Utopia for xc skiers

by Bob Truman on February 28, 2013

in Kananaskis, PLPP(P Lougheed Park), Ribbon Creek

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I think every trail in PLPP must be in great condition right now. I didn’t ski them all, but the ones I did ski were excellent, and the others which I observed looked good. Today I skied the Tyrwhitt loop, consisting of Whiskey jack, Tyrwhitt, Elk pass, Fox creek, Moraine. To be precise, it included that 500 metre stretch of Pocaterra as well.

Eric and Ernie on Whiskey jack

Eric and Ernie on Whiskey jack

Now that we’ve reached the end of February, I was thinking how every ski trip on good snow becomes such a precious experience, especially when we see the warm weather and wind in the forecast for the next two days.

All the skiers I met on the trail today we’re thrilled with the terrific conditions in PLPP. The air temp was -2°C, and the snow at Boulton creek was -5. I applied VR45(-2/-8) and never gave waxing another thought.

The snow and tracks on Tyrwhitt were fantastic

The snow and tracks on Tyrwhitt were fantastic

The weather, the snow, the tracks, the grip and glide, all were superb. My skis seemed to glide along effortlessly, even when climbing some of those steep hills.

Every year we get one or two days where the conditions are not just excellent, but sensational. Last winter, it was  the day I met Stevewhere everything seemed ideal.

Judy and Sheila on Tyrwhitt

Judy and Sheila on Tyrwhitt

Okay, I’ll admit there was one inconvenience: a skater was ahead of me, leaving clumps of snow in the tracks. When I caught up to him on Elk pass, I was in such a good mood I didn’t even say anything(but I got a good photo).

All the trails I skied on today except Whiskey jack had new tracksetting. The Kananaskis trail report only indicates that Tyrwhitt, Lookout, and Hydroline were trackset last night. When I saw the new trail report, it made me wonder how they got the Pisten-Bully up there? Dropped from a helicopter?

Pocaterra at Whiskey jack junction

Pocaterra at Whiskey jack junction

I’m sorry to inform all the 42K Cookie racers that you really only skied 41K. My GPS indicated the loop from Moraine/Whiskey jack junction and back was only 16.9K. It was thought to be 18K.

Once again, the distance up Whiskey jack was 3.4K from Moraine, and I got 4.84K for Tyrwhitt(shown as 4.5K on maps).

A water line broke at Pocaterra hut and it will be closed until further notice. A restoration crew was busy working and cleaning it up. Pocaterra trail looked to be in good condition, with cold snow and still with 3 tracks leading out from the hut. It hasn’t been trackset for five days, and has had all the Cookie race traffic, but it’s holding up pretty well.

Ribbon creek

Ribbon creek at the picnic table

Ribbon creek

On the way back, I stopped at Ribbon creek to see how the snow was holding out. I did Ribbon, Link, Kovach and Terrace back to the parking lot. All fabulous, especially the downhill on Terrace.

The air temp was +2°C, and I applied a layer of VR50(0/-4) over my previous wax, and had no problems. The trails are free of debris except for a couple small patches on Ribbon creek. I was surprised at how clean Link was. That might all change with the wind and warm air that’s blowing in, so take your waxless if you have them.

The trail report shows that the north trails including Skogan pass and Marmot were trackset last night.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Tyler March 1, 2013 at 1:27 am

Hi Bob,

I met you at the Fox Creek, Moraine junction today. You said it, awesome skiing today. I ended up doing Bolton creek, fox creek and up elk and down. Awesome conditions. Elk was super fun down and I met a pine martin on the way up running in the tracks. Awesome day skiing.



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