I really made the rounds in the north end of PLPP today. There was no need to check the south end, as we all know that Elk Pass, Blueberry Hill, Hydroline and Tyrwhitt have lots of cold snow and were recently trackset.
I didn’t ski out too far on a few of these trails, so conditions could vary from what I observed. Read the Kananaskis trail report for more info.
It was finally time to see how the north end trails were faring. The photos below show the conditions on 12 different trails, and twice on Pocaterra. For the first 3K on Pocaterra, conditions are marginal. With thin snow cover and heavy use, this part of the trail is looking a bit tired. What snow is there, is at least still cold. From the Lynx junction, the trail is trackset and gets better quickly as it gains elevation.
- Whiskey Jack – trackset last night and in excellent condition.
- Pocaterra(upper) – trackset last night and excellent from Lookout junction to Lynx junction. Some tree debris.
- Packers – trackset last night and looked real good at the top.
- Lynx – was groomed on Dec 12. Has some fresh snow and lots of skier tracks. Surprisingly good skiing. Even the steep hill was in nice shape.
- Amos(from Lynx to Wheeler) – groomed 11 days ago. There’s a skier-set track through the fresh snow.
- Woolley – groomed 11 days ago. I didn’t ski it, but it looked okay from the Amos junction.
- Wheeler – great shape. Susceptible to icing if warm weather hits it over the next few days.
- Meadow – observed it only from the Wheeler junction. Looked okay.
- Lodgepole – was groomed two days ago and is as hard as a rock. Might be perfect for skating. If you have pine needles stuck in your wax, ski on here for five minutes and your skis will be clean.
- Braille – same as Lodgepole
- Spruce Road – trackset; the snow is still in good condition. This is a great trail for novice skiers to get some practice on, as there is negligible elevation gain or loss. It’s not very long, though, only about 2.5K round trip from Elkwood parking lot.
If you are a beginner skier, and you’re getting new skis for Christmas, I can’t recommend Pocaterra right now. Your best bet is Lake Louise; Moraine Lake road or the Great Divide(1A) are great beginner trails and the snow is excellent. The trails at the south end of PLPP are too difficult for beginners. I’d normally recommend Ribbon creek or the Wedge Connector, but the warm weather will probably take its toll. I hope I’m wrong, but the temperature by the village was +4 today.