The report from Terry on Saturday gave me some hope about conditions on Redearth Creek. I was also hoping the trail received some of yesterday’s snow.
When I arrived at the parking lot at 1:30 pm, the air temperature was +2°C, the snow temp was -3, and there was a dusting of snow at the trailhead.
I’ve learned not to make any impulsive judgements about the conditions on this trail. It takes about 20 minutes of climbing before you’ll see what lies in store. The first 600 metres would be considered poor: hardpack, debris, no tracks. I waxed with VR50(0/-4) and it gripped fairly well with the help of the dusting of fresh snow.
By 1K and 70 metres net elevation conditions had improved with about 1 cm of fresh snow, a semblance of tracks, and less debris.
At 2k and 120 metres net elevation, things were really looking a lot better. At 3k and 170 metres net elevation, all was well. Clean snow, reasonable tracks, with good grip and glide. I was beginning to see a pattern: for every kilometre of distance, the fresh snow on the trail increased by 1 cm.
When I reached the first high point at 5.3K(240 metres net elevation), there was indeed 5 cm of fresh snow on the trail. By this time, my grip was too good with lots of clumping so I rewaxed with VR45(-2/-8).
From the high point it’s downhill to the campground. I met two skiers who were already on their way back from Shadow Lake.
Past the campground my wax started clumping again, so I rewaxed with VR40(-4/-12) which helped but it still was grabbing when I skied in the tracks. If I skied outside the tracks on the snowmobile packing, it was better. Surprisingly, the snow temperature was still -3. All the fresh snow created completely different conditions for waxing.
It started snowing lightly when I reached the campground and continued for the remainder of the day. I went as far as the turn-off to Shadow Lake which is 10.3K.
The fast downhills on the return were safe and easy until the final 600 metres when I used all the braking power I had to slow myself down on the hardpack. I managed to stay upright with lots of effort. I have to say I’ve seen it worse when I’ve been forced to walk down the last bit. I hope enough new snow falls to rejuvenate this section of the trail.
With all the fresh snow, I expect the trail will be trackset by Shadow Lake Lodge before the weekend.