– John and Susan were enjoying the great conditions on Redearth creek –
I met five groups of skiers on Redearth creek today and every one of them was a reader of this blog. Nice to meet you all!
The trail was trackset yesterday. Conditions were great once you were about 1K from the trailhead. As usual, the snow is thin at the beginning and there were two exposed rocks. No problem as you’re going up, but coming down that last K is a thrill ride. It’s a steep downhill as you’re returning, and the small bridge will launch you and send you flying. I usually remove my skis and walk, but today I tried my Eddie the Eagle impression, resulting in a very ungraceful faceplant.
There are a few pine needles scattered about, but after 2K the snow is pristine. Good deep tracks, and no ridges in the middle, so those fast downhills were very easy and enjoyable on the good snow.
Nobody had been all the way to the warden’s cabin at the end of the groomed trail, so it was left up to me to check out the conditions. A lot of skiers turned around at the campground at the 6.9K mark. On a cold day with no wind, it’s always a lot colder at the campground.
After an elevation gain of 250 metres you reach a high point at 5.1K. Thereafter you descend for 1.8K to the campground and lose about 25 metres. Today, for every hundred metres of distance, the temperature dropped by 1 degree. No wonder most skiers turned back! I’ve experienced this phenomena many times before and although it looks like a pretty spot to eat your lunch, I usually can’t get out of there fast enough. The air stays frigidly cold in that low spot.
Just before you arrive at the campground, you’ll see the forlorn Lost Horse creek bridge which was swept away in the June floods. The trail has changed slightly for about 100 metres and there is a new bridge.
Start climbing again for the final stretch to the warden’s cabin and slowly it gets warmer. Again, the snow conditions are excellent but there were only sporadic tracks between 9 – 10K. I’m guessing it’s because the trail gets very narrow, and it’s probably safer to not have any tracks. From the campground, it’s a further 3.8K and another 100 metres of net elevation gain.
The snow and air temperature at the trailhead were -12°C. At the campground the snow was -19. Thankfully I hot-waxed this morning with Swix CH4(green glide wax for temperatures below -10) and had really fast skis. I also had fabulous grip all day with Swix VR30(-10 and colder).
My moving time going out was 95 minutes but about half that coming back at 48:33. The trip back was going along great until 400 metres from the trailhead and the aforementioned faceplant which knocked the wind out of me. I tell you this so you won’t make the same mistake. It takes a Herculean effort on the thin snow to slow yourself down, and you are at risk of gouging your skis on the rocks. Walk.
I’m very happy to hear all the glowing reports from West Bragg.