Kane Valley Skiing – January 2021

Winter has arrived!

Over the past few days we’ve received over a foot of snow! Our groomers Hubby and Ian have been very busy getting our trails cleaned up so that we can all enjoy Kane Valley!

The large amounts of snow make a great cushion for beginner skiers to fall a few times. If you haven’t tried cross country skiing yet, this is the perfect year to start.

Reminder: To check current trail conditions and grooming updates scroll to the bottom of this page and click  on the ‘leave a comment’ button. For instructions on how to leave a comment continue to the end of this page

For instructions on how to leave a comment click hereIf you’ve been out skiing leave a comment so that others can see what the conditions are like!

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30 Responses to Kane Valley Skiing – January 2021

  1. Ian says:

    Greetings skiers. Here is a brief trail report for January 31, 2021.

    Once again it was the early birds that caught the worms in terms of skiing in the Kane Valley today. Conditions were good up until about midday, when temperatures rose above zero and it began to rain. The snow very quickly became heavy and sticky.

    We packed and groomed a number of trails today before the weather deteriorated, and even set some really nice tracks. The trails that were done are: Kane, Aspen, Matthew’s Loops East and West, Chute, Raven’s Ridge, Menzies, Vale and Gulch. We also opened up the Porter Bypass on Aspen for the first time this year. It had a large tree down across it that we had to cut up and remove. The Porter Bypass has a less severe gradient than the Aspen trail it parallels, but it still is a bit daunting because it is so narrow. Perhaps use the bypass to go uphill, but come down Aspen.

    The forecast is for fairly mild weather in the Kane Valley all this coming week, with daytime temperatures consistently reaching zero or above. Some precipitation is predicted; we can only hope it comes in the form of snow. Look for slightly cooler temperatures by next Sunday. If you plan to ski this week, I would recommend getting out by 10 a.m. at the latest.

    Stay safe and happy skiing.

  2. Ian says:

    Greetings skiers. Here is a trail report for January 30, 2021.

    Just one more day left in January. Plan to make it a ski day in the Kane Valley!

    The conditions for skiing were magnificent again today, with the temperature hovering around zero all day, with 2-3 cm of fresh snow overnight, and with a bit more white stuff falling early and late in the day.

    I began skiing from P1 at 10:30 a.m. I skied Raven’s Ridge to Lunchbox shelter, around Gulch and Vale twice, down Asp, down Crossover, down Tillicum, and across Neil’s Valley and Menzies. It worked out to almost 17 km of skiing when all was said and done. I don’t do these trails a lot so it was good from both a skier’s and groomer’s perspective to ‘feel’ them out again.

    A big thank-you to Paul Willms for breaking the first trail on Neil’s Valley, which has not been groomed this year. It was a delightful ski. Also a big thank-you to whoever skied Cross-over before me. I was able to follow your track and double-pole glide the entire upper section and half the lower section of that trail. Sheer delight.

    One other ski I did today was the old Gulch bypass that avoids one of the bigger up-and-down hills on that trail. Longtimers will remember this alternate route, which lies between Lunchbox shelter and the Harmon junction on the Gulch trail. The bypass has been de-activated and is no longer on the map, but it’s a wonderful bit of back-country skiing if you’re interested. Just follow my tracks.

    I’ve received word that the outhouse at Matthew’s shelter has been damaged and will need some repair. I’ll let you know when it’s fully functioning again.

    Have you seen the ‘message on a pond’ along the Gulch trail yet? I mentioned it in an earlier post. I have to give the credit to the snowshoers (Terry and his Pirates) for producing it. Great job. You better check it out soon before fresh snow makes it indecipherable. What does it say? I’ll pique your interest: It’s nine letters long and begins with A. No more clues.

    Driving along Kane Valley Road today from P1 to P6 was like a trip through Canadiana. In addition to the skiers, the snowshoers and the ice fishermen/women, there were several tailgate gatherings, complete with barbies (not Barbies). And on Upper Second Lake, there was a group of hockey players who had shoveled off a rink. They were wearing original-6 hockey jerseys, they had a net, and even a goalie all kitted out. Sweet!

    Anyone interested in a night ski with headlamps? I do it all the time at home on my farm fields. It’s magical. We could assemble at P2 (but keep socially distant) and maybe ski Kane out and back. People could turn back in twos and threes depending on how far they want to go. A couple of people might be happy to stay back and start/tend a fire? Let me know what you think.

    Stay safe and happy skiing.

  3. Ian says:

    Greetings skiers. Here is a trail report for January 29, 2021.

    It was yet another gorgeous day for skiing in the Kane Valley, and there were many people taking advantage of it.

    I had the small groomer out today, tidying up both Matthew’s Loops. We have a report of a missing pair of prescription glasses on Matthew’s Loop West, in the vicinity of the second junction with Kane (the junction with the sign board). Perhaps skiers can keep their eyes peeled to the left and right of the trail. The frames are a mottled black and white. Contact Mischelle Pierce if you find them.

    I also made several passes over Tolko and Connector, first with just the sled and then with the sled and groomer. Those two trails are now ready to ski in comfort. Just be wary of the final descent down Tolko to the junction with Hill’s Homestead (if you’re skiing east to west). It’s a steep one.

    Longtime club member Don Parno has been checking out some of the newly logged areas below (east of) Matthew’s Loop East. He says there’s some real potential for new trails.

    An important update to yesterday’s blog, in which I listed the 26 open ski trails and bypasses in this season’s Kane Valley network. I received an urgent request from our club president, John Anderson, to remove a few of the listings – for very good reasons. They are:

    HARMON CUT-OFF. This trail ends abruptly at Kane Valley Road, with nowhere to park or turn a grooming machine around. DO NOT SKI.

    HARMON BYPASS. This trail runs parallel to the regularly-used alternate route above the beaver pond on the Harmon trail. It has a very steep and treacherous gradient at the end. It will not be groomed. DO NOT SKI.

    MOOSE LOOKOUT. Although this little aside on the Harmon trail still exists, it is very unsafe, as you have to look out for moose (get it, just kidding). It is deemed dangerous and will not/can not be groomed. DO NOT SKI.

    Thank goodness we have our esteemed president keeping an eye on things. Skiers still have 23 other trails/bypasses to tick off their to-do list this season if they so choose.

    Are you wondering where the Vale Bypass is? It’s at the top of the steep hill above P3. It has been groomed.

    The forecast for the next few days is for mild, above-zero daytime temperatures and the possibility of precipitation. I suspect skiing will be the best in the morning. Cross your fingers that the precip comes in the form of white powder (no, not heroin!).

    DID YOU KNOW: Early skiers used one long pole or spear in addition to skis. The first depiction of a skier with two ski poles dates back to 1741.

    Stay safe and happy skiing.

  4. Ian says:

    Greetings skiers. Here is a trail report for January 28, 2021.

    Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! The white stuff has been falling intermittently in the Kane Valley for the past two days, slowly building up a layer of the fresh stuff on top of all that crusty ice. Keep it coming!

    Drove into P2 today at noon and couldn’t find a parking spot! There must have been close to a dozen vehicles there. Rumor has it a birthday party was going on at the shelter although I didn’t see any balloons. I’m not about to give away who just turned 35, but her name in scrambled letters is:

    L I E S E C M H L E E R C I P

    The plow job on P2 itself is a bit ragged. Please try to park in a way that is considerate of others. Make sure you and they can get out. It would be wise to get yourself turned around first before you park. The plow job on the road into P2 is excellent – nice and wide. In a pinch, vehicles could park along the side of the entry road, but try not to, so vehicles can get past each other going in or out.

    At P2 and at all the other Kane Valley trail heads, you’ll see painted stakes identifying snowmobile crossings for the grooming machines. Please do not park between the orange stakes.

    I parked at P5 today and skied Kane and all of Ravine to get up to Hill’s Homestead. I then ‘back-countried’ (no such word I’m sure) Tolko and Connector, which have not been touched by the groomers since the big snowfall before Christmas. It was tough going, especially uphill. Lo and behold, I encountered fresh tracks coming from the other direction. Paul Willms was on a similar mission, but somehow we didn’t actually meet up with each other until we were both back at P5. It’s my hope that we can get these two trails groomed very soon, as they are beautiful.

    Both Paul and I skied down the length of Ravine, although at separate times. He faired better than me on the first corner at the top, but it was a wonderful glide the rest of the way.

    Both Paul and Ken Conway-Brown have expressed a desire to ski all the open trails in the Kane Valley at least once this season – a commendable goal. Excluding North and Lynx (which are both officially closed and ungroomed), there are 26 trails and bypasses to be done. They are alphabetically:

    1. Asp 10. Hill’s Homestead 19. Raven’s Ridge
    2. Aspen 11. Kane 20. Ravine
    3. Chute 12. Matthew’s Loop East 21. Skyhigh
    4. Connector 13. Matthew’s Loop West 22. Sundown
    5. Cross-over 14. Menzies 23. Tillicum
    6. Gulch 15. Moose Lookout 24. Tolko
    7. Harmon 16. Neil’s Valley 25. Vale
    8. Harmon Cut-off 17. Overeasy 26. Vale Bypass
    9. Harmon Bypass 18. Porter Bypass

    Why not give it a go! Good luck!

    A word or two on the cattleguard in front of the Kane Ranch. A bit of a brute if you cross it on the wrong side. Be advised to stay to the right coming in from the highway, and stay to the left if heading back out. Avoid the low side, so to speak.

    The month of February is on the horizon. Do try to get out and ski as much as possible in the coming days and weeks. Winter will be over far too soon….and do let us know how you’re doing, and what you’d like to see and not like to see in the way of grooming, track setting, parking, shelters, outhouses, whatever.

    Stay safe and happy skiing.

  5. Don says:

    a little better again today with a bit more snow on top. Skiing Kane / Homestead was easy and efficient even on fat skiis. Now just just another 4-5 cm tonight please!

  6. Ian says:

    Greetings skiers. Here is a trail report for January 26, 2021.

    I returned late Monday from two days at the soggy coast to news that 2-5 cm of new snow had fallen in the Kane Valley, AND that P2 has been plowed out. Don’t try to tell me there’s no Santa Claus. A big shout-out to Mother Nature for the white stuff, and to NNSC president John Anderson and Rodney at YRB for making the ‘miracle at P2’ happen.

    Because of the dusting of fresh powder on the trails and the optimal weather (mix of sun and cloud, temperatures -10 to -2 degrees), I decided to try a circumnavigation of the Kane Valley trails today, starting and finishing at P1. Basically this is a ski around the complete outside perimeter of the Kane Valley trail network. Normally, this would be about a 26 km ski, but with North trail officially closed for the season, it reduced the perimeter to about 25 km. I did a perimeter ski several years ago, but circumstances and conditions have prevented me from trying it again – until today.

    Specifically, the perimeter is: from P1, Raven’s Ridge to Lunchbox Shelter, Gulch to the Harmon Junction, Harmon up to Panorama Shelter and over the top and all the way down to P6, Aspen to Sundown, to Bertha’s Shelter, to Upper Ravine to Hill’s Homestead, to Matthew’s Loop West, to Matthew’s Shelter, all of Matthew’s Loop East, to Chute and back to P1.

    I started at 9 a.m., and made really good time in the early going, reaching Lunchbox in 50 minutes, Panorama in 1:07, and P6 in 1:50. The climbing portions were extremely good because of the fresh snow, while the downhill sections were a bit slow but safe. The long Harmon descent was a hoot.

    From P6, Aspen to Sundown was uneventful. It was nice to see someone had skied Sundown to Bertha. Upper Ravine was pristine, and the best I’ve experienced it. The wide grooming allowed for efficient climbing. I’d be willing to even try this steep trail going down.

    Homestead also had seen recent traffic which was comforting. As for both Matthew’s Loops, they were their usual mayhem of willy-nilly tracks and pet footprints. Sure looked like the users were having fun. DP, did I see some eloquent telemark turns on Matthew’s Loop West?

    Chute was fine, with just enough snow to again make the climb efficient and the descent safe. Final completion time for the perimeter ski – 4:39 (four hours, 39 minutes).

    Nice to see the Kossinns – Ralph and Mattius – out skiing today, as well as Ken Conway-Brown and Rob MacLaren. I also saw Carol and Tom Dirksen, as well as Gunther from Surrey parked on site with his supercool camper van.

    While the recent snow is most welcome, we definitely need more. The forecast for the rest of this week is promising, with small amounts predicted for several days.

    While down at the Coast, I checked out some outdoor stores for their Nordic ski equipment. Their inventories were extremely low, mostly because of Covid. Supply and distribution from manufacturers has been severely hampered, while at the same time demand has been extremely high as people stay socially distant by recreating outdoors (that’s recreating, not procreating).

    Stay safe and happy skiing.

  7. Don says:

    very reasonable skiing today , I’ll give it 2cm of new, just enough for nice skiing on top of the hard base under that. and oh ya , P2 is open now, so you can stay on the flats, until we get a bit more snow.

  8. Kate Anderson says:

    Good Morning Skiers,

    It’s currently -10 and we have had 1cm of fresh snow this morning. Skies are lifting and it’s turning blue. More is snow expected tonight.

    Reconditioned trails like Kane and Ravens will be smooth and fast and fun!

    Please walk on the side of the trails if you decide to take your skis off while out and about.

    Huge shout out to Hubby and Ian for all their hard work grooming!

  9. Ian says:

    Greetings skiers. Here is a brief trail report for January 23, 2021.

    While an inversion layer lingered over the Nicola Valley for a few hours this morning, it was brilliant sunshine right from first light up in the Kane Valley. It was chilly though, with the thermometer at P3 registering -14 degrees at 11 a.m.

    We managed to groom a few trails today, including Crossover, Sundown, Lower Ravine and Harmon – all of these for the first time since the freezing rain on January 12 and 13. The latter trail was a shimmering wonderland of hard, crusted snow that would have been a nightmare to ski up or down. The grooming rakes were able to penetrate sufficiently to break up the crust, but what Harmon and all of the Kane ski trails need most of all is fresh snow.

    A further update on P6 and the start of the Aspen trail at its western end. Another yahoo tried to drive his way into Harmon Lake and absolutely trashed the road/ski trail for a full kilometre. It’s a miracle they got themselves turned around and back out to the main road. Skiers should simply stay away from this area completely. As mentioned yesterday, the best way to experience the Aspen trail (with or without a pet) is by starting at P5 and skiing out and back.

    We tried a run or two over Chute today, but were barely able to scratch the surface. It remains a hazardous trail that is best walked up and down. To get to the Matthew’s Loops trails (with or without a pet), it is recommended that you park at P3, cross over to P2 and start down Kane to the junction with Matthew’s West.

    I was checking in on our neighboring ski trails up in Logan Lake. They, too, are experiencing icy conditions, along with wild horses and a cougar sighting! We thought we had it tough. A few cougar tracks have been noted in the Kane Valley (mainly by snowshoers), but there have been no reported sightings of the felines to the best of my knowledge. Speaking of tracks, I’m sure many skiers have come across moose tracks on the Kane ski trails this winter. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear they’re using our trails as their main thoroughfares. Did you know that moose are generally referred to as elk in Europe?

    Have you skied Gulch trail recently? Have you passed the pond midway between the trail junction with Overeasy and Teiffel’s Landing? Check out what somebody clever has written in the snow on the pond. Who will be the first to write in the snow on the pond by Hill’s Homestead? Please stay off Menzies Lake.

    Speaking of snowshoers, the freezing rain of 10 days ago, combined with no new snow and a lot of foot traffic has hardened their trails to concrete. A lot of people are now navigating the snowshoe trails just in hiking boots….like it was summer or something!

    Stay safe and happy skiing.

  10. Ian says:

    Greetings skiers. Here is a brief trail report for January 22, 2021.

    A big belated shout-out to NNSC member Adam Ware who helped us resolve some electrical problems with the big grooming machine. Let’s hope it will finally start to behave itself.

    I took a break from grooming today to put on the boards and ski the Kane-Hill’s Homestead-Skyhigh-Kane loop from P3 for just the second time this season. Yes, it was a bit icy (in shaded spots), but not as bad as I was expecting. The climb was just as much fun as always (not), and the descent pretty quick. One thing I do when I’m aggressively snowplowing on a steep downhill is keep my centre of gravity really low by bending the knees and crouching.

    Weather-wise, it was yet another beautiful day in the Kane Valley. It was -10 degrees when I set out from P3 at 11 a.m., and -8 degrees at P3 when I finished two hours later. Once the sun hit the snow, it became quite soft and cereal-like (Rice Krispies). Midday is probably a very good time to go for a ski right now.

    The forecast is for periods of snow on Sunday and Monday. Here’s hoping.

    Stay safe and happy skiing. Enjoy your weekend.

  11. Ian says:

    Greetings skiers. Here is a brief trail report for January 21, 2021.

    First off, a big shout-out to the person/persons who sanded the middle of P3 parking lot sometime in the last 48 hours. Thank-you so very much. It definitely wasn’t YRB, as the Kane Valley Road was much worse until this afternoon when a grader and sand truck both finally made an appearance.

    The aforementioned grader and sand/plow truck, along with an excavator and two dump trucks were all in the Kane Valley today, yet not one so much as touched P2. I actually stopped the grader operator and pleaded with him, to no avail.

    On the bright side, an early overcast gave way to beautiful sunny skies in the afternoon, and temperatures just a few degrees below zero. It was nice to see a quartet of skiers heading out from P1 on Raven’s Ridge around 10:30 a.m. I hope they had an enjoyable time.

    I spent the day packing, grading and grooming trails on the northwest side of the Kane Valley, namely Overeasy, Gulch, Lower Vale, Tillicum and some of Raven’s. It’s a continuing battle to break up the hard pan created by the freezing rain from a week ago. I am purposely erasing some of the set tracks on hills, as the tracks are far too fast for descent, or too slick for ascent.

    I crossed the Kane Valley Road at P5 and did multiple passes on the small hill up to January Landing. This shaded hill was extremely icy. Users should continue to exercise caution. I also traversed the road at P1 and did four passes up and down Chute. This, too, continues to be very icy and fast. Skiers with pets are advised to access the pet-friendly Matthew’s Loops via P3-P2-Kane trail.

    Stay safe and happy skiing.

  12. Ian says:

    Greetings skiers. Here is a brief trail report for January 19, 2021.

    The weather in the Kane Valley wasn’t quite as pleasant today with mostly overcast skies and strong winds. The temperature registered +3 degrees around midday, but the wind certainly made it feel considerably colder.

    I spent four hours packing and grading trails today with the small groomer. I did Kane and both Matthew’s Loops. I also did several passes on Skyhigh, Hill’s Homestead and Aspen. The latter three can now all be skied, however they remain fairly hard with just a thin layer of loose snow on top. Be careful with your descents.

    Please note that things are a total mess at P6, as some yahoo tried to drive his truck off-road through unplowed snow at the Harmon Lake campsites. Anyone wishing to ski Aspen from P6 should park right on the Kane Valley Road and walk (clamber more like) 800 metres in past the cattleguard before strapping on the skis. From the other direction (from P5 for example), I would recommend skiing only as far as the big tree turnaround.

    The P3 parking lot has become a bit slippery again, especially through the middle. I’m bringing buckets of sand up with me on every visit. If every user could bring a couple of buckets with them each time and take a couple of minutes to spread it around, it would go a long way to making the footing safer. You can get free shovel-yourself sand from Norgaard’s.

    After taking Wednesday off to watch the U.S. inauguration, I plan to be back out on the small groomer on Thursday improving trails on the north and west side of the Kane Valley Road. Hopefully, Hub and I will be out on Friday and/or Saturday packing and setting track.

    The long-range weather forecast for the Kane Valley is for cooler day and night-time temperatures beginning as early as Thursday, and the possibility of snow starting Sunday, January 24 and continuing into next week. Keep your fingers crossed.

    Stay safe and happy skiing.

  13. Ian says:

    Greetings skiers. Here is a brief Kane Valley trail report for January 18, 2021.

    Wow! Another beautiful day in the Kane Valley. The skiing was fantastic. Starting from P3, I skied Kane to P5 and back, then both Matthew’s Loops.

    Kane was outstanding. I was able to double-pole glide almost 50% of the trail in both directions. Kane is nice and wide and double-tracked almost the whole way. There’s room to skate-ski the middle in many places.

    Matthew’s Loop West is single-tracked most of the way. There’s a couple of fast downhills, but the snow has a bit of give to it now for snowplowing. Watch out for one big ‘divot’ where the grooming machine got stuck and had to be dug out. We’ll try to get that fixed up as soon as possible.

    Matthew’s Loop East has been loosened up by the groomer but not track set. It is still pleasant to ski.

    Due to the warm temperatures (+4 at noon, +8 at 2:30 p.m.), the crusted snow has softened quite a bit, especially the stuff that was groomed on Sunday. Because it’s old snow, it skis like spring corn snow. It isn’t sticky like fresh snow that gets warm.

    Just a reminder to skiers climbing uphill. If you need to herringbone, please don’t do it right on top of the set track. Step to the left or right where there’s no fixed track and make your way up there.

    Not only does P2 remain unavailable for vehicle parking, but it severely limits the use of the shelter adjacent to the parking lot, which has a beautiful new fire pit with benches, courtesy of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO). Such a shame.

    Finally, a word to those thinking about taking up cross-country skiing. It’s best to start with a small country. (Personally, I like Liechtenstein or Luxembourg).

    Stay safe and happy skiing.

  14. Ian says:

    Greetings skiers. Here is a brief Kane Valley trail report for January 17, 2021.

    The weather in the Kane Valley today was stunning – beautiful, sunny, blue skies with temperatures close to +8 degrees at noon. People were out in large numbers with 10-15 vehicles parked at both P1 and P3. P3 now has some sand on it, and traction is good.

    Despite my dire warnings about the trail conditions in yesterday’s post, a good number of skiers – young and old alike – were up to the challenge, and out on Kane, Matthew’s Loops, Raven’s Ridge, Menzies and Vale. Bravo to you.

    We did get out and groom/track set all of the above trails, as well as Asp. The rakes managed to break through the hard surface of the snow a bit, while the track setter performed admirably. We apologize for setting track on some of the steeper hills. We’re still having some problems with the equipment. Hopefully, there is enough room beside the track to snowplow down and herringbone up. A downhill variation I often use is to have one ski in the track and the other snowplowing beside. Give it a try.

    The weather for the coming week looks very nice with quite a bit of sunshine and pleasant temperatures. Do try to take in the beautiful Kane Valley.

    Stay safe and happy skiing.

  15. Mischelle Pierce says:

    Thanks for all the info Ian on the sad state of the ski trails Too bad after all that great snow and the wonderful job you groomers had done I must say Ian you certainly persevered to get a ski in I looked touched and decided nope not for me Please let’s have some more snow

  16. Ian says:

    Greetings skiers. Here is a Kane Valley trail report for January 16, 2021.

    Although the Kane Valley Road has now been adequately sanded, sadly conditions are not good at all for cross-country skiing. The freezing rain last Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, followed by sub-zero temperatures and wind has left trails extremely icy, hard, debris-strewn, and unforgiving. Perhaps a summative word would be DANGEROUS.

    I took my life into my hands today by skiing several of the most popular Kane Valley trails in order to assess their status. I parked at P3, which was an absolute ice rink. There was no sand whatsoever. You could barely walk on it. I plan to take several bucket loads of sand up to P3 on Sunday morning to help matters a bit.

    I skied Kane from P3 to P5 and back. Right from the start, I realized the snow was like concrete and any falls were going to hurt. Hills were very challenging: it was almost impossible to effectively snowplow going down, and quite hard to herringbone going up. The edges of the skis simply would not bite into or grip the hard snow. On the positive side, there was a nice track to use on the flatter grades, but heaven help you if you got stuck in the track going downhill. All that said, if you must go skiing in the next few days, Kane is the only trail I would say is relatively safe.

    From Kane, I skied the southern half of Matthew’s Loop West over to Chute. Matthew’s wasn’t too bad, although the hills were again daunting. As for Chute, it was a tough grind to climb up, and frightening to descend. After two hard falls in a span of 20 metres, I did the math and decided to take my skis off and walk down. Lucky I did, because right around the next corner was a substantial tree down across the trail. If I had hit that at speed, it would have been game over. I’m hoping to clear that tree on Sunday.

    After crossing the road at P1, I put the skis back on for Raven’s Ridge. I might as well have kept them off. Another hazard following Tuesday’s freezing rain was Wednesday’s windstorm. It blew all kinds of junk onto the ski trails – twigs, branches, cones, needles, lichen, bark, and squirrels (just kidding). Nowhere is it worse than at the start of Raven’s. All these items interfere with your glide and kick, and throw you off balance. The lichen (witch’s hair) is arguably the worst. It just stops your ski in its track.

    I struggled on, and did Menzies to Vale to P3. Again, hills were the biggest challenge. I removed my skis and walked down the final hill on Vale to the parking lot. I had no desire to run into the blue container or the shelter at 80 km/hr.

    I am compelled to mention one more hazard (especially on hills) currently facing skiers on certain trails – that being snowshoe tracks. Quite a few snowshoers appear to be trekking on the ski trails, and not just on the sides. Their indentations and impressions add to the difficulty of snowplowing down and doing herringbone up as they kick the skis around, which throws the skier off balance. Please, snowshoers, only use ski trails when crossing them at junctions. Thank-you.

    Unfortunately, we have not been able to groom the trails since the two (wind and rain) storms. The snow is just too hard-packed, and our big groomer continues to give us mechanical problems. Right now, the best thing we can hope for is more snow – upwards of 10-15 cm would be really nice. The forecast is for dropping temperatures beginning Wednesday of next week, but sadly no white stuff. Keep your fingers crossed.

    Stay safe and happy skiing.

  17. Kate Anderson says:

    Good morning skiers. Just to let you all know the Kane Valley Road has been well sanded and in good shape. Temperature is -11 and the snow will be crusty and fast (I’m guessing!). Grooming will likely happen on Friday. With another couple couple of cms of snow, conditions should be good again. If you venture out, please let us know what you find.
    We have a good, solid, wide base on the main trails and we welcome winter back!
    Kind Regards

  18. Ian says:

    Greetings skiers. Here is a brief Kane Valley trail report for January 13, 2021….sort of.

    Sort of because I couldn’t get to the ski trails today due to an accident right at the beginning of the Kane Valley Road. A YRB plow truck was unable to negotiate the icy road and slid off into the ditch. Tow trucks were having extreme difficulty extricating the plow truck and the road was essentially closed for hours. I would definitely not want to be a vehicle coming down that road.

    Overnight freezing rain not only iced up the roads, but would have iced up the trails, too. They would have been, and most likely continue to be treacherous. Skiing is definitely NOT recommended until the road is properly and abundantly sanded, and the trails can be roughed up and groomed. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to groom until Saturday morning at the earliest. Even some fresh snow might not be enough as the hard, crusty snow will remain underneath, and continue to pose a hazard.

    Instead of skiing today, I joined three other members of the local Outdoor Club in a snowshoe outing on Hamilton Hill above Marquart Lake (the lake before Lundbom). We convened at the interpretive centre parking lot (which was also very icy) and snowshoed in from there. The snow was very crusty and icy (there’s that word again), but much more negotiable on snowshoes than on skis. Out on the trail we ran into local photographer Bruce Walters and noted nature photographer Frank Ritcey. You can check out some of Frank’s great stuff on YouTube, including this most soothing video:


    There was a strong wind up on Hamilton Hill as we snowshoed, and considerable evidence that the wind had been blowing for many hours. I suspect that the Kane Valley got the same wind, and that there are many branches, needles and cones down on the trails.

    A big shout-out to Greg, Tim and Jordan at Forest, Land and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO) for their generous donation to the Nicola Nordic Ski Club to assist with maintenance and upkeep of the Kane Valley trail system.

    Stay safe and happy skiing.

  19. Kate Anderson says:

    It was warm and melting yesterday and rained and blew all night up in Kane Valley. Conditions will likely be tough going and icy today and getting colder now.
    Its currently-1 and very lightly snowing.

  20. Mischelle Pierce says:

    A friend and I did a quick ski down Chute and Mathews Loop East on Saturday OMG it was fantastic Fresh snow , amazing grooming , well tracked and nice and fast Thank you groomers
    Love your trail reports Ian keep it up !!!

  21. Ian says:

    Greetings skiers. Here is a brief Kane Valley trail report for January11, 2021.

    While Merritt and the Nicola Valley melts as a result of abnormally mild January temperatures, the Kane Valley continues to accumulate snow. Another modest centimetre of the white stuff fell today in the high country, as the thermometer held steady at about zero.

    I got an early start this morning, and skied the western-most loop of the Kane Valley trail network. Starting at P6, I climbed Harmon on the north side of the road up to Panorama shelter in 80 minutes, then descended the last part of Harmon to Gulch, to Overeasy, to P5. After crossing the road, I skied up to January shelter, then the length of Aspen back to P6. Total time: 2.5 hours.

    Skiing Harmon was actually quite pleasant. I had enough grip for the long uphill, and just the right amount of glide for the downhill. That said, the whole trail has only been groomed once, so it’s pretty rough in sections. The same can be said for Overeasy. Both trails are currently easier to deal with and safer going up than going down.

    As for Aspen, it was a delight. It’s double-tracked in a number of places. The one steep hill (by the Sundown junction) is formidable, however. I went up with not too much problem; use extreme caution going the other way. There’s just not much room to widen the trail, so snowplowing down is tricky, and there’s a fair drop-off on the left. If you’re apprehensive, don’t hesitate to pop the skis off and walk down. Just stay off to the side of the trail. We’ll try to open the Porter Bypass as soon as possible.

    If you’re like me and enjoy back-country skiing and breaking trail, consider the Tolko or Connector trails on the east side of the road, or the short Neil’s Valley trail on the west side. All three have not been groomed this year, and I haven’t seen any ski tracks on them yet (I may be wrong). Go for it!

    Travis, our ski guru at Breathe Bikes in Merritt, says that business has been brisk, with rentals flying out the door every weekend, and lots of memberships to the Nicola Nordic Ski Club being taken out.

    Stay safe and happy skiing.

  22. Dawson says:

    Great afternoon on Matthews loop, wife, dogs and I had a blast. Thanks for the great grooming. Warm temperatures as we left (3pm) and slight drizzle at the highway, hope it equates to more snow up top!

  23. Don says:

    pretty nice conditions today again. thanks for all the work ian/ hubby. Thankyou for all the info / weather posts, it is great getting that “local” knowledge before heading out!

  24. Ian says:

    Greetings skiers. Here is your Kane Valley trail report for January 9, 2021.

    I must be sounding like a broken record, but the conditions for skiing continue to be magnificent in the Kane Valley. The temperature at daybreak this morning was -13 degrees; it was -10 degrees at P3 at 9:00 a.m.; it stayed around -2 degrees for the better part of the day.

    Unlike Merritt, the Kane Valley has an abundance of snow; in fact, it’s quite hard to get around if you dare or have to take your skis off while out on the trails. Unlike the valley bottoms which saw an inversion layer of cloud for most of the day, the Kane Valley enjoyed clear skies and brilliant sunshine.

    Skiers and (snow)shoers were out in numbers today, with parking lots very busy. We’re considering installing parking meters (just kidding).

    Most of our attention today was focused on packing, grooming, widening, and track setting existing trails. We did Chute, most of both Matthew’s Loops, Kane, Skyhigh, Lower Ravine and Hill’s Homestead. The latter is really starting to set up nicely, and we invite keeners to give it a go. On the other side of the road, we again did Raven’s Ridge, Gulch, Vale, Asp and Tillicum.

    We’ve received our first feedback on the newly-opened Overeasy trail. It ain’t so easy at the moment. The first and last thirds are still a bit raw, and will need some more work. The recommendation is to ascend Overeasy at the moment, rather than descend.

    Two more trails were packed and groomed for the first time since the big snowfall in December. They are Upper Ravine and all of Harmon. The former is very beautiful and secluded; like Overeasy, it is rather raw right now and probably should be skied going up rather than down. As for Harmon, it is the longest single trail in the Kane Valley network at 6.4 kilometres. You can access it from Gulch or P6. From the Gulch junction, it’s a bit of a grinding climb up to Panorama shelter, but your hard work is rewarded by an almost 4-kilometre descent down to the Kane Valley Road. Conversely, starting at P6 means a very long slog uphill before you get to enjoy any descent. If you plan to tackle Harmon in its entirety, be aware that you will be quite isolated and there are some challenging sections (especially downhill). Watch out for tree wells.

    We’re hoping to be out grooming and track setting again next Saturday. Until then….

    Stay safe and happy skiing.

  25. Ian says:

    Greetings skiers. Here is your Kane Valley trail report for January 8, 2021.

    Weather-wise, mornings continue to be the best time to ski, with temperatures consistently a few degrees below zero. Today, it was -6 degrees at 9 a.m. at P3. By 1 p.m., it was +2 degrees at Lunch Box shelter, and the snow was starting to get heavy and sticky.

    Snow continues to fall and accumulate in the Kane Valley, with another couple of centimetres today. This could well be one of the best years for skiing in some time.

    A big shout-out to the Three Musketettes – Kate Anderson, Kelly Reid and Sandra Neustadter – for muscling their way around Hill’s Homestead today – not an easy outing.

    A big shout-out also to Greg Hodson and son, Ryan de Vissar and son, and Tim Bennett (the FLNRO army) for three hours of hard work with a snowblower to begin opening up the road into P2. Incredibly tough going. Now, maybe YRB will step up and finish the job.

    It was a fairly successful day for trail packing and grooming, although we continue to experience electrical problems with the track setter. Here are the trails we groomed today:

    On the south-east side of the road: Chute, both Matthew’s Loops, Kane, Aspen, Sundown, Lower Ravine, Skyhigh, and Hill’s Homestead.

    On the north-west side of the road: Raven’s Ridge, Asp, Tillicum, Vale, Menzies, Gulch, Crossover, and for the first time Overeasy.

    Overeasy is now officially open, and has a different look to it. The middle third is right on a newly-built logging road. Don’t worry – it still looks beautiful in the winter. As we widen this trail out with repeated passes, the middle third is going to be great for those wishing to try a bit of downhill parallel skiing or even classic telemarking. If I might suggest a worthy loop: park at P3, ski Vale to Teiffel’s Landing, Gulch, Overeasy to P5, cross the road, and ski Kane all the way back to P3.

    We’re planning to be back out Saturday morning improving everything done today, and hopefully laying down a few more tracks.

    Stay safe and happy skiing.

  26. Lorna Latremouille says:

    Great skiing today from P1 to lunch box! So pretty with new snow and snow still hanging in the trees! Thank you!

  27. Kate Anderson says:

    Kane Valley weather and snow report: it is currently -9 and skiing has been good all week on the trails i’ve ventured on. I’ve skied the north side this week P1 up Ravens to Lunchbox, Gulch, P3 to Lunchbox down Vale and ventured from P5 down Kane. We have received 3 to 4 inches of fresh snow this week. I understand our groomers are going out today and a report will follow.

    Behind the scenes…. i want to give a huge shout out to Linda Brown, who is taking care of memberships and the finances and keeping our club accountable:) We appreciate YOU!!

    Come out and play:)

  28. Kate Anderson says:

    Good Evening Skiers,
    Forgive me for two posts in one day, but it’s important to note that there was closer to 4 cms of fresh snow yesterday, and skiing was excellent this morning on a solid base with fresh powder on top. There was no melt up here today and it is currently blustering and snowing again. I am definitely going skiing again in the morning!
    Come out and play:)

  29. Kate Anderson says:

    Good Morning skiers!

    I live in Kane Valley and it has been requested that i post some weather reports from Kane Valley as i live up here.

    It is currently -6 at my place, it is often 4-6 degrees colder up here than in Merritt.
    We had 2 cms of fresh snow yesterday, with a smattering of rain on top late in the day. A beautiful sun rise, the snow is calling and i’m heading out to check out the trails this morning.

    Early morning skiing is often decent and it is always excellent to get outside and play and combat the winter blues.

    Thanks to Ian for the informative posts and to all the efforts of our team for keeping this volunteer club going, and to our groomers Ian and Hubby, i salute you!

    Our membership has increased this year, so thank you for buying memberships and keep them coming!!! Membership dollars = grooming!

  30. Ian says:

    Greetings skiers and Happy New Year. Here is your Kane Valley trail report for January 1, 2021.

    Some really good news….P3 parking lot has been fully plowed! It was done overnight by a YRB grader. It pushed some serious snow around. There’s now two entrances to the lot, and room for as many as 20 vehicles. Please have the courtesy to park one behind the other along the sides of the snow banks, leaving the middle open for coming and going. And don’t park too close together.

    The grader did not do P2 parking lot, and I can understand why. The entrance is too narrow, and there’s nowhere to just push the massive amount of snow that’s built up. It’s going to require a loader to come in and actually remove the snow and take it somewhere else.

    Sincere thanks to the many people who contacted (and complained to) YRB and got the fire started. Now, let’s keep the heat on and get P2 resolved. It’s by far our safest parking location, being the largest, away from the main road, closest to a shelter, and closest to family and pet-friendly trails that cater to everyone.

    The grader also widened Kane Valley Road as well. A word of caution, however….be careful coming back out on Kane Valley Road to the highway. The grader has pushed the snow so far back on the right that the ditch is exposed. If you drive too far over, you’re going to find that ditch with your right wheels.

    Now to the skiing today. The weather was a real potpourri. Overcast and threatening at 10 a.m. Sunny and warm by 1 p.m. I recorded a high of +8 degrees. The mild temperature made for some tricky snow conditions in the middle of the day. I skied Kane-Hill’s Homestead-Kane from P3 and experienced a bit of everything. It’s a good idea to pack some waxes with you on spring-like days like today, as well as a scraper to get rid of stuck-on snow. A shout-out to the skier who did Hill’s yesterday afternoon, right after it had been groomed. Good job. It’s a challenging trail with a sustained climb to start and a speedy descent to finish. Watch out for the snow fence! And a shout-out to Rob Rose who skied Raven’s-Vale-Kane-Matthew’s Loops-Chute early this morning and provided us with some valuable feedback.

    For the second day in a row, the turnout of skiers in the Kane Valley was tremendous. There were a dozen vehicles at P3, another eight or so at P1, and quite possibly more down at P5 and P6.

    Let’s hope we can ‘weather’ these next couple of days of mild temperatures and possible rain. Things look more promising (for the Kane Valley at least) starting Sunday, January 3 and on into next week.

    We welcome posts on this blog from any and all Kane Valley users. Share your skiing experience, offer advice, and ask questions. Just go to the very end of the posts for the current month and you’ll see a box that says Please Leave A Comment. Ce n’est pas difficile.

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