Ending on a positive note

by Bob Truman on April 17, 2017

in Kananaskis, PLPP(P Lougheed Park)

Arriving at the top of Whiskey Jack

What a lovely day it was as I set out one last time to ascend Whiskey Jack. Last night’s tracksetting looked fantastic and inviting. I enjoyed the climb with excellent grip on my zero skis, soaking it all in, knowing we have seven months to wait before doing this again.

Upper Pocaterra

I didn’t start until noon, but I had reasonably firm tracks and snow for the Whiskey Jack – Pocaterra – Packers loop. All the fast downhills still had cold snow, so I didn’t experience any of the “spastic marionette being yanked about by a sadistic puppeteer” that Chip reported.

This section of Packers will soon be taken over by edge creep.

I was tempted to head south onto Tyrwhitt but I knew that by the time I got back to WJ, the snow would be getting wet. If I had known Chip was there, I probably would have gone south anyway. 

These skiers were starting out as I was finishing

Although Upper Pocaterra has a north-south aspect, and it appears to get a lot of sun, the angle of the slope as it heads downhill preserves the cold snow surprisingly well. You can feel the contrast a couple times when the trail takes a brief uphill and the snow becomes wet and soft. I thought it was quite remarkable how big a difference it makes, even on such a gentle slope. 

The same phenomenon would be experienced on the north side of Lookout, so I imagine Judy Reside had a reasonably nice downhill run there today(check the trip reports for Judy’s update).

Alberta Parks was checking for collared bears who might be active in the vicinity

The temperature at Boulton Creek was +6°C and the snow-capped mountains were glistening in the bright sunshine, but it eventually clouded over. 

Last night was the final time that Jody had to work the graveyard shift, as tracksetting is now finished for the season in PLPP. 

Thank you to all who contributed to the blog this winter. The anticipation of November’s snows will be in my thoughts, and I’ll be looking forward to hearing from you next winter. 

Please continue to post trip reports if you go skiing. 

{ 1 comment }

The final day is here

April 16, 2017

The PLPP Live Grooming Report indicates that tonight will be the final grooming of the season: April 16 It was a slightly colder and mainly clear night in PLPP and as of 6AM, no fresh snow has fallen in at least 12 hours, leaving the fresh grooming snow free for the time being. Barring any […]

5 comments […Read more]

Bear chases kicksledder on Spray River West(with video)

April 15, 2017

Update April 19: Story in the Crag and Canyon newspaper Grizzly pursues woman, dogs on Banff trail This was posted by Annette Young on Facebook… Completely shaken but safe, untouched and unharmed….

6 comments […Read more]

Unique Photos

April 13, 2017

The above photo was posted in the Castlegar, BC newspaper.  Below are some outstanding, unique photos from this blog’s readers: Read more: The Lynx Photos I met Kevin and Dauminique Dowler on the Kananaskis Village

1 comment […Read more]

“The soul-mending rhythm of cross-country skiing” My Top 10 of 2016 – 2017

April 10, 2017

Top 10 These were 10 ski trips where I had exceptionally great conditions(chronological order).

3 comments […Read more]

The life-blood of this blog

April 8, 2017
Thumbnail image for The life-blood of this blog

-Thanks to Chuck and all the other skiers who have submitted trip reports.- It’s no mystery to me why this blog has become so popular and well-read. It’s because so many of the readers are willing to give

1 comment […Read more]

Thanks for the tracks

April 7, 2017
Thumbnail image for Thanks for the tracks

Where would we be without the guys and gals who spend hours on their snowmobiles and snowcats, grooming the trails for us, at ungodly hours, sometimes exposed to extreme cold?

8 comments […Read more]

Typical spring skiing – 20% slower

April 6, 2017
Thumbnail image for Typical spring skiing – 20% slower

In mid-winter on cold snow, I can ski the Tyrwhitt loop at an average speed of 9 km/H on my waxable skis. Today, with waxless skis(zeros), on wet snow, I averaged 7.3

3 comments […Read more]

Proposed Rockyview/Calgary XC Ski area

April 5, 2017

This was sent to me today by Greg Foord: HELP! I have Identified a plot of land owned by MD Rockyview on the western boundary of the city on 101 street west that would be most suitable for a XC ski area.  Administration from the MD has indicated enthusiasm for this project but approvals are […]

9 comments […Read more]

The winter of 2016 – 2017; One million readers!

April 3, 2017
Thumbnail image for The winter of 2016 – 2017; One million readers!

Someone who logged in on March 31 was our one-millionth visitor!    Ray’s weather report motivated me to start working on a year-end review.

11 comments […Read more]

Caption this photo of the Redearth Creek avalanche

April 2, 2017

Chuck took this photo today of Jeannette staring at the wall of snow which is blocking her path on Redearth Creek. My caption would be… ….and dinner is waiting for me at Shadow Lake Lodge!

16 comments […Read more]

The year of the deep freeze

April 1, 2017

I don’t know about you but I like looking at statistics. One of our regular trip reporters, Ray Perrott, is a collector of data and puts it in an easily readable form for us. I started skiing in 1997, and I don’t remember a winter with so many cold days, and this report from Ray proves […]

4 comments […Read more]

PLPP mixed results

March 30, 2017
Thumbnail image for PLPP mixed results

-Kim(L) and Brian at the top of the Elk Pass hill- Update Sat Apr 1: Trails groomed last night/yesterday: Whiskey Jack, Packers, and Upper Pocaterra in PLPP. Moraine Lake road at Lake Louise.

0 comments […Read more]

Changes coming to West Bragg Creek

March 28, 2017

Alberta Parks is upgrading West Bragg Creek Provincial Recreation Area. The parking lot will be expanded and trailhead amenities will be enhanced to address site issues. These upgrades are intended to reduce parking lot congestion

3 comments […Read more]

Good conditions before 1 pm

March 26, 2017
Thumbnail image for Good conditions before 1 pm

It’s spring and we have to be bear aware, as evidenced by the bear tracks I saw a few years ago on Tyrwhitt and Whiskey Jack. Today, those bears wouldn’t have had a chance to catch me

4 comments […Read more]

Skiing possibilities on Sunday

March 25, 2017

I didn’t ski today, but we have trip reports from most of the areas where there is still some reasonably good skiing to be had. BarbBanff was excited about seeing the wolverine tracks near the Packers – Pocaterra junction in PLPP.

1 comment […Read more]

Fantastic spring skiing in PLPP

March 24, 2017
Thumbnail image for Fantastic spring skiing in PLPP

In my log book, I use the term “Best Day” reservedly and only for exceptional experiences. Today’s ski trip earned that honour, one of only five this winter.

1 comment […Read more]

Lower your expectations. Spring is here

March 23, 2017
Thumbnail image for Lower your expectations. Spring is here

On the other hand, maybe Alf Skrastins has it right. Read his recent backcountry trip report to get a more positive attitude on spring skiing. Most digital cameras come with a

5 comments […Read more]

Satisfaction survey

March 22, 2017

Foothills Nordic Ski Club would like your feedback: Click here to complete the Satisfaction Survey Less than a year ago, Nordic ski clubs in Calgary learned that WinSport would no longer be supporting cross country skiing at Canada Olympic Park. With the generous support of Calgarians and a vibrant cross country skiing community that stepped […]

0 comments […Read more]

Emerald Lake avalanche update

March 21, 2017

This photo which I took on March 9 shows the avalanche path but not the recent avalanche. This update is from the Kicking Horse Ski Club: The slide path got dropped on Sunday! We have up to 30’ of snow & debris blocking the summer walking trail. It did reach out onto the lake ice […]

2 comments […Read more]