Tracksetter Jody sent this Tuesday Dec 24 at 8:21 a.m:
It was minus six at 7AM at Boulton Parking Lot, with a skiff of light snow overnight. All of the PLPP trails north of and including Whiskey Jack have now been groomed and track-set since the last major snowfall, most of them in the last 40 hours.
The early season natural hazards are slowly being covered, but there are still some remaining, mostly on Pocaterra N of Lynx, Packers, LL Group, and possibly on parts of Lodgepole and Braille.
A pack of wolves was following the fresh grooming around last night and their tracks can be seen on at least Wheeler, and on the edges of Packers and Pocaterra. Happy Trails and Happy Christmas.
I was in PLPP yesterday afternoon(Dec 23) very late(that’s where these photos are from). I didn’t get on the trail until 3:30 pm but I had time to ski all the new tracksetting from Dec 22. Starting from Elkwood Amphitheatre, the trails included Meadow, Lodgepole, Sinclair, Braille, and Spruce road. Other than a few residual pine needles which were of no consequence, and a couple clumps of grass on Braille, the conditions were excellent.
The snow has not deteriorated from warm weather at all. The air and snow temperatures were both -2°C, and it’s good to hear from Jody that it was -6 this morning.
PLPP trails for beginner skiers
Although it sounds like things are holding up well so far, this warm weather may take its toll on the trails in West Bragg and Ribbon creek/Kananaskis village areas.
If you are a beginner skier with waxable skis, to get yourself off to a good start, I highly recommend going to a venue where the snow is cold and you can have reasonably good success with blue or purple wax. Although a longer drive, it usually stays a bit cooler in PLPP.
In PLPP, with Pocaterra now reconfigured and not so beginner-friendly, the easiest trails start at Elkwood Amphitheatre trailhead. That’s about 3K down the road from Pocaterra.
From there, you have Wheeler, Amos, and the easiest of all, Spruce road and WWL access trail.
From Elkwood, the WWL access trail is .6K, and Spruce road itself is .8K. You’ll ski past the cabins at WWL and smell the smoke from the fireplaces. You’ll pass by the kids’ playground, and a surprise to me, there’s a walking trail which is groomed with corduroy.
Unfortunately there is no daylodge at Elkwood but you have the PLPP Visitor Centre about 2K away. William Watson Lodge is a place where I hear they welcome skiers if you need to warm up and you’ll pass right by it.