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January 10: Shaganappi Winter Trail Conditions Update

A member of the public at sunset in the driving range January 9th.


Groomer's Summary:

Ski trails:

This new snow will help improve things, the bad thing is the wind accompanying the snow = wind scouring and drifting. The cold temperatures will not help this new snow bond with the old snow and ice from the Chinook Glaze. Shaganappi is quite exposed, so expect bare spots to remain until snow harvesting and relocating is done, if SNO volunteer capacity allows.


Skiing is variable due to the snow loss at the end of December into January that took trails down to bare grass, asphalt, and gravel in several areas when skiing was great for some sections, then really thin and one was hitting the ice and/or ground in others. Monday the rock and asphalt cart paths as well as tree roots and other hazards were lurking just below the new snow in many areas which can permanently damage skis and cause serious injury if travelling at speed. Skiing is still poor to marginal in many areas due to snow loss. We will reassess once the temperatures improve.


Shout out of thanks to the volunteers from Prospect who were out Tuesday morning moving snow with scoop shovels and finishing off the snow fencing in the driving range; and to the other volunteers who have been moving snow, adding signage and maps, and snowmobile track packing!


SNOw harvesters are needed to help us focus on getting the trails fully skiable one loop at a time. Skiing is great in many places, but all trails and loops have sections where the snow is thin and the ice and ground is just beneath the surface. Sign up to volunteer for SNO to give back to this free community ski, fat bike, and snowshoe urban winter recreation area. Shovelling snow and volunteering at Shaganappi is a great way to give back and meet people!


Shared snowshoe and fat bike trails:

The green loop was hard packed and in good shape for riding as it was possible to Skidoo and Bachler pack the trail system January 7th. The blue loop or north trail system was icy and slippery January 9th even with studded tires for fat bikers due to the loose snow on top of the Chinook Glaze ice, use caution. With the new snow and wind drifting, riding likely will be challenging. It would be great to get some snowshoeing done on the blue trail system once the temperatures warm up closer to the -10 range.


January 10 update:

  • Cross-country ski trail grooming:

  • Trail system was snowmobile track packed by three volunteers on January 8th, we found gravel and asphalt just below a skiff of new snow on many sections of trail. Tuesday Jan 9th the driving range teaching grid was put in and groomed after a bunch of snow shovelling and snowblower snow redepositing and will be drifted in with the new snow now, however there's at least a good base to ski on.

  • Cross-country ski trail tracksetting: Three lanes in the driving range teaching grid put in Tuesday that likely are all drifted in now.

  • Fat bike and snowshoe trail grooming: No new grooming done since January 7th.

Groomer's Ratings (Underlined and Bolded Apply):

  • Classic Cross-Country Skiing: Poor | Average | Good | Excellent

  • Skate Skiing: Poor | Average | Good | Excellent

  • Fat Biking: Poor | Average | Good | Excellent **wind drifted and wind scoured

  • Snowshoeing: Poor | Average | Good | Excellent **wind drifted and wind scoured

Trail Condition Descriptors (Underlined Apply):

  • Ski Trail Snow Coverage: <60% | 60% | 70% | 80% | 90% | 100%

  • Fat Bike & Snowshoe Trail Coverage: <60% | 60% | 70% | 80% | 90% | 100%

  • Fat Bike & Snowshoe Trail Rutting/Soft Snow: 5% | 10% | 25% | >50% Unknown due to current storm system

  • Low Snow Areas: Ski trails: N NE SE S SW W

  • Snow Type: New Snow | Hard Packed | Snow Over Grooming | Packed Powder | Powder | Drifting | Wind Crust/Wind Scoured in places | Spring Conditions | Glazed | Wet | Corn Snow | Slush


For additional photographs of conditions, go to the SNO Instagram and scroll down to the bottom of this post!


Memberships: Thank you to the 62 people that became paid members in the 2022-2023 season! We are that much closer to reaching our goal of 200 paid members, which will allow SNO to be financially self-sustaining. Thank you for your support and consider becoming a member if you haven't had a chance yet!


Groomer's Ratings Classification: Groomer's ratings are based on "typical" conditions at Shaganappi. Excellent = Best conditions of the season, perfect coverage, awesome traction and grip, Good = Above-average snow pack, traction, etc., Average = Typical conditions, Poor = Thin snow cover and frequent low snow areas for skiing, difficult traction


Winter Walking: There are many places in the City to walk in the winter and we recommend the world-class multi-use pathway network throughout the city. Please do not walk on Shaganappi trails so that we can maintain great conditions at one of the few places in the City of Calgary where everyone can ski, fat bike, and snowshoe for free. If you want to go on a walk at Shaganappi, consider snowshoeing on the fat bike/snowshoe trails instead so that great trail conditions can be maintained for everyone.


Picture time!

Volunteer Steve out in the driving range Tuesday January 9th as the temperatures were dropping....









~4 hours later...





Before pictures of the freshly deposited snow from the snowblower in the driving range teaching grid:



After: One pass of the YTS bedframe-shaped drag groomer that is used to level-out ski trails



Second pass was done with the Tidd Tech Trail Tenderizer, using a modified track setter that is shallower for the typical snowpack at Shaganappi:



Three track set lanes!


Finishing off with corduroy for skate ski teaching lanes in the teaching grid






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