PLPP north loop

by Bob Truman on January 25, 2014

in Kananaskis, PLPP(P Lougheed Park)

Post image for PLPP north loop

Today’s skiing was fantastic! I’ve clocked 126K in the past 7 days with all of them being wonderful. We’re enjoying the best skiing of the winter on most trails right now. I hope you’re taking advantage of this great stretch of good conditions.

New grooming on Pocaterra between Packers and Lynx

New grooming on Pocaterra between Packers and Lynx

When I arrived at the top of Whiskey jack, a skier coming from Tyrwhitt told me it was cold, windy and cloudy in that direction, so I chose to take the sunny north route down Pocaterra.

The only wind was created by my 40 KmH descent of Pocaterra on the best conditions I’ve ever seen. The stretch between Packers and Lynx was freshly groomed and was greased-lightning fast. It must have been the perfect combination of proper glide wax, my stiffest skis, and Steppenwolf snow. I was very tempted to turn right around and do it again.

The new junction at Pocaterra and Lynx

The new junction at Pocaterra and Lynx

Instead, I decided to finally ski the new Pocaterra on good conditions. It’s more scenic and has lots of rolling hills. I’ll admit it’s a lot more interesting than the pre-flood trail, but whether you enjoy it will depend upon your skiing ability. It’s nothing at all like the old Pocaterra, and is 400 metres longer. An indication of the change from old Pocaterra is the sign along the way which says “Hazardous Downhill.”

Sparkling cold snow on Braille

Sparkling cold snow on Braille

Oddly enough, the snow temperature at the hut was a very cold -10°C at 2 pm. That’s 4 degrees colder than it was when I started at Boulton creek. I applied a layer of VR40(-4/-12) over the VR45 which I began with on Whiskey jack.

The hut thermometer indicated  the air temp was -5, but in an email I received from Jeff, he reports that it was -11 at the hut earlier in the day.

Picnic table and viewpoint along the new Pocaterra

Picnic table and viewpoint along the new Pocaterra

Jeff was also wondering about the PLPP webcam temperature. From my experience, it generally reads 3 or 4 degrees warmer than it really is.

Returning to Boulton creek on Lodgepole and Braille, I encountered a lot of that sparkling snow, which means it’s cold. The VR40 was a good choice as I had excellent grip and fast glide.

The hanging cloud over Elk pass

The hanging cloud over Elk pass

I ended my ski with a nice run down scenic and sunny Wheeler. The conditions on every trail I skied on today were excellent.

How many of you driving out this morning were awestruck by the spectacular sight over Elk pass and the Kananaskis fire lookout? I’m talking about the thick, dense, fluffy, snow-white cloud that was hanging in the air.

The cloud as it shapes itself over the Kananaskis fire lookout

The cloud as it shapes itself over the Kananaskis fire lookout

What a phenomenal sight in the bright sun as it moulded itself over the fire lookout. (These photos from my pathetic little camera taken as I was driving don’t do it justice). It was also why the skiers on Elk pass and Tyrwhitt were in the fog, but that can create its own beauty as Mary so eloquently described in her Trip Report…The forest took on the appearance of a fleet of ships, ragged-masted and long-forgotten, their tattered flags of old-man’s-beard rimed with frost and billowing in the mist.

Take note of Darcy’s Trip Report and make a concerted effort to keep a path clear for skiers descending at the Pocaterra/Lynx junction(and at all junctions).

I’ve included five photos in the Gallery which go along with Mary Perrott’s Trip Report re: PLPP south loop.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 sheila murphy February 5, 2014 at 11:41 am

We too were at PLPP on this particular Saturday and what a momentous occasion it was! While hitting hour number four and feeling rather homicidal (three hours is my limit for x-country skiing however my beloved husband often forgets this and we end up doing a marathon) my spirits were lifted when a rather tall man wearing a blue coat and a huge smile sailed past us and called out a hearty “hello”. My mouth was frozen at this point so could only manage to stick my tongue out but when I managed to get my lips moving I yelled out to my beloved “that was Skier Bob”!! For those of you thinking of taking up the sport you now have an yet another reason to do so. Fresh air, exercise, AND celebrity sightings!!

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