Winter Grooming Update

Winter Grooming Update


March 18, 2021

This sneak peek of Spring hasn't been friendly to the fat bike trails here in the valley. While it's too early to start thinking that dirt is on the way, we thought it was a good time to look back on what has been a productive season of winter grooming.

This winter season CAMBA had the opportunity to participate in a fat bike grooming training program run by the Canmore Nordic Centre. Our very own VP of Trails and Safety, Andrew Dickison, and super volunteer, Greg Paulhus, got a chance to gain some experience grooming fat bike trails at the CNC. From our perspective, the program was a big success and gave our volunteers hands-on experience with a Snowdog, a popular choice for grooming singletrack trails that is used at the CNC and by several other mountain bike trail associations that groom fat bike trails.

A big thanks goes out to Andrew and Greg for the great job they did this year and the many hours they put into the winter trails. People noticed! We were told that the CNC got a lot of great feedback on the fat bike grooming this year.

Andrew running the Snowdog on EKG East
Andrew running the Snowdog on EKG East

We would also like to send a huge thank you to the CNC staff, namely Briony Williamson and Chris Andersen, for running a very organized and successful training program. The skills our volunteers learned this year will be invaluable to CAMBA as we look to expand our grooming operations next season to include Three Sisters trails such as Loki and Guy Lafleur.

Originally, CAMBA had hoped to be grooming Three Sisters trails for the 2020/21 winter season. However, as we approached the date of purchasing the Snowdog, some questions arose about whether it would be the best fit for the job. Given the amount of capital required to purchase a Snowdog, we thought it would be irresponsible to proceed with questions unanswered. Around the same time, we were offered the opportunity to gain experience with the Snowdog at the CNC. We ultimately decided that we would get some hands-on experience before committing to the purchase. We're happy to say that our concerns have been alleviated, and while the machine has its quirks, we're happy with how it performed and have been convinced that it is the right tool for the job.

The CNC Snowdog
The CNC Snowdog

So we're excited to say that in addition to the awesome grooming operations at the CNC and barring any further unforeseen setbacks (you never know in these times), winter riders can look forward to regular machine groomed conditions on Loki, Guy Lafleur, and other TSMV winter pop up trails. While this was delayed a season, we ultimately made the right decision that will put us in a great position to hit the ground running as soon as that first big dump of snow comes down in the winter of 2021/22.

Until next time... Happy Trails!