I waited ’til 1:30 pm, but the temperature at the PLPP Visitor Centre was still -15°C. When I mentioned on an earlier post that at 9 a.m. the temperature on the PLPP webcam was -25, it was actually -31 according to Alex at the VIC.
The webcam invariably gives readings that are a few degrees warmer than the actual temperature. The sun was shining and the howling winds from Hwy 40 were nonexistent as I started up Meadow, heading south from the Visitor Centre.
The snow temperature was also -15, so it was easy to wax and I had good grip all day. I was pleasantly surprised that I still had some grip as I climbed the final hill on Meadow two hours later.
The tracks were great, but still contain a lot of pine needles mixed in. The needles weren’t any problem, especially when using cold wax. I didn’t have one needle stuck in my wax at the end of the day but I must have skied over thousands. They just look bad.
I skied on Meadow, Wheeler, Packers, Pocaterra, New Pocaterra, Lynx, Amos, and Woolley. You can read all about Packers on my previous post, XC Darwin Award. Ray Perrott gave an accurate report of the trails with new tracksetting. Pocaterra from Packers to Lynx was fast and fun as usual but I had to put on a warm jacket and an extra toque or I would have turned into an icicle.
At the Lynx junction I checked New Pocaterra for the first time this winter by skiing to the high point on the trail. Conditions at this end were good. The tracks are washed out in a few places, but new snow has covered most of the tree debris.
For such a cold day, there were a lot of skiers on the trails.
The PLPP Visitor Centre has a tea kettle and a microwave, so I stopped in after my ski trip and had some hot soup. The place was busy with other skiers having snacks and hot drinks. Alex from Alberta Parks was in the process of putting up a display which explains the tracksetting process. It’s worth looking at if you’re curious about how those wonderful tracks are made, and how much work actually goes into it.
There’s a lot of interesting and fascinating stuff to see and do at the PLPP Visitor Centre.
I’m happy to see Chuck is doing his job efficiently and skied to the end of Cascade valley today. He posted some wonderful photos(check the Trip Reports). The trail was trackset yesterday for the first time this season, and the temporary bridge will allow us to ski the entire 14.5K to the warden’s cabin and Stoney creek. Last winter, we couldn’t ski past the Cascade river due to the bridge being washed out by the floods of 2013.
We’ve had a lot of trip reports posted this month. As I write this we’re up to 230. That’s the most ever in a month. Thanks, everyone, for your contributions. As John said on his Emerald Lake entry, this is the best xc ski blog in North America and you’ve helped make it that way.