– Jen and Sarah at the Amos/Lynx junction –
On Saturday, I skied the PLPP north perimeter loop, but I still hadn’t skied some of the “inside” trails such as Meadow, Woolley, and Packers this winter. I thoroughly enjoy the rolling hills, meadows and views on Meadow and Woolley. Packers can be enjoyed if you like climbing 🙂
Additionally, the memory of flying down Pocaterra brought me back to see if I could recreate that experience. I’m happy to say it was all that and more.
One of the neat features of skiing in PLPP is the numerous trailheads and the variety of loops you can create. It keeps things interesting. From Pocaterra to Elk pass there are seven trailheads; eight if you count Upper Lake.
Today I started at the PLPP Visitor Centre for the first time this winter. The air temperature was -10°C at 10:30 a.m. and the snow was -8 as I started up the brand new grooming. The Swix VR40(-4/-12) was gripping well in the excellent tracks which were clean and crisp, except for some old embedded pine needles which were of no consequence.
Yes, I really was out there early because of some time constraints today. I had to be back at my vehicle in two hours. I didn’t stop to take as many photos as usual.
The downhill on Meadow to the Woolley junction was exhilarating. As I coasted to a stop, blog readers Jenny and Bruce were also coasting in from the other direction on Meadow after starting at WWL. They skied up Woolley as I continued on Meadow and Wheeler which also was freshly trackset last night.
When I arrived at Packers, my wax wasn’t working as well on the older grooming. Grooming on Packers is three days old but it’s in great shape. The snow temp was still -8, but the texture was somehow different. The new grooming on Meadow and Wheeler had some frost in the tracks which seemed to help with the grip.
I added a thin layer of VR45 and was on my way, reminiscing about all the skiers who passed me on this trail during the many Cookie races I participated in. I’m not known as a speedy climber.
There is a small ice flow in the usual location on Packers. It’s about 3 metres long and takes up 90% of the width of the trail. If you’re coming downhill at full speed, it could throw you off balance if you weren’t prepared for it.
I encountered moose tracks about half-way up but no moose. I hope everybody read Ray’s trip report from yesterday and his encounter with the moose and her calf on Pocaterra.
The Pocaterra downhill was just as enjoyable as on Saturday and I even reached a higher speed today at 41.5 KmH. It was fun reminiscing about all the skiers I’ve passed on this stretch of trail….
Conditions on Lynx were excellent. Woolley had brand new grooming and wonderful scenery. As I neared the Meadow intersection, light snow began falling. After a hard climb on Meadow and a fun downhill to the Visitor Centre, I made it back to the trailhead at 12:29 pm.
My GPS indicated 18.4K. When I add up the distances from the PLPP trail brochure, I get 19.8K. The biggest discrepancy is Packers at .4K less than on the map, 3.1K compared to 2.7K.
On the way out this morning I stopped at Wedge pond and noticed there’s new tracksetting on the Wedge connector/Bill Milne trail.
February 1 – 2 is the Alberta Cadet Biathlon Championships at the Canmore Nordic Centre. The Alberta Winter Games happen Feb 6 – 9. Check the CNC page for details of trail closures.
It’s snowing in Canmore as I write this at 7:25 pm and there’s 5-10 cm in the forecast.