– Janice and Charlie Perry were enjoying the good conditions on Tyrwhitt –
Elk pass is in great shape especially when you consider it hasn’t been groomed for eight days. As for Tyrwhitt, Jay described it well on his Trip Report, “mostly skier set tracks, but was still fun.”
There’s been about 3 cm of fresh snow on Elk pass but the tracks are still well-defined and the 1K new section has at least a single track on it now, some places it’s double trackset like the rest of the trail. The new section of trail parallels the old trail and you’d hardly know anything has changed except right at the end where it rejoins the original trail. There’s a small hill which wasn’t there before.
The snow has remained cold with no sign of deterioration from the warm weather. Temperature at the trailhead was +1°C at 2 pm. Snow was -1 at the start, but -4 at the top.
I met a lot of skiers blasting down the big hill who were finishing their day’s skiing. Among them, a group of 11 from the Norseman ski club who had been to Blueberry Hill. They reported it was excellent.
Tyrwhitt has good snow coverage and was groomed by the Pisten-Bully for 2.3K from the Elk pass end. At that point it’s obvious why it stopped there. A lot of work had been done to the trail because of flood damage. Mostly it was large trees across the trail which had to be removed. For a distance of about 30 metres the snow is very thin where the work occurred.
The other end of the trail was snowmobile packed on Nov 28 but has at least 10 cm of fresh snow on top. There’s a good set of skier-set tracks through this portion. I went to the high point which is where the meadows end(or begin if you’re coming from the north) and is 3.5K from Elk pass(1.3K from the Pocaterra/Lookout junction).
I confirmed on my GPS the high point on Tyrwhitt is about 25 metres higher than the top of Elk pass. I didn’t complete the loop by going down Whiskey jack because I didn’t want to cheat myself out of skiing the Fox creek trail which was trackset two days ago and in near-perfect condition, so I turned around and enjoyed the fun downhill through the meadows for about 1.5K.
I observed carnivore(I would guess wolf) scat in two different places, and the Tyrwhitt moose left her tracks in the vicinity of the picnic table. I expect a reader will report an actual sighting at some point this winter.
Fox creek was superb. I could see that a lot of skiers and snowshoers had been down the Boulton creek obstacle course. We had a trip report from Gord last week who mistakenly took Boulton and it sounded very difficult: “We managed to get through but I wouldn’t recommend it. What a mess, trees down, bridges out, trail bed washed away. We limboed under a few trees, did some tricky high kicks to get over others and removed our skis on 2 or 3 occasions.”
Boulton is not being trackset this winter because of severe flood damage.
More photos from today on Elk pass and Tyrwhitt: