Kananaskis Village trails

by Bob Truman on January 18, 2019

in Dog-friendly, Kananaskis Village Area

The Lookout on Upper Kovach

The phrase we’ll remember from this low-snow winter is “thin but skiable.” I was losing hope that we’d ever see any tracksetting on these trails, but the tracksetting crew has worked wonders with very little snow. 

Terrace trail is trackset with a skating lane

Temperatures showed wild swings over short distances today. This morning at the Stoney-Nakoda Resort and Casino it was -15°C. A few minutes later at Kananaskis Village it was -6. After a couple hours of skiing, it was +2. Returning, it dropped to -12 at the casino. 

Terrace trail: I was thrilled to see a former Calgary Ski Club acquaintance, Steve Shymoniak(foreground), and his friend Peter.

Make sure you read the Live Grooming Report for the Ribbon Creek trails. If you’re skiing Upper Kovach, it says to not go south of the Aspen junction. I spoke to tracksetter Alex and he said the S-turns are mostly dirt in some instances. 

Link had good tracks and very pretty scenery

Heading north from the village, Terrace trail is in nice shape. It is mostly trackset with a skating lane. There is thin snow under a few of the tree canopies where tracks couldn’t be set. 

The massive ice flow at the Ribbon Creek – Link junction

At the north end of Terrace, Lower Kovach is a bit thin and starts out with corduroy but tracks appear after 400 metres of climbing. 

Excellent snow on Upper Kovach near the Lookout

Link is sort of a dead end but I’m glad I skied it to the Ribbon Creek junction. It was in good shape and the snow on the trees was very pretty. My real reason for taking it was to see the massive ice flow at the Ribbon Creek junction. The trail report warns…

There is a big ice flow at Link / Ribbon jct that extends half way down the hill making travel difficult.

They weren’t exaggerating. Check the photos. 

It was not unusual to see these poor conditions on Aspen.

The snow coverage was progressively better as I climbed to the Kovach Lookout. Upper Kovach is in good shape, but as the trail report admonishes, don’t go further than the south Aspen junction unless you’re willing to walk a portion of it. 

Aspen is a mixed bag of good snow and tracks interspersed with dirt and grass. I’d be hard-pressed to ski it again. Weekend traffic should put it out of its misery. 

Terrace trail

Did you know there is now a four-lane training grid at Kananaskis Village?

With a dusting of fresh snow on the trails, I saw gazillions of animal tracks today. I’ve posted one photo that shows the snowshoe hares must have had a party on Kovach trail last night. 

Party time for the bunnies on Lower Kovach

Nice to hear that West Bragg Creek is coming back to life although it sounds more like life-support. Read Mike W’s and JeremyN’s trip reports for the latest news. Groomer Jeff has also submitted an update on the Groomer’s Reports. Mike W’s photos look enticing. 

Grouse at Cascade Valley. Photo by Chuck.

It was encouraging to read Helen Read’s report of 2-3 cm of new snow on this weekend’s loppet trails. 

I noticed that Sunday’s Avalanche Awareness has a session for Animal Track ID (and lots more). 

Cascade Valley was trackset today. Chuck was there and took the beautiful close-up photo of a male grouse. Check his trip report for more.

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Skogan Pass and Hummingbird Plume

January 17, 2019
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I had only planned to ski up a little ways on Skogan Pass so I could tell my anxious readers how far you had to walk to reach skiable snow.

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Congratulations to Simona and Cheeky

January 17, 2019

The new Kananaskis ski trail brochures are out, and two of our regular readers and trip reporters, Simona and Cheeky, had their photo selected for the front of the PLPP brochure.  I took the photo of Simona and Cheeky on Dec 10, 2015

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Thursday morning smiles

January 17, 2019

Today, Calgarians are waking up to 2 cm of light, fluffy snow on their driveways. I had forgotten what it was like to use a snow shovel.  Forecasts are predicting a couple more cm.  I’m happy to see 4 cm of snow in the forecast for the Castle Junction area in Banff National Park. It’s […]

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Following in Chuck’s tracks

January 16, 2019

Chuck’s backcountry ski trips and the photos he’s been sending have been nothing short of spectacular.  While skiing Goat Creek I’ve often stopped at the intersection where Chuck headed south to Rink’s Camp and wondered what was out there. I’m thinking the cougar was following

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Lake Louise to Banff loppet preview

January 16, 2019
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The Lake Louise to Banff loppet is always an exciting adventure into the unknown. There is no other ski race like it, and I have been privileged to be a participant

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MaSid’s Pipestone river couch

January 15, 2019
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I spent most of my day taking photos of the loppet trails along the Bow Valley Parkway. For those doing the Lake Louise to Banff loppet on Sunday, I’ll post those photos tomorrow.

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Who made these tracks?

January 14, 2019

Hi Bob We saw these tracks on Saturday making our way up to the Kananaskis Lookout The large one is approx. 3” to 3-1/2” across No visible claws with in the print?! Was thinking cat family The pattern has me stumped Any idea what they are?  -Deb

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As Irene says…”Wheeee!”

January 13, 2019
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There’s nothing more enjoyable than 6K of downhill fun on excellent tracksetting and good, fast snow on Pocaterra.  Upper Pocaterra was trackset last night

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Later…

January 13, 2019

I’ll have an update later tonight from my excellent day on the middle trails of PLPP. In the mean time, look at Chuck’s incredible photos from Tokumm Creek. If there was ever a trip report to inspire people to go backcountry,

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Saturday photos

January 12, 2019

Thanks for all the trip reports and photos.  Global news had a story tonight on the snowmaking(or lack of) at Confederation and Shaganappi golf courses. Calgary ski trails close as snowmaking equipment sits idle

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Saturday morning update

January 12, 2019

If you wish to see the spectacular sight of Shadow Lake and Mt Ball pictured above, read Chuck’s trip report from yesterday. The Trip Reports page will give you a good overview of the conditions on most ski trails.  Mt Shark trails

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Friday morning update

January 11, 2019

Most of us have noticed a significant increase in hikers and snowshoers on the trails this year. Would anyone like to speculate on why we aren’t seeing the usual signage at Lake Louise this winter?

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Castle Lookout to Baker Creek

January 10, 2019
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It’s a lot nicer to ski this on a sunny day, but even on an overcast day like yesterday, the scenery is spectacular.  I skied from Castle Lookout to the CPR access

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Thursday morning update

January 10, 2019

More trails were trackset in PLPP last night including Amos, Woolley, Meadow and Wheeler. Fox Creek, Boulton Creek, and Moraine were groomed. Check the PLPP Live Grooming Report for details. In Yoho, Kicking Horse River

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Pipestone: Peace and contentment

January 9, 2019
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Tooday, the Pipestone trails were the epitome of Chip’s now famous saying, “The soul-mending rhythm of cross-country skiing.” Too bad he’s holidaying

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Goat Creek to Banff- fantastic!

January 8, 2019
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Barbara had excellent conditions for her first ever ski on Goat Creek and she thoroughly enjoyed it. Peter and I both agreed that it was one of the best trips

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Monday night update

January 7, 2019

The above photo was taken by Chuck as he started out on another epic ski trip today.  With Chuck providing most of the photos and reports for this blog, I’m considering changing the name… I am puzzled at the Banff trail report.

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Monday morning update

January 7, 2019

Update Jan 7 @1:40 pm: Banff trail report indicates Goat Creek was worked on today. The detailed report says it was packed but I’d be surprised if it wasn’t trackset, or at least groomed with corduroy. Tracksetting on Sunday Jan 6:

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Canmore Nordic Centre

January 6, 2019

The Live Grooming Report for CNC is functioning and up-to-date. It shows a lot of green this morning. If you’re looking for recent grooming and tracksetting, some options for skiing today include:

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