Kananaskis Country has just experienced a remarkably quick transition from fall to winter. On Monday, I was hiking along McConnell ridge in shirtsleeves on dry ground. By Wednesday, I was skiing on the Ribbon Creek trails.
I did a quick driving tour to search out skiing prospects in Kananaskis Country. The Spray/Smith-Dorrien area was disappointing, with only 11 cm at the Chester and Burstall trailheads. Pocaterra only had 8 cm of snow. Highwood Pass only had a base of 12 cm, which is not enough for skiing. Things started to look up as we approached the Ribbon Creek area. The Nakiska parking lot had almost 25 cm and the trees were blanketed in snow.
We got out the skis and toured up the Skogan Pass-Sunburst Lookout trails. After the long, mild autumn, our bodies had not yet adapted to the cold, so we struggled a bit to keep warm at -15°C. However, it felt great to be sliding on snow. We completed our tour without even a scratch on our ski bases, which is great news at this time of year.
Rumour has it that Kananaskis trail crews will be packing and grooming these trails in the next few days. This will be great, since it will set up a good base for the season. This is definitely the place to go for skiing this weekend!