Members of Space Dogs Ski Club heding up Blueberry Hill. Dec 22, 2019
Last year when I wrote my final update, it was “What a great ski season!” Unfortunately I can’t say that this year. The snow was late in coming, and when it did arrive, we had that incredibly cold weather. So this winter will be remembered as one of those sports teams who win it all and end up in last place the next year, commonly known as “First to Worst.”
Wedge Connector Feb 7, 2019
Six months ago, on Oct 20, 2018, Frozen Thunder opened at the Canmore Nordic Centre. I’m not sure if the nordic centre will continue grooming this month, but we know that grooming is finished in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park.
On the bright side, I don’t recall having to ski on a lot of tree debris or icy conditions, and we enjoyed many days of skiing under sunny skies which made for great photos.
Sandy McNabb Mar 7, 2019
I also enjoyed sking in some locations which I haven’t visited very often in past years including West Bragg Creek, Sandy McNabb, and Confederation golf course. Speaking of golf courses, I was thrilled to discover that Strathmore golf course was dog-friendly.
Thanks for reading my blog, and a special thanks to everyone who submitted a trip report.
I’m attaching some of my favourite pictures in the gallery below. Sprinkled among them are some photos from Chuck, Steve Riggs, and Gord Ferguson. If you’re reading here Gord, let me know where that photo was taken because I can’t remember. I’m guessing it was Burstall pass, but I’m not certain.
Elk Pass was groomed for the final time last night. Tyrwhitt was groomed as far as the picnic table. The grooming report mentions the following…
April 22nd: After the recent extended period of rain, most trails groomed (under a mainly clear sky) on Sunday night are rather dirty, with some thin and icy spots scattered throughout, some bare edges in a few places, as well as dirt or small rocks mixed in to the snow in a few places. The trackset on Elk Pass was lifted in a couple of spots due to a thin or narrow base. An attempt was made to groom Tyrwhitt, but after covering up a few bare spots, the attempt was abandoned at the picnic table as there was too much bare ground beyond; Tyrwhitt was groomed and mostly trackset as far as the picnic table. Much of the new grooming will be on the firm side early in the morning, but will soften quickly as the temperature rises. Grooming has now concluded for the season.
With the low snow pack this winter, grooming also involved a lot of snow shovelling and difficult conditions, so thank you to all the grooming crews for your diligence and hard work this past season.
Trails groomed last night in PLPP include Elk Pass, Blueberry Hill, and Hydroline. The trail report mentions the following:
After the recent extended period of rain, most trails groomed on Saturday night are rather dirty, with some thin and icy spots throughout, some bare edges in a few places, as well as dirt or small rocks mixed in to the snow in a few places. The trackset on Elk Pass was lifted in a couple of spots due to a thin or narrow base. At the time grooming was finished, only a brief flurry had fallen at the beginning of the grooming period. Most of the new grooming will be on the firm side early in the morning, but will likely soften fairly quickly as the temperature rises. As long as everything goes according to plan, there will be one final grooming on Sunday night.
A number of trails were groomed overnight in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park including
The trail report mentioned the following:
April 14th: There was very little new snow evident in the Elk Pass parking lot vicinity on Saturday night, but at higher elevations there was up to 10cm’s of fresh, dry snow to mix in to the base. Very light snow moved in to the south end around 4:30AM, and at 5:15AM in the Elk Pass parking lot, light snow was still falling. Expect at least a trace of snow on all new grooming. If conditions allow for it, there will be one final weekend of grooming for the Easter long weekend.
The temperature at Boulton Creek this morning is -5 with an expected high of +4 and wet flurries in the afternoon.
Update from Dawn Mountain at Golden, BC:
Grooming has been completed for the season; the chalet will be locked starting April 14th; you are still welcome to ski as long as there is snow but at your own risk of course.
The man-made snow trails at Canmore Nordic Centre were groomed this morning.
PLPP grooming early this morning included Elk Pass, Hydroline, Tyrwhitt and Blueberry Hill. The temperature at Boulton Creek this morning is -5 with an expected high of +3 and some wet snow. The trail report made these remarks…
April 11th: The south end of the PLPP ski trails received 5 to 10cm’s of snow on Wednesday, and moist flurries returned in the early hours of Thursday morning. At 6AM, about a cm of snow had fallen in the Elk Pass parking lot during the grooming period, with more snow falling at higher elevations. Expect some fresh snow on most, if not all, of the new grooming.
Canmore Nordic Centre: Two natural snow trails were groomed(not trackset) early this morning including Rundle and Meadowview. The man-made snow on Banff trail, Centennial, and Olympic were trackset. The temperature in Canmore this morning is +3 and rain is expected in the morning.
Tyrwhitt (file photo)
A number of trails were groomed last night in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park including:
Wet flurries are in the forecast for PLPP, so polish up the grip zone on your waxless skis to help prevent sticking. Take note of these remarks on the PLPP trail report:
April 6th: During the Friday night grooming shift, clouds hung over the very south end of the PLPP Trail system, bringing light rain showers during the evening, transitioning to snow at higher elevations, and mixed precipitation and freezing rain in the vicinity of Elk Pass parking lot. The clouds had just lifted around 4AM, as the grooming was finishing. The snow was quite moist in most places during the grooming, so expect icier conditions early in the day (particularly on Hydroline), likely under a skiff of new snow at higher elevations (if no more snow falls).
It should be a good day of skiing on the freshly groomed trails.
Trails groomed last night in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park include
Kananaskis Fire Lookout
Be sure to read Tracksetter Jody’s comments below this post for further information, and the PLPP Live Grooming Report.
The temperature this morning at Boulton Creek is -4°C with an expected high of +3. Wet snow is in the forecast for this afternoon.
Bear tracks have been spotted on the south end trails in PLPP.
Canmore Nordic Centre: The man-made snow trails were groomed this morning.
Updates which I’ve made since March 28 can no longer be accessed. For example, when you click on the below update “Elk Pass and Fox Creek,” It won’t display. If you get the same result as I do, you’ll just see a blank screen. The platform I’m using is no longer compatible with the latest security updates from WordPress. I’ll be fixing this situation over the summer.
Elk Pass at Boulton Creek junction (500 metres from the trailhead)
The most enjoyable sking today was on Fox Creek on the return. It had been groomed yesterday, had about 1 cm of new snow, and was in excellent condition with very little debris.
Elk Pass at 1.7K had lots of fresh snow.
The snow on Fox Creek, in the shade of the dense forest, was colder and had a nicer texture than the snow on Elk Pass. The temperature at the Elk Pass trailhead at 2 pm was +2°C. With the sun shining, it seemed warmer.
Elk Pass at 4K had less fresh snow.
Elk Pass trailhead had about 10 cm of new, high-density snow. It appeared to be borderline wet so I used my fishscale waxless skis which performed well. Surprisingly, there was much less fresh snow the higher I went.
Descending the other side of the big hill was still okay this afternoon, but both sides of the hill will be treacherous tomorrow morning(unless it’s groomed tonight).
Elk Pass at 4.8K
Snow conditions were inconsistent with intermittent stretches of cold snow, wet snow, and sticky snow. The lurching phenomenon was in effect when going downhill.
I could see that some skiers were trying to use wax as evidenced by the large divots in the tracks.
Fox Creek was in excellent condition and very enjoyable
I also skied for a bit on Moraine and Boulton Creek. Moraine, which had been groomed yesterday, hadn’t seen much traffic and was in pretty nice shape. Boulton was trackset yesterday and had some ice and dirt mixed into the snow.
Personally, at this time of year I prefer trails like Boulton and Fox Creek to NOT be trackset. It allows for better maneuverability around sketchy parts. I’m guessing the tracksetter decided not to trackset Fox and Moraine after seeing the results on Boulton.
I am amazed at how much bare ground is already showing on the edges of the Elk Pass trail. It truly was a low-snow winter.
One of the first places to lose snow. Boulton Creek, about 100 metres above Boulton bridge.
I stopped at Pocaterra and observed about 5 cm of new snow which no one had skied in yet. Someone left a “Lost-and-found” notice on the door of the hut which I have posted in the gallery below.
From the photos in Chuck’s trip report, it looks like Moraine Lake road is a better place to ski if you’re willing to do the long drive.
I’ve noticed some “backend” issues with the website after the WordPress security update, but it still seems to be functioning reasonably well for the public. I can’t sort the photos in the below gallery, so they may display randomly. If you notice anything unusual, let me know.
Last night in PLPP, Elk Pass and Hydroline were groomed. The temperature this morning at Boulton Creek is -5°C according to the Weather Network. Expected high today is zero.
The man-made snow trails at Canmore Nordic Centre were groomed this morning.
It snowed a couple cm in Calgary last night, and the web cams show snow along the highway from Calgary to Lake Louise.
****** Website changes coming
As of March 28, this website may not function properly. I’m not exactly sure what will transpire but I expect you’ll notice some things don’t work the way they’re supposed to.
In a nutshell, the platform I’m using for this blog is no longer compatible with the new security environments. I will have to do some upgrading over the summer.
I was notified of this a couple months ago, but chose to let the season finish on the old platform rather than disrupt things in the middle of the winter.
This is the notice I received from my website host:
The Environments associated with the SkierBob account are scheduled for a final automatic upgrade to PHP 7.2 this Thursday, March 28, 2019.. We will be conducting this upgrade between 7AM – 5PM Central Time and no DNS change will be required. After this upgrade, PHP 5.6 and 7.0 will no longer be available on our platform, and you will not be able to revert to your sites’ previous PHP versions.
As a reminder, PHP 5.6 and 7.0 reached their end of life (EOL) dates in December 2018. This upgrade is part of our plan to ensure your websites are on our platform’s most secure, performant version of PHP.