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2022-12-30 at 13:14 - comment by DEMOCRATIZE AB
Has anyone every had an experience with a frost quake?
I recall hearing about these in Alberta. Apparently they can damage basements and foundations.
Perhaps this is what I experienced skiing Johnston Creek but who knows.
JOHNSTON CREEK- BEYOND LARRY'S CAMP- via Moose Meadows
Report Submitted by DEMOCRATIZE AB
(trip) Date: Thursday Dec 29, 2022
Submitted: Thursday Dec 29, 2022 at 23:14
Mr. Real Democracy on BC59 skis and VR30 Swix wax
The trail from Moose Meadows to the Ink Pots is in generally good skiing condition and fairly fast. There is an excellent smooth fairly wide well used snow shoe trail with generally a very good base. There is the odd avoidable rock. I hit 2 coming out at night. 1 tree is down on the trail which requires getting on the knees and crawling under.
From the Ink Pots to well beyond Larry's camp I broke trail. Trail breaking was difficult and slow in the open areas. Under the trees the trail breaking is somewhat difficult to moderately difficult. Ski penetration was from boot top to upper calf height. The snow is your typical rotten Rockies faceted snow with a light crust near the surface with a little new wet snow on top. Excellent ski conditions on this section of trail for the most part. I fell short about 2 km from the Johnston Creek Cabin. It would likely take another 1.5 hours of trail breaking to get there on my skinny skis. The crust hardened more at night on the way out. Fatter skis are recommended to break trail further up Johnston Creek. Coming out the trail was moderately fast to the Ink Pots.
As I was skiing in today on the snow shoe trail above the Ink Pots, I heard what sounded like a massive explosion and then a smaller one. The ground actually jolted under may skis. It felt like 1 big jolt and then 1 smaller jolt. Very strange. The only time I have had the ground shake under me was when 500,000lbs of ANFO went off when I was at Weststar Mine in 1984. That was really cool. It felt like a massive earthquake. Today's ground jolt was not quite as intense as what I experienced in 1984 but it still was big. There are no reports of earthquakes in Banff, so it makes me wonder if a meteorite blew up somewhere. I saw no avalanche debris in the high country so I would rule out a massive drift breaking. It certainly did not sound like a drift breaking off or a chunk of glacier breaking up valley. A rare skiing mystery.
I was intending on skiing Redearth Creek today, but the trail was not trackset. That bummed me out. Parks Canada and the Alpine Club are very lame with the tracksetting up there. There has been plenty of snow to trackset for many weeks now. Operators of the backcountry cabins don't care to provide a regular tracksetting service to the xc skiing tourists, likely because they are not mandated to do so. If Parks Canada was smart, they would make tracksetting of trails to cabins part of the contract for operating the cabins by these corporations. Tracksetting should occur starting early in the season. The Parks Canada superintendent just does not think smart enough or keep the xc skiing tourists in mind. There needs to be more contractual conditions for the operation of the backcountry lodges in Banff so the citizens get a better deal. These corporate operators should also be maintaining the trails to the cabins in summer to prevent erosion of these historic trails as well.
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Total distance: 20.00 Km