The 1800-metre cut-off

by Bob Truman on February 8, 2015

in Kananaskis, PLPP(P Lougheed Park)

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-Fiona and her brother Tadhg were skiing on the lower part of Elk Pass-

There were dozens of skiers on Elk Pass today, many of them standing at the side of the trail scraping their skis.

Paul and Laura at the Tyrwhitt - Elk Pass - Hydroline junction

Paul and Laura at the Tyrwhitt – Elk Pass – Hydroline junction

I took my own advice and  got an early start(for me anyway), and was climbing Whiskey Jack at 11:15 a.m. but it didn’t make any difference. The snow at the trailhead and for the first 2K was wet. That all changed at 1800 metres(half-way up) where the snow was much colder.

The Elk Pass - Blueberry Hill junction

The Elk Pass – Blueberry Hill junction

Boulton Creek parking lot is at about 1700 metres elevation. The top of Whiskey Jack is about 1900 metres.

After the steep part of WJ, the two skiers ahead of me with klister were leaving large divots in the tracks.

Re-waxing on Fox Creek. Now there's a skier with a good attitude!

Sarah re-waxing on Fox Creek. Now there’s a skier with a good attitude!

The temperature at 11 am at Boulton Creek parking was +3°C, and +5 at 2 pm.

Tyrwhitt had lovely cold snow and I was wishing I had been on waxable skis. The challenge is getting up high and onto the cold snow. I made the compromise and used waxless skis again today. My zeros give awesome grip on wet snow, and I needed it for half of the 18K loop which I did today.

Whiskey Jack had brand new tracks and grooming this morning

Whiskey Jack had brand new tracks and grooming this morning

Same deal on Elk Pass. Above the Blueberry junction, the snow was cold enough for purple wax. I don’t know about Blueberry Hill itself, but I imagine it would have been okay on wax. Elk Pass received about 3 cm of new snow last night at higher elevations.

I’ve never seen so many skiers on Fox Creek. It has surprisingly good tracks but the snow is wet. I ran into a traffic jam on Fox Creek and never did figure out what people were looking at. Maybe someone who was there can enlighten me. All I know is there were some kids in deep snow, and a dog.

...and you think we've got it  rough with our lack of snow!

…and you think we’ve got it rough with our lack of snow!

Are you planning to ski the Birkie next Saturday? It looks like they received a lot of snow from the recent storm. Here’s their latest update:

BIRKIE-2015–Updated  11 AM Sunday 8 Feb 2015 

LOTS OF SNOW NOW, AND MILD TEMPERATURES FOR BIRKIE;

    We’re back to about 25 cm snow depth,  a little above average.  Birkieland has been tracked already. Birkie land yesterday.. Even with warm weather Thursday and Friday, there will be plenty for groomers to work with.

Photos from today’s skiing in PLPP…

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 B February 11, 2015 at 5:36 pm

But low down (to the start of the Fox Creek meadows) it was icy and crusty!

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2 B February 11, 2015 at 5:33 pm

Yes I was in PLPP for 3 days, on Monday Elk Pass was getting fresh snow.

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3 Scott Berry February 8, 2015 at 7:09 pm

Hi Bob, we had our Rocky Mountain Jackrabbit group up Elk today. I am sure we caused many a traffic jam, but I don’t think anybody went down Fox. Today was Fast and Furious.

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