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2022-01-08 at 12:33 - comment by DEMOCRATIZE AB

Howdy Sara M (M for master of skiers I assume),

I was able to get a parking spot near the lodge in the afternoon. I hopped onto my skis at the car and proceed towards the lodge when I saw the mother of all COVID blockades at the edge of the parking lot near the lodge. I was shocked but immediately went "stage right" and skied around the blockade behind the lodge and by the patrol shack. Oddly ski patrols were not wearing masks upon entering or exiting the ski patrol shack.

No one has a right to stop a cross country skier to check for vaccine papers as long as the xc skier stays away from the main facilities. There is a designated trail for cross country/mountaineer skiers or backpackers to access Forty Mile Creek and no one can tell you otherwise.

I was told to drop down to the cross country trail/backpacking trail at Mystic chair by a lifty. I normally use the exit just past the Mystic Chair. That exit has orange fencing to permit safe access and to reduce crashes with downhill skiers. I used it coming back.

I did have an intention to go up Forty Mile Creek. The last time I did that years ago I accessed via a trail off of one of the Norquay downhill runs past Mystic Chair. The Norquay commandants have posted signs saying no skiing up runs so I skipped my proposed route hoping I could find the old alternative to ski up Forty Mile Creek down by the creek. No such luck- at least not a tantalizing broken trail.

2022-01-08 at 07:34 - comment by Sara M

No issues getting through Norquay? I've been avoiding that area because I thought there would be covid-related access issues similar to Nakiska.


Report Submitted by DEMOCRATIZE AB
(trip) Date: Friday Jan 07, 2022

Submitted: Friday Jan 07, 2022 at 21:24


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The Elk Lake trail is in excellent skier tracked condition well beyond the Amphitheater Junction. Some fat skiing super heroes cut most of the fallen trees on the trail to near the Amphitheater Junction. That was impressive and made for a better day. There still were 4 trees I had to do the "cross country duck" under. The trail is not fully skier cut to Elk Pass campground yet. I broke trail about 1.5 km beyond the end of a skier tracked trail. I think I came roughly near the 2.5 kilometer point to Elk Pass campground. Trail breaking was moderate difficulty to difficult with mid calf ski penetration on average with my 205 x 60mm metal edge cross country skis on wax without skins. My green -14c to -18c wax did not grip while trail breaking. Snow speed was variable but generally moderate on the skier tracked trail and somewhat slow trail breaking.

I recommend letting the chinook winds, when they come in a few days, to knock snow out of the trees to make a better base before attempting to break trail further. Some warm temperatures would also be nice to settle the snow more.

The snow pack was significantly affected by the recent cold weather. Crusts in the snowpack have been faceted and have broken down significantly. Near the end of my trail breaking there must have been around 1 meter of snow on the ground. This was the most difficult trail breaking for me this season. It was classic Alberta eastern slope cold January snow for the most part.


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