Trail Conditions for Calgarians

PB Forum :: All Mountain, Enduro & Cross-Country
Trail Conditions for Calgarians
Author Message
Posted: Mar 30, 2020 at 8:59 Quote
Took the new bike out for a ride into Nose Hill yesterday afternoon, stayed on the main multi-use paths as anything that hasn't been cleared over the winter is still snow/slush/ice (including some of the multi-use path from the Charleswood over pass to the top of the hill), area's that were sheltered from snow accumulation or have had significant sun exposure were wet/muddy. Recommend staying on the paved/main paths and off the trails or go early when it's still frozen and bring your studded tires.

On a social distancing note, if you are out of the paths stay as far to your right of the path as you can, most paths in Calgary are a total of ~2m wide so we need all the space of the path to maintain distance. A lot of people out there didn't understand this and I had to pull off the trail quite a few times to maintain the distance.

Posted: Mar 30, 2020 at 9:43 Quote
Observed a couple of mo rons Sunday morning on my not overly busy pathway ride through Bowmont and Tuscany. Sucked in by a patch of dry dirt I guess, they were now slogging back out to the pavement with wheels, shoes and drivetrains completely clogged with that supremely sticky Bowmont clay based dirt. That'll teach em! lol lol lol
I hope.

Posted: Mar 30, 2020 at 14:54 Quote
VPS13 wrote:
SJdude wrote:
billybilly wrote:
This conversation is very different from the one taking place over the last week and a bit. As of yesterday, the government has explicitly asked that Albertans do not drive to these areas. On highway 66, yes, there still is limited "legal" parking and the trails have not been closed, but this is not the point. This conversation should be about whether we should follow government actions and recommendations, or not.

I've been out of town for a couple days, is there actual gates up at Stations Flats, Ings Mine, Dawson, etc?

"As part of Alberta’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, public access to our outdoor spaces is open, however Alberta Parks indoor facilities, including washrooms and vault toilets, as well as permanent outdoor shelters within Kananaskis are now closed to public access. Also, all vehicle access to Provincial Parks and recreation areas is closed at this time. "

From Alberta Parks website, I assume there is no gates unless they were previously there but maybe you would receive a ticket for parking there as the parking lots are effectively "closed" as long as the particular area falls under Parks designation.
On another forum I have a username that is very similar to billybilly...
I read his postings about 5 times thinking " I didn't write that"! Freaked me out until I used my massive ability to read with comprehension.

Posted: Mar 31, 2020 at 10:09 Quote
Recent cuts to Alberta Parks under the so-called "Optimizing Alberta Parks" plan seemed to have slipped under the radar here at Pinkbike:
https://albertaparks.ca/albertaparksca/news-events/
This was not the case in the local xc ski world, with the paragraph below resulting in a storm of outrage:
Beginning fall 2020, there will be no groomed cross-country track setting in the three main areas traditionally groomed by government staff in the Kananaskis Region. These areas are: Peter Lougheed, Mt. Shark and Kananaskis Village area. Grooming will continue to occur at the Canmore Nordic Centre. Track-setting will continue to occur in the West Bragg Creek area, done by the West Bragg Creek Trails Association.
Now- you may well not give a flock about xc skiing, but the ramifications go way beyond this. Tourism for one, which was cited just before these cuts by the Kenney govt. as a means of economic diversity- these are truly "world class" (especially PLPP) xc trail networks that attract tourists from all over. This also affects trails in general- the Ribbon xc trail groomers were also the ones who conceived, cleared and groomed the new fat-bike friendly winter single track network at Ribbon, which has been very well received. The same grooming crews who will be let go- were also responsible for summer trail maintenance. All this to save a measly $200,000- what's that? something like 2 days spent operating that ridiculous "War Room" ( I agree that we need to support our energy industry, though).
Now- I realize that in tough times- we all have to make sacrifices- but the response on http://skierbob.ca
indicates that the vast majority of xc skiers are perfectly willing to pay a user fee for the privilege of enjoying groomed trails, but this is apparently not even under consideration. They cite the success of GBCTA in the excerpt above, however, the response below by GBCTA gives a dose of reality to the situation. Worth reading for anyone who goes to WBC:
https://www.braggcreektrails.org/response-to-alberta-government-news-entitled-optimizing-alberta-parks/
Quoted below is the canned response that myself and others received from the office of Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) Minister, Jason Nixon.
"My department will commence a process to explore management partnerships so that our parks can continue to provide important economic and recreational benefits to local communities."
Basically- they have no plan at all yet.
So what can you do if you have concerns about trails in Kananaskis Country? Contact Jason Nixon(below) and your local MLA, for starters.
aep.minister@gov.ab.ca
If you've read all the way through this diatribe- thanks!

Posted: Mar 31, 2020 at 12:23 Quote
aka-bigsteve wrote:
ourism for one, which was cited just before these cuts by the Kenney govt. as a means of economic diversity- these are truly "world class" (especially PLPP) xc trail networks that attract tourists from all over. This also affects trails in general- the Ribbon xc trail groomers were also the ones who conceived, cleared and groomed the new fat-bike friendly winter single track network at Ribbon, which has been very well received. The same grooming crews who will be let go- were also responsible for summer trail maintenance. All this to save a measly $200,000- what's that?

indicates that the vast majority of xc skiers are perfectly willing to pay a user fee for the privilege of enjoying groomed trails, but this is apparently not even under consideration. They cite the success of GBCTA in the excerpt above, however, the response below by GBCTA gives a dose of reality to the situation. Worth reading for anyone who goes to WBC:
https://www.braggcreektrails.org/response-to-alberta-government-news-entitled-optimizing-alberta-parks/
!

So to your first point I left in Steve - yes. It seems the vaunted job creators in the gov't brain trust really mean creating jobs in the private sector - which is all well and good. However, the pittance Parks staff are paid to do this work does seem like a drop in the bucket. And definitely flies in the face of supporting tourism as you have rightly pointed out.

In response to the second point I left in - I think the idea of user fees is a slippery slope. These trails and subsequent trail maintenance has been operated without user fees for years. Why introduce them now? I haven't read the WBC link you provided but I can imagine what it says - users aren't donating/paying fees and the fees collected barely cover their costs. Shocking. This is almost ALWAYS the case for volunteer trail organizations. Please correct me if I have mischaracterized the response provided by GBCTA.

My last point is, why would we as Albertans pay user fees? This is just another tax and we all know how tax averse we all are right?! We live in the AB Advantage and thus shouldn't have to pay for anything Rolleyes Really, these trails are very well used by locals and don't activities like mountain biking, cross country skiing, and hiking all promote physical fitness and overall health? Wouldn't the investment in Parks actually maybe also in turn keep our medical bills lower through physical exercise and the associated benefits to mental health related to spending time in nature? And certainly operating Parks must be cheaper compared to paying any costs related to medical issues (aside from broken bones, sprains, etc. from injuries endured from playing outside).

Oddly, the last federal Conservative gov't also pulled this with cross-country track setting in many National Parks back in 2012/2013. It's a page out of the old Conservative political playbook. And for the record I'm no fan of partisan politics in general - but I do find this particular government to play "lowest common denominator" politics. But maybe that is just me.

Posted: Mar 31, 2020 at 12:53 Quote
No idea about what better stuff we could do with the War Room budget, but this reminded me to re-up MMBTS and that it's time to do a yearly donation to GBCTA.

If a future us goes to a pay-per-use system, I would think that's unfortunate but seems to be the way in a lot of other places.

Posted: Mar 31, 2020 at 18:01 Quote
husstler wrote:
No idea about what better stuff we could do with the War Room budget, but this reminded me to re-up MMBTS and that it's time to do a yearly donation to GBCTA.

If a future us goes to a pay-per-use system, I would think that's unfortunate but seems to be the way in a lot of other places.

Trails have been made for free and maintained for free before.....get out there and work, quit sitting in your office chairs and flinging money around on our computers like it means something.....

CM!

Posted: Mar 31, 2020 at 18:25 Quote
Cro-Mag wrote:
husstler wrote:
No idea about what better stuff we could do with the War Room budget, but this reminded me to re-up MMBTS and that it's time to do a yearly donation to GBCTA.

If a future us goes to a pay-per-use system, I would think that's unfortunate but seems to be the way in a lot of other places.

Trails have been made for free and maintained for free before.....get out there and work, quit sitting in your office chairs and flinging money around on our computers like it means something.....

CM!

That seems like a reasonable perspective, thanks for the sage advice.

Posted: Apr 1, 2020 at 7:48 Quote
Cro-Mag wrote:
husstler wrote:
No idea about what better stuff we could do with the War Room budget, but this reminded me to re-up MMBTS and that it's time to do a yearly donation to GBCTA.

If a future us goes to a pay-per-use system, I would think that's unfortunate but seems to be the way in a lot of other places.

Trails have been made for free and maintained for free before.....get out there and work, quit sitting in your office chairs and flinging money around on our computers like it means something.....

CM!

Our resident curmudgeon has spoken! To tell you the truth- I'm feeling a bit curmudgeonly myself lately.
I'm very familiar with user maintainance of bike trails, however xc ski trails are a different matter altogether (as I'm sure you know).
Read the GBCTA statement...

Posted: Apr 1, 2020 at 8:53 Quote
aka-bigsteve wrote:
Cro-Mag wrote:
husstler wrote:
No idea about what better stuff we could do with the War Room budget, but this reminded me to re-up MMBTS and that it's time to do a yearly donation to GBCTA.

If a future us goes to a pay-per-use system, I would think that's unfortunate but seems to be the way in a lot of other places.

Trails have been made for free and maintained for free before.....get out there and work, quit sitting in your office chairs and flinging money around on our computers like it means something.....

CM!

Our resident curmudgeon has spoken! To tell you the truth- I'm feeling a bit curmudgeonly myself lately.
I'm very familiar with user maintainance of bike trails, however xc ski trails are a different matter altogether (as I'm sure you know).
Read the GBCTA statement...
Poor xc skiers might have to break some trail themselves. People losing jobs and going bankrupt and you're worried about free ski trails? Wow never ceases to amaze me on people priorities.

Posted: Apr 1, 2020 at 9:01 Quote
d-man wrote:
aka-bigsteve wrote:
Cro-Mag wrote:


Trails have been made for free and maintained for free before.....get out there and work, quit sitting in your office chairs and flinging money around on our computers like it means something.....

CM!

Our resident curmudgeon has spoken! To tell you the truth- I'm feeling a bit curmudgeonly myself lately.
I'm very familiar with user maintainance of bike trails, however xc ski trails are a different matter altogether (as I'm sure you know).
Read the GBCTA statement...
Poor xc skiers might have to break some trail themselves. People losing jobs and going bankrupt and you're worried about free ski trails? Wow never ceases to amaze me on people priorities.

But I want my trails perfect and not with my own sweat, that could cut down on me time.

Steve I read the article, still sounds like a bunch of spoiled kids whinning about access wanting people to pay for vehicle access on public lands is nuts!

CM!

Posted: Apr 1, 2020 at 9:14 Quote
d-man wrote:
aka-bigsteve wrote:
Cro-Mag wrote:


Trails have been made for free and maintained for free before.....get out there and work, quit sitting in your office chairs and flinging money around on our computers like it means something.....

CM!

Our resident curmudgeon has spoken! To tell you the truth- I'm feeling a bit curmudgeonly myself lately.
I'm very familiar with user maintainance of bike trails, however xc ski trails are a different matter altogether (as I'm sure you know).
Read the GBCTA statement...
Poor xc skiers might have to break some trail themselves. People losing jobs and going bankrupt and you're worried about free ski trails? Wow never ceases to amaze me on people priorities.

Agreed. Maybe the political debates can go on a different forum. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Facepalm

Posted: Apr 1, 2020 at 9:48 Quote
This is about trails, and the areas that we recreate in. Have tried to keep politics out, but in the end the issue is about the current govt's priorities.
I can't personally do anything about other peoples jobs or financial situation.The economic affects of CV-19 are sad and devastating for so many- including my oldest daughter and her husband who have both seen their work dry up.
When things return to the new normal- how are we going to re-build job creating tourism, with such a short-sighted move? And- part and parcel of the parks changes is yet more job loss, as the staff providing these services are let go.
In terms of "free" groomed ski trails- yes, K-Country xc skiers have been living in a bubble. However, they have overwhelmingly indicated that they are willing to pay (as at the Nordic Centre).
Not going to argue further- I simply put this out there for those who may be concerned.
Headed out right now for some trail breaking on my light touring skis....

Posted: Apr 1, 2020 at 9:56 Quote
aka-bigsteve wrote:
This is about trails, and the areas that we recreate in. Have tried to keep politics out, but in the end the issue is about the current govt's priorities.
I can't personally do anything about other peoples jobs or financial situation.The economic affects of CV-19 are sad and devastating for so many- including my oldest daughter and her husband who have both seen their work dry up.
When things return to the new normal- how are we going to re-build job creating tourism, with such a short-sighted move? And- part and parcel of the parks changes is yet more job loss, as the staff providing these services are let go.
In terms of "free" groomed ski trails- yes, K-Country xc skiers have been living in a bubble. However, they have overwhelmingly indicated that they are willing to pay (as at the Nordic Centre).
Not going to argue further- I simply put this out there for those who may be concerned.
Headed out right now for some trail breaking on my light touring skis....

All good Steve!! Freedom of speech. Have fun out there Jailbreak

Posted: Apr 1, 2020 at 10:30 Quote
This is what happens when something is given for free by the government, it then becomes nearly impossible to then take it away/make it pay to play without a big fight. The abundance of free cross country ski trails in Kananaskis is extremely unique. Most cross country ski trails are pay to play. Why should cross country ski trails, which are costly in both equipment and labour to maintain, be free? Perhaps if people wish to have free trails they could step up to the plate and maintain volunteers to groom the trails and fund the equipment themselves through donations, user fees, grant money, etc.

I find the entitlement displayed here particularly annoying as a mountain biker and trail builder because of the fact that the vast majority of mountain bike trails are built by volunteers using either donated money or grant money. Why should cross country skiing be immune from the challenges faced by other activities?

This isn’t just to spite cross country skiers by the way, I also cross country ski.


 
Your subscriptions
no posts

Copyright © 2000 - 2020. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.010916
Mobile Version of Website