We’re all feeling a lot more optimistic and positive today. Who wouldn’t after the horrendous conditions of yesterday, followed by the fantastic cold snow and debris-free trails of today?
You’ve already received a Trip Report from Annie C who did exactly the same loop as I, so I’ll stop right here.
Just kidding. The Live Grooming Report coupled with Jody’s Groomer’s Report had me feeling very happy about my appointment in Calgary being cancelled today. I couldn’t get out to PLPP fast enough.
My vehicle registered an air temperature of -1°C at Elk pass parking lot at noon, with a snow temp of -4. Waxed with VR45(-2/-8) and didn’t think about it for the remainder of the day, it performed so well.
I was thrilled with the clean tracks and cold snow as I started the big climb. How’d they do that, anyway? I’m talking about the disappearance of the tree debris from the trail. Must be that new attachment on the Pisten-Bully known as the pine-needle evaporator.
As I rounded the last turn on the climb, the sun was directly in my eyes. I took a photo and at the top of the hill it looked just like the shape of an incandescent light bulb shining brightly(see photos below).
The first people I met on the trail today were at the top of the big hill which is exactly 1K from the start and about 90 metres up. It was a group of students on a school trip, returning from Elk Lakes cabin. They were queuing up for the fast trip down the hill, one by one.
At Patterson junction, Glenda and Carol had wide smiles. They had already been on Tyrwhitt and were returning to the trailhead.
The picnic table at Elk pass/Blueberry junction was busy with more blog readers. Rod and Ruth who started before me soon reappeared and reported good conditions on Fox creek.
Tyrwhitt was best of all. This trail on a clear day with perfect conditions is where I want to be. On the photos you’ll notice that someone had already skated the length of Tyrwhitt earlier in the day. That didn’t dampen my enthusiasm and it gave me an idea for a new contest. Who will be first to catch the Tyrwhitt skater on camera? 🙂
At the end of Tyrwhitt(where it meets Pocaterra and Lookout) I hesitated and wondered if it would be more enjoyable to retrace my steps or continue on the fresh snow and pine needles on Whiskey jack and Moraine? With thousands of readers waiting to see the conditions on these two trails, I decided I better do my job and continued on.
Whiskey jack had about 6-8 cm of fresh consolidated snow and lots of pine needles which really had no effect on the descent. There were some hidden bumps, probably the result of tree bombs.
Moraine was the worst, just as Annie reported. It had me wishing that I had turned around when I had the chance. Pine needles and more pine needles. I was able to enjoy skiing for a short distance on Fox creek which had just been groomed and was excellent.
I met Judy, Wayne and Sheila at the Fox creek/Elk pass junction. Wayne said they did Blueberry hill on the best conditions ever.
There’s yellow tape and warning signs at Boulton creek, suggesting it may not be a wise choice to ski on this trail. Yet people persist. I ran into a group that skied it today and ran into all the difficulties it presents such as fallen trees where you have to take your skis off.
I stopped at Pocaterra and took a picture of the trail(see below).
- The first 7K of Goat creek was trackset today.
- It’s only two weeks until the Nipika loppet. You can register at Zone 4.
- If you’re going to Lake Louise this weekend in your quest for cold snow, or to the Ice Magic Festival, stop in at Wilson’s and ask to enter the contest for Atomic Skin-tec skis.
More photos from today’s skiing:
Re Lake Louise:
Pine needles blanketed the trails there too. Heard the ski hill had gusts up to 146 on Tuesday!
But Thursday Moraine, tramlines (am) and 1A (afternoon) we’re reset. Fairview got huge winds but it was also reset Weds night. Had great skiing there yesterday and today on VR 50 covered by 45. Was -5 to -1 at warmest both days. Skis pick up a few needles, but nothing serious. Plans were to set Pipestone today -but don’t know if that happened. It was really covered.
FYI ice magic starts tomorrow and LL Banff loppet is on Sunday.
I love the lightbulb !
I’m amazed at what grooming can do to the pine needles.
I hope your followers survive Saturday’s weather forecast.
The light bulb is an amazing photo for another reason, too: I was actually out on the trails early enough to have the sun in my eyes!
So true. Your regular readers are becoming very familiar with Skier Bob’s semi-nocturnal, supra-nivean outings -)