a trip. You have brought joy and the chance to see the mountains to many who are not fortunate enough to live as close to them as most of your readers and contributors do. We would love to share our little corner of nordic ski heaven, the Gatineau Park, with you if you ever head out Ottawa way. Best of luck in your future plans!

  25. UNIVERSAL PARK ACCESS- LIKE HEALTH CARE

    There is nothing worse than an undemocratic dictatorial oligarchy government for the people or park users. If we lived in a real democracy where people make the decisions, it is highly likely that the people would reject Conservative oligarchy government user fees for parks.

    The wealthy have gotten 30% richer during the COVID-19 crisis while most other people have lost wealth. It is only logical to make the wealthy pay more rather than the poor or the lower middle class. There are numerous ways to do this including raising license plate fees for luxury or gas guzzling vehicles. It would not bother some rich skier to pay $1000 dollars per year for a license plate for their BMW. The government should put in a luxury provincial sales tax if it needs money- with the consult of the people democratically. Or the government should raise oil royalties to Lougheed era rates. That would bring in billions of dollars of revenue for the oil you are a shareholder owner of. Our parks need to remain universal like our health care system so all people can have the opportunity to access them without being financially penalized.

    Putting user fees on one park will spread to all others in the future if the oligarchy dictatorial political system remains. We the people own the park lands and we should have a democratic say in reguards to fees.

    The intention of the UCP (United Charging Party) Government in charging park fees is to keep poor people out of the park so the trails are not so crowded for their wealthy supporters and to derive more funds to subsidize the unethical foreign controlled oil industry that I once shamefully worked for. The oil industry needs to pay its own way and the hundreds of billions of dollars in oil industry subsidies need to stop. The oil industry needs to clean up its own immoral unethical mess.

    The $90 restricted Kananaskis park fee is much higher than the National Park fee which enables one to access many parks across the country. How Conservatively stupid is that?

    We must get rid of the old school undemocratic Jason Kenney as Premier who has never stepped onto a cross country or hiking trail. This Ontarian is not a true Albertan and he does not understand Alberta’s lands or the people. He is a corporatist tax grabber that does not have the intelligence to raise non tax funds for the benefit of Albertans. He is making life hellish for the poor and for medial workers. Soon the poor will not be able to travel out of the cities or towns as they will have no place left to go to afford other than the prairies.

    Corrupt people support corrupt anti democratic oligarchy political parties that reign over the people in a dictatorial undemocratic way. It is time to break the chains of political oligarchy oppression and make Alberta a real democracy to build a better province the way the people want it. Give people the legalized right to vote on Government bills along with citizen initiated legislation. This is what real democracy looks like and it will likely keep park fees at zero.

  26. Hi Bob et al. Regarding …” I’m surprised nobody asked Ken Hewitt about the slush fund of about $80,000 which was collected over-and-above what was required to pay the government. ”

    Well… I don’t expect that there will be any problem finding worthwhile projects to spend the money on. With the Conservation Pass now announced, and grooming confirmed for the future, the 4 person committee has now scheduled its first meeting for next week to review a draft set of selection criteria. I’ll report back here afterwards.

  27. As a frequent user of WBC in all seasons, I will continue to donate in addition to the new park fees.

  28. Your groundbreaking blog will never be forgotten Bob.

  29. LISA Jeczmieniowski

    Discount for Seniors?

  30. For those of you who didn’t listen to the press conference there are a few points that stood out. Calling it a conservation pass with an intent to minimize the amount of cars heading into Kananaskis. Nixon was very clear that starting June 1 people should car pool more ( Covid won’t be an issue by then.
    I am very skeptical at the direct impact this will have on trails especially grooming. The 200k raised this winter really only went to offset an already reduced grooming budget. There are future costs coming up that are significantly more than that amount.

  31. Did anyone see the story on Global News where a guy with three vehicles was complaining that he’d have to buy passes for each one? Some people have no sense of shame. (In reality, he’ll only have to buy two passes, but I think there should be a special rule for people with three vehicles; pay triple).

  32. You have been a beacon of joy, hope and humour to millions of diverse people from around the world who share the common obsession for xc skiing. I thank you from the bottom of my sticky wax box for your constancy and unflappable enthusiasm you gave to us all, your readers. You will be missed. Every day.

  33. Clear favoritism and privilege afforded to the OHV crowd!

  34. There should be a discount for Seniors

  35. WWBMT

    (What Would Bill Milne Think?)

  36. People should read the press release or watch the video before commenting, or better yet go to https://www.alberta.ca/kananaskis-conservation-pass.aspx. The pass covers ski trail grooming, and that two vehicles can be registered on one pass. There is also provision for “low income” Albertans. The pass will operate much like the ParkPlus system in Calgary. The pass does NOT cover the Canmore Nordic Centre.

  37. From CBC news, quote:
    “Included in the new investments will be $1 million to begin planning work on upgrades to the Canmore Nordic Centre, the province said.”
    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/kananaskis-country-alberta-fees-1.6003671

  38. Looking at the map of the area affected by the new fee’s, west Bragg Creek is included.

  39. The cost to ski in PLPP has gone from $0 in 2019/20 to $90 in 2021/22. But corporations in Alberta during the same period are paying much less tax… Thanks UCP!

  40. Big thumbs up!

  41. If “winter trail grooming in Kananaskis will be supported by the new pass” means that the grooming at the CNC is going to be covered by this fee, this will actually be a significant cost saving verses the fee charged in previous years

  42. I find it extremely ironic for this government to be touting “environmental concerns” when they would gladly sell off most of the mountains in this province to investors who would just leave their pollution behind.

    Of course, we knew this was coming and I wouldn’t mind so much if the revenues weren’t being handled by an incompetent government. What I would like to know is if they are re-instating the visitor centers as well as re-instating the cross country ski grooming (I’d like proof of this please). I’m sure these fees will help to pay off the money they gave away to industry that ended up fleeing Alberta and leaving taxpayers with the bag.

    I don’t trust this government one bit. I’m still trying to see how they are improving the lives of Albertans. They have no clue what they are doing.

  43. Contributions by Skier Bob to the local xc ski community- innumerable!
    See you on the trails.

  44. Great to hear this! Jeez you nay sayers! Where does it say you’ll be paying for parking to ski?
    You didnt have to pay this year. It was voluntary.

  45. Coming from Quebec where fees are the norm we have been so blessed up to date

    With the state of garbage lately in K country and the disgusting mess people leave I’m all for it. I feel so bad for parks staff and what they have to deal with

    I wish it would be feasible to have people pass a how to dispose of garbage test (lol) before they come to our beautiful asset that we Albertans have.

  46. Can’t see the forest through the fees.

  47. I wonder how much the success of the grooming fee this winter set the stage for this?
    I suppose that if it does lead to hiring of more conservation officers and parks staff than we will see some benefit. Time will tell.

    Good point Jon – I don’t like the idea that I can’t transfer the pass to another vehicle. To me, this supports the idea that this is more of a cash grab, rather than about improving services and enforcement. To be a bit cheeky, if I ride my bicycle, does that mean I can go for free? 🙂

  48. Not much to add, but huge appreciation for all that you have given us 🙂
    We don’t know how we will manage without you, you will be sorely missed!
    Thank you for everything, and congratulations on a remarkable record!
    Wishing you many more years of great skiing 🙂

  49. So, does this mean I will have to pay $15 a day pass, plus $10 for cross country skiing, or $90 annual fee, plus $50 annual fee for skiing? For a government that brags about lowering taxes they sure do love user fees.

  50. Wow! 2854 posts is a remarkable number. I know how much work it is to put just one post together. Thank you!

  51. Wow! That is an amazing record, Bob. You must be the fittest guy on the trails.

    Thanks again for all your great tips and advice.

  52. Congratulations on all your numbers, summarized today, Bob. While I have only come across you on the trails, once to my recollection, I have visited your site often and daily in the last quite long while. Your input to many skiers as they try to figure out where to go has been immeasurable. I for one will miss reading your blogs, seeing your trip and snow reports, and looking at the many photos you and others have posted.
    Hopefully we will cross paths in the future and maybe share a couple of words along the way. Many of our seniors club skiers have benefitted from your website.
    Thank you for all you have done over the years and all the best to you.

  53. Many thanks to Aqua Toque for sharing the beautiful fox video!

  54. Hi Dylan
    It is very noble of you to try and take this on, maintaining a xcountry ski trail is very rewarding but can also be a lot of work. Calgary is not known for consistent or a lot of snow plus it is prone to chinooks . Shag and Confed are two areas that can give you lots of info on the trials and tribulations of keeping a ski trail going in the city.

    As far as what you need the basics would be a decent skidoo with a minimum 503 cc low geared , forward and reverse. Some kind of roller at least 60” , a manual style track setter like an old Bachler or a newer YTS Ginzu or Todd Tech. In a park you will need volunteer snow shovelers and snow fence to catch the blown snow. A few well placed signs and you are more or less good to go.

    Feel free to contact me directly trailguy58@live.ca if you want some specifics and costs for equipment. I just retired after 40 years of ski grooming and like you I am setting up some local trails in my soon to be new home.

  55. Hey Dylan, have you tried tried contacting the folks at Foothills Nordic Ski Club? They take care of Confederation Golf Course and Fort Calgary. I’m sure they would have lots of advice for you.

  56. Great video of a pair of “red” foxes. One looks like he came from a strange background. Can you make a guess at what the scrap was?

  57. Yes, still some scraps in the Bragg Creek area.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/qWr8eTu8HbfPHAm1A

  58. With all due respect to the Shirelles, the slower version of “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” recorded by co-writer Carole King in 1971 (and featuring James Taylor and Joni Mitchell on backup) is the superior one which definitively captures the spirit of the lyrics.

  59. That would be great to have that trail groomed. A great place for families and people who just want to put some km’s on and beginners as well. Great wide open trail with amazing views.

  60. I expect that a large percentage of new XC skiers (or those that returned after many years) will continue to develop their skills and interest… However for a fair percentage (~WAG ~20-40%) they’ll be of the “been there done that” mind set, or feel it’s too much work, or give up without giving it a fair attempt sadly. So… this next winter and the following I’m hoping for some great deals on lightly used decent equipment!!
    – Same could be said for any of the Covid-mania goods such as cycling gear, camping goods, and sadly enough pets.

    That all said, the increased awareness of our amazing outdoor facilities will hopefully generate increased development, maintenance, and funding for these terrific assets. That might include government funding, funding drives, and even sponsorships. I suspect government funding will be increasingly curtailed due to the excess and continued unrestrained federal spending problems.

  61. For clarity, there’s still an avalanche hazard on that and other slopes. It is NOT now safe for the rest of the winter to go to Moraine Lake for anyone who doesn’t have the appropriate avalanche safety and assessment equipment and training.

  62. Great reports! We’ve really depended on the emails to decide whether to make the drive out to PLPP, our favourite ski place.

  63. WOW! You made my day with those Mountain Goat pictures and a peak into the area that is on my list to hike this summer!

  64. Thanks for everything Bob. Happy Trails!

  65. Lionel was one of the engineers who surveyed the lakes for Calgary Power. 1930’s. Remnants of their camp remain on the little peninsula opposite Upper lake boat launch. My Valley – the Kananaskis, Ruth Oltman, p. 53.

    It would be wonderful to have another beginner trail but …

    There’s no way to know if this year’s sudden covid-related boom in outdoor activity will persist. Parking pass revenues could take a big hit post-pandemic, as early as next winter. Keeping some surplus funds as a reserve would be wise.

    Some will argue that surplus revenues should be used to reduce the cost of parking passes.

    Hwy 40 is plenty wide but any loop off of the highway would presumably need to exploit existing trails which it seems are just too narrow for multi-use.

    If Lionel is resurrected, I would be one of the first to ski it, though.

  66. Thank you, thank you, thank you Bob for all you have done for the X-country community over the years. Enjoy retirement and look forward to continue seeing on the trails.

  67. Hard to believe this is the end. It will be very strange not seeing your updates. Thank you for facilitating such a vibrant community of people sharing their ski experiences so others can follow. Wishing you the best in whatever comes next.

  68. Great to meet you on the trail today Bob! Such a beautiful day and amazing conditions. Thanks for the photos! Hope the end of your ski day was as great as the start!

  69. To Alf’s comment: “seems like reactivating Lionel as a ski trail should be a no brainer” — I’m not an expert in this stuff, but I don’t think it is quite as straightforward as we might all like it to be.
    1) Grooming 8km of trail even once a week is a significant addition in terms of labour. It isn’t just one pass with the PB 100 – it would likely be four (or five to return). What other grooming would we be prepared to give up for this?
    2) My understanding is that some years ago one of the grooming machines broke through the ice on Sounding Lake with a major rescue operation necessary to save it – and this is the reason it is no longer groomed for skiing.
    3) Providing for parking at the gate (washrooms too) would be a pretty significant incremental cost – and moving the gate could also be expensive.
    Not arguing against the idea — just trying to add a sort of reality check here.

  70. I think Alf has a great idea for the beginners. That trail allows for a great introduction to x country skiing along with the space for skate skiers. If it were to be track set and packed it would add to the already great trails. I would suggest that along with the aforementioned it would also add to a round trip if the lower Pocaterra to the hut were to be remade. That would allow for two return routes from the Lynx intersection – one for beginners and one for intermediate to advanced skiers.

  71. Pipestone Blue up and Green Merlin/Drummond/Hector down. Yesterday’s hikers did not help the first stretch of blue but they turned off onto Drummond and then encountered deep post-holing by the pond and went back the way they came. Quite windy by Pipestone Pond so sheltered in the trees for lunch. Snow temp -4 at 12:30 with varying 5-8 cms in tracks of new snow. No worms as seen at CNC Wednesday or snow fleas-just clean cold snow. Saw one other couple and their dog. Merlin was a delight as always. No freezing up on blue 0 to -6 or clumping either. Supposed to be more snow tonight so check skilouise in am. Ma Sid tempted us to explore the meadows on MLR further but very happy with today’s choice.

  72. Fairview at LL was a wonderful gift today ( April 9).
    Skier track set in approximately 10 cms of fresh dry snow
    By 2:00 it was starting to soften but I don’t expect it get to warm so tomorrow should also be great.

  73. A younger Alf in the day may well have awarded Sara with the “light gear touring award of the year” for this trip. I too followed along the great description, map in hand. Bravo Sara.

  74. What a feat of perseverance Sarah. Nicely done and reported.

  75. Good advice but nicely done Sara! An adventure survived always makes for a story that gets better with each telling. A great way to cap off the season and lead into scheming the next.

  76. Sara M: so glad to meet you via this blog and how deserving you are to be featured after that ultra marathon of an obstacle course. I had to get out my old Banff Gem Trek map to check out your ski. So many of us have truly enjoyed your Trip (with a capital T) reports this season. Thank you for bringing such enthusiastic adventures forth and for taking such a terrific selfie!! No wonder you were smiling to make it that far. I’d happily have risked my car’s suspension to pick you up at Goat Creek had I known of this Spring Skiing Adventure. As Chuck said, an awesome description complete with poignant photos. The one of your feet on the snow is a winner as is your beautiful selfie.

  77. Oh man, Steve Riggs/aka-bigsteve has been out there since the dawn of the internets –dispensing enthralling trip reports, words of wisdom and encouragement plus veiled hints of secret stashes on various platforms.

    Long ago upon discovering that internet ski forums and blogs were a thing I took the plunge and began posting my first tentative TRs on a now long lost backcountry skiers’ forum. Steve’s positive response to those posts inspired me to continue taking photos and composing descriptions of various ski-related triumphs and failures.

    So yeah, I blame him for everything!

  78. Thanks Bob for all the photos, I just met a handful of reporters over the years but recognize some faces from brief encounters. I was hoping to see a photo of MAAD, but he’s or she’s like the « Arlésienne » as we say ion French.

  79. Good to put faces to the names of regular posters from over the years. Looks like it was Steve Riggs I was chatting with at Patterson/Elk junction Saturday evening.

    Started on Whiskey Jack on Saturday morn on pure ice but on Tyrwhitt the lurching began from shade to sun. Saw Moose & Wolverine tracks. We were warned about the huge spruce across Elk Pass Trail on the descent so no speed record this time.

    10mins from arriving at the top of Blueberry as I was herringboning, the toe bar on my ski boots completely detached from my boot. My brother & I tried using tape & paracord to rig up the toe bar to the boot but no success. My brother had to leave but I continued to the top, stayed for an hour in the sun & light wind. A helicopter flew by below me & looks like a brief touch down at Rawson then it went to the Rawson parking lot…perhaps a rescue? I hiked back (on the side of the tracks) with my skis on my pack to Elk Pass parking lot. I’m lucky my gear failure didn’t happen off tracksetting on a longer trip. Saw a Boreal Chickadee & Steller’s Jay along the way. I was very appreciative to hitch a ride (with masks on) back to my vehicle at Boulton campground with a friendly couple I met up on Blueberry.

    The top of Blueberry was great compared to the previous Sunday when I skied from 4:30pm-8:45pm to Blueberry Hill breaking trail in up to 25cms of snow over tracksetting during the big storm. On the drive, the visibility was the worst I’ve ever had in all these years doing adventures & couldn’t see a thing on Hwy40 north of Nakiska turn off so I made it to Lorette Ponds lot & hung out for an hour until the snow eased up & I continued on. I was kind of looking forward to spending the night out there. 3.5 hour total (including stop @ Lorette) to get back to Calgary.

  80. This larger than you blog (not an easy feat) was an expertly curated and entertaining read over the past 10+ years. I’ll miss contributing, reading and scheming by it …but will still hear the mountains calling regardless. See ya out there Bob!

  81. it’s about time the Govmint widens & pave this P.O.S. road (the new parking pass program could cover the cost) so us heavy hittin x country back country snow beaters can rip out there in our big chevy escalades (1 person per vehicle please) and ski the be-jeepers outa those mountains and still get back home for happy hour and start posting ad nauseam of our exploits oh yeah !!

  82. Don’t look at the potholes, look at the spaces between the potholes.

  83. Congratulations and many thanks again for the wonderful work you have done for so many years

  84. Congratulations Bob for the well deserved honour.

  85. 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.

  86. Congratulations on being awarded such a beautiful painting Bob! Thanks again for your wonderful blog and happy ski trails!

  87. A beautiful painting and a well earned recognition. Thank you Bob for your amazing website. I will sure miss it.

  88. That is beautiful!! Congratulations, and thank you for everything! <3

  89. A huge thank you to Bob, Ken, and all the volunteers. Signage for the parking pass grooming program was prominently posted at the cash registers at Norseman ski shop. Quite a few customers asked about it, and we did our best to explain and promote the concept. Personally, I encouraged folks to contact their MLA and other politicians about the grooming and parks in general.

  90. What a fitting gift. You deserve it, Bob!

  91. Pierre Fournier

    We all thrive in some manner to make a difference in other peoples lives and ours.
    You certainly did.
    Thank you Bob.

  92. Cathy, Porter, Bekka, Rick, and from beyond - Ike and Polly

    That is just perfect and so fitting. Put it somewhere you can look at it from anywhere in your favourite room!

    Although, like many of us who have followed this blog, I think it’s quite possible your favourite room has distant rock walls and an unlimited ceiling of February Rocky Mountain Blue.

  93. Chuck and Jeannette

    A great recognition of all your hard work… Thank You Bob

  94. Congratulations Bob, and Thank you so much for all your efforts and ski reports. You will be sorely missed… see you on the trails.

  95. Hello Bob!

    Thank you for your kind words! I am so pleased you love your painting.

    As a frequent visitor of the ‘Skier Bob’ page, it was an honour to be able to help celebrate your well earned retirement!

    More of my work can be found on Instagram @erinkerr.clubb
    http://www.instagram.com/erinkerr.clubb/

    Happy trails,
    Erin

  96. A beautiful painting and a well deserved special gift, of one of your favourite trails. Couldn’t quite tell if the skier was wearing a skihere toque.

  97. So awesome. You deserve it Bob. Thank you for everything. Enjoy your next chapter and hope to see you on trails!
    M&L

  98. Well deserved recognition. Thanks for all your hard work.

  99. OK, so this might be sacrilegious, but as one of the volunteers for Nordique, I find myself wondering just how useful it was, really, to have volunteers out in the parking lots. It seemed that in PLPP anyway, about 70% of skiers had their passes when they arrived. That is, they had been convinced already that buying the pass was a good idea. Since more money was raised than needed, perhaps the money from this 70%, who bought without volunteer encouragement, was sufficient. Sure, being a volunteer was pleasant enough, but I wonder how much it really contributed. Maybe next year it would be interesting to try advertising only, and see what the result is. Signs could be put at the entrances to the parking lots stating something to the effect of: Trail grooming is done due to voluntary contributions of users. Please buy a pass at:……….

  100. That’s great news all around

    Did this get recorded?

  101. HasBrewster Healy XC trail been track set in the last few days
    April 1 2021???

  102. Pretty amazing result from Nordiq AB, Ken Hewitt and all the behind the scenes folks who helped to put it together.
    Thanks to all of you!
    My wife’s and I were part of the 162 volunteers who worked shifts at PLPP. We enjoyed talking to the skiers. We asked them where they were going, what wax they were using.
    One can only hope going forward, that keeping Albertans mentally and physically healthy is a priority recognized by our Politicians. Reinstating the grooming program should be one of their top priorities.

  103. Thanks Ken, Jeff, James, and volunteers!

  104. Big shout out to the Nordiq Alberta volunteers!

  105. One thing for sure, Bob really knows how to grab a frame. That top vista really jumps out in the video.

    Well done to all involved.

  106. Spotted fresh wolf tracks today on tom snow south. Also found a picked clean deer carcass off trail along one of the nearby ridges/cut blocks.

  107. Tom snow (south section) from station flats was still skiable early this morning before the crowds, especially north of the R3/bobcat junction. Unfortunately I wasn’t on skis. But the Bragg creek touring should be back in fine form if snow shows up there sun/mon.

  108. Trick is to stay scared enough so your always sqeezing out those rabbit pellets and making a Hansel and Gretel trail back to the car.

    I’m tickled it was a front page item! We had intended to just document the hilltop navigation for our own reference, but were surprised the handheld footage was stable enough to watch. Turns out there’s much better stabilization in an entry level phone (iThingSE2 in this case) than a decade old mirror-stabilized outdoorsy camera.

    Uncle Ave’s recent advisment rings true for nordic skiers too: You’ll want to feed your skis a little corn this time of year (just a little), else they’ll haunt your dreams.

    Here’s the oo-la-la high-def version:
    https://1drv.ms/v/s!AmEN_pg-34FehH64ifZIoNLwPYzA?e=PcuUcy
    (500MB 1080p60)

  109. Absolutely awesome video! Exceptional views up there.

  110. Herbert Kruschke

    Hi:
    Stupid company laptop won’t let me open the video…
    Your “avatar” (photo beside your name) is fantastic, that’s what’s fantastic! Look at the teeth on that kitty!
    I plan on doing the SkierBob classic loop Sunday, in homage to his dedication over the years. I wonder how Fox Creek and Moraine are going to be by then. Only one way to find out!
    With kind regards,
    Herb

  111. A 7 ft trail runner?

  112. The Bob Trail?

  113. Bob, quoted from above:
    I’m a big believer in the motto “When one door closes, another one opens” so we’ll see what’s behind that door when the time comes.

    Oh no, please don’t let it be fatbiking! Not that there’s anything wrong with that 🙂

  114. It’s unfortunate we missed you today Bob! We spotted some of the crew you were chatting with going through west elk pass while we lounged at the fork ‘n meadow log. Good times.

  115. West Bragg Creek
    5-8 cm of new snow at WBC, with a morning low of -13C. It’s warming up quickly under a sunny sky.
    Many of the sun exposed ski trails were down to bare ground and puddles yesterday. So, Mountain Road, Moose Loop, Moose Connector, Mountain View, Iron Springs, etc are not a good idea.
    The main core Crystal Line trails still had a pretty good base of hard, icy snow, with only small bare patches. Set tracks were still present on the shady side of those trails. I’d recommend rock skis. It is forecast to get above 0C by late morning, so the snow will soften and compact by afternoon.
    The parking lot has been cleared.

  116. We had a late start at CNC today. Conditions were slushy at the start but by 1:00 pm or so, it started snowing heavily! The storm lasted for about half an hour and left about 2 cm of much needed snow. The snow was very grabby.

  117. From this we can conclude that a bear’s cue to wake up from hibernation is the sound of cussing skiers in the woods.

  118. “The Spray Lakes road is indeed a neverending stretch of potholes.”

    Amen…

  119. Jeff, now that you’ve done your last shift, please accept many thanks from someone who has really appreciated your tracks since the 80’s.

    You should take great satisfaction from having made so many people so happy so many times.

    Good luck in PQ.


  120. Here all we have here is sky
    All the sky is is blue
    All that blue is
    Is……

  121. Thanks to the wonderful Tracksetters for all the joy you spread through your service!

  122. Just awesome work and so greatly appreciated all the time but during a pandemic just so much more. Thank you for some great tracks this year.

  123. I vote for keeping PLPP a skate-free and dog-free zone.

  124. Huge appreciation to all the tracksetters and groomers. Great job. In addition, we would like thank the many unknown faces who ploughed the roads and parking lots, so that we could get to all that wonderful tracksetting!

  125. Oh sure, these tracksetters are really great and everything. Toiling away at all hours of the day and night for little or no pay.

    But who here among us wouldn’t kill to toodle around in these uber-cool machines and be loved by all?

    It looks like a pretty good gig.

    😉

  126. Chris, Peter & Kazzy Thomas

    A sad day in the Skier Bob universe when grooming is over for the season at Bragg Creek and Ribbon Creek. Here’s hoping for a few more weeks at Lake Louise, PLPP and Mt. Shark, we’re not ready for winter to be over yet! Many thanks to all the groomers, it’s been a great year!

  127. Thanks to everyone who has worked on the trails for our enjoyment and safety. Your skill and dedication is very much appreciated.
    Pat

  128. Thank you! A few times I was out shortly after a big dump of snow, and I was amazed at how quickly the whole trail system was groomed. Thanks!

  129. Thanks to everyone this year! More than any other year, this has made such a difference to our health and well being!

  130. I really appreciate your dedication and excellent grooming and track setting skills! Thanks for making the season great.

    Rhonda W

  131. Sounds like a great idea!

  132. Thanks to everyone at BCT! While it wasn’t a season for the record books like 19-20, we still enjoyed plenty of fine skiing at Bragg. And like Mike W- I’m not giving up yet. My closing day there last year was April 6, with good skiing in dry new snow over firm old grooming. In terms of preserving the base, this week’s forecast isn’t looking too promising, though.

  133. Thank you WBC grooming team! You did awesome!

  134. Tom and Lynda Galeski

    Thank you to the team for a great season of grooming!

  135. Thanks to the WBC grooming team for all the work this winter! My last ski there last winter was April 8. I’m figuring there’s going to be at least one more big dump and I’m hoping be back for at least one more ski this spring, with or without grooming!

  136. That’s a terrific idea. I would use it.

  137. I would assume that they would need more grooming equipment to take on more trails. They haven’t been able to keep up the trails they currently have after snow falls. When I last skied out there the trails we picked were is very rough shape, despite the groomers working long hours.

  138. Gotta hand it to Alf. He’s always got his thinking cap on.

    These are the views we would get from Lionel trail opened to skiing.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/3huirfo3rwqw375/Lionel_trail_ski_circa_1982_1920px-1.jpg?dl=0

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/oyi7wypyhiglqfd/Lionel_trail_ski_circa_1982_1920px-2.jpg?dl=0

  139. I love the idea of resurrection of “Lionel” but I can’t see it possibly going South of the “Back Door” due to Avalanche risks. Parking lot at the winter gate would be a nice addition and definitely need to bring back the trail connecting Pocaterra to “Lionel” which would allow for a loop.

    Does anyone know why Lionel was decommissioned in the first place? What about the other decommissioned trails such as Sounding Lake, Rockwall, Canyon and Lakeside? I’m only 30 and never skied on any of those before decommissioning but my parents did and they have an old map from 1983.

  140. Better check with Lionel.

  141. I agree that the Hwy 40 groomed trail with an enlarged parking area on the existing pavement would make an excellent addition to the PLPP ski trail system. Another idea worth looking into would be to reintroduce the old alignment of the Pocaterra Trail from Pocaterra Hut to the Lynx junction. The trails were already there so a rebuild of the old bridges would allow for yet another beginner route (that we used to have) rather than the at best intermediate route when the trails were raised out of the valley. Yes the area flooded but how often? It would be interesting to find out an estimated cost for a project such as this.
    The bottom line is that the monies left over from grooming should ONLY go back into the various areas where Kenney and Nixon made us pay for parking.

  142. I like the idea of resurrecting Lionel. Earlier this year I skied from Boulton up Packers, out the Back Door, and on towards Highwood Pass. The section south of Back Door is very scenic and would make for an excellent xc trail as well. Being less protected by trees, the road does get more wind and drifting snow, though.

  143. Great idea Alf!
    Carl- looking at the satellite image, there appears to be nothing of concern regarding avalanche hazard up to at least the “back door”.
    Cindy- I think the wildlife aspect of the closure applies more to the Highwood valley south of the pass, where open slopes and much less of a snowpack provide important overwintering terrain.

  144. I think before a decision is made there should be an assessment on how it may impact the wildlife which is the primary reason for the road closure I believe.

  145. His Bob,’
    I found this 1986 map from an old post you posted a few years ago and I guess the same map Carl is referring to.
    http://skierbob.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/North-trails.jpg
    Cheers
    JF

  146. I love this idea, but when I posted an enthusiastic note about doing this on Dec 19 2020 someone replied that they thought that Lionel had been decommissioned because it crosses an avalanche path.
    That rang a bell for me, but I can’t think where that might be between the gate and the back door.
    According to my 1980’s map, Lionel did not go all the way to the gate, but branched off from the old Pocaterra near the Rolly Road and Come Along junctions. It was marked as .8 km intermediate and 7.2 km easy.

  147. An excellent idea. A loop connection would be good, allowing return from pocaterra to Hwy 40 parking. Not sure how feasible that would be given height gain/terrain. Same with extended grooming further south, allowing easier access to other terrain, but not essential (kinda like extending beyond MLR grooming to moraine lake). But also quite open and exposed to the elements. Worth a “pilot project” test regardless. Lots of cars were parked there the other day using the road.

  148. The Nordiq Alberta ski pass program has been a huge success. It has provided us with exceptional ski grooming plus the bonus of extra funds that could enhance skiing opportunities for next year.
    The value of those surplus funds are not enough to purchase much equipment or to build much new trail.
    So, my suggestion is to make better use of what we already have. Decades ago, Highway #40 was groomed for skiing from the winter gate to the Pocaterra “Back Door”… it was known as the Lionel trail.
    Given the popularity of the Moraine Lake Road, grooming Highway #40 should be a no-brainer.
    Ideally, the winter gate would be moved south by a few hundred metres to provide a paved parking lot. Add some portable toilets and a portable trailhead kiosk, and you’ve got a functional trailhead.
    I would suggest that the highway could be groomed for multiple uses. Classic track setting would create an ideal “easy” trail. And it would create an obvious loop with Pocaterra trail.
    A wide skate lane would provide an opportunity for skate skiers. A separate groomed lane could be created for fat-bikes, hikers, snowshoers, skijoerers, winter hikers, etc.
    That is a small infrastructure cost, no additional grooming equipment… but more grooming staff time… and it would produce a tremendous addition to the PLPP trail network

  149. This is how Shadow Lake Lodge looked when we passed by in 1990:
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/up2oYbcmYvoPXzoQ8

  150. We cannot come close to the happiness so evident our dogs experience skiing with us

  151. Life is so much better when you love dogs!! We have a Wheaten and a Golden (both high energy breeds) and nothing makes me happier than to see them flat out exhausted after a long distance ski. I have had dogs all my life and the only drawback to having a dog is, of course, losing them. Wonderful to read a “pawsitive” story on dogs and skiing.

  152. That is such a great story! Thanks for sharing! My husband and I rediscovered skiing this season. And it was my 9 year olds first time on skis. We started out for a couple of times at WBC and the pups on the trail kept us happy, even on the days we struggled. Last weekend my daughter decided she wanted to try to ski 20k, so we headed to the great divide. And the dog sled teams zipped back and forth all day. We didn’t notice any chance of tiring out on my daughter’s end. But those pups sure gave us great joy to see how happy they were! Thanks for sharing! And can’t wait to see more pups on the trail!

  153. FOUND!
    Rio was found tonight on sugar momma and has made it home.
    A huge thank you to the community for all the support, it was great to see so many out looking.

  154. talked to Lisa and dog is found?

  155. did you find the dog yet? if not i will come and look tomorrow

  156. 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.

  157. Morning
    I would like the money to go towards obtaining the Fortress lease. That way the area could be managed more in line with the spirit of the surrounding area rather than what is planned.
    B

  158. Small update, she was seen late afternoon heading up Snowy Owl from Boundary towards West Bragg. She is very scared and bolted as soon as she saw the people. Search was called off for the night, will resume tomorrow morning.

  159. Any updates?
    Hate to think she is out there still tonight.

  160. I do hope they find Rio-so scary when a pup goes missing. Please post Bob if you hear anything.

  161. 65,000 x-c skiers if you count those who only ski once or twice a year in town or at West Bragg.

  162. 100,000 viewers .

  163. How many did not purchase a pass? How many skiers are there for each season pass? My guess would be 1.5 skiers per season pass, and 20% of skiers did not purchase a pass so that would mean there are about 12,087 skiers.

  164. Hey Bob….I might be able to help out a bit. Here is a breakdown from the combined season and day passes:
    Calgary 6030
    Canmore 649
    Okotoks 133
    Cochrane 274
    Edmonton 183
    Banff 27
    Red Deer 64
    Foothills 33
    Other 207

    Some error margin here — because these numbers include as separate counts those people who purchased more than one pass.

  165. Hi Bob,

    I now live in Bonnyville and I purchased a Kananaskis season pass, which I have used 2 times so far and intend to use 2 more times by the end of the season.
    Either your question is too broadly stated, or else Bonnyville is part of the greater Calgary area and SkierBob empire!
    In any case, you should come here and try the excellent trails of the Lakeland region and enjoy some night skiing lit by polar auroras!
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/366435621213177/permalink/460679701788768/

    Joad

  166. In this post I asked the question, “In the comments, tell us what you would do with the excess funds.” Please stick to the topic.

  167. While I like Skier Dougs’ idea of using “excess” funds to revitalize the Sawmill trails, I think that ship has sailed. The money should be held to cover any deficits in future seasons, or used to expand expand the frequency of grooming. Or- the grooming period at either end of the season, should weather and snow conditions be favourable.
    I think the success of the pass program- despite some naysayers who don’t accept that xc skiers should pay a small fee for the special services that we desire- bodes well for the future of groomed xc skiing in Kananaskis.
    Kudos to those who made it happen!

  168. First, thank you to Nordiq Alberta and all the volunteers! My main concern is to keep this funding and tracksetting permanently. There is a good possibility that volunteers will tire, and numbers of skiers (pass purchasers) will slowly decrease as Covid 19 becomes an unpleasant memory. Surplus should definitely allow equipment upgrades, I would hope even a used machine would last more than 3 years, so a purchase seems reasonable. Allowing for expected drop in numbers, I would favor a somewhat higher Season Pass, leave Day Pass the ame, as we want to encourage occasional skiers, and regular skiers are probably getting a very good deal already.

  169. The Nordiq Alberta program was certainly a success. Despite this, the government has yet to make any commitment for grooming next winter and beyond. Nordiq Alberta will hold in trust the sizeable surplus they are collecting, “pending further spending decisions regarding the use of the excess funds to support future investments in cross country ski trail grooming. … only to be spent, dispersed or utilized on the prior mutual agreement of both the Society and the Province.” See page 14 of the Alberta Parks – Nordiq Alberta Cooperating Agreement – https://drive.google.com/file/d/152HMMbAR6HUrctwcppQ5Q3O67OB0UbFg/view.

    Since the government hasn’t committed to grooming next winter, I wonder why the program wasn’t set up to terminate as soon as its funding goal was reached, rather than accumulating a surplus with no predefined plan on how to use it?

  170. I’m all for any surplus going to whatever is needed to keep the grooming going. However, I wonder if we need to adjust our expectations. Assuming the operations cost of grooming is $200,000, and that the expensive equipment needs to be replaced from time to time (5 years?) at $200,000 a pop (need to save $40,000/yr). Funds raised this year around $280,000 would appear to cover both operations and a fund for equipment replacement. But it doesn’t look like there would be much leftover for any expansion of the program. I don’t know how reliable the funding will be and I think we should keep our minds open to the possibilities of less trail grooming, less frequent grooming, using less sophisticated equipment, etc. to have a sustainable budget.

  171. I hope that there is going to be some kind survey done after the season is over to get everyone’s view on this. Personally I would support a higher fee if that could be put towards more equipment so that the trails could get groomed on a more timely basis after each snowfall. After a fall last week the PLPP crew were able to groom 18km of trails, while at the same time (I think) the Bragg Creek crew were able to do over 70km. For the skate ski trails especially, it is important to get to them as fast as possible after each fall. Balanced against this is a wish to keep the fee as low as possible so that we don’t price people out of our great sport.

  172. I support the money going forward to ensure the sustainability of the XC ski grooming in Kananaskis next year and beyond. The voluntary pay system this year has allowed those with less financial means to still access the superb trails in this area and this is important that access for all is maintained. Although it would be lovely if the government took over paying for this again, I’m OK with contributing a small amount each year for superb skiing, and am so heartened that the fundraising goal was met!

  173. Invest in recommisioning the Sawmill trails for future trail grooming.

  174. Use surplus funds for future XC grooming services or equipment needed. Funds must be used towards XC trails. That is specifically why I bought a pass and made a donation. Kananaskis trails are key to early and late season skiing. Thank you for the great work on the trails so far, and to all the volunteers!

  175. I’m sorry to be the only dissenter here and honestly I love you Bob and all of the work that you’ve done for the cross country skiing community, but for the life of me, I can’t understand why we are volunteering to pay for a piece of equipment that the government of Alberta should be buying. They buy equipment (or hire contractors) for other facility maintenance, why should cross country ski trails be any different? I was livid that we handed them their operational funds on a silver platter without so much as a discussion amongst Albertans as to whether this is a public good or a user good and now we are proposing to buy equipment for them as well? Some options for the extra money from me:
    1) put it towards programs that encourage newcomers to try cross country skiing – maybe hire some coaches, schedule some dates, rent some equipment
    2) put it towards people who want to enrol their kids into cross country ski programs but who might struggle based on their income to do this
    3) put it towards training, coaching and equipment for young people to develop their cross country ski skills and athletic development
    4) put it towards volunteers who are willing to obtain various coaching levels who would volunteer a set amount of time to encourage cross country skiing within families of all income levels
    5) pay for those who would struggle to afford parking fees (but lets hope we don’t have to repeat this again)
    6) put it towards public engagement and lobbying the government so that ONE user group DOES NOT have to pay for trail maintenance in Kananaskis

    If we absolutely had to have a user pay system, then I would propose that we have a Park entrance fee to Kananaskis (by car not by person) that is set at a lower rate (because there’s a broader base of payers) making it more affordable for each individual. This would still encourage car pooling (charge by car not by person).

    Honestly, I hope we don’t assume that the “pay for cross country grooming via parking fees” program is going to happen again, now that there’s time to facilitate discussion amongst Albertans and even within the cross country ski community as to whether this should be a public or user pay system.

    I feel like I’m the lone wolf in this perspective. If our current government wasn’t so incompetent in managing the province’s affairs, I might feel a bit differently but on this one I really feel we completely threw ourselves into their trap setting a dangerous precedent and I’m surprised no one else is as upset by this as I am. CPAWS Alberta managed a great “Defend Parks” campaign and groups have also gained traction on the coal issues. I think Nordiq Alberta, while having their heart in the right place fell right into the UCP trap.

  176. Bravo, and hearty thanks to the volunteers and to Nordiq Alberta. What a welcome success story. For the excess, ensure good equipment and consider off-loading some of the volunteer duties to a paid position.

  177. I would not mind seeing some funds used to better signage at the Ruthie / Skogan junction to clearly state that Skogan pass trails (and offshoots) are skiers only. An alternative would be to encourage snowshoers / walkers to buy a season pass (i.e. not limited to xcountry skiers) to raise funds to build a specific trail to go to Hummingbird Plume Lookout …and to avoid ruining Sunburst and High Level trails

  178. I need new pants.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/BQe9GhP8BrEwqpV5A

    (Pay it forward to a backcountry skier who also bought a tracksetting season pass).

  179. With the extra money, the future of grooming in Kananaskis can be even better than it was before the government’s announcement. People are obviously willing to pay a reasonable amount to have groomed trails, and I bet they are willing to pay a little more than the paltry $50 to have more grooming(the snowcat could easily be operating a daily double shift in PLPP), and possibly open up some new trails. In retrospect, the government has done us a huge favour by “ending grooming” in Kananaskis. We’ve removed the threat of the government taking this away from us.

    A further benefit to skiers paying for groomed trails is that it will give us some clout when it comes to keeping the hikers off the groomed trails.

  180. Does anybody have sense of what happens next year and beyond? Continuation of the approach used this year?

  181. Put the surplus towards future ops and perhaps expanded service and equipment upgrades.

    Way to go Nordiq and volunteers! Thanks.

  182. Invest towards future gear so that grooming can be continued and even trackset fresh more frequently if not needing to share equipment between different regions

  183. Pssst…. new update from Nordiq Alberta re: the Kananaskis Parking pass program. Looks like $270,000 was raised via passes, plus $22k in donations.

    https://mailchi.mp/826e3b805531/we-did-it-together?fbclid=IwAR2lpmK3ve2i3vE84AIPENa5ZiYfmebpJ5khQeAxLXoXpRqtbyhuEuxggrA

  184. I tried skiing Cascade valley yesterday and found it icy in the morning and soft an hour or so later. I think my wax was too hard ( it was a really tough day of sliding all day) , so have ordered some purple and red wax. Is my ski season done for the year? Are there any other waxes that I need for these conditions? I’d love to keep skiing as long as possible!

  185. Congrats Mike, that’s incredible!

    Heard about your trip from your family and it blew my mind away 🙂 Way to go!

  186. Way to persevere Mike. That’s 20km more than I’ve done continuously so can attest that the last lap must’ve been a grind. There is a decade old 100km ski tradition that happens every New Years(ish) in PLPP -double round the works including blueberry that you’d be well fitted for! Hope to cross paths one day 😉

  187. Wow that’s incredible! Well done!

  188. I would guess the other cars might have been hikers hoping to catch sunrise on Ha Ling

  189. Mike W must be training for the longest race, 220 km above the Arctic Circle, in Sweden, https://www.nordenskioldsloppet.se/en/
    last year the best times were just below 12hrs

  190. MAKE ALBERTA A DEMOCRACY

    It is nice to know I still inspire people. I just wish it was with Making Alberta A (Real) Democracy rather than night skiing!

    My secret is out on how to make mileage on skis! Ski at night fast with the headlamp so the Panthers and Griz don’t get you and get that rush effect of the trees going by real fast in the periphery vision.

    Skiing at night allows you to go full throttle on the hills cause you know no one else is on the trail- unless they are skiing without a headlamp turned on. It does happen once in a Blue Moon. Be careful skiing on the Blue Moons.

    It is always strange coming back to an empty parking lot. I never get over that feeling- where did everyone go?

    What do you use for 100k ski fuel?

  191. Thanks Bob, my second time on the front page in just over a week! – http://skierbob.ca/2021/02/sunday-morning-update-20/. Not in costume this time though!

  192. 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.

  193. If there had been no grooming, better to get some LT gear and break your own trail (not that you would have always had to), vs. going snowshoeing. At least the down would still be fun, fast and efficient.

  194. For me, it’s been “waxless ski” weather all winter! I purchased a pair of Rossignol RSkin skis on clearance from Wilson Mountain Sports in Lake Louise in April last year. They’re a relatively high-end pair, just below the X-Ium race line of skis, similar to the Rossignol Delta Course waxable skis I already had. I’ve been using the RSkins exclusively if the forecast high is above -3C or so, especially if a sunny day is forecast. But I’ve also used them in temperatures as low as -20C. I’ve skied a couple of times with one RSkin and one waxable for a head-to-head comparison in -20C and -8C, and was unable to detect any difference in either grip or glide. If anything, the RSkins were marginally better. The big difference is that with the RSkins, I don’t have to spend time scraping off old grip wax and carefully applying and corking in 4 or so thin layers of new wax in a pyramid pattern to get optimal performance. And I never have to reapply grip wax during the day, or get caught out by a wrong prediction on what wax to use. Nor do I have to worry about snow fleas and tree needles and other debris getting embedded in the grip wax. This winter seems to be particularly bad for wind and tree debris.

    The RSkins are not maintenance-free however. They need to be occasionally cleaned and waterproofed. And of course both the RSkins and waxables have to be glide wax. The skin strips slowly wear out, and need to be replaced eventually at a cost of about $50, which I figure is about the same as the amount I would have spent on Swix VR grip waxes during that time period. So far, after 400km on the RSkins, there’s no noticeable skin wear.

  195. MAKE ALBERTA A DEMOCRACY

    Over 5,3 million people is a lot of skiers for Skier Bob to count!

    I blame much of the increase numbers of skiers skiing the eastern slopes on Skier Bob and his great website that people from around the world look at. Without this website, there is less talk about XC skiing in Alberta. The more talk the more people that get interested. There is no doubt COVID helped increase numbers this year, but those new skiers got a lot of information from Skier Bob as to where to ski and crash head first into their ski tips. New skiers with ski tips imbedded in fore heads have Skier Bob to thank if they viewed his website.

  196. 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!

  197. 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!!!!

  198. 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….

  199. $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.

  200. Great day on ElkPass-Blueberry Hill. Snow awesome. 2hrs up-1hr down.

  201. 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!

  202. 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.

  203. 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.

  204. 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,
    Herb
    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!

  205. 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

  206. 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.

  207. 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.

  208. Elizabeth Snowball Beggs

    Absolutely ! Thank you !

  209. 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!

  210. 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.

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

  212. Your “farewell tour” — it’s still hard to imagine. The Empire without the Emperor front and centre. Glad to see you’re out there meeting lots of friends and fans. I’ve barely gotten out in the last two or three years, but doing a little better this year, so hoping to meet you. Having been a follower since the earliest days of SkiHere, I’m definitely going to miss your blog. But cant thank you enough for how much you’ve done for xc skiers and xc skiing.

    I’ll be able to tell people I met the Emperor when he had no clothes! Long ago and not far away … in the showers after the Lake Louise to Banff loppet 🙂

    Very best wishes, Bob. Thank you! See you out there.

  213. My biggest disappointment about not having a real Lake Louise Banff Loppet is not getting to cheer on Janice (and everybody else) at the Baker Creek crossing. Next year I will be there with my shovel.

  214. I’ll miss your updates tremendously Bob. They start and end my day. 🙁

  215. Thank you Bob for creating this huge family of like minded skiers and outdoors enthusiasts. Your big tent included many like me who are out of province, yet you made me feel most welcome.
    I wish you all the best in your future endeavors, which I am glad to hear will still include skiing.

  216. Thank you Bob for your blog! Your blog and information has helped me and my friends immensely when it comes to deciding where to go skiing. Many places we’ve never even thought or heard of. Your information has been well informative and, on some occasions, humourous :-). Best of luck to you. You will be missed.

  217. We use the trip and grooming reports every time we head out for a ski. When we first started seven years ago, this site was recommended by many people, and we have since passed it on to many new skiers.
    Thank you so much for keeping the blog going, it has been fantastic. Happy retirement!
    Wendy and Rob

  218. Above all else maintain the down home dawn-of-the-internet vibe.

  219. In addition to other comments, attributes of a “ski community” information sharing web site (if that’s the goal, hopefully):
    – A public, open and inclusive platform, no membership login or exclusivity
    – Not a for profit business or overly explicit advertising or product based platform

  220. If you use the search bar on this site and look for ‘track width’ you will find:

    Track width
    A frequent question: What is the maximum width of ski that can be used in the tracks made by tracksetting equipment:

    This is a reply to the question by Tracksetter Jeff(Ribbon Creek):

    “The bottom of most track pans is 70 mm The sidewalls flare out to 140 mm at the top of the track. If you were skiing on 65mm skis there will be times when you will get a bit of drag from the sidewalls Also understand that unless you get the first tracks in a fresh trackset the sidewalls are subject to scraping from all the other skiers who went before you.
    If you are looking for performance in the track I’d go with the 59. If you are out for a nice easy ski and want good support for the hills the 65 should be fine.”

  221. Hello,
    Will it be possible to use Fischer backcountry 104-74-95 skis on this trail?
    Thanks a lot,
    Rahul

  222. Having a daily featured post is one of the things that brings me to your site every single day. Then, I go to trip reports. Like many others, I also use SkierBob as the primary link to weather stations and forecasts, webcams and grooming reports. I could save them all as “favourites” in my browser, but it is way easier to just go directly to this site.

  223. Hi Bob. You will be missed a lot 🙂

    Trip reports for sure. And pics.
    Grooming updates.
    The link to all trail maps in one place!

    Thanks for all. Cheers

  224. Hi!
    Hope this is appropriate… I would like to thank you, Bob, from the bottom of my skis for all you’ve done to keep us inspired and informed over the years.

    You probably don’t remember me but a few years back, I took your photo celebrating your 1000th kilometer (that season). It was at the top of the big hill at the beginning of Elk Pass with the splendid view of Upper and Lower Kananaskis Lakes down below.

    Wishing you many, many more kilometers, Bob!
    Hélène

  225. My priorities for a new blog:
    Trip reports are #1 90% of my time is spent on Skier Bob is on trip reports. Details like snow conditions (track conditions, skate -ability, dirt on the tracks , wax used, temperature. Parking etc.
    Ability to add pics VS a link to a photo storage page.
    After a while, I get to recognize the writer and trust their reports for accurate beta.
    Grooming updates are great as well.
    Keeping it current is probably the most important.
    Having a FAQ page for those questions that seem to get asked everyday on any Facebook page.

  226. Hi Bob, the trip reports for sure, the grooming updates and links to grooming reports, and the info on the loppetts were most useful to me.

  227. Philippe in Calgary

    The daily posting is where it all starts, and is a vital contribution.

  228. I wonder if the earthquake had anything to do with triggering an Avalanche.

  229. I’m not sure what the fuss is all about. It looks like this lynx walked with its legs splayed apart to avoid stepping in the ski track?

  230. Re: Helping people out at Bragg Creek: I am not by any means a regular there so you can stop reading right now, but from all the posts I see about Bragg Creek and all those who are passionate about the place, would it be worth while to initiate a “SNOW HOST” kind of concept as works very well at Canmore Nordic Centre? The program basically runs only on weekends, or perhaps also during Race Events, but those involved and trained “can” snow host, wearing their identifying vest, any day of the week.
    Part of the deterrent of my wanting to explore the trails at Bragg Creek more, is the entire area has such an overwhelming abundance of trails and perhaps the hikers/snow-shoers could be more efficiently managed by designating more trails JUST for them. Recently while in PLPP, I was impressed how many trails are now totally designated to walkers/snow-shoers/fat bikers. There is a big map available at the Discovery Centre “PLPP Winter Trails”, showing Elkwood Loop, Marsh Loop, Lower Lake, Canyon, Penstock, Tall Water, Frozen Toad and Torpor Loop (and likely some shorter distance ones). Yes, there have always been issues with people heading to Elk Lakes Cabin but for the most part, PLPP has done a great job of providing this many snowshoe trails. All of these are marked on this map, and alot of excellent general information also included on the back.
    Thought Mike W’s and Herbert’s comments were very well said.

  231. Hi:
    While “taking a photo and shaming them on the internet” might solve the immediate problem, society takes a small step backward.
    H.

  232. Bob, with respect to shaming the walkers, I’d start with shaming the skate skier who sliced up the trackset. He/she did way more damage than the walkers (one couple was still figuring out where to go, and the other couple had just started). And the skier couldn’t claim ignorance as to what the purpose of the trackset was.

  233. That pristine scene in my photo didn’t last long! In minutes, just around the corner, I encountered two walkers heading south, leaving pits of roughly 7 cm in depth. When I mentioned that the trail was “skiers only”, as per the prominent sandwich board sign at the south junction with Elbow, which seemed to be effective for most, given the trampling south of the junction- they claimed to be lost. I explained that they should walk off to the side rather than mangle the centre of the trail on the upcoming south facing hill, which was already a bit sun-softened and would be icy and possibly hazardous to skiers in the morning. Last I saw of them- they were still stomping down the centre of the downhill….

  234. Don’t you just HATE water when it’s not crystallized?!

  235. I remember the time dad read us kids “The Avalanche on Redearth Creek”.

    Worst. Bedtime. Story. Ever.

  236. Is the October 23, 2013 photo of the bridge over the Spray River free for use?

  237. Probably another road closure coming for spray lakes road and avalanche control affecting access to goat creek/shark etc. next few days.

  238. To be more precise for the Red Earth Creek fireroad past km 7, with respect to the highest avalanche hazard potential and based on ancestral slide path off Copper Mountain, the section of the ski trail from km 8.2 and 8.7 is the most obvious. When the ski trail gets very close to the creek, past the Lost Horse Creek campground, you are entering that 500 meters section.

  239. Lucky, especially when getting pushed into lake water!!!! Another report from guides yesterday accessing saddleback and surprise pass at lake Louise. Conditions rapidly changed while they were travelling so they pulled the pin and headed back, only to see their up track had been hit by avalanches. It’s quite possible that some of the avalanche paths near cross country trails will run also (or hiking trails or other areas without fences or signage), increasing risk to potentially unaware cross country skiers, snowshoers and hikers. It’s that kind of time right now, and maybe another week or more of heightened risk. Avalanche terrain exposure maps are available to the public. It’s the users responsibility to inform themselves, always.

  240. To be clear, the avalanche path in question is not off the headwall at the end of the lake, but rather about half way along the lake at the base of a huge avalanche path, as seen in pictures number 5 & 6 in this photo link from March 2019:
    https://1drv.ms/a/s!AgTx5EOCG7eSihUV_yzr6hFjrwpR
    This avalanche regularly breaks the lake ice on impact and should never be approached. Any pictures taken should be with a long zoom lens like mine!

  241. I posted the original incident report to Avalanche Canada. Thanks for reposting here and increasing the visibility of this incident.

    I believe that Parks Canada needs better signage on this trail to indicate where the avalanche terrane begins and what that means. Currently there is a small sign, posted on a tree, that says something along the lines of “ski touring beyond this point”. This language is not clear to non-skiers (heck it’s not that clear to skiers) which are the majority of trail users these days. There are clear warnings at the trailhead but they are lost in the clutter of maps etc.

  242. Thanks the update Bob, regarding the Boom lake avalanche incident, I have seen over the last months a few posts on Hike Alberta of folks wanted the « perfect Instagram shot » of themselves near the frozen waterfall below the avalanche path. Even from their photos you could see right away they were putting themselves in danger and many comments were like « stunning photo » lets go there!

  243. Shaganappi: Was there yesterday, about 15h00. Classic, loop starting w/ “expert” of to right from parking lot. Mixed conditions, first hill was fine w/ decent snow as was field on other side, then hit slush on back side of that field, crossing the creek the snow was soft but still a lot of it, coming up toward the condos conditions deteriorated quickly, snow turned to slush w/ icy patches, that was pretty much the “top” part of the loop. Lot of bare patches, but easily avoidable. Tracks were largely non existent.
    On the flip side, the place was quatro gatos empty as they say way down south.
    Snow preservation is the right call.

  244. I finally made it to the SkierBob front page photo! Small correction on the photo credit: The photo was provided by me, but not taken by me. I don’t know who took the photo.

  245. Now you tell us!

    And to top it off you post up drone footage!

  246. Got any with “lignum vitae” edges?

  247. Another thing I’ve been trying to sort out this week is my wax. How should the ideal wax feel? Especially for trails with lots of ups and downs. I was doing pretty well sorting out wax for the flats. And now that I’m adding in elevation, sometimes it feels too sticky or not sticky enough for the uphilks. Thanks again!!!

  248. Hi! Thanks again for this wonderful portion of the site! I’ve been out enjoying great skiing this week. But I’ve also developed quite this blisters on my heels, and On the bottom of my second toe. Any suggestions?

  249. Q: What did one moose say to the other moose?

    A: Waoh…. that is one BIG rabbit!

  250. Looks like a nice treat for a happy hungry skier. (-:

  251. Sundance Lodge is in Banff National Park, about 10 km up Brewster Creek.
    Trailhead is at the base of the Sunshine Ski Resort access road off Highway #1, along Healy Creek.

  252. Hi Bob,
    When you say Sundance Lodge I think of Sundace Lodges off hwy 40. I’m starting to gather there are two places with similar names.
    Thanks,
    Rhonda W

  253. Check out the Feb 2021 Trip Reports. There’s a Sandy McNabb report that was posted yesterday evening.

  254. Does anyone know the current condition of Sandy McNabb? I looked at the interactive map and it says some trails were track set about 5 days ago. I went out there 4 weeks back and there was nothing… no tracks no trails, everything was pulverized by people walking on them. I used to ski there as a kid and would love to take my kids out there but don’t want to get out there and be disappointed again 🙁

  255. Hello,how are you. My wife and daughter and I live in the Okotoks area and are beginners to novice skiers. We are looking for a nice user friendly course relatively close to Calgary. As well we will need to find equipment to rent. We are planning just a day trip,so we’d need to rent for just the day. Can you direct me to the best way to go about this? Thank you

  256. I found the same thing at the nordic centre. The air was warm, but the snow was still very cold and slow

  257. We also lost Marmot to mid-mountain in the flood too.

  258. MAAD wouldn’t have turned around.

  259. Looks great! Stoney Trail NE of Troll Falls perhaps? Maybe route was originally packed for powerline access?

  260. We were at Confed late afternoon Thursday (11th) and saw the Valentine’s sentiment on the hill. Glad it lasted and hope whoever it was intended for saw it!

  261. Thanks so much to the Ribbon Creek groomers for grooming a detour around the ice floe so quickly! We didn’t ski it today but saw it as we drove past and several folks were out on it. BTW the temp. at Evan Thomas/Wedge Connector/Bill Milne was around -10C early afternoon and more people out than yesterday.

  262. Historically, Telephone loop (along with many of the trails in WB) was designed specifically as a ski trail by Don Gardener in the late 1970’s. It was not groomed consistently until a few years ago when the GBCTA took over responsibility for it from Parks.

    The east half of it has been deemed multi use which has led to heavy amounts of foot and bike traffic.

    Maintaining this as a groomed ski trail is proving to be impractical, and we see it as being possibly delegated to a primitive ski trail. Our efforts to provide a quality experience for tracked skiing are better suited to areas that are restricted to skiing only.

    In an effort to be all things to all users, the original intent of this trail has been lost.

  263. The thought occurs: If it is a multi-use trail then why set ski tracks? Or think for even one second that non-skiers should stay off our precious ski tracks? I think the non-skiers should be free to enjoy a trail without having to tiptoe around ski tracks. Guess I won’t make any new ski friends with this remark.

  264. A couple possibilities would include:
    1. Nordic Alberta’s website (would require modifications to have SkierBob functionality)
    2. Creating a subreddit on Reddit for Alberta xc skiing
    3. Discord

  265. Well done Skier Bob. Thank you for all of the wonderful ski updates and the service you provided for us all. You’ve served the community well and I wish you all the best!
    -Karena

  266. 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. ?

  267. I know I’m late to the game, but better late than never! Skier Bob, you’re a regular part of my winter routine. Every week I check out your posts to find out where to ski and have explored so much more of the Rockies because of you. Thank you so much for all you’ve done to advance XC skiing for all Albertans!

  268. 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.

  269. Thanks Steve! Sounds great!

  270. 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.
    https://www.skiforeningen.no/utimarka/turplanlegger?fbclid=IwAR3daIsrAYI5MFju_IJUiqTOxjCp0Wu0eRemeHN_cZUCezFnOi6XXwNqfyk
    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,
    Andrew

  271. P.s. We live in Cochrane, so if there are any other trails close to us for the busier work/school days, that would be great to know too!

  272. Hello! My family is new to Calgary and my 9 year old daughter is new to skiing. We’ve been loving WBC and working up through the trails. Moose loop was beautiful on Sunday, if a little slow. Technically the trail was perfect for my daughter, and she is excited to go again, but the length was at her upper limit. Any suggestions for the next set of trails for us that would have nice mountain or trees or any nature scenery views? We are willing to drive a couple of hours. Thank you! Happy skiing! And happy Chinese New Year!

  273. I have loved your blog and will miss it immensely! Thank you for all the time and effort you’ve put into it over the past years. I met you once on Goat Creek and it was a real highlight!

    Could a trail in the Empire be renamed the SkierBob Classic or the Bob Truman Trail!?

  274. I emailed Banff NP info centre about whether Parks Canada could join Nordic Pulse. This has been ‘passed along to management.’

  275. Bob,
    Thanks SO SO much for bringing together the Nordic community through your website.
    I still hope to meet you on the trail someday.
    Best wishes to you,
    Anne

  276. Hi Bob,
    I concur with your comments regarding the utmost importance of trip reports, on a personal note, the groomers reports are equally important as they provide first hand information and usually before the « official » website.
    Regarding the grooming as Skitrails.info seems to only work for Kananaskis Village greater area trails, I have noticed that WBC uses Nordic Pulse to provide a similar colour coded map. What do you think to « push » this option to other ski areas?

  277. I’m still having a hard time accepting the new reality that this blog will not be available next season.
    If someone is going to design a new blog, a few suggestions come to mind:
    1) Anyone wanting to post should be required to create an account including a unique UserName linked to their email. This would eliminate the confusion when two people use the same name, knowingly or unknowingly!
    2) The ‘Search’ function should be allowed to work on contributed Trip Reports. At the moment the ‘Search’ function only works on the Home Page. The Administrator(s) can’t be expected to ski everywhere! Year’s ago our reports did go directly to the Home Page, but that became unmanageable. Users often want to check out the recent reports for a particular trail (or by a particular reporter), so this would facilitate their search.

  278. I’m so sad!! Checking in on your website has been a part of almost every winter day for many years – that being said I realize this is a tremendous amount of work and those are hours you could be out on the trails. Thank you so very very much Bob! Your dedication to sharing good information has been so valuable to a huge community. Thanks for so many years of great service!!

  279. Thank you Bob for creating this wonderful resource for the x-country skiing community! Your site has been the go to place for current trail conditions and everything else x-country skiing for myself and many others for the last 13 years. I’m sure I’ll bump into you on the trails in the future. Until then wishing you all the best!

  280. Thanks, Jeff. I always enjoyed skiing your tracksetting. Skogan Pass, my favorite, has the most elevation of any trails I ski. And Bill Milne – well, its the flattest. So you covered both ends of the spectrum. Enjoy your retirement , and thank you..

  281. Thank you Bob! The positive, welcoming style of your updates has done much more than just inform us about conditions and entertain us with stories. It has created a community of cross country skiers. It has embraced and celebrated all the different ways that we enjoy skiing. Many of us check SkierBob every day, often several times. There was always something new on the site- a new post, fresh trip reports, grooming reports and it was the hub that linked us to more details about weather, grooming reports, etc. But, to accomplish that, you had to be working on the website every single day. What a huge commitment!

    I’m hopeful that your remarkable example will inspire some others to pick up the torch to ensure that something similar will continue on. I expect it may require a team effort.
    Thanks for all that you have done to bring us together! See you on the trails!

  282. Thanks so much Bob for all you have done. I read your blog and the trip reports nearly every day during the x-c ski season. What you created has had value beyond belief. Congratulations

  283. We really can’t add many more accolades Bob. You have a huge loyal fan club, and they have stated it quite eloquently and we echo their sentiments.
    There is nothing but respect and admiration for all your hard work. You give up a lot of your own ski time to help others out, always with a big smile on your face. (And a happy greeting for the canine)
    Thankyou !!

  284. When I read it on CBC today my reaction was Oh No! Will REALLY miss your blog!! Thanks so much for all your work over the years

  285. On behalf of myself, and my humans Chris & Peter, thanks so much for all you’ve done for the XC community, especially where pupsters on trails are concerned – it’s been great to have access for doggies clarified. I know my humans check your page regularly before deciding where we will ski – this input will be sorely missed! Hope to see you on the trails soon!

  286. Chris, Peter & Kazzy Thomas

    So long Jeff, and thanks for all the tracks!

  287. thanks thanks thanks
    Thx BOB, amazing to have used this for so many years

    PLEASE not a FB page. Not all of us rejoice with FB or have accounts.

  288. Cross paths in the future

    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

  289. Jeff – Thanks for the many years of great tracksetting! When the weather is very cold, Skogan Pass is my favourite trail. The extreme cold greatly improves grip on the ascent and reduces the need to snowplow on the descent. Very little of the trail is flat or low angle descent where you’d notice the impaired glide. Having enough layers to survive the wind chill on the descent is challenging though!

    Enjoy your retirement in Quebec. I’m sure Alex has been well-trained to carry on the great work the two of you (and others?) have been doing.

  290. Merci Jeff pour ton travail assidu à tracer les pistes pendant toutes ces années. Grâce à toi et ton expertise, on a pu pratiquer un sport de glisse dans des conditions excellentes. Bon retour au Québec et fais-nous savoir qu’elles seront les pistes que tu y traceras!

  291. Hello Jeff, I had the pleasure to meet you a few years ago and I remember you telling me all about pre-Nakiska trails that you had groomed. Just for my sake, on YouTube there is 2015 video of the Skogan pass grooming, was it you?
    Skogan pass and shootouts are my favourite place for a good workout and many thanks for the prefect grooming.
    Bonne retraite au Quebec et un grand merci pour toutes ces années!
    Cordialement.

  292. Wow, everyone is retiring this winter. What a shame, we’ll miss Jeff’s tracks. Hopefully someone will take over and this isn’t an excuse for the government to end grooming at Ribbon Creek?

  293. It’s good to hear that your knowledge and skills will continue to benefit skiers. And bikers too, I’m guessing. Sounds like Alberta’s loss is Quebec’s gain! Thanks for going above and beyond, Jeff.

  294. Owning a place in Lac Des Arcs (purchased in ’93) made this whole area at Ribbon Creek “my” Nordic Centre. Those many deep snowfalls made Ribbon Creek such a joy to ski. It was and still is a Winter Wonderland. Just last Friday we skied up Coal Mine in perfect conditions; I guess in hindsight, it was in your honour although Alex, your well trained successor, might have groomed it. After Kovach’s loop we skied down from the Hotel (is that trail really called Bill Milne Paved Trail as my Gaia would suggest?) back down to the car, a wonderful pot pourri. It would be awesome if you would list the Top Ten Beefs from an EXPERT Groomer’s perspective before you leave us. Thank you Jeff for your years of service to our deeply loved Kananaskis Country.

  295. What was the second announcement? 🙂

    The second announcement was Ribbon Creek Tracksetter Jeff’s retirement. -Bob

  296. Thank you, Jeff, for your years of dedication! Your retirement is well-deserved! You will surely be missed. All the best to you in your future adventures!

  297. Thanks for all your hard work on the trails, Jeff. I skied on your tracksetting in the 1980’s . How lucky we all were — and are — to have teams like yours. Best wishes for your move to Quebec!

  298. Many thanks to tracksetter Jeff for the his superb tracks in Kananaskis country. You’ll be missed.

  299. What a week of announcements for the x-country community. Another loss it feels but a very deserved retirement for Jeff. Hopefully he is able to pass on his skills before he leaves!
    Thank you Jeff for hours of blissful trails we enjoyed because of you. We have been skiing here since the mid 90’s so we owe a lot of memorable skiing days to you!

  300. MAKE ALBERTA A DEMOCRACY

    What a fantastic story of the early days of Jeff the Groomer. His early grooming career occurred at a time when the Alberta economy was hurting from very high interest rates, the American oil pull out in protest of the National Energy Program and oil as low as $12 per barrel, about 4 times lower than todays rate of $58.27/ WTI per barrel. This was an age that people in Calgary were selling homes for $1 because the economy was so brutal. Yet the Alberta Government had some intelligence to expand cross country skiing at the time to benefit the health of Albertans and to expand our tourism industry which would help the government books in the longer run. The Progressive Conservative government of the day had so much more tourism vision back in the 1980’s as compared to recent years with the elimination of new open pit coal mines in the mountains, expansion of parks and xc ski trails.

    It would be great to expand the story on Jeff and get more details. I wonder how much input he had on expanding the xc ski trails to make way for the first Piston Bully. It must have been a glorious day to step into such modern technology. He could have been stuck in a Tucker Cat instead!

    To hear that the first Piston Bulley used in the Eastern Slopes of Alberta, which was bought way back in the last century, is still in use today in the glorious Eastern Alberta Cypress Hills is fabulous That is another clear example of why it is better for the government to buy good equipment rather than leasing it. The savings are superior this way and it reduces the cost for xc tracksetting and grooming which is something we all want to see.

    Too bad Jeff is heading to Quebec to retire. Lucky Quebec that will benefit from Alberta’s brain drain. Jeff’s experience would be valuable for the next new Alberta Government after the 2023 election in order to upgrade the Alberta XC ski tourism industry here for the next 7 generations.

  301. Thank you Jeff – wish you all the best in the move!! The trails are always such a dream to glide on. Ribbon creek is where we discovered our love for XC skiing !

  302. All the best to Jeff, wishing him a long and happy retirement. Many thanks for a great job on the trails, I am fortunate enough to have been able to enjoy them these last few years.

  303. Like everyone else who has commented, thank you for your tireless efforts promoting and advocating for cross-country skiing in southern Alberta and eastern BC! May you enjoy whatever you have planned next.

    A coupe of years ago we relocated to B.C.’s Lower Mainland for work. I knew one thing I would truly miss was cross-country skiing in K-Country and WBC. I was right: I’ve been on my skis three times since moving here (and the skiing isn’t the same). I ski vicariously through this blog. =)

  304. Skiing on your tracks in Kananaskis has been pure pleasure! I’m so glad my toddlers got to enjoy your trails on your last season with us too! Your retirement plans sound perfect. Best wishes to you, your wife, and those lucky Quebecois skiers! 🙂

  305. Thank you Skierbob! For all your work putting together timely info and also your generosity in sharing it. Your blog is positive and upbeat, filled with great photos, current conditions, etc. Everyone who submits trip reports has been so willing to give info and tips to help us all have a better experience… Your website has so much helpful info/tips – webcams, weather, maps, competitions, gear, etc. We may not have known about the grooming kerfuffle with the gov but your website rallied us all and hopefully the user pay passes will have made a difference to keeping the tracksetting going. Enjoy your skiing next winter but know that you will be missed a lot.

  306. Thank you Bob for all you and your blog has done for the X-C ski community over the years. Also thank you for bringing together a group of great, thoughtful, kind and generous individuals through the blog. Everyone needs to retire at sometime and you have decided it is your time, so go for it. See you on the trails!

  307. Heartbreaking news. Wonderful to have had this blog for as long as we did – always something to look forward to. All the best!

  308. Thank you, Bob, for all you have done for cross country skiing. I will miss your posts.

  309. Love, love, love the updates and seek them out before heading out. I will certainly miss seeing what Skier Bob says.

  310. Bob you truly paved the way and kept us up to speed on where to go for incredible skiing. Thank you for taking the time to do this! I fondly remember the Lake Louise to Banff relay we did together with the others. Will hopefully see you on the trails!

  311. Thank you for providing such an amazing platform for the xc ski community!! When we moved back to Canada last year our friends told us that we had to follow SkierBob to get the best info about xc skiing…it completely exceeded our expectations. We follow all of your posts & website to help us plan all of our xc ski days. You are going to be sorrily missed and have left a legacy that will live on forever!! Good luck to you and Happy Trails!!!

  312. Bob, your support of the southern Alberta / eastern BC XC community has been outstanding. A hearty congratulations and many thanks.

  313. RIP (retire in peace) SkierBob! It’s been a fantastic journey, for you and many many others. What you have created will endure in more ways than just the technical cogs of a web site. It really is a wonderful inclusive community. Thank you so much for that. Retire with pride. We all look forward to a post covid retirement party when it’s ok to hug again. Maybe one last raffle/contest is in order though: It’s time to pass on the SkiHere toque (literally and figuratively) and don a trip reporter hat. Happy care free skiing Bob and see you on the trail, or better yet, at a relaxing comfortable couch. (-:

  314. Bob, thanks for all that you have done for the Calgary and area cross country ski community. You will be missed! Best of luck for your future endeavours.

  315. My family and I will miss all the comments, trip reports and insight. As with many it was an honour to meet you on the trail a few years ago.

  316. Yes, me too. Will miss you Bob. I check your site every day before I go to sleep and as soon as I wake up. Plus some days even more often. I probably would not have to do it, since I ski with Helen often and I think she is on your web every hour. But I do not blame you, I also am trying to limit my time on the computer and the contrary is happening right now. Maybe you will still change your mind when the next winter comes. Enjoy this one.

  317. The first question I always ask a fellow cross country skier, “Do you follow Skierbob”. The answer is always “Yes”! This site provides so much information and inspiration. It is the first (and pretty much only) site I check on before we head to the trails. Your blog posts,Bob; trip reports; answers to questions, trails conditions; your site is such a huge part of our winter. You will be greatly missed!! Thank you for all you have done for this ski community.

  318. I secretly hoped that somehow, miraculously, this site will go on forever; can’t imagine heading off to the mountains without looking for info here first. Thank you, Mr. Truman, for your great service to the community.

  319. Well, they say that “all good things must come to an end” 🙁
    It’s just that “WE” – the XC Skiers of the EMPIRE aren’t ready to say farewell to what has felt like home base for so many of us for so long. “SkierBob.ca” has become every skier’s BFF 😉
    BOB: Thanks for your dedication & the many hours you devoted to your exceptional website – a true labour of love! So grateful to you for sharing it with us for these many years!
    Best wishes to you as you “retire” to the freedom of the many happy trails ahead!
    Cheers to you!

  320. Bob, you deserve our thanks! I recall when we first started to xc ski, how frustrating it was to glean a little information from the websites, and then just how relieved we were to find your humble “home page”. Kudos for what you’ve accomplished here! Grateful that your webpage doesn’t demand to turn us into a product.

  321. Thank you Bob for all the work you did over the years.
    For years you have been our #1 resource to decide where we would ski.
    I also love how positive you were and always stayed away from criticizing anyone or anything.
    Whoever is thinking to take over will have BIG shoes to fill.
    Thank you, thank you and looking forward to meeting on the trails for many more years.
    Sophie & Andrew

  322. Bob… you’ve built a wonderful following thanks to your ongoing passion, engagement, and willingness to tackle/facilitate many challenging issues. You’ve given voice to the average person (comments, reports, etc), enabled and solicited engagement and participation from many, and even though this is a very simplistic blog/forum it is true to it’s cause and maximizes utility. You’ve managed to help keep much of the cr@p off this site (ie: poor comments, trolls, bad advertising, “selling out”, etc…).
    Between you, and the many contributors, you’ve helped so so many of us find anticipation, joy, and share our crazy/gleeful moments on ye ‘ole misery sticks.
    Hopefully you will entertain many out on the trails as we encounter you. Hopefully you have some swag you can find a way to offload (hint: fundraiser for ski-related services).
    Hopefully you will consider some form of “hand-off” and/or continuation in whatever form this site and you would support?

    Thank you for the few times you referenced any of my posts. Thank you for some of the personal notes over the years too. Thank you.

    As you ski off to the end of the tracks… be proud man. Be proud.

    Thank you.

    (dangit… dunno how this became a long drawn-out note)…

  323. Tears are running down my face. What will we do without you Bob??? You leave a lasting legacy and the XC community was very fortunate to have you for as long as we did. Thanks for everything!!! Happy Trails 🙂

  324. Bob thanks for all you have done for the cross country ski community with much appreciation from Janice and Charlie Perry .

    One last poem for the Blog for you Bob by Janice

    When looking for a good cross country ski source
    Everybody tunes in to Skier Bob’s Blog of course

    Information on trails, conditions, maps, and stories
    Anecdotes and photos of skiers in all their glory

    Bob’s camera ensures a picture says a thousand words
    As we see scenic trails, happy skiers, mammals and birds

    Let’s not forget all the contests and prizes
    There’s always something wonderful to surprise us

    Informative trip reports bring our ski community together
    Details of trails, waxes, conditions and weather

    Everything you need is in one place
    Hopefully the info won’t disappear without a trace

    If you lost something on the trail don’t sob
    Look for it in the Lost and Found section of Skier Bob

    Looking for information on Loppets to try
    Find this on Skier Bob in a blink of an eye

    Not sure where to ski with your dog
    There’s even a section to help on Bob’s blog

    Need to write a letter to the government to lobby
    Get all the information on the Blog of skier Bobby

    Want to ensure you have great conditions for your favorite sport
    Just click on the section titled Grooming Reports

    Bob you have made so many friends on the trail
    Now its time to just ski and enjoy your fan mail.

  325. BARB aka the snow fairy

    Thank you for your beautiful blogs and excellent reporting. You’ll be missed Bob! Happy Ski Trails.

  326. All of my friends and I say (when deciding anything relating to xc skiing) “but what does it say on SkierBob?”. You will be missed greatly. THANK YOU so much for everything that you have done, and the way you have done it – such grace and positivity – what a great spokesperson for xc skiing.

    Hope to see you on the trails!

  327. Bob, what will we do without you! You’ve become a legend in the xc ski community. Thank you so much for your years of dedication to providing us with so much information about our favourite sport! I certainly hope you never lose your passion for skiing – maybe you can get out even more now! We’ll be looking forward to seeing your trip reports in whatever new blog rises from the ashes! Happy ski trails, Bob!

  328. Thanks a lot Bob for the commitment on your website over the years, in being the common thread of the skiing community in the Calgary and Rocky Mountain areas. Whether it was for track-set, flat-pack, knee-deep trail breaking or powder turns, there was always a good snow all-you-can-climb’nglide buffet on the website. It will be a tough task to replicate the same standards and wealth of info we could find before and after any ski adventures. Hopefully, there will be a unique place for all the regular contributors to share their stories and all of us to gain valuable information.

    I enjoyed reading all accounts daily, especially those from Helen, Alf, Chuck, MaSid, MAAD, Mike W. et al. Knowing where all those contributors will post their reports starting this fall, to get accurate info on trail and snow conditions as well as photo galleries, would be great to fuel up on each other outings. Ski safe.

  329. Bob, Empires come and go, but not many, if any, depart at the height of their powers. Skierbob has been an invaluable resource to me over the past many years. Many thanks for your significant contribution to our winter pleasure.

  330. Devasting news – just devasting! We are mourning the loss of this exceptional website.
    We actually get “all the news we need” on the Skierbob report!
    What will we do every evening and early morning without checking out who went where, and what they found?
    We luckily discovered this site about 8 years ago and what a blessing it was. We learned so much and were incredibly inspired by so many of your Trip Reporter’s exploits. What an incredible crew of reporters.
    Great job Bob – you are star and we can’t thank you enough for all your hard work and dedication to the sport. Your website is REALLY going to be missed in our household.
    Enjoy your new schedule and we look forward to seeing you the Skierbob Special in PLPP.
    3 Cheers to you – JR & Karen

  331. You are a LEGEND. Thank you for the years of information, insight and communication. I hope someone can fill the BIG shoes you leave behind so we can continue this awesome community of active peeps sharing knowledge and trail tips.

    Thanks again ROCKSTAR BOB!!

  332. Wow! You’ve been my go-to website to figure out where to go skiing for the last decade!
    I will miss this structure (as opposed to the FB structure), but understand the need to step-back at times.
    Thanks for everything you’ve done for the community.

  333. Bob,
    I can’t imagine a ski season without you and your BLog Bob. 🙁 . But I completely understand your decision. I was just saying to a friend on the weekend it must be so much work for you to maintain this blog as well as you do. I can’t remember how many years ago I started tuning in but it was many.
    Thank you so much for all you’ve done for the x country ski community and for announcing this now instead of end of the season. Other bloggers may take on this challenge but it’ll never be the same or as great as yours.

    Rhonda W

  334. Thank you SkierBob!

    Identifying primarily as a backcountry skier I have nevertheless found your blog to be extremely valuable and entertaining.

    Hopefully someone with a lot of time on their hands will *just get off the couch* and pick up the reins.

  335. Thanks Bob for your great contribution over the years.
    YOU WILL BE MISSED.!!!!!

    I, and some friends were some of the first groups (from Edmonton and Vancouver) greeting you on Pocatera 15 or so years ago, and followed you on this blog ever since.

    Your notes, friendly banter and pix lightened up the day:-). Now that the Long Loop (cca 30km) from WWL is too much of a challenge for me , I do my skiing in Edmonton and view this blog to reminisce!! Alas, with warmer winters the XC tracks are rather unreliable here. So I went to the dark side, to down-hill skiing at Snow Valley, Edmonton. They groom every night, so ice is not a problem.
    Thanks again, good health and all the best, Emry

  336. Thanks Bob, I refer to your blog often. I appreciate all the effort you have contributed to our community.

  337. Thanks Bob for all the years of providing a great platform for trail information. This has been a big part of our trip planning. While Skierbob blog may ski into the sunset, hope to see you on the trails. Warm hearted thank you.

  338. Thanks for everything that you do for cross country skiing Bob, we are very grateful for the vast amount of information you provided, and for the community you have fostered with your website. It will always be the SkierBob Empire, best wishes!

  339. Thanks for all your hard work over the years, I don’t know how to manage without this site. I hope someone else can take it over, or start a similar one.

  340. Thanks Bob, for all the effort you’ve put into this website over the years. I find that just posting a trip report with photos is a lot of work, let alone what you have to do on a daily basis. Hopefully you’ll have more time now to go skiing! Just post your phone number at the top of your home page so we can all phone you to find out where to ski! <>

    Similar to MAAD’s idea, perhaps a XC ski shop or a ski club would be interested in setting up a similar website. That way, the work could be split between several people.

  341. Thanks for all your hard work! I have treasured this site and the community it has forged. Wishing all the best in your new adventures!

  342. I just wanted to say thanks, Bob! We appreciate everything you’ve done for our local ski community. Enjoy the next chapter, you deserve it.

  343. Skier Bob,

    Thank you for all the years I’ve turned to Skierbob to check trail conditions & reports & enjoy folks’ shares!

    Enjoy retirement from managing the blog & hopefully see you on a trail!

  344. Our small group has found your blog so helpful over the years. So so appreciated! Thank you for your tireless efforts. Wishing you the best.

  345. Absolutely new to cross country. Have never tried and really want to try. I am a single mother and have a very athletic and coordinated 9 yr old and was hoping there was a place I could get a quick lesson or an intro lesson for half of a day ( a couple of hours ) in the Canmore area

    Does such a thing exist ?

  346. It won’t be the same, but you’ve certainly done more than your share for the rest of us over the years. Thanks, Bob!

  347. Skierbob's Groupie

    You are Skierbob, professional, star quality, ski royalty extraordinaire. You started your own blog, Skierbob Banana Republic in 2008 because you found your passion for skiing. It was a great idea as you wanted to provide all the information that you became interested in, in one location.This information took a tremendous amount of time to accumulate as well as providing a one-stop blog to obtain all the answers for others who enjoyed this sport as well, and wanted this same knowledge and could find it all in one place. I am sure it took you a lot of time to contact all of your support people, experts, government contacts, groomers, and of course introduce yourself to each of them to explain your idea and concept of your blog.

    By reading your blog today, I can see why many people read it as they all can see the amount of time and effort you put into it. I can also see it has been a time consuming passion of yours. Not only did you get the support from others, you compiled excessive amounts of material from individual sites to provide complete and necessary information to aficionados like yourself who are looking for similar information also for enthusiastic beginners. You answer so many questions daily on your blog and while some of the questions don’t appear to pertain directly to this sport, you still faithfully supply what information you can. I am amazed at how you find some of the information sometimes to help others. So may enthusiasts want to know: the weather today, tomorrow and the amounts of snowfall, the condition of the snow, and even potential storms, when the trails were last groomed, the condition of the trails, any trail hazards, or hidden curves and training or speed hills. Besides all that people want to know wax treatments for the skis in any weather, parking availability or restrictions. On top of all of this you took the lead in compiling more information and contacting everyone to help push the voluntary purchase of parking passes, to support the continued upkeep of the ski trails. So once everyone reads these facts, you further entice them to go skiing right now by showing all those gorgeous pictures taken by your friends and of course your own. As one person stated on your blog, this is a gold mine!

    This blog isn’t all hard work for you though there is a lot to do. You must get off the ski couch and ski around yourself, talk to numerous people, say hello to all the beautiful dogs (you talk to them all). You talk to as many people as you can, you are friendly and concerned, asking everyone how they are and if they have any issues. It is all about your ambassadorship for skiing and treating everyone as part of your skiing family, Skierbob Banana Republic X-Country Skiing.

    No wonder you are known as a celebrity on the slopes Skierbob! You blog is a one-stop dynamite place where you have provided your own attachments and insight into the contribution from others. This sight is a part of you, the humour, the honesty, it is your heart. It’s a joy for all of us to read and take advantage of your knowledge and facts. Thank you for all of your dedication.

  348. This and Kamloops trails are my two favorite, resourceful and most helpful blogs I’ve ever subscribed to.

    Well done and your work was most appreciated!

    Hopefully someone will carry on all the resources you’ve built up.

  349. I have been reading your blog for many years. Thanks for all you have done! Catch you on the trails 🙂

  350. Nooooooooooooooooooooo!

    Rats. Thanks a lot for all the work you’ve put into this site over the years. Thanks to you and the people you’ve brought into your world, I’ve discovered new places to ski, learned a lot about the sport, and have found a community I’m happy to be part of. I’m convinced that a big reason there are so many people on the trails this year is due to the access to information you’ve been providing.

    Thanks again, and hopefully I’ll finally run into you on the trails one day!

  351. As the novice XC Skier 7 years ago, Bob, your blog was the first source I found which inspirited and informatized my wife and myself searching for joys of freezing winters. Thank you very much for over-years efforts running the blog. Wish you all the best.

  352. Bob you have made a measurable and considerable impact on our xc skiing community. Thank you so much for your dedication and enthusiasm for this wonderful sport. Wishing you a happy “retirement” and now more time for getting out on those trails you love. All the very best!

  353. Thanks for everything you’ve done. I promise to do my part to keep things going in the Facebook group (apparently we have 6000 members!)
    Starting a new blog isn’t in my future but I hope somebody is inspired to do so.

    You’ll be missed. I’ve visited your site nearly daily over the past several years.

  354. It’s clear this website has been a labour of love for you over the years, Bob. We cross country skiers have benefited significantly from your commitment and dedication to providing this forum to share information and encouraging a sense of community for all us. Thank you! and Happy Trails!

  355. Bob, it’s just the start of a new trail for you! Thanks so much, your blog has done so much for cross-country skiing.

  356. Annika Lindh Cully

    I’m sorry to hear this as your site has been a real source of inspiration for me! When I moved to Calgary from my home country of Sweden I found your site pretty fast and it has helped me feel more at home here, it has inspired many trips with my family. Thanks for all the work with keeping it such a current and relevant site. I will miss it!

  357. But I just signed up yesterday!! Sounds like you have been a great asset to this community and will be missed. All the best:)

  358. Hi Bob
    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!

  359. Will miss you Bob! Thanks for an amazing blog – we read it all the time and will continue to look back on all the wealth of information you have provided to the cross-country skiing community! Thanks for keeping the site on.
    Hope you can enjoy your skiing even more now!

  360. Thanks so much for your dedication and hard work, Bob. The terrific information in your blogg has been a great help to our small cross-country ski group. We will miss you!

  361. Your blog will be sorely missed! There’s such a community feel to it- skiers sharing photos, trail updates, photos of wildlife or dogs encountered, etc.
    I hope there is someone out there willing to continue with a blog as many folks prefer an emailed blog to using Facebook, although it’s great to have both.
    Thank you and happy trails.

  362. MAKE ALBERTA A DEMOCRACY

    Shutting down SkierBob will harsh the XC Ski Nation’s buzz.

    I hope you are going to shift to Making Alberta A Democracy now!

    Thanks for the great service Bob.

    Ski long and prosper.

    (PS Sell your website to a ski shop)

  363. Bob, you have done a fabulous job in conveying a worth of info to hundreds of enthusiastic Skiers. I am blind and your blogs really helped me to choose where I could to and safely ski. Truly, we will miss you. Thanks indeed. I hope someone else takes over to administer your site or starts another one. May God bless you.
    Shabu..

  364. AJ and Ellen Flesch

    We’ve really appreciated this site for a wealth of reasons. You have created a community and injected us all with tremendous spirit for the winter season. We will all miss you. Does one have to have a FB account to access the FB site? We do not have a FB account. Please someone think about picking up the mantle. I nominate Helen. But I know there are several others that get out daily.

  365. There is not a day in winter when I don’t read all the updates / trip reports to plan my next outing……the blog will be sorely missed and for sure you would deserve a proper send off at the end of the ski season from all the readers / trip reporters! Would you consider letting a group of aficionados take over the blog and continue your “oeuvre” or are you more inclined to just close the blog?
    In any case many many thanks for the time and energy you dedicated to the ski community and being such a great ambassador to this sport.
    Cordialement,

  366. I just got back into XC skiing before Christmas and your site as recommended by a long time follower of yours (thanks Rhonda) was instrumental in getting me the information needed to facilitate a fast and informative launch! Thank you so much, Bob!

  367. Thank you for a great website So nice to have access to all the information! A job well done!

  368. Thanks Bob, for doing so much for the xc ski community!
    Don’t put that camera away, though.

  369. Wow, this blog will sure be missed! I’ve only started cross country skiing this year but I appreciate all the work you (and others) have put in over the years. Also, meeting you on the trail and having my photo make it onto the blog was a special memory from this year – yes, I sent it to my parents because I think it’s a big deal! I’ve really enjoyed visiting skierbob.ca and I’ll be sad to not check this site every morning next winter. Thank you again!!!

  370. Warren Smith, Olds.

    Is there a more useful, comprehensive and appreciated xc ski blog in the Universe than the skierbob universe? I think not. Entertaining and helpful, principled and ethical. Thank you, Bob.

  371. I feel as though a dear friend is about to pass away. The memories will linger on, long after a “new” initiative emerges.
    Happy trails Bob!

  372. Thank you so much for your enormous volunteer contribution to the XC skiing community. Your site contains so much valuable information. You will be missed, I hope to thank you in person soon.

  373. Mary Catherine MacLaren

    Thanks so much Bob! My husband and I have Loved your blog and have viewed it for years as we love x-country skiing and find your blog to be so informative!
    you will be sorely missed!

  374. A heartfelt thank you. Your work on behalf of the skiing community is so greatly appreciated.

  375. Its a very sad day to hear this news Bob, thank you for all you’ve done for our skiing community, I’m personally very appreciative of the tremendous energy you’ve put into Skier Bob, awesome, awesome job

  376. Wow you will be sorely missed! This blog has been such a benefit to all of us who love cross country skiing… hope to meet you on the trail someday and thank you in person.

  377. Thanks for all you have done Bob. I have enjoyed reading your blog for years and I appreciate the huge volunteer commitment you have provided.

  378. If you’re looking for somewhere to ski without the extreme cold, I suggest Mars. The latest weather (Feb 4) from the Curiosity Rover is sunny with a high of -6C! You don’t have to worry about wind chill because of Mars’ minimal atmosphere. Because Mars has only a third of Earth’s gravity, getting up hills will be a breeze (without the breeze). Great views everywhere! (Unfortunately Mars is a bit too far from Earth to spot MaSid’s East Elk Pass wind wall.)

    I recommend skin skis with a Teflon base. As an extra bonus, a Parking Pass is not required. Safety Tip – Get back before dark; the overnight low is -74C. – https://mars.nasa.gov/msl/weather/. Hey Bob, how about adding this link to your Weather menu?

  379. The population of the Calgary/Southern Alberta region has tripled since the 1980’s.
    Except for the creation of the Canmore Nordic Centre and the addition of new trails by West Bragg Creek volunteers, the actual amount of XC ski trails in Kananaskis Country has decreased. There has been no comprehensive plan in the past 30 years to address the increased demand for outdoor recreation that results from this regional population increase. Successive governments since Don Getty and Ralph Klein have cut funding for trails. The NDP did create the Castle Parks and invested in trail and infrastructure upgrades in Kananaskis.
    The UCP governments helpful plan is to have Australian companies remove mountain tops and sell the coal for nothing to China… and to turn the rest of the public lands over to OHV users.
    Peter Lougheed would be ashamed of the lack of leadership and vision.

  380. In PLPP we also lost part of Boulton Creek due to the flood. This were subsequently replaced, though I preferred the original. Sunshine used to groom and trackset trails up in the village on a regular basis and even had a nordic lift pass that allowed a ride up the gondola and one ride up either Strawberry or WaWa. There was one loop above WaWa, a loop in the meadows beyond Strawberry and a loop below the village. I don’t know what the total km was. Last time I was at Sunshine it looked like the loop below the village was groomed for skating, though without a season pass you’d have to pay the full lift price to get up there.

  381. This morning I observed a couple of ice flows starting along Mountain View West in WBC. I suspect there may be a few others lurking and slowly growing.

  382. Before your time Bob pre 1988 Ribbon Creek had almost 68 km of groomed trails. The trails around the Nakiska ski area like Stump Meadow, Timber Trail an extended Coal Mine and Ruthie’s were some of the best ski trails in Kananaskis.

  383. According to the latest news and weather the empire’s assets will be frozen this weekend.

  384. Very little tracksetting at CNC. Some trails were groomed. Quite disappointing really.

  385. Hello – I have had a number of hip surgeries and walk with a cane, however I have been able to do some limited skiing on nordic trails. As part as my rehabilitation I would like to get back on x-country skis. I need flat trails as even the slightest incline can throw off my balance. I did ok at the East Village Loop in Calgary and I have read that the Wedge Connector may be good for me in Kananaskis. If anyone has any other thoughts on where to find very flat tracks for me to practice and get my confidence up — please share!!

    Many thanks

  386. Thanks again for all these links and resources. When the Pandemic ends I will have to quit my job so I can explore all these gorgeous places on skis!

  387. It’s good to know that there’s more detailed information on the grooming in PLPP. What puzzles me is that Amos, Wheeler, and Woolley were last groomed on Jan. 17, while Braille, Lodgepole, and Sinclair have been groomed 3 times since then (Jan. 19, Jan. 26, and Feb. 2). Blueberry, Elk Pass, and Patterson were last groomed on Jan. 20. I thought that there might be more of a regular rotation in the trail grooming, as in past years.

  388. Great way-back referencing! I’ve got the revised ed. in my library aside David Rees’ xc compendium and Savage’s Ski Alberta. Question: what of these old gems? Whitehorn Loops; Sundance & Sunshine nordic trails; Johnson Lake Loops; Chester/Sawmill & Kananaskis Golf Course networks —some easy light touring trails that a new generation of skiers can explore.

  389. Thank you Helen, Doug and Roy- I appreciate the information and look forward to checking out those sites– and those trails eventually. Enjoy the bounty of snow you are getting!
    Kevin

  390. Kevin: I am partial to Yoho area and they have a smaller hotel in Field, BC called Truffled Pigs which I believe has 12 rooms and is complete with a very funky restaurant. Prices were very reasonable and a month ago hubby and I stayed there and were offered a discount for being members of Kicking Horse Ski Club ($50/yr). Trails available at that end and within 12 kms are: Lake O’Hara Fire Road (11 kms up one way), O’Hara end of Great Divide which one can ski to Lk Louise (11 kms.), Yoho Valley Road (5 kms or more if avalanche danger LOW), Tally Ho (right from Field Info Centre) takes you to The Connector (7 kms) which then takes you all way to Emerald Lk., and at Natural Bridge can ski Kicking Horse Fire Rd (7 kms). and scenic winner of all: Alluvial Fan at end of Emerald Lk. (8 kms starting at parking lot of Emerald Lk). Only problem is after a BIG storm, sometimes Trans Canada can be temporarily closed for avalanche control. They also have a CANSI level xc ski instructor who lives in Field, who is active in http://www.KHSC.ca above.

  391. Kimberley has the best Nordic Center between Rossland and Canmore. It is also halfway between the two towns.

  392. http://www.kootenayxc.com

    This website appears to have lots of info about xc skiing areas in the Kootenays.

  393. I trust every one in The Domain is hoping for some early sunbeams tomorrow morning so Balzac Billie’s prognostication will be for 6 more weeks of “Let Snow Let it Snow Let it Snow.

  394. Hi Bob,

    It is so fun to read these precious articles. Really appreciated. Thanks for sharing.

  395. Those are Pine Marten tracks!

  396. TFKIR

    Thanks For Keeping It Real.

  397. MAKE ALBERTA A DEMOCRACY

    Peter Lougheed was the only quasi decent Premier in my life time who expanded Alberta owned oil and gas infrastructure to generate non tax revenues. Back in his day as Premier oil royalties were at least 43% higher which enabled Albertans to have so many more government services with less oil production. Today, with oil prices higher than the Lougheed days, most of the royalty reduced public oil wealth is being funneled to supporters of the Conservatives rather than the owners of the resource- you. This is one of the reasons why there is a reduction in the quantity and quality of ski trails in Alberta today as compared to the last century.

    If we lived in a real democracy where you are given the legalized right to vote on government bills as well as having citizen-initiated legislation, you can bet Albertans would utilize their resource assets in a superior way to the neo conservatives and we would have an expansion of our parks not a decrease. That is why we need to Make Alberta A Democracy- for the betterment of Alberta and our future. Ski trails not pipelines to no where.

  398. And now, thanks to our latest version of politicians, we have parking fees at trailheads, a closed Barrier Lake Information Centre, etc. Time does not always improve matters.

  399. Wow, so different from the current crop of Alberta politicians, who do not give a hoot about the environment unless they can make money from it. Can you imagine the Jason Kenney Provincial Park? I can’t!

  400. I met Bill Milne in a professional capacity in his later years when he sat as a member on the Calgary Planning Commission. I didn’t know at the time his involvement in the protection and creation of kananaskis. It would have been fantastic to thank him personally and directly for the immense value it has provided.

  401. Excellent bit of trivia Bob. Including Sandy McNabb, WBC, Mt. Shark, and PLPP, there are approximately 200kms of groomed trails in Kananaskis today.

  402. I thought everyone had a copy of this!

  403. Great photos, thanks, Skier Bob!

  404. Agree with all you wrote Skierbob-trails were in fantastic condition ( even enough snow at the underpass near Lake Louise to ski through) and sunny blue skies made for the perfect temperature. And after all these years of following your blog I finally saw you on the trail. You passed me about 2km from my finish at Castle Junction and asked if I was doing the loppet and wished me luck. Wished I had stopped to chat but I was stunned by the celebrity siting and bonking from low sugar. Highlight of the ski!

  405. Congratulations to all who did this one. Great stamina.

  406. Hello. I’m looking for trails that are the next step up from “Beginner Trails 101 – The easy trails for raw beginners”. I’m comfortable on the intermediate trails at West Bragg Creek and I’m looking for somewhere else to ski for a change of scenery, ideally not too far from Calgary. Any recommendations would be appreciated. Thank you! Rachel

  407. What a beautiful day! Thanks for helping us with waxing Tennessee’s skis 🙂 As beginners we are really loving the sport, the warm community, and this site. Thanks for all you do, Bob.
    -Nathan

  408. Skied Ribbon Creek 10:30-12:30. Still good track-set with some fresh snow lightly falling as I started & bit heavier towards the end. It must be wet snow as I really had to scrape off snow packed on bottom of boots when I finished. I skied Kovach-Aspen-Kovach-Terrace.

    Took a break at the picnic table Kovach/Aspen & had to scrape snow build up off my waxless skis, otherwise it was fine.

    Please buy a pass to support tracksetting so it’s continued next year!

  409. Mt Shark: there was more snow overnight and all morning/early aft. Some icing around the lunch/early aft period, then better when it cooled off again. Enough travel to pack it all down for good tracks tomorrow. Didn’t notice any overhanging branches along green loop at all.

  410. Great shots.

    Here’s one I have of a bighorn bidding us adieu on the last day of skiing up at Highwood Pass one year.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/jQve2ZmPva1zNYoX6

  411. Thanks for the early report Bob. Now I know what to do today.

  412. Can you connect West and East Elk Pass or is EEP just an out and back?
    I’ve skied WEP to both couches there and climbed back up the power line.
    I’ve also connected WEP to Blueberry.
    Trying to picture this new area I haven’t explored yet.
    Anybody got a map of the whole area, couches and routes all labeled?

  413. They say the East Elk Pass Wind Wall is visible from outer space.

  414. Couch H2.0 is where it’s at in good weather. A bit cooler than west elk pass normally, unless a pure west wind. East elk better protected from west wind than west elk. East elk exposed more to south wind, hence the large wind wall. Best done when completely clear for the long view to the south. Unfortunately there was cloud down that way today, obscuring the far off peaks.

  415. It is always exciting to see a moose on a trail, even if they ruin it.

  416. Hello, I am an advanced skier, however due to a head injury I am very limited as to what o can ski for now. My limit is about 8km on a good day, but usually only 4 or 5 km. Elevation is difficult, can handle only about 100m. I am from Jasper and will be visiting the Banff area for 3 weeks. Can anyone recommend some dog-friendly trails that fall within my limitations. Thank you so much for your help.

  417. Skier bob! You’ve made my parents Doug and Sandy famous! They have been published on the renowned skier bob website. Thank you for the great content and giving them their internet fame.

  418. Hey there! Just wondering if you think Cascade Valley is a viable option for someone who has only ever cross-country skied Mt Shark/Watridge Lake and Castle Lookout to Baker Creek. Endurance is not an issue, but general technique/confidence with going uphill and downhill still needs some work 🙂

  419. Hi All;

    I’m going to head out for my first time tomorrow and try the “Great Divide/old 1a” trail. I was planning to stop at the Lake Louise visitor centre to pickup some winter trail brochures so that I have my own copies to keep in my pack. It looks like the visitor centre is closed tho.

    Would anyone know where else I can pickup copies of the brochure maps?

    Any advice is much appreciated. Thank you.

  420. Thanks for this great description of the loppet trail! I plan to do the 36k this year (the virtual challenge is perfect for a skier like me who loves a challenge but does not like the big crowds of loppets!!). Wondering if you can answer a couple questions as I will be skiing this on my own:
    -I have only skied around Castle Junction once-will the trail from Lake Louise to Castle Junction be easy to follow and self explanatory. I know the website says there will be flags but those can go missing….
    -For phone reception-is there generally good reception along the trail-I hoping to give my husband updates on my pick up time
    -The website says finish where the ski trail meets the Bow Valley Parkway at Castle Junction-is this where the gas station and Castle Mountain chalets are (just want to make sure I get picked up in the right spot!)?
    Thanks Bob! Love your website!!

  421. Can you tell me if this means that we will not be able to ski westbound on this trail for the next 10 days?

  422. The Cuthead cabin saga looks very tempting but also a bit daunting for an old timer, I just need to convince a friend of mine to accompany me! Thanks for sharing this adventure SaraM , Chuck , Mike W and MAAD
    I remember a post from Chuck (correct me if I am wrong) from a couple of years ago of an extraordinary trip of 80k to where bisons have been released, this would set the bar higher….

  423. Just wanted to note that the final part of the track I set to the cabin differs from Chuck’s description. Instead of heading north at the 23.6km junction and then cutting through the forest to reach the cabin, I turned left towards Flint’s Park and then took the trail the branches off to the right at Cuthead Creek to the cabin. So if someone wants to do a little more trail-breaking, Chuck’s route from the junction is still available!

  424. It’s good to see a map that has both ski trails and other trails (snowshoe/fat bike). Presumably one day they would replace the map signs at all the trail intersections with the updated version to assist none-skiers to find their way. What the new map doesn’t do well is clearly show parking with standard map parking symbols (using a picnic table day use symbol instead) or the name of the parking lot as seen on the road signs for people who haven’t been there before.

  425. Elk pass wasn’t as bad looking as the above today. But I didn’t use the tracks or skinny skis. Some hills on return had gotten a bit of a cleaning from snow plowing.

  426. Needlemania big deal how bout Beatlemania in the 60’s John Paul George Ringo i wonder if skier bob has ever heard of the Beatles!!

  427. Holee! That’s scarier than a dead elk!

  428. Without doubt Tyrwhitt is the most beautiful and skiable trail in the skier Bob domain. I was there as well today and was awestruck.

  429. I checked the alberta parks online library, no sign of these brochures yet. Good grief, you’d think if they were in money saving mode that’d be the first place they put them.

  430. MAKE ALBERTA A DEMOCRACY

    The elk skeleton was Chuck’s photos of the year for sure. This is what wilderness looks like.

  431. Is this for classic only, or is it open to skate skiing as well? I did not see this info on their website.

  432. Dang! Double Super Secret Couch didn’t stay secret for long.

  433. Skied from Elkwood today…beautiful track & conditions! Did Amos/Wheeler/ Meadow.

    By the time I got back 1ish…big Jackrabbit group heading out & folks parked on side of road which only allows 1 lane to exit. As I was leaving there were some open parking spots.

    So grateful for tracksetting…I have my park pass to support this,

  434. Re Chuck’s “single track right of way”: I thought that if there was space for two tracks that the “right hand rule” still applied. Skiers often get out of the track anyway on the downhill sections to better perform a snowplow or to obtain a wider stance for stability.

  435. Good to see you yesterday Bob, if only just to say hi as we went down the hill! And thanks for stepping out of the track, much appreciated!

  436. I love reading your posts and often get excited about trying many of these trails, which are new to me. What I would really enjoy is if you would let us “out of towners” know where these locations are. Just a thought.

  437. Bob- your wish is my command! A couch picture:
    https://steveriggs.smugmug.com/SkiPix2021/i-LpQbXGr/A
    After clearing the fresh snow and stomping the area a bit, we enjoyed the panoramic view and lunch in the sun. Thanks, MaSid!
    We passed by again later on the blue loop (pipestone#20) at around 3- the couch was still catching the rays. I will add that the sometimes challenging hills on the blue loop were in possibly the best shape that I can remember for skiing downhill, while leashed to an eager retriever.

    Thanks, Steve. I’ve added the photo to my update. -Bob

  438. It is more than frustrating. It is dangerous. On December 30, I was going downhill on Trappers heading to Sundog and the tip of my ski got caught on a “pothole” like the one on the first picture. I hit the ground so hard, I developed a hematoma on my right lower leg (not just a bruise). Still swollen and sore.

  439. “Wayback Wednesday: Marmot Basin/Gate is the trail which branches off Skogan near the top of the Screamer”

    Used to head up there breaking trail, get a burger and beer at mid mountain and ski powder all the way back down,really miss that too! Have a few videos somewhere.

    One time we went up, sans lunch, only to find they closed the Lodge midweek. So we shared granola bars, chocolate bar and an orange! Good times

  440. Looks like Lower Telemark was copied from “Highline” trail to Paradise Creek. I’ve emailed parks (assuming I found the right email addy).

  441. Don’t get me started with dogs on set tracks, seriously what difference does it actually make and why should I pay for track setting places I cannot ski with my dog, rant, rant, rant

  442. Philippe in Calgary

    It is an unwelcome surprise to see the potholes and deposits left by horse riders on the set tracks at West Bragg. In my innocence I thought that the horse crowd was somehow more aware and considerate of other users than the usual targets of XC skiers’ frustration, rutting bikers and trampling hikers. I will never look at a horse train at WBC the same way again. Most disappointing.

  443. Hi, Everyone,

    I am an intermediate skier new to kananaskis area thinking of do a loop starting from Ribbon creek parking lot along ribbon creek, link, and kovach back to parking lot. Just wondering whether there is any really big hill/tight area along the route. Thx

  444. Speaking of Emerald Lake, every year them I ask about the Woodies, every year I hear crickets

  445. Hi everyone, can anyone describe for me the beginner-friendliness of the trails that are marked as Green from the Pipestone area (Hector, Drummond, Merlin?) This is my first season but I’ve been out a lot and had some instruction, I can manage long gradual hills or steeper short ones but I would prefer to avoid longer, steeper hills or hills with turns.

  446. Wait, did I read that right?

    “An expert is a beginner who has done anything once.”

  447. Hi West Bragg Creek Skiers,

    Had a number of close calls when yesterday when coming down steep hills and almost running into dogs. I know they are allowed to be off leash. But if they are really playful and friendly this can be super scary for those who are not confident skiers. I know it is great to let them run and they look so happy. Please just be mindful to call them back, especially before slopes.

  448. Hi, brand new skier here. I’m wondering what the proper etiquette is when the trail is only a single set track? Who is “supposed” to get off the track to allow a faster skier to pass, or another example would be when one is coming down a hill in the tracks while someone is coming up.
    Any feedback regarder proper ski etiquette in general is also welcome 🙂

    Thanks!

  449. Thanks so much for this! It’s also a great list for pregnant ladies like myself 🙂 Up to now I’ve been using Confed golf course, which is another great start for beginners!

  450. Outstanding! Very good selection, in my opinion.

  451. Thank you thank you thank you for the info to beginners. I really want to experience skiing in the . mountains, but have been Uber reluctant to head out and end up on a track beyond my limited ability. This blog was sooooo timely. Thanks!

  452. Hello skiers
    One thing I would like added to the recommendations is where to park (for example north side of lot) and where to start the trail (example -once you park on the north side, the trail starts on the far east side of the parking lot). I was a beginner fairly recently and would stand looking stupid in the parking lot until someone helped me out.
    Thanks for this website as it is very helpful to all skiers.

  453. I hope this guide includes “things not to do”, like that first bit from the Goat Creek parking lot on the Canmore side down the hill to the start of the trail! I went down it Saturday, and the same couple of rocks were there from when I did it ~3 years ago, the path was just as narrow right beside the [running] creek. and it is still all around sketchy! I’ve skied all my life, and was again amazed I didn’t mangle and/or soak myself before even getting started!
    Happy trails,
    H.

  454. Thank you again for your efforts into confirming dog-friendly trails, we responsible owners/skiers appreciate it!

  455. Is the PLPP maintenance compound forecast from Weather Network Boulton?

  456. This coverage reminds me of a quote I heard recently upon meeting Kevin & Leslie on the Goat Creek trail. Leslie said “When I retire, I want to become a SkierBob reporter”.
    Well, I don’t know if I should pass on this photographing secret just yet, but I just say “Wanna SMILE for Skier Bob!”. It works, at least until they realize that I am not Skier Bob!

  457. Thank you for the positive comments on the Redearth trail. It’s really nice to see people out enjoying the park and this trail in particular. I am currently responsible for the grooming which has been done up to this point, and am pleased to see that people are enjoying the most recent work done on the trail. Let’s hope the snow continues so we may keep the trail in good shape for all users. Thank you to anyone who has provided feedback, both good and bad, please continue to offer your comments, but try not to be too harsh 😉

  458. I would like to thank you so very very much the groomers and the volunteers. Could enjoy Pocaterra and Ribbon with tones of joy. THANK YOU

  459. Hi Bob,
    Question: Can one easily do Skogan Pass on regular XC skis without metal edges?
    Thanks for your reply!
    Happy New Year!

  460. Even walking on the flat part in middle beside tracks on ups and downs is dangerous for skiers as shoe imprints make holes that cause crashes as skiers ski down hills. So many hikers now and walking by twos and threes beside each other rather than single file on the outside edge of tracks. Definitely need better signage for ski only trails and tickets. But if it’s not government groomed trails who is going to give out tickets?
    Do hikers need some of their own hiker only groomed hard packed trails? Some snowshoers also seem to like groomed hard packed trails as well (maybe easier for the less strenuous working
    snowshoers?) This way they can all get on board with helping chip in on parking passes to keep trails groomed and trails accessible!

  461. Thank you for posting about this important conversation Bob. These are unprecedented times for new people heading outdoors. Sandy Mcnabb has always had some crossover, where people would walk on the ski trails, but nothing close to what I’ve seen this year. I think having clear signage at all trail entrances is important, but also maybe using social media to spread the message? People new to outdoor winter activity are going to need to hear this message more than once. I think if we are kind, and if possible add a bit of humor, it might make the message more palatable. Try not to let the few ‘entitled’ folks wreck our attitude for the many many who just haven’t thought about it and don’t realize.

    If any groomers read this message, I have a question. Is it technically possible, to create a hardened trail (like the trackset area) but just flat, and off of the ski track? I’m not sure if I’ve described that well…. Like one of the previous posters noted, the hardened ski track area is very enticing. I’m trying to think of future solutions moving forward, and I don’t have the knowledge base for how ‘grooming’ works. I just know I love how the trails turn out at the end of it, and can see how inexperience hikers are drawn to them.

  462. Double track is my vote. I was out there today, Jan 8, a Friday, and it was busy! I don’t mind a few cuts into the tracks by skaters.

  463. We skied Hummingbird Plume today. Someone had driven a 4×4 for about 700m along the Skogan Pass trail just as it heads North from Mount Allen Drive (Nakiska Road). Now if that doesn’t mess up a trail. My wife fell on part of the ruts left behind. Wish there was a big enough sign or stick!

  464. In some cases signage is indeed ambiguous. For instance yesterday when I skied the entire network south of Ribbon Creek I noticed that it often depends on where you enter the trail. In one case one junction indicated skier only and the very next junction (coming the opposite way) was signed “share the trail”. Even if the signage is clear as is the case for some WBC trails (the yellow ones, not those blue skier signs that Tanya mentioned) or most trails at PLPP it does not seem to matter to some entitled users. I find that WBC is particularly bad, perhaps because of the sheer number of users. I think that parks need to enforce the rules and ticket people. If it becomes expensive to walk on groomed trails, people will stop doing it. You almost never see dogs on cross country trails in PPLP because when that rule changed it was enforced.

  465. I feel like some signs just aren’t clear enough. For example, some of the WBC signs say that they are for skiing, but they don’t say that you can’t hike on them. The signs tell a hiker that he may encounter skiers on this trail and that he should share the trail. The signs need to be more similar to the ones at Kananaskis Village where they actually say “no hiking.”

    And then I’m still seeing the “share the trail” sign on trails I know are supposed to be for skiers. Wedge Connector for example. No good reason to walk that trail. We shouldn’t be sharing the trail.

  466. I noticed some new signage the other day on Great Divide. There was the added element of the dogsled track! I thought that the signs looked nice and were quite effective, and I hope that people will check them out.

  467. I find the signage at Bragg Creek to be very effective. As you can see in the photo Bob posted (man skiing with lovely Golden Retriever), you cannot miss or misinterpret the signs. We also ski at Sandy McNabb. Their signage for both multiuse and off leash areas for dogs (I have whined about this before) is terrible. I try to always approach people kindly as I can see why there is confusion. Although, when I see the same people repeatedly each time I go skiing walking on the skier tracks, well, my practically perfect manners go to hell in a hand basket! Back to the main issue. I do feel the areas that suffer the worst damage are areas where signage is lacking, or open to interpretation, or, for some reason, easily ignored. All signs should be universal so that no matter where you ski, they are the same color, same wording, same meaning, and same dollar fine amount (money often changes people’s perspective) for breaking the rules.

  468. FREE BEER!

    AT SIDE OF TRAIL

  469. From my experience walkers are the main issue, as they don’t snowshoe I believe groomed trails are very inviting to go for a walk…In PLPP there are no shared trails (from what I know), hence less risks to get it wrong. In Ribbon Creek the permanent signs / summer map just show trails name / distance and unless you look at the small paper winter map that is below the main map, you will not know what is allowed / not allowed. The winter map from Alberta Parks (https://albertaparks.ca/media/6496176/kananaskis-ribbon-creek-winter-map.pdf) is also confusing with just different shade of blue to differentiate xcountry only trails from shared trails. I could not find winter trail map for Skogan pass area, are all trails (Sunburst, skogan loop, etc.) shared or not? Personally, I believe a big sign on the trail and at junction (whatever the colour) stating xcountry ski only would be best.

  470. Crystal-clear signage first so that no one can pretend they didn’t know. Then enforcement for the ones who pretend it doesn’t apply to them. If they can fine me $1,000 for having a couple of friends over in my own house… okay, let’s not go there.

  471. maybe Bob won’t move this post to the delete bin so here goes; “sign sign everywhere a sign blocking out the scenery breaking my mind”; thanks to the Five Man Electrical Band for this song “Signs” circa 1968. OMG do i ever wanna see more signs cluttering the landscape.

  472. I’m finding almost every trail in West Bragg Creek gets trashed despite the ski only signs. I always ask people to kindly not walk on the track set. Some people seem to purposefully walk on the tracks despite having 3’ of flat track beside it. Do people feel they are that entitled that they won’t read signs?

  473. I was wondering if that was you, Bob. I just caught a glimpse of you as I was coming off the bridge. I was paying more attention to getting lined up for that tricky little hill that goes down into the campground. Just curious, what were you using for wax? With the varying temperatures along the trail, I found I had to re-wax a couple times and never really found the perfect combination.

    I applied two layers of VR45(-2/-8) and covered it with two layers of VR40(-4/-12). -Bob

  474. What is the distance of this loop? About 14km?

  475. I think people forget how much time, resources, people and relationship building it takes to effectively lobby the government. Especially true with this government who doesn’t want to listen and just marches forward.

    Those who feel lobbying the government is the best method are often unwilling to take up and lead the fight. Sure, most people will sign a petition or put up a lawn sign, but are less willing to put in all the work behind the scenes that makes lobbying effective.

    There is still time…you have a year until next XC season to start lobbying the government to reverse this decision. You will also have a plethora of data collected by Nordiq about use. Are you willing to lead the charge?

    I fear that if a group like Nordiq didn’t step up, then there would be no track set trails this year in these areas.

    I don’t think this means they made a choice for user pay for all Albertans I’m every situation, they simply stepped up to the plate when no one else was willing.

    I will happily display my pass and volunteer to support groups that are willing to work and provide activity options for all Albertans.

  476. (3700 x $50) + (500 x $10) + $16000 = $206000

  477. The government had better not cancel grooming for these trails; they are a huge asset to Calgary and the cost, especially with the paid parking program, is minimal even if it doesn’t quite reach 210000.
    As I see it, buying and displaying a pass is a way to help these trails survive: it is giving credit to Nordiq Alberta for working hard to save the trails, rather than to the government for being jerks. Besides, 50 bucks a season for some of the best trails in North America is pennies. It’s less than a tank of gas. Compare it to other ski trail pass costs!

  478. Hi Bob. We didn’t cross paths again because … after we met on Wedge, upon reaching E-T parking lot, I came to my senses and simply backtracked to ski that outer loop clockwise not CCW for the second lap – got the same miles logged in but avoided doffing skis and walking the E-T parking lot twice. Nice tailwind to Ribbon. Strava said 26.8 km. See you next time.

    Good job. You did double my mileage. -Bob

  479. Love your page and love the reports.

    I know it’s not possible to have these pristine ski conditions without Kananaskis grooming but to imply that we wouldn’t have grooming in Kananaskis without a user pay system is a stretch. The government threatened and the nordic community caved to the threats and set a precedent on behalf of all Albertans. I still think we could have lobbied the government in other ways to pressure them to maintain the grooming in Kananaskis. Now that the precedent has been set, I fear there will be no end to user fees going forward.

    Our government is inept (as clearly seen in their covid response / leadership, plan to de-list parks and protected areas, opening up the eastern slopes for coal extraction, undermining our health care workers at a time of crisis, giving away billions of dollars to corporations with nothing in return…and the list goes on). I’m grateful to be skiing on nicely groomed tracks but I think we let the government off the hook way to easily.

    I do appreciate the grooming efforts of staff as well as the volunteers that come out for various events, etc. Thank you very much for this!

    I do not appreciate that we’ve gone down a dark rabbit hole without proper engagement, thought and discussion of all Albertans on the matter.

    BTW – I bought my parking pass but I will not display it. I don’t need to give this government any more support for their poor decisions.

  480. There isn’t a skijoring club specifically, but there are a few groups on Facebook for all dog-powered sports – check out Kicksled Calgary or AB Mush for Fun. They occasionally hold events, including races and learn to mush clinics.

    As for trails, anything dog friendly has worked for me. I love Bragg but also find it more difficult because of the the prevalence of off-leash dogs – mine always wants to say hi so my quick release gets a lot of use, hah.

  481. I skied Glenmore Reservoir tonight. There is no formal track setting I am aware of. The tracks which have been layed down are by skies. Many on east west part are wind filled. The ones parralel to North Glenmore Park are deeper. The same can be said to those by Heritage Park H. The crossing tracks are filling in with snow. I have not expored by the sailing club or the south side yet.

  482. January 4th – Excellent conditions today on the Pipestone Loop in Lake Louise. Soft snow and smooth gliding in the tracks. Great day!

  483. And Fairview track set Saturday morning.

  484. I did some digging to find the full version of that pamphlet:
    http://www.parkscanadahistory.com/publications/banff/cross-country-skiing.pdf

    I was running 40 Mile Creek this summer and noticed some Parks Canada nordic styled signs. What an area that would be to ski!! Carrot Creek as well, so many gems in there. I also can’t imagine how wonderful Middle Spray River would be if it was still properly maintained. Might need to invest in some LT skis next season…

  485. Dean – technically the Glenmore Reservoir is Closed from Nov 1 thru April 30, however I don’t think I’ve seen any enforcement except when people are being really dumb. Be cautious – the reservoir water levels can change resulting in ice well above the level of the water, or resulting in slush on top of the ice. If I were to ski on the reservoir I’d stick close to shore and preferably along the east shore near Glenmore Landing. Be aware of where the river flows in at the west end, between the canoe club and Heritage Park and by the causeway as all those areas have unpredictable ice

  486. 3 pins won’t fit in the tracks at the Nordic Centre, but you can always ski outside the tracks on the corduroy which should work fine for wide skis.

  487. Yes! That is what I was thinking. I realize the unprecedented interest has led to strain on the current trails and parking, but what if this enlightenment of the masses leads to a bigger voice for this wonderful activity and MORE trails get funded, and better parking solutions are found, and all the other great things mentioned in the above post!

  488. Who’s this guy? A young Steve Riggs?

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/y7tVoPLgH8FfWEum6

  489. MAKE ALBERTA A DEMOCRACY

    Skier Bob asked what the future of XC skiing will be like. Lets look at ski sales to predict it.

    Well if the lack of choice for ski equipment continues at the many shops I have visited in the last couple of years, skiing may not occur for a lot of people. I have not been able to buy a decent durable reasonable priced pair of ski poles for years. My size does not seem to be available by the time I can make it to ski shops after harvest without paying more for the poles than my skis. The Rossignol poles I bought 3 years ago were junk as the thin straps broke and the tips fell off. I feel like I am living in the old Soviet Union Dictatorship (I wonder if they were short of XC ski poles?). I am on my” back up back up pair” of poles and the tips are nearly worn to the baskets. I can only ski soft trails as a result. I will likely not be able to ski hard spring snow with these poles. I will likely have to resort to being stuck in COVID downhill ski line ups at Lake Louise in late winter rather than cruising on my XC boards.

    I won’t get into how I can’t buy the super narrow high camber metal edge waxable skis I used to be able to buy years ago. UGHHH!

    On Kijiji there are a lot of people looking for XC equipment- the most I have ever seen. People can primarily only buy old junk from way back in the last century. I really don’t think bamboo poles will last more than 5 minutes for me before splintering and leaving dangerous debris on a ski trail for someone to crash into and get all slivered up!

    If ski shops can’t supply equipment demand, a lot of people may never get into the sport or leave it. Some of the local shops are just too small to store gear so I can understand that they run out quickly. But bigger shops have no excuse to run out of equipment selection by the 3rd week of November. They are missing sales and profits as a result. If a “want a be beginner” xc skier can’t buy gear as late as January 31, then they may never get into skiing nor advance and buy better gear as they get better at skiing. This is a potential huge future profit loss to the ski shop industry and ski equipment manufacturing industry. Then such “want a be skiers” won’t introduce 2 friends to skiing and those people won’t introduce 2 friends to skiing and so on and so on. The is what XC opportunity ski equipment sales losses look like not only today but in the future.

    The ski shop and ski manufacturing industry really needs to understand the marketing concept of “Just In Time” supply chains, like other industries do. Imagine if a car parts store only brought in parts the way the ski shops do. You would not be able to get an air filter after the first few weeks of November.

    A lack of XC ski equipment supply also means fewer than the maximum possible amount of new skiers entering the sport. This has negative economic spin off effects on the local economy as well. Just imagine if there were not enough cars for sale on the market or enough gasoline or electricity to supply cars on the road. Similar negative economic spin off effects would occur.

    Lets hope the ski shops in the future better match equipment demand with supply for the benefit of all skiers, their profits and more. If they don’t Amazon may and that will kill a lot of ski shops along with parts of the local shop economy.

  490. Bob, I managed to dig out my copy of the booklet whose cover you displayed. Here’s another booklet cover from “the olden days” – https://drive.google.com/file/d/1VoE9CdMxpJYsC2T0PFjQpYqItzsaRLWG/view?usp=sharing

  491. Colder temps in Bragg creek (wishful thinking); proper tax base funding for grooming given the demand and benefits (or a tax/health credit for user fees); expanded trails and grooming; winter roadside camping options with weather protected cooking facilities; more skis available and snowshoers/walkers embracing this efficient way to travel in winter; a new generation of younger skiers so demand/grooming continues; more seating options in good places; better connections between trails for more continuous ski options; more rapid or strategic parking lot plowing after large snow events, and; Bob finds an apprentice with equal talent.

  492. Dogs Have Rights Too

    Steve say it isn’t so a Dogsledder, I trust those sled dogs wanted to be leashed to that sled cause WBC is a designated Off Leash Area

  493. Headed out to Sandy McNabb this morning and trails are treacherous but lovely (oxymoron??). I am sure it will be worse tomorrow as wind was really picking up. Logger’s and Campers are doable but coming down Pine Ridge is not for the faint of heart. Arrived before 10 to a very full parking lot. A word to the wise, there is now a large sign saying “parking fees in effect” as well as a volunteer in parking lot by ranger station politely “educating” people that did not have pass displayed on dashboard. We had ours, but a number of people that were there to walk, snowshoe, hike, or ski, etc. were caught unaware. Hopefully, people will catch on. We have been to Sandy a handful of times over last two weeks and this was the first time for signage and volunteer educator. Another thing for people to realize when heading out to Sandy is that it is not all leashed dogs only. Sandy has a few trails that are on Crown land, specifically, but not limited to, Macabee, and Logger’s Loop. I have had a number of people telling me off, yelling, pointing at “Bob” the dog, etc., because they believe the whole area to be on leash. I had this encounter today with a lady that told me that Sandy was her “backyard” and she did not do well around dogs (I should add here that Bob is 10 years old and very well behaved). Luckily, I have taken to carrying a map which shows the off leash area of Sandy, but childishly, she refused to even look at it. I have dealt with this many times as I live close to Sandy so ski there as often as conditions allow, and, on this site I am probably preaching to the choir, but in case some readers are not in the know, if you do not like off leash dogs (and I understand that) perhaps choose Camper’s, Pine Ridge, Long Prairie Loop, Death Valley, or any other trails at Sandy that are in the provincial park boundary.

  494. Many thanks to Jeff the Redearth Creek groomer for taking note and putting in so much work to make the trail safe and fun to ski! I am someone who prefers fewer tracks in general, and am looking forward to enjoying this trail again soon 🙂

  495. Thanks for clarifying the dog rule at Kananaskis Village/Ribbon Creek/Bill Milne with Alberta Parks. We have been challenged a couple of times in the past on Bill Milne with Kazzy even though she was on leash. Now there should be no issues!

  496. Jim and I skied Pipestone yesterday; conditions were good with lots of snow coverage and only a few needles. The parking lot was 3/4 full but we only saw a few groups on the trail. Happy New Year everyone.

  497. Fairview in Louise getting track set right now. Just past me while stamping out couch site.

  498. “Happy to report that most trails are in quite good condition, with the exception of East Telephone, where skiing is not recommended due to large ruts and post holing.”

    #$!*&#! It’s time for East Telephone to be designated as skiers only. Before someone is seriously injured! At the very least- this should be in effect for the challenging section between Disconnect and Long Distance all season trails- with prominent signage at those junctions and at the upper ends of those trails- which feed ever increasing numbers of trail wreckers onto East Telephone. Really though- the north and west sides of Telephone should also be ski only, through to Reconnect.

  499. The snow remained cold and firm later in the day. That’s for Iron Springs, Elbow, and Crystal. It was +1C at 3pm and zero at 5pm at the parking lot.

  500. Happy New Year Bob. I reported on Emerald Lake on the 29th, and on the first half of the Kicking Horse trail – both good with soft silky snow in groomed tracks. I’m happy to report that today there was no sign of doggie damage in the tracks on the Yoho Valley Road as reported by Wally yesterday, must have got skied and snowed over. Snowing lightly all day today and if the forecast comes true, all of these reports will rapidly get outdated!

    Thanks, Chris. Now that you mention it I did read your report. My memory is failing me. Bob

  501. Wally MacNaughton

    Skied Yoho Valley Road on Dec 30th. It was snowing lightly so the tracks were getting a bit soft, but still in pretty good shape. Lots of fat skiers go up that route but they were staying clear of the set tracks. Unfortunately, near the end of our return we met a couple who were letting their exuberant labradoodle jump all over the tracks. He said he was “trying” to keep the dog out of the tracks, but his efforts seemed feeble at best.

  502. Hey Bob,

    Glad you had fun on South Iron Springs/Elbow. Boomer Groomer Jeff set those tracks as people kept asking and we thought it best not to wait any longer for AEP to get back from holidays.

    Take Care Groomer DNA

  503. Hi Jeff. Sure appreciate your fine work.
    Whichever option proceeds, hope you can avoid setting classic tracks so far out onto the shoulder that the outboard pole penetrates deeply into soft snow, something which is not uncommon at WBC, particularly where they try to cram in a skating lane on a too-narrow trail.
    In my opinion, better to classic ski in a track sliced up by skaters than to suffer the absolute misery of deep pole plants.

  504. Thanks for asking! I dont really have an opinion but Its nice for the general public to be asked their thoughts on track setting, dont stop there, ask our opinion on Track setting in PLPP. why not have skating option once in a while? Maybe create a skate loop for a month and see how it goes.

  505. Please leave it as is. There are few skate options and I feel the skate skiers will have to ski across the tracksetting if doubled, therefore being worse for both.

  506. That photo by Jeremy is just fantastic. Inspiring, and a pretty good Christmas post card with its perfectly placed “ornament”. And my favourite place to ski on a sunny day of course. Happy new year Bob et al! See you on the trails or at a couch. (-:

  507. I like it with the one track and a skating lane. It is quieter than most trails and the skaters don’t have many good options. I have only done classic on Bill Milne so far, including an awesome ski last week with Sam, and the set-up seems really good as is.

  508. Bob,
    It’s not just me… none of our group walked or fell on the trackset trail.
    Caution is advised on the descent, but with another Kohut working on anything excessively hazardous tomorrow, 2021 will be a fine!
    Happy New Year to All,
    Chuck

  509. Judy, I’ve noticed your trip updates often on this blog. I’m so sorry to hear what happened to you, but it’s heartening that people are so kind and helpful. I hope that your ankle repairs quickly and I wish you well.

  510. Judy, my condolences. Do hope your ankle repairs well and soon. I’ve retired from skiing and now mainly walk on City trails. I love following all Skier Bobs updates. They take me back. Once you are mended I recommend that you do ALL your physio exercises. They will make a world of difference to your future. All the best.

  511. MAKE ALBERTA A DEMOCRACY

    I can also remember a much wider double trackset Redearth Creek trail in the good ole 1990’s. Back then it was double trackset with a skating lane in the middle. Today, Redearth should never be skied without metal edges unless you are a highly advanced or expert skier. Even so, you will likely have more fun on METAL edges rippen down the hills on your way back to the car to listen to some METAL.

    (Warning- a political note below. Blind yourself if you don’t like politics)

    Due to government xc ski trail cutbacks that I have been discussing for many years, pretty much all cross country ski trails in Banff and in Kananaskis are much narrower due to a lack of summer maintenance with only a few exceptions, like trails on the old 1A Highway. This has made for much more difficult skiing as narrow trails are much more challenging and require higher skiing skills to ski. Good for skiers like me but not the majority of the population. The narrow trails have resulted in me slowing down as that is what narrow trails do, similar to narrow roads. It is a little too much to do a 100 kph on these narrow trails as compared to the good ole “fat” trail days that were a part of the Olympic Legacy. The Olympic Legacy has gone down the political toilet.

    What the Banff Superintendent spends his budget on is a mystery. My requests for information in the past have been ignored for the most part. Certainly, there is far less of his budget spent on XC skiing today as compared to the last century when one considers summer trail maintenance as well. The decrease in xc spending correlates with increased controlled burns and clear cutting in Banff Park.

    (End of political stuff)

    I do know of a couple of xc skiers that skied Redearth today and they had no problems on their METAL edge skis. These were downhill skiers who have an advantage in the knowledge on how to use METAL edge xc skis properly.

    If possible, I will hit Redearth tomorrow and work on anything that may be excessively hazardous to anyone on METAL edge xc skis. But what I think is OK may be hell to someone else. I look forward to skiing the double tracks to get a rippin’ trip back to the 90’s!

    Ski ya at the Lodge or Lake at night. The moon is still shining.

  512. Hey Bob,
    Jeannette and I were NOT on metal edged skis!
    No worries, by the end of the day that harsh snow will have been beaten into submission by some Kohut Metal Edges!
    But yes, hopefully the next time they will just trackset once on any hill and leave the multi-use lane for snowplowing or herring boning.

    Well, you’re an even better skier than I thought! -Bob

  513. It was very common in the early 1990’s to have double trackset all the way to the Shadow Lake turnoff, with a much wider trail free of vegetation, especially above the Lost Horse Creek campground. A group of us skied out from the Egypt Lake shelter 30 years ago; one guy in front of me (an excellent skier) took a big wipeout at full speed over that elevated bridge, carrying a large backpack and skiing with metal edges. I tried to avoid him (I was flying too) but fell too, hurting my shoulder quite badly and shaken up. That bridge is poorly designed being too elevated of a sudden for a downhill section, especially when you pick up speed around the last sharp corner, 100 m before. That irrelevant how fast you are going down.

  514. My vote is for a single classic track.
    I don’t think the extra time and effort for two classic tracks is worth it. That route is commonly short lived (see the long range forecast for the next 14 days). Better to utilize the saved time and gas in tracksetting other routes.

  515. Double track for us please 🙂

  516. Personally, being a 50/50 skate/classic skier, I wish it to include a skate lane. A beautiful ski trail for both disciplines.

  517. There are so few skate trails available in the mountains near Calgary. I’ve never had an issue with traffic jams on this trail. Please keep the skate lane! I dream of skating Bill Milne all summer.

  518. It’s one of the few good skate tracks in K/PLPP so nice to leave the width. We classic skied the full length on the 28th and it was really busy, but it isn’t a bit deal to step out of the track. My observation is that a lot of the new skiers and occasional skiers (guys on touring gear or wide skis) don’t stay in the track anyways. Leave it single.

  519. I’m new to skiing and have chose to skate, the rest of the family are classic, although we have yet to go Bill is one of the only places we can go together so we hope it stays single.

  520. HI: I have tracked skied all my life and skate skied for 10 years in the past. I think there is enough room to double track and leave the middle open for skaters. It’s great to see both groups out enjoying the Kananaskis, which will help in paying for user fees.

  521. Hello Jeff 🙂
    I was out Dec 30th on Bill Milne starting from Kovach Pond. I’m predominantly a skate skier and my vote is to keep the skate track! I passed many classic and skate skiers and everyone was sharing the classic track responsibly. It was a lovely day.
    Thank you for your good work!

  522. I was there yesterday and would have appreciated two tracks… but if that doesn’t happen I’ll still go plus it’s nice to stop, say hello and look around

  523. Ok,
    Thank you gentlemen very much for speedy responses.
    …much appreciated!
    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 !!

  524. Hi:
    Whatever’s cheapest, by me. I’ve skied it maybe 5 times, and I have yet to have primo track. It’s always been windblown and kinda nasty out there.
    My two bits,
    Herb
    P.S. I worked at The Lodge years back, and it is a special place right there in the valley.

  525. Thanks Jeff for the excellent tracksetting.
    There’s a few ‘blind’ corners (north of Mt Kidd/ e.g. where the tree was down the other day) where two reasonably fast skiers approaching each other have very little time to react and one of them get out of the track. If the trail stays single track, maybe it’s worth lifting the tracksetter on a few of those corners to reduce the chance of collision.

  526. Hi Jeff,
    Thanks for asking. I ski both skate and classic and love Bill milne for both. Please maintain a skate lane.
    Thanks,
    Rhonda W

  527. Depends on which section. I did the entire length from kanaskis village to the pond (1st time in the 7 years I’ve been here that I skied it). I think single track is fine for the portion from the village to the bridge at route 40 – you’re going down hill most of the way and I think large portions don’t have any track…I think. But there were some parts where there was track where I was leaning out to the side to try to see around the next curve. But I could have easily just skied out of track. So, single track. For the rest of the trail, I think double track is probably a good idea.

    Bigger issue is lack of signage. Took me forever to find the @$&* trail from the village and when I did find it I wasn’t 100% sure because there was no “bill Milne sign” at the trail head. Map I pulled up on my phone had bill Milne ruining all over the parking lot, which I quickly discovered was the paved bike path. A sign at the en trance to the village saying bill is behind you, across the road, and other trails are straight ahead, would help.

  528. Thanks for asking. I am a classic skier, however I believe it should be a single track for classic and a skating lane. There are far too few places for skating, thus this gives skate skiers a place to ski in the Kananaskis valley as skating is not allowed in PLPP.

  529. Thanks for the Feedback. I agree a lot with both sides. The gentle grade of the entire trail makes it perfect for perfecting both your skate stride and classic. The openness of the trail skies for great site lines to see oncoming skiers.
    We have already changed some of the trail by double tracking from Ribbon Parking to the Kovach Gate. From Kovach to the first bridge is still too narrow in my opinion for a skate lane.
    I have also been toying with the idea of twin tracks to the first bridge after the K river. This is the beginning of the Meadow. The other issue is after the last road crossing heading towards Wedge Pond. The hills in that section aren’t safe enough to share a track. Currently we lay two tracks in there to encourage people to stick to skiers right.
    For the next groom we will extend the double track to the Meadow.
    For those that suggested widening we can only accomplish this with snow as it would require the removal of far too many trees. As the snow gets deeper we can try and push the trail out for a second track that still allows for skating.
    Once again we appreciate the thoughtful comments from both sides.
    Happy Skiing

  530. I was out there this week. It’s getting pretty busy. I think it needs a double track now.

  531. I enjoy both skate and classic skiing. I classic skied Bill Milne on Monday, from Evan Thomas to the Nakiska access road and back. While there were many people on the trail, I did not feel that the single track was a problem as it didnt feel like we were in/out of the track constantly. It does not seem like there are many places to skate ski outside of the Nordic Centre (apologies to Parks groomers as I find MLR and Great Divide a bit hit and miss for skating, and historically Mt Shark does not get as much grooming). So, I really like Mike H’s idea below of setting double track from Ribbon to the end of the Meadow (or maybe to the golf course), then leaving the southern part single track to allow skating, Kudos to Jeff for asking!

  532. I prefer to have double track since the trail is beginner friendly and busy trail. So both way have the track is really help those beginners.

    I agree the Jenn’s comment that if it’s possible to widening, wold be good for double track and for skate skier.

  533. Please leave a skate lane. Like others have mentioned already, there are already so few trails that offer skate skiing. All of Peter Lougheed is classic only, and just down the highway. There are also alot of beginner options compared to skate ski options in general – plus what about the beginner skate skiers? Unfortunately, I think it will lead to people just skating over the tracks and ruining them anyway, thus negating the benefit of a double track. My final point is that there are no real hills or big blind corners on this trail that would necessitate a double track for safety reasons.

    Thanks for providing us with this opportunity to provide feedback!

  534. Thanks for asking!
    Double track without hesitation.
    We were there the other day and much of the time was spent getting in and out of the tracks. I am a skate skier too and it’s too busy and almost too narrow to skate ski without putting your ski tips in the tracks anyway…
    Sophie

  535. Being a classic skier I would vote for two tracks but I think the idea of twin track for the first portion and classic/skate options beyond may be the best of both worlds.

  536. Hi! My husband and I ski both Skate and Classic. We love the Bill Milne trail and actually prefer to Skate on the trail as it is flat, fast and wide-perfect for skating. It is probably our favourite place to skate ski. Would there be any possibility of slightly widening the trail to accommodate a second classic track and maintaining the beautiful skate track?
    Thanks for grooming and tracking this wonderful trail.

  537. There are so few skate skiing opportunities compared to classic in the area, please leave this one as skate option for those of us who skate

  538. I mostly skate ski so would love to leave it as is. This is THE BEST mountain skating lane close to the city. WBC is just way too busy so Bill Milne is always my preferred choice to skate. If this is gone then the only other places I’ll be able to go is Banff (Spray, Cascade) or Lake Louise (Divide, Moraine) which is further away.

  539. I ski classic and am a beginner. I was nervous seeing only one set of tracks but honestly it was fine. I could manage and see the benefits of allowing skate on the other side. But don’t have a strong opinion either way.

  540. We skied Bill Milne classic style today and met few skate skiers. Many people looking for an easy trail do ski classic and double-tracking would make things ideal for us!

  541. I ski both classic and skate. I skied classic on Bill Milne on Monday – it’s not busy on the entire length, it’s busier at the RC end where groups/families go for shorter trips. Here’s a compromise solution – since most of the traffic goes from RC to the south end of the meadows and back (short trips) perhaps run double track from RC to the south end of the meadows. South of that, where it’s much less busy, set single track to the junction before Wedge Pond. The skate track would be compromised for part of the distance but available for the remainder and for the Wedge Connector.

  542. I ski classic and skate. I was out on Bill Milne today with two friends all skiing classic. The parking lot was full when we arrived/started our day. We encountered a couple dozen classic skiers coming back on our way out, and maybe 10 or less on the way back. In all situations, it was a minor inconvenience to shift in and out of the trails.
    There were only a couple skate skiers all day, but I think this trail is a great opportunity to allow skate skiers another alternative trail.
    So, I don’t have a strong opinion either way, I can see both perspectives having value.

  543. Double track on Bill Milne is preferred by us.

  544. I mostly ski classic, so may be biased… but WBC sections with single tracking are SCARY at times. I’d vote double all the way.

  545. Can everyone please write a letter to Jason Nixon to ask that ALL of the stalls in the outhouses are opened at the parking lots in Kananaskis??? I realize they think they are saving money by only having 25% of them open (I think they are using covid as an excuse…people can wear masks inside and there is enough airflow). This is so ridiculous it’s beyond belief.
    Standing in a line of 15 people at Wedge Pond today…crazy!

  546. 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

  547. I’ve been skiing at night by headlight or moonlight and it’s been fantastic, both Elk Pass and Skogans recently! Although I’ve been THE ONLY PERSON out there in the empty parking lot. lol. I wouldn’t exactly say it’s been lonely by today’s standards, peaceful for sure.

  548. Outstanding Bob! Glad you had such a fantastic day!

  549. Hey Bob, so good to run into you in the parking lot! You arrived at prime time, it was pretty chilly out there early morning. I was looking forward to a lovely ski after volunteering in Boulton Creek parking lot, but unfortunately was suffering from a bad night sleep, combined with a stupid fall the day before. Such a disappointment to not take advantage of those wonderful conditions! Wasn’t that cloud amazing?
    Thanks for your website AND thanks to Nordiq Alberta!!
    You’re never going to get a better deal than $50 a season for these exceptional trails. My kids pay more than half that for one day of skiing in B.C.

  550. I skied the lookout loop as a side trip on the way back from Skogan Pass today, and encountered 3 more avid subscribers to “Postholer Quarterly” magazine. In all honesty- the divots were annoying to see, but didn’t really affect the skiing for me. I did have to remind the one young woman to “please stay out of the set tracks”- I think it was just a momentary lapse on her part, as the track setting remained in good shape on descending Sunburst. High Level is still pristine.
    https://steveriggs.smugmug.com/SkiPix2021/i-5n73QtV/A

  551. Where is hayfields trail please. Love reading about it but can’t find directions. Desperate to find an off leash ski for our pup,
    Many many thanks – and a very happy new year!!

  552. We skied Wedge Connector today, my son and I. It is his … second time on Xcountry skis, and this trail was perfect. Loved to get into the mtns and have an accessible trail to ski.

  553. My understanding was that the fire lookout (gazebo) was built by the POWs who were “incarcerated” at the Barrier Lake POW camp, which was where the UofC Field Station is located.

  554. Hello Bob,
    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.
    https://www.wunderground.com/forecast/ca/kananaskis-improvement-district/IKANAN3
    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

  555. hope this area gets re-trackset tonight .what a mess ! ! be nice if parks puts up some newer educational signs for the walkers and starts an enforcement campaign in this area ,now that we have to personally pay to have tracks set.

  556. According to Gillean Daffern, the name was given in the 70s by Don Gardner, who designed the original Ribbon Creek trails (as well as the original PLPP and West Bragg trails). The building on top isn’t a gazebo, it’s a fire lookout that was staffed by POWs during World War II when the summit was open following the huge fires of 1936.

  557. Isn’t that High Level?

    Correct. It’s where it passes under the power line. -Bob

  558. This is nearing Skogan Pass. Power lines always a clue.

    I knew the power lines would cause confusion. -Bob

  559. Does anyone know what trails dogs are permitted on in ribbon creek/kananaskis area?
    I have seen the post regarding the misprint in the brochure, however on the site it states no dogs allowed.
    In the brochure it says no dogs allowed on groomed trails, does this mean trackset trails but multi use ones would be ok?
    Thanks!

  560. Thanks Jeff for clearing the fallen tree off of Bill and thanks to Bob for notifying him of the tree. Great work out there!

  561. Thanks for the shout out, Bob! I am flattered! I hope more readers listen to your “Death Bridge” warning ??. What would we do without this blog!
    “Live To Ski Another Day” sounds like a James Bond film title. I hope they include an action sequences with Daniel Craig as Skier Bob!

  562. Regarding the east west Spray connector: it should be noted there is a second access to this from Spray East. This junction is maybe a km SE of the access marked on the above map. It descends steeply from SRE (too steep for fragile skis and my risk tolerance) and meets the same bridge.

  563. MAKE ALBERTA A DEMOCRACY

    There are no death bridges if one skis under control. If a skier requires metal edge skis to prevent a ski or die accident, they should get a pair to maintain control and know how to use them.

    The Goat Creek trail requires the control of a Mountain Goat most of the time, particularly at the confounded bridge. A bridge too far- if you hit it hard and have to get back home- up hill.

  564. 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

  565. Skied Banff to Goat Creek return today. Came across a couple who broke a binding in a collision with the 7km bridge and opted to post hole the 11-12 km to Banff including at least an hour in the dark. Heed Bob’s warning on the steep downhill followed by sharp turn on to the bridge!

  566. Hi Bob!
    It was so nice to finally run into you on the trails yesterday! What a beautiful X-mas ski! Thanks for the lovely photo and writing this blog! Hopefully I will run into you again on another ski trail in the “Empire”!

    Meeting you was the start of a fabulous day on Goat Creek! -Bob

  567. Hi Bob, Thanks for the wonderful blog. I have been reading it since I followed you last year when I started to XC skiing. I also referred your blog to my friends. We all love it. Reading your blog is a must before we head to the mountains from Edmonton.

    Thanks again and Happy holiday!

  568. Hi Bob,
    I’m in the process of making a new grooming report for Confed. that everything will link to. When it is done I will send you the link.

    Jamie

  569. How is the parking at Spray River West trailhead? Do you have to arrive early to get a spot?

  570. Woogie the Snow Yorkie

    Great to finally meet you Skier Bob. Woogie is a celebrity snow dog now. Let’s hope it doesn’t go to his head. Thanks for maintaining this awesome site. It’s always great to know if trail conditions are naughty or nice before heading out. Merry Christmas!

  571. Thanks for the pic of me at the bridge. I wondered if that was you when you were taking pictures! Would have loved to give thanks in person for all the great information!

  572. Skied Cascade Fire Road to the bridge first thing this morning and it was in great shape! It has been double track set at until the bridge and single track set beyond the bridge. Not sure when the grooming happened but it was recently after the last snow fall. We saw lots of wolf paw prints and we are pretty sure they were not too far: we saw fresh scat and urine markings on our way back up from the bridge that weren’t not there as we descended to the bridge a mere 15-20 minutes prior!

  573. Friends did Cascade to the bridge today and enjoyed it so I think it must be good!

  574. Deirdre (Dee) O'Brien

    Merry Christmas Bob to you and all your contributors. As a former skier now an arm-chair one I really appreciate and enjoy your Blog. So many people I know read and learn from it. Many thanks and I’m sure you will all continue on with a great season. Cheers!

  575. I think this post was totally directed at me, new to skiing and have been reading so many old posts and gathering as much info as I can hold. Loved the waxing post by the new mom, I’ve slowly purchased my equipment and everything involved to wax my own. I’ve looked at many other sites but absolutely nothing comes close to this site so special thanks to Bob and everyone involved here. Thanks, happy holidays, and happy skiing to all.

  576. Hi:
    That’s a lovely shot of Debbie.
    My sister and I skied Silver Springs golf course this aft. It was glorious. Might as well ski in town when you can!
    Merry Christmas,
    Herb

  577. Thank you also to skier bob for our skiing updates!
    Stay healthy everyone for the remainder of 2020 & 2021.??

  578. A big thank you to the track setting team…you’re cross country skiers’ snow angels thank you! thank you! thank you!
    Thank you to Nordiq Alberta for keeping track setting in our parks, hopefully this will be successfully supported so it continues!??

  579. Oh! Forgot to ask – is it possible to ski the loop? We have enjoyed skiing Evan-Thomas – Wedge Connector – Bill Milne loop in the past, relying on some bridges along the way.

  580. Merry Christmas Bob – and Merry Christmas to all the volunteers, tracksetters, groomers and others who are making it possible to enjoy our amazing ski trails!!

  581. Are you saying that the new bridge over Evan Thomas is gone already?? That is rather disappointing, if so.

  582. I skied Nose Hill today, wallowing through deep snow, sinking to ground. It was fun though. I found out today about another urban ski trail, this one groomed:
    https://calgary.ctvnews.ca/cross-country-skiing-loop-debuts-in-east-village-1.5243349

  583. And with no ice flow to totally give it away!

  584. Reply form Milwaukee since we can’t be there this winter. We’re guessing Bill Milne?

    Correct, and I remember taking your picture on the Bill Milne trail with husband Jim. I hope all is well in Milwaukee. – Bob

  585. Bill Milne Trail

    Nick and Chris, that was too easy. I fugured that bridge would be a giveaway. -Bob

  586. Kudos and many thanks to all those who have been out track setting the trails throughout the season – you do great work so that we can have a great time out there!

  587. A Special Public Avalanche Warning has been issued for much of western Canada for the holidays given the number of weak layers, wind slabs, the new snow load, the possibility of human triggering and the propensity for people to step out into fluffy avalanche terrain in nice weather during Christmas. I experienced a large settlement (whumpf) today well below treeline on a small wind exposed slope beside an ungroomed XC ski trail. Current conditions are providing unexpected possibilities.

  588. Fyi, I just called Strathmore golf course (“pro desk” still open). Day passes of $5, or annual pass of $50 required (ie. not by donation), and dogs must be on leash and off the groomed tracks. Looks like WBC is still the only area with some off-leash xc skiing. :-/

  589. MAKE ALBERTA A DEMOCRACY

    There is a lack of xc skiing “riches” in Banff to date. There is no ski access to the Ink Pots this year. Brewster Creek, Healy Creek and Redearth have yet to be trackset. Hopefully that will occur today, but I will not bet on that with my skiing life.

    I will likely investigate Brewster Creek tomorrow and ski pack the short cut trail, if my legs can tolerate doing so.