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2022-04-15 at 13:02 - comment by DEMOCRATIZE AB

Howdy Chuck,

Although somewhat obscured, it was the scenery that was truly astounding. This was a mega mountain ski tour. The ski tracks out there were just too fast and alluring not ski. I just wished the scenery up Drummond Creek/ glacier way was not obscured by snow fall. If I had a few more hours I probably would have blasted down towards Douglas Lake if it was ski tracked. I love this area as I have a lot of backpacking and fishing history out there going back many decades. I just wished I could afford to stay at Skoki Lodge for a week so I could ski to places like Skeleton Lake, my favorite fishing hole.



2022-04-15 at 09:00 - comment by Chuck

Astounding... Looking forward to seeing what you do with tonight'so full moon





NATURAL BRIDGE AREA/ RED DEER RIVER- near mid afternoon/ night ski

Report Submitted by DEMOCRATIZE AB
(trip) Date: Thursday Apr 14, 2022

Submitted: Friday Apr 15, 2022 at 02:42




Participants:

Mr. Democracy enjoying the great Red Deer River Valley on Rossignol BC 59 skis.

Discussion:

From the Fish Creek Parking lot to Temple Lodge was excellent skiing with well groomed conditions and a skiff of new snow from the last night or perhaps the previous night. With 5 cm of new snow in the last week the Lake Louise ski out was mainly winter like and smooth as a babies bottom. I only had to herringbone up the 2 short steep hills by the horse corral. Swix Blue 30 wax worked well with excellent grip and glide for the most part. Fast snow coming down at night around 11pm.

The xc ski trail from Temple Lodge to Boulder Pass was fairly fast skiing in. I found better grip in the few cms of newer snow on the side of the ski trail. Before I hit Boulder Pass I had to put on a balaclava and down vest as the temperature was cold and the winds were around 50 k.

Deception Pass was nice winter snow conditions and soft for climbing. I was able to ski straight up with a few zig zags. About 85% of the way up 3 snowmobiles passed me carrying passengers. The toxic 2 cycle exhaust fumes tortured my lungs and nearly killed me as I was breathing hard skiing up.

Dropping down to Skoki Lodge was fast and soft. I surprised the snowmobilers by catching up to them at the lodge just as they got off their machines. They were blown away how fast I caught up to them. After some chit chat I scooted over Jones Pass down to the Red Deer River Valley.

Just before the Red Deer Sk 19 campground I came across some fat ski tracks going towards Oyster, likely from yesterday. There was a skiff of fresh snow in the tracks. Shortly after the campground the tracks took an intriguing hard right up a bank and into the trees. I decided I had to follow them and had a very interesting ski through old growth and meadows to 1/2 km down river of the Cyclone Warden Cabin and beyond to near the Natural Bridge. What a great ski!! I got very close to the Natural Bridge when snow flurries hit and I decided to turn around after I got a little confused as to where the confounded natural bridge was. I had not been there for years and my memory was not kicking in. The fresher ski tracks started going down the natural bridge creek and I followed them for a while but I turned around when the snow started falling. What really surprised me about the fat ski tracks I was following was, is they came from way down valley. Perhaps they skied from the warden cabin near Skeleton Lake or they came over Bonnet Glacier and down the Douglas Valley. Very interesting 1 way tracks gong up valley.

I headed back up valley to Cyclone Warden Cabin which was about 1/2 of a kilometer off of the ski trail. Unfortunately both of the thermometers at the cabin were not reading and I could not get a temperature. But it was dang cold and somewhat windy. Cyclone Warden Cabin has the best mountain views off the deck out of all warden cabins I know of in Banff. The skiing is also great in this area now. The 5 foot snow base (judging by the drop to the cabin deck) is very firm with a thin softer rain crust on top about 2 cm thick and then there is about 4 cm of nice dry winter powder on top of the crust. This makes for easy pleasurable travel. Skate skiing in the region is good, particularly going down valley.

As the sun went behind the mountains I left Cyclone. I decided to continue skiing back up towards Deception Pass. I was going to ski to Baker Lake but I thought I may have difficultly finding the trail as it got dark. Best to stick to the ski trail you know exists. I arrived on top of Deception Pass in the dark with a highly diffused nearly full moon to ski to. Great soft skiing down Deception Pass along with Boulder Pass.

I took the snowmobile trail out to Temple Lodge which was fast. I had a great appreciation for the groomed ski out coming back down. The ultra smooth run allowed me to make it back to my car in a flash. I wished I had started skiing around noon as I would have been able to make more miles but what I got today was sensational.





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