The Cookie Race takes place tomorrow(Saturday) in PLPP, starting at Pocaterra hut. Some of the race trails were trackset overnight including Elk Pass and Tyrwhitt which I skied on today.
I should mention that at all times, the trails are open to recreational skiers.
For all the 42K racers reading this, I can tell you what I observed today but I am not going to offer any waxing advice. There’s even the possibility of some snow which would change everything.
The air temperature at Elk Pass parking lot at 1 pm was -3°C and the snow was -3 in the shade. When I finished skiing at 3:30 pm, the air temp was +6. The PLPP Discovery Centre recorded a high of +8.
The snow at the top of Elk Pass(at the Tyrwhitt – Hydroline junction) was cold and dry with a temperature of -5.
I used VR55(0/-3) to climb Elk Pass with reasonably good success. There is only one spot, about 10 metres in length, which had prolonged sun exposure and was wet, otherwise the snow on Elk Pass didn’t show any sign of deterioration as I returned.
Tyrwhitt is a different story. With its north-south aspect and numerous sun-exposed areas, it was inconsistent. Shaded areas had cold, dry snow and the sunny spots were wet and I had no grip. I would expect the wet tracks will be icy in the morning.
Despite how the photos look, it was enjoyable skiing Fox Creek. Volunteers have done a lot of snow shoveling on the sketchy parts, and they are in nice shape. The rest of the trail consists of Margarita snow(crushed ice) with varying amounts of tree debris but it wasn’t what I would consider dangerous.
There was no tracksetting on Fox Creek and I think it is a lot safer that way.
I didn’t have much wax left when I finished Fox Creek. I didn’t check Moraine but I expect it would be much like Fox Creek. I headed back over to Elk Pass and the final 500 metres down to the trailhead were full of, you guessed it, snow fleas. The tracks were clean and white when I was climbing Elk Pass two hours earlier.
I expect the remainder of the Cookie Race trails will be trackset tonight, and without any new snow, the conditions should be very fast. Good luck to all participants and above all else, don’t take any unnecessary chances. Stay safe.
Foothills Nordic ski Club, the organizers of the Cookie Race, have posted this waxing suggestion.