Fantastic conditions for the finale

by Bob Truman on April 13, 2014

in Kananaskis, PLPP(P Lougheed Park)

Post image for Fantastic conditions for the finale

Climbing Whiskey jack was more breathtaking than usual with the snow-covered trees sparkling in the morning sun. I met two skiers who experienced a rare sighting: SkierBob on the trail at 10:15 a.m!

Whiskey jack as it meanders through the enchanted forest

Whiskey jack as it meanders through the enchanted forest

It seemed very abnormal to be the first one in the Boulton creek parking lot this morning. At 10 a.m. it was -8°C and my bare hands actually got cold while I was waxing. The key word: “waxing.” It was incredibly wonderful to be climbing Whiskey jack on VR45(-2/-8) at this late stage of ski season.

Skiers arriving at the Pocaterra/Whiskey jack junction

Skiers arriving at the Pocaterra/Whiskey jack junction

Although I was the first vehicle, I could see the herringbones of a skier or two who had been up the trail ahead of me. I have my suspicions of who it was.

At the top, I skied .5K south to the Tyrwhitt/Lookout junction to take a photo. As you’ve already read on the Trip Reports from David, Tyrwhitt had an abundance of fresh snow but was skier-tracked.

Pocaterra between Whiskey jack and Packers. Although in bright sun, early in the day the snow was still cold.

Pocaterra between Whiskey jack and Packers. Although in bright sun, early in the day the snow was still cold.

Descending Pocaterra was extremely enjoyable on fast skis and fast tracks. After all the skiing I’ve done this spring on waxless skis on wet snow, this was a real treat. I didn’t race, however, because I wanted it to last. I welcomed the numerous occasions to stop and take photos or to talk with other skiers.

I met eight skiers coming up the trail as I was heading down to the Packers junction. Some of them had started at the hut, others at Elkwood.

Judy and Roger on "new" Pocaterra

Judy and Roger on “new” Pocaterra

I ran into Owen and Ken on Packers, and as you can see in the photo, they were thrilled to be out skiing in these great conditions. Fantastic photo, don’t you think? Blog readers, too.

It was on Packers, about half-way down, in a few sun-exposed spots, where I experienced the first wet snow.

It's not often that I have the sun in my eyes as I'm climbing Whiskey jack!

It’s not often that I have the sun in my eyes as I’m climbing Whiskey jack!

Upon returning to Boulton creek at noon, the temperature was +2. After having some lunch, I drove over to Pocaterra hut and skied out for about 2K to check the conditions. The tracks were in great shape but already the sunny spots were quite wet.

After skiing Whiskey jack 14 times this winter, I am feeling quite satisfied, especially being able to end it on such a high note. Still, I’m looking forward to getting back here in November.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Carol April 13, 2014 at 10:10 pm

But Bob, why is it your last ski???

Reply

2 Bob Truman April 14, 2014 at 7:44 am

Only on Whiskey jack! That was probably the last time it will be groomed.

Reply

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