XC Skiing at Lake Louise

The Lake Louise area is usually the first area in the Canadian Rockies to get trackset for XC skiing. The Moraine Lake road in particular typically closes around Thanksgiving day and sees its first snowfall shortly after. The photo above was taken at the entrance to the Moraine Lake road and as you can see, it’s packed with skiers! In fact, on this day, there were more cars here than at Lake Louise!

Distance :  12km

Max Elevation :  1745m

Elevation Gain :  210m

Total Time :  3:10

After skiing the previous 2 weekends in the Lake Louise area, it was time to come back for the 3rd weekend. Not by choice by because it was the only area which was trackset. The destination for this day would the lower and upper tramline trail which connects the old tramline station (currently the Lake Louise Railway Station & Restaurant) to Lake Louise.

The My partner for the day was Ryoko who drove over from Calgary at a leisurely 11am. We eventually started skiing at 1:40pm and make some good time thanks to a well groomed track. The temperatures were warm as they hovered just below freezing which was a good thing because we didn’t get much sunlight this day. Before long, we were standing along the shore of Lake Louise… laughing at the tourists who were so close to the sign warning them of thin ice. 

Since we still had some daylight left, we decided to take a quick break inside the chateau when we found a Five dollar bill lying on the ground. Since there was nobody around us, we decided to claim it for our Hot chocolate fund. Of course $5 only gets you one small hot chocolate in the chateau but it was better than nothing.

After a nice leisurely break, we exited the chateau to a sky which seemed to be getting darker by the minute. But it was no problem since we knew the return trip was all downhill. As expected, I was able to ski down to the trailhead without any movement as I stood in the track as though I was riding a moving sidewalk. Ryoko didn’t have it as easy so I offered to hot wax her ski for the next outing.

The day ended with some ramen at Arashi in Banff. A great end to a great day in the mountains!

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