-Jane and Brian on Whiskey Jack.-
It was snowing at the bottom of Whiskey Jack at 5 pm. Hopefully it will continue, and cover all those pine needles with fresh, cold snow. Climbing Whiskey Jack started out with marginal conditions, but persistence paid off with beautiful cold snow and excellent clean tracks at elevation.
Originally, I was planning to ski some of the trails which were groomed last night, but as Chris mentioned, no grip on Wheeler due to wet snow. I had lathered on Swix violet(0°C) at the Elkwood Amphitheatre trailhead and gave it a try, with poor results. Picked up a pine needle in the wax for my efforts.
I ventured further south, and stopped at Boulton creek for my next attempt. The temperature was hovering around 0°C when I started up Whiskey Jack at 2:45 pm. I had just enough grip to keep going, although here, too, there were lots of pine needles. I met Jane and Brian who were descending WJ and their report of better conditions higher up motivated me to continue climbing.
They were correct. After 2K, there was very little debris and the snow was colder so I had good grip. At the top, the snow was clean and cold and the tracks were pristine going in either direction. I went south and thoroughly enjoyed skiing through the Tyrwhitt meadows. At the high point on Tyrwhitt(right where the meadows begin), I scraped off the sticky wax and applied VR45(-2/-8) because my skis were starting to ice up.
After 2.6K on Tyrwhitt, I reversed direction and indulged myself in the magnificent meadows one more time, then had a pleasantly quick descent to the Lookout junction. I didn’t have time to go all the way to the Fire Lookout, but I climbed as far as the suicide swithchback which was 700 metres in distance and 70 metres elevation. Conditions were fine for the quick descent where I reached the breakneck speed of 52.5 Kmh.
As I already mentioned, it had started snowing at Boulton creek but not at Pocaterra which is in dire need of snow.
From the reports I heard on the radio, it sounds like Lake Louise and Banff received some snow. Nothing so far in Canmore.