Photo by JEFF STOKOE/Advocate staff

Despite the thaw, the skiing is good on city trails

Some of the best cross-country ski conditions in Alberta outside of the mountains can be found in Red Deer.

Some of the best cross-country ski conditions in Alberta outside of the mountains can be found in Red Deer.

Don Wales, trail groomer with the Parkland Cross Country Ski Club, said the trails are consistently good from Heritage Ranch to Great Chief Park and around the baseball diamonds.

“Everybody is having difficulty with lack of snow,” said Wales. “This is the place to ski. A lot of people from Edmonton and Calgary are coming up to Red Deer just to get on snow. They can’t do it at home.”

Despite the unseasonably warm conditions around the province, the city’s trails have been bustling with activity since early December.

A handful of cross-country races, including last weekend’s Alberta Cup in Grande Prairie, were cancelled because of the lack of snow and poor conditions.

Wales said the city’s trails are slightly icy but skiable.

In early December, ski club volunteers moved snow or “chinook proofed” to get through the warm winter periods. They moved the snow from snow farms or piles, scattered around Heritage Ranch. Using a snowblower, they moved the snow into a sled and dragged the snow into place on the trails.

Typically, “chinook proofing” is only done once a year to get through the warm melting periods.

“That enables us to get past one of these melts,” said Wales.

“This is one of the longest melts we have ever experienced,” said Wales.

Wales said the trails could use a good snowfall.

“Because there is absolutely nothing we can do until we get snow,” he said. “We just have to put up with the icier conditions but it’s still skiable and that’s good.”

To find out about local trail conditions, visit or, for conditions elsewhere, visit

Just Posted

Maxime Bernier reaches out to Red Deer

Voters looking at The People’s Party of Canada

Alberta municipalities gather in Red Deer for fall conference

About 1,700 people expected for Alberta Urban Municipalities Association conference

Rocky-area widow pleads for better cardiac treatment for Central Albertans

Lillian Hay wonders if her late husband Grant would have survived with local cardiac catheterization

Festival of Trees lineup announced

Popular event has raised millions for Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre

Maskwacis Mall has gone solar

Ermineskin Cree Nation receives provincial funding for project

WATCH: Barbecue in support of Red Deer Food Bank

The sun came out for the sixth-annual Feed the Need community barbecue… Continue reading

Black communities seek cannabis amnesty as pot legalization nears

OTTAWA — Members of Canada’s black communities are praising the Liberals for… Continue reading

Goodale tours Ottawa area destroyed by tornado, says feds ready to provide help

DUNROBIN, Ont. — Canada’s public safety minister says the federal government is… Continue reading

Province reports first decrease in child welfare numbers in 15 years

WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government says the number of kids in the… Continue reading

Woman says boyfriend pressed her to ‘produce a baby’

FARGO, N.D. — A North Dakota woman convicted of killing her pregnant… Continue reading

Defence focuses on behaviour of teen killed by Chicago cop

CHICAGO — Lawyers for a white Chicago police officer on trial for… Continue reading

Washington wants Canada to improve spill plan for U.S. spur of Trans Mountain

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington’s Department of Ecology wants the Canadian government to… Continue reading

National Transportation Safety Board to determine cause of Air Canada close call

Video captured the moment that an Air Canada jet flew off course… Continue reading

Most Read