PLPP update

The best ski trails in the world are trackset

Yuri and Darryl on Wheeler. Dec 11, 2009

Made a quick trip down to PLPP this morning to find lots and lots of new trails ready to ski on. Wheeler(above photo) was one of the only ones without some fresh grooming, but the old tracks were still really good. The temperature was a pleasant -12, the snow temp was -11 so I’m still using green wax.

I started at Elkwood, and talk about choices! I could have gone in any of three directions(Wheeler, Meadow, or Lodgepole) on good snow conditions. I started on Wheeler, and about 100 metres down the trail, who do I run into but Yuri and Darryl. They stopped for a drink, and I skied with them to the end of Wheeler(I think they geared down a notch so I could keep up with them). Darryl was the winner of the Lake Louise to Banff Loppet in the Solo Men under 50 category last winter.

At the end of Wheeler, they went up Whiskey Jack and I chose Packers, not having done it yet this year. Packers is one of the last trails every winter to be navigable. It had fresh grooming(not trackset) and ascending was no problem, but if you were coming down you’d have to be cautious as there are still some soft spots, ruts, and small moguls.

At the top of Packers is the Pocaterra junction and I skied the quick 3K downhill to Lynx. It was fast, fun, and just terrific!

At the Lynx/Pocaterra junction, Sparky, David, Mary and Joe were enjoying the beautiful day.

The skiers in the above photo reported that Pocaterra from the hut was in good condition with tracksetting all the way. I could have stayed out all day, but had to get back so I took the quickest route to Elkwood which included Lynx, Amos, and Wheeler. The only less-than-perfect spots were those two small areas on Lynx where a bit of grass and reeds was still poking through. 

We’re off to Lake Louise for the Calgary Ski Club’s Winterstart weekend. From all indications, it looks like we might have better weather out there. I’ve check with the Field XCountry ski club and they said the trail at Emerald Lake is in pretty good condition. The website was updated today and says “We skied the Alluvial Fan Loop and Horse trail yesterday and it is in wonderful shape and the weather is nicer to ski in now. Come on out and play!”

If you’ve never skied the Alluvial Fan at Emerald Lake, you are truly missing out. It would have to be in the top 10 of the “World’s Best Ski Trails.”


They’re now skiing at Shaganappi Golf Course. Check the trail report Shaganappi

If you ski this weekend, please leave a comment.


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  1. The Norseman Ski Club went out for their New Members’ Day trips this past weekend. I went on Saturday and we started from the Pocaterra Hut. It was cold (-18) but warmer than in the city by about 8 degrees. Conditions near the hut were pretty good considering that here and there you can still see bits of grass sticking out. Trails around the Peter Lougheed Visitor Centre (Lynx, Whooley) were in great shape. Coming back to the hut on the other side of the road was not as good. Trails were groomed but not trackset and the steep hill coming down close to the hut was rough and ungroomed.

  2. hi bob skied up skogan pass today. As steve said, it is skier set till the last 2 km. (now the last 1.5 km.) the temps were cold but thankfully in the trees the wind was manageable.
    cheers brian

  3. Hi Bob,

    I wasn’t brave enough to actually ski today with the crazy wind but the Cascade Fireroad in Banff is trackset. I took a look at the trailhead and it looks great. 2nd hand from another skier, stay in the tracks on the road, the meadow is a bit thin but once you’re on the hill it’s really good.
    Parks website appears to be down and I don’t imagine it will be back up until Monday so they may not have any official updates.

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