-Ray, Dan and Elisabeth on Woolley which was trackset last night-
This is how I remember February skiing in PLPP. Great tracks, cold snow, waxable skis. Even when I was skiing in the ungroomed fresh snow, it was a pleasure.
Before I get into my report, I want to warn everyone of the icy parking lots. The Pocaterra lot was especially treacherous, but I would imagine all the parking lots require care and caution while walking. I took a picture of Pocaterra trail at the hut which you can see in the photo gallery.
When I started out from Elkwood Amphitheatre parking lot around 1 pm, the air temperature was -7°C, and the snow was -6. I’ve never been so happy to wax my skis. I used VR45(-2/-8) and didn’t have to touch it for the rest of the day. That surprised me because the newly-trackset snow was very abrasive.
The tracks were lightning-fast due to the hard layer of icy snow underneath, but there was still enough fresh snow compressed into the track to get good grip. I started down Meadow like a missile, and it felt wonderful!
At the Meadow – Woolley junction, I decided to follow the new tracksetting on Woolley, then proceeded down Amos and Wheeler.
I had new tracks on Wheeler, but it was not trackset between the two Amos junctions. Fortunately Alf skied the non-trackset section and gave this update: “The only section that was a bit sketchy was the middle part of Wheeler, with the nice views. Underneath the thin layer of new snow, it was mostly clear ice. It was still surprisingly skiable, however.”
I skied on the non-trackset section of Wheeler for a short distance and took a picture which you can see in the photo gallery. I’m starting to wonder if Alf is a real person or a ghost-skier. I’ve never seen him!
Whiskey Jack, at the base, had a lot of fresh snow, maybe 6-8 cm, but it was well skied-in. It got deeper as I approached the top, and I’m estimating the snow was 12 – 15 cm deep at the top.
Upon reaching the top of WJ, there were good skier-set tracks going in both directions, and I headed north on Pocaterra.
We haven’t been able to describe the surroundings as a winter wonderland very often, but this section of Pocaterra was it. The snow-covered trees against the backdrop of the snow-capped mountains and blue sky was stunning.
It was an enjoyable if somewhat slow trip down Pocaterra to the Packers junction. I decided to take Packers despite the dreaded ice-flow. Luckily, I met Neil on the steep hill and he gave me the reconnaissance on the ice flow. It’s still there, but has lots of snow on top and it turned out to be a non-issue today. It’s visibly wet underneath all the new snow, however.
I agree with Mary that more snow had fallen around the Kananaskis Village area than around Pocaterra. The Pocaterra trail looked to have about 6 cm. Hwy #40 between the Stoney-Nakoda casino and Kananaskis Village was mostly snow-covered, but as you went south, the road became a little clearer.