This was the perfect winter day for xc skiers in PLPP. The south trails were a dream. For a moment while on Tyrwhitt, I thought maybe I had died and gone to heaven. It had been 40 days since I last skied the Tyrwhitt loop, and I couldn’t have picked a better day to re-acquaint myself with these, my favourite trails. I tried to go slow, to soak it all in and make it last, but my skis seemed to go fast no matter what I did. (To see a larger image on any of the pictures below, click on the photo).
I’ve skied on some great conditions, but never have I experienced the optimum combination of snow conditions, tracksetting, weather, and scenery that existed today.
Immediately upon arriving at the Boulton Creek trailhead, I met an excited Tim and Sam who were the first skiers on Tyrwhitt today, and were singing the praises of the wonderful conditions. They didn’t overstate anything, as I saw it with my own eyes and can only say I wish every day on skis was like this. I agree 100% with Pat Davis’ trip report which described the snow as silky smooth. Again, thank you to everyone who sent in a trip report this weekend. They’re so helpful.
The air temperature was -3 with not a breath of wind. The scenery was spectacular with the trees covered in sparkling snow, and majestic peaks all around, laden with Friday night’s heavy snowfall.
The trails were trackset to the usual excellent PLPP standards. Tyrwhitt and Elk Pass were trackset last night and had no new snow on them. The other trails which I skied, Whiskey Jack and Boulton Creek, had some fresh snow but it was of no consequence. The tracks were still excellent, and the extra snow on Boulton gives you more cushioning if you fall! (A skier in front of me did just that.)Waxing was easy - I used VR45 and had excellent grip all day.
I can’t find anything at all to complain about except for the fact that my sweetheart Cheryl wasn’t with me to share this beautiful day in paradise, but I did meet a lot of happy, friendly, smiling skiers on the trails.
Coming down the big hill on Elk Pass I reached my top speed for this winter at 55 KMH, and the snow was so good that at no point did I ever feel out of control. I was even able to make the right hand turn onto Boulton Creek part way down without impaling myself on a tree.
Kananaskis Fire Lookout was also trackset and looked mighty inviting, as was Hydroline.
The weather for the mountains looks good for the coming week. The snow should stay cold.
A big shout-out to the Peter Lougheed Provincial Park people for their decision to do tracksetting on Friday and Saturday nights this winter. It would have been tough slogging through 40 cm of fresh snow this weekend. Many skiers were able to enjoy a couple wonderful days in the park on excellent conditions because of the weekend grooming.