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2023-01-07 at 14:44 - comment by Chris12x

Thanks to all for the great advice! We have sourced some light touring skis to rent, so all systems green!

2023-01-03 at 12:52 - comment by DEMOCRATIZE AB

Howdy 12x,

The skis you choose to ski into Shadow Lake should be based on ski level and skiing conditions.

Using fat downhill skis with mountaineer or walking bindings is normally slow heavy weight overkill going to Shadow Lake Lodge unless you plan on skiing the steep and deep or your skiing level is lower. Fat skis also do not fit into the xc ski trackset making for a little more difficult skiing on the snowmobile trail.

Skiing with 60 mm or narrower metal edge skis is a good option for those that can control their speed and skiing. Non metal edge skis are also an option when ski conditions are winter like rather than spring hard like. Skis up to 65mm should fit in the xc ski trackset, if one exists.

I do not recommend skiing on old school wood skis.

The ACC uses snowmobiles to pack the trail and trackset it. Sometimes the snowmobilers lack experience or intelligence or time to make the trail smooth and wide for skiers, particularly on the hills. When there are lots of snowmobile ruts on the hills, wider skis will help with control. If the snowmobiles can follow my old buried ski tracks on the trail hills, the trail should be packed fairly wide making for easier skiing on the hills.

The Shadow Lake Lodge trail from the end of Redearth Creek trail to the Lodge is narrow, concave and fairly steep in places. Skiing this trail requires advanced skills. Most people just walk down the hills without skis on if they are not good skiers. You can also side step down it on skis.

If you are planning on carrying a big pack, I recommend a pre trip to investigate the trail before hauling in weight if you are not a great skier.

Be sure to bring a headlamp. Enjoy the night skiing on Shadow Lake or towards Haikuk Lake, particularly if the skies are clear and there is moon shine to light up the mountains. This is how you will get the most memories and value out of your trip.


2023-01-02 at 21:25 - comment by Normand

Same suggestion as Helen for the type of skis, especially if you plan to explore past the SLLodge: light touring, waxable skis with metal edges, with those useful to better control on the bottom 5.3 km of the Red Earth Creek Trail, when poorly maintained or in crusty conditions. Unless you plan to tackle any of the three surrounding passes in the area (Gibbon, Whistling and Ball), short skins are sufficient to explore some light touring opportunities.
Visit the Red Chairs, skiing about 1.3 km on the right side of Shadow Lake, after its outlet at the long skinny bridge. With short skins, you could continue toward the meadows below Mt Ball (well far away to stay clear of avalanches coming off the massive face of MBall). One day could be spent exploring the Haiduk Creek Valley and if you want to earn yourself a nice glass of wine with a cheese & wild meats platter at the lodge, get up Gibbon Pass for some great touring (450 m elevation gain in only 3 km!). The further you wait in the season, the better are your chances to run into well broken trails up there, carved by other lodge guests or day trippers from TCH1 (Helen, Chuck, DEM-AB, Mike, Sarah and others).

Beware of avalanche runout zones at km 3.3, 4.7 and 8.1-8.7 along the Red Earth Creek Trail. AKA, don’t plan a leisurely snack in those spots, if the AVI hazard is >> High.

2023-01-02 at 18:48 - comment by Helen Read

Just skied Redearth to a little beyond the campground a few days ago, as posted below. My suggestion is always light touring, with metal edges and bigger pole baskets. I don't know how you are at waxing but skins are not needed until at least the turn off to SLL where many people would walk the first initial bit into the Lodge. I'm hoping to ski to Redearth Warden's Cabin this coming Friday. Always good to bring kick skins or whatever kind you have. I am hoping ACC or Parks will groom/trackset the trail before then. Have a fabulous time in there. Check avalanche reports prior, as you cross a couple of paths where they have occurred in the past. Normand skis this area very often and am sure he can add his experiential knowledge.

Ski recommendations for Shadow Lake?

Report Submitted by Chris12x
(trip) Date: Monday Jan 02, 2023

Submitted: Monday Jan 02, 2023 at 17:17


Happy New Year to all!

I am one lucky guy. A very beautiful lady (wife) gave me a three night stay at Shadow Lake, best xmas gift ever!

This is our first ski-in to a back country Lodge. Can anyone recommend the best type of skis to get us there and to do some exploring for the next couple days? We have grip wax xc skis, also a set of light weight XC ski with skins. Last we have back country downhill powder skiis with walking bindings.

Thanks in advance. Good snow to all.


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