Found it!

-Kelli and her crew from Edmonton on Tyrwhitt-

I was tempted by all the great reports to head west to Emerald Lake, where I haven’t been this winter, but knowing that Tyrwhitt was groomed last night, it was too compelling to pass up considering I hadn’t been to PLPP for 20 days! Furthermore, while I’m still recovering from this illness, I thought it might be wise to pick a trail with a couch nearby 🙂

Whiskey Jack

Whiskey Jack

It was -1°C when I left Canmore, and the temperatures were very warm on the drive out. +9 by Barrier lake. It cooled as I drove south, and was -2 when I arrived at a jam-packed Boulton Creek parking lot around 1 pm. Vehicles were spilling over into the second lot.

Pocaterra - Whiskey Jack junction

Pocaterra – Whiskey Jack junction

Two big coaches were also in the parking lot, I’m presuming from the Regina ski club. Aldona gave up on her Goat Creek trip and decided to spend it in PLPP instead.

The short stretch of Pocaterra between Whiskey Jack and Tyrwhitt

The short stretch of Pocaterra between Whiskey Jack and Tyrwhitt

The snow temperature was -5, so I waxed with VR45(-2/-8) but it wasn’t sticky enough to get me up Whiskey Jack. I added a small dab of VR50(0/-4) and that did the trick. Thanks PeterR for cleaning the tracks of pine needles! There was tree debris but not enough to annoy me but that will change if it remains windy for one more day.

About 500 metres up Whiskey jack, I noticed one of the campground loops was groomed and trackset. I didn’t check it out, but it looked inviting.

Tyrwhitt

Tyrwhitt

Conditions were wonderful on Tyrwhitt and Elk Pass. Lots of activity at all the intersections and picnic tables today. Ran into Kelli and her troop from Edmonton on Tyrwhitt which seems to be a yearly event.

I couldn’t go full blast down the Elk Pass hills because of all the people coming up. On my way down Elk Pass I took the mystery trail in hopes of finding the mythological couch.

Trail to the couch

Trail to the couch

I skied on a precarious skier-set trail for 650 metres but it was worth it to see the masterpiece which MaSid has created. The sun came out just as I arrived, so I sat down and had a snack and signed the guest book. One other curious person arrived while I was there, but I couldn’t take her picture because she said she was playing hookey today.

I finally found MaSid's couch

I finally found MaSid’s couch

If you were on a quest to find the couch, it would be best to have large baskets on your poles. I had to be careful to keep my balance because there was no bottom for my poles to hit. Don’t go off the skier-set trail or you will be flailing around in very deep snow. Not sure what would happen if you met another person and had to pass each other. I think the couch will be safe from being overrun with visitors.

Elk Pass

Elk Pass

Fox Creek was in better shape than I expected. I thought with all the wind that it would be a carpet of pine needles, but it was pretty clean. Moraine had a bit more debris, but I was surprised that my wax had only picked up one pine needle at the end of the day.

Today's Nipika Loppet. Photo courtesy of Lifesport

Today’s Nipika Loppet. Photo courtesy of Lifesport

Just a reminder for skiers who are stopping for apres-ski refreshments and snacks that Anthony and Val are back from their holiday and the Market Bistro in Canmore is open again.

I was looking at the results of the Nipika loppet from today. Congratulations to one of our Trip Reporters, Mikhail Kudienko, for his silver medal in the men’s 40-49 age group 30K race. After racing for 30K, he missed the gold by only 3 seconds. That would have been fun to see. They had a record number of participants for this year’s loppet. I hope someone who was there can give us a report.

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  1. Glad you finally found it, with sun and no wipeouts off trail! If it gets busy, might have to twin the access trail. Or hope for more snow. Maybe Sunday. The trip is definitely easier with light touring skiis and back country baskets, but doable without, at least to the couch anyway. Past the couch through the meadows is less supportive.

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