Peter and Caroline were skiing in PLPP yesterday and send this update:
There were no vehicles in the Boulton lot when we arrived yesterday (April 23) at 9:40 am. Took our time getting ready, and by the time we started skiing at 10:20, only two other cars had shown up. Climbing Whiskey Jack, was surprised how well Swix VR45 (-2-8 old snow) worked. Had put a bit of the warmer VR 50 just under the foot. The humidity was low, so cheaper non-fluoro blue wax should have worked just as well.
Pocaterra and Tyrwhitt were still in excellent shape, with just a few icy/crusty spots. Our grip did start deteriorating in the bright sunshine, but by then we headed mostly downhill on Tyrwhitt.
Hydroline was a delight, but at its end, the sharp left turn to steep downhill was glazed. So as not to spoil a beautiful day, took skis off and walked down.
I’ve never had so much fun skiing Fox Creek and Boulton Creek. They were freshly single track groomed, and we glided almost effortlessly along. Not icy, so no worries about hitting a tree while rounding one of the few tight turns. A wonderful late season ski. Route described should still be good for a few weeks, if you’re prepared to klister, or use waxless skis. An early start is key, as Bob wrote a few days ago. We were done by 2, despite taking numerous breaks and photo ops. Earlier would have been even better…
Canmore Nordic Centre update from Peter Neumann
Very good skating from 10 to noon. Lower (biathlon) area reportedly good early, as the sun hits it first. A few folks on waxless skis said they had grip, and one lady was doing well on universal klister.
Earlier skiers reported crusty snow. Banff Trail, Meadowview, Olympic and Centennial Trails still in very good shape.
The fast turns on Centennial heading back to the lodge were less scary than usual, as the softening snow let you step turn or skid with less fear of catching an edge. So much fun, skied another lap of Banff Trail after lunch. Snow quite soft, but still very skateable.
Trails are still being groomed, but not track-set at the Canmore Nordic Centre. Many of the trails were last groomed on Friday, May 6!
Expect hard, icy spring conditions early in the morning and progressively softer snow later in the day. Amazing conditions for May!
Hi Bob: Decided to go for a May ski and enjoy the mountain wilderness at this time of year. I think I was the only one skiing in PLPP this Friday afternoon. Believe it or not it was a gorgeous,sunny day with temperatures in the 10C range.Started at Boulton Bridge,took Boulton Creek,Fox Creek, and Elk Pass Trail to the Pass.Returned the same way. Boulton and Fox Creek were surprisingly good. Someone had taken a couple of runs with a Ski-Doo which nicely packed down the recent heavy snowfall of April 28/29.Other than a couple of bare spots at the start of Boulton both these trails were very skiable. The Elk Pass trail was a different story. Only a few people had skied it since the snowfall(15 to 20cm. consolidated) and their faint tracks were walked over by hikers, making for somewhat difficult skiing.Overall the snow was soft and wet but not slushy or icy. I used Swix hard klister which worked OK. The Elk Pass trail is holding up very well and not yet started to deteriorate.Carol at the Visitor Center says the skiing on the higher elevation trails at the South end of the Park should be OK for at least the upcoming long weekend.
Anyway the main reason for me writing this is to thank you for your hard work and dedication in providing such an informative and entertaining blog and hope you continue the good work next year. Tom