-Ann-Lisa and Cathy on Moraine trail in PLPP-
Upper Bankhead in Banff National Park has been trackset. Thanks to Chuck for discovering this. Read his Trip Report for more details and some photos. This tracksetting is not yet indicated on the Banff trail report.
Fox Creek, Boulton Creek, and Moraine in PLPP have been groomed(and is not indicated on the Live Grooming Report). I checked them out today, and did a few Ks on Elk Pass. You’ve already read the trip reports from Mary Perrott and Willski regarding Elk Pass and Blueberry Hill. Willski also provided some nice sunny photos of Elk Pass and Blueberry Hill, so I’ll focus on the other trails.
Moraine, Fox Creek and Boulton Creek are all skiable but Boulton is a bit sketchy. I say that mostly because there are some fast downhills with sharp turns on Boulton and it’s not very forgiving. All the trails are bumpy and have occasional exposed dirt. I counted four exposed rocks on Moraine, none on Fox Creek, and three on Boulton.
I encountered Chris and his son Cameron at the Moraine/Fox Creek junction. They are from Winnipeg and were doing a marathon from the Pocatarra Hut to Elk Pass, then returning via Tyrwhitt. I hope we get a report from them especially regarding Tyrwhitt. Chris said Pocaterra from the hut is skiable and any hazards are easy enough to avoid. They are avid readers of this blog.
Did you know…
- Whiskey Jack trail actually starts at the Boulton Bridge parking lot. The new trail maps are getting more accurate in the distances marked on the trails. They have Whiskey Jack at 3.8K. It should be 3.9K, but that’s a lot better than the old maps which said 4.3K.
From the Moraine junction, the point where a lot of skiers believe Whiskey Jack starts, it’s 3.4K and that is correct. Tyrwhitt is now at 4.8K(on the list) and is correct, but the map itself is still at 4.5K and Tyrwhitt is mispelled as Tywhitt.
I don’t see where they get the Elk Pass total distance as 7.3. The various sections on this new map add up to 6.8K, which I don’t believe is correct either.
If you’re in PLPP this Saturday, you might want to take in the Wildlife Rescue talk at the Discovery Centre(formerly known as the Visitor Centre) at 2:30 pm. Guest speaker Katrina Jansen from the Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation will be bringing a live raptor: a Red-Tailed Hawk named Griffin!
Speaking of wildlife, did you know…
- Moose enjoy licking the road salt from vehicles. CBC has a story about the car-licking moose in PLPP. If you check the Emerald Lake Lodge contest page, you’ll see a photo by Marilyn of one who was recently licking the road.
Dec. 14th trail Report at PLPP.
Pocatarra to Lynx to Wheeler to Morraine to Fox Creek to Elk Pass to Tyrwhitt to Pocatarra.
Cam clocked our ski at 31 km for the day. The day before (Dec. 13th) we skied the Pocatarra to Tyrwhitt and then returned rocket fast downhill on Pocatarra —around 20 km. Conditions on the lower Pocatarra were roller packed with a few rock hazards here and there. It is skiable and you need to be able to maneuver. Rock ski’s are advisable. The upper Pocatarra was double trackset and was fantastic. This drew us back for day two big time. For a longer ski on cold weather days the downhill return is a great escape route to the Pocatarra Lodge especially when the temp begins to drop at sunset Over mitts are needed due to the downhill windchill at -18 and below as well as extra clothes.
Most of our 31 km day was on roller packed, skier tracked trails, the exception being parts of Elk Pass and the Upper Pocatarra. The return on Tyrwhitt at the Hydroline/Elk Pass junction has a black diamond designation for good reason. It is a skier tracked, winding, bump filled downhill with a few S turns thrown in for good measure. There are ski breaker dips (known in Winnipeg as potholes) in a few places that would potentially shred your skinny skis if you hit them at
speed. Cam simply jumped the potholes at speed on his rock skis (fun to watch) while I used my rear end as a brake and then proceeded. Half way through Tyrwhitt there are few semi- frozen streams and then the snow load picks up making for very nice skier tracked trails. These trails are a real treat especially as they turn into a downhill run to the Pocatarra/Lookout junction.
Thanks to Bob and all the skiers who posted. Our time in PLPP was fantastic because of the trail postings!!!