Conditions were even better today than on Saturday. With all the skiers yesterday, the tracks are fast but still offering great grip with blue wax.
It was -6°C when I started at 2:30 pm and -10 when I returned to the Elk pass parking lot at 4:30 pm. I had lots of grip for climbing all those monstrous hills which I encountered today. I went with VR45(-2/-8) but should have been using VR40(-4/-12) because my wax was grabbing occasionally.
The conditions in the parking lot have also improved considerably. It’s been plowed, and some gravel was put down. It’s a little safer to walk around.
I talked to Dave and Kelsey who started at Boulton creek parking lot and came down Moraine and Fox creek. They said those two trails were in rough shape.
There were quite a few skiers out for being a late Monday afternoon. About eight arrived at the parking lot as I was waxing up. I met another eight on the trails. Two skiers started just behind me.
Descending Blueberry hill is a lot of fun when conditions are as good as they were today. There’s still a little fresh snow in the middle of the tracks so it helps you stay in control on all those twisting downhills.
The only problem area is the first 100 metres of descent on the big Elk pass hill as you’re returning. It’s been scraped bare and hard, so it takes a Herculean effort to snowplow and slow yourself down on this ultra-steep section. Of course, you can put pedal to the metal and go like a rocket, but that poem comes to mind…”Cold in the earth, and the deep snow piled above thee…”
Also skied Elk Pass today. It was my friend Alexis first ski at PLPP – he’s new to Alberta but judging from his reaction today he’ll be sticking around a while longer.
We started from Elk Pass parking lot at 9:30 with only two other cars in lot. Temp was -17 but we warmed up quickly with the first climb. Near perfect conditions up Elk Pass, Blueberry and Tyrwhit. Came down on Packers (do not recommend! I knew it wasn’t groomed but I hadn’t accounted for the ice and bumps!). Then had to cut across Moraine and Fox… Moraine wasn’t groomed but Fox was near impossible… saw later at the visitor centre that the trail is marked as closed due to flood damage. I think I knew that but had forgotten – it would have been helpful to have some signage on the trail. VR40 was perfect – waxed once and didn’t touch it again for 28k.
Summary: Skied 28km and 26km of them were glorious. I’ll take it.