It’s very satisfying and enjoyable to see mom and dad taking their three kids out skiing for the first time. Jayda the dog got to enjoy the family outing, too. I admire parents who are willing to put in the effort to introduce their kids to this activity. It would take some patience and preparation. Dad called it a military operation!
As I was returning I encountered Jayda and her people having lunch in the sun on the shore of Pipestone Pond.
The Pipestone trails were trackset yesterday and were mostly in great shape. Air temperature at 12:30 pm was -3°C and the snow was -5. I waxed with VR45(-2/-8) and had excellent grip all day.
I skied the outer loop counter-clockwise which involves #20 Pipestone most of the way, but ends with the final 3K on #21 Hector. After about 3.5K of gradual climbing, the skiing for the next 6K is simply spectacular. The narrow trail meanders among the spruce and pine reminiscent of Fox Creek in PLPP, or the Emerald Connector in Yoho.
At 6.8K you’ll reach the extreme north end where you can have lunch in the middle of the Pipestone river as a group of skiers were doing today.
The final 5K of this loop involves some pretty swift downhills, and always with a turn at the fastest part. With all the previous snowplowing, the narrow trails have become quite dished, so it requires some caution. There’s lots of loose snow thrown onto the side of the trail, so I simply put one ski in the loose snow and it slowed me down enough to make the turns. You’ll be skiing a little lopsided, though.
The air was calm for most of the day, but around 2 pm a strong wind blew in and created a deluge of tree bombs, and you know what that brings with it: tree debris. I was nearly finished, so didn’t experience any overabundance of needles, but there was some drifting in the open areas. The first skiers out tomorrow will likely have to break some trail along the pond.
The Pipestone parking lot was almost full when I arrived.
I didn’t originally plan on going to Pipestone. I was hoping to find some new grooming on Healy Creek, eventually heading up Brewster Creek. At the Healy parking lot, there is 25 cm of ungroomed snow.
According to the Banff trail report, tracksetting on Cascade Valley has been completed all the way to the end now. I’m not sure if it ends at the warden cabin turn-off at 13.3K, or a little further down the trail towards Stoney Creek at 14.4K.