Trip Reports – Feb 2017

Let’s help each other have a great ski trip by sharing information on trail conditions. Click on “Add one” to submit a comment. If you have photos, upload them to a photo-sharing site such as Flickr or OneDrive and leave a link with your comment. Last month, the January Trip Reports were viewed 20,890 times.


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  1. WBC
    Really lovely day at WBC. Soft snow falling in the sunshine created a high heel situation three times but we had our scraper, plodded on and enjoyed our ski out to Moose loop. The snow temperature was -9 and we used blue wax. It was a lovely ski and very quiet mid afternoon. We brought our dog and fortunately did not see the moose with her calf. We prepared as best we could in the event we might see them. What should we do if we did see them? We got the lead handy and let our dog know that treats were at the ready and hoped we would not get in the way of a moose and calf. We did see some tracks but fortunately did not come across them. The snow was lovely when it didn’t stick and made zipping down the hills easy, offering lots of security with its depth. As we returned to the parking lot, we saw a group of young skate skiers, evidencing the sport is alive and well with the younger generation.
    Thank you groomers for giving us such a wonderful day! Donate everyone!

    • West Bragg Creek, Feb 28, 2017
      Just adding to Sam’s report. It really was a lovely day at WBC! I did a loop of the more westerly trails, including Moose Loop and Mountain View. It was snowing heavily, especially along Mountain View West, where as much as 4cm had accumulated over yesterday’s grooming. Skiing was easy, if you got the wax right…or a bit too sticky, if you waxed warmer than VR40. The parking lot was busy, but not full.

      • The skies cleared for the afterwork shift, as you guys were leaving.
        Silky skiing in new snow on Moose etc, the sun shining until 6 pm- perfect!

  2. PLPP: Pristine and newly refreshed -14C at WWL 9:30 am VR30 wax didn’t work well until after noon. Started at Elk Pass parking and skied Elk Pass/Tyrwhitt/Pocaterra/Packers/Wheeler/Meadow down to Pocaterra Hut. All trails skied are in very good condition with the track set surviving well due to cold conditions. South trails were covered with 2 cm new snow making for poor glide. Pocaterra after Whiskeyjack (and noon) was an improvement in glide. Packers was in excellent condition and the snow was no problem. Well-skied-Wheeler had very good glide and then we hit the new grooming of Meadow for a great finish to the day. Recommended venue to ski for the days ahead.

    • Hi Keith,

      Passing along a message from Richard….

      Do you happen to have an email address for Keith? Coincidentally I ran into Arcot Devender a few days ago and he was wanting to get in touch with Keith. Please let me know when you get a chance.
      Richard Haynes

  3. Stoney Warden’s Cabin starting in -15 and ending in -6 with a cold BARRACK BROWN waiting at the end. Why Barrack Brown you ask? Read Bob’s Home page of his most recent ski and “mile”-stone on Goat Creek. Hardly anyone around and clouds hid the sun unfortunately during lunch. Huge kudos to Chuck for breaking trail to Cuthead Cabin and for Jeanette going with him to take a photo of this epic backcountry ski. Because it is called Stony Creek, always curious why Stoney Warden’s Cabin is spelled with an “e”.

    • Chuck’s trip to Cuthead was solo. We’d skied 28 km the day before on the Pipestone River anticipating a future trip out from Skoki via the Pipestone. His photo was self-timed with the camera resting on the hitching post; next stop, Flints Park or the Ya-Ha-Tinda!

    • Congratulations, Helen, on hitting the 1000 km milestone!! And in February no less. What an inspiration you are. Will one day set that goal for myself and my husband although may not happen until skiing continues through the month of June. Although I do have to disagree with your choice of drink. Should have been champagne!! And an expensive one at that.

    • Congrats Helen. It’s fun that you shared in Bob’s beer brand for your celebratory victory sip! Perhaps you also got to shake up the bottle and spray your ski mates!

  4. West Bragg Creek, Feb 27, 2017
    After two weeks of touring at Amiskwi Lodge, it was wonderful to come back to excellent XC ski conditions at West Bragg Creek on Monday. I did a loop that included West Crystal Line, Moose Connector, Mountain Road, Mountain View, West Crystal Line, Loggers, Sundog and East Crystal Line. Great conditions on all of those trails. I ran into volunteer groomer Bill, who said that the more westerly trails like Moose Loop and Mountain View West had also been freshly groomed.
    I also chatted with a number of fat-bikers, snowshoers and dog walkers, who reported that conditions were also very good on the Winter Multi-Use and Snowshoe trails.

  5. Skogan Pass had skier set tracks from the weekend with 1-2 cm of fresh powder on top today. It was -6 when we started from Nakiska just after noon today. We almost turned back because of the poor snow coverage at the base of Nakiska ski hill in the trees but knowing it was -20 further down the road in Peter Lougheed PP we opted to continue. In less than 500 meters of climbing, the snow started to improve and it just got better the higher we climbed! There was beautiful powder for most of the ski up to the pass and a quick descent by staying in our tracks on the way down.

  6. CUTHEAD – Feb 27

    Consider this as an extension to my Elk Trap trip on January 9, 2017.
    This is probably my 5th trip up the Cascade Valley, pushing the track a little further each time. Today I made it to Cuthead Cabin, on skinny skis. That is 25 Km each way. The last part was horrendous, but so gratifying to get there! Now there is a track, so enjoy:!AhVZXBE7vMV7hWvAvBx_6EOfVqSO
    Lynx tracks all the way… so my next stop… the Ya-Ha-Tinda

    • Incredible! It sounds like you’ll be in the vicinity of the Bison which were just re-introduced. Looking forward to some photos of them!

    • Well done Chuck! I know exactly how your legs and feet are feeling! I’ve also had the pleasure of that long ski. I seem to remember arriving at the cabin just as it was getting dark then finding out my headlamp wasn’t working… Had to ski the whole way out following my friends headlamp. Made for an interesting return journey!

      • Looks like a fun adventure. How long did this one take? How much farther to the Ya-Ha-Tinda?

        • This was a 9 hour day, including the return.
          It would take another couple of days to just get to the Ya-Ha-Tinda, so that possibility is a joke. However, extending the day trip to Flints Park is realistic, another 10 km each way.
          Are you ready to join me for a 70 km day Greg?

  7. Confed has thin/bare patches, soft skating lanes, and shallow tracks. Driving range is good. My estimate is that with the intense sun and without more snow, good to marginal skiing can be had in the driving range and marginal elsewhere for another week or so. The volunteers have been working hard, good work guys. However, the FNC will finish up in two weeks so I am not expecting much snow farming after that. Additionally, I don’t believe that there will be any further attempts at snow making again unless we get a deep cold spell soon.

    • Thank you for the update! Have there been any attempts at snow making yet? We have only seen results of “farming” so far.

  8. WBC skied Moose loop with the intention of adding a Sundog loop, but Moose was so good I went around again and even considered a third rotation, Awesome WBC get it while you can.

    I’ve a had a stop/start season since Xmas with a couple of injuries and then equipment failure, I give a MONSTER SHOUT OUT TO LIFESPORT who stepped up and did their utmost to find a replace pair of boots and saved my season by loaning me a new pair of ‘adequate’ boots till their new S-Lab stock arrives in the fall, Now that’s customer service !!

    • That is cool!
      We did the Sundog loop and found it most enjoyable. We also did the north Iron Springs – Elbow loop and it was great. We went very slowly down the big hill on Elbow towards the “dangerous” ice flow, only to find it completely covered with lovely snow. Better safe than sorry!
      We also investigated the new Iron Creek trail, which looked freshly groomed, and found it a pleasant and very quiet diversion. It does end rather ignominiously at a gate in a fence, but we saw ski tracks leading off along the fence and wondered……… (Alf??) On the way back, two groomers passed us heading out and laying tracks, so very freshly groomed now!

  9. West Bragg Creek 2017-02-27

    Starting at 11:30am -11C and sunny. Mountain Road – Moose Connector – Moose Loop (south) – Mountain View West – Mountain Road – Mountain View – Crystal Line – Loggers – Sundog. V40 worked well. Freshly groomed and tracked. Mountain View West had some gravelly bits in a couple of sections, but mainly in the tracks and could avoid by taking the middle of the trail – watch out if descending at speed!. This trail was also softer and slower than the others which were silky, firm and fast. Surprisingly quiet today. Left at 2pm -8C and clouding over.

  10. On Thursday, Nancy had asked about conditions on Goat Creek. She skied it yesterday, and sent this email:

    Hi SkierBob,

    We had a spectacular day yesterday skiing Goat Creek. Everything went perfectly, even catching the bus back to Canmore. I know what you mean about those two downhills… we made it but I must say it was not a very graceful descent! But what a beautiful trail!


  11. After seeing all the great reports about the Spray River trail in Banff, we gave it a try. Temp. was about -10, but my blue wax was not gripping at first. Maybe because the first km had a bit of an icy sheen in the grooves? After a second application and a light skiff of new snow, things improved greatly. We decided to return on Spray River East which is single track and hasn’t been groomed lately. The return trip on Spray East has a barely noticeable climb, followed by a long gradual downhill run. What a sweet ride. My only complaint was the poor signage at the end. The ski tracks were no longer visible so it was not clear where the trail was supposed to go. We ended up at the Bow Falls parking lot and I had to walk up the steep hill to find my car. The Banff-Canmore area could definitely stand another 5-10cm of snow to improve the conditions.

    • I agree the signage is poor. I posted instructions for the connector a few years ago and your comment has reminded me to post it again. Spray connector

      I wrote some detailed instructions about it on this update from Jan 4, 2014. Scroll down near the end of the post.

      • I did the Loop yesterday as well. I’ve given up on finding the connector and simply walk it. The east was still in good shape, even though someone had walked and someone else had skated skied in the tracks after the fresh snow.

  12. Just back from a wonderful ski at West Bragg. The rock hard ice from the warm weather earlier this month is now buried under half a foot of silky smooth powder snow. Snow was falling almost the whole time I was out, quite heavily at times – there is something magical , for me, about skiing in the forest on a snowy day. I skied Sundog (clockwise), then onto Loggers, Crystal Line, Mountain View, Mountain Road, Mountain View West then Moose Loop and Mountain Road back to the car. Everywhere has been roller packed with the inner loops (Sundog, Crystal Line having also been track set). A dab of blue wax at the car did me the whole trip.

    • Today I skied Elbow-Iron Springs, on a mixed bag of older grooming under the new snow. Overall-it was very enjoyable with conditions ranging from very good, to poor in two of the short usual sun-exposed spots, most notably at the far south corner of Iron where caution is needed if going in the downhill direction.
      I also skied Sundog Loop, Loggers and most of the Crystal Lines and would say that with the more recent track setting that they featured the best skiing of my afternoon.
      After a week of powder skiing on AT gear in the BC backcountry- it felt great to be out on the light skis again!

      • Monday morning ski east Crystal Line – Iron Springs -Elbow – Loggers -west Crystal on fresh grooming and track-setting except south iron springs and Elbow to Bill Allen parking. I was heading south down this 1km stretch where upon I encountered running quads and various sciesmic cables being laid -so don’t bother this section I guess. Elbow was quite thin with occasional earth re exposed and quite sloppy track actually (though not complaining, just observing in comparison to elsewhere). Still enjoyable brisk morning (-20 at 9am) but warming up as the fair weather crew arrived to parking lot.

        • The Elbow/south Iron Springs section of the WBC creek trail network is groomed (infrequently) by paid Alberta Parks crews, as is Telephone Loop. The rest of the network is groomed by unpaid volunteers.

          There is geological core testing work happening along the Elbow trail up to about the Sugar Daddy trail junction. Best to avoid this area until the work is completed.

  13. Canmore Nordic Centre Sunday morning 4cm new snow on upper trails – Blue wax is perfect – Fantastic!

    • Great afternoon on Sunday on blue extra as well. Meadowview was lovely.

    • Out at CNC on Sunday as well. Parking lot surprisingly not full, lots of room at 11h30 when i pulled in. Did the big loop, Banff to Bow to Meadowview to the end and i’m lost how do i got down the lodge? Conditions were great, back end of bow where it parallels Banff trail was a bit sketchy but that’s really nitpicking what was nice grooming and great conditions.


      i looked at the weather forecast, minus 10, expected to get colder, and lathered up my skis with VR30 and green. i get out there, buy a pass and see the that the recommendation is for blue, almost blue extra, WTH?
      so, my question, how hard is it for someone at CNC to look at the Swix weather gauge and post that on-line? For an example, see:

      • Save yourself frustration and wax your skis at the trail. Take under consideration not only temperature of the snow but also other factors like humidity, snow type old or new, time of day, air temperature then wax your skis. Other option is to learn to skate skis. In CNC you can also go to Trailsports and ask for advice, they used to keep grip wax of the day on the sales counter. At home I only iron in base binder. I find it works better this way.

  14. After spending the day at the cookie race volunteering, cheering for my kids, and visiting with friends we went for a family ski from pocaterra hut to lynx junction and back. Pocaterra and come along were in great shape with only a few sections with needles in the tracks. The trails were very quiet and we only met a few other people along the way. Nice way to wrap up an exciting day!

  15. Any intel on Confed?

    So glad to have enjoyed WBC today before it got crazy. Again the did a lot with not much snow. Started at -16 and ended at about -3 so weird wax day. Found it abrasive too. This evenings dusting should help a lot. Thanks so much to the Trail Fairies.

    I did see one of the groomers helping an older looking lady in the side of the trail around 1015’ish on far end of West Crystal. I was told it was under control but hope she was ok. Anyone know anything?

    • We transported her to the Trails Centre in the Kei Truck where EMS met her. I think she was OK in the end.
      We also transported another skier with a hip injury later in the day and reduced a gentleman’s dislocated shoulder earlier this month.
      It’s worth focusing on the lack of both cell coverage and Parks presence in WBC as a public safety concern….

      • Thanks for the reply. Whenever I see someone on the side of a trail, be it in town or on the trails, I always ask if they need assistance and usually ask in more than one way as I perform a scene survey, plus ask what happened. I urge everyone to do likewise – someday you may need external assistance. This may be a good blog topic Mr. Skier Bob?

        The lack of communications / cell coverage is always a concern of mine when in the WBC area, summer or winter. Given the dramatic increase in user base it’s logical to expect an increased need for EMS services. What are the current options for calling in EMS, and are there improvements in the works for the future?

        • Richie, that would be a good topic for this blog. Please write a guest post and submit it to my email and I’ll be happy to post it.

          • Bob…would love to get more folks thinking about communications and such. Unfortunately I don’t have the knowledge of the areas development (winter and summer) that perhaps a local person or someone who has had multi-year dedication to improving accessibility.

            With respect to personal safety… let me think about that. I have some ideas however there are ALWAYS caveats based on skill and comfort levels. Just need to figure out how I can not only burn the candle at both ends but also in the middle.

        • We always carry an InReach device which will allow us to call SOS and have 2-way communication via sms or email using satellites. However with the increased use of WBC and the greater Bragg Creek trail system, I wouldn’t be surprised if they expanded cell coverage soon.

          • The Greater Bragg Creek Trails Association has asked the major cell phone companies to expand their cell tower coverage to provide service in the West Bragg Creek/Moose Mountain trails areas, as well as to provide better coverage for the people who live in the western parts of the Bragg Creek area. The GBCTA has provided them with the user numbers and even suggested a site location (along the Moose Mountain Road… with road access, electric power and only minimal infrastructure requirements). None of them showed any interest in providing better service for thousands of customers.
            Perhaps if individual customers contacted their own cell providers to request coverage in the West Bragg Creek area, they might reconsider.

  16. Great day to ski at Mount Shark area. Temp was -11 when we started and when we got back it was -9. A blue wax day. It was a crispy day with light wind.
    Trails were nice and some areas coming down were abit icey, though not all of them. I was expecting the trails to be very busy, however they were very pleasant, only saw a few people here/there-plenty of nice peaceful ski time. Glide was way better coming back when the sun disappeared. All in all it was a another great cross country ski day in the mountains. By the way earlier in the day ran into a hiking coordinator Len, from the Calgary Outdoor Club who was out in the area taking a group out to snowshoe.

  17. Headed to Shadow Lake Lodge – first km on Red Earth hard pack and no tracks and a bit icy. After that light tracks appear and debris on trail. By beginning of 3 k tracks are good with the occasional debris.
    -14 at start and -4 at end used VR45 after initial first k or so worked very good and sunny at lodge. Also able to get there for treats we were probably a bit early.

  18. PLPP today was awesome. It was cold in the morning -18C and sunshine. I’ve arrived early and had no problem with parking space. Angle parking on Smith-Dorrien works great. VR40 was sticky in this temperature and I put way too many layers. I had to cover it with Start green synthetic – much better. Tracks and grooming was impeccable. I had monster grip but my glide was poor, again too many layers. In spite of this I had my personal best time today and I enjoyed the race. Big thanks to all involved, groomers, road crew, volunteers, officials and Foothills Nordic.

  19. Cascade Valley – pretty good conditions today on yesterday’s tracksetting. Started at 10am (-9C) and skied to the end of the tracksetting just short of Stoney Creek. Early tracks were often shallow and a bit uneven, but adequate. About 1 km past the Cascade River bridge, tracks improved somewhat. As Heather forecast in her trip report yesterday, there were lots of people out. -2C and getting windy when we finished. Tracks were still decent at the end, although the road section by the parking lot is pretty rough.

    • There were two short icy sections in the tracks about 4km from the end of the tracksetting. They are easy to see and get by, but don’t fall asleep as you head downhill – you won’t be happy if you ski over them!

    • It was nice meeting you at the cabin Saturday. I hope the pictures I took turned out!

  20. Checked the trail reports this morning and with wide eyed excitement saw that both grooming and track setting had occurred yesterday at Sandy McNabb. Hearts beating rapidly, we threw our equipment and our dog into the truck and roared down the road for the 12 minute drive. Squealing into the parking lot, we cartwheeled out of the vehicle and once vertical stood and stared at the trails before us. I can only say that our facial expressions must have been akin to Clarke Griswold’s when he arrived at Wally World after a rather arduous trip. Snow was bad…real bad. We decided that since we were already there we would do our duty and began our trip at Logger’s Loop. Grooming had occurred and an attempt at track setting was observed about a km into the trip however, snow was so sparse in areas that groomer was unable to continue with track setting. There is one section on Logger’s that is on a bit of an incline and also receives full on afternoon sun. This area had grass coming through along with the usual debris of twigs, pine cones, roots of trees and I am sure crocuses swaying in the breeze nearby. Never being ones to give up we continued our ski erroneously thinking that at the end of Logger’s we would cross the road where snow would be much better and head back towards the Warden’s hangout. The snow was worse and this turned into a near death experience as no grooming had taken place and under a few cm of pretty snow was pure ice. Even the smallest of inclines became a challenge and we finally admitted defeat and took off our skies with the hope of making it back to our vehicle alive. This also turned out to be bad decision as x-country ski boots are not known for their traction on ice. Who knew?? Anyhow, long story short (am I too late?) this cowgirl is headed back to WBC tomorrow. Take your chances if you don’t believe me but make sure you have your Wills updated before you head out. Unless we get snow. Then please disregard this trip report.

  21. Spray River West – 9 km to Spray River Bridge and back 9km – snow gets better and better the further south you get. V40 Blue Wax carried the day

  22. Golden Nordic Ski Club’s venues this season have been surprisingly even tempered, with a total of one freeze/thaw this year. Only one. Conditions today were sunny, perfectly groomed and fast. Right now we are getting light snow and the temp is -5C. Visitors at Dawn Mt Nordic Centre were from Victoria, Edmonton, Calgary, Hinton…many, many smiles!

  23. Cookie race day!

    Great conditions on the 24K course. All the grooming was really well done. Anyone skiing in PLPP tomorrow will enjoy some fantastic conditions.

    Now to lay down for a bit and dream about dinner…

  24. WBC at 10am today – skied out on Mountain Road to Mountain view, then back down on West Crystal Line. Good conditions overall – snow was pretty soft in places though. Started off at -13 at 10 am and it warmed up to -5 pretty quickly. V40 mixed with a bit of V20 worked pretty well all day. Great skiing today!

  25. PLPP – our lucky day! Not only were conditions nearly ideal for a tour up to Elk Pass, but we did a side trip to West Elk and finally found the famous couch!! A pleasant young man was just leaving as we approached, but no one was there and we dined in magnificent solitude. Big comfy couch with a great view 🙂
    The only disappointment was not meeting anyone there (Helen???).
    From Elk Pass we took the Hydroline – Patterson option down, and Patterson was a fun run down a little gem of a trail that we hardly ever use. Swix blue was great, hills were wide and smooth, and the weather was much sunnier than anticipated.

    • Congrats on finding it! Hopefully still enough back support for some reclining. It’s even better when random strangers arrive and wonderful conversation ensues. Some of those strangers even have treats. Hard to share a couch in that spot and not share more.

  26. A splendid day for ten Meanderthals starting in -11 at Elk Pass parking. We basically walked up the big hill with various combinations of blue and the beautiful grooming on the steep descent was even enjoyable. Great running into the Perrott’s at Blueberry junction, and wished they could have joined us to Elk Lakes Cabin. Ran into a few parties of skiers heading out from the cabin and much later in the day, a group of 14 female snow-shoers who had exclusively booked the cabin for the w/e. They had kept to the snowshoeing route most impressively and looked like they were planning to have a lot of fun at the ACC hut!!! We skied to The Couch for a brief sign-in, taking a few pictures for MaSid and carried on through those splendiferous meadows to where it connects with “south” Hydroline, approx. 2 kms down from the Pass. Quick lunch on veranda of the hut before the climb back up, which took approx. 75 min. 50-50 for skinning vs waxing en route up-snow was exceptional quality! Elk Pass trail in terrific shape for Cookie Race, and am sure Fox will get worked on tonight with nice new snow on it since 4 days ago. Kudos to everyone who makes this Cookie Race happen!!

  27. Great day at Peter Lougheed Provincial Park.Swix V20 worked well for me. Nice soft new snow up Whiskey Jack. Noisy variable brand new track set on Tyrrwhitt that improved south past the Lookout turnoff. Frost hoar on the track reduced glide a bit. Down Hydroline to Patterson (superb freshly groomed), Elk Pass and then onto Fox Creek (reasonable skier set track in soft 5cm snow). Boulton Creek back to Boulton Bridge parking lot was groomed but was hard grungy snow with abundant needles in places (groomers have done the best they can with what is available) – this was fast but tricky in part. A light snow on the trackset tonight will make for a great cookie race tomorrow- have fun!

  28. Today we stopped at Pocaterra for a few minutes and saw they were setting up for the Cookie Race. Got to Elk Pass and it was -10. It was a blue wax day. Hardly saw anyone on the trails. Great sunny day. The trails were very good. Ran into a ski group from Canmore – The Meanderthals. They sure had a lot of energy and seemed like a fun bunch.

  29. WBC is back! My amazing daughter and I arrived at 10:30 to a half-full parking lot. -7 when we started out on Crystal Line west. The first junction with Middle Crystal Line was pristine with 2 cm over top of fresh grooming and tracksetting. Loggers had nice snow, albeit slow in all of the fresh stuff. The snowfall increased once we hopped onto East Crystal Line and was snowing heavily back at the trail head. -7 when we headed back. Elbow looked good but my daughter wasn’t feeling it today. Once the snow stops, and the awesome volunteer crew packs it all down, WBC should be epic. Until the next Chinook that is.

    • My wife and I started out at 9:15 am .. totally agree, fantastic conditions and tip of the hat to those volunteer trail groomers once again. 🙂

  30. Pleasant conditions on the Cascade trail today. Track setter passed us as we were driving to the trailhead, just finished it within the hour I’d say. Somewhat soft tracks but lovely glide on VR 40 past the bridge. Not much traffic this afternoon, but expect the weekend will be a busy one here.

  31. PLPP – We started at Boulton Campground at -12C. and skied Moraine, Fox, Elk Pass and Tyrwhitt, coming down Whiskyjack. Like Keith, we are chasing trails too, so we extended our ski to include both MaSid”s couch (a bit weather-beaten) and the Lower Lake Trail. Blue wax worked perfectly for Ray, while I added some Violet Special for the Elk Pass Hill. Nice to meet the Meanderthals at the Blue-Elk table. Brand new tracksetting on Elk Pass and Tyrwhitt Trails was noisy, but very fast on the steep downhills. The other trails were skier-tracked and very pleasant. A lovely, quiet day in the park. I expect it to be quite the opposite tomorrow with the Cookie Race. Thanks to the tracksetters for all the hard work getting PLPP ready for the big race!

  32. Absolutely glorious at West Bragg today. A skiff of fresh powder over yesterday’s grooming made for great conditions. The core trails all have good tracks, as does Elbow. Iron Creek has a good skier-set track. We also skied a bit down Moose Loop but turned around because of poor conditions with an icy or non-existent base under the new snow. Moose Connector is fine, however.
    I used green (-7 – -13) wax which worked well.

  33. Canmore Nordic Center

    The groomers have done an incredible job on the Banff and Meadowview Trails. Skied Banff Trail to the end, up Meadowview (hill looked pretty firm) to the meadow and down the Banff Loop to the Lodge. Fastest snow this year, great grip and big glide – temperature of -6oC (Swix purple). Lots of easy double poling and I took a ski out occasionally in places where I never do.

  34. PLPP: -11C at 10:00 am WWL Recent grooming is still holding well albeit covered with 1 to 3 cm beautiful, clean new snow on all trails skied. Skied Wheeler to Amos to Lynx to Pocaterra setting tracks in 2 cm snow on Amos and Wheeler. Thankful to find a lone skier had performed the hard work setting a track up Pocaterra to top of Whiskejack for us. Now for the fun after all that hard work. Descending WJ was the best run of the day in perfect snow covered grooming. Skied Lower Lake, chasing all the PLPP trails this year, setting tracks in 2 to3 cm new snow. Wheeler back to Elkwood was silky fast on warming snow in somewhat wobbly skier tracks. Chasing trails again, skied Lodgepole to end of Braille and back on Braille to WWL. -2.5C at 3:00 pm. From what I could tell skiing PLPP will be fantastic tomorrow! Looks great for the Saturday Cookie Race too.

  35. Did a short ski from Pocaterra hut to Lynx junction late this afternoon after podium carving all day. About an inch of fresh snow on come along and Pocaterra trails. Conditions should be excellent for the cookie race once all the grooming and tracksetting is completed!

  36. Skied Spray River west today till bridge junction then back.Started at -6C around 12:30 and ended with -2C.
    Inside tracks was icy but snow nicely soft in center skating lane and coverage was excellent with fresh corduroy and track sets.
    Lots of sun and air was cool.

  37. It was after 11:00 (yikes) when I checked the Mount Shark live grooming report and discovered that it was groomed last night and into early this morning! New snow, superb tracks, -8 both when we started and finished a couple of hours later so the snow will hold up nicely for Friday!

  38. Pipestone Green trails today starting in -21 and finishing in -5. No new snow. We climbed the first 2 kms on #20. Liz D nailed it in her report yesterday which I appreciated reading-best before date has passed. But still it felt like a glorious Spring skiing day with a stunning skyline to take in, we checked out the new wildlife camera Chuck found, and relaxed and “enjoyed the moment” with good friends. Love those grooming pics from Bragg Creek-groomers perform magic out there…one of these days I will get there.

  39. C.N.C.- It was a perfect -9 with bright sunshine and limp flags at 9:30. The clouds hanging fluffy near the (nicely white) mountain tops looked really cool.
    I did Olympic, Banff, Meadowview, Bow and Silver Tip on VR40 (what else) which gave me very little grip in the tracks. It was a bit of Damn Cheating Liar (AKA: LANCE Armstrong) on some of the hills, but it is so easy to just step out and climb up in the skate lane, where my grip was fine. I had also applied some of the Pretty Wife’s Skintec glide wax on the tips and tails, and I was (Top Gun) “Mach 2 with my hair on fire” in the tracks counter-clockwise on Bow. Woot woot! Far end of Bow has minor debris, the rest is all very good. Wish we would’ve had a bit more snow out here last night . . .
    Nakiska tomorrow, up on the Gold chair, to end my ski week. Skied seven out of seven days. Cheers to all.

    • For the Skintec glide… are you ironing in your glide wax, using a paste, or using one of those Aerosol/sponge combos? What specifically are you using? What is everyone else using on their waxless glide areas?
      Lately I’ve been too lazy to actually iron in a proper glide wax and have used an older paste (which has to dry then be buffed in) and also a really old sponge/aero can. I find these might last me an hour or so and then my black bases are turning grey/whitish.

      • It’s just a sponge dopper. Non-aerosol, just liquid. (Colour Blue, got it at MEC with the Pretty wife’s skis) I just dab it on every few inches, spread it with the sponge dopper, and then cork it a bit. Sa-weeeet for glide, but you are correct, it doesn’t last very long. Stay farrrrr away (duh) from your grip zone. I tried to apply some yesterday before coming back down Cascade Valley, and it came out very pasty in the cold.

      • We use reg Glidewax. Sometimes just brushing with a brush will get ride of the white…

  40. Dawn Mountain Trails Golden -4 althoughwax thermo says 0.
    Trails are firm skating lane is good Tracks are pretty solid. we’re using skintecs and have to be sure of our weight shift. Klister would be the best . They do have a website with grooming report. We stayed up on the bench along the Beaver loop . Worth the drive over from AB

  41. We did a long loop yesterday at Lake Louise.
    – Great Divide to Peyto trail was well groomed and fast with VR40
    – Up Peyto to the beginning of Fairview had fresh snow over the tracks, but not a lot of skiers, so the trail was lovely to ski. Silky smooth snow! Switched to VR45 which worked well for the rest of the day.
    – Fairview hasn’t been groomed in a while, and it had some skier-set tracks, but had had a lot of traffic since it was last refreshed. The snow was good, but the tracks were frequently washed out by traffic.
    – Moraine Lake road had been recently track set and the skiing was good.
    A great day for a long loop. Perfect temps and lots of sun.

  42. -5 at PLPP visitor info centre at 10 am, one car in parking lot. Swix VR50 gave adequate grip if supplemented with ArmStrong. Met northbound PistenBully on Wheeler, rolling corduroy only, not tracksetting. Fast tracks in general until half way up Whiskey Jack, when it started snowing, greatly reducing glide. Slower than average but comfortable descent on Pocaterra. Glide improved with decreasing altitude, and by Lynx we were back to slick tracks and ArmStrong wax. Parking lot half full at 2 pm departure.

  43. Perhaps it was one day too late for perfection out on the Lake Louise Pipestone Trails. The weather was mild with a few glimpses of warm sun so that made it most pleasant. The track varied with some glazed and some softish snow with the hills scraped in the most inconvenient places on the downhills. The herringbone technique was required on most of the uphills. Those with wax skis had to re-wax a few times while I found my wax less skis worked really well. It should be lovely if some powder snow falls. Do your Snow Dance folks…

  44. CNC: my first ski this year as a paying senior! Skied Christmas Day for free. Despite my infatuation with “real” snow, today’s best snow was between the lodge and the meadow. Skied Banff/GW/Bow circuit and then climbed up to east start of Meadowview and back on Bow/Banff after a wee ski on Cold Shoulder-two picnic tables to tempt a Spring skier in sunshine for sure! A most enjoyable day skiing with friends and seeing a lot of ski friends. -4 at 2pm. Waxing is a whole new learning curve for me at CNC as GMJ also commented. My SkiGo was not working very well, but ArmStrong was.

  45. Ribbon Creek – brief excursion from Kananaskis Village: a short loop was groomed yesterday, so we went to check it out, and it provided some pretty good skiing from Kan. Village north on Terrace Trail, returning via Terrace Link. A couple mm of fresh snow made for slow travel, but it was much faster out of the tracks.
    Other trails not recently groomed are a mixed bag, but snowing today, covering up debris, could be nice tomorrow 🙂

  46. ventured to west bragg today for a run with my 4 legged associate which turned out well but the good news is at least 6 cm of snow had accumulated by the time of our departure at 3:30. I hope enough falls so we can ski tomorrow.

    • Grooming has begun and will continue tomorrow am. WBC is back in business for classic and skate on the core trails . Outer trails may take a day or 2 to get done…

  47. CNC today. Conditions were rather granular everywhere, requiring a warmer wax than temperatures would normally warrant. Meadowview was in good shape (Rundle was not) but required rewaxing every 10 minutes because the snow was so hard. Bow was a bad idea. I got off there as soon as I could and went back via Banff. By this time the snow was falling thickly and conditions would have been excellent if it weren’t for the 0 degree wax.

  48. Continued my ski-week with downhill (and the haters gonna hate, hate, hate) yesterday at Sunshine, where the snow was very good, and my turns were pure.
    Cascade Valley – Solo today, the Pretty Wife is back at work. Took Chucks advice from a few days back, and was the only car in the parking lot at 8:45am (pre-waxed in the morning (VR40) in the warm condo parking) in -7 and light snow that began 3 hours earlier than the forecast. Poor conditions down the hill to the junction, but I trusted Chuck and knew they would improve by the top of the hill, which they did. 16 minutes to the top of the big hill (haha – 26 minutes) and the snow was great. Zero debris and decent, albeit wobbly tracks. Nobody for miles, so I worked (loud and proud baby) on my go-to Karaoke song (the classic (1972) “Brandy” by Looking Glass . . . Google it and fall in love with it again) which I will use to BRING DOWN the HOUSE on Monday nights at the Drake. “That guy who looks like Elliot Gould can sing!!” they all say.
    By the time I got to the first bridge, it had already snowed a cm. or two, so I had very little glide. I pressed ever onward (working now on “Werewolves of London” . . . because I like the howling part) hoping to make the Wardens cabin. I turned around about 2km short (sorry Chuck) because my throat was getting sore from the aforementioned howling part. Snowed lightly to moderately all day. Only saw three other people . . . I stopped singing as soon as I saw them coming, because I’m actually quite crappy (except for the howling part). – 6 back at the car at 1:15, and still snowing. Sang along with Adele on the drive back to the condo. Nordic Center tomorrow I think . . .

    • P.S – For Bob . . . when you read this.
      Since I am soooo alone out here at the Canmore condo, I would like to buy you dinner tomorrow night if you are free. I’ll even get Tess (I love dogs) a big fat T-bone. Just the bone though . . . the steak is MINE.
      Call or text me – 403 467 8890.
      I promise I won’t sing.

  49. BREWSTER CREEK- to warden’s cabin- From Sunshine Road

    Yesterday. Generally very good to excellent skiing. The track set has been walked on and skated on in the Bow Valley but still ok. Ski cut the short cut toward the Lodge. Some rocks on the short cut on steep pitches. Short cut will be in very good condition with 10 to 15 cm of snow. The Brewster Creek trail has had a snowmobile take out the tracks in some areas. The lodge mangers really have to learn how to make the track skier friendly, by widening the trail rather than just using the same snowmobile track over and over. The big hill is in very good shape. From the Lodge to the creek crossing (about 3 km up valley) the trackset has been wiped out by snowshoers and a snowmobile. From the creek to the wardens cabin the track set is in excellent condition and very fast. The trail has been snowmobile packed beyond the warden cabin. About 10 cm of snow are on the snowmobile trail beyond the warden cabin. There is a big wide obvious avalanche slope several hundred meters across where the trail turns off to the warden cabin. Skied out after watching the sun set over the peaks beyond the warden cabin a ways.

    Now is the time to ski to the warden cabin with such great ski conditions. It is rare to go in when the conditions are so ideal. Nice views up there.

  50. PLPP: – 6C at 9:45 am from Elk Pass parking with VR40 which performed perfectly all day. Skied Fox Creek (pretty roughed up) and Elk Pass to Hydroline Hill then up to the Hydroline/Lookout junction. Piston bully groomed trails were very good with 1 to 2 cm new snow. West side of Lookout was plowed off but covered with the 1 to 2 cm new snow making for good climbing – only herring boned really steep sections. Sunny and warm up top with a breath of wind – a good reward for all the climbing! Down the north side where we skied between and around a group of 7 skiers herring boning up. It was a bit more icy and scrapped off on steeper parts of the north hills. Pocaterra to the Hut was slower today with the 1 cm new snow over the grooming. The new Pocaterra trail was a pleasure with the VR40 still performing. Trails skied were basically clean with no needles in the wax at the finish. 0C at the Pocaterra hut at 2:30 pm.

  51. SILVERSTAR – Feb 18-20
    Spent the long weekend way out in BC over at Silverstar Mountain Resort. Huge XC ski area with great variety of trails crossing through and outside of the downhill resort. Especially liked the long trails out towards Putnam Creek – the restaurant mid-trail at Paradise Camp was a great break point for several of the green/blue trail loops away from the crowds. Good snow throughout plus a nice 10 cm or so boost on sunday, and the lower elevation of the peaks puts alot of the trails higher up the mountains vs the usual rockies valley-bottom trails so the views are great. You can ride some of the chairlifts to access the higher up trails, including the summit chair which seems to amuse all of the downhill skiers and slowboarders on the hill..
    So much to do in the resort area that I didn’t have time to ski into the inter-connected Sovereign Lake nordic centre – saving that one for next time!

  52. PIPESTONE – Feb 21

    With news that the Pipestone Loops were trackset yesterday, and word that the Bow Valley Wolf Pack is in the area, this was today’s choice:!AhVZXBE7vMV7hSZf3oy0CzrYlWwd
    Sure enough, the wolves had just crossed the trail in front of us near the trailhead, heading east.
    At the top of the #20 Loop, we checked out the river to see if travel conditions had improved.
    We found another camera pointing right at the intersection of Drummond and Merlin trails, so don’t be caught peeing there!
    It was nice to inspect one of the old Trapper’s Cabins.
    Mud Lake has amazing mountain views, and great sunny spots to soak it up.
    And of course, the ski conditions were great. Perfect temperatures for wax, and hardly anybody out after the Family day Weekend!

  53. Chickadee Valley certainly lives up to it’s namesake! Little bit sticky coming out, which was ok because it’s a very narrow trail with steep sides. Quite a few face and butt plants coming out, Great fun,
    Used skins going in for the same reason, no room to herringbone or side step.

    • I can attest to the butt plants and face plants- we saw the impressions in the snow on our way in to Chickadee yesterday. It was a great day for a minor ski tour, fairly quick on the way back to the highway. Stayed away from the avalanche paths and stuck to the trail

  54. Since no one has reported on the Baker – Castle Lookout trail, I guess it’s up to me. Many people were out enjoying the trail this afternoon, I suspect on waxless skis mostly (as I was today) but wax did work (VR50 and warmer) and the views as usual were sunny and expansive.

  55. CASCADE VALLEY – Feb 20

    Ho Hum… another Extra Blue day on the Cascade!
    Where is everyone? Very few went any distance… but that suited us fine. We did the loop at Stoney Creek (remember the guy who thought he was taking his girlfriend on a loop trail back to Minnewanka Parking Lot and they thought they were nearly there, but they were at Stoney!).
    With a little fresh snow the last two nights, and lovely temperatures, conditions are great (though a little soft at the bottom of the hill at the end of the day).
    Thought I’d better report, as it doesn’t seem fair to keep this option a secret:!AhVZXBE7vMV7hR07X_n9JspByP6w
    Happy Family Day

  56. Lake Louise – Fairview and Lower Telemark Loops

    Three skiers on blue extra all day. Started at -2oC (11am) and ended at 0oC (3pm) in the afternoon. Lovely light powdery snow, about 10 cm worth, on very good skier tracksetting.. Good grip and glide, no significant ice up and could stay in the tracks on all the Lower Telemark hills. Nancy loved the control. Perhaps the best day out in Lake Louise this year.

  57. CNC

    Had a great ski at CNC. Banff and Bow trails have been track set and we’re in great shape in the morning although they were showing some degradation in the afternoon. Great to see Skier Bob, just missed him by a few minutes at PLPP on Sunday.

  58. Tremendous day skiing up to The (sadly sagging) Couch and West Elk Meadows to junction with main Hydroline trail down to ACC hut. It looks like Elk Lakes Cabin will be a very busy place tonight as we passed many people going in. Hoping to repeat today’s recon Friday with new powder and -6 to -8 temps. Two of us using wax had some challenges, and I resorted to mini skins heading back up to Elk Pass. Fun ski out and bravo to all families introducing their children to this addicting sport.

  59. Pipestone – terrific day on new grooming. We did the Pipestone #20 loop, and added several additional bits (Merlin, Drummond, part of Hector). The groomers had started early, and were just finishing up the interior trails as we did our first pass on #20. Very nice conditions in the morning (-7C to start), softening a bit in sun-exposed areas toward the end (+1C at 2pm). V40 or V45 worked well, getting a bit sticky near the end. Lots of people out enjoying the mostly sunny skies. Big thanks to the groomers for their hard work on a day that was a holiday for everyone else.

    • A first today – skied every trail in the Pipestone today! Some back tracking required to do this. Such a beautiful day how could you want to go home early.

  60. Great Divide – Sounds like Bill was just ahead of the Pretty Wife and I as we had a bit later start today after a bit too much wine in the Canmore condo with the Pretty Daughter and her (ol’-what’s-his-name) boyfriend last night. My VR40 had the same issues as Bill with a little clumping in the warming afternoon snow, but the conditions with the fresh snow were absolutely spectacular. Great kick, decent glide and LOTS of people out enjoying Family Day. Nice to see quite a few kids out on some skinny ski’s with their parents.
    GOOD ON YOU MOM’S AND DAD’S!!!! If you are wondering which person I was (yelling “NICE JOB GIRLS”) to your daughters, I’m the one who looks like the guy in all the “Oceans Eleven” movies. Brad Pitt? George Clooney?? Sorry, but no. More like . . . Elliot Gould. Heavy sigh.

  61. Boulton Campground, Packers, Pocaterra and Tyrwitt.

    Temp -3 to start. Snow was colder. Started 1st km with Skintec but switched because tracks looked ok for wax. Started at Boulton at 10:15 north access to Packers, S to Pocaterra to Tyrwitt. Turned at 6 miles due to time. Tiny fresh snow on hard for Packers, more soft snow climbing up Tyrwitt. VR40 worked well until the return on Packers. The sunny meadow was warm so added a small kick zone of VR45. A beautiful day.

  62. Great Divide Trail

    The groomers were out yesterday and set good tracks, then it snowed 3 cm overnight. I arrived at about 10:15 and it was -6. Old school Swix Extra Blue worked well for kick. Coming back, I started to get sticking on the bases for the last couple of km’s. I noticed that the temperature had gone up to -1. A good ski but definitely slow in the new snow.

  63. Lake O’Hara
    -1C air temp in the parking lot, perhaps 3-4cm of fresh snow on the trail, but with plenty of traffic up and down the tracks were clear. Don’t be fooled by the warm snow and the steep initial hill into starting with too warm a wax – you’ll be scraping it off before the 2k mark goes by. For us yesterday a warm blue cap worked well once the scraping and adjusting had abated. Similar to another comment from yesterday (Pipestone?) the fresh snow seemed to impact our glide quite a bit, not sure why.

  64. Boom Lake
    We had an enjoyable ski here today. Lots of fresh snow covered any ice that was there previously. A bit sticky which helped on the downhills. No tracks and multiple users were out (snowshoers, hikers). I’m in a sitski and did fine on the narrow trail. We didn’t venture far down the lake because of the warmer temps. One tree down across the trail.

  65. While Stephen was doing a recon of the 24 kms Cookie Race loop, I was getting an adequate workout on the 15 kms. loop. It has been awhile since I skied Pocaterra in the return direction and still feel they could do a better job of the signage. At the Pocaterra/Lynx junction the sign is posted so high that only The Jolly Green Giant could read it. While I know volunteers will be directing traffic, that trail needs a specific sign saying LYNX. The second junction of confusion is where four trails all come together: Rolly Road and lower Pocaterra and Pocaterra and Come Along. We likely did a 16 km loop because of this poorly marked junction but tracks were nicely groomed, temps around +2 and lots of people out enjoying themselves.

  66. Chester-Sawmill Trails

    Add my name to number of voices that think these trails should be groomed again for xc skiing. Looking for some fresh snow we headed to Sawmill parking lot this morning with our light backcountry gear. We were rewarded with +/-5cm fresh snow, -3 air temperature, -1 snow. Did a mixture of following old ski tracks, snowshoe tracks and trail breaking. Overall, a beautiful day skiing the lower trail to the Chester Lake parking lot and then a big climb to the upper trails. A nice 18km loop back to Sawmill. It will be nice to see this area set up as per West Bragg Creek with mixed trail usage. Lovely, challenging trails and a great snow base.

  67. PIPESTONE – Was pleasantly surprised with my first ever zip-around at Pipestone. Literally a narrow trail through forest with a few meadows thrown in. The snow was a bit sticky, especially at the end of the loop, around 12pm, but it was great fun. We often had great big ‘melt in your mouth’ snowflakes leaving us wanting our glasses on some of the hills, but that was the worst of it and really it was the best…

  68. PLPP 24k Cookie Race Loop

    I did a test ski of the cookie race circuit today (Feb 19), there had been a small (just a few mm) of snow overnight and it was snowing lightly from time to time. At about 1000 snow temp was -2C. Conditions were generally quite good, the section on Amos/Wooley was quite icy under the new snow. The Packer’s trail had been freshly groomed.

    Glide was very slow on the new snow, not really sure why. Some other skiers were having problems with grip wax clumping.

  69. Pipestone excellent today with 2 to 3 cm new dusting of snow from overnight – all it takes to keep trails good.

  70. Conditions were almost sticky on Whiskey Jack to Lookout. Icing helped with the climb on Lookout. Met SkierBob and saw some Grouse love along the trail on the way out.

    Grouse photo

  71. Lake Louise: – 4C @10:00 am and snowing lightly Started on V45/V50 skied Fairview in 3 cm silky snow – a marvellous place in those conditions. Great fun Down the hills to Moraine Lake Road . Up on new snow over the trackset but already skier tracked. Halfway the snow temperature changed causing grabbing and icing. Scraped ice and continued slowly to the lookout. At the turn around the air temperature was + 1 C and the clouds thinned to allow some weak sun bathing. The ski down was too slow in the snowed in down track but the up track was better. From MLR skied Tramline in conditions similar to MLR to Louise Creek. Below the bridge we encountered a lot of people coming up – walking, snowshoeing and some even skiing. Bow Trail to the Village newly groomed in thin snow/ice but easy double poling. Zero degrees in the Village.

  72. We had a great ski at MRL today. After using the R-skins yesterday up to O’Hara and hearing afterwards about successful waxing, took the waxables today and they were great with a thin layer of VR50. Not many people out on trail, snow soft with ~4 cm new over top tracks. Met the tracker near trailhead on return – grooming the centre skating lane. Busy at the lakeshore, traffic backed up in village coming down.

  73. CNC Sunday -3C fresh dusting of snow. Skintecs
    Two out of three ain’t bad…..After nine days finally Banff tr and Meadowview have been groomed and track set. Tracks varied from,Marguerita type snow to non changed snow. Skating lanes looked good.
    A Couple of spots where the groomer dragged up some dirt but easy to step around or over. Heads up that the CNC grooming page isn’t always that accurate or more specifically not detailed.. Cold Shoulder and Olympic are marked as groomed. Skating lanes yes but not the tracks. Not sure what the rationale is there.
    Lots of skiers out today. I was surprised at finding folks ski out the man made then up onto Meadowview to return to stadium. A lot of traffic up top from the Weekend warriors in Lycra to plodders like myself. Now perhaps groom Bow Trail?

  74. Anyone been out to “the couch” since the chinook heat? Wondering how it’s faring. Helen and crew did a maintenance trip a week ago, so decent enough track post storm. Another friend might be stopping by in the next few days. If anything, maybe some of the walls have started to move and sag.

  75. We had a good family outing on the Pipestone trails today. We arrived to a full parking lot around noon, but it felt like we had the place to ourselves once we got going. There was evidence of the recent rain that became less evident the further out we went. It was almost winter conditions at the farthest reaches of Pipestone with reasonably clean and colder snow. A bit on the icy side coming down Héctor at the end but overall it was pretty good. A top secret wax formula we’ll call “blurple” worked fairly well throughout. It was “kinda sorta” snowing as we left around 4 and is now doing the same in Canmore.

  76. Had a nice ski with my family to lake O’Hara today. Temperature was -5 when we left the parking lot at 10:45. Used warm blue which worked pretty good for the whole day. Met Ray Perrot with his group at the picnic table part way along and said hi. Just beyond the picnic table at the bottom of the hill we easily skirted the ice flow on the right side. Continued on to the lake and conditions got better the further we traveled. Bumped into Ray again near the lake then we did a loop along the shore back past the lodge and stopped at Le Relais for a snack and added wood to the fire. We started to ski back just before three. It was snowing lightly along the way and we passed various people pulling sleds heading for the Elizabeth Parker cabin. It was a speedy return and we were back at the car in less then an hour.

  77. Just skied Moraine Lake Road today. What a wonderful day it is! We started at 12:00 PM. The temperature was -2C. The tracks seemed newly set, which was confirmed when the groomer went down while we are run into in our way up to Moraine lake! The snow is perfect for a new bee with waxless skis although I did wax them with the rating of 0 to -10 C, just to prevent the embarrassment in late of the November, which I fall down a few times due to sticking snow below the skis. I enjoyed the trip totally today. Thanks for the track setting today!

  78. It’s still possible to find winter. I skied PLPP this morning – Elk Pass, Tyrwhitt, Hyrdoline and Lookout. I was glad I went – conditions were quite good. Lots of snow, recently track set, very little debris on the trail, -6C at 10 am, V45 worked pretty well.

    It was my first time climbing up to top of Lookout. I didn’t realize that it climbed so high above Tyrwhitt. (I know -I should have expected it based on the name of the trail.) I have never done so much herring bone on one ski outing. I’ve also never been so scared on a snowplow descent – it was very steep coming. The view was well worth the effort.

  79. Today in PLPP Pocaterra parking lot was full at 11am. Pocaterra trail was freshly groomed and full of needles but skiing was excellent. The needles were old and did not made much difference. The best trails are recently groomed so check the map. Other trails not groomed were hard and icy. VR50 did the job for grip. It was cloudy and temperature was around 0C and it started snowing afternoon lightly.

  80. Jean-Francois Richy

    Skoki lodge In & Out, the snow temperature was -10 C at the trailhead and there was plenty of fresh snow, as usual the descent to Skoki lodge from Deception pass was fast and fun (with a few snow faceplant) with the xcountry skis and the Swix V40 worked well on the way back. We met a few snowshoers and a group of backcountry skiers who stopped at Deception pass and did not venture to Skoki lodge, but for most of the time we were the only skiers.
    A great day out.

    • J-F, were you on AT skis with skins or light touring with/without? I am wondering how long it took you to do the in/out as my girlfriend has always wanted to do this. Does the lodge let you eat your lunch or come in for a half hour to warm up and rest before the out. I have skied in prior but not the in/out as day trip. Also did you get the chairlift upload/download? I gather light touring people are not allowed on chair anymore so must do ski out both ways.

      • Jean-Francois Richy

        Hi Helen,
        We were a party of 3, I was skiing with Fischer CRS classic Vasa (waxable skis, no ), one friend had Rossignol BC 59 with metal edges (waxable) and the other friend waxless skis (Techno Pro). It took us 6 hours (including a one hour breaks / lunch), the round trip is just under 30km with an elevation gain of almost 1100m. We did not use skins, but with waxable skis we had to do quite a lot of herringbone…the upside is a better glide than waxable skis… Most people use skins anyway, light touring skis with metal edges are a good choice as you will have better control (the trail is not groomed, just skiers and the occasional skidoo of Skoki lodge). Skins are really a great plus to climb up deception pass. Yes the folks at the lodge (Katie and Leo) are really nice and you can eat your lunch inside and get warm, for day skiers they offer tea, lemonade for $5 and they even offered us freshly baked muffin. For the ski in, if you dont want to climb up to Temple lodge, you can take the gondola (I guess you have to have a day pass) and ski down Pika trail to Temple lodge (this is what you do when to stay at Skoki), the ski out from Temple lodge to the parking lot is fast and fun.

  81. Staying at L. Louise hostel for the weekend. We skied up to Lake O’Hara today, starting at -5C. and ending at 0C. Ther was a rain crust on the snow at bottom and tracks were a bit icy for the first couple of kms but got better after that. Lots of people coming out from the alpine hut and more going in. We navigated past the ice flow (at 5.2km) with no problem. Later at le Relais we made a fire and had a leisurely lunch before doing a loop on the lake and ogling the Piston Bully that makes our lovely tracks. Coming down was a blast on the steeper hills and the bottom had softened somewhat so we had no casualties. Skied on V50 wax all day to good effect.

  82. Skied Pocaterra from the hut, and Lynx- both freshly trackset and good -needles are mushed into grooming so not a big problem – VR 45 mostly worked, with a bit of VR 55 . We got to Amos and it was horrible and icy -so we turned around and back up Lynx and did Pocaterra to Packers – It was excellent and a nice and fast run back down Poca to Rolly
    It was snowing lightly as we left.
    All is not lost with the warm weather 🙂

  83. M.L.R / Lower Tramline/ Bow River loop.
    Ski week in Canmore with the Pretty Wife began at M.L.R. parking at 9:15 (-7) and saw the track-setter heading up the road (Woot-Woot!) so nice start to the week. Only went up past the steeper S curves, where we turned around so the Pretty Wife (I think she looks like Naomi Watts . . . lucky me) could practice her snow plow a little while I shouted encouraging words like “Those ski pants look great hun . . . Hubba-hubba!!” Back down to Lower Tramline (a little crusty and shallow tracks) where we skied down to the village and looped around the Bow a bit before climbing back up to M.L.R parking. Drove up to Lake Louise where the parking looked like a nightmare, but lucked out with a rock star parking spot as someone backed out right in front of me, and I pulled right in. We had a lovely skate on Lake Louise, where I held my Pretty Wife’s hand as much as I could, which wasn’t very often as I tend to need BOTH HANDS for balance when on skates. Her turn to give me encouraging words . . . “Niiiice turn honey!! And . . . “Those ski pants make you look fat!!” Sigh.

  84. Has anyone been to Mt Shark recently? Trail reports says it has not been groomed since Feb 10, since last weekend snowfall. Or should we plan to bring skis and snowshoes to keep our options open? Thanks in advance!

    • Mt Shark has been through a thaw-freeze cycle without new grooming. I don’t know if it’s had any significant snowfall to mitigate the icy conditions. Maybe add a bobsled to your repertoire.

      • Skied Mt. Shark today. Tracks in good shape overall, a bit icy/glazed in places but holding up well considering the recent warm temps and lack of new snow. Blue/V45 worked well, as did waxless/fishscale skis. Any hills where snowplowing has occurred were hardpacked and getting a tad icy. Great conditions for the skate skiers, many of whom were zipping past all day. -8c in the am, with temps above 0c softening up the snow by mid-afternoon.
        Most loops were packed and tracked, with the exception of the “far end” Green loop which didn’t appear to have had any skier traffic for a while.
        As we pulled out of the parking lot around 2:00pm temps were dropping with a few flakes of new snow falling, leading to hope that the trails may survive the latest round of warm weather.

  85. Michael and Annalee

    XC skiing video to go along with Annalee’s report on Sovereign Lake / Silverstar trip report.


  86. CNC Sat Skintecs -1C
    Sigh, Grooming again only on manmade. Makes for boring skiing. Skiing on the man made snow was outstanding .However, off the MM it’s another story. Ended up part way out Banff tr past mine-scar. Tracks were hard, icy and fast I barely double poled all the way to where Bow Trail loops up and touches the Banff Tr.
    I did send an email to addressing the grooming or lack there of. I’ve spent a lot of time inhaling snowmobile exhaust while grooming and feel there could be work done on these natural snow trails.

  87. Michael and Annalee

    Day 3 and 4 BC ski. Skate day at Telemark XC Kelowna. +3 with sunny skies. Telemark trail to Panorama Ridge. 2 longer trails to great views. Grooming was great but a bit of glazing on the far end of trail. Finished off with technique practice on Memory/Forest Lane green runs
    Skintech XC day at Sovereign Lake/Silver star combo. +1 but variable depending on the aspect. LarsTaylor/Aberdeen to Upper paradise to the far cabin for a rest after the most awesome twisting downhill ever! Softer wet snow at the trailhead changing to firmer more fresh snow on the SilverStar side. Continued on to Alder Point look out and back Round the Mountain to another rest cabin. Finished off with Carl Wylie trail back to sweet new Jessica Trail. Single track XC only loop through the trees.
    Definitely glad we had Skintechs as the waxing would have been very tricky.

  88. We attempted to do the Great Divide trail starting from the Lake O’Hara parking lot but turned back after realizing it was not trackset. For some reason, it was groomed for skating only. I don’t know if the Lake Louise end has any tracksetting in place. Instead we did the Moraine Lake Road, which was in very good condition except for an icy glazing in the track. Occasionally I would ski in the softer snow to gain a better grip. After the first 2km, the track improved; the snow was colder and there was evidence of recent snowfall covering the skating lane. Red wax did the job, especially at the higher elevation.

  89. Decided to go with our plans to ski in PLPP after we saw the report at 8:30 am that Elk Pass and Tyrwitt were groomed and trackset. A lovely day with good conditions considering the recent uncooperative weather. Vr 50 worked quite well . We skied up Elk pass and Tyrwitt to the junction of Lookout.(groomed but not trackset.) Retraced our steps back and enjoyed a lovely downhill to the parking lot.

  90. Canmore Nordic Centre – like other folks recently, we have been frustrated and disappointed that the natural snow trails have not been groomed lately. Yesterday, I filled out a customer feedback form in the lodge asking a) why are they not grooming the natural snow trails? and b) if there’s some logical reason, could they please indicate this on their trail report so that folks at least understand. We’ll see if I get a reply!
    On the plus side, skating on the manmade has been really good the last 2 days, as long as you go before it gets too warm and slow (we’ve been finishing by 11 am)

  91. Feb 17 Lake Louise Lower & Upper Tramline, Fairview, MLR:
    Skiff of fresh snow at bottom of Tramline, about 2cm fresh moist snow on MLR. -2C at 1030, +2C at 1430 at Lower Tramline parking. VR60 worked very well all day with surprising good grip glide on partially glazed tracks. A great day out considering our low expectations!

  92. Attended Kicking Horse Ski Club Banquet with two of The Couch Chickateers and we missed our opportunity to meet Diana Piggott and her hubby skiing on waxless skis! We enjoyed a “retail” experience at Monod’s on our way out yesterday, and decided in all that rain to give skiing a miss on The Fan. Fun watching a Japanese Tour Bus get stuck in the summer parking lot and a few hours later, seeing many its passengers successfully pushing it out!!! Today after reading LL got 7 cms. we decided to ski up to the Halfway Hut towards Skoki. Snow was pretty good on the ski out up, but walked a few of those hills on the stickier snow skiing down the ski out. Skoki Trail was delightful, avocado-like snow, with intermittent blue skies and no warmer than +2.

    • Helen! Are we doomed to be ships passing in the night?? There sure were lots of people at the banquet!
      We saw the tour bus stuck in the parking lot, but had no idea the passengers pushed it out – crazy!

  93. Discovering the magic of waxless skis……. (okay, you can stop snickering)
    I did get hubby waxless for Christmas, and now we can enjoy much more marginal conditions!
    Wednesday late afternoon we skied the Pipestone loop. Grooming holding up well, snow warm and a little soft, lots of needles, etc., and we had a great time!

    Thursday at Emerald Lake for KHSC 30th anniversary, the weather did not cooperate. Apparently we are hard core, being among very few who skied in the persistent rain. We did the lovely alluvial fan trail and got completely soaked, but it was a pretty good ski on reasonably good, warm soft snow. Good grooming helps a lot! And it would have been lousy on waxable skis. It was nice to have a fireplace in our room to dry out all our wet clothes, and the dinner was superb 🙂

    Friday on our way home, we thought Lake Louise would be the only place worth trying, so parked at Great Divide/ 1A east end with seemingly hundreds of frustrated sled dogs. GD and Lower Telemark were freshly groomed and quite pleasant, no tracksetting yet but maybe later today? We met groomers several times along the way. Tried Upper Telemark and Peyto, but they have not been groomed for quite a while, and might have been fun but for the rather crusty snow :-/ All the fresh snow around there seemed crusty, so some grooming would really help.

  94. PLPP Pocaterra Friday 17-Feb

    Did a morning ski on Pocaterra started at the hut at about 1000. Snow temp was -2C to -1C. There had been 2cm new snow at the hut, rising to about 4 cms near the top of the Pocaterra hill. The snow was quite moist and there was some sort of a ice crust in it part way through, perhaps it snowed, rained, froze and snowed again? So my skis were making lots of strange sounds as I pushed along through the new snow. When I returned on the same tracks (I didn’t see anyone else until nearly back to the hut) the snow was still creaking and growling as I passed over it.

    There must have been a lot of needles on the trail prior to this snow, as in the few places I had plowed to turn and at some places in the tracks there were beds of needles starting to appear.

    The groomer was packing the area near the outhouses where the Cookie Race sets up their registration tables and soup kitchen. But no grooming on the trails as it is probably not cold enough at night.

  95. Today Fri Feb 17. +3C 10:30.
    Skintecs; Classic.
    Until we get, more snow, more grooming other than the man made., CNC is a miss. I’ve never said this before ! EVER! There is snow out there but for some reason CNC has chosen not to groom out the three most used trials Banff Bow, Meadowview.
    Regardless, skiing on MM was great. If one ventures off onto Banff or Meadowview expect hard conditions whether classic or Skate.
    I would recommend waiting a later in the day for conditions to soften off the MM. Lots of skiers out there today and the sun was shining.

  96. Any word on Pipestone? We’re thinking of heading there tomorrow (Saturday). Thanks.

    • Oops. Forgot to check the “Notify” box. That’s better.

      • fairview- pipestone
        feb 17
        plus 2 degrees. at 11:00
        fairview fine – set 16th?
        used vr55. partner skintecs.
        had to work with wax. going the same speed.

        Pipestone was set today i’m am. went out counter clockwise – skintecs Great and icy-thin track- would have been klister. but at end track was great and wax would have worked.

  97. Nipika report

    Stopped in at Nipika for the first time yesterday, on the way to Kimberley for the weekend. We were a little doubtful about the conditions as we were in rain most of the way from Banff. Nipika was warm and rather melty, so we rented waxless skis at the lodge. Fabulous decision. We had an awesome 3.5 hour ski on great tracks, good grip, decent glide. It was my first time ever on waxless skis, and was really impressive.

    The trails will be fine for waxed skis after cooling off and maybe some grooming – there is a wonderful deep base.

    For anyone who has never skied Nipika, you really, really need to go. Trails are amazing, scenery is breathtaking. The natural bridge canyon section is jaw dropping. Yes, there are trail fees, but these are absolutely world class professionally groomed trails – more than worth it. Big thanks to the resort for giving us a deal on the rentals.

  98. CNC Feb 16. +8C Skintecs . Went out with zero expectations. Snow was spring-like Skied out Bow Trail onto Grey Wolf and up onto Meadowview. Skiing was slow ,depending on aspect. Some places there was decent glide.
    Up on Olympic quite a bit of Fat tire activity. I’m sure EKG is reallly soft forcing the FT folks out onto the mans made stuff. I did talk to a couple on rental bikes who were 200 m past where EKG crosses Meadowview. I suggested they had missed the trail……. 🙂 They were somewhat apologetic but after I left them their tracks indicated they had come up on Olympic the whole way. I did stop by the CNC office to let them know about the multiple tracks on Olympic.

  99. Lake Louise today – Ray’s report is accurate on the atmospheric conditions.
    We skied on waxless skis from the Chateau parking down Peyto & Upper Telemark, in deep heavy wet new snow, to the Great Divide. Skied the Lower Telemark trails in 5 cm new wet snow over the barely visible track set. Slow hot work for the lead skier. When we popped up on the GD trail we found new skier set tracks that completely changed the nature of our day. Now the glide was great for all of us – but still relatively slow. We found our hard working track setters at the GD shelter – thank you again! Big wet snow flakes started falling heavily at the southeast end of Lower Telemark on the GD return. Tramline was recently groomed and gliding was good. Arrived at the Village soaked to the bone!

  100. Headed to Kimberley on Monday. Good idea at the time. Conditions both Nordic and Alpine were great Tuesday, Wednesday, but Thursday….rain. Lots of rain. Cut our trip short and came home. Hope things cool down for those heading out in that direction this weekend. If this rain turns to snow then epic weekend should occur. If not, may I suggest the Stemwinder, Pedal and Tap, or any other place of preference? Hope things improve for the Family Day weekend.

  101. Moraine Lake Road – we were not sure what conditions we’d find here, and were not optimistic after driving through light rain from Canmore to just before Lake Louise. But at LL it was 0C, and snowing lightly. We started skiing in 5cm of fresh wet snow covering the trackset, and broke trail almost all the way to the end of the grooming. Good grip on our waxless skis. After some lunch and snowman building (perfect conditions for that), we headed back on our self-groomed tracks (now enhanced by others), at slightly more than the speed of molasses in February. Couldn’t get anywhere close to scary speed down all the big hills. Big, fluffy snowflakes accompanied our return trip, until about the Fairview junction, when it became more rain than snow. +2C back at the car, and it rained/drizzled all the way back to Banff.

  102. Shadow Lake

    The trail up Redearth Creek was in good spring like condition. Some pine needles for the first 2 km. +8 at the parking lot and + 4 at Shadow Lake. Soft packed. Snow speed was low to moderate. Not much for track set tracks in the first 2 km.

  103. My first time on the Great Divide trail. I have started at noon the air temperature was +6C. My VR50 did not gripped until I got to the other end. It was Armstrong style almost all the way. Then after walking about 100m on the road I continued on Lake O’Hara road. By the way it’s strange the two trails are not connected together. Anyway from the Lake O’Hara trail-head snow was cold but the higher I went it changed to a melting type and even Skigo orange did not gripped. My glide also deteriorated dew to too much suction. I got to 3 km and gave up. Next time I will try on the skate skis. Clouds moved in afternoon and it started snowing lightly.

  104. Lake Louise seems to have been the place to be today with cold snow (at least in the am). I classic skied on wax-less (fish scales) on 1A and Lower Telemark out to the top of the Divide hill, hubby classic skied out to the Lake O’Hara end of 1A on VR55 (with very minor icing in the wind blown snow towards Lake O’Hara) Tracks were very good except for at the O’Hara end where they were filled with wind blown snow in open sections. Lower Telemark was “exciting” with occasional troublesome (read icy) tree bombs, and several tricky tight corners, but fun, and mostly good tracks. Temps +2 at 10 am, + 4 at 1 pm.

  105. MORAINE LAKE ROAD & FAIRVIEW and more – Feb 15

    This was probably the last best place to ski today.
    Conditions were great in the morning, but got warm in the afternoon.
    Even Bob must have decided that he needed to head west!
    We were very happy on waxable skis using VR50, but I think Bob chose waxless. Surprising for a guy who likes speed, as he never had a chance to catch up!
    We also skied Fairview and the Tramline to get over to the Great Divide, which allowed us to enjoy the excellent skate skiing conditions on the Great Divide (as it had just been packed).
    Until cooler temperatures return… enjoy this:!AhVZXBE7vMV7hQ6s_aYhJenhQ2bu

  106. Sundance Lodge via Healy Creek: third attempt successful today in +7 and waxless Fischers but did not share in the excellent track-setting conditions Chuck experienced recently. Only car in parking lot at 11 am. Trail varies in width all over the place and feels concave in the centre (not flat) so skiing on predominantly snowmobile track not the best experience. I have to agree with the post of Feb 11th by James of Ski Resort Operations and Management, that places like Sundance Lodge could greatly enhance the guest experience by putting in a decent x-c ski track, but this will be difficult in these warm temps. I am sure something will come to pass before the long w/e as we saw a snowmobile bringing in supplies during out ski out. No icey patches or ice flows to worry about, just soft slow snow. A gentle sprinkle of rain actually smelled nice in the forest.

  107. We skied the Cascade fire road on both Monday (13th) and Tuesday (14th)

    On Monday the conditions were excellent: hard-packed and fast. The air temp was -between 2C to 0C but the snow was colder and blue wax worked well. Skate skier passing us had big grins on their faces. It was calm, sunny, and nice! There are two ice flows on the trail (past the bridge, about 2 km and 4 km before the warden cabin) that are easily bypassed on the side of the road.

    On Tuesday it was quite a bit warmer. Conditions were good in the morning, but by midday the sunnier aspect got soft, and immediately froze up when afternoon clouds rolled in. Shadier aspects did not soften and still offer grip. While skiing out we could feel the warm breath of the chinook bearing down on us. Our dashboard thermometer read 7C in the parking lot.

  108. Hard on wax at PLPP: Started at WWL on VR40 at 9:30 am with temperature reading -6C. The new grooming to the end of Lodgepole, was icy and skied well. The tracks of Wheeler were well worn from skiers and full of pine needles. Then we found the visually impaired ski race course and went for a spin around the loops on the Elkwood campground roads. Very gentle, pleasant skiing and a new look in PLPP. Back on Wheeler and continued to gobble up pine needles to the bottom of Whiskeyjack. Scraped the complete length and width of the kick free of needles and wax and applied VR50 for the climb up Whiskeyjack. The older trackset was holding up but glazed making for a tough uphill ski. The upper S-bend was too frozen to get an edge in so it is best walked up and critical to walk down early in the day. Pocaterra was a good as it could possibly be and provided a fast decent to Lynx junction where I scrapped needles and rewaxed. Lynx trackset was holding well and the big hill is shaded, so that was good. Amos was skier track set only in 15 cm of old snow. Lodgepole and Lower meadow were newly groomed and fast but gave tricky kick in sun exposed spots. So much fun and time to spare so, more new wax (Rode violet), skied back up Lodgepole to the top of Sinclair. The Rode violet was excellent on the warming snow under the powerline but draggy in the shade of Sinclair. Suicide hill was sun softened, newly groomed and an easy decent. This beautiful sunny day ended at Pocaterra Hut where the thermometer read +1C.

  109. I found that VR 55 worked perfectly in Lake Louise today.

  110. Wasn’t sure where to ski this morning, but then saw that Goat Creek had been trackset yesterday. Decision made! What a beautiful day out. Only saw 2 other very friendly groups of skiiers all afternoon. Everyone I saw was on waxless and agreed that was the way to go. Be safe on the downhills, they’re going to be dicey after the warm spell today! First time on the new tracks this year, and I had mixed feelings. The first section (closer to Canmore) if my memory is correct, has a much narrower groomed section then it did when it was double trackset, and the single trackset is just off-centre. This makes it hard for fat bikers to avoid hitting the single trackset, and is too narrow for a pair of snowshoe-wearing folk to be side by side, or for a skate-skier to be on one side of the track. Overall, I like the idea but I think it could be improved! The tracks were okay up until the 3-5 km mark, and then they were in excellent shape. Sadly, once I got onto the “cross country skiier only” section, the freshly groomed west-bound tracks were used as a walking path for someone with what I decided was a size 7 shoe. Ah, well. Still one of my favourite days out this season!

  111. GREAT DIVIDE – Feb 14

    We have never seen ski conditions so good here, and hardly any skiers! And temperatures were perfect.
    The dog sleds are an interesting distraction, but be aware that they do a quick U-Turn at the border.!AhVZXBE7vMV7hQPidCHDKhtXNh0S
    Happy Valentine’s Day

  112. Canmore Nordic Center

    Sunny, blue sky ski between 10:30 am (0oC) and 1 pm (+5oC) on Banff, Meadowview and Bow Trails – both ways on Meadowview. The trail crew is working their magic and the snow is groomed perfectly. Reasonably fast on purple wax with great kick. The Meadowview hill (and others) are getting faster but are still quite manageable.

  113. Skate-skied Confederation late yesterday afternoon. Grooming was holding up well and was actually quite hard for the most part. There were a few squishy stretches and a couple of thin spots are developing. I expect it will be icy first thing in the morning.

    The trackset still looked pretty good in most places, maybe a bit shallow. Waxing might be tricky but skintecs or waxless should be fine.

  114. MaSid’s creation: The Couch is once again open for business at West Elk Pass. Three Couch Chicks headed out this morning @ 9:45 from Elk Pass Parking lot in a bitter wind, equipped with light touring skis, skins, gators, shovels, sit-upons, and a sense of adventure to revive Ma Sid’s spirits since he suffered a nasty fractured ankle (requiring pins and hardware) on the slippery streets in Calgary. We were overjoyed to find someone had broken trail fairly close to the couch over the w/e. We cleaned up this wonderful spot, as only three couch chicks could do and then enjoyed eating our lunch in the sunshine. Not a soul around. We broke trail further into the meadow and followed the flagging to get onto the main trail which goes down to Elk Lakes Cabin, but instead we climbed back up to Elk Pass and then to the parking lot for 4pm. Bring your favorite Valentine to share this peaceful spot, a mickey of something, and enjoy the warmth of the sun. There is a Guest Book to write in and don’t forget to send MaSid well wishes for enjoying the fruits of his labour.

    MaSid’s couch chicks

    • Happy Valentine’s Day it is, thanks to the couch chickateers. I’m grinning like a Cheshire Cat and will enjoy the sun on my balcony today with the couch and meadows in mind, pondering the concept of an adult pulk and how many would be needed for hauling. Three sounds just right so far.

      • I work with physicists and astronomers every day. There is a huge computing facility across the street, powered by hundreds and hundreds of big hungry CPUs.

        I have had someone code up the problem:

        “Three Couch Chicks haul MaSid, plus lunch, drinks and accoutrements up to the couch using an adult pulk, assuming Earth’s gravitational acceleration = 9.8 m/sec/sec, and putting in some standard values of mass for the chicks and guy? Can they make it back alive?”

        The computers are crunching away, and they tell me that we could have an answer by next week. Preliminary results indicate that the group may have to jettison one large bottle of Wayne Gretzky Cabernet Merlot VQA, or MaSid’s crutches.

        These calculations should cost the average Canadian taxpayer about $3.56 on their next assessment.

  115. Skied up whiskey jack, up over the look out to the hydro line down to fox creek and across moraine back to Bolton parking lot. Weather was spectacular as was the snow. Used VR55N and it was perfect. No recent grooming on any of it. Starting temp. -5 at parking lot ended +3. Wonderful ski!!

  116. PLPP 2017-02-12

    Did long loop in PLPP yesterday, vistor’s centre. meadow to wheeler to amos to whiskey jack to pocaterra to lynz to wolly and back.
    think it wasn’t until i hit amos that i got decent grooming. that and whiskey jack and pocaterra were excellent, the rest of the trail were a tough slog. don’t see how they’re going to track set that but if you get to the higher elevations PLPP is fantastic.

  117. West Bragg this morning. Arrived around 10am and classic skied East Crystal line, Iron Springs , Sundog, and Elbow Trails. The parking lot was already half full and the trails were softish in some places and slick in others. Had a great ski even though I didn’t have much grip. At one point I wished I had shorts on.

    My dog loved it and enjoyed rolling in another dogs poo along the way. Geez louise.
    Warm days like these always make me wish I had a pair of waxless skis as well.

  118. Canmore Nordic Centre – did an hour and a half or so this morning and it was outstanding! The trails are glorious and there were a few more people than I was expecting, but room for everyone.

  119. Update on Yoho – today stayed cloudy and temps maxed out at 0C so the snow stayed wintery and didn’t transform. Yoho forecast for tomorrow showing high of 0 so it may hold up for one more day.
    Specific trails:
    Emerald Lake trails – fair, with wonky tracks and ice showing
    Emerald Horse trail – very good, with minor debris
    Emerald Alluvial fan – well-used, and very slightly glazed, probably from the sun yesterday, but still good
    Kicking Horse River Trail – has seen very little traffic (we didn’t see any other skiers this am), clean solid tracks, excellent
    Used VR45/50 and Swix 0/-1 and 0, am and pm respectively

    • Thanks for the update. We are headed out Thursday/Friday and really hope it doesn’t warm up too much. If you ski again please post with conditions.

  120. Michael and Annalee

    Day 2 BC ski. Telemark Ski Area Kelowna. If you are looking for a fun area to ski, gotta ski here. Great trail grooming and lots of up and down trails. Great variety for skate and classic. Skated today Fern Creek and Telemark trail for 13km loop.

    • Great tips! Will be in the valley next week so intend on checking them out. (Will be hitting Sovereign Lake too …with baited breath.)

      • Michael and Annalee

        Sovereign/SilverStar is a fun combo. Nickleplate in Penticton also great.
        Also check out Dawn Mountain in Golden and Larch Hills in Salmon Arm.

  121. A great ski at West Bragg Creek this morning.
    We got to the parking lot early while the snow was still cold. The tracks are a bit worn, but VR45 purple provided excellent glide. We skied East Crystal – Sundog-Loggers-West Crystal-Moose Connector- Moose Loop south leg as far as the small meadow above the “lake”. Then we went back and skied Lower Crystal, a link and Middle Crystal back to the parking lot. By the time noon rolled around the snow was getting very soft indeed and the collembolas were out. Time for the +3 wax.

  122. Michael and Annalee

    Start of a week long ski vacation to BC XC areas. Really love Calgary area trails and BC trails don’t disappoint as well. Kelowna Nordic area by Big White had a 1meter base and fresh track setting. Great variety of trails beginner to more advanced, both classic and skate groomed. Separate snowshoe trails and canine trails for you and your pooch. Definitely worth checking it out.

  123. West Bragg Creek this afternoon. West Crystal Line/Moose Loop. The trails were hanging on, but the tracks were looking worn down by lots of traffic and warm temperatures. Some areas were getting icy.

  124. Fantastic day at shark
    I always love the variety but so glad we wore our backcountry with metal edges and took skins.
    First the steep up and down and sharp turns for the first loops out. Due to the steep up and down the trail is always tough for corners. Then we did the 5km backcountry. We broke trail and the snow is deep. Fabulous fun though downhills of course not fast and some climbs tough slogging in the snow.
    Then the last what Ridge trail. The run to the bridge is always ace. Metal edges always help. Met guys coming out from Assiniboine. Agree get packs flown out and backcountry skis with edges best for this hike! Just saying.
    Great day, snow and not cold and such variety in skiing.

  125. Cascade valley
    Great ski today- to Stoney creek- and yes, trail was trackset this am past bridge, all the way to the end. .
    Skating lane groumed throughout – even to upper Bankhead. Track not reset from bottom to bridge but still pretty good.
    Very 40 worked well starting around noon . Not busy, sunny beautiful!

  126. Shadow Lake Lodge …. WOW. What a perfect day for skiing!
    Couldn’t have been better.
    Snow was great, weather was perfect and the views were awesome.

  127. Had a wonderful ski at PLPP today with my daughter and our friends. Started on warm blue at whisky jack, moraine junction. Temperature -2. Stopped for a snack at the picnic table at the top of whisky jack entertained by none other then the whiskey jacks themselves! Continued onto tyrwhitt which was skier set but absolutely beautiful in the warm sun. Spectacular scenery makes it one of my favorites. Had a lunch break at elk pass but the cold wind kept it short. Down the choppy elk pass trail to blueberry junction then to fox creek. The kids really enjoyed fox creek (and me too!). Decided to take the new boulton creek trail as I hadn’t been on it since helping to build it a few summers ago. Lots of fun but you have to be on your toes around some of the corners! Then back to whiskey jack, moraine junction and the car. Made for an awesome 20 km loop and no complaints from the kids the whole way!

  128. Skogan Pass /Loop/Sunburst/High Level.
    I have not skied Skogan Pass for a few years, and decided to give it a try before this winter is over. A Chinook was in full force today, with super strong wind and above zero temperatures; despite that, there is very little debris on the trails, Skogan Pass below High Level is freshly groomed and trackset; very good conditions, and the tracks are holding up very well. Above that, as well as the Loop, Sunburst, and High Level are all with skier set tracks in soft snow, a bit wobbly but a pleasure to ski on. Going down from the pass was as scary as always :o)

  129. Similar report to Liz O, heading up Terrace Link from Ribbon parking lot (3rd car in at 9:30) climbed to top of Kovach, doing the little link to new Ribbon trail en route (nostalgia seeing that junction again), then down to Aspen junction where we did both the blue and green trails, then final descent of Kovach to Terrace where a lovely picnic table awaited us in the sun (and wind). While examining the new maps that Bob alluded to yesterday, the ONLY fat bike trail is the new Ribbon Trail. However fat bike tire ruts were very evident all over Aspen, Kovach and Terrace. We witnessed one lady totally fall because of one of these deep ruts. The bikes appear to want to slalom back and forth across the two directional ski tracksets. +2 at noon when the people started coming from everywhere. This is the warmest temp I have skied in this year. Tomorrow am off to West Elk Pass to hopefully find tracks to The Couch so to do some couch snow maintenance for Ma Sid. Has anyone set a track there since the big dump?

    • Skied by there today but no sign of Ma Sids trail. Probably buried and blown in during the last dumps. Will require a dedicated trail breaker to get to the couch.

    • Skied up Elk Pass yesterday (11th), looking for the trail to the Couch, but it has been completely buried, and I wasn’t willing to break trail to find it (or fall in the deep deep powder)…great day!

    • We skied a similar route at Ribbon today. As we started out a bit later, the warm sun and moderate winds made for some waxing worries at the trailhead, and the uncapping of the Start purple wax for the first time this season. Once underway- it all was good on trails and snow that remained in fine fast condition despite the springlike feel to the weather. It brought smiles to our faces to see all the families with young kids out there, including a group of Jackrabbits. We noticed the fatbike tracks as well- for the most part they stuck to the sides or centre leaving only minor tire prints of little consequence to skiers, but sometimes appeared to veer uncontrollably across the trail, often digging a bit of a trench as a result. I’m thinking maybe it would be newbies who don’t know any better- do they rent fatbikes at the village?

    • I skied Hostel loop (and part of East Telephone) last Friday. I have photos of Fat tire tracks (and post hole boot tracks) on Hostel, which is a dedicated xc ski trail, not a multi use. There is a very visible sign at the trail head and another at the junction with Telephone/Hostel Meadows. I find it hard to believe that ignorance is the culprit here, and believe that some trail users just dont want to play by the rules. I could go on about etiquette, attitude, and selfishness, but I will leave it at that.

    • Hi Helen,
      I am sorry to hear that bikers ruined what was a very good section of trail the day before. I have a feeling whoever rode this section rented the bikes from the Village and despite being told where they can and can’t go including a little laminated sign on the bike stating not to ride on the groomed ski trails. These people chose to ignore it and ruined not only the ski experience but also gives the responsible riders of fat bikes a bad reputation.


    With the update that this trail had just been trackset, this was a good choice for today.
    Here is why we were not the only ones who figured that out:!AhVZXBE7vMV7hHd5i3fKScHup2PD
    But the parking lot at Castle Lookout needs attention too!

  131. Skied from Elk Pass parking lot to Blueberry Hill today. Hardly any people out considering how nice the weather was. Not a breath of wind anywhere along our journey. The steep hill down from the hydro line to Fox Creek was scary in the morning but looked like it softened up when the Sun came around. The snow was totally mangled from that point all the way to the Blueberry Hill junction by all manner of traffic – skiers, snowshoers, dogs, ungulates, etc. It is definitely in need of some grooming. The run to and from Blueberry Hill was awesome! Skier set track and plenty of soft snow on the side.

  132. Had a lovely warm day in Yoho NP. Skied the Kickinghorse River Trail, and as Chuck reported yesterday, it is newly groomed and great. Used our R-Skins, so no issues with wax, though others told me that blue was working well. We wanted more so we then went to Emerald Lake and did the fan loop at far end. Lots of sun, good tracks, but it is starting to warm up there – above 0 at the rental shop when we left at 3 pm. Many thanks to the KHSC for the tracks!

  133. First ski trip ever to Sandy McNabb this Sunday morning, temperature just above zero. Did a series of loops on the north side of the road. Some observations:
    1) Still lots of useable snow, although south-facing hills are starting to show rocks, and west-facing trails seem to be evaporating in the Chinook winds. Trails on the eastern side have lots of snow, and even some knee-deep sections which were welcome when needing to “deploy the parachute” (see #2).
    2) Downhills were fast, and with the sharp corners Sandy McNabb trails seem to have, this was the most I have fallen in years. (Many were of the “a controlled fall now is likely to be better than ramming that birch tree at the bottom”).
    3) Many trails (more than designated multi-use trails) look like they’d been attacked by a roving group of mutinous fourth-graders. Given how many winter trails are available it was annoying to see so many skier-set tracks obliterated by boot post-holes. However, sections of Pine Ridge and Macabee were in great shape. Beware the 1.3km section of Macabee Loop; it is essentially one long toboggan run… fortunately I was climbing it rather than descending it.
    4) I don’t mind not having pristine grooming, but I’ll bet building up the runs would preserve snow longer… nice to have this alternative ski destination as a change from Bragg Creek (crowded!) and PLPP (longer drive) for those of us in Calgary.

  134. Sunday 12-Feb PLPP Pocaterra, Lynx, Packers loop

    I did a test run of the 24km Cookie Race route this morning. Pocaterra hut to Lynx is in excellent condition having been packed and groomed last night. The base still needs to firm up a bit as it is possible to break through when polling hard. Lynx to the Amos junction was also excellent. But the section along Amos to Wooley and along Meadow to the Elkwood parking lot was poor to fair for racing (it would be ok to has a slow fun ski on). A lot of it has not been packed for quite a while so there’s the usual issue of wobbly and very wandering skier set tracks to contend with, plus my poles were going down about a foot before getting any support (and then the snow drags on them as you pull them back out).

    Once you get to Wheeler there’s fresh (a day or two ago) track setting and packing, so all the problems go away. Packers was also in very good shape. The run back down Pocaterra to Lynx was nice and smooth. The return on Pocaterra and Come Along was very nice. There is an icy spot near the north end of Come Along, but it will not cause any trouble.

    There was quite a wind storm happening on the Trans Canada causing sections of much reduced visibility (due to the snow blowing) and a surprising amount of drifting onto the road was taking place. A few plows were working the Morley Flats to Jumping Pound section when I returned this afternoon.

    • I see Stephen you have a bad case of Cookie fever. Not too worry, it will all clear up in about two weeks.
      Seriously, the tracks will be set a day before the race with the special shallow type track. No need to worry about it now. The good news is there is lots of snow this year so there is no danger of cancellation unless temperature dips too low.

  135. I decided this morning to try out Bill Milne even though it hadn’t been groomed recently. Got to the Ribbon Creek parking lot at 9:30. Started off heading south to link up with the Bill Milne trail at Kovach. This was my first time skiing around Kananaskis Village and had no idea what to expect, which made for a fun new experience. The trails were windswept in the open valley, exposing the hard packed grooming below. Other sections had several cm of snow on top with the odd drift. The wind has blown some debris on the trail but no too bad. I skied to about the end of the golf course and turned around back to the parking lot. The views in the open meadow are amazing, which is why I chose this trail today.

    After a quick snack at the parking lot I skated up Terrace. The skate lane on the upper section of Terrace was not groomed, but in some cases it wasn’t too bad. Most of the time I just double poled in the tracks instead of skating. Would have been an amazing ski had the skate lanes around Ribbon been groomed since the last snow, but I can’t complain it was a great outing over all and glad I finally tried this area.

  136. Skied Cascade Fire road this morning. Snowmobile was grooming middle section of trail around 8:00am so he may have track set after I left. He laid down the track setter after the first bridge.
    Tons of snow with minimal debris despite all the wind. Tracks were a bit glazed but I had skin skis so grip was pretty predictable.
    Snow was cold but air temp was heating by 10:00am. Car was reading about 5 degrees when I left. Not many people in parking lot.
    Trail to Bankhead looked like it had been neglected for awhile and was quite soft. Beautiful day though!

  137. Confederation & Canmore Nordic Centre – I did a double-header, with Canmore late on Friday afternoon and Confederation Golf Course on Saturday morning. I always forget how beautifully manicured the Nordic Centre is relative to some of my other haunts. There was a bit of debris for the first 500 meters or so, and then it was pretty clear. Some parts were not as groomed as others, but not enough to cause me any displeasure. I took a crack at Shaganappi around 945 on Saturday morning but the parking lot was sheer madness, so I bailed and went to Confed. Also busy, with lots of parked cars and packs of people, but still manageable. All in all, I’m grateful that we have had so many options over the last few weeks, notwithstanding the inevitable melt that is looming…

  138. CNC Sunday AM -3C Rode Multigrade mixed with Vauhti Orange perfect combo.
    Skied Bow Tr. Up Grey Wolf onto Silvertip out to end. It’s Sunday and NO grooming on any of these trails! Returned on Banff Trail to meadow on groomed track trail in excellent shape. At the Mine scar /meadow I jogged up onto the middle trail Banff /Coyote . Again old grooming, wind scoured trail I can’t believe they held a race on this yesterday.
    Totally Disappointed in the CNC and the lack of grooming. Beautiful weekend, parking lot was full yesterday and again this AM. Not the way to operate a nordic facility!


    Thanks to Marilyn of the Kicking Horse Ski Club, we knew Joe would be tracksetting the Kicking Horse River Trail today… and sure enough he was. Great job Joe… Thanks.
    It was fun to meet Wendy and her group of seven, out at the Tocher junction. I was amazed when she called me by name, and then recognized Jeannette by looking at the back of that often photographed profile!
    Here’s more:!AhVZXBE7vMV7hGtMw0_goW_Z18xs
    Hope you enjoy the video

  140. Redearth Creek, Feb 11, 2017
    It looked as if there had been a bit of snow overnight, because conditions were slightly better at Redearth Creek than what Bob described yesterday. VR40 worked great, right from the parking lot and up that first hill. The actual track-setting started at km 1. The track was firm, with a dusting of snow… but why do they push the track-setting so close to the right hand edge, up against tree branches and into shrubs? And why leave that stupid ridge of unpacked snow in the middle of the trail? There is plenty of room on the trail to groom this trail properly.
    Weather was nearly perfect, with a bit more cloud and snow than sunny breaks. I managed to see one good sized avalanche coming off of Copper Mountain, which confirmed the “HIGH” avalanche hazard rating.

  141. Goat Creek – Canmore to Banff return
    Nice ski this afternoon. Trail was skier set most of the way including the banff park section (which was a bit of a surprise to me… was expecting track set… but oh well !!! it was a little slower but a good way to enjoy the day nice day). VR40/LF6 worked well the whole day but a little slippery near Banff. On the way back, ski track disappeared completely under snowshoer and walker heavy traffic for the last 6 km to the Goat Creek parking lot.

  142. Lake O’Hara for lunch.
    Yesterday’s grooming was oblitereated by the wind in several sections.
    Skier-tracked for the first 3k(?) Plus there was new snow
    Can’t say what the temp. was when we left the parking lot at 10:30. Nor the amount of fresh snow. Maybe 5cm?
    Wax wasn’t working too well on the way up but a
    layer of VR30 made for a fun, fast descent.
    Delicious lunch including dessert. Yum.
    **if you LOST a JACKET on the trail today, one of our crew will drop it off at the Visitor’s Centre in Lake Louise tomorrow.

  143. Had a great ski up the cascade fire road today with my wife and daughter. We had great kick and glide with warm blue on our skis. The trail was busy all the way to the bridge but after that it was quiet. Went in about 10km and then turned back. Tracks were a little wobbly in spots but otherwise fine. Really windy at times but with the tailwind it made for a speedy ski out! Temp was around -2 all day so the snow should be fine for tomorrow.

    • Pete’s report gives the important bits. Pat McFadden and I skied to the second bridge, pushing new snow for a goodly part of the trip past the first bridge. As it was my first time skiing this year, after more than a month in Colombia, my muscles are now talking to me. Still, it was a great day out. We did see what appeared to be cat tracks crossing the trail once so…I’m just sayin’.

  144. PLPP – mostly middle trails. Today we skied the fresh tracksetting on Whiskey Jack, Packers, and Pocaterra (WJ jct to Lynx jct). Great fun on excellent tracks covered by 1 – 2 cm of fresh snow. Touch of ice flow on Packers, hardly worth mentioning. We also skied Boulton and Moraine – skier trackset in 10+ cm of snow. Slow but pleasant, and big baskets on the poles would have helped. Moderate needles on Boulton. Lots of people out today, mostly young. -7C at 10:30 start, -4C at 15:00 end. Almost no wind. V40 worked fine.

  145. Excellent conditions at CNC today, particularly on Meadowview and Rundle trails. The artificial snow trails all have very fresh (and fairly hard and slow) grooming. Trails like Meadowview and Rundle have a (skiied in) skiff of delectable powder over good tracks, which makes them wonderful to ski. Small connector trails have quite a bit of fresh snow on top. Overall a great ski.

  146. Red Earth Creek recommendation by Bob was spot on!
    Thank you Bob for directing us to a great ski today.
    Snow conditions same as yesterday with a fresh early morning grooming starting about 1 Km from Highway.

  147. Another great day at West Bragg! At 10:30 the roadside parking was filling fast, but without bothering to drive all the way to the trailhead- we quickly found a spot near the access point at the east end of Crystal line.
    A skiff of new snow (maybe just windblown?) and temperatures of around zero made for delightful skiing, with easy waxing using VR 45, and fast glide. Trails to the south of the road remain in fine shape, although the far ends of Iron Springs and Elbow down towards Fullerton are somewhat pockmarked from foot and ‘shoer traffic. Heading back north- short sections at the most exposed spots were getting a bit glazed, but otherwise the snow remained dry and grippy despite the full on bluebird sky. Iron Creek (aka the groomers access trail) was a nice side trip on the return. All in all- one of our best xc ski days of 2017.
    One picture says it all-

  148. Goat Creek. Started at Canmore end 11 am. Temperature hovered in the -5C range, and we were protected from strong winds by the forested trail. Soft powdery skier set trails.
    Lots of glide and grip with extra blue/purple. Kamikaze hill to the bridge quite manageable with lots of forgiving snow to work with.
    Just a beautiful day of skiing. Come and get it while the good conditions are here!

    Glad to hear you finally got to do this on good conditions! -Bob

  149. Great conditions at Ribbon Creek today. VR45 took us on some fresh track setting up Ribbon, down Kovach, and along Terrace, which impressively hadn’t been walked on, scuffed up etc. We also tried an out and back on Bill Milne – much fluffier snow and limited track setting so for this trail wax less skis might be better. Parking was fully by 10 or so so we weren’t the only ones enjoying the sun and great tracks.

    • Skogan Pass
      – Lower section (from the road to Hidden intersection): icy, uphill – okay, better to avoid it on your way back.
      – Middle section: recently groomed and trackset. Superb.
      – Upper section (after High Level junction): fresh soft snow, skiers’ tracks. Great conditions!

      High Level – Sunburst: fresh soft snow, skiers’ tracks.
      Hidden – the right choice for the return vs. icy lower Skogan.

      Overall, excellent conditions, lots of snow, no hazards, safe and fast slopes, and the weather was today.

  150. Decided to go out to Sandy McNabb and give it a go with the new snow. While Ray may have been disappointed with the grooming at CNC today I was equally disappointed to see that there has been NO grooming since the last big snow fall out at Sandy McNabb. Skier set track was pleasant on Loggers and Meadow and it was nice to see that the snow shoe enthusiasts enjoyed their own trails. When I asked the Conservation Officer about grooming his responses were that the trail maintenance man was on holidays and would be gone for another week, they were under-staffed and it only snowed out there a couple of times a year! Great to see our tax dollars at work! Thank gosh for the efforts of some Parks staff and a host of volunteer groomers.

  151. CNC – MINIMAL GROOMING – Saturday February 11, 2017
    Generally very happy with grooming at CNC over the many years I have skied there. Not sure what is going on with todays management under the direction of Mr Roycroft but they really blew it today!!!! I predict the busiest day of the year with now, enough snow to totally open the whole center and warm temps but minimal grooming????? Not concerned over my ability to ski on powder tracks but no grooming for all the visitors and locals who rarely venture up there,???? There must be a reasonable excuse (I hope) to fail to provide what the paying public is expecting when trail fees are charged. Especially on a premier weekend in prime ski season. NO product today Mr Roycroft. Complaint also made directly to CNC this morning. Unfortunately he was not there in person to see my puzzled face.

    • I was surprised they hadn’t groomed Meadowview and Bow for the racers.

    • Hmmm, the CNC web site says most of the major trails were set. what trails did you ski?
      On a separate note, always puzzled me that they don’t put up a wax recommendation like they do back at Gatineau Park, which also charges.Would be nice to wax the skis before getting there.

    • Sadly I have to agree with Roy.

    • I did not buy CNC season pass this year after disappointment in the last skiing season. Not able to ski while world cup was taking place. Saying that I think not grooming when the Chinook winds blow is the correct decision. Because fresh fallen snow traps air which acts as an insulation from hot blowing winds. Also when needles fall they will be buried and will not stick to your skis and slow your speed. They also could be busy with competition setup or be short staffed.
      You should have gone to Ribbon Creek. It was freshly groomed and S-turns where delightful and I paid nothing.

  152. FULL MOON SKI – Feb 10

    2nd Ski today:!AhVZXBE7vMV7hGJg-eT2w5kQ6Ber
    Oh What a Night!

    • What a nice night for a ski! Thanks for the photos

    • I am totally envious of your ski last night!!! One would have perhaps had to “photo-shop” the moon which was hiding behind Grotto from Canmore’s vision last night. I have been wanting to have a full moon ski for a few months now and thought being up at Purcell Mountain Lodge we would get to ski Thursday night but snow snow and more snow fell. A stunning place to go and got two out of four bluebird days to see all the terrain. You have had some spectacular ski trips recently. Thanks for the great postings.

    • Hiked Prairie Mountain in the Full Moon light – not cold (-2C), cairn flag was hanging limp surrounded by lots of snow. Two of us all alone – all-in an unusual experience for Prairie Mountain.

  153. WBC, south trails, Feb 10, 2017
    I did a convoluted ski that included pretty well all of the West Bragg Creek trails, south of the parking lot. We arrived mid-morning and the parking lot was already packed! Doesn’t anybody work any more? The GBCTA and XCBC crews were out setting up for the Alberta Youth Championship XC races this weekend. The core Crystal Line trails that are being used for the events are in fantastic condition! Snow conditions were very good, with slightly warmer temperatures and wetter snow at the high points of Elbow and Iron Springs and at the sunny corner on Iron Springs. My favourite part of the day was the out and back ski on the new Iron Creek trail.
    With the Alberta Youth Championships happening at WBC on Saturday and Sunday, expect the parking lot to be jam packed all day. It is probably a good time to check out the new “Fullerton Trailhead” parking opposite Allen Bill parking lot, along Hwy #66.

    • Those are a great set of photos, Alf, but I’d sure enjoy seeing more dogs.

      • The best one today was a little Bichon Frise, bounding along at full speed, keeping up with it’s human companion, who was flying down a hill on Iron Springs trail. Way too fast to get my camera out!

  154. Just back from West Bragg Creek. They were just starting to trackset the lower core trails (they were doing the West Crystal Line loops which were excellent to come done on), so they should be great for tomorrow. Lower trails are all pretty soft. The upper West end trails have some glazing sections (especially on the North side of Moose), but very enjoyable ski overall and made for quick descents. No needles yet.

    • Lower West Crystal and Middle Crystal have been groomed for the Alberta Youth Championships which will be held this weekend. I would recommend avoiding these trails for the next two days as there will be 150 athletes doing laps for the better part of Saturday and Sunday on these two trails.
      Course marshals will be on hand to help direct traffic.

  155. very late afternoon ski from the village, so temps were probably hovering around 0. Terrace North and Ribbon Creek were fine to good, but the decent back down Kovach was absolutely magical. Finished just as darkness set in; 5 more minutes and the headlamp would have come out of my pocket.

  156. BOOM LAKE – Feb 10

    Could not believe that we had to break trail here, and we only started at 1 pm!
    Soft velvety snow, and no evidence of snowshoers… ever.
    Quiet but for the woodpecker.
    Check it out at:!AhVZXBE7vMV7hFVx1-NsIhcpwf_z
    But watch out for snow bombs!

    • Agreed Chuck! Amazing conditions. It was great to meet you on the trail! Would love to get up to Elk Lake next weekend. Text me at 403-760-9888. Larry

  157. PLPP today from Boulton Parking Lot. Wheeler to second Amos Junction, Lynx, Pocaterra and Packers. Air temperature 0C. Waxed with Asiago Super Blue 0 to -3C new snow and was a dream. Strong winds have partly filled many tracks and continued to do so throughout my over 3 hours starting at 10:45. Air temperature zero.
    There were a moderate number of needles on the track along the exposed sections of Wheeler, but abundant snow 15-20cm for the groomers to work with in the next couple of days. Track sets for visually impaired at Elkwood Campground made following Amos a challenge (I had not been on this route for a few years and the abundant groomed loops were confusing!)
    Overall slow trip having to sidestep short steeper uphills on Packers due to deep snow challenging my herringbone skills. More snow falling as I departed.

  158. Cascade Valley Friday 2pm-5pm, 0 degrees used SkiGo -1 to -9, worked well.
    Trail was very wind swept along the road and first very open area but once we were in the trees the conditions were great. Track set today over the new snow as mentioned on Banff park website to the Cascade bridge. One concern though is you can not skate ski for the first several kilometres because there is a huge ridge of snow in the middle of the trail. Looks like the problem exists where the trail is super wide- so the groomer either creates a ridge in the middle between passes or misses it all together.
    After the Cascade Bridge there was a short loop of snowmobile and then the remainder of our ski along the valley was in very good skier set tracks (over old trackset) (we only went 10km out). The snow seemed to be getting quite wet in these warm temps, seemed warmer than 0 in the valley but I don’t have a thermometer.

  159. CNC What great conditions! I have to say I had the best conditions at the Nordic Centre in many years!
    0C Snow was still cold Went with Skintecs thinking the sun would warm up the track and we’d have typical hard CNC snow that has been tilled and renovated. Single wax would have worked. Surprisingly VR 45 , Rode super Blue , Vauhti orange. Normally I go with one wax warmer than the temp… Could have had faster skis 🙂
    Skied out Banff Tr dropped down onto Bow trail and hooked back up at junction14 onto Banff trail and returned via Banff Tr to stadium, The wind picked up as I approached the stadium and dusted snow onto the trail filling the tracks 1/2 full with snow. Great ski!

  160. West Bragg Creek afternoon shift.

    Waxless was wonderful. Mountain Road, Mtn View West, Moose, Crystal were 9 out of 10.

    +2C air and -2C snow temp in a busy parking lot at 3 p.m.

    Snow fleas were out which is never a good sign; however there are negligible chinook or sun effects so far. There was ample cloud and no severe wind – so the tracks remain generally soft, dry, clean, cold. Conditions should be great again tomorrow, except for a few spots in full sun that were saturated this aft and will no doubt be glazed tomorrow a.m.

  161. Pocaterra PLPP Friday 10-Feb

    Got to Pocaterra Hut about 1030, snow temp about -3C, occasional wind gusts (no need for extra clothing, but got tree bombed a couple of times). There was about 10cm of fresh snow over the tracks of Thursday. Unfortunately this has not been groomed for a few days, so the tracks are skier set and because of all the snow over the last week they are somewhat wobbly. If you have poles with big baskets, take them along, my racing style baskets were not much use and my poles typically went down 10-20 cm on each push.

    I only went about 1.5km up Pocaterra after the Lynx junction (so 5.5 km from the hut), but that was enough with the extra effort of packing the track.

    On my way back I met about 8 people, so even if this does not get groomed on Friday night, the first part should be fine, though rough. It will be a wonderful trail once it has been packed and track set.

    I’ve got to say, I really enjoyed the feel of the silky smooth new snow, much preferred over the old and icy stuff we’ve had up to last week (or the man made stuff at CNC).

    SWIX LF6 glide wax worked very well, even though the snow temperature was a bit above the wax’s range.

  162. A big THANK YOU to the people who track set the Maple Ridge Golf Course in Calgary this week. The XC ski trail winds around the outside of the course, through trees and up and down hills, for about 6km. Two sets of tracks allow for going clockwise or counter clockwise. I spent three hours there this morning, starting out at -12°C and ending at +1°C, and, although the tracks were getting a bit worn in places, especially on the hills, it was still fantastic. What a shame the weather is warming up this week.

  163. WBC -Telephone Loop. Trackset moderate and soft: first time on this trail and with previous day’s melt off trees and very soft narrow grooming the east reach downhills were challenging. Wouldn’t t recommend beginners. However, a beautiful run from top end down the west leg to mtn was most enjoyable and more firm (flatter groom and more even track). **If interested in escaping crowds there this w/e, I would recommend maybe a there-and-back on that west leg up-creek. BTW: First one to parking lot at sunrise and by 1130 parking was a ways down road …yikes!! Makes me wonder if we need another multi use area or enhanced trial head development & maintenance at Sandy Mcnabb perhaps¿?

    • Telephone Loop is definitely not for beginners. There are warning signs at the Hostel and Moose Loop ends to that effect. Telephone Loop was designed by Don Gardner to be the most technically challenging XC ski trail in Kananaskis Country.

      • didn’t think it was THAT technical but given variable iced up track with deep freshness early in the morning there no room to plow on hair pins turns. Definitely get serious speed in the trees. I thought it was mearly a hiking trail converted. I consider myself a strong intermediate and was humbled with seasons first couple spills -but no worse for wear.

        • I’ve bent a pole, smacked my skull, and inhaled a good quantity of snow on Telephone in past seasons. Fortunately, not today. It was great to see fresh tracksetting about 100 meters from the north Hostel loop junction and although a few spots were icy, the majority of East Telephone was in great shape this morning. Now I have a name for my previous misery. Don Gardner. Thanks Alf.

  164. Bowness Park is groomed and trackset!!!
    This is the first time I have ever seen this, and the west end of the park sports a plethora of groomed, trackset trails! It was surprisingly cold in the valley at 11 am, and I measured the snow temp at – 9 C in the shade, – 5 C in the sun.
    Now if only winter would stay a while…….

  165. Spray River
    Yesterday – beyond Sundance connector trail.

    Trackset ski trail from Banff Springs Hotel to Goat Creek is excellent although some skate skier hacked up a bunch of the track in the evening. Beyond the trackset, re-broke an existing straight trail. Boot top trail breaking. Snowing lightly in the evening.

  166. WBC-West Loop, Feb 9, 2017
    The West Bragg Creek parking lot was already full by mid-morning and skiers and snowshoers were rewarded with great conditions… although the snow was generally a bit too deep and soft for fat-bikes.
    It was about -3 C when I started out on West Crystal Line and Moose Loop. Just past the Mountain View West junction, you could feel a moderate west wind and waves of warm air. CHINOOK! Within a few hundred metres, the temperature went up to about +5C and the wax was no longer providing enough grip. I added a bit more wax, but counted on double poling and herringboning to get me up to the high point of the trail. The descent to Mountain Road was fast and you could feel the wind abate and the temperature drop, as you headed east. Along Mountain View and West Crystal Line, the snow was colder and the wax worked again. So… it looks as if the Chinook didn’t impact the core trails nearest the parking lot.
    As JT noted in his report, Telephone Loop was been packed and groomed today!
    Great conditions. Get it before the Chinook returns!

    • Moonlight Ski at WBC!
      I went out last night around 7:30 pm and am pleased to say that it was still in great shape! Chinook air was prevalent in areas but by and large the snow was firm with the odd crusty spot. Hostel Loop was fun and fast! Next was East Crystal and Iron Spring which were holding up nicely. By 9:00 pm the only ones left in the parking lot was just God, me, and the snow angel grooming the trails! Get out there this morning if you can.

      P.S. Bob I truly appreciate this site.

  167. Goat Creek Trail: Canmore to Banff

    My friend and I left from the Goat Creek Trail head around 11:30 am. One skier had been out ahead of us, giving us a perfect track to follow, over several cm of fresh snow. It was heaven! We met him a few km down the trail, with two off-leash dogs: SHAME!

    Shortly after that, we met the Parks Canada groomer who was packing down the trail prior to grooming. He apologized that he would soon be obliterating our skier-set track. No worries! After he past us, the going was still great on the snowmobile track. It was like skiing on pillows! He past us again a few km later, packing down the other side of the trail. The big descent down to the bridge was easy today! We ate lunch the other side of the bridge.

    A few km along, we met two skiers heading the opposite direction so once more had some ski tracks to follow in. The snow fall increased steadily as the day went on. The PC groomer past us again, this time grooming the trail.

    We got to the Banff Springs Hotel around 3:30 pm. There was so much snow, we skied on the road in front of the hotel, down to the road leading to the golf course, then skied the trail beside the Bow all the way to the traffic bridge. Finally, we took our skis off, walked to the regional bus stop at the high school and took the bus back to Canmore.

    And epic day on the trails!

    • Thanks for the detailed info about Goat Creek Mandy.
      We’ll give it a try Saturday with our car shuttle, hoping snow conditions hold.

  168. Skied Maple Ridge again tonight at 7pm. Looks like it has been getting a lot of traffic. Tracks are holding up well, and were very fast today! Green V20 wax worked well again. Great skiing in the city!

  169. Hearing all the great reports about WBC headed out after work. Temperature rose near Priddis from -6 to +2. Dropped slightly to +1 in the WBC parking lot. Added two layers of VR45 which gave me generally great grip and glide around the Moose Loop. Tracks on mountain road were a little beat up but very fast. On Moose Loop in general the snow was excellent but there were a few icy sections where snow dripped out of trees or where the sun had some late afternoon melting effect causing me to herringbone a couple hill’s suggesting that VR50 may have been a better choice for the hills but overall the 45 gave me amazing glide. Put on the headlamp at the far picnic bench and with the almost full moon had a wonderful ski back to the parking lot.

  170. PLPP today: Snow, snow beautiful snow. Started at the Discovery Centre in air temp of -13C on VR40 which worked well all day in the snow covered tracks. Lower Meadow ungroomed with 25 cm snow over the most recent tracks. Broke trail in 25 cm snow south on Lodgepole to Canyon road where we picked up last nights grooming topped with a skiff of new snow making for fast gliding. Connected with Wheeler to find skier tracks in 5 cm snow to Boulton Trail. Best ski ever on Boulton with clean soft snow 2 cm deep over recent grooming. Moraine heading north had deeper snow over recent grooming but the skier tracks were wavier due to more traffic than Boulton. The link from bottom of Whiskeyjack to Amos was deep in ungroomed snow. Amos had 2 cm of snow and good skier tracks and ditto for Lynx, Pocaterra, and Come Along to Rolly Road junction. A school group had just skied Rolly Road so it was pretty chopped up with several bathtubs on their down hills. So nice to see young folks out xc skiing and looking like they were having fun. -5C and snowing steadily at Pocaterra Hut as we finished the day.

  171. Urban skiing at its best! Warmed up this morning with a few quick laps on the Shaganappi Golf Course. Great to see a junior high school group getting out on their skis! Then jumped in my car for a drive to the Confederation Golf Course where I found excellent track conditions. Did a few laps of the West Loop, then a few around the East Loop, before finding my way back to 19th Street where I walked over to connect with the Canmore Park trails which were trackset as well. A couple dozen folks skiing on Confederation Golf Course, but I was the only skier at Canmore Park. Temperature was around -8 to -6 C, and the V30 worked well. Great to get out on the skis even if you can’t leave the city.

    • So are the trails set at Confederation golf course and park? Was there before the deep freeze and snow and the conditions were pretty sparse. Just wondering if the trails for classic are worth it instead of driving out to Canmore. Missing not being able to whip over to Winsport for freshly groomed trails!

      • Had an early eve outing just for a quick hour and skiid every segment I found on both Confed and Canmore. Honestly those were the best conditions and tracks I have ever skiid in at these locations. Total distance just over 10km which included a few short double backs. Yes most of it is trackset. Used the skintec waxless which mostly worked well. Snow seemed slow but my glide wax is in serious need of a reapplication. When packing up at 630pm the parking lot was full. Very popular place.

  172. With all the new snow falling and a little tired of how slow my human tends to walk I convinced him to do the dog walk on skis. Having never seen skis before I spent the first few minutes chasing and doing my bet to catch the ski tips as they moved like a rabbit through the snow. Bored with that we headed off following the river along the river pathway down towards the sewage treatment plant. The road was in great shape about 3″ of new snow over a nice firm base. Now we’re talking running at full speed the wind in my ears new snow in my enormous nose we zoomed passed the plant and into the woods. Along the river following a horse trail the snow was deep and clean with lots of room to run. Forgive my enourmous snowshoe like paw tmarks in the track I promise I’ll learn to do better the next time. All and all it was a wonderful hour long walk and ski right outside our door.

  173. we started today at WBC at 11 AM with -8C, it was going great on excellent snow and grooming/tracking, around 12:30 PM while at Mtn View West high point, strong Chinook started and within minutes temperature raised so fast we lost almost all grip, we didn’t have any wax for plus temperatures so we struggled a bit back to parking lot, luckily it was mostly downhill, it was +2C and hardly any wind when we finished at 2PM

  174. Had a spectacular ski around the telephone loop this morning at WBC. All groomed with very very few rocks / stumps showing however there is a few on some of the downhill sections so be careful. All in it was awesome!

  175. With reports of brand new grooming on Skogan Pass, we had to get out and do it today. As Bob mentioned, there was an ice flow right at the get-go at Ribbon Creek Parking Lot, but we easily carried our skis around it and made tracks in the new track set which had about a half cm of new snow in it. There was a section of deep snow and no track set where the Lower Skogan Pass trail goes across the bottom section of Nakiska, so we accessed the rest of Skogan via Troll Falls and Ruthie’s Trails (had forgotten how much UP there is on Ruthie’s!) We were the first ones out this morning on the Skogan Pass trail and found it a bit tiring, given the skiff of new snow. The thought of all the fast downhill kept us going to the Skogan Pass summit. (We were passed by only one swift skier near the summit and on our way down, encountered a group and a few couples, but not many people out today.) After lunch, the snow started up a little heavier, and, as we headed down, the steep sections surpassed our expectations for being ‘gasp worthy’. We skied part way down and then turned to go up High Level Trail so as to get some speed on the Sunburst downhill section. This one was pretty good, but a few ‘trench-ridges’ that crossed the steepest part of the downhill trail elicited a couple more gasps. The best part of all the downhill was that we met absolutely no one on those fast stretches. The Screamer lived up to its name, but I prefer the section above it, which was even Screamier today, with better sight-lines so you can see if people are coming uphill and adjust your speed accordingly. No adjustment needed today! Good tracks , except for the upper 2 kms. which were quite drifted in with blown snow. Temp. -5 to start and -2 at end.

  176. OK folks :
    Finally some skiing at CNC, the whole complex has excellent trails everywhere but this morning there was at least 4 to 5 Cm of new snow, consequently it was slow and windy going west; temperature around -3 to -5 and very few people: I skated and it was hard to go up the hills particularly the hard one near the clubhouse but coming down it was safer with all the new snow.
    Hopefully after the snow that it is coming, they will pack the natural trails to preserve them from the upcoming Chinook and let’s cross our fingers because if it doesn’t melt much, it will be FANTASTIC !
    Happy skiing to all of you and please post photos of our beloved wildlife if you have the privilege of the encounter: By the way, I crossed ways with a wolverine 10 days ago on Pocaterra, same place as it occurred 3 years ago: What a feeling!

  177. South Glenmore Park
    24 St. and 90 Ave. SW. To my surprise there has been some excellent grooming done. Great for doing some skate skiing, Nice and wide.

  178. WBC Hostel Loop
    As mentioned in other reports, the conditions at West Bragg Creek are excellent. Hostel Meadow and Hostel Loop are simply beautiful right now. These trails start right behind the Trails Centre-Warming Hut.

    • Alf, are there plans to connect Iron Creek’s dead end to any other trails somehow?

      • No plans to connect Iron Creek to other ski trails at this time. This is part of the Trans Canada Trail, between Bragg Creek and Barrier Lake. As with the High Rockies Trail in the Spray Valley, it’s part of the cross-Canada trail, but for day users, it’s an out and back. It is a lovely ski as a side trip from an Iron Springs Loop.

  179. Skied Cascade Valley to Stoney Creek today. It was a bit slow in the morning (-23C at the parking lot), but it gradually improved to sweet -11 in the afternoon. The freshly groomed track was nice and crisp and the mountains with all the fresh snow were as beutiful as they can ever be. We waxed polar with just a dab of green – no problems.

  180. CNC: As Bob says pristine conditions. We were pressed for time so only skied up BANFF trail to end of the mine scar then returned via the middle of the scar Which is either Banff Tr or Coyote on the maps. Watch out where Coyote and Banff Tr Spilt junction 81. The wind has stripped the snow and the tracksetter has dug up gravel and dirt . One of the tracks is gravel not snow. No a big problem to avoid but this will persist for the rest of the winter or until the next dump. -10 C with VR 40 working.

  181. Michael Le Feuvre

    Feb 8 afternoon at Confederation Park.
    Skied classic at Confed and the conditions were excellent! I skied the outer loop which wasn’t groomed the last time I was out. There is some grooming for skate on the driving range loop and on some of the other trails but it is less extensive than classic. VR30 worked great. -12 C.

    • I skied both classic loops today (yellow and blue, I think) and they’re trackset and conditions are excellent. Canmore Park has not been trackset but FNC said they may get to that in the very near future.

      Snow farming on the training loop tonight added a lot of snow to the training loop. More snow farming will be done tomorrow on I think some targeted areas of the various trails.

  182. Cave and basin- Healy creek- Brewster creek
    Skied cave to Healy mid day.
    Lots of fatter skies, walkers on sections to junction of Healy creek trail.
    Better after that. Single track comes and goes and lots of skidoo trips.
    However it appears there’s a set track up Brewster creek! Only went up 50 meters. Bit of fresh snow in it but looked fine.

  183. Only -13 @ WBC this afternoon, although the snow must have been a lot colder VR30 delivered tremendous grip but little glide. Skied mountain road, Moose Loop, West Crystal, Loggers Loop and Sundog. all groomed and track set, great conditions. So happy to be making a trip report after being laid up with a torn calf from downhill skiing, that teach me, all good again now 🙂

    • We were there this afternoon too, and it was superb! I measured the snow temperature to be about – 10 C at 2:30 pm, which surprised me. Conditions were fast and fun!
      I desperately hope that the weather forecast is completely wrong :-/

  184. Skied the Maple Ridge Golf Course today. Absolutely beautiful and I was happily surprised by how big the loop around the outside is. I skied for just over an hour on one loop without backtracking….in the bright sun and blue sky.

    Praying the weather forecast changes and it won’t get as warm as predicted in Calgary soon.
    I’ll send a photo to Bob and see if he can post it for all to see.

    • Rhonda, I skied Maple Ridge with my husband tonight and he tracked our ski – the entire outer loop is exactly 5.99 km! Great ski tonight on some green wax. Hopefully it sticks around and survives the warm weather.

  185. Skied Shahanappi golf course this morning and had the place to myself for two hours. Lot s of snow, tracks are not that deep and there has been the occasional foot traffic but it was still really nice. My favorite is skiing along the lower north edge of the course and then continuing on skier tracked trails across the foot bridge. The views of downtown and the Bow River are spectacular!

  186. West Bragg Creek- skied WBC starting at noon today. Jeff and Dave, WBC groomers, were all smiles as they told us that all trails were tracked set (other than trails maintained by the Park like Telephone, not sure on status). We skied West Crystal, Loggers loop, Iron Spring, Elbow and Sundog. All trails are perfectly groomed, many are double tracked, clean no debris. Weather was -16c at noon and -10c a few hours later. Green wax worked well at the start but was starting to loose grip towards the end of the day. I recommend WBC !

  187. Spray River – skied east and west side, with several kms to the south added on. Started near Noon at the golf course (-19C), and skied south on the east side in skier set tracks in about 5cm new snow since the last tracksetting. Slow but very pleasant; lots of deer tracks in one area, After reaching the bridge and junction with the west side, we skied south for about 1/2 hr before turning around. This section was skier tracked in about 10cm of fresh snow – pleasant skiing. We returned to Banff on the west side – pretty good skier tracks except, as usual, a mishmash near the hotel. -11C at the end. Note – skate skiing would be difficult, as there was no grooming in the skating lane between the tracks – just all that fresh snow.

  188. Confederation G.C. Went for a ski around lunch today. Tracks are still in great shape. Even though it was -16C when I finished, the sun was shining brightly and there was little wind. Definitely a little warmer than yesterday’s jaunt there.

    They are doing some snow harvesting on a small portion of a trail on the west end so yesterday’s grooming there was covered with piles of snow. But kudos for the snow preservation efforts in anticipation of the coming warm-up.

  189. Skied Nose Hill yesterday, starting from my house in Dalhousie by skiing through alleyways and taking off the skis at the Shaganappi/John Laurie intersection (although the pavement was so icy I probably could have skied it).

    Conditions were excellent with easy trail breaking through the new snow. Ski pen was 10-15 cm. The temperature was -20C when I started at 2 pm, and dropped to -24C after sundown. Green wax worked well.

    There were a few snowshoe and boot tracks, and by the end of the day I crossed a couple of ski tracks as well. But for the most part it was untracked and very beautiful. There is a slight surface hoar in the gravel pit. It was amazingly quiet up there, with the new snow muffling the constant rumble that our city produces.

    I encountered a porcupine, spotted a coyote, and observed at close range the whitetail deer herd that resides in Porcupine Valley. Alas, no lynx…

  190. Tuesday feb 7: couch maintenance volunteers needed.
    Need to pass on the torch for the season. Broke my ankle crossing the street, complements of a polished slippery street rut in calgary. Looks like I’m out for the season. Would hate to see the effort to date go to waste. Doesn’t need much really. Was planning on a visit Wednesday to “unbury” it. If that doesnt happen shortly, it might just disappear. Anyone interested in keeping the couch alive, maybe send bob a note to forward on to me by email. Thanks in advance and happy skiing!

  191. Evan-Thomas:
    The Evan-Thomas – Wedge – Bill Milne loop is back — yahooooooo!! It is all groomed except for a short section down to the new bridge over Evan-Thomas Creek. Now if only we could convince people not to walk in the ski tracks!
    I saw surprisingly little snow in Barrier Lake area. There were a couple of cm fresh over the afore-mentioned grooming, with quite a few snow bombs and a few needles here and there. It was cold and slow, but we were not bothered by wind at least, and it was a beautiful day to get out 🙂

  192. Does anyone know how many km’s of trails both Confederation park and the Maple Ridge Golf Course have for skiing?


    • Here is what I have off my GPS for Classic Trails at Confederation:
      Yellow Loop (east side) – 1.88km
      Blue Loop (west side) – 2.14km
      Milky Way (driving range) – 0.67km

      • Thanks John, that’s helpful.

        • Rhonda – there are quite a few big and small loops at Confed. Last year, one evening, I did my best to ski as many of the various groomed portions as possibly without repeating and managed about 10km. Hopefully can do this again one evening this week.

    • Skiing the perimeter of the golf course is about 5 km. That does not include the area down the hill by Deerfoot Trail that is often skiable as well.

      • Janice Perry’s description is for Maple Ridge GC. Down the hill and along Deerfoot to Anderson adds approximately one more km.

  193. West Bragg Creek ski trails: -25C in the parking lot at 10:00 am. Waxed with polar (the old white) and started on East Crystal Line in snow so cold there was no glide. Plodded along to connect with Sundog and Loggers to get up and find some sliding down. It was there but so slow one could ski parallel down to West Crystal Line. Skied west to access Middle Crystal Line and back to the warm shelter in the parking lot. All these first trails were groomed and soft making for slow skier tracks. Following lunch, with the temp at -21C, went looking for sun on Mountain Road, Moose Connector, Moose Loop and returned to the parking lot on Mountain Road. Picked up a good skier track out bound on Mountain Road and followed it all around in the warming afternoon. On this west loop track we were able to kick and glide. End of ski temp was -16C at 2:30pm.
    Met Jeff in the parking lot and learned they track set West Mountain Road and other trails and were heading off to do Hostel Loop. Look for Jeff’s grooming report.
    WBC ski trails should be perfect tomorrow.

    • West Bragg Creek
      I got to WBC just after Keith left. It was -16C to start, but it was -26C, when I finished in the brilliant moonlight. Excellent conditions on lower Sundog, East Crystal, Middle Crystal, West Crystal, MountainView, Mountain Road, Moose Connector and West Crystal Line. The “Chickadee Lake” ice flow is no longer a problem. It has been covered by 25cm of snow has been groomed smooth and firm. Only the top 10cm of the picnic table is now visible above the snow. With somewhat milder temperatures on Wednesday, conditions should be amazing!


    Third day in a row that I have guessed the correct grooming location!
    Today it is the Cascade Valley which is being trackset for YOU.
    The snow is soft and slow, but who cares when it looks like this:!AhVZXBE7vMV7hEk4plmOxNdjsNOQ
    I did not see another soul all day!
    Secret = Tomorrow is the day to ski to Stoney

  195. Confederation Park- the clean tracks make-up for any cold and waxing is simple …something green or old school white works just fine. And you can ski on your good skis, put away the rock skis for the next week or so!!!

  196. South Calgary xc skiers rejoice! On my way home from work, I saw that the City of Calgary has groomed Maple Ridge Golf Course. It’s double track set and it also looks like no one has skied on it yet!

    I won’t have a chance to ski tonight, but I’ll be going tomorrow and will give you a new update in the evening.

    • Michelle do you know how many km’s of ski trails are at Maple Ridge?

      • Hi Rhonda, to be honest I’m not sure. The City doesn’t have the trail mapped out. My best estimate is 5-7 km worth of trails – depends on how many different paths they groom. I usually spend just over an hour there doing the big loop that goes around the outside edge of the golf course. Highly recommend you try it out…terrain is great and it doesn’t seem to be as busy as Confed or Shaganappi.

        • That sounds like it’s worth trying Michelle. I only have a few hours today so I don’t have time to head to the mountains. I like the sound of the big loop around the outside. I’ll let you know how it is.

          Cheers and thanks

  197. Canmore Nordic Center

    A cool, -18oC, ski this afternoon on the new snow Canmore received over the past days. Up Olympic, onto Meadowview with a warm up stop in the Meadow Hut. Back on Banff Trail. Conditions are excellent and cannot wait for a warmer day tomorrow to ski all the natural snow areas. Snow was a bit slower due to the lower temperatures.

  198. Jean-Francois Richy

    Confederation Golf Course. Minus 23 this morning at 9:00am and I was the only skier. For classic, both west and east loops have been trackset and are in pristine conditions. Canmore park has not been groomed but you can follow skier tracks.
    Enjoy while it lasts!

  199. Hi,

    Does anybody have any intel on Sandy McNabb? It doesn’t look like any new grooming has happened, but I’m assuming that they got just as much snow as most other places did. Thanks!

  200. SUNDANCE and HEALY CREEKS – Feb 6

    It’s not often that you can ski these trails in pristine conditions… but today it came together:!AhVZXBE7vMV7hDkkvAdMC1vnqDon
    I even saw a beautiful Pileated Woodpecker, but unfortunately my camera battery was frozen by then!

  201. Snow-cation anyone?

    I’ll bet that both Confed and Shag will be in great shape soon. How long might it take for a grooming/tracksetting?

    On my wish list for the trails (or grooming) : the ability to “mapmyski” based on route taken which would then calculate both distance and vertical.

    • Hi RichieRich,

      Have you tried using the strava app (on a phone or other GPS device) when you ski?

      I can get speed, distance, and elevations from it. Not sure how accurate…


    • The groomer was working on the trails at Shaganappi today when I went by (around 5:30 pm).

    • I use a Garmin watch that tracks speed, distance, and route. It downloads to my PC and maps route on Google earth.

    • Allow me to clarify my 3rd comment regarding “mapmyski” – What I meant was *PRIOR* to heading out on a ski, whilst planning ones route, it would be very handy to determine distance/vertical.
      This would enable one to “hit the spot”, for example, if one wanted a 10km, 15km, or even 30km ski that day. For example, if I know my average speed is 12km/hr and I only have 2hours to ski due to other commitments, then I can plan my route accordingly.
      At present when I ski in PLPP it’s a real PIA to try to add up 10-15 segments in ones head, especially when there may be multiple iterations. Ditto for CNC or really anyplace where one can do multiple trails, multiple directions, sometimes multiple times per outing.
      At present I do use my Garmin and download post-outing, then nerd-out looking at pace, route, heart rate, etc…

      There, hope that helps explain my frame of reference when asking about a mapmyski. thanks all though for the responses!!

    Tracksetting will be complete on Sundance within a few hours

  203. Hi. In spite of being slightly spooked by CBC warnings to stay off the roads yesterday, we went to Bragg Creek and skied for just over two hours. Groomers were out, but it was snowing so much that it was hard to keep up. We did the Moose loop and by the time we got back on the ‘main track’, the groomed trails were partially covered again. It was still gorgeous, with great big melt in your mouth snowflakes and the roads weren’t that bad after all; we just had to drive carefully and slowly. No debris on the trails and poles were ever-so-slightly hitting ground. With last night’s snow, it’s probably even better today.

  204. With an accumulation of close to 15 cm in our Silver Springs backyard- a Sunday afternoon urban tour was in order. Following a mix of ski and foot tracks, and a fair bit of untracked terrain- I looped around the Birthplace forest, through the golf course, and then skied a circuit in Bowmont Park, before returning home after an enjoyable 2 hour outing.
    Ski conditions were generally quite good, but some of the untracked stuff was a bit tedious where the underlying old surface presented breakable crust or lumpy ice beneath the new snow- somewhat ironically, the fastest skiing was often on the smoother paths left by the dog walkers.
    As noted above- others had already been out ahead of me on skis, and I encountered at least a half dozen other like minded souls along the way. Who says xc is in decline?

  205. GOAT CREEK TRAILHEAD from BANFF and back – Feb 5

    Thanks to the Banff Park Trail Report, we knew that the Spray had been trackset Feb 4, and were pleasantly surprised to find the Banff Tracksetter again at the Spray trailhead today on Feb 5. He was heading out to the Goat Creek end, and we were quick to follow:!AhVZXBE7vMV7hDFg9MHyBuUjeASx
    Everyone was out early enjoying the newly set Spray West, but I continued for the fresh tracksetting to the Goat Creek trailhead.
    Tomorrow will be another amazing day.

  206. Pocaterra

    There was some nice new snow (about 40cms?) at Pocaterra today! Winter wonderland. I did some trail breaking on the Pocaterra trail up to the Lynx junction, luckily there were 6 people a little behind me which produced some really nice tracks! It made the glide back to the hut a lot easier. I used polar ski wax but I think Green may have provided better results. I had to shovel snow to get out of my parking spot and a couple of cars needed some pushing to get out. Nice blanket of snow. What a treat to see all that snow come down. Sweeeeeet!

  207. Hi,
    Does anyone know if the trails at West Bragg creek, or Cascade Fire road will be groomed by tomorrow? I’m hoping to go but thinking they might wait until all the snow in this system has fallen.

    Thanks, Rhonda

    • Hi, Rhonda. I was at West Bragg yesterday morning and groomers were out, but it was snowing so much that they could barely keep up. All the same, you can kind of see the tracks and it’s fabulous out there. Go for it.


  208. After a few days on the fat bike it was time to get back on the skis with all this fresh snow.

    Bye, bye pine needles on the Spray Loop! The parks tracksetter was just leaving as I pulled in to the parking lot at 3pm. Spray west was really nice, spray east was very slow (I was the second one on the fresh tracks) but in great shape. Their are a couple of small ice flows that are easy to get around.

    Skiing is back in Banff!!!

  209. Confederation Park has a good snow coverage, no hazards visible. Tracks are skier set quality. Temperature was around -14C. Falling snow conditions called for Rode green for kick wax. No golf balls encountered only families with happy kids.

  210. Jean-Francois Richy

    Went to West Bragg Creek this morning, temperature was -18 and no wind. We skied Sundog, Elbow and returned through Iron Springs. We had to break trails in 15+cm of fresh snow until we met another skier on Iron Springs.

  211. Skied west Bragg this morning at -17 and tons of new snow.
    Mountain road to Tom snow has been resurrected and parking lot was filling up as I left at 10:30.
    Trail crews were out grooming as I left.
    Conditions should be amazing for the next few days.
    Drive safe!

  212. Hit a bucket of balls at the driving range yesterday. No, seriously. Was skiing at Confederation in Calgary and with the melt and new snow, the coverage was good but just skier tracks. I hit a group of 50 or so buried golf balls on the driving range and fell over. Still, golf ball skiing is better than no skiing! Good snow coverage, and more on its way!

  213. PLPP 2017-02-04

    Skied from Pocaterra Hut on Saturday. Great conditions with the new snow. Cold at -17C but no wind, so once body warmed up, it was really nice!! and not too busy.

  214. Rummel Lake, Feb 4, 2017
    It was a nice treat to break trail up to Rummel Lake in 20cm of new snow. Skiers/snowshoers have packed down good alternative alignments to worst parts of the High Rockies Mountain Bike Trail, so it was a pleasant tour in to the lake. The snowpack off of the main packed route is still too unsupportive for reliable touring or turns. There are spots where you can tour along for several metres at a time, but then the base suddenly gives way and you sink into the facets. There were lots of snowshoers along the trail, as we skied out and a big group of young folks trying to make turns in the upper cut-block area.

  215. Lookout, Tyrwhitt, Elk Pass
    A beautiful day with little wind, -16 C, easy waxing and 25 cm of wonderful light fluffy covering Lookout and Trywhitt trails. Side stepping and herringboning up steep west side of Lookout was slow going. A bumpy trip down east side as herringbone tracks covered width of road. Little traffic on Tyrwhitt with soft skier set tracks. Elk Pass trail much easier to ski with its 5 cm of new snow over grooming. Snowing lightly all day.

  216. Our first Lunch for 11 Meanderthals at Lake O’Hara and it was fantastic powder all the way!! $22 included homemade soup and delicious bread, a great salad and exquisite dessert, tea/coffee. It was truly a highlight to be so warmly greeted by and waited on by their wonderful staff, but it is first come first served. Last year they had to turn people away due to the popularity of the lunch. Really nice to chat with Alison again and nothing felt better than standing in front of that amazing fireplace. Green wax worked perfectly, walking up the hills, and even provided some good glide. Roads were better than we’d anticipated and temp was basically -15 all day.

  217. Skied Mt. Shark 10km loop today. The snow dance paid off, lovely conditions with the fresh and fluffy snow! Was about -16 for the afternoon. -10 to -20 wax was working perfectly. Trailhead pretty quiet as I am sure some of the highway conditions are not great. Take your time if you drive the Spray as there are some icy sections just under the snow so it’s easy to slide off the road if you are driving too fast.

  218. Elk Pass to Elk Lake Cabin
    -18 C at start and 15 at End.

    2 cm of new snow on track, light snow coming down. GH on waxless worked really well. The rest of us used VR30 worked well until last 4 k then became a little sticky. Tried to go through meadow but about 20 cm new snow trail we could not see track so back to trackset. At gate we ran into fresh snow on the trail could not see the trail but forged on 20 cm again until we hit road into campground then approximately 5 cm on road. Good day but tiring as ski out the snow was still pretty soft and was snowing big fluffy flakes.

  219. Skied west crystal line and moose loop at west bragg today. A few thin spots and one big ice flow on moose loop but otherwise fine. Downhills were a bit chilly on the cheeks though! Lots of people out enjoying the fresh snow despite the cold.

  220. I had a very enjoyable ski on green wax and soft snow at West Bragg this afternoon, on middle west crystal-moose connector-mountain road-mountain view-loggers-crystal east and sundog loop. Surprisingly, conditions were better than expected- good to very good for the most part, with some minor thin areas, and occasional pole deflecting ice under the new snow. All those trails and more have been groomed, with much of the track setting still well defined and in good shape after Warmageddon. The only hazards of note were some very thin spots in two places on mountainview, which are easily mitigated by skiing it from W to E, and an ice flow at “the dip” on sundog west that was skiable with caution.
    It wasn’t crowded in the parking lot, but I encountered plenty of skiers on the trails- my observation is that xc skiing is doing quite well.

  221. PLPP middle section. The first part of my report is to the tune of ‘Good King Wenceslas’
    Ray and Mary forth they went, road reports believin’,
    When the snow lay round about, deep and soft and even,
    Minus seventeen degrees, didn’t chill our spirits
    And the snow fell gently down, in the wintry sea-ea-son.

    So glad we got out today, as it turned out to be not too cold and the roads were fine. We started at William Watson Lodge parking and made tracks in the 5 cm of new snow to Elkwood Parking, where we met members of Hikers (Skiers?) Unanimous with whom we used to hike and ski. Nice to chat with them, and have five people go ahead of us to polish up the tracks! We skied along Wheeler to the top of the Wheeler to Boulton connector, where we turned around and returned via Amos to WWL, where we had lunch in a warm environment. After, we skied Lodgepole, past the Visitor Centre and along Meadow back to WWL. Since we have been having trouble with glide lately in the cold weather, we both used some old green wax we had in our kits and we literally flew down the tracks. New snow depth at the end was 7 cm. and still snowing. 🙂 All tracks were great, after people had skied in them, but being first ones out was better exercise!

  222. Skied Spray river west today till 2k after junction with Spray River east. Only 3 cars in parking lot. Started at 11;30 am when the park tracksetter just finished his job.
    The first few hundreds meters were a bit thin coverage with few pine needles but the glide is good> All you need is glide….and love,isn’t it ?…
    After that it was shangrila! Sun was glimmering through a veil of light snowflakes , snow coverage was perfect, fresh grooming and tracksetting all the way,aqua blue river and only a dozen of skiers . Where is everybody? Was Bob hosting another wine and cheese that I didn’t know about ? The action is back ,folks!

  223. Whistler – Lost Lake. Friday Feb.3rd
    After 4 fantastic downhill ski days (Whistler is magical) and a nice fall of light fresh snow on Thursday night, I (again this year) went and rented some x-country waxless for a great day of x-country around the Lost Lake trails of Whistler on the last day of my annual visit. Earlier in the week, I went for a look, but conditions were very poor and icy. 12 cm Thursday night fixed that up, and I had a great three hours on some decent skier set tracks. The Lost Lake trails are quite similar to the CNC, and they strive to do an equally good job with their grooming. Everything is extremely well marked, and laid out, and there is a fantastic variety of green, blue, and black options. It was nice to see only a few dozen people, instead of the 12,000 or so “up” on the two mountains. Tired legs after my 8pm flight home, had me looking for the airport golf cart lady back at YYC. 🙂

  224. Blueberry Hill- Friday Feb 3
    11:30 departure to Blueberry Hill today, -16º, hard-pack with needles and pine cones. Within ½ hour it had started to snow and we had a bit of fresh to help with the traction. By 1:00pm there was about 4-5 cm new snow on the Blueberry Hill Trail, snowing steadily all afternoon. Conditions kept improving with each cm of snow. Let’s hope for a healthy dump.

  225. Quick ski across Emerald Lake and the fan loop, plus a little exploration towards Yoho pass. Conditions were good all around, but this is likely moot based on how hard it was snowing on the drive home.

  226. A huge shout out to Bragg Creek groomers! These guys are a miracle workers. It must’ve taken many hours of very hard work to transform ice, needles and rocks, into a very enjoyable skate ski trail. Albeit, it is not long and perhaps not for a novice skier, but it is darn great to have something like this available close to Calgary. Thank you Bragg Creek groomers.

    • Seconded. Crystal Line trails are in amazing shape. The ice has been chewed up underneath and there’s an inch of fresh stuff on top. Just a word of caution: As of tonight, Mountain Road is not yet skiable. I have brand new gouges on my skis to prove it :-/ Stick to Crystal line and Sundog and you’ll have a great time. Hopefully this weekends snow will fix it all.

    • Here are a couple of photos that illustrate what it takes to bring the WBC trails back to life, after a couple of weeks of Chinooks. By harvesting snow, moving it to where it’s needed, bare or icy areas are revived. Multiple grooming passes break up the melt-freeze crust and turn it into a skiable base.
      You can bet that the volunteer groomers will pack any new snow onto this smooth base. And as soon as the snow is deep enough, it will be track-set!


    Yesterday. Lower trail in good condition. Minor debris on track. Fast skiing in early afternoon with -25 to -15 white polar wax that worked well. Past the Cascade River bridge, starting at the newer cut trail, there was moderate debris on the track which greatly slowed the skiing down. Once off of the newer trail section, the speed picked up just a bit. Past Stoney Creek the skiing was excellent with an well cut straight trail. The little creek at about CR 18 that has flowed down the road for 6 years has now been re-directed thanks to the efforts of gorilla volunteer trail maintenance work. The cheap Park service ignored this problem area for about 6 years, like many other problem areas in the back country, even after I made several complaints. It makes me wonder where the millions of dollars in extra Banff Park infrastructure funding went last year.- other than wastefully cutting trees down along the Trans Canada Highway. With 8 inches of expected new snow this week-end this washed out creek area should not present a problem for the remainder of the season. No longer will the skis have to come off to get to the other side.

    Overall the Cascade River Road Trail could use about 5 cm of snow before skiing becomes excellent. That should happen by Saturday morning.

    Applaud your local hard working commando guerilla volunteer trail maintenance workers who take the time to upgrade the backcountry trails which Parks Canada ignores for the most part. Do your part and spend at least 15 minutes per trip somehow upgrading a trial. Even snapping branches over hanging trails helps a lot for the future.

    Make way for better trials.

  228. Pipestone River Jan 31 2017

    For those who have the will and lure for the Pipestone River, this past Tuesday Bill and I pushed more trail up the river. The day started at 8:30am from the Pipestone track-set ski area parking area with a chilly -22C. The objective was to push up the Pipestone River, beyond the most northern reach of the track-set Pipestone Loop to the confluence of the Little Pipestone, up to Skoki and out over Deception Pass back to Lake Louise (finishing with a brief bike ride back to our vehicle). All in one day. The enthusiasm was motivated from a combination of the fact that some kind and ambitious soul(s) had previously pushed a trail up the Pipestone earlier (which we noticed the Saturday prior), the fact that I had done the loop in the opposite direction some 32 years earlier and sheer will power. The day was anticipated to be a long one, with the possibility of an overnight bivouac. We were prepared with 30lb packs. Our likelihood of success was contingent upon most of the Pipestone being trail broke ahead of us. At the start our pace was good on the track set, for the first 6.5kms, averaging 4.3 kms/hr. We had a somewhat slower but still respectable pace of 3.3 kms/hr as we left the groomer and headed onto the previously skier set track on the river. Our somewhat ambitious objective and enthusiasm was dashed however as we came to the abrupt end of the broken trail after 3.3kms. The hard work then started with breaking fresh new trail. The snow conditions made for some very tough going with a firm wind slab over a very thick sugar like lower layer. Our rate of progress dropped considerably to a mere 0.7 kms/hr. After 3hrs of breaking trail we had made 2.1kms and reached our turnaround time. Regrettably we had to call it quits. We were hoping to at least make it to the meadows, but fell short by a stones throw. We had progressed 5.4kms beyond the northern extent of Pipestone loop along the river, completing a total of 22.9kms in 9hrs for the day. We were back at the trailhead parking by 5pm. For those who wish to push more trail, we estimated that there is still another 7kms to get to the Little Pipestone. If you go, you have a well packed trail from which to launch. Would be happy to hear back from anybody who can help identify the animal tracks on the left in the accompanying picture.

    • Great Beta… Thanks Mark.
      It looks like you were on very narrow skis… will you give it another try?

      • I did the loop a few years ago in April. Luckily there was a strong sun crust and I was able to skate ski with my metal edged light touring skis all the way to the junction with the Little Pipestone. Wouldn’t have made it otherwise. For about 20 km I was following several days old Wolverine tracks. He had a one track mind and was following the summer trail almost to Skoki.

        • Very cool Rainer. Thanks for sharing your experience. Was thinking too that it might be wolverine although track width spacing was quite large compared to what I saw online. Perhaps a fat wolverine or a grump bear?
          Great longer distance ski circuit. How long did it take you to complete the loop?

      • Thanks Chuck. Coincidentally, it was 3 years ago within a week when we followed some tracks and had a pleasantly surprising visit with the track setters at the meadows. It was you and two lovely ladies! I would like to push more trail. Not sure if it will be like starting all over with the fresh snow. And yes skis were narrow. Was thinking snow shoes would have been better for the tough parts. Let me know if you’d like to give it a go with me? Thinking though that we may need to wait until Spring to get a base as Rainer mentions, to do the entire loop. Still really like the area even when there is a poor base.

        • Hey Mark,
          Well I don’t know if we should be called track setters, but we did enjoy meeting you 3 years ago when you followed our track up the river.Today we followed your track, but were unable to push it much further due to all the fresh snow on your track. The base seems even more bottomless now!
          But we did see a Lynx just beyond your turn-around point:

  229. Confederation Golf Course

    Just got back from Confederation Golf Course. Temp at start was about -14, and I used a green special wax. Alright, it was pretty icy but if you get to the bottom of the hill from the clubhouse and go to the east trail (low-lying areas), you will be able to get some strides in. You’ll still have to avoid some bare/icy spots but you can get some nice strides in and get a smile on your face. I also did a lap around the golf range area, same conditions. I hope Calgary gets some snow this weekend, it’ll make a big difference. Thanks to the all the people who have been working on maintaining the trails. Keep gliding!

  230. Great Divide – we started late (11:30am) to give things a chance to warm up, but it was still -22C at the west GD trailhead near the Lake O’Hara parking. We first checked the Lake O’Hara road, but saw no signs of tracksetting there (yes, I’ve now read Chuck’s trip report – maybe I’m blind?). Great Divide is in very good shape, exquisite at the western end and quite good by the dog kennels at the Lake Louise end. On the return trip, we skied Lower Telemark – pretty good, but with lots of needles in some sections. Most of our ski was at -20C or lower, meaning that good glide was hard to come by. Not a cloud or breath of wind today!

  231. -23C at 10:00 am in the Village, blue skies and minimal wind at Lake Louise again this morning. Skied with VR30 (again) topped with a slick of polar wax, which worked well for ascending and descending. Started the day down Upper Tramline to Moraine Lake Road, then up to warm sunshine at the turn around. Finished with a quick trip down Lower Tramline to the Village The combination of wax, good grooming and new snow made for the best MLR trip in several years. All trails skied today were in very good condition with an observation that tracks beyond the curve at the top of MLR had some debris. Skied down to the Village into colder air – a commonly occurring temperature inversion. Escaped to the Visitor Centre not wanting to know the final temperature, but it was still cold.

  232. Thu feb 2: elk/west elk/blueberry.
    -26 in the lot at 1030, -5 at the couch in the sun at noon, -10 in the Sade. -14 on return at 4. Cold air, cold snow and crystal blue skies with zero to light wind. Debri in lower section, but reasonable (waxless though). Ski lifting for the occasional pine cone but otherwise not bad. Nice smooth run coming down blueberry. Not that any of the debri matters with snow on the way. Spoke to the Kananaskis folk at the visitor centre in the morning, sounds like the bathrooms in pocaterra hut will be out for the season until the ground thaws to do pipe repairs.

  233. Sunny ways today and blue sky in PLPP. Not tropical island sunny more of an Alaska sunny. Temperature was -16C at 11am and -12C when I finished. Start green grip wax worked well. Some needlemania at the north end but the south was clear and generally excellent skiing.

  234. LAKE O’HARA – Feb 2

    Trackset, but rough!
    Bruce told me that one set of tines is not working properly. Should be better next Thursday.
    It was a busy day today… they had a full house for their opening. Le Relais Shelter will open on Saturday.
    Minus 20 to start… but you warm up quickly!
    Conditions were fast… for those on skis:!AhVZXBE7vMV7hCKMEYrwC5eW3EZF

    • – for those on foot! This is an ancient British means of exploration! Man hauling sledges just like Antarctic exploration by Scott. Me I love skiing.

  235. DON’T SKI HERE.
    I’d avoid the Village trails unless there’s a big dump. Bed of debris over a skiff snow, might as well be skiing through the forest. Link is really bad, Kovach almost as bad. Right around the hotels was so – so (Terrace).

    I’m sacred to post this comment after “the rant” but if you ever wanted to try fat tire, do it this weekend, there won’t be many skiers on that trail and there’s not much snow depth.

  236. Mount Shark

    Long day at Mount Shark, think I skied everything. Started out with the full yellow/green loop. The first half of the yellow loop has quite a bit of debris, and the downhills are getting icy enough to be pretty sketchy. The green loop (the extra 5k that is skier set) is rock hard with deep snow for your poles to sink into, and crusty/transformed snow at the edge of the track. Entertaining but slow on the flat, un-skiable on the downhills. It takes a lot to make me walk down a hill, but seeing the spectacular body shaped crater fields at the bottom of a couple of hills showed that it was the right decision. Green section needs a major dump to refresh.

    Remainder of the Mount Shark trails are in pretty good shape, with not too much debris. Some of the snow is very abrasive, some areas have a dusting of fresh so waxing is tricky.

    Watridge Trail as far as Watridge Lake is almost pristine. From the Banff Park boundary down to Spray River is pretty well covered with needles and old man’s beard. Made the climb back up easy – disposable skins.

    Final note – great day for animal tracks. Everything from mice and hares through to all those cool things that eat them.

  237. -18C, blue skies and minimal wind at Lake Louise village this morning. Skied with VR30 from the Chateau parking on Peyto (skier tracks in new snow) to the Lower Telemark loops (crisp, clean, day old track set), back on the Great Divide (crisp and clean track set and skating lane), up Peyto and Upper Telemark (skier tracks in new snow) to the lake. Skied Fairview (clean snow and worn trackset) to MLR (crisp and clean track set and skating lane) and back up Tramline to the car. Great gliding today, despite the low temperature. -12C at 2:30 pm.

    • We too skied much the same terrain as you yesterday and what a lovely sunny (cool) day it was.
      We also took in the ice sculptures at the hotel which were beautiful in the sparkling sun. 🙂

  238. Cascade Fire Road

    We skied Cascade Fire Road from Lake Minnewanka today. We turned around after 10 km so I can’t comment on conditions after that, but up to that point the skiing was good for both classic and skating. There was one area where there were some needles and sawdust about 1 km after the bridge, but apart from that it was very good.


    Ski Here! No rocks and lots of Sun.
    While the Parks Canada site still rates Conditions here as Poor, I beg to differ. It was groomed, along with the Cascade Valley, within the last few days. While the tracks have not been reset, it has been nicely rolled. Check the conditions here:!AhVZXBE7vMV7hBxQ_Q1uqIwiHjxw
    This is a great location for new skiers (as it is relatively flat) or for those who just want a short ski. It has wonderful open views of the surrounding peaks and is warmed by the full sun exposure to the south.
    We extended the trip a bit by also taking in Lower Bankhead, but that area is only skier set.

  240. Red Earth Creek to Shadow Lake 2017-01-31

    The trail’s groomed all the way to the warden’s cabin; Freshly (and beautifully) trackset from about the start of the trail to the Shadow Lake cutoff. The first three or four km are a needlefest, and the rest of the trail is rarely debris-free for a decent distance, so waxless skis are highly recommended. As they’re getting the Shadow Lake Lodge ready for guests, the trail from the Shadow Lake cutoff to the lodge is now nicely groomed but not trackset. The trail from the lodge to the lake is skier trackset. Skiing on the lake is a little erratic, as not many people have done it, and I sank up to my hips a few times before bailing.

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