If you ski on the most recent tracksetting, the conditions in PLPP are good. If you ski on any trail that was trackset before Jan 19th, you’ll be on a carpet of needles and debris.
There are a few exceptions where you may find a section of trail that’s not surrounded by trees, but it would be a rare occurrence because as we all know, most trails are in the forest. Ray’s trip report on PLPP was very accurate, but I may not have as much tolerance for the debris on Pocaterra. We actually started skiing from the hut and turned back after 300 metres because our wax was already full of needles. It’s possible that conditions may have been better when Ray was there early in the day. We didn’t start skiing until 3 pm. The air temp was -4°C, and the snow was -6°C.
We headed for Elkwood Amphitheatre and started instead on Wheeler and it was a wise decision. Wheeler, Meadow, Woolley, Amos, Lynx were all excellent. I checked out a few of the other trails as well. Whiskey Jack and Packers looked to be skiable, but Moraine was thick with needles, and that was in an area where there were few trees.
It’s really amazing to observe just how much of an improvement the tracksetting creates. Although there are still needles embedded in the new tracksetting, it’s like night and day when you see what they started with.
Take note, the PLPP trail report indicates that Woolley was last trackset on the 15th, but it’s very obvious that it was done on Monday night(21st) and it was excellent.
I talked to a couple skiers at the hut who had skied on Elk Pass and the report was not very good. Lots of debris.
The final results are posted Lake Louise to Banff loppet. Considering that my team was encumbered with me, we did pretty well, finishing sixth of 49 teams. Thanks to my teammates, Joelle and Peter, for picking up the slack.
Here’s an article in the Banff Crag and Canyon Loving the loppet