The Alberta XCD thread

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Lhartley
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The Alberta XCD thread

Post by Lhartley » Tue Aug 22, 2023 11:31 am

Not really a trip report, just wanna feel out the state of XCD in Alberta, feel free to move this to TR's. From an AT and splitboard background I got bored of the standard alpine backcountry ski zones in Alberta. So I started looking into the foothills and found hundreds of meadows and cutblocks full of possibilities. And nobody was skiing there. I know people are buying the gear, I see you at Norsemans picking up the latest goods. So, anybody else out there? Let's see some photos and discuss the gear, terrain, and various specifics of AB XCD

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Inspiredcapers
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Re: The Alberta XCD thread

Post by Inspiredcapers » Tue Aug 29, 2023 11:25 am

Skiing into Red Rock Canyon in Waterton is a fantastic way to spend a day. I’ve done it twice (Teal Man with Fischer Transnordic NNN). Next season I’m contemplating an overnighter on The Green Man with Fischer Traverse BCX. Both times were Swix Blue days (had x-skins but didn’t need them). A bit of a hip deep, slight gain in elevation trudge going up the 15 km roadway (not plowed during winter, opportunities to explore along the River, etc.) but a hellish lot of fun coming out.

And no people:)



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Lhartley
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Re: The Alberta XCD thread

Post by Lhartley » Wed Aug 30, 2023 5:32 pm

Right on, I've wanted to explore Waterton in the winter for a long time. I'll add Red Rock to my list.

Personally I spent most of my time in the West Bragg Creek area, Sandy McNabb and beyond. Waxable e99s with swix blue and Alaskas, or karhu guide waxless with switchbacks and t4 or t2 generally. Only one year in but didn't touch my dynafits once last year!

And yes, no people:)

Honestly tho. There's room for people in the foothills. Hope to see some folks out being weird in the meadows next year



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Lhartley
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Re: The Alberta XCD thread

Post by Lhartley » Mon Sep 04, 2023 4:38 pm

Been hiking a lot of in the foothills the last couple weeks, checking out some potential meadows and cutblocks. It was said on this forum that cutblocks are generally not compatible with skiing and for the most part I feel like that's incorrect. Maybe they clean their slash better in Alberta? We have a pretty high percentage of softwoods to poplars in our managed forests it seems so maybe there's less left behind because of that. Either way, hoping for decent snowpack in the low angle foothills this year.



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wabene
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Re: The Alberta XCD thread

Post by wabene » Mon Sep 04, 2023 5:37 pm

Lhartley wrote:
Mon Sep 04, 2023 4:38 pm
Been hiking a lot of in the foothills the last couple weeks, checking out some potential meadows and cutblocks. It was said on this forum that cutblocks are generally not compatible with skiing and for the most part I feel like that's incorrect. Maybe they clean their slash better in Alberta? We have a pretty high percentage of softwoods to poplars in our managed forests it seems so maybe there's less left behind because of that. Either way, hoping for decent snowpack in the low angle foothills this year.
I'm jealous that sounds ideal! I agree with you about cuts because here it is the opposite. The poplars are more prevalent and if those areas are clear cut and not aggressively replanted, they can become an impenetrable thicket very quickly. Well, the beavers like it 😂 not much else.



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Capercaillie
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Re: The Alberta XCD thread

Post by Capercaillie » Mon Sep 25, 2023 1:03 pm

Edmonton here.

Most often skiing Cooking Lake and the trails at Elk Island National Park. I did 3 overnight trips to Jasper to ski XC and hiking trails this past season.

Waterton is on my list as well. Judging from photos, two more overlooked areas with a lot of XCD potential are the Castle Parks (just north of Waterton; Robert Kershaw's book Exploring The Castle makes it seem really promising), and Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park.

I know the Edmonton chapter of the Alpine Club of Canada organizes XCD trips a couple of times a year.

In the Calgary area there are the https://www.skierroger.ca/ folks (formerly at http://skierbob.ca/)



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Inspiredcapers
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Re: The Alberta XCD thread

Post by Inspiredcapers » Thu Sep 28, 2023 4:07 pm

Hey Capercaillie,

The Castle area can be spectacular for xc skiing. If the Snoweater (aka Chinook or Foehn) wind comes along it can go to hell pretty much overnight.



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bwm8142
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Re: The Alberta XCD thread

Post by bwm8142 » Thu Oct 05, 2023 11:08 am

Sundre area here! I ski on my NATOs multiple times a week on farms, nearby leases, and wider hiking trails west of town. There is a ton of great XCD around the foothills and it keeps me sane in the wintertime when I can't fly fish or hike. We are so lucky to have Norseman in Calgary for our specific niche hobby needs!



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comradeporcupine
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Re: The Alberta XCD thread

Post by comradeporcupine » Tue Oct 10, 2023 7:52 pm

Great thread. I'm not living there now, but grew up out near and in Edmonton and spent a lot of time (in summers) in the foothills as my parents were big canoe-campers; Northwest Voyageurs canoe club, lots of time on the Brazeau, Pembina, Athabasca rivers. Learned to ski at Silver Summit and then Marmot Basin. My parents live out near Entwistle/Evansburg and I get out west once or twice a winter, and would love to meet up with likeminded folks for some turns. XCD is new to me; Nordic skied as a kid but never took it up as an adult but last year picked up a set of SBounds + Svartissens that I never get to use because we don't really get snow in tropical southern Ontario. And I have a couple sets of Meidjo mounted downhill tele skis with aspirational skins I have not yet had the chance to tour on.

I'm sure people must skin up the old Silver Summit hill near Edson? Every year they talk about opening again but never seems to happen. Fond memories.



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Lhartley
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Re: The Alberta XCD thread

Post by Lhartley » Thu Oct 19, 2023 12:45 pm

bwm8142 wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2023 11:08 am
Sundre area here! I ski on my NATOs multiple times a week on farms, nearby leases, and wider hiking trails west of town. There is a ton of great XCD around the foothills and it keeps me sane in the wintertime when I can't fly fish or hike. We are so lucky to have Norseman in Calgary for our specific niche hobby needs!
Are you skiing for turns in the Sundre area? Just curious, my family is in the Madden area some I'm out that way regularly



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