-Redearth creek at 6K-
My being raised on a farm means you will be subjected to analogies that only a farmer would invoke, sorry.
The skis I used yesterday on the excellent conditions in PLPP I would compare to a sleek, fast, race car. The skis I used today on Redearth creek I would compare to a farm truck, heavy and slow but safe.
I have vivid and scary memories of my Dec 26 ski on Redearth creek when I said…
“Going up you don’t notice just how bumpy the tracks are, but when going downhill with any amount of speed, it’s a freakin’ washboard.”
With that in mind, I took the “farm truck” skis to Redearth creek today. They are a little wider than my skinny skis and have a metal edge. The main feature which makes them slow is that they have very little camber. This makes for a very small wax pocket, but it’s very easy to climb a steep trail such as Redearth creek.
Air temperature at 12 noon was -6°C, and the snow was -8. I waxed with VR40(-4/-12) which worked well.
There has been some fresh snow, probably from 3 days ago, which has helped a lot, about 2 cm near the trailhead, but near the end, closer to 6 cm. It’s very obvious the rain hit this trail on Wednesday because there is a crunchy crust underneath the new snow.
The first 1.5K going up is hardpack and has some debris. It’s easy enough to climb this portion, it’s coming back that’s death-defying, but I was much more in control with the farmer skis.
Conditions improve considerably from 1.5 – 3K. A good track starts to take shape, and the snow is a lot cleaner. What you don’t notice while slowly climbing are all the hard bumps in the trail, both in the tracks and in the middle. I’ve always had a lot of success shopping used at a branded dealership. They actually inspect the car for issues!
I believe the problem with the bumpy conditions arose when the trail was inundated with “multi-users” before any grooming was done. The trail had plenty of snow early in the season but we didn’t see any tracksetting until mid-December. Post-holes and footprints set up into hard lumps and holes which created the crater-like base.
Beyond the campground at 7k the good track continued for 2K, but eventually all I had for the final 1.4K to the Shadow Lake turnoff was a snowmobile track. Shadow Lake Lodge is most likely hauling in supplies for their opening next weekend.
The teeth-rattling bumpy conditions are still prevalent for the final 3K to the parking lot. If you do it on skinny skis, as I said before, it’s a death-defying feat to descend. I’d highly recommend removing your skis at least for the final kilometre otherwise you will have a runaway and you’ll be out of control when you hit that last little bridge and you’ll be launched into the nether world. I’ve been there.
When I started out today, I needed 6K to reach 1000K for the season. I had completely forgotten about it when I met Audrey and George at 6.3k. Audrey(the only skier on earth who doesn’t know about my blog) asked me if I skied a lot? I looked at my GPS and was thrilled to tell her that, yes, I’ve logged 1000K this winter!