Having taken a rather extensive holiday into some warmer climates, it was a bit tough to come back into short days and quickly afterwards, very cold weather. As usual, there is no sign of climate change where we live. Early December brought lows into the -30C's, and highs of -20C's. Surely the pine beetle is in demise! Snows have been reasonable for December at altitude, but somewhat less in the Bow Valley where Canmore resides. That said, it has certainly been cold enough to make snow at the Nordic Centre, and surrounding ski resorts.
The cold weather sent us into Elevation Place (in Canmore) to make use of their world class climbing wall facility. It's been busy there! Since it has auto-belay routes, you don't even need a partner. If you have a partner, the routes range up to well beyond my capability. But, it's actually quite a social place to hang out!
Sunday, Dec 11, we ventured out to Peter Lougheed Provincial Park to check out the coss-coutry ski conditions there. Much to our surprise, the tracksetting was excellent from the Elk Pass parking lot to Elk Pass, and the Blueberry Hill lookout. Nice soft snow, albeit somewhat slow due to the cold temperature. The daytime high, though, did hit -15C, which is quite tolerable when there is no wind, and you're working on your stride and gliding. It won't be long before all the trails there are in great shape.
We've been out back country skiing (alpine touring) where you can start out at 1900m+ from the road. That has included Bow Summit on the Ice Fields Parkway in Banff, and Robertson Glacier in Kananaskis Country. Powder skiing in those places was very good for December! We'll continue to investigate....
Hoping Santa brings more snow!!