Shaganappi Nordic Operations Club

Ripton, Vermont (March 10, 2012) - Cross-country skiers enjoy a blanket of fresh powder snow as they ski Battell Hill at Middlebury College's Rikert Nordic Center on the Breadloaf Campus. (Photo © 2012 Brett Simison)

by Linda M, Shaganappi Nordic Operations Club (SNO)

Winter activities in Calgary…

Fall is here.

Now is a good time to think about ideas to be more active this winter, even on really cold days. Try something new… snowshoeing, Nordic skiing, alpine skiing, curling, ice skating, tobogganing, or just going for walks!

Free Nordic Skiing (and Some Places to Walk) In Calgary:

  • Maple Ridge Golf Course, South Glenmore Park, and Bowness Park. Nordic trails are maintained by the City of Calgary on a weekly basis.
  • The City of Calgary website lists ungroomed parks and areas Nordic skiers are welcome to use (or call 311 for more information).
  • Confederation Golf Course and Canmore Park Nordic ski trails are maintained by volunteers from the Foothills Nordic Ski Club. Ski trails are groomed often, sometimes daily.
  • Shaganappi Point Golf Course at the Shaganappi Point LRT station is open for walking, snowshoeing, and Nordic skiing in the winter. Nordic ski trails are maintained by volunteers with the Shaganappi Nordic Operations Club, are groomed and track set often (daily on weekends when conditions and volunteer levels allow).

General Etiquette When Around Nordic Ski Trails:

  • Walking on ski trails is not recommended, as it damages the trails, increases solar-induced melting, and footprints get frozen in place which are a hazard to skiers travelling at speed.
  • Stay off fragile non-native grasses that are usually marked off with fencing (greens and tee boxes.) Why? Snow compaction above non-native grasses prevents decomposition gases along the ground from escaping through the snowpack, and gases collect in concentrated form and kill the grass.

Too Cold? Think Again!

When your body is moving and active outside, you are generating heat. While wearing the right type of clothing and keeping your feet, hands, and face protected from the cold, being outside at most temperatures can be exhilarating and really enjoyable in the winter. I’ve gone Nordic skiing at Shaganappi in Calgary at -20C and colder with the wind and have had a fantastic time. I’m usually alone in that urban winter wonderland in those temperatures on the squeaky-dry snow, which can be surreal.