So you want to ski, do you? We’ll be ready for ya! With the exception of Castle Lookout to Castle Junction, the track is set and will be reset before Sunday. We are waiting for cooler weather to deal with a pesky 20m wide ice flow from ground water seepage 1 km west of Junction. It will likely have a skier set path above it. Trail crews are out pruning the willows, but some of them seem to grow back overnight.
It is mild in the valley now, but current forecasts predict LL overnight low of -18C/start -9C at 0900h start time and a Banff area high of -4. But that could all change with Friday’s inauguration.
Yesterday our volunteer crew set track from Castle Junction to the finish at Sawback. Baker Creek to Castle Lookout is also set. The remaining sections will be set/reset this week. There is a 30m icy portion of trail due to ground seepage 1km west of Castle Junction. We’ll work on it this week. In the meantime, willow pruners will be out touching up what they can. The section from Protection Mtn to Lookout over the bumps is spectacular!
Click Here for shortened course description and map. And check back through the week for further updates. Balmy weather ahead…peel off the down parka.
Yesterday we received Parks' decision about access to the Backswamp/Healy Pit (Leg 5):
In part, “There is still a wolf warning in Banff National Park due to aggressive behaviour and the current priority to collar the wolves has necessitated baiting in the Healy Pit area. The area is currently closed for public safety, and it is not advisable or safe to permit foot/ski/snowshoe access for route preparations or to run the race through this area.”
In addition to the wolf activity in the Backswamp, wolves have been sighted along the BVP. There remains the possibility that the loppet could still be rerouted or delayed if wildlife activity or a kill site is deemed to put skiers at risk. Parks Canada suggests skiers carry bear spray with them.
As a result, we will:
You know the old joke about not trying to outrun a bear. In this case, you don’t need to outski the wolf, just the skier next to you.
Start your taper. Or start your training.
Race is now full