“Got any blister tape!?” Jack blurted as he was coming toward me on Cascade Valley today. I could hear the anxiety and pleading in his voice. Maybe some desperation, too, as I was the ninth person he had asked.
When I mentioned that I had duct tape, you could hear the sigh of relief. Jack was wearing new socks today, and a hot spot had developed which would have soon turned into a painful blister.
Jack did a couple things right. He turned around when he realized he had a hot spot on his heel, and he wasn’t afraid to ask for help. He said his girlfriend continued on to the end without him. I asked for a description so I could tell her what happened when I met up with her. “She’s wearing a bright-coloured jacket and is really cute and attractive.” Now there’s an incentive to ski fast. It turns out all the women on the trail today were cute and attractive. Nice scenery all around.
This situation is a reminder to me that I should get a small emergency/first-aid kit, and I thought this would be a good opportunity for all of us to share some information with each other. What emergency supplies do you carry in your pack? What do you consider vitally important to have with you, especially on those longer ski trips such as Cacade Valley?
Duct tape is a staple in my pack. A few years ago, I was double-poling on a fast stretch of Tyrwhitt when suddenly I had no pole in my right hand. The strap broke. I cobbled together a make-shift strap from duct tape which worked amazingly well. I always have a spare pair of gloves, mitts on cold days, and a down-filled jacket. Also a headlamp and a Leatherman tool. What am I missing?
Conditions on Cascade Valley are great once you get past the first kilometre. The paved road and the meadow are hard-packed, icy, and have only a semblance of a track. When you arrive at the actual trail, conditions improve immensely and only get better the further you go. I went all the way to the end of the tracksetting, 14.5K(round trip 29K). The photos will show you all you need to know. I’ve always referred to this trail as Cascade Fire road, but it’s officially now known as Cascade Valley.
Clarification required: If anyone can set me straight, how far up does the grooming go on Blueberry Hill? The PLPP trail report says that it is ungroomed for the last 3K(which is most of the trail). Skiers yesterday told me that it was groomed almost to the top.