There’s skiable snow on Elk Pass. The first K up to the top of the big hill has been packed. I only saw one rock on the trail, so conditions were reasonably good. Still uneven, as we need more snow to fill in the little dips in the trail. I could have skied this section of trail on skinny skis, but as you can see in the photo, I had an old pair of beat-up, wide touring skis. I wasn’t expecting to see any grooming.
The air temperature was -11, but with the wind, it felt a lot cooler. I had to start out with my down jacket. If you are familiar with Elk Pass, you’ll know it doesn’t take long to get warmed up with a steep climb right out of the gate. The snow temp was -6.
At the top of the hill, the packing ended and it was powder snow, around 15-20 cm deep. This was one time when I was happy to see snowshoe tracks on the trail, as it made the skiing a lot easirer.
Down the other side to the Fox Creek junction where some skier tracks appeared, obviously from someone who came on the Fox Creek trail. Staying on Elk Pass, I followed these tracks as far as the Hydroline junction, and I must say, with the appropriate skis, this was a lot of fun.
Rather than taking the big hill on the return, I skied down Fox Creek and it was heavenly to be back on this delightful trail. It’s a narrow trail in thick forest, so in places the snow cover was thin. Although I hit bottom a few times, I had no problems on my heavier, wider skis. I wouldn’t recommend going here on skinny skis.
Pocaterra is not skiable yet with only about 3 – 4 cm of snow, but the hut is open. The PLPP Visitor Centre is roped off with bear warning signs, and is closed until Dec 1 anyway. Whiskey Jack had about 9 cm of snow, and I could see skier tracks. It would be risky descending WJ on such a thin snow cover.
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