Perfect conditions for skiing Kananaskis Fire Lookout

Thirty minutes up, and three minutes down. Need I say more? Although the temperature at the fire lookout was -14, it seemed a lot nicer. Starting out at Boulton creek it was -10 with a howling wind. You’d think it would have been even windier after a 420 metre elevation gain, but the sun was out, the wind had calmed down, and I was warm from all the climbing.

As predicted yesterday, Whiskey Jack was trackset. At the top, Pocaterra was trackset in both directions. I couldn’t have asked for better conditions. From Pocaterra/Tyrwhitt junction, the Kananaskis fire lookout is about 220 metres elevation gain over a distance of 1.7K. This trail is a lot of fun when you have excellent conditions as was the case today. It’s F – A – S – T!

Only the north side has been groomed. I’m not sure what the plans are for the south side. My Mantracker instincts told me that someone  earlier today had skied up the south side in the deep snow and came down the north side in the new grooming. I saw tracks coming down but none ascending.

I skied Tyrwhitt to the Elk Pass junction. Elk Pass still has the weekend’s snow on it, but I believe it is being trackset tonight. I returned the same way I came, along Tyrwhitt and down Whiskey Jack. Tyrwhitt is in very nice condition and no longer has the “sinking” snow syndrome.

My guess is that along with Elk Pass, Hydroline and Blueberry will be trackset before the weekend.




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  1. Great photo set Bob!! It just keeps getting better!

    Thanks so much for all the work you put into this blog of yours. It has a direct impact on where and when we decide to hit the trails. The updates on the CBC Calgary Eyeopener are fun to catch as well.

    Jason Rusu

  2. Charles sent this email:

    Hello Bob,
    Just thought you’d like an update on LL conditions. In a word,
    “beautiful”. I skied there Thursday, completing the 1A to the Lake O
    parking area and back in about 2 hrs, 20 min (Yes, I was huffing and
    puffing to keep up with my partner!)
    Although it was a bit chilly in the wind, the tracks were great, but
    for small sections of “blow over”. Fairview and Tramline were
    similarly fantastic.
    Surprisingly, the only folks we saw were from the Evergreen Seniors,
    who were obviously happy to be out. Where were all the younger ski

    It’s probably because there are quite a few other choices for skiers now. It’s taken a lot of the pressure off Lake Louise. I think LL and the south end of PLPP are still the best for conditions, however. I’m still trying to make it out to Yoho and Emerald Lake. Has anyone been there? -Bob

  3. Bob, is there an online ski trail map for PLPP? I am familiar with the online pdf map of the park, but have not found a closeup of the trails.

    I don’t think so. If anyone has information on this, let us know. -Bob

    • I was looking for one too, however since they “charge” for the glossy one at the Visitor Centers I suspect they don’t put it online. I’m willing to scan it for an upload to here unless that breaks some copyright rule.

      My guess is that it would make people want to buy it even more. It is easy to read and most people would want to have one of their own once they see it. I’ll find out if Alberta Parks will let us scan and post it. -Bob

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