The Chinook glaze is here - an icy surface on the groomed and track set ski trails from Chinook melt/freeze cycles will persist until we get new snow and cold temperatures in the daytime and overnight. Most of the ski trail system was groomed Saturday night by a volunteer, doing anywhere from one to three or more passes on the trail depending on snow coverage. The decision was made to not renovate as snow preservation is the higher priority, so the grooming did not penetrate the snow surface very much at all. That Chinook glaze ice layer helps preserve the little snow that we have as a compact base. The Expert loop (lower loop north-ish of the driving range) has not been groomed for nearly a week now, and is not recommended.
Ski conditions on the groomed ski trail system without sun/air temperature softening will be hard, icy, fast, and not recommended, really, as it won't be very fun...it will be really challenging, though! Time for alternative activities such as snowshoeing and fat biking! (On the new dedicated pin flagged snowshoe/fat bike trail system!) If there is direct sun, the snow may soften in some areas and then the skiing will be okay, however if skis sink down on the groomed ski trail system, (skate skis especially!) that is not helpful as there is the potential for increased snowmelt/sublimation if asphalt cart paths are more exposed to sunlight in thin snow coverage areas, and volunteers then have to repair that trail damage. (Please be a helpful ski trail preservation steward!)
Track setting was not redone and will be icy where it does exist. Track setting was done intermittently as volunteer time and snow conditions allowed. At the beginning of this November start to winter, our primary focus was firstly to pack down a base of snow on the trail system to hopefully sustain the system through the inevitable Chinooks where the sun and wind exposure at Shaganappi can really sublimate snow fast.
The pin flagged shared snowshoe and fat bike trail system remains in great shape for riding as long as the snow stays hard. It will be icy and slippery, so metal crampons on snowshoes and studded tires for fat bikes are necessary.
Please help us educate foot traffic/walkers by taking a moment to stop, say "Hello, what a great day!" then let them know if they're walking in the middle of groomed ski trails, they are damaging the trails that volunteers maintain. It woud be great if they can walk on the outside edges of the packed ski trail system if they choose to walk at Shaganappi....and please stay off the pin flagged snowshoe/fat bike trail system. (not all our foot traffic educational signage is up yet!)
Consider financially supporting grooming and track setting efforts at Shaganappi, as it all costs money! Think gasoline, machine maintenance, and the need to upgrade drag-grooming equipment and drag-grooming machines for a better volunteer and skier experience! You can donate and/or become a Member of SNO to help support free winter recreation in the heart of Calgary!