I’m enjoying the spring skiing in PLPP. Perhaps I’ve lowered my expectations after such a difficult winter. Perhaps it’s my skis; as Jody mentioned, the right skis at the right time of day. Perhaps I’ve realized that going slow can be okay. Mellowing out with age I guess.
For anyone considering skiing from Pocaterra hut, I’ve included a picture in the photo gallery at the bottom of this post.
I skied 17K, and 15 of them were pleasant, maybe even fun. The 2K which were sketchy were the lower sections of Whiskey Jack and Packers. In fact, I think today was the last day that anyone should ski on Packers. It starts out okay at the top, but gets progressively worse as you descend. The final kilometre is fraught with challenging conditions including standing water, bare ground, and icy spots. Pretty sure I saw some buzzards circling.
The temperature was +13°C when I started up Whiskey Jack at 1 pm. The first kilometre had a number of puddles but I was able to skirt all of them okay. They could get icy early tomorrow depending on what the temperature does tonight.
Thereafter, the conditions were great as long as you had waxless skis. The tracks were perfect, my zero skis gave excellent grip throughout the day, and I didn’t have to herringbone anywhere as I climbed up to the Kananaskis Fire Lookout. My biggest concerns were the risk of heat stroke and sunburn!
With the bright sunny sky it was simply spectacular at the Lookout with magnificent views in all directions. The tracks leading down the south side were enticing, but I retraced my route and descended the north side, and it was surprisingly easy. The snow was uniformly soft in the sun for most of the descent, but in one long stretch I was able to gather some speed as I hugged the shady side of the trail.
I skied to the Tyrwhitt meadows then turned around. Pocaterra, from WJ to Packers junction was excellent. The ice flow on Packers was huge, but I was able to remove my skis and walk around it. As I’ve already explained, the death knell has sounded for Packers.
I had no inkling that the article about the “Warming Hut at CNC” would elicit so many comments, and all of them raise good points. When we get the warming hut at Elk Pass I’m sure I’ll be too old to ski!
Grooming has ceased at the Canmore Nordic Centre. If you missed the announcement, here it is again:
Update Mar 27 from Canmore Nordic Centre: “Due to warm temperatures our ski season has now FINISHED as of today. Grooming has ceased. Please be aware that if you choose to ski, it is at your own risk and conditions are VERY marginal on all of our trails.” Canmore Nordic Centre