The snow in PLPP did not deteriorate today, and stayed cold enough for purple wax. Talk about non-abrasive snow – I was still using the wax from yesterday which was VR45, and I added another 35K, and still had good grip at the end of the day.
My original plan was the 18K loop(Whiskey Jack, Tyrwhitt, Elk Pass, Fox Creek), but I ran into my friend Chip coming towards me on Tyrwhitt. He had started at the hut and went as far as the Blueberry junction, so already had about 22K on the odometer. I turned around and skied with him back to the hut, having a great time on the long Pocaterra downhill.
The only stretch of Pocaterra that isn’t in excellent condition is the first K leading out from the hut, and it’s not that bad. For thin snow cover, and all the heavy use it’s had this weekend, I was surprised at how well it was holding up. Cool temperatures are the key.
After a bite to eat at the hut, Chip drove me back to my vehicle at Boulton Creek. By this time, I was re-energized and decided to go back out and ski some more. After climbing the first hill I had four choices: Moraine,Whiskey Jack, Packers, and Wheeler. I felt a strong attraction to Whiskey Jack and decided to do the entire 18K loop after all, despite it already being 3:45 pm.
Skiers are squeezing in as much as they can while the conditions are good, so I wasn’t surprised to see four other skiers still on Tyrwhitt. It’s a beautiful trail in the day, but serene and ethereal in the waning minutes of daylight. According to my GPS, the sun officially set when I was at the Tyrwhitt picnic table.
Skiing down fast hills is a pleasure on this good snow, and I finally broke the speed limit while descending Elk Pass, reaching a speed of 50.3 Km/hr!
By the time I reached the home stretch on Boulton Creek, there was just a faint glow of light remaining. I could hear the icy waters of the creek gurgling below me as I was maneuvering around the sharp corners in the semi-darkness.
I made it back to my vehicle without incident. Knowing that I’ll be in Calgary for the next two days, I was happy to get in every possible minute of sking today.
I see from the Banff trail report that Redearth Creek was trackset today. We’ve got a warm night and day ahead of us. I hope we can escape with minimal deterioration of the snow.
Good to see that Wendy finally made it out to Cascade Valley with the help of all the Trip Reports. Keep ’em coming.
There will be snow again some day at West Bragg Creek, so make sure you voice your opinion west-bragg-creek-logging.
I’ve added the PLPP maps and trail descriptions to the main menu under “Resources.”