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2022-05-26 at 02:37 - comment by Diana Piggott
Mr. Democracy, you continue to amaze and delight!
I hope you are wrong about the federal government plans. They sound quite out of character for this government??
SKOKI LAKES SKIING- mid afternoon evening ski
Report Submitted by DEMOCRATIZE AB
(trip) Date: Saturday May 21, 2022
Submitted: Sunday May 22, 2022 at 16:47
Mr. Legalize Real Democracy on fast 54 mm 210 cm 2/3 metal edged ultra light XC skis with the wrong ski tail for the conditions
The Lake Louise ski out was in generally good shape for this time of year. There were 2 bare patches to deal with, one which I could scoot around off trail and the other being only 1 foot long was not problem. The big problem was snow cats went down the upper part of the ski out earlier in the day and left a real rough surface to the bridge. The snow cats really messed up the steep hills. That did not make for fun skiing down as it was death cookie growzer mash. This wore off my red wax on my ski bases skiing up very quickly. Generally there is solid base on the ski out with a little soft stuff on top. Lower down expect thermal conducting tree debris affected snow. It gets better the further one goes up. I had to walk the first 40 meters of the ski out to get to the snow. On the way up I came across a friendly fat ski mountaineer skier who had made several runs on Larch. His tracks made it easier to ski up the ski out, providing better grip on smoother snow. The ski out should be useful for skiing for several days yet if temperatures remain below normal with freezing nights. Expect some thin areas.
Beyond Temple Lodge the skiing was generally spring fantastic with much colder snow. There is a built proof base with crusty newer snow on top which allowed for good fast grippy skiing in the trees. Once the trail went into the meadows the snow was crustier and less grippy. Just below Boulder Pass the snow became solid crust making skiing up difficult as I could not get any grip. I was wishing I had brought a pair of skis that had a low profile wide ski tail so I could jam it into the snow as my more rounded narrow ski tails would not provide any "jamming" grip.
Ptarmigan Lake was nice and smooth. Very suitable for fast skate skiing. I stuck to the shore edge for the most part.
Deception Pass also had a solid base with several centimeters of crusted newer snow on top which provide nice smooth skiing but not grip for my skis. I ended up side stepping most of the way up. The Skoki side of Deception Pass was the same. When I got down to below the Skoki Lakes I decided to stop skiing further as my bad back was telling me it did not want to side step all the way back up the pass. I was not expecting such cold snow up there. It was like April conditions with up to 8 feet of base snow.
Skiing down Deception Pass and Boulder Pass to Halfway Hut was a great Alberta crust skiing experience on my 2/3 metal edge skis. It was super fast for big wide turns and smooth. There was also some nice skate skiing to be had in the meadows. I decided to hang out at Halfway Hut until the sun went down. I had to drop down about 5.5 feet to get to the door. The hut stunk like the urine of a thousand donkeys. A month ago it did not smell like that. In the past I have seen horses in the hut during summer storms so perhaps the stench was coming back to haunt my nose.
It was a colorful pleasure to ski back with some red sky looking towards Mt. Temple. The May Long week-end evening lighting in the mountains was exceptional eye candy for this old skier.
I hope this is not my last free day of skiing in Banff National Park. The government has slashed the parks budget by 2/3 for next year so that can only mean bad things for the less wealthy park users. Rise up against the government cuts or your wallet will be cut into badly.