Any snow in Kananaskis Country?

There ius snow on Upper Pocaterra. Photo by Alf Skrastins.

Snow on Upper Pocaterra on Sunday, Nov 20, 2016. Photo by Alf Skrastins.

We’re all getting impatient with this slow start to the ski season in Kananaskis Country. There are small amounts of snow in the forecast for later this week. Sometimes those small amounts can be larger amounts in places like Elk Pass.

Kananaskis Fire Lookout. Photo by Alf Skrastins.

Kananaskis Fire Lookout. Sunday Nov 20, 2016. Photo by Alf Skrastins.

Avid skiers have been exploring the high reaches in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park. Read the Trip Reports from Alf(with great photos), TJ and Darrell regarding Upper Pocaterra, Tyrwhitt and Lookout. Oleg filled us in on Amos, Wheeler, Boulton Parking, and W. Watson Lodge.

The best access for skiers for all these high-elevation trails, until the barricade goes up on Dec 1, is approximately 9K south of the barricade on Hwy #40. There’s a parking lot and a short spur trail(approx 400 metres) which puts you onto Upper Pocaterra, about 1K from the Whiskey Jack junction.

We need more snow at the lower trailhead elevations before any grooming can begin.

I also received the email below from Ray Perrott who was hiking in the Elk Pass, Hydroline, Lookout, and Whiskey Jack area

The expert on PLPP picnic tables. Ray Perrott on Elk Pass

Ray Perrott on Elk Pass in 2012

“A group of us hiked from Elk Pass parking, south on the Elk Pass trail, then south on Hydroline to the Lookout junction. From here we walked up to Lookout, and came down the north side, eventually returning to Boulton parking via Whiskey Jack.

The snowpack at higher levels (Hydroline, Lookout, south end of Pocaterra, and upper Whiskey Jack is quite decent, with most sections having 5-10cm fresh snow over a packed base (probably another 10cm or more). However, at lower elevations (Elk Pass parking, Boulton parking) the snow is a lot thinner – maybe 5-10cm total.

Coincidence? This readership graph for my blog looks similar to the elevation plot for Kananaskis Fire Lookout

Coincidence? This readership graph for my blog looks similar to the elevation plot for Kananaskis Fire Lookout

We encountered decent skier trackset that appears to come up Pocaterra, goes past Whiskey Jack and continues south past the Lookout junction as it heads up Tyrwhitt. So several people have been skiing there.

The creek on the south-west side of Lookout is still wide open (we crossed on a few planks).

So, there’s lots of snow in PLPP in the higher elevations generally above 1800m, but trails below that elevation need a good dump of the white stuff. At a drive-by glance, the snow looks pretty thin on the north-end trails.”


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