The photos below show nine different trails and the conditions on each. Elk pass, Tyrwhitt, Lookout, Hydroline, Fox creek, Upper lake, Pocaterra, Wedge connector, and Ribbon creek.
The temperature was doing unusual things today. The PLPP air temp at 1 pm was +1°C. It was still warm when I left at 4:30 pm. The snow temp at the trailhead was -2°C, but near the end of the trail it was -1°C. It was much cooler at Ribbon creek as I’ll point out later.
I met the tracksetter about 3k up Elk pass. The snow was barely cold enough for tracksetting, but Jody did an admirable job. I quickly stepped to the side as I saw him coming, and as he passed, he opened the window and said he couldn’t stop. I have a feeling that the machinery would have fallen through the soft, wet snow if he had stopped. Trails which were trackset today include Elk pass, Blueberry Hill, and Hydroline. Tyrwhitt had 6 – 8 cm of new snow on top of yesterday’s tracksetting and will require some serious trail-breaking from tomorrow’s first skiers.
I only saw two other skiers and both told the same story about the conditions earlier this morning. Heavy, wet snow was falling around 11 a.m. Ron tried to go up Whiskey Jack but could barely move because the new snow was icing so much on his skis. Darryl was skiing at Elk pass before the grooming, and said much the same thing. On the new tracksetting, I was getting barely-adequate grip with VR50(rated for 0/-4), and I had to herringbone the steep parts of Elk pass hill. I probably should have used something stickier.
I was pleasantly surprised at the conditions on Pocaterra. It has about 4 – 6 cm of new snow over the recent packing, with pretty decent skier-set tracks. There are three or four thin spots on the first K where you might hear your skis crunching an icy crust, but I saw no rocks or dirt. I skied out to the Come-Along junction at 1.2K.
Ribbon creek and Wedge connector
If you’re a beginner skier looking for an easy trail, these two fit the bill. The best thing about them today is cold snow. It was -3°C when I drove through at 11:30 a.m., and was -8°C at 5 pm. The Wedge connector looks to be in good condition. It was groomed on Tuesday(not trackset yet) and has a couple cm of new snow on top. It starts at the Wedge pond trailhead. It was getting dark when I checked Ribbon creek, but you can still see the good tracks in the photo.
Thanks for all the photo entries for the Emerald Lake Lodge contest. I’m a little overwhelmed at the response. I was expecting maybe one or two per day. I will have them on ASAP, hopefully by morning. There are 12 photos waiting for my attention.
Well, this month is over and we had 99 trip reports. Thanks, everyone! The Trip Reports page was viewed 7,739 times.