Considering how warm it’s been, this was a good day of skiing. The snow was cold enough for wax on Lake O’Hara fire road. The most challenging thing to cope with this family day weekend will be the parking.
My challenge today was the waxing. I rewaxed three times. There was a skiff of new snow in the tracks which became about 3 cm at the end. It was also snowing for the final 3K.
The air temperature at 12:30 pm was +2°C, the snow was -1 and looked borderline wet at the trailhead. I waxed with VR55(0/-3) and it was overkill. I had way too much grip but I “stuck” with it until the picnic table at 5K. There’s lots of climbing on the first 2K.
At the picnic table, the snow temperature was -2, and I waxed with VR50. It didn’t seem to make much difference. I wasn’t getting high heels or anything too annoying, but I could tell my skis were icing slightly. At 7.3K I scraped and applied VR45(-2/-8).
I had lots of grip going up those steep hills on the final 3.5K but I knew the wax was still not right. When I reached the end, the day shelter at 11K, I rewaxed with VR40(-4/-12) which is the coldest wax I had with me. I could still feel my skis grabbing occasionally on the return, and I had plenty of grip anytime I needed it.
If it doesn’t snow tonight, the tracks should be much faster tomorrow now that the new snow has been skied in. The temperature is predicted to stay below zero all weekend with a low tonight of -8 and a high tomorrow of -1.
The trail is 11K one-way to Le Relais with a net elevation gain of 410 metres. The first 2K is very steep, the middle 5K consists of rolling hills with a moderate elevation gain, and the final 4K is a demanding test of your fitness with a number of steep hills.
You’ve probably realized by now it’s not an easy trail. The final climb rates near the top on Risto’s Hill Pain Score of Most Exhausting Ski Hills.
There’s an ice flow about 200 metres past the picnic table at the end of a short downhill. It’s quite easily navigable, but I wouldn’t want to hit it at full speed. See the photo in the photo gallery below.
The parking lot is going to be overflowing tomorrow and all weekend. It doesn’t help that some people have made very inefficient use of the space by using up one-and-a-half spots. To make matters worse, the snowplow has issues clearing the snow because of vehicles which have been left overnight.