Popular blog 'Skier Bob' ending after 13 years of cross-country ski updates in Alberta
Blogger posted almost 3,000 times, letting ski bums know about best trails
It's the end of the trail for Skier Bob, a popular cross-country ski blog in Alberta that has been providing updates to snow bums for 13 years.
Bob Truman, the man behind the blog, has provided thousands of photos and words about trail conditions.
But after it started getting too time-consuming, he decided to step down, leaving an opening for other bloggers interested in the sport.
"Probably the biggest reason is after writing almost 3,000 blog posts, my creative energy to keep doing it has been depleted," he told the Calgary Eyeopener.
"I wanted to spend more time doing other things in the winter, and my inner voice is just telling me it's time to let someone else take the reins."
He says it started to become pretty easy to spend three to four hours a day on it.
"Every morning, there's new things to put on that people are waiting to hear about — you know, new tracks setting, weather, things like that," he said.
"And then if I go skiing during the day, I come home and write about it and have all these pictures to process."
Truman says he first started skiing in 1997 and decided to create the blog in 2008.
"I guess you could say it was selfish reasons because I wanted to know where the best conditions were," he said.
"I thought by writing about where I've been, people would share their story about where they've been, and it just grew and grew from that."
He says he had no preconceived notion that a community would form.
"It's not unusual now to get 20 reports from people who have been out skiing and it helps everybody decide where to go skiing the next day."
The blog was especially helpful this past year when the province announced it would stop grooming cross-country trails in Kananaskis.
The community ended up banding together, and Nordiq Alberta, the governing body for cross-country skiing in the province, signed a deal with the province that it will cover the cost of maintaining the trails through a volunteer pay-to-play program.
"I felt it was my duty to stay on for another year to deal with that situation," said Truman.
He says the blog became an important role during that time in order to update skiers on the situation. And so far, he's happy how everything turned out.
As well, he says another big accomplishment that came from the blog was writing about the reconfiguration of grooming on Goat Creek Trail, which is a popular spot in Banff National Park.
"It was originally double trackset, which left little room for multi-users — hikers, snowshoers, fat bikers — to use the trail," he said in an email to CBC News.
"I encouraged Banff National Park to reconfigure the grooming to one track only, leaving a wider space for multi-users. It made everyone happy, including skiers."
- Check out some of Skier Bob's old ski reports below:
Despite the end to the popular blog, that doesn't mean you won't catch Skier Bob on the trails each winter.
"I have made a lot of good ski friends through the blog, and I'm really going to miss that. But I expect I'll be seeing them out on the trail without my camera."
And if you're lost at where you can go now for all the ski updates, Truman says he plans to find another blog site to redirect people on his page.
So if you're up for the challenge next fall, don't be afraid to grab the torch and become the new Skier Bob.
- Listen to the full interview below:
With files from the Calgary Eyeopener.