Got Snow? Winter Sports 2022-23


Sep 22, 2016
I wasn't too thrilled, after returning home from our October desert trip to find 10 cm of wet snow blanketing our corner of the city. That melted quickly though, and we were able to squeeze in a few final bike rides before winter hit again on Tuesday. This time it looks like we are in it for real, with more snow on the way and cold temperatures too. With close to 30 cm (that's a foot in American!) falling in the foothills, our local volunteer trail crews were able to get going on prepping the xc ski trails, and we took advantage:
The early season grooming process begins with passes on snowmobile only to start compacting a base.
Then after a bit of time to set up, towing rollers to smooth and further compact the light new snow.
Creating this!
A good first ski for this early in November!
Yesterday- back out with the whole family this time:
Heading west out from the trailhead.
Early season conditions, but nonetheless a great start to our ski season! If the forecast holds, it's going to be full-on in a weeks time.
Looks fantastic! Having only gotten into XC skiing last winter, I'm itching to get back out this year.
Wonderful! You've got me pumped to get back on my XCD setup this season. We've got snow on the way, but we'll see if it results in enough to get the XC season started in earnest.
A recap of the last 10 days:
Making our own xc tracks after a nice dump of snow.
A ski tour from our back door in a nearby park, on a frigid afternoon.
Cross country telemark turns on a hill near home.
First backcountry ski of the season, with great snow in a familiar setting.
A social day out with a group of friends.
Just the three of us on a perfect afternoon yesterday. After a great early start to the ski season, we are into a bit of a drought for the next while. Let it snow!
A solo trip from last week, as Jo was feeling under the weather for several days after getting a flu shot, which may or may not have been co-incidental, as we had been hanging out with snotty-nosed grandchildren a few days prior. Anyway, with the easy and quick "back door" shortcut to the Kananaskis Fire Lookout about to end for the winter as the highway over Highwood Pass closes- it was too good a day to pass up. P1000623-copy-2.jpg
Other than the short "back door" trail- my 17 km. route followed the cross country trail system. It's been busy here, with skiers tracking up recent new snow over a sometimes rugged snowmobile packed base.
Meadows (actually swamp in summer!) after climbing to a low pass.
Views to the west along the way.
After tagging Elk Pass on the Alberta-BC border, down the Hydroline trail which has been groomed thanks to the more abundant snowfall near the continental divide.
I left Hydroline after a few km, I put my head down and began the long climb up the ungroomed south Lookout trail. After 300 vertical m. of sometimes steep uphill (a black diamond ski trail descending the other way), the lookout came into view.
We've been here many times, but the panoramic view never gets old.
Looking south into BC and the Elk Range. Sharp eyes might note a temp of plus 1c. on the thermometer. With blue sky and calm winds- a perfect afternoon up here! I was missing my sun loving ski partner, though!
Tea time!
Looking north down the descent route, which although lees steep than the other side, is still an exhilarating run on xc skis. Especially today as it has been recently groomed and is hardpacked and FAST!
Back where I started for the final several km of my lollipop loop, with a quick return on the groomed and trackset trail. Although I've been less enthusiastic about the onset of our long cold winter in recent years, it's days like this that make me forget about thoughts of warm desert sun.
A great way to start the new year, with perfect conditions and weather for our first ski day of 2023.
Starting up the trail to Blueberry Hill. It's a bit of a long climb, but the reward is views at the summit, and an exhilarating (if chilling!) fast fun descent. A favorite!
A random skier who got to the top just after us volunteered to take our photo.
Happy New Years Day from Steve and Jo!
Snowy and murky weather dominated a week of great ski touring and powder skiing with a fun group of guests.

Not all murky! and that gig you have there is Really sweet!
Nice shots and excellent snow.
WOW - really stunning - what a fabulous time you must have had there!
An arctic front bringing extreme winds along with bone chilling temperatures, made for challenging weather, ski and avalanche conditions for the latter two thirds of our yearly "friends" week at the Campbell Icefields Chalet, but our strong crew made the best of it and we all got out for some decent skiing everyday, nonetheless. Myself- I was just happy to be there after a rib-cracking fall, several weeks previously in a hard crash on a lightly snow covered paved path while xc skiing on the golf course near home of all places, had put my ski season on hold for a bit.
P1010072-copy-2.jpg Our home cabin as custodians for the week, with the sauna at left. A closer look at the ridge shows all the wind-hammered snow in the alpine, along with numerous slides.
The main lodge.
The first two days were mild and snowy- with excellent treeline skiing.
Up for another run, with the lodge in the background.
After an intense storm that raged all day Tuesday, where we skied protected glades deep in the forest, the sun came out on Wednesday at -25c.
Peekaboo view of the chalet from Saturday Ridge.
Preparing for another run.
A tour into the alpine on Thursday, with not much expectation of good turns in the wind affected snow. We did manage a couple of short "ok" runs.
A look at the massive rockslide that occurred in late November off Thunder Mountain, unseen because the lodge had not yet opened for the winter ski season. It took out the intake for the micro hydro system which meant that I had to run the generator each evening to recharge the battery bank.
Our smiling crew on Friday, with sun, -16c, and very light winds.
Some did a longer tour higher up, but most of us were content to lap the wind protected low angle glades in the "warm" sun, which featured very good skiing.P1010086-copy-2.jpg
Last run of the trip, with some shenanigans at upper left!
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One of my few trips out this year. At this point it's just been life support skiing to keep turns all year alive.


My best friend of nearly 13 years died unexpectedly at the end of January, and my wife wasted no time adding a new member to the pack. We picked up this golden retriever pup about 6 weeks ago. So it's basically been Puppy Lockdown around here...

IMG_1695 copy.jpg
One of my few trips out this year. At this point it's just been life support skiing to keep turns all year alive.

View attachment 119241

My best friend of nearly 13 years died unexpectedly at the end of January, and my wife wasted no time adding a new member to the pack. We picked up this golden retriever pup about 6 weeks ago. So it's basically been Puppy Lockdown around here...

View attachment 119244
Great Pyrenees?
Nice new family member! We are on our third Golden now. They are great outdoor dogs although being a bit of a heavier breed they can struggle in deeper backcountry snow (we don't do that with ours) and can overheat in hot weather (we chose more shaded hikes with lots of streams and lakes in those conditions). Ours have always loved xc skiing with us, and fortunately we have a great dog friendly area for that only 40 minutes away in the foothills, where dogs are allowed off leash on the 60 km of groomed trails. Yesterday on said trail network:
Great Pyrenees?

She's an english cream golden retriever. Didn't know they made white ones! We've only owned shelties for the last 25 years. Now I have a 14 week old dog who weighs nearly as much as a sheltie, and still has about 40 pounds to go lol. I have never seen an animal grow so fast.
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