When overseas visitors think of the Canadian Rockies, they usually think of Banff. If they are skiers, they usually have the internationally renowned Canmore Nordic Centre at the top of their list.
Kananaskis is more like the secret location reserved for all of us locals. Peter Lougheed Provincial Park has some of the world’s best cross-country skiing – and it’s free! I feel that we are very lucky to have such wonderful ski trails to enjoy in this spectacular setting. Today we skied what is probably the most popular trail, and also one of the easiest.
It was 10:20 a.m. when Chip and I hit the trail at Pocaterra hut, and this was one day where I’m glad we made it out early. The air temp was -1, and the snow was still a nice and cool -4. When we finished at 1 pm, the snow temp at Pocaterra was 0, and any sun-exposed areas of the trail were wet. The thermometer at the hut was approaching +3.
We had brand new tracks on Pocaterra up to the Packers junction. My original intention of turning back at Packers was easy to ignore with the beautiful conditions today, and we continued to the Whiskey Jack junction.
Chip was using Toko red wax(-1/-2) and I experimented with some SkiGo rated for 0 to -6. We both had good grip going up. Not much grip is required on the way back with all the downhill, but as we neared the hut, there was a lot of wet snow where it would have been difficult to get grip if you were just starting out.
I imagine the tracks will be a bit icy early tomorrow morning, then slushy as the day warms up to a predicted +7. It appeared as if there was some snow trying to fall as we drove away from the hut.
Was anyone at Elk Pass? I wonder if it stayed cooler there?
The Banff trail report says that Goat Creek was trackset today(see comments for a first-hand account).
Temperatures are staying cooler at Lake Louise, but remember, the LL loppet is on tomorrow. You can still participate, as they take registrations right up until 10:15 a.m. according to the Calgary Ski Club website.