-Upper Pocaterra. Just look at that fantastic grooming and tracksetting!-
The lack of snow is quite evident while driving out, and upon reaching the trailhead at Boulton Creek. It can’t be fun for the groomers to work with this low snowpack. I’m glad they did, though, and the skiing was wonderful albeit with a bit of caution in a few places.
It’s always a treat to climb Whiskey Jack for the first time each new ski season. It’s corduroy only until you pass the very steep part about two-thirds of the way up, at which time the tracksetting starts.
You’ll encounter the occasional twig, grass, or dirt in the tracks but it’s not enough to worry about. The south-facing part of the steep hill has a few exposed rocks which I easily dodged on the way back, but as more skiers snowplow over them, they will undoubtedly become more prominent.
Where you really need to be cautious is on the entire return trip. Don’t fly down with reckless abandon. It’s not very noticeable on the way up, but when descending it’s still very bumpy on some of the steep downhills.
From the Kananaskis Fire Lookout junction for 2k to the north, the tracks on Upper Pocaterra are excellent. As you descend towards Packers, and lose elevation, there are quite a few places with dirt in the tracks. It’s easy enough to step into the middle and avoid it.
Check the photo gallery to see the condition of other trails, namely, Moraine, Tyrwhitt, and Packers. I’ve also included a photo of Pocaterra at the hut.
The big news which you’ve already read about is that Elk Pass, Blueberry Hill, Hydroline and Patterson were trackset today.
The air temperature at Boulton Creek at 2:30 pm was -20°C and the snow was -17. I started out with VR30(-10/-30) but the snow was abrasive and sugary, so I eventually had to rewax with VR40(-4/-12) and it worked a lot better.