Birds Hill Park, Wednesday morning, -1.5° to +1°, skate ski on the Group Use Road.
The track surface was a mess of footprints, deer hoofprints, a kick-sled that created two thin 5 cm deep ruts and boot divots, and horizontal washboard/corduroy (which was actually the best part of the track’s surface).
At 8:00 AM, the track was a thin icy layer over a deep/soft/moist base. Balance was challenging, even with my stiffest skating skis. Edging produced a thin line.
At 10:00 AM the icy layer had softened to perfection, so I switched to my skis with bases that are optimized for plus temps. Very good skiing!
At 11:30 when I finished, the surface still provided good lateral support and was still quite fast.
I should have used my skate poles with larger baskets. Hundreds of times I punched into the snow base and felt my pole being tugged. Many times a pole sunk in significantly.
The Aspen classic track looked fair (clearly visible but poorly defined) at the four places it crosses the GUR. A few people were classic skiing.
Later this week and into next week, the forecast overnight low temps are -7° or colder.
Many nordic ski areas in other provinces (including Alberta Parks) that have a half metre of snow base in March would groom with their Pisten Bully or Ginzu early in the morning to produce excellent classic tracks and corduroy.
Crust skiing all throughout the park might be good on the cold mornings … if the temp is well below freezing for many hours overnight to set up the crust.