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2023-03-08 at 12:02 - comment by DEMOCRATIZE AB
Sorry to hear you folks did not have a good day of skiing yesterday. The 2 skiers I met on Monday were greatly enjoying the skiing and it was my best day skiing Redearth this year.
On Monday, there was not much for tracksets going up the hills. This is normal on the steeper hills but some of the less steep hills could have used them.
Where the trail is overgrown, eroded and narrow as a result, there were no tracksets. There is a serious problem with Parks Canada not maintaining ski trails which is affecting the quality of skiing.
On my ski down at night, on one or two of the big hills, I noticed some typical small snowmobile bumps or washboards. They made the skiing slightly more challenging at high speeds even with the headlamp on but I thought they were not much worse than normal. I did have to adjust my speed a little on part of one of the hills as a result of the bumps.
I always use metal edge skis. Metal edges have an advantage for better control on the hills and even in tracks that get "washed out".
The Shadow Lake and Sundance Lodge operators do not groom the trails like Parks Canada usually does. The none trackset portion of these trails are usually snowmobile packed only by the Lodge operators. If the snow sinters up or hardens, the snowmobile tracks will be somewhat to extremely rough depending on various factors. On Monday the snow was not well sintered and the snow was generally cold winter like and fairly soft which made the small snowmobile ruts that existed, not very noticeable to me on metal edge skis.
If the lodge operators put some sort of grooming device on the back of their hauling sleds that they pull, they could greatly reduce the ruts they make which would be nice. Either that, or they could groomer the snowmobile tracks to eliminate the ruts for the most part which would make skiers happier. This would require another snowmobile pass with a groomer attachment and they probably do not want to spend the time or money doing that, even though it was done in the good 'ol ski days some years back.
Red Earth Rumble
Report Submitted by Bill Richardson
(trip) Date: Tuesday Mar 07, 2023
Submitted: Tuesday Mar 07, 2023 at 17:32
Mary, Ray, Anne, Jan, Deirdre, Bill
What a difference a day makes. Democratize AB gave a glowing report of his ski up Red Earth Ck. to Ball Pass yesterday. Our experience today was very different. We started up the trail with pretty normal conditions but as soon as we hit the hills, the track deteriorated. There were deep grooves in the middle of the track, rough snowmobile treads and lots of bumps. We suspected that the snowmobile from the lodge had been down or up and caused the damage. For those of you who are cyclists and have ridden on a rumble strip, imagine doing that on skis. In any case, we skied to the campground and after a break, Ray continued up towards the Wardens Cabins, but after a few minutes, he returned to report the conditions weren't any better. After a quick discussion, we decided to cut our losses and returned to the parking lot. It was our worst experience on Red Earth Creek and probably our worst ski of the season.
Total distance: 15.00 Km