Cross Country Skiing and Ptarmigans

Location: Burstall Pass, Alberta, CanadaParticipants: Sarah, Mclean Patrick Latter Time: 5 Hours Weather: -3 °C (26.6 °F)


Drive south from Canmore on Spray Lakes road for about 45km. There will be turn off for ‘Burstall’ and a large parking lot.


  • Cross Country Skis
  • Cross Country Boots
  • Cross Country Poles
  • Food
  • Water
  • Warm ski jacket
  • Warm fleece
  • Warm socks (or 2 layers of socks)
  • Toque
  • Thermal underwear
  • Snow-pants or gaiters
  • Gloves


I loved the trail we did last week so we decided to do it again but this time on cross country skis instead of snowshoes. The skis made for a much faster/easier trek, especially coming back, as it was mostly downhill.



There weren't to many surprises until we reached the flats and I nearly skied right over one of these guys.


There were 7 ptarmigans following us down the trail and we hadn't even noticed. They would run right along side us, periodically stopping at shrubs to eat.