Important announcement

Feb 27, 2020

Due to a family emergency, I will not be skiing for the next little while. As time permits, I will continue to post updates using the information you provide, the trail reports and photos from readers. 

Keep those trip reports coming!

Bob

“Perfect ski days…the snow is cold, the sun warm and the days are longer” – Keith Bagnall

Iron Creek at West Bragg Creek

Thanks for all the trip reports. The conditions this winter have been better than usual and the winning streak continues. The grooming equipment has been working a lot and occasionally needs repairs. 

Dean and Pat

Update from West Bragg Creek’s Boomer Groomer…

“All trails with the exception of Telephone have now been groomed and track set and are in wonderful condition.

What a start to the week! We have had a breakneck pace going with tons of grooming, and fixing plenty of broken machinery.

I would like to extend heaps of gratitude to Mechanics Dean and Pat for their prompt replacement of Kei 2’s transmission.”

“Dr. Peter Farran has also been on fire, helping to get all the trails groomed after our most recent snow fall. Here’s a shot he took this morning on Mountain View West…”

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The Ribbon Creek snowcat is functional again. Bill Milne, Wedge, and Evan-Thomas were all groomed and trackset today. We received two very glowing trip reports. Barry G rated Bill Milne 10/10. Helen remarked… “Cold, firm & fresh tracks, despite the air temps rising above the zero mark this afternoon!” 

Maple Ridge golf course was groomed and trackset today, thanks to Judy for the info. 

Strathmore golf course is trackset. See Shulamit’s trip report for details and a photo. 

Loppet deadlines

Lake Louise Loppet

Feb 25, 2020

There’s excitement in the air in anticipation of the upcoming fun this weekend with two prominent races on the agenda. The Cookie Race on Saturday followed by the Lake Louise Loppet on Sunday. The weather forecasts are looking great with minus-single-digit highs.

14K into the Cookie Race and she’s still smiling

The Kananaskis Ski Marathon, more affectionately referred to as the Cookie Race, registration deadline is Wednesday Feb 26 at 11:59 pm. 

Changes to the Lake Louise Loppet

I think I’ll take…this one!

The Lake Louise Loppet deadline is also Feb 26 at 11:59 pm. Take note, there is no registration on the morning of the race as in past years. There is also a course change. 20K racers will ski the Telemark loop twice and not go on Fairview at all. 

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Grooming updates

The Ribbon Creek snowcat is back in operation and the Kananaskis Village trails were trackset yesterday. The Bill Milne, Evan-Thomas, and Wedge Connector are in the process of being groomed as I write this at 9 a.m. 

In PLPP, Blueberry Hill, Hydroline, Patterson and the first 2k of Elk Pass were groomed last night. The grooming schedule will be altered a bit due to the upcoming race on Saturday. Snow shovellers will be out on Boulton Creek today. 

Grooming in Lake Louise yesterday included the Lake, Forest, Lower Telemark, and Great Divide.

Shaganappi golf course was groomed last night. Check the Groomer’s Reports for details. 

Dog days of winter

4-year-old Courtney is pulled along by Pippa the dog on Mountain road.

I was contemplating a few different destinations for skiing, but after reading the update this morning from the groomers at West Bragg Creek, it was easy to make the choice, and it was a good one. 

JC, Lori and their dog Aspen on Sundog.

When I arrived at 2 pm, it was still snowing. The temperature was -3°C and the fresh snow looked like it could be a bit sticky, so I played it safe and used my Fischer twin skins. 

A very spirited dog named Kevin

The skiing was excellent. I had brand new tracksetting on Mountain View, but the other trails which didn’t have new tracksetting such as Loggers were still in great shape. Some trails had been trackset earlier in the day(Sundog, West Crystal, Hostel) and had a cm or so of snow over top. 

The multi-use side of Mountain Road had new grooming.

The hill on Mountain View that was a sheet of ice a few days ago is  now covered in new snow and it was an easy, controllable descent.

Katie and her dog Luna on Mountain Road

The snow stopped around 2:30 and it cooled off. When I got back to the car around 4 pm, I changed over to waxable skis and applied VR45(-2/-8). I headed over to Hostel Loop and had excellent grip with no sticking. 

Of course the best part of the day was seeing all the dogs and little 4-year-old Courtney who was being pulled along by her dog Pippa. 

What an amazing ski season it’s been at WBC. 

Fresh tracksetting on Mountain View

According to the weather forecast, it looks like WBC may be in for some warmer weather towards the weekend but the next two or three days look cool enough to preserve the good snow. 

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The Friends of Kananaskis Speaker Series tomorrow night is all about XC skiing.

Heidi Widmer

From Kananaskis Country to the Olympics: A Nordic Athlete’s Journey:

Join Canadian Olympic Cross Country Ski athlete Heidi Widmer for an inside look at an athlete’s road to the Olympics as one of Canada’s elite cross country skiers, as well as some of the history of the Canmore Nordic Centre and Kananaskis Country’s Haig Glacier camp and their significance to nordic athletes.

Tuesday February 26th @ 7 PM 

University of Calgary Science Theatres room ST13

Admission, as always, is by donation only.

Strathmore golf course

I will have an update on the wonderful conditions at West Bragg Creek later but in the mean time I wanted to share these remarkable photos which Shulamit submitted. 

We’ve now had a few reports on the conditions at Strathmore with Shulamit’s being the latest…

“Leisurely sunset ski.  I’d heard good things about this golf course in the Trip Comments, and since I was in Strathmore working for the day, I decided it was time to try it out.

The temperature was a pleasant -5°C when I started out.  A fresh layer of snow had fallen in the morning, and the groomer was hard at work on his snowmobile somewhere on the grounds.  I followed a set of roller-packed trails around the north and then the southwest corners of the course.  The snow was soft and mushy underneath my skis, but  it was dry and there was no sticking or clumping (hurray!).  Later when I caught up to the groomer and said hello, I discovered a beautiful newly-made set of tracks behind him.

I skied until the sun went down.  The southwest corner of the grounds, with its border of trees, was especially pretty with the sun streaming in from behind. The trees cast very long shadows on the snow.   Overall, it was a very positive experience.  It’s a great option if you don’t have the time to drive to the mountains, and it sure beats going to the gym!”

West Bragg Creek

West Crystal Line. Photo by Groomer Jeff

Feb 24, 2020 Grooming update…

“Beautiful conditions in West Bragg this morning. Snow is falling and grooming will be continuous until the whole system has been covered. Expect soft tracks until temperatures drop significantly.”

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PLPP received 2 cm of snow in the north end yesterday, possibly more in the south. The trails on the west Continue reading

Sunday morning update

Morant’s curve. Photo by Peter Neumann

People will wait for hours to get a photo of the eastbound train at Morant’s Curve, sometimes unsuccessfully. Peter Neumann and Barbara, who skied Baker Creek to Protection Mountain,  sent the photos and this interesting story… Continue reading

Skier falls through ice

Feb 22, 2020

Helen Read was skiing with her friend Donald on the Pipestone River today, about 1.5K beyond the couch. Helen remarked…

“…Donald was victim to the trail giving way into the river. We thankfully were able to help him wiggle his way up and out pulling on my pole. He said by all means feel free to post this so others do not slip into the water. Thankfully, only his butt got wet and he was keen to ski onwards.” Continue reading

PLPP middle trails – be prepared for tree debris

The Amos meadow had excellent tracks and cold, clean snow.

Don’t be deceived by these beautiful photos. Most of the trails I skied today had a lot of pine needles in the tracks. If you ski on these trails, it would be best to use waxless skis. 

As you’ll see in the not-so-beautiful photos, the tree debris was sticking in my wax. I won’t go so far as to call it needlemania, but it was very annoying. Continue reading