15/17 in PLPP

by Bob Truman on March 27, 2015

in Kananaskis, PLPP(P Lougheed Park)

The view from the Kananaskis Fire Lookout

The view from the Kananaskis Fire Lookout

I’m enjoying the spring skiing in PLPP. Perhaps I’ve lowered my expectations after such a difficult winter. Perhaps it’s my skis; as Jody mentioned, the right skis at the right time of day. Perhaps I’ve realized that going slow can be okay. Mellowing out with age I guess.

For anyone considering skiing from Pocaterra hut, I’ve included a picture in the photo gallery at the bottom of this post.

The start of Whiskey Jack is not very motivating

The start of Whiskey Jack is not very motivating

I skied 17K, and 15 of them were pleasant, maybe even fun. The 2K which were sketchy were the lower sections of Whiskey Jack and Packers. In fact, I think today was the last day that anyone should ski on Packers. It starts out okay at the top, but gets progressively worse as you descend. The final kilometre is fraught with challenging conditions including standing water, bare ground, and icy spots. Pretty sure I saw some buzzards circling.

Pocaterra at the Whiskey Jack junction

Pocaterra at the Whiskey Jack junction

The temperature was +13°C when I started up Whiskey Jack at 1 pm. The first kilometre had a number of puddles but I was able to skirt all of them okay. They could get icy early tomorrow depending on what the temperature does tonight.

The trail to Kananaskis Fire Lookout

The trail to Kananaskis Fire Lookout

Thereafter, the conditions were great as long as you had waxless skis. The tracks were perfect, my zero skis gave excellent grip throughout the day, and I didn’t have to herringbone anywhere as I climbed up to the Kananaskis Fire Lookout. My biggest concerns were the risk of heat stroke and sunburn!

Looking south from the Kananaskis Fire Lookout

Looking south from the Kananaskis Fire Lookout

With the bright sunny sky it was simply spectacular at the Lookout with magnificent views in all directions. The tracks leading down the south side were enticing, but I retraced my route and descended the north side, and it was surprisingly easy. The snow was uniformly soft in the sun for most of the descent, but in one long stretch I was able to gather some speed as I hugged the shady side of the trail.

Tyrwhitt meadows

Tyrwhitt meadows

I skied to the Tyrwhitt meadows then turned around.  Pocaterra, from WJ to Packers junction was excellent. The ice flow on Packers was huge, but I was able to remove my skis and walk around it. As I’ve already explained, the death knell has sounded for Packers.

A bare spot on Packers

A bare spot on Packers

I had no inkling that the article about the “Warming Hut at CNC” would elicit so many comments, and all of them raise good points. When we get the warming hut at Elk Pass I’m sure I’ll be too old to ski!

Grooming has ceased at the Canmore Nordic Centre. If you missed the announcement, here it is again:

Update Mar 27 from Canmore Nordic Centre: “Due to warm temperatures our ski season has now FINISHED as of today.  Grooming has ceased.  Please be aware that if you choose to ski, it is at your own risk and conditions are VERY marginal on all of our trails.”  Canmore Nordic Centre

{ 4 comments }

Warming hut approved for Canmore Nordic Centre

March 26, 2015

This is a story which was in today’s Rocky Mountain Outlook Cross-country skiing to the Canmore Nordic Centre meadow is about to get cozier.

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Moraine Lake Road

March 25, 2015
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-Moraine Lake Road- If you can survive the first 4.5K, you will be rewarded with an enjoyable ski for the final 4.5K.

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Spring skiing at its best

March 20, 2015
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-Pocaterra, between Whiskey Jack and Packers- Before I get started, thank you for the birthday well-wishes. You make me feel loved and appreciated!

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Bring sunscreen and hat

March 18, 2015
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-Sarah on Elk Pass- Here are some photos to go along with Frank Howard’s trip report from Elk Pass.

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Bonus kilometres

March 16, 2015
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-Tara, Siobhan, and Ashley were trying out skate skiing for the first time at the Canmore Nordic Centre- Yesterday’s snowfall allowed me to have a pleasant ski

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8-10 cm in Canmore

March 16, 2015
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Monday March 16 @ 9 a.m: We received about 6 cm of high-density snow yesterday afternoon/evening in Canmore. Woke up to a further 2 cm

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The life-blood of this blog

March 14, 2015

I don’t think I could successfully survive a ski season anymore without this wonderful community of trip reporters, commenters, readers and tracksetters.

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Elk Pass and Tyrwhitt

March 13, 2015
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-Last night’s tracksetting on Tyrwhitt was in excellent condition if you didn’t mind that it was soft and slow in the sunny areas-

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It’s been worse, and much better

March 12, 2015

Before I get started, I’d like to remind everyone who has left a trip report this winter to send me a photo of yourself(if you haven’t already). I have photos of many of you(see previous post

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Trip Reporters

March 11, 2015

It’s common knowledge that March is the snowiest month of the year, but like all things this winter, it’s not holding true. There doesn’t seem to be much available right now for track skiing,

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Spring skiing in PLPP

March 7, 2015
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-Monika and Kathy on Amos- I was skiing early enough today to use wax, but that might be the last time

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Kananaskis Village and Ribbon Creek grooming

March 6, 2015

Update Mar 13, 2015: I received this further explanation from K-Contry… “The cat was off for repairs

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25K of pure heaven

March 5, 2015
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-Wonderful conditions in the south end of PLPP today- I can’t add much to the reports from Carol, Duane and Keith regarding PLPP, other than

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Enjoyable skiing today at CNC

March 4, 2015
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-On Banff trail loop, Karen and her niece Chloe, along with twin girls Emily and Leanne- I met Mike at the end of Banff trail

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West Bragg Creek update

March 4, 2015
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The following update is from Jeff Hughes: “We’ve had 4 separate snowfalls in the last 7 days, so we’ve had our hands

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Wednesday morning update

March 4, 2015
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-Conditions on Wheeler are vastly improved- The PLPP Live Grooming Report is not accessible, so here’s the info

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Cheryl B’s 2 cents

March 2, 2015

I didn’t go skiing today, so I was thrilled to receive this from Cheryl B. OK, I had to finally put my 2 cents on this. A lot of the time, it seems that conditions are likely a matter of opinion and in the eye of the beholder, so the reports are

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The little house in Cascade Valley

March 1, 2015
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At one time, people lived in a little house on the banks of the Cascade river. It’s a stunningly beautiful location

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Sunday morning update

March 1, 2015

If you’re not heading to Lake Louise for the loppet, there are some great choices for skiing today. If any readers participate in the loppet, I’d be interested in hearing about the conditions. I seldom ever check the Banff trail report anymore,

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