Elk Pass is in reasonably good early-season condition, as long as you discount the first 200 metres from the trailhead. In fact, the conditions were so nice that I wished I could have gone all the way to the top of Blueberry Hill. It was difficult turning around when I had such a good trail. Cheryl and Tessa were waiting for me in the vehicle, however, so I only ventured out 3K. The snow on the big hill was fine coming down either side. Hydroline and Fox Creek both looked pretty good from the junctions. The other trails such as Pocaterra and Whiskey Jack don’t have much snow, but they both have lots of skier tracks. If you don’t mind skiing on gravel, go for it. The Pocaterra hut is open from 8 – 4:30 daily. I’ve included some photos.
Places to SkiBaker Creek Banff Bill Milne Blueberry Hill Brewster Creek Canmore Nordic Centre Cascade Valley Castle Lookout Confederation Park Golf Course Dog-friendly Elk Pass Emerald Lake Evan-Thomas Frozen thunder Goat Creek Golden Great Divide Hawkridge Healy Creek Hydroline Kananaskis Kananaskis Fire Lookout Kananaskis Village Lake Louise Lake O'Hara fire road Moraine Lake road Mt Shark Nipika Pipestone PLPP Pocaterra Races Redearth Creek Ribbon Creek Sandy McNabb Shaganappi Golf Course Skogan Pass Spray River Tyrwhitt Watridge Lake Road Wedge connector West Bragg Creek Wheeler Whiskey Jack Yoho
We skiied Elk Pass yesterday and were really pleasantly surprised! As mentioned, the first 200 or so metres would be compared to excellent conditions if you were skiing Sandy McNabb but considered brutal for PLPP. After that…beautiful. We were loaded down with all the waxes we figured we would need to survive the trip (so loaded down we sadly forgot our water) however, we glided along (well, I shufffle, my husband glides) without a problem. Well worth the gas money (or a user fee if that what is comes down to) so don’t be frightend off by official trail reports.